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Oct 28, 2006, 10:02 PM
magic612's Avatar
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"WICKED WITCH of the West" biplane - pictures, videos & FREE PLANS

Okay, so I bought a bunch of Depron foam yesterday at my LHS and was trying to think of something unique to make. I remembered on GWS's site there is a funky looking plane called "Mr. Lin the Magician" or something, and thought: Why not make a Wicked Witch on a broom, using a similar concept for the design?

Well, about 6 hours later, here's what I came up with - couldn't test fly it today, since winds have been about 15-20 MPH all day, and I'd rather give it a test flight under calmer conditions. It did glide pretty well across my living room, so I'm pretty sure it will fly (though whether I can control it will be another matter!).

Pretty simple setup: 6mm Depron foam for the body, skirt (lower wing) and hat (upper wing), and 3mm Cellfoam 88 for the broom (tail and horizontal stab). I only made it aileron and elevator, but it would be simple enough to add a tail function, if desired - I was going with weight savings in mind. Motor and gearbox is a GWS IPS with "C" gear ratio, two Naro/std servos, GWS 4 ch. receiver and an 8 amp ESC. I wound up designing it with the CG right where the battery goes (partly intentional!), so any battery can be stuck on it within reason. My AUW is 7.5 oz, and I figured the wing area at 289 sq inches (give or take a few), so wing loading is 3.75 oz per sq. foot.

Hopefully I can try it tomorrow, and with any luck, it will fly slowly enough and with sufficient stability to use it on Halloween night!


Video is in Post 19.
Last edited by magic612; Sep 24, 2007 at 10:37 PM.
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Oct 29, 2006, 01:48 AM
Use whatcha got!
msmith's Avatar
Very cool... Once my boy gets a bit older (23 months now) I think I'd like to try something like this... I think he's still too young to appreciate it

2nd pic... kinda reminded me of a star trek design... Is that what you meant?

Also, I can't tell from the pictures, but one thing I recently learned in a staggerwing bipe (which I guess this sort of is...) is that you want the top wing to have a slightly greater incidence than the bottom wing... Something about it'll stall first while the bottom wing will continue flying... Nothing major, just an 1/8" or something like that... I guess the other alternative is to not stall it...

Keep us posted w/ the maiden!

-mike s.
Oct 29, 2006, 06:02 AM
Dismembered Member...
arx_n_sparx's Avatar
That looks really good, magic!

I remember as a kid we used to have "bat" kites - they were black with a pair of stick on eyes on them. If you took one of those and attached it to the witches back/shoulders, it'd work pretty good, I think. You'd just need R and E on the broom then.

Kites are a couple of bux at wally world - you'd just need to shoot a coat of black over top of the spiderman logo

Oct 29, 2006, 09:39 AM
magic612's Avatar
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Thanks for the nice words guys - much appreciated!

msmith I did build in a higher incidence for the top "wing" - it's set about three degrees up from the bottom "wing". And my wife was the one who first pointed out the resemblance to the Enterprise.... that one got me thinking about another unique one I'll have to try one of these days...

brad - I remember those kites! They don't make 'em like they used to, eh? You know, I suppose it wouldn't be hard to slide the witch "back" on the broom, and use her "back" as a tail if needed, too. Though the 3D one I used would work too. Come to think about it, would she actually turn, or would you need an aileron function to force the banking?

Heh - and wouldn't the paint on the kite weight it down a bit too much? It could be re-made out of the black plastic from a trash bag - it would be harder to puncture / tear, then!!! Haha!
Oct 29, 2006, 01:31 PM
Registered User

Great job, it looks awesome! I wish I had seen something like this sooner, I would have HAD to try and build one for Halloween... Put a small led light pointing towards the witches face, that would be cool!!

Oct 30, 2006, 09:42 AM
magic612's Avatar
Thread OP
Thanks, Mark! My older daughter thought it needed a cat - perhaps putting one up front would be a good place to hide that LED...

Maiden flight was less than impressive. It's severely underpowered with the IPS-C motor / gearbox. It flew, sort of, but never got enough lift to at least stay level, much less gain altitude. So it did a slow descent each time a tried to toss "her". I'm going to try an EPS-C system with a larger pack - both will add weight, but I'd rather her go fast and fly than slow and not fly at all. A Lipo might have helped some (I've only got NiMh's right now), but would have only saved about 3/4 oz., so I think it just needs more power. Heck, a LiPo and brushless would be ideal, but I don't have the $$$ for either right now.

Ah well, not sure I'll get her going for this year, but I'll have her for next, for sure!
Oct 31, 2006, 08:51 AM
SG Talon... Super Genius.
IF you want a bargain for Brushless. This guy on ebay is awesome! I buy all my stuff. Super Fast shipping and excellent prices on good hardware

Here is a nice Motor and ESC combo for $32 plus $2 shipping.
Oct 31, 2006, 09:07 AM
magic612's Avatar
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Wow! Thanks SGTalon - that looks like quite a deal. What do you know about that motor and ESC though? Any good? Any issues?
Oct 31, 2006, 05:37 PM
Dismembered Member...
arx_n_sparx's Avatar
This one night be better. The BP21 likes an 8" max prop - this one will churn a 12" prop.
Jun 15, 2007, 09:31 AM
magic612's Avatar
Thread OP

How far ahead of Halloween are plans needed?

Alright, so since I finally got around to creating a blog here (and adding the pictures below to it), I thought I might at least gauge how far ahead of Halloween folks might want plans for this.. ahem, "girl". I have yet to put a brushless / lipo set up on her, though from what I remember of the flight characteristics when I did fly her, she will very likely stay aloft. (Note: the radio had been ripped off for other projects before I acquired brushless and lipo gear, but she's hanging in my garage, waiting to terrorize the skies again!)

Anyway, I do want to test her out fully with brushless / lipo before finalizing plans (which I'll do as soon as I get some more servos which are on order), but how far ahead of Halloween would you guys want plans to be able to build this? Yes, FREE plans - this is one of those things I'm more than happy to share. (All I ask is that you guys please post pics of your versions.)

So I was wondering when I should have them ready for posting: July? August? September? Thoughts?
Jun 15, 2007, 01:21 PM
The Dude Abides
Beemus's Avatar
Dude, cool witch, and sooner is always better than later (in most things).
Peace Man
Sep 17, 2007, 11:48 AM
magic612's Avatar
Thread OP
Well, you know how life can get in the way of getting stuff done you want to get done - first, been painting my house for the past few months. Second, been working on othe planes in the spare time I have had. Third, broke a tiny wire lead off of my "Blue Wonder" brushless motor, rendering it uselss.

However, I did drag the "Witch" in from the garage yesterday, and I have two "Blue Wonders" on their way to me, which I suspect I'll see at my house in about a week. I'm quite sure with one of those motors on there, and a 500 or 800 mAh Lipo, the "Witch" will fly quite soon.

I'll post progress reports when I can - and hopefully a video or two as well.
Sep 17, 2007, 03:19 PM
Waiting to see plans and video myself!! I built a GWS Magician 2 years ago, and put LED's on it. It flew really well, just very fragile. Not something I'd go to the trouble of adding LED's to again. Been looking for a more robust alternative. This looks interesting. Nice job.
Sep 17, 2007, 03:28 PM
magic612's Avatar
Thread OP
Jim -

That looks awesome! I'm thinking that if people made this Witch out of EPP foam, it'd be plenty durable. Mine is Depron, so I'll have to be careful on landings, but anyone with EPP on hand can make her just about crash proof.

I'll clean up the plans and have them posted sometime in the next week or so.
Sep 17, 2007, 03:31 PM
Registered User


Magic - I would love to see a set of plans .


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