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Old Sep 17, 2010, 07:42 PM
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Maryland, USA
Joined Oct 2006
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I finally got a chance to work on my F/A-18 this week, and just finished it today.

I put landing gear on it, and made the nosewheel steerable. I didn't use the big, fat wheels that came with the kit...I used smaller/thinner ones, and made the nosewheel smaller than the mains, as it should be. I installed the main gear mounts on the side of the plane instead of on the bottom of the wings as specified in the manual. The end result came out pretty decent looking, I think. Can't wait to go out to the club, and taxi onto the runway and do a nice scale takeoff in this cute little plane!

It has Don's Wemo combo with Wicked 5400 in it. With the Rhino 1040 3S 40C battery at half charge, I ran it up on the wattmeter and it showed about 20 amps. It sounded nice and smooth, thanks to Don's balancing work. According to the manual, the stock battery that came with the plane is 950 mAh and 20C, so I guess that would be pretty marginal to try to use as a second battery. Too bad, because it's nearly identical in all three dimension to the Rhino. Both are a perfect fit in the F/A-18 battery compartment, without widening it.

The CG worked out precisely at the recommended 42mm with the Rhino positioned all the way forward up to the foam bulkhead that houses the nosewheel strut and servo (photo). I originally extended the ESC's battery-side wires a little, per Don's build description earlier in this thread, but it turned out that no extension at all was needed. So I desoldered the extension and put a new Deans connector right on the original ESC wires.

I pulled out the stock servos, and replaced them with HS-55s. I want this to be a gem of a little plane, so none of that stock electronics for this baby!
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