The Birth of Leading Edge R/C

Here is the story about Leading Edge RC from Mark Dennis...


Leading Edge R/C

From Mark Dennis...

This project has been a long time in the making and I'm finally at a point where I feel comfortable sharing this journey with everyone on Flying Giants. My goal is to give you all an inside look at what it takes to develop an airplane for today's market, from start to finish. Please keep in mind that this is an ongoing project, it will still be some time before these airplanes are ready for the general public, I look forward to hearing your thoughts, ideas, or critiques in this thread and feel that in the end, we can all benefit from this type of transparency.

Many of you know me from my tenure with Aeroworks, I worked with Rocco to develop some truly revolutionary designs and learned a lot along the way. I feel we revolutionized the giant scale ARF market back in the mid-2000s and helped bridge the gap to what you see on the market today. Fast forward to 2013, and an amazing opportunity to fly UAV's came along, this caused me to depart my position at Aeroworks.

Back in 2015, I looked into starting Leading Edge R/C, at the time I found a factory, ordered a few samples and set about developing some new giant scale aerobatic airplanes. The samples I received were such low quality that I did not feel comfortable bringing these airplanes to market and scrapped the project. At that point, I set out looking to find a new factory, one that could do the kind of quality work I expect from any R/C airplane. If you remember back 2015/2016 saw many horrible blows to the RC industry as a whole, none of which bigger than the dock strikes that snarled shipments coming into the US. It was during this time that the industry lost many prominent companies, and at the same time, many factories overseas were forced to close. My search came to a dead end at this point, faced with declining manufactures and rising costs, I decided to shelve the project.

Fast forward 3 years to 2018, at this point I've been enjoying the hobby as just a hobbyist for the past 5 years, I've flown airplanes from every major brand many of which I liked, some that I felt could be made better. With each airplane I always found myself finding little things that I felt could be better, lighter, stronger etc. This is when I decided to go back to my search for a manufacturer overseas, someone who shared my ideas and knows how to build high quality airplanes. As we often do, I went back to my roots, I tracked down a factory I had worked with back in my days with Aeroworks, they were no longer building RC airplanes but had, in-fact began building UAV's for customers in China. I began conversing with this factory and quickly realized many of the same people I had worked with 6 years prior were still there, it was a joyous reunion if one could ever be had over email.

We began talking about a new project, with new/modern build techniques to take full advantage of what they had learned in their time developing UAV's. That is when our first airplane was born, Prototype 001 as I've referred to it. Developing a new design takes a lot of work, time, and experience, there's no subject I am more familiar with than the Extra 260, so this seemed like a logical place to begin our new endeavor. Next came the size of the airplane, I wanted something that I felt took full advantage of our building techniques and could really show off what we had done, at that point the best size seemed to be a 120cc 106-108" (more on the wings later) Extra 260.

We set to work, drawing the airplane in CAD, refining it to the point where I felt it would fly well and be able to handle today's XA style of flying, while still being extremely lite for its size. After seeing the airplane as it was built, I feel like we accomplished our goal of a very strong yet light weight airplanes that will be able to take advantage of the equipment we have available today.

I've included a screenshot of the drawing for the 260, this was not the final revision but will give you all an idea of the lengths we go through to develop this airplanes. I will also be updating this thread in the next few days with pictures of the entire build process from start to finish.

Thank you all for taking the time to read this! I hope you all enjoy this process as much as I have so far!

  • Mark Dennis
  • Leading Edge R/C

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Jun 18, 2019, 05:38 PM
Flazo's Avatar
Right on we need new companies producing Rc Planes.

Jun 25, 2019, 07:44 PM
USA: LakeGeorge, New York
You need to start selling those RollOfGrass FPV planes again at a lower price.
Best kept secret FPV planes that no one bought..those
pusher plane props you had with no-hand launch to cut your fingers were awesome.

ie...flying wing that can ROG....amazing
Latest blog entry: My FAVORITE FPV CockPits'!!!!
Jul 08, 2019, 08:46 PM
Andres Lu
joker24458's Avatar
I love reading about the design/prototyping process!! Can’t wait for future updates.
Jul 08, 2019, 09:45 PM
USA: LakeGeorge, New York


Latest blog entry: My FAVORITE FPV CockPits'!!!!
Jul 16, 2019, 05:12 PM
Registered User
when it would be available on the market??
Jul 17, 2019, 06:19 AM
Registered User
Mark posted over on FG. The container has arrived and he's doing a build of the first prototype. It looks to be an Extra at about 35% scale. No ETA on when production models will be available. Getting a new aircraft ready takes some time so it probably wont be until the end of the year.

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