Great Planes Super Sportster EP Modifications - RC Groups
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Aug 15, 2007, 12:41 PM
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Great Planes Super Sportster EP Modifications

The Great Planes Super Sportster EP was my first electric plane after flying the gas ones for 12 years. I flew it stock for the first three flights and then bought a new power system:

Jeti Phasor 30/3 motor
Castle Creations Phoenix 45A ESC
Align 3 cell, 2100 mAh, 22C LiPo battery

After 2 months of clean quiet fun and dropping paratroopers, I was 5 feet off the ground on a high speed landing approach when my radio frequency got glitched and my elevator went full down (see my SkyMaster blog to see how that blog ended). The damage wasn't bad at all for a nose-into-ground "landing". A few of the stringers on the aft-top of the fuselage broke due to the high compression of the frame. A little bit of the wingtip was also cracked and the wing mounting blocks came loose.

I could have had this repaired in one evening, but I am a sucker for airplane modifications. I like flying my own creations. This probably has something to do with the fact that I'm a design engineer in the aerospace field.

That evening, I tore off all the red covering of the Sportster so that I'd be commited to modifying this airplane. This airplane, unmodified, floats in the sky with power off. I also have more power than I need for this plane. This all means that I can carry a little more weight if I have to. Here's the plan I came up with:

-Retractable landing gear
-Complete lighting system (landing, wingtips, tail).
-Modified wingtips to accomodate lights
-Bomb bay with functional door for dropping paratroopers and whatever else.
-Warbird look (I have always liked the Old Crow Mustang and I already have the red rudder!)
-Better internal cooling (air scoops like on my SkyMaster)

After 3 months of waiting for my backordered parts to arrive, they are finally all here and here is what I have completed:
-Cut holes in wings for wheels to retract into
-Electrical harness for lights is strung together and soldered. It includes a master switch, and a 9V battery connector. I will be using the landing lights I made for the SkyMaster (see other blog), and I have another lever switch that will turn the landing lights on/off when the gear is down/up.

I have a lot to do, but it will be a fun project and I'll keep this blog updated with pictures as I go along.
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Aug 17, 2007, 06:41 PM
Registered User
Sounds cool, looking forward to seeing what you do with it! Just flew mine this week for the first time....did great on the stock system...I did add @ 4500ma pack to replace the sad 2000 included with the plane...nice flight times....I flew it 4 times, relatively short hops of 5 mins or less each....didn't even need the second pack!
Aug 25, 2007, 01:51 AM
Warbird crazy!
new2rc's Avatar
Super job gtfreeflyer!

Really looking forward to your flight report with the retract mod.

John and Christo
Sep 10, 2007, 03:31 PM
Registered Snoozer
Looks like you are building up a Super Duper Sportster!
Bomb bay doors.
Landing lights too!

My Sportster seems quite mundane in comparison.

Keep updating your progress.
Sep 11, 2007, 12:15 PM
Put a bigger motor on it!
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Will do. As for now, there's been no progress since my last post. I haven't even been to the field to fly in several weeks now. That heat wave sent me to my girlfriend's house for a little while since we don't have A/C at my place by the beach. It was just to hot to sit in the room and work on the plane. I'm hoping to get it finished in the next 2 or 3 weeks. I'm itching to fly.
Mar 11, 2008, 12:12 PM
Put a bigger motor on it!
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Man, I can't believe my last post was in September! Where does the time go? I have not accomplished much of anything with the Sportster since September, but I should be flying again this Spring. In the past few months I took up golf and have been playing on the weekends and going to the driving range during the week. I also got married and am now busy shopping around for a house. I just want something with a little workshop for my R/C hobby!

Stay tuned... this project is still very much alive!
Jun 10, 2008, 09:10 PM
a.k.a Alex Desilets
rcking323's Avatar
do you think that the landing gear mod will work on the even small version of that plane, the super sportster mini ep? because i just swaped the 400 motor for a 28 size glow engine (i know, a very overpowered, but it flies better than you would possible imagine) and the original landing gear were to weak to hold the weight of the plane, so i cut them off. Unfortunately, that now means i have to belly land every flight, not ecactly what the wing was built for, adn i don't want to put massive fixed landing gear the will both look ugly and hurt the flight performance of the plane!!. So if you have any suggestions, please respond
Jun 12, 2008, 12:18 PM
Put a bigger motor on it!
gtfreeflyer's Avatar
I think you can mod anything. I don't like flying planes the way they come. You have to add your personal touch. With your plane being so overpowered, you probably don't even need the wing. Just the tail for control would probably be enough...haha. You can probably afford to add a bit of weight to the plane, but your landings are going to be very hot. I'm sure you can somehow fit retracts on there, but the problem I'm running into is that the wing is a bit too thin to fit everything nicely. You may have to build some sort of pylon for the extra storage room. You'll also have to add a lot of support in the wing to absorb the landing loads. The wing ribs near the landing gear attach points will have to be thickened up, and you'll just have to be creative and beef up some areas. Your plane may be light, but it's going to come in very fast and you'll get a lot of vibration on the ground that will tear the wing up. The trick is to make it very sturdy. After that, the trick is to get the gear to fit inside the wing. Good luck. Post pics when you start the mod.
Aug 25, 2008, 01:25 AM
Registered User
you the man!
ive had 6 of em but no retracts or landing lites yet. another project!.built em with floats,flaps ,bombs(exploding),missles (estes rockets and they go boom) ,rocket assested take-off and made em tri-cycle gear. made them look like ME-109,s and P-39, a twin in the works. iv'e made a dozen mods. to reinforce the airframe it really takes a beating. #4 had over 700 flts. soon as i figure out how i'll post some picts.
Sep 09, 2008, 11:39 AM
Put a bigger motor on it!
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I'm back! Last night I got back to work after a long time away from this project. I've fixed up the wing tips and fuselage stringers. I also had to redo the wing mounting blocks in the fuselage. It's coming along slowly but surely. I also have a brand new 2.4 GHz system on the way to me (FM interference was the cause of this mod).
Sep 11, 2008, 02:39 PM
Registered Snoozer
Glad you are back.
Keep plugging away at it.
(And I thought, I was a slow builder.)
I'm Still flying my SuperSportser daily.
Super Fun!
Sep 15, 2008, 01:04 AM
Put a bigger motor on it!
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I did some electrical work tonight. I laid out all the wires throughout the wing and then went ahead and soldered the landing lights system. I did some tests and man those things are bright! I took video and then put everything away, and just got to my computer now only to find out the memory card was never in the camera! I'll try again tomorrow. I still need to figure out what I'm going to do with the wingtip lighting and bomb drop, and then the plane will be ready to cover...again. Almost there...
Sep 15, 2008, 08:31 PM
Put a bigger motor on it!
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Alright... posted the video here:
Sep 15, 2008, 11:20 PM
a.k.a Alex Desilets
rcking323's Avatar
nice work

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