What's the latest thinking in crashable planes? - RC Groups
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Dec 11, 2005, 04:18 AM
Fly long and land softly
Jim_Marconnet's Avatar

What's the latest thinking in crashable planes?

Recently when I was considering how to come up with a more crash-resistant trainer plane perhaps using swim noodle material for the fuselage, a local flying friend suggested I look at the mantaplane: http://www.mantaplane.com/

I checked out their site, but was sad to see that their kit is just about history. I don't know their story - I assume they just did not sell enough. I was really impressed by their videos of deliberate crashes onto pavement followed by field repairs and return to flight in 5-10 minutes.

I've seen some discussions on the Disposable Park Flyers like the ParkShark: http://www.foamtasticmodels.com/index.htm

I've had two HZ FB Commander IIs that took a huge amount of crash abuse before dieing. I guess polyethelene with a rubber nose bounces pretty well!

Anyway, what's the latest thinking on crash and fly again planes?
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Dec 24, 2005, 12:11 PM
Fly long and land softly
Jim_Marconnet's Avatar

Just Don't Crash!

Given the responses so far, I'm guessing that folks are simply not ever planning to crash!
Dec 24, 2005, 12:27 PM
dusty bible = dirty life
Majortomski's Avatar
Yep, haven't had one in years!

Merry Christmas
Dec 24, 2005, 12:44 PM
Registered User
Check out the R3D. It is a 3D plane but tamed down it flies like a trainer, and is very durable. Crash=nothing a lottle Goop won't fix.
Dec 24, 2005, 01:24 PM
ronmar1's Avatar
If you could buy an indistructable plane, the model plane companies would soon be out of business. So don't expect them to build you one.

Fly, Crash, Buy new ones. It's a cycle they (the companies) depend on.

Dec 24, 2005, 01:44 PM
Registered User
Tsquare's Avatar
Everybody crashes. I just do it more than most as I haven't been at this very long.
A very experienced flyer friend of mine told me everyone crashes if you don't believe me you should see the pictures of all the planes I used to have.
Dec 24, 2005, 01:52 PM
Registered User
aeropal's Avatar
In the 400 motor pusher category, the EPP foam Push-E-Cat is probably the most durable, followed closely by the Elapor foam EasyStar.
Dec 24, 2005, 02:06 PM
Registered User
I agree with the Push-E Cat, I have one of them too. It is my high flyer and carries a camera. I just wish there were a Brushless recommendation for it.
Dec 24, 2005, 04:04 PM
Whadda YOU lookin' at?
CactusJackSlade's Avatar
Rocket Jim,

First get a pusher, second go EPP if you can!

Hey HiVoltage,

I did not see any specs on the PusheCat... what's the wingspan and area... what motor set up are you using?


Dec 24, 2005, 06:25 PM
Suspended Account
scratchandbash's Avatar

Crashable plane building techniques

Carbon fiber reinforced sheeted foam core fuses, covered with Monokote. Wrap the sheeted fuse with cf hair and ca at the wing saddles, and run cf spars lenghtwise from nose to tail. Monokoted foam wings with carbon fiber booms epoxied to the leading edge have proven indestrutable for me. I like detailed scale planes, and am not a big fan of rubber band attached wings, but they absorb much crash damage. I cartwheeled the crap out of this plane, getting it sorted out, with no damage. Its now a good flyer. Extremely tough. Also, the nose plate is glued on to the fuse sheeting with extra foam behind it, held under pressure while CA gluing and activating. Resist crushing in nose hits. Get familiar with Midwest carbon fiber spars and rods. For tails, glue tubing through holes put in the fuse bottom, elevator tips, and rudder tip. Run .015 music wire through the holes, making a diamond shaped loop at the tail. Kink the wire as it passes through the rud and elevator surfaces, making a nice diamond. The kinked bends will lock the tail surfaces in place, so they can't flex and break. When the wire ends pass through the fuse from opposite directions, simply bend the ends to retain, after all the slack has been removed. You can make some very crashable planes.
Last edited by scratchandbash; Dec 24, 2005 at 06:30 PM.
Dec 24, 2005, 07:56 PM
Registered User
Hay Jim,
My best crashable plane so far is a 30" EPP combat wing with a carbonfiber tail boom and a fuselage pod to move the batt forward. Running a CustomCDR single, with 12 ozs of thrust makes this 6oz plane fun as well. With the large wing it will float and turn in real tight circles and hand catch landings are easy. And its cheap to build the basic plane, a wing core is $20 or less, the pod is a less than a buck worth of EPP foam and the tail is depron and CF, less than 2 bucks. the tail could be done in EPP as well, I just had a lot of depron. Butch
Dec 24, 2005, 11:19 PM
Registered User
If you want a plane that will bounce(within reason), and be a great trainer to boot, get a Park shark. I've had to reshape the nose a couple of times, but a little CA and I'm back in the air. My 15 year old grandson soloed today after 3or four flights. I turned my back to check on some kids on the feild, and he was doing all kinds of cool stuff. AAAAAND-- the price is RIGHT!! Search for park shark- can't go wrong.
Dec 25, 2005, 12:33 PM
Registered User
Originally Posted by Hivoltage
Check out the R3D. It is a 3D plane but tamed down it flies like a trainer, and is very durable. Crash=nothing a lottle Goop won't fix.
EPP sheet foam tears pretty easy. In my R3D I have torn it many times just taking the battery in and out by pulling apart the velcro and I was being careful each time. Also one time I hit the ground not very hard but due to the prop hitting at around 1/2 power, it caused the nose to nearly rip completely off. You have to reinforce EPP everywhere with carbon fiber.

My easystar has landed in a pine tree and had some hard crashes after a bad launch due to bad battery and there is barely a scratch on it. Also if you do dent it, with hot water you can get the dents out.

My slinger I lost in the fog one time so I killed the power and let it land on its own. It did upside down and suffered no damage.

My Cessna crashed due to a bad RX from around 20 feet high. Wing broke in 3 pieces though was able to fix it easy with glue. Also had a crash one time when I landed in a tree due to lack of power from defective battery. Very lucky no damage from that except for very small tear in aileron and chipped prop.

I also have a Supersonic small 6oz i believe EPS foam plane. It has taken many nose in's, 2 tree landings and only damage is crumpled nose.

Overall the easystar foam seems to be the best. EPP is good under some conditions. EPS also good. The cessna is frigal but heh i like the way it flies so is one of my favorite planes. Crashes do happen and it's hard to prevent them. I have yet to completely destroy a plane due to a crash. Maybe i do that with my balsa cap
Dec 25, 2005, 01:21 PM
Demon-Leather's Avatar

A Plane with a Front Bumper.....

If You want a truely semi-indestructable plane, that's even easy to do 3-D stuff with (like a hands-off hover) You need to look into a Yuk, or a YukBee.
The plane has a flexible wing spar, and even a fron't "bumper" that will allow you to drop it from 6ft onto concrete, and not even break the prop... just "BOINGS" back into the air. between the spidery landing gear, and the bumper, it's REALLY protected in the front. I have managed to strip a rudder servo, and rip off the rudder backsliding from 9ft in the air, but the rest of the plane is virtually unscaved (and with MY flying,.. THAT says a LOT about it!... they don't call me "experienced crasher for nothing! )
Here ya Go..
If You keep the finishing down to just sharpies, you can build & fly in one evening.... Bob
Dec 26, 2005, 04:04 PM
Registered User
dst's Avatar
I think the FMS models are the best for crashing because they never really break. The FMS EasyStar is the cheapest and easiest trainer and you never have to repair it. I went from FMS EasyStar to an FMS TwinStar to a real 48" wing. The wing was easy to fly after the FMS practice and the wing was so much more fun than a Slow Stick, for example. After the 48" wing I got progressively smaller and more fun wings. I recently finished a 3d plane which is my first plane with a rudder and it is easy to fly compared to a 30" wing. I have a lot to learn with it and it is challenging to fly but keeping it from crashing is easy because it is slow compared to my smaller wings.

So, I recommend FMS, then an EPP plane with ailerons or elevons.

Party on,
Last edited by dst; Dec 26, 2005 at 06:14 PM.

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