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Oct 27, 2009, 05:28 PM
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GWS A-10, brushless/LiPo

A popular kit, but it's an old design originally intended for brushed power. Put a couple of brushless motors in it and it needs some strengthening modifications.

I started with the slope glider kit, which comes with no fans. For power, I'm using two GWS "green" brushless inrunners, and two brushless ESCs (Thunderbird 18). I had to buy the GWS shrouds that have a receptacle for 20mm inrunner motors, and the GWS 55mm rotors with D-cut. I already had the D-cut hubs for 2mm motor shafts from my GWS F-15 kit (the same hubs go with the 55mm and 64mm fans). For a battery, I'm using a single 3S LiPo of about 2200 size. When I was finished building, I was happy to find that the plane balanced with no added balance weight, with the battery located exactly where I wanted it: under the aft part of the canopy, just behind the nosewheel wire. Final AUW after painting is 26.6 ounces.

Here are the modifications that I made to the kit:

1. Made large topside battery hatch, and plugged up the stock battery hole on the fuse underside with a scrap foam piece. To create the hatch, I cut the fuse along the panel lines around the canopy, then dremeled out the insides of the fuse down to the floor to make room for a 3S 2200 LiPo. To hold the top hatch on, I installed two popsicle-stick retaining tabs on the front of it, and two rare-earth magnets in back. I also installed a lite-ply floor for the battery, with velcro on the floor to prevent sliding, and two velcro retaining straps to hold the battery securely. It's very roomy, very secure, and from the outside you can hardly tell where the cut was made.

2. Beefed up forward wing join. Threw out the stock plastic joiners with the tiny "bumps," and fashioned larger ones out of plywood and skewer sticks.

3. Reinforced fuselage. Installed a side-rail skewer stick under each side of the new battery hatch, extending back to the wing area, to restore lost structural integrity from excavating so much foam for the topside hatch. Then for the aft fuselage, I threw out the small fiberglass rod that comes with the kit as a partial spine-brace, and instead used a longer skewer stick that goes all the way to the end of the tail. Then I added an additional one on the opposite side.

4. Reinforced the wing with full-span (one-meter) carbon-fiber spar. It's a square cross-section, hollow CF rod, one-eighth inch thick. I had to tunnel thru the main gear pylons. I glued the spar in with Gorilla glue...and while the glue was drying, I had to clamp it at several places, due to it not wanting to stay put in the dihedral wing.

5. Reinforced the pylons for the engine nacelles. Made two holes/channels through each pylon by pushing two skewer sticks completely through each pylon, front and back. Then, just before gluing the fuse halves together, I pushed a single stick through each set of holes, front and back (each stick goes completely through the fuse and on out the pylon on the other side). Then I pushed the inner nacelle halves onto the sticks while epoxying them on. Then I trimmed off the excess stick length, flush to the inside of the nacelle.

6. Reinforced the horizontal stab with a skewer stick. After you cut off the elevator, the remaining horizontal stab is a very delicate narrow strip of plain foam that seems like it would snap if you breathed on it.

7. Beefed up landing gear. I fashioned new gear from thicker music wire, using the stock gear as a guide for where to make the bends. I retained the wheels with wheel collars. Those press-on plastic wheel retainers have fallen off EVERY model I've used them on.

8. Moved the nosewheel servo to the outside, behind the nosewheel. It's easier to access there, for when I need to make an adjustment, and it's not adding to the clutter inside. I used a nosewheel steering arm from the parts tree of another GWS kit, that slides onto the thicker music wire that I used for the gear. I also had to throw out the supplied plastic nosewheel-wire retainer part, and improvise an alternate method of holding the nosewheel wire (small plywood panels on either side of the fuse bulkhead).

9. Beefed up elevator servo mount. The stock setup is to just stick the elevator servo onto the flat inner wall of the fuse with double-stick tape! Doh! I embedded/epoxied a wood post on one side of the servo, and epoxied a foam receptacle onto the other (wire) side. Then I hot-glued the servo into the new snug "pocket," and screwed one side onto the wood post. It's secure now!

10. Added a gatling gun. It turns out, 1/2" dowel is just the right diameter for the scale of this model. I cut off a 1-3/4" piece of the dowel, then used a dremel sanding drum to excavate a channel in the underside of the nose to install it in, then epoxied it in. I could easily have gotten fancier with a pen-cap for the gun collar, and brass or aluminum rod or tubing for the gun barrels, but I didn't bother. I did drill some holes to simulate the barrels.

11. Expanded the cooling air inlet (underside of nose just behind the gun), and added a cooling outlet. For the outlet, I cut a 1/2" square hole on the fuse underside, just in front of the horizontal stab. It had to be cut off-center because of the skewer-stick embedded inside the fuse centerline.

12. Fiberglassed the outer inch or two of the wings...for protection against scrapes. Used 3/4 oz. fiberglass cloth and epoxy finishing resin.
Last edited by herk1; Dec 13, 2009 at 10:04 AM.
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Apr 14, 2010, 10:44 PM
Registered User
nice gatling gun although, i was going to put a star wars black stormtrooper polot in the cockpit ill find annother way for the battery....

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