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Home Models My adventures with PBF

My adventures with PBF

Built: March 2003 
Type: Experimental 3D
Wingspan: 24 inch
Weight: 2.5 lb
Power: Glow 0.4 ci

PBF stands for Pizza Box Flyer.  I am not sure if that was the first SPAD (Simple Plastic Airplane Design) plane ever built.   For more information about SPAD technology and other planes visit the SPAD to the Bone website with plenty of useful information, free plans, tips and techniques. 

Now back to my PBF.  Just before Christmas 2002 when the first time I saw Dave McD's website I went crazy. I had to have a PBF! Period.  I didn't even know where and how to get this plastic (coroplast), so I got same scraps from my company, used as a board for some marketing materials. The biggest piece of black coroplast I found was 22"x26". I cut my first PBF from that.   The plane was powered by Webra 32 with HS-81 servo moving the throttle.  Three standard Hitec servos moved control surfaces and connected to Hitec 5 channel receiver. 

On the maiden flight it flew terrible.  I guess CG was in wrong place and was too heavy and too small. But in the gold hands of Dave Sullivan and Chuck Roundy it did actually fly.  That plane did not have landing gear and had to be launched from hand. 

After the first flight I moved the CG forward by adding a landing gear and then I was able to fly it. That kind of plane with flat airfoil loves to fly on high alpha (high angle of attack) and as soon as I figured it out, the PBF was a breeze to fly.   I loved it.  I could crash, change prop and fly again.... up to the moment when I hit the paved runway using the spinner as a landing gear. I broke both bearings in my Webra (and my heart).

Then I decided to move on.  I have changed the power plant to an old (very old) COMO 40, and build another PBF 26"x26". Sorry, no picture of that.   It was still too heavy for the wing size (the COMO 40 alone weights about 17 oz). When I broke the engine mount I decided that it's time for the bigger plane.

I found a place where I could buy standard 4ft by 8ft sheets of coroplast almost any color I wanted.   I always wanted to paint my PBF, so I bought white coroplast.   I also wanted this PBF to be 100% indestructible.  So no wood at all - everything is aluminum and carbon fiber.  Two carbon fiber tubes at the leading edge and  on carbon fiber tube at the back made the wing very stiff.   I called it "Extra Topping Pizza" because from the top it looks like Extra 300.   The final weight was 3.5 pounds but it was bigger than standard and with 30 inch span it flew very well.  And it 100% crash proof. 

Year 2003 was "PBF year" at Mather Aerospace Modelers flying site.  Almost every member of our club had at least one PBF.  Excellent handling and indestructible SPAD construction allowed us to play all kind of tricks.  We have organized different events and competitions designed specially for PBF.  One of them was "spot landing" on the table.  Literally.  The objective was to land PBF on the plastic picnic table placed on the runway.  Of course we could not resist to do PBF dog fighting.  And when streamers became to short the fight became "full contact".  That was great times