Micro-Flight

Up Sky Runner Hangar Rat Viper Conversion Acro-Bipe Micro Taxi Blimps Todd's Tiny Classic Bipe

The E-flite UMX Extra 300 3D makes the dream of a 3D plane that flies almost anywhere a reality. With a flying weight of barely over an ounce, including battery, it is slow and light enough to fly extreme 3D maneuvers in spaces no larger than a dining or conference room.

Its ingenious laser-cut foam airframe, designed by ETOC champ Seth Arnold, makes it all possible. The model is available in either a BNF version that includes a battery and charger or BNF Basic version for the pilot who already has their own battery and charger. It comes completely assembled with a punchy 8.5mm coreless brushed motor and Spektrum? AR6400L Ultra Micro DSM2� Receiver/ESC installed. Built-in long-throw servos on the AR6400L drive the elevator and rudder while two independent Spektrum AS2000L long-throw ultra micro servos drive the ailerons.

The only component needed to complete this BNF package is a 4-channel DSM2 transmitter. Dual rates and exponential programming are recommended.

For my full review on the E-flite UMX Extra 300 3D BNF, go here.

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The Ultra Micro eXtreme (UMX) Beast� is a small-scale recreation of one of the most awe inspiring airplanes on the airshow circuit today. Designed by aerobatic world champion Quique Somenzini, it delivers high-powered aerobatic excitement that will put a grin on the face of any intermediate to experienced RC pilot.

At the heart of its phenomenal performance is a brushless motor, propeller and battery combination that delivers a spine-tingling thrust-to-weight ratio. This incredible power output, combined with its well-balanced controls and carbon reinforced wing, allow the UMX Beast to achieve a level of precision and performance that has more in common with its giant-scale Hangar 9� twin than any other ultra micro.

For my full review on the E-flite UMX Beast BNF, go here.

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Blade's mCX Tandem Rescue is a fun new twist on the popular series of Blade mCX products. It can be flown almost anywhere indoors thanks to its dual 7.5-inch rotor span and two ounce flying weight. The RTF package includes everything you see here.

The Blade mCX Tandem Rescue comes 100% factory-assembled, flight-tested and ready to fly right out of the box-no assembly or setup required. The package includes a Spektrum? 2.4GHz DSM2? transmitter, a realistic looking rescue heli body and working navigation lights. Also included is a LiPo battery and variable rate DC charger with AC adapter. Even the transmitter batteries are included! The Blade mCX Tandem Rescue comes with everything you need for indoor aerial adventures and rescue operations.

For my full review on the E-flite Blade Rescue BNF, go here.

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The Great Planes VFO (Vertical Flying Object, aka POGO) is a different kind of airplane that takes off vertically from the ground and then flies forward like an airplane. Although meant to be an indoor flyer, it can also be flown outdoors on very calm days.

 The foam with carbon fiber bracing kit itself is inexpensive but it requires the following support items:

    ElectriFly Rimfire Brushless 300 Motor (GPMG4505)
    ElectriFly Silver Series 12A ESC (GPMM1810)
    ElectriFly BP Series 11.1V, 300mAh LiPo Pack (GPMP0701)
    Futaba S3114 Micro High-Torque Servos (4) 
    APC 9x4.7 Slo-Flyer Propeller (APCQ5010)
 

The VFO uses several mixes to synchronize all four control surfaces so a programmable transmitter is required. Elevon mixing is used on the "wings" to obtain normal flight and the second rudder surface is mixed from an AUX channel to match the rudder control. The final two mixes are used to allow the aileron channel to additionally swing the two rudder surfaces. In this manner, all four control surfaces follow the same aileron direction for rolls. Although three P-mixes are needed to accomplish this setup, it is still possible to leave out the last aileron-to-rudder mix so that only 3 of the 4 control surfaces follow the aileron stick. This reduction allows lower-end transmitters to be used on the VFO with minimal ill effect on rolls.

Although the VFO is meant to be a hover trainer, it is not meant to be a general flying trainer. That being said, if you have intermediate flying skills, the VFO is a great way to learn to hover and coordinate rudder turns. Both intermediate and advanced pilots will have a great deal of fun with the VFO as it can perform many unusual stunts and maneuvers. It is a unique design that utilizes economical LiPo packs and components.

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The ParkZone Sukhoi Su-26m BNF is the first 4-channel Ultra-Micro flyer to utilize Bind-N-Fly DSM2 technology that will thrill experienced pilots with its amazing aerobatic capabilities. Based on a Mike McConville design, this exciting addition to ParkZone's family of Ultra-Micro aircraft flies like a much bigger plane.

The Sukhoi has been engineered for a true 4-channel experience, with its remarkable precision control making it perfect for flight in a large yard or gymnasium or even a park on a calm day. All you do is charge the included 110mAh Li-Po battery and bind the plane to one of the many compatible DSM2 transmitters. From rolling circles, loops and snap rolls to aileron rolls, spins and inverted flight, the maximum aerobatic performance of the Ultra-Micro Sukhoi Su-26m is unlike anything else this size.

For my full review on the ParkZone Sukhoi Su-26m BNF, go here.

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The Blade mCX S300 is another new product in E-flite's outstanding line of electric aircraft. It comes in a Ready-To-Fly (RTF) version that includes a 4-channel DSM2 transmitter or a Bind-N-Fly (BNF) version that allows experienced pilots to utilize their own DSM2 transmitter. This tiny helicopter offers unsurpassed stability and incredible control through its coaxial, counter-rotating head design and Spektrum' 2.4GHz DSM2' control. It can be flown almost anywhere indoors thanks to its 7.5-inch rotor span and one ounce flying weight.

For my full review on the E-flite Blade mCX S300, go here.

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The new ParkZone Vapor is an exciting innovation from Horizon Hobby that offers both convenience and ease of flight. It is truly an ultra-micro flyer for everyone! The Vapor is small enough, and slow enough to be flown in a basement, garage, living room, or other indoor spaces as well as outdoors in low wind conditions.

The Vapor comes in a Ready-To-Fly (RTF) version that includes a 3-channel DSM2 transmitter or a Bind-N-Fly (BNF) version that allows experienced pilots to utilize their own DSM2 transmitter.

For my full review on the ParkZone Vapor, go here.

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Cox Models has a new line called "Wings" which, among other designs, has a series of Micro Warbird ARFs. These micro models sell for only $20! They come highly detailed, pre-painted and also include a Speed 130 motor.

For my full review on the COX Micro P51, go here.

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Picoo-Z Micro Heli

The SilverLit PicooZ micro helicopter is available at Radio Shack for $40. It is a 2-channel proportional control InfraRed system that only needs 6 AA batteries in the transmitter. The heli recharges a single built-in LiPo cell from a cable in the transmitter. I only needed to add a single silver sticker (supplied) under the nose for reasonable control in a living room size area. Interesting technology from the toy industry!

For modifications and spare parts, visit the PiccoZ Toolbox.

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When I received one the new Wattage Micro Flyers from Hobby People, I was immediately impressed with the degree of integration in this Ready-To-Fly (RTF) package. The Micro Flyer is a very small indoor or outdoor radio controlled (49MHz) flying plane that is powered by a small electric motor and a rechargeable 150mAh Lithium battery.

The design is perhaps the world's first mass-produced RTF micro-flyer at an all-up weight of only 31 grams (about an ounce). The Micro Flyer's direction is controlled by a magnetic actuator mounted in the rudder.

For my full review on the Wattage Micro Flyer, go here.

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The new Micro Joule (MJ) components are perhaps the smallest in micro-flight technology ever produced for easy plug-n-play usage. The MJ servos weigh about 0.1oz each and the 0.1oz MJ receiver is a single conversion narrow band type that automatically detects the modulation shift for use with Futaba, Hitec, or JR transmitters.
 

For my full review on the Micro Joule Flight Pack, go here.

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Meet the Micro Gang

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Graupner Micro Taxi (front)

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Acro-Bipe (left)

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Wattage Lightning (back)

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Modified Wattage Lightning (right)

The Micro Gang is a group of inexpensive foam planes that I have converted to R/C. The smallest one in front was an electric free-flight Graupner Micro Taxi that I converted to R/C using the RFFS100 module. On the right is a rubber-powered Acro-Bipe from the Store of Wonder. In the back is a stock Wattage Lightning and on the right is a modified Lightning fuselage. The modified fuselage has full rudder and elevator control using GWS Pico servos and is powered by an Astro Flight 4:1 Firefly coreless motor using the new metal gearbox. The wing is made from two "Lite Wings" from Cloud9 or Takeoff 2000.

Graupner Micro Taxi Conversion "World's Smallest ARF"

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Model Specifications:

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Model: Graupner Micro Taxi

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Wingspan: 14�

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Length: 10.5"

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Weight: RTF @ 1.5oz with NiCds (1.3oz with LiPoly)

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Motor Used: KP00 (geared M20)

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Cells Used: 3 cells of 50mAh NiCd or 1 cell 140mAh LiPoly

MicroTaxi1_thumb.jpg (4300 bytes) MicroTaxi2_thumb.jpg (6149 bytes)

Using the new RFFS100 micro-brick module, I converted this 40gram free-flight Graupner Micro-Taxi to R/C.

I gutted the stock motor and 270mAh NiMH cell for a KP00 geared (M20) motor, U80 prop, and 3-cells of 50mAh NiCd

MicroTaxi_Rudder_thumb.JPG (4056 bytes) MicroTaxi_Motor_thumb.JPG (5033 bytes)

I needed to modify the stock landing gear for proper ROGs. I soldered a thin rod across to connect the wheels like an axle rod.

Indoor_MicroTaxi2_thumb.JPG (3667 bytes)

My little 1.5oz foamy easily flies in a basketball court gym.

All up, my little plane weighs 1.5oz RTF...Amazing stuff! This conversion could possibly be the "World's Smallest ARF". For a full review on my conversion to R/C, look for it in the August 2002 issue of S&E Modeler magazine.

August, 2002

For a tutorial on converting your own Micro Taxi (aka Lightning), click on the title below:

A Step-by-Step Guide

 for Converting the Free Flight "Lightning"

to R/C using the RFFS100 Module

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Sky Runner Conversion




 
Wingspan: 23"
Length: 17"
Weight: 1.9oz
Motor: KP-00
Cells: 1s1p or 1s2p 230mAh LiPoly
Radio: RFFS100 Module
Available From: Dynamic Web Enterprises

In my search to find the perfect model for an entry level micro-flight enthusiast, the Sky Runner had many of the qualities that I was looking for:

� Safe pusher configuration with the prop in the rear
� Durable foam design with a shock absorbing rubber nose
� Inexpensive, proven electric free flight flyer with light wingloading
� Taped leading and trailing wing edges for added durability
� Self-contained charging station with On/Off switch
� Plastic nose skid for landing on hard surfaces

Since the stock weight of the free flight electric powered model was only 1.9oz, I knew that to have a successful conversion to R/C, I would need the latest technology. The RFFS100 module, KP-00 motor, and a single 230mAh Lithium Polymer (LiPoly) cell from Dynamic Web Enterprises (DWE) provided me with the technology I needed to convert my model.

View my entire Sky Runner Conversion on the E-Zone here or my step-by-step conversion guide here.

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Cox Sky Cruiser Viper P-51 Mustang

coxa5842.jpg (8866 bytes) Click on the image for my Viper conversion details.

Specifications:

bulletCox Viper Free-flight electric airplane
bulletWingspan = 20.5"
bulletLength = 18"
bulletRTF @ 4.5oz.
bulletGWS direct drive motor
bulletGreat Planes Electrifly C-5 ESC
bulletstock Viper 4.3x2 red prop
bulletx.x amps @ xxx RPMs with 8-cells of 120mA NiMH

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Formoplast "Cannonshot" Bi-Plane

cannonfinal_thumb.jpg (5375 bytes) cannonarfparts_thumb.jpg (8460 bytes)

CannonshotSide_thumb.JPG (5819 bytes) CannonshotFront_thumb.JPG (5589 bytes) CannonshotInside_thumb.JPG (2689 bytes)

After several brief under-powered flights with the stock POT2 motor, I switched to a DX-A (Pico Stick) motor, 7x6 prop, and 8-cell 300mAh NiMH pack. This tiny biplane can now ROG from pavement! Impressive! I later switched to a GWS S1 motor that gives more power with with the 7x6 prop and still doesn't stress the motor at full power.

Specifications:

bulletFormoplast "Cannonshot" R/C ARF electric bi-plane
bulletWingspan = 18.5"
bulletWingloading = ?
bulletLength = 16"
bulletRTF @ 6.6oz.
bulletGWS DX-A or S1 motor
bulletGreat Planes Electrifly C-5 ESC
bulletGWS 7x6 orange prop
bullet1.5 amps @ xxx RPMs with 8-cells of 300mA NiMH

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Ikara "Firefly" Indoor Airplane

ika001.jpg (24760 bytes)

Specifications:

bulletRubber-powered free-flight glider from Hobby Lobby
bulletWingspan = 7" (180mm)
bulletRTF @ 2.7grams (0.1oz)
bulletFirefly will circle in a 10' by 10' room for 45 seconds

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Wattage Lightning

128301

Specifications:

bulletRudder and Thrust control
bulletWingspan = 19"
bulletRTF @ 3.3grams
bulletWing Area: 60 square inches
bulletStabilizer Area: 17 square inches

Here is a picture of my Lightning wing after mounting N20 motors with Wattage B2 props. A perfect fit!

The second picture is an interesting comparison between the Graupner Micro Taxi and Wattage Lightning. The logo on each tail fin is identical.

Lightning_Motors_thumb.JPG (5136 bytes) Lightning_Taxi_thumb.JPG (5968 bytes)

Here are some pictures of my RTF Lightning with rudder and thrust control. I forgot to weigh my landing gear before so all up it weighs 3.3oz instead of 3.0oz.

Note that my rudder control is a pull-pull configuration using carbon reinforced FireLine. I found a perfect place to mount the GWS Pico servo using 1 screw and a twist tie.

The first picture shows the bottom opened hatch revealing my R4-P receiver and 6-cell 120mAh NiMH pack (blue). The normal clip-on hatch is used to connect the flight pack and access the battery for charging.

The second picture shows the top with the wing removed. The GWS Pico servo is mounted on the existing plastic inserts using only 1 screw and a twist tie. I left all the existing plastic structure in place.

The third picture shows the pull-pull lines coming out of the back window similar to Bob Ruff's control rod.

The forth picture is the finished Wattage Lightning next to the free-flight Graupner Micro Taxi.

Lightning_Bottom_thumb.JPG (3348 bytes) Lightning_Top_thumb.JPG (3953 bytes)

Lightning_PullPull_thumb.JPG (5852 bytes) Lightning_Finished_thumb.JPG (3790 bytes)

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Here are some pictures below of my Astro Flight Firefly-powered Lightning. It has been modified for full rudder and elevator control with HS-50 servos. The polyhedral wing is made from 2 of the "Lite" wings from Cloud9.

The plane is RTF at 3.0oz using a 2-cell, 140mAh, LiPoly pack and flies for 10 minutes easy. It will fly both indoors and outdoors.

The servos and receiver sit on a piece of white Depron foam and are held in place by servo tape.

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Check out my full review of the DWE Mini Stik here.

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 DWE Widget

My DWE Widget uses an RFFS100 module, two magnetic actuators, a KP-00 motor, and single DWE 230mAh Lithium cell.

Widget Video (5.5meg)

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