NitroPlanes Catalina RC Sea Plane ARF Review - Page 8 - RC Groups
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May 14, 2009, 06:55 PM
Registered User
Hi All,
Just finished helping my son complete his PBY. We test taxied it in the pool, it took some water over the bow (I guess) and got things wet inside.
We plan to add a 2.4 ghz receiver and fly it with a DX-7 (we noted power issue from a previous post). We'll probably use a 3s 1500 MAH lipo eventually too.

What are you folks doing to make the airplane more waterproof, silicon on one side of the hatch?


Update...I found the leak! The fuselage halves were not properly glued, fixed that and changed to Spektrum DX-7 and 1500mah lipo. Balanced and test taxied in pool, test flight next! Also I did some waterproofing of the electronics.

Update 2...test flight went well until afterwards when my son was taxiing around, the ESC overheated (I guess) and shut everything down. Since it was dry inside I took the waterproofing tape off of the ESC so it would get cooling airflow. I may have to add a smart or park BEC to the unit with the 3S lipo...
Last edited by johnt26; May 20, 2009 at 10:30 PM.
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May 22, 2009, 07:36 PM
Registered User
Angelo's Avatar
Finally took the plunge and got the Catalina. Some observations;

While fiddling with the rudder, it came partly loose from the vertical fin. I see that there are actually some mini hinges in there, I'm going to pop a little foam safe CA in them, and probably the other hinges.

My kit has a water rudder, I don't remember anyone else seeing this.

I CAd a plastic tab to the back of the Canopy/hatch to make it easier to remove. When putting the canopy on, put some paper between the velcro, then push the canopy down until it's completely seated, then hold it down as you remove the paper. If you don't use the paper, the velcro grabs too early and you can't seat it completely. Taking it off is much harder, tho.

For the above reasons, I'm going to get some micro magnets to hold the hatch.

The foam above the battery holder makes putting in the battery difficult, I cut some foam away and it's easier. Once I can get rid of the velcro, I can cut away more.

Overall, it looks pretty good. The painting isn't the best quality, and it's standoff scale, but this plane cost $100, shipped! I'll probably replace the trans and receiver, but it's still a tremendous bargain.
May 22, 2009, 09:52 PM
Running jokes into the ground
b-29er's Avatar
because it isnt. mine ame with the rudder detatched, and with a few ca hinges
May 22, 2009, 09:54 PM
Never Trade Luck for Skill
MERLIN V16's Avatar
Say again?
May 22, 2009, 10:06 PM
Registered User
Angelo's Avatar
Something I forgot, check the glue joint on the hull bottom, I could see right through to the other side in spots! It would probably still float since it's foam, but all the equipment could get wet. I'm putting masking tape on both sides of the seam, then pushing epoxy into it. Wipe it off, remove the tape, and should have a nicely sealed bottom.
May 26, 2009, 10:17 AM
Registered User
We flew a couple of flights yesterday, the ESC got hot!
I ordered a Smart BEC to eliminate the heat (running a 3S lipo), I tried the plane today, servos work but no engines, may have fried the ESC.
Anyone upgrade to a higher quality unit?
I'll call nitro later to see if they sell replacements.
May 26, 2009, 10:26 AM
Registered User
Angelo's Avatar
Originally Posted by corsair nut
cut props down to 9" and running on a 2100 3s.
Corsair nut, how do you cut down props? I would think it would be very difficult to end up with both blades being identical and balanced.

Has anyone tried a 3 blade prop, and if so, what size did you use?
May 27, 2009, 12:40 PM
Registered User
Checked further today, both motors are toast after two flights. Stock ESC/Motors with a spektrum receiver and 3S 1500mah lipo.
May order new motors and take the 150% throttle "travel" out of the DX-7 programming or run the nimh.
Aviator 24, how are you making out with the 3S lipo?
Last edited by johnt26; May 27, 2009 at 01:50 PM.
Jun 01, 2009, 12:08 AM
Registered User
Angelo's Avatar

First ROW!

I finished my Catalina a few days ago, and now have several flight on it. This is a fun plane! Definitely not overpowered, but it flies in a very realistic, scale like manner. My first flight was hand launched, wanted to trim it out and get to know its characteristics before trying anything off water, since I've never ROWed before. Very stable, but lots of adverse yaw in turns if you don't use rudder, this is my first 4 channel plane and I'm learning to use all the sticks with this.

After a few successful land flights, I went to a nearby pond for water ops. Left off the water rudder, since I have some rudder mixed in with the ailerons, and was afraid of what might happen if I had to level the wings while still on the water. This is a great first seaplane, takeoff was a non-issue, i just slowly fed in throttle 'til max, it got up on step, then I slowly started pulling back on the stick. It rose off the water nice and smooth. Did several circuits, then my first water landing. Came in with some tpower still on, sink rate is too high to just cut throttle. A little flare, then she settled in smoothly. Taxiing back was a little tricky without a water rudder, but slowly got the hang of it. My first successful ROW!

Second battery pack didn't have enough juice to get it off the water, so i immediately worked on taxiing back, since I didn't have a boat available! Third pack was much better, another nice liftoff from the pond. I cut the power a little too abruptly on landing, bounced a bit and caught a wingtip float, but it stayed on.

Since I also will be flying off land, I made the tip floats removable, I epoxied a thin ply plate onto the float mount, then put ply hard points into the wing.

Really like this plane, I've always wanted a Catalina, but the Electrifly version was just too expensive, this plane with a decent radio upgrade is pretty good. More power would be better, but I'm okay with this set up for now.
Jun 03, 2009, 09:05 PM
Mountain Flyer
jzonts's Avatar
Ok finally maidened my plane with the bp hobbies brushless motors. I wanted to go brushless because the lake i was flying it was around 9000 feet up. Well even at that heighth it was almost enough power for unlimited vertical. My setup- 2 bphobbies A2212-13 brushless motors and will fly with a 3 cell 2200 mah lipo spinning two apc 8x6 props, one is a pusher prop.
Last edited by jzonts; Jun 03, 2009 at 09:13 PM.
Jun 03, 2009, 09:09 PM
Mountain Flyer
jzonts's Avatar
This is the video of my maiden, i only used half throttle untill right when i came off the water then i punched it.

Aug 02, 2009, 09:12 AM
Registered User
I'm hoping this thread is still alive, because I joined this awesome forum to ask this question. Ordered this kit, and it's been flying beautifully. Indeed a cheap kit, but SO much fun has been had for $89. ANYWAY, i ordered a LiPo battery and charger to squeeze some more performance out of her and had some questions. First of all, the batter is 11.1V 1000mah lipo ... and the output cables for the battery are small .. like maybe 14 or 16 gauge. The current NIMH battery in the catalina has these thick 8 gauge cables on it, and it has the "square/circle" 2 prong connector.

Have I ordered the wrong battery? The Lipo has a red and black wire coming off it with a flat wafer-like connector on the end .. almost like its supposed to plug into the "batt" slot on my receiver. I was thinknig of just taking all the old battery wires out of the plane, and soldering the thin wires of the new battery to the ESC (with a connector in the middle of course.) What should I do here?

For reference, this is the battery I have.

Thanks for any input you guys can give me!
Aug 02, 2009, 09:21 AM
outngo's Avatar
Aug 02, 2009, 09:22 AM
Never Trade Luck for Skill
MERLIN V16's Avatar
That is a JST connector on the Lipo. You can change it to one that will mate to the plane (plane is male,lipo is female) As long as it's 16 or 14 ga you will get away with it!
I would convert (if not done already) to deans type.
Hope this helps!
Aug 02, 2009, 09:28 AM
Registered User
Thanks a lot merlin. So I can chop of the JST connection and crimp any connector on there? Also, who's Dean?

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