|Dec 03, 2007, 04:16 AM|
Hobby Lobby Gee Bee Senior Sportster 84" by Green Models
I recently picked up the Hobby-Lobby Gee Bee Senior Sportster on their Black Thursday Crash Sale.
I'd been drooling over this plane for months, but had no intention to buy simply because $429 is way out of my price range. I had just finished building the 40" version of this plane when Hobby-Lobby announced the 84". I was immediately sad and frustrated that I didn't know about this one. The smaller version flies like a dream, and the video on HL's site looks like this bigger version does too. At $329 on the sale it was still way out of my price range, but in a moment of completely inexplicable weakness I caved and bought the plane.
For those building this beauty (and I imagine I'm not the only one who picked this up during the crash sale), there aren't many other references for it online that I've found. If anybody knows of a good build thread elsewhere, please PM me and I'll post the link here in the first post. There's nothing worth viewing on RC Universe yet. Staggerwing started a thread here on RCGroups, and I was happily following the thread when he suddenly closed it. Grr! So I started this thread in hopes of continuing dialogue during and after my build.
|Dec 03, 2007, 04:27 AM|
My first impressions of this plane are thusly and in this order.
1. Holy Crap, it's huge! 84" is simply gigantic. When I dry fit everything I realized I was building way out of my league. My biggest plane to date is the 60" Fliton Extra 330 Freestyle, which I picked up during the last big HL crash sale. 84" didn't sound that much bigger than 60", but the size increases exponentially.
2. Oh man, it's beautiful. The covering is very nice. The cowl isn't as thick as I expected, but thick enough and strong enough that it'll hold it's shape nicely. The servo mounts are recessed and seem quite nicely done. The gear mounts on the wings are also recessed and already have 3 metal gripping bolts installed in each wing, so they should go in quickly and hold firm. I love the cockpit, prepainted black with a matte plastic trim around the lip, and it includes a cockpit decal for the instrument panel. The wheel pants are beautiful.
3. What, No Hatch!!!!!! Oh crap!!! So they mention on their site that it's designed to handle electric conversion, but they didn't think to include a hatch for battery access. There is a nice wooden panel to attach the batteries to, and it even comes with pre-installed velcro strips! But the only way to get to the packs is to remove the wing, which everybody knows means pulling off those wing support struts. So my conversion will include figuring out how to make a battery hatch.
EDIT: Hobby-Lobby wisely added a hatch in later builds of this plane. They wisely listened to their customers and incorporated one nicely.
4. There's no way I could afford to build this plane without the affordable electronics of United Hobbies (edit: name changed to HobbyKing). Parts list to follow in next post.
5. My wife is gonna drop a brick when she walks in and sees this thing. (Door Opens). "Hi Honey.... WOAH!!!!" Blank Stare right at me, solid glazed over look. "It's finally happened, you've gone crazy." Each of my 3 children did and said the same thing.
6. No Hatch! I just can't get over that they didn't include a freaking hatch! I own the Green Models 40" Gee Bee Y, and that had a battery hatch. So I just expected them to do the same on the big one. (EDIT: They built in a hatch already! Yay!)
7. Oh no, they did those stupid wordless picture instructions again! Just like on my smaller Gee Bee, Green Models evidently doesn't care enough about their modelers to include a real set of instructions. All you get is three pages worth of thumbnail size pictures. It's a joke really. Most seasoned modelers change stuff around so much that the instructions are only a rough guide, but some of us like to be told exactly what to do and in what order so that we get satisfying results with no surprises. SURPRISE!!!!
EDIT: HL is supposedly working on some PDF instructions. Will post link when available.
|Dec 03, 2007, 04:30 AM|
So here are the parts I'll be using from United Hobbies. I'm still waiting for them to ship, so it'll be a week or so before I start building. I've got a couple projects on the bench I'm rushing to finish. Not that I could fly if it were done, we got 5 inches of snow over the weekend and it stuck pretty good.
I'm an e-flyer and I'm a bargain shopper, so I'm equipping mine with the United Hobbies / Hobby City parts. Here's my parts list.
200kv HXT motor
100 amp 2-12S ESC from OEMRC with programming card
4 Precision MG servos
Servo extension wires x4
8x 3S 2100 Mah 25-35C packs for a 12S2P 4200 mah setup. I can bust this up into two separate 6S2P packs for my Fliton Extra 330 and my CMPro 50 size P51.
I can also do a 10S by swapping out four of those packs for a couple 4cell packs that I have. Lighter setup.
The only thing United Hobbies doesn't have that I needed is a 24x10 prop and a high voltage BEC, which I ordered elsewhere.
$225 is not bad for all the primary electronics on the plane. The packs are roughly $240 for the 12S or about $210 for the 10S. You'd pay triple that for name brand components in the states. They're nowhere near as nice as Thunder Power Xtreme V2s or FlightPowers, but they should do given my budget.
I plan on trying the following configurations:
12S on 22x12 prop
10S on 22x12 and 24x12
8S on 24 x 12
(EDIT: I ended up going down to 12S on 20x11 on maiden to keep AMP draw within safety of ESC. Pulls 80+ amps WOT.)
(Edit#2: Final prop was the Master Airscrew 20x10. Why? Because the prop is LOUD, in fact it sounds almost like a fuel engine when running full throttle. It makes the coolest sound! I'm using the Master Airscrew Classic props on all my big birds now, just to get that sound. It's impossible to hear the plane if flying with gas planes otherwise.)
I don't know which will work best, but I'm hoping the setup can handle 12S so I can fly it like a racer. I'd love to see what others are using for electronics, if different than mine.
Apologies to HL or any US vendors for posting china-direct links. It's not my intention to harm local vendors by advertising competing overseas products. But I just can't afford this size of plane without doing it this way. I know their products are sometimes not the highest quality, and I've occasionally regretted not going with top-of-the-line name-brand products from the states. But we all know that 90% of the US merchandise is made in China, including the plane itself. If I could get AXI motors or Jeti controllers at anywhere near these prices, I would. For now, I'm just grateful UH is around. No further commentary on this is needed, so let's please avoid turning this thread into a China or US bashing soapbox. Thanks!
|Dec 03, 2007, 04:56 AM|
As a service to those who have commented about the Gee Bee Y Senior as an large scale RC plane, I thought I'd mention a few options. The box has pictures on it of the Gee Bee in the other color schemes (same as those offered on the 40" Gee Bee from Green Models).
I thought perhaps they may be offering those soon, so I called Green Models directly and was told that they had no control over that, the plane was designed exclusively for Hobby-Lobby and HL would be deciding what schemes to offer. The finished product is shipped directly to HL from the manufacturer in China.
Also, the box mentions a 97" version. The fellow at Green Models said there was a design for 97", also produced exclusively for Hobby-Lobby, but that he knew nothing of it's production status or whether it was ever going to be released.
There are a few other vendors evidently who have kits of the Gee Bee in that size. I include them here for those who would like a large Gee Bee Y but would prefer another color scheme. I believe the Green Models version is the only one that offers shock absorbers in the struts.
http://www.pacaeromodel.com/GeeBee/GB.htm and http://astro.umsystem.edu/andy/rc/gby/
Here's a mini gee bee offered by HL. This is not a Green Models plane and does not have shock absorbing struts. But see that Hatch? That's what the large Gee Bee should have!! I'll be following this when I mod my big plane.
Here's a little info about the actual plane itself, including it's various incarnations.
NOTE: If anybody else has links of GeeBee vendors or data pages, PM me and I'll add the links in this post (to keep it organized).
|Dec 03, 2007, 05:05 AM|
BIG SOUND for ELECTRIC FLYERS
While analyzing this plane and this purchase, I was also considering buying the new B25 Mitchell from Horizon Hobby. It was a very tough decision, especially since I already have a small Gee Bee. One of the things that tipped the scale towards the GBY was the fact that it has a big fuselage. I've been following the progress of RC Audio systems to project a real engine sound and have been quite impressed with Aerosound's product. I think the HL GBY would be an ideal candidate for one of these systems.
Home Page - Click on the P47 video link on the right to see what it looks and sounds like in action.
I won't do this system until after I've flown the plane a while. If and when I do, I'll make the speaker drivers removeable so that I can choose whether to fly it with the extra weight for shows, or without the weight for aerobatic & light flying.
|Dec 03, 2007, 05:14 AM|
This plane needs a good pilot. I haven't found any that would fit and look nice (i.e. with period clothing). I want something that matches the classic era racing style, with proper goggles. And of course I'd like to add a scarf. If anybody knows where to find said pilot, please PM me with a link and I will include it here at the beginning of the thread. TIA
EDIT: This one has been recommended. It's a bit large for the 84" Gee Bee and a little small for the 97". For this plane it needs to be trimmed down to fit.
|Dec 03, 2007, 06:10 AM|
Ha! I was half tempted to "push the button" during the ATS (After Thanksgiving Sale) but kept thinking about my OTHER 80" Green Models plane - My 80" Tiger Moth! So, I passed (barely!)
I will be watching this thread though, someday I may get weak and wind up owning one!
Good luck with the build -subscribed!
|Dec 03, 2007, 06:13 AM|
I found a few short threads regarding this plane, but no build info. I did note a few comments from Mike Hines at Hobby Lobby regarding the first version that he built / flew and have copied them here.
We brought the Gee Bee to the Tullahoma flyin this past weekend. The weather was wonderful and we flew the Gee Bee several times during the day. It's a sweet flying model with no bad habits. The oleo strut landing gear are a real plus. The only modification that I did to the airplane was to switch to Kavan air wheels. The high density foam wheels that come with the airplane are nice but I prefer the extra give of a true air tire.
The models that we received from Green have an improved machined aluminum tailwheel assembly that is spring loaded. The only problem is that they do not have the tail wheelpant. I rather liked the tail wheelpant and am working to return to this, but the models that we have in stock are without.
I let Keith Shaw fly the Gee Bee in Tullahoma, he's a great pilot and he really put it through its paces. He said that he liked how it flew very well. I just enjoyed watching him fly the model way better than I ever do.
The battery is accessed through the wing saddle. The model does not have a hatch, but one would work. When I was doing the prototype I thought that the flight batteries might end up in the cowl. That did not turn out to be the case, the batteries are located in the same place that the fuel tank would go. They do not need to be tight up to the backside of the firewall to balance. Sorry, but for now the model has to have its wing removed for access.
The big Gee Bee is not a difficult plane to fly at all. It's character is quite forgiving, gentle straight ahead stall, great slow speed handling. The wide sprung gear make ground handling a breeze.
I am working on a new set of photo illustrated instructions for the Gee Bee. I will post them on the HL website in PDF form as soon as they are complete (within 2 weeks). I am almost finished with the photo instructions for the Super Tiger Moth (79" WS).
For any of you who has gotten their Gee Bee, you will notice that the wooden motor mount for the AXI 53 series motor is included. It is setup for either the 5330 or the 5345 motor. If you use the 5330, no modification is necessary, if you are using a 5345 motor you will need to shorten the mount by 15mm (there is a laser line marked on the motor mount) due to the extra length of the 45 motor.
and post 3
To answer your question re: AXI5330. Yes this is plenty of power for the big Gee Bee, and I don't think that you will have any problems balancing the plane using the lighter motor.
With the heavier 5345, the 10S 5000 pack is spaced back from the firewall by about 2". With the lighter 5330 the batteries will be closer to the back of the firewall, but should still work fine.
The electric motor mount that is included with the model is set up for either 5330 or 5345 motors. There is a light laser line on the sides of the motor mount. When using the 5345 motor, the sides of the mount must be cut down to the laser line (shortening the mount by 15mm). When using the 5330, no modification is necessary.
Hope that you enjoy the plane as much as I do.
I copied that info from this short thread.
YES, there will be picture instructions!
|Dec 03, 2007, 06:25 AM|
Joined Dec 2006
Wind of Change
I think you are going to like this plane. I recently completed the PAC clip wing Monocoupe, and the new Gee Bee from Hobby Lobby. Nice planes. You may want to let the MGA barnstormer fly this bird. It takes a little minow surgery but he looks "marvelous.".......it even comes with the scarf. It is the pilot shown in the Hobby-Lobby video. Good luck with your Gee Bee. I'm about to start the Kangke 1/4 scale Rearwin Speedster....electric of course, and could use advise.
|Dec 03, 2007, 07:36 AM|
HUGE. The plane is huge. The gear are huge. The wheels are huge.
Notice the 3 bolt attachment of gear into the recessed mount on the wing. There are two recessed rubber stoppers under the wing; I'm assuming this is for padding or grip where the wheel pants touch.
|Dec 03, 2007, 10:16 AM|
Joined Feb 2006
Because of the swear word restrictions on this web site, my response to your pictures and information regarding the Gee Bee is two words.
I knew I should have bought this kit. Wow, it really looks good. Can't wait to see your build continue. I also like to shop at Hobby City. Ya know, this might be an easy conversion, since the mount is made for the AXI electric. It also might be a candidate for 123 batteries. Nope, I have to resist, I have heard those words from my wife many times over the past few years. Now, she uses the planes as a response when I mention her overflow of kitchen gadgets.
|Dec 03, 2007, 08:43 PM|
Nice plane! I would consider buying one if they get the PDF instructions up. And of course after you design the battery hatch lol. Good luck, I'll be watching...
|Jan 01, 2008, 11:39 AM|
Joined Aug 2005
Any Progress ?
Found one of these under my tree (well, not really under, it's a bit of a big box !) and wondered if you had made any progress. Beautiful plane and seems very well made.
Gathering the parts together. Have already received 2 Dewalt a123 36v packs to strip. Heavier than the recommended setup, but I think I'll have the confidence to charge in the plane at the field. I'll need to take the wings off for transport anyway so lack of a hatch should not be a major problem. Differing opinions on need for balancing, but I'm going to balance anyway. Plan to balance each 10s as two 5s packs using a couple of Blinky A123's.
hxt 63-64 (yes I'm cheap) on order along with a Sentilon 100. Not found any bad experiences with these items on the web, but we'll see. Not sure what prop, will probably set up and amp test with a few options.
JRST126MG servo's ready to install. Not sure on reviever, but not cutting costs there.
Once everything is together, I plan to make a start. Looks like a fairly straight forward assembly (hesitate to call it a build as all the hard work is done on these things)
|Jan 01, 2008, 11:57 AM|
John, I'm glad to hear somebody else out there is building one. I was afraid after starting the thread that nobody was going to be doing a concurrent build. I had a more pressing project on the bench that I just finished, a project which would allow me to fly for the next three or four snowy winter months.
I'll be starting on the Gee Bee this week in hopes that I can take it down to the Arizona Electric Festival at the end of January.
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