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Dec 13, 2008, 10:43 PM
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MinneFlyer's Avatar
Thread OP

Guillow's Space Shuttle Orbiter Conversion

I found a package of the Guillow's hand-toss Space Shuttle foamy at my LHS the other day, and figured it would be a good challenge to convert it to RC. A couple of days later and, well.... take a look!

I knew the stock wing would probably not be large enough to support the load of my smallest RC gear, so I enlarged the control surfaces quite a bit. I used some spare Depron(?) from recycled meat trays, which turned out nicely. The servos are micro 4g, and the battery is an itty-bitty 300mah 2 cell lipo.

I have yet to maiden, and it looks like her first flight will end up being inside the Metrodome (home of the Minnesota Vikings) in the next week. It's too cold and snowy right now to risk flying her outside.

I'm not sure what to expect on her maiden - it could be a colossal failure, which wouldn't surprise me being that I'm the furthest thing from an aerospace engineer, but these little hand-toss foamys really surprise me! My 757 airliner turned out great, and it was heavy as heck with 2 brushed EDFs and a 2200mah 3s lipo. My goal during her maiden is to simply NOT say.... "Huston, we have a problem..."!
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Dec 14, 2008, 12:10 AM
I NEED a micro seaplane lrf!!!
fabersum's Avatar
Well, good luck with your maiden! looks great by now.
Keep us posted!

Dec 14, 2008, 01:48 PM
Power Wheels Guru
UNGN's Avatar
Let us know how it turns out!

I picked up 2 of these off E-bay for $10 and I'm going to try a Vapor Brick and 27Mhz Star Scream motors in the wings. If it works, I'm going to scale it up out of Depron to go on my Estes 747.

I have one side about done. Then I need to do the other and wire out the cargo bay and make the elevons.

I'm going to make a tailcone for it out of depron, so I cut down the area under the rear side pods to be more scale
Dec 14, 2008, 02:27 PM
Registered User
RicoSuave17's Avatar
Hey guys, let me know how your first flight goes. I tried converting the space shuttle last year using x-twin guts. The airframe proved to be too heavy. The best I could get was a prolonged glide. I still have the shuttle. The last thing I did was to completely hollow out the body. Its still sitting on my work bench waiting.

Check out these really cool paint jobs for the shuttle :

There is also an extensive link on this guillows shuttle. Succesful flying conversions have been made with more powerful hobby grade components.
Dec 14, 2008, 03:15 PM
Power Wheels Guru
UNGN's Avatar
Thanks for the link, Rico!

It's amazing how far the hobby has come in the 5 years since this thread.

If I keep the weight down to close to an 1.5 ounces or less it should fly fine, since people have flown it at 3 ounces.

The Star Scream motors in the wing should allow higher AOA and slower controlled flight than a tail motor even at equivalent weights.
Dec 14, 2008, 06:43 PM
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MinneFlyer's Avatar
Thread OP
UNGN - awesome job so far, keep at it because I really want to see how those StarScream motors play out. I wanted to use a couple of air hog motors originally, but for some reason I decided to sell all my air hogs a few weeks ago - go figure, as soon as I need/want them, they're gone!

Rico - thanks for the link, I had no idea that others have attempted to RC this foamy before (but it doesn't surprise me). I'm even more inspired now to get this model to fly being that others have had success before.
Jan 11, 2009, 10:42 AM
Power Wheels Guru
UNGN's Avatar
I finally flew my space shuttle today and though the control is great, it flies EXACTLY like the space shuttle. When I try to climb with the star scream motors, the induced drag slows it down and it loses altitude. If it only had 50% more power it would fly beautifully.

It will work fine launched off am Estes 747 for a controlled recovery, but its so controllable at high AOA that I wish I had the power to stay there. Drop the nose and it speeds away, but can't climb.

With real motors this would be a winner.
Jan 11, 2009, 11:18 AM
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MinneFlyer's Avatar
Thread OP
UNGN - Thanks for the flight report! Sounds like you had a very similar experience as I did - the shuttle flies very scale and can will perform a nice controlled glide, but it's a bit underpowered to maintain flight or climb. I swapped motors from the brushless posted above to a tiny 50mm GWS direct drive which spins at 5500kv. I was having torque problems with the larger prop on the BL motor, and was hoping that the 50mm would be enough power to make the shuttle climb.

I had to give it an underhand toss with a lot of authority and apply full throttle. She kept a nice nose-up attitude, but sank gently back down to earth after going about 25 yards.

I'm convinced that with a lighter wingload she'll fly. But she's been benched now until the weather warms up a bit. It'll be a fun project to pull back out and tinker with down the road.

If any of you find a good power system/servo combo, let me know!! Keep at it!
Jan 11, 2009, 12:03 PM
Power Wheels Guru
UNGN's Avatar
My AUW was 31 grams with the fuselage pretty hogged out. The bare shuttle came in about 14 grams. My Ailerons/control rods added about 4 grams, motors were 5 grams and battery/brick were the rest.

It appears it would need to be about 22 grams to fly with these motors @ 3.7 volts and there is really no way to get it that light, without splitting and hollowing the wings.

So what I'm thinking is running the star scream motors on 2S and using the DX7 to limit the voltage.

At high AOA it will slow way down at 30 grams, not stall and still be controllable so the weight isn't a problem... if I only had more power.

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