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Old Jul 11, 2001, 04:58 PM
crazy builder
flying_pig's Avatar
United States, CA, Santee
Joined May 2001
222 Posts
converting a top flite contender

I am thinking of converting a top flite contender to electric and would like to use a geared de-walt 14.4 motor and 12 cells. What speed controll would i need? Also has anyone else converted a contender and can offer any advice?
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Old Jul 11, 2001, 05:13 PM
Time for me to Fly...
Mr. Wiz's Avatar
United States, MI, Fenton
Joined Jan 2000
8,639 Posts
The TF Contender is a pretty big plane. I think you're looking at a 16 cell system as a minimum and probably 20 cells if you want to preserve its aerobatic personality.

Wiz
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Old Jul 11, 2001, 05:24 PM
jrb
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Edina, MN, USA
Joined Oct 1999
11,431 Posts
Check out the FAQs for other rules of thumb; but the 16 to 20 cell count is correct.

A recent RoT suggested 100 watts for each 0.1 cubic inches of displacement, per plans 400 to 610 watts.

Propped for 30 amps, 12 cells (12 volts @ 30 amps) is about 360 watts; good for a lighre .40 ship.

Going brushless with a Maxcim Y wouldn't be a badd choice.
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Old Jul 11, 2001, 05:26 PM
D.G.B.
KOMET 44's Avatar
Southington, Connecticut, United States
Joined Jun 2000
2,951 Posts
Get the specs on the plane then post that.Can't do anything until you know that.stefanP
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Old Jul 11, 2001, 05:38 PM
crazy builder
flying_pig's Avatar
United States, CA, Santee
Joined May 2001
222 Posts
the url for the contender is http://www.top-flite.com/airplanes/topa0210.html and according to the top flight site the specs are

SPECIFICATIONS
Stock Number: TOPA0210
Wingspan: 53.25 in (1350 mm)
Wing Area: 660 sq in (42.6 dm2)
Weight: 6-6.5 lb (2720-2950 g)
Wing Loading: 21-23 oz/sq ft (64-70 g/dm2)
Fuselage Length: 49.6 in (1260 mm)
Requires: 2-stroke .40-.61 cu in (6.5-10 cc) or 4-stroke .52-.70 cu in (8.5-11.5 cc) engine, 4-channel radio w/5 standard servos (5-channel w/6 standard servos if flown with optional flaps)


I would like to use a de-walt motor because i work for work for them.
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Old Jul 11, 2001, 06:49 PM
Recruiter - 60 Amp Club
Ed Lyerly's Avatar
Rutherfordton, North Carolina, United States
Joined Apr 2001
5,941 Posts
Flying_Pig,

The Contender is too much airplane for the DeWalt motor and 12 cells. It is sturdily built [heavy] and would require much re-engineering to be successful. Suggest you obtain Dec '99 EFI magazine & or plan MW 2769 for the "Moose". It is a 54" 530 sq in ship that I have seen fly ....and fly well with the DeWalt 18V motor and 14 cells.
Ed
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Old Jul 12, 2001, 11:54 AM
crazy builder
flying_pig's Avatar
United States, CA, Santee
Joined May 2001
222 Posts
A friend showed me his old contender and yes i agree the thing is built like a battleship, it reminds me of a big control line model where weight saving has been passed over in favour of strength so i'm looking to build something else now, thanks for all the advice
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Old Jul 12, 2001, 12:23 PM
Build'em and Crash'em
Ken Lapointe's Avatar
Narragansett, RI
Joined Oct 2000
3,243 Posts
The Top Flite Contender makes a great conversion. I used an Astroflight 40G on 20 cells with a 13 x 8 prop. I have pictures and info in the gallery at
http://www.ezonemag.com/articles/200...ry/gallery.htm

I think 18 cells would be the minimum for this plane.


Ken
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Old Jul 13, 2001, 12:31 PM
Balsa Flies Better!
Stamford, CT
Joined Oct 2000
6,756 Posts
Re weight on the Contender- Not true! I built two of them glow, and it was a very light glow ship, and unless the new version has been beefed up unmercifully, it probably still is. C/L stunter construction is actualy pretty light.

The airplane has a thick wing though-which means it doesn't really stall, but is kind of slow on the top end. Gearboxes should be a big plus- your worse problem will be ground clearance- I had trouble with a 12" prop on grass.

Sam Brauer
Norwalk, CT
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Old Jul 14, 2001, 09:48 AM
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Martin Irvine's Avatar
Canada, ON, Kingston
Joined Aug 2000
2,027 Posts
That thick wing will need some horsepower to pull it. The originals were light and had good vertical but not a lot of speed unless a larger engine was used.
You could use the DeWalt in a gearbox but direct drive would probably limit you to 9 or 10" props and 14 cells. That would work if you could keep the weight to 80oz. (5lb) total, but it wouldn't be a great flier. And you wouldn't likely make that weight.
A belt drive will add another 6 oz. to your power system, (and the DeWalt already weighs 16 oz).
Ed suggested the "Moose" plan from EFI. I designed that around the DeWalt motor to make the most out of a direct drive situation. I'll bet it is lighter than the Contender.

Cheers,

Martin
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Old Jul 14, 2001, 10:19 AM
The Great and Powerful Oz
Woody's Avatar
Bismarck, ND USA
Joined Jun 2001
354 Posts
The original Contender was much heavier than the new version, but it would still not make a good candidate for conversion. The one I had many years ago was powered by a Super Tigre .51, and it was adequate. You would need lots of cells to get good performance, and the weight would be a killer.
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