So I ended up with a fancy RC transmitter a week or so ago. I went to Hobbytown looking for one of those cheap RC planes to mess around with, got this Flyzone Albatros D.Va. Only what they didn't tell me was it doesn't come with a controller, so I get home, unbox and find just a plane and a charger. So I head back and try to do a return after they wanted me to get this $150 transmitter, only they won't do a return because I opened the plastic package that contains the manual. So rather than have a useless plane I went and got the transmitter anyway, it's a Spektrum DX6i. The plane itself was $50, and it wasn't too bad either. Problem is I was out flying it in the wind, letting the throttle off so it'd hover/fly backwards when the rudder sheared off. The plane had no ailerons, all I could do was watch it fly off into the sunset, gaining altitude all the way until it disappeared. So now I just have the transmitter, and nothing to fly.
But that's gonna change, I went to Home Depot and grabbed two sheets of 4x8 foot foam insulation. It's pretty tough stuff and very very light. I also grabbed some light weight masking paper which will form a hard shell around the already tough foam.
The plane to be will be an F4F-4 Wildcat, one of my favorite airplanes from WWII. The Wildcat may not have had the speed and maneuverability of it's famous adversary the A6M Zero, but it was TOUGH, it could take punishment that would send most planes down in a ball of fire and the Japanese pilots hated them for it. It also carried a decent amount of firepower with six .50 cal machine guns.
Look at that thing, how can you not love it?
These are the raw sheets of foam I got, they have a plastic cover on them which I'll leave on until all the parts are cut.
I used my CNC machine to draw the patterns out on the foam for me, this would have taken hours to do otherwise. Would have had to print out templates, transfer the printings to a large sheet of card paper, then trace each part onto the foam. I HATE doing that. So I invented an adapter for my CNC machine that holds a Sharpie, with a spring at one end to keep the sharpie pressed onto the work piece.
Here's the sheet loaded onto the CNC table, the sheets are 4x8 feet.
My table is only 4x4 feet, and the pattern is set up to fill the sheets so I had to draw up one half then scoot the sheet over for the other half.
This is the adapter I made for the sharpie, the nut at the end unscrews and the Sharpie is loaded or unloaded without needing to raise the torch. The bracket on the side which keeps the pen from falling through is also removable, but doesn't interfere with the normal use of the Plasma torch so long as the pen itself is removed.
There's one sheet 'printed'. The individual parts of the plane are made from several layers to create the proper thicknesses.
The wings use 3 layers of foam, the fuselage 13 layers, and the horizontal stabilizer and rudder use 2 layers.
Just because I could.
Tune in next time for 'Cut and Dry' or 'Down in the Dumps'.
I still have to get all the other components such as the battery, receiver, speed controller, motor and servos but just building the plane itself should take awhile. I do plan on making retractable landing gear too, I already have it designed in my head but I may add the gear later.