This RC de Havilland Vampire is an all round great performer, capable of both good slow flying characteristics and extremely fast speeds.
The plane comes in two editions: Firstly, the Standard Edition. This aircraft is more catered towards late beginner to intermediate pilots. It's FT inspired under cambered wingtips provide steady handling and predictable movements, while the smaller KV motor will still give you enough kick to perform impressive aerobatic manoeuvres.
The second Edition, the Ludicrous Edition, is just that; it is Ludicrously fast. The low KV motor is replaced with a beefier 3000kv 700 watt monster, capable of speeds in excess of 100mph. The under cambered wingtips are removed, lowering drag and thus decreasing the wingspan to that of a thoroughbred racer. Although this edition is less historically accurate, it provides a unique looking aircraft for those with the need for speed.
However, it should be noted that the Ludicrous Edition is for those who are confident in their very good flying skills. High speeds make this thing very difficult to fly well, which sometimes leads to disaster. If you don't mind the compromise, you should keep the under cambered wingtips even with the Ludicrous Edition 3000kv motor if you are not confident in your abilities.
Firstly get your materials in order and then we'll get started.
Note: These instructions are not extensive. If you have previously built numerous FT designs you should be able to fill in any gaps with your own knowledge. If you can't, and the plans and instructions are incomplete, don't hesitate to hit this article up with a comment to ask any questions! Together we can improve this in subsequent versions of this aircraft.
3 (Can be made as a 4)
Without Battery - aprox 400g
With Battery - aprox 550g
Without Battery - approx 450g
With Battery - approx 650g
Materials and Electronics
2x sheets of 5mm Foam Board.
1x sheet of poster board.
1x square dowel or equivilent matirial such as aluminium for wing spar
30cm of Push rod
1x Carbon fiber spar (Ludicrous Edition only)
(Standard Edition Setup)
1200kv NTM Propdrive motor - Link!
30A ESC - Link!
2200 mAh 3s Battery - Link!
3x 9 gram servos - Link!
1x Servo Y harness
Reciever of your choice
(Ludicrous Edition Setup)
3000kv NTM Propdrive Motor - Link!
5.5 x 4.3 prop Link!
60A ESC - Link!
3000 mAh 4s Battery - Link!
3x 9g servos - Link!
1x Servo Y harness
Reciever of your choice
Print the two templates and then start stenceling the shapes onto foam and cutting them out.
There are three main sections to this build:
The wing, made of three peices.
The fuselage and custom powerpod.
The tail, comprising of the horizontal and vertical stabilisers, the servo and push rod, and the booms.
Put the wing together like this.
Note the wing spar and spacer pieces at the bottom. The spar has already been folded to double thickness, seen in the next image.
Be sure to score the wing fold lines.
The servos go into the ends of each wing under the under camber. Glue it so that it sits snuggly up against the foam spar.
The main wing spar can be glued next to the centre section's foam spar. You can make this from a square wooden dowel, a round dowel, or maybe even aluminium if you want to go that far. For the Standard Edition de Havilland Vampire, the existing foam spar is adequate, but for a Ludicrous Edition, it is vital you include one.
You should have the cables come out underneath the centre section so they can be attached to a receiver when the powerpod is slid directly under it.
Your finished wing. Go ahead and add the pushrods and control horns the way you like to do them.
The fuselage is pretty simple, fold up the sides and make it into a box as on the plans. The special powerpod needs to be assembled. You should add velcro at the end to secure the battery deep into the nose. You may need to add some ballast too later if your plane does not balance at the CG point, which is 2.5cm forward of the wing spar. To hold the powerpod in place, add bbq skewers in two places along the fuselage, but make sure you do not put one so far forward that it gets in the way of the battery. front and rear turtle deck can be added after these steps.
The tail can be a bit tricky, mostly because a servo goes in the back and a cable has to make its way through the boom to the fuselage. The booms can be filled with a wooden dowel each for rigidity. As you can see in the video, the first crash landing resulted in the bending of these.
Notice the servo leed from the left boom going into the fuselage. You can run this up along the groove under the wing as shown.
The tail servo goes in the designated cut out. It does protrude a bit. Maybe future versions will have a better setup for this.
Putting It All Together
Slide the wing through the fuselage and glue in place, with the cables all going into the centre where the powerpod is.
The booms attach underneath the wing by a simple glue joint. If you want a more substantial joint, maybe reinforce with wood. you will want to hot glue the boom top and bottom surfaces on which will give this more strength.
The intake is glued, flush with the front leading edge of the wing, to the bottom of the wing and the side of the fuselage.
The cockpit canopy is made of four pieces, the bottom, the former, the windshield and the card rear turtle deck.
Balancing and Flying
The Vampire may need some additional nose weight to balance correctly. The CG should be roughly on mid section of the wing spar. The front card turtle deck can be removed and more ballast added in the nose section if needed.
I hope you enjoy building and flying your new Vampire. Please let me know if you make one in the comments, and send me pictures and videos. It would mean a lot