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Jan 28, 2009, 01:15 AM
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turbojoe's Avatar
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Build Log

Mountain Models FireStorm! RELEASED!!!!


Brian asked me to update the thread to show that you'll be able to order your very own FireStorm starting tomorrow 9/4/09. Here's the link to the order page:

Get 'em while they're HOT!

That's right sports fans another new plane from Mountain Models! Because this particular plane is an alpha prototype this won't be a build log in its truest sense but more of a sneak peak at what you can expect to see in the final release. Brian is hoping for a late February release.

Because I was sick for a week and family issues kept getting in the way it became a mad rush to get the plane ready for AEF. As it turned out the maiden was early Saturday morning. Only about 4 minutes. Long enough for me to see that I needed to tame my throws in a big way. All control surfaces are quite effective and only need minimal throws. I did some adjusting Saturday night and we got a few more good flights in on Sunday morning. Brian did the second flight and got some good flight feedback. Unfortunately there was a mishap on the second flight and the airframe was "stress tested". There is video that will be posted later. You won't believe how little damage there was. A bad battery, the ESC being set for another plane and me not letting Brian know the flight timer is what led to the incident. 100% my fault.

The repairs were minor but I'm making changes to a few things that I had to come up with on my own like the retract linkage and servo position. That's right retracts! The plan is for trike, tail dragger or tail dragger with retracts. There simply isn't enough room in the nose to do trike retracts without a lot of redesign. Great Planes .10 size retracts are drop in and are silky smooth. I was planning to try Robart 123's but Brian suggested the G.P.'s instead and I'm glad he did. I had both brands but the G.P's have positive lock in the up and down position. The Robarts do not and they require much more effort to operate.

I haven't been able to get any really good "glamour" shots of the plane. This will have to do until I can get her out in the sun again. I'll keep adding build pictures a little at a time.

Last edited by turbojoe; Sep 04, 2009 at 01:55 AM. Reason: Kit released
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Jan 28, 2009, 01:35 AM
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turbojoe's Avatar
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I got the FireStorm kit like I got my Tyro, Tyro 150 and SwitchBack Sr. kits. A box of wood. No plans. No instructions. Just build it and make it fly! If it was anything but a Mountain Models kit that might be a daunting task. A little common sense is all it takes. Parts either belong together or they don't. Everything fits so tightly that I assembled the entire fuse before adding any glue! The plywood "crutch" is what makes that possible. It also adds incredible strength. That was proven on the "stress test". It's the same setup we see in the SwitchBack Sr. A proven design.

It's getting late. I'll post more pictures tomorrow.

Jan 28, 2009, 02:02 AM
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BEC's Avatar
Pattern lines and "3D" sized control surfaces (or nearly so). Interesting.....
Jan 28, 2009, 06:19 AM
God is my pilot
JimTMich's Avatar
Thanks Joe! I look forward to more pictures!
Jan 28, 2009, 09:14 AM
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portablevcb's Avatar
Interesting. Looks like a cross between a Tantrum and Flashback, but, larger. Cool.

Jan 28, 2009, 09:20 AM
War Eagle!
Spackles94's Avatar
I like!

What's the wingspan/AUW? So, it looks like a pattern plane with a twist, eh? Neat!
Jan 28, 2009, 09:31 AM
Crash and Build
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Jan 28, 2009, 10:05 AM
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turbojoe's Avatar
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Originally Posted by Spackles94
I like!

What's the wingspan/AUW? So, it looks like a pattern plane with a twist, eh? Neat!
Keep in mind that this is a prototype and the only flying version right now. After his flight Brian was talking about all the little changes he could make. Not a re-design but just tweaks here and there. He could release it as is but he wants it as perfect as possible. I think he wants to try to make it an all around performance plane that can do a little 3D if wanted. Hence the tail feathers.

Here are the specs on THIS particular version:
Wingspan: 47.5"
Length: 44"
Weight: 35.2 oz
Motor: Scorpion 3014-16
ESC: Scorpion 45 amp
Battery: 3S 2200mah Li-Po
Prop: APC 11x7E
Rudder & Elevator servos: HS-65mg
Aileron servos: HS-82mg
Retract servo: HS-65mg

That weight figure includes the retracts, servo, wiring, servo-slow adapter etc. I made no attempt at all to save weight during the build. 32 oz AUW may be possible if careful.

I have some things to do right now but will post some more pictures later.

Jan 28, 2009, 12:54 PM
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turbojoe's Avatar
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These pictures show just how strong the plane is. A nose first drop onto asphalt from about 25 feet and this is all that happened. Absolutely zero damage to the airframe. No cracked wood or popped glue joints. The motor cage absorbed everything. A non crutch designed fuse would have blown apart on impact.

The motor cage was simply glued back together. The cowl repaired with fiberglass and CA. The corner of the fuse that looks like it is smashed is simply where the covering got peeled back There was a small ding in the balsa block that I filled and sanded. Recovered that corner and it's good to go. I wouldn't suggest crashing any plane to test it's strength but what I saw here is very reassuring. It'll take a serious crash to destroy this puppy!

Jan 28, 2009, 01:18 PM
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Here's a look at the tail section. I especially like what Brian did here. You can see the two tabs on the bottom of the vertical stab. They lock into the horizontal after it has been slid into the fuse. The long post at the rear of the V-stab registers into the end of the fuse and ensures everything is locked solidly in place. No worries about the vertical being vertical and the horizontal being horizontal. This isn't a new idea but Brian seems to have perfected it. The fairing pieces at the rear are pretty slick too and sand easily to shape. If you really had a need to the tail section could easily be converted to bolt on.

Jan 28, 2009, 01:19 PM
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Mountain Models's Avatar
Joe, it wasn't 100% your fault, when I was the one flying and I was the one that crashed it. I'd say it was 2.4% your fault for not reminding me to get down before I ran out of battery.

FireStorm Basic Specs

Wing Span: 47"
Wing Area: 425 Sq In
Length: 43.3" to back of spinner, 46.3" to front of spinner
Weight: 32 to 38 oz (depends on motor, battery, fixed gear, retracts, etc.)

These might change slightly, but the wing should be good where it is now. The fuselage "might" get tweaked a little bit, along with the tails.

I want to get as much knife-edge coupling out of it as possible. There will probably be some left that will have to be programmed out, but flying it this weekend, I didn't have any mixes and could hold knife-edge easily.

Now, what the heck is it supposed to be? Pattern, 3D, Hybrid, Sport?
Well, it's basically meant to be a sport plane with pattern capabilities. I started out with good sized elevator and rudder in hopes of giving it some basic 3D capabilities, but after stretching the tail moment out so much, I'll probably reduce their size. It depends on how some more flight testing goes.

There's going to be a lot of minor tweaking before I release it, but I should still have it out by the end of February.

And as for the obvious next wuestion, I don't know a range for the price yet.

Jan 28, 2009, 01:41 PM
Registered User
Now that is an awesome plane. I cant wait to build it. What would look right with this plane would be to make the LG not retractable and put some wheel pants on it. Dont get me wrong I like retracts but since this has a pattern ship look that would go with the look. Please no flaming me just mt .02 worth.
Jan 28, 2009, 01:45 PM
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Huck's Avatar
Darn, that's nice. Subscribed.
Jan 28, 2009, 02:06 PM
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Mountain Models's Avatar

There are 2 sets of landing gear mounts in the wing so it can be setup 3 ways:

1. Fixed Gear Taildragger
2. Retractable Gear Taildragger
3. Fixed Gear Trike

I think wheel pants would look great on it. I might be getting a set of plastic ones to try out and see how they look.

Jan 28, 2009, 02:10 PM
Registered User
Brian I would suggest that the LG be built into the fuse for the pattern ship look. Again this is an awesome plane and this is just a thought.

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