Al's Combat Triangle

Update 2/5/07

Ron Flory built a combat triangle, and sent me these comments and improvements:

I just built a combat triangle based upon your design. I made several changes:

Photos of Ron's plane:

Update 1/9/02

Stole the servos and receiver off the cheap stealth for another project. This one's mothballed for now until Spring when maybe I can get some combat going at the club field.

Update 10/10/01

By popular request by my club and fellow E-zoners I have made some quick-and-dirty plans of the plane. Some people have reported that clicking on these gives them trouble, but using the [Right Click][Save As...] works. FYI. Available in two forms:

Update 10/9/01

Went flying at lunch, #2 flew great right off the bat! Three clicks of right trim was all it needed. Balance was right on and performmance was as good as #1 with a slightly more predictable glide. It's still a flying plank, but it will do the trick for a cheapie club combat foamie! The nickname this thing is taking on is the Combat Triangle. It just seems to fit better than Cheap Stealth

Update 10/4/01

Version #2 is ready for trials. Enlarged as much as I could without having to waste a lot of foam on the sheet. Reinforced the larger sheet with red packing tape zagi-style. Also reinforced leading edge since #1 really took a beating there. Motor mount is 2 spruce rails with motor and gearbox attached with rubber bands. Significantly enlarged the vertical fins to keep it from "falling off" in turns. Building time with all the extra enhancements, tape, etc. 1 1/4 hour.

Version #1 - "Cheap Stealth"

It has been a bad month with me losing 5 planes in less than 10 days. Some of the planes cost me money, the other heartache of all the labor involved the worst was the loss of my Fokker D-VIII which cost me both. I needed a quick fix as a salve to my RC existence.

Jonathan Townsend's website had piqued my interest earlier and I had just gone in three ways on a stack of 3/8" pink insulation foam with some fellow flyers. Looking at Jonathan's site I decided the Cheap Stealth was the easiest to build and suited my needs and the extra equipment I had recently liberated by crashing so many models.

OK, I got 8 large sheets of foam insulation for $10 (my share of the cost of a full fanfold bundle). This plane takes less than 1/2 of a sheet so total material costs were under $1.00 for the airframe, glue and pushrods. I looked at the dimensions on Jonathan's site, then made up my own, about 80% of his plane's size. Power is a GWS S-1, pushing a folding parkflier prop 9x? (twisted to have enough pitch, but exactly how much unknown). I went with the folder after breaking 3 9x7 GWS props landing in one flying session. Servos are GWS picos' wrapped with electrical tape and CA'ed to the foam with oderless CA. Receiver and ESC are held on with velcro as is the 8x280 NiMh pack on the underside.

Total construction time: 45 minutes. - you heard right - and that's for a full scratch build, this is no RTF!

How does she fly? Well..... Um..... Like a sheet of pink foam! She does barrell rolls great, but loops are nearly impossible and sometimes you come out of them in a tip stall. The plane is FAST for a GWS powered foamie since there is hardly any drag on the flat plate airfoil. This is no floater, power must be on at all times or she drops out of the sky like most flying disk type planes. I use exponential and dual rates on my radio to get it to behave well, you'd probably have a handfull if your radio didn't have exponential at a minimum.

I've already had more airtime on it than the time I spent building it. Every time I fly it I laugh out loud at the fact that this thing actually flys considering how easy it was to build. This would make a great club combat plane. I could easilly make 6 of them in an evening at a total cost of a few bucks! They say you get what you pay for - well in this case you get a little more :-)

Update 9/30/01

I know what you're saying, that doesn't look much like a GWS-A motor on the front of that thing. Well I took the Cheap Stealth to our club's field work day (which always ends with plenty of flying) and although everyone was pleasently pleased with the performance the cry for MORE POWER became too much for me to resist!

After unsuccessful trials with a direct drive 280, I put on a 2.33:1 Geared Speed 300 pushing an 8x6 APC prop and 7 600AE NiCads! Let's just say it's a different plane this way! What a rocket. On full rates she rolls so fast you worry about ejecting the batteries. Loops are fine and you can even do some vertical zooms before the plane falls off to one side.

A piece of fillament tape on the underside seemed prudent to handle the extra stresses of the speed and weight added. After breaking off the motor mount a couple times I came up with 2 spruce sticks and a rubber band mount for the motor/gearbox. It pops off on hard landings with no damage.

This thing is so fun I have a friend trying a slightly larger one for speed 400 direct drive with a Zagi prop. Our club is thinking of making this our combat plane. I prefer it with the Speed 300 power, but the GWS version was also quite acceptable. I'll draw up some plans soon.

Update 10/3/01

Took the cheap stealth out at lunch - flew fine until some spectators showed up and I tried to do 3 full rolls in a row. The plane did the rolls fine actually too well. Did 3 1/2 so when I pulled out I was really inverted. Plane emploded when it piled in hard. Broken prop, motor mount and main wing. I wanted to try a larger one anyways. Will rebuild.

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