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Looking for something docile and forgiving to fly in smaller spaces...

#1
My 7 y/o twins want to fly something, I'm thinking something that will fly well in smaller spaces (parks, maybe even in the neighborhood, there's a pond with an open space next to the neighbor's house and a second pond behind the house which gives a little open space even if I something with the characteristics I'm looking for will not work on floats) that is floaty controllable (I want it to actually fly, a lot of smaller planes like this are sort of dragged around by their prop at high alpha and fall out of the sky if you cut power). I know that chances are better with something slightly bigger but it seems most stuff recommended for smaller spaces is smaller. I'm looking for something docile enough that I can get it up a few mistakes high and hand over the sticks to them, and then bring it back down for them, and I'm a bit rusty also.

I'm looking for a scratch-built foamy, you know, make making it and fixing it a learning experience also, and if it goes like our bike ride yesterday, one went full steam into a mailbox, it will only be a few $ to get back in the air.

I've narrowed it down to a Mighty Mini Scout (I'm thinking of adding about 2" to each wing panel to slow it down a little), a Tiny Trainer (though I've had a few people tell me that it's not the best flying out of this kind of airplane, one of which tried it with a kid about my kid's age as a second plane and it didn't go well), or maybe something like The Hangar's Simple Stick slightly modified (dihedral added to the wing so it can be flown without the ailerons, maybe slightly lighter construction or a bit more wing to slow it down more...).

Recommendations? In my list or not, I'm not even past designing my own, though I'd probably start with an existing design. I'd likely incorporate some 3D printed parts, maybe some motor mounts, servo mounts or other things (which there are a lot of designs out there and I can also design my own, I've been showing the kids how CAD works and how to turn what we design into a print, so it would be nice to continue that with this, though I don't believe a 3d printed plane would be light or strong enough, so I plan on sticking with foam board.)
 

Hoomi

Well-known member
#2
The Simple Scout is a fairly easy flier, and so long as you keep the throttle back, will fly at a low speed. I picked up the Speed Build Kit on a whim last year, during a visit to Utah when my mother-in-law had surgery, and it quickly turned into one of my favorite planes. It's small enough to transport easily, while remaining large enough that it's not difficult to keep in sight while flying. I installed the landing gear, and take off at about half throttle. At full throttle, it'll darn near leap off the ground, with the problem of torque-roll wanting to make it bank immediately to the left. At half throttle, though, it rolls forward a short ways, lifts off nicely, and remains in easy control. I haven't tried the mini Scout, but the regular size Scout isn't that large of an airplane. It might even be a bit easier to learn with, than a mini, as the smaller a plane, the twitchier it tends to be.

It was my first Flite Test build, and a good one for learning many of the basic techniques. I've been flying it for almost a year now, and when the day comes it finally wears out (or crashes) beyond repair, I'll build another.

Here's a video of a flight with it from February. The flight was about 6 minutes time on a 3S 1300 mAh battery, edited down to about a 2 minute video.

 

Hai-Lee

Old and Bold RC PILOT
#3
Whilst I am sure that you could find a design to modify to suit your requirements the sad fact otf the matter is that as you decrease the planes size the FB becomes very heavy for unit area of wing.

The real trick to flying in small areas is to keep the weight to a minimum and so a much smaller motor/ESC/battery combination should be considered as well as removing all of the paper from the model as is practicable.

My simple suggestion is to grab a foam chuck glider and a couple of 2.5 gram servos and convert the glider to RC. The gliders are really very cheap and if the weight is kept down quite robust.

Just my thoughts!

Have fun!
 

FDS

Well-known member
#4
Nerdnic RC has a number of great chuck glider designs, I have made them with kids and they all enjoyed them.
When the new micro power pack is out small fliers like the Klingon Bird of Prey they built recently will be ideal for those younger pilots. I would look at getting a buddy box set up to teach them at that age too.
 
#5
The Simple Scout is a fairly easy flier, and so long as you keep the throttle back, will fly at a low speed. I picked up the Speed Build Kit on a whim last year, during a visit to Utah when my mother-in-law had surgery, and it quickly turned into one of my favorite planes. It's small enough to transport easily, while remaining large enough that it's not difficult to keep in sight while flying. I installed the landing gear, and take off at about half throttle. At full throttle, it'll darn near leap off the ground, with the problem of torque-roll wanting to make it bank immediately to the left. At half throttle, though, it rolls forward a short ways, lifts off nicely, and remains in easy control. I haven't tried the mini Scout, but the regular size Scout isn't that large of an airplane. It might even be a bit easier to learn with, than a mini, as the smaller a plane, the twitchier it tends to be.

It was my first Flite Test build, and a good one for learning many of the basic techniques. I've been flying it for almost a year now, and when the day comes it finally wears out (or crashes) beyond repair, I'll build another.

Here's a video of a flight with it from February. The flight was about 6 minutes time on a 3S 1300 mAh battery, edited down to about a 2 minute video.

Are you recommending the full size over the Mighty Mini Scout?

I know that the full size isn't that big (wow, I just looked, the wingspan is only 37", the mighty mini is 24, and as I said, I was thinking of adding ~2" or so per panel to the mini which would take it to 28-30"), but I don't have nearly the space you have in that video (well, there are 2 local parks that have about that space, but not that I could use right now).

What I really like about the Mini is that the wing is fully under cambered, which should give it some really good slow speed characteristics (I believe the undercamberd tips of the newer FT designs greatly help their flight characteristics when you slow them down)
 
#6
Whilst I am sure that you could find a design to modify to suit your requirements the sad fact otf the matter is that as you decrease the planes size the FB becomes very heavy for unit area of wing.

The real trick to flying in small areas is to keep the weight to a minimum and so a much smaller motor/ESC/battery combination should be considered as well as removing all of the paper from the model as is practicable.

My simple suggestion is to grab a foam chuck glider and a couple of 2.5 gram servos and convert the glider to RC. The gliders are really very cheap and if the weight is kept down quite robust.

Just my thoughts!

Have fun!
My thoughts with any of these designs, but especially the Mini Scout was to possibly do what I can to lighten it, like on the mini scout it looks like you could pull a bit if weight out of it by stripping the paper out of the inside of the fuselage pieces, I don't see why the formers for the turtleneck need any paper on them at all, I have some 4g servos that I would likely use for any one of these (I don't think any of this would make for a less durable airplane), then add 2" or so to each wing panel should make it slow down OK (I'm wondering if I'd have to add a little to the control surfaces just to counter the slower speed and larger wing). I think I could end up with 25% more wing area at the same all up weight.

Converting chuck gliders seems to be a popular thing on Youtube, but honestly, I haven't seen many of them fly well. I'm afraid of getting too small for both your wing loading point (cube wing loading...) and the fact that things work less well at small Reynold's numbers- I'd compromise some of my of my goals for something that flies better than vice versa.
 

Hai-Lee

Old and Bold RC PILOT
#8
My thoughts with any of these designs, but especially the Mini Scout was to possibly do what I can to lighten it, like on the mini scout it looks like you could pull a bit if weight out of it by stripping the paper out of the inside of the fuselage pieces, I don't see why the formers for the turtleneck need any paper on them at all, I have some 4g servos that I would likely use for any one of these (I don't think any of this would make for a less durable airplane), then add 2" or so to each wing panel should make it slow down OK (I'm wondering if I'd have to add a little to the control surfaces just to counter the slower speed and larger wing). I think I could end up with 25% more wing area at the same all up weight.

Converting chuck gliders seems to be a popular thing on Youtube, but honestly, I haven't seen many of them fly well. I'm afraid of getting too small for both your wing loading point (cube wing loading...) and the fact that things work less well at small Reynold's numbers- I'd compromise some of my of my goals for something that flies better than vice versa.
A fair while ago I actually built a mini scout and a mini speedster out of Depron, (no paper), and they where so easy to fly and very slow with a smaller motor but with the spec'd motor both were like rockets!

Just my experience!

Have fun!
 
#10
A fair while ago I actually built a mini scout and a mini speedster out of Depron, (no paper), and they where so easy to fly and very slow with a smaller motor but with the spec'd motor both were like rockets!

Just my experience!

Have fun!
Straight depron is MILES lighter than our foam board, I wouldn't be surprised if you cut 1/3 of the AUW.

I'm curious, you see people occasionally make FT and similar airplanes with depron, how do you guys deal with the joints that rely on paper and hot glue?
 

Hai-Lee

Old and Bold RC PILOT
#11
Straight depron is MILES lighter than our foam board, I wouldn't be surprised if you cut 1/3 of the AUW.

I'm curious, you see people occasionally make FT and similar airplanes with depron, how do you guys deal with the joints that rely on paper and hot glue?
Quite simple really! I build my FB and other designs using a liquid glue which takes longer to set but provides a stronger, (more rigid), finished model.
I use the same glue for FB, Depron, sheet foam, Balsa, Paper and cardboard as well as my repairs on crashed retail foamies.

There are a few applications that it will not work with the glue but then I source and use different glues for those applications.

Just what works for me!

Have fun!
 

The Hangar

Well-known member
#12
I guess I can read that as you thinking modifying your simple stick isn't as good a choice?
;)
Haha, well I’ve flown mine in very small places, but it’s kind of tricky. However if you keep it super light it would be great! However a stock mini scout or speedster would be great right off the bat, and even better if lightened up a bit! I’ve actually been toying with the idea of making a super light simple stick but haven’t gotten around to it yet...
 
#14
Quite simple really! I build my FB and other designs using a liquid glue which takes longer to set but provides a stronger, (more rigid), finished model.
I use the same glue for FB, Depron, sheet foam, Balsa, Paper and cardboard as well as my repairs on crashed retail foamies.

There are a few applications that it will not work with the glue but then I source and use different glues for those applications.

Just what works for me!

Have fun!
The suspense is killing me, what glue? I'll bet it's something we can't get in the states. A lot of you seem to think that we can get everything, but that's not the case, for example, depron is hard to find and expensive when you do. I like to watch NumaVIG's Youtube channel and he has a tendency to start by going to some Russian hardware store/home center show whole aisles full of foam and then he uses a glue that works as a contact cement on the foam that we don't have anything even close to.
 

Hai-Lee

Old and Bold RC PILOT
#15
The suspense is killing me, what glue? I'll bet it's something we can't get in the states. A lot of you seem to think that we can get everything, but that's not the case, for example, depron is hard to find and expensive when you do. I like to watch NumaVIG's Youtube channel and he has a tendency to start by going to some Russian hardware store/home center show whole aisles full of foam and then he uses a glue that works as a contact cement on the foam that we don't have anything even close to.
This will surprise you!
The glue I use is either an American brand called Sullivans clear craft glue or a locally available chemical equivalent! I used ot use the Sullivans exclusively but was forced ot seek alternatives when the Sullivans was out of stock! Now I use whatever Sullivans equivalent is available.

Have fun!
 
#16
This will surprise you!
The glue I use is either an American brand called Sullivans clear craft glue or a locally available chemical equivalent! I used ot use the Sullivans exclusively but was forced ot seek alternatives when the Sullivans was out of stock! Now I use whatever Sullivans equivalent is available.

Have fun!
LOL, they're Australian... can't seem to get them at all here in the US.

What kind of glue is it? The only thing that I see in searches that I can get is TackyGlue, which is almost like a sticky white PVA (not sure what it's really made of)
 
#17
I made this one a while back for just that reason. It's only a 3 channel and does well in a small area. It's also easy to scale up. There are several videos of it you can watch also. Good luck.

https://forum.flitetest.com/index.php?resources/slow-flyer-for-small-area.77/
Sundown57, that is a lot like what I'm looking for. It looks a lot like a cross between a Blue Baby and a Cub of sorts.

I followed your link, did a little searching and found your "what is the slowest plane on FT" (which I've read about half of so far, it's 20some pages, BTW, that site most of your videos are shot at looks a lot like one of the places I plan on flying this) and ran across 3 copies of the plan (all different PDF names, but I can't see any difference between the 3) and I'm really confused. Maybe you can get things ironed out for me.

As best as I can figure out, it looks like you designed the "Slow Flier for Small Area" (I haven't quite figured out dimensions and motor size, and I'm not really sure that I've seen a video of it flying), and then you made "Gigantor" which in a few places you said was 160% of the original and in a few others 170% (again, don't know about dimensions and motor size, just a large prop size) and then you made SOG, Son Of Gigantor, at 115% of the original plans (again, I don't see any actual dimensions or motor, but I believe that you mentioned a 1300 3C and 2200 3C battery). Looking at your Youtube channel it looks like there might be a few other iterations, or they might just be the same planes with different names in the video title.

One thing that immediately struck me was that I think you're pealing the paper off the foam on one side of the wing, but I couldn't really tell which side.

I'd love a better rundown on what you've done since 1- it looks to be pretty close to what I want to end up with, and 2, it looks similar in proportion to another project that I started and hasn't quite finished (A hobbyzone supercub body with a HUGE/THICK hot wire cut wing roughly 48x10" with ailerons and flaps)
 

sprzout

Knower of useless information
Mentor
#18
I'll make a suggestion for something, although it is NOT a FT kit - The UMX Timber.

It's REALLY easy to fly in small areas; when I first saw it at the AMA Expo West a few years ago, they were flying it indoors in a conference room. It was really impressive to see, and it flies in a REALLY small area - definitely a park flier.

The downside is that it's pre-built, but it is VERY light, and VERY easy to get off the ground. And, with the added flaps, you can slow it down even more at half flaps, so you can get a nice, easy, slow flying plane that can take off and land in VERY short areas.
 

CustomRCMods

Well-known member
#20
I want to repeat everything said previously about the scout/mini scout, they are excellent airplanes that really grow with you. I have both in my fleet at the moment, even as an experienced pilot. Very smooth and easygoing, but can also be fast and manuverable with a bigger motor and higher rates. Highly Reccomend!