This is beyond awesome. The terrifyingly cool hobbyist aviators at FliteTest.com have built – and flown – a scale model of the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier. What’s more, they have flown model planes that have both taken off and successfully landed on its flight deck.
Made mostly of foam core, the Helicarrier is about three feet long. It uses eight synchronized Avro motors in four rotor housings to provide a scary amount of lift. All the lift comes from these motors, as the rest of the craft is essentially a scale model of a boat. You can get a sense of the scale of this flying monster from the Avengers LEGO minifigs glued to the flight deck. Its pilotsays that it is “on the cusp of crashing, barely flying.” It looks like it really hates being airborne, and it takes some pretty serious skills to keep it that way.
The FliteTest guys put POV cameras in pretty much everything, in part because imagining that you are in the cockpit is a big part of the thrill of RC flying, and in part because it just makes the aircraft easier to control. There is also a camera on the flight deck of the carrier so that they can get the best possible view of all the action. It makes for some pretty thrilling video.
The guys from FliteTest took their creation to the University of Akron Field house and let other pilots attempt to land on it. While the results weren’t any better than you’d expect, there is also footage of successful takeoffs and landings in the outdoors, where you’d think uncontrolled air drafts would make this harder, not easier.
FliteTest.com itself is a web site and podcast dedicated to STEM as it relates to RC flight. They publish new build-it-yourself plans all the time, and explore every aspect of hobbyist aviation.
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