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Posted by swps | Jan 30, 2013 @ 10:38 AM | 7,210 Views
I'm weak, I gave into temptation and bought a JTM XXX. I couldn't resist the beautiful lines and the price did me in. I went with an Orange one with JTM electric retracts and JTM Struts with brakes. So, I've decide to put the BVM EVF 2 12s in it and see how it does. I figure if I sell it before I'll get a Stumax 110mm.

I decided to High Voltage with my servos. I have a 2200mh 6.6v Life battery and I have a few 7.4v Lipos. So, I should be set. I went with the following servos:

Ailerons: Hitech HS-5565MH -Standard Size servo Metal gear 194oz/.09 sec
Flaps: Hitech HS-5685MH - Standard Size servo Metal gear 179oz/.17 sec
Rudder: Hitech HS-5087MH - Mini Servo Metal Gear 60oz/.13 sec
Nose Steering: Hitech HS-5087MH - Mini Servo Metal Gear 60oz/.13 sec
Elevator: JR DS390HV - Precision Mini Metal Gear 75oz/.13

I still need to get my gear door servos, which I'm waiting to see if the electric retracts can handle 7.4v. According to Billy D, there are fine at 6.6v, but I'm afraid to risk 7.4v, so I may get a Spektrum VR5203 to drop the voltage down to 6.0 for the Assan gear door sequencer and the gear door servos and the retracts. I'm 90% sure this is the way I'm going to go.

EDIT: Just found out my plane got shipped to me from BIlly D at USARCJETS.COM! That is AWESOME news. Billy is a pleasure to work with and I can't recommend him more!


Posted by swps | Jan 15, 2013 @ 09:26 AM | 6,750 Views
A few months ago I decided I needed a BVM Electra. It has been my dream to own a BVM jet for many years now...even back in the ICDF days. And with having a good job and the amount of money I spend on other projects, I figured I could save up quickly for an Electra. I soon found a new EVF 2 12s fan for sale and bought it along with a new set of Thunder Power saddle packs. I've also been tempted along the way now by the JTM XXX (Electra size and style at half the price) and the Sky E Master F-15 (again half the price and my all time favorite jet fighter) BUT the Electra has my heart. So, I have continued to save. Since I have been saving for the big purchase, It has concerned me the cost of the BVM retracts. I mean WOW, $1200 for a set of electric retracts!! There is some serious profit margin in those. I'm not really confident with air retracts but I think that's the way I will go at half the cost. I really wish there was an alternative out there. Still, I have saved and resisted fun little projects here and there. Well almost, right before I started to save I went on bit of a binge and bought a Hangar 9 Corsair, Hangar 9 Sundowner 36, a Freewing SU-35, Phase 3 F-16, JPower A-4 and a JPower T-33. Yikes! Right? Now if the snow would go away I could fly these planes!

I did hit a snag with my Electra plans this last week. While my wife is generally less than enthusiastic about this hobby, she was supportive (or so I thought) about my plans to save up for an...Continue Reading
Posted by swps | Nov 07, 2011 @ 03:24 PM | 6,789 Views
I got one of these in BH Halloween sale, ARF $89.90. I was really surprised at how big a bird it is even after reading about half this thread. I was NOT prepared for how SLOW it was stock. I got the BH ARF 70mm F-18 and have been flying on the stock setup, and while not fast, I think it flies fine on that setup. (I also upgraded it to 5s and it flies fast now) This plane however, it really surprised me and how slow it flew. I didn't feel like it was going to fall out of the sky, but still. I also flew some of the mini warbirds before I maidened this and they are easily in low 100s so that could have been part of it. I also have to add I was happy to get the thing in the air.

My first attempt, the set screw for one of the main gears came out and the gear fell off while taxing. Took it home, repaired and added locktite to the screws. The second attempt, the nose gear snapped at the plastic. I wasn't expecting much from the gear, but was hoping for one flight. Replaced the nose gear with an e-flight 15-25 electric retract with a Habu 32 nose gear strut. That works really well. Got it all setup and was testing and both servos for the mains died. So, I replaced those and finally got a first flight in. I kept waiting for it to accelerate more, but I finally pulled back and it went in the air and it didn't stall. COG was at 700mm per the thread, but it still felt tail heavy. I decided that was going to be the first and last flight on 4s.

Got out my watt...Continue Reading
Posted by swps | Nov 22, 2010 @ 06:24 PM | 6,761 Views
Well, I finally flew my A-4 today. It's been the box for months now. Other projects just kept getting in the way and after the GWS J-10, I wasn't really excited to paint another plane, but I finally decided to put it together a couple weeks ago and I wish I would have done it sooner! It was very easy to put together compared to the J-10 but a lot of that could be what I learned from the J-10 but in any case this is a fantastic kit. It's much bigger than I thought it would be, but that actually is a good thing!

I kept it stock with the exception of the motor and fan. I put a 76mm Haoye fan in with a 2700kv Exceed RC motor. It's plenty powerful at 55Amps and 775 Watts on a 4s 3000mh 20C Turnigy battery. For maiden I flew it with a 3300mh 4s 25C Turnigy Nano battery and if it hadn't of been so windy I had two 3300mh 4s 30c Turnigy waiting for other flights.

We've had some good snow storms here this weekend and I was on vacation last week and today had a nice break in the stormy weather. (I took this week off too!) It warmed up to 39 degrees and the snow melted so I took my sons with me to the field for the maiden flight. When I decided to go this morning it was nice and calm but by the time my sons got home from school the wind was blowing a steady 17mph and gusting to who know what. So, I only got one flight in as I'm not a big fan of cross wind landings with no rudder. I'm regretting not putting that in, but fortunately I can still add it if I want.

The...Continue Reading
Posted by swps | Nov 09, 2010 @ 09:24 AM | 11,243 Views
When I first joined RC Groups, which wasn't that long ago...which you think I would have joined earlier see how I've been flying for going on 23 years now....anyway when I first joined I was wonder what EDFs to get and I kept reading about the HABU. Sweet I thought, I'll get that, until I saw the price tag of $400. That kept me away, until I found out the "Replacement Airframe" was really just a KIT of the HABU. I love KITs since I can put good quality stuff in them or go cheap, but either way I know what's in the plane and what kind of performance I should expect.

I got a Habu "Replacement Airframe" last week from Horizon Hobby and put it together last Friday and made it to the field on Saturday. I have to say WOW! This is a very impressive airframe. Super easy to put together, I only used a little hot melt glue to hold some servo cable in place before I put the blue tape down. I really loved that I wasn't getting epoxy everywhere while I held the two fuselage halves together. I also got a V15 shroud and fan and I paired it with a Cyclone Power 3700kv motor and a HK SS 60Amp ESC. SG90 servos all around and the fit perfectly with the exception of having to trim a little of the rudder cover and only screwing in one side on the nose gear servo, which are not a big deal to me. I also put an AR6100 receiver in there instead of the recommended AR500, no problems with using that receiver. I used a 3300mh 4s 25c Turnigy Nano battery and a Gens Ace...Continue Reading
Posted by swps | Oct 12, 2010 @ 08:35 AM | 8,662 Views
I just got this plane from Hobby Shop Warehouse and I got to maiden it yesterday. I looked high and low for this model and didn't have any luck finding it state side, with the exception of at Hobby Shop Warehouse. I got this plane along with a couple other planes that I was having a hard time finding and Chuck got them to me quick and without any problems.

This is a very easy kit to build. You can tell it's an older kit as it has no access hatch to the EDF and has plywood supports for the servos! I was also really surprised by how small it was. It's smaller than any of my 64mm jets with the exception of the Draken that I got on this same order. I think total build time was 2 hours and I took my time.

As I expected, she is a fast plane. I got a Doppler speed of 83 on a couple passes and I wasn't trying to get the max speed out of her. She has the landing gear and I've done none of the mods listed on this thread. Still, she is a very easy flier! This has instantly become one of my favorite planes to fly and I've only gotten a few flights on her.

I running her with a SAPAC 3200kv motor that came with my SAPAC JAS-39 Gripen on the stock shroud and fan and a 90 Amp ESC. It took a little while but I got the fan balanced and she puts out around 800 watts at 65 amps. She's really loud but has a nice jet sound to her, much like my Lander setup. I flew quite a bit at WOT and only got 2 1/2 minutes on her before I got a low voltage cut off and a quick landing. Other flights have been about the same time, but there really isn't room for a bigger battery and she balances perfectly with the 2200mh 4s battery.

Anyway, here is video of the maiden flight! Thanks!
Mirage 2000 70mm by Guanli (2 min 55 sec)

Posted by swps | Oct 11, 2010 @ 06:27 PM | 6,716 Views
I got the upgraded Kit version of this model from hobbyshopwarehouse. Very fast shipping and delivery from Chuck. I'm really impressed with this kit. The kit is well constructed and is very easy to go together. The kits comes without the decals on so you can decide if they are for you or not. The 4s 2200mh pack that came with it balances perfectly without any additional weight. The 4800kv motor is very powerful, 715 Watts at 52 Amps peak and settles at 700 Watts at 50 Amps.

The plane flys like my other F-4 I have (70mm Airfield) just smaller. It's pretty fast so I could see how it could get out of sight fast. Controls are very responsive and it's a lot of fun to fly. I came in a little steep and didn't have enough elevator on my low dual rate to pull it out. So I had a hard landing, but no more damage than a little scrape on the nose due to the loss of the nose gear on the second bounce. In any case, she's been painted, the nose gear has been loctited on and she is ready to go again. I had 37% left on the battery when I landed.

Chuck has a winner here with this plane. I know its an older model but with a new outrunner motor on 4s, it's like a new plane!

Here's the video. Thanks!
Posted by swps | Oct 02, 2010 @ 11:54 PM | 7,051 Views
I got to fly my Gripen for the first time today. I've been working on her for a couple weeks now and I just haven't been able to get out to the park to fly her until this afternoon.

My first run down the runway she would not lift off, she was going very fast but no matter what I did I could not get her off the ground. So I used a couple tricks from my 64mm Rafale. I bent the main gear forward and out so the angle of attach was up and I took off the drop tanks and "missiles". That did the trick as she flew right off the ground. I have to say the wire for the gear is weak. After my third flight the nose gear wire snapped and it was a beautiful smooth landing, much better than the one in the video.

I didn't do any painting or anything like some others, I'm just not that skilled. But I did decide not to use the stock motor and fan that came with the kit. I decided to go with a 3300kv Cyclone motor with a 5s 3300mh battery pack on a HET6904 fan using the stock shroud. I'm getting 1300 Watts at 70 Amps after it settles, so plenty of power, not enough for unlimited vertical but plenty enough for me.

Flying her, as you guys know, is a dream. She handles perfectly. Is very easy to fly and land. She is so big in the air and has such an awesome presence. It was almost comical as I was alternating between flights with this plane and my new 64mm Draken which is almost as small as my 50mm jets...stark contract is size!

Here is the video, filmed by my 7 year old on my iPhone 4. Sorry, no stability assist, but if you look at his earlier attempts he's getting much better. He loves to come watch me fly and I can always count on him to video!

Sapac JAS-39 Gripen (2 min 56 sec)

Posted by swps | Sep 17, 2010 @ 12:58 PM | 7,664 Views
After I had 3 flights and 3 crashes with my Alpha from BH, I decided I'd had enough with that airframe. I took at the components out and started looking for a good replacement. I cam across this little beauty at bphobbies.com. The price was right, $45 and shipping was only $25, since I ordered a J-10 and an A-4 from them at the same time. Planes came quick from NJ to UT, only 4 days. No damage and the plane was in perfect condition.

Assembly was fast and relatively easy. Couple things done differently. The steerable nose gear and rudder where hooked together by a screw locking thing but were in this tiny compartment in the top of the plane behind the cockpit. I had to squeeze two servos in there and get it all hook up. Not really the easiest thing in the world, but it works.

Since I'm going 4s on this plane, I also had to cut out the back of the battery box to slide the 4s 2200mh battery as far back as she would go. She's still a little nose heavy according to the manual's COG, but she flies perfect in my eyes. Rest of assembly went really easy. The landing gear on the nose comes pre-installed, but the wings just push up and in with friction to hold them in, it works but I put some hot glue in there just in case.

The motor from my Alpha is a 4300kv motor with 2.3mm shaft so it fit the Freewing EDF perfectly. Now I've got a random 2.3mm 64mm edf, all the motors I usually buy have 3mm or 3.17mm shafts, I guess I may be buying a 2.3 mm shaft Cyclone power motor from RC-Castle.com for some future project. I'm thinking the Freewing T-38 from pbhobbies.com.

So, it flies great. Super easy to fly. Not as fast as I would have liked, especially since it is 4s. But I can overlook that since it is so much fun to fly! VERY easy landings. It just glides right in. I think this might be the easiest EDF I have to fly, my Rafale might be a close 2nd.

Here's a video of the 2nd flight from yesterday.

Freewing L-39 64mm EDF (3 min 22 sec)