Xplorer/NAN models - Page 5 - RC Groups
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Jul 17, 2008, 02:12 PM
Registered User
Abreissgewebe, IMHO is nylon fabric. 2 Purposes:
1) hinging;
2) laid down on top of the whetted layers of glass/kevlar/carbon. Then follows layer paper towel (or even toilet paper for even better absorption). This goes into the vacuum bag. The excess of resin goes trough the nylon-fabric into the paper. After hardening, one can tear off (from there the name "abreis") the nylon-fabric + paper from the layup, because resin does not glue on nylon. This leave a rough surface on the layup due to the texture from the nylon fabric, making it ideal for further glue purposes.

Sometimes they use abreissgewebe only on places where afterwards glue is necessary, like the spar region. Tearing away the strip of nylon leaves a rough-surfaced glue-able region for the purpose. One thing I do not know, if the nylon-layer is only once used and thrown away, or recovered for repeated use.
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Jul 17, 2008, 02:15 PM
Registered User
belouder's Avatar
So the hinge material is peel-ply? Not kevlar?

Jul 17, 2008, 02:25 PM
Registered User
Sotir's Avatar
Jul 17, 2008, 05:35 PM
Fly R/C writer
The hinge material appears to be Abreissgewebe, as it does not have the familiar light yellow color of kevlar. If you have a stiff hinge line that uses either Abreissgewebe or kevlar, you need to break it in. Do this by flexing the control surface quite vigorously. For a fast break in, and let's just use the flaps, bend the flap down like it is doing a landing at 90-degrees, and then rub the dull tip of a flat blade screwdriver along the hingeline from inside the flap...never on the finished side or you'll mess up the painted finish. This will help to soften up the resin on the hinge and free it up.

The Xplorer is now completed and ready to fly at 74 oz. I had to add a bit of lead in the nose to achieve a balance point of 105-mm back from the LE, which should be within limits. Again, this particular model is not made from the production molds, and so has more hand work performed, making it prone to being heavier. Production models may be lighter. Unfortunately, being one of the working class heroes, I won't have the opportunity to fly this beauty until the weekend.

Notes on the build:

1. I used the aformentioned servos, 368's and 3421's, and they are a bit thicker than what may have been intended by Nan, as they are just a hair above the servo cover line. I moved the flap servo as far forward as I dared to and then adhered the servo cover to the bottom skin and not in the slight recess molded in. The servo covers provided also anticipated a slightly lower servo arm being used, and so I had to make a cover that had a larger blister to cover the servo arm. The aileron servo fit okay as long as you don't use an additional servo mount. But again, the servo arm I used is a bit taller than what the servo cover would allow and another custom cover was required. I admit, I could have used a shorter servo arm, but I like lots of control surface movement.

2. The nose is narrower than Shadow and not as roomy overall. This is due to the ballast tube occupying the back portion of the servo tray and I was able to use the space behind the tray for the Rx and voltmeter in the Shadow. There is no space behind the tray in the Xplorer, so everything goes forward...and it gets cramped real fast!

3. as per previous Nan models, be prepared to find some solder that sticks to stainless steel when rigging the rudder with a clevis or ball adapter. In my case, silver solder with acid core flux...and one HOT soldering iron!

4. The canopy has no pins or latches from the factory. I like the pins, and so I placed a single pin at the front, and twin pins at the rear as these two pins have to straddle the ballast tube. Works real well.

5. There is some nose weight already in place from the factory. Smaller, 4-cell NiMH packs should not have a problem with fitting in there, but you will have to make the configuration custom to get the best fit and allow maximum space. If you make it three cells in a line with the fourth cell on top, it may be too long as the nose weight might be in the way. Two on bottom and another two staggered on top might be best.

6. If you grip your plane around the fuselage just ahead of the wing for launch, you'll like the Xplorer. Excellent size for gripping well.

All for now. I'll let you know how it goes this weekend and hope to get you photos.
Jul 20, 2008, 06:56 PM
Fly R/C writer
Okay, so as promised, some photos and and short eval on how the aircraft performed.

First off, I was balanced at 105-mm back from the LE....It will fly that way, but it just mushes around unless you make a lot of pilot input. Moving it up to 101-mm is much better! Now the plane will fly without a lot of attention from the pilot.

Our first toss was by hand to insure the balance was correct, and that was an instant error. I left the flaps down when the plane touched down and instantly stripped a servo gear. But it was stripped only at about 60% down flap, so we proceeded to go to the winch. With the tow hook at about 1/4 inch forward of the CG, we tossed her up. Not bad but I had to give her a touch of down to maintain control due to the slightly tail heavy condition. Once we moved the CG to 101-mm, that was not an issue. Roll control is very nice, as is pitch. Yaw is linear, and I like that very much. I can't stand a plane that is numb on the rudder. We did three shakedown flights, mostly to get the CG and trim under control. During the three flights, we managed to encounter lift easily and get her to move out. She does so without hesitation.

With the CG where I felt comfy, we launched her hard. Energy retention on the zoom is quite good, and it will take just a hair of finesse to get her to transition cleanly. Miss the transition point, and the stall will be pronounced. On the cruise, without camber, the Xplorer loafs along waiting to encounter lift. It will slow up and hang just like the Shadow and with bit of camber, it will hang better. In reflex mode, the Xplorer does well, although not like an F3B bird. It is very quiet in speed, but a lot of that has to do with how much care you put into the aerodynamics, like covering servo arms, aero covers over the control horns, etc.

You can stick the Xplorer on a wing tip and as long as you keep a decent amount of speed, no problem, she will give you 9-cents return for every dime you place inside. Thermalling is no problem at all, although you don't want to get real slow in a thermal turn. The Xplorer will give you gobs of warning before it stalls, but if you don't pay attention to that, it's going to bite you! For as big and light on the wing as the Xplorer is, the stall is surprising. You will have no doubt about the fact that you just did a stall!

Despite what I said about the stall, when it comes to landing, the Xplorer is a genuine landing machine!!!! Put the flaps down and you have excellent air brakes. Yet the plane will not fall from the sky. It gets incredibly slow, still under perfect roll, pitch and yaw control, (remember that you are going slow and without power, so any sailplane is going to have very little pitch authority). I did my standard timed approach and the plane arrived on target 5-seconds too late...that's going pretty slow!

So, in a nutshell, I would like to answer a very popular question from pilots in the United States....No, I am in no mood to think about selling this plane. I'm keeping it and as soon as I get the landing pattern timing down on her, I will be hitting some contests with it. Sorry guys, but this one might end up in the coffin with me, that's how much I like it! (I always thought it would be my 33-year old Q-Tee, but I'm thinking hard about that now!). Okay, picture time.
Jul 20, 2008, 07:19 PM
Chuck it and see!
Wing-span's Avatar
I see the 2.4 whiskers are nearly invisible.

Looking good Mike!

Simon. :
Jul 20, 2008, 07:40 PM
Ditto: Thanks Mike.. Brian
Jul 20, 2008, 08:40 PM
Yep, Naza-controlled Tricopter
tonyestep's Avatar
Neat writeup, Mike -- thanks.

The stall behavior is probably being caused by those left-handed launches. Some planes don't like that, you know. Try throwing it right-handed, and everything should fall into place.
Jul 20, 2008, 08:49 PM
Fly R/C writer
Hi Brian and Simon,

Thanks and I tried to keep the whiskers as neat and clean as possible to make it look decent. There are a couple of guys who are running the Futaba 2.4's and they have these looong whiskers hanging back like a catfish with wings. I don't think anyone told them that they only need the final 1.5 inches of the antenna hanging out. Anyhoo, expect that Nan Models will produce 2.4 friendly versions along with this version when they get into production.

Now, my only problem with the plane is that I have to work tomorrow.......

Jul 21, 2008, 11:26 AM
Fly R/C writer
Well, due to popular demand, (which I did not anticipate) it appears that people want to see how I adapted the Xplorer with the JR 2.4 radio system. So, tonight I will work on shooting that for you and get that posted. Quite simple, really. But, not for the faint of heart, as you do have to drill holes into the model.
Jul 21, 2008, 02:29 PM
Registered User
Kai@UCSB's Avatar

Thank you sharing.

Jul 21, 2008, 03:57 PM
Fly R/C writer
Tony...you're cruel! So, are you going to tell that to JW? He's left handed!

And let me ask you this; can you keep the fingers of the right hand on the sticks of the right side while you throw right handed?

(Answer: You can if you're a squid!)
Jul 21, 2008, 04:00 PM
Registered User
jojoen's Avatar
That's why it is so dangerous to have JW on your left side and Cody on your right. They will squizze your plane in a F3J comp since they throw so into your lane ))
Jul 21, 2008, 07:57 PM
launch low, fly high

Not too worry, our planes will be WAY in front of yours! :-)
Jul 21, 2008, 08:09 PM
Fly R/C writer
Yeah, JW!!! You go, dude!

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