Maxi Stick (modified Mini Blue Max)
Dave was doing
fine with the Slow Stick, Pico Stick, and T-Hawk,
but wanted an aileron trainer since those are all three-channel planes.
He has an E-Starter partly built, but he's grown attached to it and
wants a trainer to lead into the E-Starter. (I shouldn't laugh:
back when I was flying nitro-engine planes, I bought a .15 Pitts
biplane from someone, but it was so pretty I didn't want to risk it as
a first biplane, so I built an Ace All-Star as a biplane trainer, only
it came out prettier than I expected so I was afraid to fly it, too!)
Enter the WattAge Mini Blue Max. It has an undercambered foam
wing (like the Slow Stick but not so thick) with plenty of dihedral,
ailerons, and a foam fuselage made from a sheet of triangular foam
folded into a triangle. Looked like an easy build and a low-risk
Well, it didn't work out that way. The wings sit on top of a
plastic dingus that doesn't fit well on the fuselage, and the fuselage
itself is bendy and flexy and has no way to mount any reasonable size
bettery (I guess they assume you'll use their own brand
batteries). But when we finally got it together, we took it out
and broke the fuselage on the first hard landing (which didn't take
long, since there was basically no effect from the ailerons set at the
recommended travel). Ugh.
Dave wanted to put the plane on the ground and drive over it, but I
persuaded him that the wing might be useful with a better fuselage, and
we put it in the garage ... until a few weeks later, when we noticed
that Aeromicro sells Slow Stick aluminum sticks and hardware kits, and
I said "Hey, I wonder if the Blue Max wing would fit on that?"
Sure enough, it does. It didn't fly well right off ... very
little control from those flexy foam ailerons, for one thing. In
the end, Dave clipped the wings a LOT, reduced the dihedral, and added
great big balsa ailerons instead of the foam ones. It ends up
being almost the same length and wingspan as a Pico
Stick -- but with ailerons and a much more rigid wing.
And now it flies great! It's remarkably precise, responds well to
either aileron or rudder inputs, and has plenty of power (oh, did I
forget to mention the GWS 350C motor instead of the anemic Wattage?)
But wait. Dave decided a few days
later that it didn't really fly so well, so he decided to take the
dihedral out of the wings, and even add a little anhedral, in the hope
that the plane would be less stable and would turn better.
The results were mixed. At first he thought it turned quite a bit
better. But a few flights later, he was having the same
non-responsiveness problems he complained about earlier. Then the
wing broke in midair. The plane is now retired, at least
Next we'll be working on fitting a Crazy Max
wing to one of the
aluminum sticks, for a more aerobatic stick...
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