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Pakrzone Bf-109, a Few Questions.

Old 04-11-2010, 02:41 PM
  #1  
mydartswinger
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Question Pakrzone Bf-109, a Few Questions.

I just picked up a used (very lightly, looks like it's never been flown) BNF Parkzone Bf-109 yesterday and put in a few flights on it. It didn't come with the battery, so I'm using my 3S 25C 2200mah Zippy Flightmax batteries to fly it. I'm using my DX7 for control. My buddy and I set it up with CG and control throws per the manual with dual rates. I'm not using any exponential on any surface. The manual didn't recommend expo, and after flying it, I don't feel it's needed. It flies nice (to me), but does have a few "quirks" that through a bit of researching, I've found to be common. I was wondering if there are ways to minimize the effects of those quirks. I've seen threads for other aircraft with fixes for that aircraft's "quirks", but none as of yet for this plane. Are there any known fixes for anything on this plane? Any threads somewhere that highlight them? I've looked at the "announcement" thread for this plane that was started in August of last year, but shortly after pilots started getting them, the thread died off.

First off is it's speed. It has plenty of power for takeoff, flying, and landing, but is a bit of a "slow flier". If feels to me that it just don't have the WOT speed that I feel a warbird should have. I see that Parkzone has a 2 blade spinner and recommends a 12x12 2 blade prop for those that choose to use the stock power system with a 2 blade prop. Has anyone used this? If so, what kind of performance difference does it have? Does it "wake it up", or is it roughly the same? If the performance difference is negligible, what props are being used that do "wake it up"?

Another problem is it's tendancy to nose over on the ground. I've seen that is a common issue. This is something I could probably work out with a bit of practice, however, I've flown many larger taildraggers and haven't had a nose over tendancy this pronounced. In going over the plane, I noticed that though it is balanced at the CG point, it does feel like most of this plane's weight is on it's nose. Has anyone figured out a way to decrease the nose over tendancy? Maybe a mod for longer landing gear with a further forward rake? Smaller tail wheel? Different CG balance point?

I've also noticed that when trying to do loops with this airplane, it has a tendancy to "blow out" before it gets to the top of a big loops. This forces me to either turn a loop into a hammerhead, or to cut the loop short at the top, making the loop tighter. I'm feeling that this may be related to the power issue, as this plane does not have enough power to go vertical more than a few feet before it comes near stall. I've been using high rates for taxi, takeoff, landing, and aerobatics, and low rates for just tooling around the pattern (dual rates set per the manual). Is this related to the power, or is it just me? Maybe not enough control authority in high rates?

This is a beautiful plane that does fly gently in the pattern, and slows down better than expected. It seems to just want to float at slow speed in about 5 mph winds.

Thanks in advance for any input.
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Old 04-11-2010, 03:48 PM
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JoeTheFlyer
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Yeah if you're using the 3 blade propeller switch to the standard 2 blade; it will provide more thrust and in turn speed. Also removing the landing gear will provide higher speeds and better looks in my opinion, i hav'nt ever used the landing gear on my T28, i use the stock 2 blade propeller and it has great vertical climb performance and overall speed.
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Old 04-11-2010, 10:10 PM
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I am still using the 3 blade on my 109 but will probably switch to the 2 blade as soon as I get around to picking one up. I have been told that the two blade prop also gets rid of a lot of the need to hold as much right rudder on take off if you are using the landing gear.
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Old 04-12-2010, 03:45 PM
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Yeah it's good for looks but performance wise ditch it ASAP. You will see drastic improvements with a 2 blade and no landing gear. Good luck.
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Old 04-12-2010, 09:45 PM
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Is everyone using the 12x12 that Parkzone recommends, or another size?

As for ground handling, I was flying it a bit at the park yesterday, and after 4 or 5 botched landings, I decided to remove the gear and give a hand launch/belly land. I was a bit leery of doing this because I'd never done it before (well, my buddy and I had tried several times on an EDF F-16 that he had, but we could never get it to launch correctly). The first couple of times I did it, I was bit nervous, but realized that it was easier than I'd thought. After that, I had no problems with landing it.

I did have another issue, though. I was getting comfortable with it and began doing some sustained inverted flight. While inverted, the canopy popped off and floated to the ground. I rolled it back upright, she was acting tail heavy (apparently the battery was hanging out by the connector), the connector let loose, the airplane rolled inverted and took a nose dive. She hit the ground nose first and there was nothing I could do to stop it. Only the prop (Perfect time to go to the 2 blade.), nose of the fuselage (looks to be a bit too damaged to repair the nose, so a new fuse will be in order), and battery were damaged (a Zippy 3S 2200mah 25C).

This brings me to a couple of new questions. It may be a bit noobish, but please bare with me as I'm not highly experienced in electric, fixed wing flight (this is actually the first electric plane I've been able to successfully fly, though I do fly glow planes regularly). I use the Zippy pack in my 450 helis. Is this pack a bit too long for this plane (it will fit in the lower recess in the center, but that puts the CG a bit too far forward, so I slide the pack to the back of the higher recess. This puts one side of the pack in the lower recess and the other in the upper recess)? I have noticed that the included battery strap doesn't always hold it very well (I have been putting it in there as tight as it will go). Is there a better way to attach the battery without worry of it falling out?

Thanks again for the advice.
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Old 04-12-2010, 10:32 PM
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I don't know exactly which 2 blade Parkzone recommends but im sure you can search for yourself what the standard 2 blade is and then order one .

As for which size battery i'd go with the one Parkzone recommends or choose a battery that is the same size as the standard one that comes with the RTF version of your Messerschmitt. I are'nt too familiar with 'outside' brands of batteries as i have always found the Parkzone LiPo's are great, so hopefully someone else can shed some light upon this issue.

As for your battery issues when putting it inside your plane i would recommend some velcro strips (You can get this velcro tape stuff which you can cut to length) and put a bit on the battery and a bit inside the fuselage, then you know it's secure. I don't own the plane so i can't really relate to where the battery should go but a slightly nose heavy plane will fly fine with a bit of trim.
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Old 04-12-2010, 11:24 PM
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The 12x12E APC is what Parkzone recommends. I'm just trying to see if that's the one that other pilots are using, and if there may be a better prop for performance without going to another motor.

I had shifted the CG further back while I was using the landing gear to attempt to prevent a nose over on taxi, takeoff, and landing. Even with it's further aft CG, it's still a bit nose heavy (just a touch).

I just looked at the dimensions of both batteries (I picked my plane up as a used BNF and it didn't have a battery or charger with it.). The Zippy is 7mm longer, 2mm narrower, and 3.5mm taller than the included PZ battery. It's also about 32g heavier than the PZ battery. The PZ battery is a 3S 1800mah 15C battery, while the Zippy is a 3S 2200mah 25C battery. The Zippy is also US$47 (30.59 GBP using XE.com's currency converter) cheaper (not including shipping or taxes).

BTW, I just inspected the battery compartment a bit closer and found that the velcro straps did not come loose. They split where it comes out of the battery strap holder at the fuselage (seemed to be a clean rip, almost like it was cut).

Thanks again,
Shannon
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Old 04-16-2010, 03:11 PM
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I picked up the new 2-blade spinner and have the fuselage and APC 12x12E prop on order. I would've picked them both up yesterday, but my LHS didn't have either in stock. They just had the spinner, so I picked it up while I could.

BTW, if anyone that uses RealFlight G4.5 is interested, I'm working on an AV of an Me-109 to try to get it to fly like this Parkzone Bf-109. My present plans are to create it with the gear only (rolling take-off/rolling landing), not without the gear (for hand launch/belly landing) since I don't have the skills needed (yet?) to remove the gear from a previously created aircraft.

Here's the thread on the KE forums with the files needed to fly it (still a work in progress, I'll be updating it as I go along):

http://www.knifeedge.com/forums/showthread.php?t=25613
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Old 04-17-2010, 03:02 AM
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Dart and Joe

I picked up a couple of the APC 12 x 12 e props and was going to install one on my ME but just realized that the prop hub is quite a bit thinner than the 3 blade ( 3 blade 0.517 inch vs 0.371 inch for the two blade, or 13.16 mm vs 9.47 mm for those of you across the pond). Is that what you found as well? I guess just use a washer to add a little thickness? Otherwise the prop nut will not snug down on the prop.

Joe
Are you the only thing flying over there or are you grounded for the eruption as well?

Dart
I hope the sim model works out. I have both of the ME that are on Knife edge running on my RF 4.5 but they are a lot heavier that the PZ model. I do however have the nose over on landing perfected
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Old 04-18-2010, 07:03 PM
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Originally Posted by mydartswinger View Post
I picked up the new 2-blade spinner and have the fuselage and APC 12x12E prop on order. I would've picked them both up yesterday, but my LHS didn't have either in stock. They just had the spinner, so I picked it up while I could.

BTW, if anyone that uses RealFlight G4.5 is interested, I'm working on an AV of an Me-109 to try to get it to fly like this Parkzone Bf-109. My present plans are to create it with the gear only (rolling take-off/rolling landing), not without the gear (for hand launch/belly landing) since I don't have the skills needed (yet?) to remove the gear from a previously created aircraft.

Here's the thread on the KE forums with the files needed to fly it (still a work in progress, I'll be updating it as I go along):

http://www.knifeedge.com/forums/showthread.php?t=25613
Dart

I downloaded your latest version from Knife edge. I do not have a lot of time on my 109 but it seemed like it worked pretty well except I do not recall needed as much throttle to get it moving and off the ground. It does need some up elevator to keep the nose out of the ground as you bring the throttle up so I think you have that down. I was not able to locate the " Mass scaling factor" the poster after you referred to, so i do not know if that would help. The name of the control would seem to imply something that might be applicable if I could find it.
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Old 05-29-2010, 01:28 AM
  #11  
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Sorry it's been a while since I've posted in here. I've been having some issues with my desktop that i have the RF model on (I know, I could go out to the link I posted above and re-download it, but the computer I'm using runs RF VERY slow), and I had a few issues in getting the 109 back together after the crash.

A warning to those of you that haven't heard about it yet. The endbell on the stock BL15 motor is plastic. This makes it more vulnerable to wear as well as crash damage. My crash was nose first, putting all of the force on the motor shaft, cracking my endbell. In researching this, I found other's were having issues not only in crashes, but from usage as well. Keep an eye on your stock motor can.

Because of the cracked endbell, I decided to upgrade the motor (never even having flown the stock motor with the 2-blade prop). I went with E-Flite's Power 25 motor (it's a direct drop in fit on the stock motor mount, and the stock prop adapter fits the shaft) and the E-Flite 40A ESC to cope with the larger motor. For now, I'm going to stick with the 12x12E prop and 2200mah 3S battery, though I may get severely decreased flight times according to http://brantuas.com/ezcalc/dma1.asp (electric motor calculator). Hopefully the rain and wind will calm down soon so I can take her out and give her a shot with this setup.

I've also had a few other RC projects going that's kept me pretty busy. Projects like E-Flite's new F-86 EDF, RICCS (Hobby King) F-15 twin 64mm EDF, a TWM Spitfire GS (motor issues), my Goldberg Decathlon (motor issues) and I'm somewhat getting back into glow monster trucks.

Dumo,
If you're still having issues with clearance, I put a washer between the spinner and the prop adapter.

Later gents,
Shannon
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Old 05-29-2010, 04:57 AM
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Dart

Good to see you are backup.
I ended up using a washer I found that was a little thicker than average, worked fine, better than my thumbs which shortly thereafter tried to land the 109 on its nose. Surprised as hard as it hit that there was not damage to the motor but the only thing that happened to the motor was the back portion of the motor can was punched back off of the motor shaft. The back collar was still in place on the shaft and no damage to the shaft or rest of the motor that I have found so far. The back part of the can was supposed to be threaded on but no way to do that with the wiring intact so I just punched it back in place over the threads. So far so go through several flights but am watching the motor closely as I amazed it is still functional.

I have seen cracks develop in the Parkzone 480 motors int he bell which is all plastic but I expect the same issue

The RF model stills works for me, noses over on almost every landing just like the real thing
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Old 05-29-2010, 05:17 AM
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At first, the cracks look more like imperfections in the plastic because they're so small. However, they do make themselves quite a bit bigger, as seen in the photo. I just decided to go for an all metal can motor in case it happens again. Then it'll be just a matter of prop/spinner and foam repair/replacement if it does (maybe a motor shaft as well in a worst case scenario).

I'll have to re-download my RF AV and see if I can tweak it more. It's supposed to rain tomorrow, and pretty much all of the projects I can work on are done, so I may be able to sneak in some sim time to see what I can do with it (the sim does work on this computer, but slowly).
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Old 05-29-2010, 09:18 PM
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That is the same type of crack I have sen in the all plastic PZ 480. I have mended some of them with a small amount of CA into the crack and then clamp it until is set up. If you get too much in you will spend a fair amount of time with a fine rat tail file cleaning out the hole where the shaft is supposed to fit. No idea as yet how well the CA fix will hold up.
Certainly makes an attractive statement for the all metal motor can.
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Old 05-29-2010, 09:33 PM
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My motor was beyond a quick CA repair job, as the cracked end bell caused the can to rotate oddly around the armature. In turn, this wore down some of the magnets on the can and a spot on the armature.

At first, I did not notice the cracks, and spun the motor to check the thrust with the 12x12 prop. The worn spots came from me spinning the motor while the can was unknowingly loose.
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Old 06-26-2010, 06:02 AM
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Well, I unfortunately won't be able to continue with the Bf-109 for the time being.

I went on vacation to see my family and brought the 109 with me to test fly it with the Power 25 motor. The flight, and the remainder of the airplane's life lasted all of about 30 seconds. I hand launched it, it was a bit squirrelly on climbout, but I got her under control, then made my downwind turn. She seemed to be flying fine, albeit a bit out of trim. Unfortunately, I didn't even have time to get her trimmed. I made my base turn without issue, then into upwind. This is when it happened. I still don't know what caused it, and likely never will, but the 109 entered the turn at full throttle, started to lose altitude, but wouldn't pull out. She smashed the ground at WOT and was obliterated. The only bits salvageable from it were the motor, ESC, and radio gear. The fuse, wings, canopy, spinner, and prop were all destroyed.

The balance was at the same point it was before the motor swap and she had plenty of speed going into the turn. The power combo was providing plenty of thrust for the climb and first 2 turns. My only guesses were 1) that the power combo was too much for the battery, causing a low battery situation and a complete loss of control, 2) Rx may have been damaged in the previous crash, causing range issues or 3) I wasn't flying it at a flying site, just on a large plot of land behind some of my family's property, so there may have been some interference.

My initial plan was to just get a complete fuse kit and the other missing parts, but none of the hobby shops in the area had them in stock, and I really didn't want to order it, since I was only in town for a brief period of time. I did, however, get a replacement aircraft, though I haven't got it finished yet (and I'm home now. Go figure.). I picked up an E-Flite Piper J-3 Cub 25e (I was actually looking for something that could have used all of the gear from the 109, but the Power 25 upgrade and the small servos gave me issues), the required MN48 servos, and a prop for it. My intent with this aircraft was to have had it flying last week, but I didn't have the motor hardware for the Power 25 with me, and no one had the parts for me to substitute, so the project was shelved until 2 days ago when I got back home. All I need to do now is get some new CA hinges (I made a boo boo on one of the ailerons and mounted it backwards, causing me to not have a place to mount the control horn to), and either some Elmer's glue or canopy glue for the windows. Then it'll be time to put those few touches on it, balance it, and get her maidened.

I may revisit the 109 and just return it to it's stock configuration at a later date. I did enjoy the few flights I did manage to get on it.
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Old 06-26-2010, 07:23 AM
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A good crash of my PZ ME ruined the receiver. The pins face back, and the shock wave created by a good impact (cracked through the fuse) pulls on them towards the front. This made my receiver glitchy, twitching the ailerons at odd intervals. Unfortunately, it took me while to figure this out.
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