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Aug 22, 2010, 12:22 PM
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Build Log

F/A-18 90mm by Starmax

Two friends at the field (Art and Don) already have one of these, they fly pretty well, the only changes on theirs was the fan and 3x good sized metal gear servos for the retracts.

I got the F/A-18 airframe only (with plastic wemo-copy fan & mechanical retracts).

Built it Thursday and Friday night and flew it twice today (Sunday) .

I use three metal gear Hitec HS81 servos for the retracts & moved the twin elevator servos under the fins.

The mech. retracts on mine seem to work fine so far, after patiently taking care of all the little mechanical adjustments.

I use a separate beefy 800Ah JR receiver battery.

I tossed the included BananaFan (cheap plastic WeMoTec copy) and used a WeMoTec Midi pro instead with a $19 HC B36-55 kv=1800 inrunner motor on 6S 3300's :

These motors are now on their second year of flying in the Midi...

Mine weighs rtf on 6s 3000's (Turnigy 40C) 77.5 oz = 4.84 lbs = 2.20 kg , with ca. 1600W.

Guy H took these very nice inflight pictures with a Canon 7D. Thanks Guy

Last edited by Herb; Sep 01, 2010 at 07:22 PM.
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Aug 22, 2010, 01:10 PM
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A few more details ... WeMoTec 90mm MidiFan Pro fits right in:

Friends at the field reported the original chinese fan fragmented on their first or second flight , leaving plastic blade shrapnel embedded in the fuse.

I run this fan with an HC B55-36 kv=1800 motor (one year old) on 6S 40C 3300's:

The esc is a Jeti 80A opto with large heatsink.

Last edited by Herb; Aug 28, 2010 at 01:38 PM.
Aug 22, 2010, 01:53 PM ..
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How are the stock retracts?

Aug 26, 2010, 10:50 AM
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pic 18.5 kb and 16.0 kb,,, Sooo Swwweeet!........should add smoke-on!!!!!

Good Job Guy H!!!!!
Aug 26, 2010, 11:46 PM
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Got the 64mm and subsequent 70mm version of this plane when they were first released from Starmax ... every time I see a successful flight post about one of these 90mm versions, it just makes me want one that much more.
Aug 28, 2010, 01:27 PM
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Thanks for the comments ...

The stock retracts seem fine for now, clearly if you add more weight than envisioned by the designers (ie stock setup) then the gear will fail

It's best to fly this lightweight styrofoam plane at the weight it was designed for.

If you want to add power and weight, a different airframe (ie composite) would be more suitable.

There's now three of us at the field that have been flying this F/A-18, Art and Don for close to a year.

The stock retracts hold up just fine of you watch the weight and know how to land ... the Hornet glides right in like a ... glider .

The mains seem to work fine with two cheap metal gear servos (HS-81 or 85 or similar).

Don decided to put a retract servo on the nose gear instead (these are the special 180 degree servos with no endpoint adjustments) which he says took care of any fine mechanical adjustments.

My advice:

Replace the stock fan, keep the weight light and use the stock retracts (which look good and seem to work fine) with good sized metal gear servos!

Mine weighs rtf on 6s 3000's (Turnigy 40C) 77.5 oz = 4.84 lbs = 2.20 kg , with ca. 1600W.

Last edited by Herb; Aug 28, 2010 at 01:45 PM.
Sep 08, 2010, 01:44 PM
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... After a few flights I noticed the wings are definitely flexing, and so are the horiz stabs.

Will have to do someting about those, without destroying the nice paint & stickers (layer of laminating epoxy on wing bottom, maybe).

Other than that, it's a great flier. Needs a ton of elevator to get off the ground (maxed out epa on my tx).

My HS-82 MG still has trouble retracting the nose gear with the headwind blowing.

Getting tired of having to manouver to retract the nosegear , switched to a smaller lighter pair of foam wheels. We shall see...
Sep 12, 2010, 02:12 PM
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The Starmax / BananaFan is incidentally a shameless WeMoTec Midifan copy, but made out of cheap plastic.

Hence the frequent BananaFan explosions reported on RCG ...


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