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Old Feb 21, 2012, 02:59 PM
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Autotechwagon's Avatar
Colorful Colorado Springs, CO
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Buy electric or convert existing glider to electric?

I have been considering picking up the Tower Hobbies Vista EP for the coming spring and summer. My thoughts were basically:

I would like to not set up a highstart

I love balsa gliders

Cheap and easy to get flying

I already own:

Sig Riser 2m
Sig Riser 100
Sophisticated Lady
Mistral 2m

I am planning to sell one or two to get the new plane.

OR

Could I convert one of the existing planes that I have to electric? The one I would prefer would be my riser 2m. It was my first build way back when I was in my early teens.

What would be the best setup to do this conversion?

What do you guys think?
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Old Feb 21, 2012, 03:15 PM
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United States, OR, Bend
Joined Nov 2004
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span!

Here are my thoughts, just offhand.
I don't know the Vista, but from the list I would say the Riser 100 would be the best, assuming the nose would take the gear as well as any of the others. The extra span would best offset the extra weight of an electric system and fly most similar to the pure glider.
Have you considered building another fuse entirely? Buy the balsa and use the original plans that you already have. Then you have the best of both worlds!
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Old Feb 21, 2012, 03:28 PM
volare est vivere
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United States, OH, Toledo
Joined Jan 2005
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hi there from Toledo

+1, fullscale.

Yeah, the best of both worlds, go for it. Fuselages are easy to build and easier to modify for best fit of e-stuff from the get go.

ciao -rjf
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Old Feb 21, 2012, 03:32 PM
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Bigger is ALWAYS BETTER!
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Old Feb 21, 2012, 05:26 PM
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I had considered the 100, but I never thought of another fuse. Interesting... I would probably build the tail-feathers also. Should I build it out of light ply like the original, or could I build it different?

Ok, any recomendation for motor size, esc, battery?
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Old Feb 22, 2012, 01:42 PM
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Texas Panhandle
Joined Dec 2004
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You should not have to build a new fuselage, just modify the one you have. There is one on the Sig web site and they will talk to you about it. Check out http://www.skybench.com/

http://www.espritmodel.com/index.asp

I think there is a build for a Sig Riser on RC groups.
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Old Feb 22, 2012, 04:26 PM
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United States, DE, Seaford
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Don't be snookered into believing the 'fact' that an electric conversion will be heavier as it don't always happen. I did two conversions, one was lighter and needed some Pb in the nose for balance and one was spot on the original AUW.

Overall strength is not as critcal as string launch sailplane as the stress from the winch in not there. This is not to say to go crazy,but you can lighten up things a bit. I was amazed at the lightness of construction on my first ARF E-sailplane and was a little doubtful at fisrt on whether it would hold up. It's done just fine and the lack of lawn dart spot landings helps as they are not needed even in contests.

The 2M Riser would probably do well with a 450 size motor or if you want some zip on the climb install a 480. I don't have one but judging from the weight and power of similar aircraft it seems right. Motor installs need not be overly built either, I've used 1/8' ply and 1/16" fibre sheet with good results. It does take a bit of fortitude to hack off the nose of a perfectly fine fuselage, however with some planning and a care with a saw it's easy. Side or down thrust is not critcal as you're not running the motor all the tims as in a power plane. Use a little if you feel you need it, I run 0*/0* and have no trouble with the climbs. A bit of extra rudder and down elevator works just as well.

Oh.....and bigger is ALWAYS better.
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Old Feb 22, 2012, 10:17 PM
Who said Kiwi's can't fly!
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Hawkes Bay , New Zealand
Joined Feb 2008
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My 2m wood sailplanes go great with a KDA 22-20L brushless ( about $13.00 from HobbyKing) , 25 amp ESC and a 9x5 prop. Any 3s lipo 1300 to 2200 ( the 2200 balances it nicely) my wanderer (76inch) will climb almost vertical and be at high start height in around 10 to 12 seconds and will do this many,many times on a 2200 lipo...
Ps : my electric conversion made it no heavier than the unpowered version ( 26 oz rtf from memory..)
Ive also used the little FC2822 and that will also fly it very well , just not as steep a climb as the KDA .

Grant.
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Old Feb 23, 2012, 07:35 AM
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If you like to build AND keep your original glider HS ready, build a new fuse. Yiu can shape the nose to accept the new motor/prop.

Modification of one of you current glider fuse for the motor should not be hard.

If you are going to use an outrunner you need to be sure you have room for the spinning can.

I just looked at the Vista EP. $114? Wow, the price really went up.

If you buy it, you can try that motor set-up using a 2 cell lipo. But I would plan to throw away the motor and ESC. That set-up will give you a poor climb out. You will want to put in a 200 to 300 watt brushless motor of about 900 to 1200 kV spinning a 9 to 11" prop on a 3 cell lipo.
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Old Feb 23, 2012, 04:58 PM
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San Diego area
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grunta5 View Post
My 2m wood sailplanes go great with a KDA 22-20L brushless ( about $13.00 from HobbyKing) , 25 amp ESC and a 9x5 prop. Any 3s lipo 1300 to 2200 ( the 2200 balances it nicely) my wanderer (76inch) will climb almost vertical and be at high start height in around 10 to 12 seconds and will do this many,many times on a 2200 lipo...
Ps : my electric conversion made it no heavier than the unpowered version ( 26 oz rtf from memory..)
Ive also used the little FC2822 and that will also fly it very well , just not as steep a climb as the KDA .

Grant.
I agree with Grunta5 about the KDA22-20L ("L" for large)motor from HobbyKing.

I have this motor in a 3 meter Mirage weighing about 40 oz. The motor has plenty of power for this plane. With a 3S LiPo, CAM 10-6 prop, it delivers 21.1 amps, 249 watts max. With a CAM 10-8 it will deliver 32.2 amps, 365 watts, but this is above recommended current and I would not do it.
An inexpensive setup is $13.50 motor, $13 Turnigy Plush 30 amp speed controller, $8.00 Zippy 3s 2200mah or 1800 mah battery, plus shipping.

I have been using KDA22-20M ("M" for medium) on Vista and Windfree with great success; these are high quality inexpensive motors.

I always reverse the shaft so the motor is mounted in front of the fire wall. Then, if possible (and it usually is possible), I carve a shroud out of a solid balsa block to surround the motor to make it pretty. But even without this pretty block, you can't detect an ugly nose once it is 10 feet above the ground.

The outrunner in front of the fire wall does two things:
1. Motor runs cool and keeps the heat outside.
2. No worry about spinning cans, cut motor wires on the inside.

Craig
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Old Feb 23, 2012, 09:43 PM
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Colorful Colorado Springs, CO
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Thanks for the input everyone. I really like the Vista EP, but I don't need another wing to store. I have pretty much decided to build another Riser 2M fuse. I think it would be the best solution as far and the build process goes. Also, I live 10 min from where RCFoam moved to. They are starting to carry alot of the same stuff that Hobby King sells, so I can get my motor, ESC, and Lipo from them.
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Old Sep 23, 2012, 11:51 PM
LIVE TO FLY, FLY TO LIVE!
got lift?'s Avatar
Joined May 2009
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I took a chance on the Vista and I've been very pleased. I posted some info on my brushless conversion in another thread (link below). I'm hitting 700 feet in 30 seconds.

Vista Brushless conversion
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