UFO: Upside-down Flying Object

My UFO is a shameless knockoff of the WildRC Mini-IFO

After Ak built and flew her IFO, it slowly became obvious what a fun little flyer it was. However, she went through some gyrations and rebuilds before she was happy with it.

The most important change was an idea she got from a local indoor flyer: build it upside down and throw away the wheel. That way the electronics don't drag on the ground if you have to land it (usually you don't; you can just pluck it from the air). It also seems to fly better that way.

There were several other things I didn't like about the original. Principally, the single central rod makes it hard to make stable mounts for the components -- so I used two, arranged in a truss.

I also didn't care for the aileron shape or control horn mounting, so I added flat sides to the elevons (should have done this only on the inside) and mounted the control horns directly on the elevon slider tubes.

The whole thing bugged me because I love the original design and think the designer should be rewarded by buying the kit -- but my mods made much of the kit useless! So I bought the ripstop from him, at least. You can see the original at the WildRC Web Page. Dan Kreigh is an engineer with Scaled Composites, Burt Rutan's spaceflight company.

I also made it a bit longer and more narrow to maybe improve the roll rate. This was probably not a great improvement.

Tech Notes:

  • Originally a GWS IPS-A drive with 10x4.7 prop
      Now a Feigao 4100 Kv Inrunner
  • Originally a GWS ICS-100 speed control (5-amp)
      Now a Castle Creations Thunderbird 9
  • Two GWS Pico Std servos
  • GWS servo arms drilled out to be elevon horns
  • Various carbon fiber rods from Aeromicro
  • GWS R4PII Receiver
  • All-up weight 4.3oz with Kokam 340 2s

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Copyright 2005 by David Mark North