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Old Aug 12, 2009, 04:30 PM
Vintage Flyer
Indiana
Joined Jan 2005
1,674 Posts
Discussion
Old 80 Inch Wingspan Electrified Playboy Senior Flies Again!!!

Just got back from test flying my old Playboy Senior ( 80 inch wingspan) for the first time in years!
I converted it from a Fox .35 to an E-Flite Power 32 with a wooden 13/8 prop, Thunderbird 54 ESC and a 3s 2100 mah 20C 11.1 volt lipoly.
What power!!!!
I did learn an old lesson I had forgot!
Free flights I used to build had "downthrust" built into the engine mounts!
I almost looped this old bird over on her back after I hand tossed it into the wind ( about 5 to 8 mph)
I immediately put in some down elevator on the Tx stick and it dropped the nose a little, but maintained about an 85 degree climbout!
And what a climbout it was!!
This old Playboy went upstairs like a homesick angel, climbing at a really fast rate!!!
Thermals were everywhere, lots of big cumulus clouds floating majestically overhead, and lots of Hawks thermalling out over the soybean field I flew over, local temperature was in the low 80's
A perfect day to fly!!!
There is large vacant lot next to it, so I pitched it from there out over the bean field.
I'd let it come down a bit, then hit the power again, and up it would go like a rocket!
My first "real" experience with a large electric powered model.
WHAT FUN!!!! Made a nice soft landing into the first few rows of soybeans
, picked it up and put it in the back of my pickup, and drove about a 1/4 mile to my house.
I have several other "BIG" oldtimers to build , and they WILL be electric!
I have a 72 inch Lanzo Bomber, a Lanzo Racer, and a 96 inch Lanzo Record Breaker.
Then there is my 1939 ( mostly original-actually built in 1939) Squalus oldtimer ( high wing pylon) with a 108 inch span that will be going electric!
It may be old, but the wings and stab are fairly new, the fuselage is original, and made mostly from "cherrywood with some balsa'
Just like the Warbirds and Vintage airplanes of the EAA "Keep Em Flying!"
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Old Aug 12, 2009, 04:54 PM
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Congratulations, Ed!
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Old Aug 12, 2009, 06:10 PM
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East Anglia, UK
Joined Sep 2002
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Oh yes. The joy of NOT spending an hour fiddling with recalcitrant enines to discover a pinhole in the fuel line and no spares..just plug and play, and with LIPOS? Performance on tap like nobodies business.
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Old Aug 12, 2009, 06:53 PM
Vintage Flyer
Indiana
Joined Jan 2005
1,674 Posts
Thanks guys!
I AM SOLD on electrics!
I had my doubts, but I balanced the old bird out, CG was dead -on!
WOW, was I ever impressed at how much power one of these motors has!
I can remember fine tuning a nitro job out until it was screaming, pickup my Tx, get ready to toss the bird into the wind, and that screaming nitro engine suddenly fell dead silent or started to climb out and quit, or the mechanical engine timer quit or didn't clamp the fuel line down enough and you had to stand there and watch it scream skyward until it was dot in the sky, then strain your eyes trying to get it back down!
I did add some downthrust to my motor on my Playboy, will see if it helps on the next flight.
NO MORE!!!
Several short bursts of power, and back up stairs it climbed!
I could have sytayed up longer, but 40 minutes on a first flight after almost 18 years of hanging in the rafters wasn't bad!
I just love these old timers, and electric is just the way to go!
Next time I'll take a camping chair and a few cold ones and just kick back and fly all day on one charge!!
Well, I have the Lanzo Recoed Breaker still NIB, and I also have 2 Carl Goldberg 1940 Sailplanes NIB, one a replikit, and the other an original with the retracting wheel.
Probably build the Record Breaker next.
Then there's my 1939 Squalus with a 9 foot wingspread, and how I'd love to see that monster fly again with electric!
I'll have to do some figuring as to how to redo the engine mount to accomodate an electric.
Plenty of room in the fuselage for battery and ESC.
I've kind of been out of the flying game for awhile, but now I'm hooked again!
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Old Aug 12, 2009, 10:02 PM
Culper Junior
eastern pa
Joined Feb 2007
2,186 Posts
Looks like it's gonna be hard to get that smile off your face!!
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Old Aug 15, 2009, 09:08 AM
Vintage Flyer
Indiana
Joined Jan 2005
1,674 Posts
Frustrated!

Well guys , I attempted to fly my Playboy again yesterday. Climbout started out good, then all of a sudden about 100feet up, the propellor adapter and prop flew off and dropped into a big soybean field, so trying to find them is to say the least, they are gone!
Glided the Playboy in for a good landing with no damage into the vacant lot adjoining the soybean field.
So not having an extra, I called the LHS, and they said we have extras, so come on in.
Drove 20 miles to the LHS and they didn't have any prop adapters at all!
It's an E-Flite 32 and so I'll have to order one online.

So I have a question. The E-Flite uses a 5 mm collett type adapter and while looking on line I found a 5mm adapter that used two grub set screws .
I am wondering if the adapter with grub screws would be better or the collett type which squeezes down on the prop shaft?

So in the meantime, my Playboy sets, the weather is beautiful for flying, and all I can do is wish at this point!
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Old Aug 15, 2009, 11:21 AM
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East Anglia, UK
Joined Sep 2002
29,689 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ercoupe Ed
Well guys , I attempted to fly my Playboy again yesterday. Climbout started out good, then all of a sudden about 100feet up, the propellor adapter and prop flew off and dropped into a big soybean field, so trying to find them is to say the least, they are gone!
Glided the Playboy in for a good landing with no damage into the vacant lot adjoining the soybean field.
So not having an extra, I called the LHS, and they said we have extras, so come on in.
Drove 20 miles to the LHS and they didn't have any prop adapters at all!
It's an E-Flite 32 and so I'll have to order one online.

So I have a question. The E-Flite uses a 5 mm collett type adapter and while looking on line I found a 5mm adapter that used two grub set screws .
I am wondering if the adapter with grub screws would be better or the collett type which squeezes down on the prop shaft?

So in the meantime, my Playboy sets, the weather is beautiful for flying, and all I can do is wish at this point!
Both can fall off.

I lost a prop on my Southerner when the brake came on.. The adaptor (set screw)stayed on, but the prop unscrewed off the shaft..lost the spinner & nut but found the prop!

Loctite or nail varnish is your friend..
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Old Aug 15, 2009, 11:52 AM
Vintage Flyer
Indiana
Joined Jan 2005
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Hi Vintage 1
I'll try some Loctite this next time.Mine came off over a soybean field and the soybeans are about 15 inches tall now, with big leaves, so looking for them would be like a needle in a haystack!
Can't get one until sometime next week, what a bummer!
The LHS has two additional shops in a 50 mile radius, but none of them have any prop adapters for electrics.
This LHS owner just isn;t with the program.
The one shop had another Power 32, but the prop adapter and the motor mount were missing out of the box in the display case.
Probably sold it to someone and didn't bother to replace it.
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Old Aug 15, 2009, 12:02 PM
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Shrewsbury, Shropshire.
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Seems like you've had a nice couple of days Ed, but don't you miss that trail of burnt castor oil as your model describes lazy circles in the sky?
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Old Aug 15, 2009, 12:23 PM
Vintage Flyer
Indiana
Joined Jan 2005
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I remember it from my days as a teenager, especially flying at Bong Field in Wisconsin.Sometimes I wish In could turn back the clock!
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Old Aug 15, 2009, 11:30 PM
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Shrewsbury, Shropshire.
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So do I!
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Old Aug 16, 2009, 10:54 AM
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Near Andover, Southern England
Joined Apr 2008
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Great! I've been following the exploits of your Playboy 80 for a while an' its good to see its all paid off. Electric is no longer the poor relation in the power plant choices for models - most elec systems now match nitro/glow motors in terms of power vs weight coupled with reasonably decent flight times, like 10-15 mins (power on).
Compare: OS40 sport delivers around 500w and with a full tank big enough to fly for ten mins weighs like 14 Oz. My Hacker A30-14L plus 3300 4S pack Also delivers 500W when called upon and weighs 15Oz - All Approx weights of course, we don't need to split hairs, but suffice to say elec=glow.
Shame about to prop driver - I wouldn't have thought 5mm adapters would be too hard to come by - but I'm gonna glue mine on now
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Old Aug 16, 2009, 11:08 AM
Vintage Flyer
Indiana
Joined Jan 2005
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Hi Rick,
I have ordered a couple of new 5mm adapters.
I guess it's live and learn!
Kind of a bummer to have a series of days when the weather is absolutely perfect for flying oldtimers, and an airplane without a propellor on it!
I never would have guessed it would come loose, I had it on tight, but it apparently worked itself loose when I least expected it.
Unfortunately there is a soybean field adjacent to the large vacant lot I fly from and the prop and adapter came off over the bean field, so trying to find it , well let's just say I gave up, it's a 43 acre bean field with the beans about 15 to 20 inches high
It could have went quite a ways after departing the airplane.
Hopefully I'll have a new adapter by next week sometime.

I was very impressed with the climb rate!
I'd just glide around awhile, then hit the power for maybe 15 seconds and it woud just stick its nose skyward and climb lie a homesick angel!.
Shut the power off and go thermal hunting again.
I am guessing that if I had a real good day, I could stay aloft as long as the Tx batteries hold out.
A 2 hour flight should be quite easy.
If I were to repower my Tx with some really high mah batteries, I could probably stay aloftas long as I wanted to.
The day I flew, we had temperatures in the low to mid 80's, lots of big puffy cumuklus clouds below 3500 feet AGL, and a very mild breeze, maybe 3 to 5 mph.
Even the Hawks were taking advantage of it, and there were several gaggles of them aloft, so finding thermals was easy!
Now my Playboy sets downstairs in the basement awaiting the arrival of a new prop adapter .
Finding a new 5mmm adapter really shouldn't be so difficult except the LHS here just never has what I need, he's more into RC cars stuff now, even though he himself is a RC sailplane addict, he doesnt have a single sailplane kit in the store!
He's quite literally the real version of the "absent minded professor"
he hasn't got a clue as to what all he has in his store and the basement beneath. he has never taken an inventory of what he has, and yet he wants to sell the palce and asked me if I was interested
I went there after losing my prop and adapter, he said he had extras, but he didn't have any!
As we looked through brand new boxes of motors, he thought maybe he'd borrow one from from another motor, but he didn't have my size motor. About half of tye boxes we opened , looking for one, (maybe 20 boxes total, 10 boxes of motors were missing parts!!!
Henever bothered to order parts for what he borrowed.
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Old Aug 17, 2009, 12:49 AM
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Shrewsbury, Shropshire.
Joined Mar 2008
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Ed, Your story reminds me of the time, about thirty years ago, when I was learning to fly R/C having flown free flight and control line in my youth.

I had won a 48" kit at an auction, someone gave me an Irvine 21 car racing engine in need of attention and I bought a second-hand but unused radio from a carpenter who was setting up "on his own" as we say over here.

I found the small trainer a bit of a handful but I knew that many British flyers had learned on a Keil Kraft Super 60 so I went into the well-established local model shop in Devon where I lived at the time and asked for one. Now this model shop had been a popular place: the owner ran the downstairs department selling boats, cars and trains and his assistant, a very pleasant, knowledgeable and experienced enthusiast ran the aircraft section upstairs. This guy had two modelling passions; Fokker Triplanes and WW2 twin-engined German bombers. He was that good an aeromodeller!

However, the proprietor had died a few weeks before and the new owner was his son, a man in his twenties. He had sacked the triplane enthusiast and was running the place with his friends. I asked for a Super 60 and was met with the reply, "Huh! Do you know that you're the person who's ever asked me for one of those old things!"

I left and went to a rival store and asked for a Super 60 kit. This guy replied, " I don't have a Super 60 in stock but I can let you have a Junior 60 for 5 off the price."

I learned to fly on a Junior 60.

In the fullness of time the long-established model shop went out of business and...., no this is life, not a fairy tale, the other one did too.

Some people have no idea do they?
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Old Aug 18, 2009, 06:23 PM
Let it Be
USA, WI, Oshkosh
Joined Jul 2004
309 Posts
Ed--"Feeling like a kid again" is what it's all about. That's the whole reason to become re-absorbed in the hobby. Glad to hear that your experiences with electrics have made that easier and more enjoyable for you, than your earlier experiences.

Rick-- I'm afraid I can't totally agree with your "electric=glow" equivalency statement. If you factor in the cost of a reliable brushless electric motor, ESC, 2 Li-po battery packs (charge one while flying with the other) , and a specialized charger, you could buy a couple of very good .40 sized glow engines, and lord knows how many gallons of fuel. Check it out at Tower Hobbies website, or any of the other US distributers. Electric and glow are quite close in their abilities, but not yet in their prices.

True, some of the Chinese places have really brought electric costs down, but according to threads here on RC Groups, their reliability is still somewhat in question.

I have and fly both glow and electric. Each has its place in my gaggle of planes, from aerobatics to sailplanes to old-timers (which is why I'm in this thread).

Dave
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