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DIY RC Airplanes from Scratch : The Brooklyn Aerodrome Bible for Hacking the Skies

Book Description

BUILD YOUR OWN REMOTE-CONTROLLED AIRPLANES QUICKLY, EASILY, AND INEXPENSIVELY!Take to the skies with a majestic motorized model aircraft you create and pilot yourself. Written by the founder of the Brooklyn Aerodrome, DIY RC Airplanes from Scratch shows you how to build a Flack (Flying + Hack) delta wing from the ground up using widely available, low-cost materials and tools.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. About the Author
  3. Title Page
  4. Copyright Page
  5. Dedication
  6. Contents
  7. Introduction
  8. Acknowledgments
  9. 1 Get Your Stuff
    1. Introducing the Flack
    2. Parts and Materials
      1. Flight Simulator Controller
      2. Radios
      3. Motors
      4. Batteries
      5. Battery Connectors
      6. Chargers and Power Supplies
      7. Power Supplies
      8. Servos
      9. Airframe Materials
      10. Tape
      11. Cable Ties/Zip Ties
    3. Conclusion
  10. 2 What Do All the Parts Do?
    1. The Flight Cycle of a Flack
    2. The Pilot
    3. The Builder
    4. The Airframe
      1. The Wing
      2. The Elevons
      3. The Stabilizers
      4. The Deck
    5. The Transmitter
      1. How the Transmitter Works
      2. How to Control the Sticks
      3. Mixing
      4. Throttle
      5. Rudder or Yaw Control
      6. Trim Tabs
      7. Rechargeable Batteries
    6. The Receiver
      1. How Servos Get Information
    7. What the Radio Channels Do
      1. Channel 1
      2. Channel 2
      3. Channel 3
    8. Electronic Speed Control and the Battery Eliminator Circuit
      1. Power Limitations of ESC and BEC
    9. The Flight Battery
    10. The Motor
    11. Conclusion
  11. 3 Building the Deck
    1. Tools and Supplies
    2. Charge Your Battery
    3. The Deck
      1. Fabricate the Deck
      2. Attach Servos
      3. Create the Motor Mount
      4. Mount Propeller
      5. Attach the Motor Mount to the Deck
      6. Solder the Speed Control
      7. Power Up the Airplane
      8. Powering Down the Airplane
      9. Securing Parts to the Deck
    4. Conclusion
  12. 4 The Airframe of the Flack
    1. The Airframe
      1. Attaching the Control Rods to the Elevons
      2. Attaching the Deck
      3. Centering Controls
      4. Establish Elevon Trim
    2. Final Cleanup
    3. Conclusion
  13. 5 Learning to Fly One Crash at a Time: The Splinter Method
    1. Safety
      1. The Cone of Crashing Potential
    2. Trim
      1. Adjusting Trim
    3. Flight Simulator Setup and Training
    4. Incrementally Learning to Fly
      1. Get a Helper/Partner/Friend to Help Out
      2. Control Sensitivity
      3. Crashes
      4. Task 0: Approach the Field Ready to Fly
      5. Task 1: Launching without Power
      6. Task 2: RC on Launch to Landing, No Power
      7. Task 3: RC on Launch and Landing, Low Power, Cut Throttle
      8. Task 4: RC on Launch and Landing, Increasing Power
      9. Task 5: Turning
      10. The Wind
      11. Overall Good Strategies for Learning to Fly
    5. Skill Building
      1. Precision Landing
      2. Hit the Balloon
      3. Fly in Stressful Situations
      4. Aerobatics
    6. Conclusion
  14. 6 Keeping You and Your Airplane Alive: Diagnostics and Repair
    1. Preflight Checklists of Use
      1. The Brief Preflight in Seconds: Servos, Up, Down, Left, Right, Power, Launch
      2. More Complete Checklist for Aircraft of Questionable Integrity
    2. Crash Kit
      1. Basic Crash Kit
      2. More Complete Crash Kit
    3. Kinds of Repairs
      1. The Big-Crash Postflight Inspection
    4. More Specific Fixes
      1. Completely Dead Airplane
      2. Completely Dead Airplane: Rebind the Receiver
      3. Completely Dead Airplane: ESC Not Sending Power to the Receiver
      4. Completely Dead Airplane: Receiver/Servo
      5. Completely Dead Airplane: Transmitter
      6. Water Immersion
      7. Servos Operate But Motor Does Not
    5. Evaluating Motor Damage
      1. Symptom: Motor Has Weak Thrust
      2. Motor Vibrates
      3. Motor Gets Very Hot
      4. Motor Doesn’t Work at All
    6. Battery Damage
      1. Highly Suspect Battery
      2. Check Battery Pack
      3. Battery Disposal
    7. Servo Damage
      1. Servo Not Moving
      2. Servo Arms Are No Longer Vertical When Trim Tabs Are Centered
      3. Busted Servo Arm
    8. Broken Propeller
      1. Kinds of Prop Damage
    9. Flutter
    10. Poor Radio Connection
    11. Conclusion
  15. 7 Make Your Plane Look Good for Day Flying
    1. General Considerations to Keep in Mind
    2. Examples
      1. Mouse: Avery Stick-on Labels and Sharpies
      2. Purple Monster: Wrapping Paper
      3. Big Pink Angst: Fresnel-Lens Plastic
      4. Silver Shark: Plastic Film
      5. Brooklyn Aerodrome Orange Plane (BAOP) Paint on Foam
      6. Blue Angel and Others in Printed Tyvek
      7. Flying Heart: Sign Vinyl
      8. Firefly: Balloon Film
    3. Decorating with Tape
    4. Conclusion
  16. 8 Make Your Plane Look Good at Night
    1. Overall Considerations
    2. Major Ways to Illuminate Aircraft
    3. Color at Night
    4. Electroluminescent Wire
      1. How El-Wire Works
      2. Powering El-Wire
      3. Soldering an Inverter for BEC Power
      4. Soldering El-Wire
      5. Stripping the El-Wire
      6. Soldering the El-Wire to Male Header Pins
    5. Simple Decoration
    6. LED-Based Approaches
      1. Single-Point LEDs
      2. Strip LEDs
      3. High-Power LEDs and Fiberoptics
    7. Other Illumination Options
      1. Weight Considerations
      2. BEC-Powered Lighting
      3. Robustness
    8. Conclusion
  17. 9 Other Shapes
    1. Inorganic Produce
      1. Banana
      2. Carrot
      3. Strawberry
    2. Flying Heart
      1. SketchUp Is Your Friend
    3. Travel Flack
    4. Bat
    5. Crystal Towel
    6. Semi-Circle
    7. Manta Ray
      1. Design
      2. Evolving the Moving Fins
      3. The Radio
      4. The Build
      5. Flying
    8. 3D Banana
    9. Conclusion
  18. 10 Aerodynamics for the Hacker
    1. Lift
      1. Conditions for Lift: Positive Aerodynamic Angle of Attack and Airflow
      2. Lift, Part 1
      3. Lift, Part 2
    2. Pitch, Roll, and Yaw
    3. Center of Gravity (CG)
    4. Reflex and Flying Wings
    5. Reasoning about Lift
    6. Drag
    7. Glide Ratio
    8. Conclusion
  19. 11 Hack the Flack: Make and Fly Your Own Design
    1. Getting the Idea
    2. Prototyping
      1. A Plank
    3. Designing and Building a Novel Design
    4. Building the Powered Version
      1. Scaling Up from the Glider Proof of Concept
      2. Structural Considerations
      3. Placing Equipment
      4. Flight Testing
    5. New Shapes by Morphing Old Ones
      1. Incremental Refinement
    6. Conclusion
  20. 12 Simulators, Autopilots, Video, and Buddy Boxing
    1. Flight Simulators
      1. Flying Model Simulator (FMS)
      2. CRRCsim
    2. Autopilots
      1. Copilot CPD4
      2. Full Autopilot
    3. Video from the Air
      1. Passive Video
      2. First-Person Video (FPV)
    4. Buddy Boxing a.k.a. Student Driving for Pilots
      1. Hacking the Transmitters for Buddy Boxing
    5. Conclusion
  21. Index