GuanLi Mirage Speed Contest, Build and General Interest Thread - RC Groups
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Feb 24, 2009, 11:29 AM
dankers's Avatar

GuanLi Mirage Speed Contest, Build and General Interest Thread

Down at our local field we planned to do a bit of a speed contest for a while but couldn't really find a model we all could agree on, the Phase 3 F-16 has been done and we already have a couple of 150+ MPH examples of those. So we were on the look out for a model, hopefully one that was well priced....

A short while a go Ozzi Supercub posted a thread about his GuanLI Mirage, it looked a nice model and maybe something we could use for the speed contest, a major plus was it used a 70mm fan. A lot of the Chinese models like this only come in a Ready to Fly flavour, they bundle them with under-performing electronics that just ruin an excellent airframe. GuanLI are also guilty of this as their RTF version comes with a 1500mAh 3S pack and a 25 amp ESC, not going to do well on a 70mm fan model.

Fortunatly, they sell the ARTF version without that junk and at an excellent price. So I ordered one to check it out.

When the model arrived I was pleasently surprised at the quality for the price; they come fully painted and just look fantastic. Things got better with the build, they basically just slot together and are really well thought out, this was turning out to be a true diamond in the rough and I was thinking we had found our speed contest model.

So before even flying the model, I asked the guys what they thought, to cut a long story short, 29 models were requested. We did this as a group buy direct from GuanLI and this worked out to be a very economical model.

Then the post dude showed up with a van full of models:

Saturday came and it was time to deliver them to the field:

It was also time to maiden the one I bought previously. This is more than a little nerve-racking, having to maiden a plane when all the people who have just bought one based on your word are watching. Even with all the spectators, nobody videoed the maiden flight however we did get make sure we got video of the second one. Simply, the maiden was a breeze, it needed some reflex adding and the aileron rates were too high, both of these were suggested before the maiden by Mark from Extreme RC

As this was an experimental setup I wanted to do it as cheap as possible, total cost with 4S 2350 pack, fan, motor, esc and servos: US$124 Who says EDFs are expensive? You could knock $12 off that as well if you used a cheaper ESC and a separate BEC.

Here's the video of the second flight:

Mirage Video

You'll notice some comments about tress in the video, I better explain this. It relates to some of the videos that are around when all you can see is a speck in the sky, at one time, of the guys was going to post something claiming to have at prototype F-111 when really it's an easystar at 5000ft.

So, that's where we are currently at. Everyone has their Mirages, one has flown well, built as the instructions stated on a real cheap setup. Others have been finished and not flown and some have some crazy setups planned. Other people have made a few mods to fan locations and servo setups, I'm sure they will post here. If the weather is good on Saturday there will be a few maidens and I'll post video.

The one thing I don't like in the el-cheapo setup is that particular motor is an amazing amp hog, it seems to draw too many amps for the power it delivers but apart from that I love this aircraft. If I did an el-cheapo again, I would go back to using the KDA 450 Jetheli motor rather than the Turnigy.

The Mirage flies differently than the Phase 3 F-16 of course but is certainly in the same league quality wise, like the F-16, the Mirage tracks exceedingly well and just goes where you put it. It will also high alpha a lot better than the F-16 and doesn't have the weak Taileron issue either. I love flying the Phase 3 F-16, but the Mirage has it beat in easy of build, the fact it is cheaper and pre-painted. The plus for the F-16 is that it is more flexible for battery configurations because of the extra room up front.

Next post, the stock build. You'll see how well this puppy goes together.
Last edited by dankers; Feb 24, 2009 at 01:54 PM. Reason: Video Link
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Feb 24, 2009, 11:30 AM
dankers's Avatar

The world's easiest EDF build?

Here's how it comes out of the box, each part is separately bagged and the boxes are packed well.

I started the build by putting the servos in. I'm using the EZ connectors because the servos had been used before with them and the arms had the hole enlarged, the kit comes with Z-Bends which I had to snip off. I would have stuck with the Z bends normally.

Servos are installed under the little covers and I used the HXT900 $3 servos and these fit perfectly. I used a bit of that ultra thin doublesided tape on the servos and the hatch secures them perfectly.

Next is the fan install, straight forward. Stuck in with the thin doublesided tape and then the small gaps at the side were filled with some hot glue.

I think the wings are impossible to get wrong, they are keyed so they align perfectly with the fuselage. All you need to do is poke a small hole for the servo leads in the side of the fuselage, I used a drill bit as I find poking foam can result in the exit side being much larger than the side you enter. I used epoxy on this model, I spread it along the wing roots and the keyed areas, you do not want to use too much as it will squeeze out when the wings are attached.

The wires go in to the slot at the front of the fuselage, then in to battery area.

Now the battery / canopy area is glued to the fuselage.

At this point it is a very good idea to plug in the RX and test everything because the next step is putting on the top of the fuselage so access to the fan and servo wires becomes much harder. Once everything checks out, the top of the fuselage is glued on. Like most things on this model it is well thought out and is keyed so easy to align.

Just the nose cone and tail to add, I said this was easy.

One Mirage. Next post is the pictures of the throws and reflex I ended up.
Last edited by dankers; Feb 24, 2009 at 01:58 PM. Reason: More Pics
Feb 24, 2009, 12:32 PM
Avoid The Ground!
Flexserve's Avatar
This is a very cool thread! I'll be the humor in the beginning of video!

Edit: That 3rd low pass was awesome too!
Feb 24, 2009, 12:45 PM
Dark Angel's Avatar
Man looked nice hopefully I can remaiden mine on the 4s setup this weekend. I have one of those 2836 3200 in a het 740 watts constant @54amps on 4s20c. I could tell from the video you guys are having way too much fun
Feb 24, 2009, 12:57 PM
dankers's Avatar
We normally have a lot of fun, great place to fly and great people.

Here's pictures of the throws. I hope this helps, would have been much better with a ruler in the shot but it reflected the flash too much.


Another Reflex view:

Throws full left:

Throws full right:

Throws full down:

Throws full up:

Servo holes used:

With these holes on a DX-7 and the HXT900 servos, the servos rates I used are 100% for elevator and just 60% for aileron, I use 30% expo on both and never bother with high or low rates.
Last edited by dankers; Feb 26, 2009 at 02:09 PM.
Feb 24, 2009, 01:01 PM
dankers's Avatar

Minor mods

A couple of real simple mods:

Battery cooling hole:

There is another one that goes from inside the battery bay to inside the main fuselage so air can flow through the battery bay.

The picture below is the mini front wings, I left them off and they would make ideal servo arm protection skids. I found them after I made my own skids.

The CoG is 150mm from the leading edge of the wing at the wing root. It is marked in the wing as well with some scale detail that has been added to the foam. Nice touch GuanLi.

Last edited by dankers; Feb 25, 2009 at 12:58 PM. Reason: I can't spell
Feb 24, 2009, 01:56 PM
Registered User
Dankers, nice thread and awesome video. I'm glad to see a GuanLi jet getting a little recognition. I like how theirs are built around a 70mm EDF, come prefinished, are easy to assemble, and for sale as airframe kits. What do you mean by mini front wings for the Mirage? Like canards? I also have one of those Turnigy motors, but they must have sent me the wrong kv. It only makes 230 watts on 4s in my 68mm fan. Pretty useless to me. I've got the GuanLi F-35 on the way and plan to share some info after it's built. Thanks.
Feb 24, 2009, 02:06 PM
dankers's Avatar
Exactly like canards but they don't move and are a little smaller. Really I think they are just a scale detail and don't affect how the model flies.

You can see them on this image just behind the intakes:

The KVs on those turnigy motors are just random I think, in the reviews on the HC site, it seems to be the number one complaint.
Feb 24, 2009, 04:00 PM
ozzi supercub's Avatar
Great work. Finally a great little model will get the recognition it deserves. It may not be the latest and greatest but it provides great value and even more importantly a great flying experience.
Let the contest begin.
How will you be measuring speed? If it's doppler can I video mine and get it checked as well?
I want to play to
Feb 24, 2009, 04:56 PM
building building building!
aerophilia's Avatar
I second that, great work Dankers. Mine is ready to maiden. Just no time to do it! And going away for a week and a half tomorrow, so will have to wait till I get back.

Here's my humble attempt at the cats eyes paint scheme. You really shouldn't try doing this after 12 pm! I couldn't be bothered painting the rest that blue/grey colour. So here it is. Might get to finish it today.
Feb 24, 2009, 10:49 PM
building building building!
aerophilia's Avatar
Getting there! I don't think I've made the eyes evil enough. Too late now! The black stripes will make it look so much better.
Feb 24, 2009, 11:58 PM
dankers's Avatar
Awesome Justin!

I have had a few PMs asking where to buy these from US guys, I got my initial one from PW-RC - US$69

In Australia I believe Extreme RC can order them in as well as he is a GuanLi dealer but don't quote me on that.
Feb 25, 2009, 12:09 AM
ozzi supercub's Avatar
That is a fantastic paint job aerophilia. Once you put the stripes on it will look a million dollars.
An benefit of this scheme is that you can see it from miles away and it helps with orientation from a distance as well.
Feb 25, 2009, 06:38 AM
Registered User
I heard the she is quite sensitive on the stick. What is everyone going with in terms of control throws? Worried I may have too much.
Feb 25, 2009, 07:37 AM
dankers's Avatar
Look at the earlier posts in this thread, there are pictures of all the throws to compare against.

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