MINIACRC MIGHTY MINI Ju 87 SIMPLE STUKA BUILD
Jericho sirens: one of the most fearsome and traumatizing sounds of war that humanity will remember. Such is the infamous legacy of the lumbering giant that was the German Sturzkampfflugzeug: the Junkers Ju 87 dive bomber. With its signature landing gear and iconic inverted gull wing, the Stuka still sports a significant presence in the current hobby market.
There was something about the rigid yet unified structure of the Stuka that made me want to design a foamboard version to fly along with the Mini Mustang, Warhawk, and the likes. Ultimately, the vision with our silly foamy warbirds is not to extend the unfortunate sentiments of the past into the new century, but to add variety to the range of cool models available for hobbyists to choose from, build and fly in groups.
So, enter the Mighty Mini Simple Stuka: Achtung!!! Check out the release video of this model below if you haven’t had the chance to!
When I was entering this hobby a couple of years ago, two planes caught my eye because of their peculiar wing structures: the B25 and the Ju 87. The Mitchell was quite a challenge, and resulted in an involved design, while the Stuka turned out to be a pleasantly simple build, and thus the name: the Simple Stuka.
Between college and other commitments, I had to abandon the digital design earlier this year, but in early November, the word was put out and beta builders joined hands to chisel this model into the best design it could be. My sincerest thanks to the beta team that innovated and propelled this design beyond expectations.
Center of Gravity: 1.25 inches from leading edge at wing root (front wing crease)
Control Surface Throws: 14 – 18˚ deflection, 30% expo all around
Wingspan: 25.7 in. (653 mm)
Motors: 2204 to 2205 size 2300 – 2450 kv miniquad motor (FliteTest F-pack)
Prop: 5*4 / 6*3 to 6*45
ESC: 15 – 30 amp
Battery: 3S 800 – 1100 mAh
Servos: Three to four (5 - 9 gram) servos
Accessories: 1.5" plastic spinner (Horizon Hobby: Dubro 1.5" Red Spinner)
Build Process and Scale Details:
Please download the illustrated build guide to understand the construction and assembly procedures of the Mini Stuka. Despite the presence of molded foam pieces and some scale details, the Simple Stuka – true to its name – is not a tedious or involved build. It should take only a few hours to assemble and prepare for flight. Many components such as the wheel pants and the wing may seem intimidating, but simply follow the build guide and take each step slowly, and you should have a clean Ju 87 on your worktable in no time.
Two variants of the Stuka, the ‘B’ and ‘G’ versions are provided on the plans. Each has a different scoop and different details such as shells and autocannons, but you can improvise as you wish to customize your model. The construction process is the same for the two variants, with a couple of simple differences that are specified on the guide. The detailing on the Stuka is iconic and presents many options for you to decorate your model as you please, without having to worry about damaging flight characteristics.As with the Mini P40, the scoops on this model are designed to accommodate common brushless ESC’s, such that your power plant can remain cool during flight. Battery space is limited in this design but we were able to fit 3s 1100 mAh and 4s 850 mAh packs without having to force wires into tight spaces. It is recommended to use 3s 850 and 4s 650 packs if you are worried about leaving space for thick power wires, so that the hatch can close cleanly.
We were very nervous on the day of the first flight of the Beta model. The questionable thrust angle, the drooping wheel pants and the extreme angles on the inverted gull wing were not the most aerodynamically reassuring features on the Stuka. But the moment the legendary diver flew out of my hands, we knew that it was a winner! Despite excessive rightward thrust, the Beta model flew wonderfully, cutting smooth lines and pulling scale stunts, flying rock-stable all the while.
The most pleasantly surprising characteristics of the Beta Stuka pertained to tight turns. The model did not bite, no matter how hard I banked during tight turns and the wing showed no sign of flexing. Although the ailerons and elevator have minimal control surface areas, they have generous authority on turns. The inverted gull wing lifted the Stuka through the sky with ease at a wide range of speeds.However, the most authoritative control on the Stuka is the rudder. Although it is a clean bank-and-yank flyer – as noted by beta builders – yaw authority is extremely powerful. The Stuka was able to perform tight turns using only rudder and elevator control.
The flip side of such solid stability is lack of maneuverability. The Stuka cannot slip through the air and perform high alpha stunts with ease like the FT Spitfire, but beginner pilots can put it through its paces without fear of losing control or orientation.
The only downfall of this model is its landing gear. It is strong, authentic and iconic, but cannot handle uneven or rocky surfaces. The Beta model came in for a smooth approach with a little throttle held to maintain smooth descent, but when it touched down and began rolling, the right wheel pant collided with a rock twice its size and ripped cleanly off of the wing. Unless the model is slowed down to a crawl, such a rock-strike will inevitably crack off the gear in reducing the bird’s momentum to zero. The gear is designed to glue back on in no time, but it is highly recommended to land this model either on very tall grass to break the fall or on flat ground such as a true landing strip. As long as it lands on even and flat surfaces, the Simple Stuka can handle rough landings and bounces with no problem.
The Stuka is capable of scale aerobatics as seen in the flight footage, but more importantly, it’s an apt four-channel trainer for novice pilots wishing to enter the world of warbirds. A very predictable and clean-flying model, the Simple Stuka is sure to turn heads at your flying field with its clean lines and scale appearance. Our dream with this design is to educate and enable aspiring aviators to design, build and fly the aircraft of the future.
The vision of the FT community is to provide plans and resources for children and their folks to build, fly and make memories together. Although there is considerable stigma surrounding the history of the Sturzkampfflugzeug, we hope that people can fly different models together and unite around the common passions that tie us all. So by all means, fly the Simple Stuka along with the Mini Mustang, the Mini Corsair and several other amazing warbirds that others in our community have designed. They are all designed to match up in size, speed, performance and most importantly, AWESOMENESS!I sincerely hope that you enjoy building this model and fly it for years to come. Please do share your experience with this bird on the ‘Flite Test Fans’ facebook page if you ever get a chance to. I'd like to thank Stephen Rosema (Rasterize) for being an active part of the Beta team, creating wonderful logos and skins for our design! Words aren’t enough to thank FliteTest and the FT community for encouraging and supporting enthusiasts like me to pursue this hobby in an economical and educational manner. Peace and happy flying!
Till Next Time…