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Introducing: The Towel


By Q-Bert - Posted on 05 July 2012

As you guys know, I constantly find myself with copious free time and I have decided to get back into R/C.

A few years back, I got myself a R/C truck, and Revek and Blackwalt soon followed my lead. This time, I don't think they will follow me in my folly. I have decided to learn to fly, with a First Person Video setup (AKA "Flight Sim mode").

I was warned that it is quite the expensive hobby, especially when you have never flown before and expect to crash many planes before you get it right. Since I am a cheap bastard, that didn't sound much like my style.

Enter The Towel

What it *should* look like.What it *should* look like.After tonite: where's the right stabilizer ??After tonite: where's the right stabilizer ??

I made mine out of foam board. The stuff kids prop up their science project at school. Total cost without electronics, about $20. I ordered the electronics, props, wires, batteries, charger, and stuff from Honk Kong, and paid about $80 with LOTS of spares. If you take the charger out of the equation, and the extra battery, figure about $75 for the plane.

I took it out for the first time tonight, at nightfall.

It's made for crashing, and boy it doesn't disapoint in that arena...

Crashed it at least 10 times before I broke the right stabilizer and the prop at the same time.

What I learnt:


  • The center of gravity is 1.5 inches further back than what they tell you. That means I put way too much weight on the nose. Fixed that.

  • Took me 6 crashes to figure out that the servos were reversed (they have to be put opposite of the instructions), so when I pulled the stick back, the nose went down. Fixed that.

  • The engine has a really high RPM because of the small prop I have, and the torque is making the plane go right... A LOT. I tried to trim it out, but that crash took the right stabilizer out.

  • The nose takes 90% of the impact. The plane flies fine even with a crunched up nose.

  • A "prop saver" does exactly that. Get one, unless you want to change props everytime you crash. My prop-saver saved the prop nine times tonight.

So, 10 huge crashes later, my fixup cost is $1 for a new prop (I have spares) and $0.25 for the material to make a new right stabilizer (I have plenty of spare foam board).

I should have time to try it again next wednesday evening. Maybe I will even get it to miss the ground this time.

Coxxorz's picture

I even have a camera suitable for mounting on one!

I like their suggestion for practising the left/right reversal. I always wondered how these guys were able to do it so well, I guess it's sheer practice.

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