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Apr 04, 2017, 11:19 AM
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GWRIGHT's Avatar

large King Air for Top Gun

I thought some might be interested in seeing a large electric that will be flying at top gun this year. Mike Barbee has built a 155 inch King Air 90 that Frank Noll will be flying for him . It’s a couple years in the works , quarter scale, and has two of the large Kontroniks KSG geared systems with pyro 850’s, and controlled by two cool Kosmik 200 ESC’s. Test flights were last weekend at AMA HQ in Muncie. Each side is running on 12s/2p packs of 6s/5500 batteries, so 12s/11000mah, and peak current on the ground of roughly 103 amps, so about 4.4kw per side, spinning 21.6X16 3 blade varioprops at 5200 rpms. The plane is 90 lbs, so it’s just under 100 watts per pound peak on ground. It’s perfectly powered for top gun scale competition as you can see in the video below. Video is from the first day so flight time is short, but now Frank is flying it through the full routine they will use at topgun, flying 10 minutes, and using 60% of the capacity in the packs . It’s exactly as mike wanted, powered appropriately, a nice margin of excess “fuel” in the tank, and power systems are overkill, so should remain perfectly dependable/reliable. It was in the mid 50’s Saturday and breezy, so things should remain cool, but thermal checks at the end of each flight showed motors and ESC at 60 degrees after the first 3 minute flight, and 60~61 for each of a few 7 minute flights afterwards. The power systems are just loafing  Kontroniks tweaked a special version of firmware for the ESC’s to get the nice slow start without heli/governer mode. The power systems are overkill, as they’re Ok for well over twice that much peak wattage, but the goal wasn’t max power, it was appropriate power with some cushion in both power and duration.
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Apr 04, 2017, 11:35 AM
Supersonic Engineering
GordonTarling's Avatar
Very impressive!
Apr 04, 2017, 12:07 PM
Official Boat Bum
Eddie P's Avatar
I like it! The geared setup is perfect for the big props!
Apr 04, 2017, 09:55 PM
Registered User
Wow. You can buy the power units on Amazon for only $1,600...

Apr 04, 2017, 10:33 PM
Official Boat Bum
Eddie P's Avatar
Is that all? The speed controllers are well known to be bank busters in the helicopter world. Nearly $900 each, themselves.

My last large project was generally thought to be best suited for a Hacker Q80 motor. At about $800 for that motor, if you can get it in the states without hassle... it was a stretch. I tried to get it but it was nearly impossible. The speed controller to run it was also quite pricey. By fortunate coincidence I found people having a lot of success with the Dualsky GA6000.8M. I ended up going with that specific $250 unit that, in most respects, meets or exceeds the H Q80 specs. And the latest firmware on the $250 CC160f runs it very well. My project is also a turboprop subject... I don't get the super slow spool up on my "electric" turboprop but I do get very good operational performance (and I have asked btw, and no the super slow spool up is not coming via revision). I am sadly aware of reality in my case being about $800 standing in between me and a fully scale spool up but I have accepted that as the price of being a family man with two college educations still to save for

In any regard I'm not flying my model at Top Gun. This King Air is pretty cool and a game changer in the coolness factor!
Apr 05, 2017, 08:29 AM
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GWRIGHT's Avatar
Can't forget batteries too,..there are 4 of these per side

Top gun is "THE" premier scale competition. I've been to it many times (not as competitor, just as a spectator, and several years in the past a noon demo pilot with helis),.. and considering what I've seen there, I've never seen cost as a top consideration for the competitors. Many go to extreme lengths. I think he said 2000 hours just in construction of this model
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Apr 05, 2017, 08:59 PM
Official Boat Bum
Eddie P's Avatar
I'm running 4 of those type packs per motor as well but I'm only paying $85 a pop and probably no worse on performance but I know I am way lighter at least!
Apr 05, 2017, 09:50 PM
Onward and Upward
CatManDu's Avatar
Too bad the props don't unfeather on start up and he needs to turn the landing lights off until he's cleared for takeoff. If he wants it to look like a full size one. Good looking replica.
Last edited by CatManDu; Apr 08, 2017 at 10:15 PM.
Dec 20, 2017, 10:22 AM
66 yrs of flying stuff
chuckstarck's Avatar

landing lights

maybe the lights are in taxi mode, probably has that function too

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