Lanier SE5a Build Log 03-22-10.............. - RC Groups
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Mar 22, 2010, 01:12 PM
Mt. Dora, Florida
mtdoramike's Avatar
Build Log

Lanier SE5a Build Log 03-22-10..............

OK guys, I finished the Lanier Fokker D.VII a couple of weeks ago. I was fortunate to find a forum member who had a couple of the Lanier Fokker D.VII's new still in the box so I was able to snap one up. You can find the Fokker build log on this forum.

Now on to the Lanier SE5a. I have been itching for a Lanier WWI Bipe for quite a while, but unfortunately the itch started after Lanier was Bought out and was liquidated by Great Planes/Electrifly. But lucky for me, an RC Grouper was gracious enough to offer me not only the Lanier Fokker, But also a Lanier SE5a. He put a Se5a on hold for me until I got the Fokker finished and maidened.

I wanted the Lanier versions of these 2 WWI bipes because I liked the looks and the size of them compared to the Great Planes Versions. Plus I like the fact that Lanier allows you to use what ever equipment you wish rather than trying to force you into using their high priced RimFire motors. Yes, you could do modifications to get a different motor to work in a Great Planes WWI plane, but why do that if you have other options. I received a Great Planes Nieuport XI which I just finished and had to modify it to accept my favorite motor, which is a cheapy Tower Pro $13.00 motor from Hobbycity

But back to the Lanier SE5a. I received the SE5a this morning and I'm as giddy as a school girl on prom night. Tim really is a stand up guy for giving me the opportunity to get these two plane kits. Here's a couple of pics to get your curiosity peaked.

I will post some pictures on the build as I go along. For any of you who already own either one of these planes (Fokker or SE5a) I would appreciate any feedback and tips of you have any and would like to share.

Upon a quick inspection, everything looks in order and no damage frm shipping, which is surprising because it looked like UPS used the box as a trampoline. The fit and finish of the SE5a is no surprise after building the Fokker. Both kits are real quality pieces of work. The iron on covering job is 10 times better than I could ever do. I'm really diggin that olive drab color scheme to after being a little used to the Red/white/black color scheme of the Fokker.

My first thing to check and verify is whether or not my spare KDA 22-20L outrunner will work in the SE5a, if not than I will have to order a TP 2409-18T 180watt outrunner from Jeff at Headsuprc.
Last edited by mtdoramike; Mar 22, 2010 at 02:20 PM.
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Mar 23, 2010, 05:04 PM
Mt. Dora, Florida
mtdoramike's Avatar
Today is a new day and it's time to do a little fiddling with the SE5a

You can use a firewall mount motor or a stick mount motor. I've decided to go with a firewall mount motor with the KD-22-20L motor that I have layin around. But I must note that if I were to use a stick mount, the only way I could see being able to mount the motor on the stick and get to the screws that attach the stick mount to the stick. I would have to drill a couple of access holes in the side of the fuse in order to reach the screws.

But either way, there will be some modifications to do. The first mod is to take some small triangle stock and cut it to size and glue it to at least three sides of the motor mount/firewall. This is a weak spot with these planes as well as the Electrifly versions. So an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Second Mod is to take a small piece of plywood, the size of the motor ounting area and about 1/8" think and epoxy it to the motor mount area to build it up a bit and make it a little thicker. I made the mistake of not doing this with my Fokker and the thin motor mount area which is like 1/16" thick and on my maiden flight the motor vibrated to the point that it loosened up the motor set screws. I was lucky to have gotten it down in one piece before the motor fell off.

I have posted pictures of the mods so far.

Third mod will be to open up the battery bay a bit more to get a 3s 20c 1500 flightmax lipo to fit and be able to remove fairly easily.
Mar 23, 2010, 05:12 PM
Mt. Dora, Florida
mtdoramike's Avatar
I had to position and re-position the motor a couple of times to get it straight with the hole. I also had to take a sanding wheel to the cowl using my Dremel to open it slightly and smooth the inside around the hole a little to keep the motor from touching.
Mar 24, 2010, 12:48 PM
Mt. Dora, Florida
mtdoramike's Avatar
I'm olut of servo extention connectors, so I had to order a couple from HeadsupRC along with an extra 32amp ESC You will need a minimum of two 12" servo extentions. The manual actually cals for 18" extentions so that is what I ordered. it's better to have too much than not enough. If your using a 4 channel receiver, you will also need a servo Y harness as well. I have one, but I will be using a spare Corona 6 channel receiver.

The next step is to attach the ailerons to the wings. The SE5a is different than the Fokker in that there is quad ailerons on the SE5 and only twin ailerons on the Fokker.

Now after attaching the ailerons comes the next and possibly no, not possibly, it is the worsest part of this build and that is FISHING the servo extention wires through the lower wing. I had to do this on the Fokker and man was it a PAIN. Lanier has imbedded a string inside each wing and taped the ends down so that you can used that to fish the wires through. I wound up on the Fokker using a thin gauge wire and fishing the servo extentions through and it worked pretty well. I tried it with the string on the first wing on the Fokker and wound up having to cut a small hole in the covering because the servo extention plug folded over blocking the hole.

Needless to say this will cause you to loose a few hairs unless your one of those lucky patient people which I'm not.
Mar 24, 2010, 08:05 PM
Mt. Dora, Florida
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Heres a quick mod that can be done to make the wheels on both the Lanier Fokker and SE5 last a lot longer. They are quite flimsy and will only last for your first couple of flights if this mod isn't done.

Drill a few holes on the inside of each wheel and run a little water inside the wheels. Then squeeze in some Gorilla glue. What it, because it willl expand drastically and fill in the inside of the wheel, which is hollow. Let drill and clean off any glue that has pushed it's way out of the wheels.

I can't take credit for this MOD, this was something that I read on the forums regarding these planes.
Mar 25, 2010, 07:44 PM
Mt. Dora, Florida
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Well I tackled the worsest part of the build today. I got the servo extentions run through the wing. It really wasn't as bad as the Fokker was. I tied the lead in string that Lanier thoughtfully built into the wing before covering. I then took electrical tape and taped the string around the servo extention connector so that when I pulled the string through the wing the servo connector would stay straight and not bend up or down. I had both wing halves done in about 30 minutes. The all I had to do was mount the servos in the wings and control horns. Piece of cake Ohhhh don't forget to tape the servo connections that will be imbedded in the wing. this is to keep them from working their way loose.
Mar 26, 2010, 07:55 PM
Mt. Dora, Florida
mtdoramike's Avatar
I'm actually rather surprised at the lack of interest of this kit. I thought there would be more interest and figured there must be quite a few folks who own this Lanier SE5 or it's brother the Fokker D.VII. But it doesn't seem to be the case. Shame to because it is a great kit. This could explain why Lanier was bought out by Great Planes. Just not enough interest.

Progress to date:

I installed the servos inside the fuse. But before I did, I re-enforced the area with a few strips of hard wood to screw the servos into. That area seemed to be a might brittle to me so I figured to take care of a problem before it arose for once.

Installed the rubber gasket around the cockpit area and installed the horizontal & vertical stabs and control surfaces. I also installed the wing strusts on the lower wing.

That's about it for now. I will give it a day or two break I think. I'm hoping for a little better weather tomorrow or Sunday so I can get a bit of flying in.
Mar 28, 2010, 01:40 PM
Mt. Dora, Florida
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I have the wings mounted with the "N" struts and cabanes. You will have to put on the struts and take them off and check them because there is a certain way they go on. But once on the right way, the wing lines up perfectly.

I put the decals on before I mounted the wings because I figured it would make it a little easier and it did.

I also mounted the wheel assembly. They gave some funky looking nylon retainers for the wheel axels. But I disgarded them and decided to solder on a couple of nuts on the end of each side to hold the wheels on.
Mar 28, 2010, 01:44 PM
Mt. Dora, Florida
mtdoramike's Avatar
I still have a few other things that need to be done like installing the fake engine halves, putting on the prop and hooking up the quad ailerons. Then setting the proper control throws and getting the CofG right> I will be using a Flightmax 3s 20c 1500mah in the SE5a, which is the same lipo I use on the Lanier Fokker D.VII and it balances the SE5 rather nicely and I get a good 12 minutes of flight time with power to spare.
Mar 28, 2010, 02:19 PM
North East England
Looks a nice kit - could be detailed up into a very good-looking model...but why did the manufacturers use 'N' struts and spoil the scale effect??? Are these the same struts that are used in the DVII kit?

Whatever the strut arrangement I'm sure it'll be an excellent flier; alll SE5a models are

Mar 28, 2010, 04:37 PM
Mt. Dora, Florida
mtdoramike's Avatar
Hi Steve, yes, the struts are basically the same as on the D.VII. The struts do seem to be a bit beefy and could be cut down and made a bit thinner I reckon.

What I like about the Lanier kits over the Great Planes/Electrifly versions are the size, which is quite deceptive. The wing span is 38" right enough, but the over all size of the plane is quite large and beefy. Like I stated over on my Fokker D.VII build thread, it seems to me that the Lanier WWI bipes may have been intended for a small glow engine. But then converted over to electric before their release. Because it seems that the battery among other things were an after thought. Like I said, it's a large beefy plane, but the battery compartment is quite small. Also just due to the size of the fuse, it could have been made a little easier to got to the electronics with all that much room. It seems an awful waste with all that left over space

But this is just conjecture on my part.
Mar 30, 2010, 05:11 PM
Mt. Dora, Florida
mtdoramike's Avatar
Well I finished the SE5a, but unfortunately don't have the opportunity to maiden it as yet due to the winds here kickin at around 20-30mph. Hopefully the winds will die down in the next few days so I can get it out there and see how she flys.
Mar 30, 2010, 08:12 PM
Mt. Dora, Florida
mtdoramike's Avatar
Here are both the Fokker D.VII and the S.E.5a. Both Lanier kits. There is a Great Planes/Electrifly Nieuport XI in the center to give an idea of the sixe of the Lanier kits compared to the GP kits.

I know, I know, I'm going to have to do something about those ORANGE props. They are Hideous on these planes and just plane wrong.
Apr 07, 2010, 06:53 PM
Registered User
Did you maiden yet?
Apr 09, 2010, 10:26 AM
Mt. Dora, Florida
mtdoramike's Avatar
Yep Tim, I maidened the SE5a this past weekend. This was just before my computer crashed so I haven't been able to get online except at my local library once every couple of days. I bought a new computer, but I'm switching internet providers and hispeed internet and it will not be installed until this coming Monday

Yeah the Maiden went fantastic. This is a real floater just like the Fokker. I did have it a tad nose heavy on the first flight so I had to do a little mod to the battery compartment and move the battery back further. I also used a heavier motor in the SE5 vs the Fokker. I installed a KD a22-20L in the SE5a. It has a lot of punch. I only have like 3 flights on the SE5, but I love how it flys. I have about 10 flights on the Fokker and it is a sweet flyer. I love these Lanier kits

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