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Old Mar 25, 2012, 05:11 PM
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craigrrr's Avatar
San Diego area
Joined Jul 2006
542 Posts
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e-Zephyr II exceeds expectations

I probably have the only e-Zephyr II in existence. The Zephyr II (made by Mark Miller at Isthmusmodels.com) is a very beautiful little HLG in its pure form.

My goal was to build a small, light, tight turning electric thermal machine for lower altitude flying with hawks. My normal all around hawk plane is the Mirage.

The Zephyr II HLG has been around for a long time. It has a 1.5 meter span and has a normal AUW of 7.5 - 8.0 oz.

My plane has lost some of its beauty because I cut the nose off (cut off nose shown in picture) and replaced it with a motor. The final AUW is 10.0 ounces (280 grams).

The equipment consists of:

Hextronic 24 gram, 1300kv out runner (20 grams, $8)
Graupner CAM 9-5 folder on cut-down Graupner plastic hub (17 grams)
Berg 4 receiver (6 grams)
Turnigy Plush 12 amp controller (13 grams, $10)
Nano-tech LiPo, 460mah, 3s (45 grams, $5)
(2) each HS-55 servos (18 grams)
Covering: Coverite Microlite (0.6 oz per square yard)

The bird is somewhat overpowered, given that full throttle yields 92 watts, 8.25 amps.

After getting the bird fairly well trimmed, I am very happy with its performance (especially considering it is 2.5 oz heavier than the pure HLG).

Performance:

1. Only one flight (on a pretty breezy day) so I donít yet know its Hawk flying capability.

2. With ĺ throttle it will climb straight up and be small in about 10 seconds. At full throttle the climb out is like a rocket.

3. With the CG close to where it should be it has a very nice glide and is very responsive. It took me a while to learn how to not over-control it. I have big rudder and elevator throws. But you must keep it flying or a tip-stall will result. I might add a little washout to the tips. But it recovers immediately from a stall.

4. In good lift it goes up like an elevator. Circling is not always required. It is very easy to know if you are in lift.

5. Since nearly trimmed I have only flown it once and was able to thermal and gain considerable altitude. I brought it in after a half hour as the wind was increasing and I was afraid. After several climb outs the battery drain was 307mah.

Anyway, I want to thank Mark Miller for a quality kit and a great flying little e-sailplane.

Craig
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Old Mar 25, 2012, 07:03 PM
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United States, CA, San Diego
Joined Dec 2009
117 Posts
Zephyr

Hi. am in the San Diego area as well, and have a zephyr in the box I bought from Mark last year with the intention of electrifying. I decided against it because it looks like a thing of beauty as is. I have a semi slope sight nearby, actually across the street, and something like the Zephyr would be perfect for the site. I am still looking for an alternative, and may yet uglify my Zephyr. Great job, tk
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Old Mar 25, 2012, 08:13 PM
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Mark Miller's Avatar
United States, WI, Waunakee
Joined Oct 2002
2,726 Posts
Well, Someone finally did it. Nice looking job and it's good to have a baseline for equipment needed. I have been thinking of making an e-fuselage but have been looking for a motor that would fit inside an expanded front end. The wing is well proven even if it takes some different construction methods. Have you tried a 2S setup?

Great going Craig!

Mark Miller
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Old Mar 26, 2012, 12:48 PM
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craigrrr's Avatar
San Diego area
Joined Jul 2006
542 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Miller View Post
Well, Someone finally did it. Nice looking job and it's good to have a baseline for equipment needed. I have been thinking of making an e-fuselage but have been looking for a motor that would fit inside an expanded front end. The wing is well proven even if it takes some different construction methods. Have you tried a 2S setup?

Great going Craig!

Mark Miller
Hi, Mark:

Yes, it would be better looking without motor stuck on the front; I might carve a two piece cowling to fit around the rear of the motor.

As for 2S instead of 3S: I have tried several battery/prop configurations. With this 9-5 prop a 2S develops only 35 watts. A bigger prop would be more efficient for 2S, but it would weigh more.
The motor develops mucho power with 3S and the climbouts are over quickly.
But I may replace the 460mah 3S with a 370mah 3S (39 grams) and save 7 grams.

Craig
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Old Mar 30, 2012, 05:04 PM
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Don Bourdon's Avatar
United States, NC, Cajah's Mountain
Joined Oct 2006
199 Posts
Hi Craig,

Here is a pix of my two year old e-Zepher. It weighs in at 9 ozs with an EMax 2812 motor, 15 amp ESC and a 2S 500 mAh battery. I "guppied" the front of the fuse to fit my electronics.

I like your bolt on wing better than my rubber bands. I'll do bolt on with my next one and go for a sleeker looking front end.

Best thermal time is 55 min and hope to break the hour threshold soon.

These are great gliders. Good thermal hunting.

Cheers,
Don
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Old Mar 30, 2012, 08:17 PM
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craigrrr's Avatar
San Diego area
Joined Jul 2006
542 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Bourdon View Post
Hi Craig,

Here is a pix of my two year old e-Zepher. It weighs in at 9 ozs with an EMax 2812 motor, 15 amp ESC and a 2S 500 mAh battery. I "guppied" the front of the fuse to fit my electronics.

I like your bolt on wing better than my rubber bands. I'll do bolt on with my next one and go for a sleeker looking front end.

Best thermal time is 55 min and hope to break the hour threshold soon.

These are great gliders. Good thermal hunting.

Cheers,
Don
Hi, Don:

The bolt on wing is per drawing on my kit.

Your fuse looks sleeker than mine; I just stuck a motor on the front of the firewall.

I am getting 45 minute flights out of my 460mah 3s LiPo, so I have ordered a 360mah 3s LiPo to get rid of some weight.
Climbouts last about 5 seconds so the battery lasts a long time.

I love this little bird. Today was my first thermal flight with my resident red tail hawks and it was exciting. I bought this plane to be a low level hawk plane and it appears to be a good fit. I got scared when we all got fairly small. The plane does a nice tight flat spin (to lose altitude) and recovers immediately. I have added some small pieces of reflective chrome Monokote to wing leading edge.

I am amazed at how strong the wing is. I have screwed up and flown this plane really fast with some high G pull outs and the wing doesn't even flutter. I am now flying more sanely.

I am still moving the CG back; it is now at max recommended 3.0" and flys great.
I put a little washout in the wing tips and it improved the stall characteristics.

This is a sweet little bird.

Craig
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