Flying Probs with the Firebird Freedom - Page 33 - WattFlyer RC Electric Flight Forums - Discuss radio control eflight

ParkFlyers Talk about all backyard and parkflyer aircraft here

Flying Probs with the Firebird Freedom

Old 05-14-2010, 03:46 PM
  #801  
AEAJR
Community Moderator
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: NY, USA
Posts: 5,827
Default

The only one who can say if it is worth the effort is you. Sounds like you are happy with your work.

Photos of the conversion would be great!
AEAJR is offline  
Old 05-14-2010, 04:45 PM
  #802  
Ejet42
Member
Thread Starter
 
Ejet42's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Baton Rouge, LA
Posts: 170
Default

Hey (Flying) Dude,

I'm glad to hear that you have been successful with the Freedom. I started this thread several years ago, and began modifying the airframe - almost exactly like you did - but there was so much "negative press" regarding spending money and time on this bird, that I just quit responding.

Actually we still have three (2 + mine) Freedom's flying and I have at least one still in the box! We think this bird flies well and looks good in the air. Mine is currently in need of repair due to an ESC/BEC (5v) failure, but I will get it back in the air as soon as I get a "round tuit" (those things are in short supply around here).

The only thing we did in addition to the hardware change out was to add brushless motors. Your text did not indicate that you had made this step, and since your ship if flying well, there is no need to change. Also, you can still get the 480 brushed motors for around $10 (I think). All of ours are brushless and we have several different styles currently in service; from a 200W CD Rom style to outrunners mounted outside of the body. If I was doing it again, I would use a 380S from Hobbyking (mounted internally). We have used a 1900Kv, on 3S LiPo's, but the one on this URL shows 2200Kv. Other Kv's are available. Probably a 2700Kv on a 2S would be just fine.

http://hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store...idProduct=5203

On mine, I even added a steerable tail wheel (added another servo - tied to the rudder stick). We fly from a paved surface, so this makes taxiing and take offs and landings especially nice.


Again, congratulations on your perseverance and determination. I find it very rewarding to take something that is marginal and make it really good, as you have done.

Happy Flying,
H2
Ejet42 is offline  
Old 05-15-2010, 09:02 AM
  #803  
flying dude
New Member
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 5
Default firebird modifs

hi ejet ! or H2 ?? !!
thanksfor your kind note !
ni I didn't change the brush yet, expecting it to burn rapidly with 3S ! still not burnt !
thanks for the engine proposal, it's perfect ! does the screw holes match ?
anyway, I will order one rite now !
another modif I did was to leave space for airflow under the cockpit cover, by gluing little pieces of foam so the cover is not fully closed.that helps cooling the engine !
how can u instal a steering wheel ? there is no rudder on this V-tail? that is intriging, I would love to do that ?
I will soon put pics of the modif.
a funny trick:when I use 2 s lipo's, Ihave to put 2 together to maintain the CG !!! so, after the first flight, I just swap the plug from one to another !
fun !
and yes, it flies funny, nicely, fast.just be careful to land fast enough, that's it !
more soon!
FD
flying dude is offline  
Old 05-15-2010, 07:17 PM
  #804  
Ejet42
Member
Thread Starter
 
Ejet42's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Baton Rouge, LA
Posts: 170
Default

Hey Flying Dude,

The bolt holes do match up - but you might want to place an insulator washer between the motor and the plastic. Also, another washer on the outside to give better support, making a "sandwich" of the plastic body. Remember the heat build-up. I generally use 1/16" or 3/32" (scrap) plywood on the inside with proper holes drilled, and what have you on the outside. You can use the small thin, ob round metal washer (proper holes) that came on the FF. Just remember that the thrust is trying to push the plastic mounting section (where the screws are) to the inside of the plane. Therefore, it's a good idea to use the stock internal "U" brace to help spread the load.

Re. the tail wheel, there are two ways you can go. The easiest would be to purchase a Du-Bro tail wheel assembly from your LHS. This will be around $4. It's O.K. and will work, but the wheel itself is very small, and if memory serves, cannot be changed. Here is a pic.
http://www3.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin...?&I=LXMRK6&P=7
Just drill the necessary holes in the boom and epoxy in place.

My preferred method is to make my own as follows. I will try to paint you a word picture, as I don't have access to a digital camera. This isn't difficult, so stay with me.
First we need to make a control arm for the steerable tail wheel to attach to a push rod.
1. Get one of your micro servo arms that you didn't use. It does need to be of a larger drive spline - the drive socket on the HS-55 arm is too small.
2. Get a pack of Du-Bro 1/16" wheel collars - you will use three or four.
3. Remove the set screw (0.050" Allen key).
4. Relieve (read drill) the bore of the servo arm so that the collar fits snugly into the relieved hole - not too tight or the arm will deform. Position the threaded set screw hole on the opposite side of the control arm. Ensure that the collar "bottoms out" in the arm.
5. Locate the threaded hole (you know where it is - opposite the control arm - and you know how far down from the lower edge of the servo arm hub to make a hole. I like to use a small, sharp pointed Xacto knife as my drill. Make certain you don't remove the threads from the wheel collar.
6. Thread the set screw through the side of the servo arm and into the brass wheel collar. DON'T STRIP OUT THE BRASS THREADS.

That is the hard part, and you may want to remove the collar from the servo arm hub to drill the hole. The reason that the wheel collar doesn't have to be pressed in too tightly is that the grub screw will actually be "IN" the plastic, keying the wheel collar in place.

Continuing, get some 1/16" wire from your LHS and bend it appropriately, for the axle of the wheel. I always like for the wire to have a small offset near the wheel, such that the wire that will be passing thru the fabricated control arm is in the center of the wheel. It's easiest to bend the offset first (two approx. 30 deg. angles back to back (the ends of the wire are straight, and parallel but have a small offset. Then make a 90 deg. bend for the wheel. Leave sufficient length for a collar on either side of the wheel. Cut the wire, leaving about 2" above the offset. Slide the servo arm (steering arm from above) on the wire about 1/4" above the offset bend, parallel to the wheel's axle.

Now, drill a 5/64" hole completely through the tail boom, half way between the tail hold-down screws, coming out in the center top of the V-Tail. Most small drill indexes have this size bit - if not, use the 1/16" bit - we can "wallow" it out a tiny bit to prevent any binding when the wheel is turned.

Now push the assembly in from the bottom until the top of the servo arm (steering arm) contacts the bottom of the boom. Slip the final wheel collar over the top of the 1/16" wire and tighten. You can cut off all but about 1/2" of wire on top of the wheel collar.

That's it! It sounds like a royal pain, but it really isn't. you can always try the Du-Bro unit if you don't feel up to this challenge.

As far as the transmitter/receiver goes, you already indicated that you had installed new radio equipment. The transmitter should be programmed for "Delta" with yaw (directional control) (right-left) on the right stick (mode 2) along with elevator. JR radios use the aileron and elevator channels pre-mixed for the Delta configuration. This is opposed to a "V-Tail" which couples the rudder and elevator servos. All is similar, but yaw is now on the left stick.

Let's assume you have a valid "delta" configuration and are controlling yaw and pitch with the right stick. Now, it's a simple matter to add one more servo and plug it into the rudder channel, steering on the ground with the rudder (left stick) and flying on the right.

That's about it, Flying Dude. A little work, but a sweet handling ship, in the air and on the ground!

Let me know your thoughts.

H2
Ejet42 is offline  
Old 05-17-2010, 02:28 PM
  #805  
Leo L
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 589
Default

Hi Dude and Ejet,

Since some of you are still flying the Freedom, I was wondering if any of you made the "Pro Tail" modification. This was a modification that was developed about 4 years ago for the Aerobird, but should work just as well on the Freedom. The Pro Tail significantly increases the area of the control surface, making the plane extremely responsive. However, it can be overdone and become so responsive that it becomes difficult to control.

The construction is very simple. You will need packing tape (it works best with the tape that has reinfocement in it), epoxy, a sharp knife or hobby saw, and a straight edge.
Step 1) Place a piece of packing tape on the underside of one section of tail. Place the tape so that it bridges the gap between the control surface and the tip of the tail. Start the tape at the hinge and let it extend beyond the tail.
Step 2) Fill the gap between the control surface and the tip with epoxy. DO NOT FILL THE GAP AT THE OTHER END OF THE CONTROL SURFACE AND DO NOT GET EPOXY ON THE HINGE. Wrap the tape onto the top surface of the tail, trapping the epoxy. Trim the tape as needed to stop just short of the hinge. Let the epoxy harden.
Step 3) Using the straight edge, mark a line extending the "epoxied" gap to the front of the tail. Cut along this line, ensuring that you stop at the hinge. make sure the gap os wide enough that there is free movement with no binding.
Step 4) Repeat for the other section of tail.

The ProTail changes the tip of the tail from being part of the stationary tail to being part of the control surface. Most of your tail will now be the control surface. for your first flight, set the control rod to the innermost hole to limit your throws. Even at this setting, the resonsiveness of the plane will amaze you.
Leo L is offline  
Old 05-17-2010, 02:49 PM
  #806  
Ejet42
Member
Thread Starter
 
Ejet42's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Baton Rouge, LA
Posts: 170
Default

Hi Leo,

I haven't used the product mentioned, but I have used a small piece of 1/32" plywood attached between the bottom outside of the control surface (ruddervator) and the outside tip of the stationary portion of the V-Tail. At this point, the "ruddervators" are stationary with the V-Tail. Then, I cut the V-Tail tip on a 135 deg. (45 deg.) angle outward from the outside forward corner of the original ruddervator forward to the (outside) leading edge of the V-Tail. This frees the ruddervator from the stationary portion of the V-Tail. While increasing the control surface area (and responsiveness as you mentioned), the mod adds a "balancing" effect to the control surface, reducing the load on the servos.

You're absolutely correct with your comments on the increase in response - I found it a little too much, so I reduced the control throws a bit.

This mod (along with increased power from the motor) does allow barrel rolls.

Thanks for the comment.
H2
Ejet42 is offline  
Old 05-19-2010, 05:44 PM
  #807  
flying dude
New Member
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 5
Default firebird

hi !
I tried to put pictures of the modified electronics, but the board is inside already and the pictures are not showing much !
do you guys have a picture of the pro-tail thingy ? or the other modif of the Vtail? it seems interesting !
I am quite subjective and nostalgic about the firebird, as it was so much work to make it fly !
and now it does fly quite often !
it's like a bad boy who became good !!! I am attached to it !
However, the other planes I fly are definitively more balanced, safer, easier to fly !!
anybody flying a motor glider called "elbatros" from BMI ?
I have difficulty to find spare parts here !
good flyin'
flying dude is offline  
Old 05-19-2010, 05:48 PM
  #808  
flying dude
New Member
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 5
Default

Ejet !
I will be trying your homemade steering rear wheel !thanks for the detailed process ! however, one picture will help me a lot ! remember,English is not my mother tongue !
and by the way, whatis a duo bro wheel collar ?? the rest is about OK so far !
thanks !
flying dude is offline  
Old 05-19-2010, 05:57 PM
  #809  
flying dude
New Member
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 5
Default

Hi Ejet, again !
where do you putthe servo,for the rear steering wheel ? there is no place on the back of the firebird ? and if you put it inside the plane, do you use a tube and a wire in the tube ?
thanks !
flying dude is offline  
Old 05-20-2010, 01:29 AM
  #810  
Ejet42
Member
Thread Starter
 
Ejet42's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Baton Rouge, LA
Posts: 170
Default

Hey Flying Dude,

Re the Du Bro wheel collar, Du Bro is a manufacturer. A wheel collar is a small cylinder of plated brass with a hole through the center and a grub (set) screw (having an Allen key hex) threaded in from the side of the cylinder, perpendicular to the center hole. The wheel collar is used to hold a wheel in place on a landing gear wire (axle) by tightening the set screw down on the axle next to the wheel. Ask your local hobby shop (LHS) dealer - he will know exactly what it is.

Re the steering servo, you are correct - it goes on the board where the other two servos are mounted inside the Freedom's body, with the "tube and wire" push rod system as you describe, run on the outside of the boom.

H2
Ejet42 is offline  
Old 07-14-2010, 08:49 AM
  #811  
IZ0JUB
New Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Tuscany Italy
Posts: 6
Default Firebird Freedom to Complain

Dear Sir’s, 5th July 2010

I was disappointed by your reply to my inquiry regarding the OBF (out of box failure) of the “Firebird freedom” plane you manufacture. Most manufacturing companies that I have dealt with over the last 30 years have at least supplied suggestions for repair or replacement by themselves, not just suggest I purchase a replacement.

As I bought, and then mothballed, the “Firebird Freedom” some 3 years ago – beyond the statuary EEC guarantee term of 2 years – I did not expect a replacement but perhaps an engineering solution. There is obviously a design fault as component specification parameters have clearly underestimated the demand on specific component(s) is over heating when the aircraft is used in a normal and proscribed manner. In fact I have not even flown the aircraft, the smell of burning components issued while the unit was still on the test bench prior to use. The over heating caused the electric motor to stop. Had this aircraft been aloft it would have crashed instantly. I had hoped for advice on which component could be upgraded, replaced or paralleled, not simply spend more money on another fuselage that would have a similar problem, as it is clear this issue has not been addressed since its inception.

Since your off hand reply I have researched, through the Internet forums, other peoples comments on this product and you must be aware that this design has some inherent faults above and beyond the one I have highlighted. Many users who have experienced major failures with this aircraft are suggesting buying a cheaper product, manufactured in China from other suppliers, after scrapping this item and not buying another from yourselves as they too have been given no help or support regarding issues raised with your “customer services” department. Fewer customers and no service has been observed, especially as a UK supplier has withdrawn this product from sale as it breaches the “sale of goods act” as it is not “fit for its purpose” as a beginners easy to fly electric aeroplane.

I feel that your company is taking advantage of its location, being in the USA, to ignore and be complacent about complaints, concerning some of your products, from Europe. It is easy to ask individuals to post back items and then either deny receiving them or return products that are either as bad or worse than were originally sent. The impression is that you do not care and are big enough not to have to care about your customer base outside of the USA. If you deny that others have valid complaints about your products and services I suggest you go to these web-sites and see for yourself how negligent and how badly you have treated your end users world-wide.

http://www.wattflyer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=7311
http://www.rcuniverse.com/forum/m_39...tm.htm#3909519
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=523193
http://www.radiocontrolzone.com/show....php?p=2074869

and many, many more in the same vein.

Undisputedly, in the past, your company had a good record for supplying other products that work superbly but this particular model does appear to have slipped through your normal meticulous quality control systems. It has been suggested that if this was a car it would be classed as a “lemon”.

It would be a courtesy, on your behalf, to take my small complaint seriously and suggest remedial repairs or upgrade to the motor board control that I, as a retired radio-electronics engineer, may under take to rectify the inherent problem under discussion.

It is also possible to rectify some of the publicity damage by placing a page on your web-site explaining how many of the faults with this aircraft can be resolved, without having to resort to forums and associations, for help that you could simply provide. This would go a long way to restoring the “radio-control enthusiasts” confidence in your company and this product and possibly going some way to restoring your company’s reputation and that of your home state of Illinois.

Yours Sincerely,



c.c to Champaign Chamber of Commerce, Governor of Illinois, Huffington post.

Last edited by IZ0JUB; 07-14-2010 at 09:07 AM.
IZ0JUB is offline  
Old 07-14-2010, 01:25 PM
  #812  
Ejet42
Member
Thread Starter
 
Ejet42's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Baton Rouge, LA
Posts: 170
Default

Nicely worded ...... and accurate! Horizon has NEVER stood behind this one, and it's a shame.
Ejet42 is offline  
Old 07-20-2010, 03:51 PM
  #813  
IZ0JUB
New Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Tuscany Italy
Posts: 6
Default Thank You and Help Please!!

Thank you for your kind words and support for the Firebird Freedom. No surprise in the fact that I have not heard anything from Hobby Zone the manufacturers!!!!!

As a retired radio comms engineer I have decided to "have a go" at modifying the wings as per your instructions. However - before letting lose with a knife on those foam wings I wanted to make certain that all the measurements are marked on the TOP of the wing not underneath. Do you have any photographs of the wings you modified please?

Thanks, Mike, IZ0JUB, Tuscany, Italy.
IZ0JUB is offline  
Old 07-20-2010, 05:48 PM
  #814  
Ejet42
Member
Thread Starter
 
Ejet42's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Baton Rouge, LA
Posts: 170
Default

Hey Mike,

Please refresh my memory if it was I that mentioned modifying the wings. I know in a reply some time back, I discussed increasing the tail surface area - Is that to what you refer, or was it someone else's post?

Henry (aka Ejet42)
Ejet42 is offline  
Old 07-20-2010, 06:17 PM
  #815  
IZ0JUB
New Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Tuscany Italy
Posts: 6
Default Help Please FF?

Hi Henry,

This is what you posted:

First, measure the hight of each trailing edge wing tip while holding the main section of the wing flat on a flat surface. They should be the same. Log this height. The following procedure will allow you to "scribe the wing such that the tip can be "rolled" upward in a smooth transition creating wash-out.

Beginning at the trailing edge wing tip, measure 7" in and place a mark "A" on the trailing edge. Then on the leading edge where the wing tip curve begins, place a mark "B". Draw a line "AB" between these two marks. Note: this line will be slanted inward from the leading edge inward, making approximately a 60 degree angle with the trailing edge. Then measure about 1" from "B" along the tip, make mark "C" and draw line "AC". Repeat the 1" interval for points "D", and "E", drawing lines "AC"; "AD" and "AE". Using a hobby knife, cut the top covering of the wing ONLY. DO NOT CUT THROUGH THE WING. Now take a pocket screwdriver (blade) and drag it through the cuts numerous times, compressing the wing foam. Carefully "roll" the wing up forcing the wing tip to bend upward, evenly along all four lines (cuts) - we want to get a smooth curl creating about 1" rise from the original trailing edge wing tip height ON EACH WING. Note: curl (wash-out) must be the same on each wing. If they weren't the same initially, pick the lower beginning measurement and make the wings identical.

While holding the desired 1" wash-out in the wing apply some pre-cut strips of clear package tape (approx. 2" wide) across the scribed lines. This will hold the new shape, and you don't even have to remove the decals!

If your Freedom had bad tip stall tendencies, this will make a significant difference.

Thanks, Mike.
IZ0JUB is offline  
Old 07-21-2010, 02:57 AM
  #816  
Ejet42
Member
Thread Starter
 
Ejet42's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Baton Rouge, LA
Posts: 170
Default

Hey Mike,

Thanks for the refresher. At the time, this "seemed" to work, but that was the only one we did. There are a lot of "fixes" and "recommendations" in this thread that had some effect, but nothing that I know of really worked as well as adding 1 oz. of Pb (lead fishing weights) at the very front of the ship (from memory now - I'm currently out of town and don't have a Freedom to look at). If memory serves, you can remove the forward most styrofoam which will give access to a small (female) cavity that holds the rubber nose in place. Try to fit as many lead fishing weights in said cavity as you can. Another method will be to place some metal washers or coins (again about 1 oz.) flat against the plastic right behind the rubber nose (inside the plane). All of this will shift the CG forward.

Then, I would get a 1500-1800 mAh 3S LiPo battery for power. Fitting it in may be a little challenge, but I used the 1750 mAh Rhino 3S (Hobby King - Hong Kong) and it fit in a 45 deg. "reclining" position (all styrofoam removed). In time, this may be detrimental to the initernal electronics, but they should hold out for a while. I would avoid running long full throttle bursts, but to get off the ground and then cutting back to half throttle or so seemed to work well at the time. We have several of these still flying, but all have been converted to standard receivers and servos after the original electronics failed.

Should you elect to try this, I guarantee you will really like the power. The brushed motor works well, but will eventually fail. When this happens, you can get a 150-200 watt CD Rom motor and mount it externally (where the prop currently is) and continue flying (obviously with a standard receiver, brushless ESC and 9g servos (mixer will be required for the V-Tail, but this is usually a feature included in the transmitter - again Hobby King for all airborne equipment). Side note: The little 9g HXT900 servos are VERY inexpensive and VERY good!

To start off, I would take it one step at a time as listed above. The additional nose weight would be first, followed by the 3S battery if the weight is too much to fly the plane.

Actually, the low power, subsequent low air speeds and aft located factory CG contribute more to the poor flying of this ship, and are all rectified by the additional weight and LiPo.

Let me know what you think.

Henry
Ejet42 is offline  
Old 07-21-2010, 11:32 AM
  #817  
IZ0JUB
New Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Tuscany Italy
Posts: 6
Default Thank You

Hi Henry,

Firstly thank you so much for your prompt reply and list of mods. I did think about fitting a new design of larger wings - maybe? I'm busy at the moment with visitors so may look at this as a Winter project.

Thanks again for your support.

Cheers, Mike.
IZ0JUB is offline  
Old 07-21-2010, 04:38 PM
  #818  
IZ0JUB
New Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Tuscany Italy
Posts: 6
Default Potential Electric Short Circuit in Firebird Freedom

I decided this afternoon to look inside my FF and look at the electronic layout through the eyes of a radio comms engineer. It hit me that the carbon fiber rod that holds the two wing sections in place is rubbing up hard against the main radio-control printed circuit board. At this point of contact are several soldered components and a high probability that something is going to short out and cause major control problems.
To remedy this remove the wing sections and rod and place thick double sided tape up the side of the printed circuit board. Then carefully re-assemble one wing and rod followed by the second wing.

Very bad engineering on behalf of the manufacturer!
IZ0JUB is offline  
Old 07-22-2010, 03:05 PM
  #819  
garybee
New Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 9
Default Stall strips

Do the stall strips work? It looks easy to do and won't add much weight. How about using tungsten instead of lead? Its more dense than lead so you need a smaller piece for the same weight. It can be purchase from "maximum-velocity.com". They have it in different shapes and weights for pinewood derby cars.
Our FBF is still hanging around somewhere, we are working on other projects.
garybee is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
Starmoon
Beginners
51
07-21-2010 07:10 PM
Beginners
23
09-25-2007 02:00 AM
jschall
ParkFlyers
29
09-21-2007 04:59 PM
pjshark
Batteries & Chargers
2
03-13-2007 07:28 PM
psc33
ParkFlyers
11
10-17-2006 08:43 PM

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Quick Reply: Flying Probs with the Firebird Freedom


Contact Us Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.

Page generated in 0.08967 seconds with 13 queries