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Old Sep 29, 2010, 10:23 AM
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France, near Rennes, Bretagne
Joined Sep 2010
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Mini-Review
Topmodel CZ Prelude



So it's a "Prelude" from Topmodel CZ, bought from topmodel.fr

It's the x-tailed version of the "Avia" from same maker. There is a very nice building thread here, please check it, I will not repeat what's already said. I thought I could share some photos I made while building it.
I bought this x-tailed version with the idea to ease the transport. I had bad souvenirs of transporting fixed V-tails. But from a performance view, I suspect the v-tail to be a better solution for that kind of "floaters".

Fiberglass fuse, Carbon and balsa wings, available in ARF kit with covered wings or ARC "almost ready to cover" with wings to cover.
Wingspan 98" / 2500 mm
Length 52.7" / 1340 mm
Weight from maker : 1150-1400 g Mine is 1300g with a 4Ah battery.

Classic 5 channels / 6 servos, 4 servos in the wings for flaps and ailerons

Proposed motor
MWS 2.5/1200
Xpower XC 3514/12
Axi 2814/12

Proposed Battery
2S-3S Lixx 2-3Ah

Airfoil : MH32 mod.

I flew a lot of gliders years ago (most of the time aerobatics on slopes), and just started again after a ten years break. I'm amazed the new technology (the trio brushless, ESC, LiPo) that we badly missed back then...



As you can see it's very neatly built. But I understand why they call the airfoil MH32 "modified" : with this technique it's not really possible to get a controlled profile between the ribs.




This how I managed to glue the motor support in place (more photos below) : I cut a circle in a thick cardboard and used it as a spacer between the cone and fuse. I scerwed the motor on the provided thick support in fiberglass, and just applied two drips of "stabilit express" glue (could have been fast epoxy as well), while I hold it vertically to center the cone. I use some tape to hold it in place while glue dried. Then I carefully removed the prop and the motor, and filled the space between the support and fuse with a mix of short fiberglass fibers and epoxy resin (one day to wait).


Metal screws were in the kit, but I chose to use nylon screws to secure the wings on the fuse. From my past experience, in case of hard landing nylon screws are just cut in the shock and save your wings. I prefer this to a cracked fuse. And, mysteriously, the part list in the manufacturer manual lists nylon screws, but metal are provided in the kit. It looks like other builders had metal too in thier Avia kits.
Anyway, nylon or metal makes no change : this wing can move on the fuse. You have to be check alignment all the time, and be careful when launching the plane : straight away !



Just before the maiden flight I had a big doubt : these flaps were really close to the fuse. By just sliding a bit the wings, it's easy to block a flap on one side.. What if this happens after using or testing the crows when it's up there... I ended up cuting 3 mm of the flaps, and adding 3mm of balsa on the fixed part of the wing (see result photo below). Not neat, yet to be covered, but I felt more confident. I'd say this is a major problem that should be corrected by the maker.



What I like about it :
  • Very nice general quality, wings are beautifuly made and covered
  • It flies well and do exactly what I bought it for : relaxed thermal flights in the field near my house

What I don't like :
  • I had to use lead in the nose or a larger battery to get it balanced
  • The key pin holes between wings were not aligned
  • Nothing to refrain the wing from lateral movement on the fuse (think bad launcher)
  • Flaps are to close to the fuse, in case of a slight lateral movement of the wing one could be blocked
  • A detail but... You can't use the carboard box to transport it after the rudder adds length to the fuse.
  • The transparent color covering scheme is neat on the ground, but really doesn't help visualisation

Would I bought it again ? I'd say yes, but perhaps I would search for an equivalent with even more thermal performance, perhaps it can be found with a more "true" airfoil...

Any comment welcome, now please share your own Prelude pics !

Happy flying François
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Last edited by François_D; Sep 29, 2010 at 06:06 PM.
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Old Sep 29, 2010, 11:10 AM
AMA7224 LSF1832
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Good job and nice photos Francois. I had the same problem with the flaps getting hung up on the wing seat fillets. The wing does move on it's seat just enough to cause the interference. I approached it a bit differently by adding two small 3mm wing hold down screws that go through the trailing edge material over the fuselage. They in turn screw into a ply plate with blind nuts that is place just ahead of the rear edge of the servo well.

I had thought of using nylon wing bolts but didn't do it for whatever reason. It has not been a problem as she behaves well on landing. Good luck with her, if she flys as well as her v-tailed sister you'll have a lot of good flights. As an aside, I added in some rudder mix to the ailerons to make her turn a bit flatter and quicker.

Warren
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Old Sep 29, 2010, 04:07 PM
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Nice pictures, Francois. I looked at the Avia, with V tail from Icare-rc, though I seem to be addicted to Pulsars.
http://www.icare-rc.com/avia.htm

Here is an easier idea for rudder /elev pushrods. Hollow carbon fibre rod. Insert threaded ends, then use rubberized CA adhesive.

Also, looks like we use the same nylon clevis for aileron, flap linkages. These are on my Hyper 2.3. I use a carbon fibre rod, with a threaded brass fitting at one end, for adjustments.
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Old Sep 29, 2010, 04:33 PM
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Warren, sure she behaves well on landing... It's me who can fail... On the long term, a day or another.. From my experience with electric gliders, nylon screws act as fusible and can save the fuse, you know, if a wing touch the ground first, or this day when the only one-foot-high plant from a mile around chose this very moment to cross the landing area... But you have to check the screws condition from time to time...

320pilot, thanks for the pictures and idea with the carbon. I have a small stock on hand, from my kite's building period... For the Prelude I just used the hardware from the kit. I thought carbon too, but then I felt this big balsa rod was really firm, and perhaps even more reliable on the long term.
From your link and after some research, it looks like Topmodel CZ models are not so easy to get, and more expensive in the US..
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Old Sep 29, 2010, 04:53 PM
AMA7224 LSF1832
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Quote:
Originally Posted by François_D View Post
........ it looks like Topmodel CZ models are not so easy to get, and more expensive in the US..
Not all that bad really considering oversea shipping and handling. Avia is 224.00 Euros at Top Model France which comes out to 306.00 USD,Icare who is in Canada lists it at 349.00 USD or 360.00 CAN. Both prices are without motors/ESC/prop and prop hub. Prelude would probably come in about the same price if it was available here. No matter, I like mine.
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Old Feb 27, 2012, 11:04 AM
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I just ordered a Prelude. Can anyone think of a better push rod set up for the elevator?
Thanks
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Old Feb 27, 2012, 11:10 AM
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Mine should be here today. It's going to be a few weeks before I can get it built up though. I'm still trying to decide between the power setup Esprit recommends and the one Atlanta Hobby recommends, the MVVS motor or the Hyperion one. I already bought the appropriate prop/ESC for the MVVS so I may go that way.
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Old Feb 27, 2012, 11:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smoothvirus View Post
Mine should be here today. It's going to be a few weeks before I can get it built up though. I'm still trying to decide between the power setup Esprit recommends and the one Atlanta Hobby recommends, the MVVS motor or the Hyperion one. I already bought the appropriate prop/ESC for the MVVS so I may go that way.
I am going with a Hyperion GS2218-10:with a ~14x8 on 850 2s 60c
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Old Feb 27, 2012, 11:23 AM
AMA7224 LSF1832
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One nice thing I like about the MVVS besides being made very nicely is there are no spinning parts exposed. plus there are no motor leads sticking down that need to be bent and dressed out of the way The motor connections are mounted right on the rear of the enclosure making for a very sano install.
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Old Feb 27, 2012, 11:33 AM
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You can get the Prelude here in the states for $329.00

http://shop.bayrc.com/index.php?rout...ory&path=59_60

Al
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Old Feb 27, 2012, 11:39 AM
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Originally Posted by alstrahm View Post
You can get the Prelude here in the states for $329.00

http://shop.bayrc.com/index.php?rout...ory&path=59_60

Al
I got mine from Atlanta Hobby, $315 with free shipping. Esprit has them in stock as well for $315 but you have to pay shipping costs.
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Old Feb 27, 2012, 04:17 PM
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It's here!
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Old Feb 29, 2012, 07:27 PM
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Can someone tell me th diameter of the motor mount?
Thanks
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Old Mar 01, 2012, 01:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by r/cmark View Post
Can someone tell me th diameter of the motor mount?
Thanks

Hi the spinner needed is 40 mm in diameter, the motor mout is also 40 mm in diameter.

Cheers.
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Old Mar 01, 2012, 06:07 PM
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http://www.espritmodel.com/prelude-r...-ales-arf.aspx I should have the Prelude REF here in the Morning cant wait to get it ready to fly LOL
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