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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.

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9mm and STEAM program in Vietnam

9mm, #1.3, EPP is now available for purchase.  I will update the picture in the next few days.

This past week has been quite busy!  I had a friend visit us from Vietnam.  She is a teacher in Vietnam and was here in the US for STEAM training.  STEAM is Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math.  They added the A to the STEM.  For part of her visit I took her to our training day at our local RC flying field.  There she learned how to fly the Apprentice through our wireless buddy system.  She had tons of fun with it.  We also talked about how we can help her after she goes back.  She will talk to her school about the possibility of having me go to Vietnam for 1 or 2 weeks to help teach RC planes in a STEAM setting to kids K-12.  I know Flite Test has a great curriculum, so I will start there and see what we can do to help out my friend in Vietnam.

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Progress on the Citabria, 9mm, and more.

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.

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UPS added

Happy Independence Day!  I hope everyone has a wonderful and safe holiday while celebrating our nation’s freedom.

UPS is now available as a choice for shipping.  I found that the smaller packages under 6″ tend to be cheaper using USPS, however once we hit around 6″ in thickness UPS seems to be cheaper.  This also might vary a bit based on your location/zone.  I always have local pickup available too, or if you live close enough, maybe I can meet you somewhere with your order.  Contact me for more details.

BTW, I don’t live far from Toledo, so if you are attending the Toledo show in April, I can meet you there too.



I am still working out the details of the Citabria.  I hope to finish a prototype of the wings today and tomorrow.  If this work out, I’ll have pictures of the wings up here by the weekend.