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Radio Controlled Toys

Radio Controlled Toys:

For the last few years we have been playing with radio controlled toys, mainly airplanes, as a way to have some fun constructing them, and flying.

We have a couple of RC cars, (2 1/8th scale nitro-powered off-road buggies), a 1/10th scale Clodbuster RC truck to which we have done a number of modifications (including Clodzilla 4 kit) and custom parts using our milling-machine, and half-a-dozen RC airplanes.

GeeBee R2:

Scratchbuilt Electric GeeBee R2

More detail on its own page here.

Electric Bird Of Time:

Electric Bird Of Time in flight

In the interests of increasing our awareness of thermals and the texture of the air we decided we should get an RC sailplane. The one that caught our eye was the Bird Of Time kitted in various forms by many manufacturers.

We ended up selecting the Dynaflight version with a 3 meter wing span and doing a fair bit of kit-bashing on it to outfit with an electric gear-drive propeller system for launch. We are far too lazy to setup a high-start or climb a hill for ridge-lift.

The power system has worked surprisingly well, with a Kyosho Endoplasm 540 can motor fed by 10 C NiMH cells powering a gearbox with a MAS 15x14 folding prop. The glider can climb quickly at about 70 degrees from horizontal and once up a few hundred feet stay up pretty much indefinately on a sunny day.

It is extremely fast however, and with the added weight of the batteries and motor it can easily end up moving faster than I would like after a moment of inattention. So far nothing has broken while slowing it down, but it is something to keep an eye on.

Electric Bird Of Time in flight Electric Bird of Time before first flight

Small GeeBee R1:

Amy with Small Electric GeeBee R1

After assisting Erik to build the large GeeBee mentioned previously, Amy decided she wanted her own GeeBee. For Christmas Erik got her a FanTastic models GeeBee R1 which had just been released by the designers.

Amy assembled the kit by herself, and it actually turned out to fly quite sedately due to the extremely low weight when powered by a GWS motor powering a gearbox, and getting juice from lithium ion batteries.

Small GeeBee R1

Converted Aeronca Chief:

This plane started life as a Comet rubber band kit. After building it in our first small apartment, where the fumes from the tissue dope would drive us out for the day after each coat, we took it to a park for the first flight under the rubber band power system.

That flight was rather disastrous as a gust of wind came along just as it launched, sending the 48" wingspan rubber band plane vertical, and then into a tailslide into my arms. After that experience we decided to just hang it as a display piece.

Some years later, after learning to fly RC on our Zagi, I realized that the small servos and Lithium Ion battery packs now availalbe would provide a great system of controling the plane in flight. I did some surgery to the tail surfaces and firewall to mount controls and a 280 gearbox & motor. Power comes from 3 Lithium Ion cells.

All up weight is a bit over 8oz (yes ounces). For a 48" wingspan this is extremely light. In flight it is extrememly gentle, and will mush along down to about 4mph, and top speed is near 12mph. All easy enough to keep up with on foot if desired. With throttle control it will fly for almost an hour before needing fresh batteries.

RC Electric Aeronca Chief

RC Electric Aeronca Chief before first flight

Clodzilla IV

Clodzilla IV

Details on its own page here.