RCU Review: Nasty Toes Aviation Bi-plane

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    Contributed by: Greg Covey | Published: December 2004 | Views: 24107 | email icon Email this Article | PDFpdf icon
    Nasty Toes Bi-Plane
    R/C Aircraft You Design
    By Greg Covey

    Nasty Toes Aviation gives you the opportunity to design custom remote control airplanes using pre-engineered parts. You can mix and match the parts to make a wide selection of airplanes.

    The design of an airplane can meet the needs of a novice to an experienced flyer. Just use the basic rules of flight, and you could be flying a custom remote control airplane. If you need help with an idea for a design, or not sure of the basic rules of flight, check out their Links section. For examples of how the parts come together, check out the details of kits in the
    Planes section of their site, or the X-Plane section.

    For my project, I will be creating a simple 46" span biplane using a GWS EPS-400C power system. By keeping my plane light, I expect to be able to fly it indoors or around a small field in slow circles.

    The 23" Extruded Polystyrene (EPS) foam wing half has a 10" chord that is light weight and can
    easily be covered.
    The fuselage is made from aircraft grade spruce stock that is light but strong.

    EPS foam wing halves are 23" in length and have a 10" Cord. They use an Eppler 197 airfoil. Dihedral is pre-cut on one end of each wing half. Depending on your design, you can take that same wing and move the dihedral anywhere along the wing, or eliminate it all together. I choose to simply glue two wing halves together.

    The fuselage 3/8" x 3/8" x 36" is made from aircraft-grade spruce stock that is light but strong. You can just cut it to length or leave it full length like I did. It fit my GWS EPS-400C(D) power system perfectly.

    I glued two sets of wing halves together with 5-minute epoxy. I held the wing for correct dihedral during the first few minutes until the epoxy set.

    The wing halves were glued together with 5-minute epoxy. The struts are made of medium weight
    sheet balsa wood from Vertical Stabilizers

    I cut my struts from several vertical Stabilizer pieces. The balsa quality is excellent! I weighed the 4 stabilizer pieces before cutting at 1.5oz and then after cutting at only 0.8oz. Using struts cut away from the solid balsa stabs saved me 0.7oz in weight. The struts were placed in position roughly based on the biplane in the X-planes section.

    Grooves were cut into the top wing underside after first gluing the struts in place

    After I glued the struts to the bottom wing, I set the top wing on the struts and marked the spots to create some channels in the foam. Both wings were then glued together.

    _The tail pieces were first cut and then spray painted with Testors Enamel. You can see the quality of the balsa pieces again here. Instead of using hinges for the control surfaces I simply taped them on one side and added a reverse side reinforcement at both ends.

    I simply taped the cut out control surfaces to the stabilizers
    The tail was glued in place
    with 5-minute epoxy. The wing mounts are designed to slide on the spruce fuselage

    The wing mounts are assembled from pre-cut pieces with CA and allow the foam wing to attach to the fuselage via rubber bands. Additionally, they allow you to slide the wing along the fuselage to alter the CG for best flying.

    I mounted the servos just behind the aft wing mount to allow a little room to slide the
    wing, if needed. For my linkage, I used sleeved rod and "Z" bends at both ends. The servo
    arm was removed to attach the final end. The GWS EPS-400C(D) motor simply presses onto
    the fuselage and is held by a screw through the plastic housing into the wood. I placed the
    3-cell Kokam 1500 pack up front to obtain what seemed like a reasonable starting CG.

    My bipe was RTF at 22oz using a 4oz Kokam 3-cell 1500mAh pack

    My bipe was RTF at 22oz using a 4oz Kokam 3-cell 1500mAh pack. I measured 10.5amps at full throttle using the 3-cell Lithium pack with a GWS 10x6 prop. The CG seemed reasonable so let's see how it flies!

    The resultant CG change provided spectacular flight!

    My initial flight testing proved that the CG was too far aft so I added a 6" piece of balsa stock to extend the motor and battery pack about 3" forward. The fuselage length was now 40".

    Note that I initially slid the wing back but eventually the wing mounts ran into the servos. I decided to extend the fuselage length instead of re-mounting the servos and linkage. This happened because my initial guess for the correct CG placing was wrong and I am using a very light Lithium Polymer pack.

    The simple biplane flew very stabile and slow.
    The changes were simple
    and the result was spectacular flying!

    My simple biplane can fly slow or inverted. It has sufficient power to climb fast, if needed, and will be able to fly slow enough for soft landings and indoor events.

    Nasty Toes Aviation sells entire kits for you to assemble or it gives you the opportunity to creatively put your own kits together using basic pre-cut parts and simple instruction sheets. The design does not have to be limited to just these pre-cut parts but it offers a way to get started for people that don't have the means of making their own foam wings or balsa and spruce shaped pieces.

    Although my project was kept simple, the result was a blast to fly! Further enhancements can be made like adding a profile fuselage, scale paint scheme, and landing gear. My goal here was to simply inspire your own creative ideas.

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