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Brushless E-Starter Aerobatic Build Project

Old 07-21-2005, 03:01 PM
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Reformed Nitroaddict
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Default Brushless E-Starter Aerobatic Build Project

After finishing my latest kit, the GWS PT-17 and adding brushless power to it, I decided to go back and build another ES only this time do some modifcations to make it a bit more fun. I loved my last one and it really helped me learn how to fly well.

My major goal in this project was to first build a plane that would be relaxing and easy to fly. Next, it needed to have enough power to get me out of trouble and basic aerobatics with ease. Finally, it needed to be able to be stable at both slow and fast speeds and have a decent run time.

This is only my fourth plane I have ever built or flown, so I am still what I would call a newbie at all of this. With that in mind, here is the shopping list I can home with:

E-starter slope glider kit. Himax 2015-4200 brushless motor. 15min epoxy and 1/2oz cloth. Misc wire and better foam wheels. Balsa sheeting for the airlerons.

Lets get starter shall we. Any other tips or questions during the biuild are very welcome.

====================================

To get started on the fuselage - the first things I wanted to do were cut out the battery compartment to allow my 3S Lipo packs to fit, and strengthen the rear tail assembly. Some very minor mods were also made to allow for a tricycle landing gear setup instead of the tail dragger.

Attached, you will find photos showing how the the battery compartment was trimmed and the glassing process for the tail. For the tail, I used several small strips of 1/2oz cloth and 15min epoxy. I then used epoxy to glue the fuse halves together. This was my first attempt at using fiberglass cloth. I thought this would be great practice as I plan on glassing my next plane, the formosa.

I have also attached a photo of the himax motor. I didn't need to purchase an ESC, as I already had an E-flite 20amp laying around.





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Old 07-21-2005, 03:04 PM
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STEP 2

======================================

Next up to bat was the new airleron assembly. Since I wanted the plane to have a greater aerobatic capability than the stock ES, I decided to modify the airlerons.

I removed the stock foam versions, and replaced them with balsa stock trimmed and sanded down. This will give it a much more rigid control surface, allow for a larger surface area, and also give the linkage a much more sturdy grip and remove the slop found in the foam.

In the attached photos, you can see just how much larger the new airlerons are vs the stock ones.

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The next step was to sand the wing and tail surfaces and fill in the mold circles with spackling. Once done, the surfaces were sanded again and paint was applied.

White Tamiya paint was used throughout followed by neon orange on some sections afterwards. This should give some great visability in the sky, and still keep it lightweight, as the lighter colors don't need alot of coverage.

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PART 3:

Painting is complete other than the cowl. I installed the new airlerons and linkage. Rather than use a large servo for the airlerons, I used a micro from JR and fashioned a mount from wood popsicle sticks. Below you will see the wings mounted and the servo.


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Old 07-21-2005, 03:05 PM
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--------------------------------------------------

PART 4:

-------------------------------

Next was the installation of the landing gear. This was done by using the rear mount normally indicated in the instructions as not used. I installed the normal gear in the rear mount as you can see in the photos. I then fashioned a front landing gear wire as such: Look at the first photo.

Finally, everything was epoxied into place and allowed to dry.





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Old 07-21-2005, 03:07 PM
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PART 4:

Well, I got the tail feathers mounted and trued. They came out quite nice. I used some spackling to fill in the gaps, and it came out decent but not perfect. Oh well, it at least looks considerably better than stock.

Here are some photos of the plane wth the wing and cowl placed but not mounted.

You can also see the radio compartment in this photo. I used some double sided tape and some bass wood to mount them in. Very simple yet effective.





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Old 07-21-2005, 03:08 PM
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===================================

Well - The build is complete - here are the final photos:


POSING TIME!!!

============================





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Old 07-21-2005, 03:11 PM
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Went flying today, no wind to speak of finally. Running the 2015-4100 on D Gearing with the 10x7 prop.

Results:

11.1V GWS 1300mah 3sLipo -
WOW!!!! Talk about turning the E-Starter into a different plane! Applied full throttle, gave a lil toss, and she climbed at about a 45-60 degree angle with no intent of slowing down. Good, quick, level flight was acheived at about 70% power and the plane just cut through the air. Had a spectator, so I came down low over the runway at about 20-30 feet, inverted, then applied full down elevator, plane shot straight up with full airleron deflection and two nice rolls. Leveled off after that. Plane will go vertical for about 75-100 feet before running out of juice. Total flight time was 11:45 seconds with no power loss. Imagine that I could probably get about 15mins out of her before LVC.

9.6V Sanyo 730mah 8cell AAA Nimh -
Had to give her a good toss to get enough airspeed to climb, but once she got up to speed, was a marked improvement with this prop and gearing over the C gearing and 10x4.7 prop I was using before. Significant power, great climbing ability. Could sustain about a 30% climb rate at full power. Was able to throttle back to about 90% power for cruising. Total run time was 6:05 with significant power loss towards the end, but still plenty to land nicely. Imagine that a 7-8min flight time could be done if aerobatics were not enjoyed.

8.4V GWS 730mah 7cell AAA Nimh -
This pack was able to fly the plane, but it was tough. couldn't really get enough airspeed to creat the lift needed. She flew, but climb rate was only about 15 degrees and full power was needed most of the time. I think an 11x4.7 prop would really help this pack. Total flight time was 6:50 and still had plenty of power when I landed. Imagine 7-8min flights could be had with a different prop.

Overall - the lipo was just fantastic, came down barely even warm. At 8C she can handle about 10amps, and thats plenty for this plane. At 32.00 - the price is so low, that I can handle the slightly smaller amperage levels. I am definatly going to pick 2 more packs up , so I can run only these and not have to wait for the hour long charging time.

After the maiden flight to get the bugs out - some additional decals were installed, and the wings were clipped 3 inches on both sides to remove the overhand. This made a huge difference.





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Old 07-21-2005, 08:05 PM
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Anthony,

Very nice E-Starter and love the paint job plus the tricycle gear.

Carlos
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Old 07-21-2005, 09:08 PM
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Thanks Carlos - Great flyer too - I think she would be happy with a bit more power though - I would probably recommend the 2025 instead of the 2015 for anyone else considering a build project of this nature.
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Old 08-05-2005, 07:58 AM
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I have an estarter with a himax 2015-4100 and the stock GWS 5.33/1 gear on it with Kokam 3 cell batts with a GWS 10x4.7
it goesstrait up at half throttle and with go fast enough to flutter the foam control sufaces, it wouldnt if they were balsa, i guess i could change them
any way its new i have 3 flights on it and i like iti wish i made it dual alierons servos though because the torque rods wernt bent at all to give you differential and with the servo location being so high over the attachment it acually gives you reverse diff which only worsens the problem by increasing the yaw with alieron input.
i mixed m transmitter alieron to rudder mix with 60% rudder to 100% alieron and its works good that way.
I also made it rubber band hold down win because i wanted it to give if i cart wheel.
i noticed it is easy to lose it on take off and ground loop
i had to be quick on the rudder to catch it.
I have only 4 electric planes right now i have been glow only for 4 years and got my first electric last fall
i love the lack of oil cleaning
the low noise
less vibration on the airframe
and the instant torque upon power aplication
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Old 08-05-2005, 12:56 PM
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it is awesome, isn't it slow? I have the wings on this one attached with rubber bands as well.
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Old 08-05-2005, 09:47 PM
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Yes it is slow.
but i dont mind i got it to have a slow flyer
i mad it brushless because i wanted to have unlimited vertical.
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Old 08-10-2005, 04:36 AM
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Hello Nitro

Very nice E-Starter. I"m on my second one, the first lasted two years
before I re-kited her. Like my first one I use balsa ail. I"m running a Hi-max 2015-5400 on a thunder power 1900 2s pack turning a g 10X8 PROP. On take off I hand lanuch her, I just let her go and she climbs about 50 deg. up. Stright up is not a problem with this setup.

Again that is a great looking plane you built there.
Frank
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Old 08-10-2005, 01:15 PM
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Hey Frank - Thanks alot for the comments. I love the additional roll rate the balsa airlerons provide. I am also running the 2015, but the 4100 KV model and using a 3S lipo.
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Old 08-10-2005, 05:53 PM
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I've got a E-Starter slope soarer and floats lying around waiting to be built. Not sure what I'll use for power yet but it will probably be an outrunner. Wasn't really sure how hard it would be to fly off water but you guys are giving me the confidence to try it!! My first E-Starter had a stock 350 and died due to my not remembering to reverse the ailerons from the model I flew before it on the same radio!! Great flying little airplane though.
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Old 08-10-2005, 06:25 PM
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WW1 Ace - Great thoughts! I have read alot about floats on the E-Starter and the two basic requirements that seem to come up alot are a brushless motor that produces at least 100W of power and a 3bladed prop. They all seem to agree that a two bladed prop small enough to not clip the water doesn't produce enough thrust.

Post some pics when you get it done!!!
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Old 08-10-2005, 11:59 PM
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I think I've got plenty of motor. As far as the three blade prop, isn't the video on eflight-line.com only using a two blade prop?
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Old 08-11-2005, 12:14 AM
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Hello all,
I'm currently building my second E-Starter. I killed the first one when I forgot to raise the antennae on my radio The crash wasn't pretty. Well, actually is was. The first one had balsa ailerons and an Axi 2208/34. Used a 3 cell Tanic and power was unbelievable! Unlimited vertical. I also cut the wing in half and sanded out the diherdral and cut off the tips.

My flying buddies couldn't believe an E-Starter could fly so well. Anyway, I'm going with balsa ailerons again, and cutting out the dihedral. But this time around I'm using an Warp4 4 turn motor. I used the motor mount from my Sky Pilot. Fit perfectly. And it already has the thrust angle built in.

I'll take some pics soon. Reformed Nitroaddict, you said you went with the balsa spars for attaching the wing. Did you beef up the holes in any way?

Steve

Last edited by Doppelganger; 08-11-2005 at 08:41 AM.
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Old 08-11-2005, 01:50 PM
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WW1 - You are correct and I noticed that too, but when asking around, the answer came up that you could probably use a 2bladed prop, but a tri was just alot better. My LHS stocks them, so I wasn't too concerned about availability issues.

dopple - Yes, To remove the dehidral out of my wing without cutting, I sprayed the wing with lots of water then layed two paint cans on each side of the wing and let it dry. It dried with about 70% of the dehidral removed. You can tell the difference from the first couple of pics to the last one with the new stickers and the wings clipped on the sides.

No reinforcements done - holes were made about 3/4 inch below the top of the cockpit.
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Old 08-11-2005, 05:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Reformed Nitroaddict
No reinforcements done - holes were made about 3/4 inch below the top of the cockpit.
Interesting, My second kit had holes pre-drilled. I planned on putting a lot of stress on the wings with aerobatics. Do you fly yours hard? Have you noticed any slop at the holes after a few flights? I'm trying to keep weight to a minimum this time around.

Steve
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Old 08-11-2005, 05:58 PM
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I fly mine pretty darn hard. Outside loops, snap rolls, and hammerheads, all without any problems. It probably has about 50 flights on it by now. Everything has held up great.
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Old 08-11-2005, 08:07 PM
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Thanks RN, Thats one less thing to worry myself about.

Steve
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Old 08-11-2005, 08:09 PM
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No problem bro! Glad I could help!
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Old 08-13-2005, 02:31 AM
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Can you tell me - how did you connect the aileron pushrods to the balsa? Can you take a picture of that? I've noticed my ailerons are getting that "slop" you mentioned.
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Old 08-13-2005, 05:16 AM
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Hi NitroAddic

Goes your E-Starter glide at all? I can cut power and glide for about
50 meters with little loss of altitude. (she needs calm air to do) I hope the one
I'm just finishing flys as good as my old one.

Frank
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Old 08-13-2005, 02:40 PM
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Sundog - Everything is already installed, so I can't take a photo - but to explain it, it is quite easy. I took a very small drill bit and, because of going with the grain, drilled a hole by hand very easily for the torque rod to slide into. I didn't even use any epoxy to secure it. It was plenty snug. If you don't have a drill bit that small, then you can use a toothpick, or some other sharp object that is similar in diameter to the torque rod.

Prop Bender - Yes - It did glide very well until I did the mod of clipping the wings. That increaseed aerobatic performance and speed, but did decrease the glide rate.
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