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Mega B-17 build

Mclags

Active member
#1
b-17.jpg

Hey ya'll,
Currently planning and building something a bit different.
I'm turning my B-17 into a multi person crewed fpv bomber.
3x rx's, 3x vtx's, 5x cameras, 3x camera switchers, 15x servos, 4x motors, 4x esc's, 1x 5v bec and a partridge in a pear tree.

Here's how it'll work.
The "gunner" will have 360° pan and 90° tilt on the top and ball turrets, a camera in each. He'll be able to switch camera feed and control between the two.

The "bombardier" will have an idle camera position in the nose and another downward facing camera in the belly. He'll also control the bomb bay doors and the dropping of 6 bombs.

The "pilot" controls the plane. Will have a cockpit view and also one of the other camera positions (not sure which one yet). There'll be a flight controller on board to hold altitude and speed for bombing runs.

Vtx frequencies are
Pilot 5945 rhcp
Gunner 5820 lhcp
Bombardier 5695 rhcp
All 600mw

I have got as far as getting the ball turret working as it should and have made up the bomb-bay and cut the hole for it.
It took a long while for all the bits to arrive down here in New Zealand but everything is here now.

Moving house in a couple weeks so everything has been packed up for now.

If there is any interest in following this I'll keep posting with updates, otherwise you will be able to see the finished product
on my youtube channel MUD-DART RC...........when I finally get er done.
 

mach1 rc

Well-known member
#4
View attachment 137578
Hey ya'll,
Currently planning and building something a bit different.
I'm turning my B-17 into a multi person crewed fpv bomber.
3x rx's, 3x vtx's, 5x cameras, 3x camera switchers, 15x servos, 4x motors, 4x esc's, 1x 5v bec and a partridge in a pear tree.

Here's how it'll work.
The "gunner" will have 360° pan and 90° tilt on the top and ball turrets, a camera in each. He'll be able to switch camera feed and control between the two.

The "bombardier" will have an idle camera position in the nose and another downward facing camera in the belly. He'll also control the bomb bay doors and the dropping of 6 bombs.

The "pilot" controls the plane. Will have a cockpit view and also one of the other camera positions (not sure which one yet). There'll be a flight controller on board to hold altitude and speed for bombing runs.

Vtx frequencies are
Pilot 5945 rhcp
Gunner 5820 lhcp
Bombardier 5695 rhcp
All 600mw

I have got as far as getting the ball turret working as it should and have made up the bomb-bay and cut the hole for it.
It took a long while for all the bits to arrive down here in New Zealand but everything is here now.

Moving house in a couple weeks so everything has been packed up for now.

If there is any interest in following this I'll keep posting with updates, otherwise you will be able to see the finished product
on my youtube channel MUD-DART RC...........when I finally get er done.
This will be such a cool project!!!!!😎👍😎👍😎👍😎👍😎👍
 

Mclags

Active member
#5
Short update, have moved house but my build table at this point is a small desk. Not enough room for a B-17 lol.
Hopefully be building a new workshop in a month or two.
All parts are here along with paint and decal set.
I'm hanging out to get going on this project again.
Sketched up a rough wiring diagram a while back at work one night. I'll attach it but it will be changed slightly as I'm changing flight controllers.
Congratulations if you can make sense of it hahahahaha
 

Attachments

Mclags

Active member
#8
Now 4 of the cameras are runcam swift micros, the 5th camera is a split mini. So only that can record HD.
Which position do you think would be best to mount this?
Remembering I'll need to access the sd card.
Cockpit
Nose
Bomb aim
Top turret
Bottom turret
 

Mclags

Active member
#10
Today is being one of those staring at things trying to figure out placement days.
Got both turrets installed but have to figure out where the bec, rx and the flight controller all have to go. To avoid having a million plugs to plug in before attaching the wing.
Now looking like the fc will have to mount on the wing on top of the bomb bay. That in turn presents a gps mounting issue.
All while trying to keep the weight forward of cg!
20200330_145543.jpg
 

whackflyer

Well-known member
#11
Today is being one of those staring at things trying to figure out placement days.
Got both turrets installed but have to figure out where the bec, rx and the flight controller all have to go. To avoid having a million plugs to plug in before attaching the wing.
Now looking like the fc will have to mount on the wing on top of the bomb bay. That in turn presents a gps mounting issue.
All while trying to keep the weight forward of cg!
View attachment 163853
That's beautiful!
 

Mclags

Active member
#12
So I put the fuselage aside today and started to focus on the wings.
Namely the bomb bay and doors.
Now before I cut a whopping great hole in the middle of them I lay some fibreglass over the area to make the doors. I saw a thread where someone did this on another model. Well it was my first time using fibreglass and resin and I was never happy with the result.
I then marked out the hole to be cut, cut it out then added a plywood spar front and back of it to give the wing some rigidity back. All that was dine when I first started this project about 8 months ago.
Today I decided to hell with the fibreglass doors. Luckily I kept the block I cut out of the centre, so I just sliced the bottom off that and glued it to some plywood.
Couple of hinges and job done.
Bomb bay doors kinda sussed.
Aim over next couple of days will be to get them hinged and operating correctly. I'll throw some pics up as I go.
 

Mclags

Active member
#14
Sorry lads, been a lot of staring done lately.
I put her all together to see how I was fairing cg wise. Unfortunately I'm about 50mm too far back. So a total rethink was necessary to try and get some of the weight distributed up front.
So now the flight controller is going under the batteries, which means there'll be a heap of plugs to do up to attach the wings.
The gps is now in the cockpit.
I'll have a camera in the nose and another looking down for bomb aiming under the cockpit.
I have got the pilot and bombardier vtx's installed in the wings just outboard of the outboard motors. The gunner vtx will also be in the nose.
Flaps and ailerons have been all hooked up and tested now too.
Bomb bay doors are working but I can't post the vid here for some reason.
If you want to see that let me know and I'll post it to YouTube and provide the link.
More head scratching ahead lol
20200406_224758.jpg
20200409_143827.jpg
20200410_131204.jpg
20200410_131257.jpg
 

Mclags

Active member
#15
Started working on the flight controller today. Xt60 to batteries, deans connectors to esc's. Male to port side motors, female to starboard side motors. That way I can't get them mixed up. Having differential thrust for ground handling so making sure left is left is pretty important.
20200413_183053.jpg

Also tidied up all the bomb bay wiring and got the rx installed.
IMG-20200413-WA0017.jpeg

Bomb aiming camera and nose camera harnesses made up. Did the calculations to figure out what angle the aiming camera had to be at. Educated guessing speed at this stage. 65kph dropping from 60m up, means I have to lead target by 63m giving an angle of 46°. That will have to be dialed in with a few flights.
 

Tench745

Well-known member
#16
Bomb aiming camera and nose camera harnesses made up. Did the calculations to figure out what angle the aiming camera had to be at. Educated guessing speed at this stage. 65kph dropping from 60m up, means I have to lead target by 63m giving an angle of 46°. That will have to be dialed in with a few flights.
Sounds like you need a Norton bomb sight. I wonder if an Arduino could do the work; take airspeed and altitude measurements then figure out aiming angle for an adjustable camera angle.
 

Mclags

Active member
#18
Righto lads, seems there's only a couple of ya following this but anyway.
I finished the wiring to the flight controller with a total of 13 bloody connections to make to join the wing to the fuse. It would've been much less if I could've mounted the flight controller (fc) to the wing, but the need to get more weight forward prevented that.
So with that done, the fc installed along with most of the other fuselage electrics it was time to power it up. I have never been so nervous to power up a model before in my life! 12v, 9v and 5v systems over many components, time to find out of I got it all right.
Thankfully there was no smoke.
However.........
I do now have a problem which has taken me all day to figure out. Remember how the turrets are on one rx (V8R7-II) and the bomb controls on a separate rx (V8R4-II) and those are setup as separate models in the tx.
Well, both of those rx's only support D8 mode, which turns out has no model match or rx id. So when I turn the tx on, regardless of what model is loaded, both of those rx's bind simultaneously.
What this meant was that when I panned the ball turret, the bomb bay doors opened and vice versa. Also when I switch between turrets the bomb release activated.
So long story short I need to get 2 new rx's that'll do D16 mode so I can number the rx. Then it'll only bind to that rx with that model loaded. Be about a months setback by the time I can get some down here.
Still plenty to do in that time however.
Also weighed it up, have added 410g over the stock setup. So with the upgraded motors I should be OK.
Cg test tomorrow.
 

"Corpse"

Well-known member
#19
Nice! I wonder how much coding it would take to make a bombsight. That would really increase the accuracy.
If you want some actual explosions, I have a few recommendations for munitions.

1: Pop its fireworks. They pop when they fall on something hard like a runway.
2: Airsoft Grenades. They would probably break if you dropped them over anything hard. Grass would be fine though. (Eye protection needed)

I hope you get the D16 rx's soon! Nice job!