Sunday, October 08, 2006

My Hangar Just Got A Little Bigger

I did something dangerous Saturday.

No, I didn't rebuild any rear ends. ;)

Actually I built an airplane.

Yep . . . . Another one.

The amazing part is that I actually survived unscathed. In spite of being extremely groggy eyed, I didn't even manage to hack any steaks off of myself with my razor knife, nor did I accomplish my usual SNAFU of welding my fingers together with CA glue. I know, amazing. Better keep the acetone handy just in case though, I'm planning on building more of these bad boys for sure. Actually I'm thinking about starting a factory. After seeing it fly this morning, several of the guys at the field were lining up to place their orders already. The ones that weren't interested in paying me to build them one were asking where to get the plans so they could build one themselves.

Oh yeah, the plans, you can get them here. The designer was nice enough to put the plans out on the web absolutely free, along with a whole lot of information on construction, power systems, and even some really cool modifications including the coolest light system I've ever seen just in case you want to try night flying. This is especially amazing considering the fact that he also sells kits. Be sure to check out the videos, especially the night flying footage.

Anyway, I spent most of Saturday building a "Mugi Evo", which is a simple flying delta wing made out of 2mm Coroplast and a few other cheap or mostly free little tidbits that most RC modelers already have laying around. This is not a plane for beginners, but it's one hell of a kick in the shorts if a person can handle the zippy little bastard. Besides that, it's double ugly tough just in case a person can't handle the zippy little bastard. I can't wait to fly it again, this thing has me stoked.

Don't ask me how to pronounce Mugi, because I don't know. I actually sent an email to the guy that designed the thing and asked him, but he's in England so I don't know if he's gotten the message yet. It must take a long time for all of those little letters and spaces and stuff to get all the way across that big 'ol ocean I think. If he gets back to me I'll let you know, but until then we've just been calling it a "Muggy". At least we've been calling it a Muggy when we haven't been calling it a fast motherfucker, this thing hauls some serious ass. Dick, aka the human radar gun, figures it at over 70 MPH. As soon as I get a few issues straightened out with the control linkages so I can actually trim the damn thing out and hopefully not brain some poor bastard in the process, we'll likely make a few passes over his real radar gun and see what it's actually doing. Either way, take my word for it, it's fast.

The fact that it's so fast isn't even the amazing part. The amazing part is the fact that it's that fast on an $8.00 brushed motor called a Speed 400. I don't know how the hell it got the name Speed 400, most planes that use these things are far from speedy. Then again, most planes that use these things use a big ol' gear reduction and a huge honking prop spinning really slow. This one uses a little bitty prop direct drive right off of the shaft, whirling like a mad bastard and howling like a banshee in the process. Maybe that was how they were using it when they named it a Speed 400, otherwise it'd be called a Really Slow 400, unless somebody was trying to be funny . . . . . . Could happen.

As for the rest of the plane, it's nothing but a few square feet of Coroplast, a cheap speed control (actually free in this case, I got the motor and speed control from another guy that wrecked his Multiplex Space Scooter, I can't wait to show him what his "junk" motor can do hehehehe), a little glue, two used servos that I got off of Ebay for next to nothing and keep around for experiments, a couple scraps of .070" carbon fiber rod for pushrods, and of course a receiver and a 3 cell lithium polymer battery. The receiver and battery are the only parts of this plane that cost anything at all, and they're pretty well protected thanks to the excellent and extremely durable nature of this aircraft, it's made to take a lickin' and keep on tickin' for sure. The design is so simple that even a dog tired truck driver can put one together in an afternoon, and believe me, that's saying something.

I'm gonna get back to putting some decoration on this thing, ya'll check out the video of the first test flights. A 30" wing span and 70+ MPH speeds make this thing a bitch to see in pure white, especially against a cloudy sky. We gonna jazz it up with some color before it winds up going into stealth mode at a really bad time.


How To Huck A Mugi
Video sent by raginredneck93


a-fire-fly said...

Coroplast comes in other colors. And I think if you wipe it down with alcohol, NOT BEER! it would accept model paints. But you probably know that.

Justin said...

Howdy fire fly. There is indeed Coroplast to be had in a wide aray of hues, even see through which looks really cool at night with a few high intensity LED's inside. It's neat, glows like neon.

Anyway, the only trouble with it is that the place where I buy mine only stocks white. They can order colors, but since they're a wholesale outfit they don't really like selling me the stuff anyway, so I don't want to hassle them and ruin a good thing. The sign shops around town have colors, but it's all in half sheets or smaller, which would be fine for Mugis, but really sucks when you're making bigger stuff.

The other problem is that they want $20 or better for a half sheet, when I can buy a full 4X8 sheet of white for $11. As far as paint is concerned, no reason at all to fork out the bucks for model paint, plain old Krylon does just fine. It gets scratched up rather easily, but if one uses a little strategy as to where they put it and not paint any "high traffic areas", it seems to work alright.

As you well know, Coroplast is made for signs, so just damn near anything will stick to it. Adhesives, vinyl, paint, screen printing ink, I read somewhere that it actually has some kind of a coating on it that makes it receptive to almost anything sticky, a lot of websites that deal with plans for Coroplast planes actually recommend flashing the stuff with a propane torch so you can glue straight to the plastic instead of the coating. I've found that to be overkill though, I've tried epoxy, CA, and contact cement and found that all of them will tear the coroplast before they'll tear the glue joint.

We've found one shop that's willing to order us in the clear stuff so far, and I don't care what it costs, I'm getting me some! Soon I'll have two favorite things to do in the dark, and one of them will be flying an illuminated Mugi. ;)

a-fire-fly said...

It's called a corona treatment, they do it to plastic parts on bikes and atv's too. It helps with uv protection too.

Justin said...

Yeah . . . what she said, LOL. I knew there was something that they did to it, but I didn't know what it was called. At any rate, just about anything sticks to it pretty good, it's some really amazing stuff. I need to find some clear contact cement though. I've been using Dap Weldwood and it's fine on the translucent stuff, but it dries this icky booger yellow color that would really look like crap on the clear Coroplast.

a-fire-fly said...

I'll let you know what I can find. I assume it needs to kinda flex a bit?

Justin said...

Yeah, sort of. Mostly it just needs to stick like crazy, and dry clear if I'm going to use it on the clear Coro. Of course if it sets up rock hard it'll just crack so yeah I guess you're right, it needs to flex a bit. Weldwood is kind of rubbery when it's dry, but it holds like a mad bastard. I'm sure there's other kinds of contact cement out there that dry clear, I've just always used Weldwood because you can buy it at any hardware store and it works good. We used to use it to glue the foam tires onto the wheels on our 1/12 scale RC cars too and the crap's indestructable. is a site that deals entirely in Coro planes and they say to flash the stuff with a torch and then just use CA. I've done it without the flashing and it seems to hold just fine, but CA sticks instantly and then that's all she wrote, you can't even peel it back apart without ruining the Coro. I'm sure I'll find something the next time I go to Home Labyrinth, but if you can find something for me I'd sure appreciate it!