Eflite Pulse 15e

 Building, E-Flite, Horizon Hobby UK, Spektrum  Comments Off on Eflite Pulse 15e
Jul 232015
 

Eflite have come out with a Z foam version of their iconic Pulse design. Taking the superb sports model platform adding AS3X in the form of the AR636 and combining it in a lightweight yet rigid z foam airframe can only lead to success!

The build was as per normal straight forward to say the least, a low component count, quick build techniques and a level of pre-assembly that is staggering at this price point, have this airframe together in a matter of minutes.

   
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
   
The Test Flight.

With the build complete the test flight was next on the agenda. Using the recommended 3s3200 the airframe balancing perfectly. With a quick range check completed it was ready for the air. A short takeoff run had the pulse airborne with no trimming requirement. I was quickly encouraged to push the pulse through some aerobatics and you instantly flew confident with such a gentle flying aeroplane! 

With no vices basic acrobatics are very straight forward. The pulse would make a perfect 2 or 3 model! On the next flight I mechanically adjusted for more throw and that’s adds that bit more response without compromise for the more experienced pilot!

   
    
    
   
Thanks to Horizon again for another great product go test!

Matthew

Eflite Rarebear

 Building, E-Flite, Horizon Hobby UK, Spektrum  Comments Off on Eflite Rarebear
Jul 172015
 

Eflite have introduced to the market the Rare Bear scale racer. Based on the popular full scale pylon racer the Eflite version comes officially licensed in the 2014 WC scheme, it incorporates Carbon Z & AS3x technology to make a very light and strong air frame, with the stability that only a gyro Can give.

The need for the gyro isn’t vital but at speeds in excess of 100mph it just adds that peace of mind that your equipment is working for you not against!

The build was very straight forward, 30mins and I was ready for a test flight! One thing I noticed was the quality of the finish, the paint applied to these foam aircraft has improved so much in the last few years, almost perfect!

   
    
    
    

I elected to use Eflite 4s 3200 30c packs I had in my battery collection, they have seen a lot of usage in habu’s etc but will do until I get some newer fresher ones! The recommended pack is a 4s 3300mah 50c

Ready to fly!   

   
The little whipit was used to Warm my arm up for the launch! Lol!

Test Flight

The test flight took place at a field near our house just before dark, with a good strong launch the RareBear raced away and felt instantly locked in. Speed soon built up even on my old pack, the turn felt really nice and the plane looked really scale like in the air! On a low fast past the top speed felt and looked fast, slowly things down and the rear bear feels equally as smooth and responsive, you do need to keep the speed up a little on the final turn on approach,  but it’s not too bad and you have to remember it’s a racer!

All in all I’m very impressed and have flown several packs through it now, each time I enjoy it more and more!

Please excuse the phone quality pics, thanks to my wife Lisa for taking them, it’s next to impossible to snap a 100mph racer on an iPhone but she managed it!!

   
    
   

   
   

Quick clip from test flight!


Thanks to Horzion for the review, I will get some new Optipower Lipos and it should really sing!

Matthew

Eflite Slick 3D

 Building, E-Flite, Horizon Hobby UK, Spektrum  Comments Off on Eflite Slick 3D
May 132015
 

Ive had this project for a while and just never got a chance to start it. I took an evening and set to work on it, 4hours later I was ready for the air!

Below are some pics of the build. My overall impression of the kit is as usual Eflite quality improves kit by kit, so many simple touches that make a build so straight forward.

   Typically colourful box!

  Well packaged & protected whilst shipping.

  All new equipment for this one, stuck with recommended power plant, the Park 480 (1020kv) & 40amp Pro Lite ESC. Also the new spectrum A3030 servos.

 The box Emptied, as you’ll see each part is bagged.

  First job is to fit SFG. The holes pre-drilled, they just needed the self tapping screw to thread the insert in wing tip, some cyano to harden the thread up and fit the SFG’s.

  Control horn is a phenolic material, 15min epoxy was using to attached them to the pre-slotted ailerons. I missed a picture out on the next stage, hinging the aileron is in the using way using “hairy” type hinges with some cyano!

  Aileron servo and control rod fitted. A nice touch with ball links all round. Makes for a very precise and slop free linkage! Plenty of throw with the servo arm and control horn position.

  Wings are complete, top view here.

Bottom view. You can see the lightweight methods of construction here.

    Fuselage is unwrapped next.

  A few steps in one here, the elev & horz stab are fitted, the stab is measured & positioned then glued in place with cyano. The elevator is then hinged and horn fitted as per aileron. The fin is now glued in place, ensuring it square. The tailwheel assembly is fitted to rudder in pre-formed slot and hinged with “hairy” hinges also.

  Top view, servos have been connected as per the aileron. A good positive linkage.

  Undercarriage & spats fitted, a simple job. The UC is a lightweight aluminium.

  Motor fitted on supplied standoff’s. ESC is also fitted at this point and motor test run for direction.

  Latest spektrum AR636, fitted. Will program with iPhone app at a later date.

  New Optipower 50c 3cell 2150mah will give this model plenty of punch.

Cowl, spinner and prop fitted. Ready to test fly.

Ill apply the decals before the test flight. Fingers crossed for some calmer wind to try it out!

Thnaks as always to Horizon for the opportunity to test their great products. Also Thnaks to Andy at Optipower for the best cells on the market!!

Flying review to come. 

Matthew 

NightVisionAire Review

 Building, E-Flite, Horizon Hobby UK, Newsflash, Spektrum, Uncategorized  Comments Off on NightVisionAire Review
Apr 292015
 

The new eflite visionaire is a new twist on the hugely popular and successful Parkzone VisionAire. 

The concept behind the original VisionAire was to combine the most advanced design methods & electronics to provide a training platform for budding 3D pilots. This was meet and more with the finished product, the AS3X technology made the aircraft hugely forgiving for novice pilots and for more advanced pilots it added a level of stability that allowed the boundaries to be pushed, particularly around the weather conditions you could enjoy flying a lightweight Z foam model.
The new Night VisionAire improves on the design with the addition of the latest be most refined AS3X gyro the AR636. Years of development has also added SAFE technology, the save your model mode, when you get into trouble or out of your comfort zone, press the ‘panic’ button and the VisionAire returns to level upright flight.

Another first for Eflite is to include a fully integrated LED light set installed inside the Z foam, with the high intensity lights, the effect on the Night VisionAire is to illuminate the entire airframe. This provides excellent results in the dark.

The build of the VisionAire is very straight forward and as usual all the hard is done! 10-15mins has it complete. Here are some pics.

   
                 

   
       

As the VisionAire is designed for night flying, I thought it best to test flight it at night! On a calm dark night, the 3cell 2200mah was fitted the DX6 programmed and the lights switched on. A fairly uneventful test flight and as with the previous VisionAire this one was rock steady. I think the improvements between the AR635 and the new AR636 have only enhanced this already brilliant aircraft. The stock setup seemed more positive and it’s impossible to detect the AS3X system working in the background. 

Overall I’m really impressed with the VisionAire, I forgot just how good and rewarding this plane is and adding the night flying element only enhances that further! Thanks to Horizon for the opportunity to review!

Here are some pics. Video to follow.

   
                 

Airtowing the KA8

 Building, Gliding, Horizon Hobby UK, Parkzone, Spektrum  Comments Off on Airtowing the KA8
Feb 162015
 

The Carbon Cub from Eflite has been fitted with the tow release mechanism and we can now tow up some pretty serious sailplanes. Horizon in the states have towed the eflite Blanik a 4.3m 10kg model.

I’ll start smaller, the Parkzone KA8 sailplane. A entry level model, that is a light thermal simple to fly scale model. When fitted with Eflite’s servoless realise it can be used in any flat field application.

The build of the KA8 was very straight forward and was completed in about 15mins.

The test flight of the glider took place on Saturday afternoon, it was really straight forward and uneventful. We took some video footage with the go pro and it turned out really well. I’ll fit a camera to the glider next time!

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Thanks

Matthew

Eflite Carbon Z Cub SS

 Building, E-Flite, Horizon Hobby UK, Spektrum  Comments Off on Eflite Carbon Z Cub SS
Jan 062015
 

Eflite’s Carbon Cub SS is a replica of the modern full scale Carbon Cub. The Carbon Cub updates the original Piper Cub, using some modern construction methods and material to enhance this popular and timeless design.

Eflite took this template, incorporated some of their own design techniques and coupled this with Spektrum’s AS3X system to great a truly unique cub.

It’s powered by a BL50 eflite motor on 6s Lipo, with a wide range of capacity from 2900 -5000mah. This power means towing is ideal and 4.2m sailplanes have been towed successfully.

Well proven by horizon flight team throughout 2014, I had a need for a tow plane and was interested in the versatility the Cub offers.

The build was really straight forward, my dad took this on board and with a few hours he had it ready for the air. Here are some pics;

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Flying

The test flight took place on a dull Saturday with a moderate breeze. The preflights checks completed and a freshly charged 6s 2900 Lipo fitted the cub was positioned on the somewhat muddy strip. Within a few feet of a run it leapt into the air and was quickly on its way. As with most Eflite aircraft the test flight was a none event, a few circuits not a great deal of trim was required.

Quickly I was comfortable so began exploring was this big foam model could do.

I’ll let the pictures so the talking. I had 4 flights and loved everyone! I just need to complete a sailplane now so I can tow it up!

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Hangar 9 Inverza 62

 Building, Hangar 9, Horizon Hobby UK, Spektrum  Comments Off on Hangar 9 Inverza 62
Jul 132014
 

The Inverza 62 is the third scale model to come from Horizon Hobby which replicants Kevin Kimball’s concept design that we know as the Inverza. Eflite first produced the Inverza 280 mini sized, which proved hugely popular, then came the Inverza 33, this was a 33cc version or 10cell electric and finally we have the Inverza 62 for 60cc or 12cell electric.

We have fitted this Inverza with a DA50, ES composite pipe, spektrum A6260 Hv servos, spektrum 9 ch receiver, single 2s 2000 lipo and Optiguard for redundancy. Evolution have a new 62efi engine due for release very soon, so we will fit that once it’s available.

The inverza comes in 3 boxes and is double boxed for extra safety

The inverza comes in 3 boxes and is double boxed for extra safety

Once the shipping protection boxes are removed, the three internal boxes are identified with the inverza picture

Once the shipping protection boxes are removed, the three internal boxes are identified with the inverza picture

The contents of the 3 boxes, a very complete kit as you can see.

The contents of the 3 boxes, a very complete kit as you can see.

Spats are pre-drilled & captive nuts fitted, they bolt straight to U/C

Spats are pre-drilled & captive nuts fitted, they bolt straight to U/C

DA50 fitted, the block standoff's come with the kit. The header has a 25mm drop.

DA50 fitted, the block standoff’s come with the kit. The header has a 25mm drop.

DA50

The former had to be trimmed slightly to suit the pipe exit, we reinforced it above.

The former had to be trimmed slightly to suit the pipe exit, we reinforced it above.

The ES pipe is narrower in Diameter than an RE2 for example, so a slightly adjustment to preinstalled pipe support is required.

The ES pipe is narrower in Diameter than an RE2 for example, so a slightly adjustment to preinstalled pipe support is required.

Pipe fitted in Fuselage

Pipe fitted in Fuselage

Cowl Mounts attached

Cowl Mounts attached

Supplied Tank fitted & plumbed. The throttle servo we used in a Spektrum A6110 HV servo.

Supplied Tank fitted & plumbed. The throttle servo we used in a Spektrum A6110 HV servo.

DA50 ignition fiited, we used a Spektrum Regulator & 2s Lipo to power the ignition.

DA50 ignition fiited, we used a Spektrum Regulator & 2s Lipo to power the ignition.

underside view of DA50 and ES pipe, we elected to use a Jubliee clip between header/pipe.

underside view of DA50 and ES pipe, we elected to use a Jubliee clip between header/pipe.

The new Spektrum A6260 HV servo. The are super smooth and the metal case is very nice, will reduce that backlash you can get with plastic cases.

The new Spektrum A6260 HV servo. The are super smooth and the metal case is very nice, will reduce that backlash you can get with plastic cases.

The new Spektrum Servo connector, it makes installed very simple and this is a heavier duty option than the standard connection type.

The new Spektrum Servo connector, it makes installed very simple and this is a heavier duty option than the standard connection type.

Underside of Wing

Underside of Wing

Servo tray & horn pre-drilled and installed.

Servo tray & horn pre-drilled and installed.

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Test Flight

The test flight took place on a breezy evening at the flying field. After a quick pre-flight range test all was as expected and the new DA50 fired up with ease, about 10 flicks to get fuel into the carb, it fired, choke off a few flips and it was running. The ES pipe seems to be very quiet and the DA was running very smoothly.

Into the air the Inverza went, with a few clicks of trim it was soon flying straight and level, a quick CofG test and the Inverza CofG felt pretty good. We had placed the RX battery as far forward as we could, being conscious that the DA50 is a light engine, this proved about perfect. I tried a few basic aerobatic manoeuvres, point rolls were very nice, sharp and axial, snaps as seemed to be very positive and the exit sharp, it will make for a very nice IMAC aircraft I can feel that in the short flight I had. I was very conscious that the DA50 was new and not to push things too hard, I tired a few longer uplines and the piped 50 had ample power for most IMAC sequences, the airframe is light and there isn’t much drag, so it carries speed well even with a snap thrown in on the upline. I tried some very gently 3D, not wanting to load the engine, it feels very locked in, responsive & comfortable in 3D.

There is a lot of potential in this airframe, you can really appreciate that this aircraft has been designed from the ground up to be a good as it can be and the Quique Somenzini & Kevin Kimbal partnership has produced a beautifully balanced aircraft in precision & 3D.

I’m looking forward to flying it some more and fitting the new Evolution EFI 62 when it becomes available.

Thanks to Horizon Hobby UK for the opportunity to test. Here are some pics;

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Matthew

Parkzone Sukhoi 29

 Building, E-Flite, Hangar 9, Horizon Hobby UK, Parkzone, Spektrum  Comments Off on Parkzone Sukhoi 29
Jun 252014
 

Parkzone have just realised a new Mike McConville Design Sukhoi 29. This is the first fully aerobatic 3 D model to feature SAFE texhnology, the Spektrum system that self levels an aircraft from any attitude when altitude allows.

It has a number of modes, that will benefit novices in world of 3D and keep the more experience guys happy. I’m looking forward to flying very soon.

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Voodoo

 Building, Newsflash  Comments Off on Voodoo
Jun 082014
 

After many years of wanting one, I finally had a weaker moment and ordered a Voodoo speed 400 racer!!

Not too sure on the setup, but will probably be an Eflite BL15 3200kv in runner with a 60amp ESC, Spektrum 3010 servos, AR6260 carbon fuselage RX and a 3s1350 pack, to start with. If I can keep up I’ll maybe go to 4s!

I’ll post some build pics as I go along.

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(My good friend Phelim also bought one, hence the two in the pics)

Carden Extra 300 PRO

 Building, Horizon Hobby UK  Comments Off on Carden Extra 300 PRO
Mar 312014
 

My dad has been hard at work this winter with our latest IMAC aircraft. We have trusted Carden designs for many years and have no doubt this new Extra 300 PRO will be as kind to us as the rest of Dennis’ designs. What’s different about this one you might ask? It’s our first big Electric, so read on for more info!

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Carden PRO

To give you some background into the PRO design, it has been an envoluation of the Extra line of aircraft, firstly the 118″ 260, then came the 118″ 300 and following this the availability of the DA200 , it gave birth to 126″ versions of the 260 & 300’s. Along with Dennis, Kurt Keolling multiple time US national champion work on enhancing the Extra 300 designs, building it around the DA200 to make the ultimate IMAC precision aircraft, namely the PRO!

The PRO differs only slightly from the previous designs and all the changes are subtle. There is a thinner wing profile, a slightly different wing plan form, this improving snaps, or more accurately exits of snaps. It also requires less power as drag is reduced, also meaning that 150cc engines are still very competitive for this aircraft. The fuselage is narrower & not just as deep, again reducing drag and side area, meaning crosswinds less effect the aircraft. The rudder is now counter balanceless, with modern servos, power/torque is no issue, the lack of counterbalance makes the rudder input more neutral and reduces the mixing required. The tail section is also thinner, drag being reduced here again. The fuselage construction removes some material but with extensive analysis and calcs carried out by Kurt who is a professor by profession, strength isn’t compromised. This all adds up to a less draggy, lighter and more neutral airframe, making IMAC pilots work less on the sticks so they can concentrate on presentation of their schedule. I have to stress though, these are small improvements, the original Carden designs are still among the best if not the best out there.

The build follows much the same principles as all Carden’s, it’s “proper” building, using traditional methods. The wings, tail and all decked parts are foam core with balsa skins. We have used the method of vacuum bagging the balsa to the core with epoxy skinning resin, the reason for this, is you can control the amount of adhesive used and with the pressure the vacuum creates, very little is used. This proven method keeps things very light.

The fuselage is made up from a CNC plywood engine box, which the motor, under carriage and wing tube are all supported from. The fuselage sides are a balsa frame work sheeted, giving a rigid and smooth finish. The sides are connected together with balsa braces and the foam parts are bonded to the sides with PVA glue.

At the beginning of the article I mentioned that this Carden PRO was powered by electrons rather than petrol. This didn’t alter the build significantly, we purposely built this plane with a wide range of power plants in mind, we can very quickly switch this plane back to the conventional petrol, DA 150/ 170, DA 200 or even the DA 250 four stroke when it gets released. We kept the bulkhead in the motor box in the forward position (DA 150/170) and built a standoff box from plywood, laminated under vacuum with fibreglass, to this an aluminium mount from Mejzlik was used which is specifically designed for our motor. The fuel tank tray is omitted from this plane, instead this is where the batteries locate. SO overall the aircraft is very much a standard build.

Electric Power

Some might be asking why go electric? Over the last 3 years we have saw a lot of flying sites lost due to noise, our big IMAC models are as quiet as they can be, but for some sites that is still too noisy, is it sustainable to keep flying our big models with a huge footprint and blindly ignore the potential problem? Probably not! We have found that it’s not the noise of the models, it’s the repetition. If we fly for a full day, back to back, week after week, maybe 3 days a week, that becomes an annoyance to neighbours. This Carden PRO project is an experiment that gives us the option to fly a fully competitive IMAC model at any club site with no noise impact. The advantage is I can fly at sites closer to home midweek and ultimately get more stick time. It will be used along side our ‘traditionally powered’ competition models and compliment them. We can reduce the petrol powered flights to 2 /3 spread out over the whole day, add to that say 3 -4 flights on our electric aircraft, suddenly you’ve flown the same, but exposed your neighbours to half as much noise over the same period, this is our experience anyway. Electric shouldn’t be seen as a replacement for petrol, but a way to preserve it in the future.

Our setup is as follows;

–          Motor: Plettenberg Predator 37/6 EVO.

–          ESC: Jeti Spin 300 PRO.

–          Batteries: Eflite 5s & 4s 30c  Packs wired in series to 14s and in parallel to give 15000mah capacity.

–          Propeller: Plettenberg Spinner cooling system with 3 separate blades, giving a 31.5×13 3 blade prop.

–          Radio Gear: Spektrum AR12200, Spektrum 2s 4000mah RX packs, guided by Spektrum DX18.

–          Servos: JR 8911 HV all round (4 ail, 2 elev & 2 rudd).

–          Covering & Hardware: Oracover & various Hangar 9 hardware.

The airframe with all equipment except batteries weighs 13.1 kg (29lbs), the packs themselves and support tray weigh 5.5kg (12.12 lbs), giving a total flying weight of 18.65kg (41.12 lbs).

We estimate that it is about 1lbs lighter than a fully fuelled DA200 with cans version of the same model, obviously the petrol powered model will get lighter as the flight goes on, but we are very happy with this weight. The fixed weight should also give more consistent trim throughout the whole flight.

The Predator 37/6 EVO, is capable of over 16kw, to compare that’s somewhere in the region of 20-21 bhp. During our ground tests we limited the motor to 80% power, it turned the 31.5×13 3blade prop at 6200rpm and drew about 140amps constant, this was obviously unloaded and only for a 10-15 secs burst, but the RPM figure alone is impressive. Remember that was limited to 80% of the motors max. Everything ran cool even without the air flow.

The Test Flight

After a number of ground tests at home we were comfortable all would work on the air. So on a windy and slightly grey Saturday afternoon we decided to give it a go. A range test was completed and all was fine, the ESC/motor was armed and was ready to go. We kept the motor limited to 80% and very quickly the airplane was in the air, no shortage of power. The plane felt superb from the off, no trim at all, the CofG felt about right, we didn’t push the model as we are slowly building confidence and knowledge in the motor setup. Without having even started the trimming/setup process, Rolls felt axial, Knife Edge seemed very flat, 4 pointers looked really smooth as a result. A few snaps showed that these would be very controlled and their exits precise. The power plant itself performed very well, it has a ball of power and is very quiet, in fact you can hear the air rushing through the airframe whilst in flight. We limited the first flight to 4mins and after the flight the onboard telemetry from the Jeti Spin ESC should, RPM was 6200, max ESC temperature was 47-deg. The test flight gave us some relief, although we had done a lot of research, 12 months worth before embarking on the project and got a lot of advice from the few people who are flying 40% electrics, there is still that element of un none that you worry about. We are still learning and it will take some months to build our knowledge with this plane. The 4min flight drew 800mah from each of the 3 14s 5000mah packs, that was a gentle flight, so I expect 8-9mins of unlimited flying is very achievable and still leave 15-20% in the packs.

I’d like to thanks Plettenberg for all their help and support, Bernd Berschorner for his experience as a competition pilot using this setup for many years, Jocke Goransson (wattsup.se) for his advise, David Nolan for his help with our power supply, Kees Blokland for a year of replying to my many ‘electrical’ questions, to Dennis at Carden for his help and support and to my dad for doing the hard bit of putting it all together. I very much get the easy and enjoyable part! I also thank Horizon Hobby UK for their continued support, it is greatly appreciated.

As I said before this project is an experiment, early results show it’s going to work out very well. And I’ll end with a comment I made earlier, “Electric shouldn’t be seen as a replacement for petrol, but a way to preserve it in the future”, we see that every day with our hybrid cars and if F1 can see electric technology working hand in hand with engines is the future, why shouldn’t aeromodelling get in on the act. A fully hyprid model airplane power plant might be a while off, but who knows what the future might hold!

Some pictures below.

Thanks,

Matthew

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