With the Torcman installed, The SIG Extra was ready for flight!
|Wing Area:||614 sq. in.|
|Weight:||95,4 oz. ( 2700 g)|
|Servos:||4xFutaba FS 500 MG|
|Receiver:||Schulze Alpha 835 W|
|Battery:||10x Sanyo 2400 SC|
|Motor:||Torcman TM 350-20-12w|
|ESC:||Castle Creations Phoenix 60|
Lately, I've found myself reading many different reviews about many different planes, and I have learned to enjoy the different points of view from many different pilots. It seems that most reviews lately are about ARFs models, as if a lot of people have forgotten about the models from KIT. The models that, from the assembly to motor testing to flights, are done completely by the builder. I found it very interesting to build a kit model and then to fly it. The rewards of looking up at the sky and seeing something that I built, instead of just assembled, were great.
Sig provided a great model for me to try out my kit building skills on, the SIG Somethin Extra Kit. I had already had some experience with SIG as a manufacturer, as I previously reviewed the SIG Riser 100, so I had a good feeling about starting this build. I had seen the SIG Something Extra before, and had wanted it for a while. It was a beautiful kit, with great aerobatic reviews. I immediately called KAVAN, a European SIG dealer. The SIG Something Extra was on my doorstep shortly after.
When the model arrived, I was anxious to see what lay within the bright purple box.
I decided to start with what I beleived was the hardest part of the build; the wing. To begin, I located four ¼” sq. x 24” balsa sticks and four ¼” sq. 11” balsa sticks from the kit contents. These became the top and bottom wing spars. Next, I trimmed four 11” sticks to a length of 10-5/8” each. I carefully aligned each piece, and glued one of the 10-5/8” pieces onto one end of one of the 24” spars to create a laminated spar. I repeated this procedure with next three spars.
Next, I located two ply root ribs and removed the round fillers in each. I set the two larger, 15/16” diameter fillers from each rib aside, as these were to be used to cap the female wing tubes. Then I removed the 7/8” dia. X15-1/4” aluminum wing joiner tube from the 16” length of phenolic impregnated female tube. Using a fine-tooth razor, I carefully cut two 6” lengths of female tubing, setting aside the remaining 4” piece for later use in the fuselage.
I carefully glued one of the 15/16” dia. ply fillers onto one end of each of the two 6” female wing tubes. After that, I pinned the bottom laminated spar carefully in place over the plan, with the laminated end at the inboard location, flush with the outer face of the rib location. Then I pinned the spar in place from the top to allow the pins to be removed after the top sheeting was in place.
A kit builder's tip: When pinning ribs to a work surface, pin them in place through each side of the removable alignment tabs on the bottom rear.
When that was complete, I glued the last rib into place onto the spar. When that was complete, I used a square to make sure each rib was vertical on the spar, then pinned and glued. I had to complete almost the same procedure for all of the ribs, after nine times, it was no longer interesting.
Temporarily I installed the top spar in place into each rib, but I didn’t glue it. After I checked that everything fit on the plans I glued it. Then I glued the top laminated spar in place into each rib and onto the top edge of the vertical grain shear webs.
Next I glued the leading edge. First I started with the leading edge glue joint, where it mated to the top rear face of the 3/8” leading edge. I applied a bead of glue along the entire length of the sheeting, on its front edge only. Then I fit the sheeting in place to the top rear face of the 3/8" leading edge stock while holding it up at about a 45degree angel. I applied a bead of glue to each rib, from their leading edges back to the spar locations, then applied another bead of glue along the entire front half edge of the spar.
The fuselage turned out to be a simple build that didn't require too much work on my part. Inside the fuse were many interesting things, but I found it very easy to construct; the pictures explain everything!
Most interesting was the canopy. The canopy proved to be a window into my Extra, to show the quality of my work, and though it looked great, I decided to create a mohogony floor for the inside of the cabin. Although it wasn't in the manual, I think it turned out very well.
Last came the tail assembly. I carefully pulled all the tail peices from the form, laid them out on the plans, followed the manual exactly, and came out with a quick and easy build.
The build was almost complete! I want to say that this was the most pleasant and accurately made kit that I have ever seen! Everything was planned out to make minumum work, as is apparent from my short assembly process. I didn't need to correct or change anything in the kit, I found it to be perfect. Thankyou to SIG for such a great plane, and thanks to KAVAN for distribution!
To cover the model I decided to differ from the usual colors, such as blue or red, and I used white and green instead. I used Oracover, and found that I liked the results very much.
Flying would hopefully show how well my adapted installation would work. since it was a new model and completely unknown for me, I was unsure, but very interested to find out the results! I couldn't wait for the good weather!
The SIG Something Extra was designed to fly with a glow engine, but I fly only electric so I needed to do an electric conversion. While building this model, I realized that it was perfect for the conversion, and that it wouldn't need alot of changes.
Before I could begin my conversion however, I had to build the motor mount, and install it into the plane.
After the motor mount was installed, I began the conversion.
|Castle Creations Phoenix 60|
|Weight:||2 oz.(56 g )|
|Cells w/ BEC:||10|
|Cells w/o BEC:||12|
|Continuous Current Capacity:||60|
|Surge Current Capacity:||80|
|Revers:||Yes, 2 wires|
|Available From:||Castle Creations|
I used my new Afterburner with a Castle Creation Phoenix 60 speed controller. I used the Castle Creation controllers in my review about the aero-towing project, and in my electric models. I am happy to say that in numerous flights a Castle Creation product has never failed me. On paper this controller matched the output of the motor very well and only actual use could show just how compatible they would be together.
I used 4-mm gold connectors. As for the controller, the Castle Creation Phoenix 60 was a fantastic speed controller. The functions and the properties of this speed controller were great. This speed controller had three position of frequency –11KHz, 22KHz, 41KHz. This was very important, because different motors worked with different frequencies. And if the frequency of the motor was wrong, the motor or speed controller could be destroyed. Also another important feature was the timing of the controller. Different motors work with different timing modes.
This controller had a lot of functions:
In the past, programming of this controller could be frustrating, but there is now a PHX USB Link to do so via computer. This device had two connections. One connection was connected to the radio connection from the speed controller and the other to the computer USB port. I downloaded the program from the Internet to this port. Then I installed this program to my computer and programmed the speed controller from it. I programmed basic modes (Cutoff V., Cutoff T., Brake T., Throttle T., Soft Start). I easily selected the needed function, and then clicked the update and after a few seconds my controller was programmed. I changed the Cutoff Voltage. I kept it at 6V. Because I used the 10 cells. Also I didn’t change the PWM because most of the motors were used in 11 kHz. If the controller and motor did not use the correct timing settings a couple problems could occur: The motor would not work on max watts, or have the max RPM; or the motor or/and controller would be damaged. As for timing mode it is -5-20 degrees. It is a best mode for this motor.
|Weight:||5,6 oz.(160 g)|
|Kv :||900 rpm/V|
|Power :||417 W|
When the model was completely built, I realized that I would need a motor designed for the aerobatics that the plane itself was designed for, so I began looking for a new motor at about the same time that Medusa presented their new motors, the afterburner. Medusa produces a wide series of motors to suit almost every model. Different motors have different kV, different weights, and different count of cells. All of these motors were great, it would be nice to fly on each of them; but I chose the MR-028-056-0900. This motor had Kv -900 RPM/V so it easily presented the possibility of turning the big propeller without needing to gear it! This motor also had max volts – 67 V, which made it possible to use it with different range of cells. It had high power - 417 W! So it was the best motor for my model!
Medusa offered very good service, so the motor came to me in only a few days. I couldn’t wait any more to look at and to handle this motor. When I opened the box my initial reaction was, "WOW, nice blue motor!" It looked like a very high quality and high performance product. Also in the box was a manual for this nice product. In it were specifications of each Medusa motor, its dimensions, and operation and installation safety notes. On top of it all, Medusa offered a two year warranty with their motors!
I expcted when building the model that the total maximum weight could be 2 kg., I thought that I could use the Medusa motor without any problems! Nice flight, some aerobatics; but when the model was ready, its weight came around to 7 kg!! Oops!!! It was too much for Medusa's MR-028-056-0900, so I had to find a motor that would give possibility to do a high advance aerobatic.
I had one; a motor from a German company called Torcman, the TM 350-20-12w. This firm produced out runner motors with high quality and professionalism. Since I had both motors available, the Medusa and Torcman, I decided to try both motors to see which the plane handled better with.
For the first flight I decided to use a more powerful Torcman motor, since I planned to do some aerobatic flying. I wanted to learn it's habits, and see exactly how it behaved in aerobatics, then I planned to change the motor, and see what I could get from the Medusa. I was 200% sure that if the Extra had weighed in at around 2 kg, flight with the Medusa would have been excellent, but now I was set to see what each motor could do!
Some notes about the Torcman. Torcman provides a wide series of motors from small to the monsters. I decided to use TM 350-20-12w. It was a good motor for an aerobatic model, of such as the SIG Extra. Some information about name of the motor, "350" describes the diameter of the motor stator – 350 mm, "20" means stator length – 20 mm, and "12" is how many windings have motor on each tooth – 12, w -windings. TM 350-20-12w.
Now that I had a wide range of equipment, I was able to begin static testing, and then acutal flight with the Medusa and Torcman.
|Sanyo RC 2400|
|Weight :||2 oz.( 58g.)|
|Size :||23x43 mm|
|Max working Amperes :||70 A|
|Max charge Amperes :||7 A|
|Kind of charge :||Fast charge|
|Available From:||XTreme Batteries|
In this review I used Sanyo RC 2400 cells. For such a powerful motor I needed a good battery. The Sanyo RC 2400 was the best NiCad battery that I knew of because it had a low resistance that produced a good electric stream. It had high working amperes, which was very important. It was my main criteria in choosing the cells.
Using a lipoly battery could have been better, since it would have cut the weight in half, and might have given more of a possibility for aerobatics, but not this time!
I planned to use an analyzer to measure amperes, volts, and watts. In this project I used the Medusa Power Analyzer Plus. Medusa produces two kinds of analyzers: Power Analyzer and Power Analyzer Plus. The main difference in these analyzers was that the “plus” unit measured data that it can then send to the computer, and I could make graphs of the motor's workouts. It was fantastic. It was more interesting to use the “plus” because I was able to test the motor with different propellers, make graphics of its work, and then compare. It was very important for information gathering. How else could I get an answer to a question such as “was my motor working at its maximum or could I get more from it?" I think with the Power Analyzer Plus I could answer this question. Of course I could have sat long hours near the computer and calculated how the motor will work. But with analyzer “plus” I knew what I needed. It was great!
Before installing everything into my plane, I decided to test it. In this test my main instrument was the power analyzer plus.
First I tested the Medusa motor. I have a perfect idea of the performance from the motor testing...the motor should work perfectly. From the tests, it appeared to be a high power, good quality product. It worked nicely without any problems, bad noses or any defects, only clean and nice work. The sound of the motor was magic, as if to say "don’t turn me off". It isn’t possible to describe all of this in words, it is better to see it for yourself.
I tested the motor with two different propellers.
Graupner 10x6 with 10x Sanyo 2400 SC:
Good result !
Aero-naut Cam Carbon 12x6,5 with 10x Sanyo 2400 SC:
Another set of good results!
The second motor I tested was the Torcman. I again used two different propellers.
Graupner propeller 13x7, with 10x Sanyo 2400 SC:
And now with the Aero-Naut propeller:
Aero-Naut Cam Carbon 14x9, with 10x Sanyo 2400 SC:
The tests were amazing! Both motors worked perfectly! Now it was time to take to the sky with the Torcman and then with the Medusa.
From the test results it was apparent that it was better to use the Aero-Naut 14x9 propeller with the Torcman,it had very good technical parameters! I was very interested to see what I would get from each of the motors. I mounted the Torcman in the model, and rushed to the flying field!!!
The time had come. I couldn’t have asked for a better day. The first flight toke place at the our local flying field, flat ground, some clouds but it wasn’t important at that moment , light summer wind - how perfect. After arriving at the field and plugging in the battery (battery had a changing night before), I went through pre-flight routine. First of all I look around flying place, if everything was ok. After battery was hot and fully changed I put it in the model, and began checking if all control surfaces were moving in the right direction and did a range check of the radio.
Note: Every pilot should do a range checking before every flying it is very simple but very reliable. 1. Turn on your transmitter, 2. Turn on your model. 3. Go for about 30-40 meters with pull in antenna. If there aren’t any surface problems – GO!!! In other case you should check your flying equipment and only after everything will be ok, you can fly.
Everything looked fine so we (I, and my friend Vladimir) headed out to the grass strip. There was a very slight breeze. The temperature was 54 F.It was a possibly to took model in a hang, gave power up and after, let it went. Or put model on the grass Power stick to max, it would get some speed and went out. I chose to did a hand launch. I asked Vladimir to get it’s tail. I slowly pushed the stick up for a half and then to the min position. I asked Vladimir if there was a power under his hand, he said that it was really power plane that wanted to go to the sky. I pushed stick up again, half , little more , max … Vladimir hands slowly moves toward , then he fast put out his hand, and model went on the ground, I touch an elevator stick lowly and model very fast took off. Wow! It was really exiting! After I got some height I did few turns, and eights. After I felt model I did few loops that was very easy. Extra was as a bird that hasn’t flying for an age. But when I want to did some really exiting figure, I left my previous height , and went on the low altitude ( I don’t really know why I do that ! ) , one strip in the air , and when it was a turn , light breeze became more strong , and I lost control because it wasn’t any height , first that met model was ground. Ops! It was really terribly! But it isn’t important now we have an article about flying not about crashing.
If the wasn’t anymore flying it is a time to talk about mistakes that I did. 1. Altitude! My altitude didn’t last very long; I decided to bring it by for a low altitude high speed pass. The model tracked perfectly, I guess that it was enough speed. But I only guessed. The Something Extra is quick but not so fast that an intermediate pilot would be uncomfortable. 2. After I saw that model “ slowly “ went down , I put throttle to the maximum , ailerons to stabilize the plane , and elevator to max to went up , in the same time. I think I should put power to max, and moved an elevator stick little, only to stabilize the plane, not to went up. 3. The most important, I didn’t account properly range of moving ailerons and elevator it were to much, it could be seen from very quick and fast turns. Here is a table , what should be travel of control surfaces: Surface Low Rate Travel High Rate Travel ELEVATOR 1-1/4” Up , - 1-1/4” Down 2” Up , - 2 “ Down AILERONS 1” Up , - 1 “ Down 2” Up, - 2” Down RUDDER 1-7/8” Left, - 1-7/8” Right 2-1/4” Left, - 2-1/4 “ Right Practically it should be not very hard flying, but I should account some factors that I didn’t. But to do mistake ones, it is prevent it in the next time.
This is a Sport Aerobatic model and as such, it performs the entire standard stuff just fine( I am sure in it ) . Blenders, Climbing Flat Spins and other true 3D moves might be accomplished with it. Remember, I have only put 10 cells packs through it so far and while I am comfortable with it, I have yet to explore every CG placement and battery/prop option... Plus if you notice the stuff that got less than a probably will get better as I get the balance and power setup dialed in. But it isn’t end, it is possibly to get back this model back , but it needs some time, and after I back this wonderful plane back to life it will be very interesting to see what we get.
This was a hard question, but this model was perfect for starting to learn aerobatics and for experienced pilots also. This model was able to do every figure with ease, and in the same time, a beginner to aerobatics could study flight of an Aerobatic plane. Also, Sig in USA and KAVAN in EUROPE provide a very good quality kit. I got great pleasure from building this model, it was great.
I want to say a big thanks to Castle Creations for such reliable plane and good in use techniques. It was very pleasant for me to use in my model Phoenix 60. Perfect speed controller! Thanks Castle Creations thanks Shawn for perfect service. Also I want to say thanks to Medusa Research for helping me in this review. Their Power Analyzer helped me to do accurate tests of the motors, and get reliable results from the tests. Also Medusa produces great motors that will suit every model, with reasonable prices for a high quality product.
It is so sad that I did not have the chance to fly the SIG Extra on the Medusa motor but I am 200 % sure that the results would have been fine. Thanks also to for Kavan for distributing such nice models and perfect service. Thanks Torcman, for perfect motors and thanks Jochen for great help, with this motor. And especially thanks to you, for reading my article !!!
|Aug 10, 2006, 04:59 PM|
Joined Jun 2002
Thanks Sasha for the well done review with photos, video, music.
I have a couple .40 sized planes that I fly electric, and us older guys need a big enough plane to see it well at a distance.
My experience is that a smaller motor is not always better, as it runs at its maximum power and gets hot, even the brushless ones, so you need to keep the flights shorter and let it cool down between flights.
This is a good size for electric conversions and there are lots of manufacturers that make motors in this 400 watt range, the Axi 28-20-8 and 10 winds, and the Jeti 30-3 are a couple. Hyperion makes one that is larger rotor but a tapered front for fiting in a more streamlined nose.
I have a 4000 Mah 3 cell 12 c Lipo. There is a really good deal at MAXamp fore such batteries, I have a Polyquest with a balancer. I also fly mine on 10 GP2000 Nimh.
Check out www.maxamps.com. I use an APACHE charger for the Lipos and a polyquest tap that shuts off if any cell gets over 4.25 volts. If you have the dough, you won't be dissappointed with LIPO batteries, just be careful!!!
|Aug 10, 2006, 06:44 PM|
In 27+ years of RC flying this is my all time favorite RC aircraft. I really need to build another and electrocute it!
Brings back many fond memories!
|Aug 10, 2006, 10:06 PM|
Very nice review! This plane has been on my list for quite a while! Thanks for taking the time to show as much information as you did!
|Aug 11, 2006, 12:13 PM|
Joined Jul 2005
Wow great review. Not to hijack the thread but if anyone is interested i have a build/conversion thread for my somethin' extra here: http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=494750
Like your plane mine flew great and is one of my favorite planes to fly.
|Aug 11, 2006, 01:00 PM|
Great Build! You really need to put a TP3C42002P Li Po in the Extra. It's what I have in mine. It got my AUW to 79.2 oz. Makes a big differance.
Great Job Sasha
|Aug 13, 2006, 11:19 AM|
Yes, it looks like you went to Fl. State. It's apparent by your lack of capitalization and punctuation. No matter the color you chose, the Somthin Extra will always perform great.
|Aug 13, 2006, 04:59 PM|
Canada's East Coast, "An Ocean Playground"
Joined Apr 2002
...but when the model was ready, its weight came around to 7 kg!! Oops!!!
..something wrong here...that would be 2.2 x 7 = 15.4 pounds..
..appreciate the review, and as others have done, suggest some pieces be replaced with lighter ones to get the weight down, down, down, ..along with lipos , into the 64 ounce range ....
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