Let’s do this!
I haven’t assembled a plane in awhile so I looked high and low to see what was available out there. Some things have changed in the last few years, but a lot has stayed the same. As for planes there is definitely not more available in the giant scale market, maybe less. Aeroworks new 150cc Yak55 looks good, Extreme Flight’s big 125″ Extra looks good, 3D Hobby Shop’s 120″ Extra 330LX looked good, but at the end of the day I couldn’t pass up the Hangar 9 Sukhoi. I watched a flying video that looked great, and also at $1349 with free shipping it was just too hard to pass up (especially if you use a 10% off coupon, as well!). Additionally, I thought Horizon/Hangar 9 might have the clout to get a plane built solid and light, with some decent wood. Here is how it arrives:
Before we get to the unboxing, I started thinking about engines. There are a lot of engines available today! I thought about a DLE-170 for the price, or the GP-176. But, I really wanted a 3W-170 CS. What got me to go with the DA 170 in the end, though, was weight. It’s over 1-lb lighter than the 3W and that makes a big difference when flying, to me. Also, I’ve had a couple of 3W 170 CS engines, but not a DA 170, so I thought it would be cool to get some hands on experience with the DA-170. Anyway, looked like I had a variety of good engine choices, but I ultimately settled in on the DA. DA recommended the MTW RE3 Tuned Pipes and a Mejzlik 30-13 EVO FL prop… so that’s what I went with:
Okay, so now I dropped back and unboxed it and the packaging was =really= great. I thought I’d put it on the main gear and then see what I would need by way of engine spacers and engine bolts. Turns out the firewall is already drilled (w/ blind nuts installed) for a DA-170. Engine bolts are included (although they just make it through the blind nut with no threads left for a locknut, so I’ll be replacing the stock 1″ bolts with www.microfasteners.com 1-1/2″ bolts and locknuts), and no spacers are needed. The cowl mounting ring has tabs cut out for it and is ready to glue on. The front end is not going to take much work at all to assemble. I’m already looking at the cowl and getting some engine baffling ideas.
The ailerons not only have a ton of throw they also don’t have any binding at max travel. They come with the hinges glued in and also already gap sealed, and still no binding at full deflection.
Control horns come already glued in. Slots are precut under the covering to add more control horns if desired (horns are included in the hardware package too). I glued in the included second control horn for the elevator. I want two elevator servos per elevator half.
The page in the manual about gluing in the cowl ring didn’t say anything about removing the covering from anywhere you had wood to wood contact… but I cut it all out anyway (here is the first strip i cut out). Then later I scrolled down to the next page of the manual and they do say to remove the covering anywhere you’re going to glue wood to wood. Glad we agreed on that. haha I might end up cutting the covering back further and putting some balsa corner stock there. BTW, gluing on the cowl ring was not the easiest thing I’ve ever done (mainly because they want you to glue it up and then bolt on the cowl before the glue sets up).
I decided I was going to need servo extensions longer than 48″ for the tail. Six of them. So I decided to make up my own extensions. I used Hitec HD bulk wire and some crimps, crimpers, and plugs I bought at a local electronics store. I used those for the end going into the SmartFly EQ-10, and then I soldered on Dean’s 1003’s for the ends that the elevator servos will unplug from when they are removed for travel or whatever reason. Couple of thoughts after crimping my own servo ends on, 1) get the best crimpers, sleeves, and plugs you can find, 2) it made me feel better about having crimped ends (I wondered about them through the years as I like to solder everything), they are pretty bomb proof.
Here are the elevator and rudder servo extensions all made up. I used some orange expandable braided sleeving to protect them. In any plane smaller than 40% I won’t use sleeving, on those models I am even more worried about weight, if you can believe that! haha
Here they are going down the fuse:
Hangar 9 gives you a nice tank already plumbed up with a 2-line system. They even labeled it V (vent) and F (fuel) for you. They give you fuel line for the carb and fuel dot, as well. My friend Joe snaked this H9 tank and put it in his Carden and has been 3D’n it with no problem. I wanted to do my own tank, so that was okay with me. 🙂
Very interesting video on fuel delivery:
I went with carbon fiber landing gear. It weighs 22-7/8 oz (maybe 22 oz after I drill the 10 holes in it). The stock gear weighs 30-3/8 oz (which is pretty good, actually). But, the carbon fiber gear gives you a 7-1/2 oz savings!
The elevator servos are installed and have Dean’s ends soldered on. Rudder servos installed with direct solder leads and RC connectors crimped on for the RX connection:
From the beginning I had it in the back of my mind to pull back the covering, grind off these fiberglass control horns, check or modify the hard points for use with DUBRO control horns in the location that I like. But, I tried to see what I could come up with using the stock glued in horns first. Notice below that I have the servo arm at 90 degrees to the servo body when the control surface is in its neutral position (I have talked about how that is just a starting position, but here it’s actually what you want). Also, my servo arm is moving exactly 57 degrees each way off neutral in order to move my surface exactly 45 degrees each way off of neutral. I have linearity, resolution, and leverage… perfect (or so it would seem).
Notice below I have bolted my pushrod ball link onto the outside of the control horn. The reason I did that is because with the pushrod ball link in the stock location when I went to full deflection my servo arm and pushrod were parallel. You don’t want that, you want some angle for leverage at that point.
Notice below that at full deflection (pushing) my pushrod is parallel to the servo top. It’s that way because I attached the ball link to the bottom of the Airwild servo arm (have used Airwild servo arms for over a decade and still like them for a variety of reasons, including their light weight truss design):
At full deflection (pulling) it is also parallel to the servo top:
Also at full deflection (pushing) the pushrod is parallel to the servo side:
And, you guessed it, at full deflection (pulling) it is again parallel to the servo side:
Back to why this model (built stock) can, and should, be setup with the servo arm at 90 degrees to the servo body. One, the servos are exactly perpendicular to the hinge line:
Two, the control horn pivot point is exactly in the hinge line.
Now, the reason you won’t see any planes I setup myself with control horns that have their pivot point directly over the hinge line is because that setup will oftentimes see the control horns bumping into the plane before you run out of beveled hinge (so they can oftentimes limit the travel of the control surface). Anyway, as long as your control horn pivot point is exactly over the hinge line, and your servo arm is exactly perpendicular to the hinge line, you’ll want your servo arm exactly at 90 degrees to the servo body. If either one of those items are not setup exactly correct, you will need to “determine” (look up Hitec servo programming by Joe Hunt videos to understand more about “determined” neutral) your neutral point somewhere off 90 degrees.
Back to the ARF, it has impressed the hell out of me so far. McConville really thought this thing out, it’s a great, great ARF. Lots of details to still go over about that, but it is extremely well thought out and very high quality for an ARF. The control horns should absolutely be moved laterally about 3/8″ over, but that’s normal, no one seems to understand that part. <shrug> (UPDATE: that is still true with arms up to 1-1/2″ on this plane, but if you go 2″ arms like I was forced to with the new limited travel of high resolution servos, then the stock control horns are in a reasonable place.)
Wulp… turns out the Hitec 7950s have higher resolution than the old 5955s I used to run. However they limited the travel now. You can get the travel back by going back to the lower resolution. I wonder if all new high res servos have less travel? I’ll have to look into it. Meanwhile, even with my 1-1/2″ servo arms I could not get very close to bevel to bevel throw… I could not get the travel out of the servos. So, I did end up having to do something about H9’s control horns. I needed the pivot point lower on the horn for more surface travel. So, I drill holes lower and cut the tops of the servo horns off. Now the pivot point is not over the hinge line, which I’m used to, and now there is a “determined” neutral point for the servo (and it’s not at 90 degrees to the servo body). Even with that I had to max out the end points in the radio and with the programmer to get just a frog hair shy of fully closed bevels. This is new for me as I’ve always had more travel that I needed from the servos. Took all afternoon/evening to setup a right angle drill for the horns, grind them down, and then figure out how to adjust everything just right to get all the surface travel I could get from my more limited servo travel (with its higher resolution). What a day, I thought I was done with these elevators yesterday! BTW, this was my first time with the Hitec HPP-PLUS+ Servo Programmer. I ran the software on my PC running Windows 7 PRO. It’s definitely more fun to program from the PC. Not really any faster, but more fun. Anyway… elevators ready to fly! (UPDATE: grinding down the control horns on the elevators was definitely necessary for me. They were hitting the stab before I had full bevel to bevel travel of the elevator. And, after flying the plane I found I needed all the elevator authority I could get. To the point that I will be changing out the 1-1/2″ arms for 2″ arms here, too. Probably end up with the balljoint back in between the control horns in the “normal” location with the 2″ arms.)
After drilling the holes in the control horns in new locations, and setting the geometry for that location, the titanium pushrods that come for the elevators are a little too short (although they would work). I didn’t like them anyway as they were an off brand that didn’t work with the H9 turnbuckle wrench, doh! haha There are 3 turnbuckles that would work better:
I went with these:
Horizon Hobbies/Mike McConville has the tunnel all sealed up with epoxy for you… very nice! But, I didn’t like that wood look, so I painted it grey. I also cut the covering where it would wrap all the way around the stringers and stick to itself. After ironing the cut covering down I used thin CA on all the edges before I prep’d for paint with scotch bright. After I painted I test fitted the pipes and the pipe stingers aren’t long enough to exit the fuse so I ordered two different options for stinger extensions. We’ll see which way works best.
Well, the cool, super thin and lightweight KS tube for the extensions didn’t work out because the former is in the way. I used the tubes from DA, although it is still pinched down going past the former (I’ll have to figure out if that is going to be okay). I thought Mike designed this plane for these pipes? ? Doh! lol No big deal, really. And, you don’t have to run stinger extensions. Maybe I can get the factory stinger shortened on the long side and then use the KS stinger extensions. Or, if I chop an inch off the motorbox?… problem solved! haha Maybe if I find some spare time someday…
Okay, most of my 40%ers were powered by Hitec 5955 servos. When they were first released I pretty much considered them the best servos money could by, and they weren’t even that expensive. Later the JR 8711s came out and they were really nice. For this Sukhoi I wanted to use Hitec brushless servos, but they weren’t in stock. I wanted to use Hitec HSB-9370TH servos on the surfaces and a 9360 on the throttle. But, no product, so I opted for the 7950s.
I programmed them with a Hitec HPP-21Plus+ on a PC running Windows 7 PRO. This was my first time using this programmer model. It doesn’t change the process or even really speed it up, but it does make it more fun. haha What I have always loved about setting up my geometry perfectly and programming my servos perfectly is servos that don’t fight each other at any time throughout the travel range of the control surface. I had no problem achieving that in this instance, as in the past. Although, I did have to work harder to get the throw I wanted on the surfaces because the Hitec HS-7950TH Servos have less travel than the old Hitec 5955s. You can get more travel on the 7950s with the programmer by dropping the resolution back to that of the Hitec 5955s. I did not want to do that, and with some extra work I was able to get full throw on this Sukhoi without the travel I am used to, thereby keeping the higher resolution. These servos will only go 45 degrees each way from center even with your radio end points max’d out. (UPDATE: with the new servos with less travel I’m just going with 2″ servo arms… that speeds things up a lot and gives me bevel to bevel travel with ease)
One snag I did run across though (and this set me back a bit of time, for sure) was that even though these Hitec 7950s are labeled as high voltage (HV) servos, they are definitely not. Not by any definition that I would use at any rate. They do seem like really good servos, just not HV servos. They run fine (so far this is all on the bench) on LiFe batteries (they are 6.6v batteries but only charge to about 6.8v). But, glitch and jump (not really any gittering) on 7.4v LiPo batteries (they charge to about 8.4v).
I haven’t tried the Hitec Brushless servos… maybe those are actually HV servos. Anyway, again, these are still really good servos on the bench, just not unregulated LiPo servos. To be candid they did seem to stop glitching after they warmed up for a few minutes. But, that just strikes me as a servo that wasn’t engineered to run LiPos… but can tolerate it somewhat under the right circumstances. Any electric motor can be run at a voltage higher than its rating, but it will wear out much sooner, naturally. Anyway, first video below is when I had just finished programming, and just to try them out, attached the elevator servos directly to the Receiver running a 7.4v LiPo: (UPDATE: the plane flies great on these servos with LiPos, but they do jump around on the ground after a full charge. Kinda scary, but my friend Joe said “just fly” so I did, and it was fine.)
Now, at this point my past experience told me that these servos couldn’t deal with the voltage. But, a couple of my flying buddies, and posts I was reading online, kept me from verifying that… which could have been verified in seconds. Instead I was told how everyone is running 7.4v LiPos now with no trouble. That is clearly not the case with these servos, and I should not have got caught up trying to go against my common sense and experience. Can you tell I don’t like to waste time? haha Finally after quite a bit of time listening to people I just popped in a LiFe battery and the glitching and jumping was gone. So too was some of the power, but I’ll trade some power versus driving a servo harder than it was designed to be run and having it glitch, jump, and fail early on me. Here’s a video running a LiFe battery through a Smart-Fly EQ-10 to the servos. Notice too how well matched the servos are and how the geometry setup makes the halves travel so evenly throughout the range together:
Finally I put the LiPos back on, and this time instead of through the RX only, I ran them through the Smart-Fly EQ-10. Same result, glitch, jump, city:
Okay, I spoke too soon! When I got my Hitec 7950s I also ordered some bulk Hitec HD servo wire. It is 24 gage and flat. Standard RC wire is 26 gage and even 24 gage is called HD. But, we were worried about these wire sizes with our power needs back in 2001, when I got started. Now the power needs are even greater. Futaba’s S.Bus is using 16 gage power leads and 22 gage wire, and JR’s X.Bus is using 14 gage power leads and 20 gage wire. JR, Futaba, and Spektrum, all have Receivers with two Ultra Dean’s connectors for battery hookup. We’re slowly catching on.
Long story short, I told myself to acquiesce to running the 7950s at a lower voltage than advertised (since it was working fine, why not?). But, after a couple of days of working on other things my OCD (CDO if you alphabetize it) made me give it another look. I had all my extensions custom soldered up and wrapped in orange expandable braided sleeving all neat and pretty. So, I told myself just make one custom cable w/ 22 gage twisted wire and try one servo and see what happens. I was going to even try 20 gage and 18 gage if that didn’t work. Well, I made up the one cable and it worked. No glitching. So, I made up a second cable and the two worked together, no glitching. So, I made up two more and still no glitching. So, I pulled out all my nice work and threw in the four new elevator leads to make sure they worked in the plane with no glitching, and they did. I then hooked up the rudder servos to run them at the same time I ran the elevator servos, and still all good. Nice bit of extra power, too.
BTW, this was all done through a Smart-Fly EQ-10. The Receiver being a Futaba 6014HS. I’ll post a video below… and admittedly I do feel a bit of satisfaction right now… although on my next plane I’ll be trying out 20 gage wires. :O lol
So, bottom line, from Hitec flat 24 gage HD bulk wire to twisted 22 gage wire: (UPDATE repeat from above: the plane flies great on these servos with LiPos, but they do jump around on the ground after a full charge (even with the 22gage wire). Kinda scary, but my friend Joe said “just fly” so I did, and it was fine.)
In the manual they show the batteries up by the motorbox for CG, but I noticed in the posts online about this model that most people ended up moving the CG back. The plane does have a long nose moment (it would be fun to chop a couple of inches off the nose to see how it would fly, or how it would fly with the wing moved forward a couple of inches) so I thought I should go ahead and put the batteries further back from the start. The main reason I located the tray where I did, though, was that with the long pipes I wanted to get the antenna up in the turtle deck if I could. I haven’t wired everything up yet, but here’s what I did: (UPDATE: this is way too far back for the batteries with six servos in the tail and pipes for exhaust, the plane turned out very tail-heavy)
Here’s how I want my antenna wires to run. I’ll fix them in place later.
I prefer the interweave method for splicing wires. I splice wires where I cut the 2amp RC ends off of the servos and direct solder on my extensions. I’ll typically solder Dean’s connectors onto the other side, at least for the elevators and ailerons.
What I do is this, 1) strip back about 1/2″ of insulation on each wire that I want to splice, 2) put a piece of heat shrink tubing over one wire, 3) push the two stripped stranded wire ends together, interweaving the strands, 4) twist the strands together, 5) I just lay on a flat metal surface and solder, 6) pull over the heat shrink and shrink with heat. Here’s what they look like after being soldered:
Monkey just had to get into the act, you know how he is!
“Hitec programming, so simple, even a Monkey can do it!”:
Monkey is getting a little long in the tooth, needs his glasses now! haha
I picked up some purple button heads for the cowl on #4 stainless steel sealing washers from www.microfasteners.com: (UPDATE: after 16 flights none have backed out)
I replaced the Phillips head screws that came with the kit with socket head, stainless:
I replaced the Phillips head screws that came with the servos also with socket head screws:
Desert Aircraft says the prop bolts for the DA-170 are 6mm x 55mm, grade 12.9. So I got a few spares. I got some spare nylon wing bolts from Dubro, but I might be changing that wing attachment setup, we’ll see. I got some extra #4 stainless steel sealing washers for the cowl. I also got some spare cowl bolts, 3mm x both lengths. I did get some spare header bolts, as well… 5mm? I’ll check. Trying to make sure I’m ready for anything at the field, you know.
Fromeco has great regulators. They can handle LiPos and the output is adjustable. They can also be made up with a variety of leads. If you’re running your batteries straight to your receiver you can have them make up your regulator with more than one power lead (on a standard RC connector) for your receiver.
Here’s what I’m putting on my ignition:
Here’s the reg for it:
The Desert Aircraft ignitions can’t take 7.4v yet, so unless you use LiFe or NiMH you’ll need a regulator. And, here’s the regulator installed, I used fuel tubing and servo screws to mount it, along with some velcro:
Here’s the ignition switch, Fromeco makes really nice switches. They have aluminum screws for light weight, and they bolt on really fast. Besides having a higher sustained throughput than most all other RC switches.
Horizon and McConville continue to impress with this plane. There are cut outs for the switches. And, they are the perfect size for the Fromeco Badger switch! I didn’t even have to mark the holes for the mounting, the pilot holes are exactly where you need them:
I usually extend these short carb arms. I’ve done it on most brand motors I’ve run. I gave it a go this time without extending it and was able to get 95/95 end point travel in the radio, so I’ll live with that. With a longer carb arm I can get 130/130 travel for more resolution on the throttle, but this should be good. To get that 95/95 travel I had to use the short Hitec aluminum arm and drill it out for a 4/40 bolt on its second hole from its end.
I also moved the DA ball link over to the other side of the throttle arm:
Just thought I’d mention that these little tools have always saved me a lot of time on delicate projects like computer and model airplane building. The clutch goes down to where you can just power away on a servo screw without worrying about it stripping out the wood. I have 2 or 3 of these things lying around somewhere, but I went ahead and got this new latest version from Milwaukee: (UPDATE: I like this new 4V version, too, but it is too powerful… my older 2.4v versions go down to 3.5 inch lbs of torque, they are my favorites for computers and model planes.)
It’s been a few years since I held onto a 150cc class plane while the engine was full throttle. I don’t know if that was it, or if this DA 170 on pipes is just super powerful. It sure felt that way to me. Anyway, Mat came over and help me get the plane together out in the parking lot so we could fire it up. Runs strong, that is for sure. And, sounds great on those pipes! Might get this orange monster in the air this weekend. (UPDATE: It had just been awhile, haha, it is not scary anymore. haha It does make great power, though. The uplines with the Mejzlik 32-10 and the MSC 32-10 are both honking. And, I haven’t even tried the Mejzlik 30-13 EVO FL that is the recommended prop. I just did put it on the plane tonight, though. So, next time we’ll see how I like that one. Also, it seems as if it is barely running in hovering and torque rolling. Not sure if that is just the pipes.)
My friend Joe came over and helped me for a few hours this afternoon and we got the plane ready to fly. So, I wanted to clear my buffer about this model through the assembly stage. I looked around pretty hard before I got this airframe. It seemed like it could be about the best 40% ARF out there, at least one of the very top 40% ARFs. Horizon is big and should have more pull with the Chinese manufacturers. And, I’ve met Mike McConville and he is a smart guy and great precision pilot. That, and the assembly threads and videos posted online, had me thinking this would be one of the very best 40% ARFs out there. It looked like Horizon had the clout to get some decent wood and that the plane would be reasonable light. And, Mike’s engineering looked great to my eye. I mean the plane looks more like a Yak than a Sukhoi to me and I like that. haha
Since I received it I’ve been extremely impressed. The boxes and packaging were well engineered. The plane parts looked great and I have yet to take an iron to the covering. The fit and finish was as good as any ARF I have assembled and some parts were better (e.g., the bevels, hinges, and gap seals). Also the tunnel for the pipes was installed, is balsa, and is epoxy coated. Awesome! The DA-170 bolts on the front by bolting it on, no drilling, no gluing in blind nuts, no spacers… just bolt it on. The tank was factory plumbed. Switch cut outs and switch screw holes were already punched out on the sides of the planes and you just cut the covering and mount your switch… again no drilling, no cutting, just put the switch on with screws and you’re done.
There were several quality control issues with my ARF. All minor and not uncommon with ARFs. The cowl ring and cowl ring braces didn’t fit exactly right, and the cowl doesn’t fit exactly right. The holes for the wing nylon attachment bolts were drilled a about an 1/8″ off. One blind nut on the cowl fell out and another in the cowl ring was drilled and installed 1/8″ off. One hinge on the stab/rudder was out of alignment making an easy on/off rudder difficult. And one anti-rotation pin on the left stab is totally crooked. One wing’s servo pockets had a 1/4″ exposed wood on one side. That sounds like a lot of stuff, but it is very minor and could have been I got one built late on a Friday afternoon. haha I can’t remember assembling too many, if any, ARFs where I didn’t have to fix some things and/or even pull the covering off in places to fix things.
My only complaint about the assembly, not much of a complaint really, more of a surprise… was that there were no strings in the wings to pull the aileron servo wires through. ???? A plane this complete must surely come with pull strings for the servos on those long wings, no? But, two minutes to tape on a nut and drop it through, no biggie. But, still, surprising.
My design complaints (without flying the model) are 1) seems like the rudder could be too small, 2) seems like the ailerons are cut a little too far from the root, 3) seems like the outboard aileron servo could have been 6″ closer to the root, 4) the control horns could definitely use being moved closer laterally to the side of the servo body, 5) I hope I don’t have to take off the landing gear because I’ll have to remove the pipes to do that (would like to see blind nuts or fixed bolts that stick down through the landing gear where you put the blind nut on the outside, and finally 6) same thing on the wing bolts, fix them in the wing, where they stick out of the wing into the fuse like the anti-rotation pins. Then you could put a nylon insert locking wingnut on them and have a more secure situation than nylon bolts.
Oh, wait, one more design complaint… there is a former right in the way of potential extensions to the pipe’s stingers (these extensions would allow the exhaust to exit outside of the fuse rather than in it).
Sounds like a lot of complaints and QC issues, but I’m just being candid and opinionated. haha I still think this is one of the best designed and best ARFs out there.
Predictions on how I will feel after the first 5-10 flights. I will be in the honeymoon phase and think it is the best flying plane ever. haha I will think it is easy to fly and flies pretty light. After 10 flights I think I’ll be wondering if it would be better with the wing tube 2″ further forward towards the engine. Maybe, instead, just cut 2″ off the front of the motor box? (that would also fix the problem of the stinger extensions!, hmmm!) I think I’ll be wondering about building a larger rudder for it. And, I think I’ll be thinking about cutting in some new ailerons closer to the root. But, time will tell on all that.
Again, at this point I would say (and I may not be making it sound like this, but) one of the most well thought out and sophisticated models I’ve ever put together.
It was some work to get some throw out of the ailerons. They’re beveled nice and slam bevel to bevel with no binding, but with the stock glued in control horns combined with the full travel of the Hitec 7950 servos I still had to use 1-3/4″ arms to get close to bevel to bevel throw. More than that I had to try different combinations of servos and arms (to get each one close to center without subtrim as possible or I would lose the throw in one direction) as well. Took every trick in the book and a lot of time to get decent throw. I used H9 2″ arms in the 2nd hole from the end. These things have two clamping 4/40 bolts and two locknuts on them. They are bulky but they got the job done. The blue ball joints are from DUBRO, they have several colors:
Got it in the air today with the help of my friend Joe. He snapped this picture trying to catch me reading my Futaba manual, which I quickly hid. haha
I was trying to figure out the range check mode. haha And, here we are range checking with the engine running (I was able to get a couple of hundred feet away easily, so I called it good):
We got there pretty late, around 4pm, so I was only able to put four flights on the plane. My first four flights in 8 years. :O haha All the gear was different than I’d ever run and the engine was brand new. So, the whole deal made me about as paranoid as I could be. But, by the 3rd and 4th flights I was getting a little more confident in the plane, engine, and radio equipment.
PROs (how I feel after just four flights)
- one click of aileron to trim out :O
- floats quite a bit on landing
- possibly the best precision plane I’ve ever flown (snaps break and then exit so straight, right on heading — up-line rolls are totally axial with no mixes)
- pretty decent roll rate with the 2″ servo arms and all the extra matching work I did
- DA ran pretty nice right from the get go, starts very easy with very few flips, never got hot (highest I got shooting it with a temp gun on landing was 145 F for the first couple of gallons and then 135 F after that) or even that warm (started hovering after only a gallon through the engine)
- Hitec 7950s dead quiet when you turn the plane on, fast and powerful in the air (only two per ailerons and they are managing to hold up to those 2″ arms)
- Smart-Fly EQ-10 (not using the EQ part at the moment) was solid
- Fromeco batteries and switches solid
- Futaba 6014hs and Futaba 14SG solid
- DUBRO 4.5″ treadlites solid and 2oz lighter than stock
CONs (how I feel after just four flights)
- nowhere near enough rudder authority for my “fun style” of flying
- not quite enough elevator authority for my “fun style” of flying
- fuse canopy hard points =all= broke off in four flights :O
I really feel like I have to build a new rudder for this plane that is 3-4″ longer. I would love to cut down the motorbox by 2″. For the elevators, going to 2″ arms might give me enough control surface authority for my “fun style” of flying. Only with the 2″ arms you really need to chop these stock control horns and put some rocketcity/dubro style control horns on there.
Oh, my buddy Joe responded to my comments after maiden day. He said, QQ could make that thing sing, ya’ don’t know what you’re talking about. So there’s that. haha
Again, IMO (and Joe has not flown the plane, haha), it is really locked in for precision, but pretty awkward and clunky for fun style flying. But, I’m going to work on that some more and see how good I can get it.
This girl, Leksi, showed up at the field around 7:30pm. She told me how she had seen the plane from a distance and wanted to come check it out. I said, “Hey, did you know that they are very light?” She said, “really?” I said, “Yeah, go ahead and pick up the tail and see for yourself!” And, the rest is history, as they say. haha
Okay, after changing out the 1-1/2″ servo arms to 2″ servo arms on the rudder, and a few other plane and radio refinements, “fun style” is getting, dare I say?, very good. Today’s four flights were way different than yesterday’s.
- Still have not taken an iron to this plane and still no need to
- with the pipes exiting so far back on the fuse there is virtually no clean up
- upright harriers, inverted harriers, harrier rolls, torque rolling… all getting predictable and pretty easy
- Waterfalls barely lose any altitude, you can do several and you seem to be in about the same XY space as when you did the first.
- Blenders look unusual but kinda cool
- Tip spins are very cool looking and exit fairly predictably
- tail tapped many times in torque rolls and harrier rolls and the rudder shows no evidence of it, servos held up to it, too
I am anxious to weigh the plane, it feels a bit lighter than all but a couple of the 150cc class planes I’ve flown (and they were not ARFs). It is not quite a Dalton or Carden kit, but it is as close as you can get in a China ARF. I am officially in the honeymoon phase with this plane. haha I still want to make a bigger rudder for it, and I’m down to only wanting to cut an inch off the motorbox. hehe
My Tru-Turn spinner arrived:
Don’t think I ever showed my tailwheel setup:
Hangar 9 provides 1″ engine mounting bolts and shows them held in with locktite to the installed blind nuts. I’ve had engines come loose that way, so I went with 1-1/2″ bolts with a hex nut and then lock nut on the back. That’s how I’ve always done it with the 150cc class engine mounting:
The wiring was nice until I swapped out the 24gage extensions for 22gage. I guess it wouldn’t have mattered anyway as I’m going to be changing it all again with the new CG location. Maybe I’ll clean it up once I get settled on equipment location. lol
Took the cowl off after 16 flights to see how everything was looking, all nice and solid:
I used a DUBRO balancer, a rattly can of clear, some velcro, and some CA, to balance the MSC prop. It was a mile out!
UPDATE 7-27-15: I’m way too tail heavy. I had seen some posts online where guys moved their batteries from the stock location in the motorbox back to around the wingtube. So, I thought I’d just save some time and move them back from the get go. But, I moved them back by the turtle deck. Also most guys had one servo per elevator half but I have two. And, most guys were on stock mufflers and I am on these long pipes that sit behind the CG. Anyway, I guessed wrong and now I will move the batteries up by the wingtube and go from there. I’ve gone to no expo on the elevators in 3D rates and positive (reverse of normal expo) on the rudder. That’s helping with freestyle. I’ve been running an MSC 32-10 wood prop and that combined with the tail heavy CG has been making precision a challenge. I’m hoping with the forward CG and the Mejzlik 30-13 EVO FL that I might start hitting the sweet spot between precision and freestyle. I have 2″ arms on the rudder and ailerons and they are at max travel. I can get a little more travel out of the elevators by changing to 2″ arms there, and will be doing that probably this week. Also, going to be building a new rudder for this thing, asap. 🙂