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Old Jul 14, 2006, 02:53 PM
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Lisburn. UK
Joined Jun 2006
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Model Tech Fledgling trainer

I'm nearly finished building this trainer, it's not a great artf kit, a few niggles, the instructions say to drill two holes in the underbody hatch on the end nearest the front of the plane. the should have been nearest the rear of the plane.

The included motor had dry solder joints, and one of the cables to the ESC had only 5 strands soldered to the motor. And the cables were too short to lead out to the battery bay to, as the instructions say, to solder them to the ESC. I soldered on 2 longer cables.

The elevator on one side of the rudder is about 1/16 inch lower on one side than the other. This is my main query, is that acceptable or will it cause a problem.

I'll be very gratefull for any thoughts on that, and thanks in advance.
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Old Jul 21, 2006, 07:30 AM
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e_gadgetgeek's Avatar
United States, OH, Troy
Joined Jun 2004
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I just picked one up a my LHS yesterday. Yours had an ESC already connected to the motor? Mine didn't come with an ESC and I don't think they are suppose to. I wonder if you got one that someone else had returned. I haven't had a chance to start building and probably won't until early next week. Let me know how it flies. The owner of my LHS said he has sold a few and they have reported that it is a good flyer.

Steve.
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Old Jul 21, 2006, 01:07 PM
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Omaha, NE
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The Fledgling looks like a nice package. I hope it turns out well for you, be sure to let us know!
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Old Jul 22, 2006, 01:11 PM
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Lisburn. UK
Joined Jun 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tarzan
The included motor had dry solder joints, and one of the cables to the ESC....
The elevator on one side of the rudder is about 1/16 inch lower on one side than the other. This is my main query, is that acceptable or will it cause a problem.
I got the elevator warp problem fixed, I was told to use a heat gun and that did the trick.

Nope, there was not an ESC with it, perhaps I could have phrased it better. check the soldered joints on your motor.

I'm nearly there, but I'm having a tussle with the elevator push rod to get a clean run through the tube as it's rubbing the tube where it leaves the rear of the fuselage thereby causing drag and the servo is usually still on when I centre the stick, I thoroughly checked the elevator for anything there that night have caused the drag, but I have narrowed it down to the pushrod, It's one of those things, I just can't get the pushrod bent to the correct shape after it leaves the tube.

My problems are only due to this being my first build, however, I'm learning fast and that's just what a trainer is all about.

BTW, these Fledglings seem to be popular in the UK, 'cos they are hard to get, they sell out quickly here in the UK. No doubt that's down to an excellent review in a magazine.

Edit,
I got the pushrod sorted.

Be aware, the plastic clevises are short of a disaster, I tried to get metal clevises the same size but in my area I couldn't , so I used small cable ties and "tightened" them only enough to hold them and a little glue to secure them im place, be carefull with the glue and don't tighten them too much, make sure the clevis can move on the control horn.

I'm pretty pleased with the fledgling, if it flies at all I'll be amazed 'cos my building wasn't as good as I hope it will be on my next plane.
Speakinf of which, I'm seriously considering buying another Fledgling with a slightly powerfull motor, ESC and 3 cell Li-Pos that in the review says it will be transformed. We all know what magazines can be like, but the mag. concerned has a good reputation for saying it as it is.
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Last edited by Tarzan; Jul 22, 2006 at 03:17 PM.
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Old Jul 22, 2006, 09:40 PM
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United States, CA, Orange
Joined Jun 2003
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I know several people who are flying these on 2S-3200 Lipolys and say they fly great with the reduction in weight over a sub-"C" size pack.

Looking at the power system, I'm going to bet a 3S-Lipoly would work even better with a large performance boost and still be lighter.
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Old Jan 15, 2008, 06:57 AM
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United States, OH, Troy
Joined Jun 2004
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Here it is a year and a half later and I finally got around to building my Fledgling. Finished it up last night with the balancing act. Hoping for a break in the weather so I can get out and give it a maiden flight.
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Old Oct 15, 2008, 06:41 PM
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Cincinnati, Ohio
Joined May 2002
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I finally got mine together and took it out for it's first flight this month. For those interest in a blow by blow -

Assembly

The kit is very thorough. It includes most of the hardware pieces you will need to put it together. A 600 speed motor, mounting hardware for the motor, front landing gear, a steerable tail wheel (or optional skid), control push-rods with end clevises and control horns, servo trays, mounting surfaces for either a Li-Po or a NiMH or NiCAD battery and mounting screws for the wing are provided. The included “600 speed” motor even came with a capacitor already installed across the electrical terminals. The only items needed to finish it are a Radio System (Transmitter and receiver), 3 servos and a 30 amp electronic speed control (ESC). It also requires both 30 minute epoxy and thin CA to put it all together.

The instructions are very good, not only describing the steps in a logical order but also adding details and the reason why in many cases - a great help to a beginner. Descriptive pictures showing the assemblies as they progress are well done.

Problems

I did have some minor problems. I used Hitec HS-322 servos rather than the Cirrus suggested in the instructions. On the aileron servo I ran into an interference problem where the servo lead-out wires hit the center wing rib and would not let the servo seat properly on it’s mount. I used a small sanding drum to remove enough wood to give the wires some clearance.

I elected to install the tail wheel and discovered the rudder was not quite long enough to reach the top of the stabilizer with the tail wheel “tiller” inserted in the provided hole in the rudder. There is a hardwood spacer block provided for mounting the tail wheel - by shaving an 1/8" off the block I was able to raise the tail wheel assembly enough that I could still use the rudder as is, although it still didn’t reach the top of the stabilizer, missing by 1/8". Other than appearance, it should not affect function.

The instructions mention a piece of “clear tubing” included with the kit which is to be used to hold the control rod clevises shut. A beginner may not realize this tubing must be cut off into 3/64" slices and the resulting thin rings are slipped over the clevis.

The space provided for the motor mounting is extremely tight. I was forced to remove a 1/16" from the each end of the motor mounting straps to even get them to fit in the space provided.

The instructions suggest using masking tape to prevent excess epoxy deposits at the wing and tail joints during glue-up. However removal of the masking tape tends to pull the cover loose from the balsa. I have no solution for this problem.

Per the instructions, the hold-down screws for the bottom battery hatch/cover should be inserted 1/8" in front of the rear hatch edge. But the underlying tab does not extend that far forward and the screws would end up screwing air. I placed the screws on the seam between the hatch and the fuselage. Only one half of the screw is holding the hatch but it works fine.

Holes in the nylon spacers, used at the inside of the landing gear wheels as stops, are too large. It allows the stops to turn the corner of the landing gear wire. I slipped a short piece of heat-shrink tubing on the landing gear wire first, positioning it to backup the nylon spacer in it’s proper position and shrinking it to hold it in place.

Other Mods

The motor wires are a little short, the connector to the Speed Control (ESC) ends up inside the fuselage between bulkheads where it can’t be reached for connection or disconnection. I extended the wires 2" by soldering in a piece that included Deans connectors in place of the 4mm plug type provided (I have standardized on Deans Ultra connectors for all of my 5-40 amp battery/ESC/motor connections).

Instructions suggest that the motor cover hatch be tack glued into place. Instead I added a tab to the rear of the cover to hold it in place and two screws at the front to hold it down. The screws at the front required the addition of two tabs to the fuselage to create an anchor point for the screws.

Tips

All holes with screws - after drilling and screwing parts in place, I remove the screws (and parts) and CA the threaded hole, allowing the CA to setup and reinstall the parts. The threads in the wood will last much longer and are less likely to loosen during use.

Flight

This was the largest electric I’ve attempted to fly. I wasn’t sure I could handle it. But I took off from a grassy field, cruised for a while, and gently landed without incident. Followup flights were just as easy. I thoroughly enjoyed the flying and am sure this will be one of, if not the most of, my favorites to fly. It should be a great trainer and I would recommend it to either a beginner or an experienced flyer.

I should mention I used a transmitter with exponential (Spektrum DX7) and set the throws up at 50% exponential. This does make it a bit easier to fly.

Richard
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Old Oct 16, 2008, 07:04 AM
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United States, OH, Troy
Joined Jun 2004
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Quote:
Originally Posted by e_gadgetgeek
Here it is a year and a half later and I finally got around to building my Fledgling. Finished it up last night with the balancing act. Hoping for a break in the weather so I can get out and give it a maiden flight.
Well, here it is 10 months later and mine is finished still sitting in the basement. I haven't done any flying for the last two and a half years. I'm almost afraid to try to fly it now. Guess I'll get the Slow Stick out and brush up on my skills. The worst part is the whether is starting to change back now.

Oh, Congratulations on a successful build and first flight. Hope you have plenty more successful flights.
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Old Oct 16, 2008, 08:32 AM
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Cincinnati, Ohio
Joined May 2002
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gadgetgeek -

Your weathers not much diff than mine. I planned on going out with the Fledgling this morning. But we've got 8 mph winds, overcast with a 30% chance of rain. I'd still like to give it a shot as I've really enjoyed the Fledgling - I still might try in a few hours after it warms up a bit .

I taught myself to fly using the GWS Pico Stick, then went to the GWS Slow Stick after the Pico got too beat up (took a year). Still like to fly the SlowStick once in a while, in fact I bought a Millennium SlowStick as a step up and plan on breaking it out in the spring.

Anyway, you better take the time when you can, snows not far away

Richard
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Old Oct 16, 2008, 08:47 AM
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United States, OH, Troy
Joined Jun 2004
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With my track record though, the snow will probably be flying before I get around to finding some time to get to the flying field. I use to fly at lunch which was nice. Got a new boss a couple years ago so the long lunches went out the window. I did take my RadicalRC Mini Stick out at the beginning of the summer to get back at it. That was a 30 second flight that didn't end good. That's when I decided I better get the Slow Stick back out. The snow doesn't bother me just as long as the wind stays away. I need to get back in the air though. I got five plane ready to go that I spent last Winter getting ready for the Spring. I got four more kits to put together.

You've given me some incentive to get back at it since you got your Fledgling in the air. This will be the biggest bird I've flown. I like the big and slow flyers over the small and fast. I'll keep you posted.

Later,
Steve.
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Old Oct 16, 2008, 11:50 AM
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Cincinnati, Ohio
Joined May 2002
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Just got back from the field, winds at 8 mph. Got in a 16 min. flight with a 2150 mAh battery. Ended sucessfully . Came home to grab some lunch and charge the battery - going back to the field in 15 minutes.

Noted your RadicalRC Mini - got one of those myself, in my car. When I return to the field, going to have a go at trying to control it in the 8 mph winds .

Since I'm retired I don't have to worry about those boss concerns.

Richard
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Old Oct 16, 2008, 09:56 PM
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Cincinnati, Ohio
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Another good flight this afternoon, ran the battery out without incident ! A little tough flying into the wind and getting a gust under a wingtip can be exciting but it was a good afternoon

That 2150 mAh battery gave me about 15 min at 1/2 throttle. I just need more than one battery so I can spend more time at it.

Flew the RadicalRC mini too, it was all over the sky - probably as due to my lack of control as to the wind.

Richard
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Old Jan 07, 2009, 08:45 PM
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Albuquerque, New Mexico
Joined Oct 2008
327 Posts
Modeltech Fledgling

Hi Guys,
I'm assuming that the two of you have bought the generation II with the burshless motor and esc. It looks like a great kit. I bought my Fledgling in 2004 and did not decide to build it until June 2008. It took me a couple of months to get it together. The older kits had an S600 motor that weighed about a pound and I was sold a 1900 mah nimh battery that weighed another pound. The flying weight was supposed to be 48 ounces. Well I put in a common sense brushless E8S10 980 kv 140 watt motor and esc and saved a pound and a half. I use a 2100 mah 7.4 lipo with a 12x6 apc prop. It flies nice and gentle, floats like a bird and lands softly. I use about 35 percent expo right now. I have the throws pretty gentle and have found that it doesn't roll very well. I'm going to add more throw soon and try to get it to roll better. I think it should roll fine with more throw. Everyone that sees it fly says it flies like a telemaster. I've not flown a telemaster but have seen a few in magazines.

I had to modifiy the fire wall and motor mount totally as mine was set up for a totally different brushed motor system. I also had difficulty getting the steerable tailwheel system to fit with the rudder and tail wheel mounting block. I had to completely redesign this section to get it to work. I assumed that this problem was fixed with the generation II. If not, I'd like to write Modeltech to see why they keep sending out kits that need such a major modification. I guess you could just give up and use the skid they provided.

However, in the air and on the ground she's a dream and everyone that sees her thinks it's a great trainer. I did add wheels that are twice as big to help me with landing in my parks grass field as well. Hope you guys continue to enjoy your fledglings as much as I enjoy mine. Maq
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Old Jan 07, 2009, 10:59 PM
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Cincinnati, Ohio
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Just wish we had a few days of warm weather so I could get out and play some more. I got an extra battery now and am looking forward to putting the Fledgling backup. At this time it's still my favorite plane. In fact, I like it so well, I purchased a second one along with a 600 motor - I like the weight in the front end, makes for a smoother flight

Richard
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Old Jan 18, 2009, 10:28 AM
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Albuquerque, New Mexico
Joined Oct 2008
327 Posts
With my brushless motor system I had to modify the battery compartment to place my battery way forward for the CG alignment. It just flies great. I had a friend who was using the 600s stock brushed motor that comes with the Generation I Kit, who said it used a lot of battery. He could only get in 4 minute flights I guess because of the weight.

I know several people who would like to get a generation I kit. Do you know where you can find the older kits? When I bought mine it was on sale for 89.00! The new GEN II kits are 169.00 with a nice brushless motor.

Love this plane. Novices shouldn't be afraid that it is balsa. It is so easy to fly you just won't crash! Landings are a very gentle. You have to anticipate when to pull the power is all because it floats so well.
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