Monday, November 23, 2009

VQ Black-Fire EP Delta Rocket 100 ARF

I'm not 100% sure if this is new or not, but I found it on Hobby People's site recently (related to a sale):

The instructions were 90% ignored during the build because:

1. It's very, very easy to build
2. Some visual references (i.e. servo orientation) were off

Needless to say, this is a fast and fun little wing to fly! Here are some pics to describe just how easy this was. By the way, this build literally took about 30 minutes tops. Here's the breakdown:
  • 5-7 minutes for the 5-minute epoxy to dry for the top fins
  • 5-7 minutes for the 5-minute epoxy to dry on the bottom fins
  • a minute to screw the motor in
  • about 5 minutes for the servos/linkage/zero settings).
  • about 5 minutes to get the CG set to factory specs
Here are the final specs on the built wing:
  • Powered by 3S A123 1100mAh battery
  • 1450kv motor (Axi 2208 clone) - up to 12A
  • 8x3.8 prop - this is a bit on the large side, but amp draw does not exceed motor/ESC capabilities
  • AUW: 465g
  • 6-7 minutes of flight time, possibly more with throttle management
All stickers and coating came pre-applied. Event the elevons had their hinges pre-glued (yes, I tested it out quite a bit before trusting).

Finished product (bottom - before being screwed to the top half)

Finished product (top - & completely assembled)

Top half after screwing motor into firewall

The two halves are mated (there's a lip that catches in the front - and a bolt in the aft end).

Canopy comes with magnets installed and ready to roll!

Ample battery space

Make sure to add about 2-3 mm of upward angle prior to maiden flight

Motor installed and all set to go!

All in all, a VERY fun little wing! If you want to see drill-bit-crazy rolls on a small and low-cost wing, this is it! It doesn't flex like foam (it's all wood and monokote). I'm a foam fan, but at the price this came at I HAD to try it. Needless to say, I toss it in the truck before no matter what else I have with me out in the field.

Happy and safe flying!


Sunday, June 28, 2009

The Mojo Conversion - a smashing success!

Today at around 11am I maidened the converted Mojo 3D profile plane that I blogged about earlier.

Here's what I flew with today:

  • 12x8 APC prop - a little under-sized, but worked well enough
  • Suppo 3520/06 800kv (Axi equivalent: 2826/12)
  • 6S1P A123 (2x3S1P packs in series) - the plane balanced laterally perfectly with this setup
  • CG @ 4 7/8" (per forum post by Paul Swany the recommended CG for this plane is 4 1/4" - 5 1/2"). I am 1/8" past mid-point - I find that CG mid-points work well for most conversions. I'll do the inverted flight test next weekend to re-check the CG. So far, so good!

With this setup my power meter read 61 amps WOT and 948 watts!At 4.5lbs that about 210 watts/lb - extreme aerobatics requires about 130 watts/lb. It's always nice to have that reserve power. I ALWAYS prefer over-powered versus under-powered.

I flew with barely any trim adjustments (thanks Bob K. for the sharp eyes on the aileron settings and with the assist on the mechanical adjustments). With just under 4 minutes of flight time I consumed 1000mAh out of one pack and 954mAh out of another pack. 5-6 minutes of aerobatics is going to be a safe range.

Take off and landing were uneventful - which is EXACTLY what I was shooting for!

Another successful conversion under the belt!

Quick and important note: I might stop by the SEFSD field next weekend and fly with those guys for an hour or two.


Sunday, June 21, 2009

Mojo .40 Project

While at the DiscountHobbyWarehouse Father's Day swap meet today, I met a seller (Chris) who promptly went out of his way to remove the engine that was in this really interesting and great looking plane. That allowed me to buy it at a slightly lower price from him and convert it to electric power (EP).

Here are the specs for this project (so far):

  • Mojo .40 3D profile (
  • 60A ESC
  • either 4S A123 or 6S A123 (to be determined after static thrust testing)
  • 12x8 APC prop (or something close)
  • AXI equivalent: 2826-4T (this motor is rated to support up to a 5.5lb plane)
  • total wattage: 600 (very acceptable - especally if the thrust tests produce the desired results)
  • 2.5lbs (1150g) plane with servos
  • 2lbs (915g) prop, 2826-4T motor, ESC, BEC, rx
  • 4.5lbs (2065g) AUW (all-up-weight) - estimated with current design
  • -OR- I could go with 6S1P A123 + A3520/06 (AXI 2826/12 equivalent) which would bring the plane weight up an additional .5 lbs (230g) for an AUW of 5lbs and the power system to approx. 900 watts <-- this looks like a ridiculous and fun setup!
  • I will most-likely use larger motor (designed for approx 6+ lb aircraft) but I'll wait and see what the initial testing results are.
Here are some obligatory pics after I got home and set her down...

Chris, if you're reading this, thanks again for the great plane! It's a solid beast and if my work week isn't too hectic, I'll fly her in Poway next weekend. By the way, the new Poway location is Pomerado Road and Stonebridge Parkway. Drive east on the parkway until you reach a gate. Drive through the gate and after a short dirt road you will see a wide open and flat paved asphalt rectangle in the middle of nowhere (we still speculate as to what it might have been used for).



Saturday, June 20, 2009

Hyperion Sukhoi Repair

Well, when landing after her maiden flight one of the wheels simply shattered and the landing gear dug into the tarmac. Needless to say, this caused the landing gear to rip apart the lower part of the fuselage.

After finally getting a quiet hour I was able to repair her and she's better than when I first buoght her!

Time to "take 'er up" tomorrow morning!

The damage...

The parts...

All done!


-- Post From My iPhone

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Hyperion Sukhoi SU-31 25e

Today was another fun-filled plane-building day. Below are the specs on this particular plane:

  • 1165g (2.5lbs 3S) OR 1260g (2.75lbs 4S)
  • Suppo 1100kv outrunner (AXI 2826-14 equivalent) for a 2.5lb - 5lb plane
  • Suppo 60A ESC
  • 5A BEC
  • Spektrum AR500 rx
  • APC 12x10 prop (4S)

End result: 1870g (4.2lbs) thrust with this setup at 700+ watts!!!


  • 610g = Empty plane (kit only):
  • 255g = 3S1P A123
  • 315g = 4S1P A123
  • 300g = Prop/BEC/ESC/BL2826
  • 36g = Misc (screws, glue, linkage assemblies, etc)

Hyperion Sukhoi build log in German:

Monday, June 1, 2009

Great Planes ElectriFly Fokker DVII WWI ARF

First of all: what a great plane! Within a few hours of purchasing this little bad boy, I had her up and flying all with a few trim clicks - nothing else. I did follow the manual (surprise, surprise) and applied the recommended throws. After over 20 flights I'm still using the same throws and 30% expo.

Here are my build specs, some pics and a link to a video:

  • AUW with battery is 665g (about 1.47 lbs)
  • 3S1P (A123) 1100mAh pack (130g)
  • 40A ESC - that's what I had laying around - ordered a smaller ESC to save overall weight
  • 2200kv small outrunner ($9 shipped - eBay)
  • APC 8x3.8 Slowflyer prop
  • Spektrum AR6100 rx
  • (4) Hitec HS-55 servos (2/ailerons, 1 rudder, 1 elevator) - I don't care for these servos, but they were sitting on the bench but I was awaiting my hobbycity HXT900 servos (and I get impatient)

With this setup I get anywhere from 7-8 minutes of flight time. I have (finally) made it a habit to to land her with elevator up to avoid nose-overs - so landings are now smooth, boring and quite uneventful :)

She doesn't need a lot of runway and looks great when performing a smooth rolling takeoff - tail up, wheels still rolling and a gently nudge on the elevator and she's aitborne. As far as I'm concerned she's got zero bad-habits. The same applies to touch-and-go's and landings - gear on deck, tail up, lose the throttle and apply full up elevator. It's a pretty sight to see her land and taxi smoothly.

Below are the obilgatory pics and video - my thanks to Tom for the time he took from his flying to take these!

Looking great!

A great back-shot

Setting throws...

Landing approach


Nose-overs... too easy with the Fokker!

All-in-all, a great plane!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

P51-D rest in peace - for now (rebuild in June)

Today marks the end of an era for what was a fantastic flying electric conversion. My limited experience with war birds had me flying far too slowly and I stalled her on the final turn to begin the landing approach.

Sadly, the pictures tell the rest of the story. She was a great flying plane!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Modeltech P-51D Mustang Electric Conversion

Recently, someone the I consider to be a good friend, donated this plane to my obsession - electric-powered flight! Mark Lukens ( made the offer and I jumped all over it!

What it boiled down to is a nicely powered (albeit, lighter) plane. It's not set up for unlimited verticals, etc. - but she does fly scale very nicely.

So, what were the obvious changes? Here is the list:
  1. 60A Suppo ESC (max 80A <>
  2. 1000kv Suppo outrunner (A2826/4T) - axi clone ($36)
  3. Spektrum AR500 (5 channel full-range rx) ($54)
  4. 5A switching BEC ($9)
  5. 4S1P A123
  6. 5S1P A123 (a little more rpm than with 4S1P due the additional cell)
  7. 12 & 14 gauge silicone power leads
  8. APC12x10E prop
  9. Weight reduction to 5.6lbs
In case anyone is wondering, the BEC, ESC and motor (totaling approx $71) came from They carry the same ESCs and motors that lightflightrc carries, but at a lower price, they have a lot of items in stock and they email you your order details - which lightflightrc doesn't do so it's sometimes hard to go back and review what I ordered from them.

The A123 battery packs are custom built packs that I made about 1 year ago. They're still holding a lot of charge and delivering massive amounts of current.

Next weekend I'll make some very detailed flights to determine if I need to go with 2P (doubling the 4S and 5S packs - which doubles flight time, but also the battery weight). I haven't done any power consumption testing over time. I can tell you this - the current setup runs between 54A-56A WOT (wide-open-throttle). Obviously we don't always fly that way, but it's nice to know that you won't over-draw the motor, ESC or battery capabilities.

Below are some obligatory pics :)

Prior to installation (courtest of USPS and

ESC and motor installed - lot's of cooling for both

Back together and looking sweet...

My original collet adapter and spinner were offset so the maiden flight had some noisy vibration. This is the result - no spinner :(

The conversion only took a about two hours. The most effort was in calculating the power consumption and prop size+pitch to the weight of the aircraft and the capacity of the batteries and ESC.

All-in-all, a very nice aircraft!

Thanks everyone for stopping by and a BIG thanks to Mark for making this happen and taking her up on her maiden (electric-powered) flight.