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  1. #1

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    homemade electric SPAD

    Ok, so i'm trying to make an electric SPAD with cheap materials and some that aren't hard to find.


    1)I'm thinking about coroplast instead of foam, is that the right thing for an electric?

    2) I also have trouble finding light batteries, for example i have about 8 cells of AA 1.2V (9.6V overall) but i fear they're too heavy for an electric... about 360grams.

    3) I though about mounting them in the fuselage from the nose till the rear so that their weight doesn't pull to a specific point on the plane.

    4) I also have a 10 cell 1.2V (12V overall) battery pack that is heavier than putting the other 8 together.. it's about 450grams. Should i use that instead for extra power, or the plane won't be able to take off?


    My motor can be compared to a speed 400 and might be a little stronger.

    Channels are 4 - throttle, ailerons, elevators, rudder.

    What do you think, give me clues..


  2. #2
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    RE: homemade electric SPAD

    First, can the the motor handle 12v? I don't your experience level so forgive me if you already know this stuff. Take the volts times the amps the motor can safely draw to get watts. Shoot for 75 to 100 watts per pound. Then you'll have an idea of the weight your shooting for. I'd say your going to fid it hard to come in less that about 1.5 lbs. It's not impossible, but hard. Figuare out the watts of your system, and post them. This will give a better Idea of what can be done.

  3. #3

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    RE: homemade electric SPAD

    With that type if a power system, your best bet for success is to build with 2mm coroplast. A speed 400 type engine without a gearbox is best suited for a plane that weighs no more than about 20 ounces. Adding a gearbox will allow you to spin a larger prop to give more thrust. If you can get your hands on blue core, also called fan fold foam, you could build the Zagi clone called the ZagNutz flying wing. I have built and flown a few Zagnutz wings with a Speed 400, and Speed 480 can motors on both 8 cell and 10 cell AA batteries.

    I would suggest building ZagNutz, a Mugi, or the Dazi. All are good candidates for the Speed 400 electric motor.
    Mugi Plans - http://www.mugi.co.uk/evo_intro.php
    Dazi Plans - http://www.zipworld.com.au/~dazb/dAzi/dAzi.html
    ZagNutz Wing Plans - http://home1.gte.net/texhills/page3.html

  4. #4

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    RE: homemade electric SPAD

    i'm actually trying to built this kind of plane -|-: instead of this <.

    (hope you understood the diagram..


    Anyway, i aim on a 12v 1lb battery pack with a close-to speed 400+ motor.

    All i want to know is if the motor will actually take off the plane at 1.3+lb... I thought about a smaller battery, smaller plane, smaller prop, but i don't know the weight- thrust ratio on planes.

    I estimate the battery pack's power in watts to be close to 75Watts.

    BTW , is the gearbox the thing added to motors to make the prop spin more RPM?

    I'm desperate.. 1.3lbs, 75W what do i do? thanks for your replies.






  5. #5

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    RE: homemade electric SPAD

    The gearbox will spin at lower RPM but allow you to use larger prop for more thrust. As for those plans, I figured that they would be the easiest to use to keep the weight around 20 ounces. With a 1 pound battery, building a light plane from coroplast is very difficult. Here is another set of plans you might want to look at. Credit goes to Hangtight for the great set of plans.



    http://www.avoidingtheground.com/spa...e_%20Build.pdf

  6. #6

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    RE: homemade electric SPAD

    So what i finally decided is to change the battery power and prop.
    I'll use a bigger prop with a 6.0V 120mAh battery for the servos and probably 4.5V 800mAh 3cell battery for the motor, maximum 1lb (my SPAD is actually quite different than regular ones because i can't buy a complete radio/servo set, so i have to make it on my own)

    To get the complete picture, imagine a radio receiver (middle of plane) connected to two servos and a small 6V battery pack (all i got) which is so small it would fit someones fist, and 3 AA cells connected together on the motor + a switch. You turn on the switch, prop goes crazy, you fly it with elevator and ailerons and when the batteries die you land it.
    Ok i'm done.
    Thanks FantzyPantz you inspired me to think this. Hope it flies...
    (by the way i'm 16 and i'm currently broke so i can't buy radio gear- i'm also bored , i wanna make this as homemade as possible)

  7. #7

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    RE: homemade electric SPAD

    I hate to discourage you, but that setup probably isn't going to fly.

    What part of Texas are you from?

  8. #8
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    RE: homemade electric SPAD

    I hate to burst your bubble here... but 3 cells is 3.6V, unless you are using alkalines which are not rechargeable and are usually a lot more than 800mah so I doubt it. And a speed 400 is going to run like crap on 3.6V. You are too heavy and too slow. If you can get to 9.6V it might fly... maybe...
    The cake is a lie.

  9. #9

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    RE: homemade electric SPAD

    You're right.
    It seems i need to research more and experiment a bit before posting for help.
    I'll try other methods and let you know.
    For the time being just let this post die....
    Thanks for your concern, guys.

    Maybe i'll try that Zagnutz design which you say flies with 8 to 10 AA batteries.

  10. #10

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    RE: homemade electric SPAD

    i got one more question, which might be stupid.
    How about i turn the zagnutz design to a regular plane? i mean if you look at it, i think it would be nice if you glued the whole zagnutz on a stick (for example) and put horizontal stabilizers and vertical stabilizer on the end of the stick, to make it look like a regular plane.. would that work?

    By the way are you sure that the speed 400 lifts a 8-10 AA cell battery pack?

  11. #11

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    RE: homemade electric SPAD

    Take a look at these types of planes. They are not considered trainers, or beginner planes, but can be flown in a big back yard or park. http://foamyfactory.com/
    B2 Bomber? http://www.pibros.de/sons02_1.htm

  12. #12
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    RE: homemade electric SPAD

    louis73, if you just want a cheap electric, then it would be better to go to Wal-Mart and check out the Air Hogs R/C planes they carry. For an elecrtic spad you will need a very light power system with a bunch of power. For example, a strong Brushless motor, compatible ESC, and at least a 3 cell LI-PO 11.4V with around 1500MAH. This setup could fly a 2 pound spad just barely. The bigger the motor and battery pack equals big bucks.

  13. #13

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    RE: homemade electric SPAD

    Yeah but checking out planes at wal-mart isn't included in the initials S.P.A.D.

    Updated (edited) part:
    OK guys i just found a 0.25lbs 11.1V LiPo battery pack. With the motor+prop (0.25lbs) servos (0.1lbs) and radio gear comes to a total weight of 0.70lbs. Power supply is 11.1V, estimated power is 80W.

    Here are some pictures of the system.

    GIVE ME FEEDBACK ON THE PROP it's a homemade one (aluminium + foam spinner)



    1.next to my thumb is one of two servos i'll use which is smaller than my thumb's nail

    2.the battery

    3.speed 400 +prop (is the prop too big?)

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  14. #14
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    RE: homemade electric SPAD

    I made this SPAD out of 2mm coro and it flies great. I can look up the plans if you like but it's called a BUGI.

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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    \"We demand rigidly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty\"

  15. #15

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    RE: homemade electric SPAD

    Of those 3 items, the motor and propeller are the only usable items you have for an e-spad and it must weigh no more than about 20 ounces with the battery. That thing that you have next to your thumbnail isn't going to provide enough torque for squat. The battery doesn't look like it would have enough juice to fly anything for more than a few seconds. I'm sorry to discourage you, but if you want to have success with spads you need to start out right. What you have isn't going to do.

    The motor and prop are ok - Speed 400, and 4.5x4.5 prop are great for zagi, speed jets, Mugis, and Zagnutz. Add a gear drive and you can turn larger props and fly slightly bigger planes translates as slower planes.

    You need a Electronic Speed Controller (ESC) for a speed 400 that will be at least a 15 amp controller. ($20-$30)
    Those tiny things you call servos? Nope they won't work on any plane that you plan to fly with that speed 400. You need at least 2 mini servos. ($15-$30+)
    And for the battery, you can get by with 7 to 10 cells for a speed 400. Like I have said, I have flown Zagi, and Zagnutz planes with 8 & 10 cell AA, packs, but rated at 2200 mha or higher, and I could get 10-15 minute flights per pack. Another thing you need for electric flight is a good field battery charger. Next a Radio, and receiver. Do you see the cost starting to add up? Yes, I know you're young and it's hard to get money together for this type of hobby. I was young once, and I sold fishing worms for 3 summers straight to pay for my 1st motor bike. $400.

    Yes SPADS are cheap as far as the building materials go, but there is still the initial investment to get the proper equipment to get a proper built SPAD in the air. We are here to help you, and we would all rather hear about your success story than to hear. "I gave SPADs a try with this set up, and it didn't fly worth a &#@#$!" Well of course it didn't fly if you didn't do things the right way.

  16. #16
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    RE: homemade electric SPAD

    Props are cheap. relativly... And the one you made is very heavy, has no airfiol, and how exactly is it attached to the shaft??
    It is going to work more like a fan than a propeller. Draw a whole lot of amps and make very little actual thrust.
    The cake is a lie.

  17. #17

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    RE: homemade electric SPAD

    GIVE ME FEEDBACK ON THE PROP it's a homemade one (aluminium + foam spinner)
    I didn't see the part about homemade prop. Forget the homemade prop. Props are cheap. Glue the homemade prop to a pencil or a stick and make one of those hand helicopters out of it. If it goes up when you twirl it, Great! You made yourself a propeller, but I wouldn't trust it on a motor spinning that thing at well over 10,000 rpm, and with a foam nose cone?? That's just nuts!

    What part of Texas are you from? If you are near Dallas why don't you come out to Denton March 24th. Attend SPADs over Texas and witness for yourself how SPADs are made and how they fly. If you enter the raffle, there is a chance of winning something SPAD related. Perhaps a SPAD kit, or well you'll just have to come see won't you?

  18. #18

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    RE: homemade electric SPAD

    ORIGINAL: export!

    I made this SPAD out of 2mm coro and it flies great. I can look up the plans if you like but it's called a BUGI.

    I like it post plan for it sure!!!

    what's the spec????

    dan
    Coro fly like balsa...
    But it crash so much better!!!
    aeromaskou.com/forum
    The first french SPAD Forum

  19. #19
    export!'s Avatar
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    RE: homemade electric SPAD

    Here ya go;

    http://www.smsa.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/Bugi.htm

    I have a 1300mAh 2 cell LiPo, 15A BESC and an Esskay 400XT in it. I actually killed it this morning on a low inverted pass! Very impressive crash. I could repair it but I want to build another one at 150% scale. I think that puts the wingspan at 39" if I remember.

    Scott
    \"We demand rigidly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty\"

  20. #20

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    RE: homemade electric SPAD

    Thanks for the Bugi plans! You should post them in a new Topic by name, makes it easier for others to search. Take me for example, several months from now I'll be looking for them, and be like ok where did I see those plans for that cool Bugi plane???

  21. #21
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    RE: homemade electric SPAD

    export, what your all up weight on the one that died.

  22. #22

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    RE: homemade electric SPAD


    ORIGINAL: FantzyPantz

    Thanks for the Bugi plans! You should post them in a new Topic by name, makes it easier for others to search. Take me for example, several months from now I'll be looking for them, and be like ok where did I see those plans for that cool Bugi plane???
    Use the link and right clink save as on your PC

    I do it everytimes there's something interesting!!!!
    Right now i'm cleaning 1500 airplane plan that I have download!!!

    Dan
    Coro fly like balsa...
    But it crash so much better!!!
    aeromaskou.com/forum
    The first french SPAD Forum

  23. #23
    export!'s Avatar
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    RE: homemade electric SPAD


    ORIGINAL: kbear

    export, what your all up weight on the one that died.

    370 grams

    It was a sweet flyer at that weight (as you can imagine).
    \"We demand rigidly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty\"

  24. #24

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    RE: homemade electric SPAD


    GIVE ME FEEDBACK ON THE PROP it's a homemade one (aluminium + foam spinner)

    DUDE--------------DON"T USE THAT PROP!!!! I shudder to think of things that could happen if you make just the smallest of errors...

    I certainly admire your ingenuity.........but that prop, and 10,000RPM, is a certain recipe for disaster!!

    GWS makes a great number of electric props that will suit your needs, and they won't amputate your fingers!!
    [X(]
    RC MANIAC-PRO BRO 1900-AMA# 95841

  25. #25
    export!'s Avatar
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    RE: homemade electric SPAD

    bump
    \"We demand rigidly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty\"


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