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May 05, 2019, 06:26 AM
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A brace of EE Lightnings

The winter build season is over so just need to fly my new build Lightning F2A with twin EDF.

Was hoping for this bank holiday Monday to maiden but just a few things to sort . My old prop version my get an airing as its been a while with that one .

I have taken full build pictures and will post in due course
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May 05, 2019, 01:57 PM
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union1's Avatar
Nice work!
Looking forward to the build pictures.
What's the general construction method?
Latest blog entry: SR-71 for 2 x 70mm EDF
May 05, 2019, 04:04 PM
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Hi thanks,

It's an all balsa/ply and strip plank built over jigged formers.

I started by making a kit of parts from my plans as my work space is limited and did not want to keep stopping part way through .

Here are the first stage pictures
May 06, 2019, 12:01 PM
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Nice and inspiring - I like the jig idea.

Pleae, what is the size and drives?

Thanks, Jan
May 06, 2019, 01:55 PM
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Hi Jan,

The plane has a wing span of 810 mm (32"), length of 1100 mm (43") and weighs 1.7kg (3.75 pound) including a 5500mAh 3s battery.

I am using two Hobbyking 55mm fans with two 30amp ESC running from the one battery.

Some more pictures of the build sequence.
May 07, 2019, 02:51 PM
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Very nice, looking forward to the maiden report. I have seen you propeller driven Lightning in the mean time, oh, that is fast! Do you expect the same performance from this EDF version?

Thank, Jan
May 07, 2019, 03:26 PM
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Hi Jan,

The figures I have got to date would indicate it will not be as fast as the prop version but I expected that . The prop version was 1.6kg with 0.7kg of thrust at 150 mph pitch speed and I was very happy with it's speed.

The stumax efflux calculator is giving me approx. 125mph at 0.7kg for an all up weight of 1.7kg but I am happy with that as it is catapult launch not off the ground.

A few more pictures with one showing the very limited space for the elevator mechanism max 30mm in the centre
May 17, 2019, 12:46 PM
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The final painting just about complete with masked and stencilled markings made by using masking tape on grease proof baking paper.

Have a couple of stills from the video of the maiden that happened yesterday.

Flight went just about perfect with no drama couple of clicks on elevator and ailerons to trim was all that was needed.
May 17, 2019, 01:51 PM
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turbonut's Avatar
Very cool...Great work
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May 18, 2019, 05:39 AM
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Thanks for the kind words.

Have just uploaded the maiden video, I have to apologise for the quality did not realise my cap was in the frame and for my rambling on I guess just little nerves.

Anyway flying weight was 1.7kg (3.75 pound), thrust 0.54kg (1.2 pound) making a 0.31 : 1 thrust to weight. Power can be increased from 500 watts to 650 but was keeping in below the max as unsure of ESC cooling.

Setup main wings at 2 deg AOA, tail planes 0 deg AOA, C of G 74% back from leading edge at root.

Speed was a little lower than hoped but perfectly okay and I estimate about 45-55 MPH using time over distance.

Changes before next flight none.

Wind conditions on day 8-10 MPH, with the light fading due to late evening so no second flight.
Last edited by tubalan; May 18, 2019 at 05:54 AM.
May 18, 2019, 07:47 AM
phantomphan's Avatar
Very nice and smooth maiden. The fly-by's looked really nice
May 18, 2019, 01:08 PM
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I'm rather confused - does this model use twin fans sitting on top of one another instead of side by side? Never mind- Google cleared that up, are there any other planes that use this configuration?
Last edited by joe_crash; May 18, 2019 at 01:15 PM.
May 18, 2019, 01:43 PM
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I an not aware of any other planes using the stacked configuration and the serviceability/fire issues probably mean it will not be used again and yes my model does use twin fans.
May 25, 2019, 05:07 AM
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Not a good day yesterday with a near total loss of the lightning.

The flight started good with a perfect launch off the catapult but just before the first turn the plane uncontrollably pitched up and remained uncontrollable in pitch until the ground stopped flight.

The wreckage was confined to a very small area of no more than 5 feet split in two, battery still connected and all servos and motors still working. My initial thoughts were an elevator failure as the pivot tubes were only glued to balsa and may have been damaged in transport , Examination did indeed show two broken mounts but I cannot be 100% sure it happened before flight.

About an hour after the crash I realised that the shock cone was missing from the pile of bits so went back to the crash area expecting to find it there but it was not. After searching for about 5 minutes I decided to search under the path and soon found the missing part about 20 feet away.

Now my initial thought about the cause have shifted to the loss of the shock cone as this is what carried the lead ballast and a sudden shift in CG could account for the pitch problems. I will never know for sure but it is very strange that the cone was the only part not confined to the very small crash area.

My repair would not be a problem except that 4 off of the wing stub spars have shattered and I need to workout if I can fix this.

Can someone explain to me why we do this hobby.
May 25, 2019, 03:44 PM
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That's a shame they are nice looking builds.

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