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Thread: Plankton v.2.0 - My latest design

  1. #711
    Pilot Dionysos's Avatar
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    Well, I believe I'm a bad indicator, not sure about the others. I have actually 1.5 planktons. The green one from the video, and another half ready version.

    I also made a launch dolly for it with steerable wheels.


    Plankton was not a commercial success, but a personal one. I'm not able to produce this plane so it could be sold due to time constraints.

    Now, why bad indicator, because there is really little space to fly these things where I stay. I also don't own a car so the transport is another issue.

    It works best if you have a flat "home field". It's certainly a really nice flying plane. I like it. It's not really suitable as holiday-bring-along-anywhere plane.

    I have not tested the limits, which is a shame, but my constraints would only allow flying over the sea after some major transporting issues. It comes with a sigh saying that.

    @flyboy, I heard that you are looking into building a plank as well?

    rgds,
    Dio
    Latest Crafts: The Anti-Gravity-Machine, Carbonator, Guava 2m, Wunderwaffe I, Wunderwaffe II, Uberwaffe, Plankton v2, TBS discovery

  2. #712
    FPV is the bees knees
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    Hey Dio! Thanks for the response! Just sent you a PM!
    Last edited by flyboy321; 14th December 2015 at 05:13 PM.

  3. #713
    Pilot Dionysos's Avatar
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    are you looking into flying real far or staying up there very long, or both?

    Generally, I'd try to push the aspect ratio of the plane to a max, the limit being a high enough reynolds number to avoid draggy laminar bubbles.

    Configuration-wise, I'd consider a swept wing because if the sweep angle is high enough and the wingspan is rather larger, you'd have a CG that sits pretty far back. In other words you could install elevator/flaps in that portion in front of the CG to truly have a proper elevator in your wing.

    If you use a plank, by every increase of control surface for the thing to pitch up, you lose out on maximum lift coefficient. it works, but it's not as neat as it could be with a swept flying wing: using the wing portion in front of the CG, you'd move the flaps down, increase lift, increase max lift coefficient and you re in a beautiful world.


    Dio
    Latest Crafts: The Anti-Gravity-Machine, Carbonator, Guava 2m, Wunderwaffe I, Wunderwaffe II, Uberwaffe, Plankton v2, TBS discovery

  4. #714
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    Hay Planktonites! I wanted to update this thread with some new activity!

    Late last year Dionsys agreed to pass this project along to me. Thanks Matt! I have the original prototype, some spare parts and the molds. If y'all need anything, I can probably hook you up.

    The weather here has been crappy, so I haven't been able to do any flying but as soon as I get a break in the weather that lines up with some free-time, I'm going to fly Matt's original green Plankton.

    I've also been working on refining the design a little. I've been experimenting with spar-less, stress skin wings that get laminated and cured in a vacuum bag. The wings were cut using a CNC hot-wire machine that I built last winter. The picture here is of the original Plankton and one that I'm building with the new engineering. The new Plankton also has slightly more simplified wing joiner system. Also pictured here is a home-engineered launch dolly made from mostly PVC pipe.

    Before y'all say anything, I know the colors of my Plankton are horrible. I was experimenting with different paint colors and techniques.

    I'll probably start a new thread at some point. Stay tuned for more!

    Click image for larger version. 

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  5. #715
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    Awesome. Glad you took up this challenge. Any thought to making a smaller version?

  6. #716
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    Hey Hmerly!
    While I think that would be completely possible, I can see some issues. First, the fuselage would need to be made smaller which would mean a completely new set of molds. I've made molds before and it can be a ton of work. Second, size matters with airplanes and a smaller version may or may not fly as well. Matt may be in a better position to comment on this than me.

    The thought that I did have though, is to see about creating a twin version of the Plankton. This would be interesting I think because it would leave the nose open for an HD camera so we could have the advantages that the wing guys have but retain the benefits of a tractor configuration.

    I'd like to get the single engine version dialed in first and then see about mounting pods on the wings to make the twin version. That's a few months off at the least though.

    Peter



    Quote Originally Posted by Hmerly View Post
    Awesome. Glad you took up this challenge. Any thought to making a smaller version?

  7. #717
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    Awesome. Glad someone's still working on an efficient tractor style plank. Would love to try one when you're ready to produce a few. Personally, a twin tractor would be amazing

  8. #718
    The World as We See It Twawsi's Avatar
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    Peter,

    Congrats on the handoff of an amazing platform. It's good to see there's life left in this thread and the aircraft it supports. I saw this thing in person at a European meeting in France back in 12'. When Dio made a few kits and sold them, I snatched one up. To this day, it still sits patiently in its box and waits for the day I can dedicate some time to build it. I refuse to sell it because "one day" I know mine will fly. I've never forgotten that vertical take off this thing did as our jaws just dropped. That one launch is what sold me. Hope to join you all in the Plankton skies.

    Cheers,
    Frank

  9. #719
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    I still regret selling my kit to you Peter

    Hopefully, we can work something out if you make some kits

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