maanantai 31. toukokuuta 2010

RC Hornet first flight

Recently I bought a F-18 Hornet model from It's a ARF foamie which is pre-painted and looks pretty good. It has a brushless electric ducted fan motor and a 4 cell LiPo battery pack. The model took a few hours to build, most time taken by gluing wings and stabilizers and installing servo wires. The kit had a 2.4Ghz radio included and installed, but i opted to use my own DX7 with it's 7 channel receiver. If you or your friends need a cheap 4 channel RC radio set at Tampere area, let me know. I haven't tested if the receiver works with DX7 yet.

I also decided to connect left and right ailerons to different channels in receiver and thus making them flaperons with DX7's mixing functions.

Yesterday was the first flight day. First i flew with a full size sailplane (LS-8) and then made some preparations and waited for a rain shower to go away. When the rain stopped, weather was semi ok for first flight - there was some light wind but no strong gusts.

Pre-flight photo.

The flights went fine. I flew 3 flights, totalling maybe 15 minutes. I was alone at the airfield so there are no in-flight photos, sorry. The model has plenty of power - maybe close to 1:1 power to weight ratio. Cruising can be done at half throttle. It's also surprisingly stable - center of gravity is so low that it tends to correct any bank by itself. It's also pretty agile and looks great in flight. It's not easy to fly though - for example stalling can cost 10 meters of altitude easily. Landings must be done pretty carefully and at low angle to avoid hitting ground tail first.

I tried using flaps (both up and down) but they caused huge trim change and almost losing control so i didn't use them during landings yet.

The ESC that came with the kit doesn't warn about low battery by cutting power like ESC's usually do. This one just outputs less power which came as a surprise to me and caused unscheduled landing. I guess I'll have to have a stopwatch to estimate flight time left.

Construction pic. Electronics are behind the plastic door which is glued into the fuselage.

Looks like I'll have to buy a larger car if I want to get larger models than this.

Link to the model (it's on sale now!):

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