The Speedgull


My local club put on a display recently for a village fair, and I had a chance to see one of the members flying a scratch built balsa model. He asked me to give him a throw for takeoff, and my god! This plane didn't so much take off as rip itself out of your hands. He took it barely 6 feet out, tipped it vertical, and rocketed up to the clouds at 50-60mph!

Completely insane model, it's basically an airframe built around a ridiculous motor and prop, and it was so much fun watching it fly, I knew I had to try building something similar :)

I found the Speed Demon thread, which gave me some ideas on what's possible, and I had an 80A ESC lying around, so the design started there.

I thought the wings on that had a nice birdlike shape, and also found this:
Design concept.png

A few sketches later, some motor and prop calcs, and a little airframe research and it was time to cut me some foamboard :)

The wings are based on the FT Goblin, with a slight extension and shape on the tips. The body is from the FT Bloody Baron.

(I may have gone a little overboard with the carbon...)

All in all the whole process of research, ordering some parts, and the build took about a week. This is how she looked ready for her maiden flight.

Unfortunately the first maiden didn't go too well, it was far too twitchy on aileron, and was uncontrollable. One rapid smack into the dirt followed before she ever really got airborn:

But this is why foamboard is so good to work with. An hour with a glue gun and a dremmel and she was all back in one piece. A little tuning of the control throws and the second maiden went lovely, tracking beautifully in the air, and stable at speeds.

Which means it's time for painting:

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And that's her finished. I added some wire landing gear to give the prop some ground clearance, and can't wait for some weather to try her out on 3S and 4S to see how the handles the speed.
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