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Old Jul 11, 2001, 06:37 PM
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Eddie P's Avatar
United States, NV, Reno
Joined Mar 2000
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Top Flite DC-3

Anyone know of a successful conversion that's been done for the Top Flite DC-3 to electric?

I seem to remember a thread a while back on this but it didn't come up on my search. The Velkom kit looks nice, but I also have been looking seriously at the Top Flite kit because it seems like the size I'd be looking for in a big conversion (83").

Thanks for any info.

Ed
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Old Jul 11, 2001, 08:17 PM
Rod
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Canada, BC, Kelowna
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Todd Ablett of Burnaby BC Canada converted a Top Flite DC-3 to electric powere.... He used 2 - Astro 25G motors. The model had pneumatic retractable landing gear. It took 2nd. place in one of the scale competitions at the Canadian Nationals (in regular comp. against Glow engine powered models) last year.
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Old Jul 12, 2001, 02:09 AM
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Hi there Ed, yes I've been very busy of late. How did the Convair 580 turn out? Actually, model wise I have been working on a Speed 280 DC-4/C-54, 60 inch span, I'll e-mail you some numbers to see what you think.
I've got high hopes for this one. Russ
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Old Jul 12, 2001, 07:10 AM
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Trevor Hewson's can be found at http://members.aol.com/tjhewson/scale.html

Trevor's is now powered by 2 x Astro 035's with MEC Superboxes. I've seen it fly several times and performance is more than adequate. 2 x Astro 25's is a severe case of overkill!
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Old Jul 13, 2001, 11:48 AM
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Great info, thanks guys. If anyone has any more info throw it my way, I'm gathering data for a potential project this winter.

Ed
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Old Jul 14, 2001, 12:33 PM
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Russ, has your email address changed?

Ed
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Old Jul 15, 2001, 01:19 AM
Ron
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I have seen one. It had Astro 25 motors on 16 cells each. This plane was far too heavy for the wing area it has. The wing loading was around 32 oz. sq. ft. Now if you could get it down around 20 or so..............
Then it probably would be not too bad to handle.
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Old Jul 16, 2001, 10:11 AM
Visitor from Reality
United States, VA, Arlington
Joined Dec 1996
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Eddie
There's one down around Virginia Beach that's being tinkered with for a couple of years. I saw it at the NC Triad weekend last year, but it didn't fly. Astro 15Gs, standard boxes, around 24 cells. Understand it has flown but don't have any details.

I've got the plans at home somewhere, looked at it myself. There is a collosal amount of wood in there, and aren't sure how it stacks up to 'scale' though the photos look good enough for most folk. The nacelles especially are massively overbuilt to take the infernal consumption lumps, for one.

For an electric, you'd either have to live with the weight or do a major lightening job on it. The cockpit area is one of several plastic mouldings, would allow you to have a nicely placed access hatch to get at the pack for cooling / recharging.

The nacelle - fuselage distance dictates prop size to around 10", so you wouldn't gain much from using real big motors anyway. I believe I was looking at 2 Astro 035G or 05G running 9 or ten cells each. Keep the retracts, lose the flaps to save weight, it has enough wing area to be fairly slow.

Mine died on lack of a decent hard runway for the retracts. Unless you're a model engineer, you're really down to the ones sold for the model and they would need a nice flying surface.

GP sell their plans and parts like the mouldings, and you could build one off the plans. Much of the kit would end up as templates anyway, unless you really like heavy models .

Regards

Dereck
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Old Jul 17, 2001, 07:35 PM
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Eddie P's Avatar
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Dereck-

Lots of good info there to consider. When you say yours died, do you mean you had one and it is gone - or your lack of hard runway forced you to abandon the possibility of the project?

The Velkom kit looks nice too, with the fiberglass fuse and all. The only problem for me there is the lack of scale retracts for that size of a model (71"). Also I do like the larger size of the Top Flite at 83".

I was thinking the scale 3 blade prop would be ideal for this model especially because of the close - spaced nacelles.

Well well, lots to think about before starting.

Ed
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Old Jul 18, 2001, 09:37 AM
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Died, as in the project floundered. Like most of us, I have far more projects than time

I reckon you'd have to take out a lot of weight, power it just enough, to keep the weight down and a grass strip like I use would beat retracts into pulp.

I'm sure the GP model would work if stripped out for e-power. Their designs fly well, but the kit structures are engineered more for the short attention span slimer builder than the lightness seeking e-flier

Three bladers tend not to be as efficient as two blade props, plus the selection is small. There's a good reason why all the top scale models wear a 'scale' prop in the pits and a good 'model' prop to go flying with.

Funnily enough, even though its the magic "IMAA legal" at 83", when you look at the plan, it doesn't look all that big. The span's there, of course, but the fuselage is pretty small in diameter and the nacelles end up with a 40 engine about hanging out of them.

The one I saw in NC, the Astro 15's fitted easily inside the nacelles though.

Would look magic lumbering away from the runway with the gear slowly cranking up. The noise would be non-scale though - I got a 10 minute flight in a DC3 once and it was pretty noisy inside. Really crept across the sky too.

Dereck
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Old Jul 20, 2001, 07:11 PM
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True enough as far as sound goes. The most realistic sound an electric can emulate is a turboprop. I am finishing one now, a CV-580, and I can't wait to see (hear!) the geared motors whining away!!!

Ed
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