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FR4-Pilot's blog
Posted by FR4-Pilot | Nov 21, 2014 @ 09:49 PM | 1,941 Views
I just realized I've acquired enough bits-n-pieces of helicopter parts and electronics over the last 2 years to actually build up another 550 size Swift NX, for that beautiful scale Jet Ranger fuselage. Only missing a single tail push-rod ball link and Mligosh is kindly sending me a few of his spares - what a guy!

Phase 1 will be building up the pod and boom air frame and getting that all dialed in. This will be a lower RPM heli (1500 range). Phase 2 will be installing it all in the Jet Ranger fuselage. I'll be running on 5S 4000mah packs, with 550mm SpinBlades asymmetrical main blades.

That's the plan anyway.

Let phase 1 begin ! ...Continue Reading
Posted by FR4-Pilot | Jun 17, 2014 @ 12:22 PM | 3,270 Views
... almost exactly one year after purchasing my pre-owned Flyzone Sensei. It's not the newer (V2) re-designed one with SAFE technology, rather the original one (V1) from 2008. It seems to be in really good shape considering how old it could be. Just the plane and a battery - no transmitter or charger.

The plane has:
  • Stock BL15 outrunner, 840kV motor
  • 30A ESC with 0.7A switching BEC
  • AR500 DSM2 5-Ch receiver
  • 3x 13g metal gear servos (ailerons & elevator)
  • 1x 37g standard servo (rudder & nose gear)
The battery included in the deal is a 3200mAh 3S 11.1V 15C Li-Po.

Everything appears to be in working order. I'll be using one of my DX6i's (or both for buddy boxing).

I've got a bunch of 3S 2200 lipos (with XT-60s) so I'll be using those (with XT-60 to EC3 adapters) along with the 3200 battery included in the sale. It's great having the same batteries for my 450 helicopters, my Flyzone Sensei, and now the E-Flite Apprentice.

I've heard that the AR500 was prone to brown outs, the stock motor's base (made of a plastic like material) can get hot and melt, and the main shaft can get knocked out of alignment easily due to the motor's plastic-like features. I also realize the ESC has a rather weak BEC (700mA). And the wheels are small - not good for grass at all - thus the prop is only about an inch from the ground. All things that I'll keep an eye on for sure. But this plane has obviously been flow at least a few times successfully, so I'm not overly worried...Continue Reading
Posted by FR4-Pilot | May 08, 2014 @ 02:49 PM | 3,146 Views
E-Flite Apprentice 15e & Flyzone Sensei

Summary (Both)
High Wing Trainers
Foam construction
Tricycle Landing Gear
Basic 4 Channel*- Ailerons, Elevator, Rudder, Throttle controls
Steerable nose wheel

* Sensei has 5th channel drop door servo
Color Scheme
Sensei - White foam with orange, black and blue decals.
Apprentice - White foam with red, black and silver decals.
The Foam
Sensei - entire plane is made of (stiffer) AeroCell foam.
Apprentice - mostly made of (softer) Z-Foam, except tail fins and bottom panel (? material).
Size, Weight, etc.
Wingspan
Sensei - 58"
Apprentice - 58.5"

Length (nose - tail)
Sensei - 48"
Apprentice - 42"

Weight (Wing)
Sensei - 1.1 lb
Apprentice - 0.8 lb

Weight (Fuse - no batt)
Sensei - 2.0 lb
Apprentice - 1.5 lb

Weight (total - no battery)
Sensei - 3.1 lb
Apprentice - 2.3 lb

Weight (total - with battery)
Sensei - 3.54 lb with 2200 battery, 3.76 lb with additional 1800 2S battery for CG.
Apprentice - 2.85 lb with 3200 battery, 2.96 lb with 2200 & 1800 2S

Height (gnd - tail)
Sensei - 15.5"
Apprentice - 16"

Wing Loading
Sensei - 14 oz/ft²
Apprentice - 12 oz/ft²
Landing Gear
Wheel Base
Sensei - 13" x 10.5"
Apprentice - 14" x 9.5&
...Continue Reading
Posted by FR4-Pilot | Dec 28, 2013 @ 03:41 PM | 3,078 Views
Heli Sim Practice (6 min 22 sec)

Posted by FR4-Pilot | Nov 13, 2013 @ 10:43 PM | 2,882 Views
Heli Sim Practice (2 min 14 sec)