When I was a child, a radio-controlled car was about the coolest toy you could hope to find underneath the Christmas tree. But RC cars from that era — the totally radical ‘90s — weren’t much to write home about, particularly at “toy” prices. Even if you were lucky enough to have rechargeable batteries, they were probably terrible NiCad batteries that died within five minutes. The radio control range was about three feet, and the entire vehicle would shatter if the wind blew too hard. Even the cheapest RC cars today put those to shame, and YouTuber Peter Sripol has turned a Walmart-special RC monster truck into a plane that actually flies.
This toy started life as a Monster Jam 1:10 scale Grave Digger remote control monster truck. This RC truck costs about $40, and packs some decent features despite its relatively poor reviews. It has a USB-rechargeable battery pack, a 2.4GHz controller with a 250 foot range, sound effects, and even some working lights. Despite those respectable specifications, it is still relegated to the cold, bland dirt. Fortunately Sripol is a master of aviation, and he has managed to put everything from a gaming chair, to a leaf blower, to Santa’s sleigh into the air. In comparison, forcing this bulky RC truck into the sky was a piece of cake.
If you’re familiar with radio-controlled avionics, then Sripol’s process here probably won’t be anything surprising. He used a lot of foam board to construct the fuselage and wings, which were designed to provide a lot of lift at the expense of a ton of drag. All of the electronic components were purchased from getfpv.com, but Sripol doesn’t provide much detail about the exact parts that were used. But that’s really not important. What is important is that this sucker flies — something that the real Grave Digger couldn’t even accomplish. Sripol and company clearly had a blast putting this video together, and it’s a lot of fun to watch the improved RC truck careen through and over obstacles.