RC aircraft carrier–in flight!

Feb 28, 2012 50 Comments by

This year’s E-Fest indoor event had dozens of unique planes and helicopters, but this flying, sheet-foam RC aircraft carrier takes the cake! Powered by four downward-thrust electric motors, the carrier allowed micro helicopters and planes to take off mid-air. This great video was shot by Peter McKay.

 

Debra Cleghorn, Featured News

About the author

Executive editor About me: I’m a publishing professional who has a passion for aviation and RC, and I love creating issues, books and a website that help RC pilots to enjoy this sport even more. I admire scale aircraft and enjoy the convenience of flying smaller electrics.

50 Responses to “RC aircraft carrier–in flight!”

  1. Bill Harrison says:

    Assuming the RC model adheres to all of the safety guidelines of whatever country/airport where it is flown, this is a definitely “super cool”.

  2. Airdale says:

    It’s cool and scary. As a former safety officer, I have to remind myself that R/C aircraft are only as reliable as their RF link. We have had 2.4 GHz radio failures; it only takes one. We need to limit size and weight in populated areas.

  3. Andy Fracica says:

    Super cool without a doubt.

  4. Rex A Lott says:

    Interesting observations…
    1. Pilot is using a 72mHz radio.
    2. Nose gear never retracted
    3. Pitch control issues, move CG forward
    4. Pilot landed 1/2 down runway and purposly “fishtailed” the plane to bleed off speed and then pulled off a last minute fast 180 to avoid going off the pavement. He succeeded… barely.

    Great video and a great effort by builder(s) and pilot(s). Bravo. That is an incredible model.

    • Chris says:

      Also, unless it was a dead calm day, he landed (or took off) downwind. Note he took off right to left, then landed left to right. Even if it was calm, what about field rules regarding flight patterns?

    • airdale says:

      Does anyone think 72 MHz or 50 MHz frequencies are more reliable than 2.4 GHz? I have had a couple of failures on both and several close calls. You are only as good as your RF link guys!

  5. Bert Hedge says:

    It’snice but I think it is getting too big for our sport.

  6. Randy Davis says:

    Extremely cool as long as the builder met all safety requirements/specs for this size aircraft.

  7. Yeo's Dombrowski says:

    Wow! I can see why homeland security is scared. Will that beast show up on radar?

  8. harry van der meer says:

    Whats the point in making so much fuss of this inpressive airliner and then fly is as an RC -1 class aeroplane. There is a great need in flying these ships close to the real one.
    That seems to need a whole new idea and training.

  9. Dirk Witvrouwen says:

    I’m with Bill Harrison; zuuuuper cool.

    I thrust anyone who’s tackling such a project to know what he’s doing. There are a lot of things in life we’ve come to be used to, although in reallity they are are lot more scary.

    Live a little you guys…

  10. Jim A says:

    It would take only one disaster with a plane that big to have big brother watching everything we do. I am not in favor of anything approaching 100#.

  11. mikefly says:

    negative – great effort but how do we control people who have these missiles…….

  12. Don Rosendale says:

    Models will get as big as people can afford.

    This one is as heavy as some real ultralights. I’m sure I could build one for less than this cost!

    As long as the systems are maintained and checks are in place, great flying and have fun. At what point, however, do we get involved to say we need more oversight? The 50 lb rule seems to be a good one. Over that, there SHOULD be more inspection and certification of the controls. All flight has some amount of risk. The issue is mitigating the risk and providing safety protocols.

    We should not limit our creativity. We should, however, provide some guidelines for inspection (at least 2 people looking over an aircraft of this size, for example) Line of sight control (No remote viewing without a safety spotter).

    We can and should continue to build these things, but we have to pay attention to the airspace and those in it, just like any other flying machine. I fly over our model field all the time with my light sport – but behind the pits area, and never over the active flying field. Reason and common sense prevails.

  13. Rick says:

    if someone is building a weapon i don’t think it is going to matter what limits the recreational segment of our sport has put on itself. I am sure you could pick up a used plane for less than what it cost to build this beauty, if you are actually looking at weapons. Keep going big, I love them

  14. Dick says:

    We do not need this kind of attention especially with the FAA breathing down our necks. All I see here is problems down the road.

  15. Brad Kraus says:

    Way too big. All you have to see is the last 40 seconds of the video. With the crowd in the foreground and the plane in the background during landing, you can see just how fast this 200lb missile is going. With spectators less them 100 feet away your asking for trouble.

    Don’t get me wrong I’m not against flying really big planes. We just need to establish some new rules and conditions where that type of flying is allowed. The real question is whether or not it is worth the investment the AMA would have to make on the regulatory side to bring these huge birds under some new or additional jurisdiction.

    Given the recent FAA regulatory activity on the UAS issue we may have no choice but to establish some guidelines to govern large, fast, and/or heavy RC planes. The choice is clear; either we make the rules or the FAA will make the rules.

    At the end of the day the plane is very cool…..but very dangerous. Given what I have seen over the years at local fields (AMA and Non-AMA), flying that giant is risky business.

  16. Matthard says:

    I am the safety officer for our club, and I think this plane is Way way cool. First of all, it’s at an airshow, promoting new membership with an ultimate “cool factor” plane. Secondly, it’s in Germany, out in the sticks away from all homes, and it’s easy to tell by the hard banks that the pilot is aware of what he is flying over, and trying not to get too far away. Third, if a terrorist wants to learn RC for 10 years to get to the point where they can build a plane that large, they’re retarded because they can just buy a real plane. This plane is at it’s max weight. Eight sticks of dynomite and it’s too heavy, so that sort of rules out terrorism. The gear is left down on purpose, because it’s obviously a maiden flight.
    Awesome plane. These guys know what they’re doing, and I don’t think this bird will ever be flying in a crowded German city.

  17. Matthard says:

    And yes, the plane is going fast. That’s how planes fly. My point is that if I lost contact with my 33% plane with a 120 cc motor, I could easily harm many people in a crowd. The same is true of planes with only a 60 inch wingspan. Thankfully, when people get to the point where they are flying huge planes like this Airbus, they know enough to check and re-check and check again before it ever gets into the air.

  18. Matthard says:

    Believe me… the last thing we need in the United States of America is MORE RULES and REGULATIONS… Safety is one thing, but making rules to combat “woulda coulda” scenarios is ridiculous. The possibilities are endless as to what we could regulate on the “woulda coulda” line of thinking.

    • Brad Kraus says:

      Matt,

      I think your missing the point. We have a choice to regulate ourselves or someone else will do it for us.

      As technology advances the envelope will continue to expand. Without guidelines someone will go to far, too fast, too heavy etc. We all know what happens next. With guidelines in place to help modelers choose the right size, and materials as well as location we can avoid unnecessary injuries or worse.

      It would be foolish to assume that since someone has built a plane like this that they “know what they’re doing”. There are way too many variables involved in flying to guarantee anything.

      Even the best pilots crash but by making sure that spectators and other pilots are kept at a minimum safe distance (for example) from the flight line we can limit the risk.

      Yes every plane can cause damage and worse but all in different degrees. If you loose your 33% and crash you could hurt people but all AMA fields dictate what is considered to be safe, best practices for planes of your size. If 200lb, 4 jet planes are the future then we will need to develop the next set of best practices to ensure safety and to ensure we control our own future.

  19. Flite-Metal says:

    Its intersting to read all these assumptions when so little was disclosed about this German model. By the way it is not being flown on 72… Nothing is wrong with narrow band folks!

    Giant models are no different than jets, either large EDF or turbines. The flight of turbines has become common place and most people don’t give much thought to their flight at fields capable of sustaining their operation.

    The same wil be the case for giant models, be they jet or prop. Remember folks, line of sight is the differential which we enjoy with recreational R/C. Line of sight control keeps us out of the FAA’s bulls eye…

    Larger has always flown better. Learning to build large is no different than learning to build properly… from a “mentor”.

    Share the wealth… ;^)

  20. bill says:

    You folks are way to critical taking the fun out of this hobby. Give credit where its due. The model is beautiful and a great job to all those involved. Nicely done.

    I understand the need for safey regs, but lets be reasonable. Obviously the people or person involved in this model clearly know what they are doing.

  21. Romey Schwieterman says:

    I just would like to see the video!!
    So far all I get is a blank screen!!

  22. Charlie Hynes says:

    What a spectacular achievement “Bravo”.
    The spectator appeal and the thrill of flying it in front of a crowd that is clapping and giving the pilot praise is all most of us need to push their own limits and go bigger and better next time.
    The airliner meets in Europe are quite a sight I hope to see one in person someday.

    I started a DC-9 build with 2 Wren 44′s and the 9 1/2′ long fuse now seems smallish…

  23. Mike Cuba says:

    I’m seeing moe attention being paid to the quality of the model than the quality of the flying. This huge model should be flown so that it is indistinguishable from the real thing in the air. Instead, I saw fluctuations in all three axes that would have had the passengers lining up to parachute out! Scale models require not just scale building tchniques, but scale flying techniques. As for safety, flying in a scale manner means having total control over the plane, among other things, and that is the essence of safety.

  24. Donald B. Patterson, P.E. says:

    I am a retired, licensed, mechanical engineer and have never seen analyses published that show the airframe can withstand expected flight loads. There also seem to be no analyses showing the push rods will not buckle and that the servos can overcome the control forces. And so on for other systems. It would appear that even a model this large is designed by “seat of the pants” methods. I believe guesswork is not adequate for 200 lb. aircraft. Validation by testing the spars, etc. to destruction would be a good start.

    There are plenty of videos on the WEB showing large jet models that crash on their first flight to prove there is significant risk. It will take only one disaster with a plane this big to have big brother shut us down. A flight failure with the plane going into the spectator area or an apartment building with the resulting fire with be enough bad publicity to have RC models outlawed.

    This model is very impressive but the risks are just too great.

  25. DENNIS says:

    Entirely too large.. and excessively too heavy. This is exactly what is getting the FAA into our hobby. The few “rich” folks with too much money who only want to be the next one with the biggest and fastest , are going to ruin it for the rest of the modeling community. Fifty pounds and 120 inch wing spans are big enough!! We are having problems at our flying field now with the local community and the city, as the giant IMAC planes keep getting bigger and bigger and continue to fly larger and larger patterns, extending over local houses. It is getting ridiculous. If the planes are smaller, you have to keep them in close to see them… the bigger the plane, the farther away you can fly it, the bigger the patten,and the more problems with the local community. Enough is enough. Quit showing off with bigger and bigger planes before the FAA shuts us all down !!!

  26. Tom Steber says:

    Great job in building it and flying it once. Now put it away before someone is killed. The plane looks incredibly unstable. Unless it was REALLY windy and I don’t think so, the plane looks way too touchy for one of it’s size. Usually I wouldn’t say this, but I think its a disaster waiting to happen.

  27. Tom Steber says:

    Way to unstable and touchy for a plane of it’s size. A disaster waiting to happen. Great job building it and flying it once. Now put it way before someones killed.

  28. Anonymous says:

    Way to large and exceedingly dangerous!! .

  29. Daniel Feldman says:

    It is a brilliant piece of modeling however:

    For not the first time as both an RC modeler and GA pilot I am concerned.

    As much as I detest regulation the size and speed of some of the RC models coupled with new technology has in my opinion now produced an accident waiting to happen. Neven mind the fact that you can now easily build a remote guided bomb.

    It is not much of a stretch to take one of the new larger jets and add lets say 10 pounds of ball bearings and a trigger. You can add remote optics that will put you in the pilot seat allowing you to fly right onto target.

    Too much! and if we don’t take some action as a community, sooner or later the Feds will. And the thing about federal regulation is that is generally goes overrboard which may just wreck the hobby for all of us.

  30. Bill says:

    Cool plane nice flight. as others have said so long as extra precautions and checks throught the build and flying are taken why not?
    Re the other issue please stop texting about the “” t “” word no matter how reasonable or benignly or all you will succeed in doing is losing our hobby.
    Remember wherte the powers are concerned its easier to ban something that woryy about any even potential or imagined bad political press later.

  31. Patrick says:

    I think plane of this size should but put under the same rules as full scale ones.

  32. Mark says:

    A few points:

    1. I think that we are all in agreement that rules will stop terrorists, so maybe there should be a rule against terrorism.

    2. There are other “evildoers” in the world who are far more dangerous and plentiful than terrorists. I think drug smugglers would be very interested in plane of this size and hope the DEA has plans in place to bring down any RC planes which cross the border.

    3. Has anyone considered that the “sketchy landing” might have been for the benefit of the onlookers and not b/c of poor piloting as suggested by some here and in the Youtube comments.
    Notice that as it passed the onlookers it was at eye level and thus (IMHO) was far more impressive.than seeing it already on the ground.
    I also believe he turned so quickly on the runway b/c the weight and rubber allowed him to, not b/c he was running out of pavement. Camera angle makes the runway look as if it was shorter than it was, but the people in the distance (likely in line with the end of the runway) lead me to believe there was plenty of pavement left.

  33. Joe says:

    Sweet! That’d make a great FPV long range platform so I can bust some low level moves over town while flying by goggles. cant wait to post the vids on youtube with this baby!

  34. SCARHARDT says:

    SUPER DUPER COOL!

  35. sadelad says:

    I see some of you call this a big nissle. Well what about a smaller sport sized jet with 1 turbiine, or 2 of them. Those can go just as fast, so would that make them small little missles? It is truely amazing that no matter what someone builds or flies there are always others that have to bad mouth or poorly criticize them. I believe the ones that do the bad mouthing are just simply jealous of the people that have the money to build such a beautiful airliner.
    If this is too big as some say then why do we have the IMAA? Why don’t we limit RC Flying to everything under 80″?

  36. Iain says:

    I think its great that there are guys out there still trying to advance R/C Planes, as long as he is following common sense and guidelines that cover where he is flying.

    I am always amazed at the negativity that come out when things like this are shown. Especially when it comes to Turbine Jets. It isnt an ARF Kit, so obviously Reinhard Oetken has a fairly extensive knowledge of how to build R/C Planes, he is obviously betting quite a lot of cash on that very fact.

    I seriously doubt that this particular jet is going to be flown every weekend. Drug smugglers are hardly likely to build something this size to transport their drugs considering the cost, and difficulties in actually transporting something this size, when there are obviously cheaper safer ways of doing it..

    Actually using something like this as a weapon is highly unlikely due to payload capabilties. It isnt a preadator drone. When proper precautions are taken there is aways room for models like this.

    It is incredibly odd that people assume they know what frequency is being used, considering the fact that many overseas country’s dont use 72mhz. This particular model wasnt being flown in the USA.

    I would spend more time being concerned about the safety implications of NASCAR drivers driving into the rear of a Full Sized Turbine engine…

  37. Hap G says:

    We enjoy a great hobby, where we are free to build and fly our dreams. Of course, I’m not sure how I would ever move a 200 lb model and so have no desire to build one.

    Let people like these move the hobby forward. We can learn from them. In fact, the government should encourage our hobby for the intellectual property our activites develop.

  38. Think about it says:

    Everybody is scared of the size and weight of this 200lb airplane, yet I bet you all drive to work surrounded by idiots driving several thousand pound cars at the same or faster speeds.

  39. crispin church says:

    is every one in the states like you lot
    terrorists are wining your war
    your scared stiff of anything
    look a round you there a lot of things that could be turned in to a bomb are you going to ban them as well
    your the land of the bigger the better or you would not have big V8 in your big pickups
    its a scale model flown at a air field ok so the crowd could be a bit further away but did he fly over the crowd
    look at it for what it is a good model that landed in one piece therefore a good flight in any body book

  40. Mike says:

    Great scale plane but the pilot needs to work on his flying skills. His erratic or spastic flying definitely detracts from whole scale flight experience. I’d replace the pilot with someone much smoother behind the sticks.

  41. Matthew says:

    A real nice plane , very impressive work but the flying reminded me of a sport plane, too fast and un-scale like. And the turns he was doing had me holding my breath waiting for the stall and crash into the crowd. In my opinion this was a demonstration of very poor judgement flying that plane that way and in that setting.

  42. Ryan Austin says:

    During his preflight you could see his massive control surface deflections. He flew with 3D servo travel LOL. I believe that’s why he porpoised the landing, not for drama.

  43. Gordon Seifert says:

    Regarding the landing, I think it was simply a poor landing. He nearly missed the runway to start with, landed far too far down the runway and he even managed to scrape one engine on the ground when he finally did find it. As others have said it looked like it might be tail heavy and certainly seemed very touchy. It simply did not look like it was completely in control through most of the flight. I would not have wanted to be anywhere near that area during it’s flight.

    If you had followed the link at the top right you would have seen another similar plane of about 150 pounds that looked VERY stable and which made a beautifully controlled flight and landing. It is obviously possible to fly a plane of that size safely but the A380-900 did not look at all safe. Whether it was due to the airframe or the pilot I can not say. When you put a model of that size and weight in the air any sort of accident will be extremely dangerous. Fill it with couple of gallons of jet fuel and it becomes even more so. It should not be allowed without rigorous inspection and testing of both the plane and the pilot. Just being able to afford it is not good enough.

  44. Fred says:

    Just imagine this thing, with 4 turbine engines at over 200 lbs crashing into a house. The damage would be big ! We’ve all seen smaller planes loose control and crash into cars, houses with small amounts of damage. This has to be restricted to mininmum safe distance from structures and people.
    Then and only then it would be cool.

  45. david pearce says:

    When/and they will/ find out about these monsters flying in the airspace being shared by the full scale aircraft they will become very hostile and Will, i say again Will shut us all down large and small. These are beautiful aircraft, but uncontrolled, no transponders, fairly unreliable radios and untrained and certified pilots will have the FAA in the USA up in arms and us down in the grass. I know the FAA and their sole purpose in life is to control ALL machines that are in the air above six inches in altitude. These are lovely large machines but I have seen pictures of one three hundred mile per hour jet that weighs over fifty pounds. What is wrong with these buildesr. Ego that kills.

  46. j redd says:

    can a person get a set of plans to build ship from you I love it and would like to build one.

Copyright © 2014 Air Age Media. All rights reserved.