Ok, here we go. This is not my first scratch built aircraft, but it IS the first one I tried to document through out the entire build process so others could build along if they wish. Even still, as much time as I put into the documentation, this is not my strong suit. So consider it a beta. The plans should be considered a beta as well.
This project started as a side build between my major builds. I wanted something I could just leave at work and fly when the weather was nice. I thought about building an RC Powers F-18 and almost bought the V4 plans. Looking at the pictures of the aircraft, my OCD kicked in. I was not happy with the look of the aircraft or the fact I would have to change the plans to accommodate the use of DTFB rather than depron before I even started the build. So I abandoned that idea an thought I could build a better looking one myself anyway. So I went to my local hobby shop and bought a plastic model kit for reference and started designing.
My pre-alpha prototype used the standard suppo/grayson 2212 2200kv motor and 6x4 apc prop. To keep the scale lines of the Rhino's thin rear fuse, I had to scale the entire air frame up quite a bit to fit the 6 inch prop. As a result it barely fit in my trunk, (see huge full sized Buick), and although it flew great and had a ton of power I wanted something smaller. Enter the smaller quad motors. These things have a TON of power swinging smaller props with a slightly larger 4cell battery. So I scaled the air frame down to fit a 5" prop which is where it stands now.
As I was designing my first beta prototype, I was playing with ideas to make the aircraft just as easy to build, but make it appear more scale. Enter the printable skins. I have a background in Drafting as well as art, graphic design and game modding. I thought the design of folding flat faces of foam board to create three dimensional shapes was not much different than creating 3D models for PC games. Back in the day graphics cards were not the powerhouses they are now so every polygon, (face), was a precious resource. Same with foam folding. Every face and fold just complicates the build.
PC games use textures to fool the brain into thinking there are more details on the model than there actually is. I built a low poly mock up of the aircraft that matched the actually 3D designed foam model and used the build prints as a texture template. Took these templates into photoshop and went to town. I mean I painted every rivet to match the plastic model kit I bought. It took me forever, but the results were spectacular. I printed out the textured templates and started experimenting with bonding the paper to the foam board.
Spray adhesive. Wow, what a mess. I do not have a big work area in my small apartment, and spraying glue indoors was out of the question. The spray adhesive worked great, but put my builds on hold if the weather did not cooperate. I mean, even with the slightest wind the over spray got onto everything. Including me. Glue and hairy arms do not mix very well. I absolutely loved the results, and plan to use them on my major builds, but for this "something to fly at work" project it was too much.
The Now Skinless Rhino
I think the aircraft as it stands looks and flies great, but that is subjective. There are so many characteristics that people might look for, not to mention the air space you have available changes things as well. I absolutely love to fly my EDF's when I get the chance, but they cover sooo much airspace in such a short time I rarely can enjoy the flight. I really got to open them up at FliteFest and never had that much fun.
This aircraft on the other hand is not a speed demon. Throwing a ton of power at it will not change that either. The under cambered wings create a lot of drag in forward level flight, but once you add some AOA and pull some G's this thing comes alive. It will almost hover at high AOA's and will turn on a dime. Great for small ball fields and such.
As far as the build is concerned, it is simple yet complicated. I tried to give you all of the information you will need to build it in the guide, but again, it is not my strong suit. I can build this thing in my sleep, yet describing how to build it to someone else is hard for me. I am not sure of the end users experience level, so I tried to include a little bit of everything. That said, if you are an advanced builder, you might be bored to death over the repetition and annoyed by the commentary.
As the old saying goes, you can't please everyone, and I am not going to try. Tis madness to do so. That said, if you do decide to build this, feel free to ask any questions here and I will answer as soon as I can.
The prints below are in a jpg format and when printed should be 7.5 x 10" when cut down to the witness marks. I have included a Bill of Materials which includes everything I used to build my third prototype. Of course you can substitute with anything you wish to get the job done. Including a 4cell battery to make it an acrobatic rocket.