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Old 07-22-2016, 05:21 PM   #1
kmac
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90mm Snowbird edf flight video


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Hi all,
Here is a link to a You Tube video of my best friend Mike Pastro's scratchbuilt EDF
Snowbird. It was designed, built by Mike in the Skunkworkx in East Abbotsford.
Some specs, as there are details on the You Tube page.
Snowbird is built from hot wired blue foam. Has retracts, flaps, canopy built with Mike's own vacuum former. Not sure what 90mm fan unit/motor it is. 6Cell 5000, separate battery for receiver.
Not sure how to attach the actual video here, but hopefully the link will show up!
Thanks,
Kerry
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ozLi...ature=youtu.be
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Old 07-22-2016, 06:32 PM   #2
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Re: 90mm Snowbird edf flight video

Hi everyone,

I didn't know that my friend (and test pilot) Kerry was going to post a link to the Snowbird video, otherwise I would have provided him with a few more details about the model!.

This is a 90mm EDF CT-114 Tutor "Snowbird" with a 55" span, flaps and retracts. The model is roughly based on a previous gas pusher design that I had published in RC Modeler magazine way back in July 1994. I have built 4 iterations of the EDF version and have used various combinations of wood and foam with the most recent one being pretty much 100% foam. I may do one more that is entirely balsa and ply so that it could be built by anyone who has traditional scratch-building experience. If I do this, I would consider making plans available as well as canopies and decals.

The jet in the video uses simple and inexpensive equipment: Changesun 90mm fan with a stock motor, a Turnigy Plush 100A speed controller, 5000mAh Zippy 6S 25C batteries, Metal RC Lander electric retracts, and Turnigy 9g and 17g metal gear servos. The models built to date have weighed between 3 and 3.4 kg but they fly fairly "light" and need flaps to slow down if you don't have a long runway because they tend to "float". As you can see from the video, grass take-offs are no problem. I have flown the plane using both the Turnigy ESC's internal BEC as well as a separate LiFe battery for the electronics.. I also installed a cheap 3V LED headlight powered by a single 300mAh lipo and it is very bright in the air!

If there is much interest for plans, I'll do my best to make them available.

Cheers!

Mike
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Old 07-22-2016, 07:53 PM   #3
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Re: 90mm Snowbird edf flight video

Nice looking and flying model! Always good to have a large jet with light wing loading.
Was vinyl used for covering? How were the markings done?
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Old 07-22-2016, 08:27 PM   #4
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Re: 90mm Snowbird edf flight video

Hi Eric,
Not sure if Mike is online, so I will try and answer. The Snowbird is covered in white and red
Topflite Econocote. Decals were designed by Mike, then sent to a local printing shop. They then print them on a thin vinyl. If I remember right, the markings for the Snowbird came out to roughly $20.00 !!
Letting the cat out of the bag here, but we've been flight testing Mike's newest design.
It's a A4 Skyhawk, Blue Angels livery. It is a bit bigger than the Snowbird, 90mm setup,
takes off from the grass just like the club field shown in the above video. I must say, I like it BETTER than the Snowbird! I will nudge Mike to post a couple of photos for us.
If anyone is out West in August, Mike will be bringing the Skyhawk to the Chilliwack Electric Fly in, August 11-13 I believe. Hopefully I can do the plane justice with a nice demo.
Thanks for asking,
Kerry
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Old 07-22-2016, 08:39 PM   #5
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Re: 90mm Snowbird edf flight video

Thanks for the reply.
The Skyhawks also sounds interesting. Hopefully more details are forthcoming!
Some economical good flying jets are what this hobby needs.

Although here are some interesting PNP models coming out, the wing loading is getting higher (which isn't helping performance).

Any construction details would be welcome too.
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Old 07-22-2016, 09:13 PM   #6
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Re: 90mm Snowbird edf flight video

Hi Eric,
Mike will be coming by here tonite or Saturday morning. The Snowbird, Shrike Commander,
and others are all done with the blue foam. Mike does the designs on cad, then it's put to the garage. He makes templates out of aluminum, then starts cutting sections. Then starts gluing them together. At that point, they all look like a Lego plane !!
Then lots of sanding and cutting. LOTS. The inside of the fuses are formed open, as there is usually 2 fuse sides, a bottom, then the top. Oh, Mike cuts the wing cores too. The thing that is always interesting to me, Mike uses flat bottom airfoils. I don't think we've ever used
any washout. The plane is then covered, either Econocote, or Towercote will work nicely.
Mike does use a little bit of regular/lite ply in some areas, as in wing hold down plates with blind nuts, also where the wing dowels would pug in to the fuse. Couple of other places,
that's about it. I hear you about the 90mm PNP jets out there. I've flown the 90mm Freewing F16 from our short field, but Mikes designs are quite a bit lighter, stronger too. The blue foam, once covered, is surprisingly robust. Mike uses carbon spars in the wings too.
I have pin wheeled the Snowbird several times on landing, when we were trying to get the incidences right on the t-tail stab, and wing. All that is need, is peel off the covering, and re glue. I found, that as long as the foam is not cracked, almost any wrinkling, compression, denting of the blue foam, can be almost perfectly repaired. I wet a piece of paper towel, put on top of the damaged area. Lest it hiss and steam a bit. The steam actually causes even some pretty ugly compressed areas to come back to normal.
Hope that helps a bit!
Kerry
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Old 07-22-2016, 09:20 PM   #7
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Re: 90mm Snowbird edf flight video

Off topic a wee bit, but here is a photo of the Shrike Commander that Mike designed. This is my plane, has flaps, retracts, 2-Turnigy 10 motors, 2 40amp esc's. 4s 3500 pack.
Built from blue foam, as are all Mike's current designs.
WS- 57"
weight- 6lbs?
Covering- H9 Ultracote
Okay, back to jet talk!
Kerry
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Old 07-23-2016, 11:06 AM   #8
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Re: 90mm Snowbird edf flight video

Hi Eric,

It looks like Kerry pretty much answered your questions but I will provide a bit of clarification...

I have used Ultracote, Econokote, and Towerkote over the blue foam on all of my recent models. I actually used Minwax, light fiberglass cloth and polyurethane paint on the first 2 EDF Snowbirds and this worked fine too but added a bit of weight to the model (these were the ones that came in around 3.4kg). Low temp iron-on coverings give a nice, light, glossy finish and add some strength to the structure. As Kerry mentioned, the first foam Snowbird survived some serious crashes as we were dealing with flex in the T-tail (later fixed by adding a built-up balsa vertical fin and stab).

I design all of my models and decals using AutoCAD. I get the decals printed on self-adhesive vinyl at a local print shop. I can fit all of the Snowbird markings (except for the white bird and diamond markings on the bottom of the aircraft) on two 18" x 12" sheets.

I have used different construction methods on the 4 Snowbirds built to date. The first one had balsa fuselage sides with blue foam pieces glued to the top, bottom and nose. Foam was also used for the intakes, T-tail, and wing. The other 3 models were all built from blue foam but had built-up balsa T-tails. I was experimenting with different construction techniques so each model was built a bit differently. The version shown in the flight video had 1" blue foam sides with foam cross pieces glued to the top and bottom. The nose and hump behind the canopy was hot wired to achieve the correct top view and side view profiles and then glued into place. Once put together, the square edges need to be shaped with a sharp utility knife and then sanded to achieve a round, scale appearance. It doesn't take long to do once you get the hang of it.

As Kerry mentioned, I use lite ply for wing mounts, landing gear mounts, and the former near the trailing edge of the wing where the EDF is mounted. Some carbon fiber strips were added to the fuselage sides at the intake location to add strength.

The first model had a removable top hatch to access the EDF but subsequent versions didn't. The EDF was simply installed through the wing opening and fit into the aforementioned former. I used a hot wire to carve the thrust tube inside the foam fuselage so a separate thrust tube was not required.

The foam wings have a center section and 2 outer panels hot-wired from blue foam. On some of the models, I added balsa to the leading edge as well as to the aileron and flap hinge location. A 10mm diameter carbon fiber tube spar is used for strength. None of the 4 Snowbirds to date have had washout built into the wings but I might consider doing this on a future model to see if it makes a difference.

I cut a small "cheater hole" in the centre of the wing to direct more air to the EDF but I think the plane would probably fly without it.

As I mentioned in my first post, I may try to come up with a balsa/ply design so that it could be built by modellers who do not have the equipment or experience to build with foam. The challenge will be to keep the weight down and to achieve the curves and round edges that are so easy to do with foam but not so easy to do with a built-up structure.

Changing gears, I have added a few photos of my recently-completed A-4 Skyhawk and Shrike Commander. Some basic specs:

A-4 Skyhawk: all blue foam construction; span 40"; length 58"; wing area 556 in2; weight 2.9kg; 90mm 12 blade Changesun EDF; retractable nose gear/fixed main gear (main wheels only stick out slightly below landing gear "pods" built on underside of wing); 9g metal gear servos for ailerons, rudder, and nose steering servo; one 17g metal gear servo for elevator; Turnigy 100A Plush ESC (internal BEC used to power electronics); 5000 mAh Zippy 25C lipo

Shrike Commander: all blue foam construction; span 64"; length 51"; wing area 572 in2; weight 2.7kg; 2 Turnigy G-10 motors; 2 Turnigy Plush 40A ESC's; metal RC Lander retracts; 3S 4000 mAh lipo; 9g metal gear servos for ailerons, flaps, rudder, and nose steering; one 17g metal gear servo for elevator.

Hope this answers your questions.

Cheers!

Mike
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Old 08-29-2016, 11:01 AM   #9
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Re: 90mm Snowbird edf flight video

Quote:
Originally Posted by viper1957 View Post
Hi everyone,

I didn't know that my friend (and test pilot) Kerry was going to post a link to the Snowbird video, otherwise I would have provided him with a few more details about the model!.

This is a 90mm EDF CT-114 Tutor "Snowbird" with a 55" span, flaps and retracts. The model is roughly based on a previous gas pusher design that I had published in RC Modeler magazine way back in July 1994. I have built 4 iterations of the EDF version and have used various combinations of wood and foam with the most recent one being pretty much 100% foam. I may do one more that is entirely balsa and ply so that it could be built by anyone who has traditional scratch-building experience. If I do this, I would consider making plans available as well as canopies and decals.

The jet in the video uses simple and inexpensive equipment: Changesun 90mm fan with a stock motor, a Turnigy Plush 100A speed controller, 5000mAh Zippy 6S 25C batteries, Metal RC Lander electric retracts, and Turnigy 9g and 17g metal gear servos. The models built to date have weighed between 3 and 3.4 kg but they fly fairly "light" and need flaps to slow down if you don't have a long runway because they tend to "float". As you can see from the video, grass take-offs are no problem. I have flown the plane using both the Turnigy ESC's internal BEC as well as a separate LiFe battery for the electronics.. I also installed a cheap 3V LED headlight powered by a single 300mAh lipo and it is very bright in the air!

If there is much interest for plans, I'll do my best to make them available.

Cheers!

Mike
Hi, I want to build one, in fact I printed off the RCM article this June with the intention of doing a E pusher some day in a smaller size. Would you make / sell the vaccuform parts as well.

Would love to see some pics of the construction process.
cheers - ken k, winnipeg
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Old 08-29-2016, 04:36 PM   #10
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Re: 90mm Snowbird edf flight video

Hi Ken,

Thanks for your interest! Unfortunately, this project has stalled (at least for the time being) because very few modelers have expressed interest in building the Snowbird. As mentioned, I have used different construction methods in building the first 4 and don't have a final set of plans or construction photos that I could easily post. To do this project properly, I would likely need to re-design the airplane so that it could be built by modelers who do not have the tools or knowledge to hot wire foam. This would take a fair bit of time - especially if I was to build and test the revised version and document the process. At the moment, I'm scratch building a foam de Havilland Buffalo so that's where my time and energy is being focused. Once this is complete, I may take on the Snowbird project again. If I do, I would possibly make vacuum formed canopies available for it. I will also post on this bulletin board if and when the project is back on.

Cheers!

Mike
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