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Laines Planes 26" EPP Cuda Build Thread


Skill Collector
So while I'm building a 26" Balsa Cuda I thought "gee, wouldn't this be a great FPV Wing racer if it was little more durable?"

And then it was mentioned on a podcast that Laine was cutting some EPP Cuda's! A quick email and invoice later and I had an EPP Cuda kit in my grubby little hands :applause: He doesn't have them available on his site for sale yet - but he should have that addressed in a couple days and I'll link to it then.

So, what does an EPP Cuda look like? Something like this... (pic of Brown Eyed Fool's build)

But it starts out in a box like this:

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I'll be doing some modifications to his basic instructions to make a more durable FPV race wing - carbon fiber spar, laminating, control rod guides, camera reinforcements, contact cement instead of hot glue, etc.

But before I start gluing anything together, I'm shooting the top with a nice orange Ironlak Sugar spray paint

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Laine was kind enough to mark the servo locations on the top of the wings - since my servos are bigger than the black lines I'm not worried about the bleed through

2017-06-14 18.42.43.jpg

And the bottom gets some brown, masking off a couple white stripes on the wings...

2017-06-16 21.23.52.jpg


Skill Collector
A package arrived from Heads Up Hobby with some carbon fiber spars and electronics.

Following a combination of assembly tips from the FlashGangsters and IBCrazy, first the two wing halves went together with Welder contact cement, and then two slots were cut and filled with the same glue for the spars.

This wing is now very serious. :p

2017-06-19 17.40.16.jpg

Of course now is when I realize I didn't cut the bevel for the ailerons before painting... but it does make a pleasing white stripe now. Maybe I'll leave it like this...

2017-06-19 17.43.56.jpg


Skill Collector
Insert mad pre-Flite Fest building rush here and she's all ready for maiden now

2017-06-30 22.36.15-1.jpg
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Got my vinyl cutter working. Maybe went a little crazy with it actually.
2017-07-10 23.44.40.jpg

My wife thinks it's a Nickelodeon plane. But she keeps saying that like it's a bad thing... :confused:
2017-07-10 23.45.28.jpg

Brown with white stripes on the bottom for good orientation visibility.
2017-07-10 23.45.07.jpg


I'm a care bear...Really?
Joker if you g back to when Bixler went to Texas he has a video on how that couple does their laminate or stoneblue has a nice one in the spark build video I believe. Its really not hard. It just takes time and planning to make sure you don't end up with creases or big bubbles in it.


Skill Collector
Speed wise, she goes faster than my thumbs do on 3s - I don't have the nerves to try 4s on it. :) Probably only in the 60 mph range with 3s and 7x5 prop - with a more aggressive prop and 4s and the laminating she should do 90. Laine says the balsa ones will do 120 with appropriate encouragement.

Laine also helped me check out the setup and get it trimmed out - it's very handy to have the designer present for the maiden flight - I highly recommend it! Flies great - tracks where you point it and screams as it flies by :)

Joker, I'll look up the specific laminating video I followed - it was from Mrs. FlashGangster following the technique she showed Bixler in Texas.

Basic steps are: paint epp, spray with 3m77, apply pinstriping, then apply doculam.

It doesn't stretch around compound curves (like wing tips) at all, but when sliced and overlapped, the seam almost disappears when heated.

Joker 53150

Mmmmmmm, balsa.
Thanks, I'll check it out.

After seeing what Laine did to two Cuda's at Flite Fest I think it's safe to say they'll easily do more than 100 MPH! That kind of speed straight down into the ground made for an impressive crater!

My EPP Cuda will be built with his recommended electronics, using a Fun Fighter motor capable of 3S or 4S. If you've got it set up and stable at full speed on 3S, you'll really need to try it with 4S. The first few times I did that with a Fun Fighter I was shaking during and after the flight, but the speed is addictive and now 3S just feels boring! Running the Fun Fighters at Flite Fest was like going to a drag race in a "sleeper" car. People didn't expect much out of it and were amazed at just how fast it went!


Skill Collector
I'm still skeered of this thing on 4s.... :p But, I have this 4s1800 sitting with me that's almost the exact same size and weight as my 3s2200.... and it doesn't look too evil all by itself....

Also, it turns out the video I was thinking of is the very same one @CrashRecovery mentioned



Wake up! Time to fly!
Ok it looked all tasty in the first post.. now ya had ta go and paint it an all melty chocolate brown.. I was wrong it is not a stale peep it is a full on smores.. Now I must go find something chocolate to eat..

Is this the one you had hanging in Laines Booth?


Skill Collector
Flight report: I got the EPP Cuda out to the field a week ago on 3s2200 and was amazed with how well she felt. Somehow the nerves I had at Flite Fest weren't there, and she felt very solid and responsive in the air. The color scheme is great for orientation, and she has as close to unlimited vertical as I'm willing to use :) She's a keeper alright, and if the Balsa Cuda handles this well (or better) I'll be a very happy flyer indeed with the pair of these.

But I'm not going to maiden the Balsa Cuda until after the next RC Club meeting so I get at least once chance to show her off before I risk turning her into a pile of splinters :black_eyed:


Wake up! Time to fly!
Oh you got that easy mate. You just gotta keep your throttle fingers in check when you rip the balsa Cuda. Your build skills and set up skill is pretty much spot on at this point with all the things you have done this last year. Weathers good for a couple days up here. Not sure how much of the Irma rain you are / will be getting here soon if it has not already hit where you are. Get it in the air!!!


Skill Collector
Club meeting next Thursday - tentative maiden for the Balsa Cuda next Saturday or Sunday depending on family activities. :)

Irma has gone far enough inland that we didn't get anything more than a little rain - very lucky compared to so many people.

Now if Jose just keeps imitating congress by going in circles accomplishing nothing....