I really like the Bloody Wonder plane. Since we traveled to FliteFest on a conventional airline this year, I built it as assemblies in my checked luggage and then assembled it in the FliteFest tent. We had some challenges but were able to fly in two combats until we had a spectacular mid air collision. To counter the problems we had, and my son's disappointment that we didn't have a rudder (he is the pilot in the family) I built the "Up Armored Bloody Wonder Baron SUV". SUV stands for Simplified Unibody V-Fold, see my FT Explorer SUV article for more on the SUV method I use.
The following are the major changes:
- Added a standard vertical stabilizer with rudder.
- Used Hobby Lobby foam board for the vertical and horizontal stabilizers and the fuselage. This board weights just about twice as much as Dollar Tree board, but the strength and durability is more than double. And you use less board for the fusalage so total weight comes to 649 grams or 1 lb 9 oz. I believe this is 6 oz more than a Bloody Wonder. Using a Flite Test 1100 KVA motor and a Flite Test 9" prop with a 4.5 pitch, produces just over two lbs of thrust, so the plane can still fly vertically. I really like Flite Test motors and props.
- The horizontal stabilizer is moved back 2 inches. And by putting the radio and servos toward the rear, the 2200 battery fits neatly into the nose of the plane while maintaining a good CG. It took me two aborted builds to get the CG right. You could take back the 2" of extra tail and move the battery to be partially under the wing, but that would make getting the battery in and out more difficult. I like it out in the open and don't see how a little longer fuselage is a problem..
- I didn't change anything about the wing, I really admire the Bloody Wonder wing design just as it is, and it is made using Dollar tree foam board.
- The fuselage is a simple V-fold construction. Just cut a 45 degree bevel in each side, fill the groove with glue, and push it up against a right angle surface to set. See FT Explorer SUV article for detailed pictures of this technique. Once it is glued to the wing and horizontal stabilizer (unibody construction) you have a perfect box for strength.
- Naturally the battery is not hanging off the bottom, I don't like landing on my battery and keeping the weight tight to the wing will make it easier to roll.
- Fusalage is standard FliteTest wood with screws. Reinforced tape is added to make sure the motor doesn't detach from the plane, which naturally has never happened to me :-)
- I built the fusalage out of one piece of board, with an extended nose. Then just started cutting off small pieces of the nose until the CG was right. Total fusalage length is 23.5 inches, with 5.5 inches extending past the front of the wing.
- Added a velcro strap to insure the battery stays in place. The standard velcro on the bottom of the battery was sufficient, but the velcro strap is insurance. Another advantage of using Hobby Lobby board is that when you pull the battery out, it doesn't de-laminate the paper from the foam. Why don't they make the glue for the paper stronger on the Dollar Tree foam board? Maybe the Flite Test brown foam board could use a stronger glue?
- Finally, I use two servo's for the ailerons. Truth is I just like the cleaner look from the top of the plane, and never liked non-symetrical way the ailerons operated with a single servo, although it didn't hurt the flight characteristics.
Here are some more pictures: