Towel Kits, Builds and Instructions Update

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Update on kits: We are not going to be selling kits. It is just way too much work. If you come to a build session we
have a bunch of used gear that we will sell but that is pretty much it. All the information you need is on the
blog and website to get the materials/parts and instructions. Let us know if you need clarification on how to build
your own Towel.

Breck

We have been getting lots of requests from folks after our appearance at Maker Faire in NYC. That is great. This is the deal on our inventory, kits and instructions.

1- We shot a “making a deck” video. It covers the most complex part of creating the Towel. There are other vids on the blog as well now that cover the other bits.

2- This is the parts list from Hobby King. With shipping it will be about $100 for all the gear. We strongly recommend that you buy spare servos (2), props(5) and batteries (around 3).

Parts List

3- Stay tuned for monthly build/fly dates.

30 Responses to “Towel Kits, Builds and Instructions Update”

  1. Mickey Says:

    Hey there, when you say that you suggest 5 spare props, do you mean the whole combo, motor and all? Or just the prop itself you should have multiples of? Looking forward to building this with some school students. Thanks!!

    • brooklynaerodrome Says:

      Spares are complex. My crash kit includes spares for all parts, props break the most, servos strip
      once in a while and speed controls/motors are more reliable. This is a break down for the
      prepared towel pilot:

      5 props
      1 spare motor (made up and ready to go)
      1 spare speed control (ready to go)
      1 servo
      Packing tape
      velcro (hook and loop)
      + supporting tools

      Breck

  2. Jason Says:

    Hi, I’m really interesting about building one myself, but the “Parts List” link since to be broken.

    Can you please fix it?🙂

    Pretty Please~

    Thank you~

    • brooklynaerodrome Says:

      I just tested the link and it works. Parts below:

      Price
      Turnigy 2S 3S Balance Charger. Direct 110/240v Input $10.82
      TowerPro BM2408-21T / 18A BEC / 1047 Prop Combo $14.34
      PolyMax 3.5mm Gold Connectors 10 PAIRS (20PC) $1.50
      Rhino 1750mAh 2S 7.4v 20C Lipoly Pack $8.19
      Turnigy TG9e 9g / 1.5kg / 0.10sec Eco Micro Servo $1.99
      Male XT60 connectors (5pcs/bag) GENUINE $2.31
      Hobby King 2.4Ghz 6Ch Tx & Rx V2 (Mode 2) $22.99
      Hobby King 2.4Ghz 6Ch Tx USB Cable for Win2000/XP $2.89

      Breck

  3. Mark Says:

    Wow you guys have inspired me! Back when I was a kid (hate to say how long ago) my dad flew RC airplanes. And I remember tagging along many a Sunday out to the airfield. I flew a bit with him, but was always too intimidated by his very beautifully built planes to every feel comfortable flying that much myself. But I do remember the expensive and touchy analog radios of the day, the messy engines, and that dad seemed to spend more time building and cleaning his planes then flying them. Looks like modern technology, and your straightforward design has made RC flying much easier to get into.

    One question though. I live in Denver, and I recall that Dad had performance issues with his planes flying at our altitude. I am wondering if anybody has any experience with flying a towel at higher elevations.

    • brooklynaerodrome Says:

      We feel your pain on the complexity of traditional RC efforts. It is a big part of why
      we do what we do. That and the desire to get people being creative with scratch building
      a plane very quickly.

      As for the Denver altitude I doubt it will be much of an issue. I take a travel version of
      the Towel skiing and have flown at alta which is 8,500 ft.

      Breck

  4. Hin Says:

    do you need ama license to fly one of this?

    • brooklynaerodrome Says:

      No license required, but the AMA is worth supporting with a membership.
      They have a park flier membership that is cheaper.

      Breck

  5. Mark Says:

    Well I put my order in at Hobby King today. Unfortunately about half the items on the list are back ordered. I am not sure if that is a common problem for Hobby King, or if the Towel is taking off (sorry for the pun…) I do hope that they can get the parts in soon!

  6. vinny Says:

    I was at the maker faire nyc and i think one of the guys said that i could make the plane if i was willing to come to your location in brooklyn. Is that still a option?

    • brooklynaerodrome Says:

      There are no build sessions scheduled right now but probably in late november. I have to move the
      studio which is going to take a while.

      Breck

  7. Tom Smolka Says:

    Is there still a “kit” available from tower hobbies?

    • brooklynaerodrome Says:

      Tower has the gear you need. But more expensive than Hobby King. There never was a “kit”
      from Tower, not really their speed.

      Breck

  8. Mike Says:

    Hey Breck,

    Just wondering if you could outline the specs of an optimal motor/esc/battery for the towel. I built mine back in October and am dying to fly but it seems that Hobby King is perpetually out of stock for most of the parts.

    I’m new to the hobby and have no clue what features make the TP 2408-21T an ideal motor for this application so if you could kind of lay out what to look for in a motor and esc, maybe I could look around for alternative parts.

    Hope that makes sense…

    Thanks!

    Mike

    • brooklynaerodrome Says:

      It is quite a pain to find equivalents. The relevant property of the motor we use is
      that it will swing a slow flight 10×4.7 prop at 1400 RPM per volt. We run with 2 Lipo cells
      so we need a fairly high rpm setup for the 7.4 volt range we see.

      Spec sheet is here:

      http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/tp_motor.html

      Looking at the first line, the motor that I have recommended, you see that the amps drawn are in the 13-16 amp range. Which
      means that we need a speed control of equal or greater capacity. 18 amps is the next common increment up.

      There are lots of other candidate solutions so now you can evaluate them with the specs of the hobby king gear. I suggest you just sit on the backorder or try to get the component parts
      of the combo pack. They do come in and out of in stock status quite frequently.

      Breck

      Breck

  9. Isaac Says:

    Are the batteries that you mentioned for the remote control or for something on the plane? Also, how long does the plane run for?

  10. Mike Says:

    Thanks for the info. I set up alerts for the parts that seemed to be out of stock a lot then ordered everything else. The day after my first order arrived, I got an alert that one of the out-of-stock items came in…figures.

    Placed an order for those and about two days later, another alert for another item! Shipping is going to cost more than the actual parts lol..

    Thanks again,
    Mike

  11. Ravi Says:

    I ordered the parts list from this blog and it seems my receiver didn’t have that tiny “secondary” receiver ( that flashes if the binding is correct) that you have it in your video. I didn’t hook it up yet but wondering if that matters.
    Also those gold connectors came in a bunch and I wasn’t able to attach them to any wires ( this is my FIRST plane). For that matter ESC also didn’t come with any connectors. Don’t know where those gold things go. But they look rich, in GOLD!

    The TX is HK-T6A V2 6 channel. So do I need to program it even for the simple stuff? I mean I am not advanced to do elevon mixing etc.
    Thanks in advance.

  12. Ravi Says:

    Thanks Breck,

    Being my first plane it crashed every single time yesterday and still held good for another day! There were some good things I noticed. When I first saw the videos I thought there got to be a better way to build the motor mount since it seemed a bit complicated and unnecessary.
    The more I tried and looked around for a simpler way, the more I realized the ingenuity of your motor mount method. What can be simpler than a few scores and bends and zip ties, that too with the material at hand? Absolutely NOTHING! That was simply brilliant. Of all the things moved, dinged, displaced, thrown off on the plane yesterday, motor mount was intact like a rock!

    So thank you for the videos and my advice to first time plane builders like me? Just stick to the process in the videos and do not reinvent the wheel. You may improve here and there but it is totally up to you and your time. And about the secondary receiver in the videos, you don’t need it anymore. It worked fine without it.

    • Mike Says:

      Hey Ravi! Congrats on the build and test flights🙂 I just recently completed mind and I have to say…what a blast to fly! I also crashed a lot (ok..every flight for about 10 flights) but I’ve got the hang of it now.

      Unfortunately my first planes didn’t live to fly another day. One actually did a full throttle nosedive into a parking lot from about 250ft lol. I’m completely new to RC aircraft so this project makes a fantastic learning platform. I will say that I invited my buddy to fly once I learned to control it more and he made much better progress with me to guide him through his first few flights. Only crashed about 2 times and the plane survived both hehe.

      Due to the nature of my “landing technique”, the fanfold didn’t really hold up as well as I’d hoped. I ended up picking up a 40″x60″x3/16″ foam filled poster board from Office Depot for $12. I can make two bodies from the one sheet (gotta have a backup) and I’ve found it’s much more durable than the fanfold.

      Kudos to the Brooklyn Aerodrome team for this easy-to-build and beginner-friendly design!

  13. Mike Says:

    Just a tip for those future and existing builders: Hobbypartz has a fantastic radio kit that includes a 6 channel programmable transmitter (same T6 just rebranded as FlySky), receiver AND the programming cable all for $32. They offered free shipping on orders over $25 when I got mine so that $32 was to my door.

    There’s also an option to add an additional full-size receiver for another $9. Be careful if you order because this option is checked by default.

    http://www.hobbypartz.com/79p-ct6b-r6b-radiosystem.html

    Enjoy!

  14. Ravi Says:

    Mike,
    F.Y.I
    I am using Dollar Tree poster board. It comes in 20×30 for a buck. So it takes a total of 2 bucks to make a plane and some board left for other things. THE cheapest solution. Cheaper than Office Depot foam board. Also used the Guerrilla tape all over the edges to reinforce the strength for crash landings. I ditched the elevon connecting method showed in teh videos and opted for used credit cards as horns. Basically bend a credit card in L shape, make some holes at the top end for the control rods and attach the bottom of the L, to the elevons with Velcro. Worked great. Just sharing.

  15. Mike Says:

    Ravi,

    What a coincidence! I was just in the Dollar Tree today and saw a box of that stuff. Picked up two for myself lol. I was considering either building two small ones or using both to make one. Got my second radio in and programmed yesterday so I want to try some dogfighting.

    Do you have any issues with in-flight flexing due to the joint? I would assume the control deck being attached would strengthen it but wasn’t sure.

    Interesting idea with the credit cards and I like how the velcro allows you to move the horns to a new body easily. I found some control horns in a local hobby shop for $2 so I grabbed em. I might try attaching them with velcro instead of the screws and see how it works.

    Happy flying!

  16. Isaac Says:

    Hello! Do you have to make the deck out of coroplast? If not, would foam board work as a substitute?

    • brooklynaerodrome Says:

      Give it a try and let us know how it goes. The deck is not required, but it makes it easier to build a new airframe quickly. First towels did not have a deck, Splinter objected to the hassle of rebuilding after a night’s destruction, suggested removable radio gear and the deck was born.

  17. Isaac Robinson Says:

    On your home page, there is a link that says admin. I think that that link could let people edit your blog. (I was curious, so I clicked it, but I didn’t do anything.)
    Thought you might like to know.

  18. Isaac Robinson Says:

    In your video, ‘1.2 Deck Control Horns, Prop, Center of Gravity,’ the ailerons are not connected to the body of the plane. I was wondering how you are supposed to construct the ailerons (please tell me if I am just missing a video…).

  19. Mike Says:

    Issac,

    The elevons are taped to the body. I believe this is shown in the first video right after they’re cut out.

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