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ZXLNT
09-22-2006, 11:30 AM
I purchased what I thought was going to be a nice used Electra on Ebay. At least it looked nice. So the plane shows up. Boxed poorly. Plane in nose first, wing and wing tips loose in box, batteries loose in box, radio loose in box. Vertical stabilizer is broke away from the fuselage, propeller is bent. The battery cover on the bottom of the plane is missing, no charger for the radio and a few small tears in the covering on the top surface of main wing. So I have this Electra with about 140 dollars in it that obviously needs some work. From what I have read about it, its a fairly decent flying sailplane, or can be with a a few modifications. I am guessing that original builder assembled it per the original instructions with no modifications. It came with 2 6 cell NiCd batteries, one of which appears to have a dead cell. I dont know if the reciever works because the flat pack is dead and I haven't been able to get it loose from the airplane to find someway to even charge it yet. I have another reciever from my dead tiger wing that I can use to at least check out the servos but I haven't had a chance to do so yet.

I'm not sure I even want to mess with this plane or not, I would have been or may possibly be my first sailplane. Ideas, suggestions.




Post from later..



Well I just got done checking the plane out a little more.. It has 2 6 cell batt packs, 1 has a dead cell, the 2nd pack charged but didn't seem to hold a charge very long. The can motor works, as do all the servos. I dont know about the reciever battery pack as I can't get the connector loose to get it out. So it appears that it is salvageable. First thing I guess would be to get the air frame fixed. The vert stab is broken, or more like separated from the fuselage. The covering is torn. I'm guess it was glued to the fuselage and then covering put over for additional strength????


3rd thought. I have an Art Tech "50" amp ESC laying around, as well as 2 1000mah 8.4 volt battery packs and a E-flite TX. That would get me away from simply having full power or no power. Plus I could eliminate the 3rd servo for the motor on switch and the RX battery pack as well right???

Sky Sharkster
09-23-2006, 01:12 AM
Hello ZXLNT, Welcome to Wattflyer!
First off, I'd have to say you ran into a bad deal; Tower Hobbies lists the Electra ARF (with "500" can motor) at $119.99. For $140 you apparently got a damaged plane, a questionable RX, 2 dud batteries and a few servos.
However, all is not lost; The Electra is a pretty good 2 meter powered glider and with some work and $$ you should be able to salvage a flyable glider out of what you have. If that's what you want to do here's my suggestions and a question. I'm not familiar with the E-Flite TX. Is ita 72mHz FM? I wouldn't risk flying any glider with 27mHZ or AM. JMO.
Back to the plane; Find a way to get the RX battery off the RX and test the RX. If it seems "shaky" at all, ditch it and use the best RX you can find. A new RX is a lot cheaper than a new airplane!
Next, peel off any covering near where the stabilizer joins the fuselage. Glue the stabilizer back on properly and (if you want to) cover the joint with iron-on covering. At this point you'll need a roll of covering, just get one that matches one of the main colors. The Tower site says it's "Low Temperature" so EconoKote should work. Use this to also patch the holes in the wing.
You can use your 50A speed controller, it's way overkill for this application but the only problem with that is it's heavier than needed. Once that's hooked up you will be able to lose the RX battery + servo/switch, save some weight there. Check out all the flight controls, servos, motor control and RX operation (whichever RX you end up using).
Now, your 8.4V (7 cell) 1000 mAH batteries will work, but they won't give you the best power with this set-up. For that, an 8 cell (9.6V) 1500-2000mAH battery pack or a 3 cell 2100mAh LiPo would be better. However, we'll work with what you have! The 1000mAH means that you'll only get a couple of "climb-outs" instead of 3 or 4. You may have to move your packs more towards the nose since they are lighter than the recommended size. From the Tower "Tech Notes" the center of gravity position is 3-1/2" to 3-3/4" from the wing leading edge. I'd go with the further-forward position (3-1/2") at first, after you fly it a few times you can try moving it back.
I'd imagine you can fabricate a hatch from "Lite" plywood.
The Tower site has the recommended control throws as well as a lot of other useful info. http://www2.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin/wti0001p?&I=LXELP1&P=3#tech Maybe if you wrote directly to Carl Goldberg Models they would send you the instruction manual or it could be available online.
The propeller listed is an 8" x 4" folder. Both "Speed 500" and "Speed 600" can motors have a 3.2mm (1/8") prop shaft so the replacement prop would be (from Hobby-Lobby.com) part # GPC8045 CAM 8x4.5 Folding Prop, 3.2mm (prop shaft diameter) 38mm spinner. Price $15.30 plus S+H.
Or, I guess you could just toss it and swallow the loss! Personally I'd try to fix it up and consider it a lesson learned.
Good luck either way!
Ron

intruderdave
09-23-2006, 02:06 AM
If you think you got a raw deal, you could contact the seller, and maybe contact Ebay for assistance, particularaly if PayPal was used. Depending upon the terms of the auction, and the way the auction listing was worded, you might be due a refund. Some sellers have even been known to offer a partial refund to avoid 'negative' feedback, if you want to pursue it. I once received a non-working item, contacted the seller, and was fully refunded and they told me told to just keep the item and see if I could fix it. Just a suggestion.

ZXLNT
09-23-2006, 07:30 AM
Hello ZXLNT, Welcome to Wattflyer!
First off, I'd have to say you ran into a bad deal; Tower Hobbies lists the Electra ARF (with "500" can motor) at $119.99. For $140 you apparently got a damaged plane, a questionable RX, 2 dud batteries and a few servos.
However, all is not lost; The Electra is a pretty good 2 meter powered glider and with some work and $$ you should be able to salvage a flyable glider out of what you have. If that's what you want to do here's my suggestions and a question. I'm not familiar with the E-Flite TX. Is ita 72mHz FM? I wouldn't risk flying any glider with 27mHZ or AM. JMO.
Back to the plane; Find a way to get the RX battery off the RX and test the RX. If it seems "shaky" at all, ditch it and use the best RX you can find. A new RX is a lot cheaper than a new airplane!
Next, peel off any covering near where the stabilizer joins the fuselage. Glue the stabilizer back on properly and (if you want to) cover the joint with iron-on covering. At this point you'll need a roll of covering, just get one that matches one of the main colors. The Tower site says it's "Low Temperature" so EconoKote should work. Use this to also patch the holes in the wing.
You can use your 50A speed controller, it's way overkill for this application but the only problem with that is it's heavier than needed. Once that's hooked up you will be able to lose the RX battery + servo/switch, save some weight there. Check out all the flight controls, servos, motor control and RX operation (whichever RX you end up using).
Now, your 8.4V (7 cell) 1000 mAH batteries will work, but they won't give you the best power with this set-up. For that, an 8 cell (9.6V) 1500-2000mAH battery pack or a 3 cell 2100mAh LiPo would be better. However, we'll work with what you have! The 1000mAH means that you'll only get a couple of "climb-outs" instead of 3 or 4. You may have to move your packs more towards the nose since they are lighter than the recommended size. From the Tower "Tech Notes" the center of gravity position is 3-1/2" to 3-3/4" from the wing leading edge. I'd go with the further-forward position (3-1/2") at first, after you fly it a few times you can try moving it back.
I'd imagine you can fabricate a hatch from "Lite" plywood.
The Tower site has the recommended control throws as well as a lot of other useful info. http://www2.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin/wti0001p?&I=LXELP1&P=3#tech Maybe if you wrote directly to Carl Goldberg Models they would send you the instruction manual or it could be available online.
The propeller listed is an 8" x 4" folder. Both "Speed 500" and "Speed 600" can motors have a 3.2mm (1/8") prop shaft so the replacement prop would be (from Hobby-Lobby.com) part # GPC8045 CAM 8x4.5 Folding Prop, 3.2mm (prop shaft diameter) 38mm spinner. Price $15.30 plus S+H.
Or, I guess you could just toss it and swallow the loss! Personally I'd try to fix it up and consider it a lesson learned.
Good luck either way!
Ron




Hey thanks for the help. The vert stab is broken pretty bad, I think. The main leading edge upright is broken off right above were it goes into the top of the fuselage. Its gonna be tuff to try and get the rest out or patch the broken piece. Not sure what to do on that yet. The electronics seem fine. It came with a Futaba 72 Mhz AM radio and as I far as I can tell the radio is fine. Not sure about the RX though, all the servos operate, the motor works. Main thing is getting the vert stablizer problem fixed first.. Its salvageable I belive. My main problem is time and knowledged, but only way to learn is to dig in and do it..

ZXLNT
09-23-2006, 07:39 AM
If you think you got a raw deal, you could contact the seller, and maybe contact Ebay for assistance, particularaly if PayPal was used. Depending upon the terms of the auction, and the way the auction listing was worded, you might be due a refund. Some sellers have even been known to offer a partial refund to avoid 'negative' feedback, if you want to pursue it. I once received a non-working item, contacted the seller, and was fully refunded and they told me told to just keep the item and see if I could fix it. Just a suggestion.


Um probably not gonna happen, I allready expressed my displeasure to him in an email. He was a Zero feedback seller, so I had him send it COD. He was just a lazy $$%%$#%$$#$ that didn't take any time to package it correctly...

RUSH
09-23-2006, 08:28 AM
Like Sky Sharkster said, you can most likely just glue the vert stab back, especially if it didn't break into a bunch of small pieces. Epoxy would be a good bet for this. And remember that glue joints are usually stronger than the wood itself. But, if the joint doesn't seem strong enough after it dries, you can get some fiberglass cloth, and glass around the area with some epoxy to make it good. Just make sure you line it up so that it's perpendicular with the horzontal stab and parallel to the fuse.

Also, if you didn't get the manual and plans with the plane they would be worthwhile to pick up so you know how it goes together and you can use the plans to reconstruct just about anything on the airplane using balsa sticks and sheet. The manual is available for free from the Carl Goldberg site as a pdf, and you can order the plans for around $10.

Tears in the covering can be repaired with packing tape, or by making a patch out of Monokote/Econocote/etc. and ironing it on. Just make the patch 1/4 inch bigger than the hole and place it on while pulling it taught so it doesn't sag. My wings are always getting holes in them from twigs and rocks. At the field, I use packing tape to repair, then after I get home, I remove that and make a Monokote patch with the same color to make it look better. If the covering is really bad, you can cut/pull off a section of it and iron on a new one, overlapping the old covering.

Fixing these things is all part of the hobby. I've had to reconstruct the fuselage, wing and horizontal stab for my Gentle Lady (glider version of Electra) and it's all worked out good as new in the end. Just take your time and think it out as you go along. Your plane doesn't sound too damaged, so I'd say "go for it!"

ZXLNT
09-24-2006, 12:12 AM
The vert stab is broke on the leading edge right where it goes into the top of the fuselage. The hard part is removing the broken piece of out of the fuselage. I need to get a dremel and work down into the slot to clean it out. The make a new leading edge piece. I dont think it will be too terribly hard even for a beginner like me. I'll pick up some balsa tomorrow at the hobby shop..

Sky Sharkster
09-24-2006, 02:01 AM
There you go, ZXLNT! Now you're on your way. While you're there (Hobby Shop) bring along a small scrap of the covering from the vertical stab and see if you can match the color. Are the torn areas in the wing the same color? I notice the plane has a 2-tone scheme. If it's a well-equipped shop they might have the folding prop also. You can fix this plane and get it flying! When it does, all these problems will be forgotten and you will have a great time flying the Electra!
Ron

ZXLNT
09-24-2006, 03:07 AM
Yeah there are like 3 small rips on the right hand wing tip, all on the upper surface.


This plane is red and white witht he leading edges and the bottom of the plane white.