Guillows 406 Electric conversion - RC Groups
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Jun 12, 2010, 11:27 PM
Learning to fly
Wapa's Avatar
Build Log

Guillows 406 Electric conversion

After having left the hobby for 15 years, I got back into it with this one:

Guillows 406 kit bought at EAA Airventure in Oshkosh, original wood
AXI Gold 2203/52 Outrunner Motor
ECO 8 Amp Brushless Controller
Pro Lite V2 2 Cell 730 mAh 7.4V
8x4E Thin Electric Prop
DSP60J Servo
AR6300 Receiver
(Spitfire Mk. Vb) Wheel Set
Model Retractable Undercarriage Set [#ALF6001]
The tail wheel steers.

Nice evolution of technology. With ailerons, rudder and retracts it came out at 200g. When I hold it straight up at full throttle it pulls up at about 0.5N. The torque from the prop at full throttle concerns me a little.

So far done a couple of taxi, range and smoke tests. Ran into the curb, broke the cowling and repaired again. Learning to fly with a foamie now, as my skills are rusty and my transmitter at the time had the elevator on the stick where I have the throttle now...

Grace made the pilot. My friend Christian says he looks like Mr. Bill from SNL.

Raw-build details and retract video here:
FW-190 Guillows 406 Electric Conversion (4 min 32 sec)

Compared to what's shown in the video, I needed to move the battery forward, about 10 mm into the motor mount to optain a correct CG.

Last edited by Wapa; Jun 14, 2010 at 06:56 PM. Reason: Typo, added Mr. Bill.
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Jun 13, 2010, 08:25 AM
Power Upward
GeorgeG97322's Avatar

Very Nice model. The video is vary informative and fun to watch.

George Gilbert
Jun 13, 2010, 09:59 AM
Registered User
Nice build Wapa. Man that is one small motor. The prop is big thou. Good luck and keep us informed.

Jun 13, 2010, 02:52 PM
Registered User
nice build... where did you get those retracts from?
Jun 13, 2010, 05:38 PM
Registered User
portablevcb's Avatar
Very nice job. I have a pair of those retracts too, not sure what they will go in, but, they look very sturdy for their size. And I like the CF struts.

Good luck on the maiden. Most FW190 models fly very well. You kept the weight down so you should have a nice flying plane.

Jun 14, 2010, 03:22 PM
In Unusual Attitude Recovery
MPP's Avatar

First, Welcome to RCG's.

That is a fantastic build. Love the retracts and with a sub 10 Oz. weight just amazing. Ailerons are a great work of art, very clever. The only thing I would have done different on the aileron cables is run the cable through the servo as one piece and use two cable connectors at the horns. again just personal preference. Those wheels are so small, another idea if you want a little more scale is slice one in half rotate the hubs inside and add doors to the outside. Balance wheels up as they tuck up aft of the CG. I fly mine at 45-47mm from the leading edge. I would go 47mm wheels up to prevent nose overs on take off.

I couldn't tell from the pictures but down and right trust angles were an important part of getting mine to fly well. Motor is a good motor, with the high wing loading might want to consider 5" pitch prop. I used a 7 5 APC prop with a 1000 Kv motor. Your 8 4 might be fine with the 1500 Kv motor. Just get her up to speed before you rotate off the ground. I have to really chuck mine to get it on step, but once there, it flies very nice.

Be prepared to trim down if you didn't correct wing incidence. I didn't on mine and had to correct it for more down deflection on successive flights.

Hope this helps and good luck. Any questions fire away. Here is my thread on the FW-190. Afraid my workmanship is a hack job compared to yours so go easy on me. There is a video near the end to get an idea how it fly's


FW lover Mark
Jun 14, 2010, 06:37 PM
Learning to fly
Wapa's Avatar

The retracts are here:
Tried the suspension option, but find it to be simpler and more precise without. The wheels are
Modified wheels and re-tracts a little for minimum profile. They protrude a little from the wing but not bad now. The plane rolls great.
Last edited by Wapa; Jun 14, 2010 at 06:43 PM.
Jun 14, 2010, 06:55 PM
Learning to fly
Wapa's Avatar

Thank you for the detailed feedback. Very helpful for me the n00b. I did study your build thread when I was building mine, very motivating.

It has gut feel thrust angles now, as good as my 15 years old gut feel is. How do I determine the right thrust angles?

When covering I added some washout - don't know what washout yours has. I hope the washout will help with the incidence correction.

And: if art means to go almost nuts but not entirely, then indeed, the ailerons and retracts were it. Both times I was doubting my ability to repeat for the other wing after doing the first. Thanks for the kudos!

Last edited by Wapa; Jun 14, 2010 at 09:57 PM. Reason: Removed CG comment after measuring.
Jun 15, 2010, 02:24 PM
In Unusual Attitude Recovery
MPP's Avatar

Looking at your sticks I would hardly say "nOOb" . I looked back over my old thread and I am amazed mine fly's. Although it wasn't without it's battle damage.

Anyway no magic on the thrust angles. Three ways i know of. one is TLAR, Two is just take a long dowel or ruler and match it along side the motor shaft, compare that to the side and top keels. Another way you can set up a laser level and again compare the motor shaft to the keels. Phil AKA Smokin'Beaver does this with lining up tail group and such with great results. I am personally afraid to do this as I think I would find a few imperfections.

The washout i added was heat shrunk in. If I was doing this one again I would pin it down on a 1/8" jig and cover with a film that holds better than Nelson litefilm. Now the most important thing is to match both sides as best as possible. Also a little reflex in the ailerons won't hurt either, again match both sides.

I will double check my CG mark tonight. From the picture it looks like just in front of the second stringer (Black dot)

Perhaps "Mr. SLUGGO" would be a better choice of drivers? Mr. Bill I am afraid might be screaming "OOooohhhh NOOooooo! Sluggo on my six"


Jun 17, 2010, 04:15 PM
The "pro" in procrastination
Steve85's Avatar
Hey Banz,

Great video! I especially like how you did the retracts and ailerons. Are you using one of those circuits that slow down the retract cycle, or is that a special retract servo? Your tailwheel and use of CF for pushrods are filed away in my list of cool things to do to my next builds. When's the maiden?

Jun 19, 2010, 01:01 AM
Learning to fly
Wapa's Avatar
Steve, yes, the slow down circuit sticks right on top of the servo. It's this one:
Many complicated ideas for the tailwheel made way for this one. I drilled a hole across the end of a servo arm and glued the CF rod into the hole. Works great.
The CF rods work well as long as they can go in a pretty straight line. Lubricating them before covering the plane helps. Great fun when cyanoacrylate gets onto the pushrod and glues it to the golden outer tube.

Maiden will have to wait until my beater foamie survives more than one flight before needing repair.
Last edited by Wapa; Jul 06, 2010 at 09:26 PM.
Oct 14, 2010, 01:43 PM
Learning to fly
Wapa's Avatar

Flight update I

So far has happened:

On saturday 5th, at around 8:30 p.m. I went over to the schoolyard at Burley and did some taxi tests at about half throttle. It was already dark. The plane accelerated, lifted its tail, then took off. Beautifully! I was (surprisingly) mature enough to throttle back at 1 ft of altitude, let it sink back to the ground and land. Which it did beautifully, too.

And this with two Mexicans standing next to me saying things like “come-on, fly it, what’s the problem, there is plenty of space”.

On Sunday Grace and I went to a place with plenty of space, though it had high trees on all sides:

Very nice installation, maintained by the park authority, full of Latinos and Asians who were crazy good with their RC helicopters and had some planes, too. Unfortunately for me it didn’t have the asphalt runway I expected. The lawn was mowed very short, but nothing for my 1” wheels.

After having seen it take off so nicely from concrete, I didn’t want to risk a hand launch. Also, the wind was picking up and I had already broken my training plane landing in the gusty winds.

Grace and I then moved on to the nearby RC shop, good for screws, propellers, glue and stuff but one could see that the actual planes / kits have clearly moved on-line). In front of it we found an interstate electric RC car race in full swing. Grace dug it. After that we went into the shop, and played a bit with a simulator, and I finally decided that I needed to invest the hundred bucks for the simulator, as my breaking-fixing-breaking routine is ancient compared to today’s break-a-hundred-planes-on-the-simulator-before-you-go-flying.

We bought some glue, too, and the foamie is fixed and ready to fly again. About one (1) of the 20 guys out at the flying field understood what’s behind building a plane like the one I’d like to maiden. The rest buys from China. But they fly much, much better than we did.
Oct 14, 2010, 02:07 PM
Learning to fly
Wapa's Avatar

Flight update II - the lucky day.

Did some simulator practice which has helped my confidence. These simulators are incredible. Nice also, that it plugs straight into the transmitter.

After going to the pumpkin patch on Sunday, we could squeeze in a real maiden from a corporate campus we spotted on the way home. There was a big empty parking lot, unfortunately full of trees, and an adjacent field, that was perfect, but curb and trees between the field and the parking lot. Also a flock of geese was dwelling in the middle of the field. You can tell the day didn’t exactly revolve around the maiden flight.

  • an interesting range test (trimmed ESC with the trim instead of the sub trim, and as I got out of range, the motor went on and the plane started taking off - quickly released the range test switch while running towards the plane to get within range, and indeed the propeller stopped - but remember, no brakes on this thing) and
  • a few tricky ROG tests on the parking lot (cracks in the asphalt made the rolling direction of the plane quite unpredictable) and
  • a broken propeller

I ventured into handlaunch on the field, as ROG from the parking lot onto the field was unrealistic. The sun had just gone down. Immediately after launch she rolled hard left and climbed steep. Could counteract in time, though, but to fly straight I needed about 30% of my Aileron and elevator. Trimming is trickier than at the time, when we still had trim wheels. With the switches it takes a long time. The plane going at 10-20 m/s and rolling and looping as I released the stick to do the trimming, it was quickly in an undefined position above the nearby forest, getting as close as 10m to the treetops, as I was trying to figure out what position it was in. I was lucky enough to think of throttling back just before it got lost in a forest, then I could control it again and glide back in a surprisingly straight path, heading to the middle of the field. I didn't dare touching anything as I didn't know how slow it can make turns and didn't want to accelerate and fly around either. Landing in the middle of the flock of geese, gear up. Geese moved out of the way. Still in 1 piece. The airframe seems to be pretty sturdy so far (broke the cowling in the very first taxi test in the Jewel parking lot, not mentioned above, and reinforced it with glass, but that's it).

Would have been terrible to lose it in a forest, broken and little chance to find it. When God saw that coming, she felt some merci and told me to throttle back. The whole flight was about 10s.

My theory is prop torque, a warped wing, or both, and possibly thrust angle not enough down/right. Have now shrunk in more washout on the right wing to stop the rolling. Theory of the plane flying straight without thrust is that it's prop torque OR since it's going slower, the V-shape of the wing keeps it straight even though the wing is warped.

Prop is 8x4 - I'm currently considering another flight with the same prop to find out more.
Last edited by Wapa; Oct 14, 2010 at 02:18 PM. Reason: Goose detail.
Oct 18, 2010, 07:59 AM
Registerd Beaver
Smokin' Beaver's Avatar
Good one Wapa.
Sounds like you did everything right. Low wing fighter planes are not easy to fly and it takes stick time.

Sounds like you identified all the possible things wrong as well.
Although logic tells you to correct them all, I'd try fixing one or two at a time and learn from there.
The glide test sounds like the key - smooth & straight?
So that tells me CG is aft and yes prop torque took it & screwed it up & left.

My changes to make first would be bring the CG forward more, makes it more docile in the flight mode but glide suffers (elevator control will fix that tho initially until you dial in the other changes).
Other change would be to go down a size in prop diameter by an inch.
When I fly a dodgy model for the first time I find a way to get height and put it into a slight nose up attitude, just before stall i take my hands off the sticks & tweak the trims, then when it recovers I do the same again until it's controllable.

Anyway - good luck for the next flight
- phil
Apr 04, 2011, 09:15 AM
Learning to fly
Wapa's Avatar

Finally a flight video

FW-190 Guillows 406 flight (0 min 35 sec)

Little family outing. Best I have for the moment. Too windy to perfectly trim and fine-tune, but we're getting closer. Nice wheel down landings, too - unfortunately not in the pic.
Last edited by Wapa; Apr 04, 2011 at 09:19 AM. Reason: Making the Youtube link work.

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