Flying Convenience Not So Convenient

It’s a situation that plays out every day, all over the world – you walk into work, and there’s a full-scale foam toilet sitting on the bench, demanding to be used in a crackpot project. This time, it happened to be at the [FliteTest] workshop, and naturally, they set about making it fly.

The team at [FliteTest] are well resourced, with a laser cutter being used to quickly produce a set of custom foam board wings. However, after wing failures on their previous projects, this time the team opted for a riveted aluminium wing spar to add strength. A twin-boom tail is used to try to avoid the cistern from interfering with airflow over the elevator, and careful attention is paid to make sure the center of gravity is in the right position for stable flight.

Despite the team’s laudable efforts, the toilet (somewhat unsurprisingly) flies like crap. It just goes to show, you can strap a brushless power system on to just about anything, but aerodynamics will still be standing ready to bring it all crashing down to Earth.

We’ve seen some great builds from [FliteTest] over the years – before the throne, it was an IKEA chair that soared amongst the clouds. Video after the break.

[Thanks to Baldpower for the tip!]

19 thoughts on “Flying Convenience Not So Convenient

    1. How about a barn door? Taken from “Principles of Flying, McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1943, published under the authority of the Bureau of Aeronautics, US Navy”:
      https://gaussling.files.wordpress.com/2008/06/flying-barndoor.jpg

      Well, if you’re the navy in WW2, and your would-be pilots are mostly farm boys, this is the example you make. Found the image on this page:
      https://gaussling.wordpress.com/2008/06/29/flying-barn-door/

  1. They did it with poultry pilot. One wing on the stick the other hanging out of the cockpit or henpit catching the wind. White scarf around the neckhole! Full flight run.
    We know what always flows downhill, therefore it won’t fly. Maybe try one of those low profile toilets for less drag, with the jet action.

  2. They made a lot of noise about putting the stabilizer high enough so it wouldn’t be blocked by the ‘tank’, then built it with it pretty much dead even with the top of it so the least bit of up elevator would instantly shadow it. Should’ve been a couple of inches higher with more fore/aft length to the elevator flap.

  3. But think of the commercial possibilities! Add a mobile phone app like Uber or any other delivery app and you have a commercial success. Think of those long drives were nature suddenly calls and you are out of toilet paper or a place to go. Boom, in comes the flying toilet. Amazon drone delivery watch out.

  4. My favorite Flite Test video, by far, is the flying toaster. Obviously some of us remember the After Dark screensaver, and when someone figured it’d be fun to make a toaster really fly, they took to it with aplomb. The toaster has a crapload of LiPo batteries behind it, so it actually makes toast while it’s in the air.

      1. Are we both talking about the old car in the classic movie “The Absent Minded Professor”? …you say it’s a Mercedes? …sounds like as good of an excuse as any to make some popcorn and sit down in front of the movie screen in my basement. :-)

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