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Old Feb 09, 2011, 07:18 PM
Trying to fly
Shickshinny, PA
Joined Oct 2007
137 Posts
Build Log
Hal DeBolt Champ conversion to electric

This is my build log for a MidWest Hal deBolt Champion.
I must first thank Lee "Yarsmythejr" for his inspiration and help.
He gave me much advice to get started, and then I was overcome by personal events that required way too much attention.
But, that is past, the plane is out, my parts have come in, so here it is.
The plane was built by me in 1983. At the bad advice from the LHS, it was way overpowered. I flew it a few times, but the LHS trainer was not the best, and I got frustrated. I moved to Pennsylvania, started a family, and the plane has been in the basement since.
This plane was covered in silk, doped, then coated with a 2 part epoxy paint. That was one of the recommended methods. Consequently, it weighs a lot, but it has the wing to support it.
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Old Feb 10, 2011, 05:03 PM
Trying to fly
Shickshinny, PA
Joined Oct 2007
137 Posts
Plane details

The stripped plane weighs 42 ounces.
Adding the motor, a new motor mount, ESC, battery, servos and receiver will put me at 62 ounces or nearly 4 pounds. Pretty heavy, but I have a wing with a surface area of 559 sq. in.
That gives me a wing loading of 16 oz/sq. ft.
For a trainer at 70-90 watts per pound, I figure I need about 360 watts.
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Old Feb 10, 2011, 05:24 PM
Trying to fly
Shickshinny, PA
Joined Oct 2007
137 Posts
The gear

I bought a Spektrum DX6i for the radio, with the AR6200 Receiver with remote satellite. I like that idea of having two antennas.
For the motor, I got a BP Ultimate U2814-6 motor which is good up to 440 watts, and a BP 40A ESC with BEC. I have 2 Spektrum servos, and a 3S LIPO, about 2600 mah. Using the various software, I am figuring a APC 9x6E prop.
I oversized the motor a bit as I go a little conservative, and I would like to add ailerons next winter.
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Old Feb 12, 2011, 09:44 AM
Trying to fly
Shickshinny, PA
Joined Oct 2007
137 Posts
Motor mount installed

I have been reading about ways to mount the motor. It seemed most built a small box which the motor was then mounted on. I did not have that much room. I decided I had to build up the old firewall to mount the new motor.
I settled on adding thick balsa to the existing firewall and a new piece of maple plywood over that. Using Gorilla glue, I now have a very strong, light, motor mount. I added some holes to get some air flow back to the ESC.
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Old Feb 12, 2011, 03:45 PM
In NY's beautifull hills
staggerwing's Avatar
Binghamton Broome Cty, New York, United States
Joined Jun 2004
1,126 Posts
A Hal Debolt Live Wire Trainer was my first RC plane in the early 50's w/ a Mc Coy.09 diesel & a Lorenz RX & a TX my dad built .
The only control available then was a pulsed sequential rudder operated w/ a wound rubber band escapement which I'm sure most today aren't familiar with but it was a challenge to control. One pulse--left (or right) rudder--next pulse neutral--next--opposite rudder, & so on. When we would lose it in our rural fields or woods, my dad would rent a plane at nearby Chenango Bridge airport & spot it for me on the ground & amazingly we always found it. Folks today should be very appreciative of the technology they have.
Hope your Champ flys well for you.
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Old Feb 12, 2011, 09:03 PM
Addicted to RC
YarSmythe's Avatar
USA, TX, Houston
Joined Nov 2003
2,766 Posts
I'll be following along. Good luck with the conversion.

-Lee
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Old Feb 13, 2011, 01:37 AM
Trying to fly
Shickshinny, PA
Joined Oct 2007
137 Posts
Thank you Lee,
I appreciate all of your advice you have given me.
You were the one that got me to thinking about getting this plane back in the air.
I have hung onto to it for years, but never budged, until I read your blog.
Thanks again,
Dan
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Old Feb 13, 2011, 10:13 AM
Trying to fly
Shickshinny, PA
Joined Oct 2007
137 Posts
That must have been a challenge to fly!
How cool that the plane was spotted using another plane.
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Old Feb 13, 2011, 10:13 AM
Trying to fly
Shickshinny, PA
Joined Oct 2007
137 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by staggerwing View Post
A Hal Debolt Live Wire Trainer was my first RC plane in the early 50's w/ a Mc Coy.09 diesel & a Lorenz RX & a TX my dad built .
The only control available then was a pulsed sequential rudder operated w/ a wound rubber band escapement which I'm sure most today aren't familiar with but it was a challenge to control. One pulse--left (or right) rudder--next pulse neutral--next--opposite rudder, & so on. When we would lose it in our rural fields or woods, my dad would rent a plane at nearby Chenango Bridge airport & spot it for me on the ground & amazingly we always found it. Folks today should be very appreciative of the technology they have.
Hope your Champ flys well for you.

That must have been a challenge to fly!
How cool that the plane was spotted using another plane.
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Old Feb 13, 2011, 09:36 PM
Ldm
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United States, PA, Conestoga
Joined Jun 2006
8,487 Posts
I still have my wing , loved the plane !!!!
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Old Feb 17, 2011, 08:10 PM
Trying to fly
Shickshinny, PA
Joined Oct 2007
137 Posts
Not much, but progress

Been busy, but got the servos back in.
I elected to use the existing pushrods, instead of cutting into the fuselage to mount the servos in the rear of the plane.
My next challenge is going to be the cowling.
My fuel engine had a muffler, so I had cut part of the cowl side back for the muffler. Now I want to build it back up, and cover the bottom side.
I am tossing around the idea in my head about using rare earth magnets to hold the new balsa on, so I can access the motor if needed.
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Old Feb 17, 2011, 10:08 PM
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USA, TX, Houston
Joined Nov 2003
2,766 Posts
Ya know, I put my servos in the tail for certain reasons (that work) but I must admit it does look kinda odd on a NON-3D aircraft. It doesn't bother me too much but if I could do it again, I'd try to get them back inside. Glad you opted to keep it 'clean'.
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Old Feb 18, 2011, 05:50 AM
Trying to fly
Shickshinny, PA
Joined Oct 2007
137 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by yarsmythejr View Post
Ya know, I put my servos in the tail for certain reasons (that work) but I must admit it does look kinda odd on a NON-3D aircraft. It doesn't bother me too much but if I could do it again, I'd try to get them back inside. Glad you opted to keep it 'clean'.
Hi Lee,
I looked at your servo placement, considered it, as I had a pushrod rubbing, causing friction, but I found the source of that problem. I corrected that and since all was smooth, I went back in the plane with the servos.
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Old Feb 20, 2011, 03:47 PM
Registered User
United States, TX, Midland
Joined Apr 2001
475 Posts
Dan,

You will love this plane! The Champ was my second r/c back in the sixties. Flew it on rudder/elevator/throttle. My LHS also talked me into a Enya .35 and tricycle gear. Way to much power. I recently bought a laser cut kit of the Champ from Early R/C models. It will be built with electric power, taildragger and covered with silk and dope. Good luck with your restoration of your Champ!
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Old Feb 20, 2011, 05:51 PM
Addicted to RC
YarSmythe's Avatar
USA, TX, Houston
Joined Nov 2003
2,766 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by nadt770 View Post
...I recently bought a laser cut kit of the Champ from Early R/C models. It will be built with electric power, taildragger and covered with silk and dope. Good luck with your restoration of your Champ!
Please post a link of your construction build if you make one. I'd like to see that.

My Champ is happy when the winds are under 5 mph. I usually fly it first thing in the morning at sunrise. It's very peaceful. With the 4000mAh pack I've got in it...I can fly all day.

-Lee
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