A Smooth(E) Axe(i) for cutting wind! - RC Groups
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May 25, 2004, 01:20 PM
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cadconversions's Avatar

A Smooth(E) Axe(i) for cutting wind!

A great plane deserves a great name...

I finally got to maiden my SmoothE from Mountain Models yesterday. I've been extremely busy and was just now able to go fly it.


Axi 2212/26
APC 9x6 prop
8 Cell - 1100 NiMH, 8 cell - 600AE, or 2s and 3s Li-pos.
3 - HS-55 Servos
Hitec 555 w/ Litenna
Jeti 18 Amp brushless controller

I only have Axi motors in all of my Speed 300 size planes so I first elected to use the SA mount for the AXI motors. However, the mount wouldn't fit inside the plane without some slight modifications so I decided to cut the stick mount off and redo the cowl rings to included a piece of ply that had been drilled to except the Axi. This works great but it does prevent the exchange of motors to a different type of motor. The SA mount would have worked with less modification but I decided to leave that to Boomer.

I also purchased a Jeti 18 Amp brushless controller before I ever got into Li-po's so I wasn't concerened about the Adjustable LVC. This controller doesn't have it so I opted for the 8-cell packs instead of the Li-pos. However, I can still fly with the li-po's but have to watch my current draw / voltage more closely.

Flight report:
I hate to admit it but the first flight was supposed to be a taxi run around my driveway but with the lack of power available the plane leaped into the air and I decided it was time for a good maiden around my backyard. I wish I could tell you that I had a lot of room to fly the plane in but it was only a small circle. Quickly landed and realized how great it flew so I took off again and flew a couple more circuits. Roll out is about 6' or less at full power and it climbs straight as an arrow.

I drove to the local high school and flew 4 more packs through the plane. The AXI 2212026 does great on 8 cell packs but will really move the plane on 3s packs. On the 8 cell packs and a 9 x 6 I cruise around at 3/8 throttle and haul Axi on full throttle. Climb isn't unlimited but it will climb all day long at a fairly steep angle.

Slow flight:

Great slow flight characteristics, however, this is not a slow plane due to the thinner airfoil. However, I wouldn't want it to fly much slower because I like more of a glide path than a "fall out of the sky" path. Touch-N-Go's were easy and the plane made me look like a pro. There was a couple of clicks of trim difference between crusing speed and full throttle for the elevator.

Fast flight:

At full throttle the plane ascended quickly and never let up. I think the plane can be way overpowered and never bother it. The plane tracked well and I could consistantly fly small circles at full throttle with no loss in altitude and while keeping the circles symetrical.


I'm not the next TOC winner but I found the plane really fun to fly. Snap rolls were my favorite (especially at full throttle ) but the loops were also good as well as hammerheads and inverted flight. On my 2nd flight at the high school I pulled inverted and flew two circuits around the parking lot completed inverted. With only a hint of "down" elevator to keep me flying level. The plane is so easy to predict and control that it gives the flyer more confidence. At 3 mistakes high (easy to get to that altitude with the 2212/26) I entered a flat spin but as I applied power and opposite aileron to flatten the spin out the airplane flew straight out of the spin! That's not what's supposed to happen From there I tried more aggresive spins and never could get the plane to really get my nerves going. It would do anything I asked but would always fly out like a trainer.

I never noticed any tendencies to tip stall coming in for landings or while trying glide around. All of the stalls were straight forward except for one with a drop off to the left.

If your looking for a great aileron trainer or you want to be more adventurous with a full house trainer this is the plane for you.

Problems / Issues:

Doug / Matthew, please, please, please, replace the balsa battery tray with light ply instead of balsa. I understand the argument with trying to make that the breaking point instead of the plane but you can't even get the battery to anchor well to the velcro for fear of breaking the balsa. Please, please, please.....

Other than that single issues, the plane is a winner. Flies great and "cuts" the wind better than any plane I've flow. Can't wait to take it this weekend to the "glow" field and show my buddies what electrics can really do.

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May 25, 2004, 01:25 PM
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cadconversions's Avatar
I covered with wing with Red Solite over the strapping tape. I placed strapping tape at all of the recommended places and also placed it at a few additional places. I also used clear packing tape over the leading and trailing edges to help strengthen the plane that much more. I intended to use the plane to traing some buddies to fly but with this much fun they might not touch it!
May 25, 2004, 01:33 PM
-- Made in DETROIT --

Smooth-E is a winner..

Sir, Thanks for sharing the pics of your plane.I will possibly use your mod when I build mine soon.I have the /34 AXI but may purchase the one you used.Great flying characteristics....and its part foam so its not so fragile...What was your AUW with the polys..??
May 25, 2004, 01:40 PM
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The /34 is great too (I have one of those as well) but the /26 is a hotter wind motor. It can take more amps, but doesn't spin as big of a prop. Be carefull with the /26 on 3s packs and your prop selection.

AUW with 8 cell - 1100 packs is:19.2 oz.

AUW with 2s1p - 830 Appogee is: 14.3 oz

All flying done above was with 8 cell packs.

AUW without battery is: 12.7 oz
May 25, 2004, 04:06 PM
Registered User
the Swamp Fox's Avatar
Great report ,nice looking bird!

I'm running three AXI's now and have a 4th awaiting a home.
wonderful motors ...funny I've been calling mine "the AXE" as well

Continued good luck!
May 25, 2004, 04:32 PM
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cadconversions's Avatar
Quick experiment.....

I just test flew it with a 2s1p - 1500 Kokam pack on a 9x6 prop to show a buddy of mine how it flies. Same side yard as the previous first couple of flights but with the 5 oz less weight it flew like a rocket (relative speed must be accounted for because of the small space it was flown in). The plane I'm sure will have unlimited vertical (or as close as you can come) with the 2s pack. I'll have to fly it again at the high school to confirm....
May 25, 2004, 10:26 PM
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jojonz's Avatar
I am using a Hacker 20-22, GWS D and a Li-po 3s just switched to a 10x6 DD prop and wow it jumps into the air like a Harier jet, and can vertical to a spot in the sky.
I agree it has great ability in the wind, infact it is the only plane I am flying at the moment as the winter winds have arrived.
Wish I had gone the AXI way however, as the GWS box on mine is a bit noisy.
I Like your engine mounting idea cadconversion,does it get hot like that?
Have got a 2212 34 AXI all ready for the Miniflash when I get time,this could be a good way to mount it.
May 25, 2004, 10:33 PM
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cadconversions's Avatar
I have the top of the cowl removed for now so there is no way for it to get too hot. Even when I cover the top I'm going to add a vent to the top and bottom of the motor compartment to help cool batteries, esc, and motor.

Winds were really up this afternoon so I briefly tried the 2s pack again and the plane was too light. The wind really tossed it but with the 8 cell pack it cut the wind nice.

Be sure to run the /34 on 3s packs to really get the best out of that motor. I've got plans for a Miniflash and a razor 2500 that I plan to purchase....Think it will be slightly overpowered? I saw the video on www.b-p-p.com/razor.htm of the miniflash with 2500 and couldn't pick my jaw up off the floor. The AXI motors are great and quiet but the geared setups have more versatility.

May 25, 2004, 11:32 PM
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jojonz's Avatar
What is overpowered anyway?
The wings stayed on!!!
I agree the video does look pretty impressive.
May 25, 2004, 11:37 PM
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cadconversions's Avatar
Yeah, my Axi isn't quite that impressive but it does have pretty good climb-out. Maybe I can get a short video together to post.
May 26, 2004, 12:28 AM
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jojonz's Avatar
That would be great.
Jun 16, 2004, 10:55 PM
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cadconversions's Avatar
Finally got a short video together. It's in the zip file. Right Click and "Save Target As" then uncompress it to play. Sorry it's so complicated, no way to host (don't want to sign up for the free website and have to maintain that either). File is less than 1 MB
Dec 12, 2004, 12:13 PM
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brianb10's Avatar
What kind of wing you got on there?
Dec 12, 2004, 05:07 PM
Pro Bro #1442
W'rkncacnter's Avatar
That would be the Sport. Cad, your plane came out about the same as my Brothers, Plane Stupid, Red EconoKote on the Top, Yellow Ultrakote on the Bottom of the wing and all over the fuse. The Hor. Stab and rudder were red while the Vert. Stab and Elavator were Yellow, with red Ailerons.
Dec 13, 2004, 02:34 PM
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cadconversions's Avatar
I had the sport wing and an AXI 2212/26. Now my buddy has the plane as I traded it for a Super Skybolt Bi-plane. I wished I kept the SmoothE. Almost everyday I go to MM's website and think about buying another one. It was amazing on 3s or 10 cell NiMH pack. My buddy flew it on a 2s pack for what seemed like days before it would run out of juice.

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