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May 08, 2014, 01:49 PM
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A Comparison of Two Great Trainers


E-Flite Apprentice 15e & Flyzone Sensei

Summary (Both)
High Wing Trainers
Foam construction
Tricycle Landing Gear
Basic 4 Channel*- Ailerons, Elevator, Rudder, Throttle controls
Steerable nose wheel

* Sensei has 5th channel drop door servo
Color Scheme
Sensei - White foam with orange, black and blue decals.
Apprentice - White foam with red, black and silver decals.
The Foam
Sensei - entire plane is made of (stiffer) AeroCell foam.
Apprentice - mostly made of (softer) Z-Foam, except tail fins and bottom panel (? material).
Size, Weight, etc.
Wingspan
Sensei - 58"
Apprentice - 58.5"

Length (nose - tail)
Sensei - 48"
Apprentice - 42"

Weight (Wing)
Sensei - 1.1 lb
Apprentice - 0.8 lb

Weight (Fuse - no batt)
Sensei - 2.0 lb
Apprentice - 1.5 lb

Weight (total - no battery)
Sensei - 3.1 lb
Apprentice - 2.3 lb

Weight (total - with battery)
Sensei - 3.54 lb with 2200 battery, 3.76 lb with additional 1800 2S battery for CG.
Apprentice - 2.85 lb with 3200 battery, 2.96 lb with 2200 & 1800 2S

Height (gnd - tail)
Sensei - 15.5"
Apprentice - 16"

Wing Loading
Sensei - 14 oz/ft²
Apprentice - 12 oz/ft²
Landing Gear
Wheel Base
Sensei - 13" x 10.5"
Apprentice - 14" x 9.5"

Wheel Diameter
Sensei - 2-1/4"
Apprentice - 1-7/8"

Wheel Weight
Sensei - 9.5g
Apprentice - 4.9g

Axle Diameter (front)
Sensei - 4mm
Apprentice - 3mm

Axle Diameter (rear)
Sensei - 3mm
Apprentice - 3mm

Axle type (front)
Sensei - 4mm bent wire / wheel collar, rattles up and down with steering mechanism. Must remove prop, spinner, cowl and motor to service
Apprentice - 3mm bent wire / wheel collar, solidly attached to steering mechanism. Must remove prop, spinner and cowl to service.

Axle type (rear)
Sensei - 3/16" thick bent aluminum bar with 3mm axle inserts / nylock nuts, super strong - tends to bounce more. Held in with 2 screws.
Apprentice - 3mm bent wire / wheel collar, strong but softer - helps dampen hard landings. Held in by press fit.
Main Wing
Slight Dihedral - both
Mount Method
Sensei - Front Pins (x2) & Aft Nylon Screws (x2)
Apprentice - Rubber bands (x8)

Aileron Dimensions
Sensei - 21-3/4" x 1-3/4" (foam hinges)
Apprentice - 12-1/2" x 2-1/4" (foam hinges)

Wing Shape
Sensei - Thicker at root, curved bottom, tips curl down, AeroCell.
Apprentice - Consistent thickness, flat bottom, outer half chord is 10mm longer, Z-Foam.

Wing Halves
Sensei - Held together with removable bracket & spar. Wing halves separate for transport/storage.
Apprentice - Glued/stuck together during assembly w/plastic protective rubber band caps on leading & trailing edges. Wing halves do not separate for transport/storage.

Servos - 2x, one for each aileron
Apprentice - Glued lying down, then covered with tape.
Sensei - Glued standing up, screwed into basswood, then covered with plastic cap.

Wires
Sensei - Routed inside wing with extension cable prior to final assembly of wing panels.
Apprentice - Routed in slits running the length of the wing, then covered with tape. No extention cable.
Tail Fins
Removable - both

Sensei - Held in place with single machine threaded screw (metal fastener into metal).
Apprentice - Held in place with two plastic/wood threaded screws (metal fasteners into plastic).

Sensei - Made of AeroCell.
Apprentice - Not Z-Foam, some other foam (?), covered with thin plastic/rubber-like wrap.

Sensei - Horizontal stabilizer re-inforced with one spar, airfoil cross-section.
Apprentice - Horizontal stabilizer re-inforced with two spars, flat cross-section.

Sensei - Elevator (foam hinges) two separate halves, joined with bent metal wire. Control arm & push rod below horizontal stabilizer.
Apprentice - Elevator (foam hinges) one continuous length. Control arm & push rod above horizontal stabilizer

Sensei - Vertical stabilizer thick airfoil cross-section, foam formed into base.
Apprentice - Vertical stabilizer thin flat cross-section, glued into plastic bracket base.

Sensei - Rudder (foam hinges) full length of stabilizer.
Control arm & push rod below horizontal stabilizer.

Apprentice - Rudder (foam hinges) 3/4 length of stabilizer.
Control arm & push rod above horizontal stabilizer.
Fuselage
Max width
Sensei - 4.25" (internal 2.75")
Apprentice - 5.0" (internal 3.75")

Sensei - Two compartments - medium size (forward) drop bay with servo and small size (aft) with 2 servos & receiver.
Apprentice - One compartment - large size, servos, receiver, ESC.

Sensei - Two halves (right & left) glued together with single air-flow hole on bottom in front of drop door.
Apprentice - Two halves (top & bottom) glued together plus a panel (not Z-Foam) under the tail section with 3 air-flow holes.

Sensei - On the ground, nose up attitude (5.25" nose gear length) with prop 3" above ground (with blades vertical).
Apprentice - On the ground, nose down attitude (4" nose gear length) with prop 1.125" above ground (with blades vertical).
Battery Compartment
Sensei - Located behind cowl, battery is inserted through small opening from top, sits at an angle.
Apprentice - Located below electronics area, battery is inserted through large opening from bottom, lies flat.

Sensei - Battery hatch door snap-locks into place - not hinged, can be separated from airplane.
Apprentice - Battery hatch door is hinged (attached to plane) and is secured with a rotating latch opposite the hinge.

Sensei - Has room for one 2200mAh pack, two side-by-side if some of the foam is trimmed away inside the compartment. Tight fit for wires.
Apprentice - Has room for one 3200mAh pack, or two 2200mAh packs side-by-side. Slighly more room for wires, but still a bit tight.
Nose Cowl
Sensei - Attached at factory with silicone glue. Can be removed by fabricating an "L" shaped tool and gently breaking the bonds.
Can be re-attached with more glue, or tape, or rigging magnets, etc. Made of Aero-Cell.
Apprentice - Attached with 3 tiny screws. Comes off easy. Re-installs easy. Made of plastic.
Propeller
Sensei - 10x5, black, semi-flexible, 1/4" shaft.
Apprentice - 11x7, black, semi-flexible, 3/8" shaft.
Spinner
Sensei - 1-3/4" dia., Attaches to base with two small screws, base mounts behind propeller.
Apprentice - 1-5/8" dia., Attaches to base by snap fit - pops off by squeezing base, base mounts in front of propeller.
Motor
Sensei - 1350kV with 4mm shaft fitted with collet-type prop adapter to 1/4" prop shaft, manual centering and aligning of prop required.
Attaches to metal motor mount and metal firewall which is glued/secured into the foam.

Apprentice - 840kV with 5mm shaft fitted with set-screw type prop adapter to 3/8" prop shaft, prop self centers & aligns automatically.
Attaches to a plastic motor mount and plastic firewall which is glued/secured onto the foam.

Sensei - A little bit of down and right thrust angle
Apprentice - More noticeable down and left thrust angle
ESC/BEC
Sensei - Uses combo 30A ESC and (?)A BEC, located in the cowl underneath the motor. Programmable brake (on/off) only.
Apprentice - Uses combo 30A ESC and 0.7A BEC, located in the electronics compartment. 7 programmable features/functions.
Servos
Sensei - 10g micro, nylon gears, for ailerons, elevator, rudder/nose wheel, and drop door. Screwed into basswood mounts.
Apprentice - 13g micro, metal gears, for ailerons and elevator. Full size, nylon gear for rudder/nose wheel. Glued into place.
Push Rods
Sensei - Uses screw lock connectors at servo control arms and Faslinks at control surface horns. Control horns snap fit together (2 pieces) and are glued to control surfaces. Push rods are hidden from view as much as possible.

Apprentice - Uses z-bends at servo control arms and clevises at control surface horns (except nose gear, which is opposite). Control horns screw together (2 pieces) and are sticky-taped to control surfaces. Push rods are more visible.
Receiver
Sensei - Receiver is mounted via hook&loop fastener in rear compartment.
Apprentice - Receiver (AR500 or AR6200) fits in a perfectly sized cut-out in the foam.
Battery
Sensei - 2200mAh, 11.1V (3S), approx. 200g (0.44 lb)
Apprentice - 3200mAh, 11.1V (3S), approx. 250g (0.55 lb)
Flight Characteristics
Sensei - Medium power, can do rolls and inverted (w/forward/down elevator), loops are possible with higher speed but struggles at times.
Glides forever, rolls forever after landing. Rather docile, can have trouble flying at 50% power - better at 75%. 7.5 minute flights on 2200. Handles wind great. Can still see at 500-600 ft altitude/distance. 30-40 mph max. speed.

Apprentice - More power, can roll, loop and fly inverted (w/forward/down elevator). Fairly responsive. Great flying at 50% power. Tends to nose down during gliding. 15 minute flights on 3200; 10 mins on 2200. Handles wind great. Can still see at 500-600 ft altitude/distance. 40-50 mph max. speed.
Ground Handling
Sensei - Plane can wander a bit as there is some slop in the nose gear steering mechanism. Difficult to adjust pushrod at servo for tighter turning. Nose gear wire can noisily move up and down and rattles fairly loudly. Plastic wheels tend to rattle and are a bit noisy.

Apprentice - Plane tracks straight as there is no slop in the nose gear steering mechanism. Can easily adjust pushrod at servo for tighter turning. Nose gear wire does not move up and down and creates no noise. Plastic wheels are rather quiet and don't rattle that much.
Landing
Sensei - Can be tricky on paved surfaces as plane will roll forever if sufficient airspeed hasn't been bled off before landing. Stops quickly in grass. Prop is far enough from ground that reasonable grass landings aren't a problem.

Apprentice - Slows down fairly quickly on paved surfaces - plane weighs less so less momentum. Stops quickly in grass. Prop is rather close to ground - grass landings can easily cause propeller problems if contact is made.
Last edited by FR4-Pilot; Jun 08, 2015 at 06:33 PM.
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Jun 08, 2015, 01:46 PM
Registered User
amazing comparison, excellent work!
Jun 08, 2015, 07:16 PM
Ban Glyphosate NOW !!!
FR4-Pilot's Avatar
Thread OP
Thanks for checking it out !

I hope it was helpful
Sep 10, 2015, 10:33 PM
Registered User
Well done and very comprehensive. Thanks for doing this!
Sep 21, 2015, 10:31 PM
Ban Glyphosate NOW !!!
FR4-Pilot's Avatar
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Your welcome. Thanks for stopping by!
Jan 18, 2016, 08:19 PM
Sea2Sky2See
Dparture's Avatar
FR4 --- Very helpful, thank you! -- Could you elaborate on this note about the Sensei? -- "additional 1800 2S battery for CG"
Does an 1800 fit in the compartment with the 2200?
Is it just dead weight?
And is this instead of, or in addition to, the lead weights under the cowling?
Last edited by Dparture; Jan 18, 2016 at 08:21 PM. Reason: added a question
Jan 18, 2016, 10:09 PM
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FR4-Pilot's Avatar
Thread OP
Hey Dparture - thanks for stopping by!

Yes the 2S lipo is dead weight, in addition to the weights in the cowl. Mine wouldn't balance without that extra weight up front. I had a thin 2S pack that I was able to slide in next to the flight battery with maybe a little shaving of the foam in the forward compartment. I also later installed a larger motor and bigger ESC up front which added weight - then I was able to remove the 2S lipo for CG.

-John


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