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Old 07-25-2013, 09:41 AM   #1
SleepyC
 
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Default Meet Arron Bates' Super Honey Badger

At the 2013 King 50 RC airplane history was made when Arron Bates debuted his latest airplane creation the Super Honey Badger. Arron has been a contestant in the King 50 for the last four years, and each year he has had a special airplane. But in the past few years he has taken the "special" part of them to the next level. Last year Arron debuted giant servo activated air brakes that came out of the top and bottom of the wings operated independently. The hope was to be able to spin the plane around on the activated brake side. The plane worked, but not as well as Arron wanted it to. So for the time being that design was retired.

Since January I have been seeing updates on Arron's facebook page that kept referring to the "Honey Badger". Updates like "Another Saturday spent working on the Badger", "8 hours in tonight, depron used, balsa is next". If you were not in his inner circle of people who knew what he was working on, you knew he was working on something, but had no clue what it was. The whole process actually built up quite a bit of suspense for me, and I have to say I was very excited to see the finished product!

Arron had posted this on another thread here on FG, "After the trials and fails of previous years it was a relief that this one worked pretty much out of the box. Idea was had during the build of the air brakes last year, but that epic fail burned me out... so build on this didn't actually start until january, but has been all consuming of spare time since. Including not going to awesome events like SEFF and Joe Nall to stay home and work on it.

Anyways, with all projects of a certain size, one does need the support of others even if it's simply the tolerance from significant others when you've only half mowed the lawn once in two months. So I need to take all chances I can to thank a few people: Amber (my wife), RJ Gritter, Ron Lueth, Ben Fisher, Noll Smith, Craig Morgan, Steve Rogers, Rob Waldron. But all these have helped me out in significant ways, and I'm most grateful to them... all contributed to the project success."

At the king 50, it wasn't until 11:30am, thirty minutes before the contest Arron debuted the airplane. To say the plane was surrounded by a mob is an understatement.



What Arron Bates has done is cut the back of a 87" 3DHS Extra SHP right behind the canopy. He installed two long 25mm carbon fiber tubes in their place, and then installed a 800 size Helicopter tail rotor in the center of the open booms. The electric motor is positioned just in front of the canopy and is connected to the tail rotor via a shaft. The whole assembly looks very professional and completely part of the kit. Arron did an awesome job. The stabs and remaining rudder are all grafted to the carbin tubes and have extra securing on them using kevlar string which is also glued on. It's really a piece of art to see in person. (see pics below)

When Arron finally took to the sky all eyes were on the Honey Badger. I could describe the flight, but I think it would be best to actually see the plane fly, so please enjoy this video!





I would like to wish a fat FG congratulations to Arron, this was seriously a win for pushing the boundaries of RC airplane technology.

AND... look out XFC, after eyeballing the rules, it looks like there are none that do not allow an airplane to have a tail rotor. OR, could this be the first RC vehicle to compete in the airplane and helicopter class at the same time!?!
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Last edited by SleepyC; 07-25-2013 at 01:43 PM.
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Old 07-25-2013, 09:51 AM   #2
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Pics!

Arron bates and his Honey Badger:


The modified 3DHS SHP with the 800 class tail rotor:


Modified tail section:




Motor and torque shaft:

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Old 07-25-2013, 09:59 AM   #3
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Arron was also kind enough to send pics of him working on the concept all the way through completion. Check it out. Really cool to see the process!
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Old 07-25-2013, 10:14 AM   #4
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Great thread. Sleepy
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Old 07-25-2013, 10:24 AM   #5
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I give you credit for the design work to get this to come together and make it work. I remember competing in the first King 50 and RJ Gritter was doing pinwheels with his wing tip mounted rocket motors that was very cool. Neat to see another way of accomplishing the same thing.
Good job,
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Old 07-25-2013, 11:23 AM   #6
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The plane was pretty fun to watch.

Quote: Originally Posted by SleepyC
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AND... look out XFC, after eyeballing the rules, it looks like there are none that do not allow an airplane to have a tail rotor.
Interesting.
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Old 07-25-2013, 11:46 AM   #7
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awesome.. great job
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Old 07-25-2013, 11:47 AM   #8
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thanks guys, and many thanks for the article Sleepy!
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Old 07-25-2013, 12:30 PM   #9
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Quote: Originally Posted by theKM
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thanks guys, and many thanks for the article Sleepy!
Very cool indeed Arron!
I appreciate cool engineering.

one question..sorta related..Pro Tek servo's?
No longer flying the Savox's?
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Old 07-25-2013, 12:44 PM   #10
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Quote: Originally Posted by jwilliams
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I give you credit for the design work to get this to come together and make it work. I remember competing in the first King 50 and RJ Gritter was doing pinwheels with his wing tip mounted rocket motors that was very cool. Neat to see another way of accomplishing the same thing.
Good job,
Jeff Williams
I'm baffled by how you feel it's just accomplishing the same thing. The rockets are a literal one-trick-pony, and the rotor has a bag of tricks I'm only just starting to dig through. The flying video above shows maneuvers the rockets can't do.

RJ's a good friend and helped greatly with second opinions during this project. It was actually in a text to him while working on the air brakes that I came up with the idea. Through a happy turn of events he was there for the first few rotor flights (he took the photo of me in the white shirt). Got around to doing the falling star/pinwheel at which point I apologised to him for outperforming the rockets, he just laughed and said it was quite all right

...was a happy day.
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Old 07-25-2013, 12:51 PM   #11
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Very innovative. Wondering why a rudder is necessary with the tail rotor. The tail rotor does not change pitch while in flight? Is the rudder needed to "act" like an elevator during knife edge maneuvers? Just overly curious...
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Old 07-25-2013, 01:03 PM   #12
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I got a great big belly laff watching that one fly....

next step... add one for pitch.... then gyros and loose the vertical and horizontal completely!!!

nice job!!
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Old 07-25-2013, 01:43 PM   #13
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This is an awesome, beautifully executed project!

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Very innovative. Wondering why a rudder is necessary with the tail rotor. The tail rotor does not change pitch while in flight? Is the rudder needed to "act" like an elevator during knife edge maneuvers? Just overly curious...
Right, why bother with a rudder anyway! Now you've thrown down, Aaron. Who will be the first to dispense with the elevator and ailerons as well in favor of a horizontal tail rotor and a rotor at each wingtip as well? Don't forget to add reversible pitch prop!
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Old 07-25-2013, 02:10 PM   #14
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many thanks for the kind words.

regarding removing the rudder... the rudder could only be dispensed with if a gyro was added. I didn't want to run a gyro, plus also being forced to power the rotor. Most of the work after it was flying was getting it to perform properly again as one would expect a quality 3D plane should, and as it is I really enjoy flying it without the rotor (even if the rotor wasn't working, the badger would have still been my first choice for the contest). the pack configuration gives me two non-rotor flights and one rotor flight before needing to swap out the battery brick.

...going to an all-rotor tail for both axis would have some limitations, and will certainly stop feeling like a regular airplane (keeping the regular feel and performance expected from modern 3D planes was important to me). From this project I have some estimates on what would be needed and what the limitations, hiccups and resulting feel might be... but I'll leave those for another time
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Old 07-25-2013, 02:26 PM   #15
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Arron....CONGRATS on the very successful debut of this marvel!!! Obviously a TON of thought and work went into it and as you've said, you're really just starting to explore the flight possiblities. No way I could add to the innovation here, except possibly go to a full flying horizontal stab (pivot point located at spar tube). Would possibly provide even more pitch authority to go along with the obviously serious yaw capabilities!!!
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