Thanks for the update Kydawg1. I had a few of your issues as well:
Well, the plane is just about ready to go. I finished installing everything and tomorrow morning before the maiden will be some minor things such as enlarging the battery compartment, setting neutral points for the control surfaces, etc. It was a quick build, even for someone as slow as me.
Once the glue for the vertical stabs was dry, I decided to disable the TV. It was simpler than I thought; the hard part was getting to the center servo (it was glued in the pocket pretty well). The TV nozzles seemed to be sloppy - like the previous poster mentioned - so I'm glad I decided to do without. I carefully removed the covers and simply pulled the servos out. I lined up the nozzles to center as best I could, and drilled two pilot holes into each nozzle. Secured with a couple of screws and voila, no TV. I saved the weight of three servos, four pushrods, and what appears to be three 24" extensions. I glued the covers back in place and it was done.
Next was to solder on some REAL connectors. I had to remove the ESC to so this and I'm glad I did... I found one of the bullet connectors connecting the motor to the ESC to be completely loose. Threw on some APP connectors and since the motor wires are so short (and I was too lazy to extend them), I used servo tape to hold at least the back end of the ESC into the radio compartment. For those that do use Deans and will be using two packs in series, the plane comes wired as such.
I ran the fan up on a 3s pack and my initial impression is 'meh'. Granted it seems to push A LOT of air - even on 3s - but vibrates a little and it isn't the smoothest-sounding fan I've ever heard. I was hoping it was the same fan that was in the Eurofighter as the ones I've seen in them are smooth. I'll certainly fly it as-is, but a change to a balanced, higher-quality fan may be in the future of this plane.
I then took the time to neaten up the wires as best I could and I installed one of my trusty Futaba FASST 617FS 2.4 GHz receivers. I powered up the system once making all of the connections and had no issues. All control surfaces worked (and in the proper direction, no less), and the fan spun in the correct direction once I reversed a pair of motor wires.
Cycled the gear a few times and they worked flawlessly. They sure do seem tough. The only issue I see is that the steering arm rubs the left-half gear door. I have to center the nose gear (steering) anyway so I'll just shave the arm a bit.
Now that I'm done running around the plane, I glued in the wingtip missile rails and the missiles to the rails. The instructions didn't mention a thing about them. I'm sure I would have bumped/broken them at some point so I waited to do them last.
Finally I checked my batteries. They will fit but I'lll have to hog out a little foam as I'm using slightly larger packs (3s 4000 x 2). The plane is a little nose-heavy but not by much. I prefer a nose-heavy plane anyway but I'll check it again once I get the batteries mounted properly.
Enjoy the pics and video; I've had enough for one day. I apologize for the shaking in the video; I was recording with one hand and operating the radio with the other. Barring any disasters, the maiden flight will be tomorrow after I do the following:
- Shorten the steering arm so it doesn't rub the gear door
- Enlarge the battery compartment
- Set up proper throws, dual-rates, etc.
- Set neutral points on all control surfaces.
- Line up nose gear steering.
- Check balance, amp draw, and range check.