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Kickstarter: Give Burt Rutan your Money

Comments

  • primesuspectprimesuspect Beepin n' Boopin Detroit, MI Icrontian

    Plz to explain:

    What powers this thing? I'm confused. Is it a jet? For the $149 level, do you get the thing as it is shown in the video? Like, can I fly it? I have to admit the kickstarter backer levels are a bit confusing. What is "Basic" flight capability out of the box? Can you buy better transmitters or something?

  • TushonTushon I'm scared, Coach Alexandria, VA Icrontian
    edited April 2015

    @primesuspect said:
    What powers this thing? I'm confused. Is it a jet? For the $149 level, do you get the thing as it is shown in the video? Like, can I fly it? I have to admit the kickstarter backer levels are a bit confusing. What is "Basic" flight capability out of the box? Can you buy better transmitters or something?

    https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1577292483/radical-revolutionary-rutan-now-fly-your-own-space#project_faq_131159

    Hobbyist will frequently change the engine (?) out for different power levels. This one comes ready out of the box, vs the more expensive level that comes earlier, but you have to supply your own engine (unless I'm reading that incorrectly).

    From some googling, your jet analogy was pretty close. See this example of a similar RC plane.
    http://www.e-fliterc.com/Products/Default.aspx?ProdID=EFL7250#tourgallery (the ducted fan unit is inside the body, so the nose and tail have openings to allow for air flow)

    And the "larger" part is only a glider, while the smaller part is powered. That was a little confusing till I kept reading

  • drasnordrasnor Starship Operator Hawthorne, CA Icrontian

    Basic: it comes with everything needed to operate the aircraft: the two airframes, servos, a motor, motor drive, ducted fan unit, basic transmitter, 5-channel receiver, 1050 mAh LiPo battery, and probably also a basic charger/balancer. A typical Bind-And-Fly model would require a battery, charger, and transmitter but this Kickstarter explicitly states that you get a battery and transmitter with purchase. You may also want to buy a LiPo charging sack (~$10) or otherwise ensure an accidental battery fire won't burn down your house. Hobby batteries typically have none of the over/under charge/discharge or mechanical trauma protection that consumer electronics batteries possess and should be treated with respect. However, this one may include some protection since one of the designers is an R&D lead at Air Hogs and they haven't burned anybody's house down that I'm aware of. Air Hogs was the first company to bring R/C aircraft out of the hobby stores and hundreds of dollars price range into the toy stores and tens of dollars range.

    The motor is a "high Kv" type which is just a fancy way of saying it spins fast and draws a lot of power at relatively low voltage (develops full power with a smaller battery pack at the cost of runtime, can be extended by getting a bigger battery with the same cell count). The motor is coupled to a ducted fan and is effectively a model jet engine without the fire and heat, these have the advantage that they're compact and somewhat more challenging to break than an open propeller system with the disadvantage that they tend to be much louder and less efficient (shorter runtime). The receiver it comes with is also compatible with nicer Spektrum/JR 2.4 GHz R/C radios if you decide you want to grow beyond whatever cheapo transmitter it comes with (they show a super nice Spektrum DX-7 and a JR model I didn't recognize). Like @Tushon observed, the smaller of the two vehicles powers the combined vehicle. When separated, the larger vehicle is a stable glider and free-flies on its own to the ground while you fly the pocket rocket. Unlike pretty much every other R/C aircraft and particularly none in the high-performance category, this one includes a ballistic landing capability so it should be very easy to recover if you get into trouble (pull the switch and it stops in mid-air and falls gently). It seems like a pretty sweet trainer in both the combined and separate configurations, looks awesome from being a scale model of the first commercial spacecraft, is designed by an outfit I admire greatly, and is probably compatible with all my current gear. The MSRP of $300 is appropriate for the size and capabilities you see here, a comparable foam trainer set me back ~$225 with the motor and motor drive alone; I had to provide the radios, servos, and batteries for a large chunk of additional cash. $150 is a steal if you think you might want to get into R/C as a hobby. This is a parkflyer though and you will want at least an area 100 yd on a side with sparse/no trees. Fly safe and don't fly near/over bystanders.

    Check out other bind-and-fly models to get a sense for what all is/isn't included and assembly is necessary: http://www.bindnfly.com/ . It will probably require some simple tools and supplies to assemble including thin CA glue, a hobby knife, and packing tape.

    Being a hobby R/C model, pretty much all the electronics including servos, motor, drive, and batteries are swappable with other types with similar size and capability. This is somewhat more advanced though and you probably shouldn't do it until you get tired of the stock configuration and want to burn a lot of cash.

    midgaprimesuspect
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