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Old Sep 16, 2008, 11:01 PM
Put a bigger motor on it!
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More lighting!

I did the wing tip lights tonight. It took me about 2.5 hours. I put 3 green and 1 white LED on the right tip and 3 red and 1 white on the left tip. For each color, I have one LED pointing forward, outboard and aft. The white LED on each wing tip also points outboard. Since I'm using a 9V battery for the lights, I was able to get all three reds in one series loop and all three greens in another series loop to save on current draw since all the whites are in their own loop. I'm pulling about 300mA of current for the wing lights. I'm still considering a tail light too. I chose to use a separate 9V battery so that the lights will never drain out my receiver battery.
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Old Sep 26, 2008, 12:09 AM
Put a bigger motor on it!
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Update status...

Covering has begun...
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Old Sep 29, 2008, 08:06 PM
Put a bigger motor on it!
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More lights!

...
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Old Oct 02, 2008, 01:19 AM
Put a bigger motor on it!
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Finished covering the fuselage today. I got the decals on too. The plane no longer looks like a Sportster. I'm happy with the way it turned out. I'll save the pics for later.

I'm waiting on my aileron servo extension wires to arrive in the mail before I cover the top half of the wing. I also need to order a RX for this plane since I've upgraded to 2.4 GHz and stuck my other RX in my Corsair already. I also need to put the motor back on the plane. That's pretty much it. Almost ready for the second maiden!
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Old Oct 11, 2008, 03:28 PM
Put a bigger motor on it!
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Costa Mesa, CA
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Almost done. Just doing the last few things now. Still on the list to do:

-Finish putting stripes on the wing
-Attach prop (motor already connected)
-Balance the plane
-Program the radio (I'll have flaperons, aileron differential, etc.)
-Charge batteries
-Fly!

-Oh yeah.. I'll post some pics too pretty soon
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Old Oct 11, 2008, 08:49 PM
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I need some details on how you installed your retracts!

I just bought a SS20 kit off RCU which should be here mid next week. I intend to install retracts also, but am not sure which ones to buy. What is the brand/model of yours? How does the electric plane size compare to the SS20? I'm hoping the wing of the 20 is thick enough so that I don't have to build a little housing around the retract servo like you had to do. Did you use the low profile retract servos that are about 1" tall?

Sorry for the questions, I need some guidance! Can you post some detailed pics of your retract installation or some sketches of the structural mods you had to make in the wing for reinforcement?

Thanks!
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Old Oct 12, 2008, 01:58 AM
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Here's the retracts I bought:
http://www3.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin/wti0001p?&I=LXL406

Here's the retract servo I bought:
http://www3.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin/wti0001p?&I=LXPB42

I'm not familiar with the SS20, but my Sportster that I talk about here is 48" span and 383 sq.in. wing area and 39" fuselage length... for you to compare.

I can't get you any new pics other than the ones I've already posted here. I already covered up the wing. This was my first time installing retracts. I pretty much figured out a good place for the retracts and then started cutting up the wing thinking, "Oh crap, oh crap, oh crap" the whole time. Start by cutting a small hole, testing the fit, and then enlarging as needed. You'll repeat this process all day long. The retracts I bought needed to be mounted on some rails, so I bought some plywood for that and then had the rail installed so that it "bridged" about 3 or 4 ribs so the landing loads would get spread out. You'll need to turn on your engineering part of the brain and identify any weak spots and just reinforce them. The retract box will sit between two ribs. Ideally, you want to at least double the thickness of these ribs. I didn't do that, so I'll have to keep my fingers crossed on the landings.

The wing is pretty thin, so your retract servo may stick out just like mine. One way to work around this is to install it in the center of the wing so that it is hidden inside the fuselage. I thought it was pretty ugly at first the way I did it, but then I just added another empty fairing on the other wing and I think it looks pretty sweet now. I almost like it better
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Old Oct 12, 2008, 02:03 AM
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Finished striping the wing. Did a preliminary CG test and it looks like I'll need to stick a penny or two in the nose. I'm surprised that the CG was almost dead on. Pretty cool. Propeller is now installed. Programming and power readings tomorrow! Pics too!
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Old Oct 12, 2008, 01:36 PM
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Introducing the new Super Duper Sportster...
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Old Oct 12, 2008, 04:44 PM
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Looks like I'll have to order some new LiPos now. My old ones just don't have any juice left. The LVC activates at half throttle because the voltage drop is just too big.

I tested with a new 5000 mAh 3s LiPo and everything was much better. I was able to get 430 watts, pulling 38A and spinning the 9x7.5 prop at 9770 RPM. Pitch speed is 69.4 MPH. Weight is 53 oz without LiPo. LiPo is another 14.2 oz, so that puts my wing loading at 25.3 oz/sq.ft. I was thinking it would be over 30oz/sq.ft. with this huge heavy LiPo. Not too bad!
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Old Oct 14, 2008, 10:44 PM
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Project is now 100% complete! I took out the new beast for it's second maiden today. I was quite nervous since it has been more than a year since I have flown. It's so good to be back.

The plane flew quite the same as it originally did. It does have a higher wing loading now, so takeoff and landing req'd more room, but that's the way I like it anyway because it's more scale like. I needed very little trimming. After takeoff, the gear failed to go up. I did a couple passes and then started playing with the flaperons. Lowering the flaps caused me to roll a little to the right so after a few more passes I came in to land. Landing was great even without the flaps, but I did touch down at around 20-25 MPH probably. I didn't want to stall on my first flight! After taking the wing off, my retract servo was not plugged in, doh! I also mixed the ailerons to the flap to correct for the roll. I took off again and all was great. Gear went up without a hitch. Dropped the flaps all the way down and no longer had any rolling. I just kept on doing circles around the field to get used to the plane. It was quite boring to watch probably. Came in to land after 8 or 9 total minutes of flight and plugged the battery to the charger. I had 60% juice remaining! This 5000 mAh LiPo is going to spoil me! The plane flys straight and level at half throttle, but needs a little extra for the turns. I flew the 4th and last flight of the day after the sun was completely below the horizon. The lights were great. You can't really see the red and green that well from far away, but depending on the viewing angle you would get a glipse of them every few seconds or so. I'm glad I put one white LED on each wingtip, you can see those at all times from all angles. Coming in to land, I dropped the gear and the landing lights turn on. Those things are super bright and I bet you'd have 5 mile visibility with those, easy. It's real easy to keep the wings level without much sunlight when those lights are on. I can't wait to get back out and fly again.

I'll probably get back to my low inverted passes and 4 point turns pretty soon. I miss doing those.
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Old Oct 14, 2008, 10:46 PM
Put a bigger motor on it!
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Oh yeah, one more thing...
I'm afriad to say I never really got to test out the robustness of the landing gear on my landings. I greased 'em all!
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Old Oct 15, 2008, 07:17 PM
Put a bigger motor on it!
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Lunch break :)

...
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Old Oct 17, 2008, 10:39 PM
Put a bigger motor on it!
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I redid the wiring from the fuse to the wing. I was tired of plugging in 4 different connectors each time. I simplified it from 11 wires on 4 connectors to 7 wires on 2 connectors. 1 connector supplies power to both aileron servos and the retract servo, and also carries the signal to both aileron servos. The other connector carries the signal to the retract servo and supplies power to the tail lights from the 9V battery.
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Old Oct 22, 2008, 10:16 PM
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I tried installing retracts in my Super Sportster 20 (nitro) this evening but stopped. In order to fit the landing gear setup into the wing I would have had to cut the spar out between two wing ribs. I see from your pictures that you did just this on your plane. Is she still flying? I can't imagine the wing is structurally sound if you cut the spar. That's really all that holds the wing together under wingtip-to-wingtip tension (during inside loops for example).
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