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Old Jan 22, 2011, 08:59 PM
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Basman's Avatar
Perth, Australia
Joined Nov 2010
46 Posts
Hi all, looks like this might be a first for the Freewing F/A-18: After a succesful maiden flight, our second flight was just on 3 minutes. Great flight and good landing. After high fives between my son and I, we were about to take off for another go but no response from the plane. Huge plumes of smoke suddenly erupted from the nozzels. We ran thinking it was the lipo (Turnigy 4.0 6s 40c) on fire. The esc was melting through the body. I managed to turn the plane over and the esc dropped out without further damaging the body. Being the second flight we weren't pushing the throttle and stressing the kit excessively. The Aus retailer Charged RC is looking into this as a defective esc/bec with the distributor and we're waiting for a positive response. I'd appreciate any thoughts on this and also a recommendation for a new ESC and UBEC combo. Cheers Basman
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Old Jan 22, 2011, 09:57 PM
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firehawkzach's Avatar
United States, TX, Fort Worth
Joined Jan 2011
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I also have bad news. I got my lipo battery today and my aurora and started programming the TV. Unfortunately through testing the aileron vectoring the starboard TV servo gear stripped. So that makes me extremely nervous and I'm going to buy new servos. Does hitec make servos of the same size with metal gears? This really sucks as I was going to do the maiden flight Monday.
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Old Jan 23, 2011, 05:00 AM
Pointy end at the front.
benjo's Avatar
Joined Aug 2009
663 Posts
I feel the same, cant beleive they put crappy servos on all moving stabs in a model of this price. Suddenly i feel like this planes a rip off
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Old Jan 23, 2011, 05:01 AM
Pointy end at the front.
benjo's Avatar
Joined Aug 2009
663 Posts
It looks good though
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Old Jan 23, 2011, 05:03 AM
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fredmdbud's Avatar
USA, MD, Frederick
Joined Jan 2010
4,038 Posts
Well, there is the kit-only option, put in your own servos, ESC, motor, etc.

Oops, spoke too soon, Charged RC doesn't have that option for the RAAF edition.
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Old Jan 23, 2011, 07:51 AM
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Joined Sep 2007
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Im interested in the kit only version too unfortunately it is still not yet available.
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Old Jan 23, 2011, 08:48 AM
I hate waiting for parts
Mike_Then's Avatar
United States, NC, Garner
Joined Apr 2001
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Quote:
Originally Posted by firehawkzach View Post
I also have bad news. I got my lipo battery today and my aurora and started programming the TV. Unfortunately through testing the aileron vectoring the starboard TV servo gear stripped. So that makes me extremely nervous and I'm going to buy new servos. Does hitec make servos of the same size with metal gears? This really sucks as I was going to do the maiden flight Monday.
Sent you a PM. If you look earlier in the thread, I stated that I used Hitec HS-65HB servos. They are a drop-in fit over the Freewing servos.
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Old Jan 23, 2011, 08:57 AM
KK6MQJ
Bajora's Avatar
Joined Sep 2004
13,713 Posts
I had mine out yesterday for some flights. A nice winter day finally.
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Old Jan 23, 2011, 09:53 AM
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50mph's Avatar
Tacoma, Washington
Joined Jul 2007
425 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Basman View Post
I'd appreciate any thoughts on this and also a recommendation for a new ESC and UBEC combo. Cheers Basman
There are a few Euro Fighters that had this happen. As with yours, nothing was or seemed to be wrong with any of the wiring.

I know we expect more from our money we spent, but these stock parts are always the cheapest. I see these similar cheap parts at Hobby Expos, Motor, ESC combo for under $20. If we can buy them for under $20, imagine what the builders pay......

I hope your fuse isnt damamged to much. If its possible clean up the melting foam, sand and replace the foam ot repair the area that is damaged. I know you wont like to buy another ESC, but if you do, but one you can trust.

That is very nice paint on your F18, I have seen them on their site and they look great.

Good luck.
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Old Jan 23, 2011, 10:18 AM
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USA, TN, Nashville
Joined Nov 2006
105 Posts
A few questions for you guys

I bought this kit from a friend and it seems to be missing a few small items so I need some advice as I go forward.

First of all, it's missing the 2 wing spars. I have some carbon tube that should work fine, but I wasn't sure about 1 thing. Are the spars simply glued into the foam holes on each side of the fuse or is there another piece of carbon already in there that these tubes are supposed to slide into? I can't tell for sure if there's anything inside the fuse into which the spars go.

The other main item I'm missing I believe is a small parts bag. The most important (?) item being the small nylon brackets which are used to mount the elevators. I noticed some folks in this thread were modifying the attachment anyway so I'm wondering if (a) there's a reliable way to connect the elevators absent this piece or, (b) if not, if someone knows where I might pick the bracket up?

Best I can tell hobby lobby does not stock the small parts bag. The bracket itself looks similar to the one used on the Freewing V-T F-16. In any event the stock set-up may work fine but, looks a little flimsy for such a critical attachment.

One final question I have is; is there anything else in that bag that is also critical that I haven't realized yet?

Thanks for any guidance.
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Old Jan 23, 2011, 12:51 PM
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firehawkzach's Avatar
United States, TX, Fort Worth
Joined Jan 2011
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Thanks for the info mike. I am going to the local hobby shop since they have 6 of them in stock. The only thing that sucks is that on the aileron servos I will have to buy extensions since the stock servos have that long lead going into the fuselage. Ugh more money.
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Old Jan 23, 2011, 08:02 PM
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N227CT's Avatar
Lubbock, TX
Joined Feb 2007
333 Posts
My son maidened his this evening and it flew very well. Used a 6S 5000mah battery and the weight of the battery caused the nose strut to shorten slightly so it would "hop" into the air on takeoff due to the negative angle of attack. Reminded me of my old F-4 days with ducted fans. That was about all there was with surprises. Great plane for the money...
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Old Jan 23, 2011, 08:18 PM
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ATIS's Avatar
New Bern, North Carolina, United States
Joined Oct 2004
12,445 Posts
I modded my buddies nose gear to raise the AOA a little to help with ROG. I used bass wood as a spacer between the retract housing and the fuse. (about 3mm thick). Retracts and doors work normal. No idea if it helps as we havent had good weather in a few weeks but hope to get him maidened this next weekend.
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Old Jan 23, 2011, 09:24 PM
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United States, TX, Fort Worth
Joined Jan 2011
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Well what a mess this has turned out to be. I bought 4 servos today replacing the two thrust vectoring and the elevators. Upon removing the broken TV servo, part of the plane came with it since it was glued in there so well lol. I used 12 minute epoxy to patch the hole and re-fitted the servo. Then after re-installing the new elevator servos when I flipped on the radio the elevators acted like ailevators when I use the elevator. I don't understand how that is possible since they are orientated the same way. I don't know if I need a reversing Y- harness or what but this is getting very annoying. I was able to get them to work together by adding one to channel 2 and the other to channel 8 and assigning channel 8 to the elevator axis. Luckily I have a 9 channel receiver so I won't lose anything if I have to use this configuration. So tomorrow I guess it's back to the hobby shop to spend more money. I will either have to get a long rev. Y-harness or two 24" extensions. At this rate I would have been better off buying a fiberglass jet lol.

Here are the pics:




I really like this aircraft and I am calling Hobby-Lobby tomorrow to share my experience. Hopefully they can get the airframe only version in stock soon. It really sucks that a servo seized before the plane got a chance to leave the ground lol. Then to get the servo out I have to rip a hole in the plane. When I disassembled the servo it was seized not stripped.

Sorry for the complaining but I'm just real irratated since I am very much invested here. Glad to hear that some of you are flying this jet cause right now it's just a hangar queen for me.
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Old Jan 23, 2011, 10:31 PM
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USA, MD, Frederick
Joined Jan 2010
4,038 Posts
Yep, sounds like one of the servos you replaced was wired to be reversed.

Sounds like you learned the hard way that it's a good idea to probe and chisel with a blade around components like servos before trying to remove them, to minimize damage to the foam - you don't know how extensively they're glued in. For a model this size, I'm not surprised the glue was applied so extensively.
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Last edited by fredmdbud; Jan 23, 2011 at 10:36 PM.
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