Tuesday, January 24, 2012


PROGRESS (is awesome)
The Thunderbird is starting to take shape, my rocket motors should be here any day now, my motor mount tube is almost cured enough to take off of the mandrel and the fuselage is almost built!

I rather like the tab together design. It makes building a lot easier, but cutting all of the little tabs by hand is a real pain in the butt.
Showing the rear detail- where I've sanded the bottom of the fuselage to accept the motor tube
Top Right- 3/4 completed fuselage
Middle- Sanded 3 piece wing, joined into one, with a carbon spar impregnated into the bottom skin
Bottom Left- top fuselage skin ready to go on

I made a small mistake when printing- I had the part right, but then for some unforeseen reason i decided to remove the 6mm lip on the top and bottom fuselage panels. I ended up having to attach some 1/4" square balsa wood to the corners of said pieces, all in all I actually think it will work better, being that I would like to fillet the corners and the wood will be harder than the foam, thus staying in better shape for a longer period of time (not that this plane should last long anyways)

Thursday is approaching quickly!
More progress to report later- when I get some more time to work on it :P

Project list for AEF (not necessarily in order of importance)
1. Launch Dolly for Me163 70mm Ducted fan jet, remotely detachable with steering and brakes.
2. Launch mechanism to mount to a Funcub that will release two Hacker Skyfighters, converted to RC gliders.
3. Launch mechanism for a 1ft long glider model of a Space shuttle, also mounted to Funcub, possibly could use same mounting hard points as aforementioned launcher.
4. Hacker models SkyCarver, I have one built, but I would like to build a new one with all of the tips and tricks i have learned from the first.
5. Can't forget finishing the ThunderBird
6. Build side force generator for 2.6m wingspan extra 260 (electric(A150 powered))

                                                        oh right, side force generators...

New SFG, picture does not do it justice. In reality the SFG is about half the area of the old one. (red)

Old SFG (red)

This airplane is an ExtremeFlight Extra 300EXP (48"), I really like the airplane, but the stock side force generators are just too big. I've decided to remedy the problem by  making my own, as seen above. The ones I have created (now covered in red) are 8 grams lighter per side, 8 grams may not seem like much, but every little bit counts with these small planes...I've also reduced the area to about half, which should increase the roll rate without taking a big hit in side area.

stay tuned, Next up....Rock-It plane wing mounting!

Monday, January 23, 2012


It's been a while.....but i'm here now! I've been thrashing my head against the wall trying to think of something cool to build the for the fast approaching Arizona Electric Festival. I think I've finally come up with something worthy of blogging.

So without further distraction-I present project: "Thunderbird".
It's a take on the German WWII plane code named "Silverfish". Silverfish was a Nazi space plane designed to drop nukes' on America, so it has to be cool...right?! So anyways, some general specs.....

Wingspan: 21.50"
Length: 26.50"
Motor average thrust: 54N
Burn time: Approx 1.8s
Guestimated weight: 10oz RTF-Loaded. After burn out- 8.50oz
Controls: Ailerons(2 servos) Elevators (2 servos(for the option of taileron mixing)) Ignition control (1 brushed ESC)
Build Material: Mostly 6mm depron foam- carbon fiber main spars, 0.125" balsa Tail feathers with carbon reinforcement.
Airfoil: NACA 1210, 1.5 deg washout, 0deg Dihedral/Anhedral
Tail airfoil: Flat plate- rounded leading edge
Servos: E-flite S60J
Receiver: Spektrum Ar6115 DSMx
Flight battery: Thunder Power 2s 910mah

Anyways, here are a few pictures.

Showing the internal structure, radio box in front along with Bottom hatch

Front Perspective view

Rear Perspective view

Front Rotated view
The Thunderbird is coming along quite nicely, I have the wing sanded (very tedious and painful), the rocket tube layed up on an aluminum mandrel, all of the Balsa wood parts cut out, the hinges and rocket motor selected and ordered, all brand new radio gear sitting on the bench ready to be installed and all of the plans cut out! now to find the time to finish this all before Thursday morning, which is when the event starts (lol)


Here is a pic of a wing half- Note the 'snow' in the shop