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Old Jan 10, 2013, 07:25 AM
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Build Log
Alfa Albatros D.V

Another build - another Alfa. The Albatros D.V has always been one of my favourite WWI fighters (along with the British Bulldog and Gladiator), and is one I've had my eye on since it was first released by Alfa.

This time I used the surface mail shipping option as I had a couple of other projects underway, so opted to save a few pennies on postage.

The Albatros took 10 weeks to arrive. On opening the box - what a beautiful little aircraft - usual Alfa quality. No shipping damage, the only problem is that one of the ply blanks for the undercarriage legs and struts had a split in it right through the cabane strut. A few drops of CA fixed it.

I decided on a COBRA C-2203-46 KV1720 motor after reading positive reviews of this motor fitted to the Albatros (thanks NSG).

Power system:
  • COBRA C-2203-46 KV1720 motor
  • Hobby King short prop adapter M5x3mm shaft (Grub Screw Type) - NB fitted a plain M5 nut and washer
  • GWS 8x4 SF prop (black)
  • TURNIGY Plush 10 amp 9 gram Speed Controller
  • ZIPPY Compact 350 mAh 2S 25C Lipo Pack

3 x HS35MG servos (4.5g) are on order for the control surfaces - yet to arrive.

Construction is very straight forwards - slip the tailplane into place and glue with Weldbond, checking for alignment.

With the lower wing, the centre needs to be found and positioning marked. This is important as I chose to use UHU Por (contact glue) so there is not much working time to resolve the alignment once the glue grabs. But it saves having to pin or clamp the wing while the glue dries.

Next the undercarriage wire legs were fitted. In accordance with the instructions, the legs should be pre-bent to minimise any pre-load. Glued into place with 30min Z-Epoxy. Not in the instructions, but I also made a small infill piece cut from left-over ply (from the u/c and struts) to retain the rear wires.

I decided to make the undercarriage sprung, which meant the ply u/c legs needed to be slotted for the required axle travel. A 2mm carbon rod was also cut to the required length (approx 120mm) for the "dead" axle.

The ply u/c legs were then glued to the u/c wires using 30min epoxy and micro-balloons. The carbon rod was also glued in at the same time, taking care not to let any epoxy/micro-balloons into the slots for the "live" wire axle.

Once the glue had dried, the wire axle was fitted into the slots and bound to the carbon rod with a couple of short lengths of thin rubber bands - two wraps at either end. Seems a bit stiff at the moment, but we'll see if this changes once the battery and radio gear is fitted and how the durability goes.

Nothing much left to do as the aileron servo needs to be fitted before the top wing is installed, so just a trial fit and then add the decals.
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Old Apr 27, 2013, 08:46 PM
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Can't believe it's been over 4 months ....


Alfa Albatros has been on hold for a long time now. The Australian distributer for HiTec seems not to have placed an order for HS35 servos since September last year and the LHS has no idea when they will next be available.

Problem is I have a set of 3 Eflight 35g servos from the shop that we thought may have been okay to use, but it seems they can't hold a candle to the HS35s on specification, plus they have one of the dinky micro connectors that would need to be changed.

The LHS has agreed to exchange the Eflight servos for the HS35s when they come in, but stuck between a rock and a hard place until that happens. Could get the servos from an Ebay shop and have them now but then will be left with the small Eflights that I don't have a use for.

Still - have been getting my Biplane fix from a "freebie" that just showed up. A semi-built Pilot Tigre Moth (25 size) .
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Old Mar 09, 2016, 01:44 PM
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Did get your servos so you could finish your Albatros? I am curious since I am going to start building one.
As a pre-project I have built a small Flyzone Albatros from spare parts using a Parkzone brushed 8,5mm motor/gearbox and a Spektrum clone AR6400 brick. The model was repainted in the same scheme as your bigger Albatros. Indoor flying in winter OK.
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Old Apr 05, 2016, 03:46 PM
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Apologies Ragge - I didn't get a notification that you had posted a comment.

Yes the maiden happened (30 June 2013). Beautiful winters day - wind was calm to 5km/h pretty much throughout.

The first flight was a bit scary. The CG was slightly rearwards (must have transposed the CG markers from the bottom to the top wings incorrectly). Needed all the down trim available and then some plus it was incredibly pitch sensitive. Spend most of the time trying to get the nose down, at one stage it stalled and spiralled behind me and into the sun. Lucky still to have it.

For the second flight I moved the RX forwards about 30mm and that made all the difference. Trim was almost back to neutral but still a bit sensitive on the elevator - might try 35% expo next time.

Absolutely beautiful flyer, looks great in the air (and on the ground) and the Cobra motor has plenty of power if you want it. Surprisingly the ailerons are quite effective. It won't roll like a drill bit, but not slug in the roll either. Co-ordinated turns are the way to go nonetheless.

Flight times are around 7-8 mins for about 70% capacity used.

Video of the Albatros maiden. Shot on a camera phone - apologies for the quality. http://youtu.be/jpFHssl7B-w

GC too far aft, leapt off the ground too early and caught by the wind, climbing like a home-sick angle. Had it reasonably trimmed and under control by the landing.
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Old Apr 06, 2016, 02:17 AM
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Thanks for your reply. Much appreciated.
My small Albatros has flown in-door a couple of times but now I am aiming to have the Alfa Albatros ready for flying this summer. Thanks once again!

Regards,
Ragnar
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Old Apr 06, 2016, 06:19 AM
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Not a problem Ragnar.

The Alfa is a bit of an awkward size. Too big for indoors* and almost too small for outdoors except on the calmest of days. Truth be told mine is babied and only flies on the most perfect of days - maybe once or twice a month. But it has plenty of admirers at the field

*although if your hall is big enough and you can build the Albatros light enough and modify it slightly (no ailerons, lots of dihedral) Alfa say it can be used indoors.
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