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Old Jul 13, 2008, 07:52 PM
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Brunswick, OH
Joined Nov 2005
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Great Planes Seawind Maiden

I maidened my Great Planes Seawind today...

Turns out, it takes quite a bit of real estate to get a seaplane off the ground. The way the wind was blowing I had to take off across the short side of the pond. Our community pond isn't all that big anyhow, but with the aerator running, it would have been a challenge to take off the other way as well.

The fact this plane has a rudder that actually goes in the water really makes turning easier. The trouble is the wing tips. As I throttle up, the wing tips touch and jerk the plane left or right (depending upon which tip touched) and it eats up most of my speed. I attempted the approach about 6 times trying to keep level and not touch a wing tip. Finally, the plane broke free....and what did I do? Cut the throttle!?!? All of a sudden, I found myself upside down and about 10 feet off the ground (now over grass) and headed for a very short pine tree. I gave it the coals again and hard aileron. It flipped back over and pitched hard down. I cut the throttle again, hoping to minimize the damage as I accepted my fate.... Crunch....

The plane ended up right at the base of the tree. Turns out, I did split the fuse in half, a minor repair in the scheme of things. Amazingly, it had not taken on ANY water in all of my taxiing around the pond.

I'm looking forward to trying this thing on a longer runway!!!
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Last edited by HappyKillmore; Jul 16, 2008 at 07:55 AM.
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Old Jul 16, 2008, 07:51 AM
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Brunswick, OH
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Attempt #2 was a horrible failure. I can't seem to get the plane high enough out of the water to keep the wing tips from catching. I made about 20 passes on the pond without ever breaking free...

Finally, I decided to do a hand launch. I gave it a good throw and it started to nose in... so I have it up elevator and the thing refused to climb. I'm glad I threw it where I did because it came down right at the edge of the water. The worst damage was the CF rod on the LE of the wing broke....so I'll have to dig that out and put in another.

Are these things supposed to be able to fly?

My next attempt will have a 9X6 (instead of the 7X6 that's on there now) and a 1300 3S instead of the 1800 3S I'm trying to fly with....
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Old Jul 16, 2008, 05:37 PM
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Cleveland, Ohio
Joined Jul 2006
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Sounds like you're underpowered. The video shows the seawind EP as pretty fast in the air. The clip though just showed it taking off and not the whole take-off roll in the water.

I've got the Great Planes Lancair. It too was horribly underpowered with the recommnended power set up. I installed a Park 450 and a 3s 2100 battery. Fly's like a dream now.
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Old Jul 16, 2008, 05:58 PM
Thermal seeker
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Brunswick, Ohio
Joined Jul 2005
566 Posts
Paul,

That seems to be a common problem with this plane. My advice is to sand down the pontoons/wing tips a quarter to a half inch on each side.

The problem is that with the little clearance between the water surface and the pontoons in the stock setup, if your boat rocks at all the pontoons catch and spin you out.

By sanding these down you get more clearance, which gives you more room to rock.

Good luck!
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Old Jul 16, 2008, 11:12 PM
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Brunswick, OH
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Those are both good suggestions. I swapped out my 1350Kv motor with a 950kv (as suggested) and put on an APC 9X6E. That's the absolute largest prop that will go on this plane. My concern is that right now, at WOT, I'm only pulling 10.5A. That's SAD! I was over drawing the 1350 on the 8X6 I had on there (I stated above it was a 7X6 which was incorrect). But now, I've got too little power....

Also, the recommended AUW is 24-26oz. I tried a 1300MAH 3S as suggested in the instructions and it doesn't even come close to balancing on the suggested CG point. I can only get it to balance with my 1800... I'm at an AUW of exactly 26oz.

I was torn between trying to put skis on the wing tips or cut them off. When aimed into the wind, I was making a serpentine through the water. Hard right, hard left, hard right, hard left. Then on the way back from the other end of the pond, the damn thing would go straight as an arrow.... so frustrating.

I think I need to put the 1350kv back in, the 9X6E prop and the 1800 battery. I'm going to go ahead and cut 1/2" off the wing tips. The most frustrating part about the whole adventure was the fact that the plane refused to fly even when hand launched....

Thanks for your help guys!
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Old Jul 17, 2008, 12:17 AM
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Ok, 1/2" trimmed off wing tips.... 1350kv motor back in the plane. 19A WOT. AUW 25.3oz w/1800MAH 3S.
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Old Jul 17, 2008, 08:48 PM
Omphaloskeptic
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Joined Feb 2005
930 Posts
I've had the same problem with my big Seawind, the wingtip turning it. I've added some wingtip floats, but haven't had a chance to try it with them, yet.

I have a video of the smaller version at the Roy Hansrote Float Fly. The pilot had no trouble getting it airborne, and it flew great. He did a couple big circles inverted.

Seawind at Roy Hansrote Float Fly (2 min 40 sec)
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Old Jul 18, 2008, 08:30 AM
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Brunswick, OH
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You'll notice at 0:12, the plane catches the left wing tip and makes a hard left. At this point, I'm trying to correct, instead of applying throttle. Thanks for posting that Saul. I'll have to give it a try.
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Old Jul 28, 2008, 10:47 AM
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Well, I'm back from my trip to Tennessee. I managed to get in a few packs with the Seawind. Trimming 1/2" off each wing tip seemed to be the key. I was right on the money on the AUW with a 1800mAh 3S Zippy-K (Loong Max). I believe I might have fried one of the phases on my motor (pulling almost 20A WOT) and nosed it in to the water on pack #3.

After waiting what seemed like an eternity for my retrieval crew to go get it (my wife was on a jetski and apparently has no skills) the plan made it back with a significant amount of water but no broken foam. The electronics didn't work until the next day when it was completely dry.

On the two successful packs, the plane handled pretty well. Loops weren't so pretty but rolls weren't bad. Trouble is, it doesn't handle all that great and I probably won't fly it more than once a year during our annual trip to Tennessee...
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