Speed 400 Mini GremlinAre these 12 foot giants with their Stock Gremlins?
The Mini Gremlin YouTube video playlist.
Nope, just Steve "Whispering Death" Brian and Bob "Team Barger" Barger Sr. with their prototype Mini Gremlins during the R&D phase. The smile on Steve's face says it all. They flew and flew well. Both the 2 cell and 3 cell versions were more than able to pull 20 foot streamers and go vertical.
The initial concept was pretty simple, I had recently flown a Speed 400 Reno style racer into the ground and was looking for something fun to put the gear into. Much like the original Gremlin development, the idea was for something fun to fly and yet quick to build and durable. Some of the guys in the past (Eddie Ellis and Dennis Phelan among others) had played with little Gremlins and so I thought it might be fun to play around. The fuselage went though several iterations until we finally chose thin plywood and the availability of laser cutting made it easy to put together a well fitting light yet sturdy box. Similarly, replacing the elevons and fins with Depron lightened the final plane as well. I think it is possible to come in close to 8oz with the right power system but it flies great at 9.5oz also. The other goal was to not develop the plane around a specific drive system. We all chose off the shelf parts and they were all competitive with each other. There is no need to get exotic and shave 14 more grams off the final plane. It's not hurting for performance, will fly at half throttle very nicely and can have a fun flight lasting 6-10 minutes. It's not an ARF or RTF plane but once you fly it, the short building time will be well worth it.
The purist will ask, is it really a Gremlin? Amazingly, yes, it has all the good handling characteristics of the bigger sibling. Nail the CG and it flies like it's on rails (watch video on left). We went to a local event with the prototypes and the second day was breezy and yet they flew well and had no trouble penetrating. Another good indication of the pedigree is that the first day we brought our prototype Mini Gremlins out together we made the mistake of putting on streamers and as will happen, there was a midair and the planes actually withstood the impact very well, including the tent posted fuselage surviving the impact unbroken. Much laughter was heard over it. But we needed to build the next revision for the next week anyway. And it was amazing at how well the planes carried a 20' long 2" wide streamer vertically.
To complete the build you need the following items: 2 small (9 gram) servos, HS-55s or equivalent, a Speed 400 motor and firewall mounting system, a 15-20 amp speed controller for the motor, small LiPo packs, we were using 800mah 2S1P or 500mah 3S1P packs that were about the same size and weight (49g), a receiver compatible with this gear that allows for "delta" mixing, 3/4"-1" wide filament tape (fiber reinforced packing tape), some type of covering, either low temperature Monocoat/Ultracoat or colored packing tape and foam safe glues (CA, yellow woodworkers glue or epoxy)
$25 - Full Kit
|Episode 147 of
TheCrashCast contained an impromptu segment on the Gremlin. One of my customers
in Australia wrote in and it turns out the host, Mike "Crash" Hancock, is a long time Gremlin pilot and they took
a trip down memory lane. Now Crash is going to do a segment on the Mini in March 2012 and hold a contest to give
away a kit at the end of the month. He plans on flying a couple of the Minis in the full contact combat sessions
at SEFF 2012. In
Episode 152 I was interviewed and we
rambled on and covered how I got started in the hobby, where the Gremlin came from and what RA Cores has been up to
these last 20 years and where we seem to be headed. Be sure to check out his March podcasts with the build log of
his Minis and for how to qualify for the Mini Gremlin kit giveaway.
Episode 147 An edited copy of the impromptu Gremlin lovefest - 20 minutes
Episode 152 An edited copy of the full interview/history - 60 minutes
Email us today.RA Cores
Last updated: Thursday April 11, 2013