View Full Version : Ford Flivver small glo 40 size ARF Electric Power 4 Options

10-15-2006, 12:21 AM
I just ordered a Ford Flivver small glo 40 size ARF
I welcome any suggestions for selecting an electric power for this size Flivver.
Wing 54"
Weight 78.5 oz
Wing area 648 sqin
.40 Twostroke
.52-.56 Fourstroke

Option 1: Dymond's recommendations for 3 flights 8 minutes each or one long flight approx 25 min:
Motor Gunther 30/3 $79
Speed controller 60 A $69
5 mm clamp on propeller adapter with 40 mm aluminum spinner
Aluminum motor mount with cooling fins
Propeller 11 x 5.5
Battery 3S2P 7000 mah
Uultimate BEC which can be wired in parallel with the speed controller and provides the power for the receiver.

Option 2: Hacker set up to acheive approximately 15 min run time:
A50-S w/Hacker X-70 Opto Pro ESC $249.99
Connectors soldered to ESC
BEC wired to ESC
A50 Mount is $19.99
Prop: APCE 13X10
Thunder Power Xtreme packs equivalent to 5S2P 6800mah pack
Connectors soldered to LiPo

Option 3: Found this one at my LHS and also using MotoCalc s/w:
E-Flite Power 32 Outrunner $90
Castle Creations Phoenix 60 includes BEC $120
Kokam 2100SHD 3S4P for 2100 x 4 = 8000 mAh total
Prop: 13x9

Option 4: A post here at WattFlyer led me to United Hobbies $150 total!
HXTBSC60 - hexTronik BSC 60A Speed Controller
HXT5052 - HXT 50-52B 480kv 55A Brushless Outrunner
HXT22003S - hexTronik 2200mAh 4S1P 20-30C two each
HXTVR2A hexTronik Voltage regulator 2A Continuous

Option 5: Cermark Special OutRunner Motor Hover Package for up to 7 lb Sport
Code: HP-42C Price: $189.95
Cermark 4230-520 Brushless outrunner Motor, 520KV. Able to handle from 3 to 7 lbs airplane with electric size 12x7 to 16x10 APC propeller fro Li-Po 3 TO 5 Cell pack (11.1V to 18.5V). Size: 60.5mmL x 42.5mmD, Weight:280 grams, 5.0mm Dia. motor shaft.
CERMARK ESC-70BL, 70amps Speed Controller.
One propeller adaptor
APC 15x8E Electric version Propeller.
Recommend power pack: Thunder Power Lithium Polymer Pack, TP-LiPo 6000-3S3P, 11.1V, 6000mAH Capacity Power Pack.

Model Motors AXI Option #6:
PM282612 AXI 2826/12 External Rotor Brushless Motor ..... $ 93.80
JESAP40PW Jeti Advance PLUS 40 Amp Opto Brushless Controller with
Program Card ..... $ 102.90
PM282002 Radial Mount for 2820/2826 Motors ..... $ 14.50
TP420032 3S2P 4200 mAh 11.1V Li-Poly Pack ..... $ 159.90
PE13010E APC 13x10 Electric Flight Prop ..... $ 5.20

10-18-2006, 01:46 AM
How about trying to get some replies here by providing me your ranking of these options?

Here are my current choices:
#1 Option 1: Dymond's recommendations for 3 flights 8 minutes each or one long flight approx 25 min:
#2 Option 5: Cermark Special OutRunner Motor Hover Package for up to 7 lb Sport
#3 Option 2: Hacker set up - Change this to A30
#4 Option 3: E-Flite Power
#5 Option 4: A post here at WattFlyer led me to United Hobbies
#6 Option 6: Model Motors AXI

10-18-2006, 05:40 AM
How about trying to get some replies here by providing me your ranking of these options?

Here are my current choices:
#1 Option 1: Dymond's recommendations for 3 flights 8 minutes each or one long flight approx 25 min:
#2 Option 5: Cermark Special OutRunner Motor Hover Package for up to 7 lb Sport
#3 Option 2: Hacker set up - Change this to A30
#4 Option 3: E-Flite Power
#5 Option 4: A post here at WattFlyer led me to United Hobbies
#6 Option 6: Model Motors AXI

Well, you asked for it.

One - that model is obscenely heavy. I designed and flew a similar sized Flivver back in 1988 - still have it, though it's now retired. With three standard servos, heavy covering (heatshrink fabric type) and an OS 26 four stroke, it weighed in at 52oz and flew fine - even won a couple of scale comps with it. The plan's still available in the US, from the old RCM plans range...

I met someone back in England who'd "improved" on my design to where his model weighed five pounds - it didn't fly very well... If yours is anywhere near scale - mine was - it has an incredibly short nose and not that much by way of tailplane area. It would not be forgiving if the CG wanders backwards much.

Your recommendations:
The kit seller should have tried (A) and found it successful. That places them well to help you out fitting an electric motor into where a glow engine went...

Hacker, AXI and EFlite all have good track records for selling decent stuff, backed by good after sales service.

Option 4 - buy cheap, buy twice. Ancient e-flight saying from someone who was doing this right when most of us would have been happy to do it at all. It might work, but if it blows up on you, you aren't going to be happy. It's almost certainly a rip-off of some existing design, imported by someone who perhaps can't spell 'after sales service'.

4S will tax most ESC BECs, especially if you're looking at powering four servos. Would recommend a UBEC or similar instead. This is a scale-like model of a prototype that could barely do 100MPH - it doesn't really need enough power to go vertically off a two foot take-off roll. If I electrocuted my design, I'd be looked at the likes of an AXI 2820 or EFlite 25 or 32 on 3S of around 3500. One from my design has flown in England, on 8 round cells and a geared ferrite motor - very well too, I was told.

Unless you like flying a 1920's single seater like a 3D model :rolleyes:

Hope that helps


PS - here's my baby!



10-19-2006, 02:39 AM
Hey Dereck,

I like it - a straight shooter! I am still leaning toward Rank #1 Option #1 Dymond for reasons that you gave. However, I have a Cermark BD-5 that flys great with the Cermark motor and controller, thus my experience makes it Rank #2 Option #5 for me.

Sounds like Hacker, AXI and EFlite are all good next choices - my LHS carries EFlite stuff. You are tough on United Hobbies.

10-19-2006, 03:57 PM
Tough - not really. Just realistic ...

Am also very bad at buying new to the marketplace stuff just because its cheaper or someone tells me to buy it.

Especially if they also happen to sell it ... :rolleyes:

BTW - Ford Flivvers only came in blue and silver. Recall someone selling a BARF version in red. Looked goofy, kind of like spitting on the flag or painting a p51 Mustang pink.

Meanwhile, to keep you inspired


and the 'other' Flivver - also in blue and silver, mostly a different aircraft from '268' - the BARF version


The Dymond Modelsport one - cowl's all wrong, too curvy, and I suspect the nose is too long ahead of the wing LE. It's missing the custom built spinner (one day, will figure out how to do that properly, preferably before I build my quarter scale version!) and looks dumb without the three jug Anzani and its exhaust system sticking out all over the nose.

Dymond offer a Phaser 30/3 and 12 cell (2x6) roundy battery - 3S in firestarters? - as decent power. That would use around an 11" prop and sounds about right to me. Mine flew fine on an OS20 fourbanger - a sort of pleasant sounding, glow fuel burning rubber band of a motor - so they don't really need a lot of power. Diamond talk about four point rolls - why bother, just buy a real pattern ride and do them properly. That Flivver has no dihedral and was somewhat odd in turns if I didn't pay attention - it was really top heavy and tried to roll more into the bank.

It did, however, fly better inverted than most little, low powered scale models - once the fuselage was hanging off the wing instead of being perched atop it, it was happy to hang around like that all day!

Third scale is 7' 3" span, BTW, and I have about every drawing going round of the full size...

Sorry, once I get started on Flivvers, have a hard time stopping. Now to go back to real work...



10-20-2006, 03:35 AM
Thank you for the web links, which I saved in my favorites. Also, I am grateful for you sharing your experience with the Flivver, which will help me decide on its power selection.

While I will be learning to fly giant scale with my Dynaflite Flybaby G-38, I would be interested in considering a kit of 1/3 scale Flivver with 7' 3" wingspan for a future build. Can I still buy your plans at RCM to enlarge to 1/3?


10-20-2006, 04:53 AM
Hi Bryan
RCM is presently in limbo - it's not being published and I keep hearing mutterings about it being sold. But I understand that the plans service is alive, well and selling copies.

I gave them the rights to the plan on publication, so any issues over enlargement would be up to whoever controls that plans service these days. I can't see any fuss being made over you buying a copy and blowing it up to 1/3rd for your own pleasure. It sure doesn't bother me - though if you're going to electrocute it, I would love to have some photos for my magazine column (in Quiet & Electric Flight International).

Idle thought about a real big Flivver - the main wheels are something like a half span apart. This puts an immense strain on the spar from wheels to centreline in a "firm arrival". If I was doing a 1/3 or even 1/4 scale Flivver, I'd make a real good job of redesigning the spars to take up the potential UC shocks and use some form of sprung landing gear as per the full sizze.

I know someone who built a semiscale 1/4 scale Flivver in the days of big brushed motors, with lots of heavy round cells - 24 IIRC - and he cracked the mainspar on a heavy touchdown thanks to that awesome battery weight being slung midway between that widetrack UC.

That shouldn't be an issue with a 52" Flivver on LiPos, as long as the manufacturer did a decent job on the spars and UC beams - the latter seems to go wrong with far too many BARFs from what I read in reviews.

If you can get hold of a Williams Bros plastic kit of the Flivver, it comes with a very good four view scale drawing done by Bill Hannan (Hannans Runway, http://www.hrunway.com/ - a great resource for those who love older aircraft and real aeromodelling.

It would also tell you where I fudged the shape on my Flivver plan, but I ain't telling - its up to you to figure it out ;)



10-21-2006, 01:12 AM
Hi Dereck,

I found a WILLIAMS BROS. Aviation Kits. 661 FORD FLIVVER. 1/48. mint/sealed. 20.00 at Gasoline Alley Creations and ordered it.


10-22-2006, 03:59 AM
Hi Bryan
The kit should contain Bill Hannan's scale drawings - about as good as you're going to get, apart from the ones an EAA chapter in Florida made from the Ford Museum's 268 to build their flyable replica, now on display in the EAA museum.

The funny thing is, you look at Hannan's drawings and get the impression that the fuselage was plywood skinned.

Many years later, I got hold of some photos and about everything the Ford Museum has on file about the Flivver - to discover that its fuselage is actually mostly fabric covered open framework, with some alloy panels just aft of the engine cowling.

This will, however, make it a lot easier to balance the 36" version I've drawn for a 400-ish lump!

Try and add some resemblance of those three Anzani jugs to your ready-made - it really looks silly without. Three card tubes glued into the cowl at the correct angles, some string wrapped around them for 'fins', maybe a dummy exhaust system - it'll really make it look better.

A pilot figure is essential too - the aircraft was just 22 foot span, so the driver is somewhat obvious at any distance you can see the model at...



10-22-2006, 09:30 PM

Do you know anyone that is selling a 1/7 scale model version of the 3 cylinder 35 hp Anzani air-cooled engine - perhaps from a Cub version?


10-23-2006, 01:44 AM
Hi Bryan
That's optimistic! Maybe the people selling the model?

I wouldn't get overly excited - figure out the cylinder diameter and length by guesstimate or off that plastic kit when it arrives. Eithe rfind some cardboard tubing around that size and make up three dummy jugs, or roll some paper tubing up around a suitable diameter stick, tube, whatever. The clever part is mounting one vertically and the other two at 120 degrees down off that one - some kind of jig that centres each tube and bolts to the motor shaft would be the best, I can never eyeball this sort of thing.

Balsa plugs into the tubes for 'cylinder heads', some bolts minus heads to con people into thinking its a real fourbanger with open rockers. That distinctive and obvious exhaust plumbing could be wood, ali tube or anything else that looks right.

Mostly its just an illusion that this scale model is propelled by something. After observing many modern RC pilots, they probably wouldn't know an F16 from a C117 unless they could buy one at the LHS in a big shrinkwrap box, so a 1920's single seater with a production run of two (okay, four if you include those built in the last ten years or so!) is likely to be beyond them.

And I'll have you know that you are close to convincing me to stop building the 36" aerobatic ship for my new Eflite 450 and switching to my baby Flivver instead! Now, if I can find some Williams Bros wheels in 3.25" or 3.5"...?


10-26-2006, 02:40 AM
Hey Derek,

After two weeks of consideration, I decided on Option 1: Dymond's recommendations, which are being shipped out by Helmet there.

My Williams Bros. 1/48 scale plastic model kit arrived today and includes the Hannan drawing, as you mentioned above. This will also help me model the 3 cylinder 35 hp Anzani air-cooled engine for my 1/7? scale Dymond Ford Flivver. Here are some pictures of this kit and it contents.

How about a dual build of 1/3 scale Flivver kit with e-power for this Winter?


10-26-2006, 03:37 AM
Hi Bryan

That's the one - I have two of them! Got the first from a hobby shop in Jax, FL, back in 1987, the other via my stepson who had a thing for oddball plastics a couple of years back. One's part built, really should finish it up one day...

If I win the lottery, will buy a van that'll take a 7 foot-odd wing in the roof - otherwise, I'll just have to live with the 40"-ish version you got me started on again. All I need is the wheels and a "Round Tuit" ;)

BTW - have you figured out the Flivver's tailwheel yet? In full size, the steering cables actually turn the tailwheel and the rudder's fastened to the wheel framework. Not sure what your 'kit' has in the tailwheel dept, but my glow Flivver had a scale working wheel mounted in the rudder - took a lot of fun bearing in mind how light everything has to be at the rear end.

I got to see one off my plan in England - he'd rounded the bottom of the rudder off and fitted the sort of tailskid you'd see on a regularly rigged taildragger. Looked pretty good, worked well and was a lot simpler!

If you're going to build a 1/3rd - and you won't be the first, there was a photo of one on the E-Zone years ago before it became commercial and infested with IM-speak posts - might as well suggest that you compare the top views of my plan and Bill Hannan's scale drawing. That's just a hint of course, but at that size, you really need to get things right.



11-10-2006, 05:07 AM
Here it is to build with Dymond power option:

07-09-2007, 12:16 AM
I have flown the Ford Flivver 15 times with problems fixed by removing the motor wire extensions to ESC, taping loose wire connections at the motor to ESC and moving the Lipo batteries full forward. Horizontal stabilizer required repairs when it stalled at edge of runnway during deadstick due to loss of wire connections. It is pushing the limits of my skill level toward intermediate.

01-10-2008, 06:10 PM
Well, you asked for it. One - that model is obscenely heavy. I designed and flew a similar sized Flivver back in 1988 - still have it, though it's now retired... it has an incredibly short nose and not that much by way of tailplane area. It would not be forgiving if the CG wanders backwards much.

Derek, you were right! After replacing both small servos in the wing for ailerons with large servos in Fall 2007, the Flivver was very tail heavy and need down elevator trim, then mechnical adjustment on clevis for elevator. Back to fixing CG problems that were mostly resolved before...or else time to retire it?

01-10-2008, 07:46 PM
Well, here's a blast from the past!

All I could think of would be to tear out the inside and really pack everything heavy as far forwards as is possible. Then remove the tailfeathers, draw around them on paper and build really lightweight copies.

My tailplane had a 1/4" square TE cum mainspar, an outline of three laminations of 1/16 x 1/4 and 1/8 x 1/4" ribs IIRC. Some minimal reinforcement for hinges and bracing wire hardpoints and that was it - mostly holes, trimmed with balsa to keep the covering in shape. Nowadays, it would be covered in Litespan too - never mind that silver heatshrink fabric I used back then.

Flivver retirement sounds good - or sell it to a hobby buyer, take your Williams kit - carefully, they ain't made any more - and draft up a plan to your favourite size, or never mind the inaccuracies and build one off my plan. I wouldn't be upset if you corrected it!

My prototype still hangs off the basement ceiling over my drawing board, and I have the odd tinker with a 36" span plan...

Unfortunately, while I now have the vehicle to haul a quarter scale version around, life has left me somewhat drained of spare time and enthusiasm for fun stuff.

Still, one day? The Flivver is too cute to be left un-modelled.


01-24-2008, 09:49 PM
The wing loading is 21.533 oz/sq.ft based on 6.0 lbs (96 oz) weight with battery, wingspan of 53.5 inches, and average wing cord of 12 inches for wing area of 642 sq.in.

Dymond gave CG of 4-4 1/2 inches, while I measured 4 3/8 inches.

The only option is increasing weight in nose and thus increasing wing loading. Thus, I am stripping the electronics for another Winter project and retiring from President of the Flivver Club!

01-24-2008, 10:57 PM
And the poor little Flivver once again proves that its an aeromodeller's subject, not a BARFer.

In the meantime, lookit what I dug up, albeit it's from some little burg called 'France'. A country with some staggering model designs, albeit all written up in 'furrin' and dimensioned in milli-things.


Not sure if this one and my present ceiling ornament are related, though his tailwheel could stand some attention. The rest is good, the dummy donk is excellent and it flies just like my mine did.

It's some bigger than mine though, and the UC might just be a 'working' reproduction.


Who is still messing with his 36" Flivver-let

02-11-2008, 03:50 PM
I found a taker for the Flivver, who will convert it to glo engine. Hopefully, it will fly again in 2008 under glo power.

Bill G
02-11-2008, 04:46 PM
4.8 lbs (78.5oz) is really not heavy for a 54" model. It only seems a bit heavy, given that the wing is not sheeted. I wonder if it really is 4.8lbs? Probably not, with an e-conversion. There is a MASSIVE misconception on the forums of how light planes need to be to fly well. I've been proving this on a weekly basis, in recent times. Just last week I flew a Guillows DC3 at 19.2oz. Flew fine, and not heavy. Now if I had asked for feedback before flying it, I would have had 99.99% of the "experts" telling me it wouldn't have a chance at its weight. With the $20 low power outrunners and 5x3 TD props, I would have got even more dissuading comments. If there is one piece of info I always disregard on fourms, its speculation of weights. After proving 'em dead wrong for say the 15th time (probably at 25th by now:D) I've just learned to not even consider the speculation.

There actually is a rational explanation, however, for the extreme fear of weight among flyers. They simply did not go the the effort to get everything right. Everything means everything, right down to exact symmetry of wings (no warps) incidences, thrust angles, cg, etc. I can think of at least 4 planes I've had that dropped like tanks, and were heavy. After a good bit of effort and rework which corrected build inaccuracies and other issues that should have been determined in the build, they became excellent flyers, and don't fly heavy. The reason is that a light plane can get away with murder, where a heavier one can't. That shouldn't be a problem, since if everything is built correctly, the heavy plane flies beautifully.

02-12-2008, 05:36 AM
For the mandatory other viewpoint on that, if I built a 54" span scale model of anything Flivver-ish weighing 75 oz, I'd burn it and hope no-one got to hear about it!

My last scale model design was the 60" Longster Wimpy electric and even lugging 8 1700 Nicads around behind a geared ferrite, it was a hair over 50oz. My last aerobatic design was 54" span and weighed a shade over five pounds with 16 x 3300 NiMh - 700W made sure it didn't hang around and suffer from 'back of the drag curve' issues too much ;)

In my case, as my custom design/build service has a long history of matching my desire for light wing loadings, I would offer that the real trick is to not only build it straight and well balanced, but light. I can't claim to be anywhere near the realm of, say, Pat Tritle, but there isn't much beyond a few odd ounces of slack in my designs.

The Flivver, I do know about. 50oz, IIRC, for a 52" span version. That was covered in heatshrink fabric too - a good match to the type, but not that light. Mine was pretty close to scale, outlines and moments, and needed no nose ballast either. Suggests if I blew it up to a massive 54", it would top out well south of 60oz with e-power. I could stand up to 6lb for a 1/4 scale maybe ;)


"lighter weight is the cheapest performance upgrade going"

Bill G
02-12-2008, 08:30 AM
Part of the weight issue is how scale do you want to go. I sacrifice weight, at the expense of having a sheeted plane that looks like a real metal covered plane. For example, some don't mind their WWII warbirds looking like the Wright Brother's plane. I do. There's a sacrifice for everything.
No offense to them, but some of these guys like Pat who constantly build with one style, tweaking it to death, actually bore me to death. I'm from more of the Keith Sparks school of building with 5000 constantly changing methods. Much more enjoyable to me.