Model plane design

I did more work on the “Voice” project which is a flying banner. I did a few experiments and made some progress.

It’s actually easy to change the banner. There are just two points of attachment. The wing trailing edge and a horizontal beam at the back of the motor stick. I try to make sure there is tension between the two points of attachment and I used craft glue to add the banner.

One of the challenges I’m facing is the wing attachment. The wing is glued. So it becomes difficult to change the center of gravity of the airplane as I try different experiments (you can’t move the wing to balance the airplane). I can cut the motor stick to move the propeller back. So this sucks a bit for prototyping. It might be okay for the final model.

I tried three different banner configurations.

  • Full banner
  • Full banner but split into strips
  • Two small long banners

Everything is still inconclusive but with the full banner I had some pitch stability issues. I cut the banner and it stayed the same. I then theorized that I was nose heavy so I trimmed the motor stick to move the propeller back. Presto! Very stable flight. I added the banner back on and got some accelerated phugoid behavior. I think there is something interesting going on with airflow as I can alleviate the problem by splitting the banner.

After I finish with pitch stability I will try to remove the rear vertical stabilizer. It’s on the bottom. I have the sneaking suspicion that it may not be needed on this airplane. I’ve not tried a top stabilizer yet.

“Voice” is a little dry as a name for a model airplane but that’s been the working name since it can deliver a message through its banner.

I may use the name Tweet once I finish the design. Or if I come up with two configurations I like I’ll use both names or something.