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Old 12-31-2013, 02:40 PM   #1
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Default The most unusual materials / design model you made ?

I first of all thought to post this in Scratchbuild ... but then thought it better here. So more people would see - read - consider what they see.

Question :

What materials other than usually used in RC have you used to produce a model ?
(We are not talking about garden sticks for struts or small items ... this is major structure of the model).

Did it fly ?

Did you develop it on or just stick with what worked ?

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

There is reason behind this mad question ... and that will be revealed later !

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Old 12-31-2013, 06:56 PM   #2
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If you can think of it its been tried...

A few years ago someone set a new record for the largest RC model made from soda straws and saran wrap.

We've made planes with Monokote or gift wrap tubes for fuselages or booms. Also just rolled typing/printer paper tubes for spars.

Doculam laminating film makes great cheap covering material.

Card stock ribs and to replace 90% + of the other balsa normally used was common in the late 1930's and into the late 1940's due to shortage of balsa.

Almost all materials EVER used for model aircraft were originally intended for something else.
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Old 12-31-2013, 07:01 PM   #3
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I did say " other than usually used in RC " ...

So I'm looking for weird and wonderful .. preferably successful alternatives.

Once I get back home ... get the Concorde on the go - I'll let you all in on the idea !!

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Old 12-31-2013, 07:33 PM   #4
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when my grandpa died, we inherited all of his planes/building parts. he used super thin foam with carbon fiber stung on top and bottom. he also used both thin foam sheet and thin card stock for a lot of things in fuse building.

slow stock prop reversal. it flies! easily! 543 watt dual motor bipe slow stick. push-me-pull-you. 242 watt 3 channel slow stick. 365 watt mini ultra stick. 415 watt mini contender. 810 watt ultra stick .25e. 220 watt alpha 450 sport (retired).
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Old 12-31-2013, 07:36 PM   #5
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Any full models to show ?

Nigel

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Old 12-31-2013, 11:10 PM   #6
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Many years ago I saw a picture of a control line plane that was weird but it flew ok.

It had a flat profile fuse with the motor laid over, but the wings were made of successfully smaller tin cans with both ends cut out extending from the fuse to the tips.

The bellcrank controlled 2 soup cans on a pivot wire for the elevator and rudder.
It looked stupid but it flew.

I am considering trying something like that out of foam.

Dave R, Proud PGR rider.
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You become a master at repair.
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Old 01-01-2014, 03:53 AM   #7
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The mythbusters have made 'gliders' out of both lead and concrete and they did indeed "fly" - sort of

If you've found some new, light weight but (adequately) strong/stiff building material, please share. Other wise - happy new year

I think I need a signature.
Larry
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Old 01-01-2014, 05:40 AM   #8
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a string of small carbon fiber thread we got from my grandpa next to a completed wing.



a complete fuse with only card stock for the sides, then painted with white glue. (grandpa built things heavy. his .25 ugly stick weighs just shy of 6 pounds).


uncovered wing that was never finished. card stock is glued into the bottom.


foam main spar with carbon fiber glued on top and bottom. regular balsa ribs.



completed wing, covered in dope and silk. this one also has the foam/carbon fiber main spar.

I didn't see any of them where he glued fiber strings around the outside before covering. he also used dollar tree style foam instead of cardstock on other planes.

slow stock prop reversal. it flies! easily! 543 watt dual motor bipe slow stick. push-me-pull-you. 242 watt 3 channel slow stick. 365 watt mini ultra stick. 415 watt mini contender. 810 watt ultra stick .25e. 220 watt alpha 450 sport (retired).
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Old 01-01-2014, 05:46 AM   #9
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the way my grandpa made his carbon fiber was by hanging a weight off of it and then drip ca down the string. this was it was always straight.

slow stock prop reversal. it flies! easily! 543 watt dual motor bipe slow stick. push-me-pull-you. 242 watt 3 channel slow stick. 365 watt mini ultra stick. 415 watt mini contender. 810 watt ultra stick .25e. 220 watt alpha 450 sport (retired).
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Old 01-01-2014, 07:09 AM   #10
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Years ago,i'm talking 25+ here,my mate and i made several airplanes out of discarded real estate signs.They were a material very similar to corflute.Heavy as h*ll,but we did make them fly.
My late mentor and flying buddy designed a trainer to be built out of laminated cardboard,that was used for shop advertising signs in those heady days.Balsa wing and tail,with a 25-40 on the nose,they were cheap and so easy to fix.
Another friend used mahogany door skins to build a 12 foot span model.with lightening holes everywhere,and tissue covering,it wasn,t actually that heavy.The wing clapped hands when he got brave,and decided a loop was in it's flying repertoire.It wasn't!
The same chap also made a beautiful job of a ww1 type fuselage made from thinwall brass tubing.Covered with silk and doped,it looked a million dollars.
Unfortunately,something went amiss with his radio at take off,and reduced his artwork to a pile of bent and twisted brass bits in a silk bag.
We were still flying on 27am/fm in those days.We found later his tx aerial wasn't fully screwed in.
More recently,there was a rush on square or oblong pvc downpipe to build 3-d models out of.I thought they looked god-awful,and never bothered.
Them young fellers don't know they're born these days.Cheap and reliable radios,electric flying airplanes,4 stroke motors that don't cost 2 weeks wages,etc.What's next,completely built airplanes in a box?Oh wait,we've got those now.
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Old 01-01-2014, 09:54 AM   #11
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The Door skins - these were actually the source for most veneers to cover foam core wings. The general factory wing was Sapele veneer ... hard but light. It's one downside was it's habit of splitting easily along the grain being thin and so dry. If you damped it to work - then the contact glue didn't catch, and the veneer developed 'ripples'. A lot of DIY guys tried other veneers but best for home use was still balsa.

I had a small home biz of producing Veneered foam wings and parts ... "Wings & Things".

Back in 1980's there were cardboard model kits in the Uk ... one a ~55" trainer that the box became part of the model ! It flew ....

OK - these are pretty well tried and tested stuff ... any really unusual ?

Yes I'm pushing and digging ...

Cheers
Happy New Year

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Old 01-01-2014, 05:30 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by fhhuber View Post
<snip!>Almost all materials EVER used for model aircraft were originally intended for something else.
Wait, are you telling me balsa wasn't invented for model aircraft?

"Give a man a plane and he'll fly for a day.
Teach a man to build a plane and he'll fly for a lifetime"
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Old 01-01-2014, 05:37 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Larry3215 View Post
The mythbusters have made 'gliders' out of both lead and concrete and they did indeed "fly" - sort of

If you've found some new, light weight but (adequately) strong/stiff building material, please share. Other wise - happy new year
They weren't the first.
http://greyfalcon.us/restored/Glide%20bombs.htm
Not exactly a glider in the regular sense, but it was "made" (note quotes) of concrete.

That carbon fiber plane HayOfStacks' gampa made looks to be covered in Olde Tyme tissue. Was carbon fiber available 'back then'? Or was he just a traditionalist?

"Give a man a plane and he'll fly for a day.
Teach a man to build a plane and he'll fly for a lifetime"
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Old 01-01-2014, 06:01 PM   #14
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Some people still use tissue for competition Free Flight models.
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Old 01-01-2014, 06:02 PM   #15
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Concrete or better termed Ferrocement has been used in boat building for many years ...

This 60ft Schooner MILDA went round the world 2001 - 2003 with Latvian ex Prime Minister :

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Old 01-01-2014, 10:42 PM   #16
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Lets see, things I cant remember anyone ever making a model plane from:

rocks
grass
beer
apples
silverware
cats
dogs
elephants
(I'm not listing pigs because I have seen pigs fly )
BBQ grills
ice
my car
my exxxx-girlfriend
telephones
underwear - Oh wait - that does not include socks - I made an RC flying model from a pair of old smelly gym socks - and they didnt even match! That has to be the most unusual building material I know of. Wish I had thought of it originally

There is a video or three somewhere on youtube....





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I think I need a signature.
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Old 01-01-2014, 10:53 PM   #17
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Found one of mine


I think I need a signature.
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Old 01-01-2014, 10:55 PM   #18
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Do I get a prize???

I think I need a signature.
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Old 01-01-2014, 11:13 PM   #19
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Definitely brought a smile to my face !!

This is actually a serious thread .. with a bit of humour expected to be thrown in !!

It does have a serious purpose and end result.



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Old 01-02-2014, 02:30 AM   #20
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my grandpa liked to experiment with vinyl. a lot of his planes were covered in panty hose. he did use some tissue on some of his planes. to be honest, a lot of the covering is so old and fragile its hard to tell them apart.

I played with a couple of his main spars he had built up. the really thin foam he was using was actually foam plates that he has cut out and glued for the spars, and outside of the fuse. on a lot of his planes he also sheeted then outside in balsa.

my grandpa basically quit working on planes in the 1980's. he had cancer several times and eventually died of it. tumor in his spinal cord. after his first several surgerys in the 60's he lost all feeling in his hands and had a hard time both building and flying. almost all of his planes were free flight models that he added a rudder control to since he had such a hard time feeling the sticks.

carbon fiber has been around for a long time. it wasn't super widely used, but it was actually "perfected" out in Utah as part of the aeronautical work that sprung up in this area.

slow stock prop reversal. it flies! easily! 543 watt dual motor bipe slow stick. push-me-pull-you. 242 watt 3 channel slow stick. 365 watt mini ultra stick. 415 watt mini contender. 810 watt ultra stick .25e. 220 watt alpha 450 sport (retired).
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Old 01-02-2014, 02:30 AM   #21
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Sokitume!..
There was the "dead cat" quadcopter.To be fair though,the cat was merely the covering,not the actual building material.It's also quite disturbing to a cat lover.
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Old 01-02-2014, 04:27 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Larry3215 View Post
Lets see, things I cant remember anyone ever making a model plane from:

rocks
grass
beer
apples
silverware
cats
dogs
elephants
(I'm not listing pigs because I have seen pigs fly )
BBQ grills
ice
my car
my exxxx-girlfriend
telephones
underwear - Oh wait - that does not include socks - I made an RC flying model from a pair of old smelly gym socks - and they didnt even match! That has to be the most unusual building material I know of. Wish I had thought of it originally

There is a video or three somewhere on youtube....
I can think of a police call box that flies...

"Give a man a plane and he'll fly for a day.
Teach a man to build a plane and he'll fly for a lifetime"
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Old 01-02-2014, 07:42 AM   #23
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I don't have anything especially odd to offer although most of the normal building materials - insulating foam, popsicle sticks, piano wire, yard signs, etc. - are pretty odd if you're not used to the idea.

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Old 01-02-2014, 07:53 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by hayofstacks View Post
......carbon fiber has been around for a long time. it wasn't super widely used, but it was actually "perfected" out in Utah as part of the aeronautical work that sprung up in this area.
Hu Hum .... excuse me Sir ...

In 1958, Roger Bacon created high-performance carbon fibers at the Union Carbide Parma Technical Center, now GrafTech International Holdings, Inc., located outside of Cleveland, Ohio.[1] Those fibers were manufactured by heating strands of rayon until they carbonized. This process proved to be inefficient, as the resulting fibers contained only about 20% carbon and had low strength and stiffness properties. In the early 1960s, a process was developed by Dr. Akio Shindo at Agency of Industrial Science and Technology of Japan, using polyacrylonitrile (PAN) as a raw material. This had produced a carbon fiber that contained about 55% carbon.
The high potential strength of carbon fiber was realized in 1963 in a process developed by W. Watt, L. N. Phillips, and W. Johnson at the Royal Aircraft Establishment at Farnborough, Hampshire. The process was patented by the UK Ministry of Defence then licensed by the National Research Development Corporation (NRDC) to three British companies: Rolls-Royce, already making carbon fiber; Morganite; and Courtaulds. They were able to establish industrial carbon fiber production facilities within a few years, and Rolls-Royce took advantage of the new material's properties to break into the American market with its RB-211 aero-engine.
Public concern arose over the ability of British industry to make the best of this breakthrough. In 1969 a House of Commons select committee inquiry into carbon fiber prophetically asked: "How then is the nation to reap the maximum benefit without it becoming yet another British invention to be exploited more successfully overseas?" Ultimately, this concern was justified. One by one the licensees pulled out of carbon-fiber manufacture. Rolls-Royce's interest was in state-of-the-art aero-engine applications. Its own production process was to enable it to be leader in the use of carbon-fiber reinforced plastics. In-house production would typically cease once reliable commercial sources became available.
Unfortunately, Rolls-Royce pushed the state-of-the-art too far, too quickly, in using carbon fiber in the engine's compressor blades, which proved vulnerable to damage from bird impact. What seemed a great British technological triumph in 1968 quickly became a disaster as Rolls-Royce's ambitious schedule for the RB-211 was endangered. Indeed, Rolls-Royce's problems became so great that the company was eventually nationalized by the British government in 1971 and the carbon-fiber production plant was sold off to form "Bristol Composites".
Given the limited market for a very expensive product of variable quality, Morganite also decided that carbon-fiber production was peripheral to its core business, leaving Courtaulds as the only big UK manufacturer. Continuing collaboration with the staff at Farnborough proved helpful in the quest for higher quality and improvements in the speed of production as Courtaulds developed two main markets: aerospace and sports equipment.. However Courtaulds's big advantage as manufacturer of the "Courtelle" precursor now became a weakness. Courtelle's low cost and ready availability were potential advantages, but the water-based inorganic process used to produce it made the product susceptible to impurities that did not affect the organic process used by other carbon-fiber manufacturers.
Nevertheless, during the 1980s Courtaulds continued to be a major supplier of carbon fiber for the sports-goods market, with Mitsubishi its main customer until a move to expand, including building a production plant in California, turned out badly. The investment did not generate the anticipated returns, leading to a decision to pull out of the area and Courtaulds ceased carbon-fiber production in 1991. Ironically the one surviving UK carbon-fiber manufacturer continued to thrive making fiber based on Courtaulds's precursor. Inverness-based RK Carbon Fibres Ltd concentrated on producing carbon fiber for industrial applications, removing the need to compete at the quality levels reached by overseas manufacturers.
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Old 01-02-2014, 10:29 PM   #25
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http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/McLaren_MP4/1

that was according to my dad who works at atk(formerly Hercules, composite branch broke off and became hexcel). he said the.carbon fiber they were making there since at least 1970. somewhere my dad has a picture of one of his co-workers holding up two mclaren chassis in each.hand. my dad said they only weighed 40lbs each when they shipped them off to mclaren.

mainly, they built rocket nozzle and parts for satellites and rockets. my understanding is that Hercules built far superior materials that were much lighter and stronger then anything else on the market, but I'm sure that a lot of this information is a bit biased. my dad said that they called their material herculite when he started there in 1982.

slow stock prop reversal. it flies! easily! 543 watt dual motor bipe slow stick. push-me-pull-you. 242 watt 3 channel slow stick. 365 watt mini ultra stick. 415 watt mini contender. 810 watt ultra stick .25e. 220 watt alpha 450 sport (retired).
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