StarScreamer/ MicroFighter into Backyard Bird! - RC Groups
Thread Tools
Jun 25, 2007, 08:32 AM
Registered User

StarScreamer/ MicroFighter into Backyard Bird!

GREATLY expanding the F-22's performance envelope.

THIS THREAD IS FOR EXPERIENCED MODELERS. It is ONLY about UNmodding or reconverting the "stock" product BACK to its ORIGINAL design .... and nothing else! If you have anything in GENERAL to discuss about this product or how to use the parts for something else, please post that in the "Transformers StarScream Micro Flyer ... in Stores Now!" thread. Thanks.

repeating: THIS thread is intended specifically to show how to reconvert the present "stock" model back to the FAR superior original design, just as fast but capable of slowing down and making tight maneuvers .... in your backyard!

The (F-22) "StarScreamer" is now being produced as a "general public" mass-market item. HOWEVER, it was originally intended to be ALSO a highly maneuverable, backyard-capable toy for "R/C experts". To enable this capability, the motors were originally placed so that the props were on thr top of the rear fuse just behind the vertical tails, with each motor attached to the inboard rear of the respective vert. tail, with the lower prop tip clearances of 2 mm from the v. tails and body. This high thrustline pushes the nose down at max power, besides protecting the props in every direction.

With the motors mounted in this rear position, the balance point is sufficiently rearward (it is WAY too far fwd now!!) such that a sudden power reduction will momentarily pitch the nose up. Thus, using the two Tx control sticks, one can pull back on the left Tx motor control stick as if it were the elevator control, pitch the nose up (!), and haul into a very tight turn! And, since the "power" stick IS proportional, but not the turn-stick, turn radius is proportionally controllable with the left stck while holding the turn with the right stick.

It works: one can easily fly figure-8's over a single tennis court or backyard. And circle in an office (straight-ahead or ovals depending on the place's geometry) or large livingroom with the gear removed and using thin removeable "up-tabs" (originally supposed to be included in the box!) as shown in the "How SLOW" ("Indoor Circulation") video link below. Further, flying more nose-level at full-power (the extra thrust pushes the nose more downward) allows easy penetration in 30 -40 KPH winds, AND super ALMOST VERTICAL climbouts! In fact, with the gear removed and in the Aerobatic (unfiltered) Mode (see below) at full-power, just grab it by the nose and heave it UP: the motors will balance the lift so it doesn't loop .... like an old-time NON-RC freeflight pylon model or H.L.G.! It will slowly arch over and stabillize at the top as it runs out of thrown launch impetus. Really fun to do and watch, as well as a very practical way to get it up fast.

Filters have been added to the IC software to stop this nose pitch-up. Assuming they didn't re-mask the chips, to enter this important UNfiltered aerobatically sensitive mode: hold the right turn-stick all the way to the LEFT before you turn on the Tx. The "power" LED should flash 6 times and then remain lit, indicating the unfiltered mode.

How SLOW can you go....? >>
(removeable "up-tabs" on stab, no wheels ....)

AND, still go FAST and do wild aerobatics >>
Last edited by xlcrlee; Dec 17, 2007 at 01:50 PM.
Sign up now
to remove ads between posts
Jun 25, 2007, 08:48 AM
Registered User
Experienced modellers can easily relocate the motors with various cutting and re"gluing" (I pefer 5-min epoxy). BEFORE epoxying the motor mounts to the vert. tails, first strengthen the v. tails with clear Mylar household tape wrapped around the rear of the v. tail on BOTH inboard and outboard surfaces! IMPORTANT: roughen the exposed tape surface under the motor mounts with sandpaper and even pinholes before epoxying!

The EXACT thrustline is extremely critical: it should pass from the propshaft to a point visually under where a vertical line down from the front of the upper intake (closest to the fuse) crosses the LOWER body line, about 60 mm from the nose tip, when viewed from the side. Viewed from the top, both thrustlines should be parallel to each other and the fuse centerline! This is slightly negative to the min speed flight path.

Except in windy conditions, you'll find that maneuverable aerobatic performance is much better with the landing gear removed (it should NEVER be taped on, to allow crash pop-off, but the slot can be tightened by first overlaying a strip of tape and slicing through it). AND, without the L.G., the props are now protected from the ground top AND bottom. Surprise, surprise!

I was the conceptor, inventor, designer, engineer AND Project Leader for this toy, and spent a good part of a year on its development. After I left the factory in China, with the motors "correctly" mounted on the vert. tails and the C.G. in the right place, obviously ITC, Radio Shack and the factory followed the last-minute wing-motor variant first tried by an inexperienced naive, but enthusiatic young Chinese factory worker (not even an engineer). I had more than vigorously protested this stupidity, but as a mass-market toy, if the "idiotic-masses" want a zooming simplistic toy, then they now have it. I much prefer the wider performance envelope of the 2-hand controllable original concept.

Try it; you may like it!
Last edited by xlcrlee; Oct 09, 2007 at 05:53 AM.
Jun 25, 2007, 09:00 AM
"Aircraftus Fragmentum"
kydawg1's Avatar
Time for me to make some mods. Thanks xlcrlee.
Jun 25, 2007, 10:11 AM
Inciting Riots
village_idiot's Avatar
What motors did you use for the prototypes? The motors in the production model seem to have the same sloppy quality control as the ITC Micro Mosquito copter. It would be nice to put some really good motors back on this airframe and see what it can do.

Also are there any modifications (legal or not, let us make the decision) to increase the range of the transmitter. Many people or complaining of short range, and I know that on other ITC toys you can delete a few components and get much better range.

After that I think this airframe would still make a good Plantraco micro elevon mod with either twin or single pusher prop design. Wish I had all that micro gear so I could try it.

edit Thank you for making this a sticky post! Hopefully it won't run out of control.
Last edited by village_idiot; Jun 25, 2007 at 02:20 PM.
Jun 25, 2007, 11:30 AM
Registered User
msnyder's Avatar
Originally Posted by xlcrlee
Filters have been added to the IC software to stop this nose pitch-up. Assuming they didn't re-mask the chips, to enter this important UNfiltered aerobatically sensitive mode: hold the right turn-stick all the way to the LEFT before you turn on the Tx. The "power" LED should flash 6 times and then remain lit, indicating the unfiltered mode.
Confirmed! I have an extra controller here, and it blinks exactly as you describe.
Jun 25, 2007, 11:36 AM
Registered User
msnyder's Avatar
Re: radio range, I think the RX is a better candidate than the TX.
That 5 inch antenna is a joke! Lengthening it would be an entirely
legal mod, having no impact on any other receiver than the one
in your hand.
Jun 25, 2007, 11:51 AM
Registered User
Butters's Avatar
What would happen if someone does the "power on/right stick" and flew it with the motors on the wing?
Jun 25, 2007, 11:57 AM
Lawful Neutral... mostly
Plastic_Avatar's Avatar
Wow. This is pretty amazing news!

If I have extra money to blow in the next month, I'd be willing to buy another and move the engines (as well as buy a couple of replacement engines from a reliable manufacturer). If this solves the flight characteristics I didn't care for.... and I got one with a good TX/RX.... and, etc., etc., etc.

Honestly, though, I would like to see how one flies modified. No doubt.
Jun 25, 2007, 01:33 PM
Registered User
msnyder's Avatar
Xlcrlee, a drawing showing your recommended thrust line would be helful.
Also, I echo Butters' question -- what would you expect to happen if the
stock plane is flown in the un-filtered mode?
Jun 25, 2007, 01:34 PM
Registered User
Butters's Avatar
Better yet, lets see some video.
Jun 25, 2007, 01:36 PM
Registered User
Butters's Avatar
Originally Posted by Butters
Better yet, lets see some video.

Also, if I was to turn the filter off and I don't like it, will flipping the on/off switch again return it back to stock or am I stuck?
Jun 25, 2007, 07:35 PM
Registered User
this sounds mighty interesting! never woulda thought it was designed to fly in a backyard! this alternate mode explains the pic in the radio shack ad, which I hear shows the same config xlcrlee is talking about. Id like to see a video of the modded one, if its really as good as he says! also a diagram like the one he drew up for the room raider. don't wanna modify my plane (which has been workin just fine!) unless I know EXACTLY what to do.
Jun 25, 2007, 11:12 PM
Registered User
ihor14448's Avatar
told ya, there was something wrong
Jun 25, 2007, 11:17 PM
Registered User
Butters's Avatar
Originally Posted by ihor14448
told ya, there was something wrong

No, just different.
Jun 26, 2007, 07:33 PM
Registered User
Alright, i tried the vert. stabilizer motor placement mod. Though I attempted it 5-6 times and failed each time, I understand what lee means about this plane being a LRF/acrobat. The angle of placement must be EXACT and IDENTICAL for both motors, and it must be in a particular place on the fins. IF one can achieve this placement, this plane can be an acrobatic LRF, and a darn good one at that. While my attempts at flying the modified SS failed, the 10-15 seconds of airtime I did get each time were in a tight space and were very impressive. If somebody can get the placement right, this will be one heck of an investment considering its size and price.

By the way--THANK YOU LEE for designing this craft! It is too bad ITC changed the placement of the motors...sure would make for a lot less work on the hobbyist's part.

Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Category Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Discussion StarScreamer into Backyard Bird! to F-4 conversion TeraHurtz Micro Ready-to-Fly 1 Aug 16, 2007 08:21 PM
Backyard Bird Hates Planes E-Challenged Fuel Plane Talk 2 Apr 19, 2002 11:13 AM