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FTFC19 Tron Legacy One-Man Light Jet by DamoRC


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Introduction and Inspiration

Tron Legacy was released by Disney in 2010 but I did not see it until early this year (better late than never I suppose).
I do remember watching the original Tron movie in the early 80s and, like many folks, being in awe of the incredible computer generated graphics. Of course they would be laughed at today.


I love the second movie and its a shame that Disney seemed to have canned the idea of a third. Obviously, the scene where C.L.U., Rinzler, and some hench-pilots in One-Man Light Jets chase the Flynns and Quorra in their Three Man version is one of my favorites and I became fascinated with the One-Man plane. I simply love the design and structure and am keen to see if I can make and fly one.

The vehicles for Tron Legacy were designed by a guy called Daniel Simon and technically, I should be calling it the "Single Light Jet" based on his title for the craft. The following images are linked through his website.

Daniel's images are wonderful and are really useful for working out some of the details of the craft, how some of the entities are joined, how the shadows show where the curves live etc.

Goals for the Project
Okay, the obvious is to build it, make it look cool, and fly it.

But there are a couple of challenges that I think will be interesting to deal with.

The first is the fact that the wing is not mounted to a fuselage per se. Instead it is mounted to the v-tail via pylons. In my best attempt I would like to replicate this feature without cheating.

The second challenge is that the way the plane is structured, there is almost nowhere to add weight in front of the CG. The only viable option is to have the weight (in the form of batteries, electronics, or dead weight) added to the front of the pylons. Looking at the plan view I think I may have to extend the pylons forward to make this approach work. Also, if I intend to put batteries in the pylons, then the minimum pylon diameter will need to be in the 2'-3' range and to keep the pylons even close to scale will require a pretty big build.

That's it for now on the light jet.

Just one more tidbit that I thought was interesting. That Daniel Simon guy? He also did the livery design for this:

Daniel Simon - Edge.jpeg

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Source Material

I described in the introduction how Daniel Simon's images were excellent starting points for the design of the plane. But three-views they ain't. In fact there are no good three views available that I could find. So I decided to use some of Daniel's original artwork and screen captures from the movie to establish the profile, plan, and front views that I would need.

I can use this profile picture from Daniel Simon - not 100% straight on profile but I can make it work.

Then I took to Youtube to grab some screen captures from videos of the Light Jet scene.

This one will work for a plan view...

another screen cap.jpg

...and this one will work for a head on view

screen cap 7.jpg

Of course, those of you who have seen my earlier posts know that I already had started on a Sketchup model of this, so I already know these pics will work (-ish). But the images are not perfect and there are some inconsistencies between some of the concept art drawn for the model and how the model actually appeared in the film.

Initial Drawings

Plan View Drawing
So this is the plan view drawn in Sketchup using the screen capture image. The wing, v-tail, and pylon are drawn as simply as possible. Only one half of the plan view is needed. The pic shows the panel in solid form (top) and using the "x-ray" view (bottom) so you can see the original plane in the background. Ignore the dimensions shown for now. These were added so that I will be able to scale the various views (plan, profile, front) with each other, a step you would not normally have to do if using a regular three view.

Design - Plan view initial drawing.jpg

Front View Drawing
The front view was mostly used to establish some basics around angles for the v-tail and wing. Although the picture is not 100% from-the-front, it will work and I can make modifications later as the design progresses. So I have ~25 degrees (from Horizontal) for each of the v-tails (making the v-tail angle 130 degrees, which is probably a little on the large side from what I have read about v-tails). But it's a good starting point. Also figured about ~6 or 7 degrees down angle on the root section of the wing. I am assuming the remaining wing is level. Lastly, I can use this view to establish a shape for the "grill". Again, solid and x-ray views are presented in the pic.

Design - Front View Initial Drawings.jpg

Profile View Drawing
The initial profile drawings mostly help capture the shape of the "fuselage" for want of a better term. It also provides a second look at the v-tail and pylon setup which will help establish the positions of these parts in the final model.

Design - Profile View Initial Drawings.jpg

Wings and V-tail modeling.

Next up was to take the wing and v-tail panels from the plan view and set the angles in 3D space. To to this requires making a new panel that can be rotated to the desired angles and then transform the points from the original flat piece onto this surface.

Angles for Wing.gif

The same approach was used on the v-tail section. A symmetrical airfoil model was added to both mostly to improve the looks of the model in SU. That being said, I am very impressed with the construction and performance of the FT Edge airfoil so using this as a template is a possibility.

Added Airfoil.gif

These airfoil objects are grouped with the original flat panels in Sketchup so I can view or hide either part depending on what I am trying to model.

Next up was to map these pieces onto the plan view again to that their spatial position in the model can be established. When the original flat panels were drawn I kept the center line of the pylon in the panel so following the adjustment of the angles the parts could be aligned exactly with the pylon and be in the correct position. Here is the plan view with the parts added back and you can see how they now fit in 3D space.

Wing and V-tail set in 3D positions.gif

With a simple cylinder model of the pylon made, and the wing an v-tail aligned, the mirror image can be copied into the model to get a feel for how she is going to look.

first look at 3D.gif

Although this looks okay, I am a little concerned at this point that the V-tail is too flat. So I made another one at +10 degrees (bottom panel in the next pic). This would reduce the v-tail angle from 130 degrees to 110, which is more typical but to keep the same planform its a lot longer. I needn't lock into one or the other yet, changing later in Sketchup should be pretty easy.

Compare 25 versus 35 v-tail.jpg


Back to the profile view, this time tracing out the fuselage. I left the pylon center line in place to help with alignment with the 3D model.

Profile view Fuse Design.jpg

At this stage its okay to use all manner of curvy bits to get the shape right but ultimately, to convert this to foamboard, some of the curves will need to be "averaged out" to straight sections.

Cues to the 3D shape can be taken from a couple of images. A screen capture of the jet being formed in the movie shows that the basic shape is composed of oblong/circular/elliptical type rings and they are all pretty much the same shape (which makes things easier).

Light Jet Structure.jpg

From one of the images of the rear of the craft you can get an approximate view of the shape. So a simple circle shape was added, then the width was reduced and finally a slight further narrowing of the lower portion of the ring was completed. This will be the cross sectional former to model the fuse in Sketchup. Hard to tell if this is a really accurate representation of the whole fuselage cross section but I think this will do the trick.

Creating virtual former shape.jpg

Next is to "cut" the profile view of the fuse into manageable sections. Given that I am going to use the score cut / gorilla glue / fold / frame approach, I need to average out some of the curves with straight lines keeping in mind that I would like to keep the fuse to four, maybe five sections.

Fuse sections outlined.jpg

Okay - that ended up being 6 sections.

Now this profile and the cross sectional profile are combined to build out the 3D fuse. The former is copied to each section of the profile keeping the centers aligned (1) . Then it is re-sized so that the top of the former meets the profile and the center of the former stays on the center line (2). The former is then resized again, this time pulling only on the bottom of the former so that it aligns with the bottom of the profile (3). Finally, the formers are planked in-silico (4).

Fuse Formers and Planking.jpg

This planking piece is a little tedious. Although Sketchup has an extrusion type of tool (called Push/Pull) I find that the slower "join-the-points-by-hand" method gives me better control over how the part turns out.

Planking in SU.gif

With one half planked, its mirror image can be made so that the whole fuse piece is now modeled. Using the pylon lines as a guide, this piece can now be inserted into the wing/v-tail/pylon part of the model. Lookin' purdy good at this point.

Wings and Fuse Together.gif

To finish the fuse the front needs to be sculpted. The part highlighted in the following image is what needs to be removed from the front of the fuse.

Profile Cut Out.jpg

This portion is copied, cleaned up, and extruded into a 3D shape that can be subtracted from the fuse.

3D fuse cut piece.jpg

Here are the two pieces joined....

fuse and extruded piece together.jpg

Then the faces of the two pieces are intersected and the intersection line produced is used to remove material from the front of the fuse.

Fuse cut out complete.jpg

Basic Modeling Done.jpg

Next up is the light engine intake. Taking the shape from the head on screen capture, a 3D element was drawn in the same way described for the fuse. Then it was inserted into the existing model and scaled to fit.

Light Engine Intake.jpg

This pretty much covers all of the main elements for the design and there is more than enough detail here to build a chuck glider. Next up on the design front will be adding details to the existing parts and thinking about what the internal structure is going to look like. But first....

Scale Issues
One of the challenges for the build is to be able to balance the plane appropropriately. Online CG calculators put the balance point roughly where the two tapered leading edges intersect (ignore the actual lengths here, this is before the model was scaled appropriately).

cg calc by ecalc.jpg

The plan was to use batteries placed in the pylons to help achieve this balance. This means that the pylons need to be large enough in diameter to hold the battery. If I go 4S EDF approach, then the pylon will need to be ~2.8 inches in diameter to hold the 4S 2200mAh batteries that I have on hand. I can get away with smaller pylons if I drop the EDF and use a prop instead but this would have to be a "ducted prop" placed far forward in the fuse to avoid additional balance problems. So if I scale the current model down to have a 2.8 inch pylon diameter, how big will it be? Well, the wingspan would be 116 inches! That's almost 10 feet - way bigger than I intend to build the model. I was hoping to build at the 40 to 50 inch wingspan scale.

Okay - plan B was to add extensions to the pylons that were larger in diameter to hold the batteries in the hope that this would not destroy the look of the plane. I put together two of these, a cylindrical one and a rectangular one which looks like some of the concept pictures. So how does a 40 inch wingspan version look with these extensions? Pretty bad.

Pylon extensions on 40 inch.jpg

And it gets worse, because at this point I recognized that the fuse seemed narrow compared to the batteries - so would a 70mm EDF fit in there? Nope!

70mm EDF in 40 inch WS Light Jet.jpg

Eventually, after a number of rounds of scaling and squeezing components in, I figure that a 72 inch wingspan is doable, not so huge that it won't fit in my car (I think) and just about big enough to get everything in. But I will need to ponder this some more.

A little later....

Okay - I think I will go with the 72-ish inch version (I might trim a little off the wings and widen the fuse slightly). Rather than take my fat rump out to the Prius to confirm it would fit, I drew up a quick model of the Prius and checked the fit that way.

Plane in Prius.jpg

(nope - I didn't draw this, I downloaded it from the Sketchup 3D Warehouse).

After a little bit more tweaking and resizing I think I finally got everything to fit. The fuse was scaled 5% larger and I reduced the angle of the v-tail so that the EDF could fit. From the pic you can see that the thrust tube for the EDF still interferes a little with the rear of the fuse but I think this will be okay. The battery pods don't look too bad at this scale and I think I will ultimately go with the rectangular prism
Scaling Done.jpg
version because they have a little more room.

I would like to do something a little more "3D" for the rider on this model, but it will still be pretty simplistic as a fully 3D rider will hamper the EDF inlet. Tried to draw a profile based on the pics I have and then positioned this flat rider in the center of the model.

Initial Rider Added.jpg

Added some depth to the torso and angled the limbs....

rider 3d ish.jpg

... and it fits reasonably well in the craft.

rider in position.jpg

Not going to spend any more time on this for now but I am going to have to fix the head so it looks less like a Star Wars battle droid.

Dec 12th, 2018
Man - last update on this was the beginning of September, need to get my bum in gear.

Since September I have been thinking about how to put this together and also thinking about the scale, wingloading, weight etc. Right now I expect her to be in the 3.5 lb range which would put the wing loading (WCL) at around 15-ish. This is a worry because the scale only allows for one 70mm EDF from which I expect to get 2 - 2.5 pounds of thrust. To add to my worries, I have decided to see how far I can go without using any wood or carbon fiber reinforcement partly as an exercise in frustration and partly to keep the weight down.

Pylon / Fuse Mount.
Did a little work on the pylon mount. Essentially it will be a two component deal - an DTFB square section spar and the shroud that connects the pylon to the fuse. When I looked closely at the some of the pictures, the piece between the fuse and the pylon is a lot beefier than I had originally thought so I took advantage of that. This pic shows how the pieces come together. The spar will be joined to the spar on the other side at the base of the fuse where the two will be braced with some foamboard. This bracing piece might fill the whole fuse cross section so I can use it as a mounting plate for the EDF also.

Pylon Mount Details.gif

V-tail Simplification and Pylon Elongation
Now that I am not going to use some sort of airfoil for the V-tail, I replaced it with a simple flat panel which I imagine will be a double layer of foamboard. While I was working on the pylon I also shortened the main pylon and added really long extensions which will hold the battery pods. Hopefully these are way too long but I thought it best to build them this way until I can confirm that I can balance the plane properly. Because these extensions will slide into the main pylon, it will be easy to progressively shorten them until they are the correct length, at which point I will glue them in.

Plain Vtail and Elongated Pylon.gif

Next up I will need to work on the wing and how it will mount to the pylon.

Update 20th December 2018
Started to try to design the wing. First decision is whether the wing "goes through" the pylon or whether the pylon goes through the wing. From some of the images I have it seems that the pylon is completely enclosed by the wing.

Pylon through wing.jpg

I like this in concept because the thicker wing root could be stronger and I might have more surface area for gluing. Additional spars could be shoved through the pylon from the inboard side to provide additional strength / support. I used a plugin that I have developed for making wings in Sketchup. You provide a file containing the airfoil coordinates and then you can define four different sections including chord, percentage thickness, taper, and dihedral for each section. The plugin then models a wing half in 3D and also unfolds the sections. Here is the wing produced for the light jet using a NACA0010 profile.

Wingmaker example.jpg

Then I can take the 3D wing and fit it up to the plane

This is the 175% root chord version - doesn't quite enclose the pylon

175percent naca0010 wing.jpg

And this is the same model with a 200% thickness (which ends up being 20% because I am using the NACA0010 airfoil).

200percent naca0010 wing.jpg

This does a better job but could probably be a bit thicker

22nd December 2018
Eventually settled on a wing thickness and modified the airfoil to be a little simpler but symmetrical, kinda like the FT Edge wing. Modeled a box spar for the wing taking the foamboard thickness into consideration. The spar is modeled all the way to the tip but I will shorten this to about 50 - 75% of the outer wing panel to save weight. I like the way the pylon will go through the spar but its gonna be a tight fit, which is probably not a bad thing.

Modelling Wing Spar.gif

Then modeled a second spar which will "pin" the wing to the pylon.

Pin for Wing.gif

Getting close to generating a first draft set of plans. Just a couple of small parts to add to the Sketchup model and and I should be ready to start unfolding the 3D parts to plans.

7th January 2019

Added an upright post to provide additional strength to the spars that will support the pylons. Also modified the "seat" part to extend further into the fuse. As drawn it will interfere with the EDF inlet, soI will remove some of the foamboard when it is installed. Also decided to make the circular feature in the front of the seat section its own part which will be suspended from the roof of the seat part.

upright and modified seat.gif

8th January 2019

Tidied up the rest of the 3D model to the point where I was happy that I had covered most of the stuff needed to create a set of plans. Unfolded the pieces (I was a little shocked at how many there are). These will be converted to a DXF file and assembled for printing in DoubleCAD XT. Should start building real soon.

Plans Version 1.jpg
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24th January 2019

The model is sitting, complete, on the bench. Just needs a paint job. Given that I am unlikely to rebuild if it fails miserably on maiden, I should probably document the build before I lose the motivation to do so. Warning - lots of pics and foamboard abuse ahead. Also note that I set an additional "rule" for myself to only use foamboard and glue and not use any wood, metal, or carbon fiber reinforcement. You will see that I didn't quite manage this - but I got pretty close.

I was surprised that the initial plan version was 60 pages! And this was a "one-sided" plan - that is, I only printed one side of every part that is mirrored either side of the plane (wings, pylons, battery pods, half a v-tail etc). Joined the pages to make each part template.

DSC_0151.JPG DSC_0155.JPG

Seat Part
I had not cut any foamboard for a couple of weeks so I started with something simple (and not particularly important). Usual cut the part / score cut the part / add gorilla glue to the score cuts / fold and hot glue the seam / frame the part.

DSC_0157.JPG DSC_0160.JPG DSC_0162.JPG

The pylons proved to be quite challenging. The part itself is pretty straightforward but I thought I would add an inner sleeve of foamboard with the hope that would increase the torsional strength and overall rigidity of the part.
Cut according to the plan and transfer certain features through the plan to the other side (e.g. hole for the pylon supports and alignment marks for the wing pins). These additional holes are not cut out until the part is fully dried. The part is dry fit in its frames prior to gluing.

DSC_0163.JPG DSC_0165.JPG DSC_0171.JPG DSC_0168.JPG

For the first pylon the goal was to glue, assemble and frame the outer layer, then glue the inner sleeve and slide it into the pylon. This did not work very well. Take a gourmet sausage, cover it with oil, and try to shove it into a 1/2 inch pipe - then you will understand how hard this ended up being. Ultimately I got about 1/2 of the sleeve into the pylon. I ended up cutting off the remaining half and shoving it in the other end which kinda worked but the pylon had a slight twist in it so I placed a weight across the frames to try to make sure the part dried straight.


For the second pylon I pre-rolled and taped the inner sleeve and inserted it into the pylon before folding the outer part. This worked a little better.


Overall, the pylons came out well enough and ultimately did the job however, I think there are improvements that could be made here and ideally I would test multiple options (including no inner sleeve) to see which is best.

Fuse - Central Sections
Three sections in the middle of the fuse were constructed first as they were key to assembling the supports needed for the pylons.

DSC_0176.JPG DSC_0180.JPG DSC_0181.JPG DSC_0182.JPG

Pylon Support Parts

The pylons are supported by an internal "Y" frame which protrudes through the fuse and into the pylon. They are also supported by the outer fuse skin using a ring that snugly sits between the fuse and the pylon. Lastly, the EDF holder (which is basically a plate) will be glued to the "Y" frame and the fuse to impart some additional stiffness to the pylon support.

These are the plans needed for the parts...

... the parts for the Y-frame, two box section pieces that go through the fuse side wall and an upright post.
DSC_0188.JPG DSC_0190.JPG

...the parts that sit between the fuse and the pylon...
DSC_0191.JPG DSC_0195.JPG DSC_0198.JPG

...and the EDF holder and additional Y-frame reinforcement piece which is glued to the back of the Y-frame.
DSC_0201.JPG DSC_0154.JPG

The parts were gorilla glued and assembled into frames. The additional leaves for the front of the fuse were cut and dry fit, just to see how the final fuse would look. The seat part was dry fit also.

DSC_0155 (2).JPG DSC_0163 (2).JPG DSC_0161.JPG

Y-Frame Assembly
Early in the build I had to think about wire management and the servo extensions and battery wires that needed to be pre-installed inside the Y-frame. Small reliefs were cut from the Y-frame parts to allow the wires pass through the Y-frame parts and EDF holder plate, emerging toward the front of the fuse. The battery wires were measured against the dry fit pylon and were cut just long enough to exit the front of the pylon. These would need to be extended once I figured out how far forward the battery pods needed to be. The wires were installed into each side of the Y-frame pieces which need to be installed from the outside of the fuse and glued together on the inside of the fuse.

Need to be careful not to hit 88mph with this thing.;)

Y-frame holes for wires.JPG Y-frame checking length of battery wire.JPG Y-frame initial wires.JPG

Once the Y-frame was installed in the front fuse section, the EDF holder and Y-reinforcement plate were glued in. Then the remaining rear sections of the fuse were glued on and the side pylon supports were added. These side supports needed to be beveled to make sure that they fit flush on the side of the fuse.
Y-frame from back with Y reincforcement added.JPG Y-frame when back fuse pieces added.JPG y-frame side pieces added.JPG Y-frame front with support pieces added.JPG

Wing Spars
Before mounting the pylons to the fuse, I wanted to build out the wing spars and wings so that I could check that they would mount onto the pylons correctly. I didn't want to be messing around with test fitting the wings onto the pylons while attached to the fuse.
The wings are a little tricky. The root section is very thick, with the leading edge tapering forward and a negative dihedral (anhedral). This is then joined to the main wing which is level. The sections are symmetrical.

The spars are boxed sections using b-folds. There are two spar parts for each wing half. The additional small parts are locking pins that will push through the spar and pylon together, locking the wing in place. The parts were cut glued and framed. Servo extensions for the ailerons were pre-installed so that they ran through the spar. In hindsight I think this was a mistake as it made final installation of the wing onto the pylon really difficult in terms of wire management.

DSC_0166.JPG DSC_0169.JPG

I made small jigs that would correctly set the angle of the root and main spars when they were glued. These seemed to work well. However, when time came to add the root section to the main section of the wing there was a slight misalignment of the spar on each wing.


The pylons will run through the center of the root spar so the appropriate hole was cut and the part was dry fit onto the pylon.

DSC_0172.JPG DSC_0175.JPG

Small flat plates were cut and glued to the front and rear of the spar to provide additional strength to the joint. These were gorilla glued so the parts were wrapped in painters tape while the set.

DSC_0177.JPG DSC_0178.JPG

Once the glue was set the spars were dry fitted to the pylons to make sure all was square and true

DSC_0179.JPG DSC_0181 (2).JPG DSC_0182 (2).JPG


Each wing half is constructed using the foamboard spar described above and two symmetrical airfoil sections. The outboard section of the wing was prepped first by hot-gluing the spar into place and pocketing and installing the aileron servo. A pylon was again test fit into the spar to ensure that the wing panel and pylon were square. The wing was folded in three stages. First the LE was folded and glued to the spar. Then the TE from the root to the start of the aileron was glued. Lastly, the outboard TE for the aileron was glued with the wing upside down on the bench to provide a slight downward twist to the tip (to provide some washout).

Wing 1.JPG Wing 2.JPG Wing 3.JPG

The root sections of each wing half were installed by folding onto the spar. The flat underside of the wing surface was glued to the spar and then the wing was folded over so the the upper surface could also be glued to the spar. The TE was glued last. Once the root sections were set, the reliefs for the pylon were cut. Unfortunately, although the reliefs were marked correctly for a pylon interfaced with the wing, the cutouts did not actually let the pylon be installed. So the bottom relief needed to be expanded slightly and cut as a rectangle so the the pylon could be pushed up into the wing, then forward through the hole in the spar. Once it was confirmed that the pylons would fit, it was time to mount them to the fuselage.
Wing Root 1.JPG Wing Root 2.JPG Wing Root 3.JPG Wing Root 4.JPG

Pylon Install

The pylons were dry fit a number of times to make sure that there was good contact with the support frame and side supports. Once happy with the fit, both pylons were gorilla glued at the same time to the Y- frame and side supports. A support piece was prepared that would hold the pylons level and square with the fuse while the glue set. The wings were dry fit onto the pylons just to get a look at how the shape was developing.

Pylon Install 1.JPG Pylon Install 2.JPG Pylon Install 3.JPG

EDF Thrust Tube and Install

The thrust tube was pretty standard fare. I use old overhead acetates for making these because its reasonably light, and bends very nicely. The part was rolled, taped, and affixed to the EDF with extreme packing tape. The exhaust diameter was 2.3 inches to give 90 - 95% FSA. The EDF was then glued into place.



The V-tails are double thickness foam, folded along a leading edge and gorilla glued together as a laminate. The strip of extreme packing tape laid along the control surface hinge inside the part was to form the hinge. When the glue was set, the hinge line was score cut down to the tape and then a bevel was cut about 1/8th inch back.


It was my intent not to use any wood, carbon fiber, or metal on this build but the v-tails were the first (and not the last) occasion where I had to break this self imposed rule. There was no way they were going to support their own weight at the root without some reinforcement which came in the shape of short lengths of paint stir stick cut to length and installed in a trench cut into the root of each v-tail. The original foamboard tabs were removed. The servos were also pocketed into the underside of each v-tail.


Finally the v-tails were installed onto the airframe with the wooden supports glued into the opening of the Y-frame which was trimmed flush with the pylon. The power wires and aileron servo extensions were snaked to the front opening of the pylons prior to the v-tail installation


Wing Install

Wings were dry fit onto the pylons until I was happy with the fit. The install involved applying copious amounts of carefully placed gorilla glue on the pylon and sliding the wing into position. Two foamboard pins were then inserted through the root of the spar, through the pylon and into the inner portion of the spar. The wings and pylons were then setup in frames, with supports under the wings to keep them properly positioned until the glue set. This process went pretty well except for the aileron servo connections. I had run the extensions through the spars which meant they interfered with the insertion of the pin and another short extension needed to be added so that I could hold the servo wires firmly as I inserted the pins. This was pretty messy. Once the glue was set, the supports were removed and I was pretty happy with the lack of slop in the wings. Yes, there was a little flex along the pylon, but nothing major.

Wing INstall 1.JPG Wing Install 2.JPG Wing Install 3.JPG

Battery Pods

Each battery pod consisted of a tube to extend the pod forward and the pod itself. These were straight forward parts to fold and glue. Once the tubes were set, they were glued in through the back wall of the the pods which had double layers of foam added. Before installing the pods permanently, I did one last check to make sure the fully assembled plane would fit into the car. The power wires were snaked through the tubes into the pods and the units were gorilla glued into the pylons. These were held in place with some painters tape while the glue set. Hatches were cut into the battery pods and some velcro added to the inside floor to hold the batteries in position. When the pods were set, I was not overly happy with how strong the tubes were. When a 2200mAh 4S battery was installed in each pod, they sagged a little. So time to break the rule again and add some carbon fiber tube to the bottom of the tubes. This helped a lot.

Pod 1.JPG Pod 2.JPG Pod 3.JPG Check Car Size.JPG Pods glue.JPG pod fix.JPG

Power Wires
Two 14 gauge wires now run from each pod through the pylon to the fuse. Of course I didn't label them and they are all red. I used a multimeter to confirm which wire was which before soldering the various connectors. I like to use the wire warp method for soldering like this - wrap the two bare ends to be soldered tightly with a narrow strand of wire and then just flood the joint. A little heat shrink and their done. With the wiring done the seat could be glued in place.

Wires 1.JPG Wires 2.JPG wires 3.JPG wires 4 and seat.JPG

Remaining Fuse Sections
Last pieces to be added were the front leaves for the fuse.

Rest of Fuse.JPG

Paint and Stripes.

The paint job was just an all over rattle can black, about 3-4 light coats to cover. Then the accents were added using an orange tape (a little lighter than duct tape). Some of the key stripes / patterns from the plane in the movie were retained and some striping was a little ad hoc. Tape is a little rough looking inside the 5 foot radius but I'm sure that in the air (if if ever gets there) it will look fine.

Pics of the final build prior to maiden.

DSC_0194.JPG DSC_0195.JPG DSC_0199.JPG DSC_0200.JPG

Thus endeth the build (but not the repairs....)
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Elite member

Had a great time designing and building this one and I think the final product looked pretty cool. Although I am dissapointed in her flight performance (or lack thereof) the more I look at that last maiden attempt, the more I am convinced that she was flying fine until I intervened with some stick input. Lower throws and more expo might have gotten me past the first few seconds. That being said, clearly the lack of CF reinforcement in the pylons-to-fuse section were a weak point which would have shown itself during the maiden at some point. I think if this was fixed with some CF tubes she would definitely hold up in flight. This is based on how hard it was to strip her down.....

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Definitely worth another shot.
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Wake up! Time to fly!
How did I overlook this one. Will be following this for sure. Great start Damo.

Wonder how many total pieces will be in the build with all them angles and things sticking out everywhere. See if it beats the Edge 540 build


Elite member
How did I overlook this one. Will be following this for sure. Great start Damo.

Wonder how many total pieces will be in the build with all them angles and things sticking out everywhere. See if it beats the Edge 540 build
Thanks! I don't think it will have as many parts as the 540 but it's not going to be an easy build by any stretch!

Updated the design post with the latest work where I am trying to add the details of how she'll actual be constructed.

Edit: - Oops - fixed the link to the design post


Wake up! Time to fly!
Can barely focus to see this tiny phone atm. Will come back with fresh eyes and read up on the first post and catch details on all you have done.

From what I can see in the pics this will be a crowd pleaser for sure.


Elite member
Keep at it! I can't wait for this hard copy of this. knowing you, it will be something to behold.
Thanks Man! Been away with the Fam for some R&R so will be getting back to this in the next day or so. Think I am ready to start cutting some FB. Time is getting a little tight o_O


Elite member
Getting there.

In two minds about this thing.

On one hand I think she looks pretty cool and is a reasonably faithful re-creation of the model. :)

On the other hand I am not getting that warm fuzzy " sure - she'll fly - no probs" sense from her. :(

Weather is supposed to be good all this week and given questionable maiden success I think I will finish her up, paint and stripes, and at least get some trophy pics before I launch her into the hands of the maiden gods next weekend.

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Active member
This build makes me happy. I was wanting to it aswell in the future. You might need a dummy tho on the seat to balance it out. maybe I missed something but where do u plan on putting the battery?