Has anyone successfully completed and flown the NCR F117?

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neil_w

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There's been less chatter about it here than I expected. Anyone have any flight reports and/or video? Should look very interesting twisting on the way up and then flattening out to glide on the way down.

I'm having crazy thoughts about picking up one of these things, but I'd sure like to see some evidence that folks have successfully flown it.
 

burkefj

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I'm surprised as well, I've pinged Matt Steele and he says he has some video but will get around to posting it eventually. That's why I finally broke down and built my own out of depron since I was wanting to see one fly one way or another:)
 

aerostadt

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There is some information on the Apogee website.

 

lakeroadster

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Mindsim calculates it to be a skywriter... but it sure is sweet looking.

Some 1st hand flight feedback does seem prudent for such a challenging, and pricey, model.
 

neil_w

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Mindsim calculates it to be a skywriter... but it sure is sweet looking.
The flaps are rigged to spin it on the way up for stability, then straighten out at ejection for return glide. Sort of an anti-Gyroc.

Certainly an unusual flight profile worthy of some video.
Some 1st hand flight feedback does seem prudent for such a challenging, and pricey, model.
That’s what I was thinking….
 

kuririn

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Everybody's waiting for someone else to build and fly it before coughing up the dough.
 

lakeroadster

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The flaps are rigged to spin it on the way up for stability, then straighten out at ejection for return glide. Sort of an anti-Gyroc.
Now I'm even more intrigued!

But due to it's shape (kind of like a dreidel cut down the c/l).. "spinning" on the way up doesn't sound very advantageous. Sure, spinning something more "projectile looking" I can understand, but a F-117?

1626220675571.png
 

neil_w

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I'm really perplexed Matt hasn't posted some video of it.

Paging @James Duffy... did you ever get yours built and/or flown?
 

kuririn

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Bet someone is gonna stick some mini servos on the elevons and try an RC conversion.
 

James Duffy

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Paging @James Duffy... did you ever get yours built and/or flown?
Sorry, no. My big video project over the past few months was a build the forthcoming DARC-1 kit from Estes, which will be posted after the kit is released. The F-117 is in the build queue, though, and I have a camo paint scheme planned for the project. (The photo below shows a camo scheme on one of the subscale F-117 prototypes with the inward-canting stabilizers, but we're gonna ignore that little detail.)

James
68A1F764-F0E6-48F9-973D-CDADA768969D.jpeg
 

burkefj

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Matt has someone working on an R/C kit version but it may not be on the front or back burner.



Bet someone is gonna stick some mini servos on the elevons and try an RC conversion.
 

tab28682

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Now I'm even more intrigued!

But due to it's shape (kind of like a dreidel cut down the c/l).. "spinning" on the way up doesn't sound very advantageous. Sure, spinning something more "projectile looking" I can understand, but a F-117?

View attachment 472885
Rolling a boost glider under boost like this is not unheard of. Having it roll during boost will keep it from pitching down or pitching up. Hurts altitude a little, but can prevent a problem with boost trim causing a crash. I have no doubt it will work fine on this F-117.

After I left HobbyLab, they changed the free flight version of the SR-71 to roll during boost. Worked fine, at the cost of some altitude.
 

lakeroadster

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Rolling a boost glider under boost like this is not unheard of. Having it roll during boost will keep it from pitching down or pitching up. Hurts altitude a little, but can prevent a problem with boost trim causing a crash. I have no doubt it will work fine on this F-117.

After I left HobbyLab, they changed the free flight version of the SR-71 to roll during boost. Worked fine, at the cost of some altitude.
When I read "spinning", I was visualizing something with a significant rotational speed. Your explanation of a roll does seem advantageous. :goodjob:
 

neil_w

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When I read "spinning", I was visualizing something with a significant rotational speed. Your explanation of a roll does seem advantageous. :goodjob:
Until flight video is seen, exactly how fast of a roll it is will remain a mystery.
 

tab28682

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Until flight video is seen, exactly how fast of a roll it is will remain a mystery.
Being the curious sort, I went and looked at the instructions. They show the deflection of the fixed elevon on page 11. Based on my RC experience and a little mindsimming, I would predict a roll during boost of once or twice a second, which seems about right to me.

Matt knows what he is doing. He was also involved with HobbyLab in the 1990s. In fact, one product concept that we worked on back then was a molded Depron 1/32 scale F-117 that flew as a free flight parasite glider on a BT60 booster with D12 power. We made a quick and dirty vac form mold from a modified 1/32 scale F-117 plastic kit. Made a nice flying boost glider. Flights were not long, but it would eject just past apogee with a D12-3 and the glider would reliably transition.

That was in the early 1990s, before Matt went to Estes and before Estes developed but never produced a F-117 boost glider around 1996.

The elevon deflection for glide on the NCR F-117 looks a lot like what I remember from the molded Depron free flight model. The one that HL did had both elevons permanently deflected, like the free flight Orbital Transport glider.
 
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ManofSteele

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Thanks, Tom. You are correct, it is a roll of 1-2 per second, just to even out the drag of the odd shape of the glider.

As I told Frank, I have some videos, mostly of launch, I just haven't gotten around to posting them. I've been focusing on getting the new NCR kits out the door.

Matt
 

lakeroadster

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Thanks, Tom. You are correct, it is a roll of 1-2 per second, just to even out the drag of the odd shape of the glider.

As I told Frank, I have some videos, mostly of launch, I just haven't gotten around to posting them. I've been focusing on getting the new NCR kits out the door.

Matt
I thought for sure your name would be "Clark".... 😉
 

tab28682

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Thanks, Tom. You are correct, it is a roll of 1-2 per second, just to even out the drag of the odd shape of the glider.

As I told Frank, I have some videos, mostly of launch, I just haven't gotten around to posting them. I've been focusing on getting the new NCR kits out the door.

Matt
Hey, Matt. Good to hear from you and glad that NCR is cruising along nicely.
Let me know if you need a NCR F-117 converted to RC, in case that other conversion stalls.
 

ManofSteele

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Hey, Matt. Good to hear from you and glad that NCR is cruising along nicely.
Let me know if you need a NCR F-117 converted to RC, in case that other conversion stalls.
Tom - please contact me through the NCR website.

Matt
 

TheAviator

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I helped Matt with the initial testing of his F-117, and it flies sweet. The boost is indeed about a roll per second, and it's ever so slightly a barrel roll. It never feels squirrely or out of control, though. We launched it a whole bunch of times and never had a boost issue, but it did take a little while to work out the transition to glide. Rest assured that a few dozen E20s and E30s went through several test mules before Matt released it. He takes the time to do testing and even has people beta test his instructions before he releases a kit.

(Also, I have a kit that I will be converting to R/C, but my concentration is on practicing for S8E at the Worlds in October.)
 

kuririn

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BTW found this in the 1996 Estes catalog on Ninfinger's:
96est32a.jpg

In the new products section.
Bet a lot of people were disappointed when this didn't go into production.
I sure hope "someone" does a build thread when they get the NCR kit.
;)
 
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