No, seriously. Don't do this. (we were only kidding!)

Have you ever wanted to mod your RC airplanes, perhaps to carry an explosive payload? Too bad – it’s illegal. Don’t worry though, here at Draganfly Innovations, we’ve found the next best thing: you can mod inexpensive RC planes to carry containers of inert powder, which will shatter and make a super nifty effect on the ground. All you need are 5 minutes and some common household materials:

What You Need

  • Toothpick – We’ll use this to make a mount for the payload, and a mechanism that lets us deploy it remotely.
  • Plastic Easter Egg (or similar container) – Plastic Easter eggs work best, because they split in two easily. You can find them at almost every craft store. Improvising here is fine, just make sure that your container is a reasonable size, and will open up with minimal force.
  • Cellophane Tape – This mod isn’t permanent, just peel off the tape when your done with it.
  • Plastic Drinking Straw
  • Vortex Extreme RC Airplane – You can get one on our website. Similar models will also work, but if they’re of a different design, you’ll have to adapt these instructions accordingly.
  • Talcum Powder, Flour, or any (safe) Powdery Substance – Basically, anything that spreads out in the air and makes a big cloud will do.

How to Mod Your RC Airplanes

Click for a larger version

  1. Start by taking the wing off your RC airplane. You need it out of the way, because your going to be building the drop mechanism on the bottom of the plane. Besides, breaking foam wings is no fun – store it in a safe place until your finished these steps.
  2. Cut about a 1 inch length of straw, and tape it to the tail boom, 2 inches back. You want to get the straw aligned parallel to the tail boom, and hanging right on the bottom. What we’re trying to do won’t work if the payload rubs against the tail and gets stuck. You might want to click this picture, to get a closer view.
  3. Click for a larger image

    Tape the toothpick to the round end of the plastic egg. The aim is to give the toothpick an upward slant, so that the egg hangs on to your RC airplane under gravity.Try to leave as much of the toothpick as possible free – this gives you a more secure mount. It’s very important not to tape the Easter egg shut, because the whole point is to get it to split open on ground impact.

  4. Fill the Easter egg with powder, and then snap it shut.
  5. Slide the “bomb” onto your drinking straw launcher apparatus (see the picture on the right), and get the plane ready for flight.

Dropping the Bomb

Click for a larger version

The Easter egg you mounted is held on the airplane by gravity and wind resistance. To drop it, simply take off as usual, fly to a safe area (free of people, pets, and vehicles), and put your RC airplane in a nose dive. The “bomb” should slide off the mount, hit the ground, and produce a nice puff of smoke. Watch Out: many RC planes have crashed because the pilot was looking at the payload being dropped, and not paying attention to flying. Let spectators enjoy the bomb, and concentrate on landing your plane safely.

Here’s what the result of a properly detonated “bomb” looks like (the best explosion occurs at about 1:12 into the video):

Need RC airplanes for this project? Get a Vortex Extreme online. Perfect for beginners to learn how to fly, and affordable, it makes the ideal first RC airplane.

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