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Old Feb 20, 2006, 11:40 PM
Registered User
Melbourne, Australia
Joined Mar 2005
35 Posts
Telemaster 400 - Great trainer from free plans!

Hi all,

A while ago I contemplated buying or building my first electric trainer – and after some support from people on this forum decided to build one. My main concerns were the following;
1. Value for money – preferably free plans and standard gear.
2. Good flier – after all it is for learning!
3. Strong / easily repairable – for those inevitable crashes.
4. Around 36” size and standard build. (removable wing a bonus!)
5. Three channel (RET) with the possibility of adding ailerons later.
6. Looks good – no point flying something ugly!

After some hunting around I found the plans for the Telemaster 400 (dwg attached). These were downloaded from http://www.willingtons.com/mymac/Plans_Download.htm - although I’ve seen them in other places also. It looks very similar to HobbyLobby’s Mini Telemaster – but that was going to cost a fortune to ship to Oz!

This plane seemed to satisfy all my requirements and after chatting to someone who had previously built one (albeit scaled up to 45”) I decided to go for it.

The final specs were;
Wing span: 36”
Motor: 400sp 7.2v
Gear: 2.5:1
Prop: 9x6
Battery: 3cell LiPo, 1050 MaH
Weight: 380 grams – ready to fly
Covering: Solite

The build was very straightforward – no issues. I was really pleased with the strength of the wing as the leading 1/3 was sheeted with balsa. The horizontal stabiliser was also very strong. The whole thing was completed in a couple of weeks with no rush.

So, last week the whole thing came to a head and I had the maiden flights.
The first flight was in gusty conditions - which I shouldn’t have really been out in – but at 2/3 throttle it powered away from a hand launch easily and flew around happily for a couple of minutes. It was difficult to check the trim in the windy conditions and eventually a gust caught it and I experienced my first crash! The front was smashed around (it was a pretty hard impact) – but after 20 minutes with the CA all was well again.

The next day was a beautiful calm day and out I went again. This time I flew for about 10 minutes with no issue. Nice and steady flier – minimal trim required. Only needed 2/3 throttle for launch and loops (which were clean and easy) and then ½ throttle for the rest of the flight. I ended up bringing her down when at the bottom of a loop it lost power – due to a screw in the gearbox coming loose (must remember to check everything is tight before a flight!). It glided down smoothly for a nice landing – no damage! I was really happy!

I’d only ever flown the Parkzone Decathlon before this and the performance of the two are incomparable. The Telemaster is smoother, has more power and has longer flight times – not to mention the satisfaction of building it yourself!

I’ve attached a picture for your reference and a link to a basic build sequence on my web site if anyone’s interested. http://home.vicnet.net.au/~tarnagul/...lanes/t400.htm

I really just wanted to post this for others who may be contemplating the same thing. It can be done – and using free plans with ‘standard’ gear!

Now I just need to find more time to get out and fly!

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Old Feb 20, 2006, 11:49 PM
You sabotaged my plane.
eliworm's Avatar
Joined Jun 2002
2,908 Posts
Looks great. On your website you had two pictures before the maiden. What did it look like after?

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Old Feb 21, 2006, 04:26 AM
Hold my beer and watch this!
Jeremy Z's Avatar
Northern IL
Joined Oct 2005
2,380 Posts
Two quick things:
  • Use Loc-Tite or some other temporary thread-locking compound on those gearbox screws. They will work loose at the most inopportune times...
  • A 3S LiPo will probably eventually burn out a 7.2 V speed 400 motor, though it sounds like you are sensible with the throttle.

Of COURSE your flight times are longer, you're on LiPos now!
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Old Feb 25, 2006, 09:59 PM
WAA-08 Survivor
Griffin's Avatar
Joined May 2004
2,652 Posts
Nice Looking Telemaster!
Congrats on building and flying your own trainer--not everyone could pull that off!
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Old Feb 26, 2006, 05:49 PM
Next time I'll ARTF...
glydr's Avatar
Canberra, Australia (Southside)
Joined Feb 2004
4,634 Posts
well done cam777cam - thx 4 sharing
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Old Jun 19, 2006, 05:57 PM
Use whatcha got!
msmith's Avatar
Metairie, LA
Joined Sep 2000
2,984 Posts
Beautiful... And scratch-built to boot!

Man... I hope my hobby-lobby kit comes out that nice. Just gotta get around to building it.

This makes me want to start w/ the plans and scratch build it first like you did though. See what I can turn out... Will have to check the .dwg to get a list of materials together... If I've got most of the stuff in the shed, then I may just start on it... Otherwise, will have to place an order before beginning...

Thanks for the inspiration.

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Old Apr 27, 2008, 11:52 PM
Registered User
Joined Apr 2008
1 Posts
Great run through. Thanks for posting all this. My friend and I are buliding this plane for our senior project and I was hoping you could answer a couple questions for us. What are the shearwebs? I thought they where the supports that run in the wing from front to back but now im confused and think they might be sheets that run right to left in the wings (connecting the hard wood spars).
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Old May 04, 2008, 07:04 PM
Registered User
Melbourne, Australia
Joined Mar 2005
35 Posts
Send me an email...

Hi guys,

Just send me an email and I'm happy to answer any questions that you have or take any photo's that may be helpful. I've also sent you a 'private message'.

Good luck - I'm sure you'll be happy with this plane.

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