Walmart glider on diet + Estes RC gear.... - RC Groups
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Mar 04, 2005, 06:25 PM
Registered User

Walmart glider on diet + Estes RC gear....

I started this project because my 11yr old son wants to fly and I had a walmart glider still in the bag and some unused Estes RC gear out of my Sport Jet that I converted to "real" RC. See this thread for more Sport Jet info:

I converted one of these gliders to edf50, 3ch control a few months ago. I used the glider pretty much as it was. I added a rudder and elevator to it and made a small mount on the top for the edf50. I used a Pico 4 RX, 2 HS-55's, an FMA-5 ESC, and a 150mAh Ni-Cd battery. It weighed a little over 9oz ready to fly.

It flew, but that's about it. Even with a 4 foot wingspan, it would only climb to about 50'-60' at full throttle! With the small Ni-Cd, it only ran for about 2-3 minutes before cut-off. It was about as fast as a Pico stick, at most. You could make 3 or 4 laps around the field before it died. Not a whole lot of fun.

This time, I am trimming a lot of the glider away, especially the fat nose on the fuselage. The Estes RC stuff is basically single channel, I'll use it on the rudder. It has a motor connection, but like all the Estes Skyrangers, the motor just runs WOT untill the cut-off kills it. I may put an edf50 dd motor with the 3/2 prop on it or the edf50 itself. At first, I want to be able to just use it as a rudder control glider. I have an old Hi-Start bungie launcher laying around to get it in the air.

Here are some specs.
These are the glider parts weights before I started "hacking" on it:

Fuse with fin and plastic wing joiner - 76g, 2.66oz
Wings - 80.2g, 2.81oz for the pair
Stab - 10.5g, .37oz
---------- Total = 166.6g, 5.85oz

Estes RC gear:
RX and actuator - 34.6g, 1.21oz
300mAh 2/3AAA Ni-Mh battery - 48g, 1.68oz
---------- Total, plane + gear + battery = 249.2g, 8.74oz

The goal is to get rid of as much weight as possible and make this thing look a little better. I would like it to be a good, slow floater if possible.

I started by cutting about 5" off the nose, the stock one just looks too long.
Removed more foam off the nose by carving it to look like a regular canopy.
Next I cut off the thick fin/rudder, making a new one from 2mm foam board.
Cut out the center section of the elevator, where the gap for attaching to the fuselage is, CA'd the 2 halves together.
Then I used my home-brew foam cutter to remove approx. 1/2" off of each side of the fuselage. This left the fuselage approx. 1.5" wide from the nose to back past the wing.
I had to remove 1/2" off of the very root of the wing panels so they would match up to the skinnier fuse. The plasic joiner will no longer work here.

Total weight now for the fuse, fin/rudder and stab: 125.6g, 4.41oz
-About an ounce and a half savings
Total with RC gear: 208.2g, 7.31oz

I would like to get it down some more, but there's not much left to cut away.
The final shaping and sanding may remove a few grams at most, but I still need to add the rudder pushrod and some minor reinforcements here and there as well as some way to keep the wing on. Then there is a motor, if I add one.

I did not take a pic before I started hacking (Doh!), but here are some shots of what I have so far. I did all this last night in about three hours. I am going to try and finish it tonite and fly it this weekend. Then I can let my son at it!
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Mar 04, 2005, 06:27 PM
Registered User
rest of the pics for now
Mar 04, 2005, 07:21 PM
Registered User
Excellent! My son has this same plane. We were looking hard at making it electric free-flight (maybe dual motors).

I will follow your exploits with keen interest.
Mar 05, 2005, 10:12 AM
What goes up must come down..
This is very interesting I am glad you start this thread Jeff.
I have a Skyraider looks the same gears except for the batt.pack here.
Going to hack it now, I have also an idea on how to use these here.
Mar 05, 2005, 01:42 PM
What goes up must come down..
First thing I did start with is to do is put the RX on a diet for now..definitly not exactly the same a flflyer..since mine was powered by 3 NiCd's and not as flflyer one so 6 cells 2/3 AAA with most probably burn it.. also I want to have a low wing loading here.
I will also use the same thermofoam wing from Take Off 2000 Inc. as it was used by John stennard in RCMF Oct 2002 in his FunJet trainer, were I still have my CAD files of these since I made the CAD work then...they're hornet type light, airfoiled, low cost, perfect for this project.

Mar 07, 2005, 02:12 PM
Registered User
What plane did that gear come out of?
My stuff came from Skyrangers bat wing style jet, 6-cell 300mAh pack, DF as well as my Estes Sport Jet which was a 650mAh pack and a sp300 DF, it's a little larger

I did not get too much time to work on it this weekend. Cleared brush all day sat. and spent sunday at Fla Jets 2005. That was killer
I started a thread in jets with a link to my gallery with plenty of pics.

I did get to sand the fuse down and make it more rounded and I built a new rudder/fin and made the linkage for it, not much else. Will get some time tonite, maybe some update pics tomorrow.
Mar 07, 2005, 08:55 PM
Registered User
willin's Avatar
Red biplane. Staggerwing beechcraft. I canniblized one myself. the red glue gives it away.

Sorry not trying to, hijack this thread but I too would like to make use of my innards I have not thrown out yet.

Watching this thread with great interest!

Mar 08, 2005, 03:35 PM
What goes up must come down..
flfyer like Willin said these are coming from previous SkyRangers models (prop driven).
I am trying to concept?design around TakeOff 2000 Inc. thermoform wings here for a small stick simple plane..having a sturture setup "a la Hangar Rat" to simplify CG location, and using actuator instead the DC motor here.
I tried to upload a proto plans but I didn't have the right format..or too big a file!...?
Mar 08, 2005, 04:52 PM
Registered User


Thanks for the info rodair, willin.
That gear, especially running off of only 3-cells, should be even lighter than what I have. I was thinking of seeing if my rx and act would work from only 3 or 4 cells, if I don't use a motor and keep it as a glider.

I was able to get all the gear fitted and the plane to balance on its original balance marks. I had test flown it as a glider in the yard and made sure of where it balanced before I started cutting it up. I was able to do a couple of test glides in the yard last night, and it seems to go pretty level but is a little faster than it was stock. I may add a small adjustable elevator to the h-stab to be able to trim it though.

Pushrod is connected to the rudder, I get about 3/4" travel each way, L/R.
All up weight so far is 197g, 6.9oz, about 1oz over stock (5.85oz), but almost 2oz lighter than stock with all the gear (8.74oz)

All that is left to add is a tow/launch hook, some reinforcement tape here and there, and some way to make sure the wings don't come off in flight, but still be removable for transport. I have some 1/16" fibre-glass rods from an old mini kite that I may try to rig someting out of. Right now, the wings friction fit pretty well, it takes quite a bit of force to get them in and out of the fuse.

I might try to glide it tonite and see if it steers at all. Will try to actually fly it this weekend. Here are some pics of the progress. I had the nose of another one of the same gliders laying around, so I put it in some shots for comparison. Big difference !
Mar 08, 2005, 04:53 PM
Registered User
Last pics
Apr 01, 2005, 05:56 AM
What goes up must come down..


I will use TakeOff 2000 Inc wing (thermoform) for it. you can find these here:
I hope to have so spare time soon so I can put one together..
I remove the plans here..they really don't belong here sorry worng thread.

Last edited by rodair; Jul 13, 2005 at 09:01 AM. Reason: removing plans
Apr 01, 2005, 06:39 AM
Purdue Engineering
Rocketman1092's Avatar
Do you still have the EDF? You can glue it to the top of the fuse like the Wattage Turbo Hawk. Those fans typically have slightly more power than the EDF-50 because of their design. If you have two, you can make an airliner type plane.
May 11, 2005, 04:10 PM
FlattyFlier's Avatar
WOW! I love what you did with it!

I'd try my hand at one if I had a hot wire cutter
May 11, 2005, 05:44 PM
Soil Density Tester
TexasAce's Avatar
Jake, if there is a Hobby Lobby crafts store near you, they have a small handheld hotwire foam cutter for around $7. It works on 2 D cell batteries.
May 11, 2005, 07:01 PM
FlattyFlier's Avatar
I'd need one about 10-12".

If they have that size, how much, maybe I could order one!

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