The Verrückt – a 10-foot wide flying wing. Surely that’s crazy, right? Probably, but I’ve got nothing to lose by trying (other than time and money.) So … here we go.
This is actually a 200% version of my 60" Papa Divine flying wing.
The wings will have to come off. As per usual, I have absolutely no idea how that’s gonna work, but I thought the place where the wings meet up with the fuselage was important enough to warrant some actual wood, rather than foam. The thinnest I could find in a usable size was some 5mm birch plywood from Lowe’s, so that’s what I’m using.
I printed out my airfoil, traced it on the ply, and cut the blanks out with a saw.
I screwed the four finished ribs together and used a friend’s belt sander to even up the edges.
I used some 1/4″ dowel as registration pins to keep everything aligned and started removing material with my drill and saw.
Futzing around with some cheap carbon arrows, trying to decide where the struts will go.
The 1/2" balsa I'm using for the leading edge isn't long enough. I drilled a couple of inches into each of two pieces and inserted a pin clipped from a large bamboo barbecue skewer then glued the whole thing together. That join is probably the strongest part of the whole thing.
I glued the lengthened balsa to the leading edge of my wing skin and trimmed it to fit.
I've got four of what I'm calling 'locking ribs.' These are where the wings will join the center section. In addition to the wooden dowel pins, I've cut some irregular sections from one rib and glued them to the other, creating a sort of key way to help secure the ribs together. (I hope.)
I bought some carbon fiber arrow shafts to serve as spars. They weren't long enough so I joined them in pairs, end to end, by inserting a length of carbon fiber rod inside them at the joins and epoxying the whole thing together. I forgot to take photos of that.
This one will run just behind the CG, all the way across the wing. Here I'm gluing it to the wing skin, the locking rib, and the balsa leading edge.
Next, I trimmed it to the correct length with a hack saw.
To further secure it to the leading edge, I drilled a hole through the balsa, inserted an over-sized bamboo skewer through the hole and into the arrow shaft, and glued it all up.
The remaining 1/2" x 1/2" balsa is just long enough to form the leading edge on the center section.
Gluing the second locking rib in place on the center section.
The wing and center section, snapped together. Getting ready to add the first 'normal' rib to the port wing. The mangled yardstick is left over from a previous project and has about 1/2" trimmed off the top.
I've added a small bit of thin aircraft ply to the rib where the yardstick goes through it, to give something a little sturdier for it to grab onto. I also added some little right-angle braces to help hold the rib vertical.
Cutting out the second wing skin - for the bottom of the starboard wing.
I ended up using the little plugs of wood that resulted from my lightening efforts - they give the wooden dowels a bit more to hang onto. It turned out that I needed more of them than I'd produced, so I drilled out a dozen more.
Here's a close-up of one of the locking shapes that hold the ribs together.
Gluing the starboard locking rib in place on the middle section.
A closer look at one of the ribs. You can see the shapes directly behind the yardstick, the wooden dowels, and the carbon fiber rod extending from the middle section.
There's a 24" section of arrow shaft glued onto a thin strip of wood in the middle section, with a 36" carbon fiber rod running through it. The rod extends 6" from either side, and slips into the arrow shafts on each wing.
I'll start with the biggest motor I have in the drawer and go from there. I'm toying with the idea of running two 2200mAh 3-cells (for 4400mAh @ 12.6v). If I planned ahead, I probably wouldn't be building this in the first place!
VERY COOL!!! Set her up for fpv Is she a pusher design using a 40, 60 size motor and 10 or 12"+prop? Also i would use a 4 or 5 cell and use a much higher Mah rating[6000+]. once this wing gains alt and you slow down, the flight time should hopefully be setup for 15 minute flights. It would be a shame to have such a beautiful wing in the air only to get 4 minutes of flight time.
The only reason I make these suggestions is I fly this wing for 6+ minutes with lots of wot runs fpv'ing and am using a headsuprc motor/100amp cc esc[not whats in this older photo] and zippy 4cell 40c 4000mah. Your 10ft wing will need way more just to fly with authority.
narrow is the place to land...wide is the space to crash....choose the narrow way!
I got in my servos today. Man, to someone who uses 5-gram and 9-gram servos almost exclusively, these things look HUGE! (They are Power Up K-315 58-gram metal gear servos, if you are keeping score at home.)
Trying to figure out where to put them in the wing.
Since the wing skin and ribs are made of naked, paperless Dollar Tree foam, I thought it might be a good idea to strengthen the servo mounts just a tiny bit.
This piece of ply will mount on top of the wing, further strengthening the skin.
The biggest motor I have on hand is a 120gram 1050kV from a 50" Gee Bee. I'll try that first with a 50A ESC and separate BEC, probably on a 4-cell. That may prove woefully underpowered. If so, I'll move up from there. Maybe dual motors.
I never have a clear plan; I just charge blindly ahead and hope for the best.