Kyosho PBY Catalina - RC Groups
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Nov 26, 2001, 01:25 PM
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Steven Horney's Avatar

Kyosho PBY Catalina

I would be interested in hearing from anyone who's converted this plane to e-power. Right now I've flown it with a pair of Velkom 24/10's, 14 2400 mAh cells in series, and 2 8x6 APC props. From land it takes quite a run, and flight performance is marginal. I'll probably try out a pair of Astro 05's to pump things up a bit. The other issue is one of getting off the water - it appears to desperately need some spray rails. Everytime I've tried it on water so far I find that it's easy to taxi, but before it gets on step the spray into the props rapidly slows things down. I would appreciate hearing what others have done to get this plane to fly well. At least it looks pretty!

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Jan 29, 2002, 03:36 AM
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Kyosho PBY Catalina

Dear Steven! Good morning from France. Thanks for posting this request out. I have no contribution to your question but I just wish to thank you. In fact I was just about to do it /post a request for info/ this morning but you saved my job. There is currently sales in France and I saw a Kyosho Catalina at a very reasonable price so I intend to buy it and convert it for e-flight.

I maybe have a question: do you think that this thing could fly on oridnary speeed 500 or it would be essential /i guess so/ to use a pair of /good/ brushlees; it seems that the thing is rather heavy and it is a real challenge to get in in the air, notably from water.

PS I would invite all those who have realised the e-conversion project to come up with their cofiguration and results.

regards, Rudolf
Jan 29, 2002, 08:36 AM
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Steven Horney's Avatar
Hi Rudolf,

I'm still working with the PBY. I've since gone to a pair of new Astro 05's on 14 cells swinging 7x6 APC props, saving several ounces (from the lighter motors) and adding some power. I'm also in the process of deleting the pushrods and going to micro servos in the tail, both saving weight (the long pushrods and larger servos are heavy) and giving me better control precision. It seems to have a lot more potential (I made a short hop to try things out), but I'm not quite ready to fly it again (still trying to find time to finish the pushrod change). One thing I have considered is going to 10 cells, BEC, and a pair of Astro 15's running in parallel (around 40 amps) to save the weight of 4 cells and a receiver pack, but I'll try what I have first.

As for getting off the water, I'll need to go with some spray rails, but I haven't designed those yet. I still think I can get it to fly relatively well, but it will always be on the heavy side.

I'll let you know how things progress.

Jan 29, 2002, 09:11 AM
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PBY Catalina

Hi Steve,

Thank you for your precious information. Yes, please keep us informed about your achivements in the future.

I will probbably buy the stuff today and get involved in modifications.

Jan 29, 2002, 11:07 AM
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Jurgen Heilig's Avatar
A friend of mine converted it to electrics. Two Graupner Speed 600 ECO on 10/2000 to 10/3000 NiCds are working fine, but as stated, the Catalina could have been built a lot lighter for electric power. Take off from water is next to impossible due to spray and/or torque reaction from the props. Counter rotating props would be beneficial. Jürgen
Jan 29, 2002, 11:15 AM
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Kyosho Catalina PBY

Dear Juergen,

Thank you very much for this precious information!!! In fact I shomehow ,,expected,, your expert reply /hi/. This forum would have been much poorer without you! Thanks agin.

This calrifies very much the things. I would definitely go for a pair of S600 for the moment. Good news for me. And for the budget too.

Yes, the spraying has been considered as one of the main problems with the Catalina for water takeoff. It would surely require adequate modifications.


Jan 29, 2002, 02:32 PM
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Alan W's Avatar
The easiest way to do spray rails is to simply glue some 1/4" triangle stock along the outer bottom edges. Have the 90 deg angle of the stock on the outer/upper area on each side of the fuse/hull.

Of course you'll have to adequately treat the balsa so it will bend around the curved hull......I soaked it in water and microwaved it !!

This was on a Lanier SeaBird in a previous (wet) life

Hope this helps

Alan W
Jan 30, 2002, 03:12 AM
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PBY Catalina Kyosho

Dear Alan W,

First, what I see in the pic is truly excellent job!
PS Its Previous wet life? What happened?

Secodndly, thank you very much for your precious information to improve ammost always critical nose of seaplanes. I will seriously consider your experience when proceeding!

Thanks agin!

Jan 30, 2002, 09:56 AM
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Alan W's Avatar're quite welcome.

I wish i could say the picture was of my is off of Lanier's website. In fact, I got quite a laugh becuase mine was the biggest UglyDuck ever !! But.....the Chines/spray rails worked wonderfully where as before i installed them there was so much spray the prop would never reach High RPM.

By previous "wet" life I meant as a Glow Fuel Pilot. These days I only get Charged when i go fly

Much luck on your project - Someday soon I will be building a Boeing B314 Clipper

Alan W
Jan 30, 2002, 11:03 AM
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PBY Catalina

Good on you Alan W!!!!!/I know that this is an Australian expression but OK, hi/

Hi, hi I thaught there was something really bad that happened to the plane, the worst crash or something. I see it is just a transfer from wet to dry. Yes I have to say that I adore E-versions of any flying thing. And I have quite a few of them... almost runnig out of space in the appartment. Never tried ,,wet,, so far and I decided not to. It is so much fun with E. Just plug in and here we go!

Glad to hear abou the spray rails you arranged. Catalina should glady receive them on the corners. And glad to hear Juergen's info on that the necessary drive actually works on S600 eco.

I went to the shop again and checked with the content of the big box. It is really nicely manufactured what you recive /but you pay a lot/. I have to say that I was in error concerning price ...but I think I will go for it anyway.

Yes your future project is wonderful stuff. A real hydro worth efforts. When finished pls come up with results. And pics, especially. Good luck.

Jan 30, 2002, 01:19 PM
I have found that my Canadair CL-215 would not take off without spray rails; and the same with my Grumman Albatros. I also fly float planes, and most of them also need spray rails on the insides of the floats, to avoid water in the prop. (single motor)

Instead of using triangle balsa, I use 1/64 inch thick aircraft plywood; and glue it to the outside of the hull (or float) so that it hangs down below the hull line. I find that for a model with a wingspan below 60 inches, it is only necessary to have the spray rail extend 1/4 inch below the side of the hull/float.

For my 11 pound Kadet Senior on floats (the floats are 36 inches long), I have spray rails on the insides of the floats that are 5 inches long and hand down only 3/8 inch below the sides of the floats. It does not seem to take much.

Placement of the spray rails: I have found it necessary to place the spray rails almost to the front of the hull/float; and also to have the spray rail extend back to where it/they are even with the prop(s). If they stop too short, some water sometimes gets into the prop(s).

The most critical point to have the spray rails is where the hull or float first meets the water. Of course, as speed increases and the hull/float rises out of the water, that critical point moves toward the rear of the float by several inches. I make them longer than is absolutely necessary at the front, for the days when waves and wind seem to conspire to make the model stay on the water.

Jan 30, 2002, 03:14 PM
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drewjet's Avatar
Does anybody have a close up pic of this chine/rail as I am considering a electric water plane.

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