Monday, June 03, 2013

First foamboard planes

I've been itching to try some RC FPV flying, but wanted to start with something that would give me some more reaction time than the tricopter offers.

My tri flying has been progressing...fewer busted props and more drained battery packs. However, it's still far from an ingrained skill. I figured I'd try FPV with something that could glide in after a problem rather than plummet to the ground.

My first flying adventures were with an AXN Clouds Floater Jet which is a decent sized, inexpensive EPO glider with a pusher prop. When the wind is low, and it's trimmed out, I found it pretty easy to self-teach on. However, I have crashed it multiple the point where it's getting fairly bent out of shape. The body is only about $40, but the shipping from China is killer. I like that I can repair my tri, so when a friend suggested and their swappable self-builds based on Dollar Tree foamboard, I took a look. 

Since then, I've built three planes from their speed-build kits, and done another one from scratch. These are simple, three channel planes with flat wing profiles and a "power pod" that allows you to swap motor, esc, and receiver between different plane bodies. They are built with cheap foam board, hot glue, and tape.

If you crash, they're lightweight so damage is minimal. After a few crashes, they start to look like crap, but who cares. Just build another one for a couple bucks. I'm having a great time flying them. The plans are free, the materials are cheap, and the electronics are low-cost. Highly recommended for beginners or DIY flyers.

Scratch built planes at
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