HK Specter 1800 - Page 26 - RC Groups
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Dec 21, 2012, 02:33 PM
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The Geronimo is intriguing. If it does show up at the U.S. warehouse I would be tempted myself but I would like to see more reviews. I darn near ordered a Trendy when it first arrived and now it's sounding like a dog. Plus, I'm pretty sure I would have to do a major recovering job on a Geronimo if I want my aged eyes to see it at altitude.

If you do go with a Specter I don't think batteries are really that critical. I've used them as light as 69grams and as heavy as 160grams and it really doesn't make too much difference in performance. My favorite batteries are the Zippy 1600mah. At 116 grams they give me some room to slide them around to adjust the CG and will give me around 8 climbs over a flight that lasts an hour. I like to move the CG forward about 3-5mm when the winds are over about 10mph but the same effect can be had by going to the 160gram 2200mah battery.
Last edited by peterlngh; Dec 21, 2012 at 02:38 PM.
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Dec 22, 2012, 08:00 AM
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Did my 6th and 7th flight this morning. Still learning to fly it. I have being flying extensively the past 10 years but do not know much about flying a sailplane. I tried diving it. It really is no hotliner or warmliner. The airfoil is just NOT appropriate and the wing is too long. It was designed as a sailplane that will cover a lot of ground and yet circle well for a thermal.
Dec 23, 2012, 07:24 PM
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One definitely wants to stay away from high G-forces, YEAP, but she will attain a fairly impressive speed. I got out for some winter flying yesterday. All the lift was low to the ground so I used the motor more than usual so I did some aerobatics and low passes. It gets going fairly fast in a power off glide but it doesn't retain speed very well at a little under 800 grams. I forgot to bring my 2200mah batteries so I have yet to see how much energy retention the extra 50 grams will buy. I also have 100 grams of lead shaped to use as ballast. It looks like the temperature is going to be well below 0C for the next few days so flight tests will have to wait.
Dec 26, 2012, 08:11 PM
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The 2200mah batteries really help with energy retention, guys! It still isn't a warmliner and one shouldn't try sharp, high-speed, maneuvers but a little extra weight really extends those high-speed passes. I think I'll "bite the bullet" and stick 6 ounces of lead at the CG the next good flying weather I get. I'm starting to think that this airframe would rather go heavy and fast than light and slow.
Dec 29, 2012, 05:28 AM
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Did my 8th and 9th flight at 10am this morning. A Hawk came by and showed where a thermal was and I followed him. The Specter can turn tightly without falling out of the sky. That was about as much fun I had with it so far. Still learning to fly it. It cannot fly hands off. I constantly have to quickly stab or pull the elevator to get a good glide path. Still trimming it and the coins have all being taken out.
Jan 07, 2013, 09:51 PM
I promise, just ONE more order
CSI's Avatar
I finally got deeper into putting my Specter together this past weekend. Looks like it might take a bit longer than I had planned for though.
My setup is the Sonic Electric SE2820-1050 I linked to earlier plus 2 EMAX ES08MA servos in the fuselage plus 2 HK555 low profile wing servos on the ailerons. These little metal geared servos fit pretty well in the fuselage...short little buggers!

Anyhow....I found some pretty bad glasswork inside the fuselage. The worst was at the wing leading edge attachment. The glass inside this area was all separated, just stips of glass sort of looped like a horseshoe across from side to side, open air along the bridge across where the L.E. pins insert. Those pins would have tore right through the thin paint shell?! The same at the trailing edge, just not as bad. One of the nuts for the wing bolts had already fallen out. Funny how they installed the nuts staggered, one further forward than the other. I drilled out the hole a bit and got them even'd up and now re-glassed that area solid. I will try to get the L.E. area done tonight.

Next issue: I figured it was a good time to see if the wing would mount ok. Found the slot WAY too tight and the L.E. would not slip into the slot in the fuselage where the pins should go. I started sanding down this area and ended up making the balsa sheet too thin in a couple of places on the top. Now I am glassing the center section. I spent hours last night trying to get glue into this area but the spars, ribs, etc makes this front section totally blocked off. There isn't any way to get glue to flow into the leading edge areas at all. I finally had to cut little holed through the bottom sheeting and run some CA wicks down inside each little area to get glue in there. I have the sheeting firmed up pretty well now, so glassing should finish it off. Now the problem is going to be if the glassing makes it too thick again to fit into the L.E. slot? This is definitely starting to be some work!

Last but not least....I also found some of the hinge material to be so tight as to be unusable. I tried heating, bending, pulling, name it....they were just attached too tightly. Soooooo, I had to strip all the covering and start over. I am loosely copying one of the passerx schemes. Luckily I have plenty of experience with iron on coverings, balsa work, etc.

Yes, I'm a bit frustrated, but determined she will fly great in the end.

OK, FINAL last tidbit.......I was ordering some odds and ends from Tower Hobbies last night when I lost all control of my mouse pointer finger. It came across the Cyclops ARF and wouldn't let go. The mouse pointer attached itself to the buy now button like a starving leach. Before I knew it, I found I have a Cyclops power glider coming in the mail. What could I do? I had no control.
I need an AA meeting of some sorts?
A man can only be so strong..............
Jan 07, 2013, 10:37 PM
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Good ol' Chinese quality control. I found the glass work on mine was very good and was able to fit the leading edge, even after glassing, by just sanding off the gelcoat in a couple spots. It sure would be nice if we could convince them to make sure things are built as designed even if they have to charge a few percent more. But? It sounds like you're getting it sorted out and I think and hope you will be pleased with the performance.

Jan 07, 2013, 10:54 PM
JimNM's Avatar
Cyclops anything like a calypso? Once you get this one flown, all the hard work will be forgotten.
Jan 08, 2013, 03:05 AM
I promise, just ONE more order
CSI's Avatar
Sorry about that....the pain meds were kicking in! Yes, it's the Calypso. I have read pretty good things about it and needed a more "standard floater" in my hanger. I've got my Siren hotliner and this Specter for fast cruising, then the Calypso for just put-putting around the field. My old woody Spirit sailplane flies like crap, so it doesn't count!

Got some more work done tonight with the re-glassing and she's looking pretty good. Hope I can start recovering her by Thursday.

I'll keep you all posted...........
Jan 08, 2013, 01:02 PM
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I think you'll like them both, Ken. I know I do. There are a couple things to watch out for with the Calypso. The biggest is that they got the tail incidence a bit wrong. Be very careful on the first launches because there's a 90% chance it will try to dive in. It's best to have someone else launch it until you get the elevator trim dialed in. The next biggest is that the motor mount could be stronger and a few people have had their motors loosen up on them. Make sure that the glue joints are adequate and the bolts are tight.

Jan 09, 2013, 08:07 AM
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Too bad that you also found quality issues. Perhaps we are both unlucky?

Cheap is one thing and is a important factor. I'll wish that the manufacturer had put in the extra 5%. It would make the world of difference. For me, the Specter is a dream come true. I have being flying for ages and had always wanted to own one of the better ships. It wasn't cheap for me... and it was heart breaking to find the plane was not perfect. I am knowledgeable to know when something is not right too. If only......

Do not give up. I hope to read of your maiden soon.

Feb 03, 2013, 06:28 AM
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Nunni1's Avatar
Hello all,
After trashing my easy glider after 2 years of flight, I then bought the Ask 21 from HK. It flew great for about 10 flights but to assemble it at the flying field took about 15 mins which was a real pain. So I've had it with foam. I had some credit at hk so I saw the specter and bought it - then searched RCGroups to see If I'd bought a pig - should of done that first realy!
Anyhow, this thread set me at rest. I loved gliding and I'm looking forward to my maiden this spring I dont want to go fast with it - for going fast I've got my Parkzone stryker.
The reason for this post is to share with you my servo sollution. I spent the last couple of nights looking for a way to get two metal gear corona servos in and running effectively. See attached photo.
The next problem on my list is the wing mount.
Problem 1. The carbon fiber wing joint is too long (is it me or HK quality control?)
Problem 2. I found that the leading edge of the wings don't fit properly into the reses in the fuse. Do I need to grind down the fuse at this point?
Problem 3. Do I need to put metal pins in the leading edge of the wings that then fit in the holes in the fuse? (No parts came big enough for the pre- drilled holes in the fuse.)
Problem 4. Do I need to drill holes in the wings for the mounting screws that then screw into the fuse?
Any sugestions would help
Thank you in advance.
Feb 03, 2013, 07:51 AM
Registered User

- My CF was of the correct length
- On mine the length My leading edge fitted just fine.
- Yes the metal pins fit into the leading edge of the wings. The protruding pins face downwards
- Yes you will need to drill holes in the wings to mount to the fuselage. this has to be done with precision. You will also need to back the trailing edge with 1/32 " airplane ply. This was not provided in the kit.

I would also recommend you fit a metal wire into the wing root to insert on the other wing. This would prevent the wing from rotating when assembled.

The QC of this kit is poor. The wood selection was terrible on mine. One side of the wing was heavier than the other. One side of the stab was thicker than the other. Good luck.
Feb 03, 2013, 10:27 PM
Registered User
Hi, Nunni.

Yes. It's a $100.00 glider and there are some QC issues but, once you get things sorted out, I think you'll love the performance. My wings and tail are of consistent quality and I was able to balance mine with two U.S. pennies in the servo bay. I had to work in the hinges with an iron and some more thin CA but my biggest QC issue was the function of the pushrods. I was able to make them work with a little grinding and oil but they still need replacing. I was able to make my fuselage servos fit, barely, but I plan on doing the same mod as you when I get some metal gear servos and new pushrods.

1. My joiner was the right length but I had to sand the outside a bit. I think I would try a light sanding of the outside before grinding the end off but you could remove a lot of material from the end before you compromise the strength. I also soaked all the wood I could reach with thin CA.

2. I had to grind down the wing saddle area to fit the leading edge of the wing.

3. I ended up using metal pins by accident. I just wanted something to stick in the wing to hold things in place. I soon noticed that I could get really precise placement between grinding a small notch in the pre-drilled holes in the wing saddle and bending the wires.

4. Yes. You have to drill the wings and add some plywood where the screws seat. I also discarded the nylon screws and replaced them with steel bolts. I'll track down the pictures of how I locate holes. Wait a day or so before you worry about it and I'll find the pics.

I have yet to hear of any deficiencies that can't be cured and you will find it to be a very nice general purpose glider that is worth a little fixing. I'm sure that I have missed a bunch of stuff so keep the questions coming.

Feb 04, 2013, 11:56 AM
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Nunni1's Avatar

Nice guys on a good thread

Thank you so much for your advice. It makes it much more enjoyable to go into my cellar and build - the odd question for the build gets answered here straight away.
Yes, peterlngh I can wait a few days to see your build sollutions. I dont plan on flying it just yet. The weather here in Germany is very windy, snowy and cold. No fun - i'll wait a few months until I can catch some thermals.
Seeee ya! ATTF

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