Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

New Website and Book

May 27, 2013

We are moving the blog to our revamped website at The new site has a forum, blog and even a store for spare parts and kits.

The other news is that I just received advance copies of the book. Come over to the website and take a gander.




Writeup in Brooklyn Artisan

May 14, 2013

Phil Scott, a serious pilot in his own right, did a writeup about our educational programs at Brooklyn Artisan.

A how-to build video for the Flying Wing Kit is in the works

December 30, 2012

Breck is using holiday downtime to make an instructional build video for the kits.

Behold our tireless founder hard at work despite sniffles and a headcold.

portrait device

Hacked video device

Hacked video device

Assemble with tape demo

Assemble with tape demo

Airframe together and ready for next steps

Airframe together and ready for next steps

Demo for cutting the hinge

Demo for cutting the hinge

Getting the hinge shot

Getting the hinge shot


Towel #168 Checking In Again!

December 4, 2012

Again, please let us know about your failing, flying and trying. All planes must fly.




Greetings Breck!

I had a chance to go for a first flight over the Thanksgiving weekend, and it was  a success! Of course, there were plenty of crashes as your document guaranteed, but it was surprisingly easy to get used to the controls. Took a few nasty licks but I was airborne again in minutes each time. I’m thankful that the kit came with three propellers, ’cause I went through all of them in two days’ time. Still worth it!

Thanks again for bringing the Towel to the masses. This is just the beginning! Let me know if there are any flights scheduled soon, or if you need a hand with any classes.


Pictures Below:

Bat Signal Plane and Iridescent Plane

November 21, 2012

Got the following missive via the intertubes….great looking builds.

First the pix, then the story from George and his sons out of Stamford, Ct.




George from Stamford , Ct wrote:

“Hey Breck, wanted to share my experiences and some pictures with you. We saw you and Karen at the Mini-Maker Faire in Westport.  My imagination was fired up but I wanted to build but I also wanted to build with my two boys 18 and 20. In June school was out and I said to my wife I wanted to start getting the stuff together for a build. She said you can’t do that, we are already getting everything together to surprise you on fathers day.

I had a 4’x8′ sheet of art board so we built the first few planes with that.  The first ones flew ok and we learned why they were called the towel. It turns out the boys are incredibly good at flying. I guess from all that video gaming. I am not as good but have a good feel for launching the planes. Next we tried the art board and removed the paper. That was too flexible. Next we went with the pink 5/8″ foam. It works very well and is available.  We covered one side with an iridescent gift bag.  That was a very successful airframe. Now we built a Bat Signal airframe. This flies very well. We saw you at The World Maker Faire at Flushing Meadow and picked up some blue foam. Can’t wait to use it. We have some ideas we want to try. Thanks for the inspiration and hours of fun. “

Towel #168 Checking In!

October 14, 2012

Hats off to Darin from Queens for detailing his experience with the kit. He’s given us great photos and narration and I want to include all of it so keep scrolling!
Now, here’s Darin:

Hey Breck and friends!

I wanted to check in Towel #168 and share some build details with the group. This is the first RC plane I’ve built, and I’m very excited. Saw you guys at last year’s Maker Faire but there was no kit at the time. After seeing the kit at this year’s Faire, I couldn’t resist.
Being that I live in a tiny apartment in NYC, I had some concerns about the portability and storability of an RC aircraft. The biggest change I made to the design was giving the towel the ability to be broken down for transport, taking advantage of the removable deck. A hinge was created at the centerline of the airframe with tape so that the whole thing can be folded in half. In addition to the deck with zip ties, Velcro strips are used to lock the airframe open for flight. Quite strong. The process of breakdown will cost me 12 zip ties, but oh well. Next build I may attach the entire deck with Velcro. The whole kit can now be bundled up in/on a backpack for fly days.
Also used some wide drinking straws to build a leading edge, for aerodynamics and strength.
Went with a red color scheme, as this matched the components and leading edge reinforcement, and adds visibility against blue skies. I figure spray paint won’t add much weight.

Decided to run the electricals underneath the deck. Might make things tougher to repair, so to solve this issue I just won’t crash. 🙂 Initially ran the servo cables forward through a common hole but they were just too tight and I had concerns about interference with the antennas, so ran them sideways. Also snipped the corners off the motor mount for safety and aesthetics. Receiver is mounted on Velcro for easy removability and a little padding. Single dedicated zip tie holds it in. Wanted to attach the motor mount under the deck, but forgot… The prop hole was cut with rounded corners – a bit rough but just don’t look closely.

Complete deck. Left speed controller above for cooling.

Cable routing underneath deck.

In videos I watched, the pointy nose was the first thing to go, and I know that curves tend to fare better. Reinforced the nose with hangars. Actually found some purple clothes hangers, which were easier to spray paint red. One of the hangar curves happened to match the nose shape perfectly, so no bending was needed.

Makeshift jig I had to put together to slot the straws perfectly. (Very difficult without jig).

When lining up the elevons for taping, I found that a few straight pins did a great job of holding things right where I wanted.

Decided to go with a Batwing-like shape for the tail, similar to the Make magazine build. (Got my trusty April 2012 edition sitting here.)

Detail of airframe – you can see that the wings fold downward with no deck attached.

Detail of leading edge.

Detail of kung-fu-folding action.

Full build, top view.

Full build, front view.

Some problems I ran into:
  • The included double-stick tape did not work – the wax paper side did not come off at all. Luckily I had some extra of my own.
  • Had to build my own 12V power supply for the charger. A bit disappointing that this doesn’t come with the kit, considering its completeness otherwise.
  • Found that the control wires rubbed up against the airframe on full extension. Had to cut some ugly slots.
  • Can’t tell from either the videos (which are great) or documentation what my flight time or range is with the Optic 5.
I’m working on an idea to attach skis to the bottom, in order to protect the vertical stabilizer mounts, but didn’t finalize a solution yet which would be strong and still allow for the folding. Also plan to figure out a way to use the rudder or landing gear control to light some LEDs for night flying. Someday.
Thanks to Brooklyn Aerodrome for making a simple and affordable kit for beginners! Hope to be able to make it to next week’s fly class to give this thing a maiden flight. It’s aching to be flown!
Thanks for the report and detail pics of that sweet looking airplane, Darin. Commentary will be forthcoming.
We are currently in class (!). but wanted to get this up where people could see it asap.
Great job!













October 6, 2012



The reworking of our internship posting is way better than the original:

Sweet internship alert: Hack the sky at Brooklyn Aerodrome

The original:


Internship at Brooklyn Aerodrome

Brooklyn Aerodrome seeks a part time 10-20 hours per week intern to assist in 
completion of "DIY RC Airplanes from Scratch: The Brooklyn Aerodrome Bible for 
Hacking the Sky" to be published by McGraw-Hill. This will be a one month 
engagement starting immediately. 

The internship is unpaid.

The intern will be assisting Breck Baldwin by:

Verifying instructions
Building aircraft
Assisting photography of components and airplanes
Assisting with video
Experimenting with equipment

RC flying skills are not necessary but good "hobby skills" are a must which 
includes handling exactos, soldering and working with varied materials. 
Product photography experience a big plus. 

What you will get out of this: You will learn to fly/build RC airplanes, 
take one home and get an intern credit in the book. 

About us: The Brooklyn Aerodrome creates and builds small remote controlled 
airplanes for education, fun and art. Please visit our blog for more about us.

Please contact with a resume.

Towel #145 Reports In

October 5, 2012

Every new successful build post makes me happy. We have 2 of 99 accounted for from the first set of kits. I want them all to fly. Let us know how we can help. BTW we never publicize names or planes without permission.


And I quote:

Hello Brooklyn Aerodrome,
Just wanted to let you know that kit #145 has been built and flies great!  I bought the kit at the Detroit Maker Faire and used your videos to build it.  Thank you for putting together a great kit.

Andrew B
Keeler, MI

Towel In the Grass

#145 has been built!

First report from Zone D at the World Maker Faire 2012

October 1, 2012

Thanks to all who came out to see us!

Props to Eddie and Kevin who put in serious work at our exhibit – much appreciated!

Eddie holding down the Aerodrome

A gray day kept the vibe low key

Cadets were out bright and early on the second day

We are hard at work on that Mailing List for those who signed up, but if you are already here then no need to wait. Check out classes here:

Video of the flapping manta ray, striped heart flyer and banana plane coming up!



World Maker Faire NYC #MakerFaire camp rendering for Brooklyn Aerodrome

September 26, 2012

Brooklyn Aerodrome will be holding it down in Zone D at the Maker Faire.

This year we decided to go big or go home (!) – behold our swanky sketch-up of Camp BA:

Breck’s rendering of BA 2012 for World Maker Faire 2012

Note there are TWO runways surrounding our silver hangar.

One of these is the “New Pilot Runway” where some former students and DIYers will show their planes and talk about their experience with the build.

Hope to see you there!


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