the moment we start to fly, exhilaration is felt that becomes
our addiction to the hobby. As soon as we master our first
R/C trainer, we're on to the next level. Our excitement for
an ever increasing challenge was what attracted us to this
hobby in the first place. Every flight is a different experience
and there are no guarantees.
some of us, the challenge must remain scale while others focus
only on the technology and end result. Today's radio controlled
models and advanced technology allow us to choose whatever
aspect we are interested in. On occasion, others can inspire
us to enter a new aspect of the hobby but it is our own passion
deep inside that really keeps it going.
focus in this month's issue of AMP'D is to reveal a few fast
setups that range in cost and complexity but all with a common
goal...to inspire your passion by creating an R/C model that
satisfies the need for speed!
Aéronautique Internationale (or FAI) is the world governing
body for air sports and aeronautical world records. Founded in 1905,
it is a non-governmental and non-profit making international organization
with the basic aim of furthering aeronautical and astronautical activities
worldwide. FAI activities include the establishment of rules for the
control and certification of world aeronautical and astronautical
records. FAI establishes regulations for air sporting events which
are organized by member countries throughout the world. FAI also promotes
skill, proficiency and safety in aeronautics. The US participation
in World Championship events is under the auspices of the FAI and
uses the rules put forth in the FAI Sporting Code. For more information
on FAI-based competitions in the U.S., read the AMA's
Competition and Technical FAQ.
is just one of the many air sport disciplines (or classes) covered
by the FAI. In this sub-set of disciplines, various types of aeromodeling
are included such as Free Flight, Control Line, RC Flight, Electric
Flight, and many more. Some of the more familiar disciplines we
see in our hobby are listed below.
(Indoor Model Aircraft)
(Speed Model Aircraft)
(Aerobatic Model Aircraft)
(Combat Model Aircraft)
(Aerobatic Power Model Aircraft)
(Thermal Soaring Gliders)
(Precision Model Helicopter)
(Hand Launch Gliders)
(Control Line Flying Scale Model Aircraft)
(Radio Controlled Flying Scale Model Aircraft)
6 years ago, I first saw Steve Neu demo his Surprise 9 at the
Fair. While I had little interest in the skeleton-like motor
glider, Steve revealed a power level that I had never seen before
in such a light low-drag plane. Recently, I was impressed by
another Surprise 9 demo from Frank Fontana at the 2008 NEAT
Fair. Like Steve Neu's plane, it had the fastest acceleration
I have ever seen! RCU's Matt Kirsch captured Frank's demo flight
on RCU Videos here.
the goal of F5B is not in measuring speed, it is certainly one
of its assets. Basically the pilot stands at a designated point
and is allowed to climb 10 times in the F5B course to get as
many laps as possible around two pylons. Once you pass the first
base on the return leg you are considered out of the course
and can run the motor. The idea is to get back into the course
as quickly as possible but to also build up enough speed with
the climb to maximize the number of legs where a lap is considered
two legs. Part of the leg contains a thermal duration.
After the distance task you climb to altitude to start the thermal
portion of the competition which can be anywhere from 5-10 minutes.
You can use your motor to climb as much as you want but you
are penalized a point for every second of motor run time. The
last task is landing at whatever the thermal task duration was
set to for the competition. Every second under this time, a
point is subtracted. Landing zones, like 10, 20 and 30 meter
circles, are used to score more points as you strive for the
competition is a combination of piloting skill, high-end aeromodeling
technology, and experience. Even if you don't compete, it
will definitely satisfy your need for speed!
Sport Motor Gliders
those pilots that do not wish to compete or want a model that
does not have such extreme performance, there is a wide variety
of sport motor gliders available. SoaringUSA.com
has models in various sizes, materials, and price ranges.
Ion 2006 (or Ion Warmliner) on the left is a 79" wingspan
model designed by 5-time world Champion Rudi Freudenthaler.
Ion 2006 has 528 sq.in. of wing area, a MH30 airfoil, and
flies at around 55 oz. It can fly at high speeds just over
100mph, has great thermalling capability, and is very easy
to fly. This type of model can climb quickly to 500 feet at
around 1900 feet per minute. You can then either soar on thermals
for hours or roll into a Split-S and do a 100mph fly-by.
Ion Warmliner can be powered by a range of systems that vary
in cost and performance. An AXI 2820/10 motor, Jeti 40-amp
ESC, and 3-cell (20C) 3200mAh Lipo pack provide the 420 watts
at 39 amps shown in the video on the right. This 152w/lb system
also uses a Graupner CFK 12x7 folding prop.
can get you into sport motor gliders with minimal cost, reduced
effort, and a lower risk of breakage thanks to the robust
ELAPOR Foam construction.
a flying weight around 3-1/2 lbs, this full-house model with
ailerons, flaps for full trailing edge camber and reflex,
plus CROW capability for accurate landings is a great choice
for more relaxed fun.
by a Himax 3522-0990 outrunner motor, 13x8 folding prop, FlightTech
Brushless ESC, and a EVO25
3s 2500mAh FlightPower
pack, the Cularis has 134 w/lb.
Little Toni is known as one of the famous Formula 1 racers
of the 1940's. Sleek, and slender, this little racer is a
champion on looks and in the air. Better known as the Cosmic
Wind, there were three variants - The Little Toni, Minnow
"Cosmic Wind" series of racers were developed and
built by Tony Levier and associates for entry in the Good
Year trophy races of the late 1940´s. Due to their excellence
in construction and design they have continued to be flown
in races both in England and the United States since then.
We recently clocked my Great
Planes Lil Toni Pylon Racer at 197mph off a dive across
the flying field using a Garmin Fortrex 101 GPS receiver inside
the fuselage. These Garmin GPS devices are very accurate and
the top speed was likely at the beginning of a pass just after
leveling off from a dive with the aid of 10mph wind. In any
case, it is impressive speed for this ARF model using off-the-shelf
components. I measured 104amps at 2200 watts static which provides
a whooping 244w/lb.! Since I expect 10%-14% unloading in the
air, the full throttle current is likely only 90-amps.
the videos below as Team JR's, Devin McGrath, puts the Lil
Toni through some high speed passes and pylon turns that really
show just how well this Great Planes ARF was put together.
The second video is courtesy of RCU's Matt Kirsch from the
2008 NEAT Fair. The Garmin GPS unit installed in the plane
indicated only 144mph in the thick humid air with no breeze.
I grow up and make lots of money, I want a BVM Electra Jet
powered by a factory-assembled and test run Viofan.
Bob Violet Models or BVMjets.com
is the place to go for extreme EDF. The Electra
Jet provides top of the line EDF performance with speeds greater
only is the Electra available now in ARF
form, it comes in many different color schemes. BVM Jets is
also planning a new release of an EDF F-86
Sabre Jet ARF model.
the Electra Jet was not designed solely for speed, you can
see that it recorded a 211mph pass on Bob's Speed
BVM Electric VioFan uses a Neu 1521 motor, Castle Creations
HV110 ESC, and FlightPower EVO 30C 12s2p 6400mAh batteries
to exceed 200mph!
research and dedication that Bob has put into EDF technology
has given him the reputation as a master of quality, precision,
and detail. All the BVM products come with excellent instruction
and photos. His use of quality matched batteries like the
Flight Power 30C Saddle Cells and attention to details like
maximum cell temperature, flight times, charging techniques
and cycles all help insure that your investment lasts as long
is dedicated to creating the exhilaratingly fast R/C wings.
The founder of RiteWingRC, Chris Klick, is obsessed with his
continuing quest to build the fastest and most durable wings.
With every wing he builds, he keeps trying to perfect the
process and find new ways to make the aircraft lighter, stronger,
40 high-performance wing is designed for higher speed
and larger power plants. The Demon 40 is the fastest Ritewing
achieving speeds up to 180mph. It is designed to be a high
speed aircraft trainer and includes a comprehensive build
video. This highly agile wing is the fastest of the Ritewings
and has been flown on 3s to 7s lipo setups.
ProJeti Electric Jet Wing
Electric Jet Wing has a 32" wingspan and is distributed
in the U.S. by Hobby Lobby International. The foam parts don't
need finishing as the self-adhesive decals provide both a
colorful finish and added strength to the structure. The small
wing is easy to build and comes with excellent instructions.
Recesses for the elevon servos are molded in as are the balancing
point tabs. The ProJeti delivers incredible jet-like speed
and arrow-straight tracking through huge loops or around pylons.
years ago, my first ProJeti flew on a Speed 400 motor and
an 8-cell NiCd pack. Since then, I have gone through several
ProJetis and many different power system upgrades as technology
latest ProJeti hop-up uses the Mega 16/15/3
brushless motor, Graupner 5.5x4.5 CAM
Speed prop, FlightTech 60A
Brushless ESC and a 30C EVO30
3s 3200mAh FlightPower
pack. Since the full throttle draw is around 50 amps, there
is little voltage drop in the the 30C FlightPower pack.
Further, the 60-amp ESC can handle up to 80-amps burst current
so there is no cut-off due to over-heating.
little wing was too small to fit our Garmin GPS device but
it looked even faster than the Lil Toni racer. You can check
it out yourself in the video below where the ProJeti is
flown by Team JR's Devin McGrath.
of us like to compete in FAI events while others simply
fly for fun or thrill. Whether you are a scale aficionado
or just a speed freak, the choices made available by today's
R/C technology can keep us all challenged in this great
month's issue of AMP'D revealed a few fast setups that range
in cost and complexity. My goal here was to inspire your
R/C passion by showing just a fraction of the possibilities
that may satisfy your need for speed!
you fly electric, fly clean, fly quiet, and fly safe!
Special thanks for contributions
"Papa Jeff" Ring, Paul Weigand, Devin McGrath,
and Matt Kirsch
section of AMP'D covers some of the comments that our
readers have sent in and I thought would be interesting
read your most recent column on scale detail. I suspect
you know about this site listed below, but just in case,
take a look. Click on the plane and it will show you
the cockpit! Special
section of AMP'D covers some of the questions that our
readers have sent in and I thought would be interesting
Rogers of Honolulu asks:
I've read your VTOL Part 1. and am really
enthused. What a project!
I remember another VTOL that I think was in the RCM
modeler magazine that used a gas powered ducted fan
on a servo / gyro controlled swivel. in a twin tailed
model with a wingspan of about 70 inches. I never heard
that anyone ever built one or that anyone was every
able to fly it if they did build it.
Your magistar is a far better project taking advantage
of ten years in technology and electric power. The gyros
help solve the problem of attitude and drift. The distributor
says the kit is out of production. I don't know if it
will ever be back in the stores, but it might be possible
to order enough parts to be able to follow your lead.
If not, I think I could probably find another ARF (whether
it is as good for the purpose is another question.)
(Something like a Falcon 56 - just a good basic airplane.
But the Falcon is wood, not EPP and EPP is more economical
in the long haul - especially while trying to get the
idea to fly reliably.)
Has Part II and or later ever been published? Where
might I find the article?
Question or two. Why couldn't or wouldn't one be able
to use an electric motor and prop at the nose of the
airplane at a low power settings to control pitch and
yaw using the deflected forces from the elevator and
How did using the aluminum tube work out? Could one
epoxy two carbon tubes (one inside the other? or is
that too much weight? Should one use bearings at the
swivel points and servo control in the center section
rather than light ply or aircraft plywood?
Was your final choice of all gyros Futaba? And a total
of how many? two or three? You're satisfied with the
Futaba 9C radio? My understanding is the (9C is/will
be replaced with a series 10 channel on 2.4 GHz FASST.
Judging from your comments towards the end of part one,
the power combination selected is at least satisfactory.
Would you power it differently? I'm no expert on electric
power but I think a "watt" is a "watt"
and if you need a given amount of power to lift something,
then it is going to take that many watts to lift it.
The choices come to selecting efficient use of the "watts"
and not loosing power to poor bearings, wire resistance,
heat or in-balances.
I suspect you're a busy person. If you can find time
for a short answer I'd be appreciative.
Paul F. Rogers AMA 36894
I'm glad you enjoyed my article and share an enthusiasm
for VTOL projects. The Multiplex Magister is being
replaced by the Mentor.
The Mentor is similar in size but weighs 10oz
less than the Magister. It is a tail-dragger and
has design improvements in the motor mount area
(for stock single motor flying). Multiplex and
Tower Hobbies still have a stock
of the Ready-To-Fly Magisters but parts are becoming
no longer available. I haven't decided yet if
I will switch over to a Mentor for my VTOL project
but you can look for my review of the Mentor on
RCU soon for more details.
Project VTOL - Part II has not been published
yet as it is a work in progress. Due to limited
free time and many other R/C obligations, the
project has slowed quite a bit. I have recently
replaced the tail pitch control motor with a VPP
setup from Great Planes. This upgrade has improved
my hovering control.
A pitch control motor in the nose may work but
it will need to create plenty of forward thrust
to be effective. My aluminum tube is working great
and I see no need for bearings; but they can't
hurt. One of the goals stated in the opening paragraph
was to keep it simple and repeatable by others...until
I prove a need to upgrade.
The Futaba gyro was the only good one I can find
that doesn't require an extra channel for gain
control or mode switching to rate mode. The 9C
transmitter is all filled up with channels and
mixes so any further needs will force the use
of another transmitter. I am currently using the
Futaba 9-channel PCM receiver but discovered that
the 9th channel is only On/Off, not proportional
like I had wished.
The power system looks good. My only change there
may be to use a bigger 3-cell Lipo pack. Perhaps
a 6000-7000mAh pack instead of my existing 5000mAh