Matthew Butchard is a designer and tinkerer who hails from Oxfordshire, England. In Part 1 of this post Matt gave us an inside look at how he first got his 3Doodled plane off the ground. Now for his first powered take-off!

The First Powered Flight

Have you ever started down a path knowing that you’re chances of success were limited, but unable to resist giving it a go?

From the moment we arrived in the field Dave, the pilot, made it clear that some modifications would be needed to give the plane a better chance of flight. Those were going to take some time, so to quote Sir Richard Branson, I thought “screw it, lets do it!”. If I had to rebuild the plane anyway then I may as well rebuild it after we have tried to fly and most likely crashed it!

It was time for take-off

All in all the first flight went better than I’d expected, and I learned a lot about how the plane “flew” from Dave. You can see my list of modifications in more detail on my blog. These included improving the wing shape and remodelling of the nose.

With those and other changes made it was time for take two!

The Second Test Flight

In the video I try to explain that the plane was too heavy to fly properly with the large battery. The original flight was made using a light weight battery I brought specifically to reduce the weight as much as possible, but I had swapped it out after leaving it uncharged for too long and killing it! In addition to that, I’d given the plane a wonky nose!

But not all was lost, the plane was balanced, it didn’t stall, and the wings worked great. Duct tape at the ready, it was time to fix her up again...

3Doodler Plane Fixed Ish

Flight on the Farm

This is it! I had one last chance to fly before winter drew closer and bad weather started to set in.

We had gone back to the family farm for bonfire night and, being on private land and all, I decided to take the controls myself.

It could have gone better, but hope is not lost!

Aside from me being the one to fly the plane, a few other things went wrong.

For one, the plane was tail heavy: In the last flight, the heavier battery weighed the plane down (but it did at least fly level). This time the lighter battery meant the plane was light enough to fly, but the centre of gravity was too far back along the body. The fix and hasty patching to the previously damaged wing made it uneven and resulted in another turn. I think the real issue is that the plane I built doesn’t have the accuracy, control surfaces or weight distribution required for fully controlled powered flight.

What’s Next?

I have a few other projects I want to work on, but I am determined to build a flight-worthy plane. I have my eye on a simpler design and feel that I could do a much better job second time round with all that I have learned from this build.

Thank you for reading!

MattBDreaming new plane project plans

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