By Rob Jahnke
I live in Minnesota but spend January in San Diego. I enjoy flying with the Silent Electric Flyers of San Diego (SEFSD) at the Mission Bay field, but I needed a reasonably sized model airplane that would travel well on an airline. I modified a Prism Zero G Glider kite (purchased at the kite store in Seaport Village) for this mission. As a kite, it flies in the Canard configuration. As an airplane, I put the motor on the opposite end and use the canard surfaces as elevators. A light weight rudder was added for the airplane configuration.
The conversion was very successful. The video shows test flights at the Coronado Tidelands Park flying both as an airplane and a kite. In smooth air, it flies “hands off”.
YouTube video – 1 min 12 sec Coronado test flight:
The Wingspan is 1067 mm (42″) and the “All Up Weight” is 225 grams (8 oz) including a 1.3 gram recording altimeter. Flight time is 15 minutes with a 3S 500 mah LiPo and a 9 x 4.7 prop. At the SEFSD field, I recorded a maximum altitude of 352 ft. The only real concern with this model airplane is that you could easily lose it in a thermal. So morning, or evening, or cloudy days are best. It also flies well in a gymnasium.
YouTube video – 1 min 28 sec College of St. Benedict Field House:
Since we stay in Coronado for the month of January, the Zero G RC Kite makes a great backpack airplane. I ride the Coronado Ferry to the Broadway Pier, then take the trolley to the Morena/Linda Vista stop. The bike takes me the rest of the way to the SEFSD field.
Member – SEFSD (San Diego CA), MARCS (Madison WI), Northstar Flyers (Holdingford MN)