View Full Version : AVA E build and fly...

12-05-2005, 06:28 AM
I thought I would post a thread as I build my AVA E that I got from Kennedy composites.

http://airplane-model.com/ava.html (http://airplane-model.com/ava.html)

Heres the link to the MFG site. These are made in the Ukraine and distributed by Barry kennedy in the US. http://www.kennedycomposites.com

Barry is a good guy and met me half way across town to make the delivery. Nice to not have to worry about shipping damage, but the cost is having to pay sales tax since he is local.

Anyway, the kit is beautiful and the plane is huge. The plan is a B40 8L 4:1, 16x10, Jeti 77, batteries are under debate. 2 HS 125's for the tail. I plan on removing the connectors and resoldering them on the extensions since you will not be able to get connectors through the boom. I dont plan on removing the rudder except if I sell it or crash it, so no need for a discconect on it. All the surfaces arefully removable.

12-05-2005, 06:46 AM
Ooppss. Files too big...

12-05-2005, 06:53 AM
THe only electric vertical stabs Kennedy got was Blue. I was going to recover it, but I decided it did not look too bad blue and will be unique.
Anyone dissagree?

THe pod is Carbon Kevlar weave and the motor mount already comes installed. You can see through it so I plan to take the glass plate that comes with the Hacker motor and use it to reinforce it.

I spent about 30 minutes talking to Barry about setting up this plane and the wrapper has the suggested locations that Barry told me for the components.

12-05-2005, 07:06 AM
No info is supplied with the kit, but there is a brief manual on the website. The problem is that there is nothing printed so of course I made a mistake when sanding the parts to get the tail to fit. I sanded the boom instead of the CF mounts. Oh well, the crash may be spectacular.

Anyway, it took a little sanding, but it all fits well. The Rudder mounts are flush with the back of the boom now, and the elevator is 90 to the rudder. Then just hit everything with thin CA. This should really be a quick build if all the steps were defined somewhere.
The rudder is prehinged, and the elevator only requires a screw to be installed with the horn attached.

12-05-2005, 07:14 AM
Next step is to glue the boom on the fuse. It is easier to manuver the boom than it is to manuver the components on the boom so they should be mounted first to the boom.

I made a temporary jig using several futaba 3102 plastic cases. I got everything aligned and made marks on the bench for alignment.

I mixed 15 minute epoxy and added some micro balloons for filler as the boom is a litttle loose. I sanded the end of the boom to square it up, and put a piece of 1/4" trim tape around the end of the boom for no other purpose than to center the boom on the pod.

Everything is pretty squared up now the next day. There is about 1/16th variation between the ends squared to the center wing panel, but the elevator has that much play side to side. If its a real problem later I will adjust the mount of the elevator.

Thats where I am at the moment. Next is the servo mounting.


Don Sims
12-05-2005, 11:51 AM
Kirby, whats the wingspan and overall length for those poor souls who are on dialup or too lazy to click on a link??

12-05-2005, 06:11 PM
Technical data: Wing span 3200 mm Wing area 73 dm2 Length 1620mm Ready to flight weight ( of the test models): Glider version 1020 g Electric version with 7 cels 1800 g Wing airfoil AG24/AG25/AG26 Controlling elements Ruder, elevator, spoiler

So this is a 3.2 Meter plane designed for Rudder/Elevator/Spoiler competitions. It could be flown in Umlimited, and LMR if desired also. I dont plan on competing but I wanted a plane with super light wing loading.
I am estimating around 3 pound AUW.


Jason T
12-05-2005, 06:13 PM

Thanks for posting here. I was watching this on RCG.


Mike Parsons
12-05-2005, 08:46 PM
mmmm...carbon :). Looks awesome Kirby.


12-05-2005, 10:33 PM
Makes your TV look small, now you need a bigger TV.:D

12-06-2005, 04:58 PM
Not much progress last night, I just milled the rudder CF around the elevator push rod exit so that it wont rub and trimmed the area to make the servo fit.


12-07-2005, 08:35 AM
Tonight I decided to start with the elevator servo. I had a reciever fail that I was going to use in this plane so I need to pick up another. I used a GWS rx to center them and install the servo screws.

At Barry's suggestion, I used threaded rod for the push rod as it is not very long. Used a metal clevis on one end and a nylon on the other.

After setting the length I wrapped the servo in packing tape and "gooped" it in place. In the second photo you can see how much tweaking was required of the CF to get clearance for the horn.

Not much can be done now, so back to TV.


Jason T
12-07-2005, 02:58 PM
That is a very servo setup.

BTW, what rx were you using? Is there a space issue where you intend to mount the rx?

12-07-2005, 05:37 PM
No, there should be no space problems. This was a 555 that failed. I have another I can use, but I may just buy a super slim for the slightly improved range.

Anyone think a 555 is not enough RX for a TD ship?


Jason T
12-07-2005, 06:28 PM
I had good luck with my 555 in my wing but I only use the electron 6 or the superslim now. Since I have an Evo tx I will probably only buy the electron 6's going forward.

12-08-2005, 01:10 AM
the 555 has the same range as the tron 6 right?

Since I have an EVO also I only need 4 channels with this plane so no need for a 6 channel rx unless there is a range difference. If I could get an RX with the wires out the end that would be useful.


Jason T
12-08-2005, 05:09 AM
I think the 555 is supposed to have the same range as the e6. However, I have heard of others having issues with the 555's but rarely ever do I hear a problem with the e6's at least in my experience. Supposedly Hitec is going to make an e6 with end connectors.

12-08-2005, 05:55 AM
I will put relish on the day that Hitec does that. They are a little behind the times in some ways.


Jason T
12-08-2005, 01:40 PM
Me too. They have been talking about that for a long time.

12-08-2005, 10:58 PM
Heres a video of Barry kennedy flying the AVA in a competition at Southfork Ranch last year.

There are some people complaining about range problems with thier antenna not strung to the rudder. I spoke with Barry a few minutes ago on the phone about the antenna. Super nice guy. He runs them taped to the bottem of the boom with no problems. He suggested a couple things if you show a range problem:
Check your trasmitter. Most people dont think to check to make sure your TX is working properly and could need tuning. The other thing we talked about is the reciever. He said he had good luck with Super slims, and JR recievers.
In my opinion they are all tuned and your reciever could be a touch off. I have a Super slim I was going to use in my Elegant 700 because its 8 channel, but I think I will put it in the AVA...$650 plane vs. $250 plane...I will put the better receiver in the better plane.

So I guess if I see a problem, I will check the RX first, and then the TX.

He also told me the motor mount should not need reinforcing unless you are running a 20-22" prop. he said some guys are running 22x12 props on these things, but my motor should be good to about a 17x10 on my planned 8 cell setup. We will see how it all comes out.

Just some tidbits of info. I picked up servo extension wire at the LHS today so I can run my wires down the boom with no connector.

Jason T
12-09-2005, 02:01 AM
I can't wait to hear the flight report. :)

12-14-2005, 07:51 AM
Man epoxy and goop sure take a long time to dry. Finally got some progress over the last few days and am happy to report that the tail servos are installed and the wiring has been run to the pod. So simple, and yet so complicated.

Here the servos are gooped in place. Had to do one, then the other so I could get the throws right and the servos centered. As you can tell, this is a one shot deal once they are glued, its a challenge to get them out.

I am using Hitec 125 thin wing servos which have metal gears so they are not likely to strip. I had to center them, and epoxy the rudder horn in place, then devise a linkage for it. I ended up with the thickest wire I could find, Z bent on the servo end and using a connector on the other. I want at least some mechanical adjustment.

For the elevator, I used threaded rod and a metal horn on one end and nylon on the other. I have seen rods with metal horns on both ends unscrew themselves in flight.

12-14-2005, 07:52 AM
the other side...

12-14-2005, 07:59 AM
Now came the task of figuring out how to run the wires. The boom is of course too small to fit a servo connector through, so you have to cut them off and either resolder them after running the wire down the boom, or come up with a connector system of your own.

A friend of mine had given me these 1mm gold connectors recently, and this looked like where they belong.

I simply put one on each wire and made a quick connect for each, then ran the wires down the boom and resoldered the connector on the other end. Probably needed to put the connectors on the end in the pod nearer the servo, but oh well, its done now, and they work just fine.

Heres the connectors, 1mm next to a 3.5mm motor connector, and the connectors installed.

The last photos show the completed tail installation and throws with the radio...
I am pretty pleased with the tail group now, even though it was a pain to have to figure out the best way to do all this.

Motor next.

Mike Parsons
12-14-2005, 02:30 PM
Looks good Kirby! Have I said lately how much I love Carbon? :D

12-14-2005, 02:53 PM
Looking good Kirby!

When's the estimated date of maiden?


Jason T
12-14-2005, 02:56 PM

Welcome to Wattflyer!

12-14-2005, 03:38 PM
Thanks Jason!

Mike Parsons
12-14-2005, 03:40 PM
I'll piggy back Jason in welcoming you Steve. If there is anything we can do, just let us know.


12-23-2005, 04:26 PM
You sure have to wait a long time for epoxy to cure. Okay, well it doesnt take this long. I have been busy and just getting some more progress. This really a quick building plane...

After getting the motor installed, I worked on the spoiler last night.

Since this is a permenant installation, I decided to forgo my HS81 and go get an 81metal gear. The wire, and tube come with the kit.

I purchased all the makings to do the ball and socket connection, but after an hour of fiddling, I decided it was not worth the trouble, and I still could not adjust it anyway.

This method has no adjust ability other than electronically, but it turned to have more than enough throw.

You have to mod the servo to get the wire to come out the bottem since there is no room for the wire to be run out the side...

12-23-2005, 04:29 PM
I glued the tube that comes with the kit directly over the servo arm using epoxy and a bit of light fiberglass cloth....

index the servo arm so that it is lower than the wing when the servo is put in place. I found it best to plug everything in and set the spoiler to full closed, then glue the servo. To me its more important that the spoiler close all the way than open all the way, so I rolled the dice and glued it.

12-23-2005, 04:32 PM
Turns out I hit it right on the nose and it is full closed at the bottem of the control input, and I had more than 90 degrees when fully deployed. I limited it in the radio with the end points.

Here is a photo of fully open and fully closed.

Next its just a matter of finding the right battery location and which battery to use. I hope to run it up today...


Jason T
12-24-2005, 05:36 AM
Nice job! Is the spoiler travel going to be variable or is it going to be on a switch?

12-24-2005, 06:56 AM
It is on a slider. I set up a mix so that I get up elevator as the spoiler is deployed. I am told also in another thread that I will only need about 45 degrees of spoiler so I set the top EPA to that. I may try more as some locals have told me they use 90 degrees coming down from thermals to avoid speed.

Of course, if it gets fast on the electric just crack the throttle to get it feathering and use the prop as a brake. (not in competition of course. ;) )


Jason T
12-24-2005, 06:46 PM
Looking forward to the flight report.

12-25-2005, 08:40 AM
not good results testing my motor on some old Nimh packs. I thought it was going to ground me, but after a few cycles, my 10 cell 3000 nimh packs if starting to come arounds.

First results, the pack went dead in seconds. A complete discharge and recharge showed 450 watts, at 50 amps...

next cycle showed 504 watts and 58 amps...
Next cycle same...
The last cycle however showed 68 amps and 600 watts. It leveled witin seconds to 55 amps and 500 watts. retarding to idle and back to full shows power rebounding to 95% previous reading.

3s lipos was off the scale at 73 amps. I only have one lipo pack that can handle that so 3s lipos are out. 2s did not show enough power for my tastes. 7 & 8 cell Nimh dropped to near dead within seconds. I am sure more cycles will help but I think I can get 4 good 45 second climbs out of the 10 cell pack which should get it to thermal altitude and then some.

Probably tuesday or We for maiden...

Spoiler is fixed and working perfectly now since I broke the bushing loose.


Don Sims
12-25-2005, 01:49 PM
Yeow, that's some kind of prop motor combination!!

12-25-2005, 11:01 PM
I am used to bigger numbers with some of my other 3d planes, but I really dont know how much performance to expect from something so slick in the wind.


Jason T
12-26-2005, 01:51 AM

If the 3000's don't work out do you think GP2200's would give you enough duration? They can definitely handle those amps and they would be lighter.

12-26-2005, 06:42 AM
Thats what I was thinking I would order. Duration wise itshould not be a problem. Ideally I only make one climb right ? :)


12-31-2005, 02:33 AM
I was going to maiden it tomorrow morning, but the wind died down to around 5-7mph and I decided to hit it.

I did a quick double check of everything, and assembled the plane. The antenna is taped to the bottem of the boom, and a 100 step range check with the plane sitting on the ground showed no problems. I peaked the power pack and assembled the nose cone. I walked out to the center of the field and did a run up. The tail group looks like its going to vibrate loose, but its not.

I hit the gas and let go, no toss required. THe B40 8L yanked the plane up with no sign of slow down. I increased the pitch angle to see how much it had, and stopped at about 60 degrees. Again no sign of slow down. After 30 seconds, I eased off the gas and it nosed over into a glide. One click of down and its crusing.

After a few seconds of crusiing, I added 1/2spoiler and it pitched down, not severly, so I think I need more mix which I will adjust tomorrow.

I did 3 climbs none at full throttle, it just is not required.
Randy, good power setup you suggested there!

I back to the truck and got the camera out to take some inflights as this plane was not going anywhere fast.

Even though it was 4:30 pm there were still some noticable bumps and when this thing got within 50 feet of the ground, it just floats around bouncing off the wind bubbles. Every one is noticable.

THis thing is a serious floater! I did not use spoiler on landing as it was coming in pretty slow, into the wind it just about stops anyway.

Comes to rest with a plop and about a 3 inch slide.

What a relaxing, responsive, stable plane...

I did not charge the RX pack so I kept it short, I was also concerned about the 3000 pack. I am pleased to report that after 4 climbs of 20-30 seconds, the pack only took back 780mah. HOly cow! I flew for almost 20 minutes in near dead air that means over an hour on this pack...I cant believe that.

Very nice design and I am very pleased, just a fun flying plane. Of course thats only one small outing, we will see tomorrow as the wind is supposed to be much higher.


Mike Parsons
12-31-2005, 03:09 AM
Congratulations Kirby! That think is humongous! You really dont get an estimate of size until the last photo. Awesome job!


Don Sims
12-31-2005, 04:42 AM
Glad you got it maidened Kirby!! Like Mike mentioned, that is one large glider! Good luck on tomorrows flight.

12-31-2005, 08:54 PM
Thanks guys it was a nail biter at first, but there was no reason to be nervious. Its a sweet flying plane.

Well the winds were over 10mph today and the second flight went off without a hitch. It was hard to manuver the plane while holding the TX so I had a volunteer hold it for launch. 1/2 throttle and I gave the go for launch. The plane climbed easily at 45 degrees at 1/2 throttle for the first climb.

A few bumps and 3 more climbs 1/2-3/4 throttle this flight. With the wind it took more power to get climb rate which seemed odd, but that may also be due to low ambient temps as well. Maybe I should install a heater in the plane to keep the pack warm. Power seemed to fall off a little more today, but it was still more than adequate and I am sure its due to my old Nimh pack and cold.

After some lift and sink I brought it down and was going long so I added some power for a goaround...(yes I know, throttle on a switch, and spoilers on the throttle stick, and you only have one shot at landing, but I am still learning). This landing was almost at my feet as I could have walked over and plucked the plane out of the air, it was going so slow.

This flight of 4 climbs took back 908mah into the 3000mah pack, so again, no problems on duration.

One odd thing, I hit the power for a climb one time and I must have took a hit or something as it pitched down severly or it got nose low and the wind forced it the rest of the way. I thought I might have thrown a blade at first and I noticed the screw had come loose that holds the blade in so I put some loctite on it eariler. Anyway, a non event as I flew it another 5 minutes with no more problems.

Going to be almost 80 degrees tomorrow but 20mph plus wind of course...grrr...


Jason T
01-05-2006, 06:30 PM

Congrats on the maiden. That is a beautiful sailplane.