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A LiPo Brushless Wing Dragon 4

Old 04-04-2009, 09:31 PM
  #1  
quorneng
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Default A LiPo Brushless Wing Dragon 4

Nothing new you might think but this convertion is a bit different.

The original WD 4 certainly flew ok, stable, reasonably aerobatic but not very exciting, so I set about improving things.

The original solid foam wing is certainly tough but rather crude, for example the aileron hinges are pretty stiff and the trailing edge is nearly a 1/4 inch thick. I also judged there was considerable adverse aileron yaw. A differential aileron setup was required.
So I made an identical "built up" wing made out 3mm sheet Depron that was only half the weight. Flexible full length Sellotape hinges meant lighter 5g servos that could be completely buried in the wing.
Powerful differential ailerons made the rudder redundant so it has a light weight V tail with no rudder servo at all.
A 3S 1500mAh LiPo (25% lighter than the 1000mAh NiMh pack) and a 2812 outrunner (50% lighter than the brushed 480) and a streamlined cockpit canopy completes the mods.
So what do we end up with?
A Wing Dragon that is overall 25% lighter, has a thrust equal to its weight and can stay up for 20 minutes or more.
This is how it finally ended up
[media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_domWjHDg0E[/media]This is how it flies
[media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IOjs-gPwZLo[/media]

Last edited by quorneng; 04-08-2009 at 12:39 AM.
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Old 04-06-2009, 06:23 PM
  #2  
Sir Raleigh
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Those look like an excellent modifications, quorneng.

This is the first "V" tail WD4 I've seen, so it's very unique.

I was wondering if you have any more info, pictures, descriptions, etc. giving more details? I would like to add this link to the Wing Dragon/Wing Dragon 4/Begin-Air Series Planes Tips & Tricks thread and I'm sure people would like to know exactly what you did.

Bill
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Old 04-08-2009, 12:17 AM
  #3  
quorneng
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Default Super Wing Dragon

Hi Sir Raleigh
Although an old & experienced balsa basher the Wing Dragon was my first foray into RTF electric and I also wanted to try my hand building with Depron.
To be fair it went through several development stages during 2008. The attached pics show more or less how it went.
1. A built up, lighter more efficient wing. The Depron skin carries all the stresses there is no spar as such.
2. A 3S 1500mAh LiPo
3. A 3S compatible brushed 480 motor - the original 480 gave out.
3. A 2812 Brushless
4. A V tail. It was a solution to stop the tail plane getting damaged on landing. I fly with no U/C as the field is very rough.
5. An even lighter wing resulting from a major rebuild after hitting a tree branch at full speed!
Before the last rebuild the wing was briefly modified to have separate flaps using the redundant rudder channel. With 85 degrees of flap the WD would fly at a walking pace.
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Last edited by quorneng; 04-08-2009 at 12:38 AM.
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Old 04-08-2009, 01:46 AM
  #4  
Sir Raleigh
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Thanks. I'll go ahead and add this link to the Tips & Tricks thread.

Bill
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Old 04-27-2009, 02:46 PM
  #5  
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Great modifications quorneng!!
Do you have some plans for the V tail with the size of the tail, elevators and angle? How did you set up the horns?
How do you think its going to work with the original wing?
This is my first plane and I keep crashing and breaking the rudder.
Thank you very much for your help.

Gas
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Old 04-29-2009, 12:56 AM
  #6  
quorneng
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Hi Gas
I put a V tail on my WD as the original tail plane kept getting damaged on landing as my flying field is very rough.

Actually the layout of the V tail is quite simple. Looking from above it has the same span as the original tail plane and from the side it is the same height as the fin so in theory it has the same aerodynamic effect as the original tail.

My tail is actually a built up structure with symmetrical section Depron ribs covered in 3mm Depron sheet with a balsa leading edge. It is a bit lighter than the original and the fabric "cross over" type hiinges are much more flexible.

It uses the original tail plane mounting plate and screws but with some home made plastic "nuts" to clamp the V tail to the mounting plate.

My WD has strong aileron differential (a lot more up than down), achieved by setting the aileron servo horns forward by 45 degrees. The benefit of this arrangement is that the rudder is not really required at all in normal flight. This means the tail linkage is simple, as the surfaces only have to act together as elevators. Putting both elevator & rudder action on a V tail is rather more complicated unless you have the appropriate mixing function on your TX!
This close up picture shows the two elevator horns fixed to a special double sided clevis with some small 12BA screws.
I hope this helps.
Quorneng
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Old 07-13-2009, 01:01 AM
  #7  
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As I mentioned in my earlier post I did briefly fit separate flaps to my "Depron" Wing Dragon.

Of course being quite a bit lighter than the original & with the same wing area it did not really need them so I started to think how much could I reduce the wing area yet maintain a similar landing speed by using flaps.

With the flaps up it would of course fly somewhat faster so care and attention to the aerodynamics would be important.

As an initial attempt I would try a wing of 70% of the original area.
To make best structural use of the material the wing would be tapered but keep the same span. This would raise the wing aspect ratio from 4.7 to a more respectable 6.7 which in its self should bring better efficiency.
Perhaps even more important the frontal area of the new wing would be only 45% of the original.

To allow a direct comparison it would keep a Clark Y section but with the thickness/chord ratio reduced from 12% to a thinner 10%. Using a 2mm Depron skin instead of 3mm would save a bit of weight so a balsa box spar is required to maintain adequate stiffness.

Of course 2 additional flap servos are required but the control surfaces are relatively small so tiny 3.7gm ones should be ok. My aim is that the "70%" wing should weigh no more than my "full size" Depron wing, despite the extra servos.

To complete the experiment a new "70%" size V tail will be added.

This shows progress so far. The ailerons will be added once the top skin is on.
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Old 07-18-2009, 08:09 PM
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Default 70% Wing Dragon

The 70% Wing Dragon is complete with a new smaller V tail.
It has a minimum paint scheme to keep the weight down but retain some visibility. (White depron does not show up well against cloud!)
My principle has been to "add lightness"
The original Wing Dragon (as below) with a 1000mAh NiMh and brushed motor weighs 23 ounces (650gm).
The 70% flapped Wing Dragon with a 1500mAh LiPo and brushless motor weighs just 17 ounces (484gm).

But the weather is not good enough to fly at the moment.
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Old 07-25-2009, 08:39 PM
  #9  
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Default Wing Dragon flap demonstration

This video shows the effect of the flaps on the 70% Wing Dragon.
A full power climb, power off, then a glide pass into wind. Another climb, power off, full flap (60 degrees) and a slow approach into wind with almost zero speed on landing.[media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MF_Q3RazYDU[/media]As I had the drag of the FlyCamOne I used a 7x4 prop instead of the 7x6 to make sure I did not overload the ESC.
With the 7x6 it can fly quite fast and thus rolls pretty well despite the small ailerons. With just a few degrees of flap it can pull really tiny loops.

Its now flies so unlike the original Wing Dragon but then it does not look much like it either!
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Old 07-25-2009, 08:51 PM
  #10  
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Originally Posted by quorneng View Post
This video shows the effect of the flaps on the 70% Wing Dragon.
A full power climb, power off, then a glide pass into wind. Another climb, power off, full flap (60 degrees) and a slow approach into wind with almost zero speed on landing.[media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MF_Q3RazYDU[/media]As I had the drag of the FlyCamOne I used a 7x4 prop instead of the 7x6 to make sure I did not overload the ESC.
With the 7x6 it can fly quite fast and thus rolls pretty well despite the small ailerons. With just a few degrees of flap it can pull really tiny loops.

Its now flies so unlike the original Wing Dragon but then it does not look much like it either!
Very cool....
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Old 07-25-2009, 09:17 PM
  #11  
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quorneng, your foam work is very admirable. Exceptional quality.

Give us a video looking back so we can see that great climb!
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Old 07-28-2009, 09:57 AM
  #12  
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Default Rear looking video

A video looking back from the 70% Wing Dragon.

Of course being a pusher the prop is in the way so you get interference lines.

For such a lightweight model it was rather windy (about 15knots) and turbulent (trees close by) which meant a power on approach (and no flaps!) just to make sure I got back, but it does show the pretty rapid climb even though the battery was not fully charged (compare the revs of the motor to the previous video).
The "full size" Depron wing climbs even better but I would not dare not use it in such a wind.[media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QTO9weslTvU[/media]
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Old 08-02-2009, 01:36 PM
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This is a rather better video using a new battery.
A straight out climb with 5 degrees of flap (you can hear it being set just before launch) to about 600'.
Flaps up and a glide landing (with no flaps as the wind was 12-15 knots!)
[media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OMR38_9T0Y0[/media]
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Old 08-02-2009, 02:21 PM
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Default plane

this plane was never my favorite, but now you've added a lipo its probably great
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Old 08-03-2009, 11:08 PM
  #15  
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Hi Sam94
Yes the Lipo and Brushless make a difference but quite a bit of the extra performance actually comes from the lighter & rather more efficient Depron wing and tail.
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Old 08-09-2009, 03:04 PM
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Default A T tail

This is my latest modification - a T tail.
The original wing Dragon has long relatively heavy push rods going from the servo in the cockpit area to the tail.
In one of my earlier hard "arrivals" the mass of the rod must have overloading the servo gears and stripped some teeth.
This set me thinking why have the servo so far from the control surface?
It would be difficult to mount a servo in the current V tail but the fin of an equivalent T tail would be thick enough - just.
A further benefit is that with the servo fixed in the fin the substantial servo frame in the cockpit is redundant.
So weights look like this:-
Current V tail 14gm, servo 9gm, push rod 6gm, servo frame 16gm. Total 49gm
T tail with servo 18gm, servo extension wire 3gm. Total 21gm
A saving of 28gm (3/4 ounce) not massive but significant on such a light weight model.
I have just got to work out how best to fit it!
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Last edited by quorneng; 08-12-2009 at 12:38 AM.
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Old 08-12-2009, 12:36 AM
  #17  
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The T tail installed.
Alongside you can see all the bits no longer required.
The elevator servo wire runs inside the tail boom to keep it out of the way of the prop.
With a 1500mAh LiPo it now weighs just a touch over 16 ounces which means that despite the smaller wing the loading is exactly the same as a normal Wing Dragon so with flaps the down it flies really slowly.
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Old 08-23-2009, 12:02 AM
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The next stage is to build a still smaller wing but with even more powerful flaps to keep the same landing speed. This wing will be only 55% of the area of the original Wing Dragon.
The wing tips, 3.7gm servos and ailerons will be the same at the 70% wing although with a constant chord centre section but with 2 section flaps.
By using horn holes at different radii a single servo moves both the flap sections. This short video shows the action (the wing of course is upside down!).
[media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J6IloVzBFGE[/media]
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Old 08-23-2009, 12:50 AM
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Amazing! One of the neatest threads I've seen.
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Old 08-24-2009, 11:14 PM
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A bit further.
All the flaps installed and tested. It was a bit tricky getting the movement identical on both sides.
Also started the wing tips.
A 3.7gm aileron servo will buried in each tip section.
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Old 09-02-2009, 08:33 PM
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The 55% wing is now virtually complete.
These pics show it along side the original Wing Dragon wing and also how big the flaps are compared to the basic structure.
I suspect I may need more elevator power to handle the flaps at the maximum angle but the lift (and drag) should be tremendous.
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Old 09-04-2009, 11:49 PM
  #22  
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The 55% wing installed on the T tail Wing Dragon.
To hold the wing down properly the bands will actually pass round the nose and tail of the pylon.
Just need some reasonable weather.

Already thinking of what to try next. Just how much endurance can be achieved? Power for 1 hour?
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Old 09-11-2009, 12:27 AM
  #23  
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A new shorter, stronger fin with the tail decorated to match the wing.
The video shows how effective the double flap is at only half travel.[media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=64rWnAV6egw[/media]
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Old 09-14-2009, 11:35 PM
  #24  
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The final mod.
A few days ago the cockpit canopy come off in flight and being a pusher you can guess what happened so I decided to remove it and the windscreen fairing altogether.

The result, all made from 3mm Depron, not only reduces the fuselage drag just a bit but allows a simple, robust front hinged hatch.

This Wing Dragon (although there is not much of the original left!) now not only flies quite bit faster than the original but lands rather slower as well.
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Old 09-19-2009, 07:04 PM
  #25  
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Test
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