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Old Jan 10, 2012, 07:07 AM
Ooh! I am so very angry!
SuperChief141's Avatar
United States, WA, Carnation
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Build Log
Enhanced Starmax HE-162

I’m starting this thread to both document and petition advice and suggestions on the build of what I’m calling my “Enhanced” Starmax HE-162. What I mean by enhanced, is I’m gonna use the Starmax ARF as the basis for my build, but will incorporate several upgrades/improvements, both cosmetic and practical. With any luck, and your help, we should end up with a model that looks and flies better than Hong Kong intended.
Here’s a general Idea of some of the improvements I have in mind. Remember, we’re brainstorming here; no bad ideas in brainstorming.
1. Glass the entire airframe for strength and durability. This will add weight I know, but from what I’ve seen on other threads, the foam tends to shatter like glass on impact with terra firma.
2. Retracts. My E-Bay purchase of E-Flites should arrive any day now. More weight.
3. Functional rudders. Just an idea I’m kicking around, but it’s not off the table. 4. More powerful fan. Gonna need more ‘Ooomph’ with all that extra weight we’ll be schlepping. More weight?
5. 40-60 Amp ESC. With a bigger motor the volts are going to want a bigger playpen.
6. Cutting the cockpit section free to use it as a battery hatch. The stock battery hatch/compartment won’t handle the 2200 mAh I envision using.
7. Change nose wheel steering linkage. See #2.
8. Repaint with true RLM colors and pattern. Unit to be determined
9. Detail cockpit and add pilot figure.
10. Reinforce tail boom and wings with CF.
That’s it in a nutshell. I’m open to any suggestions or ideas. I’m not a master builder by any stretch of the imagination. For instance, see #1. I’ve never glassed in my life so I’ll be asking a LOT of questions when we get there. My next post will have photos on how the thing arrived from China and my first impressions of the model.

Tally-Ho!
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Old Jan 10, 2012, 07:47 AM
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Good luck SuperCheif,

With those stubby wings you may have a rocket if you add too much weight.

Tim
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Old Jan 10, 2012, 08:20 AM
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Why not fly it stock first then see what you need/want? I just glued the wings on - plenty strong. The fuse is very strong too. Only weak area I found was the tail that wants to break off on landing on grass - probably fine with the landing gear. Mine didn't like extra weight and tended to fall out of turns unless you keep the speed up, and throttle-up when turning. PLENTY of power in stock config imo..

Mine was dynamically goofy, but the construction stock was fine. I do plan scale functioning landing gear/shocks, but will be a while before I do it. I also have the FSK version in the box which is much more scale.
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Old Jan 10, 2012, 09:14 AM
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James Frolik's Avatar
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Joined Dec 1996
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From the Tally-Ho! sound of your initial post, it sounds like you haven't completely read through the following thread.

Your points and my comments:

1. Glass the entire airframe for strength and durability. This will add weight I know, but from what I’ve seen on other threads, the foam tends to shatter like glass on impact with terra firma. That's true because the model's not EPP. In fact, with the extra weight it will have to fly much faster, and then if it does nose into the ground at high speed your damage will be much the same as the simple foam version. You might consider adding some permanent and slightly cambered/extended flaps on the wings. They would certainly help a bit with lift at slow speeds, but it will still have a stalling tendency in the turns.

2. Retracts. My E-Bay purchase of E-Flites should arrive any day now. More weight. Yes, more weight. If the E-Flite gear is no heavier than the simple stock wire landing gear, then you should be safe. I would still suggest trying to make the mains a bit more spread to reduce the model's tendency to flop onto a wingtip in a tight or sudden taxiing turn. And again, be warned, if you keep adding more weight you'll be disappointed with how it flies — even if you put a rocket engine on it.

3. Functional rudders. Just an idea I’m kicking around, but it’s not off the table. More weight again. Yes, more weight. But it might be nice for some kind of maneuver in the sky.

4. More powerful fan. Gonna need more ‘Ooomph’ with all that extra weight we’ll be schlepping. More weight? Again, much more weight (combined with point #6). Just because it flies faster doesn't mean it will handle better. Remember those stubby wings? It probably won't glide well and you will increase the stall potential in the turns. Here I would refer to my flap/camber suggesting in point #1.

5. 40-60 Amp ESC. With a bigger motor the volts are going to want a bigger playpen. Obviously. A heavier ESC adds to the weight. Every gram counts.

6. Cutting the cockpit section free to use it as a battery hatch. The stock battery hatch/compartment won’t handle the 2200 mAh I envision using. Interesting idea. The added weight certainly won't help, and you'll have even more weight making the removable nose section stable enough for a retractable landing gear.

7. Change nose wheel steering linkage. See #2. See my comments in point #6.

8. Repaint with true RLM colors and pattern. Unit to be determined. Excellent idea. Similar paint schemes have been done before.

9. Detail cockpit and add pilot figure. Another good idea. And it's also been done before.

10. Reinforce tail boom and wings with CF. A priority modification that's has also been done by some modelers.

Really read through the whole first thread I've linked you to. You've posted there — only to refer to your thread — but have you really read everything? There is a lot of information there. Most of what you desire is mentioned and/or has been done to someone's model.

You may well succeed. But your biggest adversary is simple: weight. Weight is bad. Bad boy. Weight. Weight in this He-162 is akin to using hydrogen cells for lift and locating them next to a motor's spark. This model has a limit to modifications before becoming an unwanted and slippery animal.
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Old Jan 10, 2012, 11:28 AM
Ooh! I am so very angry!
SuperChief141's Avatar
United States, WA, Carnation
Joined Jan 2012
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OK, here are the first impressions. When I received the package, I was struck with how small the box was. How could they possibly fit the 162 and packing material into such a small box? The answer is, they didnít. The plane was in there, but other than a very thin covering of bubble wrap there was no packing material. Therefore the ĎSpatzí incurred some battle damage on its journey from the Far East. The trailing edges of both wings at the root are broken and the tip of the nose is a bit crushed. Nothing devastating, but annoying. I found the overall detail to be impressive for a kit of this price range. The foam is generally smooth and shows none of the cells like Z-foam does. It does strike me as quite brittle though. The seam where the fuselage halves come together has quite a gap. Again, nothing I canít deal with, but if I intended to fly it right out of the box, I would be disappointed. The decals are quite nicely done, thin and crisp, without the heavy adhesive backing seen in Park Zone planes. (Whatís up with that red arrow on the nose anyway? Iíve done quite a bit of research on this plane and never gotten a good answer.)
Thanks for all the responses, guys. I hadnít expected so much so soon and will address some of your concerns soon. I just wanted to get the first set of pictures up and to let you know what I thought so far.

Tally-Ho!
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Old Jan 10, 2012, 02:31 PM
Ooh! I am so very angry!
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James, you bring up some valid concerns, most of which have to do with weight. I couldnít agree more. As an aircraft mechanic of 35 years, a private pilot and having flown RC since the 70ís, I understand that an airplane is a study of compromises and that weight is the boogie man. How much weight would glassing this thing add? Honest answerÖI donít have a clue. Iíve never glassed a model before so if anyone could give me an idea what Iím in for if I do that, it sure would be helpful. Nothing here is yet set in stone and if Iím about to do something here thatís utter stink water I wanna know. As for the retracts. The kit comes with some fairly hefty plastic mounts for the fixed gear pre-installed. These, along with a fair amount of foam would have to be removed, so I think Iíll end up about status quo there. In regards to a larger fan/ESC, putting that in would depend a lot upon on if I glass it or not and how much weight it would add. You could hang a big enough fan off a bowling ball to get it to fly but sooner or later yer gonna have to land that sucker. I think you misunderstood me on having the cockpit removable for a battery hatch. Iím just talking about the canopy section like this guy did. I see no weight increase there. If I make the rudders operational it will be off the existing nose steering servo. Again negligible weight gain.
OK, hereís where I DO go to confession. Even though Iíve been doing RC for years, my EDF experience is nil. I got a little Banana Hobby 50mm EDF that was given to me that I got maybe half a dozen flights on. Iíve no other frame of reference for flying jets.
I have read the other HE 162 thread, but now that I have a kit in hand Iím gonna read it again as I can better visualize some of the things brought up.
I didnít mean to get so wordy, just want yaíll to understand what I know and donít and why Iím soliciting tips, advice and dire warnings.
Step one I guess is decide to glass or not, full or partial. So Iíll throw it out for discussion. Iíll be listening.

Tally-Ho!
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Old Jan 10, 2012, 04:01 PM
Gravity's a harsh Mistress....
southernmd_man's Avatar
United States, MD, Lusby
Joined Jan 2007
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When flight time comes, be aware that this thing will pitch up very abruptly if the power is cut...easy off the power slowly.
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Old Jan 10, 2012, 04:58 PM
Ooh! I am so very angry!
SuperChief141's Avatar
United States, WA, Carnation
Joined Jan 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by southernmd_man View Post
When flight time comes, be aware that this thing will pitch up very abruptly if the power is cut...easy off the power slowly.
ReallY? That seems almost counter-intuitive. Is that an EDF thing or more because of the thrust line of the HE-162's high mounted engine?


Tally-Ho!
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Old Jan 10, 2012, 05:53 PM
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Slaanesh's Avatar
Melbourne
Joined Feb 2009
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I had the StarMax HE-162. It's a lovely model.

I flew mine exclusively without landing gear - ie. hand launch and belly land.
I strengthened the tail boom but in the end the elevators both came off on landing. I used carbon fibre rods to prevent further damage and this worked fine.

To be honest if you intend to use retracting undercarriage I wouldn't bother with glassing the fuselage - it's not really serving any purpose except adding extra weight. It's already strong enough. Just strengthen the tail boom and the elevators as the rudders may still touch on take-off landing.

As for the pitching effect, it's true. Rapid acceleration/deceleration makes this plane pitch up or down depending on what you are doing. Once flying it's fine.

On hand-launch, where it's rapidly accelerating, I would throw it 30 degrees up as I knew it would immediatelly pitch down even when launching at 2/3 throttle. I would require full up elevator almost immediatelly and had the odd "touch and go" take off where the belly would just skim the grass. Exciting launches for sure!

The pitch changes is all to do with the thrust line being relatively high.
You can counter this a bit by adding a thrust tube and having it angled up a few degrees.

I'd love to do another HE-162 (I sold my original - it was my frirst EDF too!) and would certainly try retracts as well however I would use the lightest ones possible.

For powerplant I would use a GWS-64 which seems to be the most efficent and light weight 64mm EDF.

Oh I used to fly my original with a 2200mah 3S battery which fit no problem but then I removed all the landing gear and associated servos and saved quite a bit of space and weight doing so.
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Old Jan 10, 2012, 06:04 PM
Gravity's a harsh Mistress....
southernmd_man's Avatar
United States, MD, Lusby
Joined Jan 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperChief141 View Post
ReallY? That seems almost counter-intuitive. Is that an EDF thing or more because of the thrust line of the HE-162's high mounted engine?


Tally-Ho!
It's the high mounting of the motor. Trimmed for level flight at speed, it's fighting the thrust pushing the nose down. When the powers cut, the elevators arn't fighting the motor, and up the nose goes.
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Old Jan 10, 2012, 06:41 PM
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Originally Posted by SuperChief141 View Post
OK, hereís where I DO go to confession. Even though Iíve been doing RC for years, my EDF experience is nil.
I'm no edf master, but I don't think I could pick a worse starter EDF. Mine at least was not stable, falls out of the turns and has big pitch moments that led me to stalls... Not saying its a bad plane, just that it takes more skill as configured than I had at the time! (my much faster vectored F16 is an easier flier). That said, I am flying in my suburban neighborhood, so I don't have mistake room. Maybe on a big field I could get the hang of it better.
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Old Jan 10, 2012, 06:47 PM
Ooh! I am so very angry!
SuperChief141's Avatar
United States, WA, Carnation
Joined Jan 2012
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Just a quick aside. I have a little bit of history with the HE. Many years ago I did volunteer work at Planes of Fame in Chino California. I got to do a little (VERY little) work on their 162. I took the opportunity to sit in the cockpit. I'm 6'1" and with no parachute or Mae West on I still had my knees up around my ears. Tight! Also the breaches of the cannons were right there on either side of the seat. That along with the jet intake right behind your head must have made for a noisy ride.


Tally-Ho!
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Old Jan 10, 2012, 07:18 PM
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Originally Posted by SuperChief141 View Post
Just a quick aside. I have a little bit of history with the HE. Many years ago I did volunteer work at Planes of Fame in Chino California. I got to do a little (VERY little) work on their 162. I took the opportunity to sit in the cockpit. I'm 6'1" and with no parachute or Mae West on I still had my knees up around my ears. Tight! Also the breaches of the cannons were right there on either side of the seat. That along with the jet intake right behind your head must have made for a noisy ride.


Tally-Ho!
Awesome opportunity! They designed it for practically kids, so most of them probably fit ok Have you seen the FSK version? Very nice.
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Old Jan 10, 2012, 08:50 PM
Ooh! I am so very angry!
SuperChief141's Avatar
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Originally Posted by spinnetti View Post
I'm no edf master, but I don't think I could pick a worse starter EDF.
Good advice, I'll approach 'Nervenklau' with caution. I'm very lucky to fly at a large club field that does allow room for a few mistakes, but no airplane is idiot proof. I've been playing with that little Banana Hobby F-8 Crusader I was given, and like the 162 has very little in the wing department. It's fairly quick despite being underpowered. Also when you turn it tends just to want to piviot around the roll axis, the wings leave the horizontal, lose lift and the nose drops. It's squirrly, but so far I've been able to deal with it. Can I expect much the same with the HE? If so, during this build I'll continue to fly the Crusader as a "simulator" for the 162.

Tally-Ho!
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Old Jan 11, 2012, 04:40 PM
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Originally Posted by SuperChief141 View Post
Good advice, I'll approach 'Nervenklau' with caution. I'm very lucky to fly at a large club field that does allow room for a few mistakes, but no airplane is idiot proof. I've been playing with that little Banana Hobby F-8 Crusader I was given, and like the 162 has very little in the wing department. It's fairly quick despite being underpowered. Also when you turn it tends just to want to piviot around the roll axis, the wings leave the horizontal, lose lift and the nose drops. It's squirrly, but so far I've been able to deal with it. Can I expect much the same with the HE? If so, during this build I'll continue to fly the Crusader as a "simulator" for the 162.

Tally-Ho!
Yeah, sounds like Crusader flies similar.. EDF just flies "Different", and this one (at least mine) has crazy pitch changes... I needed to be real easy on throttle transitions. You can be lazy with the overpowered prop jobbies... need to be smoother, think ahead and be careful of the "yank and bank".. I guess I was just too jaded and got a reality check Didn't help that I had the ailerons backwards the first go-round! did the same on my F16. Was a real mind bender to bring it back down in one piece!
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