I was travelling on business this week to San Jose CA. Is turns out the Mike Bowns from battlewing.com hails from Milpitas – only 15 miles away – so I reached out to Mike for a "meet n greet".

Mike told me and a buddy the story of how it came to be that he created the battlewing nearly 2 years ago. A local club was already doing freestyle air combat with a different wing – but the manufacturer of that wing had decided he was done being in the plane making business and the combatants were needing a new source. Mike experimented with different types of foam, but he settled on the 1.9lbs EPP in use today.

The characteristics that set version 3.5 of Mike’s battlewing apart from other foam flying wings is the fact that Mike’s wing is symmetrical, and that his wingtips are outfitted with a distinctive V-shaped fin. The symmetrical nature of the airfoil is the reason that his wing flys the same regardless if it’s inverted or in normal flight. But after many generations of trial and error, the real stroke of genius is in the wing tips. Mike’s distinctive V shape wing tips help the airframe track true and straight.

Mike is considering offering his product in a kit version. He’s on the lookout for ways to simplify the manufacturing process. Today Mike uses a custom built hot wire CNC to cut 2 wing halves at once – but it wasn’t always this fancy. Still, the process is very labor intensive: each pair of wing halves take 5 minutes on hot wire CNC to create. He uses a jig to route out the various compartments that the electronics and servos are installed in. His manufacturing process requires the use of 3 different band saws. And today Mike custom mills the prop adapter to fit perfectly the GWS 0504 prop.

The battlewing is a great slow speed flying wing. Designed to fly on a 1000 mah 2s pack, it’s a great airframe at a great value, and the official combat flyer of the York County Flyers.