A challenge? - RC Groups
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Oct 24, 2006, 10:18 AM
Myron's Avatar

A challenge?

Hey Guys,

I hav ebeen reading through all these threads about what everyone wants in an "perfect" AP machine. I beleive the their is the "right tool for the job" but I als feel that there is a really good chance that many of your criteria can be done... Here are the things that seem to be wanted by many and in no special order... I would like everyone to comment as I plan on building (with a build log) something that at least has most of the "general" criteria....

1. price
2. portability
3. ease of mounting gear
4. flight envelope -- Slow, hand launchable, and fun when you want
5. 1 lb payload
6. durable

Please feel free to add your ideas...

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Oct 24, 2006, 10:40 AM
Registered User
quailbird's Avatar
I think someone came up with the idea of the "Slowstick MagStar"! Combining the Slowstick with the Magpie, and the EZ*. Won't that be a funny looking flying contraption.
Oct 24, 2006, 10:42 AM
Registered User
aceldama's Avatar
I think stability without the use of electronics is nice. But I suppose it depends on the application. To keep it light, simple, and cheap a little stability goes a long way but not so much that it is tossed around by the wind. My only gripe with flying wings is that (and perhaps it is just mine) you really need to stay on top of them.

The ability to switch between a front and side camera mount seems to always creep into my head when designing a plane but I've had trouble making the camera mount versitle enough to look in either direction without becoming a huge source of drag.

I think keeping the plane light is important for AP. I realize that in high winds weight can be an advantage but making the plane heavy means less load carrying capacity and means having to upgrade the electronics therefore driving the cost up.

Safety. I think pusher prop setups are safer than tractors, and generally offer better camera visability. Then again, if you hit people with your plane often regardless of whether or not it is a tractor or a pusher I don't think it is good for the hobby.

Noise. I personally don't like anyone noticing me when I'm flying AP.
Oct 24, 2006, 10:43 AM
Myron's Avatar

I wasnt exactly planning on frankenstiening these three together. I am looking more at a totally new design. Hopefully it will have the same pros as these birds without any of the cons.

Oct 24, 2006, 10:51 AM
Registered User
typicalaimster's Avatar
I really like Real Ira's Shot Getter and how simplistic it is. I believe that Aviator Dave did a similar design and used foam wings from Nasty Toes Aviation. I've been tempted to design one myself. I've just had other interest in other projects.
Oct 24, 2006, 11:04 AM
Registered User
quailbird's Avatar
Myron, I was just teasing, I know folks are talking about a new design, thanks! I'm watching with interest on what comes up.
Oct 24, 2006, 11:04 AM
Myron's Avatar
Hey Guys,

In the shot getter I see portability and easy access to battery and camera. We primarily use 3200 and 5k "brick" packs. Is seems the trend is more toward the flat packs.. What do most of you guys use and what are the dims?

Oct 24, 2006, 11:10 AM
Registered User
aceldama's Avatar
The smallest pack I use is a TP2100 pro lite. But I have a larger Common Sense 3XXX size pack coming today. And I plan on having a seperate battery for AV/downlink gear.

I like having lots of space to move things around inside the fuse which is why I love the modular znap design. I'm actually designing something now that would be something like SoarNeck's Boxer but out of fanfold. I just can't decide on the camera mount.
Oct 24, 2006, 11:11 AM
I AP'd myself again......
aviatordave's Avatar
Originally Posted by Myron
I would like everyone to comment as I plan on building (with a build log) something that at least has most of the "general" criteria....
Since your 'kinda' in the business of planes......is this an avenue you would venture down if it came to making an AP kit for us common folk?

I remember Doug from MM (way back when he owned it) started this, but somehow stopped. I will be interested to hear some of the ideas that come about, I'll add some after I think about it for a bit.

good approach !

Oct 24, 2006, 11:43 AM
Registered User
rob10000's Avatar
I think you could leverage your twin boom pusher design experience here.
Different, swappable outer wing panels could be used depending on the mission.
Interchangable payload pods could be swapped to a permanent centerbody section, allowing quick changes from still camera to video systems.
Us FPV flyers need something a bit more capable than the current Easystar favorite, too!
Oct 24, 2006, 12:52 PM
Myron's Avatar
Hey guys,

It really comes down to cost and demand.. Everyone looks at a SS and is happy paying 35.00 for two wing panels and an aluminum tube. I dont know what the MP and ES cost so someone will have to post that for me.. Once you spend the 35.00 on a SS you end up scrapping all but the parts mentioned. Kevin mentioned a 60.00 kit, but how much more do you spend making it do what you want or need? Were not mass producing EPP and injection molded foam in China so I can promise you 35 bones is out of the question. A while back we offered a Stinger "short kit" for AP and we sold some at 100.00... The biggest problem is that its camera angles were limited.. Performance was not.. I am working on an ABS frame as we speak that should have all the camera mount woes ironed out. It should be light and it will fly pretty slow, although not quite as slow as a SS.. It will be portable with a 2 peice wing. It will also penetrate the wind and be fun to fly.

Oct 24, 2006, 01:32 PM
Registered User
aceldama's Avatar
The hardest part seems to be the camera mount.

There are so many different sizes/weights of cameras out there that in order to make it a solution that works across a broad range the mount has to be large enough to handle clunkers like my Canon A95 and yet still be able to balance the plane.

It seems that the camera mount either has to be adjustable from front to back in order to aid balancing or placed under the CG so that the weight doesn't really matter.

If it is under the wing is has to be low enough to still allow a forward view but not so low that it gets destroyed on a landing and not so low that it causes too much drag.

Then if you factor in that you want the mount to be tiltable it just makes the problem more complex because there has to be clearence for a larger camera with a servo taped/strapped to the top of the camera.
Oct 24, 2006, 01:54 PM
Did You Hear That?
wattnoise's Avatar
I like the sound of it so far, but it would depend upon the price point for it to be widely accepted - IMO... The $60 price was what I spent to buy an SS and modify it for AP... The kit - $35... Long can 400 - $13.00... CF rods - $12.00... All bought at the LHS... Everything else used was from the kit... Doh!... Pinion gear for the motor - $2, and a roll of 3M Extreme Packing Tape - $4.00... OK - $66.00...

Admittedly, my 3rd SS just built for the "season" is brushless so it's quite a bit more now... But, for the past year and 3/4, I've done quite well with a cheapy brushed motor... If a kit was complete without a motor and fit the bill at a $60 price point, IMO it would be a winner... Other criteria I'd like: slightly larger than the standard fare (SS/MP/EZ) - 60" wingspan, 400/480 class motor capable, and minimal build time - a day at the most (which would equate to 2 weeks for me - I'm really, really slowwww)...

An engineers dream - er, nightmare?...
Oct 24, 2006, 02:35 PM
Not THAT Ira
Real Ira's Avatar
Hey Myron,
Great Idea. I would suggest a design that covers a fairly wide "envelope" but if it is too wide it will probably not be very good at any one thing.
I like your basic critera but would add the ability to ROG.

Oct 24, 2006, 03:41 PM
Registered User
I suppose asking to make it hover would be asking a bit much