Report from the field: Art and Towel #172 somewhere in New Jersey…


We got an email this week that we think is brilliant and wanted to share. Take it away, Arthur S. in Morristown!

Here’s what I’ve learned so far:

  1. Don’t pick up the plane using the prop cut-out as a handle.  The stitches (3) come out next week.
  2. My field has a lot more poison ivy in it than I thought.
More practically, I had a lot of fun building the towel.  The only issue that you might want to address is the double-sided tape provided for the servos.  The wax-paper backing (is that how it comes?) was hopelessly, permanently, bonded to the tape.  I used double-sided foam tape.  So, far so good.  The video instructions were perfectly clear.

My flying is still terrible but getting better  (I washed out of USAF flight school).  I didn’t have a helper to launch so I use a V-1 style launch ramp.  It could be improved by lowering the friction but it works with full power and full back stick.

V-1 style launch ramp

You shared your disdain for tape, but I’ve had to use it liberally to keep the thing flying.  The nose has been destroyed but the rest of the plane remains in good shape.  The foam was terribly smashed and broken within a few flights. I taped a coat hanger around the nose.  This certainly bent but was quickly moved back into flyable shape.  It looks like hell.

Crushed nose. Note coat hangar extending aft-ward from nose.

Nose slid back into place and ready for next crash.

It got me thinking about a “trainer” version of the plane that has a nose that will absorb the damage but be restorable.  What if I used a harder material for the nose that is forward of the control deck, but attached it in such a way that it could break off and reattach fairly easily?  Maybe something involving flexible ribs and velcro tape.  I don’t know, but I will experiment.  If you have any thoughts around this, I’d love to hear them.

Thanks for a very cool project!

– Art

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6 Responses to “Report from the field: Art and Towel #172 somewhere in New Jersey…”

  1. Daniel Curtiss Says:

    Cool launcher! I launch with right hand left on throttle. Set elevon trim to max once airborne I flip the trim all the way to minimum. Works for me. As for tape not sure on Brecks position but since my third wing I skin the whole thing with thin clear packing tape front back and leading edges. Takes way more abuse! And using the make cover deck as a model I run that to the nose too. Lots of zip ties and I use a little duct or gaffer tape underneath to keep the zips from pulling through the foam. It might be a little heavier but flies great and crashes better equals more fun. Dan

    • brooklynaerodrome Says:

      Advancements are always welcome. I’ll look into taping and reinforcing the zip ties. I have been stiffening the airframe in various ways with a doubler or by extensive use of carpet tape to better attach the deck to the blue foam.

      More suggestions welcome.


  2. brooklynaerodrome Says:

    The break off nose has my attention. That or an EPP section. EPP is a crushable foam that bounces back that is used in very tough model airplanes that are more on the “indestructible” type. But the material is rarely used in flat plate designs. Hmmmm…got some in the studio, updates to follow.


  3. jimbo Says:

    I build all my wings out of epp. Even a flatplate 9mm epp that you iron on a copyshop laminate is plenty strong and much more resilient than fanfold foam. No carbon fiber rods necessary.

    • brooklynaerodrome Says:

      That is an interesting idea. How is the weight compared to the fan fold?


      • jimbo Says:

        Hi Breck. The laminated epp is just as light as fanfold and many times stronger. Google “9mm EPP Laminated Weight Bearing Test” to see a test I did on the strength of this material. Crashtesthobby has built their business based on laminated epp with their Assassin and other line of indestructible wings. I still have all my original epp wings in flying shape whereas I have only 1 original fanfold wing (hanging on a wall for memories sake.) Anyway, great plane you got there!

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