Saturday, February 2, 2013

This is What My NutBall Can Do!

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By Gabriel Staples
Written 3 Feb. 2013

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This is a short (very windy) flight review and verbal description of my FliteTest Swappable NutBall airplane.  It flies great, is a blast to fly, and is a solid, economical aircraft!  I made it for ~$70 or so with *everything* I needed, minus the Tx and charger.  I also used home-made jumbo pop-sickle stick control horns.  Despite its 3-channel control, it is very maneuverable and acrobatic, as the video shows, yet with small surface deflections and a reasonably-sized motor, it can also be a very docile and forgiving flyer, well suited to a beginner.  As a matter of fact, with a moderately-sized motor (120W~200W) (or using a 300W 3S motor on a 2S LiPo), and with small control throws, I'd say this airplane is a solid beginner airframe (but slightly skewed more towards the intermediate side of the beginner spectrum).
With a hot 300W high-speed setup and large control surface throws, as in this video, however, it becomes an exciting intermediate to expert airplane.  The setup in the video has a top speed of ~60mph, and in a dive, I've approached probably 80mph.  The first time I did that, however (not recorded :( ), the high speeds caused the vertical stabilizer to flutter and snap nearly off.  It folded down against the body and made a loud "snapping" sound as it slapped against the body.  I quickly slowed down and the vertical stab. popped back up part way and I made a safe landing in the grass.  A bamboo shish-kabob skewer embedded in the vertical stab, and some hot glue, fixed this problem.  
I used Dollar Tree foamboard (20" x 30") sheets, x 2, to make this airplane.

List of Recommended Beginner parts for the NutBall can be found here:


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P.S. Yo hablo español también. Je parle français aussi. (I speak Spanish & French too).