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Old Oct 22, 2012, 03:00 PM
F3A Team Finland
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Järvenpää, Finland
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OK, my kit arrived today and I'll start building immediately. There's no instructions but that's intended as this forum serves as the building guide. Putting this model together will be pretty straightforward but I personally would like to see some more pictures of the model built in stock form.

There are some good images around already but the bracing underside of the wing does not show. Also the pics are of several different planes that have been built innovatively to test ideas so they do not reflect exactly what is in the milled kit. Of course you can always improvise yourself but I'd like to base that on the ultimate example built by the kit designers.
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Old Oct 23, 2012, 02:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Finnspeed View Post
OK, my kit arrived today and I'll start building immediately. There's no instructions but that's intended as this forum serves as the building guide. Putting this model together will be pretty straightforward but I personally would like to see some more pictures of the model built in stock form.

There are some good images around already but the bracing underside of the wing does not show. Also the pics are of several different planes that have been built innovatively to test ideas so they do not reflect exactly what is in the milled kit. Of course you can always improvise yourself but I'd like to base that on the ultimate example built by the kit designers.
Thank you for selecting Spies, right now i build new Spies and will make manual from this build. I will post some pictures you ask tonight.
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Old Oct 23, 2012, 07:08 AM
F3A Team Finland
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Järvenpää, Finland
Joined Nov 2005
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Thanks Donatas, I knew you would be monitoring this thread.

Meanwhile, a couple of additional questions which will help me through the building process:

1) There are 3 pcs of 1.5 mm CF sticks, one long and two shorter ones. I assume the shorter ones are landing gear legs and the longer is for making the aileron push rods. Is this correct?

2) There is no shrink tubing to make the aileron push rod ends. I assume that the pull-pull thread is to be used for tying the z-bends and the push rods together to save weight vs. the shrink tubing?

3) Where do you recommend using the thin GF cloth that is included?

Then some comments on the kit: The GF harware is now the perfect thickness for this type of plane. I have not weighed the parts yet but they are light and do not need much work or additional lightening. Also the depron material seems to be quite light, lighter than in the Arrow V5 kit or am I just imagining things? I will weigh the depron parts later and compare to your readings. Parts quality overall is very good - in some cases the milling could have been deeper to save a couple of grams more but that's a minor issue.

I will replace most of the round CF sticks with tubes but the 3 mm wide strips that are included are already thin so there's no need to replace them. Perfect! Another nice detail is that there's no pre-cut holes for the servos. This gives one the opportunity to optimize wire lengths and CG.

4) By the way, what's the recommended CG point?

Cheers, ***Risto***
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Old Oct 23, 2012, 01:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Finnspeed View Post
Thanks Donatas, I knew you would be monitoring this thread.

Meanwhile, a couple of additional questions which will help me through the building process:

1) There are 3 pcs of 1.5 mm CF sticks, one long and two shorter ones. I assume the shorter ones are landing gear legs and the longer is for making the aileron push rods. Is this correct?

2) There is no shrink tubing to make the aileron push rod ends. I assume that the pull-pull thread is to be used for tying the z-bends and the push rods together to save weight vs. the shrink tubing?

3) Where do you recommend using the thin GF cloth that is included?

Then some comments on the kit: The GF harware is now the perfect thickness for this type of plane. I have not weighed the parts yet but they are light and do not need much work or additional lightening. Also the depron material seems to be quite light, lighter than in the Arrow V5 kit or am I just imagining things? I will weigh the depron parts later and compare to your readings. Parts quality overall is very good - in some cases the milling could have been deeper to save a couple of grams more but that's a minor issue.

I will replace most of the round CF sticks with tubes but the 3 mm wide strips that are included are already thin so there's no need to replace them. Perfect! Another nice detail is that there's no pre-cut holes for the servos. This gives one the opportunity to optimize wire lengths and CG.

4) By the way, what's the recommended CG point?

Cheers, ***Risto***
Hello Risto, i will try to answer all your questions and I include pictures of wing support as you requested:

1. You are correct. Two shorter are for landing gear. And long one is for aileron pull push. 1.5mm is very solid an sure will not bend, but if you want to save weight and have similar strenght 1mm carbon tube will provide this.

2. Yes we decide to remove heat shrink. It is not precise and durable. Z bends that are included in separate small bag will be much better option. naturally for competition use I buy Trex 250 ball links. they are about same weight as Z bends but have 0 play, and work very smooth.

3. Cloth is very useful in several "hi stress" areas like, landing gear points, wing support, point where horizontal tail meet back of wings. Check out Arrow V.5 manual you will get good idea where it should be used: http://donatasdesign.com/downloads/M...owV5Manual.pdf

4. Center of Gravity for Spies is located at 140-145mm from leading wing edge. You can find more useful info on promotional video:
Donatas Design F3P plane SPIES (5 min 18 sec)


Thank you for all kind comments, i sure do my best to provide good quality kits for reasonable prices. As you say milling could be bit deeper, but we decide on first Spies release to make it not to deep so first kits can be stronger. I will show nice trick how to make special milling to save couple more grams on existing kit with no stencils.
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Old Oct 25, 2012, 03:43 PM
F3A Team Finland
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Järvenpää, Finland
Joined Nov 2005
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The horizontal part is now almost ready and going together nicely. I'm just trying to decide if I should put the 3 x 0.3 mm flat carbon to the sides of the rear fuse or not. Using the carbon would mean about 1 g of extra weight but also lots of additional rigidity. Decisions, decisions...

I weighed the foam parts and got the following results:
- fuse + wings with hinges done 39.1 g
- sfg's 5.4 g

These numbers do not include the wheel pants and air brakes. Which leads to this observation: The brakes are unmilled 3 mm depron = relatively heavy. The sfg parts have been milled and are not very heavy although they could be lightened just as Ignas had done in the pictures.

I'm definitely going to do something to the brakes. Maybe split them in half... Looking forward for the trick, Donatas...

Addition: I made a compromise and glued strips of 0.13 mm carbon to the sides. Should be enough to prevent fuse bending from elevator pull-pull forces.
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Old Oct 31, 2012, 11:35 AM
F3A Team Finland
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Järvenpää, Finland
Joined Nov 2005
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Some progress...

I thought I would give a short update on how the build is going. See the attached images.

You cannot see it but there's some 30 x 8 mm pieces of the thin GF cloth at the wing/rear fuse joint and around the LG joints to the wing. The leading edge has a strip of 3 x 0.3 flat carbon that was included in the box. I did not cut it in the middle but heated with soldering iron which makes it easy to bend.

I'm aiming to reach 100 g AUW with 11 g battery (2S 180 mAh). This will require some work on either the SFG's or air brakes. The brake parts were not so heavy after all (2.8 g all) but I'd still like to lose at least 1 g there. Also I'm trying to figure out if I should get those fancy T-Rex 250 ball links...
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Old Oct 31, 2012, 12:18 PM
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Finnspeed, looking great! Keep up good work. And do not be afried if you end up little over 100g. Tomorrow i will make nice detailed shoots of Spies, to show you how i make brakes. I test original brakes an personally i preeffere them build bit differently. However Fabien fell most confortable with brakes that come in kit. Check this out:
Donatas Design Spies test by Fabien Turpaud. (2 min 25 sec)
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Old Oct 31, 2012, 01:25 PM
Inspired by the wings of an An
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Looks to roll very nice Don, great work between you and Fabien
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Old Oct 31, 2012, 03:17 PM
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Hello,

Yep, funny story between Don and I on this kit, believe me it's very interesting and productive to share airplane design understanding and point of view to define this kit.
I was a bit slow to build and test my prototype (I still have one more to build...), I apology for that.
However, here it is and It flew last Sunday.
As told previously, I am very happy about the kit quality provided by donatas, color schem is great, depron cut is good, adhesion between mylar and depron is strong, and there is a lot of carbon in the kit....almost more than required from my point of view. But Don is a strong guy how like strong planes!
Regarding flight behaviour, I equiped my proto with "standard engine" to see how it fly with it, I flew with counter rotating motor for 2 years now...
I am not fancy of very very very light plane, I feel 105gr for this plane is good and based on previous prototypes I can confirm that up to 130gr it fly vell.
Roll are great, even better than on my planes, knife edge attitude is very good as well.
Donatas should be able to tell you when the mylar version will be available soon.

Hoping you'll enjoy it ;-)

Cheers

Fabien TURPAUD
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Old Nov 01, 2012, 04:18 AM
F3A Team Finland
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Järvenpää, Finland
Joined Nov 2005
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Fabien,

The plane really flies beautifully, even without the contra rotating system! If I may be a bit curious, how much did your competition plane weigh with your own contra rotating drive?

The reason I'm aiming for 100 g is just pure stupid ambition by an engineer. I want to see if I can reach that nice and round number. It is a small challenge since my kit is the milled version. Now that I saw your video, I'm not worried about the flight characteristics.

Another question: What is the main reason for having the large SFG's on the wings and elevator? The knife edge moves in the FAI sequence?

BR, ***Risto***
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Old Nov 01, 2012, 07:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Finnspeed View Post
Fabien,
The plane really flies beautifully, even without the contra rotating system! If I may be a bit curious, how much did your competition plane weigh with your own contra rotating drive?
The reason I'm aiming for 100 g is just pure stupid ambition by an engineer. I want to see if I can reach that nice and round number. It is a small challenge since my kit is the milled version. Now that I saw your video, I'm not worried about the flight characteristics.
Another question: What is the main reason for having the large SFG's on the wings and elevator? The knife edge moves in the FAI sequence?
BR, ***Risto***
Plane is designed for current F3P FAI sequence. As far as i know Fabien original Spies was 120-130g. Wing surface is really big so bit extra weight is not problem. However to reach your goal of low weight, as promised i include small trick how you can save extra weight. Careful milling of all small depron areas Devin McGrath style ;-)
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Old Nov 01, 2012, 08:49 AM
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Yes, With the same wing I flew with plane up to 140gr, obviously ligher it is slower it fly...
Regarding SFG, I add it to improve knife edge attitude!

Cheers

fab
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Old Nov 04, 2012, 11:56 AM
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Fresh video, Germany here we come!
DD Spies , Preliminary and final FAI F3P sequences. (6 min 2 sec)
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Old Nov 08, 2012, 05:30 PM
F3A Team Finland
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Järvenpää, Finland
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Originally Posted by 3Don View Post
4. Center of Gravity for Spies is located at 140-145mm from leading wing edge.
Hi Donatas, my plane is nearing the stage where I have to find optimal locations for the tail servos, RX and battery. For that I still need a little clarification where exactly to measure the correct CG:

Is the correct spot the front edge in the center of the wing piece or the point where the wing meets the horizontal fuselage? The latter is about 15 mm behind the mid point and would mean that the CG is almost exactly in the center of the wing or at 50%. That is probably too far back so I'm thinking it is measured from the wing center. Is that correct?
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Old Nov 17, 2012, 04:13 PM
F3A Team Finland
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Järvenpää, Finland
Joined Nov 2005
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My Spies is now ready for maiden flight. It weighs 98.3 g without air brakes and SFG's which means that the final weight will be roughly 103 g - more than my goal but very good anyway.

The CG spot is measured at the center point, this was confirmed by comparing to the Arrow V5 manual. I also noticed that the fuselage length of 90 cm is the measurement without rudder. With rudder the length is close to 98 cm and if you count the motor and prop in, the plane is roughly 100 cm long.

My setup looks promising as the tiny Dualsky RTR & Glavak SG 9 x 2.0 slim can hover the plane easily below half throttle.
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