|Wing Area:||1488 sq. in.|
|Servos:||JR 8411 and 8611|
|Battery:||2 cell lithium ion with Smart-fly Regulators|
|Available From:||Horizon Hobby|
The 3D/aerobatic non-scale performance model class continues to grow and grow. The Bling 3d is Seagulls models latest entry into the 50CC size area of this market. It can also be flown on a large glow engine but the Evolution 45GX GAS is a perfect match and no fuel mess to clean up.
As you can see in the picture the wings are VERY lightly built but strong where they need to be. I started by hinging the ailerons with the included Robart style hinges. The included hinges are smaller than I normally use on a plane of this size but if you wanted to drill the holes larger it would take about 5 minutes to do them all. I used Pacer hinge glue for all of them which cleans up easily with water. There are small cutouts in the surface and almost 90 degrees of throw is possible.
NOTE: The manual calls for two lower-end servos ganged together for the rudder, but I chose a single high-torque servo instead.
The tail surfaces slid on the aluminum joiner and the instruction manual said to bolt them on after gluing them with Epoxy, with 3mm machine screws. My kit did not have any blind nuts installed in the fuse, only a tiny guide hole, so there was no way to use machine screws. I solved this problem by using some sheet metal screws. I threaded them into the fuse and then removed them so I could harden the holes with thin CA. The screws held the stabs on very tightly and I decided not to Epoxy them, in case I ever needed to replace an elevator half.
The manual did not say anything about the carbon anti-rotation dowels for the stab, they provided only 2 that I could find when 4 were needed. The 2 they provided were long enough to cut in half so I had enough for both sides, I don't know if that was intended or not.
I was missing one 3mm control horn bolt for the elevator, plus I did not trust the small size, so I used some Dubro heavy duty control horns on them.
One of the recommended engines for the Bling 3D is the Evolution 45GX 45cc gasoline engine. This engine is very lightweight and with the electronic ignition is very easy to start and runs great.
The manual shows basic installation instruction for a DA-50, nothing else.
I used the Evolution 45MM standoffs which put the engine at 6 7/8" from the firewall to the prop hub. There were no measurements in the manual for the engine mounting. The wrap around pitts muffler fit perfectly and there was no need to cut the cowl for the sides of it like I have seen with the DA-50.
The ignition on the Evolution 45 has an automatic choke feature but I chose not to use a choke servo as there was not much room and I didn't see a need for one.
I always use an electronic switch/relay so I can kill the ignition on all of my gas models from the radio. The RCATS RC 100X is wired between the ignition switch and the ignition and I have never had any issues with them. It is capable of 5 amps and can also be used to switch anything you can think of, lights, ignitions, bomb drops, etc.
I used 2 Regulators with failsafe pin and flag switches from Smart-Fly products. I used 2 Lithium Ion receiver packs for redundancy. I know that 2 are not really needed but it makes me feel better to have 2 packs instead of one large pack. The pin and flag switches are very easy to install, just drill a hole and bolt them in.
I did not use the stock fuel tank as it included a rubber stopper but it was not labeled as to whether it was meant for glow fuel or gasoline, the instructions didn't say. I replaced it with a 17oz oval Hangar 9 tank with a Dubro Gas stopper and that allowed me to move the throttle servo back next to it instead of right over the ignition in the stock location.
The Engine manual clearly says to keep radio components 8" or so away from ignition components, yet the plane has a throttle servo mount right above it.
I chose to mount my Ignition battery on the throttle servo tray instead. There is a addendum on Horizons website about the newer ignition. It requires a 6 cell nicad pack or a 2 cell Lithium pack with no regulator. If the ignition pack voltage gets below 6.4 volts the engine will not start.
The Evolution started very easily, choke on and ignition on, flip a few times till it pops and then turn the choke off and it fires within 4 or 5 flips of the prop. I ran a tank of fuel thru it before flying following the instruction manual to start the break in process. They also provided the oil to mix with the gasoline at a 32:1 ratio.
I used a Vess 22A prop which looked great and the Evolution 45 turned it at 6500 RPM which was plenty of power for the 14 3/4 pound Bling, plus they are very quiet props which is a plus if your local field has a noise problem.
After mounting the cowl and landing gear the Bling was ready to fly!
I setup the control throws per the manual for high and low rates. I also used 70% Expo on the ailerons and elevator with 40% on the rudder on high rates. Low rates I used about half of those figures in Expo.
The CG listed in the manual is 16-18CM back from the leading edge at the wing TIP. For my test flight I set the CG at 8-1/4" back from the leading edge at the wing root which equates to within the recommended CG measured at the wing tip. As per my flight report, I found this CG too aft for my comfort level, and moved it to 7-1/4" back.
I had to add about 3 oz of lead to the nose to reach my preferred CG. Note that I have read on the forums that some people have had to add about that much lead to the tail as their aircraft was nose heavy, so it must depend on what servos you use in the tail, what engine and where you mount your batteries. I could have moved my receiver batteries more forward but I did not want them close to the ignition so I chose to add lead.
After doing a good range check and making sure everything was plugged in it was ready to tear up the sky.
TIP: BE SURE your ailerons are level! Mine had a bit of reflex, and it really affected how she flew.
I did a few rolls and got a general feel for the plane, something just did not feel right though. I couldn't seem to get it to trim properly, it was a little windy but that didn't seem like it was totally the problem. After flying a general pattern for a few minutes I got it fairly trimmed out but it felt really tail heavy so I decided to bring it in for a landing.
Since it was tail heavy I had to push some down elevator to get it to come in, when I did that it would all of the sudden drop about 10 feet and I almost smacked it on the runway! Finally I got it on the ground in one piece. After checking it over I noticed I had a tiny bit of up reflex in the ailerons I did not notice on the pre-flight. It was not much at all but that and the tail heavy CG were both contributors so be sure to make sure your ailerons are level!
For the next flights I added 3 oz of lead to the firewall and that moved the CG to about 7-1/4" back from the leading edge at the wing root (at the fuse). She was a different airplane! She Everything, from take-off through aerobatics to landing was easier, more pleasant, more precise.
The Bling flies like a fun fly plane should, light wing loading and a excess of power! As you can see in my video below the Bling has way more than enough power with the Evolution 45, it truly does feel like a foamie in flight.
On my first flight, the Bling was off the ground in 30 feet or so and I could tell there was an excess of power, which is a good thing in a 3d aircraft. It also felt very touchy. The Engine was on the rich side to break it in, but the low end was a touch too rich so I adjusted the needle about a 1/8 turn after the first flight.
After I adjusted the CG, she felt like a different bird, from take off through every maneuver to landing!
On the aft CG, it took a lot of push and a bit of nerve to get her landed. Once the CG was more forward, landings were a breeze. On about my 5th flight it was a little windy and I bounced the landing only to find out I chipped a prop! I hate when I do that! With the stock gear and the 22" prop there was plenty of clearance, but not enough to bounce a landing like I did.
There is an alternative though, and if you want to use a 23" prop I would say that taller gear is a must. I installed a set of RCSupergear carbon fiber landing gear for the Bling 3d and they gave me 4" of clearance with the 22" prop. No more broken props for me, unless I crash.
The gear I used is part number SG111 and is originally made for the Double Vision biplane but it fits perfectly on the Bling. It is not quite as wide as the stock gear but I did not notice anything different in how the plane handled on the ground.
After adjusting the CG, I could tell a difference right away. The Bling flew like a totally different airplane and when flipped inverted it just needed a very tiny touch of down elevator to fly level which is perfect to me. I only added a couple clicks of aileron trim and took out all of the elevator trim that was needed when it was tail heavy and that's it. Now to the fun!
The engine was still running rich as this was only the 3rd tank of fuel thru it but already it felt like foamie power! I did a quick hover and pulled out and it was a rocket! Waterfalls would flip around its cg and aileron rolls were so fact on high rates and about 1/4 throttle I was scared to try them at any faster speed, but thats not what its designed for anyway. Here is a 3d "report card" for most of the maneuvers I tried with the bling 3d.
|3D Report Card|
|Torque Roll||A||It also does this very well.|
|Harrier||B/A+||It has some wing rock without any mixes, but with spoileron mixing it locks in perfect and gets an A+.|
|Inverted harrier||B||It had a little more wing rock than upright.|
|Waterfalls||A+||Probably the best waterfalling plane I have flown!|
|High Alpha Rolling||A+||Again, very nice! Minimal corrections needed.|
|Knife Edge||B+||Has minor coupling to the landing gear.|
|Stall Turns||A+||Is there an aerobatic plane that doesn't do these well?|
|Wall||B+||Did this pretty well, violent!|
|Flat-Spin||A+||Flat spins would flatten out very well.|
|Aileron rolls||A+||These were a blur on high rates.|
|Knife edge spins||A+||It will do these very easily.|
|Inverted spins||A+||It can be made to climb in these!|
|Blender||B+||I could not get it to tighten up at the end.|
The Bling 3D is absolutely not for a beginner. This is a highly aerobatic aircraft and it does exactly what you command it. It would make a great first gasser or even a first 3d model as it really flies and lands very easily -- if you are past the learning stages AND set a conservative CG.
The Bling 3d is a great entry into the 50cc size gasoline aircraft. It is very light and the Evolution 45GX is a perfect match for the airframe. Sure you could fly it on a large glow engine but you will be burning alot of fuel and making a mess with all the oil. It is well built and you can't beat it for the price of a little more than $300!Last edited by Steve H.; Jan 15, 2007 at 09:30 PM..
|Jul 17, 2007, 06:07 AM|
Joined Jul 2007
Great review. I have just started flying my Bling this week, but it's a bit of a handfull in both the harrier(wing rocking) and in the hover. I see you used spoilerons to calm yours down, could you please tell me your set up. eg, do your ailerons come up with elevator input, or are they raised by a switch to a set point.(as you can probably tell I have never used spoilerons before.)
|Jul 17, 2007, 07:44 AM|
Joined Aug 2000
I used a mix that I turned on by switch, when tuned on the ailerons would go up proportionally when the elevator was pulled. Spoilerons don't help anything while in a hover though.
|Aug 10, 2007, 05:05 AM|
Electric conversion planned - approx 2500 watts. Based upon weight of all the components, I'm hoping it will come out around, or even under 14lbs RTF.
Seriously thinking about pulling the covering off the bottom of the wings and checking all glue joints though. These things seem to have a reputation for wing failures when doing walls, parachutes, etc
|Feb 18, 2008, 02:19 PM|
Joined Aug 2000
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