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Old Jun 16, 2012, 02:50 PM
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Starmax 79" Span B-17 Flying Fortress

Here's a few photos of the 79" span Starmax B-17. Needless to say, this is an impressive size foamy B-17. The Flying Fortress features E-retracts with metal trunions, flaps, landing lights and working bomb bay doors.

Unfortunately, it has it's issues which need to be resolved during assembly. The major issue is all the servos with the exception of the tail wheel steering servo had to be pulled out with pliers and repositioned to allow the servo covers to fit otherwise you can leave the covers off but it doesn't look good. Also the plywood spar was sanded using a small finishing sander to allow easy installation and removal into the wing. The plywood mount for the four ESCs was broken in two places which required strengthening with crafts sticks and epoxy. I didn't like the look of the engine cowling, so...I painted the front of each with flat black paint to give them a more scale appearance. I'm currently airbrushing weathering and painting details. I plan to maiden it this coming week. I'll be flying mine on two 4S 3300 mAh batteries. It should be fun!

This thread is for our good friend Steve Wells, a WWII B-17 Radio Operator. His B-17 (43-37599) "Moonlight Serenade" which looked similar to this Starmax Fortress, was brought down by heavy flak damage and crashed in France on 5 Sep 1944. Steve evaded capture with the help of a French family for six weeks.

Steve, I salute your service to our great nation!

Best,
Tony
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Last edited by xplaneguy; Dec 19, 2012 at 10:05 AM. Reason: Photos added
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Old Jun 19, 2012, 03:57 PM
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Canada, AB, Calgary
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Got the same one yesterday, Tony. Fully agree with your comments.
Did you manage to run in on 4s? Mine inits only on 3s and there's no voltage on LED outputs from ESC.

Also seems landing gear legs need some extension. Props are 1cm from the ground which on any surface (especially tarmac our cub has) but asphalt may cause a big trouble on takeoff. (experienced it on P-38: one prop touches ground, plane turns 90 degrees at takeoff speed...)
Also I didn't install nose turret yet as I bet this thing will nose kiss the dirt at landing as most tail-draggers do.

What are you using for weathering?
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Old Jun 19, 2012, 05:16 PM
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Edwards AFB, CA
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Sockrat,

This B-17 is designed to fly on two 4S batteries. I tested ran mine on 4S 3300mAh batteries and everything worked perfectly with impressive thrust from all four motors. I would not fly it on 3S.

I agree...the ground clearance should be higher which I may modify at a later time. I'll be flying mine on a smooth level runway and have no concerns. I won't be using flaps for maiden takeoff but will deploy them for the landing.

I'm airbrushing and drybrushing the weathering.

Good luck with your Fortress!

Best,
Tony
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Old Jun 26, 2012, 02:55 PM
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I flew the B-17 six times on Saturday with two 4S 3300mAh batteries and the CG was perfect! The stock performance is outstanding! She's a keeper!

Best,
Tony
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Old Jun 28, 2012, 05:43 PM
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How was the landing - does it tend to flip over the nose?

Seems my maiden is postponed - during bench test 2 out of 4 esc burned down. FET on one went in white smoke after 2 min of full throttle. Amaizing, taken into account that current was 19A and ESC is rated for 45. The other one died during init - instead of beep motor smoked. ESC just shortcutted one of the poles. Motor seems ok, esc processor is dead.
So, if you don't hear beeps from both motors when connecting a battery - disconnect it immediately or it may fry your motor.
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Old Jun 29, 2012, 02:53 PM
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Sockrat- Sorry to hear about the ESC troubles. Thanks for the heads up on the ESC tones or lack of.

Landings are painless with no issues. I land with 25 - 40% flap.

Best,
Tony
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