Electric Seawind by Great Planes/Electrifly
I could not resist the little Seawind when I encountered it at the LHS on Friday. It made me take it to the car...:)
I am not going to do an in depth review, because I am sure someone is hard at work on the Ezone review for this thing.
If you are interested, check out the photos build manual and the videos at the Electrifly website for more in depth info on the kit, with parts photos, etc:
The kit is decently, but not perfectly packed in a large cardboard box...watch out for dings in the sides of the fuse and around the motor boom and fin area at the back of the fuse. Mine had a few minor ones
The foward part of the foam fuse had the foam hull nicely armored with some plastic spray rails and doublers.
Some of the trim stripes are water decals...some are stick on....I hope the water decals are protected with a clear sealer..;)
The canopy hatch is very nicely done...lots of magnets and a nice wide flange for keeping the water out.
The build occupied a couple of hours on Friday night...would have been shorter, but I was robbing a few parts and looking for parts.
I used what I had available....A GWS 2208/18T outrunner, which is a 22mm outrunner of similar size and performance as compared to the recommended Rimfire. little higher Kv, also...1050 vs 950.I used the metal X mount to sandwich the firewall between the motor and the X mount, solving the 3 mounting screw firewall to 4 mounting screw motor issue easily. I used the kit supplied 8/6 prop and spinner.
ESC was a Pulso 33 Amp unit. Always nice to have excess capacity when the unit has to be in a sealed fuse with minimal cooling flow.
I used a larger 1700 3S mAh Dualsky Xpower lipo for power
Radio wise, I used some Hobbico CS-5 Nanos that has the suggested rating of around 20 oz/inch of torque and a trusty Berg 4L RX.
Build is as easy as it gets. It only took four small mixes of 5 min epoxy for mounting the wingtips, the servo tray, the horizontal tail and the upper fin tip. all needed hardware is included, with EZ connectors at the serov ends and plastic keepers at the control surface ends.
The only really annoyng thing tha tpopped up in the build was interference between the aileron pushrods and the wing mounting hardward. The wing mount is at mid cord in the wing saddle and there was not enough clearance between the rods and the ply wing mount. I ended up doing some creative Z bends to make enough clearance. The suggested fix of trimming a foam block between the mount and the wing would not fix the problem.
Also, my wing mount was not in exactly the proper location in the fuse for the screw to engage. I ended up popping the wing mount loose from the fuse and gluing it back in so that the wing holddown screw would hit the right spot.
Other than those two little issues, it was as easy to assemble as any model I have ever seen.
Even with my heavy Dualsky 1700 3S pack, my all up weight is 21.9 oz.
My Seawind would not quite do a rise off grass takeoff. so I hand launched. Got the expected nose pitch down from the high thrust line and did a gentle touch and go in the grass...:)
Up and away and it is clear that this Seawind is a real winner. It had a very nice turn of speed on the inexpensive GWS outrunner and 8x6 prop. Handles like a fighter! On the first flight, I tried the following: Fast rolls, slow rolls, four point rolls, loops, cuban eights, immelmans and stall turns. They were alla snap. Aileron and elevetor response is crisp and pleasing.
I was carrying a little (3-4 clicks) up trim on the first flight and it felt a touch nose heavy to me at the factory suggested CG. I plan on easing the CG back a little, unti the up trim is not needed.
The only small caveat is to be careful applying large wads of throttle at low air speed, as it will cause the model to pitch down noticably.
The little Seawind was easy to land. Elevator response was a little less crisp at low speed, but not bad. I did a few touch and goes in the grass...worked fine as long as you never let the model get below walking speed.
I am going to head to a pond later this evening and check out the water handling...;)
Flying off water:
Got a flight in at the local pond this evening....pics below. Sorry about the quality...my creaky old digicam was not doing good at handing the overexposure of the white Seawind paint in the setting sun.
I got in a half dozen takeoofs and landings at the pond with near dead calm conditions. Water Rudder works fairly well. At higher speedss, it atually steers better if you put the wingtip float you want to turn towards in the water The little Seawind does show a bit of the issues that the larger Seawind seems to ahve. The tip floats are very close to the surface of the water when on the step and will create a water loop if you let it contact at the wrong time. It takes a fairly careful hand on the sticks to keep the wings level and not water loop during the middle part of the takeoff run.
I very well might try a slightly shorter tip float. The model has plenty of tip bouyancy and a 1/4 to 1/2" removed from the bottom of the tip float would make takeoofs a little easier, especially in chappy water.
Water landings are a chinch. Hard to buy a bad one.
-nicely replicates the unusual shape of the real Seawind and has an attractive color scheme.
-extensive prefabrication and overall well done design.
-delivers the super flight performance promised by the video on modest power.
-a VERY short time from kit box to first pond take off.
-all supplied hardware and accessories work well with one exception, below.
-Interference of aileron pushrods and wing mounting system. (the taller your aileron servo is, the worse this will be) This is the only design detail that was not well thought out. The wing holddown screw should be behind the aileron torque rods. Even better, the wing should dowel in at the rear and have a hidden pin system that engages the front of the wing through the front wing saddle bulkhead, hidden by the canopy. That would get rid of the screw hole on top of the wing fairing.
-Would be nice if the motor mount was a little bit more universal instead of being just for the Electrifly motors...but this is no real problem for the average resourceful modeler.
While not a real minus, I would REALLY love this model more if it had been glass and balsa and film like their new PBY instead of easily damaged foam, that has a finite life.
Here are the maiden flight photos:
Thanks for the report Tom! That plane looks Soooo nice in the air! Wonder if my LHS has one yet?
Thomas, where is the step in relation to the CG ? I saw two of the larger Sea Winds at a float fly yesterday that had serious take off issues. One was a GP and the other a Nitro Planes(?).
Both had four strokes and were assembled and flown by highly experienced water flyers. Their back-up planes attested to this.
The GP had the step ahead of the CG and had the worse handling of the two . The Nitro's step looked to be an inch and a quarter further aft..or just behind the CG.
Appreciate your comments .
Excellent PIREP on the version you have.
Thomas, I got a Seawind EP last week and it looks teriffic. I live on a large lake so I definitely needed a flying boat. I was wondering if you protected the bottom of the hull with packaging tape or similar material when you tested the plane in grass. IS that necessary? The plane looks great but I'm affraid the foam will not be very durable.
Also, I bought a TP extreme 3cell 2050 battery (25 c -50c) do you think the extra weight, approx 1.4 oz above the max recomendation 1500 mah, will cause problems?
The aft hull bottom behind the step could probably use a neatly done coat of packing tape, as it is not armored. I got two small foam scratches back here from several grass landings, even though it does ot touch the grass.
The model can easily carry the extra weight of the larger battery, but would land a little faster and might be a little too nose heavy unless you redid the battery mount and moved it further aft, which gets into the way of the servos, etc, etc.
If the model was more nose heavy, the high thrust line effect (nose pitch down at throttle up) would be even worse.
Were the two larger gas Seawind models having trouble unsticking with the forward hull plowing, or were they digging in tip floats and veering side to side or water looping during the take off run?
I had a small OD flying boat with tip floats struts that were too long that like to water loop on the take off run when one or the other hit the water while on the step. As soon as I shortened the struts, it instantly cured this issue.
A nice wad of upthrust on the OD models high thrust line also made the model take off better...there was less tendancy for the forward hull to plow.
I still think that slightly shorter tip floats will fix the little Seawind's issue with waterlooping on takeoff. Interestingly, they are a lot larger, scale wise, then the big glow Seawinds tip floats.
Thomas, each would swerve from side to side..and then bury the nose enough to kill the engines. There was quite a bit of spray off the tip floats during the duration of each attempt..
Each pilot stated that they flew well once airborne. ( didn't happen that day..)
WX was 5-8 MPH with slight ripples.
Several North Stars were not having any problems. Ditto for the other types present.
Tx for your reply. art
The brown toy truck just came and dropped off a new Seawind EP for me. First impression is that it's very nicely done, but I'm wondering about the somewhat porous foam, especially on the wings. Do you think it would be a good idea to give it a coating or two of water-based poly to help seal things and protect the decals?
In the interest of reducing the shipping package size to Australia , can anyone show the wing center section , is there a built in spar ??? , could the wing be cut in half and rejoined ?? to reduce the box size for cheaper shipping , what size roughly would the box be if this was done ??....thanks from down under
Also, the one piece fuse and tail assembly of the model is nearly as long as the wingspan of the model. That could be carefully cut in half at rhe step in the hull, I suppose.
The factory parts shot is attached. Without the foam float tips, the wing is about 36 inches long. The fuse is still nearly 33 inches long, so cutting the wing alone does not gain you much.......
Fortunately, my wingbolt lines up correctly.. Haven't mounted the aileron servo yet though.. Thanks for the heads up
I didn't drill holes for screws for the motor cowling.. It's a pretty snug fit on mine so I just used a tiny dab of silicone in three places...Should be able to take it off if need be and no cracked wood or unsightly wood screws...
Do your aileron pushrods clear the wing mount?
Haven't done the aileron servo and pushrods yet... Hopefully today
|All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:00 PM.|