Hey, why aren't there any molded-plane style EPP planes yet?! - RC Groups
Thread Tools
Oct 05, 2002, 10:10 PM
Registered User
e-sailpilot86's Avatar

Hey, why aren't there any molded-plane style EPP planes yet?!

Of course the DS EPP flying wings are designed to be hot, but none of them are designed to the standards of a crunchie! Why aren't there any out there that are at least close to a composite design? Has anyone attempted to design an EPP plane with a design of this magnitude? I'm interested! I love slope flying like everyone else and "we" all need an awsome EPP plane that is crashable. It needs to be something other than a wing too. Winter slope season is coming, where are our EPP planes that aren't necessarily for combat?!

(I need a bow cutter.... )
Sign up now
to remove ads between posts
Oct 05, 2002, 10:32 PM
Certified Slopehead
tenover's Avatar
The Moth
Oct 05, 2002, 11:08 PM
Registered User
Nuff sed, eh? ...N btw, Kat thinks it's nose heavy, gonna have to 'speriment!
Oct 05, 2002, 11:54 PM
Free as a bird now.
There are some very obvious performance limitations that are difficult to avoid when building with EPP. EPP is soft and pliable. We make it stiffer and more tear resistant by covering it with tape. The problem is there is no way you are going to get tape covered EPP to be as stiff and strong as a molded composite plane. If you built two identical 60" racing type planes, but molded one using modern composite techniques, and cut the other out of EPP and covered it in tape, the molded plane would kick the EPP planes butt.

We build with EPP because it is so damage resistant. We accept some performance limitations in order to have a plane that will literally bounce back from our mistakes.

We build very expensive airplanes in modern high tech molds because we want the highest possible performance. We accept the fact that if we dumb thumb our molded airplanes into the ground, the model will probably be destroyed.

Despite the performance limitations inherent in building with EPP, it is still possible to get some amazing performance out of an EPP design. By using denser EPP as a base material, building stronger stiffer spar systems, covering with higher quality tape and better plastic films, by paying attention to minimizing drag, using better airfoils etc, it is possible to design some very good flying aircraft using EPP.

I own a 56" Bluto, which is a design that employs all of the criteria listed above. I built it straight, covered it well, used good servos and tight linkages, and it RIPS!

I actually raced a friend who owns a molded European sloper called a Spiro, and my Bluto is FASTER. Of course every time I bang the Bluto into the ground the EPP weakens, the tape loosens, wrinkles develop, and performance degrades. EPP planes will wear out and performance will suffer as the plane ages.

I'd like to see a molded Bluto. It would be way stiffer and stronger, less draggy, and it would surely out fly an EPP Bluto.
It would also cost a lot more money and it would not survive some of the "arrivals" I have subjected my EPP Bluto to...
Oct 06, 2002, 12:28 AM
Certified Slopehead
tenover's Avatar
Well put Brian...
Oct 06, 2002, 01:07 AM
Foamie Hater
Originally posted by Brian Courtice

I actually raced a friend who owns a molded European sloper called a Spiro, and my Bluto is FASTER.
Ok, I know the Bluto is fast but there's NO way it's faster than a Spiro. Get two pilots with equal skill and race organized MOM and tell me the Bluto could pop turns like the Spiro fully ballasted in ideal conditions. Maybe that day it was faster for whatever reason, but ideally not.

Esailpilot- I think what your looking for is the PMP Rich-o-she.
Real big in the UK 60" pylon leagues. I've heard they can hold their own with 60" cruntchies. Again though like Brian said the more you crash it the less aerodynamic it gets thus reducing the performance. But best of all it looks like a glider! Just get a moldie, you'll thank yourself
Oct 06, 2002, 01:47 AM
Free as a bird now.
I should have been a little more clear. We were camparing straight line speed running the blutto and the Spiro from one end of our large slope to the other. The Blutto was faster. The Spiro is pretty light and was not balasted. My Bluto is pretty heavy for a foamie and was carring a few extra ounces in the ballast tube. Also, I am a bad @ss pilot and my friend is not.
Oct 06, 2002, 03:04 AM
Registered User
Daemon's Avatar
Note that the Bluto is faster than a lot of crunchies in a lot of conditions. The reason is that the consequences of loading a 24-35oz 60" sloper with 8-16oz of ballast and then finding out that it's too much weight, are generally bad. I broke my lightly ballasted Nemesis in half the other day after I'd flown an hour in 35-50mph winds (including 2 or 3 successful landings).. because at the end of the day, the wind just switched off like a light switch.. *click*.. and it was caught 10 feet off the ground, 50 feet down the slope with zero lift.. I made a mistake (flying too slow leading to tip stall) when I was only 1/2 mistake high, and crack.. that was it.

You make a mistake like that with the Bluto and you pick it back up, dust it off, take some lead out, and throw it again, or wait until the wind comes back up. So for typical conditions the Bluto is more likely to be heavy and fast, while the crunchie is going to be lighter and slower, flying with a safety margin.

Also in a man on man race, the Bluto pilot is consistently going to be able to fly it a lot closer to the slope and make more aggressive moves in general because 1. the risk is obviously less, and 2. it's more stable than most 60" slopers because it carries more weight outboard in the wings. I've outrun some local guys flying fast crunchies with the Bluto and they'be been fairly impressed. I've heard "I don't like foamies, but I might consider that one." from several people.

All that said, a well built Bluto *is* very fast, and is flat out faster than many older crunchies.
Not going to run down a mouldie in *ideal* conditions, but how often is that?

Lastly as for the slope racers needing to turn hard rather than go fast.. the Bluto doesn't really snap off the turns (compared to a lot of other gliders) unless the wind is enormous, but it's still kicking major butt in the MoM foamie slope racing in CA in most conditions. It is just *that* much faster. People keep saying.. "I'm *sure* we can design a faster conventional design EPP slope racer, but so far no one's come up with anything to come close to the Moth, Bluto and Gulp.. all planks.

As for a moulded Bluto. How the hell would you slow it down to land? I've heard the moulded Passage flying wing from f3x.com is very fast, but easy to beat to death on the landing. It's like a low wing glider.. Landing is all about major abuse to the leading edge. I would *love* to see a moulded Bluto fly. I just cringe thinking about what it'd look like when it plowed into the

Oct 06, 2002, 03:16 AM
Free as a bird now.
Hmmm... Maybe a huge cargo net stretched across the landing zone??
Oct 06, 2002, 09:54 AM
No fuse too fat
slopeiron's Avatar
Originally posted by Brian Courtice
Hmmm... Maybe a huge cargo net stretched across the landing zone??
I've heard of guys using a volleyball net and putting a hook under the nose to catch the net when the plane tries to bounce back out.

Oct 06, 2002, 11:21 AM
Registered User


There is an 8 foot molded Bluto existing now? Don't know if it's flown yet, because Harris wasn't sure where he COULD fly it, because... He's thinking 200mph+!!! Landing? Holy Moly.
Oct 06, 2002, 11:29 AM
Vice President at MultiGP
Admiral_Red's Avatar
Desperately seeking the CG of the Moth. I can't find my instructions, she is rebuilt after I blew up a spar, and the wind is howling!

Oct 06, 2002, 12:21 PM
Registered User
1 1/4" behind LE. Happy Flying! ...N
Oct 10, 2002, 04:10 PM
Foamie Hater
Last edited by flyerman; Oct 11, 2002 at 09:02 PM.

Thread Tools