StarLite from Todd's models - RC Groups
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Jul 04, 2001, 07:39 PM
Most Exalted Windbag

StarLite from Todd's models

I just ordered one:

Looks really neat. I like old timey looking models. I needed something to go with a 1524 motor that I'd had on a plane that turned out to be a dog. I figure the SL will give me some stick and tissue practice for a Herr Fokker D-VII I plan on building when the weather turns too bad to fly much. Matter of fact, I may use the red and white tissue I have for the Fokker to make my SL a little different.

I'd like to hear from anyone who has built and flown this model. Just juiced on a new toy and would like to read about it.

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Jul 04, 2001, 10:21 PM
Registered User
Hi Red Baron!

I've had my eye on this plane also. I have a couple home-made stick fuse slowflyers, but have been thinking about putting together something like this with a full fuse. Please let us know how you like the kit. Are you planning on using one of those WES CF props? I've had my eye on those as well..

Good luck!

Jul 04, 2001, 10:35 PM
Most Exalted Windbag
Yes. I bought a 10x5" one from Todd when I bought the motor. I may have to extend the LG since the plane is meant to have a 9".

I've "broken" the prop twice on the "dog," but the hub merely comes unglued and after two re-glues it still seems to be balanced.

My motor is quite a bit more powerful and also heavier than the recommended DC5-2.4 geared 8.3/1, but Todd said it should work ok. I have some of the 430mAh Tadiran Lithium Cells on order. That should help a lot in the weight department since one of the recommended packs is 3x750 mAh Li.

I'll keep you all posted.

PS, Probably tomorrow (been putting it off) I'm going to place a prop order with Chris at Anything RC. I'll get the proper ready made one and the building kit + parts. They're a lot less expensive, especially since you can re-build them, and from their looks and reports I've read they're excellent.


[This message has been edited by Red Baron 47 (edited 07-04-2001).]
Jul 05, 2001, 12:52 AM
Registered User
I have one that built off of plans i downloaded off of rcmicroflight. I accedently had it at like 89% instead of 100% so the wingspan is 29 instead of 35. I covered it in clear reynolds wrap and misted on some red paint and it looks really good. I am not sure exacly what motor to use. Will the litestik motor work?
Here is a link to some pics.
Jul 05, 2001, 01:31 AM
Most Exalted Windbag
Neat idea with the Reynold's and paint. It looks good. I don't know what a litestick motor is. You can see the specs of the recommended motor on Todd's site and fudge it from there.

Jul 05, 2001, 07:49 AM
aka: A.Roger Wilfong
gnofliwr's Avatar
I had one until a couple of months ago. I cracked the wing joint and knocked the servos loose while I was flying it in the cul de sac across the street and a tree leapt out in front of it. While it was sitting on the bench waiting for a free evening, the fuse was flattend by a big heavy box my wife set on the end of the bench (so you'll see it) fell over. Oh, well I've still got the plans.

The Herr kit goes together nice. I'd rate it a notch down from the SR X250 is ease of assembly - the parts fit is great, the instructions are minimal. But if you've every built anything from plans or kit, you should have no problem with the Starlite - even the cross grain fuse sheeting is laser cuat and the right size.

I flew the Starlite on two power systems - an Astro Firefly motor and three CR-2 cells, and a 1717 and 8x50 NiCd of 9x120 NiMH. Both combos used a ARC-1 prop.

The Firefly combo would fly nice lazy circuits. Duraion was longer than I cared to fly - I probably got 45 minutes to an hour total time over 5-6 flights off of a pack. You could forget any acrobatics with the Firefly, but it was great for relaxing.

The 1717 setup was a lot hotter. You could easily loop the plane and it would struggle through a rudder roll. The NiCd pack gave hotter performance, but the NiMH pack was not far behind and had considerablely longer duration.

While I haven't tried it, the LiteStik drive should work fine, although you might want to replace the GWS prop with a lighter one.

- Roger
Jul 05, 2001, 08:05 AM
Most Exalted Windbag

Thanks for all the good info. I know what you mean. I had a light pole leap in front of me the other day. Luckily it was a Bleriot III. Only damage was a fuse tube buckled just behind the motor. Easily straightened. Too bad about the box.

Sounds like the Arc-1 prop would be good for my 1524 too. They seem similar to the 1717 to me. Think so? I might as well know a little before I talk to Chris.

Cross grain fuse huh. Pretty nice. Herr has a great reputation.


[This message has been edited by Red Baron 47 (edited 07-05-2001).]
Jul 05, 2001, 08:27 AM
Registered User
Bill Glover's Avatar
The 1524 is more powerful and slightly heavier than the 1717 ... useful table here:

I run a 1524 with 11.8:1 gearbox and WES carbon 28x12 (11") prop ... real quality, barely even warm on 9x50 cells.
Jul 05, 2001, 08:47 AM
Most Exalted Windbag
Hi Bill,

Thanks for the info. I'll try an 11"

Jul 05, 2001, 09:56 AM
Registered User
The GWS (Litestik) power systems, while not as nice as the 1717 or 1524, have the advantage of being cheap and fairly ubiquitous. It's a bit of a pain to fit a 2mm prop like a WES or Braun to the 3mm shaft (I put mine in the Dremel and ground it down with a file), but well worth it. A "stock" GWS motor/GB/prop weighs about an ounce. The one I modified with a Braun weighs maybe .5 - .6 ounce.

Gassyanimal - I like the see-through red model! What does it weigh? I've read that the GWS motor should be fine to power the Starlite, but I agree with gnofliwr that you should try to use a lighter prop. I thought I read that the ARC props could now be had with a 3mm bore..

Jul 05, 2001, 02:24 PM
Registered User
Hi Gassyanimal,

Hmm, I don't currently have a Starlite (yet!), so I'm not really sure how I would mount the motor in there..

My experience with the GWS motors has been in conjunction with the rechargable Tadiran lithium batteries. I made a 9-volt (3 cell) pack, and this provides a fair amount of oomph with a DX-A and 10.5x5 Braun prop. So, your 9 volt Ray-o-vac might do (I don't have any experience with these).

For a lightweight prop, the cheapest ones I know of are the ARC props. If one of these could be had with a 3mm bore in the hub, that definitely seems like the way to go from a cost and ease-of-installation perspective. From the website, it looks like the ARC-1 is only 9.5 in diameter. I believe the pitch is 15 degrees; not sure what that comes out to in inches.

If you have to hack up your GWS GB to accomodate a 2mm prop, this is what I did:

First, remove the little clip from the end of the metal drive shaft (this is a pain, they tend to pop off and get lost - be careful!). Once this is off, remove the washer then pull the shaft out.

Next, remove the spur gear - place a couple spare blocks of wood or something about 1/4 inch apart. Drop the shaft into the space between the blocks, threaded portion first. The spur gear should be held up on each side by the blocks. Gently tap the end of the shaft with a hammer to pop the gear off.

With your Dremel or hacksaw, remove the entire threaded portion of the shaft. Try to be careful with the shaft, as you don't want it to bend.

Chuck the remaining shaft as far as it will go into the Dremel, with the freshly-cut end sticking out. This might work in a drill, but it might not have enough RPMs to do it properly. With the Dremel at full speed, use a large metal file to grind down the quarter inch between the upset where the spur gear was mounted and the newly-cut end. This part is really tedious. The shaft gets pretty hot (the main reason I remove the spur gear first; it would undoubtedly melt otherwise). As you go along, make sure you keep the grinding parallel with the original shaft. In other words, be careful not to taper the new, smaller shaft. (Spare shafts can be obtained from <a href="" target="new"></a> for $1 each.) Stop every once in a while to let the whole affair cool down, and check the fit in the prop. You don't want to go any smaller than absolutely necessary.

Reassemble in reverse. You can use the block method to put the spur gear back on. You can add a drop of CA if you want to. If you do, make sure it's all dry before putting the shaft back in the gearbox! Don't ask me how I know. The final trick is getting the little clip washer back on the end.

The removal of the threaded portion of the shaft, the nuts, the orange prop, and the rubber spinner in exchange for one of the above mentioned lightweight props can save a third to a half an ounce. Others have gotten more extreme about lightening this gearbox; try a search of the slowflyers forum.

Good luck!


[This message has been edited by crash_gordon (edited 07-05-2001).]
Jul 05, 2001, 02:34 PM
Flying high since '85
rdogg32's Avatar
I have one, I built it, and got very into it. I lost interst, and now it is sitting with the wing half covered. It was a nice kit, very light! I don't know what I will do with it now!
Jul 05, 2001, 08:44 PM
Registered User
There are a group of gentelmen in this area that have scaled this plane up to aprox 48"ws. and fly them in gusty wind.
I can find the web site if you wish & post it for you.

Have A Ball

Jul 06, 2001, 01:18 AM
Registered User
Crash, what kind of prop would you use with the GWS litstik motor and how would you go about mounting it. I have the litestik motor and I really cant afford the 1717 and a braun prop. I built the whole plane for like 6 bucks so far, I will weight it soon. I am not sure how to get the gws motor on it, The fuse is just a hair to big to fit it completly inside it, so should I cut a couple inches off the nose and then put a 1/4inch firewall and screw it on, or should i have a balsa wood stick running out of it and mount it like the litestik? I have a few rayovac 9v and a 6cell 150mah pack, will these work?
Thanks alot
Jul 07, 2001, 12:08 PM
Most Exalted Windbag
crash_gordon said:
"Please let us know how you like the kit."

Hi Crash,

Well, thanks to Todd's super fast shipping I have the bird already. When I ordered it I didn't know it was Herr. I found that out later when I was reading about it. Their's nothing to say about the kit quality. It's a Herr.

I already have their Fokker D-VII rubber band plane I plan on building this winter. Both kits are impeccable. The Star Lite even has an addendum slip in the box that says that the spars are a bit short to fit the plans and to just build it a bit short. That's easy enough to do and they don't leave you to be surprised and puzzled as others I've built.

Top rate. Perfect laser cutting. From what I hear all the wood is matched for the proper purpose.

The other thing on the addendum was wrapping a rod on rod joint in the landing gear with the supplied kevlar tow and CAing it. I don't know what the old way was, that's the way I've done mine, but at least they're always thinking.