Mike Smart Raven 3M - RC Groups
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Jun 08, 2006, 07:51 PM
Member: GSPL
sloperut's Avatar

Mike Smart Raven 3M

Has anyone built / flown Mike Smart's Raven 3M? It looks like a nice gull wing alternative to most built up projects.

Mike Smart Designs: http://homepages.nildram.co.uk/~msd/gliders1.html

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Jun 09, 2006, 01:33 PM
Registered User
A really cool plane. I like it and I will try to order it. It is ashame no one make kit of it, but it is not anyone fault but the market. We need more people like Ray of skybench.
If you decide to build one, pls be sure to let us know more.

Jun 09, 2006, 03:43 PM
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mhodgson's Avatar
If I recall there was once a kiy for it.
You could build it with straight, polyhedral or gull wings. Never saw the gull winged version fly but did see a couple of straight winged versions that flew as well as anything else at that time.
Dec 03, 2006, 03:02 PM

Building a Raven 3m

Hi, I am currently building a Mike Smart Designs Raven 3m glider. Today I am just finishing the right wing, the left is already done, although I have to square up the root rib to the trailing edge. Tail is done, fuse is next.

I am modifying it in a few ways:

I put shear webbing on both the front and back of the spar on the inner panels, and on the front of the spar all the way out to the tip. That is more than the plan calls for. I figure more is better with shear webbing.

I put carbon fiber on the bottom of the spar on the inner panels.

Converting it to Electric. Fuse will be widened about 1/4 inch to hold batteries better. I will firewall-mount an E-flite Power 15 motor and build some kind of cowl around it.

Adding flaps, so it will be a full-house glider.

Lengthening the nose about 2 inches so there is more room for gear and I HATE adding nose weight to balance gliders. I would rather add tail weight.

Lengethened the aft fuse 1 inch. It is fairly short coupled and this might help, as well as offset the nose lengthening.

Thickened the aft fuse by 8mm as I was worried about it breaking there. I don't want to glass it.

I will glass the wing join at the anhedral joint.

I built-in approximately 1/4 inch washout at the wingtip, tapering to no washout about 10 inches inward. I don't want to lose this one to a tip stall!

I absolutley love the look of the gull wing. I can now see it take shape, it is going to be beautiful. Haven't decided the color yet, probably dark blue or black wings and tail, and white painted fuselage with red or white painted wingtips.

I bought the plans from Mike Smart 2 years ago. They spent one year on the wall in my office at work while I was dreaming about it. now they are in use. The plans are pretty good, and the instructions are concise but ok. You still have to think about it a lot.

I am making all the parts to plan. The sandwich method of making ribs really was a lot easier than I thought it would be. A 4-inch belt sander sure makes it easier.

I hope to finish it in a couple of months. So far I have been working on it about 2 months.
Dec 04, 2006, 01:02 AM
Member: GSPL
sloperut's Avatar
Tim, you must provide pictures - please.

Dec 04, 2006, 11:16 PM

Raven 3m in construction pictures

OK, here are some pictures. The pencil is in most to show the scale. Sorry I didn't make any pictures of the wing before I covered them. Both top and bottom surfaces are covered with 1/16 balsa on this plane.

The dihedral is exaggerated a little in these pictures because of how I had to prop up the wingtips for these photos. I haven't made the joiner rods yet, but they are made out of music wire about 5mm in diameter and the dihedral is built into them. There are two joiner rods. The gull shape sure is beautiful.

Note the curved up tips on the tail. The wingtips will be turned up to match once I make them.

So far all I have on the fuse are the left and right sides cut out. In the picture you can see the plans that I glued to the 1/16 ply before cutting. If you look closely near the tail you can see a gap in the plans, where I made the 1 inch extension.

Also if you look close on the wing you can see where I have outlined the cutout for the flaps. I'll cut those out last.

The next problem I have to solve is how to build a cowl around a firewall-mounted motor that will be durable, aerodynamic and allow lots of air circulation.

I'll post more pictures when I get the fuse layed out.

If you are interested I'd encourage you to order a set of plans. Mike was very good and sent them out right away.
Dec 05, 2006, 11:16 AM
Member: GSPL
sloperut's Avatar
Very nice. Thanks.
Dec 05, 2006, 03:01 PM
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Mike Smart's Avatar
Hi Guys,

Tim directed me to this thread, I'm pleased to see there is interest in the Raven 3m, it must be around 20 years old now

Please feel free to post any questions here.

Dec 05, 2006, 08:36 PM
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shaneyee's Avatar
A very beautiful design but why the gull wing? Was it meant primarily for the slope?

Dec 06, 2006, 08:31 AM
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Mike Smart's Avatar
It was an image thing really, I just wanted something different that would have a bird-like appearance. It was not intended for the slope per se, but I did do a lot of slope flying with it. Having said that I also used it off the line a fair bit, but it's happy with either.

Dec 12, 2006, 10:23 PM
Hi, I will make a semi-build log out of this thread. Since I am making this an electric, I have started a new thread in the Elctric Sailplane forum at https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=610239

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