Plane: Aeroworks 104″ Yak-54 ARF QB™
Engine: BME 115
Servos: Hitec 5955s
Pros: Quick easy assembly, one of my all time favorite planes to fly.
Cons: My decision to try a BME 115
You can see in the Aeroworks parts slideshow (click here to watch the parts slideshow) that the shipping box now includes a plywood layer. When you unbox the thing you also see a lot of custom and well thought out packaging. These things are packed really well.
As with all the Aeroworks QBs… the plane seems RTF out of the box:
The fuse doesn’t feel exceptionally light, but the wings sure do! The leading edge and wing thickness makes me think it will really float/drag/fly stable. Also, huge ailerons, tons of throw and pre-glued in hinges. The hinges swing freely, as well:
The elevators also have pre-installed hinges (glued in), as you know… and with plenty of throw like all the Aeroworks QB™ planes:
Here’s some shots of the canopy and side of the cowl… look at all that pre-done work… I’m spoiled on these now, if I got an ARF without the canopy pre-done I think it would just sit in the corner and never get assembled. The fit and finish on these modern day ARFs is rival’n the best builders. And, the Aeroworks ARF QBs have the best fit and finish I’ve seen:
I was asked about the landing gear plate and I’d have to say it looks pretty stout. It’s a continuous piece of 1/4″ hardwood side to side… with two perpendicular pieces of 1/4″ hardwood glued to it. Those side pieces pick up alot of surface area and really shear the whole thing solid. The landing gear bolts go through the overlapping area which is 1/2″ thick, and again has its load spread out pretty far and wide.
A shot from the top and also a shot showing the pre-installed and glued in blind nuts for the landing gear (again going through a double layer of 1/4″ hardwood that has alot of coverage or shear strength):
Still don’t have all the parts… hope to have everything by week’s end and start the assembly next week.
Meanwhile, as with the last QB™ I had, everything is real clean, real high quality. Also, one of these days I gotta ask Rocco if I learned this wheel pant mount from him, or him from me. Whichever, I’ve always thought it was the only way to go! And, here it is, already done:
Still waiting on parts, so thought I’d snap some more pics. Here’s a couple of wing shots:
Here’s a pic of the the landing gear hatch, and another of the wheel pants:
Here’s the plane, showing the cutouts for the rudder servos, receiver, batteries, tanks, et al… pre done:
Here’s a shot of the landing gear:
And also a shot of the rudder:
Here’s a shot of the lightweight foam tires, and also a shot of the tail section:
Battery/receiver/tanks foam; velcro straps, cable ties, et al (standard included items):
Here’s the included throw meter, nice touch:
Going with a BME-115:
Here are the new style Fromeco 5200 ”Grunt” packs (with Relion 4800 labels):
Here’s a new dual switch from Fromeco. 16 gage soft wire in and out, Dean’s Ultra’s in and out, dual charge/test jacks. Tried to let you see the circuit board… I think both switches are failsafe and also I think there is circuitry to keep both batteries draining instead of only one, even if the regs are not matched… I think. lol Let me get back to you on that:
Here’s my AW QB™ coming in for a landing tonight. It’s one of the new stick planes from Aeroworks. It’s four pieces, that’s the kinda quick building I can handle. lol
The engine is really dwarfed by the cowl:
Charles Bradley says it will spin this prop, too. Ha, lol, hard to believe… but I guess this cute ‘lil motor is actually a beast in disguise:
Got started on mounting the servos and control horns on the wings. When you go to mount the control horns you’ll notice that Aeroworks has already drilled pilot holes for you. You might wonder what the pen marks are… well only those who haven’t read any of my reviews before will wonder, lol… they show a line off the side of the servo body. From there I like to measure over 1/4″ to 5/16″ to center of my control horn ball joint. That gives me optimal torque throughout the throw range without imposing any undue leverage on the servo’s output shaft. If you use the pre drilled pilot holes you’ll only be an 1/8″ off my desired location. Good enough. On the 104″ Extra-260 QB™ I also pointed out that I would have the control horn edge an 1/8″ back from the bevel rather than right on it… for better linearity throughout the travel range. But, an 1/8″ is close enough meethinks:
Hitec 5955s on everything but the throttle (that will be a 5945):
I like the new style Hitec heavy duty extensions the best, as well:
Not only do they have the right size wire (22 gage), twisted, but the twist doesn’t come undone. The connectors have a solid snap/click connection, too… different than any others I’ve used/seen. And, the quality is better than other brands I’ve used, where wires pop loose quite often, etc:
My friend Mark bolted down the servos and control horns for the ailerons. The aileron servo pockets already have a double layer of ply, just another step Aeroworks does for you. The control horns are pre drilled, so a caveman could put those in. DUBRO ball joints are included, and also steel pushrods with carbon fiber tube reinforcements. I used some titanium pushrods only because I had them already. On my last QB™ I used the stock pushrods and they worked just fine.
I figured this QB™ Yak would be similar to my QB™ Extra and it was… same 50 degrees each way off a “determined” center point, yielding the same 4-1/4″ deflection each direction off neutral. As with the last QB™ the control horns cannot be fine tuned quite enough for perfect synchronization, but close enough, with the outboard servo arm moving 48 degrees each direction for the 4-1/4″ deflection on the aileron. Not millwright perfect, but close enough for government work.
Without using rocketcity style horns or putting things precisely where I would, Aeroworks still manages to get everything extremely close to perfect. Plenty good enough. Still wonder if though the years Aeroworks got all these ideas from me, or me from them. lol:
Mark’s busy on the second wing now… he used ZAP thin CA glue in all the wood screw holes (for control horns and servo mounts). This strengthens the wood up quite a bit. Again, under the servo pockets here, is another layer of ply that I usually have to cut and glue in, but Aeroworks has taken care of that already… along with so many other steps that I usually have to take to assemble an ARF. But, this ain’t just an ARF, it’s a “QB” 😉 :
Aeroworks leaves strings in the wings for pulling the aileron servo extensions through. Mark was showing me his method for using them… fine for this plane as there is no drag and lots of room in there… but I wouldn’t do it on a wing with less room inside. ‘Course, come to think of it, I’ll probably cut those connectors off in favor of Dean’s 1003s anyway… so it really doesn’t matter how much abuse they take:
Aeroworks doubles up on the outside hinges on the ailerons… this is good practice, imo:
Couple things I’m always looking to achieve with the geometry… 1) is the control horn in the right place to keep some angle between the servo arm and the pushrod at full deflection (this avoids leverage against the output gear that leads to case damage, loss of torque, failures, etc; and also situations where one servo goes past parallel and gets stuck there when a ganged servo moves back to center. I’ve seen these types of failures, and also the people that set them up blaming the manufacturers.) And, 2) the pushrod being parallel with the wing surface at full deflection (avoiding prying leverage against the output gear which also leads to case damage, loss of torque, failures, blaming the manufacturer, etc.):
Once you establish your control horn height to get between 50-55 degrees each direction off center to achieve the max travel you, personally, will need… then getting the pushrod to be parallel to the wing surface at full deflection becomes a matter of how high to have the pushrod on the servo side. The means for adjusting that height is with which servo arm brand you use and whether or not you put the pushrod/balljoint on top or underneath the servo arm. In the picture below I have the pushrod underneath the servo arm to get the geometry I’m looking for. Additionally, I’ll use spacers… the included conical (comes with balljoints), one washer, two washers, whatever… to get the height I want and also be free of binding (balljoint to servo arm) throughout the range of travel:
Again, I’ve never talked to Rocco @ Aeroworks about plane setup, ever. But, he seems to understand all these considerations. I keep wondering who learned this stuff first, me or Rocco? lol Example, from the 100cc CD manual… Rocco/Aeroworks shows the pushrod/balljoint underneath the servo arm. Which might look funny to some people at center, but it looks right at full deflection, which is when you really need it. Good job, Aeroworks! Also, Aeroworks is showing heavy duty Hitec plastic servo arms. I’ve seen some GS guys run them lately. Apparently they can take it. I wanted to try them on this plane… but I just can’t get my mind around it. lol:
Back to geometry consideration #1. If you don’t have a decent angle at full deflection you will be prying on the servo output gear (case failure, gear failure, plane failure, etc.):
Also, without a decent angle at full deflection one servo can go past parallel and a ganged servo can hold it there. I’ve seen this happen… not pretty. The guy was blaming the servo manufacturer, btw:
I worked a bit on the elevator hinges. The aileron hinges were fine, I got all the throw I wanted without any binding, they were real free. But, on the elevators I want pinned bevel to bevel throw. There was a little epoxy here and there making it drag just a tad at full throw. I put a new xacto blade in and carefully cleaned up the elevator hinges:
You’re looking for the “sweet point” compromise between resolution (more servo arm travel) and servo geometry leverage (maintaining a decent angle between the servo arm and pushrod). You want side load, not pry load. Hey! That’s a good one! lol
55 degrees is pretty much max optimal. Anywhere between 50-55 gets me the resolution but geometry I need. Less than 50 I can start to feel resolution drop off, more than 55 and I lose the geometry I want.
As a side point, most planes I see are not getting even 50 degrees and have low resolution. Especially throttles that I see with like 15 degrees one way and 30 degrees the other. And, most all pull/pull rudder setups. On a 40% I use a 4″ bellcrank/servo arm and a 5″ control horn… I often see it the other way around which yields like 25 degrees servo arm travel each direction. No resolution a’tal.
99.9% of the tailwheels I see have totally messed up geometry, too… but that’s another subject. lol
Most GS planes I see would indicate that most GSers don’t think much about this kinda stuff a’tal. There surfaces and throttle are setup like on/off switches and they wonder why they look so herky/jerky. Kyle Woyshnis can fly all that stuff and make it look smooth… I’m too old, I need to get me some resolution.
While we’re on the subject. I worked out an elevator today/yesterday. I shot for 60 degrees each way (120 degrees total), but would have to have a slightly taller control horn or slightly shorter servo arm to get it. I got 58/58 and it came out correctly… but I could get 60/60 if I either drilled the servo arm or went rocketcity style on the control horn. Again, I’m happy to get 50-55/50-55, you have to be very precise to get 60/60. Here it is:
Here’s some notes on how I drilled my own pilot holes located differently than the factory pilot holes… and how I measure to come up with that location:
The combination of not being 90 and also being out of level has alot of people looking at it weird and also telling you it’s wrong. lol:
But here are four reasons why it is not:
It doesn’t take but a minute to drill pilot holes in new locations. And, Aeroworks gives you a generously sized hard point to keep this from being any kind of problem. I’ve seen, and replaced, some slack factory hard points in these 1/3 scale ARFs from other manufacturers, but never from Aeroworks, their hard points are solid:
I’ve been questioned about servo arm and control horn offset… some old timers think it needs to be at a true 90° for the plane to be axial, and require no differential. But, actually I couldn’t be more linear and therefore couldn’t be more axial with all the surfaces including the ailerons. The magic on this (and why I prefer some offset) is a little thing called a protractor. Not only will it get you linear, hence perfectly axial, but it will get multiple servos on a single surface perfectly matched. Example, any 40% I’ve built with six aileron servos… each of those six servos will travel 55 degrees in each direction from neutral to achieve the exact same amount of aileron surface travel (let’s call that 4″). At full deflection right aileron up all three right aileron servos will have traveled exactly 55 degrees from neutral… and at the same time all three left aileron servos will have traveled exactly 55 degrees down to an equal 4″ aileron surface movement. Perfect linearity, perfect synchronization of servos, and perfectly axial. It’s not a trivial thing to me, I wouldn’t have a plane any other way. Once you understand it, and accomplish it, there just is no other way. I’ve learned after doing this on many planes that I prefer some offset, actually. Oftentimes, due to the geometry setup I use, it makes it easier to get perfectly linear… 55/55 each way from neutral, all servos. It’s a beautiful thing, at half stick, one aileron is up exactly 2″ and the other is down exactly 2″ and they’re both as quiet as mice. At any transmitter stick position you have perfectly synchronized servos, having moved the control surface the exact same amount… with ailerons that includes the one side’s movement up versus the other side’s movement down. Total perfection.
I do not measure my control horn heights from the hinge line on multiple servo surfaces. That’s not exact enough, I use the protractor to adjust the control horn heights until all servo arms travel the same number of degrees to get the control surface to move the same distance. (e.g., all 3 servo arms on one aileron move exactly 55 degrees up and down off neutral, to have the aileron move exactly 4″ up and down off neutral — if you disconnected any two aileron servos, the remaining one would still have its servo arm moving exactly 55 degrees in each direction off neutral to have the aileron surface move 4″ in direction off neutral — that is ideal, and that is how I setup all my planes).
With the QBs I make a slight exception and the travel is just slightly different one aileron servo to the next (50/50 on one, and 48/48 on the other — both achieving 4-1/4″ of travel to the aileron control surface from neutral), which I accept as, well?, acceptable. lol
Again, once I started using the protractor to set things up absolutely perfectly, I noticed I preferred some offset. Not alot of offset like 3W sets up with their 3W control horns, but some offset, from 1/8″ to 3/8″ works for me. Below is a pic of the stock 3W setup ailerons with approx 3/4″ to 1″ off offset. I could not make those 3W horns work acceptably, I replaced them:
This is the problem that I see on pretty much every plane I’ve ever run across. My solution for this evolved over a couple of months after getting my first Hitec programmer. Once I realized I could program the servo any way I wanted… I started thinking, why not then, get the geometry/linearity/resolution perfect first? Only after I had accomplished this did I realize that programmer or no… this setup should be done on all planes with all servos. If not field programmable then unihubs should be used and custom drilled Nelson servo arms mounted to the unihubs. So that all servos would have a zero sub-trim. The problem then is finding servos that are perfectly linear out of the box ( in my testing a few years ago Futuba’s were, JRs not even close). Again, the protractor lined up with the servo arm is the magic for getting this stuff perfect.
And, yes, I’m talking about the offset of the neutral position of the servo arm. I do not worry about it being a true 90 to the servo body. Same way that I do not make the pushrod parallel to the servo body at neutral. Tedious, yes, because I have to keep adjusting the length of the pushrod until that protractor indicates I’m 55 degrees each direction off the “determined” neutral to be exactly 4″ up and down on the control surface. I then have to do this with all three, or however many, servos. Again, though, once you get it once… you won’t do it any other way from then on.
One final point on this comes up when people tell you that the pivot point of the control horn should be in the hinge line. Well, that is another reason I do things the way I do. You see to get in the hinge line you have to have a control horn that has alot of offset from it’s bolt down location, due to the bevel. Well, on 40% that bevel gets pretty big and you are looking at a big offset to get to the hinge line. I don’t like a single bolt style control horn sticking that far out, looks like trouble to me. I accept the 3/8″ offset from a rocketcity style and no more. This makes control horn pivot point to hinge line center offset a given for me. Now, the style horns Aeroworks is using here, they are stout even offset way out there. But, the problem with them is that they do not have a find adjustment for height, only a course adjustment. So, unless I have that style custom made for each of my planes, I’m going to have offset. Aeroworks, building this plane from scratch, was able to work out good geometry with this horns, that’s why I used them. Now, if Aeroworks had the outboard servo just a couple inches closer to the root they’d be perfect, 50/50, 50/50 on the two aileron servos. But, it’s almost perfect, and plenty close enough.
On to my favorite part of the assembly! The box from www.kirbysgraphics.com showed up today! Woohoo!
I was about to put on the BME graphics so I went to iron down the covering on the hatch… guess what?… that ain’t cover’n, that’s paint! Like the best custom builders do… sweet:
I’ve never talked about applying graphics. I do like the Kirby’s instructions say… to use like Windex to soften up the backing before you remove it. But, what I’ve come to like using is denatured alcohol… and also to spray it on lightly and avoid spraying it around the edges. After that I immediately wipe it off/down with a paper towel. This prevents it from over soften’n the backing and also from having it leak under the backing and get under the vinyl. I’ve put down alot of graphics, lol, and this works pretty fast and easy for me:
Had to do some real work for a few days, but now I’m back on this thing. Me and Mark programmed one wing and as I always say, it’s just so satisfying… the servos are perfectly synchronized throughout the entire range of travel. Yes! (no picture, sorry)
Also, I saw Gus Stutsman had Aeroworks wing bags for his 94″ YAK, so I decided to try the Aeroworks wingbags out this time for my 104″ YAK. They look great! Got the Aeroworks stab bags, too!
Upgraded the stock tailwheel to the lighter/stronger Aeroworks CF tailwheel:
For the ignition (when it arrives) will be a Fromeco 2600 “Grunt” battery pack, Badger Switch, and a “The Regulator.”
Okay… BME says my ignition shipped Monday, Woohoo!, so I gotta get going full steam on this now! I finished programming the 2nd wing with Mark on the ruler. Goes fast with someone good doing the mayzhur’n… and Mark’s an engineer so he’s “okay” at it. lol
Side note, I’m gonna have to iron down the covering yet again on the wings… this thing must really be drying out since it got here.
Well, Wednesday night was “whittle” night. I just worked on elevator hinges. I want them to slam bevel to bevel tight with no binding. There was some glue in there keeping them from running freely. I took an xacto and patiently widdled away until they are all just as free and happy as a tick on a country hog. Where did that come from? lol Anyway, the elevators now flop around freely, bevel to bevel, which is what I wanted:
Thursday night I got started on about the only glue’n you get to do on this model… the rudder hinges. The hinges are pre-drilled by Aeroworks. And, the hinges are included. You need only glue them in. But I still have no problem making a big ol’ procedure out of that simple task. lol First we start with a real man’s tool… a Milwaukee Drill!
I used a 9/32″ drill bit to widen out the pre-drilled hinge holes for the hinge knuckles. I only drilled in 1/8″ and I ran the drill in reverse for the drill’n. Now Dunny had some way of using the dremel and making it come out real clean, I’ll have to ask him what he does. But, this worked out okay for this one (although I’m not sure I can recommend it as the drill could get away from you pretty easy)… the top hole is factory, and the bottom hole is slightly drilled out for the knuckle:
This pic shows the factory hinge hole and how far the hinge can go in easily:
This pic is of the slightly drilled out (again I only went 1/8″ deep) factory hole and how far the hinge can go in easily. Oughta’ make it run a little bit free-er is all. What can I tell ya’? :
After I had the holes how I wanted them I got the hinges ready. I lube the knuckles up with teflon lube… not just any teflon lube as you can see, but rather “professional” teflon lube. lol I lube up the knuckle real good, making sure there is lube in the hinge and also on each side of the hinge pin. I make sure to keep my hands very clean and also not to get any lube on the part of the hinge that gets glued in. Probably not a bad idea to scuff the hinges up and clean them with alcohol… but my hinges have held up rock solid without doing that, knock on wood:
I use Zpoxy from ZAP for my hinges:
From my plaster’n days I think it is important to have pressure to get a good bite. Whether that is true or not I don’t know, but I know I’ve never had a hinge I glued in come out. lol What I like to do is apply pressure to the epoxy going inside the hole and pressure to the epoxy going on the hinge. What I mean is I use a stir stick to press epoxy onto the insides of the hole… and also use a popsicle stick to press epoxy onto the hinge. Then I push the hinge in the hole:
After that I clean up any excess Zpoxy with a paper towel and denatured alcohol. Line up all the hinges nicely, and set the surface out of the way to cure. I like to do the my surfaces first and then when they harden check their fit in the wings/fuse and then glue them in. I know there are many ways to skin this cat and also that gorilla glue is very popular. I guess this is something I’m “old school” about because I have seen so many hinges come unglued on OP planes, but never a hinge I glued in. But, whatever works for you that leaves the hinges running freely bevel to bevel, and also glued securely in… is… well? all good:
The Zpoxy had cured on the rudder so I glued it into the fuse:
You can see there is clearance around the hinge knuckle. Also, I go a 1/16″ gap minimum in the hinge line (I do not make them tight at all):
You know, I’m =totally= opposed to philips head screws in our planes. But, I’ve used some of the supplied control horn screws. Mark mounted the horns on my wings and used www.microfasteners.com servo screws. He ground down the washer head on them just a little so they’d fit. But, I used the stock philips head screws on the elevators and rudder. Might have been an aberration, but while tightening down a screw with just my finger tips the screw broke in two… right at the rudder surface, too. Doh! Didn’t want to make an all night project out of it so just drilled a new hole next to the stock hole and put a new screw in there. In the end I like what Mark did with the socket head servo screws from www.microfasteners.com and as I said, I’m totally opposed to philips heads screws. They’re usable, I used them, but I think a couple of bucks for the socket head servo screws is the way to go, fersure:
Mark mounted the gear on the other elevator/stab… he matched what I did on the first one. Thanks, Mark:
I got the plane on its mains before lights out. You know, not only are QBs really cool… they are also really beautiful planes. I love red, white, and blue… but his thing is especially gorgeous:
The landing gear comes pre-drilled for the four also pre-drilled mounting holes. Those mounting holes have blind nuts already installed. The four bolts with washers are provided. Screw down four bolts and the landing gear is mounted, instant gratification assembly. I used Pacer Threadlocker (from ZAP) on the bolts:
The supplied axles just bolt on like DURBO axles. The supplied wheels are light and durable, in my experience… otherwise I’d use DUBRO TreadLites. The supplied wheel collars use phillips heads, but you could change them out to 3mm socket head bolts if you wanted to… the 3mm bolts I had were longer than I wanted, so I went with the supplied phillips heads. The key to dealing with these phillips heads is a good screw driver tip, I’ve always used Klein tools and their #2 phillips is a good match for these screw heads. Again, I used Pacer Threadlocker, which I use on any metal to metal bolt situation on these planes. I used the stock hardware and Pacer Threadlocker:
Some 3mm socket head bolts the right length would be a nice replacement for the phillips heads (these are too long):
Use a good quality #2 screwdriver to handle these stock phillips heads bolts:
One other lil’ tidbit… when I use DUBRO axles and collars, I use the DUBRO 1/4″ long 6-32 socket head machine bolts. These are nice and easy to handle versus the little set screws:
Aeroworks makes the landing gear and wheel pants a quick bolt together affair. And, even though they leave a good relief around the tire… I like all I can get… so I’ll dremel it out wider. This keeps your tires from hitting the pants on those wild runway maneuvers. lol I hate cracked wheel pants and this helps me avoid them:
Aeroworks includes button allen head machine bolts for the wheel pants. With the blind nuts already in place. Real nice and just how I would set it up. These bolts look better than the bolts I use and will work fine. But, again, I find it easier to deal with socket heads. So, these bolts and washer are installed temporarily, but I will change them out for 4-40 SS socket head machine bolts with #6 SS sealing washers:
I used the Aeroworks CF tailwheel. Here’s how I set it up:
Here’s an explanation of what I used to set it up:
You see, to have these leaf and heigh style tail wheels work properly you need to have a rudder arm that gets you in the hinge line. Aeroworks doesn’t provide that, and neither do any of the leaf and heigh style tail wheel manufacturers. Again, first thing, get the pivot point in the hinge line (I just used a Hitec servo arm to do this, easy, simple):
Next make your rudder arm holes the same width as your tiller arm holes:
The Aeroworks arm is too wide… it will get you fast ground handling in low rate rudder, but with a price… the price being when you are flying, your rudder servos will have to overpower the tailwheel springs to move the rudder. That wears out your servos and batteries. Consequently most flyers use soft springs, which gets you back to bad ground handling. Get your geometry right and you can use super stiff springs for the greatest ground handling you ever had, you can even go with no springs at all! Best of all, no binding in the air, no extra juice needed to overpower the springs… the rudder servos should only be dealing with the force of the air, not also pulling on springs to get you the rudder deflection you’re asking for. Doh! lol:
The acid test on this is easily done (and most all planes on the flight line fail this test)… lift the back of your plane off the ground… crank the rudder all the way over… does it stay there?… I didn’t think so. lol Your non-pulling cable is stretched, so it snaps the rudder back to center. That is also happening in the air. When you ask for rudder deflection the servos must not only fight normal resistance forces, but they also must stretch those springs. Doh! lol
Here you see the rudder staying put with ease at full deflection… the non pulling chain/spring is neither tight nor loose. Perfect:
I thought I’d put the wings on the QB™ for a little inspiration to finish it up… beautiful, and the fit and finish is perfect, everything sliding in place like butter. I think this plane ROCKS!
I got a smile on my face, once again, while seeing what was included with this QB series plane. Aeroworks not only cut the brass tubes to the length I like, but they also included fuel barbs to solder onto the brass tubes. Very nice… otherwise I always solder on DUBRO barbs… but so nice to have all this stuff included and cut to length:
I finally got back on this thing… went to mount the engine… Aeroworks includes templates for DA and 3W (same hole pattern), but none for the BME. But, it’s easy enough to use one of the provide templates to do the job. Just measure and mark the BME pattern on it, using the factory cross hairs for guides:
Next I drilled the four holes:
Then taped the template onto the motorbox:
And, ran the 13/64″ bit through the firewall:
The BME is a short engine so the provided engine standoffs would not get me much, if any, clearance prop-to-cowl. I should have already ordered something the right length, but haven’t. I did have some 2-1/2″ spacers laying around from something (either a DA-50 or from Gus, I can’t remember). I used those and some 4″ 10-32 socket allen heads machine bolts fromwww.microfasteners.com . The BME is setup for 10-32s, btw:
This has me hanging out about 1-1/4″ at the tightest clearance location. There is talk about the benefits of having your motor stick out there aways’ on these big round cowl Yaks, etc. But, I also don’t want to increase the nose moment. So, I’m thinking to cut these down or get Gus to make me a shorter length, which would mean no maiden this week:
BME gives you two hole patterns for the prop. They are the same dimensions as a DA-150/3W-150 and a 3W-106/DA-100. The prop in the picture above was drilled for a 3W-150, as was the spinner shown above, and they bolted right onto this lil’ engine. So, it appears, anything drilled for any of the above mentioned motors will bolt onto this BME… but with 10/32 bolts and not 5mm bolts. Kinda cool because the 30-10 Menz prop I have is already drilled for a 3W-150… but if this engine can swing it after break-in… then I can use this one instead of having to buy a new one to drill for a standard 100cc size hole pattern:
The BME-115 comes with an Addendum sheet that says:
“The new six bolt prop drive from BME features a 10mm centering boss and a 8mm x 1.25 center bolt that MUST be utilized and six 10×32 x 1.75 socket cap bolts. A unique feature of the prop drive is that it incorporates both popular bolt patterns. When installing propeller user must make sure to alternate between outer bolts and center bolt to insure all are tight. They should also be periodically checked for tightness especially so when using wooden propellers. Due to the design of the crankshaft the center bolt threads should be sealed with automotive silicon to prevent leakage from the crankcase. It is not sealed from the factory due to different prop and spinner widths available.
The high performance characteristics of the BME 115 require an oil ratio of 32:1 or 4 ounces per gallon. We highly recommend Pennzoil Air Cooled Two Cycle Oil for break-in and everday use. It is imperative that users duct/baffle cowls for proper airflow and cooling.”
Well… “automotive silicon”… there’s lots of that around. But, the stuff I normally use from Permatex… RTV sealant in black or copper colors… says right on it that it is not recommended for use around gasoline. So, I picked up two gas resistant sealants… trying to decide which one to use. One looks cool, says all the right things:
MotoSeal® 1 Ultimate Gasket Maker Grey
But, the other one gets hard and is for threaded applications:
Permatex® Form-A-Gasket® No. 1 Sealant
What to do, what to do. lol
Anyway, the ignition finally showed up so the BME gets a new photoshoot:
Big Bob Knudsen told me the 2″ standoffs yield too much vibration… maybe I should just go with my old method and build a ply spacer. <shrug> This was back in 2001, first gas engine mount I ever made:
I decided to go retro-joe meets modern day QB™. lol I made a wood spacer =and= used the Aeroworks aluminum standoffs. Not only that, but everything is drilled to such tight tolerances that this thing is very solid and rigid. It’s a little weird looking, but I like it. lol
First I cut some ply squares and Zpoxied them together:
Then, I clamped ‘em:
Then I used a hole saw to lighten ‘em up:
Then, I used a drill press to drill the bolt holes:
I sanding the block down with a belt sander (this is actual very easy with a spindle sander), but here’s how I pencil’d out my outline:
After that I gathered up all the necessary fixen’s:
And, here it is:
BTW, more quality features:
Aeroworks shows 7-3/4″ from the firewall to the prop hub, I made it 7-5/8″ just because that is what I wanted to try. This leaves 7/8″ clearance at the tightest point between the cowl and the prop:
Oh, I did drop back and take out the philips head bolts on the wheel collars. I replaced them with these socket heads from MF:
They could even be a tad shorter, next time I’ll try these: SCM3005 20 M3 x .5 x 5mm $ 1.80
I did a dremel chamfer to round out a couple of DUBRO ball joints to use for the pull/pull as “tensioners”:
Just finished up the pull/pull rudder system. Took about 15 minutes. Aeroworks takes =all= of the guess work (calcs) out of this assembly. I like my pull/pull cables to be as perfect as possible, with the non-pulling cable neither getting loose nor tight. What was fun here was having built a QB™ before. On that first one I explored all the possibilities and calc’d them all out. Then tried the stock method planning on modifying it. Turns out it was perfect, as per the manual. =So= on this one I just slapped a 3″ full servo arm on the rudder servo, pulled the included pull/pull cable through the factory installed exit tubes; crimbed the cable on the connectors; bolted it all down; and I was done… perfect geometry, the non-pulling cable does not go slack nor tighten up. Very, very easy to do a great job here:
Say hello to my little friends:
They are relatively inexpensive Cobalt bits from Home Depot:
Me and Dunny have been having a hard time finding anything we need at the Home Depots, et al, up here in these parts. But, HD came though for me with these today. I’ve never been able to drill these hardened steel carb arms before… so the only way I was really happy with them was if I went and had the extensions I made for them welded on. But, no more, these bits drilled the hardened steel just like a tick into a country hog. I will no longer dread this part of the assembly process (of course EVO puts a nice 3 hole aluminum arm on their carbs making it a moot point if you have one of those engines):
I have a bunch of these old Nelson servo arms and always seem to need one for this or that, worked out great here, too:
I used 2-56 stainless steel bolts from www.microfasteners.com because I didn’t think there was enough meat (meat, hog, get it? lol) there for 4-40:
I didn’t have any 2-56 washers so I used some old 2-56 basic nuts I had laying around (note to self, order some 2-56 stainless steel washers). And, I used www.microfasteners.com 2-56 SS nylon locking nuts on the back side:
If you want your throttle response to be linear and have lots of resolution you just can’t set it up any ol’ way:
The Fromeco charger below is so cool I had to post a pic of it in action.
I have the 1200mah Lith-poly charging at 1amp, the 2600mah Lith-ion “grunt” charging at 1.5amps, the 2150mah Lith-poly charging at 2amps, and the 5200mah Lith-ion “grunt” packs charging at 3amps each. The charger auto-sensed the cells (i.e, 2S or 3S) and asked me what amperage I wanted to charge them at. Too cool:
Well, after I finished talking to my friend Khalid Al Sabah from Kuwait about model planes… I got started on the fuel tank. Aeroworks includes a fine tank, but I’m used to using DUBRO tanks and had one laying around… I’m comfortable with them, they’ve never let me down, so anyway, I used the DUBRO tank (32oz):
I always set my tanks up with 3 lines through the stopper and also use two clunks; the heavy one that is included with the 32oz DUBRO tank for the carb line, and a “standard” size DUBRO clunk for the fuel/defuel line:
I used the DUBRO tank and gas stopper (the brown one), but used the 1/8″ tubing from the Aeroworks tank. It is already cut to the lengths I like, so that saved a step. I also used the Aeroworks solder on barbs to keep the fuel line from ever coming off in flight (I usually use the DUBRO barbs, but this is the first ARF I’ve ever seen that has barbs included). Here is the the 3-line tank setup I always use (it has never failed me):
NOTE: You must make sure any fuel line you use is DUBRO or DUBRO quality or it can stiffen up and lead to a flame out.
My friend used some line from an Aeroworks ARF that did stiffen up on him. Totally rigid. He flamed out while doing a slow inverted pass, it was a lucky save. The upper line (the carb line) in the pic below is completely rigid, even when soaked for an hour in gasoline! You can also see that it has shrunk. My friend’s first clue was that his engine was too lean to start even though last time he flew it (6 months back) it ran perfectly. We always get a warning, but oftentimes don’t notice it. He turned the needles way out and flew. After he burned off a little fuel and went inverted he flamed out… no gas… even though he had 7/8 of a tank! Just make sure you have the good line:
Aeroworks included a ton of foam that can be used here just fine:
But, I went with the blue NASA foam because, I don’t know, old habits die hard:
Oh, my Pennzoil Air Cooled 2-stroke oil showed up. Even though I wanted to just use Lawnboy for break-in; I acquiesced and used the BME recommended Pennzoil Air Cooled 2-stroke oil. Fine, fine, I’ll check it out… maybe it is better than lawnboy, who knows:
Went to mounting the radio gear on this thing. Going with a www.smart-fly.com Power Expander “Sport.” Why? Because I want more current to my servos than a standard R/C connector can provide (if I ran the battery power direct to the RX without a power distribution system, then all that 16gage wire and Dean’s Ultra connectors would then have to pass through a little 1.9amp standard R/C connector into the RX, to provide all the power to my servos, which by the way, can draw 4amps each). Also, Fromeco Regs all around:
Before I got started mounting things I adjusted the regs to 6.21 volts each (that was the max I could get them to) with a switch Jimmy made up for me. Fromeco sells one, too… or you can just use a screw driver, etc:
I decided to do the mounting with blind nuts, 4-40 bolts, nylon lock nuts, tygon fuel line spacers, and stuff like that:
I always want to just grab the standard drill when doing this stuff, but if you want the holes to be straight while drilling in tight spots inside the plane you gotta break out the right angle attachment for the dremel:
Here’s the Smart-Fly PowerExpander Sport mounted up:
I always glue in the blind nuts with ZAP thin CA. It penetrates and holds them in place pretty well. I make sure not to have a bolt in the blind nut when I glue the blind nut in place. Because if you have a bolt in there and that ZAP thin gets ahold to’ it’… the whole mess will be monolithic, baby:
Here’s the Fromeco regulators mounted up:
Wanted to get the rest of the radio gear mounted but got tired. lol Here is the layout, though. I figure with this light engine I’ll want the gear all up front like this. If this works out I won’t have to install the center tray ‘tal:
I went to install the Fromeco Wolverine Dual Switch and I noticed that the wires would get in the way of easily using the outside holes for mounting. I could have managed it, but I thought of another way that seemed slick to me. I popped off the coverplate and sanded down the plastic spacer blocks an 1/8″. Then I used some longer screws than provided (4-40 by 3/8″ bolts, is what I used) and screwed them into the white spacer blocks. Solid, slick, and easy.
I had already drilled the outside holes to run some 4-40s through them. So I cut down some 4-40s and just glued them in for looks. That way they wouldn’t run into, or cut, the wires on the inside. Anyway, it worked good for me:
Here it is all finished up:
And, some notes:
Worked so good on the Wolverine I thought I’d try it on the Badger… this time I drilled smaller outside holes so the 4-40s would bite into the wood and not need gluing:
And, all finished up… also showing the fuel dot installed, the one I got from http://www.awesomehobbies.com :
I mounted up the ignition, ignition battery, and ignition regulator, as well:
I used 8 cable ties to mount the ignition:
I used four different sizes of spiral wrap on the ignition wires and cables to protect them from damage:
I use blue painters tape on the few connections I have inside the back of my planes (alot of times I just solder everything). It is better than standard masking tape and does a good job for me. Around the motor box I go ahead and use black electrical tape. I used to need real good, fresh tape and very clean hands to keep the tape from peeling up. Now I can use any old crusty tape and dirty hands. I just heat the tape up with a lighter; after that it sticks great and doesn’t peel up:
I mounted the fuel tank and two Fromeco 5200mah “Grunt” packs. We’ll have to see how the CG works out to decide if they’ll stay here or not:
I also ran the vent line out the bottom of the fuse using the Aeroworks provided grommet. I loop the vent line around the back of the tank to avoid spillage. There is line included from Aeroworks but with this additional vent line routing, and my 3-line clunk setup, I ended up using some DUBRO fuel line as well:
First day back after the accident, had to see doctors, lawyers, auto repair guys, et al (thanks to the drunk driver), and other catch’n up, too. But, managed to get the 2nd rudder servo in and get both rudder servos programmed (will take pics tomorrow/Wednesday). That’s it for the programming… next plane I’m thinking no programming, maybe JR 8711s and unihubs… they look too good not to try. Anyone know when Futaba will come out with the brushless motor servos?
Planning on mounting up the throttle servo and its linkage tomorrow, and lastly just run the elevator extensions down the fuse. Then I’ll throw it together and weigh it. Maiden with Dunny (with video camera in hand) on Thursday is the plan.
Oh, here’s a pic of my spinner, though… these BMEs need an adapter, but naturally TruTurn already knows that and makes one:
Again, this is one of the many strong features of the Aeroworks QB planes… an easy, perfect pull/pull rudder setup. Just bolt the gear down, it will be perfect, no figure’n ‘tal:
Aeroworks provides most of the hardware and it’s great stuff. I have certain stuff I always use cuz I assemble alot of planes and keep this stuff in stock…
… and there is more stuff here than it looks like… so here is a breakdown for the guys that want to use what I did… from www.microfasteners.com , Airwild Hobbies, ZAP, DUBRO, and Hanger9.
Put the thing together, all up weight?… 26 lbs, 4 ounces. That’s stock aluminum wing tubes and stock aluminum landing gear (stock axles and tires, but you aren’t going to save any weight changing them). Also two, that’s two, 5200mah RX packs and one 2600 ignition pack. Lots of velcro and I didn’t do anything to save weight. I could take over a pound out of this thing easy, but I think it will be so light that I’ll be adding a smoke system. 😉
The plane was weighed as I always weigh them… all together, in one piece, on a calibrated postage scale. This same scale has weighed fellow modelers planes at 0-6 lbs heavier than their scales. lol
I do have a couple of very minor complaints about the assembly, 1) I’d like the outboard aileron servo a few inches in toward the root (wouldn’t be hard to change either, might just do it) , and 2) my blindnuts didn’t line up perfectly on the hatch, I might change them out to 6-32s and line them up better in the process. But, as for the flying?, ain’t gonna be no complaints there. I’ve known since I saw the prototype a year ago that this thing was a flyer, never was any doubt about that. I need only look at a plane to know how it will fly. A light winged 26 lbs 104″ Yak?… how bad could it fly? LOL But, yeah, videos… I know. lol
I picked up one of these DUBRO “car” allen wrenches awhile back. They look different than the “air” wrenches… makes them easier to recognize when they end up in my friend’s tool boxes. lol They’re also more comfortable and are easier on the hands. They look cooler, too, to me:
Also, I wanted to mention earlier, when I was doing the tank… I see alot of mangled looking vent tubes out there. I got to thinking about that when I used a crimp flow regulator for the smoke line. I barely crimp the line and the flow is dramatically effected. Now I know with the vent we’re talking about air not oil. But, engine manuals do say we need the vent the same size as the fuel delivery size. And, kinks would make them unequal… and just for GP alone. Anyway, I’m sure you guys have seen these gems from DUBRO, but they do work like a charm to make kink free bends:
I started pulling out the extensions and direct soldering them and putting dean’s 1003s on the ends:
Put the last few Kirbys graphics on, too:
Well, ain’t much room between the carb and the standard mufflers. Had all the geometry and resolution perfect… but I’ve seen balls melt when they’re that close. Could have offset the throttle arm and went with a metal clevis, I’ve done that before. Anyway, here’s what I have setup right now:
But, I decided to change it. I mounted the throttle arm down instead of up. The arm is 1-3/8″ long pivot point to pivot point. The servo arm is 1″ long. With that I got 120/120 ATV on an unprogrammed servo. That’s real nice resolution. I can get up to 127/127 ATV and still have the leverage to tightly shut the butterfly, I’d have to have gone about 1-7/16″ on the throttle arm. But, I’ll take 120/120 ATV:
Dunny and Jim Orsi will like this, lol, I lowered the servo for better geometry now that the throttle arm was lower… we call this “big time modeler” work… or BTM for short. lol I usually avoid doing anything BTM style, but here it is in all its BTM glory:
Jimmy flew it around the parking lot today… free flight:
Couple of more shots of this beauty:
I ran out of time today because I had already heard from Jon that he was having trouble with the atmospheric pressure valve/diaphragm being unstable on his 115. Then Charles wrote me a PM this morning saying the same thing about his 115 (waits until the last second I might add, lol)… so I silver soldered on a nipple and installed a 3W snorkel. I had to make a slight grind on it for the choke to close properly. Hopefully mine will run great:
Maiden day finally arrived! I got to the field at 2pm… oh Ukiah, what a paradise, but nobody to fly with… I showed up on the nicest day of the year, or maybe the century!… 75 degrees, 2-4mph breeze… I had to unlock the gate. No one up here flies! Well, no fighting for air space, anyway. Everything on the plane checked out fine so she went airborne. To me… this plane is a winner! It wants to stay put unless you give it some input… it doesn’t dart or sink… it just stays put. The CG worked out ideal for precision, but wanting the plane more for freestyle so I’ll probably move the battery packs.
After 9 flights my Fromeco 5200 grunt packs were at 7.8v with a 1amp load. lol They would probably go for like the rest of the year. lol
The Smart-Fly PowerExpander worked perfectly (I am a long time advocate for power distribution!), as did the anodized TruTurn spinner. The new style Jersey Modeler 5-gal electric fuel can made fueling mighty convenient. All the ZAP glue, DUBRO and MicroFasteners products held up and basically everything worked as advertised.
I have no complaints about this plane at all! And, my only complaint about the assembly (other than having to do it myself, lol) was all the time I spent picking glue out of the elevator hinges. Hinges that were going fully slammed bevel to bevel with no gap at all in the flying video… in other words I need all that throw and need the glue out of there to get it! Not a deal breaker, just some glue picking while I watched TV, and the flight performance more than made up for it. It’s almost forgotten at this point, almost. lol
I love the plane, but the BME has issues. The engine started easy and ran cool all day. The cowl was always cool, and me, Mark, and Jimmy all touched the heads on landing… you could leave your finger on them for about a second before they got uncomfortably warm. I shot the engine at 136 degrees at its hottest point after it had been sitting around 2 minutes. I never shot it when we landed, but it was definitely running cool…. I had it very rich, though (32oz tank sucked dry to flame out in less than 8 minutes) and baffled, too:
The prop just keeps unloading forever on the uplines… this engine is the king of uplines! But, I call it the “balls out” or “flame out” engine. I talked to BME and they sent out a different model carb for it. I swapped carbs but being that they were different models they also required a different linkage setup. Oh joy. So, this time I ended up using a 3W servo mount… and removed all the big time modeler stuff.
Don’t try this at home, kiddies.
You see, I gotta little crazy on this one. lol I wanted the separation I already had between the location I had the ignition and the location I had the throttle servo. So, I wanted the carb arm on the same side and not the opposite side like the new carb has it. But, there are serious clearance issues with running it on the other side. And, as I said earlier in the thread, I did melt a balljoint once when it was too close to the exhaust (my heatgun will melt a balljoint in no time). So, I wanted to go opposite side carb arm than BME set it up, I wanted to go metal clevis so it had no chance of melting, and I wanted to go composite arm to avoid metal to metal noise. I must add that a balljoint on the BME setup carb arm on the new BME carb will work just fine (and I could have relocated my ignition), and I’ve even used metal arm to metal clevis setups before on other planes (balljoint on the opposite side)… but in an ideal world I wanted it composite arm, opposite side. lol So, I took the time to do it… which like I said, is a little crazy. lol
I get 120/120 ATV on a non-programmed servo with this setup (while making sure to maintain plenty of leverage for solidly closing the butterfly)… which means great throttle resolution:
I tried snorkel on, snorkel off, various exits for the atmospheric pressure nipple, and even an RC Blimp plate:
Here’s a vid from late last evening trying out the replacement carb and RCBlimp cover (I had the low needle 1/4 turn out and it was still loading up on the low… blink and she’ll flame under 3000rpms). I really am working overtime with the motor in the vid… trying to predict whether it is going to surge, sag, or flame out. You might not know it, but I was pissed alot of that flight. lol The vid would be so much smoother if the engine would hold a reliable rpm, and also if the engine would just run at all under 1/4 throttle. Hard to be low and slow bump’n the throttle from almost flamed-out to surging. Aaarrggg! This plane is just so fun, hate dealing with this! Anyway, here’s the video:
Another vid from the next day… still loving the plane but fighting the engine:
As I’ve mentioned, having the two Fromeco 5200 Grunt packs in front of the fuel tank made the CG great for IMAC. But, I have had 8oz on the tailwheel since early on. I moved the batteries back to the center tray and removed the 8oz, we’ll see how that works out for CG next time I fly it. I also sanded down the inside of the wing tubes so I could use the CF wing tube. The aluminum wing tube weighed 10-1/2 ounces and the CF wing tube weighs 6-1/2 ounces. So, next flight will be 12 ounces less than the plane weighed in the videos. I also have the CF landing gear to put on:
I took the engine off the plane to have a look inside and see how it was doing. I’ve run 8 gallons of Pennzoil AirCooled @ 32-1 and 2 gallons of BelRay H1R @ 40-1. There is no blow-by past the rings, as you can see, and the engine is clean as a whistle throughout:
I popped a plug to see how they were doing, and you can see it looks just right (black and/or oily would be too rich, white-ish would be too lean). Damn BME sure tightens them mothers on there. :O Thought I was going to need a breaker bar to get it off:
Here’s a better shot showing how squeaky clean the inside of the engine is after 10 gallons of fuel through it:
BME sent me a third new setup and I have now tried that too. I have been through three carbs on this thing so far, but it still doesn’t run right. You know, I’ve written many a lengthy threads about these carbs over the years, it’s not like I’m not familiar with how they work… but frustrated I read all the tips and tricks I could find last night until the wee hours of the morning. Here’s a few of the links:
I’m a patient man, but this engine has about used up all I got… I love flying this plane too much to keep mess’n around with the high risk of a crash. I need a reliable engine, any reliable engine will do right now.
UPDATE: I never got the BME-115 where I wanted it… transition and idle never was any good and it kept flaming out. Finally, my favorite plane did flame out one too many times and crashed. Would love to try another one of these planes with a DA-85 sometime. The lighter DA-100 or the current BMEs might not be bad… but if I had another AW 104″ Yak I’d be trying the DA-85, definitely.
Here are a few flying pics from Ukiah:
A few of the plane with Alex:
A few pics from Skaggs Island:
And a vid from Skaggs Island: