Large RC Bird Project - RC Groups
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Feb 22, 2004, 08:41 AM
Fish Head!
colin wavell's Avatar

Large RC Bird Project

I have just started building a 1:1 scale model of a white tailed Sea eagle. this is from the plan by Jack Edwards. Is any one interested if I do a thread with photos of the construction of this bird. It involves a lot of foam cutting which I am new to. I am quite a long way into the project but have been taking photos as I progress
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Feb 22, 2004, 08:45 AM
Fish Head!
colin wavell's Avatar

Eddie continued

I'm doing this in fits and starts so posts might be erratic but would be interested indiscussing bird building and flying. This pic is of the foam cores of the left wing above is th spar and to the right is the fuselage structure that will be covered in foam and carved
Feb 22, 2004, 08:53 AM
Fish Head!
colin wavell's Avatar


Final size is about 80" span and 15" chord. target weight about 4 1/2 pounds.
This model doesn't have any added rudders or cheater fins so looks pretty scale in flight. It has a reflexed plank wing section and uses ailerons with drag plates under the wing and 100% differential. It was designed pre computer radio so i will make changes in respect of this vis differential and possible use of both ailerons as brakes. This pic is a close up of the tallons which I think are cool
Last edited by colin wavell; Feb 22, 2004 at 11:27 AM.
Feb 22, 2004, 08:58 AM
Fish Head!
colin wavell's Avatar

Eddie continued

I had problems getting blue foam so I've used some yellow stuff which is dense but not as firm as blue. I think I will need to glass the trailing edge to reinforce it.
Picture shows tail section made of the last bit of blue foam i could lay my hands on.

Looking forward to hearing from anyone interested in this project

Feb 22, 2004, 10:12 AM
Flagstaff, AZ
dawsonh's Avatar

That looks like a fun project.

Where I live in Arizona we have Golden and Bald Eagles (winter). They are a joy to fly with... a bit aloof and very regal. However they offen get harrassed by our local "clowns" the ravens.

The Sea Eagle could be easily modified (paint) to be a Bald or Golden Eagle... they are a similar shape and size.

I look forward to seeing more of your progress.

Feb 22, 2004, 11:13 AM
Fish Head!
colin wavell's Avatar
Bald eagles and sea eagles are cosins...just white at the opposite ends. It will be interesting to see what our local Buzzards make of him. Jack Edwards put a voice box in the model and the birds do seem to respond to that. Although I'm interested to see how the birds and people react...especially twitchers We as a club are always concerned not to unduely disturb them....apart from crows who don't really count
Feb 22, 2004, 11:14 AM
Registered User
seaotter's Avatar
hey colin,

awesome detail on the kit. can't wait to see the finished product.

i wonder what kind of response it'll get in the air from the other feathered flyers.

Feb 22, 2004, 11:15 AM
Fish Head!
colin wavell's Avatar

The Real Eddie

Ther are lots of good pics on the net. This is one of my favorites. I would like to get a really good illustration of the plumage
Feb 22, 2004, 11:18 AM
Fish Head!
colin wavell's Avatar

Eye Eye Sir

How about these for a match.??????
Our local fabric shop turned out to be a good source for eyes. The do quite a range of teddy bear and cat's eyes in different colours and sizes
Feb 22, 2004, 11:21 AM
Fish Head!
colin wavell's Avatar
Sea otter

This is not a kit but a plan
That is a picture of the cover of silent flight Magazine
from February 1993
Feb 22, 2004, 03:41 PM
Insert custom witicism
Jeff Charlot's Avatar

I'd love to see a build thread on this! I've thought several times of trying to scratch out a bald eagle to fly with the 'locals', but the challenge seems to be above my skill level. I'll be looking forward to your progress on this.

Feb 22, 2004, 03:55 PM
Fish Head!
colin wavell's Avatar
so far the most difficult thing has been the steep learning curve for cutting foam never having done it before. There is loads of stuff on the net. I made a bow and inherited a transformer to power it. I used plywood templates as these sections do not have to be that precise. I'll post some pics of the bow and templates soon.

I will say that this is not an ideal project to learn to cut foam cores on but I'm managing and I've never done it before
Feb 22, 2004, 04:25 PM
Registered User
paullittle's Avatar
Hey Colin,
Nice thread mate.

To everyone else: yes, Colin and I are in the same flying club ( and I can confirm that he is just about as mad as he appears!

Actually cerebral infirmity kinda runs in the club - I have always wanted to have a go at a "proper" flapping bird or pterosaur. I know that some guys in the US made a full scale (40' span!) pteranodon some years ago that had to be launched from a powered dolly but flapped and soared really realistically, I believe that it is now in the Smithsonian Institute. If anyone has any info on that I'd be really interested.
Feb 22, 2004, 06:49 PM
Fish Head!
colin wavell's Avatar

My Cutting Bow

This is a hybrid of various designs I found on the net using materials I had around. It seems to work.

The back of the bow is made of 3x1 pine
The arms are made from one length of 1/4" piano wire cut into two.
The ends of the arms are grooved with a file and then covered with two or three layers of heat shrink tubing. The cutting wire is nichrome ( about 6.00 for a 25 metre length)
The power is applied to the wire with two small alligator clips so I can change bows easily. I want to make a short one to use for shaping the blocks before cutting the sections as this is a bit unwealdy for that job.
This bow will cut a 36" long wing pannel
There are two 1/2" wood dowels threaded on the wire so its easy to guide the wire through the foam block by hand.
the tail wheel allows the bow to travel over a flat surface.
The largest and cleanest in my house is the kitchen floor. A bit hard on the knees but it worked!
The power supply is a purpose built electronic job given to me by a club member.
Feb 22, 2004, 06:55 PM
Fish Head!
colin wavell's Avatar

Bow Detail

This shows the bow end with nichrome wrapped around twice and the around itself.
The crocodile clip
The heat shrink to insulate the arm from the cutting wire
One of the wooded dowels that you hold to guide the wire

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