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Update, 2″ EPP is here, and Spec Wing

2 inch EPP

I picked up a pallet of new EPP foam.  It currently sits in the back of my enclosed trailer waiting to be processed and cut down for sale.  If all goes well, I will have 2″ foam (LINK HERE) back in stock and ready for sale by Friday evening (Nov 2).Foam in trailer

Spec Wing

I am nearing completion on the Spec Wing prototypes.  I sent another prototype out for testing 2 days ago to Bobby at Thrust FPV.  Both he and Donny plan to assemble, test it, and give feedback.  I am hoping to start producing these in about 2 weeks.  Part of the foam order I picked up yesterday has foam set aside for Spec Wing kits. These FPV wings fall within the specifications listed at the FPVWRA website.Spec Wing

Update

Things were a bit crazy here over the last several weeks.  We had a family emergency which put me behind on a lot of work I need to do with both the foam and other things.  If you didn’t know already, I also have a 1 acre garden and also a wood working business.  We produce primarily Asian vegetables for personal use, however we also sell to people in the Asian community.  My wife returned home to Thailand just as we were harvesting which left the majority of work for me to get everything in before the first hard frost killed everything.  We purchased 10 acres over 1 1/2 years ago which has the 1 acre garden. Eventually we will pay off the 10 acres and have our new workshop and house built out there.  The 10 acres is currently a hay field. The wide open space provides the perfect location for testing new designs and having friends over to fly.

I’m finally back on track with everything.  I still have a few custom back orders to take care of, however I’m back to designing and hoping to have three different planes kits available by the end of November.

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Update shipping EPP foam, Spec Wing , and Citabria

UPDATE

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?

SPEC WING

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.

CITABRIA

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.

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#1.3 Black EPP going up for sale today.

black #1.3 EPP foam

I will be putting black #1.3 EPP up for sale today.  I’m working on editing pictures and pricing.  All sheets are 36″ x 24″.  The sheets vary in thickness from 3mm – 2″ and should be available by this evening.

Check out these two stacks sitting in our spare room.  They both go clear to the ceiling!  I have a bit of 9mm white under the one of the stacks.

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EPP Foam Citabria Prototype

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.

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Citabria Wing Design Finalized

Citabria Wing Set

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.