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Aug 19, 2017, 07:36 AM
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Yippee!

E-Flite Apprentice S 15e - My son's first plane


Ever since my son was born he's been exposed to aviation. One of his first words was "helicopter", seriously! As an aircraft mechanic for the airlines naturally I'm a aviation enthusiast. Plastic models, books, RC planes and helicopters, he's been exposed to it from day 1. Aviation and Pittsburgh sports are a constant theme in my house . A few months ago I was setting up Phoenix on a new laptop I purchased, he seen me flying and wanted to try. I hand him the radio and get him setup. He's not a natural, by any means, but he was really interested. Since that day he would ask me on several occasions if he could fly, absolutely! In July while thinking of a present for him for his upcoming 6th birthday we decided to get him his first plane. The only plane that came to my mind for him was the Apprentice. When the box arrived directly from HH weeks before his birthday I couldn't wait to open it first and take a peek. We're all kids at heart, right? Looked AWESOME, so I closed the box and was excited for his reaction to his plane.
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Aug 19, 2017, 07:48 AM
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Fast forward to his birthday and he was really REALLY excited for his present. I told him, this is YOUR plane. I'm not going to do all the work for you. You're going to learn to build and repair it. That made him just as excited.

We started building it. First thing I noticed is WOW, the new Spektrum radio is very nice! Much nicer than what came before. Sweet! We pulled the cowl off to checkout the motor and motor mount. I never just trust the manufacturer put things together well. So we went through and began tightening all the screws on the motor and motor mount. Found a few less than snug, next we checked the set screws on the motor and adaptor for Loctite. OK for the most part, but not enough to my liking. So we applied some more and tightened properly. The plastic firewall is very sexy! There's a indent area about 1/4" all the way around the firewall. I decided to apply some 2-part epoxy all the way around that area, I handled this portion. Mixed some 15min 2-part and added a few drop of 91% alcohol to thin it out just a little. Everything came out nicely.
Aug 19, 2017, 07:59 AM
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When we ordered the plane for him, I also ordered some extra batteries for him and a ubec. I've been around the hobby long enough and knew I wanted to add a ubec for this plane. With the AS3X constantly working, I didn't want to rely just on the esc bec. I love the ZTW esc's so figured I would go with a ZTW ubec from MotionRC.

What batteries? Checked Admiral packs from MotionRC while I was ordering the ubec, I love those packs and also checked HK. But I decided to go with a brand I never tried before. Quick search on RCG and didn't find anything to steer me away from the new brand I decided to go with. Floureon 3s 3000mah 30c packs are what I went with. I also bought a 3s 1800mah 30c to try on my 3DHS Slick 580. I ordered the packs from Amazon and of course they came in quick. They look great! Stuck a battery checker on them and the cells were perfectly balanced, sweet.
Aug 19, 2017, 08:03 AM
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I wanted to do something a little different for him with the prop to make the plane unique for him. I've been playing with Hydro-Dipping lately so figured I would dip a prop for him. The stock prop is a 11x8, I had some APC 11x8.5 laying around that I use to run on my PKZ warbirds with the 15size motors. Figured what the heck, let's give it a try. So I started prepping the prop for him dipped it for him. I went with a metallic silver look and a carbon fiber design. Scuff, prime, paint, dip, clear coat and we have a finished prop for his plane. Came out really good.
Aug 19, 2017, 08:31 AM
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We got everything together, the last part needed was soldering. I replaced the EC3 on the ESC and stock battery with some Deans plugs and installed the ubec. I liked how E-Flite installed the switch with the ESC. It made for adding a ubec and keeping the switch very easily. Normally I remove the switch on HH planes, but for my son I kept it. I unplugged the ESC from the Y-Connector, slid the red wire from the rx plug and plugged the esc directly into the Throttle channel of the rx. With the ubec soldered to the esc I plugged one end into the Switch Y-Connector and the other end into the batt slot of the rx. The bec comes with 3 voltage choices - 5v, 5.5v, and 6v. I found no information on the servos for max voltage, I wanted higher than 5v, but wasn't sure if 6v would be safe. So I settled on 5.5v. I installed the ubec on top of the plastic bracket the esc is attached to. I used hot glue around the plastic mount to ensure it didn't come out, used a zip-tie and a piece of tape. Came out nicely. I also used a servo extender safety clip, I use the same when installing the aileron wings to the their extenders. I normally use 3M 4010 mounting tape for my gyros or FBL controllers. It's the best stuff I've found and it's used by the 3D Heli guys because of it's strength. I felt the AS3X and it felt really secure, so I left it. I'll check prior to flying to make sure it stays secure. The slightest movement and I'll replace immediately .
Last edited by Diesel6401; Aug 19, 2017 at 08:37 AM.
Aug 19, 2017, 09:11 AM
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For the wings, the double sided tape wasn't going to work for me. I needed something I can quickly and easily spilt the wings without damaging the plane. I seen here someone using Velcro, brilliant! That'll work perfectly!
Aug 19, 2017, 09:15 AM
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Last step was program the plane to my DX8. I'll be buddy cording with him until he gets more comfortable. I'll takeoff/land and control the throttle.

Years ago when I taught more people to fly I found that using a standard 3.5mm audio cable works perfectly and it's a lot cheaper than what HH is charging for the Spektrum cord. I have a Radio Shack cord that I've used for years. Bench testing worked great.
Aug 19, 2017, 09:19 AM
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Maiden was 8/14. I'm not sure who was more nervous him or me.

With the butterflies in my stomach I tookoff flew around a few laps and landed. I then buddy corded him up and took off again. Success! We flew together for awhile and then I turned for final and brought her in smoothly.

What a GREAT feeling! First flight I ever had with my son!!!! Proud Dad!
Aug 20, 2017, 08:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diesel6401
Maiden was 8/14. I'm not sure who was more nervous him or me.

With the butterflies in my stomach I tookoff flew around a few laps and landed. I then buddy corded him up and took off again. Success! We flew together for awhile and then I turned for final and brought her in smoothly.

What a GREAT feeling! First flight I ever had with my son!!!! Proud Dad!
A good dad!
Aug 24, 2017, 03:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thomaswood
A good dad!
Thank you very much!


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