Wendell Hostetler Skybolt - RC Groups
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Aug 07, 2009, 04:30 AM
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Wendell Hostetler Skybolt

Hi folks
I just bought a half finished Skybolt build by plans from Wendell Hostetler. Its a nice looking plane and I thought why not electrify this one?
I have got a second hand used Actro 60-200, my plan was to use the new Hyperion G3 cells and use two packs of 5S 5000 mAh and get a 10S battery. Or, I can use 24 A123 cells and get a 12S 4600 mAh pack. This package can be placed permanently in the plane, allowing me to recharge the batteries in the plane. Im not sure what would be best.
Is there anyone out there that has converted this plane into electric.
I guess that I can use a 24x10 prop spinning in the nose
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Aug 07, 2009, 08:08 AM
In NY's beautifull hills
staggerwing's Avatar
I have two of these bipes--neither elec, but just wanted to mention they were built (not by me) quite beefy & heavy per the plans & will req hefty motors & batts. I've read of the large Actro motors but not really familiar w/ them however if you can get a 24/10 up to 5500--6k RPM, it should fly the bipe fairly well pending RTF weight. One I have has a Q52 & provides power for some basic aerobatics for the 22 lb bird, & the other unflown, needs final finishing.
Aug 08, 2009, 01:34 PM
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Wendell Hostetler Skybolt

They say that the Actro 60-200 with a 24x10 is comparable to a 60 ccm petrol engine . If this is correct, well I cant see why not this should not work. The petrol engine they used in the prototype weighed 2.95 kg (6,5 pounds), my problem seems to be to get weight forward to achieve correct CG. I have to construct a motorstand that also can serve as a batterytray.
Well, this is a vinter project and I hope to finnish this bird before next spring. Any suggestion and tips are most welcome.
Aug 09, 2009, 02:31 PM
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Dennis C's Avatar
at 24 lb you can get about 3100 Watts out of the 10s 5000 Mah packs that would give you about 130+ Watts per lb. Enough for good sport aerobatics

at that weight and pulling that many amps you may be looking at 5 minute flights or less

2 6s 5000 Mah packs with a smaller prop will give you more power or onger flight times

Not familiar with the spec's for your motor

You will need a 100+ amp ESC

The lipo set up will will be lighter and give higher power

It should be easy to cut the top of the cowll to provide easy acces over the motor mount for battery instalation,if there is not enough room on top of the motor mount, then you can mount them under the motor mount, a bit more difficult to get the battery's in and out

The Hyperion is a good battery and can be charged at 2c with the right equipment, so charging time for your flight pack in normal use will be under 20 minutes.

Good luck on the conversion

Feb 17, 2012, 05:57 PM
Registered User

Wendell Hostetler Skybolt

Its been almost three years ago since I bought this almost finished Skybolt. The plane is built from a drawing of Wendell Hostetler. The wingspan 196 cm and flight ready weight will be close to 10 Kg. The plane was intended for a 50 ccm petrol engine. Since most of my planes are electric, I wanted to use an electric engine for this one too. So, I converted it to electric using an Actro 60-200 and a Jeti Spin 99 Opto as a replacement for the petrol engine.

Since I have a few (way too many) flight ready airplanes in my hangar, this project has been a slow one. But, the plane is now almost ready; I just need to paint the cowling and the wheelpants and mount the windscreen.

A few days ago I mounted the propeller (22x12) and finished the wiring from the ESC to the engine. Then I just had to try the set-up
I used two Turnigy 5s 5000 mAh in a 10s set-up. According to the e-flite meter this set-up gave me 2400W and the Amp draw was 65A. I hooked up a digital luggage weight and measured just a bit over 8 Kg of thrust. The propeller in the picture is not the one I used, I used a Turnigy type E cherry wood 22x12 propeller.

When the dust had settled and I was able to take a look around, I found that the carpet was lying up against the wall, everything on the wall behind me had blown away and were scattered around in the room This first test is promising

I was thinking of get a bigger propeller, maybe a 24x12 or just buy two 6s nanotech batteries to try a 12s set-up. I dont know if its necessary, but I would like to have about 10 Kg of thrust. Its a question of flight-time as well, since I feel that 5 minutes is a little too short, I would like to have about 10 minutes. I was hoping that I could achieve this by using only two batteries; otherwise Im afraid that the weight of the batteries will be too much since I have placed the batteries right behind the engine in the engine box. Its done this way to have an easy access and a smooth battery shift.

Thanks Jocke, for all good advices, feedback and tips and hints, Im now just waiting for the spring and in the meanwhile Im going to paint the cowling and the wheelpants

Best regards
Oct 06, 2012, 05:26 PM
Registered User

Maiden is done

Maiden is done now. I had a better pilot than me to take the plane out for its first flight. The plane needed just a few click up elevater and a few clicks right aileron, then it flew like on rails and hands off . The propeller seems to be a little to big or ineffective, I will try a APC 20x10 on 12S or a 24x10 APC on 10S.
But the plane flew just fine - Im happy now

Best regards

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