When I inquired about the Hornet at Aeromicro, Perry (the owner, who also
knows everything about electric planes) suggested that a Crazy Max
might be what I was after. But after our experience with the Blue Max, I was leery of Wattage planes with
that flimsy triangular fuselage. It's just bad design.
But then after I got the idea of fitting the Blue Max wing to a Slow Stick stick, and that worked well, and
Dave discovered that it's possible to buy a Crazy Max wing without the
rest of the kit ... well, how could I resist?
The only tricky
part about this is how to fit the thick, flat Crazy Max wings onto a
Slow Stick saddle that's expecting a wing with dihedral and a very high
incidence. The front wing mount on the Slow Stick is very much
higher than the rear mount; and the Crazy Max wing is very thick in
front, thinner in the rear, while the SS wing is flat except for the
The solution: reverse the mounts! I put the high mount in the
rear, the low mount in the front; then I added some padding made from
scrap foam on the front mount, cut at an angle to match the front of
the Crazy Max wing. Voila!
Then I needed a tail. Balsa seemed like the right solution.
But I didn't have any balsa, and I felt like making something that
evening, and I had a bunch of Bluecore foam in the garage left over
from my foamie biplane project ... and that
blue foam is so easy to work with that I just threw together a tail to
see what would happen. Since it was just a temporary tail, I
taped it to the stick rather than glueing it. Dave was mortified
-- it's so ugly he doesn't want to look at it and says he'd be
embarassed to fly such a plane.
My Hornet was already flying by the time I started this project ... I
didn't really need another aerobatic plane, so this was just for
fun. But halfway through the project, the Hornet met a tragic end
when a high-speed jet flew through its wing. Suddenly my
motivation level increased dramatically, and I finished throwing
together the Crazy Stick, using tape and flimsy wire gear (takes too
long to bend thick wire) and anything else I could find.
Final flying weight is 11 oz -- under the weight of the first Hornet,
about the same as Hornet II, with the same engine (a GWS 350C with 9x7
prop) and battery (1300
The Crazy Stick fairly leapt out of my hand into the sky. I had
low expectations, for a plane thrown together for about $20 in spare
parts plus an engine I already had lying around. The funny thing
is: it flies great! It's somewhat similar in character to my
Hornet: very precise, relatively low roll rates, symmetrical wing for
flight (though it takes more down stick to keep it flying inverted than
the Hornet needed ... maybe because it's a high wing?), slow but
impressive snap rolls. It flies a bit faster than the Hornet
(probably because the wing is a little thinner) but it's somewhat more
sensitive to wind; but overall it's remarkably similar, and it kept me
happy after the Hornet was destroyed in a midair collision and until I
got Hornet II into the air. Since it was much cheaper and easier
than the Hornet, it's really an excellent choice for someone looking
for a mid-sized, relatively slow-flying aerobat.
Shallow Sky Home