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A LiPo Brushless Wing Dragon 4

Old 07-18-2010, 06:20 PM
  #76  
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A break in the weather allowed the second flight of the Super Lightweight with the key Fob camera on board.
Just a short flight to check that the reduction in wing incidence had done the trick.

Despite my best efforts the motor/prop combination remains slightly out of balance hence the slightly wavy picture under power.
Subsequent flights showed that the weight and drag of the even tiny Key Fob cam took the edge off the performance!

A solar power version would be interesting. 80 watts is possible from about 3oz of panels but they would cost about 600 ($900)!
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Old 07-29-2010, 06:19 PM
  #77  
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Just to complete the story I was certain the prop was properly balanced so it had to be the motor. As it was completely "built in" it required a bit surgery.
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Fortunately there was enough motor cable to work on the motor without disconnecting it. Removing the circlip allowed the shaft and bell to be removed. Holding the bearing end of the shaft in my lathe chuck showed the other end was running out by .002" i.e. the motor shaft was bent, no wonder it vibrated! A few firm taps with a soft hammer and it was running true.
The motor re-installed.
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It is now virtually vibration free.
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Old 08-01-2010, 01:02 AM
  #78  
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The motor and prop does not look very elegant so here is the last mod.
A hollow "spinner" made of Depron.
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Really just cosmetic. I doubt it will make any difference at all.
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Old 08-05-2010, 04:15 PM
  #79  
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quorneng, your precision with Depron is darn near magic. I still can't believe that you expended all that previous effort on a Wing Dragon, a blow-molded slug of an airframe! You put some of that fantastic build talent into a real two meter plane and you'll be able to stay airborne for a week with no power input at all!
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Old 08-05-2010, 07:13 PM
  #80  
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I can assure you that the Super Lightweight is 'no slug of an airframe' but then that was the whole point of the exercise. Not to make the best plane I could from scratch but to steadily improve on what I started out with.

I now have 3 complete Wing Dragon size planes hanging on my wall.
One can fly at 30 mph but land in its own length, the second can fly for 2 hours, the third could in theory climb vertically to over 4,000 ft whereas the original Wing Dragon could just about manage 7 or 8 minutes - and I thought that was pretty impressive when I bought it!
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Old 11-03-2011, 03:45 PM
  #81  
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Man, you gotta get rid of those el cheapo E-max motors. The rough bearings alone could account for a few percent performance difference, and a better balanced motor could bring you much longer flight times (not that you need it) and better battery efficiency overall.
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Old 11-03-2011, 06:51 PM
  #82  
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E-max cheap? Yes but I have had no trouble. The oldest is over three years old and flown for many tens of hours. I still cannot feel any play in the bearings.

Perhaps by now the balls and tracks have been polished smooth!
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Old 11-12-2011, 11:10 PM
  #83  
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The weather here is amazing for mid November, blue sky ,quite warm and almost no wind - so I thought I would see if the original Depron wing was as nice to fly as I remember.
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It is!

With its broad chord and classic Clark Y section it floats about in serene style and is so slow and docile it can be flown quite happily close to the ground with what might be described as a "low" circuit!
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Old 12-30-2011, 03:57 PM
  #84  
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This is a continuation to what was probably the least successful of my 40" Wing Dragon derivatives.
With a big 5000mAh 2s battery this version flew for an amazing 1hr 36mis non stop giving an average consumption of just 23W.
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With the same wing and battery, a low kV motor and a big prop coupled with a bit less weight this should have been good for 2 hours.
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But it wasn't! The prop/motor combination was not ideal and stability issues precluded any serious endurance attempt.
Other plane builds then took priority but now is time for a complete rebuild.
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The wing and tail will be used but in a 'pusher' configuration with a much smaller motor, prop & ESC. The total weight should also be a bit less at 16oz.
The new drive line under test.
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The 1500kV Blue Wonder on a 7x6 prop only draws 6A at full power hence the small ESC.
At 2.5A it still gives a good 2oz thrust so as long as the airframe has a lift/drag ratio of 8:1 or better it should manage 2 hours but to do so it will be flying on just 18W/lb!

We shall see.
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Old 01-02-2012, 08:47 PM
  #85  
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A bit of an unusual technique but as I already had the boom and tail the new fuselage & pylon were built from that.
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With the pylon part skinned the wing goes on.
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Note the pylon spar flanges go right up through the wing to pick up the motor mounting.
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Everything was built 'just big enough'. A decision I rather regretted as I squeezed the radio, ESC and all the wiring into the front part of the pylon but it is now complete.
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The battery occupies the complete forward section of the fuselage.
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The battery rated at 75A but as I only need 6 I saved a bit of weight and replaced the heavy leads and Deans with a JST connector.
With the battery it now weighs 14.2oz (403g) so it is over 1oz lighter than the 'unsuccessful' tractor design.
Just need some calm weather to test it!
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Old 01-11-2012, 07:20 PM
  #86  
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Being mid winter suitable days for such a lightweight are few but I have managed a couple of test flights.
Not alot of wind but surprisingly turbulent non the less.

These are early tests to explore handling and minimum power levels.
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Old 01-16-2012, 01:04 PM
  #87  
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A bit more testing but really too cold (for me!) to attempt real endurance stuff.
It does handle reasonably well allowing some 'low' flying - good for the video - but normally it is kept to a good 50'. It is even mildly aerobatic!

It interesting how much further it slides landing on frosty grass.
Longest flight so far 46 minutes but it was the cold not the battery that made me stop!
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Old 01-18-2012, 10:07 AM
  #88  
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Originally Posted by quorneng View Post
...this version flew for an amazing 1hr 36m non stop...
You have got to be kidding me. A few weeks ago I flew my Spare Parts out at the golf dome on a 350 mAH 2S pack for over 22 minutes, and I thought I was going to fall asleep doing so. I was looking around for somebody else to take the radio, but nobody wanted the duty. How the heck did you manage it for an hour and a half? And you want to go even longer with a rebuilt plane?!?
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Old 01-18-2012, 04:53 PM
  #89  
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Some Useless Geek
When I found the lightweight Depron versions of the original NIMH brushed plane had both a considerable improvement in both performance and endurance it set me thinking just how long could I make a 40" span plane go for.

2 hours is not so long. To get my Silver C badge for full size gliders I flew up and down a ridge in Scotland for 5 hours!
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Old 01-30-2012, 08:50 AM
  #90  
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Hey, being in the airplane isn't the same experience at all. I can see five hours of sailplane flying if the weather is really cooperative. But didn't you have to go pee immediately upon landing?
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