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Fun with the Fundango!

Old 04-20-2007, 03:30 AM
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Franny
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Smile Fun with the Fundango!

Hi All,

I haven't seen a thread on the Great Planes "Fundango" aerobatic park-flyer yet so here is a little quickie build log...

The Fundango is an inexpensive kit for brushed/geared power - three channel T/E/A... It sports a built up wing and tail feathers and a fiberglass tube for a fuselage. The radio is mounted in the wing - pretty standard stuff.

Heaven forbid I should actually build a kit according to instructions, so I performed a few modifications... I substituted a carbon fiber tube for the heavier fiberglass one supplied in the kit. Also, I thought, with all those cool curves that I just couldn't leave the wing tips all sawed off like that so I added a bit there to help with the "cuteness" factor (a very important aspect to all my models). I also added a rudder to make it full house controls, but the biggest mod was the power system. The plans call for a geared/brushed motor and NiCad/NimH batt pack. From everything I read and from flying it in G2/G3, it is WAY under powered and over weight. I decided to scavenge a small 370-size outrunner and use a 900ma 3S Lipo.

I'll go ahead and do this in reverse and post the finished product first and then show my mods. I hope to maiden it this weekend, so I'll post flight photos later. Let me know what you think!

Thanks,

Franny
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Last edited by Franny; 04-20-2007 at 04:32 AM.
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Old 04-20-2007, 03:54 AM
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Default Motor mount

Ok, so the plans call for a gearbox to be mounted above the boom with the motor resting on top of the boom. Well, I thought it might be better to line up the thrust vector with the center line of the fuselage. The problem is mounting to the end of a tube. Also, the CF tube I got from my LHS was a bit smaller than the original and, in fact, slid inside it with a bit of room to spare. So what I did what to cut off a 4" long segment of the original fiberglass tube and mount the motor, battery, ESC, and landing gear to it. That way I could better position it when I got an idea how it was going to balance. That turned out to be a lucky move as the brushless motor is a bit lighter than the spec-ed one. I ended up having to sling the battery under the boom just behind the motor mount and in front of the landing gear just to come close on the balance. The actual motor mount is a plywood disk with mounting holes for the motor back and a single hole in the center which screws into a 1.5" piece of pine dowel pushed and glued into the front end of the fiberglass tube. After I got this whole assembly finished, I still had to come up with a method of attaching the larger tube to the smaller one - especially since it was such a loose fit. On top of that, with the battey location locked down, I needed a way to adjust the CG so here is what I came up with... I cut a 2" wide piece of paper about 8" long. I taped it to the smaller tube on the airplane and began to roll it around the shaft and kept checking until I had a nice snug fit. This got rid of the slop. So, in order to lock the two pieces together, I drilled a hole through from the top - just big enough to accept a small bolt. Then I took the larger tube with the motor mounted on it and routed out a slot with my hole in the center. Then, when I slide it over the fuselage tube and droped the bolt through, I could slide it fore or aft to fine tune the CG. The paper thing was really cool as it is pretty incompressible and does a great job centering the two tubes. Check out the photos...
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Last edited by Franny; 04-20-2007 at 04:38 AM.
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Old 04-20-2007, 03:58 AM
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Default Fin/Rudder Mount

It probably isn't that big a deal, but I was wondering just how I was going to mount this fin to the top side of the fuselage tube and not have it fly off on the first flight. What I came up with was to drill four small holes through the tube and insert a small length of hard dowel. This gave me something for the fin to actually mount to. Check it out...
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Old 04-20-2007, 04:17 AM
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Default Landing gear and servos...

The plans call for the landing to be bent according to the outline in the plans and then cut at the very top and inserted through a couple of holes drilled horizontally through the fuselage. The thought of drilling a hole at perhaps the greatest stress point on the frame kind of gave me the willies. I'm sure it is fine, but I changed it up a bit and kept the gear as one piece, dropping it on the shaft from the top and then lashing it down with that "Glide" dental floss from Crest. That is some really strong stuff! When everything was lined up, I hit it with a bit of thin CA. I attached the cross brace in the same manner.

The servos went in the same place as the plans state but I had to find a home for the rudder servo as that is an addition. No biggie again and it went into the bay just forward of the others with the receiver next to it.

The kit supplied very fine Al tubing to construct the servo linkages from. I felt like I had to be extra careful just picking it up and it would fold if you just looked at it the wrong way - not to mention actually putting it in compression. So I made the aileron linkages out of a bit of flat CF. They are light and super rigid. For the elevator and rudder, I just used a micro pushrod and linkage kit I had. .032 wire I believe and a plastic sheath. I use a few heat-shrink pieces along the fuse and shrunk them down after gluing the sheaths to the fuse boom
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Old 04-20-2007, 04:28 AM
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Default So on to the first flight...

At this point I am wondering if the tail will flutter an bit. There is a bit of flex back there... Also, I am using a smaller 7" prop hoping that it will not have as much adverse torque. I might up it to an 8" or even a 9X4 or something. Finally, I hope that the vastly different top/bottom scheme will help with the orientation. The one in the simulator is really easy to get turned around! The AUW ready to fly is 10.5oz so, about 3oz under weight. With about 85-100W it should be a zesty little flyer. Wish me luck!!

Thanks for reading...

Franny
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Old 04-20-2007, 10:57 AM
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Great thread Franny! Thanks for posting it!
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Old 04-20-2007, 11:18 AM
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Default Fundango Fun!

Hi Franny, Great job on the build and modifications! The telescoping F/G fuselage is clever, you can really fine-tune the C.G. I'm looking forward to seeing it fly, if this wind ever stops here in Denver.
With those short-coupled surfaces and light weight it should turn on a dime!
See you soon!
Ron
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Old 04-20-2007, 11:31 AM
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The plane looks great Franny, good job. After some modifications my GP Yard Stik flew great, I used the supplied fiberglass rod and the tail would twist when turning out of a dive. Even though you would not want it to twist for the best performance it was a lot of fun.

Good luck
SJ
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Old 04-20-2007, 03:59 PM
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Thanks Guys!

Yeah, I think it is going to be really fun. It is a great "in between builds" airplane to get you re-focused on that next project. You could probably build it in one long, rainy weekend. I'm a slacker so I think I spent about two and a half weeks. I was kind of suprised not to see something on it here. I did find a little on some of the "other" sites. Anyway, hopefully others will chime in!

Franny
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Old 04-20-2007, 06:17 PM
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Hi Franny,
Nice build, Thanks for all the added information..
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Old 04-21-2007, 10:22 PM
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Default It Flew Great!

Hi All,

It is a bit of a handful and the winds were a little brisk at times, but the Fundango lived up to its name and was great fun! It is very aerobatic with almost no difference between outside and inside loops! Rolls are great fun as well. The rudder is actually very helpful during coordinated turns. It really is best at 1/2 to 2/3 throttle and can just about be flown in a backyard. Great fun! The color scheme must have worked as I didn't loose the perception of it once. Anyway, here are a few photos. Thanks as always to Ron for the great shots!!

Franny
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Old 04-24-2007, 08:20 PM
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Great job Franny, That looks very nice in the air. Your is the first review with a rudder thats actually useful I have read so well done. I like the way this plane handles at lower speeds and was just right to fly at my small park.
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Old 04-24-2007, 09:12 PM
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Thanks Kosh,

I watched your video to get an idea what to expect. It must be sweet to fly in your back yard!

I think people are expecting something spectacular out of that flat plate rudder. It really is best when used in concert with the ailerons.

I did have some fludder issues but only under power and I think it was due to a bent prop shaft. I swapped out the motor with a little E-Flight 370 and it is purring like a kitten! I'll give it a goe this weekend and see if that solved the problem. Wish me luck! It sure is a fun little thing!

Thanks,

Franny
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Old 04-24-2007, 09:27 PM
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A few of my planes fly much better with about 15% to 20% rudder mixed in into the ailerons. I guess most expect 3D results when the rudder was added and were disappointed with the results. I can see how it would add some extra fun to a already FUN plane. That 370 should be a blast, Good luck and keep us posted please.
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Old 04-24-2007, 11:06 PM
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Will do! Thanks,

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Old 04-25-2007, 01:09 AM
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Congrats Franny on your flight,

Looks great in the air.. awesome photos too...
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Old 04-25-2007, 03:04 AM
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Thanks Bruce,

Can't wait to try out the new motor this weekend.

5"-10" of snow tonight just south of here but I don't think it will get us here in Denver... Nutty weather! Tomorrow close to 60 deg. The weather for this weekend is supposed to be great.

Franny
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Old 04-28-2007, 02:24 AM
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Default never did well till outies& lipo's

Franny::Been fly'in mine for near ten years now but she never did well till outies& lipo's came out, now she's a blast, your bub stevecooper
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Old 04-28-2007, 03:02 AM
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I loved the green stripe across the wing that then continues across the stab. I've never seen that done. I like it!
You've got a real knack for covering planes. All your planes knock me out. Well done! You go, girl!
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Old 04-28-2007, 03:43 AM
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Thanks Guys!!

I'll let you know how it goes this weekend!

Thanks,

Franny
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Old 11-26-2007, 10:37 PM
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Hi All,

Just an update on the 'Dango... I have been flying it quite a bit actually. I did up the battery to 1320mAH three cell and I added a tailwheel! The skid just wasn't really working. I also swapped out the main gear with a carbon-fiber deal with large light wheels. Take-offs and landings are MUCH better now. That little wire job wans way to flimsy and would pancake on every landing.

The power on this thing is insane and I can get 10-12 min flight times. It slows down to a crawl with no hint of tip stalls at all.

This little guy has gotten hours and hours of use. Totally fabulous and super fun!!

Franny
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Old 11-26-2007, 10:45 PM
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Always great to hear that, I bet you even have some ground handling now and can steer it with the rudder. Sounds like a great match on the battery and motor with the flight time so your set for all kinds of fun ahead.
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Old 11-26-2007, 10:57 PM
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Hi Kosh,

It does have better handling and it rolls better too! With a blast and full rudder it will turn pretty well. It is still a pretty good weather vane though...

Now if I can just get a camera mounted on it... Hmmm...

f
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Old 01-12-2008, 12:37 AM
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Franny,
I'm building the Fundango and would like to duplicate your rounded wing-tip mod.
Did you cut the radius from balsa sheeting or did you use the wet stick lamination method as is used in the tail sections?
I agree that the sawed off wing-tips look awkward.
Thanks for any advice.
Bud
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Old 01-12-2008, 04:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Franny View Post
Hi Kosh,

It does have better handling and it rolls better too! With a blast and full rudder it will turn pretty well. It is still a pretty good weather vane though...

Now if I can just get a camera mounted on it... Hmmm...

f
Hey Franny,
do you think the Dango can lift a camera...? enough wing area etc
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