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View Full Version : Hobby Lobby Reflex build and fly thread


Don Sims
01-16-2006, 12:19 AM
During the HL after Thanksgiving sale I saw that they had the Reflex at a price that I couldn't resist so I picked up one. I just started the build this morning and got a lot done on the plane in an hour. That is between feeding the animals and doing other morning chores out in the barn.

After spending an hour on the plane, I went with SWMBO to Church and do some flying this afternoon with a few buddies at the sod farm.

Don Sims
01-16-2006, 12:25 AM
I picked the plane because it was EPP and had a carbon fiber fuselage plus the price was right and I'm cheap. The plane was well packed with bubble wrap over the fragile parts and at the price, I was suprised at the quality of the included parts.

Don Sims
01-16-2006, 12:29 AM
HL still lists the plane at http://www.hobby-lobby.com/reflex.htm my setup is a bit different than thiers is. I picked up a brushless combo on sale off of one of the vendors here that I want to try. If that doesn't have enough ummph, I'll try a Maxi that I have waiting on a plane.

Don Sims
01-16-2006, 12:39 AM
After taking the parts out of the box I was surprised at the cord of the main wing. It was thicker and longer than I anticipated. The parts were all EPP including the wheels. The control horns and assorted parts are of some kind of a plastic while they included wire control rods and nice connectors in a parts bag. The directions are two pages of drawings. There really isn't much to building the reflex and if you have done any building, the drawings are adequate.

Don Sims
01-16-2006, 12:44 AM
Now guys (and gals) before any of you comment on the "stains" on my background in the photos. Let me remind and or inform you that I keep my planes out in a metal barn. Those specific stains are water caused by condensation on the metal roof then dripping down inside of the barn.

SWMBO and I were not getting kinky out there!!!!

Don Sims
01-16-2006, 12:55 AM
Since there are no step by step instructions to the Reflex, I decided to sparingly use Goop adhesive throughout the build. The stuff works well on EPP and is flexible. Be careful using it though, Goop can add a lot of weight real fast. I used very thin applications of it on the plane.

I started on the wing by attaching the ailerons with the included tape.

Next I assembled the wheels, they are black EPP layered between a couple of pieces of plastic. One might say they are cheezy looking yet practical and light.

Lastly, I assembled the stabilizer on the back. There is a huge amount of control surface movement here, I'll get some shots of the movement later this evening and post tomorrow.

Don Sims
01-16-2006, 03:42 AM
Here are those shots of the stabilizer control surfaces. Both the vertical and horizontal surfaces are only limited by the amount of throw you have in your servos. They are hinged on carbon fiber rods with plastic tubes already inserted in the surfaces so it's really simple to install them. Their plastic control horns are held to the surface with a dab of Goop.

Don Sims
01-16-2006, 03:48 AM
Since I don't have the privilege of owning an iron duck, :o I had to make do with some of my better battery packs to hold the two halves of the fuselage together. As with the rest of this build so far, I used a very thin layer of Goop to glue the parts together.

Once the glue dries, I'll do a bit of sanding to make sure the fit is better. The two halves are close put they did not match perfectly.

Don Sims
01-16-2006, 04:03 AM
I went ahead and mounted the wheels on the landing gear. There are end pieces in the parts packet and I CA'd them to the landing gear. HL provided some stout gear for the plane, but the wheels are not perfectly round.


Any of you fine folks have an idea on making the gear round or should I not sweat it??!! :confused: :confused: They do roll but I'm looking for ideas to make them round instead of slightly oblong.

Don Sims
01-16-2006, 04:07 AM
At this point, I have an hour and a half invested in the Reflex. I'll be installing the electronics in the morning. If you folks have any questions, comments, or suggestions, please post them here. Quite frankly, I haven't done any research on the Reflex, so I'm open for your ideas.

Rugar
01-16-2006, 04:13 AM
Since I don't have the privilege of owning an iron duck, :o I had to make do with some of my better battery packs to hold the two halves of the fuselage together.

You quack me up :D.

Nice build thread Don. Get er done Don so you can post some flight pics :).

zappedalaskan
01-16-2006, 04:31 AM
lol @ the infamous Iron Duck!

Don Sims
01-16-2006, 04:36 AM
Mike could have shipped it to me for this build thread but the cost of shipping it would bankrupt him...... :D ;) :D

Don Sims
01-16-2006, 05:11 PM
The stabilizer group shifted about 1 and a half to 2 degrees last night when the Goop dried.

If you get one of these birds, consider tacking the fuse on with foam safe CA after applying Goop or making sure there can be no movement after gluing. I stayed with it for about half an hour and thought it was tacky enough not to move. :( (That's what I get for thinking again.)

Here's where I was at this morning when I started to work on the plane. I trial fit the wing to the fuselage and that is when I noticed the shift. The Goop has a lot of give but the glue goes back to it's dried location after the shift. I hate to twist the fuse off for a perfect alignment because I might break the main Carbon Fiber rod.

Don Sims
01-16-2006, 05:22 PM
The landing gear was a breeze to install. There is a bit of foam that needed to be cut out with a hobby knife then apply some Goop inside the hole. By pushing the gear in the desired location the EPP foam stayed indented long enough to do the surgery.

After I rubber-banded the gear down, I went ahead and Gooped the wing into its saddle. I checked the wing alignment with a square and am happy that it's aligned well. I guess I could have aligned the wing with the stabilizer group and had the fuselage off.....

Mike Parsons
01-16-2006, 07:52 PM
I am watching this build with great enthusiasm...so is the duck:eek:

Big_Bird
01-16-2006, 10:22 PM
Don, I'm enjoying this build thread. Why didn't you go with medium foam friendly CA and kicker from the beginning instead of Goop? It's lighter and you might have had it in the air by now. Five minute epoxy is about as long as my patience lasts when I'm putting a new kit together.:p
There must be more to this "iron duck" story.:confused:

One gallon zip lock bags filled with play sand make great weights. I usually double bag though.

Good luck

Don Sims
01-17-2006, 12:24 AM
A good question Big Bird with a simple answer... I didn't have any when I started the build. The nearest LHS is an hour away. I went there today though!! Picked up a bottle. I picked up one of those HL Hellcats for $38 or so and plan to use the glue on that one. Just wish I had the stuff for this one!! Thanks for the ziplock bags of sand idea, my barn floor is sand.

I'll let one with first hand knowledge tell the duck story....

fabricator
01-17-2006, 12:35 AM
Oh man:( Now I cant live without a reflex:cool: That thing looks like a lot of fun.:)

Don Sims
01-17-2006, 12:40 AM
Went ahead and finished building the Reflex after getting back from the LHS. About all I needed to do was add the electronics for the plane. Here are a couple of shots of two of the three servos. All that was needed to install them was to cut holes out in the EPP and a dab of Goop on the bottom of each servo.

Don Sims
01-17-2006, 12:44 AM
LOL Fabricator, if I bought all the planes that I think are cool or gotta haves, mama would divorce me... Hummm....:o ;)

Don Sims
01-17-2006, 12:46 AM
Note the asthetic placement of the blue servo on the blue lettering. Who cares if the L is crooked!!

fabricator
01-17-2006, 12:46 AM
Went ahead and finished building the Reflex after getting back from the LHS. About all I needed to do was add the electronics for the plane. Here are a couple of shots of two of the three servos. All that was needed to install them was to cut holes out in the EPS and a dab of Goop on the bottom of each servo.

Now was that a slip of the finger? EPS? I hope so because I dislike EPS intensely:confused:

Don Sims
01-17-2006, 12:55 AM
I used an old GWS receiver and a 15 amp brushless controller that I had so she's about ready to maiden. It started raining this afternoon so I dialed it in on my Tracker II radio and made sure the servos are moving in the right direction. Nothing more fun than having a reversed servo on a maiden flight. :eek:

Here's some various shots of the finished product. I'll provide more details of the specifics of the basic setup when I post some flight shots or tomorrow night when I have time to run back outside and write that stuff down.

Don Sims
01-17-2006, 12:58 AM
Now was that a slip of the finger? EPS? I hope so because I dislike EPS intensely:confused:


Yep, thanks for pointing that out. I edited the post.

.... or I could say....

What in the world are you talking about EPS??!!??? It's EPP!!! Where in the world did you get EPS!!! :o

fabricator
01-17-2006, 01:03 AM
Yep, thanks for pointing that out. I edited the post.

.... or I could say....

What in the world are you talking about EPS??!!??? It's EPP!!! Where in the world did you get EPS!!! :o

:D And BTW, the SWMBO reference, are you a Rumpole of the Bailey fan?

Big_Bird
01-17-2006, 01:10 AM
I've been flying RC since 1967, mostly giant scale, and foamies for about 2 months. I'm really interested in your assessment as to how this plane, with airfoil, compares to the way flat foamies fly.

Don Sims
01-17-2006, 01:38 AM
Yes, fabricator, I just wish our PBS station still had the show. I've also heard it used by military folks.

No problem Ken, I have some expectations of the plane and I'm curious to see if they happen. I was looking at buying a 1900 3s pack for it from Cheapbatterypacks.com. I've got a couple of 2s packs and some small 3s. I've got several 8 cell 600 AE packs I plan to start with but want to ease into Lipos for most of my planes.

Mike Parsons
01-17-2006, 01:58 AM
There must be more to this "iron duck" story.:confused:
Good luck
The tale of the iron duck :D

http://www.wattflyer.com/forums/showthread.php?p=37822#post37822

Big_Bird
01-17-2006, 02:39 AM
The tale of the iron duck :D

http://www.wattflyer.com/forums/showthread.php?p=37822#post37822
GOOD looking duck!

Would a 2 pound brass swan qualify?

Don Sims
01-17-2006, 10:54 PM
Ordered a three cell lipo pack from CBP's this morning, plus a 9 cell pack for my Blitz II . It's snowing outside right now and unlike the olden days when I was young and more foolish I ain't-a-gonna fly it this evening!!
Don

Don Sims
02-09-2006, 12:19 AM
Didn't want you folks to think I was leaving you hanging...

Stupid is as stupid does... When I was playing with the plane out in the barn I left my Tracker II on for at least two days. After recharging the transmitter battery, all channels were showing in use. After several years of almost daily use I had to send the Tracker in for repair. The RF module went out.:mad: :( :mad:

Totally my fault. :( :mad: :(

The three cell lipo pack is here, the plane is ready to fly, all I need is the radio back. Hopefully Polks will have it back in a few days....

fabricator
02-09-2006, 12:33 AM
I was beginning to wonder DS, I have a red mark on my neck from the rope (ya know from hanging) oh man that was bad.:rolleyes:

Don Sims
02-16-2006, 03:35 AM
That was bad fabricator... ;)

Got home this evening and the Tracker was back home where it belonged. Went outside at dusk and tried out the Reflex.

There was a stiff breeze and the sun had already dropped below the horizon when I flew. The plane took off within four feet and promptly went into a right turn. At first I thought that I had reversed my aileron servo so I used the rudder to steer the plane into a landing. It turned out that the control surfaces are so large that the plane reacts very quickly to even small inputs on the sticks. Once I sorted that issue out, I tried it again and had a fun yet short flight. The plane does do vertical on three cell lipos, rolls like a maniac, and does cool little very tight loops. That's about all I had time to try, I kept losing orientation in the dark and didn't want to crash the plane it's maiden flight.

I'll be working late tomorrow evening and the weather looks poor for the next several days so I may not get to fly it again for a while. My first impression is that the Reflex on sale is one heck of a value and it will be a fun little plane to mess around with.

fabricator
02-16-2006, 12:46 PM
Ok, that's it I'm ordering one today.:)

Don Sims
02-16-2006, 06:58 PM
Ok, that's it I'm ordering one today.:)

LOL are they on sale again???

fabricator
02-16-2006, 07:18 PM
LOL are they on sale again???

Sale schmale, I gotta have one and it's your fault.:rolleyes:

Don Sims
03-06-2006, 12:20 AM
Flew the Reflex again today. The Maxx motor broke the shaft about a week ago and I got in another shaft, it was an easy repair.

The Reflex is a blast to fly, it flies as well inverted as it does right side up. It will roll flying vertical in both directions and I get used to the throws it's getting a lot more snap to the maneuvers. I tried to get it into a flat spin and can't seem to do one. Donnie Lyons took the sticks from me and flew it a couple of times today. He's a die hard slimer and I think he's slowly turning in the right direction of lectric!! ;)

The CBP three pack lipos is performing well without getting warm and so far my flights have been satisfactory. Since getting the kinks worked out, the Reflex has become my go to plane.

Don Sims
03-06-2006, 12:26 AM
Tried a 8 cell NIMH pack on it and they were nothing like the 3 cell Lipo. The performance was ok but it lost the vertical flight capabilities and that get out of trouble power....

fabricator
03-06-2006, 12:57 AM
Mine came about a week ago, but with two other projects on the bench, I kinda put it on the shelf, but now they are making noises about warmer weather so I'm gonna have to slap that puppie together.

Don Sims
03-06-2006, 02:42 AM
Won't take you too long. Just true it up better than I did! It flies great cockeyed like I built it, no telling how it will do when you finish it up.

fabricator
03-06-2006, 02:50 AM
Thats what I love about this place, learning from others mistakes, works well as long as you are on the learning end and not the mistake end.:D