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Home Models My adventures with little Wilga PZL-104

My adventures with little Wilga PZL-104

Built: March 2002 
Type: Semi-scale
Wingspan: 36 inch
Weight: 26 oz
Power: Glow 0.061 ci

PZL -104 Wilga 35/80 is probably the ugliest Polish airplane.  It looks so ugly that makes it unique beautiful.  That beauty got me at the first sight.  I had to have it.  This is very unique design that would make it very popular among modelers, but I was surprised to fin out that nobody made such kit.  After some research on the Internet I found plans of Wilga in scale of 95 inches wingspan.  The design was quite simplified and did not look very scale for that size so I decided to scale plans down to 36 inches wingspan.  Glow engine Norvel .61 has been selected to power this plane.  Five channel Hitec receiver powered two HS-81 servos for ruder and elevator control and one HS-55 for throttle.  There were no ailerons.  Pine and balsa skeleton was covered with white and red Ultracote to give a typical for that plane red-white look.  Wilga is not an acrobatic plane but this model was quite good with some quite unique maneuvers.  The most unique was flat spin so violent that looked like the plane was spinning in one spot.  Besides normal flying and some fun acrobatics the plane went through unsuccessful attempts of carrying video camera and towing a small glider DAdams.

In 2005 LiPo batteries and small brushless motors were already available for modelers so I decided to convert my little Wilga to electric.  Model received home made brushless outrunner built of GBL parts (GoBrushless.com), Castle Creation ESC and 3 cell 1900mAh LiPo battery. New engine cowling was made of PET soda bottle.  After conversion little Wilga lost almost 7 oz in weight and gained power at the same time. 

Stronger motor prompted me to perform even more violent acrobatics.  That put a big load on the original wing and created a series of cracks in the main spar.  Finally the spar broke in few places and only the Ultracote kept it together.  Before the wing would brake in half I put it back to the workshop where the new wing was built. 

New wing, that I designed form scratch has carbon fiber tubes for spars, round wingtips and what was the most important has added ailerons and flaps.  Two Blue Bird BMS-380 servos moved control surfaces using flexible steel cable in plastic tubes.  That little Wilga with new wing is still flying today.  Future upgrades will include replacing 72Mhz FM receiver with  2.4GHz receiver from ASSAN system.