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Windrider BD-5 Jet Pusher Version Review

Mike Llewellyn and Doug Cohen look at the all new Windrider BD-5 Jet. This model can be built as a EDF, pusher or slope soaring version. It looks fantastic and is a great flight performer.

Splash

Introduction

Wingspan:36"
Wing Area:180 sq in
Wing type:Molded white EPS foam
AUW weight:Advertised – 23-29oz Actual - 24.3oz
Length:28.5”
Wing loading:~19 oz/sq. ft.
Transmitter:Spektrum DX7
Servos:GWS Naro + D Servos
Battery:Thunder Power 2600 3s Extreme V2 LiPoly
Motor:Don's Wicked 2700 KV Motor
ESC:36 AMP Thunderbird ESC
Windrider:BD-5 J
Price:$50

Windrider, a company based in Hong Kong, has a unique offering of fantastic EPS white foam models. The BD-5 J is an addition to their foam lineup and can be built in a slope, pusher or EDF version. The BD-5 is a great park-flyer sized model and is an excellent performer.

The review package arrived in perfect condition. It was well-packaged, thick wall boxed and the contents were well protected for shipping.

The BD-5 is a builders kit without a detailed manual or many instructions. You will want a few builds under your belt before taking this project on. It is good to note, however, that there are no big building challenges with the BD-5.

Kit includes:

  • EPS white molded foam model
  • EPS canopy
  • Hardware (keepers, pushrods and horns)
  • 60mm Fan unit

Kit requires:

  • Brushless motor
  • 30-40 amp ESC
  • 3s LiPoly battery 2200-2600mAh
  • 3 micro servos (ailerons and elevator)
  • Receiver
  • Three-channel minimum transmitter

Included for this review:

<font size=-2>Don's RC Wicked 2700 KV Brushless Motor</font>
Don's RC Wicked 2700 KV Brushless Motor
Type:Brushless Outrunner
Weight:69g
Cells:3-4S Li-Po
RPM/Volt (kv):2700
MSRP:$25.00

<font size=-2>Thunder Power 3s 2600mAh 20c LiPo battery</font>
Thunder Power 3s 2600mAh 20c LiPo battery
Capacity:2600mAh
Voltage:12.6V
Number of cells:3
Weight:6.4oz
C Rating:20C
Max. Continuous Current:52A
MSRP:$74.99

<font size=-2>GWS Naro + D micro digital servos</font>
GWS Naro + D micro digital servos
Type:Digital
Torque:22 oz/in at 4.8V
Speed:.16 sec/60 degrees at 4.8V
Weight:10g
Gear type:Nylon

<font size=-2>Castle Creations 36 Amp Thunderbird ESC</font>
Castle Creations 36 Amp Thunderbird ESC
Continuous maximum current:36 amps
Input Voltage:15V Max
Weight:.7 ounces (20g)
BEC:Linear 3 amp
# of servos (BEC enabled):4 standard servos
MSRP:$49.95

Assembly

The Windrider BD-5 came in easy-to-assemble form. Since it is molded EPS foam, the round, sleek lines of the BD-5 are all done for you. The wing came with an integrated spar buried right in the foam - a nice touch - which means no additional reinforcement is necessary for the wing.

Most will find the BD-5 can be built in several hours at the workbench. The detailed finish work will take some time as well.

Done by the factory:

  • Molded cutouts in the fuselage for the servos
  • Molded, integrated main wing spar in the one-piece wing
  • Molded tail surfaces with full airfoil

The builder needs to:

  • Hollow out foam for battery
  • Joint the fuselage halves
  • Install the servos
  • Install the power system of choice (unless you slope!)
  • Paint and finish (glassing if desired)

Fuselage

Assembly starts with the fuselage halves. Since this build is for a pusher, the fuselage was hollowed well into the nose to allow the battery to slide well forward. This helps achieve the proper CG considering the rearward location of the motor.

The elevator servo can now be placed in the fuselage. It is inaccessible once installed, so assure you have the set up done properly at initial installation.

This model of the BD-5 incorporates a full flying stabilizer. It has a pivot, mount point molded into the surface. The builder must remove some molded foam supports that keep the delicate forward balance arms from damage during shipping.

The fin was attached and molded as a part of the fuselage. No rudder control is used or recommended on this model.

The motor for the BD-5 pusher version will be in the tail. Before joining the fuselage, it was a good idea to think about the motor-mounting system. No firewall or mounting hardware for the pusher version was provided. This is a builder’s kit anyway, so fabrication of the mount was no challenge!

It was nearly time to join the fuselage, but one more check of equipment layout was a good idea.

Joining the fuselage halves is the next step. You can use your favorite glue here. There are many choices, but choose a glue with an open time of approximately 30 minutes to allow plenty of time to position and secure the fuselage with low-tack tape. Make sure you have the elevator servo installed and the linkage attached to the servo head: It is inaccessible once the fuselage sides are joined.

With the fuselage together we could focus on the motor mount system. Thanks to the preplanning work this was fairly easy. It’s important to consider the high thrust line of the BD-5 and plan for the proper propeller thrust angles. The motor shaft is angled up so that it will push the nose down in flight. This is always desired in high thrust line moments. The instructions did not give recommendations, so we estimated 5 degrees.

The elevator is attached to the fuselage with a hinge that comes from the rear of the fuselage and attaches to the pivot point of the full flying stabilizer. The kit includes a heavy metal hinge which we replaced with two much lighter nylon hinges.

Canopy

The canopy was a snap to install. The kit includes some nice rare-earth magnets for easy canopy attachment and removal during battery changes.

Wing

The wing is once piece and has a integrated spar molded into the foam. The builder simply installs the aileron servos and glues the wing to the fuselage.

White foam is fairly rash-prone so we decided to fiberglass the fuselage and wing bottoms. Done properly, this only added ~1oz to the overall model weight. This gives a super strong finish for the planned belly takeoffs and landings. You can see the servo, pocket and molded servo wire trace were all covered with multi-stranded fiber tape to keep the water based polyurethane used for glassing out of that area.

Power system

When searching for a motor for the BD-5, great power was desired, but the motor needed to be light since it was placed near the tail. We settled on the amazing Don's RC Wicked 2700 KV motor which is intended for powering ships just like the Windrider BD-5.

Amp draws

The Don's RC Wicked 2700KV motor is intended for use with small propellers and 3s-4s packs. With the Thunder Power 2600 V2 Extreme pack we recorded the following results:

Wicked 2700 brushless motor statistics on 3s
Propeller Amps Watts Voltage
APC-e 4.7x4.7 28.6 310 11v

These power levels gave the BD-5 pusher 200+ watts per lb, enough for very spirited performance. Of note, the bulky fuselage of the BD-5 does not make it a speed demon, even at these power levels.

Battery

A single 3s 2600 MAh LiPoly battery was used to provide power. This pack weighs in right at 6.4oz (183g). Performance of this pack was stellar, and it provided great voltage with a 28+ amp load.

Finish

The white foam of this beauty got a nifty British camouflage scheme. With light EPS foam, some protection was in order. It was decided to reinforce the raw foam with fiberglass on the belly and wing bottoms. This is simply to reduce landing and takeoff rash on the raw foam. It was not done for strength.

Doug expertly painted the camouflage scheme with Tamiya paints and his airbrush. As usual, it reflects his skill with the airbrush!

Flying

Preflight

The CG was specified at 25% mean aerodynamic chord (MAC). We found that too nose-heavy, and in-flight testing showed it was still very tame at about 30% MAC. With the 3s 2600MAh pack placed as far forward in the nose as possible, no additional weight in the nose was necessary.

The Spektrum DX7 was used for this plane. Rates were not recommended so ailerons were set to 6mm, elevator at about 10mm. Exponential rates were not recommended, so we used my preferred 50% low rates and 65% high rates for the primary flight controls.

The pitch was a bit light so more control may be desired. Control surface throws are a very personal preference, so please adjust your accordingly.

The flight timer was set to about 5-6 minutes and gave an audible warning to land before the battery was depleted.

Basics

The BD-5, with a small 4.7"x4.7" propeller, needs a strong, level hand launch. It gets "on the step" very quickly and moves out nicely considering it is a large airplane! It is amazing that the tiny prop does so much, but then again, it is spinning rather quickly. Do not think the speed of the 200+w/lb plane will set you on your heels. On the other hand, the large airframe makes it very manageable.

Mike snapped the "naked" shots, and Ronnie snapped the post-paint pics while Doug flew.

Takeoff and Landing

Again, the BD-5 needs a good, firm toss as would be expected. Pusher mode gives great thrust, however, it gets on the step quickly. But that is not the only way to get this bird off the ground. With a combination of a very high thrust line and tiny propeller, the BD-5 pusher will easily take off right from short grass! Point it straight into the wind and hit the throttle - it skids on the belly on the ground, and once flight speed is attained, a healthy amount of up elevator it will fly right off the grass. Too cool!

Landings were easy and uneventful. It slows remarkably well and shows no sign of snapping or other bad behavior. You can see by the video just how well it slows down.

In flight, the BD-5 tracks well with light control inputs. It handles wind well and shows no real sign of getting snappy when slowed. Top speed is limited by the large fuselage but it moves out very well.

Special Flight Characteristics

The BD-5 also does well with aileron elevator flight maneuvers such as loops, rolls and inverted flight.

The plane stalls very predictably for a model with a light wing loading. Recovery from stall was very quick and assured especially with no wing drop.

Power system

Power with Don's RC Wicked 2700 KV motor is amazing, considering the small prop and very large fuselage it moves out very well. The BD-5 allows for very adequate cooling, especially with the EDF intake ducts left open. This motor requires generous cooling at the stunning power levels of which it is capable.

Is this plane for a beginner?

The BD-5 is not for first-time pilots. It needs a pilot with experience and someone who knows how to give a good hand launch.

Flight Video

Downloads

Conclusion

When first opening the box it was clear that even though we were expecting a small model, the BD-5 has a much larger presence. That large presence comes from the huge fuselage and not the tiny wing! Assembly of the BD-5 was fairly quick and straightforward. It is a real crowd-pleaser! The Windrider BD-5 pusher makes an excellent project and is certainly a eye-catcher.

Pluses:

  • Belly takeoff is just too cool
  • Magnet attached canopy
  • Excellent looks and accurate scale molding
  • Balances properly even in pusher mode
  • In-flight performance is great

Minuses:

  • Nice to see more instruction for pusher (thrust angles)
  • Wing servo horn moldings misaligned

Stay tuned for the eZone review of the BD-5 EDF version coming soon from Jon! And as always, special thanks to all who helped with this review!

Last edited by Angela H; Jan 11, 2010 at 08:18 PM..
Thread Tools
Jan 12, 2010, 11:37 AM
Registered User
ducatirdr's Avatar
Too bad it doesn't come with Coors Light decal set.
Jan 12, 2010, 11:47 AM
Registered User
pda4you's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by ducatirdr
Too bad it doesn't come with Coors Light decal set.
O I bet one of the vinyl cutters could get that for you!
Jan 12, 2010, 12:13 PM
AA6JB
Bajora's Avatar
And Ming sells a set too. But maybe you knew that already and were saying you wish he would include them in the kit?

Nice review Mike and Doug. I'll have the EDF version wrapped in a week or two.
Jan 12, 2010, 12:37 PM
Registered User
pda4you's Avatar
Cool Jon - can't wait. You have been in EDF heaven for a while now!
Jan 12, 2010, 01:14 PM
Lipo abuser ... smoke on!
gp125racer's Avatar
Nice camo, I really like how that turned out. Great job!

Don
Latest blog entry: D100
Jan 12, 2010, 01:19 PM
Registered User
pda4you's Avatar
Doug is the airbrush master - all his work....
Jan 12, 2010, 03:18 PM
GET BACK IN THE SHOP!!!!!!
CaptDH's Avatar
What is the best way to pick one up in the states??

DH
Jan 12, 2010, 04:22 PM
Registered User
Waltjg's Avatar
Very cool plane.. The BD is such a great plane to begin with, have been looking for something like this.. Thanks for the review guys, it was great.. now,,, where to buy... w.
Jan 12, 2010, 05:37 PM
Pompano Hills Flyers
Dangerous James's Avatar
Looks like something the Chinese ripped of from 6mmflyrc.com

DJ
Jan 12, 2010, 08:18 PM
AA6JB
Bajora's Avatar
Quote:
Looks like something the Chinese ripped of from 6mmflyrc.com


Last time I looked, 6mmflyrc does mostly flat Depron foamy stuff. The Windrider BD5 is ANYTHING but flat. It is EPO, or also available in EPP. But way different than a Depron build IMO.
Jan 12, 2010, 08:23 PM
I can beer this - hold my do!
I ordered direct from Windrider in HK, and was delivered to NYS in about 10 days (!). They also occasionally have free shipping deals or other promotions - check build thread for examples.

Completely different kit than (now discontinued) 6mmflyrc kit - I have them both. 6mmflyrc is depron sheet fuselage with a foam/sheeted wing, Windrider is injection molded foam and EDF ready (if that's the route you want to go). If you check the windrider bd-5J build thread here on RCG there was a lot of R&D on developing the mold and design - no design rip off here. My experience with both mfgs is great and I think they both earn their $$$.
Last edited by larjim; Jan 12, 2010 at 08:29 PM.
Jan 12, 2010, 10:30 PM
PSALM 14:1
Sammy70's Avatar
This one is on my list, very cool little plane!

A very nice review as well, thank you
Jan 13, 2010, 05:59 AM
Registered User
very nice plane, good review! Why did you use a setup with a high-revving motor and a small high-pitched prop? A APC 6x4 or 7x5 would be far more efficient (getting more air on the prop, much more thust with and pitch speed better suited to the model) of course powered by a lower kV motor?
Is it the looks, or the ground clearance? With a more efficient prop you might use a lighter motor, a smaller battery and get a better performing airplane overall (and with the reduced weight crashes would be doing less damage). Or have I overlooked something? As to the material of the kit, Windrider offers both EPS (styrofoam) and EPP...
Best regards
Clemens
Jan 13, 2010, 08:12 AM
Registered User
pda4you's Avatar
Thanks guys! I think you will find no worries with Ming and international shipping. It is really an element of today's economy and our hobby anyway. Give him a shot!

Mike


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