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Splinter and Breck of Brooklyn Aerodrome posted a video appreciation/critique of our cover for MAKE vol. 30, which features (a version of) their Towel R/C flying wing. The Towel is one of the featured projects in the magazine, and Breck did a fantastic job writing and photographing the how-to article.

The video notes some liberties that we took with the wing shown on the cover. Here is our official response:

Thanks guys– you rule! It was fun working on this.

On the safety issue, note that the all-Coroplast body version of the wing that we built and shot for the cover of MAKE Volume 30 is a variant of the Brooklyn Aerodrome design that’s detailed in the how-to article inside. Our engineering intern Dan Spangler (that’s him flying it on page 83) built it for fun after building the by-the-book version inside, and we all loved how it looked.

We agree with this video that, all other variables being equal, it would hurt more to be hit by our “cover model” variant than by the original foam-body flying wing described in the actual instructions, and that by sizing the removable deck such that it reaches the leading edges of the airframe rather than stopping back an inch makes it more subject to damage. That’s also a good point about the receiver being backwards on the cover photo version.

The take-away here is, if you want to build the Towel R/C flying wing, follow the instructions, photos, and illustrations in the actual article, not our cover model– which (like other cover models) looks good but might not be as practical.

Brooklyn Aerodrome on the cover of MAKE magazine! [YouTube]

paul spinrad

Paul Spinrad

I’m a broad-spectrum enthusiast, writer, editor (Wired, MAKE), maker, and dad who lives in San Francisco and hatches schemes at investian.com.


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Comments

  1. Ram Radhakrishnan says:

    The Towel reminds of another very similar coroplast plane I built back in ’01 – the Mugi – plans are still available at the original website at: http://www.mugi.co.uk/evo_intro.php.
    Yet another, but built from Foam was the Pibros – described at http://rc-soar.com/pibros/.

    Great how-to article!
    RK

  2. federico says:

    The article is fantastic. I’ve been thinking about building a towel for a while and it is exciting if the parts can be bought as a kit (as announced in the magazine). Any clues on when the kit might be available? Anyone?
    Thanks!

  3. Paul Spinrad says:

    The Maker Shed says they’ll get the goods and be able to ship orders in the next few weeks– sorry for delay! Others have been asking about this as well– you can sign up here to be auto-notified when we get it in: http://www.makershed.com/Email_Me_When_Back_In_Stock.asp?ProductCode=MSFW1

  4. Just a brief note here from a lifelong model aircraft builder and flyer. I find the manner in which you fly these aircraft incredibly unsafe and irresponsible. I witnessed this first hand as you flew these planes over the crowd at the Maker Fair in NYC. If you hit someone when it failed or you couldn’t land it safely, what would you do? Who carries the insurance for this kind of activity? This foam board carrying a 2 or 3 ounce battery pack can injure or kill a person easily when it’s crashing to the ground at 30-40 mph (as you ensure it will – ha ha). One of you comment about getting hit in the neck with a plane made of hard coroplast.

    I’ve made my share of unsafe maker projects but never endangered other people in the manner I’ve witnessed at Maker Fair last year. It’s all fun until one of these things hits a kid in the eye…

  5. [...] From Make Vol 30 [...]