Nitroplanes Lander 70mm F9F Panther EDF Build Log and Review - RC Groups
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Jul 05, 2009, 11:49 AM
Indoor Free Flight Modeler
Build Log

Nitroplanes Lander 70mm F9F Panther EDF Build Log and Review

OK guys, I have really been enjoying my smaller Starmax Panther and the larger 70mm size one has caught my attention. The Panther I received is from Nitroplanes and can be found here. For power I am going with the aluminum EDF fan unit with the 3575 KV motor for 4S operation.

Here are some photos of the kit as taken out of the box. The model is a nice size and the parts are nicely painted and look well made. The retracts were already installed in the wings.

Last edited by The Don; Jul 16, 2009 at 01:22 AM.
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Jul 05, 2009, 11:57 AM
Indoor Free Flight Modeler
First thing I did was test out the EDF fan unit. I used a 4S 3000 mah 20C Flightmax lipo from Hobby City and a Pentium 60 amp ESC. I hooked it up to my Eagletree logger and took some data. I was getting between 700 and 750 watts and ~45,000 rpm (see graph below). The fan unit was very smooth and vibration free. I personally hate balancing fans so was happy to see it ready to go out of the box The integrated aluminum housing is a neat idea and allows the fan unit to better dissipate the heat when it is running.
Jul 05, 2009, 12:22 PM
Indoor Free Flight Modeler

Lets start building!

O took a look at the included build manual and it is not really that good. The kit version I received in the box is not the same as the built sequence in the manual. I looked at the main build thread here on RCGroups and the photos posted here are of the same version as in the manual so I will do my best to help out those who have the newer version of this kit since the manual is outdated.

Photo 1:
Here are the goodies I am using in the build. I am not installing the optional flaps so 2 less servos are needed. You will need 7 servos for the build with no flaps or 9 with flaps (the manual says 5 servos or 8 servos).

two for the ailerons
one for the elevator
one for the rudder
one for the main retracts
one for the nose retract
one for the nose steering
(flaps will be two more servos).

I used four Esky 8 gram digital servos for the ailerons, elevator and flaps, then some generic 12 gram servos with higher torque for the retracts and nose steering. You will also need:

two 12" extensions for the aileron servos
two 24" extensions for the elevator and rudder servos.
two Y harnesses for the retracts and nose/rudder.

Photo 2:
It was nice for them to install the retracts for you BUT I simply could not get the aileron extension to go in easily so I had to take the retracts off.

Photo 3:
Once you unscrew the mains then it is easy to get the aileron wires passed through.

Photo 4:
The aileron wired fitted in.

Photo 5:
The aileron servo in position. I used 5 min epoxy to glue the servo into place. Depending on your servo horn you may or may not need to drill out the hole in the horn to get the pushrod installed.
Last edited by The Don; Jul 05, 2009 at 12:42 PM.
Jul 05, 2009, 12:40 PM
Indoor Free Flight Modeler

Installing the aileron pushrods.

Photo 6:
I personally like Z bends and generally use them when I can. Since the aileron pushrods have threaded/adjustable ends already I opted for Z bends. For making them I use a pair of Z bend pliers and they work great.

Photo 7:
For my servos, the pushrods needed to be just under 2" long.

Photo 8
Both pushrods ready to install.

Photo 9
I had to enlarge the hole slightly to get the clevis to fit the horn. The aileron horn was epoxied in place with 5 min epoxy.

Photo 10 and 11:
The pushrod installed and adjusted to length.

Repeat for other wing.
Jul 05, 2009, 01:03 PM
Indoor Free Flight Modeler

Main retracts servo installation.

Photo 12:
I picked the longest servo horn that came with my servos for the retracts. I had to drill out the horn to get the threaded connectors to fit.

Photo 13:
Here is the horn with the connectors installed. I always apply a small amount of green loctite to these type of connectors so they do not come undone when flying.

Photo 14
Epoxy the servo in place, then adjust your servo so it is in the full down position. I use a small servo adjuster for this type of stuff. The I pull the pushrods a little to make sure the gear is fully down then tighten the set screws to hold them in place.

Photo 15
Gear in the full down and locked position.

Photo 16
Next is installing the wheel wells. They have double sided tape on them so peel off the tape then quickly push them into the holes in the wings. The tape is very sticky so if you make a mistake you can have issues trying to reposition it.

Photo 17:
Wheel wells installed

Photo 18:
The servo I used is not very tall so the pushrod for the retracts were hitting the top of the wheel well. So I made a small bend in the pushrod to clear the top of the wheel well.
Jul 05, 2009, 01:23 PM
Indoor Free Flight Modeler
Photo 19:
The two servos and the horns prepared for the nose retract and steering installation.

Photo 20 and 21:
As I mentioned before I like to use a little green loctite on the connector screws/nuts. I set the parts under a desk lamp with a 60 watt bulb for about 10 minutes, the loctite will setup quite well in that short time frame. I actually push the lamp over the top to "bake" it, I lifted it up so you can see inthe one photo. Sorry the image is so dark but that is how the camera adjusted for the bright light.

Photo 22:
The nose retract servo is epoxied in and then using the servo adjuster, move the servo to the full gear down position. Then tighten the set screw on the pushrod connector.

Photo 23:
The nose steering servo is installed next, center the servo and then install the pushrod into the connector and tighten the set screw down.

Photo 23A and 23B
The wheel well for the nose wheel had no double sided tape on it so I used some GWS glue, applied it and installed the wheel well.
Last edited by The Don; Jul 05, 2009 at 09:45 PM.
Jul 05, 2009, 01:42 PM
Indoor Free Flight Modeler
Photo 24:
The elevator hinges were already installed and were VERY stiff. So I hed it up to the light and found where the CA hinges were installed then took my X-acto knife and cut through half the width of the CA hinges. This freed up the elevator considerably so the servo will have a much easier time moving it.

Photo 25:
I installed the horizontal stabilizer into the rudder but it did not fit all the way so I had to make it fit by trimming it a little bit.

Photo 26:
I removed about 1/4" of foam and squeezed it down with my fingers to make it like an airfoil shape again.

Photo 27:
I then used the shaft part of a screwdriver and rubbed it in the slot in the fin. This helps to enlarge it a little without damaging it.

Photo 28:
Now you can see it fits correctly. Compare to photo #25

Photo 29:
Now that we know it will fit, apply 5 min epoxy to the upper and lower surface and glue into place.

Photo 30:
Do not install the stabilizer in upside down, make sure the dihedral goes up, tips are higher up than the center section, and not the other way around.
Jul 07, 2009, 01:16 AM
Indoor Free Flight Modeler
Photo 31:
The rudder comes with 3 CA hinges already installed.

Photo 32:
I cut them to half the width as I felt it was a littel bit of overkill to have so much hinging on this small surface. Plus it will lighten the servo load.

Photo 33:
I also trimmed a little bit of foam so whrn the rudder id max left or right it will not hit the elevator joiner rod.

Photo 34:
I used foam safe CA to glue the rudder hinges into place.

Photo 35:
I removed a tab off the rudder servo to make it fit in the molded slot better.

Photo 36:
Rudder servo installed.

Photo 37:
Control horn and pushrod installed. I am using a Y harness for the rudder servo and the nose steering so make sure your servo horn is mounted so that the rudder and nose gear move the same direction.

Photo 38:
Elevator servo glued in and the control horn and pushrod installed.
Jul 07, 2009, 02:15 AM
Indoor Free Flight Modeler
Photo 39:
Added about 5" to the ESC battery leads so they will rach the nose of the plane.

Photo 40:
I used some 5 min epoxy to mount the fan unit into the fuselage.

Photo 41:
Before mounting the ESC, pass the rudder and elevator servo extensions through the hole.

Photo 42:
The ESC site in the slot quite well. I used some strips of balsa to fill the gaps to make a tight fit. Then I use some foam safe CA to glue the wood in as well as glue the ESC heat shrink to the wood.

Photo 43:
The lower EDF hatch did not fit well at all. So I took it back off and removed some foam.

Photo 44:
Here is where I removed foam from. I used my Dremel tool and the ball grinding wheel. Only removed about 1/16" thick layer.

Photo 45:
Now the hatch mounts on quite nicely
Jul 07, 2009, 02:31 AM
Indoor Free Flight Modeler
Photo 46:
This is the section on the upper fuselage where the landing gear wire and aileron wires will go through. The aileron extension plug on my servo was right in this area so I wanted to enlarge it so it willbe easier to assemble.

Photo 47:
I used an Xacto and cut away this foam area.

Photo 48:
Move the servo wires in the middle so they are out of the way. Apply 5 min epoxy to the flat areas where the upper fuselage will meet.

Photo 49:
Hold together until the epoxy sets and it will look like this.

Photo 50:
Glue the aft lower fuselage section on. Do not apply epoxy to the front end as that is the EDF access hatch.
Jul 07, 2009, 09:51 AM
Indoor Free Flight Modeler
Photo 51:
The intake needs to be separated.

Photo 52:
Cut apart with a single edge razor.

Photo 53:
Test fit before gluing them is as there is a right and left.

Photo 54:
All finished.

Photo 55:
Now you can glue on the lower fuselage pan. I used 5 minute epoxy and spread it on with an epoxy brush. Make sure not to get all the wires out of the way.

Photo 56:
The lower fuselage glued on.
Jul 07, 2009, 10:08 AM
Indoor Free Flight Modeler
Photo 57
The tail assembly is glued on with 5 minute epoxy. I had to trim out a spot where the extension plugs were located so it would fit correctly.

Photo 58
All finished

Photo 59
Lots of wires! I used a Berg 7 receiver and a few nylon zip ties to help gather the wires together.

Photo 60
I had a pilot head I decided to add in.

Photo 61
Make sure the top of the pilot head does not the top of the canopy before you glue him in.

Photo 62
Canopy was glued on using RC 56 canopy glue.
Jul 07, 2009, 10:18 AM
Indoor Free Flight Modeler
Photo 63
The tip tanks are glued on with 5 min epoxy.

Photo 64
The nose cone is glued on with 5 min epoxy as well.

Photo 65
Canopy installed, almost finished!!!!
Jul 07, 2009, 10:31 AM
Indoor Free Flight Modeler
Radio setup.

I ended up using a Berg 7 receiver because I was originally going to set this up with a Y harness on the retracts. However, I was not able to get them to close at the same time so I decided to put the nose retract on a seperate channel.

Here is my setup.
Channel 1: left aileron
Channel 2: elevator
Channel 3: throttle
Channel 4: rudder and nose wheel steering on Y harness
Channel 5: main retracts
Channel 6: nose retract
Channel 7: right aileron

I have a Futaba 9C radio so I went and set CH6 to operate on the same switch as Channel 5 (gear). So flipping one switch makes the nose and mains work together. The nice thing about this is that you can adjust the servo travel for the nose and main separately to eliminate servo buzzing.
Jul 07, 2009, 10:49 AM
The Ultimate Interceptor!
DeltaDart's Avatar
Nice build! Appreciate you going the extra mile to record the process for future builders. It'll probably be a great help considering what the build manuals are like for these things. Thought I would let you know that there are people interested, the RCG's just seem to be very slow concerning posting these days. Good luck on the maiden, hope you will be posting video.

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