Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Pink Floyd Foam Slow Flight RC Airplane

Inspired by my visit to the STEPS program and full of new ideas I set out to design another type of airplane that would allow for easy swapping of the radio control unit and also an electric motor that provided the thrust for the airplane.  The pod unit that housed the radio and electric motor was built from thin plywood but almost the entire airplane was constructed from pink and blue foam with some carbon fiber for reinforcement.
Pink Floyd RC Slow Flight Airplane 
Flying Before Adding Landing Gear
My friend and mentor Floyd Richards had built a very easy to fly airplane that started as an indoor RC airplane with conventional 3-channel controls that he would later sell to me. Construction was primarily balsa framework but there was a pod of blue foam. Most of the flying I have done with this airplane was outside in very low wind conditions using the plane to let anyone fly a radio control airplane. The airplane had such a low wing loading and flew so slow that some people could solo this plane on the first flight.

Airplane That was Inpiration for Pink Floyd

When I designed my airplane which I called “Pink Floyd” I built an all foam airplane of similar proportions.  This airplane was easy to fly but flew some faster at a higher wing loading but still very slow. This airplane has been flown indoors in larger gyms successfully but it was really more suited for flying outdoors in low wind conditions.  The fall of that year I would return to show people at Stout my ideas with the Pink Floyd doing flight demonstrations both outdoors and indoors.  Teaching someone to fly this plane indoors even in a very large gym would be difficult because the altitude is really limited and not the two mistakes high that RC instructors like to have their students fly at outside. Pink Floyd wingspan is 48” with a huge chord which makes it easy to see. As of yet I have not pursued using this airplane for a group project but I think there is potential.

Removeable Radio and Power Pod

Removeable Pod used for STEPS Glider

Camera Attached

Aerial Picture Taken

Bill Kuhl

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