Great Planes Escapade - Page 5 - RC Groups
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May 14, 2009, 11:12 AM
Visitor from Reality
I love you guys!

Must be getting old, I was actually thinking seriously about buying one of these.

Reading this has convinced me to put that idea firmly in the trash bin, start a new design project, build it myself and thus get it all right first time. For just one example from the above, if my aileron hinges aren't in the right place, I know exactly who to fuss at...

Another thread convinced me to re-scale the model around 3S A123, not LiPo. Shame it cost someone their car and most of their garage, but I saw too much of my own place in his.

But me seriously considering BARFing - I think I need help


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May 14, 2009, 02:28 PM
Registered User
Just out of curiosity what specifically has scared you about the Escapade? Other than the mention of elevator problems, I don't see anything out of the ordinary. Take a look at www.RCUniverse/forums under ARF/RTF thread, and you will find 20 pages of postings, mostly positive, even with the elevator issue, but also mostly fuel powered.
Last edited by arniebud; May 14, 2009 at 02:35 PM.
May 14, 2009, 02:51 PM
Registered User
Ken Myers's Avatar
The airframe seems to be "heavy" to me for its size, but maybe it is just me.
Last edited by Ken Myers; May 14, 2009 at 03:43 PM. Reason: spelling
May 14, 2009, 03:07 PM
FlattyFlier's Avatar
If your used to Hangar9 ARFs, this is a bit heavyer because H9's are built from tooth picks and cant take a controled crash at all. I've broken 4 pulse XT's in half just from landing on a grass field that had'nt been mowed. The gear peeled away like it was glued on with Crisco, then when I had to go around and set it down on its belly, a wing tip caught and the fuse broke in half. 2 more have down that to me as well. There just isnt enough wood in their fuselages, or glue. This plane wll be MUCH more, durable in a mishap.
May 14, 2009, 03:40 PM
RC Enthusiast
YarSmythe's Avatar
Good news, bad news.

Good news: The motor arrived today! Looks pretty...nice and shiny. Comes with connectors, radial mount, and prop adapters.

Bad news: Radial mount doesn't fit/match mount that comes with Escapade. I'll have to yank out the blind nuts and epoxy a new plywood sheet to cover the holes. Not a big deal but will delay the installation. Even worse...I can't get the prop adapter to fit on the motor. The screws for the adapter that fits on the 'back' of the motor aren't going in. It's as if the holes are misaligned or the heads are too big. When my allen wrench slipped, I decided it was time to stop and come up with a better plan.

I'm kinda stuck right now. I'll let you know what I end up doing.


Dereck - Even though I haven't flown this plane yet the assembly is going very well. I hope you give it a second chance.
Latest blog entry: Funder & Lightning Videos
May 14, 2009, 09:25 PM
Registered User
Maybe look at just redrilling the holes and moving the blind nuts. Thats what I did, and took about 20 minutes to do. Unless, of course, you have already epoxied the motor mount to the firewall.
May 15, 2009, 02:02 PM
RC Enthusiast
YarSmythe's Avatar

Motor update

I drilled out the holes in the prop adapter so the bolt heads would fit. The metal feels/looks kinda cheap. For such a large prop adapter, I'm surprised it's aluminum. I'm pretty sure my AXI prop adapters were steel.

Ran the motor up last night without a prop and it got warm. On a 5S LiPo and a CC Phoenix 60, it pulled around 3.5 amps, no load. Also, the bearings don't sound very smooth. But hey, what do you expect on a $45 brushless motor??

Installed a 12x8" wooden prop on it today, WOT at 30 amps. Motor temp is still warm to the touch but probably acceptable. With my setup, this motor is more than enough for this plane. Maybe not 1:1 on the thrust to weight ratio...but pretty darn close. I installed the spinner that was included with the kit but I'm getting a lot of vibration. I'll fly it without the spinner for the maiden and work on balancing it later.

Next on the to-do list: permanently glue in the the motor mount, adjust the battery tray for my 5S LiPo, locate a place for my 5-cell RX pack, and fix the CG. The 5S LiPo is pushing it over...hopefully I can place the RX pack near the rear.

more to come...

Latest blog entry: Funder & Lightning Videos
May 16, 2009, 05:12 PM
RC Enthusiast
YarSmythe's Avatar

YarSmytheJr - Maiden today

Locked myself into the garage this morning to finish up the Escapade. Ran into little problems all along the way (too many to list) but finally threw it in the back of my truck and headed off to the field.

The manual says measure 63mm from the leading edge for CG. I was surprised to get it balanced around 70mm after adding a 1 lb. 5S/4000mAh LiPo. AUW is a staggering 5 lbs. 6 oz.

The Escapade lifted off around 3/4 throttle and needed about 10-12 clicks of UP trim added. That was very surprising since I assumed my plane was tail heavy. I puttered around at that speed for a few minutes and was happy to note that no other trim was necessary. She flew very well into turns, rolls were quicker than my old Four Star 40, loops were clean and straight, and no other bad traits were noticeable.

I'm sure a lot of you are curious about the flaps. They're programmed for only about 30 degrees down and elevators up about 5 degrees. On take-off, the plane shot straight up, almost into a stall. Obviously, there is NO need for UP elevator. However, after I removed the elevator mix she still wanted to climb sharply. So I have now mixed the flaps with 3 degrees of DOWN elevator and she floats a lot better. Do you NEED the flaps? Probably not. Do they help slow the plane down? Yes! For me, that's very helpful.

First landing was bouncy and she jumped immediately to the right into a street curb. Already got my first road rash. The next landings went better but, as I just said, she comes in fast and my landings were long. I could use some brakes on this thing 'cause she just kept screaming along the road even with the engine off.

My only problem right now is CG. I feel that Great Planes' recommendation of 63mm is to far forward. The spar is about 1/2"-3/4" further aft. I'm going to work the receiver battery back and try to balance it closer to 75mm.

Compared to my Four Star 40, here are my likes/dislikes of the new Escapade:

- Smaller size.
- Shorter wingspan.
- Easy hatch access.
- Nice to have flaps and aileron option.
- Well built ARF kit.
- Faster.
- Cheaper. (smaller motor, kit costs less)
- Battery lasts longer (30 amps WOT vs. 40 amps)

- Smaller than 4*40 but weighs the same! (5+ lbs)
- Needs more throttle/speed for take-off. 4*40 would 'float' up into the air.
- CG seems wrong.
- Motor is 'just enough'. Larger motor would be TOO HEAVY.
- Landings are still pretty fast (need more experience).

It needs a few more flights and adjustments but I think I'll be very happy with this plane. I'll try to get some video for you all real soon.

Latest blog entry: Funder & Lightning Videos
May 16, 2009, 09:04 PM
Visitor from Reality
Well, if you could get a copy of my latest plan...

That weight is ridiculous - my Four Star 40 flew at that with ten years worth of recovering and 'maintenance' behind it, and with a 34 ounce 16 jug NiMh pack on board.

Hate to be tedious, but the job of flaps is not really to slow the model down on approach, it's to allow a steeper approach at much the same speed. In that case, the flaps are producing far more drag than lift, especially in the case of 'simple' flaps like these. The model's stall speed is changed a little, but not by much, but the model descends faster. That applies to regular aircraft - STOL types are far more specialised and do things to their design rules. They don't tend to go very fast or do aerobatics either

Most models, it's hardly worth adding flaps to take off - we have such high power to weight ratios that a little flap does little to help. Good for posing in the pits though. If I ever bothered to fit flaps - which I keep saying I should - I'd have one pre-set of some five degrees for take off, to look good, and around 60 degrees down to land.

Try establishing a slow flight condition for landing circuits - a low power setting, some up elevator trim and diddle with your flat settings some - to settle the model into a lower speed cruise. You want at least enough speed to allow decent control to be maintained though. To make your final approach, reduce power further and, if the model's halfway in decent trim, it should keep its flying speed, but descend.

Takes some fiddling to get it all right, but seeing as landing is the only compulsory maneuvre in aviation (anyone need time to think about that ), it's time well spent.

A 4* can be an utter pain if you don't nail the landing speed - the durn thing will sit there ambling down the field for ages and just not come down.

Am intruiged by the idea of a flying site with street kerb edges

May 17, 2009, 12:58 AM
Angry Flyer!
jriley1974's Avatar
Maidened mine today. I have a Pulse 40 and I have to say this Escapade is quicker and more sportier. A different kind of sport plane of course. Snap rolls extremely quick and can flat spin inverted and upright. Mine has an Evo 46, two aileron servos set up with flapperons (not necessary but cool to elevator down for a landing) and everything else stock. Looking for a sport plane? This is it.
May 17, 2009, 12:20 PM
FlattyFlier's Avatar
THANK YOU!! I LOVE the Pulse, but it rolls a bit slow and over rolls in snaps and lands long because of the big wing. Thats why I liked the sound of the Escapade, shorter wing to fix all that, but the same size and type of plane for 1/2 price!

I was waiting for someone to compair the two!

I can make my Pulse get pretty wicked and do inverted and upright flatspins too, but because of teh long wing, comming out and getting into them are harder, and it takes more time and piloting skill to do and fly more precise and on the que you want. Sounds like the Escapade fixes all the Pulse's vises!
May 17, 2009, 12:29 PM
Visitor from Reality
Originally Posted by arniebud
Just out of curiosity what specifically has scared you about the Escapade? Other than the mention of elevator problems, I don't see anything out of the ordinary. Take a look at www.RCUniverse/forums under ARF/RTF thread, and you will find 20 pages of postings, mostly positive, even with the elevator issue, but also mostly fuel powered.
Serious, very serious...
Overweight, badly balanced - no well designed electric equipped with components close in weight to the prototypes should need more than a slight moving of the battery to achieve correct balance.
A well-founded fear that the UC isn't all that well fastened to the model. Intense dislike of sloppy hinging with few hinges, and big gaps in all directions.
Suspicious dislike of structures made from many pieces of LitePly laser cut out into complicated shapes because (A) it's easy to do nowadays, and (B) it easily impresses the easily impressed.

Can't see how well its all put together under the covering.
My models are built by someone who really, really cares how well the wing mainspar is built
If I buy one, it'll look just like yours - and the other umpteen thousand out there too.

Looks - the canopy does't really match the fuselage line. It might as well not have one, cut down on frontal area.
The nose is too short visually - but also see 'serious, very serious'. The 'cowling' worked fine in the era when the 4*40 was brand new, but it wouldn't take a genius to put a proper one covering the entire motor.
It would probably have taken the 'product' out of the 'price point' though

I have a custom design/build service at my beck and call. If something is even slightly out of whack, I know exactly who to fuss at.
Okay, it's awful at selecting finishing colour schemes, but at least what's under it will take far more 'G' (and general flying field abuse!) and be much lighter than anything ready made.
Having an inbuilt ability to read through marketing and advertisements, I have much higher expectations all round, thus am not so easy conned into buying what people tell me to.



Who also has another great reason to go my own way...
May 17, 2009, 10:07 PM
Registered User
Nice long post, just a little bit short on substance. All of the points you make could be directed at any ARF on the market. I had asked what scared you about this plane, after all, that is the subject of this thread.
May 18, 2009, 12:09 AM
Angry Flyer!
jriley1974's Avatar
I like the canopy of the Escapade, a change from the cute bubble look of the FourStar. The covering design is not that fancy but it's simplicity allows for some creativity especially if the decals are left off like I see many do.
May 18, 2009, 12:23 AM
FlattyFlier's Avatar
Originally Posted by jriley1974
I like the canopy of the Escapade, a change from the cute bubble look of the FourStar. The covering design is not that fancy but it's simplicity allows for some creativity especially if the decals are left off like I see many do.
Yes, gives it a faster as well as a larger look. and the scheme isnt a bad one, just the colors I like red, and orange, but togather, I think not. But patching holes or damage will be VERY easy. At $100 bucks when most ARFs (even the cheapo's from Nitroplanes) are atleast $180 or more, this one cant be beat, even considering its vises. Its not teh best, but it'll do for a great little sporty beat-n-bash every day sort of plane. Cheap, easly transported, assebled/dissasimbled (if thats even needed if you have a trunk or truck bed).

Every ARF has its vises which seem dumb of the maker to not fix, but most other ARFs are twice the price or more too...

But im niether defending this plane, nor putting it on a pedistal.

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