Frankenplane 2 – the “FOGEE”

by alibopo | March 1, 2014 | (0) Posted in Projects

 Frankenplane 2 

The "FOGEE" 

This is a rebuild of my Smash Drone, but as a tractor airplane!

Both planes use the very versatile, simple and efficient Old Fogey wing. The Smash Drone is a great plane but it didn’t translate too well in my version; I had a heavier tail boom and was using heavy foam board. To get it flying the way I liked it (with the CG on or just in front of the Old Fogey wing bend), I had to add a whole pile of weight to the nose.

Even with 2x1000mah batteries in the front, I was still carrying extra dead weight. All Up Weight was just short of the kilogram – slightly over 35ozs – which must have been on the edge of that efficiency down slope where adding extra battery weight actually starts to eat into the overall flight time.

My Smash Drone flew OK, but carrying so much weigh it would never be as efficient as the Dollar Tree foam board versions. It was time for a bit of…. remodelling.

Here’s what I did; 

Turning the power pod around to make it a tractor plane was the first decision - and I carefully worked on balancing the plane before fixing the position of the front support for the swappable pod. That way I was able to avoid the need for any dead weight – right away I had a big weight reduction!

Because I didn’t need the high fuselage to give the prop clearance over the tail boom I was able to reduce the fuselage depth - that reduced the weight even more.

The new AUW now stands at 670grams/23.6ozs with a 1000mah battery. If you’re used to building with Dollar Tree foam board this might still seem heavy, but the Old Fogey wing carries this weight easily.

This ‘new’ build weight is definitely better than the original 35ozs – that’s a weight reduction of about a third! 

Power comes from an EMAX CF2822 1300KV 16A motor swinging a 9x3.8 prop. I also used some washers behind the motor mount to put in a couple of degrees of down and right thrust – which usually helps keep things stable over a wider speed range. 

I’ve found the Old Fogey wing produces a tremendous amount of lift at anything  over a crawl, so I kept the wing’s Angle of Incidence fairly shallow (roughly  the same as the donor plane). See my discussion on how and why I reduced the A of I of the Smash Drone in this article;

Internals are pretty much as they were. I reused the pod mounts - turning and repositioning them to fit the new layout.

A little trimming, folding and gluing tidied up the nose.

So how does it fly? Have a look.

This video covers flying conditions from around 5-6mph initially to about 10-12mph near the end and still rising. It was very stable and well behaved. At times I just cut the power and coasted around for a few long lazy loops. It did lose height, but given the right conditions I think this plane would manage to fly as a slope soarer. There's no slow motion in this video, just the headwind sometimes making it look like it.

I decided to call this plane a "FOGEE" – well... you need something to type into the transmitter to tell the plane’s apart.


Ron B on May 12, 2014
I love the smash drone
I was afraid of crashing so I put soft foam in the open area of the nose so it stuck out and would take the brunt of a hit and it works as i hit head on into a wall with no damage.
i use a suppo 2208/14 and on 3 cells it is way over powered but on 2 cell 2200 it is great with power when needed but it only needs just under 1/2 throttle while in the air and with about a 3 mph head wind it will stand still then just a slight throttle it will move out.
I had 2 flights on a delta ray before I finished my drone and i now have 6 flights on the drone with no damage.
My old fogey wings have less polyhiederal than original and it still is a great wing.
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alibopo on May 13, 2014
Hi Ron, I should have checked all my 'Flite Test' comments :) I see you found my Smash drone conversion. The foam on the nose sounds a great mod. My SD nose was getting a bit 'lumpy' before I converted it - and, even though it was a mod for the tractor version, I think my remodelling of the nose (last picture above) would also work with the SD. From your description, it sounds like you've got the plane set-up very nicely - I'd definitely like to see some flight footage :) I think lots of folks are flying the SD 'high alpha' (tail heavy?) and missing out on some great flight characteristics. Regarding your wing, reduced polyhedral has it's drawbacks. If you take too much out, it weakens the wing - there's a lot of strength comes from those angular folds. Keep an eye on the joins, and if they start to spread and flatten out, you might consider putting a little shaped rib under the wing (same profile as where the wing sits on the fuselage), that'll sort it. Sometimes these weaknesses don't show for a while, but the great thing about foam board is its easily modded and repaired. Cheers. alibopo.
Log In to reply on October 14, 2015
What is that music you used with your Frankenplane. I like it.
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alibopo on October 19, 2015
Hi - the Music came from the 'YouTube' 'free' music interface - it's a number called; Walk that Bass by Mike Stobie.
If you do a google search you'll find a page where you can preview and buy a download.
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Frankenplane 2 – the “FOGEE”