Stealth-E, a balsa nano jet for the EDF40 - RC Groups
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Mar 13, 2005, 11:18 AM
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Tres Wright's Avatar

Stealth-E, a balsa nano jet for the EDF40

Stealth-E is now being kitted by Littlebirdz . The kit includes laser cut 1/8" and 1/16" balsa, 1/8" basswood and 1/64" ply plus a plan, extensive illustrated instructions booklet and hardware package. The price is currently set at only 15.00!! The kit can be purchased at the link above.

Because Stealth-E is now a production kit, the plan file is no longer available for free distribution. Many thanks to all that provided feedback on the design!

Hey guys, I've posted quite a bit about this little jet in the huge NanoBandit thread created by Joe (Devmonkey), but thought I'd post this as a separate thread as well since I've started giving out plans and suspect there may be some build questions. I've built several of the nanos (Bandit, Mirage, SuperMite) and was inspired by the creativity of the designers in the above-mentioned thread to try my hand at it Following in the tradition of their generosity, I'm making these plans available for free to whoever wants to try their hand at one.

I know when I look at these threads, I always want to see what the plane looks like first I'll start out by posting some finished pics and spec's:

Dimensions: 18-1/2" wingspan, 13" length
Weight: 2.9 oz. w/o pack, 4.6 oz. with 3s 730 TP pack
Power: Feigao 5300 Kv motor in GWS EDF40
Wing area: .39 s.f.
Wing loading: prototype has had some repairs and is at 4.7 oz. AUW/ 12 oz/s.f. loading

Video (please right-click and save-as to your HD): http://www.treswright.vervehosting.c.../Stealth-E.wmv

The video was filmed on a very gray, overcast day and doesn't properly show the speed of the little jet, but it'll give you the idea

My daughters were kind enough to clock it for me on a calm day. I made passes in level flight flying a big circuit around the field. After lots of misses (it's hard to clock something this tiny), we finally started getting some good readings halfway through the pack. The quickest pass was 60 mph with several passes at 57 and 58. Last pass at the end of the pack before I landed was 57 mph. Half throttle practice passes were in the low-40's.

Stealth-E flies very nice, it is quite solid in the air for such a tiny thing. It is very responsive, has a quick roll rate and can do some nice, big inside and outside loops. It holds inverted with just a touch of up elevator and will do outside loops from inverted.

Here are the pics (the two beautiful models in the one pic are my girls ):
Last edited by Tres Wright; Nov 24, 2005 at 11:39 PM.
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Mar 13, 2005, 11:34 AM
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Build info

These pictures are of the prototype, it was built from sketches and is slightly different than the more-refined plans. I haven't built one from the plans yet, but if there's enough interest I'll do that and take more extensive build photos.

I started out by building each wing half seperately. You'll note in the first picture that the LE material stops at the end of the wing, but I recommend extending it past so the material can be continuous all the way to the nose. The LE was balsa on the proto, I've shown it as hardwood on the plans as I had numerous leading edge breaks during testing, especially in the nose area.

After assembling the wing halves, pin one over the plan and insert the carbon fiber reinforcement tube. I used a 3mm tube, but a small solid rod will work as well. Insert the other wing over the tube/rod and pin it down as well. Install the formers and C/A them as well as the spots where the tube/ rod goes through the ribs. Then install the stringers that form the fuselage shape. In the pictures there is a cross-brace at the back, I later removed it because it interfered with the exhaust cone on the revised design.

The formers are constructed of balsa with 1/64" ply laminated to them. I really like this sandwich setup because it is very light and very strong. 1/64" ply is easy to work with, you can cut it with scissors or an Exacto.

In the 2nd pic the fan was installed just to check fit, don't glue it in place until final equipment installation.

The 3rd pic shows it all framed up. There's really not a lot to building one of these, it's so small that it doesn't take much material and if you know your way around balsa it will likely only take you an hour or two to get this far.
Mar 13, 2005, 11:42 AM
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ARCHER7153's Avatar
Mar 13, 2005, 11:45 AM
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Covering can be a bit of a challenge, so let me tell you how I did it. I recommend SoLite as it is light, easy to work with and will not warp the frame during shrinking.

Pic 1- do not cover the wings and fuse with a single piece as it will pull off the structure at the intersection (of the fuse and wing) when you shrink the covering. Instead, cover each wing top & bottom first. Wrap the wing covering down the rib as shown in the pic.

Pic 2- the tail is not mounted yet, I just stuck it on there to check fit.

Pic 3- next cover one half of the fuse as shown. Wrap it over the top stringer and overlap it onto the wing covering 1/4".

Pic 4- cover the other side of the fuse overlapping the covering on each side.

Pic 5- then the front area can be wrapped with a single remaining piece of covering. Stick some windows on and it starts looking pretty stealthy
Mar 13, 2005, 11:58 AM
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Equipment installation

I showed recommended locations for installing the equipment on the plan. My ESC leads weren't long enough to put the ESC where it's shown on the plan, so I taped it next to the fan. The servos screw into the servo rails. I used plastic control horns on the elevons, and connected them to the servos using small music wire. I reinforced the music wire with CF rods tied to the wire with kevlar thread & C/A. This prevents rod flex. Micro connectors are used at the servos to allow fine adjustments. The receiver is mounted to the front former inside the fuse cavity. I ran a Jim's Lightenna out the leading edge of the wing. After this picture was taken I covered the nose area up to the first servo rail (as shown in the pics on post #1). This isn't the final battery position, it had to be farther forward to balance right. It can actually fit up into the nose, I'm going to try to recess it when I build #2.

Installing the fan- I recommend scuffing the shroud with some sandpaper and hot-gluing the fan to the formers. I initially hot glued the fan and it popped loose in two failed attempts at launching inthe early trials. So then I C/A'd it in. The next crunch resulted in the motor propelling itself right through the shroud breaking the rotor and all the stators The fan is very secure if hot glued in, but will pop loose and (hopefully) be saved in a mild crash.
Last edited by Tres Wright; Mar 13, 2005 at 06:25 PM. Reason: Added fan mount info
Mar 13, 2005, 12:03 PM
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CG and initial flights

I had lots of trouble getting this little bugger to fly initially. I had throws that were way too big, GC was too far forward, fan thrustline was off, and the covering on the tail area was redirecting the fan thrust and forcing the nose downward. After I tuned all these problems out, it flew quite nicely. But make sure you don't get the GC too far back or it may end up looking like this picture I was able to repair it without much trouble, in fact the pics in post #1 were taken after this crash. I was testing different CG spots, I had it behind the calculated spot to see if flight improved any. It actually got a little worse, wasn't as stable and aerobatics weren't as good. I was doing a big immelman when it stalled at the top and went into an unrecoverable spin. I've flown it over a dozen times since with the CG at the spot shown on the plan and despite intentional stall attempts, it has never gone into a spin again.
Mar 13, 2005, 12:04 PM
ExtremeFlight - 3DHS - Legacy
blucor basher's Avatar
This is one of those threads that makes everyone say "why didn't I think of that?!". Excellent work on a neat concept. Very nice.
Mar 13, 2005, 12:08 PM
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Well, that's all I can think of for now Let me know if there are any questions. If you build one, feel free to post pictures, questions & comments here in this thread. I look forward to hearing if you like Stealth-E as much as I do

If you want a PDF file of the Stealth-E plan, email me by clicking here (UPDATE: I am negotiating with a laser cutting service who is interested in kitting Stealth-E. As a result, I am no longer giving out drawing files, but I will still distribute PDFs to anyone interested). It's formatted as a single 24" x 36" sheet, and (at least here in the US) you can take the PDF to a print shop and they can print it out for you at a nominal cost.

Good luck!
Last edited by Tres Wright; Apr 06, 2005 at 09:11 PM.
Mar 13, 2005, 12:19 PM
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Throws and reflex

Archer, thanks! Blucor, thank you, you are too kind!

Oops, I almost forgot the throws. Those of you that have plans now may have noticed the throws are listed as "XX". I was at work when I finished the plans (don't tell my boss ) and didn't have the jet in front of me to check them...

Reflex- set the bottom of the elevons flush with the bottom of the wing.

Throws- aileron throws are 6mm each way. Elevator throws are 7mm.

Expo- I'm running -40% each way on all controls.
Mar 13, 2005, 12:26 PM
EDF rules... :)
AirX's Avatar
Nice thread Tres, this is a must build for the little EDF40, in all practicality the only way to get into EDF for less than $150. This is also one of the only all balsa Nano jets I have seen that is completely flyable as the video shows.

Eric B.
Mar 13, 2005, 06:31 PM
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Tres Wright's Avatar
Thank you Eric!! As you said, these little nanos are a cheap way to get into jets. And one of the nice things is there is no compromise in performance, they fly quite jet-like! They may not be doing the 100+ mph of their big brothers, but the sensation of flying something so tiny at 60 mph is still quite a rush
Mar 13, 2005, 08:34 PM
In The Sorrano Triangle
I sent you a pm for the plans and forgot to specify PDF.
Thank again, jim
Mar 13, 2005, 09:27 PM
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Tres Wright's Avatar
File sent Jim, and welcome to RC Groups!

I've had a couple of people ask about wear-and-tear to the gear on landings since everything is on the bottom. The jet is so light that it impacts the ground pretty softly on landings. I've flown it about 20 times, about half on grass and half on rough fields. I've only had one incident, I was landing and it hit a big dirt clod and broke a servo arm and ripped out the control horn. It was an easy repair though. That clod also broke the leading edge in 2 places, but that's one of the reasons I revised the LE to hardwood on the plan (it's balsa on the proto).

Also, when landing cut the throttle just before touchdown to make sure the fan doesn't suck up any dirt/pebbles/grass/small animals
Mar 14, 2005, 04:02 PM
Get the Rake. I'm landing
thanks for the PDF Tres! I'll start building in a few days. Need to budget some $$ for the fan/esc unit. Few questions:

If I mount battery inside nose, I assume I will need to cut F1 to fit, based on photo and implied balance point?

Is there a stick of 1/4 tri stock between V tails?

Can't wait to start!
Mar 14, 2005, 04:13 PM
Registered User
Hey Tres, how does all that stough in front of your fan effect its flow? Thanks Chris

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