In April 2004 MASM was going to have Lazy Bee fun fly. Just a day before I called my buddy Dave and I told him, that I'm not going to be there, simple because I didn't have a Lazy Bee. He said that:
"Man, you have to have a Bee. It's fun. Go to RC Country and get one of these Yard Bees ARF, and you can fly it tomorrow".
I said: "OK. I'll see what I can do.". I looked at the Yard Bee on the Internet and decided: "No, it's not a Bee. Maybe it's a mosquito, but not a FAT, LAZY-CRAZY BEE."
It turned out, that the weather was bad, and the event has been postponed. Good for me. That day I run to my buddy Dick and borrowed plans of original Clancy Bee. I scaled them down to 72% and I started cutting balsa sheets into many small, small pieces. In a week the skeleton of my Bee was ready. Then it took me the whole next week to finish all internal parts of the skeleton (servo rails, switch mount, enforcement here and there) and to cover it. So next weekend I had little Lazy Bee ARF.
Another week passed and I have finished this ARF. It was ready to fly just a week before the postponed Lazy Bee Fun Fly at MASM. I called this plane: Maya Bee after the name of the main character in very popular cartoon "The Maya Bee" (Pszczółka Maja) played in Polish TV in 80's. Maya Bee was so cute, that I put her image on my Lazy Bee.
I want to thank Dave for the inspiration, Dick for borrowing me the plan and his help in solving all construction problems, and Chuck for his advises about flying this unique design. Without you guys there wouldn't be Maya Bee.Now here some details:
- Scale = 72% of original Clancy Lazy Bee
- Wingspan = 28.5 in
- Wing area = 2 sq ft
- Weight fueled = 13 oz
- Wingloading in flight = 6.5 oz/sq ft
- Power = Norvel Big Mig .061
- Propeller = Master Airscrew 7x3
- Fuel tank = 2 oz
- Receiver = GWS Pico
- Servos = HS-55 (throttle), MX-50HP (elevator and rudder)
- Battery = 6V 370 mAh NiMH
- Pushrods = home made from 1/8 carbon fiber tube
- Engine mount = none - spruce rails built into the fuselage
- Landing Gear = 2 3/8" Ultra Lightweight Foam Wheels on carbon fiber tube
- Covering = Transparent Ultracote light
Now the fun part.
I wish someone videotaped my test flight. It was the shortest test flight in the history of Lazy Bee. I started to roll it 10 feet away from the grass. The plane took before the grass, climbed 10 feet vertical, turned left went straight down, made another turn (you know, for this pattern traffic approach) and landed it perfectly still on the pavement. The whole flight lasts less than 2 seconds and was executed inside the 10 feet cube.
A day before Chuck told me to set throws on Hi (I have 45 degrees), just in case I need it, and use at least -80 expo. I did that, but I still over-controlled it. Minute later I was up again and now knowing how touchy my Maya Bee is, I took it easy, trimmed it (with no right thrust I needed 3 clicks right) and then the whole fun started. I just couldn't land it. No, it's not what you thinking. It lands easy and smooth. I had just so much fun that I couldn't stop. I was in the air for 15+ minutes and being afraid of dead-stick finally I landed it on the pavement. On the ground I found, I still have 1/3 of fuel.
Now I know, that for acrobatic flight I have to use 1/2 throw (low settings), but the wildest spins and flips are available at full throw. This Bee flies level on the idle (about 5000 rpm) goes vertical at 1/2 throttle, and lands on low idle (not reliable at 4000 rpm) with the engine shut at touch down.
From that moment Lazy Bee was my favorite fun-fly plane. One day some full scale helicopter was practicing water dump to put out simulated fire. My Lazy Bee was there and observed the action from safe distance.
In December 2007 I decided to convert this plane to electric. The conversion was straight forward using GBL brushless motor (Double Whopper). New electric Bee lost 2 ounces of weight but gained a lot of power and static thrust for vertical performance. The plane is still blast to fly.