Freewing 90mm F/A-18E Super Hornet build log, tips, tweaks, troubleshooting - Page 2 - RC Groups
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Oct 15, 2010, 06:52 PM
On Drugs

it does look kinda like a F-18's fatter sister.......

But man, when you take off the thrust servos, and whatever else you can that thing will fly really well!!!!
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Oct 15, 2010, 09:08 PM
Registered User
fredmdbud's Avatar
Mine was waiting at my door today, too. I'll bet there were quite a few people doing happy dances this evening ...

Update: The outer carton didn't seemed damaged, but when I opened it up, the box showed some damage (uh oh). When I lifted the fuselage up, there was an open crack at the intakes, and the area where the front gear doors are showed some crushing/bending
Last edited by fredmdbud; Oct 15, 2010 at 10:04 PM. Reason: update
Oct 15, 2010, 10:44 PM
I hate waiting for parts
Mike_Then's Avatar
Originally Posted by helivsFMX
It looks awesome!

You dont want thrust vectoring?
Yeah, the TV is neat but it doesn't do anything for me. I figured if I simply remove the servos and lock the nozzles in place with a screw or something, I'll not only save a little weight but also reduce the load on the BEC. It's just not for me. I'll have to see how easy it is to get to the servos.

Okay, got some work done tonight. I had to finish up my P-40 so that's why I got started late. The first part of the manual states to dry fit the wings and wing tubes into the fuselage, then glue them in. I found that the wing tubes didn't go fully into the fuselage but a couple of turns with a 3/16" drill bit fixed that. So while the epoxy was drying, I thought I'd update the thread.
Last edited by Mike_Then; Oct 15, 2010 at 11:11 PM.
Oct 15, 2010, 10:59 PM
Suspended Account
Looks like you will be ready tomorrow. Can you or some one show me a thrust test? Thanks, jack
Oct 15, 2010, 11:13 PM
I hate waiting for parts
Mike_Then's Avatar
Originally Posted by zach_dad
Looks like you will be ready tomorrow. Can you or some one show me a thrust test? Thanks, jack
I don't think I'll be ready tomorrow. The little things always slow me down. I'll be sure to video the maiden flight so hopefully that will tell you what you need about the thrust.
Oct 15, 2010, 11:22 PM
3d and EDF, some scale
MustangAce17's Avatar
got one in for a friend today,looks great but gear door latches were broken, I told HL to look at this and see if they can get them shipped with the doors closed

can't wait til monday to get my airframe,my best friend and I are each building one to fly formation etc,can u say dual flatspins?

I'm planning to use my Mega 22/30/ 2 on 5-6s and my Ice 100 esc
I'm very impressed at the size and look forward to flying her next week
Oct 15, 2010, 11:34 PM
Suspended Account
Originally Posted by Mike_Then
I don't think I'll be ready tomorrow. The little things always slow me down. I'll be sure to video the maiden flight so hopefully that will tell you what you need about the thrust.

Thankyou very much.. also if you do not mind when you do a power test can you video holding it in your hand with the nose straight up so I can see if it hoovers, fall backs, or trys to pull from your and.... remember straight up no angle. Thanks, jack
Oct 16, 2010, 12:52 AM
I hate waiting for parts
Mike_Then's Avatar
Got both wings glued on. Man, it's late. Enjoy the pics, I'm crashing for the night. Will post more tomorrow.
Oct 16, 2010, 10:47 AM
EDF Addict
Originally Posted by MustangAce17
got one in for a friend today,looks great but gear door latches were broken, I told HL to look at this and see if they can get them shipped with the doors closed
Same here......... mine came with 1 of the hooks that the string attaches to on the inside of the gear door broken with no string in sight, which leads me to believe it was packed this way. I would think the string would still be hanging from the hook on the other door? I'm not going to complain about should be easy enough to attach a string to the door with the broken hook. I also have a touchy green led light that keeps cutting out.......neither of these issues are a big deal.
Last edited by huggett; Oct 16, 2010 at 06:21 PM.
Oct 16, 2010, 11:14 AM
Registered User
Good to see a new build Mike on a new plane cant wait to see the finished product and the maiden keep up the great work!!!
Oct 16, 2010, 03:04 PM
I hate waiting for parts
Mike_Then's Avatar
Got a lot more work done this afternoon. Was chomping at the bit to get to the workshop but had some honey-do's to take care of first.

First I made my electrical connections for the wing. Pulled out the trusty dental floss to make sure the connectors don't come apart in the air. I neatly shoved them into the channels for the wire then covered them up with packing tape.

Next I got the elevators out of the box and dry-fitted everything. The two screws that hold the mounting plate into the wood seemed to not snug down to my satisfaction so I wicked some thin CA into the screw holes and then secured them. They still seem to be a bit wobbly but they do feel secure. Then I glued the foam covers in with hot glue.

While the hot glue gun was heating up, I glued on the nose cone with foam-safe CA. Didn't make too much of a mess but I could have been a little neater.

Next was to make the electrical connections for the vertical stabs and glue them into place. Very simple; tied the connectors together with more detal floss and glued them both into place. The epoxy is still drying but the plane is pretty much ready to go, with the exception of installing my receiver.

Further examination of the TV system looks to be easier to remove than I thought earlier. I will take the hatches off, remove the servos and wiring, and lock the nozzles in place. There are marks on the nozzles that I assume are to make them straight.

Enjoy the pics, will do some more work tonight/tomorrow and who knows, I may maiden it after all tomorrow.
Oct 16, 2010, 05:26 PM
"Aircraftus Fragmentum"
kydawg1's Avatar
I hope you do not have the same issues I found below.....Good thread here - great info.

Well I got my Freewing F18 from Hobby Lobby yesterday - built her last night and maidened her today. She flies OK....still some trimming to do and getting the TV squared away. I might just glue it at nominal. It is very sloppy. The left side TV nozzle has about 4mm play fore/aft and never allows the TV to set nominal.

The plane has great power -sounds awesome.
Gear is issues at all. 4 solid landings (on blacktop - not grass)

Here are the issues I have seen with this V1 of this bird:
1.) TV is sloppy (one nozzle is horrible - worst I have seen - not happy with this quality issue at all). Not sure what to do here.
2.) TV from factory was all messed up - HL please get FW to get the nominal mechanical setting figured out before install - pain in rear, but can be tuned.
3.) Fuse has 2mm gap along top bottom halve glue seam.....poor QC....concerned about strength.
4.) From shipping across the pond and drops along the way - front of fuselage has some stress cracks that I can tell yet.
5.) EDF balanace was way out....I changed to a Midi Rotor before maidem.
6.) From factory only 2 wires attached to motor - luckily it was just a banana connector that was undone - again - poor QC.
7.) Finally the red pin striping is coming off the paint.....what??? Plane has been out of the box for 24 hours.... looks like I will need to do something here too.

Overall the plane is OK. For the money to deal with all this BS.....kind of makes it less GOOD. If I were doing it again..........again get the ARF and do things right. Once again the Chinese factory is a big quality / craftsmanship hurdle. I hope Hobby Lobby reads this and passed these issues back to Freewing. People expect better quality for nearly $400. Things still need to get better. They might be petty in general....but the expectation for $400 is much greater than what was received.

Enough of my commentary....take it or leave it, this is what I found last night upon build and today upon maiden.

Now Go Fly.
Last edited by kydawg1; Oct 18, 2010 at 07:13 AM. Reason: typo
Oct 16, 2010, 11:34 PM
I hate waiting for parts
Mike_Then's Avatar
Thanks for the update Kydawg1. I had a few of your issues as well:

Well, the plane is just about ready to go. I finished installing everything and tomorrow morning before the maiden will be some minor things such as enlarging the battery compartment, setting neutral points for the control surfaces, etc. It was a quick build, even for someone as slow as me.

Once the glue for the vertical stabs was dry, I decided to disable the TV. It was simpler than I thought; the hard part was getting to the center servo (it was glued in the pocket pretty well). The TV nozzles seemed to be sloppy - like the previous poster mentioned - so I'm glad I decided to do without. I carefully removed the covers and simply pulled the servos out. I lined up the nozzles to center as best I could, and drilled two pilot holes into each nozzle. Secured with a couple of screws and voila, no TV. I saved the weight of three servos, four pushrods, and what appears to be three 24" extensions. I glued the covers back in place and it was done.

Next was to solder on some REAL connectors. I had to remove the ESC to so this and I'm glad I did... I found one of the bullet connectors connecting the motor to the ESC to be completely loose. Threw on some APP connectors and since the motor wires are so short (and I was too lazy to extend them), I used servo tape to hold at least the back end of the ESC into the radio compartment. For those that do use Deans and will be using two packs in series, the plane comes wired as such.

I ran the fan up on a 3s pack and my initial impression is 'meh'. Granted it seems to push A LOT of air - even on 3s - but vibrates a little and it isn't the smoothest-sounding fan I've ever heard. I was hoping it was the same fan that was in the Eurofighter as the ones I've seen in them are smooth. I'll certainly fly it as-is, but a change to a balanced, higher-quality fan may be in the future of this plane.

I then took the time to neaten up the wires as best I could and I installed one of my trusty Futaba FASST 617FS 2.4 GHz receivers. I powered up the system once making all of the connections and had no issues. All control surfaces worked (and in the proper direction, no less), and the fan spun in the correct direction once I reversed a pair of motor wires.

Cycled the gear a few times and they worked flawlessly. They sure do seem tough. The only issue I see is that the steering arm rubs the left-half gear door. I have to center the nose gear (steering) anyway so I'll just shave the arm a bit.

Now that I'm done running around the plane, I glued in the wingtip missile rails and the missiles to the rails. The instructions didn't mention a thing about them. I'm sure I would have bumped/broken them at some point so I waited to do them last.

Finally I checked my batteries. They will fit but I'lll have to hog out a little foam as I'm using slightly larger packs (3s 4000 x 2). The plane is a little nose-heavy but not by much. I prefer a nose-heavy plane anyway but I'll check it again once I get the batteries mounted properly.

Enjoy the pics and video; I've had enough for one day. I apologize for the shaking in the video; I was recording with one hand and operating the radio with the other. Barring any disasters, the maiden flight will be tomorrow after I do the following:
  1. Shorten the steering arm so it doesn't rub the gear door
  2. Enlarge the battery compartment
  3. Set up proper throws, dual-rates, etc.
  4. Set neutral points on all control surfaces.
  5. Line up nose gear steering.
  6. Check balance, amp draw, and range check.

DSCF1336.mpg (0 min 26 sec)
Last edited by Mike_Then; Oct 16, 2010 at 11:41 PM. Reason: Added checklist
Oct 17, 2010, 12:21 AM
Suspended Account
Show me the thrust test if you can please... Im trying to decide what to put in it..
Oct 17, 2010, 11:48 AM
I hate waiting for parts
Mike_Then's Avatar
Okay, the problems have been fixed, control throws set, batteries charged, and car is packed. Will be heading to the field shorty. A couple of notes from this morning:
  1. It was the retract steering arm that was rubbing the doors, not the servo arm. I carefully cut away a little bit of the inside door for the arm to have plenty of clearance.
  2. The clevises are weak; I broke two of them while adjusting the neutral points of the control surfaces. If the clevises show even the slightest sign of stress (a white mark that is much brighter than the rest of the clevis), replace it. I will most likely replace them all with higher-quality clevises in the near future.
  3. I only had to slightly modify the battery compartment to fit my two 3s 4000 mAh packs. If this plane is a keeper, I'll just buy a 6s 4000 or 6s 5000 pack rather than worring with strapping two 3s packs together.
  4. It balances almost perfectly with two 3s 4000 mAh packs.
  5. I'm wondering if I have enough throw (using the manual's recommended throws) since I don't have TV. I'll soon find out.

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