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View Full Version : My first ever flight off water, I'm hooked! Slowstick on floats...


bugjam1999
09-26-2006, 02:57 PM
Hello all,

Still grinning from yesterdays flying off water :) what a laugh... Finally finished my slowstick sometime last week that was bought solely to make use of the 4 batterypacks i had from a crashed parkzone decathlon. I bought a cheap set of GWS floats for it from ebay during the build after seeing pictures on the net of slowsticks on them, yesterday i fitted them and went flying!

Float flying is SO much fun! The weather yesterday was perfect, completely calm. After one battery pack at the local playing field just to check that it wasn't going to be a nightmare to fly, i went to the local lake and flew out the other three packs :) It floats straight and level and the takeoff run doesn't seem to be much longer than on wheels, and a calm lake is the longest runway in the world!

I did get caught out after the first landing tho, I landed and stopped facing the bank where there were lots of reeds without enough space to turn round - the turning circle on the lake is rather wide because it only has the flying surfaces, no rudder. I ended up with a plane stuck on reeds just out of reach... cue a search for a long stick ;)

That minor hiccup overcome, the rest of the flying was a lot of fun, touch and goes on water are entertaining! I've made swopping between floats and wheels a ten minute job so i'll be playing with both... although floats are SO much fun i doubt that the wheels will be on it for a while!

Bugjam

Fitting instructions: I'm sure that someone has a better way of doing this, but i think the method i devised was pretty simple and secure so heres how i did it.

The GWS kit comes with two cross pieces and two sets of uprights. The uprights are far too short for the slowstick, they're maybe half the length of the original landing gear so the prop would be in the water if i used them.

The fittings for the floats fit on the original landing gear tho, so i removed the gear from the plane, popped off the wheels and added the front fittings for the floats to the landing gear and screwed them to the floats.

For the rear set, i used a piece of wire the same guage as the original landing gear and bent it to the same profile. At the top of the wire, i made the return loop the same width as the fuselage and as long as the connector piece from the slowstick kit for making a two piece fuselage(which i hadn't used during the build).

The connector piece from the slowstick kit for making a two piece fuselage is basically a piece of square plastic tube the internal dimensions of which are the same as the fuselage, about 2cm long. I took that piece and cut nearly all of one side of it away, but left a lip of about 2mm each side remaining. In profile the piece now resembles an angular "c". The piece can now be snapped onto the fuselage from the bottom by bending the two lips out slightly and pushing it on. I'd provide a picture but i dont' have a host page...

Then, i took the new set of legs that i'd made and heated the return at the top with a blowtorch... then pressed it into the connector piece on the opposite side to the part i'd cut away. Heat it just enough to press into the plastic, not go through it, you don't want to affect the internal square dimensions.

The plastic connector is now firmly attached to the rear legs... but a covering of epoxy would probably be a good idea.

Then, add the rear legs to the floats with the connector facing forward. Press the front landing gear into it's holder and then snap the rear connector onto the fuselage. Mine fits between just in front of the servo tray. Depending on where your servos and other radio gear are, you may need to mess about with this a bit. I added a small zip-tie to the front to ensure that the front gear stayed in it's holder and another around the connector piece and top of the new rear legs to make sure they stayed attached.

Thats it! In an ideal world, the step of the floats would be at or just behind the c of g. On mine, the furthest rear part of the step is right on the c of g and so ideally they could be about 1cm further back, doesn't seem to have affected the plane too much tho, it is stable on the water with the tips are well out of the water at a standstill. It tracks straight under power and the takeoff run isn't noticably longer than off grass. Just watch out for the wide taxiing turns on the lake, without a rudder it just wants to go straight! Oh, i don't know if GWS floats come in different lengths, but mine are 55cm long. And the plane is completely stock with the standard 300 motor.

Enjoy! :D

ripster327
10-16-2006, 09:22 PM
I'm excited to hear about the slowstick on floats. I've got a slow stick in the mail--should arrive any day now. I'd love the try the floats. Any pics?

syberjunkie
10-16-2006, 10:07 PM
I'd like to see the pics as well, if nothing else pm me and I'll host them for you.

bugjam1999
10-25-2006, 09:27 PM
Sorry, didn't check this thread...

I have two photos taken on my phone as that was the only thing i had with me at the time. They should be attached below :) As a measure of how stable it was with the floats on it, i was on my own at the lake and took one hand off the controller to take photos with my phone...

If you want photos of how i mounted the floats or anything then send me a pm and i'll take some (with a proper camera!) and post them...unfortunately i haven't had a chance to fly the plane since that outing, something to do with a full time job and it getting dark really early in the evenings has kinda killed off most of my opportunities :(

regards, Bugjam

spitace
12-08-2006, 08:21 AM
Now thats wat i call cool, dosent look like it should fly, but it does.
Great work.

Estatic
01-02-2007, 08:17 PM
Bugjam: I'd appreciate a good side photo of how you attached your GWS floats to the Slow Stick. With the photo, it will be easier to follow your great instructions.

Thanks for your photos, build hints, and enthusiasm. I amped and have the Slow Stick and the GWS floats already.

Estatic

bugjam1999
03-16-2007, 01:11 PM
very late reply to your post...sorry. I'm a loooooong way away from my planes at the moment so i'm afraid i can't help right now, i'll be back home late april so if you haven't figured something out by then i'll post something up :)