Thread Tools
Oct 11, 2007, 03:26 PM
Always Ready!
warhead_71's Avatar
Thread OP

FFF Drake seaplane : PLANS

Inspired by the balsa Drake-II seaplane thread

*** VIDEO ***


After flying this plane for a year, I've come up with a few modifications that you may find useful. I'm compiling all of these notes right here so you don't have to read through a dozen pages to find all the tidbits.

My final motor/esc/prop combo is a cheap $6 HexTronik CF2822 motor with a TowerPro 25A ESC (overkill) and a GWS 8060HD prop.. all parts were bought at Hobby City. I can also recommend the SuperSimple 18A ESC (still overkill, but I don't want it to overheat) with this motor, as I use that combo in another plane.

Prop clearance is tight... only about 1/4" in my design. I have since rebuilt the nose of my plane (crashed) to have a lower deck... I now have closer to 3/4" clearance. I could prop up to a 9" prop now if I wanted to.

Battery clearance is also tight for larger batteries. I use a 2250mah 3S lipo, which I had to fit "on edge" to fit between the slab-sides. This required slotting down into the battery tray and cutting into the main keel. Alternatively, You could add 1/2" to the width of all formers to give yourself a bit more room.

I also made the nose about 2" longer on my rebuilt nose to give me more room to balance the battery forward.

I had a bad cross-wind landing that flipped the plane on it's back, submerging and subsequently frying the ESC, which was orignially located in the nascelle. So I re-located the ESC between formers F3 and F4.. which protects the ESC, reduces the structure needed in the nascelle, and slightly lowers the CG. One caveat... the ESC needs a bit of ventilation in this location. I made rear-facing air scoops tucked up under the LE of the wing (approximately at the pilot's side-windows).. the scoops are made from cut-down plastic spoons.

If you are going to run this on snow instead of water, you may want to add runners to the hull to protect your covering. The winter cold makes packing tape brittle, and icy or hard-packed snow will eventually tear the tape to shreds. I embedded plastic dental-flossers into the hull, making small skids to protect the covering. I also tried plating the hull with Coroplast, which works great, but adds over an ounce of weight.

Splash-guards. On ROW, you will get water in the prop from the bow-wake. You can make some simple splash deflectors from any bit of scrap plastic, and glue them somewhere above the waterline, just forward of the prop. Or, you can just live with the water spray... it won't hurt the motor, but make sure water isn't splashing inside the hull at the wing-saddle.

Some have recommended moved the outrigger floats out further than the 15" span I have drawn. I find this completely unnecessary. I think their comments are based on experience with the gas-powered version, which has a much higher center of gravity due to the fuel and heavy engine being above the wing. This electric version has a majority of its power-train weight (namely, the battery and ESC) below the wing, so it is more stable laterally. Also, wheres the gas versions are tipping the scales at 3-4lbs, this comes in at 1.5-2lbs... so it is naturally more buoyant. Other than my bad cross-wind cartwheel landing, I've never dipped a wing-tip in the water. Wider floats will just add weight and drag.

Water rudder. If you fly off water in a cross-wind, I recommend some sort of water rudder... otherwise it will weather-vane into the wind, making slow taxiing difficult. You can simply glue or screw a plastic extension from the main rudder.
Last edited by warhead_71; Aug 02, 2010 at 04:00 PM.
Sign up now
to remove ads between posts
Oct 11, 2007, 03:56 PM
Held by Grace
BDOG1's Avatar

Drake Seaplane

Hi Warhead:If you can tile this I would be up for the build,It looks like it would be a neat little bird.
Oct 11, 2007, 04:59 PM
Always Ready!
warhead_71's Avatar
Thread OP
Thanks to Skotman (page 4) for consolidating all my pages into a single multipage PDF.

Red lines indicate where the pages align. Some pieces I only made half the piece, the other half is a mirror image using the same template. The outrigger floats should span approximately 15" total width, and you can use CF rods or something other than the wood paint stick I plan to use - cut your floats accordingly. Good luck.

*EDIT - updated files, laid it out to use less sheets of paper, in one continuous row. Part of the fuselage in on "keel3".

*EDIT - 10.18.07 - changed foam thickness to 3/16" (5mm)

*EDIT - 10.26.07 - I've been advised that the float span width of 15" may be insufficient. I haven't flown mine yet to verify any water-handling problems, but I'm going to try it as-is and see how it goes. You might want to try 20" instead.
Last edited by warhead_71; Oct 26, 2007 at 02:24 AM.
Oct 11, 2007, 05:18 PM
Always Ready!
warhead_71's Avatar
Thread OP
And by all means, try it with a KF wing - should work really well.
Oct 12, 2007, 08:51 AM
Always Ready!
warhead_71's Avatar
Thread OP
I couldn't resist cutting out the pieces last night, to my wife's dismay, since I already have 3 other builds in progress. But I can see already that I need to adjust the drawings slightly. My fuselage slab-sides are abut 1/2" too tall. I'll rework those and update the files above. Pictures to come.

*EDIT - I updated the keel and fuse sides. All tabbed slots fit tighter now: Tabs and slots were 6mm width, now they are closer to 5mm for a "snug" fit.
Last edited by warhead_71; Oct 12, 2007 at 09:18 AM.
Oct 13, 2007, 12:35 PM
Too little play time...
WarrrEagle!'s Avatar
I've been wanting to do a waterplane AND a full fuse plane... This may just be the one!
Oct 13, 2007, 02:19 PM
Retired CAD guy
birdofplay's Avatar
I thought this was so cute that I did it in CAD
anyone want dxf/dwg/whatever ... lemme know

I first made a jpg from the PDF then "2-Toned it"
to make it a smaller file for "backgrounding" in CAD

Then I just traced it.

I have adjusted the Slots/Tabs to be correct for 6mm depron.
Those lines are in red
Blue FF is a different thickness than Depron 6mm
so you'll hafta make those changes yourself.

When I'm done it'll be cut on my CNC.

Regardless it'll be a nifty winter project.
Last edited by birdofplay; Oct 13, 2007 at 03:19 PM.
Oct 13, 2007, 06:40 PM
Always Ready!
warhead_71's Avatar
Thread OP
Birdofplay, if you have CAD, then maybe you can "assemble" this in 3D to determine the correct template for the turtle deck and hull pieces. I'm just eye-balling it from this point forward, but it's a quick build so far and I should have mine in the air in no time. My hope is to have this ready for winter - it should be great for flying on the snow.

Also, I made my fuselage about 20% narrower than the original... with the logic that because it is made from foam, it will be lighter and naturally more buoyant than a stick plane. And if I can make the fuselage narrower, it cuts down on drag as well.
Last edited by warhead_71; May 11, 2017 at 11:10 AM.
Oct 14, 2007, 02:38 AM
Registered User
warhead, i tell you why there is nobody replying.
They are just busy on making their new Drake plane....
I wish you could post the plan of Top fuse.
Oct 14, 2007, 09:08 AM
Always Ready!
warhead_71's Avatar
Thread OP
I tell you, making the top and bottom pieces is easy to do once the formers, keel, and sides are are glued together... just pin a piece of foam over it and trace the edges, then subtract the thickness of your FFF and viola' - a perfect fit. I already did the bottom pieces and it's a simple task... just as easy as a pre-printed template. I finished the tail feathers last night... plan to do the float outriggers next. Will take more pictures tonight.
Oct 14, 2007, 09:48 AM
Registered User
Looks great, I am looking into seaplanes for a long time and never found a small, inexpensive and good looking one: that might be it! Please keep posting pictures of your built progress......Really looking forward to hear about your maiden!
Oct 14, 2007, 09:49 AM
Registered User

Drake Foamy

Warhead, I have a copy of the original plan for balsa and ply but this will give me a chance to try a foamy. 90% of my building and flying is with seaplanes but I've never tried a foamy. This is a tried and proven design and I've seen many of the balsa versions fly both glow and electric. Thanks for your efforts!!
Oct 14, 2007, 10:09 AM
Registered User
Originally Posted by warhead_71
I tell you, making the top and bottom pieces is easy to do once the formers, keel, and sides are are glued together... just pin a piece of foam over it and trace the edges, then subtract the thickness of your FFF and viola' - a perfect fit. I already did the bottom pieces and it's a simple task... just as easy as a pre-printed template. I finished the tail feathers last night... plan to do the float outriggers next. Will take more pictures tonight.
Thanks, but the type of foam i got is not easy to curve. sometimes i had to use a drier roasting the foam to curved it in some langer-angles. but i would take your advice anyway, i hope i could made this plane just half good as you did.

Keep posting, for people who loves waterplane.
At least, you got 6 supporters now.
Oct 14, 2007, 10:11 AM
Registered User

After you finish the prototype, fly it, work out the bugs, etc. would you consider cutting a few kits for those of us that have very little time? Just a thought.

Quick Reply

Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Category Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Drake Ii Seaplane Plans Wanted RUDOLF Waterplanes 4 Jan 30, 2005 02:10 PM
FFF electric glider plans needed testpilot Foamies (Kits) 1 Nov 09, 2004 07:57 PM
Are there FFF built up plans? for 3d planes tripxrcer 3D Flying 2 Mar 25, 2004 03:32 PM
Classic seaplane plans towlebooth Scale Kit/Scratch Built 15 Sep 17, 2001 10:14 AM