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Old Aug 22, 2012, 12:29 PM
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How much would you say the entire Ptero cost to build, start to finish? Include motors and electronics please.
That pretty much depends on the grade of the components you choose. If you go top drawer parts, you could be in it for hundreds. Motors, ESCs, RX, servos, batteries can range from a few dollars to 10 - 20 times that. An Orange RX costs 6 bucks. A Spektrum RX can be 60 bucks or more.
Besides the kit, you'll need covering, an iron, a RX, a battery, 2 ESCs, 2 motors, 2 props, 4 servos, servo extensions, lead weight, soldering station if you don't have one, paint of you want to paint some bits, CA glue.
The electronic stuff, you can mild or wild. You want HobbyKing stuff or high end stuff like Scorpion motors?
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Old Aug 22, 2012, 12:29 PM
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United States, MI, Kalamazoo Township
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Originally Posted by builderdude View Post
How much would you say the entire Ptero cost to build, start to finish? Include motors and electronics please.
That all depends on what quality you like in your components.

4 servos at $2 to $15 each. I suggest Hi-Tech at $15 each
two motors at $10 to $30 each, less expensive motors should be fine here
two esc at $15 to $35 each
2 rolls of covering at 5 to 17 each
CA $5
epoxy $5
misc stuff you may have laying around, may need to go to LHS for $20
Receiver $10 to $50
Lipo $8 to $40
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Old Aug 22, 2012, 06:20 PM
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The motors I select will depend on the weight I end up with. But I'll look into what the plans recommend. I like using Diamond servos, preferrably the D47, which run about $20 each. Not cheap, but well built. When I'm flying a foamie that doesn't matter, I'll run Chinese electronics. But when I'm flying something with a few hundred hours into it, I want more insurance.

Thanks. I appreciate it.
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Old Sep 18, 2012, 12:07 PM
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Personally, I think the Pterodactyl is slightly on the heavy side. It appears to be built very strong, but at 11 ounces/sq ft, it's a little porky. And the 80 inch version is even worse. It still seems to fly very well, just a bit on the fast side as a result. But maybe that will help it penetrate wind better. Just seems like the videos I've watched show this plane landing a little hot.

I am going to be placing my order for my own Pterodactyl kit this week. Should make a nice winter build. I'm kind of up in the air as to what color to make it. I'm leaning towards transparent green to look Dragonish, maybe with some red trim. And I will be borrowing the red LED eyes to show battery connection. However, I am tempted by a few other colors too.

I am also tempted to use folding props for the motors. With the fixed props, I worry about breaking a prop on landing. So I might experiment with that and see if they unfold okay with the wing so close.
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Old Sep 18, 2012, 02:31 PM
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Folding props might not be such a good idea. Once they fold, they are likely to fold over and under the wing. If you need to start them up again, they'll catch on the wings and jam. If they fold along the wing's leading edge, no problem, but that's not going to be most of the time. If you fire it up and one is jammed and the other spins, you'll get offset thrust. Make sure the brake is OFF. As long as you have power fully off when you touch down, the props will turn out of the way of the ground. I haven't broken a prop yet on landing.
Yes, it's a bit on the fast side but landing isn't a big deal once you learn to lose altitude and have a long low level glide. Then flair at the last instant and it'll drop down onto it's belly as pretty as you please. This is not a sailplane. It's got a narrow wing (front to back) and it zips around very quickly. It does acrobatics beautifully.
Put tape on its chest and belly and re-enforce the tip of its beak as it sometimes takes a bow when it comes to a stop. This thing is still a big hit where I fly.
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Old Sep 19, 2012, 10:34 AM
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I can imagine that beautiful beak takes it on the chin. I was wondering about that.
I was thinking that this is strictly a grass lander. One of my favorite flying fields is in Roswell, but it's very unforgiving there, and would have road rash pretty bad. I was thinking maybe it wouldn't be a bad idea to put a layer of fiberglass on the belly and chin, to help prevent damage. However, that too adds weight.
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Old Sep 19, 2012, 10:48 AM
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Lawn darts aren't pretty either. Although the neck does seem to dissipate a lot of energy during its sacrifice.

-
Tom
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Old Sep 19, 2012, 10:59 AM
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Every belly lander needs some kind of protective covering on its underside. Use fiber (strapping) tape. Hobby shops sell it for this purpose. You don't need to line the whole underside of the Ptero, just the chest area and first inch of the lower beak. If you're really good, you can get some overhead projector film and cut and glue a piece over the chest. Then you can see the color through it. As you say, this thing is already heavy. Adding some chest protection isn't going to amount to much. I actually overpowered mine by putting in much bigger motors than it needs. Additionally, I put the 2 tail servos on the outside, near the tail to reduce the length of the control rods. This required even more weight in the head than the 2 oz already called for just to balance it out. Unless you've got perfectly manicured grass, the underside is going to take some road rash. Gravel is far worse and that's what I sometimes hit when coming down.
You're either going to build it to fly it or to hang it up and look at it. Flying it will subject it to damage.
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Old Sep 19, 2012, 11:11 AM
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Lawn darts aren't pretty either. Although the neck does seem to dissipate a lot of energy during its sacrifice.

-
Tom
I hate it when that happens. I've had 2 jets that came to an end that way due to mechanical failure. Last weekend, when I was flying the Ptero, I almost lost it when someone told me I had snagged a long piece of ribbon around my foot. Looked down, looked up and it was heading to the dirt. Caught it just in time.
Nobody likes crashing but I've flown mine into the windsock pole. After repair, it flew just as well as it did before, maybe even better as it stiffened it up a bit more. In the air, you can't see the patches or the chest tape anyway. It still looks as impressive as it ever did. Fast? Yes, but that's part of the thrill of seeing it. And as fast as it is, after touchdown, it comes to a stop within a very short distance if you bleed off altitude and speed first.
Next spring, there will be 2 flying around here. A big momma and her little baby.
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Old Sep 19, 2012, 02:36 PM
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I've got a flying field that I use for maiden flight testing a lot. It's got tall grass in many places. Until balance and trim are set perfectly, this is a good place to make sure I don't need a broom and a dustpan to bring it back home. I'll look into that strapping tape you referred to. But I would think one could also use celophane packaging tape, which is also transparent.

I use my planes for both, hanging up and looking at, AND flying it. And yes, many of them have road rash on them. I won't select my motors until the plane is virtually done and I can get an accurate weight.
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Old Oct 02, 2012, 09:34 AM
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Got my kit! I'm saving it for a winter build. It's really a fascinating design. I'm going to enjoy building it.
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Old Oct 02, 2012, 11:09 AM
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Got my kit! I'm saving it for a winter build. It's really a fascinating design. I'm going to enjoy building it.
That's great! I hope you have fun building it. For me, I dislike the building process immensely - just too fiddly for me.
When you build it, try to re-enforce a few areas unless you plan to never crash it or have any mishaps with it. The wing tip attachment point can be weak if you land it a bit "off". Strengthen the motor mount areas. Re-enforce the beak and horns if possible. The times it noses over upon coming to a stop when landing can bend or break off the tip of the beak and the horns get snagged just moving it around from hobby room to flying site. The tail fins have a fairly narrow attachment point. I'd thicken that area up a bit with epoxy, hot glue or extra covering. Put extra covering or fiber tape or some other harder covering on the chest area. That's where it touches down on landing and get abrasions.
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Old Oct 02, 2012, 09:40 PM
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Enjoy the build! You will need to add weight to the head to get it to ballance. Don't skip this step! It's a fun plane!
Jim
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Old Oct 04, 2012, 07:15 PM
AMA 937634
United States, AK, Anchorage
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I ordered my 52" this morning! Looking forward to this one!

-Mike
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Old Oct 04, 2012, 09:41 PM
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United States, MI, Kalamazoo Township
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Welcome Mike! I see you are in Alaska......you will have plenty of build time this winter I have some friends at Alaska Bible Institute in Homer. Beautiful state you live in!
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