|Jan 12, 2010, 11:29 PM|
Making a Megatech Airstrike Flyable
Well, I've had a Megatech Airstrike (lovingly referred to on the forums as a "Groundstrike") collecting dust in my garage for almost a year now. How I got it is kinda a long story. My elder brother owns a contractor company that, with the mega real estate crash, does foreclosure home clean-outs for banks. You'd be amazed at the stuff these poor people leave in these houses when they get evicted... Anyhow, he found this Megatech Airstrike with a broken wing in the attic of a house, and thought I might want it. -Obviously it's a crap plane, but free is kinda a hard price to beat.
I tried to fly it once, and like many novice pilots I crashed it due to its underpowered overweight bloat. I was in the process of finishing my Eflite Nieuport 17, which flew like a dream, so the Airstrike was put away on a shelf in the garage, never to be touched again... Until Now.
So what do you get when you combine a bored engineer and a crappy RC airplane? A rebuild! -Plus I somehow stumbled on this thread from 2004, explaining how he rebuilt his crappy Airstrike into a very descent little 3-channel trainer. -Fair enough! Time to get to work.
So I stripped the whole thing down. Radio. Speed control. Servos. Motor. Everything. All that was left was the plastic fuselage, landing gears, and (detached) wings.
The radio, ESC and servos were all packed onto this insanely bulky tray attached to the top of the battery compartment, so I then cut that off the battery tray. I then used the battery tray as a base for the servos. I cut a couple small slots and slipped in a couple HS-55's in.
I then ran into a small problem: I couldn't connect the servos without reinstalling the battery tray... But once I did that, I couldn't get to them! So I then went ahead and cut an access hole on top of the fuselage, under where the main wing sat, and reinstalled the battery tray. Worked perfect.
The only other thing that took some work was mounting the brushless motor. The original cowl is very long to fit the massive brushed motor that was in it, so I knew I'd need a stick mount. Thankfully I had a spare one from an old GWS plane... I then made a small mounting plate adapter out of balsa to match the original mounting plate and reinforced it with epoxy. Once it was all done, it looked great.
Note: If your doing this, it's very important to get the stick mount aligned well with the same lower-right angling of the original motor, for motor torque compensation. I used the cowl as my main guide, and "eyeballed" down into the fuselage to ensure proper stick mount placement into the original baseplate, and again later, as the 5-minute epoxy cured. (I aligned the mounting stick with a pencil pushed through the cowl prop hole, taped to the top of the stick mount.)
Everything else was easy. I velcroed a spektrum 6100e and a new12A ESC inside against the side of the fuselage, attached a 2712-17 outrunner motor from headsuprc.com, and I was ready to go!
The "Re-maiden" will be this weekend most likely, and I am kinda excited. The airplane is practically weightless now... I am actually a little worried about having enough weight in the front so it's not tail heavy! This thing was originally designed with that massive brushed motor up front, so I might have to move the battery way forward for ballast... We'll see. I planned to use the existing battery compartment with a 1000 mAh 2-cell battery, but I very well might end up pushing it forward into the fuselage if the CG isn't right. We'll see, I'll mess with that when I get to the field.
|Jan 14, 2010, 10:17 PM|
Well, I had a bit of extra time this afternoon, and decided to stop by the field for a quick "maiden" test of the Airstrike. It went decent, but as I suspected during the rebuild, replacing the massive brushed motor they had in it with a small brushless outrunner caused it to become terribly tail-heavy. (I didn't really have any reference for where the CG should be...)
No crashes or anything, as the new power system I put in it has tons to spare, and kept it airborne. (It might be able to go near vertical, once I get it set up right. ) Got it back on the ground with what turned out to be a rather nice landing, actually.
So the first thing I did was move the battery as far forward in the fuselage as I could... Checked the CG, and that brought it forward a few centimeters, so gave that a try. Threw it in the air, and it actually flew pretty well! I could tell it was still tail heavy, but I didn't have any ballast with me, so decided to go ahead and burn the rest of the battery I had in it how it was.
Boy is this plane a gentle little baby, now that it's had all the fat trimmed off her. It reminds me a lot of a small 3-channel GWS Estarter, built especially light. Should be a good plane to relax with when the wind is calm and your waiting for batteries to charge! I am very pleased.
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