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May 27, 2004, 12:35 PM
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got my Klein Vintage -- first impressions

Well, I received my Klein "Vintage" yesterday. I didn't get a chance to really get started on it, but I did go through the box. Here are my initial impressions -- I'll try to post some pics tonight.

-- Nicely built & covered -- I didn't see any flaws looking it over. Well packed, too -- no damage. You have to cut out the covering in a couple of places (side vents, nose opening). That's about it.

-- There's a lot of room in the fuse for mounting stuff. BUT, you'll be taping it to the sides, because there's no bottom.

Actually, what they did was to have a single, 1/4" keel that bows down below the sides, then streched the covering over that. So the bottom is mostly unsupported covering. I'm thinking of running a strip of packing tape down the bottom, because it sure looks like it'll puncture on any kind of a rough landing. Maybe not, we'll see.

-- The instructions are pretty well non-existent. There is a single page of color photos that give you some hints. I never thought I'd be wishing for something as good as a GWS manual

-- The wing tip spars are curved back quite a ways. I don't know that it makes any difference, but it scores well on my neat-o-meter. I'm glad they made the tips transparent.

-- It looks like it won't be hard to add a spoiler to the center section of the wing. I'll fly her stock for a bit, but that's on my list. F5J and all.

FWIW, I'm using a 2s1p iRate 1800 Lipo, Axi 2808/16 motor, CC Phoenix 25 esc, 2x allerc no-name 9g. servos, and rx yet-to-be-determined. I have an old FMA fortress 8ch, which is my only long-range receiver. But, FMA will be at a local club event this weekend, so I may come home with a new ultra-light receiver.

That's all I can think of for now. I'll post more notes & pics as I get them.

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May 27, 2004, 07:56 PM
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Side & bottom:


Jun 01, 2004, 04:19 AM
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So far I have the wing put together and the covering cut out in the nose and vents. I've test-fit the motor, and it's tight, but it fits. Random thoughts so far:

The fit of the ply parts is too tight. It took me a couple hours to get the 4 plywood diehedral praces into the wing, because the holes that were cut into the wing ribs were about 0.05" narrower than the plywood braces. Each brace goes through 2 rinbs in each wing panel (i.e. one brace goes through 2 ribs in the tip and 2 in the wing center section). That eliminates opening up the holes, since you can't reach the inner hole inside the wing. So, I spent about 2 hrs sanding down the thickness of the braces. Not the end of the world, but a pain.

All of the ply is router-cut, so it all needs a quick touch of sandpaper to take the splinters off -- no big deal. The router cutting may also be why the fit is so tight. The front wing hold-down is also too tight and had to be opened up a touch.

Once the wing was together, there were some fairly big (1/8" or so) gaps between the wingtip root ribs and the center section end ribs. They touched at the leading and trailing edges, but not in the center. I snugged them together as much as possible without inducing any twist, then ran clear packing tape over the joint on both sides. As tightly as those ply braces fit, I think it'll be fine.

The covering over the side vents cuts out very nicely if you use a sharp #11, and I really like the looks of them when they are opened up.

After some hunting, I found a reasonable prop set-up. I thought HL's $30-ish suggested prop combo was a bit much. (One of the reasons I don't use them if I can help it. They push very expensive options for no good reason. But, that's a different discussion.) Northeast Sailplanes sells an MPJet folding prop hub + spinner that fits on a 4mm shaft (what the axi has). You can get the spinner with vents (like the fancy ones, but plastic), or not, and with either 6mm or 8mm prop root widths. I ordered a vented 8mm hub with 8x6 and 9x6 CAM blades. Spinner diameter is 40mm, whereas the nose of the vintage is ~45, but I'll live with it.

I have 2 micro-9 servos and a berg 5 channel on the way for radio equipment.

I measured and the iRate 1800 lipo is not going to fit flat in the fuse -- it'll have to lay in at an angle, if even then. "Order first, ask questions later", right? By design, the battery sits right below the wing, well back from the vents. I'd rather have it up front where it gets cooled. I may go to a 2s2p of iRate 800's -- I'll see how it balances out once the radio gear is in it.

That's about it for now.
Jun 15, 2004, 02:08 PM
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First flight

Wow -- I seem to be talking to myself But, I thought I'd finish out this thread for the archives.

I had my first flight last Sun, and the short version is -- it's great!

The longer version is this:

Gentle toss, 1/3 throttle, 8x6 CAM prop. It flew away like a park flyer -- gentle, easy climb, no odd behaviours. I flew a couple of circuits and got up about 75 ft. or so, then wacked the throttle open. Holy Cow. The thing tries to pitch over on it's back, but if you hold enough down elevator, she goes up at about a 75 degree angle for as long as you want.

Once off the power, it took me a while to get the plane settled down. It wanted to pitch-stall-recover over and over. I suspect that my over correcting was a large part of that problem. It needs really gentle inputs -- I may put in some exponential. Once trimmed, I got to the point where I was just letting the transmitter hang down by my side in my left hand, and brining it back up to keep her in range about once every 30 sec or so. Next time I'm taking a lawn chair

Anyway, it's got a very gentle glide, and even with no thermal, it'll stay up quite a while. I didn't exhaust the 1800 mAh battery in ~ 40 mins of flight. I'm going to need a bigger tx battery -- that's a good problem to have!

It's also quite fast -- a fairly short power-off dive will let you do at least 3 consecutive loops without the motor. With the side vents and an MPJet super-cool spinner, you get a very cool whistling sound on high-speed low fly-bys.

As you can probably tell, this is my first sailplane, so I can't compare it to anything. but I will say that I am very pleased with this plane as a first sailplane. After hearing some of the difficulties that people have had with the other RTF planes, I'm relieved to have not seen anything that gives me pause.

I'll try to get a few more pics and some random building notes put up this evening.

Jun 15, 2004, 03:23 PM
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Thanks for posting your flight report. I've got a Vintage pretty much finished and just waiting for a first flight. Glad yours went well. FWIW, mine also went together with fairly substantial gaps where the wing sections join. Something of a disappointment, but for the price, I guess I can't complain. Mine should be more of a gentle climber than yours, as it's powered by a geared Speed 400.

Thanks again for the posts.

Jun 16, 2004, 04:19 AM
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A few more pics

Yes, mine had the gaps too. I covered them with clear tape and pressed on. Doesn't seem to have hurt anything.

I weighed it this am, and mine is exactly 18 oz. without the battery. The irate is another 3.3 with connector. That makes it 21.3, or 6.7 oz lighter than spec. Gives a wing loading of 7.9 oz / ft. sq. I think that'll do.

I took some more pictures. The whole set is at my random collection of junk . Here are a couple that show some of the details.

The gear layout:

That's the berg 5 dsp, and 2x the micro-9 servos from allerc.


It doesn't look like it fits, but you can squish it down enough to get the wing on, and it won't move anywhere.

MPJet super cool hub & spinner:

Sorry it's so blurry, but you can see the opening in the spinner, and that there's a bit of space around the spinner. You can't see it in this pic, but the cooling holes in the firewall extend out enough that they can get air past the spinner as well as through it.
Jun 16, 2004, 04:28 AM
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Here are a couple of things I ran into.

First, I should have done something to keep the motor wires away from the can. It's only an issue on outrunner motors, but I'll be real unhappy if suddenly 20A or so decides to go through the side of the can instead of the windings. That'll make me grumpy.

The parts they give you for the elevator control horn won't fit. The screws are made to go from the horn side to the backing plate, and won't go the other way. If you do that, the screws will hit the rudder. I osed short, but bigger dia. self-taping screws to go in from the top.

The only other thing I can think of is that I wish I had put more downthrust in. But, it's too late now. At least for the Axi, the motor installation is a one-way trip. It's too big to come out between the formers, and you glue the firewall in, so it's there for the life of the plane. I suppose you could try to de-bond the firewall, but that sounds like a mess waiting to happen.

I hope this is useful / interesting to somebody!

Jun 16, 2004, 04:30 AM
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If you can, post some pics of your motor install -- I'd like to see how it goes in. Are you using an inline-type gearbox? What prop? I'm anxious to hear your impressions after the first flight. Is this your first sailplane?
Jun 17, 2004, 06:10 PM
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Okay, but remember you asked. Gearbox is inline 4:1. prop is Graupner Cam 11 x 8.

Essentially, I made a new firewall out of three layers of ply, all with matching air vents. The two layers of ply have a large circular hole in the center which the gearbox fits snugly into, the outermost later is the new "extended" firewall. This allowed me to move the motor gearbox combination farther out and allowed more of a taper so I can get away with using a spinner I already have. I really didn't want to spend $200 on a new motor/gearbox/prop/spinner for a $59 plane.

The first shot shows the front end and air vents.

Second shot: Well they call them lightning holes don't they?

Third shot showing barley acceptable spinner / fuse taper.

Fourth shot shows gearbox fit into new "inner" firewall.

Fifth shot : Shameless plug. That's how I cut the new firewall pieces and the Monocote that went over them.

Need parts cut, call me.
Jun 17, 2004, 08:01 PM
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Wow! I like the battery support piece -- that's neat. I made due with two strips ca
'd across. I like yours better

11x8? What's your amp draw going to be? Somewhere there's another thread where I got some help figuring out amps and props for the Axi, and 9x6 on 2 lipos was about the best I was going to manage. If you can turn an 11x8, I'm going to be all kinds of jealous You may make me have to go out & get a 3s1p battery.

Jun 17, 2004, 08:17 PM
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Hey Dave,

Amp draw is around 10 amps or less. Don't forget, I'm geared at 4:1. I ran this same gearbox/prop combo on an old X400 from SR Batteries for several seasons, however, these days I'm leaning more towards cruciform tails on poly ships. That's why the Vintage caught my eye, well, that and the price. Hopefully I'll get the chance to fly it within the next week or so, just waiting for suitable weather to coincide with time off.