Just Kidding! This is a dramatization of a possible launch into a tornado. Eric created this overlay and it shows what would be the ultimate intercept for this project! Read below and follow our progress as we develop an RC aircraft with the goal of flying near and in a tornado!!
This page is dedicated to the Wicked Witch RC Video Aircraft Project. The aircraft is a model airplane used to fly in and around Tornadoes/Thunderstorms and other interesting objects. It has the following specs:
Aircraft: Predator-B V-Tail, Handlaunch, Short Field Recovery, Backpack Portable
Wingspan: 73" two piece
Wing area: 369.6 sq in
Weight w/o camera: 24.7 oz
Control System: 3 Channel Futaba Radio, throttle and flapperon control
Motor: 400 brushless electric.
Power: 1100mW Lithium Polymer battery.
Prop: 6" pusher-style to keep forward view clear.
Camera: Hardened/Rubberized 640x480 pixels, 30fps, 1 hour record time, AVI format, USB Interface.
Recovery System: Onboard parachute and 600 foot range RFID locator to locate the camera if downed. Audible beep locator when transmitter is off.
Complete cost: ~$600.00
Eric nicely captures the Wicked Witch 2's flight near a severe thunderstorm updraft at Cope, CO!
Eric and I and the Subaru flying the WW2!
Here's the NCAR building as seen from a screen grab from the WW2 video.
We took the Wicked Witch 2 out to southern Colorado to fly the plane in storm conditions and hopefully get some cool video. However, strong outflow winds detached the rear prop and caused the plane to spin out of control before nosediving into the ground. The plane suffered minimal damage. In the event of the actual flight into a tornado, the plane is expected to be carried by the inflow winds rather than fighting against outflow. Video:
Watch Eric's video of the WW2 loosing it's prop and subsequent crash.
The Wicked Witch 2 makes it's first flight ever at Coal Creek Canyon!
Edit: I just posted the video above. It's awesome! I love the clarity of no propeller in the field of view and the resolution is great for such a small lightweight camera.
Watch the Wicked Witch 2 overfly the historic Union Pacific Steam Locomotive 844.
UP 844 speeds under the WW2 along HW85 on it's way the Cheyenne Frontier Days
Steam Locomotive 844 quickly heads up the tracks at 65mph!