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Nov 22, 2011, 06:25 AM
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R. Montiel's Avatar
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Introducing my new Fascination

Hi everybody, at last I have ready a new bird in my FPV fleet. I have been working on it for about two weeks. The setup is similar to my old Grafas, actually they share the same fuselage. I wanted to keep the setup unchanged because the performance in the Grafas was really good.

The only difference between these gliders is the wing. The wing span in the Fascination is 3.6 m. and in the Grafas is 3 m. and it is built in foam core and balsa sheeting, even the airfoil is the same the MH 32.

I was surprised in the maiden flight because the flight characteristics were different respect Grafas, the flight commands response was slower and the stability was greater. The gliding speed increases from 50 to 60 Km/h.

The Rangevideo G5 Autopilot/IMU handles it accurately, the extra stability in the glider is clearly shown, it tracks good straight lines and in thermal circling is almost turbulent immune. It is easier to turn lifts than the Grafas.
The most important change in the setup is the RVOSD version, this time the gen 5 is IMU equipped and at last I can go without the damn IR sensors.
I feel really confident about the IMU and the "return home" mode in this autopilot. The IMU is working great.

The total weight is 3600 g. with a full battery load of 10400 mAh. this is 400 g. heavier than the recommended weight.
400 g. is just the weight of one of the two 5200 mAh. 3S battery packs.

If I fly in a good weather/lift day I install both packs for a total of 10400 mAh. In the other hand if the conditions are poor I install only one pack and I save 400 g. of ballast.

In fact, in gliders ballast is needed when you try to go for a long range flight, the extra weight is only negative when you try to climb in thermals, it gets harder, but using +10š flaps and patience it wouldnīt be an issue even in full balllast.

After some testing and configuration flights I was able to achieve a long distance trip. The Fascination spent 4 hours soaring and overflying the mountains north of Madrid and reaching the target at 30 km. out. In the way back home I turned on the Autopilot and I focused on the OSD numbers to finally calculate a gliding ratio of 16:1 at an airspeed of 65 km/h. (not bad for a model glider).

This is the complete setup:

Model: Fascination Top Model CZ, 3.6 m. span. (16:1 glide ratio @ 55 km/h.).
Motor: AXI 2820/14.
Prop: Aeronaut foldable 13x6,5.
ESC: Jeti 44 adv.
Battery: 2 x Thunder Power LIPO 3S 8000 mah.
-Wing: 4 x Hitec HS 125MG
-Elevator: 1x Graupner DS368
-Rudder: Standard microservo.
-Camera pan: 180š miniservo.
FPV camera: Pixim DX 201.
OSD: Range Video Gen 5 (with autopilot).
RC TX: Thomas Scherrer LRS (13 dB.Yagi antenna).
RC RX: Thomas Scherrer LRS 12 ch. V 4.02 two dipole antenna).
Transmiter: Graupner MC24.
Video TX: 1.3 Ghz. 850 mW. (SPW antenna).
Video RX: Lawmate 1.2 Ghz. (12 db. heliaxial antenna).
Logger: SM Modellbau GPS Logger.

I enclose some pictures of this beautiful glider. More updates and modifications will come shortly.

Best Regards
Roberto Montiel
Last edited by R. Montiel; Mar 14, 2013 at 11:05 AM.
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Nov 22, 2011, 06:45 AM
Registered User
Nice to see your progress here R. Montiel.
You now have all you need to break your own record! Good luck!
Nov 22, 2011, 07:47 AM
The Flying Circus
ommadawn's Avatar
Good to see you back Rob. I heard a rumour you lost your Grafas. Sorry to hear that. What happened?
Nov 22, 2011, 01:21 PM
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R. Montiel's Avatar
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Yes I lost my Grafas last summer . I was testing my RVOSD gen 5 and the horizon indicator (AHI) didnīt look good but after a while I couldnīt suffer to stay at home during an amazing thermals day (big mistake) so I went far away and when I was around 20 km out I noticed a fail safe in the TLRS, the return home autopilot engaged but the IMU wasnīt working ok and that led the airplane to a deep spiral dive to the ground. I couldnīt recover the radio link because the plane lost inmediately the altitude and at 20 km the altitude is essential.

This IMU unit was defective and Rangevideo replaced for a new one inmediately. I learnt the lesson and now I donīt get far away unless everything is working absolutely perfect.
Nov 22, 2011, 02:11 PM
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R. Montiel's Avatar
Thread OP
Hi again

For a long time I have been thinking about testing solar cells in my gliders because they spend long time exposed under the sun and there is lots of energy out there waiting for someone to take it. After some hard internet research finally I decided to do it and this is the result.

As you can see in the photos I have installed some solar cells (72) on top of the central wing to help the batteries in the FPV/RC equipment consumption; that it is around 800-900 mA. in motor off condition.

When I fly long range in excellent thermal lift conditions I can spend 6 or 7 hours soaring with motor power off. If there is a continuous consumption as mentioned above you can imagine that I drain most of the batteries, in this case would be around 6-7 Ah in a total capacity battery of 10.4 Ah. If the thermal lift conditions become poor when the glider is very far away it would be hard to bring it back home using motor because the battery would be almost drained.

Thatīs why I thought about installing solar cells, because they assume most of the continuous consumption except the motor, of course. So if I fly in a sunny day I could get the glider far away keeping the batteries almost full all the time, that would permit a safer return home with the motor on from very far away.

I will post more technical details shortly.
Nov 22, 2011, 02:36 PM
Registered Loon
Blackrat's Avatar
awesome, look forward to your tests
Nov 22, 2011, 02:46 PM
Registered User
Originally Posted by R. Montiel View Post
Hi again

For a long time I have been thinking about testing solar cells in my gliders because they spend long time exposed under the sun and there is lots of energy out there waiting for someone to take it. After some hard internet research finally I decided to do it and this is the result.
This is so frikkin awesome I almost can't believe its true =)
I read your first post when I had a break at work and my first thought when I saw your glider was solar cells! =)

Very cool project, subscribed.
Nov 22, 2011, 03:30 PM
Registered User
What an amazing bird! I feel embarrassed by my Art-Tech Diamond 2500 now.
Nov 22, 2011, 03:57 PM
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R. Montiel's Avatar
Thread OP
Thanks for your comments.

These are the solar cells technical data:

Per cell:
Dimensions: 3 x 1 inches
Voltage: 0.5 V.
Int: 580 mA.
Power: 0.218 W.

This is the website where I purchased them:

Full panel:

36S2P= 72 cells.
If we weald 36 cells in series the voltage rises to 18 V. and when we assemble another set of 36S and put both together in parallel we get double intensity; 1.16 A.

In the first test in a sunny day and well oriented panel the voltage measured reached 20 V. and the charging current to the batteries was almost of 1 A. That sounds good.

In the next update I will go through the Lipo battery onboard charger installed to manage the energy supplied by the solar panel.

Best Regards
Roberto Montiel
Nov 22, 2011, 08:05 PM
Registered User
Outstanding!!!! Roberto
Nov 23, 2011, 02:24 AM
Registered User
Why would you need 18-20V to charge 3s = 12.6V maximum ?
Nov 23, 2011, 02:54 AM
Team White Llama!
gundamnitpete's Avatar
Originally Posted by RENATOA View Post
Why would you need 18-20V to charge 3s = 12.6V maximum ?
most likely, he shot for more than 12.6 peak, so that with less sun, he still makes 12.6
Nov 23, 2011, 03:47 AM
Registered User
Probably... not sure also how much this voltage variation with plane banking, easy to find with a telemetry system, using a cheap one as Frsky is enough for this job.
Nov 23, 2011, 03:56 AM
Registered User
What is the weight of one cell and all cells together? Nice project
Nov 23, 2011, 04:08 AM
Registered User
He wrote in his first post about solar, total is less than 100 grams.

From the site he pointed, you can find that a 6*6 cell is 6 grams, so his 1*3 single cell should be... 6*3 / 6*6 = 0.5 grams. 72 cells make 36 grams, the rest is tabbing and wirring.
The width is 0.2mm, think to eggs shell to have an idea how fragile are they.

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