I’ve been quite busy over the last month. Thank you to everyone for your great support and words of encouragement. My friends and family are wonderful to help me get through the first stages of starting up a new business selling EPP foam. Special thank you to my wife for understanding and allowing me to store all our EPP foam in the…. dining room and spare room. 🙂 She is wonderful! We are hoping in a few more years to build a new house on our 10 acre field we bought outside of town. This will provide a better space for the foam business and a nice field for testing.
SHIPPING EPP sheets
I know one of the biggest difficulties for my customers is the cost of shipping for the EPP foam. This is out of my control. I wish I could provide a less expensive option. I’m open to suggestions. I looked into Greyhound, however I read a lot of really bad experiences. If a customer really wanted me to use them, I would, however I am putting a huge disclaimer that I am not responsible for any damage or loss due to Greyhound’s terrible customer service and practices.
Another option I have is to cut the EPP foam 36×24 sheets down further to fit in a smaller box.
Do you have any other shipping suggestions?
The first EPP Spec Wing prototype flew at the ReadyMadeRC FPVfest a few weeks ago. I heard from my test pilots Donny and Bob at ThrustFPV that the wing did well overall on building experience and flying, except that the EPP foam live hinge was not strong enough to pull out of the turns. I have balsa trailing edges on order and in transit for testing on prototype #2. If this works out, then I hope to have the kits available soon.
A huge thank you to Donny and Bob for testing this out for me and giving me great feed back. I hope to provide the best possible build and flying experience.
The EPP foam Citabria flew again after an improved firewall was installed. I learned how to better use my light duty mill on my CNC to accurately cut light plywood. Using this technique I was able to accurately cut a new firewall that also better tied into the front of the fuselage.
On the initial launch I was dealing with some tail heavy issues, however after adjusting the battery I was able to get a lot of great data from the flight. I flew it in about 15-20mph winds and it surprisingly did okay consider the EPP wing is a huge barn door and the entire plane is light. It really likes to float in the air at lower speeds.
I am working out the details of prototype #2 along with building techniques that should speed up the build process for the end user. I would like the entire plane to go together, if using a hot glue gun, in less than an hour. The electronics would then need to be installed followed by optional paint/film covering.
FPVWRA Spec Wing Class
I was contacted recently if I could make a Spec wing for FPVWRA. After looking into this a bit more I realized this is something I could do relatively quickly. This might become my first production plane available. I made an entire kit and sent it out for review to Bob over at Thrust FPV. I am not satisfied with my current motor mount. I might beef it up a little more. I’ll wait to see what Bob says after he flies it. I’m hoping he’ll have this plane built and flying in time for the ReadyMade RC FPV Fest in September. I will wait for his feedback before I start making more to sell. Keep an eye this website in the next few weeks for updates on the Spec Wing.
Research and development of the Citabria was put on hold recently in order to work out the details for the Spec Wing. I was able to fully assemble the Citabria and give it a toss about a week ago. I’m using a PowerUp 480+ electric motor on a 3s-2200mah battery. I think it is over powered, but I didn’t have enough time to really know for sure. 🙂
I knew the motor mount was weak, however I was in a hurry to get it out to the field for testing. I didn’t realize just how weak until about 10s into the flight I gave it up elevator and hammered the throttle. The plane didn’t go very far, but the motor sure did! haha The plane then flipped over inverted and amazingly floated gently to the ground. There were only 2 small pieces of foam that came off the plane where the motor ripped out. I already have a new plan in place to have my CNC cut out a proper firewall with reinforcements that go back into the fuselage like it should have been in the first place. This will most likely happen sometime next week. I might even get proper landing gear on the plane too.
The Citabria Prototype is now completely cut out with the CNC. I have a few minor adjustments to do before I cut out the next few planes. I will be giving some to friends for beta testing. I am also documenting the process with both video and pictures. This picture are all the foam parts ready to be assembled. The total weight of the foam is 10.3 ounces. The wingspan is over 52″. I can’t wait to fly this later this week!!!
I’m still planning to use a 480 plus electric motor on a 3s-2200mah battery.
I finally finished the design on the Citabria wing.
Wing is hotwire cut on my CNC from #1.3 White EPP Foam.
This was challenging due to the wing tips having a compound taper. My CNC was at it’s limitations for the majority of the hotwire cut. It took a lot of CAD work and tinkering to finally get the wing tip to fit in the machine and properly cut out. I think I cut over 10 different wing tips before I finally got it. I also had other challenges like buggy software, loss of files on my computer, and in general several (I’ll spare you the long story!) unexpected external events that pulled me away from the project.
I’m really excited about the Citabria. It is finally coming together and I can’t wait to fly it. I’m still shooting for a target of about a 480 size motor, 3s-2200mah battery, and the wing span will be 54″ with a removable wing. If you want a clipped wing version, then don’t add the wing tips to have a 48″ wingspan. Or just cut off the ends of the main wing to make it shorter. I think this will have some silly STOL capabilities with a 54″ wingspan and flaps. I can’t wait to play with it.
I am now getting over a cold, so the fuselage may take a few extra days to complete. I’m trying to decide exactly how I will make it. One thought is to do a clam shell style design with a left and right shell that is hollowed out with my mill. The downside of this is that the entire fuselage will need to be cut out with the mill which means rougher cuts and longer CNC time. The other option, which I might actually go for, will be to have the fuselage made in three different sections. We’ll have the main center section sandwiched between a thinner left and right sheet. This will allow me to use the mill to hollow out the center section, but the outside pieces from the sheet will leave the outside of the fuselage smoother. Do you have another idea? Let me know.
The 4′ EPP Citabria is coming along, though slower than I anticipated due a few issues. The angle of my hotwire CNC is not as sharp as I would like. It took me a few days to figure out a different way to cut out part of the wing section. I finally got it a few days ago. I am also having some software glitches with my plugin I use for getting the g-code for the mill on my CNC. That issue I think is now solved too as of a few hours ago today. I’m making progress, though slower than I had hoped. I can say, though, that I am quite happy so far with the wing. If everything goes well tomorrow, fingers crossed, I should have the wing completely cut out of EPP. I’ll try to get a picture up in another day or two.
I have the 9mm already cut to dimension. I have not had the time to get it up for sale here on the website. I should have that up sometime on Wednesday.
Black EPP is in the process of getting ordered. I am waiting for the final quote from my supplier, then I’ll send them the money. Hopefully we’ll have a lot of black EPP for sale soon too.
Please check us out on Facebook and give us a LIKE. Facebook is currently the best method of contacting us. I will eventually have an email form customers can fill out.