View Full Version : Great Planes Lil Toni Racer

Greg Covey
07-23-2005, 02:17 AM

My Great Planes Lil Toni Racer has been converted to clean and quiet electric power using a Kontronic Brushless 600 Set and a 7-cell Kokam 3.2AH pack.

It uses a Jeti-77amp Opto ESC and APC 14x7 prop for ballistic speed which the fiberglass fuselage and sheeted wing design allow it to turn on a dime!

Be sure to watch it fly at the upcoming NEAT Fair on September 16th - 18th.

Mike Parsons
07-23-2005, 02:31 AM
Cool. I like the Toni


07-23-2005, 03:45 AM

Be sure to watch it fly at the upcoming NEAT Fair on September 16th - 18th.

Watch it? I want to fly it :)

I have one here still NIB and might follow your setup for a conversion on mine.

Greg Covey
07-24-2005, 02:13 AM
I'll post some flying shots soon from this weekend's event. Most folks can't believe it's electric!

07-30-2005, 05:48 PM
Any chance for more details? Which Kontronic 600, gear ratio, pics of the batts mounted?

I would love to have an e-conversion that uses close to the same size prop as the glow version. The 22x12 on my Funtana 90 looks a little funny!

Great Job!


Greg Covey
08-04-2005, 02:10 PM
My electric conversion of the Great Planes Little Toni featured the Kontronik Brushless Set 600 power system. The Kontronik Brushless Sets are distributed exclusively by Great Planes in the USA. They come in different sizes of matched components to eliminate the guesswork of choosing the right parts to power your model. Kontronik’s high-efficiency brushless motors and matching Electronic Speed Controllers (ESCs) come with pre-mounted gearboxes that allow the use of larger prop sizes to out-perform a .60-size glow engine. The Kontronik plug-n-play brushless components help provide an easy conversion from glow to electric power. With no gas or glow engine accessories to buy, the unparalleled reliability of the Kontronik Brushless Sets provide a clean, quiet, and attractive choice for today’s R/C modeler.

The Kontronik Brushless Set 600 comes with a Kontronik Jazz 55-10-32 ESC and a pre-mounted gearbox with a 4.2:1 reduction ratio. The first number in the ESC name is the maximum sustained current rating of 55amps. The next two numbers are the cell count range from 10-32 cells of NiCd or NiMH. The corresponding Lithium Polymer cell count would be 3 cells in series to 9 cells in series. The 600-size motor can replace a .40-size to a .60-size glow engine. In fact, when using the highest cell count, the 600-size brushless motor can out perform a .60-size glow engine!

Kontronik Brushless Set 600 Specifications:

-Fun 600-18 brushless motor
-6-30 cells, 1620 RPM/v, 45amps cont. current
-36mm diam., 59mm long, 5mm output shaft
-270g weight
-Jazz 55-10-32 ESC
-55amps cont. current, 10-32 cells, 33g weight
-KPG27 Gear Drive
-4.2:1 ratio, 55g weight, 6mm output shaft

The setup for my Little Toni is as follows:

Little Toni ES Conversion Setup

-Kontronik Brushless Set 600 includes:
-Fun 600-18 brushless motor
-Jazz 55-10-32 ESC
-KPG27 Gear Drive
-APC 14x10 electric prop
-20 cells of Sanyo CP2400 NiCd
-MP Jet (4706) M8 Prop Adapter for 6mm shaft
-Optional Items:
-Tower Hobbies (TOWM6060) System 3000 On/Off switch
-Ultimate BEC (replaces receiver battery)
-FMA (605SB) Digital Servo Buffer

I used one of the FMA 605SB Digital Servo Buffers to connect the aileron servos to the receiver. Since these servos had long cables, I thought it best to eliminate any possible noise from glitching the control surfaces. Further, the FMA servo buffer has two output connectors so that they also act as a “Y” adapter cable to connect both ailerons to a single receiver channel.

Greg Covey
08-04-2005, 02:17 PM
Instead of using a typical receiver battery to power both the receiver and servos, I choose to use an Ultimate Battery Eliminator Circuit (or UBEC) from Kool Flight Systems via Hobby Lobby. The new 6v output UBEC is like using a 5-cell receiver pack to speed up your servo response and make them stronger. A great advantage for high-speed pylon racing! The UBEC weighs only about 1/3 of the 5-cell receiver battery pack and eliminates the need to keep a second battery charged since it gets its power right from the main flight pack. If the receiver does not have enough channel connectors to plug in the UBEC output cable, you can connect it in parallel with any channel using a "Y" adapter cable. The UBEC can supply enough power for a receiver and up to 9 servos.

Greg Covey
08-04-2005, 02:22 PM
Most of the assembly of the Great Planes Little Toni was done as described in the manual. The Great Planes Little Toni manual provides detailed instructions, photos, and plenty of tips to help ease assembly. Futaba and Hobbico-brand components were used for the radio system. I used four Futaba S3004 Standard Ball-Bearing Servos, a Futaba R127DF receiver, and a System 3000 On/Off switch. Owning a Dremel tool will be a big aid when working with fiberglass parts but the Little Toni design left very little work to be done by the builder. The finished details in this ARF model were simply astounding!

My first deviation from the manual assembly was on page 13 when it came time to install the engine. I installed the glow engine mount per the manual instructions but replaced the glow engine with a clean and quiet Kontronik brushless motor. Further, the throttle linkage and the plywood former are no longer installed inside the fiberglass cowl as they are not needed. The electric motor does not produce strong vibrations like its glow engine counterpart and the speed is controlled electronically instead of mechanically. You can skip pages 14, 15, and most of 16. The custom-fit fiberglass cowl is held in place with the four stock screws per the manual and has no vibrations to stress it from the quiet electric motor.

I simply mounted the Kontronik motor onto the glow engine mount using two 2-3/4” (Size 36) steel hose clamps obtained at a home improvement store. To ensure a slip-free mount, I cut an Emory board (double-sided sandpaper) in half and wedged it between the motor wall and the glow mount post. Two short plywood pieces were inserted on the right hand side to provide an offset to force the motor to follow the built-in right thrust angle of the firewall. It was easy to get a perfect motor shaft alignment because the fiberglass cowl fit over the nose in a fixed, keyed position. This allowed me to test the position of the motor many times by pressing on the cowl and then the prop adapter assembly with the aluminum spinner backplate before completely tightening the hose clamps. After tightening the two hose clamps, I could pick up the entire fuselage by holding only the clamped motor.

The motor is cooled in flight using the stock cowl openings and air scoop built into the Little Toni design. To facilitate cooling of the ESC and batteries, I drilled holes into the firewall that were evenly spaced apart. The air can then flow into the cowl and through the firewall holes. An air exit can be installed in the bottom side of the fuselage just aft of the wing saddle. I used two 1” plastic Master Flow Circular Louvers (RLSC1) purchased from Home Depot.

Greg Covey
08-04-2005, 02:30 PM
My initial setup for the Kontronik 600 motor used 20 cells of Sanyo CP2400 NiCd. When using an APC 14x7 e-prop, I drew about 41amps and later switched to a 14x10 prop for more speed that drew 51amps. This setup flew incredibly well!
Another option for battery power would be to use a 6s configuration (6 cells in series) of Lithium Polymer cells that could supply a continuous current of around 50amps, much like my NiCd setup. In other words, design your Lithium pack to be able to supply a continuous current value that is equal to, or greater than, the full throttle current draw. This approach ensures a safe, stress-free fit in your electric power system.

For my Great Planes Little Toni setup, I could replace the 44oz. (2.75lbs) 20-cell CP2400 NiCd pack with a 6s4p configuration of ElectriFly 1500mAh Lithium-Polymer cells. You would need a 6s configuration (two 3-cell packs in series) that needed to be in parallel with other 6s sets to provide a comfortable current delivery of 50amps. Since each pack can deliver a continuous current of 12amps, four packs in parallel could deliver 48amps continuous current with a peak delivery of over 60amps! By using eight of the ElectriFly 1500mAh 3-cell packs the 6s4p configuration can be obtained by paralleling four packs together and placing that in series with a second set of four paralleled packs. The resultant super pack would provide a 4x1500mAh or 6AH (6000mAh) capacity which is 2.5 times the flight duration of the 20-cell NiCd pack. Further, the super Lithium pack would weigh only about 32oz compared to the 44oz NiCd pack. That’s a 12oz or ¾ lb drop in flying weight! This incredible gain in electric flight performance is a cost trade-off.

The new ElectriFly Lithium packs include a built-in SafeCharge circuitry that prevents individual cells from overcharging. If any cell in the pack reaches 4.20V, the SafeCharge circuit will automatically stop the charge process entirely. In addition to the new SafeCharge circuit, the ElectriFly Lithium packs have a secondary input connector that can be used to recharge the pack more easily than disconnecting the Dean’s Ultra plugs. Note that when using the 6s4p super Lithium pack, the entire pack can be charged together using an appropriately capable Lithium charger like the Astro Flight 109 Lithium Charger.

Today, I simply use 7 cells of Kokam 3.2AH with an APC 14x7 e-prop. The 7 cells are created from a 4-cell pack in series with a 3-cell pack. This provides 1600 watts at 68amps for full throttle bursts which I only use for high speed fly-bys during demonstrations. You can see if fly at the upcoming NEAT Fair on September 16-18th.

08-07-2005, 03:19 AM
Thanks for the write-up!


08-10-2005, 12:06 AM
Great looking plane. I've been thinking about purchasing the lil' Tony or the Rare Bear and am enjoying the use of electric over glow due to clean up. I see you are using a 14/10 prop... it must be a fast landing no? We use a concrete runway aprox. 120' long... I dunno about trying to hit that mark with pitch though! LOL Anyway... nice plane!

Greg Covey
08-11-2005, 02:11 PM
The Lil Toni does land fast but it is not as fast a lander as some of my other planes like the H9 AT-6 Texan or GP GeeBee.

The wing design on the Lil Toni has been optimized for slowing the plane up without stalling. My guess is that this helps keep it in the mainstream of buyers unlike the GP GeeBee which lands like a barrel with small wings attached.

Greg Covey
08-29-2005, 01:20 AM
The Lil Toni in action at a local show last month.

08-29-2005, 11:55 AM
Very nice!!!
I also like the Toni,i have a Hacker Toni 1900mm going soon whit a Actro 60-175 and 13s 4p TP Prolite.

08-29-2005, 05:51 PM
strange about the comment of the H9 AT-6...this plane does not land very fast , imho.....

08-29-2005, 06:13 PM
Hey Greg thanks for the write-up. Very impressive!

08-29-2005, 07:32 PM
I'll have to watch for this one flying at NEAT! Especially since GP has now released the Cosmic Wind Minnow which seems to be the same size.