MyGeekShow builds a flying wing crossbow launcher

After having some difficulty launching the heavier Raptor140B+ (carries three 5Ah batteries) I decided to invest the time into building a crossbow launcher.

It has a few key features that make it an excellent launch platform:
-Totally retains the airplane in all directions (gust of wind won't knock it off the the launcher)
-Trigger mechanism to quickly release the airplane
-Provides distance between the prop and the pilot
-Quick to use (takes only a few minutes to set up)
-Small space (small launcher and some cable)
-Easy to use (set it up, aim it, pull the trigger)
-100% repeatable

Tested it on the Raptor140A (now a glider) and it worked perfectly! After a dozen tests, I put the Raptor140B on it... Victory! The exit speed of the Raptor140B was 90kph/56mph, a perfect speed for climbing.

This will add a lot of safety and repeatability for launching these heavier flying wings.

See you next week!


Safety note: I maintained line of sight during this flight, and had my controller close by to take manual control as needed. The altitude read over 120m, but elevation increased during flight. True AGL for the flight is 100-120m. I avoided all airports and populated areas.

Raptor 140b+ Stats:

Weight: 2280g
Max Flight Time: 70min
Max Range: 97km
Stall Speed: 35kph
Cruise Speed: 90kph
Max Speed: 135kph
Radio Range: 1.5km
Energy Carried: 167wh (15,000mAh at 11.1v)
Drive Power: 850w
Total Flight Time on Craft: 7.0 hours
Total Flight Distance on Craft: 498km

The equipment used---
Raptor 140 airplane:

Radio Tx: ParkeFlyer Turnigy 9x Tx:
Telemtry: 915mhz 100mW 3DR
Laptop: Compaq Presario CG57
GPS Dongle:

Flight Controller: APM2.6
Reciever: 6ch FlySky
Telemtry: 915mhz 100mW 3DR
Battery: (3) 5.0Ah 20C Lipo:
ESC: 60A Brushless
Motor: 3542 1450kv brushless
Prop: 10x7 Carbon Fiber Folding
Servos: 11g digital
Onboard camera:

Learn More:
Raptor Details:
USA Trip Details:

Follow the Show:
Skype: MyGeekShow

Filmed, Edited, Produced and Published by Trent in Arkansas, USA

Views: 2392

Comment by R. D. Starwalt on March 15, 2014 at 7:14am

Another clever Trent-tech device!

No harm in a shameless plug for the store. You have carried the weight a long time. Having some revenue to balance it is all good.


Comment by Gustav Kuhn on March 15, 2014 at 9:51am

I wouldn't tie the bungee to MY car...............

Cool idea, I might just copy it :-)

Comment by Trent at MyGeekShow on March 15, 2014 at 3:27pm

Dave: That would be awesome to watch! Make sure and share it when you do!
Doug: Thank you! Necessity is the mother of invention... The store is doing good! Its a huge demand on time, but I'm most happy when I hear other's flying their airplanes that I pour my soul into.
Gustav: Only the brave use their car as an anchor : ) Feel free to copy! I'll share the measurements on it later next week if I can get the time, that should help.
Swift: That was the BEC that was powering the servos, it broke free due to the acceleration. There isn't a prop on the glider, so all was well.

Comment by Hugues on March 16, 2014 at 3:26am

You've earned a "Robbin Hood" patch on your diydrones logo !

Comment by Trent at MyGeekShow on March 16, 2014 at 5:39am

Hugues: Ha ha! That would be awesome! 

Comment by Rob_Lefebvre on March 16, 2014 at 5:45am

That's a pretty cool innovation.  Haven't seen it before, and I can see how it improves the launch process. Nice work.

You should get some kind of extendable tent pole and 3 guy wires.  Use that to anchor the bungy.  Wouldn't it work better with an elevated anchor point?  Then it's not being pulled down to the ground so much?

Is that you doing donuts in the field? ;)

Comment by Alexander Malikov on March 16, 2014 at 9:50am

still no fullscreen...

Comment by Gustav Kuhn on March 16, 2014 at 11:09am


A "Robin Hood' in archery, is when you shoot straight down another arrow, already in the target.


Kind of be when Trent launches "through" the car :-)

Comment by Quadzimodo on March 16, 2014 at 11:51am

Very Cool!

Comment by Jared Reabow on March 16, 2014 at 5:40pm

i thought it was all built onto the cross bow , maybe the next design is somthing completely self contained


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