JP Models Ion Pro 2006 Plus HotLiner Review

Eric Anderson provides an in depth look at the 10th anniversary redesign of this incredibly popular entry level hotliner.

The author with the Ion Pro + getting ready to head to the field.

Introduction


Wingspan:79.5"
Wing Area:507 sq. in.
Weight:50 oz.
Length:41"
Wing Loading:14.2 oz/sq. ft.
Servos:Hitec HS-85BB (ailerons/flaps) and HS-81 (elevator)
Transmitter:Polks Tracker III
Receiver:Berg 7P
Battery:Poly-Quest 3S 3300mah
Motor:AXI 2826/08
ESC:Jeti Advance Plus 70
Manufacturer:JP Models
Available From:Soaring USA

The original JP Models Ion, distributed by Hobby Lobby, has been redesigned for it 10th anniversary. Originally developed in 1996 with the cooperation of five time F5B world champion Rudi Fruedenthaler, the Ion has been one of the most popular entry level models into the hotliner category. With an all new airfoil, the Ion Pro is available with aileron/elevator and in a flapped version, the Ion Pro Plus, also called the Ion 2006 Plus.

Kit Contents

When you open the box, you uncover a really nice model. Both wing halves and the horizontal stabilizer are shipped in foam sleeves to prevent dings and scratches. All of the small parts are bagged and taped to the inside of the box to prevent their wandering around during shipment, and the fuselage is held in place by cardboard spacers. The kit comes with all the basic hardware including pushrods, control horns and clevises, plywood for the battery and motor mount, nylon screws for mounting the wing and stabilizer, wing joiner and alignment pegs, servo covers, and servo wire for making your own extensions. All that is required to complete the model is epoxy, servos (5 for the flapped version), receiver, and power system.

Assembly

The kit comes with 4 pages of written instructions and 2 pages of drawings to help with assembly. It seems that most models these days include a small book with step-by-step instructions and photographs accompanying each step, so I found the Ion instructions to be a bit sparse. On the other hand, assembly of this model is very straight forward, and the included instructions are adequate for the task.

Wing

The wing is constructed of obechi sheeted foam using an MH-30 airfoil. Since the ailerons and flaps are pre-hinged, wing assembly simply requires installing your choice of servo into the molded servo pockets, gluing in the control horns, and attaching the push rods.

I originally intended to use Hitec HS-125 thin wing servos, but found the servo pockets to be 1/8 inch too narrow. I had the choice of either cutting the pockets to make them bigger or switching to a different servo. I chose the easy way out and switched to Hitec HS-85BB servos for both ailerons and flaps. The HS-85BB provides the same torque as the HS-125 at 49oz, but is actually lighter at .77oz versus .84oz for the 125.

I used the included servo wire to make extensions for both ailerons and it was a simple process to fish the wires thru the pre-cut channels. One tip - don't solder the connector to the end of the extension until after it is installed in the wing because the connector is too large to pass through the pre cut holes. After centering all the servos, I roughed up the servo pockets with sandpaper, wrapped the servos in masking tape and glued them into the pockets using 5 minute epoxy. The control horns were also installed using 5 minute epoxy, and after installing the pushrods using the included hardware, the servo covers were installed with clear packing tape.

Fuselage

I started the fuselage construction by installing the elevator servo, a Hitec HS-81. I used a drywall cutting bit in my dremel to cut out the access for the elevator servo. I used a small piece of double sided tape to hold the servo in place while I tested different configurations for the servo arm. I ended up drilling a hole at the base of a single servo arm, then cutting the rest of it off and sanding the edges round in order to keep the servo arm from rubbing on the servo access cover. The resulting servo arm is pictured below. I temporarily reinstalled the servo along with mounting the horizontal stabilizer and elevator to measure the length required for the pushrod. Once the pushrod was cut to length, it was then a simple process to rough up the interior of the fuselage, tape the servo, and epoxy the servo into place. The servo opening was then re-covered with the piece that was cut out earlier.

My next step was to epoxy the firewall into place. As mentioned earlier, the kit includes a small square of plywood intended to be used for the motor mount/firewall. Rather than try to fit a square peg into a round hole, I chose to use a motor mount from Hobby Lobby. The 1 9/16" mount is a perfect fit. My last step was to epoxy the 1/16 plywood sheet in place for a battery tray.

Power System

The recommended power system for the Ion Pro is the AXI 2826/08. When combined with the Jeti Advance Plus 70 amp brushless controller, and a Poly-Quest 3S 3300 the AXI produces gobs of power. The AXI mounts directly to the recommended mount. To keep the motor wires from rubbing on the motor can, I used a piece of heat shrink around the motor wires then epoxied them to the side of the fuse. To get the battery to fit in thru the canopy, I did have to trim the sides of the canopy opening slightly.

For a receiver, I chose the new Berg 7P, by Castle Creations. At only .85" x 1.25" x .5" and weighing only .28 oz (8 grams), the Berg 7P is a marvel of technology. It includes such features as: Programmable fail safe, triple tuned RF circuitry, True Digital Signal Processing (TDSP), and Transmitter Signal Recognition (TSR). For a complete technical explanation of what those terms mean, check out Castle Creations website.

Flying

Basics

The Ion Pro is one of the smoothest flying planes I have ever owned. It's large wingspan and light loading make it very docile in the air, while the thin airfoil and sleek profile allow for great high speed characteristics.

Taking Off and Landing

At full throttle, the Ion Pro strains to be released like a thoroughbred in the gate. A slight toss and it surged skyward at about a 60 degree angle. My setup required about 2 clicks of down trim and 3 clicks of right aileron for level flight.

I tried landings both with and without using the flaps. Without the flaps, the Ion Pro seems to glide forever. With the flaps deployed, the glide slope is increased allowing me to set the plane down without running out of space. I attempted to program crow into my radio, but after much frustration, threw up my hands and gave up. Crow was really not needed, since the Ion Pro slowed down nicely with the flaps deployed and didn't display any nasty slow speed characteristics.

Aerobatics/Special Flight Performance

The Ion Pro is a superb entry level hotliner. While it's energy retention is not as high as a true F5B airframe, it does hold it's energy well, which makes for some fantastic, whistling high-speed passes over the runway. The AXI 2826/08 will take the Ion Pro vertically until it is only a spec in a matter of seconds, allowing me to thermal to my hearts content before rolling into another dive and whistling pass. Rolls at the recommended throws are slow and graceful, but not perfectly axial without a rudder. Loops, both inside and outside, were as large as I wanted to them. Inverted flight required about 50% down elevator. The AXI 2826/08 and Jeti 70 amp speed controller combo are the perfect setup for vertical performance and high speed excitement.

Is This For a Beginner?

If you are looking to get into the world of high speed electrics, the Ion Pro is for you. I wouldn't recommend it as a first airplane, not because of any handling characteristics, but only because a beginner would have a tough time judging the glide slope during landing. It's docile flight characteristics at slow speeds, combined with the excitement available on the inevitable high speed pass low over the runway, make the Ion Pro a perfect entry into the exciting world of high speed aircraft.

Flight Video/Photo Gallery

Downloads

Conclusion

JP Models has taken a classic design and improved upon it. The new Ion Pro, with it's sleeker airfoil, is a perfect entry level hotliner. Available in both flapped and unflapped versions, the Ion Pro will allow you to sit back in your chair and enjoy an afternoon of thermaling, or you can put your cap on backwards and be prepared to be blown away with excitement as you make those high speed passes lower and lower over the runway.

Last edited by AMCross; Oct 31, 2006 at 09:41 AM..
Thread Tools
Oct 20, 2006, 10:08 AM
INDORUS EXPARAMINTO
SPEED-E-FLYER's Avatar
Good Review Eric
Glad to see you getting some free time to build and fly.

Larry
Oct 20, 2006, 12:54 PM
Snoopy's Wingman
Aceshigh84's Avatar
Nice review. Could you tell us what prop you were using? Thanks

Matt
Oct 20, 2006, 07:42 PM
Deep Sea
Navy Diver's Avatar
Thread OP
Thanks, Larry - I don't get to fly nearly as often as I did in Springfield.

Matt, It's a Graupner 13x7 Carbon prop.
Eric
Oct 20, 2006, 07:58 PM
Don't cut the Yellow Wire
dr.E's Avatar
What is the amp draw on the system
Oct 20, 2006, 11:40 PM
Registered User
Nice review.

So the wing halves are glued together? No splitting for transport?

The breeze III looks competative - same span, also has flaps and rudder, and a splittable wing.
Oct 21, 2006, 12:41 AM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by derway
So the wing halves are glued together? No splitting for transport?
No, they are not. There is just a metal joiner between them, no glue at all.
But if you are interested you can order one piece wing from JP Models.
Oct 21, 2006, 06:45 AM
Deep Sea
Navy Diver's Avatar
Thread OP
dr. E - I completely missed that info in the article. At full throttle, the AXI is drawing 53 amps and registering 515 watts on my wattmeter. Thanks for pointing out that I was missing that info.
Eric

edited to correct wattmeter reading
Last edited by Navy Diver; Oct 21, 2006 at 03:28 PM.
Oct 21, 2006, 03:04 PM
Texas Ranger
Neil Walker's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Navy Diver
dr. E - I completely missed that info in the article. At full throttle, the AXI is drawing 53 amps and registering 1035 watts on my wattmeter. Thanks for pointing out that I was missing that info.
Eric
That doesn't add up The review says a 3s pack was used, so 1035 watts and 53 amps would mean a voltage of 19.5 which is more like a 6s pack than 3s. I think your watts figure is off.
Oct 21, 2006, 03:12 PM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by Navy Diver
dr. E - I completel.................. At full throttle, the AXI is drawing 53 amps and registering 1035 watts on my wattmeter. Thanks for pointing out that I was missing that info.
Eric
It is reported that a 3S pack is using, ie ~10,5v Max when loaded, and you said 53A is read, then Power In= 10,5x54A= 540W is maximum (NO power loss is taken into consideration already).... Also I don't think that AXI2826 could take 1000+w under any circumstances, I personally own a 2826-10, and I will not run it over 800W even only burst of 3 secs.

David
Oct 21, 2006, 03:31 PM
Deep Sea
Navy Diver's Avatar
Thread OP
Neal,you are correct. That's what i get for making a quick reply without looking at my notes, and confusing my airplanes. I've edited the original post with the correct figure. I'll go stand in the corner.
Eric
Oct 21, 2006, 03:32 PM
Don't cut the Yellow Wire
dr.E's Avatar
53a sounds about right.... The lipos can handle low 60's for short term (they are polyquest 20's)......
Oct 21, 2006, 03:46 PM
INDORUS EXPARAMINTO
SPEED-E-FLYER's Avatar
I bet your kid would get a kick of seeing their dad standing in the corner.

Larry
Oct 21, 2006, 04:04 PM
Texas Ranger
Neil Walker's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Navy Diver
Neal,you are correct. That's what i get for making a quick reply without looking at my notes, and confusing my airplanes. I've edited the original post with the correct figure. I'll go stand in the corner.
Eric

Ahhh, that's more like it. I bet you wish it was 1000 watts though don't you?
Oct 21, 2006, 04:29 PM
Deep Sea
Navy Diver's Avatar
Thread OP
Larry,
Josh and Daniel say Hello - and that they both enjoy watching me stand in the corner. I think the other kids just think I look silly.

Neil - Yes 1000 watts would be nice .


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