Over the last year we have been exploring the use of 3d printing technology in producing Side Force Generators (SFGs) for the extreme 3D aerobatic model planes. The SFGs on those planes are generally a flat piece of balsa or foam attached to the end of the wing.
Generally, they deliver two benefits to the functionality of the model plane. They provide a side lift in maneuvers like the knife edge and offer a yaw stability in some post stall maneuvers like the harrier or hover.
Full size planes also use a similar feature on their wing tips. They are called winglets and their job is to reduce a turbulence at the end of the wing know as vortex. As such they reduce the drag and increase the efficiency of the wing.
So, we have designed and tested several SFGs which look like the winglets. We put them through CFD software and noticed that although they are smaller they provide similar side lift and reduce the drag by some 8% to 15%. Depending on the design, fluid speed and angle of attack. This is caused by the fine symmetrical airfoil incorporated into the shape.
We have been also trying them in real life and noticed that they perform as good or better than the conventional flat SFGs.
We would welcome the readers of this blog and who are passionate about 3d aerobatics to try them out. Here https://1drv.ms/u/s!AqWG36e0UlTQgvRDynb5MGy-qrw-FQ?e=3cpTji
is the link to the zip folder containing the winglet SFGs STL files for 3 model planes:
· Extreme flight 76” MXS
· Extreme Flight 85” Slick 580
· Pilot RC 78” Extra NG
Feel free to download the files and print them in your local 3d printing service bureau.
Our prototypes have been printed in SLA technology using Somos EvolVe plastic.
We look forward to read about your experience.