Rabid Blog (Blaugh!)
-Ahem- This page is under construction. Our hope is to turn this into a BLG one day - for now I thought I would write a few descriptive paragraphs about our models, so you can get a better idea about them. They each have some unique characteristics and so the idea here is to go into greater detail about each one. As time goes by, we'll use this space to record our own personal comments about the models, what things might be particular or different about them, and let you know what we're doing.
Our models are built in two sizes, with a few exceptions. The smaller-size models are all the same size - generally 28” - but are not all the same scale. The reason is that we discovered that this particular size model just happens to work really well with two cheap brushed GWS IPS motors. These models use a 2-cell Lipo, from 300mah to 600mah and fly very well inside, such as in golf domes, indoor soccer arenas, etc. Of course they can fly outside if the winds are light. The idea we had with the smaller models was to create an easy-to-build scale airplane that was very inexpensive to complete.
The larger size models all use the same 1-ounce brushless motor (we call it the "Blue Wonder") and 9x7 3-bladed propeller. We have scaled these models to the prop, so the models vary in size. We did this because this particular motor and prop combinations works extremely well for us and the 3-bladed prop looks really cool. These models can fly on 2-cell or 3-cell packs, but perform best with the 3-cell. They are meant for outdoor flying. Most come with some carbon-fiber reinforcement. Recently the Blue Wonder came out in a higher-power version (same size, just hotter), we call that the "Blue Monster". It's perfect for the Combat Komet but you must use a still APC prop. We also have a MUCH hotter version called OMG because the first time I saw it fly on a small flying wing, what came out of my mouth was: "OH...MY...GAWD". I tried it on the Komet and it flew at about 100mph with a 4" prop and I melted the ESC. It was a bit over the top.
20” Bearcat A very small model, suitable for indoor flying. Outdoors it gets very small in a big hurry. It needs a lot of down-thrust and right thrust when using a brushless motor and a large prop. Less right-thrust is needed with a small prop. It is extremely sensitive to aileron. Best to set it up with the tiniest amount of control throw possible. The elevator is less sensitive, but it only needs about ¼” each way. Use a small battery pack.
16” “Rare Bear” version of the Bearcat This one is even smaller than the regular Bearcat. It has very small ailerons so it’s not quite as sensitive. It performs fine, but it’s important not to let it get too heavy. It's fast! The temptation is there to install a big motor, but that means a bigger battery, and more weight.
28” P38 “Forked Tail Devil” Our P38 is an outstanding model. It looks great in the air and flies very well. It looks best when the motors are used with spinners – and the Cox Warbird motors and props are an excellent combination for this model.
28” Tigercat An excellent model with very good flying characteristics. Its very skinny fuselage makes it look very realistic, but makes it somewhat more prone to break in accidents with a weak spot just behind the wing. Our kits now come with a carbon-fiber reinforcement part for that area. My only complaint is that when painted as the full-size plane, the dark blue model practically disappears when flying indoors against a dark backdrop (typical in the golf dome)… all you end up seeing is the cockpit – a strange sensation.
28” Mosquito Excellent flier due to its large wing. This one is an excellent choice as your first Rabid Model. The only complaint is that it just doesn’t look right without spinners. Performs very well with the motors from a COX Warbird (they have spinners).
28” P61 Black Widow Excellent flier due to its large wing and light wing loading. Steve installed a landing gear with a steerable nose wheel on his, and it worked fine.
28” B26 Marauder The full-size plane had a very bad reputation due to its high wing loading. The model has a slightly enlarged wing and flies very well without any problems. It tends to be a little sensitive to aileron, but is an excellent and smooth flying model. Painted olive-drab with bright invasion stripes, it really stands out.
28” Heinkel HE219 Uhu or "Eagle Owl" This model’s wing is somewhat smaller, so it needs to fly a bit faster and is a little less forgiving than some of our other models Even so, it is a very smooth and stable model and looks great in the air.
38” PBY Catalina Due to its larger size, the IPS motors are too small and so small brushless motors are recommended. It really needs to have a working rudder installed for better flying characteristics. Without a rudder it does fine as long as you don’t go too slowly – at slow speeds it does not want to turn due to adverse yaw. Surprisingly. the ailerons are very sensitive and it turns on a dime. It’s very easy to couple the rudder to the same servo as the ailerons.
Regular Komet 32" This plane has a simple undercambered wing and is extremely easy to build. Only 7 parts! We’ve been using a 17gm brushless motor with it. It took some time to find the right prop for this plane. It was too slow - we tried a a 5x4.3 and a 6x3 and it just didn’t perform very well. But it did much better with a 7x3 prop with a 3-cell lipo and even better with a 7x6 prop - it performs very well, indoors or outdoors. It is light and is an excellent glider. It is a quite fast, but nothing like the combat version. I installed a very small CF rod on the LE of the wings for ding protection, and that seemed to help strengthen it as well.
Combat Komet 32" - standard 1250kV motor and 3-cell Lipo with 8x6 GWS prop The “combat” version has a plywood skid, a double fuselage, and a wing that has been folded over at the leading edge, making it rigid and very strong. As a result it’s also more difficult to build than our typical kits, but only a little. It's relatively heavy, when armored. This plane is a little hot-rod, and it a little intimidating in the air. It is small, very fast, and looks dangerous. When I flew it indoors everyone else tended to stop flying. It’s like a shark in a goldfish pond. I built it mainly because I was tired of my models being destroyed in midair collisions inside the golf dome where we fly. At 50mph it is very fast, but not too outrageous. We use an 8x6 prop with a 3-cell Lipo. If you are not planning on flying combat, you don’t have to use the carbon fiber reinforcements. If you keep this model light, you can slope-soar with it! It is an excellent glider. But it is extremely sensitive to the controls – I use 70% exponential.
Combat Komet 32"– hot "Blue Monster" 1700kV motor and 3-cell Lipo with 6x5.5 APC prop This outrageous little monster flies at about 65-70mph. I armored it for combat. With all it's extra gear my prototype is relatively heavy at 12 ounces and doesn’t glide quite as nicely as my lighter first prototype, but still glides well. If you are familiar with the hot Stryker, you’ll have an idea how fast the Komet is.... the Stryker is faster, but I think my Komet is more stable and more maneuverable. The Komet is relatively small, but it’s a blast to tear up the sky. It whistles at high speed. I've noticed that birds stop flying when it's in the air (it reminds me of a Perigrine Falcon) and the Canada Geese don't like it one bit. It rolls at about 180 RPM (3 per second). No, I haven't timed it for a whole minute! I mean, Tear it UP.
XF5F Skyrocket 35" This plane is a hoot to fly. It is very stable at low speed and relatively insensitive to the controls. The motors are located relatively low – so when full power is applied it tends to pitch up, even when nose heavy. It has more thrust than weight, and will happily go straight up until it is out of sight. Then when you come down, you can cut the throttle and the big props act as air brakes. I have a lot of fun with that maneuver. The model tends to be a little heavy for its size, and my prototype is nose heavy so it is a little insensitive to the controls. Even with big elevators, it doesn’t like to flare for landing. The ailerons remain sensitive at all speeds, but the model doesn’t roll very quickly. I installed retractable landing gear on the prototype and it’s a lot of fun. Unfortunately I didn’t install a steerable tail wheel so it’s slightly embarrassing when people see that there is no way to steer it on the ground!
F7F Tigercat 40” This plane is aerodynamically more refined than the Skyrocket and it shows. The big Tigercat is a very smooth flier. It has a strengthened wing and is fully aerobatic. It’s not extremely fast with the recommended motors, but flies very realistically and looks terrific in the air. For fun I installed split flaps and a rudder on the prototype. The rudder is completely unnecessary but the flaps work very well I can fly this big model slowly in small spaces with a 2-cell Lipo. With a 3-cell Lipo, it has plenty of power and unlimited vertical. It’s not an extremely fast model, especially since I put in fake radial motors inside the cowls (they create a lot of drag, but look really cool).
DH98 Mosquito 40” This is another great model and flies very much like the big Tigercat, except the Mozzie has more wing area. As a result it’s a very graceful flyer. We found out quite by accident that our model is exactly the same size and scale as a fully built-up bird that is offered by Dare Hobby And you can get lightweight spinners and some other detail parts from them to really snazz up your model. Steve set up his model with the motors on two separate channels mixed together, and he can “start” each motor separately for a cool effect as you can see on the video we posted.
Heinkel He219 Uhu "Eagle Owl" 46” This large model is the smoothest-flying lady in the group. It’s very first flight was smooth, like it was on a track, and I never get tired of that. When I am flying it I think about how completely deadly the full-size nightfighter was, with radar and six 30mm cannons. It was a very large fighter and it’s quite deceptive because you wouldn’t think anything as pretty as this could be a fighter. It’s a large model and flies gracefully, but still performs when you give it some throttle. It will soar like a glider, at a very low power setting. It is slightly insensitive to elevator, but that can be fixed by increasing the control throws.
Dornier Do335 Arrow or “Pfeil” This one has the same motors and props as our other larger models, but is completely, totally, different. For one thing, it “howls” when it’s flying (as opposed to the Uhu, which is silent). And it looks completely intimidating in the air. For some reason when it is flying it just seems like it is much faster and heavier than it really is. It is a hot and heavy fighter, not a soaring graceful lady. The full-size plane was very large – a man could walk under the nose without stooping – and it was the fastest piston-engined fighter of WWII. The model is also fast, and a real handful in the air. The two motors are turning in the same direction so it tends to torque to the left. After I installed a working rudder (top and bottom fin) the model behaved much more nicer. I found a set of left-hand and right-hand props but they were 9x5s and although there was no torque at all, the model flew much slower. I also installed flaps to help it calm down for landing. Due to its configuration, it can be damaged easily (the motors are at each end of a long fuselage). After an accident, I reinforced the sides of the rear fuselage with some carbon fiber and since then I’ve had no problems. I try to land this model in very tall grass. When flying indoors, I use a metal skid under the nose (a piece of music wire in the shape of a bow) to keep the nose from digging in. I reinforced the LE of the bottom fin with CF so it has never been a problem on landing. I would love to try retracts but they would be very difficult to hide and make them look nice.
PBY Catalina 68” The model can be built with or without the hull and floats. It’s quite large (the 68” wing is challenging to fit into small cars). But it is a lot of fun to fly. It is obviously not a stunt plane – the prototype had brushed motors and would only climb at about a 10 degree angle. (Brushless motors give it a real boost). But that’s how the real plane flew, and the model does a great job of giving you the same feeling as watching a full-size cat going by. I especially like the way it looks flying into the sunset on a calm evening. The model flies very well, even with its big wing. In the wind, the wingtips "flap". At slow speed it resists turning but as soon as you give it some throttle it does fine. The prototype would easily thermal. With the hull and floats you can fly the model off of water. It needs a working rudder for steering on the water, but it does not have a water rudder. At low speed, dipping one of the wing floats in the water will let you pivot around quite sharply and so it’s east to handle. At higher speed, the model skims along the water and easily lifts off without any effort. If you fly at a grass field, you should definitely remove the tip floats because they will get ripped off. Of course the hull works fine on the grass, and snow too. The original prototype was sold to a customer who "had to have it" and so I built the #2 as a water-bomber. It has a set of marker lights and landing lights (the light kit is sold by LazerToys) that I can turn on an off on channel 5. I also installed a pair of "drop tanks" under the wings so I could go water bombing. It can drop confetti, lots of fun.
B36 Peacemaker 49” The model is scaled to 4” props. When I built the prototype I was worried that the GWS IPS motors wouldn’t have enough power. I was completely wrong – the little 12mm brushed motors have more than enough power and this model will easily fly outside and loop without any problem, although it looks completely ridiculous doing that. It really flies like a trainer – totally stable and forgiving. I turns easily (I have the rudder and ailerons permanently connected together). The six motors make it sound fantastic when it goes by. When all power is cut, it tends to drop quickly because of the drag from 6 stationary props – so it’s definitely not a glider but as long as you have a little power it does a great job. The model is not hard to build, but the wiring for the six motors is a real challenge – more tedious than anything else, but it took me longer to install the motor wiring than it did to build the model. After I discovered how easily it flew, I installed a scale landing gear with a spring steerable nose wheel. The parts aren’t installed in the kit but the instructions are. It’s a blast to shoot touch-and go’s with a B-36 and taxi the model back to the sideline.
BUILT AND IN DEVELOPMENT:
44" C47 – when I designed this we had the idea to pick up an R/C HORSA glider using a tow line. The model has a built-in retractable tow line! The glider turned out way too heavy, perhaps because it had an opening nose to drive out a little RC jeep! (Who knew the HORSA was so big??) so we need to build a much lighter version of the glider. The GooneyBird flies quite well but the wing needs to be redesigned with more camber – it doesn’t generate enough lift and the model flies way too fast. It looks very, very good in the air. It glides like a brick, but I think it should be great with it’s new wing.
38" ME262 – the first prototype was a failure with two problems – the wings developed flutter at high speed, and at low speed (when landing) the model would violently pitch up without warning. Other than that, it flew fine at medium speeds and looked great in the air. The design is problematic since the motors are mounted underneath the wing. I have redesigned a much stronger wing using the same design as the Combat Komet. I have the hot 1700kV motors and APC 6x5.5 props. The model has been flown several times now (as of July 22) and is a real pleasure to fly. It flies the way a jet should, and looks great. It is not as fast as the Komet, but flies with authority. It glides very nicely. The wing is very strong and does not flutter. Last weekend a friend noticed that the tail develops a flutter at high speed. It's a bit disappointing to have this problem, but the plane is really excellent so I don't mind. By the way - many people have asked about the ME262 that you see at the top of the web page. This is a 28" version that was made with a full-body fuselage and nacelles carved out of solid pink foam. It flew extremely well with the little IPS motors, but there's no way we can kit it. We hope to make full-fuselage kits one day, but we can't promise anything now.
38" XP56 Black Bullet – This flying wing model has a single motor and 9x7 prop. The full-size X-plane had a contra-rotating prop system - wouldn't that be totally cool on a model? The main wing has significant dihedral and the wingtips point downwards. The model has some severe problems, but does fly. It wants to yaw in the opposite direction of the turn, and if not corrected it flips the opposite way and flips around like a helicopter without a tail rotor. It acts kind of like a plane without any vertical stabilizer. SEPT 09 UPDATE: after a wing redesign and installation of a smaller prop, the model behaves relatively well. It is fast, maneuverable, and looks great. I'm not saying that it is the best model I;ve flown, but it's pretty good. I can hardly wait to show it off. The model looks totally cool in the air, completely unique and unlike anything you’ve seen. The wingtips make it look similar to a Klingon “bird of prey” - if you’re into Star Trek you’ll understand.
AVRO Lancaster – this model was a great success and flew extremely well. The CAD files are done and it's only waiting to go into production. Its only problem is that Steve has been busy making a gigantic full-body version which has distracted him a bit from the foamies! Take a look at his build thread on RC Groups Anyway we hope that we'll have the foamie available pretty soon. The prototype has fixed landing gear, flaps, and looks fantastic in the air.
28” Gloster Meteor – an excellent little model in every way. The prototype was built using two small brushless motors with pusher props (it is supposed to be a jet, after all) and it flies extremely well. For some odd reason it flies incredibly well at very slow speed. The CAD files are done and this one is ready to be made into a kit as soon as we get to it.
28” Arado ‘Blitz” bomber – this model has a small wing and flies very fast. It had a nasty habit of stalling – we are going to make it with a larger wing. It was a good flier and looked right at home flying with the jets in the dome. Of course you can’t see the pusher props when it is flying!
40" P38 - Yes we do have a large-size Fork Tailed Devil to surprise you - it's almost ready and the prototype should be flying this summer. Stay tuned for pictures! SEPT 09 UPDATE: the prototype flew, it looks fantastic and flies like a dream. And that is only on a two-cell pack. THe 3-cell should be really great. This model will be extremely popular.
ON THE DRAWING BOARD Next up will be the Dauntless Dive Bomber. The prototype is constructed but not finished - I am waiting to design and install laser-cut dive brakes and flaps. I want to include retracts, working split dive flaps and flaps, and a working bomb drop. It will be fantastic. It’s not a twin… but oh well. We are building a B24 and a B17. So far they look great, but the prototypes aren't finished yet. I have many ideas waiting in the wings, including the “Flying Flapjack”, A Dominator or B29 bomber (maybe both), the Douglas A26 Invader, a large Bearcat, a large P61, and I hope to build a gigantic B36 – a foamie with a 9-foor wingspan. If I build it with a bomb bay I should be able to let loose with a pound of confetti (chaff).