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scratchbuild suggestion: a plane that can fit in a backpack

snapster

Junior Member
#1
There are probably many of us who get around by bike and don't have a car or would rather not drive one. I have some small planes that I can strap to a backpack, and have modded some so that they can be put in a smallish box, but I've always been a little dissatisfied with the results.

Can you guys design a plane that can easily come apart and fit in a backpack, or in a small box? I've been impressed with your design prowess so far, and I'm sure you could come up with something cool for this!
 
#2
OH now this I like! I know I have a habit of liking every scratchbuild suggestion.....but seriously this would be supremely awesome. I have looked into the same thing being the camping, hiking, (part time) FPVer that I am. Small simple, perhaps foldable craft capable of carrying some basic FPV gear perhaps. Have seen it done elsewhere with limited success, this may be a great application for the swappable pods and good challenge for the team without being too over the top.
 

eagle4

New member
#5
Not sure of your size dimensions, but the spitfire might be good for you with the removable wing.
If you want something pretty compact look over at Experimental Airlines on youtube, he has a flying wing called the Synapse. he shows how to build it so that it folds down in half, so it becomes pretty small for easy transport. I am contemplating trying that with my Versa Wing once I've crashed it a few times and it needs repairing ;)
 

colorex

Rotor Riot!
Mentor
#6
Same here. I used to get around by bike, now I have to fix it. Make an FPV backpack and fly multicopters :)

That is, in fact, one of the reasons I chose to fly these expensive machines - portability.
 

eagle4

New member
#9
colorex, I dont have a car either, so i bought myself a bike trailer, you know the kind that you can take your kids in? its great for carting around my planes to the field. it fits an FT Nutball perfectly inside. but if i want any of my other planes i roll up the cover and use bungie cords to hold everything in place as i ride.
 
#11
Not sure of your size dimensions, but the spitfire might be good for you with the removable wing.
If you want something pretty compact look over at Experimental Airlines on youtube, he has a flying wing called the Synapse. he shows how to build it so that it folds down in half, so it becomes pretty small for easy transport. I am contemplating trying that with my Versa Wing once I've crashed it a few times and it needs repairing ;)
Thanks for the suggestions. I checked out the synapse; pretty cool, but a bit big for my tastes. I love that guy's building techniques though; his planes always look so clean and shiny.
I own something decent for transport, the Hobbyking Kinetic 800, a small, 800mm-wingspan glider which has 2 separate wings that easily come on and off the fuse. The stabilizer in principle should come off too, but I'm not too sure how to release the mechanism that holds it on without damaging it.
This plane relies on carefully molded plastic parts to achieve its portability, and I'm curious to see how it could be done with a scratchbuild.
You're right, the spitfire is almost there; with a 40" wingspan, though, that's a lot of wing sticking out of a backpack. Maybe what would be ideal would be a slightly scaled down version, and have the wing come apart in two pieces. Maybe the flite test crew can design a good joining method.
The most successful mod I've done to a plane to make it portable was one I did to a 1.5 meter glider: the wing came apart into two pieces, but the "limiting factor" was that the stab and rudder were permanently affixed to the fuse. I got some nylon bolts and nuts from the hardware store and installed them so that the rudder and stab get screwed on to the fuse to set the plane up.
 

rcspaceflight

creator of virtual planes
#12
Yesterday I built a plane with a 30" wingspan and the fuselage is 20" long. Well, the fuselage is actually longer because the elevator sticks out and the motor sticks out. I could easily make the wing removable. I don't know if that's about the size you're thinking. I built the plane because I wanted to design a high wing swappable trainer out of a single sheet of Dollar Tree foam board. I haven't flown it yet because of how windy it's been lately. But I've built a first version that flew great and was very similar. I kept folding the wings on that first version, so I boxed the simple airfoil of the wing to make it more rigid and made the dihedral wing tips smaller. I just don't know if I have enough extra airfoil and dihedral on the wing tips for it to be a good 3 channel.

Point is, if I made the elevator and rudder removable, it should be a really good backpack plane. Which shouldn't be too hard for me to make them removable. I've already experimented with mounting the servos with velcro, which seems like I'd loose a lot of resolution, but should work. Maybe a velcro mounted elevator and two skewers to hold the rudder in place would work.
 
#17
Just to step right back in:
Now, there are some solutions I tried with backpack planes. So far the Spitfire and the FT 3D are molded into perfect size, the FT22 is just waiting to become an article. You can seperate it in 4 parts with body, wings and the nose.
You can't get any smaller than that! ;)
 
#18
I think there are already some guys that do a really good job on Backpackable planes and conversions of FT scratchbuilds.
But i would definetly love an episode by the FT guys on a scratchbuild that was planned from the beginning to be as easy to transport and backpackable as possible.
 

FAI-F1D

Free Flight Indoorist
#19
It might be worth checking out the FAI free flight designs (some of the R/C ones as well, but F1A and F1B are probably the poster children) to see how truly portable models can be made. It's not actually that hard to pack a model in a backpack. Any 18" model can be made to be so just by having the wing removable (I actually prefer plug-in wings on scale models). Wings can be rubber banded on, bolted on, or held with set screws on the plug spars. Tail surfaces can be screwed in place as well. Landing gear can be made to plug in via spring plugs, or they can bolt in place.

It helps to remove your prop for storage.

My final thought, though it is hopefully obvious, is that you can't put a model directly in a backpack. You need a box to fit the model into which provides appropriate jigging to prevent warps as well as shock protection.
 

jayz 84

Posted a thousand or more times
#20
Im making a 67% serious FT warbird funfighter style.but if you do a removable wing on them they would have no problem fitting in a backpack.