Carbon Falcon flies in Zagi winds!! - RC Groups
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Jan 09, 2003, 04:33 PM
Registered User

Carbon Falcon flies in Zagi winds!!

The problem is to limit the use of superlatives. Let it suffice to say that the Carbon Falcon is a parkflyer that can fly in wind. Not just a light breeze. Or even a medium breeze. This plane can fly in wind that sends everyone home from the flying field except the
Zagi pilots! I couldn't keep my ballcap on, it was so gusty. When I got home I called the FSS to check current surface winds in our area. We have five airports within 20 miles(!) that report weather. They ranged from 10 kts gust 16 to 13 kts gust 19 to 16 kts gust 24!

I am actually still trembling. Not because this was the first wind I've flown in. The Zagi taught me to be fearless in the wind, as it has good speed and is UNBREAKEABLE. It's because I could not believe what I was seeing. This plane would make headway into a pretty stiff wind, and had EXCELLENT control in the gusty conditions. Not at all what I had expected, after my first few flights with my new airplane. More about that later. First, I am running a stock M100 motor/gearbox/prop with two sets of 2x1020 Kokams which I paralleled with a jumper. AUW is 9.5 oz. This motor combo is supposed to yield 7oz thrust at 3.8 amps, which gives the Carbon Falcon plenty of power at a voltage which is kind to the motor and a current draw which is easy on the 2040 mah Kokam package.

I had started with a standard IPS-A power unit with a 10x4.7 prop and 2x1020 Kokam. This package gave an AUW of about 7.5 oz., and the airplane performed very well (after I stopped trying to fly with the PROP ON BACKWARD!!!) I realize now, however, that I never had the CG forward quite enough with this setup. Even with the Kokams as far forward as was practical, the airplane did not have the stability necessary to fly comfortably in other than relatively light wind. conditions. (It is possible to mount the Kokams further forward, but not much. I do think this setup is feasible, however.) I needed just a little more weight forward. Of course, I could have simply run the heavier Nimh batteries, but I love the Kokams, and they're already paid for!

The M100 solved this. Although it weighs almost 1/2 oz more than the IPS setup, it can mount well forward of the IPS. And, doubling the 2x1020 Kokams gave me plenty of weight in front to balance, with plenty of adjusting room. And lotsa extra power served up as a very nice bonus! This combo gave the plane good speed, and the control response that goes with it. I guess that's why it performed so well in the wind. I'm not sure, but I suspect that the AUW is still light enough to allow the superb slow speed flying that the Carbon Falcon excels at. Just throttle way back, and fly for an awfully long time with the Kokam battery capacity. Can't be completely sure because I havn't run this power system in normal conditions yet!

All in all, I am one happy camper. Since I travel so much, it was the portability of the Carbon Falcon which first attracted me. I presently carry my Mini IFO in a wooden case, but have found that wind conditions are not light enough as often as I would like. I thought the CF might extend that capability somewhat, but I was not prepared for what I saw today! I think this airplane just might be very, very versatile!!!! Can't wait to get crazy with it!

BTW, Thanks to Ken Hill, the Carbon Falcon designer, for gently and tenaciously directing me toward the solutions for my non-standard power systems. Ken, it was so cool of you to raise the issue of backward prop mounting while at the same time completely ruling out the possibility that I could ever make that mistake!
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Jan 09, 2003, 04:39 PM
A Few Sandwiches Shy
RMason's Avatar
Jim -

Isn't the CF great? I just got a GWS280 and 2.8:1 gearbox for mine. I love how it flies with the IPS, we'll see what more power does for it.

Don't feel bad about putting the prop on backwards. Look in the manual - all the pictures show the prop on backwards. You missed that one Ken

Jan 09, 2003, 06:05 PM
Registered User
The instruction manual pic with the prop on backward! I caught it, but wasn't going to say anything to Ken. Now that you've made it public I can Ha Ha. Too funny!. Forgive us, Ken.

Jan 09, 2003, 06:20 PM
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It's pretty easy to see the time and effort put into this design I say he did a wonderful job and I know it will be a winner .
Jan 09, 2003, 11:06 PM
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hardlock's Avatar
Either you guys are pulling my chain, or? I held my motor up to the pictures and they are showing it in the correct position as a pusher with the motor lead reversed.

The APC SF props are hard to tell one way or the other compared to the GWS. I have to look close to tell. It's that camber that gives them away, not the shape. (camber to the rear, right?)

I don't own any pullers that use the IPS so started doubting I had it right from your posts. Raced home from work hoping you were correct so I could suddenly get all that extra free preformance from the motor. Not the case. Oh well, M-100 (Jim, maybe show us how you mounted it?) or AF 010, or Mega or ? Lots of upgrade options available but for me I think I'm going to like getting some LiPolys with the IPS just to get the weight down for some REAL close-in flying!
Jan 09, 2003, 11:17 PM
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hardlock's Avatar
Motor turns clockwise as viewed from rear:
Jan 10, 2003, 09:31 AM
Registered User

Where can I buy a Falcon?

The Carbon Falcon sounds interesting. I'm looking for both a portable plane I can transport on a bike and one that will fly in higher winds. Sounds like the Falcon is a candidate.

What is the best source for purchasing?

Jan 10, 2003, 12:25 PM
A Few Sandwiches Shy
RMason's Avatar
Ken - it sure is hard to tell which way those APC props are facing from a picture.

himileciclist - just hit the www. key under hardlock's post. He is the creator/manufacturer of this wonderful plane.

Jan 10, 2003, 12:38 PM
Registered User
himilecyclist: Go to

Here are pics of the M100 installation. Note that the prop shaft is actually 1/8 inch below the longitudinal frame tubes. I have yet to fly this setup in calm or low wind conditions, but have not noticed appreciable pitch differences between power on or off. At 8.1v, my Whattmeter says 3.5 static amps.

I flew again this morning in lighter winds, and could see that with this power system, the CF flies at a pretty good clip. The JetSet people who sell the M100 also offer a larger and slower prop for slowflyers. It is claimed to increase the static draw by 0.2amps.

As I flew, the wind got stronger, and I broke my Carbon Flyer! Made a steep turn back upwind, lost it in the sun, and cartwheeled. Popped out a LE tube and a spar tube which left one nylon clevis holding that wing frame to the main center frame, and that just wasn't enough to hold it together. The clevis broke, so I'm grounded until the LHS opens this afternoon. I do have a metal clevis, but I think I'd rather break a clevis again next time instead of that neat little nylon fitting it attaches to!

I will say that this CF is resilient. That was not my first major crash, just the first one that involved cartwheeling. Actually, as I think about it, ALL my model aircraft are big time crash resistant: Mini IFO, Zagi, Carbon Flyer, Soarstar. If they're not, I don't have them anymore!!

RMason- You slipped that post in before I saw it! Or I would not have posted the link. Yes indeedy, this is a fun plane. I'm going to the hardware store today to get some PVC pipe to make a case for it.
Last edited by Jim Jernigan; Jan 10, 2003 at 12:59 PM.
Jan 10, 2003, 12:45 PM
Registered User
Here's another view. If you're astute, you might notice that the prop is mounted backwards. I was just testing you. Yeah, that's the ticket! I was testing you!

BTW, that white looking block sitting on top of the motor is not the gearbox. It is a piece of hardwood mounted on the motor and behind the spur gear, and is notched on the bottom to allow room for the long prop shaft. I also notched it on the sides for the CF tubes.
Last edited by Jim Jernigan; Jan 10, 2003 at 01:05 PM.
Jan 10, 2003, 02:50 PM
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hardlock's Avatar
Jim - Nice job! I'm looking forward to trying one of those motors. Do you think that the mount would still be strong enough made from balsa? Looks like it might be a little heavy out of hardwood.

You say you broke your plane but from what you described only really "broke" the control clevis? If that's the case then a few spares are in order.

The reason I ask is that I'm looking for any weak spots that may need to be beefed up. Sounds like you just remotely disassembled her!

BTW all, Some have stated that the minute or two it takes to tear down your plane is a "hassle". Try this; Remove one wings clevis and then while holding the LE at the tip, work it and the spar out of their fittings leaving the bands connected but letting them stretch. Once the tubes are free of the center frame just fold that wing half over the other and you've just reduced the span in half for quick transport size reduction. This only takes a few seconds once you get the feel of it.
Jan 10, 2003, 08:38 PM
Registered User

Balsa might work for the motor mount, but I would be worried that the compression it sustains between the CF tubes and the plastic wire ties would deform balsa enough to loosen the mount. Maybe not. But I am sure that the top part of my wood mount could be trimmed quite a bit. And the poplar I used really isn't much heavier than pine, for instance. I was trying to identify the wood in your stock motor mount. Is it pine?

Yeah, it was just the clevis. I have replaced it now with another nylon one, and stopped by the local Ace hardware to see about some other stuff. Like some 3" lightweight PVC and caps for a carrying case. Looks like that will work just peachy. While there, I located some plastic clamps and nylon screws and nuts just to have them. I can tell you that I wouldn't want to put all the work into building the Carbon Falcon that you obviously have. The more handwork that I notice in it, the more certain I am that I wouldn't want to build it for what you charge for it! I am very impressed. One nylon part, the one which joins the wing tip to the spar, I couldn't find. Not that I plan to break it, but you never know! I do like to fly prepared to field repair, but only time will tell what is most vulnerable. The fact is after several significant and numerous minor crashes, that clevis is the first thing to break!
Jan 10, 2003, 09:11 PM
Registered User
I am sure grateful for the comments and tips found here today I have changed the M-100 mounting three times and now think I will be much more at ease with flying the Falcon. I flew it but it just had me turned everyway but loose so to speak. I had the mount all messed up twice I'm sure. I'm balanced great with 1575s and the M-100 and am sure it will be SO much easier to handle now. Nice project Ken and I wish you the very best in sales. This bird will be flying for a very long time and many variations will be scratched I'm sure. It will be a legend in its own time I'm looking forward to more pics and tips
Jan 11, 2003, 12:30 AM
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BEC's Avatar

backwards prop?


With the APCs the same rule works as with the GWSs - the labeling faces forward. The "APC" and "9X6" should face in the direction of flight. It looks backward in those pictures to me.....
Jan 11, 2003, 01:07 AM
Registered User
hardlock's Avatar
Yep, sure enough!

Maybe we're talking "looks backward" for a tractor setup?

As a pusher it stays the same rotation and alignment relative to the plane only the motor is flipped and reverse wired.

Anytime you read "setup as a pusher" this is what I refer to.

The other thread going on the CF has the link to the PDF owners manual BTW in case you didn't see it:

Oh, and Jims prop pictured above is surely on backward for a pusher, right?
Last edited by hardlock; Jan 11, 2003 at 03:30 PM.

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