Thursday, May 3rd, 2012 09:39 am GMT -7 Thursday, May 3rd, 2012 09:39 am GMT -7Thursday, May 3rd, 2012 09:39 am GMT -7
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A flight video of Pickerel and my flying qualities report.




Flying Video

This is an entire flight of Pickerel from start to finish. It is only the third flight I had with the airplane, so I was still very much just getting the hang of it. The need to keep it flying in front of the camera forced me to be close to the ground and very conservative in my flying. In other flights I climbed high and pushed it to the limits of what it can do.


I now have about two hours of air time with Pickerel. It is an unusual model airplane with unusual flying characteristics. I can see that it will take me a long time to fully understand all of its nuances.

The behavior of the airplane is a bit different power on versus power off. The air from the propeller makes a big difference in how it flies and handles. Just keep that in mind if you do any power off gliding.

Speaking of gliding, the glide ratio is excellent as long as you keep the nose down. As the nose goes up, so does the sink rate.

With the center of gravity located one quarter inch ahead of the slot, as shown in the diagram, the airplane is stable in pitch. It recovered from a dive test, though recovery was slow. That is still my recommended CG position. I have not tested moving the CG another quarter inch forward, but my hunch is that it might add a lot of stability, if you feel you need it.


Pickerel met all of my design goals. It is extremely easy and inexpensive to build. I can build one in half a day for about $5.

I wanted to come up with an unusual looking airplane, and I believe I achieved that goal, too. A joined wing design is very practical and attractive, too. The lack of any vertical surfaces also sets the design apart. Even in my very limited flying in the presence of other pilots, I have gotten a lot of compliments.

I have already started thinking about an indoor version of Pickerel with a flying weight of 1-2 ounces. In the meantime, work on Kilo3D has resumed and is in full swing.

I hope you go ahead and built your very own version of Pickerel. I have set up a thread in the forums for Pickerel. Post your comments and questions about the design there:

Pickerel article index and discussion thread in the forums

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