This video shows the first few flights of a new balsa airplane that I have designed and built during this winter.
The airplane has a wingspan of 90 cm and weighs around 700 grams including battery. I use standard RC equipment, no special functions or microprocessors in this one. I built this airplane just to havs something unique and fun to fly with. The plane is built using traditional building techniques. It is built out of balsa and covered using Oracover.
Last year I designed the “Stick pusher” for indoor flying. This years airplane is new design. I took all the things that a liked with last years airplane and added some new features, ailerons being the biggest change. I have also moved to a twin boom pusher design to be able to have the motor and propeller more in the center of the air frame, this removes the effect that airplane wants to dive when you increase the throttle. It also makes the airplane fly more symmetrically. The airplane has large control surfaces and is capable of tight loops and turns. It has a relatively large speed envelope for being a small indoor plane, it is possible to fly quit slow, but it can also fly very fast if you want.
This is a new airplane that I have designed and built during the winter. It is a pusher with large wheels and flaps designed for rough flying fields. This plane is large compared to my other designs. It runs on the same large 8000 mAh 3 cell batteries as my APM quadcopter. The original “Sky Cruizer” was an airplane I build many years ago when I wanted something fun to cruise around with, this new plane shares both the color scheme and purpose of the first Sky Cruizer.
When I built the “Stik Pusher” indoor plane, I installed some LEDs that I did not connect. My intention was to add an Arduino but I wanted to test and make sure the plane worked as expected before I did it.
The main purpose of the Arduino is to monitor the battery voltage, but all control signals from the receiver to the servos and ESC (speed controller) now goes though the Arduino. The Arduino flashes the LEDs located on the fin, motor mount and nose depending on the battery status. If the voltage drops to low, the motor is stopped to protect the battery, but the the control surfaces still works. This is similar to how a normal “cutoff” function in an ESC works. My ESC in this plane in very small and simple and does not have this function built in.
I have also connected a serial bluetooth module the the Arduino for wireless communication. I also plan on connecting an ultrasonic range finder pointing downwards to experiment with an automatic altitude holding feature. This requires tuning some parameters, and this is where the bluetooth connectivity comes in handy. Maybe later. I will also try to control the plane with a smartphone app or laptop using this bluetooth connectivity.
This is a small indoor airplane designed to be very durable, easy to fly and fast to build. It is based on an old model called “Tichy Stick” by J.A Benson. The original model is designed for a Cox .010 engine and meant to be built out of balsa. My version is built out of 3 mm depron (foam). I have moved the motor back and turned it around to create a pusher. This makes it very durable. I have also created a open battery tray on the top front of the fuselage for easy access. The plane is designed for a 5-7 gram outrunner with a 5 inch propeller and a 2 cell 300-500 mAh battery. The wingspan is 620 mm and the flying weight should be around 60-80 grams. I have not yet tested this design but I am pretty sure it will fly great. I have tested a depron version of the original “Tichy Stick” which flies good.
A short video of my FT Spitfire. This airplane is a kit form Flitetest. Usually I do not like warbirds very much, mainly because they usually do not fly very well, and have bad stall characteristics. But this one is designed to fly well, and I think that is a lot more important than having the correct scale look. I use a very lightweight setup in mine, and this makes it possible to fly really slowly. The controls feels very precise for being a foamie.