Rob Smith's E-Sport 10 Pilot's Report
Several weeks ago, Rob Smith surprised me by sending his protoype ES10 to try out. Having had the chance to fly GaryK's ES8 and loving it, I was really excited to try the ES10.
I decided to use parts on hand, so I rebuilt the firewall and put in a Mega 22/30/2 with a 3.69:1 Superbox and a 12x2600 pack that needed some use. I was hoping to prop it for 40 amps but even with my 3-inch William's Bros. wheels, the biggest prop I could swing was the 14x10 I cut down from a 15x10--and that pulled 31 amps static. Being a sworn member of Ed Lyerly's 40-amp club, I just had to hope that 31 amps would make this 76 oz airplane fly like it was supposed to fly.
Last Sunday was clear and sunny but windy--and a strong crosswind at that. I waited for a lull and had a straight take-off and needed to add a few clicks of up and was flying trimmed. I like to spend a lot of time inverted and don't have a single airplane that doesn't take some down elevator to stay inverted--but not the ES10. It was trimmed for upright and inverted flight with little to no elevator input required!! This is going to be fun.
My speed was great and my verticals were very big. I put it into a knife edge at 3/4 throttle and to my amazement, it held: no drop and no pull left or right. This is too easy! I did aileron rolls--fast and very axial--and some four-point rolls and they never looked better!
Then I realized I needed to see what its slow-flight characteristics were--I had full up elevator and it barely wanted to break--finally it gently dropped a wing--excellent. I then did some snaps, hammerheads, outside loops, and anything else I could think of and everything went well. I did notice that turns looked better with some rudder input--I'll have to look more closely at that in subsequent flights. I landed after 7 minutes and considering how gusty it was, I was glad to have it down safely. What a great first flight!
This past weekend, I flew it again twice on Saturday and twice on Sunday. I'm really loving this airplane. I like to do consecutive aileron rolls down the length of the field and every airplane I have invariably wanders left or right off track. Not the ES10--I've never seen such axial rolls and I have to attribute it to the mid-wing and long fuselage.
I was doing some more knife edges and my slimer buddy came over and wanted to see my thrust-to-weight ratio. I put it on the verge of a stall, pointed the nose up and applied my 31 amps
expecting it to fall off. I was amazed because it proceeded to pull up slowly and kept going up as long as I wanted!
After I landed, I got lots of good comments from the slimer contingent. They really liked the way it looked and the way it flew. So do I!
When Rob sent me the ES10, I was a little nervous about what I would say if I didn't like it. Not a problem here. I'm very anxious to try it with a 14x12 I just got in the mail! I'll hit that 40-amps yet and get giddy thinking of how it will perform. Thanks again Rob for this great airplane and the chance to try it out. If anyone is considering scratch building or ARFing this airplane, I highly recommend it.