Bill Hempel Xtreme Decathlon

From the build to the first flight, we take a look at this clipped-wing Decathlon.

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The smallest giant scale plane from Team Edge

Bill Hempel's lineup of giant scale ARF's are as close as you can get to full-scale flying, so when this "tiny" 25% Super Decathlon with a 92" clipped wing was introduced at the beginning of 2014, it created a lot of buzz with those eager to get their hands on a Team Edge design that can be taken to the field without a tandem axle trailer!

Covered in Ferrari Red Oracover, the Xtreme Decathlon is one good looking bird. It builds quickly and easily, and although I did encounter a few small issues during the build, it wasn't a deal breaker by any means. Let's take a look at the contents and touch on some of the main assembly points.

Contents and Assembly

The wings feature pocket hinges with carbon fiber tubes running from the wing root out to the end of the ailerons. The Extreme Decathlon features flaps not found on its bigger brother, the 100" Super Decathlon. The flaps have the added advantage of rotating up, so they can be coupled with the ailerons for increased roll rate in flight. The instructions ask you to tighten any wrinkles in the Oracover, but I didn't find a single piece of lose covering on the entire airframe. Bonus!

The rudder and elevator attach to the stabilizers with Robart-style hinges. The holes are pre-drilled, making quick work of this assembly step. The horizontal stab slides easily into it's slot in the fuselage; a nice coating of 30-minute epoxy makes it a permanent installation.

Lot's of carbon fiber accessories come with the Xtreme, including carbon landing gear, spinner, tail wheel assembly, and wing tube.

The wheel pants need a little trimming before they can fit. I took a Dremel with a sanding disc to the opening that fits over the axle shaft and opened it up a little. Once they fit in place, use the pilot holes in the landing gear to drill through the wheel pants, and install the blind nuts. Make sure the wheel pants are parallel with the fuselage before drilling into them.

The cowl is thick fiberglass, and painted almost a perfect match to the red Oracover. You'll need to whip out the Dremel again and cut out the intake under the propeller, and the exhaust area at the bottom of the cowl. If you decide to use the stock canister exhaust, a little cutting is required to make it fit. Additionally, the spark plug boot on my DLE 55 hit the cowl, forcing me to trim a little in that area as well. Don't sweat it though; even with the cowl trimmed for a canister and the plug boot, it still looks great.

The fuselage comes with a door on the right and a window on the left that both open for easy access to your electronics. They are hinged with the same ones used in the tail, but are not glued in, so make sure to permanently attach the hinges or you could lose the door in flight. The side windows are smoked acrylic and the front windshield is smoked lexan with painted edges to match the fuselage. The windows all fit well, and were glued in with standard canopy glue.

The motor mount is strong with ample glue holding it together. The DLE 55 template was matched to the laser-cut "X" in the middle of the mount, and holes drilled perfectly. With the included engine standoff's, the space between the cowl and the back plate of the spinner is about 1/2".

There's ample hardware included with the Xtreme Decathlon, including some very strong titanium Pro-Links and carbon fiber pushrods for the elevator.

Videos

Flight Photos

Last edited by Matt Gunn; Sep 30, 2014 at 02:05 PM..
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Oct 01, 2014, 05:56 AM
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Steve Merrill's Avatar
Whats the all up weight ? Can you show more photos showing your choke holder with the popsicle stick?
Oct 01, 2014, 01:13 PM
ltc
ltc
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ltc's Avatar
Does anyone know what is shown on the firewall below the engine mounting box in this photo?

https://static.rcgroups.net/forums/a...94-still25.jpg

It looks like an optional cutout which would make an electric conversion possible, which would be fantastic.

Or is it for something else entirely?
Oct 01, 2014, 03:40 PM
Go Fly Yourself...!!
xxD-Manxx's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by ltc
Does anyone know what is shown on the firewall below the engine mounting box in this photo?

https://static.rcgroups.net/forums/a...94-still25.jpg

It looks like an optional cutout which would make an electric conversion possible, which would be fantastic.

Or is it for something else entirely?
ITC...

That's meant to be a tunnel for an optional engine exhaust canister.
But the room can be used for anything you wish.

Cheers,
D-Man
Oct 01, 2014, 05:07 PM
ltc
ltc
AMA 97737
ltc's Avatar
Thank you very much for the reply
Oct 02, 2014, 10:43 AM
I hate waiting for parts
Mike_Then's Avatar
Electric flight is the way of the future - all planes should have provisioning for e-power... and by that I mean a magnetic hatch (or something similar) to access the batteries. I wonder if that's what Bill had in mind when designing the removable door? Looks like plenty of room to get batteries in and out.
Oct 02, 2014, 12:27 PM
Go Fly Yourself...!!
xxD-Manxx's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike_Then
Electric flight is the way of the future - all planes should have provisioning for e-power... and by that I mean a magnetic hatch (or something similar) to access the batteries. I wonder if that's what Bill had in mind when designing the removable door? Looks like plenty of room to get batteries in and out.
I've been flying this plane for a couple of weeks now on gas with a DLE 55.
Although I can see where it could easily be flown on a electric set up suitable for a 50cc size plane.
There's a hinged door on the right side as well as a hinged window on the left. They're in place to facilitate access for not only the batteries but also wing bolts, rudder servo and RX. In short... general maintenance access to the business end of the plane.

Please feel free to use these images as reference.

Gear installed includes:
DLE55 w/Bisson Pitts Muffler
Xoar 23X8 Carbon Prop
4titude tanks (fuel and smoke)
Harris Smoke Pump
XQ-4120 servos all around (first time using these)
Spektrum Navigation
2s 1800mah Lipo batteries (2 ea)


Cheers,
D-Man
Last edited by xxD-Manxx; Oct 06, 2014 at 09:45 AM.
Oct 02, 2014, 12:33 PM
ltc
ltc
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Thank you for the pictures.
I am just finishing an electric conversion build .... Hacker Q80-7m outrunner rather than a DLE55
http://ecsvr.com/abm/shopexd.asp?id=3378

In order to hit the CG, I needed 2 5s 8000mAH packs under the plane in the chin cowl, half over the firewall, half on the floor. I was lucky the plane had a chin cowl designed in; I only had to replace the wood screws with blind nuts and thumbscrews for easy removal ... well, not as easy if I could have used the canopy.
There was no way to hit the CG with the batteries inside the fuse even up against the firewall; the nose moment was just too short, which I think would also be the case with this plane.

The issue is always being able to get the batteries far enough forward to compensate for the lighter weight of the outrunner compared to the gas engine.

I'm going to study the pictures to see how I could mount the batteries forward, likely planning on using the same Q80 on a 10s setup.
Oct 02, 2014, 12:44 PM
Go Fly Yourself...!!
xxD-Manxx's Avatar
No worries ITC ...

This may or may not help...
One thing I noodled over was placement of both tanks... gas and smoke.
Given the lack of full access as I've had in other planes I bought and heavily modified a Fortitude tank tray... then screwed it down to the Fuse thus allowing me to slide the tanks in and only using one strap at the rear to hold them down.

I'm thinking this same sort of tray idea would work for your 10s set up.

PS... This plane does fly very well. I love the scale look combine with the great aerobatic performance!

Cheers,
D-Man
Last edited by xxD-Manxx; Oct 02, 2014 at 12:51 PM.
Oct 03, 2014, 05:17 PM
Go Fly Yourself...!!
xxD-Manxx's Avatar

Wing Bag for your Helpel 25% XD


Greetings everyone..
Consider this a PSA.

I found a wing bag that works well with the Hempel 25% XD.
As long as your able/willing to fold the wing struts by pulling the two bolts from the center supports on each wing...
One of the 46" rectangular wing bags from Hobby Pack works great to hold/transport your wings and wing tube!!

Cheers,
D-Man
Oct 09, 2014, 09:52 AM
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RC_Feen's Avatar
Would a DA50 work as well with this airframe? Thanks!
Oct 09, 2014, 10:02 AM
Go Fly Yourself...!!
xxD-Manxx's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by RC_Feen
Would a DA50 work as well with this airframe? Thanks!
I've seen it fly on a DLE 30.... The DA50 will work well.

Cheers,
D-Man
Oct 09, 2014, 11:34 AM
Registered User
RC_Feen's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by xxD-Manxx
I've seen it fly on a DLE 30.... The DA50 will work well.

Cheers,
D-Man
Thanks for the reply. I would think a DA60 would be overkill then?
Oct 09, 2014, 11:42 AM
Go Fly Yourself...!!
xxD-Manxx's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by RC_Feen
Thanks for the reply. I would think a DA60 would be overkill then?
OverKill?? Is that possible in RC?

What I know is the DLE30 25% Decathlon goes only limited vertically.
My DLE55 XD will do unlimited vertical and as well as hover the airframe effortlessly.

If you only have a DA60, the airframe will handle it.

Cheers,
D-Man
Oct 09, 2014, 02:17 PM
Registered User
RC_Feen's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by xxD-Manxx
OverKill?? Is that possible in RC?

What I know is the DLE30 25% Decathlon goes only limited vertically.
My DLE55 XD will do unlimited vertical and as well as hover the airframe effortlessly.

If you only have a DA60, the airframe will handle it.

Cheers,
D-Man
I would need to get a engine and want to get a DA. Just not sure which one to get. 50 or 60? This plane caught my eye and the more I look at it the more I'm wanting to get it. Suits my type of flying and would be a good platform for my GoPro. Are you running smoke in your XD? In the pic's you posted I see two tanks so I would think your running smoke. Thanks!


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