KFC Winged Aircraft Actually Flies

[PeterSripol] has made an RC model airplane but instead of using normal wings he decided to try getting it to fly  using some KFC chicken buckets instead. Two KFC buckets in the place of wings were attached to a motor which spins the buckets up to speed. With a little help from the Magnus effect this creates lift.

Many different configurations were tried to get this contraption off the ground. They eventually settled on a dual prop setup, each spinning counter to each other for forward momentum. This helped to negate the gyroscopic effect of the spinning buckets producing the lift. After many failed build-then-fly attempts they finally got it in the air. It works, albeit not to well, but it did fly and was controllable. Perhaps with a few more adjustments and a bit of trial and error someone could build a really unique RC plane using this concept.

41 thoughts on “KFC Winged Aircraft Actually Flies

    1. Yah. Not many do that kinda model though, the bulk are just normal airplanes, perhaps with floats for water or skis for winter, and plenty are hand-launched with no landing gear you just belly into the grass after flame-out, perhaps a canard, contests for spot landings. It’s fully a technical hobby just like electronics, but it’s outdoors, includes a social life (remember other people?) of like-minded enthusiasts sharing the flying field, picnics, grilling, family along, sunshine… (Remember sunshine?). Lights inside translucent wings for at night, and plenty to still move onto like gryrocopters, helis. My fav was pontoons. There are also pattern models for precise acrobatics, and quickie 500 races… and when you get older it’s the sailplanes cause they’re big enough you can still see them.

      There is a lot of electronics work in R/C as well. Ardupilot is a newer example, and the V-tail mixer is an example of the older.

      Model Aviation, R/C Modeller, pages worn out… drool marks on the ads for retracts. LOL…

      People with gyro stabilized quads think they’re flying, they’re not, a puter is…. you just steer. It’s a world of difference, and look ma… he can’t even steer!

      The smell of castor and synthetic oil in the exhaust….

      … and you can design your own in every way imaginable like snoopy… but plain planes are best.

      It’s an excellent technical hobby when you get sick of electronics, or the parts get too small. A world in which your 3D printer would make you sought after in the club for custom parts that could even make you $$$.

        1. I got a Goldberg Eagle 2, and a Mark’s Models Bushwhacker, both still in the box sitting in the closet drying out and getting lighter. That Bushwhacker kit has been seen going for over $200 in some cases now, loooong out of production heh, $27 in chicago back in ’85. Wonderful plane! Would be awesome with today’s electric motors. Tons of monocoat and econocoat… a pair of Gee Bee MKIV floats… and excess engines for everything. The Balsa USA Swizzle Stick 40, with flaps added, on Gee Bee MKIV floats, still hangs from the ceiling and is my fav. Hanging next to it is a .25 sized pattern plane scratch built from plans with a veco .19 mounted. Everything needs new radios as they changed the frequencies.

          Back in 2010 the Falcon 56 was being produced again! Check it out. Balsa USA is still in business, and sells the Swizzle Stick 40 kit.

          1. Heh… I’ve still got the “slap on and go” autogyro blades to convert that swizzle stick 40 to an autogyro. Flew that thing in full darkness with translucent green and red monocoat and lights in the wings… no problem at all till you want to land, can’t see the ground. Got a full set of plans to build the Swizzle Stick 30 that’s no longer made… flew great with a veco .19, would be a good one for electric nowdays.

    2. on the RC forums a few years ago, when the “Hydro foam” or flying hydrofoils were popular and when quads were experimental homebuilds, a discussion about 3D acrobatics and plate form wings and styrofoam everything ended up with someone stating “with a decent motor I could make a picnic cooler fly” or something to that effect.

      Challenge was accepted and a disposable foam cooler flew.

      Watching this video, wasn’t sure how much of the flight had anything to do with lift generated by the wings, as it seems once it took off, it was at high alpha much of the time and appeared to “fly” on pure motor power.

      His next “experiment” with the airframe is to take the buckets off and see how it goes.

      1. With or without drumsticks and wings?

        The video of a dressed chicken going for a spin and landing is a hoot. One wing on the stick the other hanging out of the cockpit in the breeze! White scarf around the neck hole.

  1. I saw this video a few days back and it led me down a rabbit warren of videos about the Magnussun ?? Effect. There has been some interesting experiments with it to drive BIG sailing boats.

  2. For goodness sake… someone proofread the title. I’ve given up on grammar and spelling in the body text, but come on! “FLYS” isn’t even a word! That little squiggle under even your browser’s spellcheck is trying to tell you something.

    1. Authors here are hopeless. I’ve started assuming that they are in the process of hacking together their own language and grammar because everything else would be too embarassing.

      If anyone knows a website with similar content and written in actual English, I’m looking for suggestions.

      1. We all make mistakes, I mean I’m sick of comments where people can’t even spell simple words like embarrassing white critiquing my spelling. Now that really is embarrassing. You are complaining about a spelling mistake and then you go on to make a mistake in spelling yourself.

      2. Geez, get over yourself. This is great fun to read about despite a mistake in the title. I missed this in editing and am happy to fix it now. I just wish you’d treat people like a friend when you notice something you don’t like instead of being nasty about it.

        Boo on your approach to pointing out a small error. I hope it makes you feel good about your superiority.

        1. I love the content here and did not intend to insult anyone. Be good at the simple stuff and your articles will be that much more engaging. As an aside, this is almost exactly how I respond to friends and I expect they would extend me the same ribbing were the tables turned.

          1. You know your friends, and one would assume that they’re ok with that particular level of abuse, if they’re still your friends. Nobody knows everyone, especially on the internet. Expecting people to react the same way you would (expecting anything at all, really) is quite arrogant and thoughtless.

  3. The plane needed two more buckets. The chord of the ‘wings’ was too short. As they discovered, it needed a LOT of power to fly. Think of the stubby wings on an F-104 Starfighter. Now imagine them being 2 feet thick but still wing shaped. Might still fly, with enough more power, or they’d have to be 10 times as long.

    1. You nailed it. The wings needed to be longer, smaller in diameter and constant diameter would have worked better. His hack wasn’t to build and fly one as that’s well proven, it was to build one with KFC buckets.

  4. Buckets are generating way too much lift until you slow them down. The size creates a lot of drag, which limits top speed and thus reduced aerodynamic control. Consider placing ailerons to control roll. Magnus effect creates the aerodynamic equivalent of cambered wings with an additional pitching moment due to angular acceleration of bucket inertial mass. The angle of attack has a huge effect on the resultant angle of the equivalent wing. As soon as you change direction, your wing changes, unless you incorporate an aileron as an aerodynamic stabilizing control surface.

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