The View Up Here

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Raptor Underway!

Posted by Tom Benedict on 05/04/2013

About half of the stuff I ordered has already arrived. The Zagi and the Le Fish are both coming by slow post, but the Raptor Advance 2000 is already here! W00t!!

Even though it’s largely pre-built, there’s a ton of work to do on this plane. It’s also my first crunchie (or stick and tissue). In a word, the kit is GORGEOUS. But it’s also terrifying. I can already tell if I have any landings similar to the early ones with my Bixler, it’ll spell the end of this wing, if not the whole plane. It may be the first of the three planes that I finish, but I expect it’ll be the last of the three that I take out for its maiden flight.

Unfortunately, for such a photogenic subject, I haven’t taken one single picture. Not one. I’m ashamed! But pictures will come. I swear!

So here’s the build:

So far the build is going well. A lot of what I’ve done up to this point has been pretty standard stuff: modify the firewall to fit the motor; start building the tail; repair the slight damage that occurred during shipping (one wing tip separated). You get the idea. Still to come this weekend is finishing the tail, installing all six servos (WOOHOO! full house glider!), re-hinging the control surfaces on the wings (too little range of motion), and finally dry-fitting everything in anticipation of the next shipment of stuff.

Still missing are the spinner, props, ESC, and radio receiver. Yeah… most of the guts of the plane. But the spinner and props should be here by Monday, and the rest should be here within another week or so. It’s not going to be a long build.

So I mentioned those TG50090M servos… These things are COOL! I got two of them to use as flap servos on my Bixler, and fell in love with them. They’re 9g metal geared servos with a surprising amount of torque. And at less than 5USD apiece, I didn’t see the need to use weaker servos for the tail on this plane. All six control surfaces are using them. I can’t help looking at them and thinking, “These would make for a cool KAP rig!” There’s plenty of power to move a compact camera around, and with the metal gear train they don’t have the slop and bounce that even my full-sized Futaba S3003 servos suffer from. At some point I’d like to get a couple of these and see how small and compact a KAP rig I can make. Maybe a Canon Powershot? Maybe an NEX? It’d be a fun project.

But for now I’m building an airplane. And within the next few weeks I’ll be busy building two more. The mini KAP rig will have to wait just a little bit. (Yeah, like maybe until I can afford the camera to go in it!)

– Tom




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