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Old Oct 17, 2010, 04:22 PM
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neversommer's Avatar
Luzern/Switzerland
Joined Aug 2008
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Hello Mate

I have the F-18 on order as well from Hobby Lobby.

Your Lockdown of the TV looks simple but cool.

If mine are also very sloppy how did you do it? You aligned them to be straight and then what?

You drilled a while into the spots and just put in a screw?

Did you secure it on the inside?

Cause with my 2x Eurofighters I had..I had always problems getting the TV to align correctly..they were also a bit loose and as soon as you turn the clevises around they may brake..

Let us know how they maiden went also let me know about your TV Mod!

Regards

Neversommer.
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Old Oct 17, 2010, 09:30 PM
I hate waiting for parts
Mike_Then's Avatar
United States, NC, Garner
Joined Apr 2001
7,022 Posts
Hi Neversommer, on the TV nozzles there are white marks on either side of the 'ball' part of the nozzle which I assume is center. There is also a mark on the top of the nozzle (looking from the bottom of the plane) that I also assume is center. I lined those up, drilled two small holes (one on the top, one on the side), put a drop of CA in the hole, and put in a screw. Simple and very effective. I can take more pictures if you like and if you need futher clarification let me know.

I put the maiden flight on my F/A-18 today. I didn't get any fantastic video but I did get some but I need time to edit it and I will post it here. I got a total of four flights but I had to earn those flights. I will give a detailed flight report later with pics and video, but rest-assured the F/A-18 flies and flies well. It's faster than it looks.

Zach_dad, I didn't do the thrust test you described (sorry) but I'll tell you that the stock power system is quite powerful. When you put it straight up it will go straight up, but it loses steam rather quickly. However, nice big loops are easy with the stock system and 6s. Again, it flies pretty fast and cruises very comfortably at 50% throttle.

According to my wattmeter, on 2 x 3s 4000 25C batteries, I'm getting 71A and 1600+ watts. My timer was set to 4 minutes and the batteries came down warm (not hot) and read anywhere between 11.1v - 11.2v which means I'm using 70 - 80% in four minutes. Bigger batts will definitely be needed to achieve 5- or 6-minutes flights.

A detailed flight report to come later tonight or tomorrow! Sorry, gotta go watch the Colts game.
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Old Oct 17, 2010, 10:06 PM
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TEXAS
Joined Sep 2005
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Thanks mikethen for the report if you get a chance I would still like to see it. I stil am waiting for my kits. Hey by chance when you get a second can you tell me how many reversed servos I need to.
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Old Oct 17, 2010, 10:19 PM
Hey Ya'll!! Watch THIS!!
Michael Paxton's Avatar
Nashville TN.
Joined Mar 2006
2,555 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike_Then View Post
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:
  1. Shorten the steering arm so it doesn't rub the gear door
  2. Enlarge the battery compartment
  3. Set up proper throws, dual-rates, etc.
  4. Set neutral points on all control surfaces.
  5. Line up nose gear steering.
  6. Check balance, amp draw, and range check.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z7R_vXGvp1c
I find it amazing that they managed to make it look NOTHING like an FA-18!! It's worse than the 64mm and 70mm versions by a large margin.
HURUMPH!
PAX
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Old Oct 17, 2010, 11:49 PM
Live to fly
bighead93's Avatar
Sacramento
Joined Apr 2005
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Looks good to me!
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Old Oct 18, 2010, 12:11 AM
Hey Ya'll!! Watch THIS!!
Michael Paxton's Avatar
Nashville TN.
Joined Mar 2006
2,555 Posts
It looks like some kind of double decker mobile home made into a jet!! LOL

(And I'm no Scale Nazi either!) It just looks odd.
PAX
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Old Oct 18, 2010, 06:51 AM
"Aircraftus Fragmentum"
kydawg1's Avatar
Motor City USA
Joined Mar 2007
3,788 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike_Then View Post
Hi Neversommer, on the TV nozzles there are white marks on either side of the 'ball' part of the nozzle which I assume is center. There is also a mark on the top of the nozzle (looking from the bottom of the plane) that I also assume is center. I lined those up, drilled two small holes (one on the top, one on the side), put a drop of CA in the hole, and put in a screw. Simple and very effective. I can take more pictures if you like and if you need futher clarification let me know.

I put the maiden flight on my F/A-18 today. I didn't get any fantastic video but I did get some but I need time to edit it and I will post it here. I got a total of four flights but I had to earn those flights. I will give a detailed flight report later with pics and video, but rest-assured the F/A-18 flies and flies well. It's faster than it looks.

Zach_dad, I didn't do the thrust test you described (sorry) but I'll tell you that the stock power system is quite powerful. When you put it straight up it will go straight up, but it loses steam rather quickly. However, nice big loops are easy with the stock system and 6s. Again, it flies pretty fast and cruises very comfortably at 50% throttle.

According to my wattmeter, on 2 x 3s 4000 25C batteries, I'm getting 71A and 1600+ watts. My timer was set to 4 minutes and the batteries came down warm (not hot) and read anywhere between 11.1v - 11.2v which means I'm using 70 - 80% in four minutes. Bigger batts will definitely be needed to achieve 5- or 6-minutes flights.

A detailed flight report to come later tonight or tomorrow! Sorry, gotta go watch the Colts game.
I am glad your maiden went well.
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Old Oct 18, 2010, 08:04 AM
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neversommer's Avatar
Luzern/Switzerland
Joined Aug 2008
2,894 Posts
Hello Mike

Yeah I know those white markings from the F-35,SU-34 and Eurofighter Typhoon.

From the Eurofighter on I found the quality on the TV such as the centering of the nozzles degrading in accuracy and you had to really be very very careful not to overstress them, which is a very lucky thing to do.

So you had no issues with the elevators at all with the TV not interacting ?

TV does slow the Jet's down a bit.

A bit more pictures would be very cool, if you dont mind.

I hope Hobby-Lobby will ship my F-18 shortly!

I only have 3x4000mah batteries...so I have to enjoy it as much as I can.

Not sure if you have also the Eurofighter Typhoon from Freewing, but in case you do...how much faster is the F-18 in comparison to the Eurofighter?

I may be using my Jepe motor 6S..but I dont think I will get the same performance or like Top-Speed by the looks of it.

However I am looking forward to your video

Regards

Neversommer.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike_Then View Post
Hi Neversommer, on the TV nozzles there are white marks on either side of the 'ball' part of the nozzle which I assume is center. There is also a mark on the top of the nozzle (looking from the bottom of the plane) that I also assume is center. I lined those up, drilled two small holes (one on the top, one on the side), put a drop of CA in the hole, and put in a screw. Simple and very effective. I can take more pictures if you like and if you need futher clarification let me know.

I put the maiden flight on my F/A-18 today. I didn't get any fantastic video but I did get some but I need time to edit it and I will post it here. I got a total of four flights but I had to earn those flights. I will give a detailed flight report later with pics and video, but rest-assured the F/A-18 flies and flies well. It's faster than it looks.

Zach_dad, I didn't do the thrust test you described (sorry) but I'll tell you that the stock power system is quite powerful. When you put it straight up it will go straight up, but it loses steam rather quickly. However, nice big loops are easy with the stock system and 6s. Again, it flies pretty fast and cruises very comfortably at 50% throttle.

According to my wattmeter, on 2 x 3s 4000 25C batteries, I'm getting 71A and 1600+ watts. My timer was set to 4 minutes and the batteries came down warm (not hot) and read anywhere between 11.1v - 11.2v which means I'm using 70 - 80% in four minutes. Bigger batts will definitely be needed to achieve 5- or 6-minutes flights.

A detailed flight report to come later tonight or tomorrow! Sorry, gotta go watch the Colts game.
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Old Oct 18, 2010, 12:08 PM
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Maxthrottle's Avatar
High Orbit.....
Joined Jun 2009
6,678 Posts
Mike_Then; For locking up the TV you're putting the CA after the screw is in place to hold the screw from rattling loose?
I wouldn't lock up the TV entirely, with glue as others have suggested, till the thrust line has been confirmed. I found the thrust line to be off slightly with my SU34 and the Euro. Makes it easy to adjust though. Hands off in a full power climb does it pull in any direction?

Since you are locking them up, why not add a short thrust tube pointing out the tail pipe.... is there enough length aft of the EDF to anchor a thrust tube. There was in the Euro.

Also could you post some close ups of the retracts. Do they resemble anyones or are these a HL Freewing original?

Thanks.




P.S. You have my other all around favourite. The Reactor! Electric or Glow?
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Old Oct 18, 2010, 12:10 PM
I hate waiting for parts
Mike_Then's Avatar
United States, NC, Garner
Joined Apr 2001
7,022 Posts
Hi Neversommer, I did have some control issues which I will describe below. I don't have any other HL jet but my friend and club-mate had the Eurofigher and I know this jet is significantly faster than the Eurofighter.

Okay, here's my flight report from Sunday. Sorry I didn't get it updated yesterday; long day at the flying field, my turn to cook dinner, then had to watch the football game.

Flight #1, first attempt:
Checked the balance again, and range-checked OK. Used the recommended throws for both the elevator and ailerons (1/2" low rate, 3/4" high rates). Checked the amp draw and watts before the 1st flight; 71A at WOT fresh off the charger and 1600+ watts. Should be more than enough to move this plane with authority. Lined up on the runway and smoothly advanced to full power. Plane would not lift off the ground. I switched to high rates right before I had to abort and the plane still wouldn't take off. Aborted the takeoff and as the plane was rolling to a stop, the left-rear wheel fell off. Further investigation shows the little plastic cap got so hot from the wheel hub rubbing against it that it melted the plastic a bit, causing the wheel to fall off. Brought the plane back to the hangar and fixed the wheel.

Flight #1, second attempt:
Lined up on the runway and advanced to 100% throttle, this time using high rates the entire time. Same result as last time, the plane did not lift off and the left rear wheel fell off again. Brought the plane back to the pits and found the same results as last time, except this time the wheel and the nut were both damaged/melted a bit worse. Fixed the wheel and nut with a drill bit and CA. Also saw that the nose gear was loose, as the screws were backed out a little bit. As I tightened them up, you can feel the screws just turning so that means these holes are stripped too. I will have to strengthen them with some CA.

Flight #1, third attempt:
Took the plane to the road at our field. Lined it up and advanced to 100% throttle. This time the plane leapt off the ground and was airborne. It needed A LOT of right-trim and A LOT of up-trim. Flew for about 3.5 minutes and landed on the grass runway without issue. Batteries were warm (not hot) and read 11.1v each so that means I used 80% of the packs. Probably due to the full-throttle blasts for three takeoff attempts.

Problem: Worth noting is that no where in the manual does it state what the neutral point is for the elevators, so that's part of the takeoff problem which was a lot of down-trim. The small wheels didn't help things in the grass either.

Solution: I increased the amount of throw for the elevators and also evened them up (which allowed me to take out some of the right-trim). The only reference point I had to line them up was lines in the fuselage but they proved to be wrong. I'm pretty sure that the additional throw was needed because I did not have the TV enabled.

Flight #2:
With more elevator throw and a washer on the left-rear wheel to hopefully act as a bearing, I tried to take off from the grass again... the plane is useless to me if it can't be flown from our grass field. I used most of the runway but it finally took off. It's a bit sensitive at this point with all the elevator throw I added but it's manageable. Nothing a little expo can't cure. Took out a little right-trim so now I'm making zoom-and-boom passes and exploring the flight envelope. It grooves very nicely and looks fantastic on high-speed passes. Loops are big, and vertical performace is OK but it runs out of steam on the upline rather quickly. The plane is quite fast in level flight at 100% throttle. Flew for exactly four minutes and set up for landing. There was a nice breeze right down the center of the runway and I was pleasantly surprised at how slow it flew with not a hint of stalling. Set it down gently and taxiied back to the pits. Batteries were warm (not hot) and read 11.3v so I had a bit more flight time.

Flight #3:
This time the plane jumped off the ground quickly but I honestly think it was because I hit an ant hill on the runway (see below). Flew for 4.5 minutes and landed with warm batteries and 11.2v in the packs. I'm thinking at this point I can get 5 minutes from 4000 mAh packs if I'm careful with throttle management.

Flight #4:
The F/A-18 used most of the runway again and wouldn't come off the ground. Just as I was about to abort the takeoff (I had pulled the throttle back at this point), the plane jumped off the ground at the end of the runway and ripped the entire left gear assembly out of the fuselage. I'm now 10 ft. off the ground, low and slow. I punch the throttle and it climbed smoothly and got on-step quickly. A slow pass confirmed the entire left gear missing. Since the landing may not be pretty, I might as well enjoy it while I can. I explored more of the flight envelope, made a few photo passes, victory rolls after high-speed low passes, etc. Decided to belly-land the plane rather than risk a 2-gear landing. Plopped it on the runway as slow as I dared and thankfully it didn't rip off the missiles. It chewed up the foam around the intakes and the nose, but nothing major and nothing that can't be dressed up with a little sandpaper and some grey paint. The gear unit was found to be intact and worked perfectly, so that's good news. Further good news is that the plywood plate was also intact. As the picture will show once I get to my home computer, there was minimal amounts of glue holding the plywood mounting plate into the plane.

So here's my punch list to get the plane back in the air:
  1. Glue the left-rear gear back into the airplane.
  2. Rip out both other gear mounting plates and glue much more securely.
  3. Change to bigger wheels for grass-field takeoffs (there's plenty of room for larger wheels).
  4. Change the axles to something larger and with better ways to secure the wheels.
  5. Sand down and paint the chewed-up foam on the belly.
  6. Glue some lite ply to the floor of the battery compartment so straps can be utilized to further secure large packs (the included straps weren't long enough and were removed from the aircraft).

My suggestions for the V2 kit of the airplane for Hobby Lobby:
  1. Manual addition: Please mention how and when to mount the wingtip rails and missiles.
  2. Manual addition: Please mention how to center the elevators.
  3. Manual addition: For those using the thrust-vectoring, more details and/or clarification is needed as the TV just has a passing mention in the manual.
  4. Slightly larger wheels (remember a large percentage of us do not have access to paved runways).
  5. Better axles.

Hope everyone enjoyed my build log and mini-review. I'll post pics and the video as soon as I get a chance, and will also follow up on how my mods help the plane perform.
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Old Oct 18, 2010, 12:43 PM
You are a "go" for reentry
Maxthrottle's Avatar
High Orbit.....
Joined Jun 2009
6,678 Posts
Ditto on the larger wheels for all my FW models. Unless it was a putting green cut grass it kept pulling on the gear making it sometimes hard to lift off.
They also didn't have instructions or a marker for the F35 tailerons. So when you set them were they parallel to the wings AoA?

Questions.
What was your CG? factory?
AUW?
Did you have the tail planes as stabilators (pitch only) or Tailerons (pitch and roll)?
What was the travel on your stabilators at high rate? Carrier take offs they are angled up 35-40*.
How far back are the wheels from the CG mark?
Is the nose gear slightly higher to have the wings AoA up slightly when the model sits on level ground?

Thanks again!
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Old Oct 18, 2010, 12:53 PM
"Aircraftus Fragmentum"
kydawg1's Avatar
Motor City USA
Joined Mar 2007
3,788 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike_Then View Post
Hi Neversommer, I did have some control issues which I will describe below. I don't have any other HL jet but my friend and club-mate had the Eurofigher and I know this jet is significantly faster than the Eurofighter.

Okay, here's my flight report from Sunday. Sorry I didn't get it updated yesterday; long day at the flying field, my turn to cook dinner, then had to watch the football game.

Flight #1, first attempt:
Checked the balance again, and range-checked OK. Used the recommended throws for both the elevator and ailerons (1/2" low rate, 3/4" high rates). Checked the amp draw and watts before the 1st flight; 71A at WOT fresh off the charger and 1600+ watts. Should be more than enough to move this plane with authority. Lined up on the runway and smoothly advanced to full power. Plane would not lift off the ground. I switched to high rates right before I had to abort and the plane still wouldn't take off. Aborted the takeoff and as the plane was rolling to a stop, the left-rear wheel fell off. Further investigation shows the little plastic cap got so hot from the wheel hub rubbing against it that it melted the plastic a bit, causing the wheel to fall off. Brought the plane back to the hangar and fixed the wheel.

Flight #1, second attempt:
Lined up on the runway and advanced to 100% throttle, this time using high rates the entire time. Same result as last time, the plane did not lift off and the left rear wheel fell off again. Brought the plane back to the pits and found the same results as last time, except this time the wheel and the nut were both damaged/melted a bit worse. Fixed the wheel and nut with a drill bit and CA. Also saw that the nose gear was loose, as the screws were backed out a little bit. As I tightened them up, you can feel the screws just turning so that means these holes are stripped too. I will have to strengthen them with some CA.

Flight #1, third attempt:
Took the plane to the road at our field. Lined it up and advanced to 100% throttle. This time the plane leapt off the ground and was airborne. It needed A LOT of right-trim and A LOT of up-trim. Flew for about 3.5 minutes and landed on the grass runway without issue. Batteries were warm (not hot) and read 11.1v each so that means I used 80% of the packs. Probably due to the full-throttle blasts for three takeoff attempts.

Problem: Worth noting is that no where in the manual does it state what the neutral point is for the elevators, so that's part of the takeoff problem which was a lot of down-trim. The small wheels didn't help things in the grass either.

Solution: I increased the amount of throw for the elevators and also evened them up (which allowed me to take out some of the right-trim). The only reference point I had to line them up was lines in the fuselage but they proved to be wrong. I'm pretty sure that the additional throw was needed because I did not have the TV enabled.

Flight #2:
With more elevator throw and a washer on the left-rear wheel to hopefully act as a bearing, I tried to take off from the grass again... the plane is useless to me if it can't be flown from our grass field. I used most of the runway but it finally took off. It's a bit sensitive at this point with all the elevator throw I added but it's manageable. Nothing a little expo can't cure. Took out a little right-trim so now I'm making zoom-and-boom passes and exploring the flight envelope. It grooves very nicely and looks fantastic on high-speed passes. Loops are big, and vertical performace is OK but it runs out of steam on the upline rather quickly. The plane is quite fast in level flight at 100% throttle. Flew for exactly four minutes and set up for landing. There was a nice breeze right down the center of the runway and I was pleasantly surprised at how slow it flew with not a hint of stalling. Set it down gently and taxiied back to the pits. Batteries were warm (not hot) and read 11.3v so I had a bit more flight time.

Flight #3:
This time the plane jumped off the ground quickly but I honestly think it was because I hit an ant hill on the runway (see below). Flew for 4.5 minutes and landed with warm batteries and 11.2v in the packs. I'm thinking at this point I can get 5 minutes from 4000 mAh packs if I'm careful with throttle management.

Flight #4:
The F/A-18 used most of the runway again and wouldn't come off the ground. Just as I was about to abort the takeoff (I had pulled the throttle back at this point), the plane jumped off the ground at the end of the runway and ripped the entire left gear assembly out of the fuselage. I'm now 10 ft. off the ground, low and slow. I punch the throttle and it climbed smoothly and got on-step quickly. A slow pass confirmed the entire left gear missing. Since the landing may not be pretty, I might as well enjoy it while I can. I explored more of the flight envelope, made a few photo passes, victory rolls after high-speed low passes, etc. Decided to belly-land the plane rather than risk a 2-gear landing. Plopped it on the runway as slow as I dared and thankfully it didn't rip off the missiles. It chewed up the foam around the intakes and the nose, but nothing major and nothing that can't be dressed up with a little sandpaper and some grey paint. The gear unit was found to be intact and worked perfectly, so that's good news. Further good news is that the plywood plate was also intact. As the picture will show once I get to my home computer, there was minimal amounts of glue holding the plywood mounting plate into the plane.

So here's my punch list to get the plane back in the air:
  1. Glue the left-rear gear back into the airplane.
  2. Rip out both other gear mounting plates and glue much more securely.
  3. Change to bigger wheels for grass-field takeoffs (there's plenty of room for larger wheels).
  4. Change the axles to something larger and with better ways to secure the wheels.
  5. Sand down and paint the chewed-up foam on the belly.
  6. Glue some lite ply to the floor of the battery compartment so straps can be utilized to further secure large packs (the included straps weren't long enough and were removed from the aircraft).

My suggestions for the V2 kit of the airplane for Hobby Lobby:
  1. Manual addition: Please mention how and when to mount the wingtip rails and missiles.
  2. Manual addition: Please mention how to center the elevators.
  3. Manual addition: For those using the thrust-vectoring, more details and/or clarification is needed as the TV just has a passing mention in the manual.
  4. Slightly larger wheels (remember a large percentage of us do not have access to paved runways).
  5. Better axles.

Hope everyone enjoyed my build log and mini-review. I'll post pics and the video as soon as I get a chance, and will also follow up on how my mods help the plane perform.
Great info....looks like we are starting to get the known issues on the table.
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Old Oct 18, 2010, 01:18 PM
Registered User
neversommer's Avatar
Luzern/Switzerland
Joined Aug 2008
2,894 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike_Then View Post
Hi Neversommer, I did have some control issues which I will describe below. I don't have any other HL jet but my friend and club-mate had the Eurofigher and I know this jet is significantly faster than the Eurofighter.

Okay, here's my flight report from Sunday. Sorry I didn't get it updated yesterday; long day at the flying field, my turn to cook dinner, then had to watch the football game.

Flight #1, first attempt:
Checked the balance again, and range-checked OK. Used the recommended throws for both the elevator and ailerons (1/2" low rate, 3/4" high rates). Checked the amp draw and watts before the 1st flight; 71A at WOT fresh off the charger and 1600+ watts. Should be more than enough to move this plane with authority. Lined up on the runway and smoothly advanced to full power. Plane would not lift off the ground. I switched to high rates right before I had to abort and the plane still wouldn't take off. Aborted the takeoff and as the plane was rolling to a stop, the left-rear wheel fell off. Further investigation shows the little plastic cap got so hot from the wheel hub rubbing against it that it melted the plastic a bit, causing the wheel to fall off. Brought the plane back to the hangar and fixed the wheel.

Flight #1, second attempt:
Lined up on the runway and advanced to 100% throttle, this time using high rates the entire time. Same result as last time, the plane did not lift off and the left rear wheel fell off again. Brought the plane back to the pits and found the same results as last time, except this time the wheel and the nut were both damaged/melted a bit worse. Fixed the wheel and nut with a drill bit and CA. Also saw that the nose gear was loose, as the screws were backed out a little bit. As I tightened them up, you can feel the screws just turning so that means these holes are stripped too. I will have to strengthen them with some CA.

Flight #1, third attempt:
Took the plane to the road at our field. Lined it up and advanced to 100% throttle. This time the plane leapt off the ground and was airborne. It needed A LOT of right-trim and A LOT of up-trim. Flew for about 3.5 minutes and landed on the grass runway without issue. Batteries were warm (not hot) and read 11.1v each so that means I used 80% of the packs. Probably due to the full-throttle blasts for three takeoff attempts.

Problem: Worth noting is that no where in the manual does it state what the neutral point is for the elevators, so that's part of the takeoff problem which was a lot of down-trim. The small wheels didn't help things in the grass either.

Solution: I increased the amount of throw for the elevators and also evened them up (which allowed me to take out some of the right-trim). The only reference point I had to line them up was lines in the fuselage but they proved to be wrong. I'm pretty sure that the additional throw was needed because I did not have the TV enabled.

Flight #2:
With more elevator throw and a washer on the left-rear wheel to hopefully act as a bearing, I tried to take off from the grass again... the plane is useless to me if it can't be flown from our grass field. I used most of the runway but it finally took off. It's a bit sensitive at this point with all the elevator throw I added but it's manageable. Nothing a little expo can't cure. Took out a little right-trim so now I'm making zoom-and-boom passes and exploring the flight envelope. It grooves very nicely and looks fantastic on high-speed passes. Loops are big, and vertical performace is OK but it runs out of steam on the upline rather quickly. The plane is quite fast in level flight at 100% throttle. Flew for exactly four minutes and set up for landing. There was a nice breeze right down the center of the runway and I was pleasantly surprised at how slow it flew with not a hint of stalling. Set it down gently and taxiied back to the pits. Batteries were warm (not hot) and read 11.3v so I had a bit more flight time.

Flight #3:
This time the plane jumped off the ground quickly but I honestly think it was because I hit an ant hill on the runway (see below). Flew for 4.5 minutes and landed with warm batteries and 11.2v in the packs. I'm thinking at this point I can get 5 minutes from 4000 mAh packs if I'm careful with throttle management.

Flight #4:
The F/A-18 used most of the runway again and wouldn't come off the ground. Just as I was about to abort the takeoff (I had pulled the throttle back at this point), the plane jumped off the ground at the end of the runway and ripped the entire left gear assembly out of the fuselage. I'm now 10 ft. off the ground, low and slow. I punch the throttle and it climbed smoothly and got on-step quickly. A slow pass confirmed the entire left gear missing. Since the landing may not be pretty, I might as well enjoy it while I can. I explored more of the flight envelope, made a few photo passes, victory rolls after high-speed low passes, etc. Decided to belly-land the plane rather than risk a 2-gear landing. Plopped it on the runway as slow as I dared and thankfully it didn't rip off the missiles. It chewed up the foam around the intakes and the nose, but nothing major and nothing that can't be dressed up with a little sandpaper and some grey paint. The gear unit was found to be intact and worked perfectly, so that's good news. Further good news is that the plywood plate was also intact. As the picture will show once I get to my home computer, there was minimal amounts of glue holding the plywood mounting plate into the plane.

So here's my punch list to get the plane back in the air:
  1. Glue the left-rear gear back into the airplane.
  2. Rip out both other gear mounting plates and glue much more securely.
  3. Change to bigger wheels for grass-field takeoffs (there's plenty of room for larger wheels).
  4. Change the axles to something larger and with better ways to secure the wheels.
  5. Sand down and paint the chewed-up foam on the belly.
  6. Glue some lite ply to the floor of the battery compartment so straps can be utilized to further secure large packs (the included straps weren't long enough and were removed from the aircraft).

My suggestions for the V2 kit of the airplane for Hobby Lobby:
  1. Manual addition: Please mention how and when to mount the wingtip rails and missiles.
  2. Manual addition: Please mention how to center the elevators.
  3. Manual addition: For those using the thrust-vectoring, more details and/or clarification is needed as the TV just has a passing mention in the manual.
  4. Slightly larger wheels (remember a large percentage of us do not have access to paved runways).
  5. Better axles.

Hope everyone enjoyed my build log and mini-review. I'll post pics and the video as soon as I get a chance, and will also follow up on how my mods help the plane perform.
Wow that is a very nice review!

Cheers mate for the detailed information.

It now clearly shows that Freewing still has not improved the major issue on the Eurofighter: The Gears.

I also think the other reason why it may be harder for you to take-off is due to the TV not activated.

The F-18 I have seen so far, has a fairly short take-off!!!

But the gear which gets loose and stuff like this should NOT happen on a Jet in this Price Range.

It has been discussed before..it is being discussed right now and what happened? NOTHING!

I am also very happy that this jet does not have all this bells and whistles on it, this is something I have to give credit to freewing.

However...it looks like that I will be using the E-Flite 15-25E Electric Retracts on this Baby if something goes wrong.

The F-18 is by far the fastest Jet freewing has yet to offer...but still a lot of room for improvements..

All this issues should not even go live and not even for this price point of view if you ask me.

Surely we can add our own electronics and retracts but for 400 bucks..I expected a bit something more reliable and durable, especially since the retracts have been hyped to how good they were.

It all comes down to us Consumers, testing out products like people buying new nokia beta handys.

We as a Community are the only one's who stick together to enjoy our hobby and to help each other out and to learn and share experiences and advice.
We are also here for each other in times of losses and disappointment and anger, and by the looks of it, we will carry on to do so.

Once more we can see a very nice product getting hyped up to the universe but not living up the hype with a little sickness which would have been so easy to cure in the first place with the correct treatment!

I am still up for this Jet, but I will prepare myself nicely for it..I can't afford to loose a Jet in my Region of this class.

Regards

Neversommer.
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Old Oct 18, 2010, 01:38 PM
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Joined Apr 2001
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The gear themselves seem to be very strong; it's just the mounting method that leaves something to be desired. I thought about the TV being a problem since it's not activated, and I think I'll add just a touch of up-thrust and see if that helps my takeoff problems in addition to the larger wheels. The jet is nice and flies very well, but I agree that the QC should be a bit better for a $400 airplane. So far I haven't encountered anything that can't be easily overcome. And think about it this way... what highy-prefabricated airplane so far hasn't needed a few tweaks by us, the consumers? This is what makes these forums so fantastic... sharing tips, tricks, heartaches, and successes, to make this hobby as enjoyable as it can be.

@Maxthrottle:

- As far as I could tell, yes, the elevators were set to the AoA of the main wing. I was off, obviously, since I was only able to eyeball it. So much for the TLAR method.

- The CG is just a shade nose-heavy from what the factory recommends. That might be a contributing factor but it's really just a touch on the nose-heavy side. The plane certainly doesn't fly like a nose-heavy aircraft.

- I thought about weighing it, but forgot my scale. It's surprisingly light; I swear the B-25 is heavier.

- The elevators are set up as stabiliators, pitch only.

- I set them as recommended in the manual, 1/2" low rates and 3/4" high rates. Those were not enough of course so I increased them. I will have to measure and get back to you.

- Another good question, I'll have to measure and get back to you. It's quite a lot, I think.

- The nose gear is a bit lower than the rest which gives the plane a slight nose-down attitude on the ground. This is something I was hoping to alleviate with larger wheels up front.
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Old Oct 18, 2010, 01:56 PM
You are a "go" for reentry
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Joined Jun 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neversommer View Post
...It now clearly shows that Freewing still has not improved the major issue on the Eurofighter: The Gears.

I also think the other reason why it may be harder for you to take-off is due to the TV not activated.
....It has been discussed before..it is being discussed right now and what happened? NOTHING!
...However...it looks like that I will be using the E-Flite 15-25E Electric Retracts on this Baby if something goes wrong.
...Neversommer.
Neversommer Mike rightly points out he is adding larger wheels because of grass. I think the struts may be a little short too allowing too much drag on the belly.
The retracts on the Euro were mechanical and calapsed due to the servo setup; these or electric retracts. He didn't say these were calapsing so wheres the comparison to the Euro's gear that HL and Freewing are now changing out to the same gear that are presently being used on this model on their V3 Euro.
Most models have a harder time getting off grass with wheels this size on a model at this weight. I've seen trainers not take off cause the wheels were this big.

This shouldn't need TV to take off since the Stabilator is SOooooo large.
It just needs to get the wheels large enough to keep the strut and belly from dragging thru the grass allowing it to go fast enough to generate force at the stabilator to rotate. If you put the 15-20 on this it will just be heavier and still have the same problem.

And as I said in the past, none of the Freewing models were designed for speed. Why keep expecting it from them if thats not what they are designed for; but easily make if you so choose.
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