Incredible B-777 Paper Model Airplane

B-777 fuselage made from manila folder paper

B-777 fuselage made from manila folder paper

Below is an amazing video of Luca Iaconi-Stewart’s incredible model of a static display B-777 model airliner made entirely of manila folder paper and glue.

B-777 landing gear made from manila folder paper

B-777 landing gear made from manila folder paper

The detailed construction work is stunning. As you can see, the landing gear actually retracts, passenger doors open in the correct manner, even the aft two wheels of the main landing gear bogeys turn as with the real aircraft.

This is a perfect example of the modeler’s art. How someone can take ordinary manila file folder paper combined with glue and create this incredible construct.

As an aside, the video has almost a million views. Lots of folks had a chance to see this, to include the insightful team at Singapore Airlines who commissioned a model of their flagship A380 aircraft as part of an ad campaign.

 

Sig 1910 Deperdussin Kit

Exterior of Sig Deperdussin kit box

Exterior of Sig Deperdussin kit box

I am ready to start my next electric RC kit. I plan on building the Sig 1910 Deperdussin kit, from Sig’s “Pioneers of Flight” line. The Pioneers of Flight comprise three designs; the Demoiselle, Deperdussin and the Antoinette. I had a chance to construct the Demoiselle a few years ago and I must say it was the most well designed and engineered model aircraft that I have ever built. Looking forward to a similar experience with the Deperdussin.

Detailed Deperdussin construction manual

Detailed Deperdussin construction manual

The original 1910 Deperdussin was an early French monoplane that saw success with various flight schools and air races in those early days of flight. The plane set a speed record in 1911 for an aircraft carrying a passenger, flying 62 miles in a little over an hour. The typical engine was the 50 hp three cylinder Anzani, giving a top speed of around 56 mph.

View of Deperdussin Monoplane in flight showing landing gear details

View of Deperdussin Monoplane in flight showing landing gear details

The Sig Pioneers of Flight kits have been around for several years. It was interesting to see with the Demoiselle the complete emphasis on light weight, a common theme in the early days of electric model flight with geared, brushed electric motors and nicad batteries. Sig went so far as to cover one side of the tail surfaces and not include an electrical on/off switch to save weight.

Close up of Deperdussin Monoplane flyby

Close up of Deperdussin Monoplane flyby

This focus on extreme light weight is a bit less of a concern today with lipos and more powerful brushless motors. Looking at the kit box contents, all looks in order. The high quality balsa is now laser cut. The kit includes a set of full size plans and a detailed construction manual. The unique engineering of the Sig kit is such that a construction manual is almost a necessity to ensure you do all the build steps in order.

The engine and cockpit area will be ideal for detailing. The aircraft has appealing lines and should look great once complete.

The model’s wingspan is 49.5 inches, fuselage length of 43.5 inches and a weight of 7.5 ounces without the battery. The plane should be a pleasant flyer, but low wind conditions only when flying outdoors!

 

Detailed photo of Deperdussin cockpit

Detailed photo of Deperdussin cockpit

 

Deperdussin engine details

Deperdussin engine details

XT60 Electrical Connectors

One of the most important items we work with on our electric RC models are the electric connectors that complete the circuit from our batteries to the electronics of our aircraft.

Dean electrical connector plugs

Dean electrical connector plugs

For years a popular connector was the Deans connector. I have used Deans connectors since I began electric RC flight. I was never super happy with the Deans layout. I thought the flat brass surfaces to attach the wire to were cumbersome to solder. In addition, the plugs were difficult to separate. I thought that there must be a better way.

ProTek XT60 electrical connector plugs with shrink tubing

ProTek XT60 electrical connector plugs with shrink tubing

In addition, as I was recently updating my Blackburn model to lipo power I noticed to my horror that the Deans plug I had just completed in fact had a noticeably loose connection with its mate.

End view of ProTek XT60 connectors

End view of ProTek XT60 connectors

At first I could not believe this . . . perhaps I had purchased some bad connectors. I mixed and matched a few Deans plugs from various sources and I realized I had a proper connection problem. As best as I can tell, the heat from my soldering did something to alter the plastic housing and the proper firm fit of the pins resulting in a loose connection. In short, completely unsatisfactory and unsafe for flight.

My local hobby dealer turned me on to the ProTek XT60 connectors. They are head and shoulders better than the Deans connectors. As you can see in the attached pictures there is a distinctive rounded edge on the male/female ends. I used the memory aid “red and round” to always use the round side for the positive (red) wire.

The XT60 polarized connectors have a nice and positive snap/click when put together and they separate with minimal effort. Best of all is the rounded gold-plated channel that you use to solder the electrical wire to. It is a simple matter to apply solder to the wire (tinning), insert the wire into the channel and add a bit more solder for an exceptionally strong connection. Apply the heat shrink tubing and you are done.

Buhl Pup

Front view of Buhl Pup showing radial engine

Front view of Buhl Pup showing radial engine

I added a page discussing the Buhl Pup sport aircraft and how this attractive aircraft would make an ideal candidate for a radio controlled model.

Designed in 1930 as a low cost, single pilot flyer the Pup is a distinctive aircraft with many features, such as the shoulder mounted wing and three cylinder radial engine, that make it a suitable candidate for drawing up a set of CAD plans.

Selecting a full scale aircraft to model is a personal choice. I always like to fly something a bit different from other aircraft on the club flight line, as I did with my Blackburn and Fokker Spin plans. I look forward to doing the same in the near future with an electric powered version of the Buhl Pup.

Indoor Turbine RC Model!

This post is a bit off topic for a website devoted to electric radio control flight. But below is an incredible video of a true RC model turbojet flying indoors!

This remarkable flight took place at the recent Model and Hobby Fair in Leipzig, Germany. The builders and pilots, Christian Huber and Jurgen Schonle, used a Diamond plan produced by Aviation Design.

Wingspan is 2.4 meters and the length is 3.1 meters. The model weighs about 5.5 lbs and uses eight ounces of fuel. Building materials were 6, 3 and 1.5 mm Depron. The engine is a T-20 Hummingbird Lambert.  The engine can operate at up to 235,000 rpm.

As you can see in the video the model handles very well. Keep in mind there is no prop wash over the control surfaces to aid in responsive flight controls with the turbine thrust exiting out the rear of the aircraft. Note the retractable gear and half flaps, needed for the slow flight in the indoor display area. The pilots report they only needed half throttle for the demo.

Also a wise move to have the fire department literally on scene should anything go amiss with the turbine engine. Amazing!

 

Mini-Yard Ace Video

I completed my first video using iMovie on my Mac and uploaded it to YouTube. All previous videos were with Movie Maker with my now defunct PC.

The video is of my test flight of the Mini-Yard Ace, a smaller variant of my 34 inch wing span Yard Ace design, this time with a 24 inch wingspan and use of the ParkZone ultra-micro electronics. Mini-Yard Ace flew well!

As you can see, being able to construct a model from a set of plans opens up an entire new world of model aviation. You can recreate successful model aircraft designs from today to 90 years ago in just about any size you desire. OuterZone alone has over 7,000 quality aircraft plans available.

Please check back as I rebuild some of the all-time classic RC airplane designs . . . looking forward to the challenge!

 

Full Size Electric Plane from a Model

Front view from airborne drone of Peter's test flight

Front view from airborne drone of Peter’s test flight

I added a page to the site today regarding a remarkable young man who designed a twin engine electric powered model biplane and flew it . . . then created via CAD a full size variant . . . built it in his basement with materials from Lowe’s . . . and then flew the aircraft himself.

The article also discusses the rapid advances of electric power in the full scale aviation world and how this parallels our experience with electric powered radio control model aircraft flight.

The video documentation is exceptionally well done, to include air-to-air drone shots of Peter’s initial flight. Folks are doing amazing things these days!

Workshop Update

Cleaned up workbench

Happy to report that my workshop is finally cleaned up and all of my modeling supplies are inventoried.

I did some repairs and adjustments to the Stevens Aero Buzzbomb. Main item was strengthening the landing gear installation. The original design had rubber bands holding the landing gear in a slot in the bottom of the fuselage.

Buzzbomb nylon landing gear straps

Buzzbomb nylon landing gear straps

I imagine this approach was brought over from the original free flight version of the airplane. The idea being that a free flight model could land anywhere after a flight and you wanted to ensure the landing great could easily break away without causing damage to the aircraft.

With the repeated landings of radio control flight this is not a good idea as the rubber bands are just not strong enough to keep the gear in place. The nylon brackets on either fuselage side should fix this problem nicely.

It is also time to resurrect my Blackburn design! I originally used nicad batteries in the original model. Plan now is to use my Thunderpower lipos. The two cell pack fits nicely in the battery area.

The receiver, however, is for the first generation of Spektrum transmitters. I needed a newer receiver that can bind to a DMS2 signal used by my current transmitter. The new receiver is on order. Once that is received and installed, I should be able to get this very nice flying model back in the air . . . calm winds only!

OuterZone Free Plans

OuterZone homepage showed latest plans added

OuterZone homepage showed latest plans added

I added a page today on a website offering over 8,700 free plans for vintage model aircraft. The site is OuterZone.

A wide range of model aircraft plans, drawn from 1913 to the 1970 are available for download. Models include free flight, radio control and control line aircraft.

The site offers plans that you will have to enlarge to full size. But these are complete model aircraft construction plans, not simply three views.

Back in this era of model aviation Almost Ready to Fly models did not exist. Everyone had to either build their own aircraft or acquire them at a swap meet. There was a thriving business with numerous aircraft plans offered for sale. As modelers could construct their planes from kits, most modelers could build from a set of plans as well.

The neat thing about these plans is the opportunity to build a model not usually seen at the flying field. Plans offer an easy route to make the necessary modifications for electric flight, as well as a change in the size of the model from the original.

All in all, another great way to explore the hobby of radio control model flight!

 

RCM Southern Gentleman plan, a perfect candidate for relaxing electric powered RC flight

RCM Southern Gentleman plan, a perfect candidate for relaxing electric powered RC flight

New Yard Ace Page

I added a page on my build of a park flyer sized version of my Yard Ace design. Very pleased with the outcome, see details here.

Front view of the 24 inch wingspan version of the Yard Ace design

Front view of the 24 inch wingspan version of the Yard Ace design

The Yard Ace is an easy to build RC model plane that makes for a perfect first build from a set of plans. In this case I demonstrated just how easy it can be to make a smaller version of a model from a set of plans. Same goes for making a larger version, should you wish.

The neat thing about being able to “design as you build” smaller or larger variants of a model from a set of plans is the large universe of new radio control model designs that become available to you.

In a future project I will do just this. First, select a plan of a model designed and built many years ago. Then rebuilt with today’s electric power systems and control electronics. And finally take this “new” model for a flight!

I enjoy Almost and Ready to Fly model aircraft as much as my fellow modelers. Still, it is nice to be able to build something on your own, and have a distinctive aircraft at your club flight line. More to follow!