RC Dragon – build thread

I wanted to make something a little different. Well, a little more different. I built a FliteTest Sparrow as a project with my granddaughter, but I was never really happy with how it came out or how it flew. So we’ve decided to tear that plane down and use its parts to built … a dragon.

The plane will have a 36″ wingspan and employ a Kline-Fogelman KF-2 style wing. Here’s my ‘sketch’ of the plane’s silhouette.


Unsure how to compute the CG on a dragon, I cut a very small version out of some 1/4″ foam, taped a nickel to its back, and spent a few minutes chucking it around the living room, moving the nickel back and forth until it more-or-less glided. This should give me a decent starting place for CG placement on the full-sized plane.mini-model-with-nickel

Sketching out some ideas for component placement.sketching-components Figuring out where 50% chord is, and where the KFm step will go.calculating-kfm

I’m going to need to cut out the wings separately. Here’s the body and one wing.cut-outI cut out a second wing, as well as some body, using the paper peeled from the first wing as a pattern.


Next, I stacked the two sections together, clamped them in place, and cut out a keyed shape so the new wing should snap snuggly into place with the original wing and body.wing-lock-1 The new wing in place. Yay!wing-lock-2

Some carbon fiber rod will help strengthen the wings. The whole plane is made from Readi Board with the paper stripped off, so it’s pretty floppy.cf-spar Checking the fit of the first KFm step.kfm-step-1 I’m gluing in some thin Birch plywood to form a sort of spine, and provide a firm place to mount the battery and other components.plywood-spineI sandwiched some white LEDs between the KFm steps, to light up the wings at night.wing-lights-1 The ailerons. I super glued some thin transparent plastic ‘membrane’ in place to increase the surface area.aileron-membranes Here’s what it looks like so far.silhouette

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