Another wally-world conversion project.
I was at wally-world (Wal-Mart) the other day and saw an interesting looking plane up on the top shelf in the toy department. It was labelled as a new item with a price of $29.95. I looked it over a bit and was pretty impressed. It comes with a 31 inch removeable wing, a 180 motor, and landing gear... I immediately fell in love with the silver paint and red, white, and blue decals so I bought it and took it home.
Two hours later it was converted to RC. Honestly, it took me half the time to convert this plane than it did to build my Lite Stick.
Here are the steps I took:
- Desolder the 3-cell nicad battery pack. I left the circuit board because I couldn't figure out a way to get it off without ripping out the bottom of the compartment. It was very difficult to get in there and I ended up melting a little of the side of the canopy. No biggie, though. You can't see it from the outside.
- Solder an ESC lead to the circuit board. The advantage of leaving the circuit board in place is that now I have a switch that disables the motor but not the electronics.
- Cut out and hinge the elevator/rudder.
- Add control horns. I used leftover ones from my Lite Stick.
- Cut holes in the sides near the tail for the control wires.
- Run the control wires from the compartment to the tail feathers.
- Stick the servos in with double-sided tape.
- Stick in a receiver and, esc, and battery.
- Connect everything up and go test it.
- Find out that the motor is too weak.
- Carefully cut the decals along the seam of the removeable nose.
- Remove the prop and the screw that holds on the nose canopy and take the nose canopy off.
- Desolder the motor and replace it with something else. I just taped an M100 in place and it works very well but the canopy won't fit back on.
- Test it again and watch it fly wonderfully and fast!
I haven't been able to do a complete flight test with it because of the heavy winds we've been having here lately but I have taken around my cul-de-sac a couple of times. Unfortunately, it's a bit too fast for cul-de-sac flying. It will ROG in about 5 feet and it turns really well. I'm not sure if it will loop yet but I think it probably will. It's very stable in flight and tracks like it's on rails (until the wind hits it). Best of all, it looks great!
I did reinforce the wing saddle with some pro-bond and replace the itty-bitty wheels with some from my now defunct mini-max. I may end up reinforcing the wings further but so far they look pretty strong. They don't appear to flex much in flight but I haven't looped it so I'm not sure if they'll be up to that.
The 180 motor that came with it would actually get it off the ground if you gave it 20 feet or so but that was about it. After a few unsuccessful attempts the motor completely lost power. I'm assuming it's designed for that 3.6V pack and I burned it out completely at 7.2-8.4V. The m100 works very well so far on 7-cells. I haven't tried it with 6 yet but I think it'll fly. The only downside is that it doesn't fit under the nose canopy. I'll probably try to make a different motor mount for the M100 once I fly it a bit more. I'm pretty sure I can mount the m100 and replace the canopy if I do this.
I'm also thinking it would probably fly with an IPS motor. The total weight of the plane with the M100 motor and no batteries is only 7.1 oz. I could probably trim some of the extra wire I have in the battery compartment and get that down below 7 oz easily. The IPS motor would probably drop that weight down below 6.5 oz.
The plane is made by Hobbico and is marketed as FlyZone by Hobbico. I found a web page that has similar planes to the one I bought (same wing span) but not the exact one. You can find some others here: http://www.hobbico.com/airplanes/hcaa0001.html
middlesex, nj, usa
Joined May 2001
Looks good! You can buy similar planes (same but different color schemes), at Tower Hobbies. They have 'The Swarm' on sale for $24.99 now too. I'm working on a 'Sky Pilot' right now.
Here is a more complete listing - scroll down to 'Hobbico'.
I saw these at wal-mart also and picked one up. I have started converting it and was wondering how you joined your elevator halves.
Did you try flying yours free flight right out of the box? I did and it was less than spectacular. Nosed in and broke the wing in half, cracked the horizontal stab and smashed part of the wing. Hope it flys better than that.
On your converted version where did you locat the CG?
Thanks in advance for any help you can provide.
On mine the elevator halves were already joined. I did reinforce the the little strip between the elevator halves with a strip of wood (Starbucks coffee stirrer). I just glued it to the bottom leading edge of the elvator.
Since I took those pictures I also replaced the M100 with an IPS S2. Now the cowling fits over the motor nicely. The only downside to this is that the S2 is lighter and I ended up mounting the battery to the bottom of the cowling. I determined the CG by balancing the plane on the chord of the wing. This seemed to work as it's nice and stable in flight. It doesn't turn quite as sharply as I'd like but it's still fun to fly and it looks great in the air.
Let us know how yours turns out.
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