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He Built a Radio-Controlled Millennium Falcon. Star Wars Fan, Check It Out!

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You came in that thing? You’re braver than I thought.―Leia Organa upon seeing the Millennium Falcon for the first time[src]

Punch it!―Han Solo to Chewbacca[src]

You know, that ship’s saved my life quite a few times. She’s the fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy!―Lando Calrissian[src]

Look, I want you to take her. I mean it, take her! You need all the help you can get; she’s the fastest ship in the fleet!―Han Solo to Lando Calrissian[src]

The garbage will do!―Rey being forced to board the Falcon during the Escape from Jakku.[src]

Millennium Falcon — one of the most iconic starships of the Star Wars saga. The Falcon might not have shiny exterior or maybe even looked like a worn-out junker, but beneath her shell she’s full of surprises. The Millennium Falcon has played significant role in some of the greatest victories in the Star Wars saga in spite of her humble origins and scruffy exterior. There are many Millennium Falcon products out there, ranging from Lego model to keychain. However, nothing beats what we are going to show you. Imgur user, oliverc600, took it to a whole new level. He built a radio-controlled Millennium Falcon. The final product is amazing. Don’t miss out the test flight video at the end of the slideshow. Enjoy the slideshow in the words of the builder himself …

Click “Next” to start the slideshow…

1

Via Imgur

First step, the design, tricky part is to have the whole setup balanced. It will be carried by one of my quadcopter (some call it a “drone”, they are wrong, that’s a RC helicopter that happens to have 4 motors).

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Via Imgur

Main material is this insulant, expanded polystyrene, in 20 and 30mm thickness. It’s heavier than classic EPP, but also much stronger, and easy to cut clean. Also, it’s almost the proper color of the spaceship.

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Via Imgur

Printed half-a-shape 1:1, and re-assembled the A4 sheets.

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Via Imgur

Can see the “host” on the left, that’s my 335mm quad, also a custom build. It’s normally flying FPV and carries a Gopro, but for this project I’ll remove the camera, the video transmitter and the GPS antenna to gain some weight. 800gr for the quad, and between 300 and 350gr for the Falcon hull.

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Via Imgur

Cutting bits of foam, quick quick before wife comes back home…

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Via Imgur

Quick check for the balance, attached to its power train. Seems ok-ish, that’s critical, or it may not even take-off…

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Via Imgur

This hook thing slides inside the carbon frame of the quad at the front, tight fit is required so the propellers are not hitting the foam. I went for 10mm of free space between the tip of the blade and the foam.

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Via Imgur

The two side tunnels should help with some vibrations I noticed in the maiden flight I made in the garage.

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Via Imgur

Improving the shape. Must keep the space above and below the 4 propellers free. Everything is glued with a basic hot-glue pistol.

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Via Imgur

Making cylinders, 1 corner at a time…

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Smash and stamp !

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Via Imgur

Silhouette is better now.

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Via Imgur

Adding the cockpit, it’s hollowed, to limit the unbalance to the right. The more the center of gravity of the whole assembly is near the center of the propellers, the better.

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Via Imgur

Making a new thruster

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Via Imgur

I hope here to have the top part making shade for the LED strip of lights so it’s more visible in the day…

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Via Imgur

Radio antenna, yes I know in the old movies it was circular, but in the trailer for the new movie it’s a smaller rectangle. So a rectangle it will be for now, better aerodynamics. Flying forward with so much surface should be enough of a challenge as-is.

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Via Imgur

Added these thin strips of foam for visual thickness when seen from the side

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How it locks into the frame at the front

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The underside

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From top

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Testing some paints, must find the proper color, and also a kind that does not harm the foam, will have to be acrylic. Will paint with a compressor.

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The 2 lights at the front, serial, so each get only 6V instead of 12V according to specs. 12V was really bright, I don’t plan to fly this in pitch black night..

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Via Imgur

The infamous curved thruster ! Top LED strip is blue, bottom is white. Plan is to have the LEDs reflect against the top and bottom curves. Blue is on top because I expect this one to be dimmer than the white. I’l maybe add aluminium tape so it reflect more, will see.

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Via Imgur

Let there be light !

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Via Imgur

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Via Imgur

Yay, gorgeous blue-ish-white, sometime plans are working as intended !

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Via Imgur
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Via Imgur

Base color is a light gray sprayed, and over this I added few details and weathering with a brush, grey “smoke”.

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Via Imgur

Made a quick’n dirty weathering. Better not polishing too much, brings bad luck for the first flights… New turret, facing rear, because this spaceship is always chased.

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Via Imgur

Added few extra things, all the small parts are made of Depron, it’s even lighter than expanded polypropylene, and I have it in 3mm and 6mm thickness.

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Via Imgur

After 2 test flights in the garage, 1st flight outside, was very dark.

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Via Imgur

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Via Imgur

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Via Imgur

Getting ready for 2nd outdoor test flight with better lighting! More pictures to come…

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Via Imgur

2nd flight outside, with snow, it looked great. I fly it line-of-sight only, since it’s not fitted with FPV (first person viewing) gear. With my usual FPV modules I could fly it out like 500 meters, but that’s not its purpose, and also it’s not a very efficient flier at all.

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Via Imgur

It’s quite sensitive to wind, but less that what I feared.

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Via Imgur

Top speed is barely 35% of what the naked quadcopter can do (90km/h+) And battery time is reduced from 8 minutes to about 5.

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Via Imgur

Cannot put too much angle or the flight controller goes crazy because of too much inertia.

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Via Imgur

With the soft snow and the propellers protected by the foam, it’s almost impossible to break :]

Click next for the test flight video…

Enjoy the test flight video!

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