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My new nightfly project - Hobby King Yak 55


Hi guys,

Flitetest is such an awesome show, I thought I would try to give back a little by sharing my newest project with you on the forum.

A buddy of mine and me are doing this night fly project together:

The plane kit arrived yesterday - it's a Hobby King Yak 55 which I build today. (Very fast and easy build, very nice quality - all you need appart from the kit and the servos/motor/esc/prop is CA-glue and servoextentions).

Here is what it looks like now:


I have only very quickly test flown it so far (fading daylight, very very foggy) it looks good so far.

I went with a big motor (10g over the maximum suggested by Hobby King, and a big lipo - 2200 instead of the suggested 1800) - still it does fly, and I think very well. I will have to test that more tomorrow.

With the plane I also ordered about 10 meters of different color Turnigy LED stripes.

The next step will be to put those all over the plane - the twist will be: They will not all just be light up, but my buddy has designed a controller-board with which we plan to make them a) light up in patterns and b) control them via the radio.

I'll update this thread hopefully very soon with the progress...


Crazy flyer/crasher :D
Yeah that would be cool!

It looks quite nice. Not too many Carbon fiber rods sticking out anywhere. Everything nice inserted into the fuselage and I suppose wings and tail as well.

Have lots of fun flying it and keep posting pics :D


I have started setting up the leds - had to get a solder lesson (the friend who is designing the led controller showed me how to do it) I will continue setting up more leds over the next week.

So far I have 3 6-LED Stripes for each wing tip and a 5 3-LED Stripes in white to illuminate the tail.

For your amusement here is some footage of the foggy first flight, including the belly-up-landing (but no leds yet):

My camera was setup bad - the more powerful parts of the flight (trying loops and rolls, with more throttle) are all out of the viewingfield of the camera.


So today I visited a friend - he's got the yak too - and there was no fog. (Wohoo!)

So here we go with footage of a less foggy flight:

Yes, still no LEDs - but I can't just put LEDs on it and start flying at night, without getting some experience with the model.

While it is fun to fly, and has plenty of power it does need to be flown with this power - gliding around with this weight (950g) is not really an option.

Something bad happened as well: On the third landing (it went on it's nose - does this every time on grass too high for the small tires) the wood of the motormount broke. :(

Even when I first put in the screws to fix the motor to the mount I had some splintering - I hoped it would hold anyway.

I have already fixed the plane - but have not test flown my fix - I used a 1,5mm thick piece of flat plastic and glued it over the splintered wooden motormount (which I glued together again first).

I'll report back if and how the plane flys now.
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Crazy flyer/crasher :D
Wow thats a whole lot more to see in your video!

Yeah you´ll have to get to know the plane for a little bit before going for night flying.

Too bad your motor mount broke off. Hopefully your fix will hold more than then previous mount. But with 1.5mm plastic I think you should be fine with that!


Yep, the plasitc mount works fine. I went for antoher 4 flights with it.
Now I have started to install the leds, soldered the position lights 3x6 red leds (left wing tip) 3x6 green (right wing tip) 1x6 and 4x3 to iluminate the tail in white and a sequence of 9 x 3 x 3 red leds from front to back which will be used in sequence. (I have something in mind looking a little like the front sensor that KIT had...)

The prototype led controller my friend made is also up and running. He told me my unit will be soldered today :)

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Hi again,

Here is another update to the project:

The led-controller is done (thanks to Florian), all the leds are soldered and glued on.

What's left is to program the controller to get a nice light snow out of it.

Here is what it looks like:

Picture taken with flash - you can see the ugly wiring...

Picture without flash - but still you see more of the plane then you will see in the air. - From my previous projects I know, that if it is really dark you just see the lights, no plane at all.

Picture from a lower angle:

After programming the controller it will look different, because not every light will be on at the same time. Also the lights below the wings are RGB-Leds - so I will be able to make them shine in any color I want, and switch through all colors.

For now the lights will only be controlled by timing - after it's switched on, I'll go for around 40 seconds of just position lights (for take-off) and then switch through a few programs.

If I manage to program it tomorrow I will upload a video :) - if it doesn't work tomorrow it will have to wait until after Christmas, because I am going home to visit my family.

Stay tuned and have a wonderful time during the holidays!


Crazy flyer/crasher :D
That looks great and shiny :D:D

Can´t wait to see to it flying and just as a tip if you can or have the function to do some long exposure pics it!


Monkey/Bear Poker
Very nice looking. Cannot wait to see video with it flying and see what that looks like.
Great stuff and thanks for sharing!!!


Here is the first software version:

1) Only flight lights
2) running-light on top and on the sides (red) and at the bottom (green)
3) "flapping" effect on the wings (4 stripes.. see pictures, in the video you can't really see it)
4) rgb lighting up in different colors
5) everything at once :)

For version two smooth fade-ins and fade-outs are planned, so it will be a more flowing effect instead of the hard on/offs now.

But I'll fly this version first and see how it looks in the air, Video will follow - but first: X-mas :)

Happy holidays!


Thank you guys :)

Colorex: Looks really nice. The led controller should be nearly capable of something like that. - Since it has 12 channels you could use 4 rgb-led circles (1 less than in the linked video). The hard(er) part will be to program such soft nice color flows.

Back to the current project:

And here is the first flight - sadly it ended in a crash.
In the third light-phase I tried to hover - the plane broke away, and I corrected in the wrong direction - and then lost all orientation.

As always it's not really impressive on film, but here you go anyway:

What's broken? Luckily, just the prop.

Have a happy new year!


Crazy flyer/crasher :D
I can imagine it being much more cool looking in reality then it is in the video.

Why don´t you try out some Long Exposure pictures? They can be amazing!