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Scratch Visionaire


Junior Member
Hello friends. Please excuse my poor writing, descriptions etc. I have never posted one of these so please be patient ;)

Front Center.jpg Front Left.jpg Front Right.jpg IMG_5090.jpg Rx and Spar Hatch.jpg Symetrical Ironed Leading Edge.jpg IMG_5077.jpg IMG_5078.jpg IMG_5085.jpg IMG_5087.jpg IMG_5076.jpg IMG_5083.JPG

The combination of the fun FT video on the Night Visionaire and the epic crash and end of my own non-night flight model inspired me to build one. The criteria for the design were to make it fit the swap-able power pod and keep it as scale as practical with a more straight angle fuselage design to make the design a quick build.

I had dimensions from enough taped together parts to roughly trace out a single wing and tail section and then took many measurements to figure out the fuselage spacing. Measurements were:

1. Motor mount to end of fuselage (hinge point of rudder).
2. Front of cowl to front of motor mount.
3. Chord length and airfoil height.
4. Motor mount to center of wing spar.
5. Motor mount to leading edge of wings.
6. Height of tallest part of fuselage.
7. Height of fuselage where the curve up to the vertical stabilizer begins. Distance from this curve to the rear of fuse.
8. Height of both the front and rear ends of the fuselage.
9. Center line of the motor and leading edges of the wings and horizontal stabilizer in relation to where they land on the fuselage.

I went through two rounds of mockups to get the the cuts and folds right. Started with the fuselage and separate single foam board templates for the tail, wings and removable cowl / motor mount areas. Marks were made for exact wing and tail control surfaces, servo placement in the wings, vertical stabilizers on the wings, cockpit leading edge curve, landing gear placement and hinge / control horn locations. I designed the taper of the fuselage down to the tail based off of evenly splitting the centerline of the horizontal stabilizer. I taped all of these together and studied the rough dimensions and look and was happy after the 2nd more square / true fuselage templates were cut.

I opted to put the rudder and elevator servos close to the back like the FT3D design to have tighter response and less hardware on the pushrods. Since I still had the control horns from my Visionaire, I used those for the strength and to try to adhere to scale. It worked out well to do a double wide foam board for the tail and wings so the width of each control horn was a clean match to the depth of each control surface. Also created a more tough and stiff part vs the single sheet parts. I used a double popsicle stick shim and spar on the elevator for added support. Since the control surfaces are also double thick, I cut a matching double bevel on all of them. I actually sanded them all down for a cleaner look and used the thin film of hot glue trick to strengthen all hinges.

On the wing design, I used the round carbon fiber tube spar from the original and installed all spars prior to mounting / forming the wings around them. I also shimmed in small BBQ skewers x 3 around the main spar. This creates 3 points of making the main spar more snug with the fuse and also makes it much harder for the main spar to rotate inside of the wings if any glue fails. I also used a 1/4" wooden dowel spar 5/8" from the leading edge of the wing for more structural support.
The airfoil is somewhat made up. I kept the max height the same but didn't want to make 3-4 symmetrical folds to make a more rounded airfoil / leading edge so I went with a diamond design that has a 1/2" flat ironed to tip leading edge. I measured my single sheet wing templates and figured and made my scores / folds based on the spar location in the wing as I wanted the main fold to sit on the main spar. I must have dry fit these wings 5 or 6 times before gluing them down.

The motor mount is a power pod chopped in half with three skewers through it and it is also completely glued to the fuse.
I designed the cowl to be a removable (held on with velcro and skewers) so that it acts as a replaceable crunch part. It also does a nice job hiding the motor etc. Right behind the cowl, I designed a BBQ skewer reinforced flip-up hatch that gives me immediate access to the ESC and wiring as well as the motor mount to make sure everything is still tight. Verco keeps the hatch shut and I cut the velcro into the fuse to help keep the flap flush

Unfortunately, the plane is "boxy" looking especially compared to the real Visionaire but the original doesn't have a single boxy edge and I wanted a quick build so the compromise was ok for me. I would love to see a wire cut curvy fuse but that's not really something I want to get after given my crash history with scratch builds.

Parts robbed from the Visionaire were the servos, motor, prop, landing gear (front and rear), main wing spar and all control horns. The ESC, Rx and my last prop were toast and I never really liked the AS3X anyway so those were replaced with cheap HK equivalents. The spinner is from a LHS in NC that I randomly picked up when visiting my wife's family as there is no LHS near Jackson, WY. I had to drill out the base plate of the spinner to fit the diameter of the large Visionaire prop adapter.

I will post a flight video once we finally get a calm day around here. The weather has been beautiful but I have only been able to fly this in 10-20 mph winds which has been a lot of fun but not a great way to get trims and CG dialed. I will say that so far, she flies very much like the original. I need to take final weight measurements but my guess is that it's pretty close as the performance even in wind is pretty stelar. I can't wait to fly on a calm day and see how she performs. I also am waiting for the replacement 12x4 prop as I'm using an 11 x 5.5 which doesn't quite hang as nicely on a hover.

Sorry for the lack of plans - I don't create plans beyond hand drawn sketches with my chicken scratch on them. I do still have the original template pieces for reference if I want to build another but I'm hoping one of the scratch build gurus out there makes a much more slick version - I just wanted to see if I could build something that flew similarly so I wouldn't have to buy another and with some luck, it actually worked out.
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I really like the Visionaire and your take on it. I would be interested in building it if you are able to document the plans/build or encourage someone else into doing it. The mustache is a nice touch. Please post some flight video if you get a chance.