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Old Sep 02, 2010, 06:24 PM
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BVM eBandit, the wait is finally over!

There shouldn't be a person around here that hasn't heard me acting giddy the past 6 months knowing an electric version of the BVM Bandit was in the works. I've been on the top of the waiting list since it was announced and after a long (and painful) wait, I'm happy to say it's here! Now the Bandit already has its place in the best sport jets ever designed, so many of them have been flown over the years by the turbine guys, this very well may be the best selling sport jet in history. Add to that a re-design to address EDF specific needs like slightly larger intakes and a lighter layup. Throw in new design features for ease of use like wing tubes with bolt-on clamps through the engine hatch versus the need for a belly pan and a slide on hatch system with no more nylon bolts, just a single hatch latch. Still more, throw in some performance enhancements like full gear doors and what you have is the best electric sport jet ever built.

OK, OK maybe I'm a little too excited but this plane certainly raises the bar on electric jets, not just the design but the flying is dead-on, rock solid. It's the best of the BVM Electra with all the handling characteristics of the Bandit that come along with another 8" wingspan for those that like a larger jet. Add to that the new BVM EDF2 "S" fan that really raises the bar again and you have a true, 7 minute performing EDF that is an absolute joy to fly (reports of folks that have flown the factory jets). This new eBandit is a Bandit, owning both I can tell you it's not a name-only thing, this came out of a Bandit mold and it is 100% Bandit, just modified for optimum performance from an EDF. I'll try and cover the things that make this one different, there's so much to do before E-Jets though!

Jack
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Old Sep 02, 2010, 06:27 PM
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Miramar, Florida
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Build Day 1

To start off every build I look over the instructions a few times and get myself acquainted with the hardware. I always take a good look at all the cutouts and get them all out of the way (the dust!) at the beginning as that is one of my least favorite things to do. The first thing you see when you take this plane out of its well-packaged cocoon is the quality, BVM planes are the absolute top of the line IMO, well built, expertly laid up and never a mess of goo or poorly laid up joint to be seen. Add to that the best factory paint and every time a box shows up it should be a party. The eBandit is no exception, this one came in the Navy Aggressor scheme and I happen to know that Mr. Violett himself had his hand in some of the painting.

Taking a look at the fuselage, well holding it is amazing, it weighs nothing! You can clearly see the layup is light, there are many places where fairly heavy carbon fiber cloth is added to the stress points and major contact points like the wing spars and fuselage formers, this includes areas like gear doors so they end up true and strong but on closer inspection you'll find Kevlar in the nose on both sides, to give that area as light and strong a build as possible. Truly outstanding craftsmanship goes into these jets and it shows in the final finish, no pools of goop, no excess material folder over, no discrepancies in the amount of resin, the folks that lay these planes up now their craft...

Jack
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Last edited by jfetter; Sep 02, 2010 at 09:44 PM.
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Old Sep 02, 2010, 06:31 PM
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Build Day 2

OK, done with the brochure talk, let's cut this pig open! I'm starting with the nose gear formers, they are always the first part of a BVM build. In this case the BVM Air Blue was chosen, it's strong and light and of course made by BVM right here in Florida, parts and service are not a problem. The install is easy, a few formers and some carbon fiber plates for the gear and you can align it and tack it in place in no time. Before any of this, the front gear door should have been cut out, there are mold lines that can be used for this. Once complete, the door itself (packaged separately) should be cut to size and test-fit a few times to make sure the fit it tight. The eBandit uses flat hinges which I find more durable than the offset hinges and once you add a button screw or two, very strong at the field.

The gear door is cut in two at the panel line, the shorter of the two making up the front door. This is held in place by a single flat hinge and will have a spring that pulls it shut installed after all the final gluing is done. The side door is held in place by a pair of flat hinges screwed to a ply mounting rail that is installed almost exactly on the side cutout, with the two flat hinges locations already pre-drilled so you can't go wrong. A couple shallow cutouts for the hinge joints (made with a sanding board) is all you need to do other than sand to fit the door and it's mounted with a few button head screws. Time taken here will pay off, you really want tight panel lines and clean door installs so you don't have to worry about binding.

The wing spars come next, with the gear removed for gluing, it makes sense to get the wing spars installed and tacked so all the gluing can get done at the same time. The spars themselves are carbon fiber, the front one fitted with compression clamps and the rear fitted with the same spar channels as the Bandit and Electra, the only difference being a heli coil installed on the TOP so the set screw holding the spar can be tightened from above. The wing mounting is very well done, the fit of the spars as well, they pretty much line up in the only places they can and allow the wings to slide on with little fiddling. In this case tacking them isn't really enough, they call for two applications of Aeropoxy to make sure they are fully joined...

Jack
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Old Sep 02, 2010, 06:31 PM
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Nice color scheme Jack. Plan is to have it ready for E-Jets?
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Old Sep 02, 2010, 06:35 PM
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More pictures from Build Day 2

Jack
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Old Sep 02, 2010, 06:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arngeir Blakseth View Post
Nice color scheme Jack. Plan is to have it ready for E-Jets?
Absolutely!
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Old Sep 02, 2010, 06:37 PM
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Brentwood, California
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Looks really nice Jack!
it's the best of the best... they come no better

you have to be super stoked with that bad boy

I know you will do the install justice
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Old Sep 02, 2010, 07:37 PM
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Miramar, Florida
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Build Day 3

Little things are happening and not being noted and progress is going pretty well. Today I want to get the stabs and vertical fin mounted so I can complete all the gluing of all the formers and mounts. The stabs mount using two aluminum clamps that bolt to a carbon fiber spar mount, the pins come pre-glued in the stabs with only the front carbon fiber anti-rotation pins left to glue. The front anti-rotation pins mount in phenolic mounts that are glued to the inside of the fuselage, a set screw is tightened from below to grab the front pin.

The vertical stab is very similar to the stab mounting, a metal pin is also factory installed with only the anti-rotation pin left to do. The anti-rotation pin is also held in-place using a phenolic mount glued to the fuse on the inside up near the fin. The part of all of this that makes it easy is there is almost no way to go wrong with the positioning, the stabs and vertical fin almost line themselves up. This is one of my favorite views of a BVM plane, the rear showing the anhedral against the slight dihedral of the wings, looks like a missile!

Jack
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Old Sep 02, 2010, 07:52 PM
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Miramar, Florida
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More pictures from Build Day 3

The inlets are next on the list, they are very easy to trim down, fit and glue together. The difference between the eBandit inlets and the Electra inlets are only in how they are held together. Rather than some simple tack glue, BVM has added a loop of tape (glass) to go around the inlet lip at the fan. They've made it quite simple as well with jigs to hold the inlet openings at the right distance while you glue them up (and install!), overall not a tough step...

Jack
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Old Sep 02, 2010, 08:36 PM
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Looks awesome!
Look fwd to seeing it @ E-jets.
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Old Sep 02, 2010, 09:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron101 View Post
Looks really nice Jack!
it's the best of the best... they come no better

you have to be super stoked with that bad boy

I know you will do the install justice
Ron,

I see you've got your hands full too, I also see you got your dream EDF, waiting to hear how that sounds in the hawk!

Jack
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Old Sep 02, 2010, 09:52 PM
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shut up & fly
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United States, FL, Miami
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very nice, congrats
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Old Sep 02, 2010, 09:57 PM
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Beautiful inside and out! Definitely a high level of precision! Thanks for sharing!
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Old Sep 03, 2010, 05:24 PM
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Watt me worry?
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Florida
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I like it Jack...............maybe someday I can afford one.
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