Freewing A-4E/F Skyhawk 80 mm - RC Groups
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Sep 07, 2017, 02:24 PM
Redneck Injuneer
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Build Log

Freewing A-4E/F Skyhawk 80 mm

Mine arrived yesterday at my work and I got a little done on it last night before calling it a day. Basically, inspected the carton contents and started applying decals since I'd rather work with small sections than try to juggle the assembled model while trying to apply water slide decals. At least they won't be as bad as the A-10 was since there's not as many of them.

More to come in following posts.
Latest blog entry: Freewing A-4E/F Skyhawk 80 mm
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Sep 07, 2017, 02:43 PM
Redneck Injuneer
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With hurricane Irma approaching things were really slow at work today and just before lunch they asked for volunteers that wold like to take the rest of the dy off without pay. I think my hand was the 1st one in the air.
My 1st objective today was to check the connections between the ESC and motor after reading instances of them being loose in the main discussion thread. Mine were not fully seated so remedied that before proceeding to the next steps.
I meant to post this in the OP but forgot it. Motion's Capt Mike did a build video for this model and I strongly suggest anyone building one of these watch it. It covers some things not mentioned in the assembly manual.
Freewing 80mm A-4 Skyhawk Build Overview (21 min 48 sec)

Following the video and the manual my next step was to install the rear fuselage along with the vertical fin & elevator.
Removed the battery tray to facilitate routing the elevator and rudder leads underneath it and added the non slip mat to the forward portion.
After that I took a break for lunch before coming back and finishing up the decal application for the left side.
This is where I decided to take another break to start this thread and allow the decals to cure a bit before starting on the other side.
More to come later.
Latest blog entry: Freewing A-4E/F Skyhawk 80 mm
Sep 07, 2017, 05:00 PM
Redneck Injuneer
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I still need to set the CG and control throws but it's basically done.
This is a another link useful for anyone building one of these. An addendum on setup of the model.

9/9/17: With the maiden done yesterday I've added a few more shots to this post. The maiden required a bit of up trim probably due to my choice of a slightly nose heavy CG. (190 mm instead of 195 mm). Even with being nose heavy the elevator still had PLENTY of authority.
The manual called for the elevator linkage to be in the outer most hole of the servo arm but I moved mine in 1 hole. Spektrum DX-18 throws are as follow.
Aileron High Rate 90%, Mid 60% and Low 50% 30% expo on all. Maiden flight done on LOW
Elevator High Rate 100%, Mid 85% and Low 75%. 30% expo on all. Maiden flight done on LOW
Rudder High rate 100%, Mid 80% and Low 60%. 30% expo on all Maiden flight done on LOW
Flaps Position 0 100%, Position 1 0% , Position 2 - 60% Flaps were not used on the maiden due to wind condition (and not deploying equally, something I fixed today)
When checking flap travels one side was giving more travel than the other. Inspecting servo arm position showed one was off by what appeared to be one tooth. (Check done at Position 2 of the flap switch where travel should be at center). Regardless of which one was off I was going to attack the one in the right wing since it gave better access to the servo arm. These servos are glued in really well (makes me miss the older models that have servo pockets with screw down cover plates) . Going after the one in the right wing I was able to make a little slot and use a long phillips head driver to remove the arm without pulling the servo. Moved it one spline on the servo and it looked really close to my eyes. Readjusted the linkage on that side and eyeballed travel before reinstalling the screw.. Got my digital caliper back out and checked travels on both sides. Now equal.
Last edited by bill34207; Sep 09, 2017 at 01:28 PM.
Sep 08, 2017, 12:15 PM
Redneck Injuneer
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Made an attempt to get ahead of "Irmageddon" and went for my maiden today. Not ideal conditions with about an 11 mph 45 degree to the runway wind but went for it. The maiden was uneventful and only needed a little bit of up trim to get the model flying straight.

No video shot of the maiden but got one of our club members to run camera on the 2nd attempt. The maiden was actually easier than the 2nd flight since wind speeds escalated during it. Took me three attempts to get it back on the ground. Kudos to David Speed for not dropping the camera and running on the 2nd approach and to Freewing for the ample thrust to weight ratio of this model. Things could have gotten really ugly on something that was under powered.

Freewing 80 mm A-4 Skyhawk 2nd Flight (5 min 7 sec)

That makes 2 flights for this one.
09/23/17: One flight on this one today at the SSF facility. With crosswind conditions and narrow gear decided to stop at that. (hoping to be able to clean the geo mat markings off the nose) New total 3
09/30/17: Three more flights for this one today at SSF. Zero wind still made landing a little tricky as it doesn't slow down that well with no headwind. No scuffs today and the new total is 6. Now fly-in legal.
10/01/17: Managed to get 5 flights on this one today before the wind went crossed. Actually it was crossed on my last landing (right down the runway when I took off) but managed to get it down without tipping. New total 11.
10/28/17: Put in three more flights on this one today at the SSF facility. Not the best weather conditions, but doable. New total 14
11/01/17: Two flights on this one today. Now at 16
11/02/17: One flight on this one today after putting two on my new A-10. New total 17 with a hat cam video to accompany it.
Freewing 80 mm Skyhawk 11 02 17 (4 min 25 sec)

11/18/17: Three more flights on this one today bringing it to 20. Finally managed to get a good landing on video as well
Freewing Skyhawk 11 18 17 (4 min 15 sec)

11/22/17: Two more flights on this one today brings it to 22. Caught another good landing with the hat cam as well
Freewing 80 mm A-4 Flight 22 (4 min 34 sec)
Last edited by bill34207; Nov 22, 2017 at 12:08 PM.
Nov 25, 2017, 01:58 PM
Redneck Injuneer
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Put another couple of flights on this one today but forgot to start the camera on the 1st flight. The flight and landing from the 1st flight was a good one, flight two not do much. I had peace & quiet for the 1st flight but by the time I got to the second one the neighboring drag strip was going full swing. Wound up flying longer than I meant to since I missed hearing the timer when it hit the 1 minute remaining mark. Rushed the landing and wound up having to do a go around.
The battery was a little angry when I took it out (very warm) and reading 3.63 v per cell when I checked it. New total 24

Freewing A-4 Skyhawk 11 25 17 (5 min 2 sec)

12/3/17: No hatcam videos today. The Velcro let go on my cap and couldn't keep the camera attached. Four more flights today bring this one to 28.
12/23/17: I was so bummed over my loss of the gray A-10 yesterday that I forgot to update here. Two more flights bring this one to 30.
01/22/18: Put in a couple of flights on this one today. I could not buy a good landing. Crappy hat cam video from the 2nd flight, new total 32
Early Freewing A 4 Flight (3 min 15 sec)

03/18/18: Been a while for this one as the weather has been really sucky. Managed to get a couple of flights before the crosswind made it impossible to land without tipping. New Total 34
Last edited by bill34207; Mar 18, 2018 at 01:58 PM.

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