The Disco Disco Pi


Introduction - Discovering the Disco Pi
I can't lay claim to any of this design, while it's similar to a nutball the inspiration for this plane came from a YouTube video I spotted a month or so back from old_coastie over on RC Groups, his video showed a really sweet looking nutball style plane, but with thrust vectoring to make it truly 3D capable. The OP has done an amazing job with the build, and it flew really nicely too. It really caught my attention and rapidly became my scratch build project for the winter.


If you're interested in seeing the original, this is the OP's video where he introduces the model:
And he has a nice flying video here:

I thought this could be a perfect project to build out of FliteTest foamboard, and he was gracious enough to share all his notes on the spec, build, CG location with me. If you're interested in having a go at one of these yourself it's well worth taking a read of these two threads:
I've had a lot of fun building this, it's a really simple design and I found that a combination of a cheap parts kit from RC Factory, plus FliteTest Foamboard made it really easy to build a light model with variable thrust.


Overall specs:
  • 250g flying weight (to keep within the 'toy' classification)
  • 1/2 a sheet of FliteTest foamboard
  • 510mm / 20" wingspan (diameter)
  • > 2:1 thrust to weight ratio
  • Carbon fibre re-enforced leading edge
  • Two carbon fibre spars for strength

RC-Factory / Twisted Hobbys parts kits - perfect match for foamboard
I did find that it's really hard to find variable thrust kits to buy these days, especially if you don't have a 3D printer, but fortunately I remembered that RC Factory / Twisted Hobbys have spare parts kits for all their models, and they have some really nice lightweight variable thrust models in their collection.

I picked up an Edge 540v3 Superlite parts kit to try out and found it was absolutely perfect. I've been able to use the vectored thrust set, all the servo horn linkages, and their control arms. It made the build really, really easy.

Edge 540 v3 vector kit contents.jpg

Night-flying, variable thrust, sub 250g park flier
I also love night flying this time of year, and tend to go to town on my winter projects, so an optional element of this build is modifying the model for night flying. In my case I embedded pixel LEDs throughout the fuselage and along the leading edge of the wings. By wrapping a 5mm carbon flat around them at the front they become part of the structure for the wing, and this should be an incredibly strong model now.

I'm still under 250g with over 100 animated LEDs on the plane! :D


Equipment list:
  • 1/2 a sheet FliteTest foamboard
  • RC-Factory SP39 - Hardware kit for the Edge 540 v3 Superlite
  • 2x 3mm diameter carbon tubes for wing spars (450mm long and ~350mm long)
  • A single 900mm length of 5mm x 0.5mm carbon flat for leading edge re-enforcement
  • 2x 900mm long 1mm diameter carbon rods for pushrods
  • T-Motor AS2304 2300kV motor
  • 20A ESC
  • APC Slow-fly 8x3.8 prop
  • 3x 5-9g servos. I used Blue Bird BMS-101HV servos, 4.4g servos supporting 8.4V operation
    (Heavier 9g servos are better here for most builds, you do need a lot of weight up front to bring the CG forward to that first spar where it needs to be)
  • Jeti REX 6 receiver (but any 4 channel receiver will do)

Build pics
20211119_083449.jpg 20211119_083459.jpg 20211121_094655.jpg
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