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Hi-Performance and Sailplanes RC hotliners, electric pylon racers, F5B, F5D, sailplanes and gliders

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Old 07-06-2012, 06:46 AM   #1
BrianW517
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Default Glider Kits? to a conversion to electric?

I'm looking for Glider kits that can be coverted to electric power.
I just finished converting my Gentle Lady to electric and it fly's great.
I don't know what balsa wood glider kits, that would or wouldn't work for electric conversion.
I would like some input on what balsa glider kits out there, old or new, that would possibly work for electric glider conversions? Have any ideas'?
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Old 07-06-2012, 10:17 PM   #2
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my one and only glider......skimmer 600flys great with a few mods to the wing,also working[lol]on a bird of time kit....completion date will be when snow covers the ground and sticks around long enough to start building again.







click here to watch the video

narrow is the place to land...wide is the space to crash....choose the narrow way!
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Old 07-07-2012, 12:22 AM   #3
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Brian, the electric version of the Gentle Lady is kitted as the Electra, I've had several over the years, and they all flew very well. Similarly, the Spirit kit can be found as electric, called the Spectra. A buddy of mine converted a full-house Spirit 100 to e-power, and had an amazing duration flyer to show for it. Virtually any glider can be converted, with a little thought given to equipment layout and battery access. A non powered glider often needs some widening of the nose during the build, to accomodate the appropriate size motor, but the effort is rewarded with the ease of launching an e-glider, no need to carry and set up a winch system or a bungy coil and anchor.

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Old 07-07-2012, 12:31 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by BrianW517 View Post
I'm looking for Glider kits that can be coverted to electric power.
I just finished converting my Gentle Lady to electric and it fly's great.
I don't know what balsa wood glider kits, that would or wouldn't work for electric conversion.
I would like some input on what balsa glider kits out there, old or new, that would possibly work for electric glider conversions? Have any ideas'?
Back about 20 years ago, I flew a number of gliders converted to electric power. Every one of them performed very well. And that was with brush type motors and the old Nicad batteries. Some of them were with brush type motors that I rewound from work.

Nowdays, its just a matter of finding a way to stuff in the required brushless motor, ESC and battery pack into the front of the models fuse. This usually requires hacking off the nose of the fuse, and re-building it to allow fitting in the motor/ESC/battery system.

You also need some sort of a hatch to allow viewing the brushless motor, to make danged certain that none of the wiring contacts the rotating brushless motor outer "Bell" housing.

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Old 07-08-2012, 02:47 PM   #5
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G'ay brian
I have recently bought these three glider kits which are all capable of being
converted to brushless setups.
1. Robbe primo .1530mm..for using on my local sports oval
2. Robbe arcus talent.2600mm....because I love building wings
3. Standard airfish 2450mm..love the old way of constructing planes

The robbe primo has some you tube footage ,the arcus talent is a new release
and the airfish has been around for many years.If you google
modellsport schweighofer and enter the names into the search box


This supplier only charges 15 euros shipping to Australia and I have bought lots of planes with excellent service.Shipping from east coast to west coast in Australia is more costly.

Hope you find the perfect kit soon
teamwilly
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Old 07-08-2012, 03:05 PM   #6
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Brian
Just a note to the above post .
The value added tax that is included in the price comes off if the goods are shipped international.

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Old 07-10-2012, 08:14 PM   #7
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If you don't mind one that is already converted as a kit for electric, there is the Chrysalis 2M. It's a fantastic flying glider and worth every penny and easy to build. Standard setup is a brushed motor with NiCads, but most people convert it to burshless and LiPo's instead. You can build it as a V tail or standard + tail and that is on the plans to tell you how each is built.

Ed
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Old 07-11-2012, 09:06 AM   #8
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If you like the Gentle Lady, then Id recommend you go for a larger span model for your next project. In sailplanes, more span is almost always better.

I highly recommend the 3 meter Mirage kit sold by Isthmus Models

I built one last year and converted it to electric. I use it to compete in ALES contests and it is very competitive. The kit is very well done - all Lazer cut parts. Its a relatively simple build - very similar to what you're used to in the Gentle Lady.

The best part is - the model can be built very light and it doesnt need much power to be competitive in ALES contests. Im using a small Hacker outrunner and pulling barely over 200 watts and still climb to 200 meters in under 30 seconds.

The original weight of the pure glider kit was 33 ounces. My Mirage weighs 33 ounces all up ready to compete. That works out to less than 5 ounces/sq foot on the wing loading. It will thermal on a mouse fart, turns on a dime and indicates lift very well. Despite the low wing loading it will still handle moderately strong winds very well and can penetrate quite well even without ballast.

I love it and cant recommend it strongly enough.


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I think I need a signature.
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Old 01-02-2015, 02:48 AM   #9
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Wow, 33 ozs is light!

Al Clark
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Old 01-02-2015, 02:53 AM   #10
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I'd like to know what motor, prop, ESC, and battery you used to get the 33 oz weight. What covering, and what spoiler servos? I have a Mirage kit that I plan to electrify, and I'd like to keep it down to its original weight.

Al Clark
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Old 01-02-2015, 03:42 AM   #11
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I have a Panda, Wind Surfer Baby, and Beach Bum converted to E-power. All built from plans, check Outerzone and hippocket . . .
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Old 01-02-2015, 05:03 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by HotdogX View Post
I'd like to know what motor, prop, ESC, and battery you used to get the 33 oz weight. What covering, and what spoiler servos? I have a Mirage kit that I plan to electrify, and I'd like to keep it down to its original weight.
I sold the Mirage ;ast year so I cold build a Bubble Dancer. I still miss it though!

I used a Hacker A20-22L motor, 11x6 folding prop, ThunderPower 70C 3S 850 mahr packs. All servos were Hitec HS65HB's.

I used a single servo for both spoilers mounted in the center of the wing with a pull string going out to the spoilers.

I added NOTHING to anything for extra strength. In fact, I deleted quite a bit from the fuse structural because motor launches are a lot less stressful than hi-start.

I used torque springs (like DLG hing springs) to close the spoilers and for the elevator and rudder control = no push rods. That mod alone probably saved 3 to 5 ounces off the total weight because most of it shaved weight out of the tail section which allows for less nose weight to balance.

The covering was trans Ultra-coat on most of it with the recommended Monocoat for the center section of the wing only. You need the monocoat in the center for twist strength.

There is a new mod to the center section recommended by Dr Mark Drella that will let you use Ultra coat on the center section ans let you shave another ounce or two off the all up if you want to do that.

I did a bunch of other small things but they all add up if you are careful. Here is my build log if you want all the deatails.

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showt...1501019&pp=100

Another option to save even more weight is to build a pod and boom fuse. I flew the Mirage wing on my Bubble dancer fuse while I was working on the Bubble Dancer wing. That got my all up weight down to 28 oz!

Talk about a floater

I think I need a signature.
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Old 01-02-2015, 05:36 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Larry3215 View Post
I highly recommend the 3 meter Mirage kit sold by Isthmus Models
That brings back good memories of my Mirage I built in the late 1980's. Made it electric with a heavy Nicad pack, and a brush type geared Astroflight 15 motor. Did a lot of flying with it, finally sold it to someone after a few years of flying with it.

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Old 01-02-2015, 01:33 PM   #14
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e-conversion of sailplanes now is generally just alter the nose to put a motor in.

Back before LiPo and brushless the e-power conversion required upgrading structure to deal with the very heavy batteries.

Comparing the Goldberg Gentle Lady wing to the Electra wing is a very good example.
The Electra used a brushed can motor and expectdd 6 cell to 8 cell NiCd "RC Car" style packs to power the motor and ALSO expected you to still use a separate 4 cell AA NiCd for powering the RX.
If you wanted the wing to survive a loop you needed a LOT more strength than the Gentle Lady wing had.

Some models didn't need much modification but each conversion even now you need to consider what effects your power system will have on the aircraft. Even models originally intended to have electric power systems installed might need some changes if you are going to put in a higher power motor...
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Old 01-02-2015, 05:17 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by fhhuber View Post
e-conversion of sailplanes now is generally just alter the nose to put a motor in.

Back before LiPo and brushless the e-power conversion required upgrading structure to deal with the very heavy batteries.

Comparing the Goldberg Gentle Lady wing to the Electra wing is a very good example.
The Electra used a brushed can motor and expectdd 6 cell to 8 cell NiCd "RC Car" style packs to power the motor and ALSO expected you to still use a separate 4 cell AA NiCd for powering the RX.
If you wanted the wing to survive a loop you needed a LOT more strength than the Gentle Lady wing had.

Some models didn't need much modification but each conversion even now you need to consider what effects your power system will have on the aircraft. Even models originally intended to have electric power systems installed might need some changes if you are going to put in a higher power motor...
From my reading and experience, thats what most guys seem to do when converting sailplanes to electric power - they put in a system with way too much power.

That equals a model way over weight in most cases, from what it really needs to be. Its like carrying around extra ballast all the time that you cant take out on calm days.

All my sailplanes - except the hotliners - are very low power loading compared to 95% of the other sailplanes Ive seen or read about.

In my Mirage for example, I was running it at well under 100 watts per pound with a power system setup for contest flying. For sport flying you could easily get by with 50 watts/pound or even less. Ive only heard of one other E-Mirage that came in under 40 ounces and he was at 38oz IIRC. All the others were 40 oz plus compared to my 33 oz model. Thats a lot of extra weight.

Its much more typical to see a Mirage (or any other e-sailplane) with a 150-200 watt/pound power system. They put huge batteries in a model that only runs the motor for 30 seconds or less on launch. Ive seen guys running 3000+ mahr packs in a 45oz sailplane. Thats enough battery to launch more than a dozen times and still soar for 3 or 4 hours before landing.

Its also enough to power straight up on launch and is actually a big disadvantage in an ALES contest. Not just because of the extra 5 to 10 or more ounces of weight but because it means a much faster climb to cut off height and that costs you against a slower model in a contest setting.


I happen to like hi-powered, fast models just fine, but unless you're flying a hotliner, its counter productive in a sailplane.

I think I need a signature.
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Old 01-02-2015, 09:07 PM   #16
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Easy now to put together a Gentle lady with a e-power system and come out LIGHTER than the box list weight for the pure glider...
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Old 01-03-2015, 12:27 AM   #17
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Yup, but almost no one actually does that

I think I need a signature.
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Old 01-03-2015, 12:28 AM   #18
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It actually does extremely well if you do... Power enough for vertical ascent and still lighter than box list.
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Old 01-03-2015, 03:26 AM   #19
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Back in the mid 1980's I had a pair of Craftaire Viking 120 inch wingspan sailplanes that were converted to electric power. That involved an Astroflight geared 40 motor, and an 18 cell Nickel Cadmium battery pack.

It worked out to around 50 watts per pound of airplane, and that Nicad pack would haul the model up to 600 feet in a minute or so, allowing four or five climb outs on a charge. Those models wound up with a number of two hour plus flights on them.

Finally sold them in the early 1990's.

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