It was only a few short years ago when I bought a model plane from Nitroplanes/Raiden Tech/Hobby Partz. It was, until now, the first and last transaction I'd ever done with the company. Shipping was fast but customer service, to put it charitably, left a lot to be desired.
My, how times have changed.
The company, with its one-on-one presence here on these boards, not to mention the fact they've become a major supporter and advertiser, has made an effort to bolster its image and customer support while continuing to offer hyper-affordable hobby products. They've managed to do so here in the US with prices rivaling overseas hobby distributors.
I've had the pleasure in the days leading up to the creation of this review of dealing with Nitroplanes' Darryl Tran. Helpful and professional, Darryl and I swapped a number of private messages in pinpointing what I'd need to review one of his Exceed RC Rocket Series outrunner motors.
As luck would have it, I had the perfect subject for one of those motors in the guise of a now-discontinued E-flite P-47 Thunderbolt park flyer which had never been crashed, but had once suffered some damage to the tail and wing after being blown off of a bench at my flying club. An attempt to take off from grass resulted in a noseover which tore the motor mount stick loose and a few minutes too long in the back of a hot car wrinkled the edges of the cowl. It was all minor stuff which was easily repaired and it's still in very nice condition with minimal "hangar rash" and terrific scale looks augmented by some Robart simulated landing gear struts.
It was originally set up with the recommended 4200Kv E-flite inrunner, 66-tooth spur gear and the supplied heavy-duty gearbox. It's a decent setup with gobs of torque and it puts the P-47 in the air immediately and with almost no effort. However, it's somewhat noisy, inefficient when compared to an outrunner and propeller replacement requires drilling out the recommended E-flite 11x7 electric propeller and attaching it to the output shaft via an adapter. Compared to my other electric models which are exclusively outrunner-powered, the P-47 was a bit on the pokey side, so it spent most of its time in the closet. A flying buddy of mine converted his P-47 "beater" to outrunner power and it simply flew circles around mine, not to mention the fact that it's quieter.
Given this inspiration, my plan was to replace this setup with an Exceed RC motor which matched the Kv rating and physical dimensions of the recommended Park 450 as closely as possible. While the P-47 is no longer available from E-flite, its roughly one-meter wingspan is a good indicator of the size of similar current models from ParkZone, E-flite, Electrifly, GWS and others, all of which may benefit from this motor.
Sit back and relax while I perform a "heart transplant" in the P-47 with the powerful and affordable 86MA09 outrunner.
Will this motor take this model from "closet queen" back to the top of the "A-list?"
Let's find out.
Despite the low purchase price, two things immediately sprang to mind when I first laid eyes on the 86MA09. One, this motor looks for all the world like one priced at $50 or $60 rather than a mere $16. The blue anodizing on the frame and the polished chrome endbell were flawlessly finished and topped with an Exceed RC sticker while the motor leads were nice and stout with 3mm bullet connectors pre-soldered and ready to be plugged in.
The other thing I noticed was the generous hardware package. Among the niceties were female bullet connectors and shrink wrap tubing, a beautifully made and finished aluminum cross mount, an equally beautifully machined propeller shaft and spinner and various other bits of hardware which pretty much cover any possible mounting setup this motor can be used for.
It almost seemed impossible that a motor that looked this good at first glance could be sold for so little money, but it is. Whatever deal Hobby Partz has with Exceed RC is a good one. Encouraging too was a discussion I had over lunch with some flying buddies. They were all familiar with the Exceed RC brand and had a lot of positive feedback about it.
Let's take a look at some similarities and differences between the 86MA09 and the benchmark E-flite Park 450:
Exceed RC 86MA09-2215-920Kv
|Non Load Current:||0.9A|
|Prop Range:||Not stated|
|Battery:||Up to 4S lithium polymer|
|Weight (net/gross):||60/105 grams|
|Maximum Burst Current:||28A|
|Available From:||Hobby Partz|
E-flite Park 450
|Non Load Current:||.70A @ 8V|
|Prop Range:||9x6 to 11x3.8 slow flyer or 10x5 to 12x6 electric|
|Battery:||2S-3S litihum polymer or 6–10 Ni-Cd/Ni-MH|
|Maximum Burst Current:||18A for five seconds|
According to Exceed RC's claims, not only does the 86MA09 compare favorably to the Park 450, the price really stands out. It's literally one-third the price of the Park 450. That said, the so-called proof is in the pudding. What will eventually matter is whether or not the 86MA09 will actually perform rather than compare favorably and do so for a long time.
Here's some specs on our test subject:
|Wing Area:||260 sq in (16.8 sq dm)|
|Recommended Flying Weight:||21-26 oz. (595-737g)|
|Servos:||E-flite S75 analog micro (EFLRS75)|
|Transmitter:||Planet TS80 2.4GHz five-channel park flyer|
|Receiver:||Planet six-channel 2.4GHz park flyer|
|Battery:||Zippy 2200mAh 3S 20C lithium-polymer|
|ESC:||Motrolfly FM-30 brushless|
In order to install an Exceed RC outrunner in this or any other model with a stick mount, an E-flite stick mount adapter (EFLM1915) or equivalent is required. The P-47 came with one of those mounts and while I still had the mount itself on hand, I didn't have the proper hardware and spacers needed to mount the motor. A quick call to Ground Control Hobbies in Yucca Valley, California solved that problem; I had the new mount in hand by the end of the week. The P-47's manual states that roughly 15mm of the stick be trimmed back in order to accomodate the Park 450.
In the case of the 86MA09, the shaft and therefore a means to attach a prop via a collet faces the rear of the motor. A collet is provided, but I wanted to use the enclosed endbell-mounted prop shaft anyway and mounting the motor with the shaft facing forward would have been impossible without disassembling the motor and reassembling it with the shaft reversed. Anyone who's ever tried taking apart an outrunner with the thought of doing so knows that an outrunner's shaft is a tight press fit and will not come apart without special tools.
It took a bit of doing to trim the stick inside of the motor compartment with a Dremel; despite careful measuring and fitting of both the motor and cowl, I still managed to slice a bit too much off of the stick. Still, there's plenty of stick holding the mount in place and all that needed any further trimming was the simulated cylinder array at the front of the cowl. Mine was already slightly damaged from the noseover which snapped off the original mounting stick, trimming it to clear the propeller shaft actually improved its appearance.
It's also considerably lighter than the gearbox arrangement, requiring an ounce of Great Planes stick-on lead weights to get the P-47 to balance with a Zippy 2200mAh 3S 20C li-po tucked under the canopy and the prop mounted up front less the cowl.
A bench test of the motor less the prop had the motor spinning backwards, but once I swapped a couple of leads and tried again, all quite naturally was well. The 86MA09 and the already-installed Motrolfly FM-30 ESC came alive with a powerful, smooth whir with excellent throttle response past about 1/4 throttle with what appeared to be plenty of power. I attribute the jump in power more to the trim settings on the little Planet park flyer transmitter than to anything else.
Reattaching the cowl with double-sided foam tape and installing the new APC 11x7 SF prop completed this simple swap. Unfortunately, my attempt to snug down the tiny mounting screw provided with the mount resulted in the head of the screw breaking off. I had to remount the motor a tiny bit further back which resulted in the prop coming into slight contact with part of the cowl. I solved that issue by using the supplied thrust washer as a spacer.
A real-time check of amperage, wattage and RPMs at full throttle showed 19.65 amps of draw, 195 watts of power and 6120 RPM at the 11x7 prop. The RPMs seemed to be a bit on the low side even if the electrical numbers showed no real strain.
If there's any one person on these boards who knows the mysterious and arcane numbers surrounding electric flight, it's Ken Young of SubsonicPlanes.com in Omaha, the gentleman from whom I'd purchased the Motrolfly ESC. Ken has provided untold numbers of motors, batteries and speed controls for use in reviews of electric models and his expertise is nearly unmatched. He said that my numbers were basically A-OK and that a 12x6 might be a better choice; I chose the 11x7 based on E-flite's recommendation and for a bit more ground clearance.
Those are the kinds of words I like reading.
Now to see how this setup will work in the real world.
The test of the reborn P-47 would take place in a different and somewhat unique venue than in past reviews.
Bob Feskanich is a retired Vietnam War veteran and fellow hobbyist whom I had the pleasure to befriend shortly after my wife and I moved to our present home. Bob is the quintessential Mojave Desert "desert rat" who, along with his wife Mary Lou and three big, friendly dogs, enjoys living on forty wide-open acres (16 hectares) east of Twentynine Palms, California. So remote is Bob's home that a sign on nearby eastbound California State Route 62 warns about no services for the next 100 miles (160km)! So, when one has forty acres, several R/C model planes and an early 1950s Ford construction tractor with a front-end loader at one's disposal, the natural result is not one but two well-graded dirt runways, the uses of which are determined by wind direction and even a wind sock.
The entire Southern California desert region had been plagued by day after day of high winds for more than six weeks straight, delaying this and other reviews. When a break finally came, I called Bob who immediately invited me out to his home.
Winds were fairly calm when I arrived, but the direction kept shifting wildly. Bob and I agreed that it was now or never, so I assembled the P-47, did a range check on the newly installed Planet radio system and carried the plane out to the runway.
Since I was taking off from dirt, the best way to get the model airborne was to feed in a bit of up elevator and punch the throttle.
Doing so resulted in one of the most fun takeoffs I'd ever done. As with the original E-flite setup, the P-47 was airborne almst immediately, but it was a lot faster than it had ever been once in the air. It became clear that my original assessment of too few RPMs was incorrect.
It needed some aileron and elevator trim to be sure, but once trimmed, the P-47 was a model transformed.
Cruising speed on the old setup was at or near full throttle. Most times, it was full throttle with the gearbox setup just to keep things even reasonably interesting. Not so with the 86MA09 under the cowl. It cruised effortlessly at half- to three-quarter-throttle with some serious speed on tap at full throttle.
Even the handling was better. Gone was the slow, pokey control response. The extra speed and reduced mass (despite the bit of extra weight I used to correct the CG) turned the Jug into a fast, nimble and incredibly fun-to-fly model. It was almost as if I were flying a brand new model on its maiden flight, so different was the feel.
Like British weather, Mojave Desert/Sonoran Desert winds are "predictably unpredictable" and as they increased, I got ready to land after about four minutes of genuine fun. Attempting to land became almost laughable for no sooner did I line up against the wind, it would do a 180-degree shift in the opposite direction. Once again, the 86MA09 proved its mettle by immediately pulling the little Jug back into the air with each aborted landing attempt. I finally brought it in with a sharp stall turn near the edge of the runway and eased it in before the winds could shift again. I can honestly say that I might never have been able to pull off these manuevers on the old setup.
Of course! This is an excellent and easily installed upgrade in any model, new or old, trainer or advanced. An old electric trainer with the 86MA09 or other Exceed RC motor of the correct size will likely turn it into a fun sport model with little effort.
The Exceed RC Rocket Series 86MA09 from HobbyPartz.com is one of the most satisfying upgrades at the lowest possible cost I've ever performed. It transformed a little-used model into a totally up-to-the-minute sport scale flyer and it did so with ease. It's true that any outrunner of this type installed in the P-47 or similar model would be easy to install and would upgrade the model to more modern specifications, but the cost of a name-brand motor in an older model can't always be economically justified and so it was with my P-47. Even with shipping and California sales tax where applicable, the cost is still considerably less than a name brand. Time will tell how well this motor - and its bearings - will hold up, but for now, I simply couldn't be happier with the swap and the results.
That having been said, I would be somewhat hesitant to use this motor in an expensive ARF or handbuilt model. The extra cost of a name-brand motor is more than justified for such a model. However, there may be no better way than this or other motor from Exceed RC to resurrect an older model or to get a new, inexpensive "fun flyer" in the air. I'd hoped that my old foamie would return to the "A-list" at the top of this review. I'm proud to report that it has.
Two thumbs way, way, WAY up for this motor; there are no more excuses for not flying that old model with the obsolete or burned-out motor any longer.
The usual thanks are in order, beginning with Darryl Tran of Nitroplanes.com/HobbyPartz.com for making the Exceed RC brand available for review. Bob Feskanich deserves a special and heartfelt round of thanks for the generous use of his private R/C airstrips. Ken Young of SubsonicPlanes.com is a true genius when it comes to electric power and I can't thank him enough for yet another round of number-crunching. Eddie Tucker of Ground Control Hobbies in Yucca Valley, California is my go-to guy for the things I inevitably need to complete these reviews and last, but certainly not least, RCGroups administrator Angela Haglund for her tireless work with a myriad of manufacturers and distributors.
You need look no farther than RCGroups.com for the absolute latest on all facets of the great hobby of radio control. Enjoy your stay here, feel free to look around and thank you for stopping by to read about this terrific little outrunner!
The 86MA09 has a lot going for it, including:
As for the minuses:
I now have about 50 flights on the 860KV 145G Rocket motor. Its still performing well. Below is my initial review of the motor when I got it.
I was looking for a replacement motor for my Extreme Flight 48" 300EXP. The Torque motors are expensive. This one had the right KV and weight.
After I cut off part of the shaft out the back, the difference in weight between the Torque motor and this one was only 1 gram. It fit perfectly. The holes for the mount are the same and the cowling was spot on.
This motor comes with larger bullets and a larger output shaft. I was getting 540W with the Torque motor on 4S with a 12X6 prop. This motor produces 646W with a 4S and a 12x6. I put 6 flights on it today and it was more powerful....heres the kicker. The motor came down cool....not even warm. The battery was a little warmer, but still OK. I was amazed.
The specs say that this motor is good for only 3S, but thats because they havent been tested. I looked at the weight and KV and knew it could handle 4S.
For a $20 motor, I was blown away. One other note...when I cut off the excess shaft, it took longer than normal. The shaft is harder than any Ive cut in the past.
Why was the Exceed 920 Kv tested against the E-Flite Park 450 890 Kv motor?
If it was tested against the E-Flite Park 400 920 Kv motor (same weight and Kv as the Exceed) it would have revealed that the Idle Current (Io), and Resistance (Ri) are actually better than the Exceed's.
That's a good point. I mentioned early on that it would be a review of the closest thing possible to the E-flite factory recommendation rather than an "apples to apples" comparison. This turned out to be the closest match that I could find. Sorry if I wasn't clear on that point.
"A real-time check of amperage, wattage and RPMs at full throttle showed 19.65 amps of draw, 195 watts of power and 6120 RPM at the 11x7 prop. The RPMs seemed to be a bit on the low side even if the electrical numbers showed no real strain."
The reason the rpm's were on the low side is that at this point, the motor was running at about 67% efficiency, turning fully 1/3 of your input watts into heat.
Here's something to be careful of, though. During your test, the battery voltage sagged to 9.9 volts, which is actually low enough to kick in the LVC of your ESC. I'm surprised it didn't.
This is an indication of a battery that has seen it's better days since it was only being asked to deliver 19-20 amps of current. If you were to put a new battery in the plane, capable of supplying that motor what it was trying to pull, the motor will pull lots more than that 19-20 amps, and run at an even lower efficiency than 67%. Which means that even more heat will be generated inside the motor windings. And this is not good for motors. A fresh 3s Li-Po, not suffering that much voltage sag, and an APC 11x7SF prop might just fail before it ever gets back to the ground, depending on how hard it is flown.
One last VERY important point. An APC Slow Fly prop has a maximum safe rpm of 65,000/ prop diameter.
65,000 / 11" = 5900 rpm
I wouldn't use an 11" prop on a freshly charged 3s Li-Po, as the rpm will be up past that max safe rpm that the APC recommends.
Just some things to kick around for ya...
Chuck, you da man. I knew those numbers didn't make a lot of sense, which is why I checked with Subsonic Planes to see if Ken could do his Motocalc magic against what my Super Whatt Meter was telling me. No prop range was provided with the motor (no documentation at all, in fact) so the decision was based on what E-flite recommended for the slower motor.
That battery was in fact an older one and it has since been put to pasture. The new ones I'd ordered hadn't yet come in. The test flight was on a new pack.
Put a Gens Ace battery in there and she'll come to life. I've got the largest Rocket motor, the 1130kv version, powering my Carbon Z Yak on 3s with a 12x6 APC E prop. Pulls almost 700 watts with a fresh 30c 2200 and 950 with a 13x6.5. Ran it that way for a while but it was really hard on my lesser batteries. Switched back to the 12x6 and don't think the planes performance suffered much at all. I'm reallly liking the Gens Ace batteries.
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