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Jan 04, 2013, 02:17 AM
Raised on 80's Pattern
Fatherof4's Avatar

Sure Flite Baby Birdie


I have recently purchased a plane from my childhood. A Sure Flite Baby Birdie became available and I HAD to have one. It's just one of those nostalgic things!

Anyways......I want to convert it to electric. I would like it to be powered in a similar manner to the Cox TD .051 that is was designed around. I wouldn't mind a little less rpm/prop noise as this will be a park flyer.

I would value your opinions on motor/battery for the plane. I will either use a Scorpion or a less expensive Hobby King motor. Please see the pictures for dimensions and weight.

I look forward to your responses.


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Jan 04, 2013, 12:18 PM
Chesterfield, MI USA

Another One?

Would you happen to know where another one could be found?
Jan 04, 2013, 01:48 PM
Raised on 80's Pattern
Fatherof4's Avatar
They guy that sold me this one had six, they are all gone.

I've been watching the classifieds for a while waiting for one. I'm a Classic Pattern guy and I wanted one of these for the park.

Send me a PM with your email and I might be able to get you plans.

Jan 04, 2013, 03:10 PM
Balsa Flies Better!
Hi Doug

I don't know from HK motors, but I do know what I'd look for in a setup- a 6 to 6.5" prop- probably at least 4" of pitch- and you might be happier with a folder- you'll break fewer props that way. I've used a 6 x 6 folder on a FunX-E which is a slightly larger Baby Phoenix. However, I used a 6" folder in an HOB P-51 too, which is a similar flying airplane. Put at least 250 watts turning the prop and you'll be good to go-should be unlimited vertical and quick.

Have fun!

Jan 04, 2013, 04:41 PM
Registered User
bpink43's Avatar
Hi Doug,
I picked up one of these kits as well. I am planning on using an EFlite six series 2700kv motor in mine with a 6" prop. Not sure whether I will go with a 3 or 2 cell battery yet though. Probably a 3 cell 1300mah or somthing like that.
Jan 04, 2013, 08:55 PM
Registered User
I am using this motor in an Ace Mach None. It is the same size plane.

I am using a 610 to 1700 3 cell battery 6X3,4 APC "E" prop.

If you can get a copy of the plans, a scanned image or the like, I would be interested in a set? I have the Birdie 10 in the box on the shelf.

Jan 07, 2013, 08:45 PM
Registered User
pm sent to blvdbuzzard re: plans
Last edited by TJRICE; Jan 07, 2013 at 08:45 PM. Reason: spelling
Jan 08, 2013, 07:48 PM
Registered User
Darn, would have liked to have one to complement my .25 sized e-powered Tweety Bird. Right now, I have been flying a new EPO Formosa that is a fine flyer until I can locate a Baby Birdie. Just love the look of that plane!

TJRICE Can you send me a copy of the plans, also?

Jan 09, 2013, 12:21 AM
Raised on 80's Pattern
Fatherof4's Avatar

Dr. Kiwi recommended the following motor over in the Power Systems section:

SunnySky/EP Buddy X2208-11 (46g/~1450Kv) gets you a bit more with the same 8x4 GWS HD: 10.6v, 12.90A, 136W, 11460rpm, 43.4mph, 716g, 25.21oz, 5.26g/w

Now I just need to decide what size 3s battery. Opinions?
Last edited by Fatherof4; Jan 09, 2013 at 02:08 AM.
Jan 09, 2013, 12:00 PM
Balsa Flies Better!
Umm, no. You've got a pitch speed problem- 43.4 mph is too slow. You want pitch speed to be 2.5x stall speed at a minimum, and for an aerobatic airplane- 3-4x stall speed is closer to it. Assume that the airplane will stall at 18-20 mph.

If you want something less ballistic, I flew an HOB Chipmunk- 216 squares at 21 oz on an 8 x 4 prop swung by an outrunner with 175 watts. Flew quite nicely- good vertical pull, not ballistically fast (which I think is what the Birdie needs but YMMV) so if you can chop some weight out, this might work. I'm assuming you are putting in a rudder-with a larger prop, it's nearly mandatory.

You may also find that mounting outrunners can be a problem, although you can probably get away with a nosering mount. This allows you to delete the firewall and save some weight, plus gives you some access to the motor through the wing saddle area.

FYI- I hate cheapie outrunners- the shafts often bend too easily, they generally don't live up to their specs (I trust Phil's numbers though -aka Dr. Kiwi) so I find that I prefer the old fashioned Mega inrunners. Axi's are decent though. I'm assuming that the airplane is worth enough to you to buy it some decent hardware.

Jan 10, 2013, 01:17 AM
Raised on 80's Pattern
Fatherof4's Avatar

Not sure how to take your response...but I will assume it was meant to help.

I am planning on using a APC 7x7 or 8x6 which will get me a pitch speed of about 70 mph. That ought to work. I'm not positive this is the right motor, but I thought it was a good place to start.

Where do you get your folding props, thats a good idea.

Thoughts on 3s battery size? I'm thinking about 1000 mAh.

Last edited by Fatherof4; Jan 10, 2013 at 02:32 AM.
Jan 10, 2013, 09:12 AM
Balsa Flies Better!

Good assumption. A square prop, i.e. 7 x 7 is not going to work well if you're looking for vertical pull at relatively slow speeds. These props tend to stall out- also they can draw more in the air than on the ground. Plus they're expensive and hard to find. The 8 x 6 is a better bet, but I don't see how you get to a 70 mph pitch speed. The motor rpm is going to drop with the additional load- maybe to 10k rpm- which gets you to 60 mph.

As a general rule- I've been underwhelmed with small, Chinese outrunners. They seem to be much happier running at much less than ratings. Also note that the quality is very inconsistent- there's no guarantee that the motor that Dr. Kiwi tested will actually work that way in your hands. A 70 gram motor seems like a better bet to me to handle the loads you're asking- and I still think you're going to have to worry about bending prop shafts all the time.

In terms of folders- I call Kirk at New Creations- IIRC. He's not cheap, but he knows his stuff.

In terms of battery- I'd look at 3s and 1250-1500 mAH-this will give you 4-5 minutes at full bore, or 8 minutes or so of more relaxed flying.



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