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May 27, 2013, 05:48 AM
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Build Log

Edge540 - 800mm V3 High Performance Racer (Rating 10/10)


Time for another small park flyer.....

The HobbyKing branded Edge540 800mm aircraft looked good in the pics and reviews, so I decided to grab one!
As it turns out it comes in a nice colorful box! LOL
100% intact when delivered.... and takes about 15minutes to assemble!! A few screws, and some click together Wings/Tailplane that are done in a well made system that looks easily adequate to work fine.
Then another 15mins to set up the RX and control throws etc!

This is the fastest time to a "suitably ready to fly" plane I have had! All very well designed, and implemented, it is a beautiful little plane!
After some investigating and assessment..... NOTHING needs to be done to it at all to make it truly airworthy or optimal! So that was that... built.... ready to fly!!

I only have 4S 1300mAH 25C, or 4S 1800mAH 40C, that would fit/suit it. The 1800's are a bit heavy, so you can't balance it - and there is no way to adjust the battery placement because the wing spar limits how far rearwards that could go (BAH!).
The 1300mAH had to be placed as far rearwards as possible to balance!!
So neither 1600mAH, as per they recommend, nor 1800mAH, would have any hope of balancing! It would need something like 40g at the tail end for those.
I guess then maybe it is not "100% perfect" as it comes..... hehe. But there is just no way to modify it to have the battery more rearwards, except via a MAJOR wing spar mod that would probably mess up the "click in/out" wings.
Well, I think I could do something about it... but I don't really want to mess with its 'perfection' as it comes!

I will set something up to allow adding the tail weight for larger batteries, but I will maiden it using the 1300mAH and see how that goes first.
The 1300mAH can power an EDF jet for 3.0mins, so it should do a prop for 5min to 6mins approx.

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Last edited by PeterVRC; Jan 06, 2014 at 05:50 PM.
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May 27, 2013, 09:12 AM
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Some details


As mentioned, not much to do to anything.

I just put the RX on the floor of the open 'hole' area of the hatch area. Put in a pair of plastic tubes to allow the antenna to feed out of the lower fuselage sides. I do this because I have seen reception degradation when they are inside a plane (even foam) and this assures optimum reception. (coming out either below a wing, or above it).

This pics are mainly to show the full length Wing Spar and Tailplane spars - those will all assure a very strong aircraft!
The Wheel Pants and Fairings are foam - but very nicely done.
The Hatch cover/Canopy also has a full length CF Spar!!
And the hatch magnet is STRONG! Almost too strong. The hatch will never come off by itself! Good!!

I got a PM from PlumberBazz about the manuals CofG being INCORRECT.... which seems to be a standard occurence in almost all foamies! So I should have known better!! LOL.
I had not thought about that! So apparently I would have been tail heavy using their quoted 40-45mm.... I will have to remember to ALWAYS read up on forums for any given plane!!!

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May 27, 2013, 05:56 PM
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Batteries and CofG


After a quick lot of reading.....
CofG around 35mm sounds best - or even a bit ahead for initial test flights.
Rather than the manual stated 40-45mm which apparently is diabolical to fly with!
Even Scott from HobbyKing says "Push an 1800mAH battery ALL the way forwards - even a fraction rearwards makes a big difference!"... and that means 30-35mm sort of CofG placement.

The 4S 1300mAH 45C (and 25C) Nano's work out excellent for giving some room to alter CofG over a good range. And are much lighter than the 1800's. The 1800's make the plane feel overly heavy!!
So I will maiden on the 1300mAH and probably use them always I would think.
I like 'heavy' planes, but with the 1800mAH it even exceeds what I would consider truly acceptable!! SMALL planes do not have the leeway to carry more mass, as by 800mm the Reynolds numbers and aerodynamics are in region that NEED low weight to fly well !

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May 28, 2013, 12:09 AM
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Flight Report....


I KNEW I should have got up at 6-30am for the Dawn Patrol session, where the wind is almost always assured to be non-existent!!! But I didn't....
So I went out at lunch time.... but by then it was windy and blustery. Hmmmm, a bit of a worry but I figured it would be OK... hopefully.

A perfect take-off.... slow climb out... looked great.
Boy is it FAST!! And TWITCHY!!
I used 35mm CofG and I think that was still a bit tail heavy - not sure yet.
It was easy enough to get used to immediately, so I flew it like any other 'known' flier and tested its agility etc. The blustery wind blew it around and flicked it into wing drops etc, so I had to pay 100% attention at all times - more so as it is fast.
5mm of elevator throw was fine, and 7mm of aileron fine too. Fast rolls. Not overly fast/sensitive elevator. But its small size and short fuselage length, plus small wing area, make for that highly twitchy/responsive plane that it is!

4S 1300mAH 45C.... 4.0mins and the timer goes off, so I set about to predict the landing process. I just cut power while at about 10metres, came around into the wind and headed to land towards myself standing at the other end of the "runway". A bit of flicking around in the wind and corrections as it came in... then, maybe less wind at ground level (?), it was simple to fly it in to land perfectly along the runway! Even a tiny rudder correction to keep it going straight was easy (fluke?), and it just rolled to a stop at my feet!

That landing was probably the best part of the whole flight/plane! And probably never going to be achieved again either! LOL

All in all it is a very twitchy plane! Probably a lot better if it is calmer, or totally calm! So I better reserve full judgement until then.
It looks great.... is fast.... is very responsive.... Maybe it is just like a real Edge540!!!

The second flight was basically identical, except for my DUMB idea to land on the grass!! Everyone says the landing gear is so weak it rips out on the slightest pressure.... and YEP, that is what it did the instant the wheels hit the grass!
Because it is so weakly CA'ed in, it does no damage at all. So it is probably best to just CA it in with a few SMALL droplets again. And NOT land on grass!!

Final thoughts:
All in all I don't really like it. Too fast and twitchy. it is not a 'terrible' plane, it is just what it is.... fast and twitchy!
I have a Radjet800 (two of) and that is FAST, but not twitchy... so that covers the high speed "fun" criteria.
The Edge540 has landing gear (bonus) and looks nice - but they rip off in the blink of an eye anyway!
I have a Mini P-51 that flies like on rails, and is pretty fast on 3S - even aerobatic too. So it is far better.
So I would not pick the Edge again. And the Mini P-51 and Mini Mig-15 are far better choices for small prop/EDF aircraft.

But it is really well made and designed!!! Maybe in 1000mm size it would then be a lot better!

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May 28, 2013, 01:16 AM
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That's funny that they'd call this an Edge. It's clearly an MXS. Everything from the LE angle, to the wingtips, to the three intakes in the cowl screams MXS.

Anyhow, you say it's very twitchy here - I wonder if this is meant to be more of a 3D plane like its larger MXS counterparts? That would explain the twitchiness.

Also, have you considered using a 3 axis stabilizer in it, like the Orange RX+3DXS combo unit? That would be very sweet in a plane like this.
May 28, 2013, 01:26 AM
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This thing would not be able to fly 'slow' - in low throttle areas it is struggling to 'fly'.. needing highish alpha. It is just too heavy to be a decent 3D plane - at least in terms of 'slow 3D', like hovering etc. Though you might be able to get it into hover.... just not do other 'slow' things around that.
Those other larger planes, aimed for 3D, are VERY light. This is not.
I think they called it a "racer" for those reasons, LOL. Needs to go fast! And because of its high wing loading.

A small twitchy plane like this... yeah, a 3 axis (or two?) stabiliser would go very well in it really - though maybe the servo would die soon! (from the increased use then).
I don't think it will be 'twitchy' in those terms of needing stability, in calmer conditions, it is just a highly responsive plane. But I expect stabilisation would help make it some amount of a more docile plane.

I will try it in the morning tomorrow, when it should be dead calm (hopefully).

I have some small cheap heli gyros, so I might throw one of those in for yaw. More for keeping it in-line more, not for limiting sensitivity. It will at least be something of interest to aim for in the plane - having a goal (eg tests, things to improve them etc) makes flying anything more fun! hehe

And I need a Hatcam, or GlassesCam....
Jun 08, 2013, 06:08 AM
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Landing Gear Fibreglassed!!


Every single flight the landing gear rips out on landing! It is almost impossible to land without that occurring. Anything but a perfectly greased landing will 'crack'; the CA and have the LG rip out - it seems my maiden flight 'amazing cricket pitch landing' was a special case!

So I sat and pondered over it.... and pondered...
I decided that there is almost no other useful option than FIBREGLASSING it on!
Anything via plywood plates, straps, rubber strips, etc etc just isn't going to work properly.

By using fibreglass cloth and resin (maybe WBPU would ahve been OK, but I don't think so) you get to form a vary large area of strength, very easily and THINLY - virtually transparently.
By having a large area of strength - and it must be 'larger' and provide more strength than any 'normal' case will ever need - that means it will never damage the plane, and all you will get is either a bounced landing or a flip-over.

But IF you ever have a major crash incident, at some level of force (from that crash) there is a point where it must give and will rip out the fuselage area! Or crack/fracture it at least.
The aim, of course, is never to reach such a stress level! Plus it that level did occur, you are likely to have a number of other big issues anyway! eg broken wing/s.... it will have been quite a notable crash!

So I will report on how it works... and if I ever have an incident that goes over that level of stress that takes it into the 'notabel damage' zone! hehe

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Jun 19, 2013, 05:41 AM
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Landing gear report


Awesome!!!
The landing gear stands up to ANYTHING now! The legs bend backwards if there is high stress, but then you just bend them back forwards of course. Landing on grass is possible now, but still half useless... but at least the landing gear is still fine to fly - take off - again.. and again....

So I consider the fibreglassing was a big success!!
Jun 30, 2013, 09:16 AM
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Landing gear report #2


Still proving to be an excellent mod....
A very hard landing today - when I went unco and landed FAST and with last second 'porpoising', which then whacked it into the road!! The LG legs splayed out wide and the prop broke due to that reduced ground clearance! It skated to a halt.....
No damage at all to the LG assembly, or fuselage - nothing at all to be seen! The LG wires flexed and absorbed pretty well all of it fine.
It was a HARD whack, being flown/driven into the ground/road!
So if it can survive THAT level of a whack then that is a sign the strength of the mounting is not excessive and detrimental.

This is the prior flight to the hard landing one......
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HK High Performance Edge540 Racer on 4S 1300mAH 45C (0 min 0 sec)
Sep 17, 2013, 07:28 PM
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"Edge540 Down!!"....


A notable crash of the Edge540 this morning....

I have been using Spoilerons on quite a few planes of late, after some testing of them showed they give GREAT results in slowing down planes that do not have flaps! They basically pitch the plane nose up - relative to how much Spoileron you dial in - and this means you can slow right down, because you are now flying at a higher Angle of Attack, and the Up Ailerons (Spoilerons) are adding a Washout to the wing, which reduces tip stall too!
It just works really great.. warbirds... jets... Edge540...
You also get a nice clear "Wing Rock" as you approach stall speeds.

So today, as I came around to turn onto final for landing it was quite a way out and in the grey sky the plane was all grey too....
That is normally not a real issue, as you follow the plane's linear path around so you 'know' it is flying along as expected. But today it suddenly just "Spiralled out of the air"..... BAH!

What had pretty certainly happened was that I flew around and overhead at quite low speed, with Spoilerons down. I had also tested flying slow figure eights around, to see how slow it could fly and bank with the Spoilerons when I had first started using them. But whilst it CAN fly very slow fine, it still needs you to observe the Wing Rock and behaviours - OR fly a bit faster still.
I had gone out and began turning back at quite a slow speed... a bad idea!! BANKING for the turn back means you dramatically reduce lift and tip stall chance is increased a LOT too! Which I didn't think about... thus it did that, in a sudden and sharp manner! BOMBS AWAY!!!
It was also a 'special case' landing, not the path and manner I would normally do, so it was being made up on the fly.

KERWHACK... was all I heard as it hit something hard in the distance, behind a treeline and in amongst houses. Ooop! Not good....

Once I got into the area I saw it was in a roadside gutter (good!!) and had likely hit the road and bounced to the gutter edge. Quite notably broken BUT it is actually amazingly 'clean' and simple damage!
The Wings popped out - that saved them a lot I guess.
The whole plastic nose assembly, which is also the firewall, broke off the foam fuselage at the glue joint. The prop didn't break. The motor shaft didn't bend!
For a spiral down out of about 25feet that was pretty good really!!

I never did really like the Edge540!! LOL
It MUST fly fast to "fly". It must land quite fast - though Spoilerons improved that massively. But Spoilerons don't negate a need to WATCH for tip stall, hehe.
If it had not had Spoilerons it would never have even been able to fly that slow, and tip stalls occur at up towards double the airspeed! So they are still great.... it is the PLANE that has dangerous tendencies! (eg not docile and huge stall leeways like a high wing)

It won't take much to repair it.....
I will be more observant in future.
And also won't do approaches in over houses!! Which I pretty well never do for any plane except the Edge, as it must use a runway to land without flipping. Plus I did go a bit far out on the base leg really....

The last pic shows the Spoilerons position, which remained after the crash.

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Oct 19, 2013, 06:35 AM
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Edge540 back in action!


I epoxied all the foam damage, and made a new alloy engine mount assembly.
A flat plate that bolts to the firewall and uses 'bolt standoffs' to hold the motor as required. Doing it that way allows a lot of motor adjustment - fore-aft distance, vertical and lateral angles to adjust the thrust line.

I also WBPU'ed the whole plane after the repairs and re-painting the damages, so now it is as good as new but also a very shiny aircraft!! Although I had used MATT WBPU!! But it all looks as good as, or better than, ever.

I will do some 3S tests soon, because it is just TOO HEAVY a plane as it comes and with 4S!! Even 3S will still have it heavier than it should be but at least a lot better than 4S!!
In its typical AUW form it just must fly FAAAST.... and even land fast!! To carry that weight.
It is just no good really. Not if you want an "Edge 540" behaving plane!
But it is named a "Racer"......

I repaired and left on the wheel spats, seeing that is a trade-mark look of the Edge..... but I really need to make those removable (clip on/off) because they are just too detrimental if landing on grass.
I have to think a bit more about that, and what is best to do - for looks AND viable use.....

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Last edited by PeterVRC; Nov 05, 2013 at 07:36 PM.
Oct 22, 2013, 10:33 PM
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3S Test


I was going to use something bigger than 1300mAH to test 3S, but then I thought why do that if the aim is to fly LIGHTER?
So I tried:
3S 1300mAH 25C
3S 1300mAh 45C

I couldn't really tell a difference between the two.
Cruise (typical speed) flight was about 60% to 70% throttle range - this is easily a "real Edge 540 scale speed".. quite brisk. 100% was not a rocket, but probably typical of what any 'normal' plane does at WOT.
So all in all, on 3S it really flew like a normal Edge540 would (should?)!!

I pushed the battery all the way forwards - versus 4S 1300mAH I position not far from the wing cross-bar thing. It was not quite enough weight to balance out where I would like it.... it flew a tiny bit tail heavy, but was fine enough. Quite nimble/sensitive from that I guess.

I only flew three times, so I have not worked out the landing process fully - how much slower I might be able to approach at.
But all in all I could see that I would have no issue ONLY ever flying it on 3S !!
And maybe throw in 4S for times you want to RACE around!! With its associated weight penalties.....

To balance it well on 3S it would probably do that with 1500mAH.... but then you are gaining more weight too! I have to think about what to do.... but the 3S 1300mAH is the easiest solution that is still easily acceptable.
Dec 30, 2013, 06:30 PM
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LG legs breaks off


It HAD to happen eventually!!
Needing re-bending to straight after every flight - even good landings(!) - the wire was going to fatigue and break sooner or later.
So after a landing that MISSED the 'runway' (cricket pitch) and had the high drag of grass on the LG, that tore one off.

I will now make up an alloy replacement piece - one piece running from side to side, and probably no wheel spats. Then it will be able to take-off and land from any grass, so that will be handy. Though will lose that bit of Edge540 'character' of the wheel spats.

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Jan 06, 2014, 05:56 PM
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Rating the Edge540


I gave the Edge540 a Rating of 10. TEN!!

This is because you do not need to do one single thing to it for it to be perfect - they designed it impeccably... manufactured it just as well.... and it flies just as well!
So far I don't see any other foamie like it, bar the 99.9% perfect Unique Models PT-17 !!

Yes, this has "excessive" wing loading - BUT that is almost a part of what it is supposed to be. Not in terms of comparing it to a real Edge540, but in it being a "Racer" not an aerobatic aim. And once I switched down to using 3S batteries instead, it then becomes the "real Ege540" result anyway. Maybe a 4S 800mAh could do that too.

I would NOT recommend it.... as a general plane. It is fairly specific in how it flies and not so 'generic' like most aircraft can be. eg a Spitfire... PT-17... PiperCub... can all be flown quite sedately and easily by lower skilled pilots. This is faster, more nimble (also from being 800mm), higher wing loaded, and thus twitchier and more dangerous. Nowhere near as simple and 'cruise around' as those above, or almost any others.
But it does what it is supposed to do fine.....
It is actually my favourite "small plane" (800mm region) by a long way now!!
Last edited by PeterVRC; Jan 06, 2014 at 06:16 PM.
Jan 06, 2014, 06:15 PM
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Landing Gear replacement


After some humming and harring over the broken landing gear (the wire leg snapped from all the bending and straightening finally), I decided to give in to "Non scale, non-realistic" in the interest of WORKABLE!!

I have done this method on a few planes and it makes for a very 'grass usable', as well as "techinically sound" result.

If you use appropriately thin (thinner than you would think) Aircraft Alloy for a landing gear 'plate' form of one piece single structure it will give adequate static support, but incredible 'suspension' action and thus resilience. And this also makes it operate on grass or rough ground far better than any other viable form of landing gear setup can.

Because it only JUST carries the static AUW, that means any higher levels of force - from landing, or bobbing along grass or rough ground - will bend and flex the LG like super-fine tuned suspension. And it will return to its static design position UNLESS it is ever driven to exceed the alloy's stress level that it can return from - which is all cases of normal use.
If you crash, or have a harsh landing etc, it will bend and remain bent but in doing so it will have absorbed a LOT of energy!
So all in all this design works fantastically!

The downside is that the shape and look only matches a few aircraft types true landing gear (eg Piper Cub), so it is not an Edge540 look at all !
You could also add spats, to make it looks much closer (standoff scale) to realistic - so I might add those later.

This mod (untested on my Edge540 so far) should allow it to take-off and land on grass fine now. Largely because of having no spats to catch, but also because the alloy's pliance will allow that suspension action too.
The inability of the stock gear to take-off, or land, on anything but a smooth surface was a pain, so I gave in to FLEXIBILITY and better use, versus scale! lol.

It is a bit more like a YAK now....
The wheels are much larger diameter than the stock ones in the spats, which is good for grass etc too, but I chose their size mainly to look the best suited total for the plane.

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