Maker News
Terrorize the Skies With This DIY R/C Flying Witch

Expert model aircraft builder Otto Dieffenbach has a creative array of flying machines in his hangar — a Tardis, Snoopy on his doghouse, R2D2, and more. But none capture the spookiness of the autumn season like his flying witch — a life-size sorceress flying on a broom high in the skies.

Otto debuted this particular build in 2013, with videos of it flying over a bright full moon above the San Diego skyline, and a full build log for those who might want to replicate the craft. The witch largely consists of flat Depron pieces held together with an internal frame, with linkages to control lift (via the cape) and steering (via the broom “bristles”). Propulsion comes from a brushless electric motor with a 10-inch propellor. Flying through the sky, the 3D effect is convincing — Halloween is here.

While you might be tempted to jump in and create your own, be warned that his notes state “This is a difficult build and should not be attempted by a newcomer to the hobby. There is a lot of wood work involved. You may want to find a friend with superior build skills if you are a newcomer.” However, Otto also sells as ready-to-fly version for $1850 on his site.

Otto tells us he’s working on a Mary Poppins build now. Keep your eyes peeled for that soon.

Bill of materials:

Broom Flyer cutouts in 6 mm Depron
Two 0.196″ OD x 0.125″ ID x 40″ Carbon Fiber square tubes (Midwest Products)
One 0.125″ OD x 0.060″ ID x 40″ Carbon Fiber tube (Midwest Products)
One .034″ x .121″ x 40″ Carbon Fiber strip (Midwest Products)
1/8 inch plywood sheet 1 ft x 2 ft
¼ inch plywood sheet 6 x 12 inches
8 Sheet metal screws 8 x ½
E-Flite Sea Fury retract landing gear EFL606509 (Optional)
Master Air Screw 3 blade 10 x 7 propeller
Two packages of Dubro micro pushrods #852
One bag of 15 Dubro Hinges #117
Two 1 7/8 inch wheels (Parkzone T-28 or F4u)
Clear Gorilla Glue
Foam safe CA and activator
5 minute epoxy
30 minute epoxy
Paint

Electronics:

At least a 3 channel full range receiver
Three Hitec HS 225MG servos or equivalent
E-Flite Power 10 motor or equivalent
40 Amp ESC
3S 2200mah 30C Lipo battery
Master Airscrew 10 x 7 three blade propeller
4 feet of servo hook-up wire

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Mike Senese is the Executive Editor of Make: magazine. He is also a TV host, starring in various engineering and science shows for Discovery Channel, including Punkin Chunkin, How Stuff Works, and Catch It Keep It.

An avid maker, Mike spends his spare time tinkering with electronics, doing amateur woodworking, and attempting to cook the perfect pizza.

View more articles by Mike Senese