Saturday, August 2, 2008

Blu Baby 33: Adventures in AP

And now for something completely different! Well, for me, that is. On RCFlightCast (episode #16), we spoke to a gent from Canada that told us all about the Blu Baby Primary Trainer that was designed and shared by a friend of his named Tony65x55 on RCGroups. His name is Jim, and he goes by the screen name of Laserman on RCG. If you haven't listened to this episode, and you are endeavoring to get into the fascinating sport of RC Flying, listen to this episode! This is an inexpensively built aircraft that really suits newb-pilots, and with careful research on the forums ( ), you should be able to break into this great hobby on the cheap and with success!

As a seasoned pilot, I have to say that I have no interest whatsoever in "trainer" aircraft. Since I graduated from my trainer about a bazillion years ago, I have never looked back at these RET (Rudder, Elevator, Throttle) designs. I favor go-where-you-point-it performance! Trainer aircraft, while necessary for learning the coordination for RC flight, are sluggish and offer very little in the aerobatics department. Quite frankly, they make me nervous when flying them, as the reaction is too slow for a stick-banger like myself.

Anyway, since I bought a FlyCamOne, I have yet to use it for it's intended purpose - Aerial Photography. I have used it a few times for ground to air video, but I think the performance of the cam is really not sufficient for this kind of photography, so now I am on a quest to get a new cam for that and utilize the FlyCamOne for it's intended purpose. The problem is that I really don't have a slow, stable, smooth flying plane to put the cam on.

Enter the Blu Baby Primary Trainer.

I downloaded, printed, and tiled the plans for the plane on Wednesday evening (instead of getting my World Of Warcraft fix for the week). I pulled out a sheet and a half of Fan Fold Foam (FFF) and cut out all of the parts on Thursday afternoon, and after about an hour of building Thursday night, I had what you see in the pic above! The build is very simple. What you see in the pic is a completed airframe minus all electronics and landing gear and it all weighs only 4.75 ounces! I opted to build the KF airfoil wing, rather than the undercambered wing that seems best suited for beginners.

Unfortunately, I have depleted my stockpile of small, brushless outrunner motors that would be best for this plane, so I will be ordering another Blue Wonder 1100kv, 24 gram motor, as that seems to be the motor of choice by the builders in the RCG thread that I linked earlier. I intend to put a GWS 8x4 slowflier prop on it and use another 10 am PowerUp ESC along with a 3S 500 LoongMax Battery. Servos will probably be the 9 gram Hextronics HXT900's (I'll be using only two), and I'll probably use one of my small JR 72mhz receivers since I have a few that are just sitting around.

The goal here is to build a plane with an all up weight (AUW) of less than 12 ounces that will offer smooth flight with a decent flight duration. I plan to put the FlyCamOne on the belly of the plane to get decent air to ground video. I think I'm on the right track!

It may be a bit before this one is completed since I have to order some parts, but I hope to have it in the air within the next few weeks, so stay tuned!


BG said...

What did you use to glue it together that it only took an hour?

Crash said...

I just used Low Temp Hot Glue on the whole plane. It's CHEAP and works just fine. Naturally, there's a slight weight penalty over using foam-safe CA, but if you use only a small bead, you get all the strength you need!

Thanks for commenting!


BG said...

It is such a nice looking bird. Your experience really shows. I think the hot glue has too short of an open time for me, meaning it sets too fast for me to get everything straight and such. I might give it a try though.

Crash said...

Thanks for the compliment, BG! When working with the hot glue, you DO need to be aware of the fast drying, but I guess I've built so many planes over the years that I've kind of learned how to plan ahead by putting the pieces together in just the right order. You can't really glue a piece, let it dry, and then take it apart again to reposition it or assemble in a different order as the pieces are most often destroyed when you disassemble them!

Good luck!

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