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Sep 11, 2018, 12:03 PM
Registered User
Discussion

First scratch build (require electronic advice)


Hi all.

Very new plane pilot here, actually not a pilot yet. Who am I trying to fool.

I've been flying drones for a while now, super casually and that got me interested in long range FPV. Planes seemed like the best way to go because of longer fly time and it's just more appealing to me when it comes to long range stuff.

So I decided I will build a plane, with the intention of getting it to do some long range FPV work once I know it flies.

I've stumbles into quite a few problems, mainly not really knowing plane electronics nearly well enough.

I'm going to keep this simple and hopefully you guys will too, not because I'm lazy just because it's a lot to digest.

So here is what I've got:

Scratch build
Wing 17,78cm x 1000cm
Rudder 17.78cm x 25cm
Elevator 17,78cm x 35cm
Carbon Tubing 6mm x 1000cm

weight 570grams

Radio
FrSky Taranis QX7

My problem comes in with servor, motor and flight controller. I've looked around online but I'm not 100% sure what to get and what is best value for money.
I stay in South Africa so getting stuff seems to be quite a mission...
Last edited by ColiQ; Sep 11, 2018 at 12:11 PM.
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Sep 11, 2018, 12:33 PM
Kimbers Keeper.
BHOFM's Avatar
First, there is a site called banggood out of China that I think can ship to you no problem. Do
a google and The search for RC stuff. You can get a sense of what they have, everything you
will need I am sure.

What material is you wing and surfaces made from, seems a bit heavy?

Found the info I was looking for, a GWS Slow Stick is much larger and less
weight ready to fly?
Sep 11, 2018, 02:09 PM
IMO ( In My Opinion ) →
balsa or carbon's Avatar
If you are doing this by yourself ( without the assistance of an experienced RC fixed wing flyer ) : I strongly recommend starting with a proven , well supported , slow & stable trainer ...... suitable for an unassisted first time fixed wing flyer .

The proven , well supported , slow & stable trainer I use to teach first time flyers is the EzFly , here is one of mine :



Copy of EzFly with under-cambered wing (1 min 57 sec)







The EzFly ↑ can be built from plans . There's another suitable trainer that can be built without plans : the Super Easy ↓ . Here is a Super Easy built and flown by a first time builder/flyer :



RcGroups Scratchbuild "SuperEasy" maiden flight (1 min 28 sec)






Here is a later flight by the same guy & the same Super Easy :



RcGroups "SuperEasy" scratch build short flight (1 min 10 sec)





Keep in mind that the ( ugly ) Super Easy is meant to be a disposable ( likely to crash ) airframe plane used for learning how to fly RC . After learning to fly with an SE , then you can build a more permanent airframe plane for FPV etc .

Both the EzFly and Super Easy will protect your motor/prop in a nose first crash . If you would like to build either one , I'll be glad to help .
Last edited by balsa or carbon; Sep 11, 2018 at 07:21 PM.
Sep 12, 2018, 03:15 AM
Registered User
Extreme Sports's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by ColiQ
I've stumbles into quite a few problems, mainly not really knowing plane electronics nearly well enough.....

...So here is what I've got:

Scratch build
Wing 17,78cm x 1000cm
Rudder 17.78cm x 25cm
Elevator 17,78cm x 35cm
Carbon Tubing 6mm x 1000cm

weight 570grams

My problem comes in with servor, motor and flight controller. I've looked around online but I'm not 100% sure what to get and what is best value for money.
I stay in South Africa so getting stuff seems to be quite a mission...
First, if you you think your main problem is not knowing the electronics well enough, then I suspect that you're about to learn just how much you don't know. Not trying to be cruel, but that is the reality of starting anything new...we simple don't know what we don't know. If you've flown multi-rotors, then at least you know something about electronics.

Here are some thoughts that might help:
  • Long range FPV flying in SA is not legal unless certain requirements are met. You have to fly within VISUAL line of sight and have a spotter. To go BVLOS you need to jump through a bunch of hoops that will cost as much as a full scale licence. That said, if you've been flying multi-rotors, you should be aware of the regulations and that some are almost unworkable....for a multi-rotor you may not fly higher than the highest object within 300m, and not within 50m of a building, person or road. So if you live on a remote farm in the Free State, you may technically not fly higher than the fence posts. Go figure. I suggest you google the regs before you get too excited about long range FPV. Some of the regs are impractical, but the long range FPV ones do make sense, especially if you are not a very experienced RC pilot and builder. Here is a link to start with. Suggest you google a few more: https://www.actiongear.co.za/blogs/n...laws-explained
  • 570g seems very heavy for a 1m plane without all the electronics? It is quite heavy even for a plane with all the electronics. Are you sure that is right? Are you using foam or correx?
  • Don't even think of adding a FC until you are a competent pilot. And certainly don't even think of flying FPV anywhere other than a remote farm until you can fly well without any FC. Fixed wing FC's systems are either expensive (pixhawk/ Ardupilot) or still highly developmental (INAV on multi-rotor boards). They are not as 'plug and play' as multirotor systems....and you need to be able to fly well manually to get them set up. I've been flying RC for close on 40 years now and I've had more crashes from trying to get INAV to work than from any other cause.
  • I'm a loyal Banggood addict, but right now I would not recommend buying there. The recent post office strike has caused a huge backlog and it seems to be taking 6 months to receive orders. They get to SA within a month, then sit un-tracked and unacknowledged at ORT for up to 4 months before they move again. Plus SARS is now apparently holding parcels if you are not a registered importer (allow the first 3 in, then hold them). So just not worth the risk, and with the Rand where it is, the savings are not that big.
  • Where do you live? There are lots of good hobby shops, and some good on-line local ones.
  • Regarding the exact electronics, please take B&C's advise first, and once you have decided on the right plane, I can help you find the right electronics and the best place to get them. Bear in mind too that the plane as you have it set up in your pictures won't fly Learn to crawl before you try to sprint and you'll soon find out why
Welcome to fixed wing flying...it is plenty fun even without FPV! More than happy to help you set up and learn to fly, but you have to do it legally and not expect to win the Olympic 100m sprint the first day you learn to walk
Sep 12, 2018, 03:43 AM
Registered User
Extreme sports, thanks for the super informative response.

I'm down here in Cape Town. I'm actually considering just buying a ready to fly plane after your message and revisiting my project once I'm more familiar with all the gear.

I've also spent quite a bit of time rebuilding quads. Crashing is part of the adventure and rebuilding is part of the game! haha

I've made a few calls and I'm hoping to drive out to some of the air fields as soon as the weather allows.

With regards to the long range, and licensing. That is my next step as a matter of fact. I'm looking into getting my license so I can start working commercially since I'm in the photography/film industry by trade. Money I'm well willing to spend. Still need to speak to a bunch of people to get local advice.
Last edited by ColiQ; Sep 12, 2018 at 03:45 AM. Reason: Typing like a fool
Sep 12, 2018, 03:58 AM
Registered User
Extreme Sports's Avatar
Give Cape Radio Flyers a call. They've got a really nice site out along the N7, even though it is a bit of a drive.

Wind is a bit of a problem in CT, so see what planes are common for learning on before committing. That said, I started flying when I was a kid in CT years ago, and there were enough calm winter days to fly quite often.

Don't give up on scratch building as it really is a major part of the hobby. But start with a proven design. If you link up with the club, you can probably look at heavier designs for the wind, because you will have a buddy box instructor to help. The very light foam planes BorC advocates will limit your flying opportunities since they require almost zero wind conditions. But that is the best option if your are learning on your own.

Try Hobbymania. They have an online store and a physical one in Plumstead. Mostly stock Hobbyking stuff. There are a bunch of other stores as well - just do some googling.

If you scratch build, consider using 2mm correx. Heavier than foam, but very strong, cheap and easy to get (Maizey Plastics). Depron and other thin foams are almost impossible to get in SA at a reasonable price, but you can get ceiling tile foam from ISOBOARD. You need a hot wire cutter to slice it up, so ends up being more effort than correx, and less suitable for the wind. The foam board we get in SA is heavier than correx, so I never use it.

Slope soaring is also popular in CT.
Sep 12, 2018, 07:18 AM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by balsa or carbon
If you are doing this by yourself ( without the assistance of an experienced RC fixed wing flyer ) : I strongly recommend starting with a proven , well supported , slow & stable trainer ...... suitable for an unassisted first time fixed wing flyer .

The proven , well supported , slow & stable trainer I use to teach first time flyers is the EzFly , here is one of mine :



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VxaUadvhgbc






The EzFly ↑ can be built from plans . There's another suitable trainer that can be built without plans : the Super Easy ↓ . Here is a Super Easy built and flown by a first time builder/flyer :



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zAK9...w&t=0s&index=7





Here is a later flight by the same guy & the same Super Easy :



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5T5-5lYiVOA




Keep in mind that the ( ugly ) Super Easy is meant to be a disposable ( likely to crash ) airframe plane used for learning how to fly RC . After learning to fly with an SE , then you can build a more permanent airframe plane for FPV etc .

Both the EzFly and Super Easy will protect your motor/prop in a nose first crash . If you would like to build either one , I'll be glad to help .
That looks really amazing. I'd love to know what goes into building the SUPER EASY. I really like the design and simplicity of it! Looks like it flies well once you've figured it out.
Sep 12, 2018, 07:39 AM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by BHOFM
First, there is a site called banggood out of China that I think can ship to you no problem. Do
a google and The search for RC stuff. You can get a sense of what they have, everything you
will need I am sure.

What material is you wing and surfaces made from, seems a bit heavy?

Found the info I was looking for, a GWS Slow Stick is much larger and less
weight ready to fly?
It's made from Foam Board. Thanks. I've actually spent quite a bit of time on banggood looking for all the parts I need. I was more concerned about getting the correct equipment for my build. But I'm strongly considering getting a ready to fly plane. Just so I can get into it a bit quicker. It's almost summer and the windy days will be more than less.
Sep 16, 2018, 11:54 PM
flyin' fool
goldguy's Avatar
Find a design from the 100's listed here in 'scratch' that meets your need, print out the plan and do 'exactly' as the designed intended, including the electronics.

Most are easy, simple, quick to build and inexpensive. And, best of all, well proven.
Sep 17, 2018, 12:52 AM
IMO ( In My Opinion ) →
balsa or carbon's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by ColiQ
That looks really amazing. I'd love to know what goes into building the SUPER EASY. I really like the design and simplicity of it! Looks like it flies well once you've figured it out.
The Super Easy really is super easy !

For the slowest flight ( low wing loading ) and docile handling , build a larger SE .... rather than a smaller SE . And for best results , build the airframe as lightweight as possible .


1) Take any rectangular board and cut it in half at a diagonal , those two pieces will be the wings .

2) Take another rectangular board the same size as the first one , cut out a fuselage piece the same length as a wing but half as wide in the rear.

3) Cut a prop slot at the halfway point ( from the nose to the tail ) in the wings , and also in the fuselage .

4) Cut and hinge an elevator in each wing , cut and hinge a rudder in the fuselage .

5) Glue the wings together with some dihedral ( about 10 to 15 ) .

6) Glue the fuselage to the bottom of the wings .

7 ) Check with Extreme Sports about where to get appropriate electronics , install electronics .

8) CG is at front of prop slot .

9) Start with elevators trimmed up about 10mm ( reflex ) .

10) Go fly !
Last edited by balsa or carbon; Sep 17, 2018 at 12:15 PM.


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