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Micro floats

Old 06-14-2003, 12:00 PM
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digidoc100
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Default Micro floats

Hi all,

I'm going to try making some floats for a nice slow flying electric plane I have so I can fly it off a small lake in a park by my house. I've seen plenty of resources for building floats on glow planes but most seem to be pretty darn heavy. Are there any good places to find info on floats for light weight airplanes?

This machine only weighs 35 ounces ready to fly but has a 54" span and is about 38" long. I know I need to be in the 27" area for the length of my floats but it seems I'm going to be using more foam than is needed for flotation just for stabilty in the water. Any ideas? It's a MultiPlex Hummel if anyone is interested.

Thanks!

-Chris
Old 06-14-2003, 09:20 PM
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Default Micro floats

If you want to make your own, see some of the articles and links in the Florida Float Flyers' Website. (link below)

If you don't want to read the entire website and be completely educated, read this one first:http://jcasey02.home.gate.net/smallfield.PDF

If you just want to BUY some floats, try
http://foamfloats.com/
Old 06-15-2003, 10:29 PM
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Default Micro floats

Thanks for the reply and links Jim. I had found a few of those sites but I'm going to spend a lot more time reading about this stuff. In the mean time I grabbed some foam and started hacking. I'm actually kinda proud of what I've got so far.

-Chris
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Old 06-15-2003, 10:30 PM
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Default Micro floats

Since they taper so much toward the back, Chris logic said that making the portion behind the step a little longer to displace more water and give a little more support made sense. We'll see.

-Chris
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Old 06-15-2003, 10:32 PM
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digidoc100
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Default Micro floats

I think I've got the step about a half inch or so behind the CG. I used a carbon fiber spar on each float but put way too much epoxy on it so they're a bit heavier than I wanted. I used a couple heavy duty control horns on a piece of balsa epoxied in for the front gear.

-Chris
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Old 06-15-2003, 10:33 PM
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Default Micro floats

haven't decided how to mount the rear yet but I'll figure something out this evening. I think I'm just going to cover them with Zagi tape for right now and if they fly nice I'll make another set a little nicer and lighter. I don't think the extra grams are going to hurt me much though. This plane has plenty of wing area and I'm taking a bunch of weight out of it by using a Razor brushless motor and Lipo cells rather than the heavy old S400 and 8 cell nimh pack which flew the plane pretty well before.

-Chris
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Old 06-15-2003, 10:34 PM
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Default Micro floats

I'm trying to decide whether to add a rudder or not. Being so light, this isn't much of a windy day plane so I think I'll try it without first.

-Chris
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Old 06-15-2003, 10:47 PM
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digidoc100
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Default Micro floats

One more picture and I'll stop sucking up storage space. Here is how the floats started life yesterday. I had one of these gliders in my closet and had eyed it for this purpose. I was in EAM hobbies yesterday and Dave mentioned something about having similar ideas for the gliders so I went to Wally World and picked a couple up for sacrifice.

-Chris
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Old 06-15-2003, 10:50 PM
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Default Micro floats

Those are pretty cool, and an amazingly wide range of designs actually work for floats.

I threw an old set of BJ floats on a S.P.A.D. plane and the incidence is not correct, they are a little short, it is sorta heavy and inderpowered, and I don't have a water rudder. Know what? It flies just fine anyway.

If I were laying out your floats, I would have sloped the bottom up from the step at 2 degrees. Your photos almost make it look as though the bottom is parallel to the top. Try it and see. If you find yourself porpoising before it will rotate for takeoff, Maybe that's why. Still, it's worth trying first.
Old 06-15-2003, 11:00 PM
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digidoc100
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Default Micro floats

Thanks again Jim. You're right, the floats do not slope up toward the back. My gut tells me I'm going to have enough motor on this thing to pretty much jump up in the air but I do understand the point of the slope. When I build another set with more care, I'll probably add it.

I've got some wire and a mechanical speed controller from an old RC car kit so I'm going to work on a hot cutter pretty soon. I'm pretty excited about having a flying field a block from home if I throw floats on a few planes I have in the closet.

-Chris
Old 06-16-2003, 01:21 AM
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Default Micro floats

This site will practically draw a set of floats for you:

http://www.armoredplanet.com/hcfc/floats.html

You don't HAVE to have a hotwire: A bandsaw or even a scrollsaw works fine. It would be messy, but even a belt sander...

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