Saturday, September 22nd, 2012 07:26 am GMT -6 Saturday, September 22nd, 2012 07:26 am GMT -6Saturday, September 22nd, 2012 07:26 am GMT -6
Giant indoor Cri-Cri model airplane

These huge RC model airplanes are so light, they look like they could just float away. Maybe it is from the helium inside?!





Last year on March 10 in Leipzig, Germany a large hobby show took place. They call it “modell hobby spiel” in german which means “model hobby game”.

Now, my german is not as good as my french, specially when I stub my toe. So do not ask me too many details about what is in the videos. Regardless, these are clearly very impressive models. Majestic in the air, they are a far cry from the typical indoor screamer that we are all used to seeing.

I tried hard to identify the construction materials and methods. These large models all appear to be made the same way. They are mostly white, but the materials is way too shiny to be foam. Maybe glossy posterboard? Probably not. In some places I can see a rib and former internal structure. Is that made out of balsa? Could the outer shell just be molded plastic? That would be way too heavy.

After I wrote the above comments, I read in one of the comments left on the videos that the building material was Depron. The comment was left by the person that posted the videos, so it is quite reasonable to say that he knows what he is talking about. I would speculate that they are built using very thin sheets of XPS foam. Maybe they are then painted with glossy paint? Given the extremely low weight, it would not surprise me if the internal skeleton had been made out of foam, too.

Reading some more of the comments on the videos, it sounds like they ARE filled with helium! I was not imagining it when I said that they looked like they were floating. The builder and pilot was multiple Indoor Aerobatics Champion Martin Müller. The airliner model becomes 20% lighter by the addition of helium.

Regardless of how they are made, they are a joy to watch.

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