Tuesday, June 22, 2010

First flight - The Wild Card Project is Successful!

After 2,5 years of hard work (1240 hours) the Norwegian Wild Card has finally flown. The testflight was done from a short bunge at the top of the slope Spåkens which is a 3 hour drive from Tromsø. Wind and weather was not cooperating at all and I ended up flying in heavy rain without any wind. Therefore the testflight was very short (1.45min) Here follows a quick summary of the flight:

After waiting for a while we had a short stop in the rain and the bungee was brought out. I assembled the Wild Card and checked everything. I discovered that I had forgotten to bring tape to hold the wings and canopy on, but found a small piece of masking tape stuck to one of my wing bags, and used that to hold the canopy on. Due to the slope being a bit rocky, I decided not to handlaunch the model before attaching it to the bungee. I put in a bit of up trim and streched the bungee, knowing that this would be my only chance to get a test flight before going to Greenland. (Almost 2 month UAV campaign)

The release was done with a clean wing and after picking up some speed, the plane rotated and went almost vertical. The launch was straight and I managed to get an altitude of about 40-50m. Imidiately after releasing the tow line I removed the up trim, as none was needed. The angle between the wing and tailplane seemed correct. During the flight I circled both left and right and the rudder response seemed to be good. Especially the rudder worked well. (Not bad for a V-tail..) The model seemed to be very stable and showed no tendency to flick at low speed. Before landing I found myself in sink, trying to get to the landing area and flew the "pattern" low and slow with a nose high attitude, thinking that it should spin any moment, but it didn`t. The landing was uneventful and about two meters from myself. Elevator compensation was spot on. ( Thats a first for me.)

Considering that the wing was covered with water droplets, it performed great. Now I need some decent air to test the high speed characteristics, as this is after all a F3F model...

The flight was video taped, but I still need to figure out how to get the recording from the DV tape to my computer..

After the flight, my girlfriend and I celebrated with barbeque and Champagne.

I would also like to say thanks to all of you that have helped me getting this plane in the air. There is a lot of people that has helped, but I would especially like to say thank you to the following persons:

Annette Kåsa: My girlfriend who has had to endure countless hours of building, problemsolving and moneyspending during this project. She also helped me out during mould building.

Francois Lorrain: He helped me with the wing CAD and aerodynamics. He has also been a great motivator and friend that has helped to keep going when I`ve been stuck.

Bodo Landeck: He did the CAM and CNC milling of the wing positives, and spent countless hours on getting it all just the way I wanted it to be.
Dirk Pflug: Designer of the NWC airfoil set, which is especially designed for this airplane.
Espen Torp: V-tail positives and sharing a lot of great knowledge.

Paul Andre Johansen: My brother, who has helped me financially.

And many of the members on the forum RcGroups who has kept me motivated, you know who you are!

Now: Furter test flighting!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Wild Card prototype nr 1 is ready!

The first Wild Card fuselage was pulled out of the mould today. This was the last part needed to complete the first Wild Card prototype. Finish is better than I had hoped for, with just some minor bubbles around the join line. The next fuselage will be made with vacuum. The weight of this fuselage is 260g and it has got the stiffest tailboom I ever have tried to flex on a F3F model.. Total weight for the complete, but empty Wild Card is 1526g. I`m very happy with that! Now I just need to get the servos mounted, and hopefully the maiden will be this weekend. When I first put all the parts together it was an amazing rush which made all the hard work worth it. Looking forward to maiden flight now...

As Bodo Landeck once said: Some dreams should come true!

Some small parts, project almost complete!

I`ve made a canopy and tailcone/lid. Extremely happy with how these turned out!

The first fuselage is also in the mould, curing. -This was made without vacuum and without the shearweb in the boom. This was done to save time as I`m soon leaving for a 46 day UAV field campaign on Greenland (Summit) and I would like to test the Wild Card before leaving. I`m not expecting perfect finish on this part, as the fuselagemould is really not designed for wet-seaming of the halves. We will see when I open the mould later today. The layup is as follows:

- 2k paint.
- Thickened epoxy in edges
- 12k carbon rowing around wing connection
- A complete layer of 49g/dm2 fibreglass
- A complete layer of 110g/dm2 fibreglass @ 45 degrees
- Dobler from nose to right behind the wing 110g/dm2 @ 45 degrees
- Kevlar rowing around canopy opening.
- Dobler in nose to right behind canopy opening 105g/dm2 kevlar
- Four lenghts of UMS carbon rowing per side in the tailboom.
- Two complete layers of 100g/dm2 Uni HM carbon from rear canopy to tail.
- One layer of 160g/dm2 carbon @ 45 degrees from rear canopy to right behind the wing.
- Dobbler in nose 110g/dm2 glass @ 90 degrees.
- One complete layer of 110g/dm2 fibreglass @ 90 degrees for joining.

Complex? - Yes
Overkill? - Maybe...
Heavy? - Most probably!

Will know in a few hours..

Thursday, June 10, 2010

All moulds are ready!

After some minor hickups, all the moulds for the Wild Card are now ready. As soon as I can find some time off work, I will make the first fuselage. The moulds are being waxed for the moment.