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Oct 04, 2018, 04:20 PM
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The Wing is the Thing

Funny, but about 18 years ago, long before I got into RC, someone gave me a kit for a Mitchell U2 Ultralight. I built this Flying Wing one winter, but never dared to fly it, and eventually sold it. I made a photo of it my Avatar in RC Groups when I got into RC flying about 9 years ago.

I learned how to fly in a small field with a Slow Stick, GWS Tiger Moth and soon got interested in 3D and destroyed several Hobby Lobby Yaks getting the hang of it and learning to use the rudder.

I joined an AMC Club (Ashuelot Valley Flyers,Surry, NH) to have access to a decent flying site, other pilots, and really learn to fly. Over the next few years I built many 60 - 90 size models from kits, mostly glow powered 3D profiles and bipes. I got back into electric planes with a few small EDF jets and a Skysurfer and Fun Cub planes. I also dabbled in FPV with various quads as well as planes but never really dared to fly beyond LOS over our completely forested terrain.

But somehow I never flew a Wing until last fall when I bought myself a Wing Wing Z-84. I thought I would see if I could fly the little thing at my home field, since all my planes were way too big. I bought the kit and decided to add rudders since I find flying 3 channel kind of weird with my right thumb wanting more action. More about wings and rudders to follow.

I was really surprised at how well it flew in a small space. It tracked beautifully and could fly it around my tiny flying space better than with my Bixler or Fun Cub or even my Parkmaster. Despite its tiny size I thought it really did fly like it was on rails.

I liked it so much that over the course of the winter I added a Chaser C-1, a Phantom FX-61, an Eachine Fury, and a Mako. This summer I enjoyed flying them all at my Club field. Each has its own special features. The Chaser is aerobatic and fun, the Phantom has a huge presence and a really great glide, the Fury is fast and aerobatic, and the Mako would be a great FPV wing if I dared to fly it FPV!

This summer I added a Neptune EDF wing which is amazingly efficient for an EDF plane. It will fly for 10 minutes on a 2200 mah 3S.

Recently I decided to try a Techone Sport Popwing thinking I might be able to fly this at my home field. I haven't had a chance to maiden it as late summer rains have flooded our club field access.

I chose these particular wings because they have twin vertical stabilizers, which made adding rudders possible. While it is often claimed on Wiki and in threads that rudders don't work on wings because there is not enough tail moment -which was "proven" on Flite Test a number of years ago - I find rudder to be very effective on every one of these wings. Rudders allow more coordinated turns, and I can skid around the turn a bit to make it tighter without extreme bank angles. I can also make almost wing level turns with rudder only.

It should be noted that all "real" tailless aircraft all have some type of yaw control, either twin vertical stabilizers with rudders or drag rudders. For some reason this never translated into the yank and bank foam flying wings.

The Mitchell U2 ultralight that I built has twin drag rudders. Don Mitchell, the designer, was an engineer at Northrup and was involved in their flying wing designs.

There is a great discussion of yaw control and many photos of flying wings with yaw control here:

Rudders not only provide yaw control, but with a stabilizer they eliminate wing waggle. I am using an Frsky S6R stabilizer on all the wings, and since the rudders are stabilized, there is no wing waggle at all on any of these wings.

I launch all these wings with a bungee staked to the ground. I have chosen to do this to get a good launch and protect my fingers. I launch in Autolevel mode which automatically switches to Stabilize mode when I move the sticks. It works great and is exciting to watch.

The "Wing Thing" has been a fun new Chapter in RC adventures. Pictures follow.
Last edited by u2builder; Oct 05, 2018 at 10:16 AM.
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Oct 04, 2018, 08:14 PM
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Here are some photos of the wings. The Fury and Mako had markings in the foam for the rudders to be cut out. Since these photos were taken I replaced the foam rudders with larger balsa rudders similar to what I used on other planes. Typically the rudders are the same height as the stabilizers and vary in chord from 1 1/8" on the Z-84 to 2" on the FX-61. These sizes seem perfect as far as I can tell. In the FX-61, Chaser and Neptune the servos are mounted farther forward so as to put their weight near the CG instead of behind it. The FX-61 servos are mounted below the wing in the finger holes for streamlining.
Last edited by u2builder; Oct 05, 2018 at 10:02 AM.
Oct 20, 2018, 05:20 PM
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I have had a few flights of the Techone Sport/Sword at the club field. It is the first wing that I have felt comfortable hand launching with a Frisbee type wing toss. It flies great, tracks well, is aerobatic, and all around a fun plane.

I decided the Sword might still be a little big for my tiny home field so I decided to add an HK Bonsai. The Bonsai has wing tip vertical fins so I couldn't add conventional rudders and did not want to add the complexity of drag rudders. I did, however, want to keep the left thumb active so I programmed my Frsky Horus X12S so that the rudder stick would control aileron differential, ie., use the rudder to apply additional up aileron to the "up" aileron without effecting the "down" aileron. This allows the rudder to actively counteract adverse yaw so the rudder stick actually "does something". Not necessary, but it does seem to work well. The Bonsai is hand launched and I enjoy flying it in my little field. It is very agile and keeps me on my toes, so to speak.
Nov 07, 2018, 07:03 AM
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An Dancing Hobby 800 mm Rainbow wing joined the fleet yesterday. It is very similar to the Bonsai, but a little less sweep and longer wings. It has the same electronics as the Bonsai and weighs almost the same at about 200 g. I think it flies smoother and glides better on its larger wing, but is not as twitchy or as agile, even though I have the rates set at 100% vs 50% for the Bonsai with similar servo geometry. For $24 shipped not including electronics, motor or battery it is a lot of fun. It will fly for over 20 minutes on the 950mah 2S lipo.
Nov 12, 2018, 02:54 PM
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Totally addicted and still search for the perfect small field plane, I just got a Twisted Hobbies Zorro. It is pretty much built to TH specs. Motor for the moment is a Cobra-cm-2204-32-kv-1960 and I have an Hobbywing 15A esc, Emax ES-08 analog servos, and it balances perfectly with a Tattu 850mAh 11.1V 45C 3S which fits perfectly with just a bit of foam removed from one corner to get the heavy gauge wires out.(Thanks Sil for battery weight, perfect).

All up weight is 9.6 oz. I did add some 3mil laminate to one side of fins. The laminate weighs more than the fins so only put it on the outside surface.

I must say I am impressed with how well this wing balanced. I have never had a wing where I didn't have to add some lead to the nose.

I maidened my Zorro today and I must say it is really an amazing wing.

The Zorro ticks all of the boxes. It has a great presence in the air, even at a distance. It is the easiest wing to launch I have ever flown, by far. I have a tiny 5x4 prop on it at the moment and it takes off with the gentlest toss and flies out perfectly level. It flies the slowest of any plane I've flown, but can also rip right along. On my medium rates the stall is just a wings level wallow. I handles the wind well and turns on a dime. It is extremely aerobatic, and has a very nice glide with the prop off. It flies for 20 minutes or more on my 850mah 3S lipo. It balances perfectly with no lead. It is a much better plane than as Bonsai or Rainbow in my opinion. I am enjoying it at home in my tiny field, but I am sure it will be a blast to wring it out at the club field next spring. In the meantime I hope to get in a lot of late fall and may even winter flying.

For some reason, there doesn't seem to be a lot of current interest in this plane. It is pretty pricey, and I am pretty frugal, but I guess you pay for a great design. I just ordered another one. I had ordered a Sunnysky X2206 1500 kV from Banggood but have a Cobra on my current Zorro so I figure someday I'll have a motor without a home, and every great plane needs a backup especially when it is flying surrounded by hungry trees.
Last edited by u2builder; Nov 13, 2018 at 01:28 PM.

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