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Oct 20, 2017, 10:50 AM
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GringoTuerto's Avatar

ESM D3A1 Aichi Val, 81" 30cc

I didn't see any thread on RCgroups for this plane. They make a green one and a white one. I just ordered the green one. They are not made for electric, so I will have to come up with some battery placement. Like most electric conversions, there will be a tradeoff between "time spent building battery compartment" and "time spent removing and replacing batteries." I will wait until it arrives to decide the battery placement.

Anybody else have one of these (electric)?

I notice Rimfire motors have a bit of a gap between the 1.60 size and the 50cc size. The former is 634g and the latter is 1250g. Almost a factor of two, with no product in between! Ideally I would like something in between, although the 1.60 should be fine for this plane.

Anyway, also here is a video of one with a not-very-graceful landing. But nice flight.


I think I will add a bomb drop, because....why not. It is the right size for those "Adam Bomb" things that you can fill with flour to make a nice cloud on impact.
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Oct 27, 2017, 07:14 AM
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Katniss's Avatar
Eflite has a power a smidge bigger then a 160.

I have a 160 for my H9 81" spitfire, but it's a good bit lighter having built up fuse instead of your VAL with fiberglass.
Note though, I also have the CMP Me109G at 73" on a power 160. Has flown with authority and it's not a light plane. It's fuse is fiberglass too, but heavier then an ESM of same size.

My 87" TF spitfire has the rimfire 50cc.

I do wish electrify would produce a 35cc electric motor though.
Nov 01, 2017, 12:02 PM
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GringoTuerto's Avatar
Yes, that 180 might be a good option. But it is only 10S, and 195kv. The Rimfire 160 is 12S-capable, and much higher kv. So the former would swing more prop load at a lower RPM, versus the latter.

Overall, it seems there is a shortage of motors in the 4000-watt range. I see many choices in 3000-watt range, and many in 5000-6000 watt range, but nothing around 4000 watts. At least not that I’ve found yet, but I still have many other vendors to check out (Neumotors, etc.)

I realize 3000 watts is more than enough for this model, but I like to go a little bigger because we have weeds lining the runway, and if I get off center, sometimes a ridiculously non-scale “3D takeoff” can save the day. Better to have extra power and not need it, than to need it and not have it.

Anyway, the box arrived, attached are a couple photos of the top and bottom of the fuselage. Changing the batteries without removing the wing will definitely require some cutting. I’m thinking I might assemble the whole thing and get some idea of CG before I decide how to arrange the battery placement and access. Otherwise, I risk cutting a hole in a place that the batteries don’t belong.
Nov 01, 2017, 01:47 PM
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Katniss's Avatar
Yes the eflite 180 is 10s and lower kv then the rimfire 50cc. Two things... One.... You could use a high pitch prop.. Such as a 20x15 or two.... Run it on 12s.
A lot of people have run the 160 on 12s without issue. There are also two variants of the with a kv of 245 and one with 290.

I'm using the 290 version in my 81" H9 spitfire.

You mentioned wanting more power then needed "just in case".
With that in mind, the rimfire 50cc seems like the best option. You don't have to prop it for 5000 watts, you could prop it down for 4000 ish, however... Most electric motors have a sweet spot where they run the most efficient.
Nothing says full throttle is required either.

This was why I installed the 50cc electrify motor on the Top Flite spitfire (87"). Big enough motor to spin a close to scale size prop.
I'm betting your VAL will end up about the same weight as my TF spitfire simply because of your fiberglass fuse.
Extra power can't hurt and the 12s battery setup might help CG
Nov 01, 2017, 04:39 PM
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Well, that would certainly be sufficient in power, but I'm thinking that is too much weight. Rimfire 50cc is 600 grams heavier than the 160.

How much does your TF 87" Spit weigh?

I have a TF 85" P-47, and I use a Rimfire 65cc. That plane is >10kg...I forgot exactly, maybe 11kg. For that P-47, the 65cc is a good match. I like it. But the plane is much bigger and heavier than the Val, even though the span is only 85" vs 81". The Val should be closer to 7kg when finished (I hope). And besides, scale flight for a fighter should be a lot more spirited than for a Val.
Nov 01, 2017, 09:01 PM
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Katniss's Avatar
I have the 65cc rimfire in the ESM fw-190 d9...really excellent match. I don't remember the exact weight... Maybe 24 pounds... but the plane flies phenomenal.
I have a 65cc in the ESM me109g also. Good Flier
I think the 50cc is a better match all around though for to the kv and still running 12s

My TF spitfire weighs 21.5 pounds
Nov 05, 2017, 02:43 AM
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Looking at the tail moment versus the short nose, you'll need more weight in the nose than most 1.60 size motors and batteries can provide. If you look at VQ's recommended Gas Engine of 26cc, this would likely be a Zenoah G26 which weighs 1520 grams without the prop. All this weight is hanging off the firewall.

I think a 50cc - 65 cc electric would be the best selection with a scale diameter 3 blade prop. I'd make the forward cockpit tub removable for battery access.
Nov 05, 2017, 01:20 PM
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GringoTuerto's Avatar
Originally Posted by RGBvr
Looking at the tail moment versus the short nose, you'll need more weight in the nose than most 1.60 size motors and batteries can provide. If you look at VQ's recommended Gas Engine of 26cc, this would likely be a Zenoah G26 which weighs 1520 grams without the prop. All this weight is hanging off the firewall.

I think a 50cc - 65 cc electric would be the best selection with a scale diameter 3 blade prop. I'd make the forward cockpit tub removable for battery access.
Ah thanks, that's a good point. The batteries are much heavier than fuel, but they also typically aren't as far out. I agree the airframe looks a bit short up front.
Nov 05, 2017, 04:10 PM
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Katniss's Avatar
Depends on where the batteries are placed.

My TF spitfire has them right behind the firewall standing vertically. There's a hatch through the cowl to access them.
Nov 25, 2017, 08:36 AM
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Not many IJN Warbird fans around here huh? I bought this plane last year, but I got caught up in a job move, and hospital stay. Now is when I can get back to this plane. I did wanted to add struts to it, something about those wire struts did not appeal to me, and also the color wasn't right. I was happy how the strut mod came out, again this was last year so I can post pics of it now before the two halves are glued in, but remembering on how I did this is another issue. Thank God for pain killers.
I'll be following along, I am going to go with an 8s setup. I don't need a rocket ship. I haven't decided on a hatch yet, but since it will be repainted, I'll end up cutting the fuselage somehow.
Dec 13, 2017, 10:52 PM
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Abbeyville, you are right that IJN is not common. It is hard to find guns, pilots, etc. I finally got around to ordering a bunch of parts for this:

Engine : Rimfire 50cc. I took you guys' advice.

ESC: Phoenix 120 HV

Receiver : Spektrum 9140T

Engine Mount: GMPG1275
A 70mm standoff will work perfectly with the Rimfire 50cc. There is a mount with 8/32 bolts (GMPG1270), and one with ¼ inch bolts (GMPG1275). I got the bigger one.

HS5565-MH for ailerons and elevator (coreless, high speed, metal gear, HV, about $70)
HS5685-HM for rudder and flaps (cored, high torque, metal gear, HV, about $40)

There is not a great selection of IJN pilots. I ordered two figures, one a full body 1/7 scale, and the other a silly looking kamikaze bust:

Cockpit Kit:
I don’t find anything for a Val. But I notice that at 81” span, this is almost exactly the same scale as a 72” SBD Dauntless. So I ordered this ESM 72” Dauntless cockpit from Dynamic Balsa. Hopefully I can use most of the pieces to make a cockpit. Of course it won't be right for a Val, but how many people would know the difference at first glance? I think it is close enough.

Bomb and release:
I ordered the “Adam bomb” from Dymond Modelsport. At 6” it is quite small for this plane. But, that’s what I could find.

I think for the battery hatch, I will assemble most of the plane first, and then see how it balances. Then I will decide how to accommodate the battery, after I know approximately where it goes in the fuse.

Anyway, that’s it for now…mostly just shopping. I hope to make some actual progress over the holidays.
Dec 14, 2017, 05:52 PM
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Katniss's Avatar
1/6 th scale Japanese pilot.. $45
Dec 14, 2017, 06:37 PM
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GringoTuerto's Avatar
Ah, thanks, I see several sources for 12in pilots. But I don't think that will fit here. That's considered "1/5 to 1/6" scale (of a 5ft to 6ft man), and the scale of the model is about 1/7. Maybe that doesn't seem so far off, but I have several 12in figures, and when I hold them next to the fuse, it just doesn't look right. I was looking at 1/7-1/8 range. I think around 10in would start to work, but nobody makes 10in.

But thanks anyway for the idea - next time I am looking for a 12in pilot, I will check ebay for GI Joe figures. That's about half the price of a typical 12in figure marketed specifically for RC.

On another note...I mailed my wheel pants back for replacement. See a photo of the one I got. Great for practicing inverted flight!
Dec 14, 2017, 07:32 PM
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Katniss's Avatar
I'm using 1/6 th German pilot in my H9 64" Me109 and it looks fine.
I have several 70"-86" plane's all using 1/6th size pilots and it looks just right in my opinion.
Oct 31, 2018, 05:43 PM
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Que Paso???

Did an F4F shoot down your Val??

I finally got over this illness of mine,( I hate Nerve pain!!) and I'm back with my Val. When I started 2 years back I did upgrade the struts to 1/2" Robarts. I installed the motor, battery holes, and worked on the Ty's cockpit. I'm now working on the access hatch for my charging, arming, and RX switch.
Let me know how yours turned out, or are you still working on it?

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