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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Dare to enter "The Dark Side"

The refinement of batteries and brushless motors in recent years makes this element of our hobby , very attractive to RC flyers.
The electric revolution is here to stay, so at some stage we all have to embrace it..serious.
This clean(no oil) eco friendly form of power flying with its low noise really sits sandwiched between the power flyer(IC internal combustion)as it is now known and pure gliding .It is one of the fastest growing aspects of the RC flying hobby.
The repeated comments received about the "dark side" really stem from a lack of knowledge of this whole new world of propulsion ,which can have synergy with our form of silent flying.
I for one have very little knowledge of this (dark art) and listen to the guru's in awe and amazement.
They speak a wierd langauge of er ..cell balancers, watts, kv rating, C rating, li-poly , A123, nimh and watts per dmsq . Makes no sense, at all ,rather mysterious.
The local hobby shops are full of ready to go off the shelf electric powered gliders, and at BERG we see many new pilots comming out to the field with this type of aircraft, these are our future pure glider pilots . We welcome the people who start out flying this way.
They buy the box of tricks but know not what makes it tick. (fly)

So getting my feet wet ,but not actually jumping in I bought a cheap electric setup, the first motor emitted , the "deadly blue smoke" but this after a few very promising flights.
I accept I am an old dog and this is a new trick. Who said ........

I replaced the motor with a small AXI outrunner and have had several more flights with no smoke.

Recent trips to the slope (Sungazer) really convinced me , on the friday before the event Ken Kearns with his electric "assisted" glider made a one hour flight with several small motor runs of 60 seconds in total , usually in patches when the lift just died. You can see the folding prop of the motor on Kens Skylark(electric).

So project electric no 2 is on the building board,
a 2 mtr rudder elevator sailplane with a fairly hot in-runner motor / folding prop and gearbox

In this photo I have started the fuselage construction and want to make sure the gearbox/motor is going to all fit.

Traditional wing constuction with balsa ribs and cap strips, centre panel complete , tips built together and cut in half later.

In this photo the 2mtr wing is complete and covered with monokote it weighs in at 264grams
If I can keep the fuselage light it should climb well.
Piet I have a strong feeling will also go this route , after borrowing an electric and almost winning the f5j event at the recent SA nationals .He flew Tonies 2mtr Tsotsi , with and E-FLITE 10 brushless motor to good effect

So the dark side will be exposed in a series of steps first the the small electric fun fly, then the electric 2 mtr with a hot in-runner/ gearbox and folding prop combination and finally the big 8kg Ventus with the AXI 4130 pushing the CAM 16x10 prop which will be used initially on the slope to sustain flight when the lift stops.
Really quite simple ..unless we have that dreaded blue smoke again, I now also tend to read the instruction booklets BEFORE I actually connect up anything and read up as much as possible on
mighty internet (which was also a tool of the dark side , American military actually).
On the previous power pod post(dig the P's) Bruce asked about the ESC electronic speed controller , he had one that did not cut off the motor at a predetermined voltage and lost his plane due to radio failure/loss of voltage. This was a problem on the older units , on the Ventus/ Axi I have used the recommended JETI 70 amp opto esc but will power the receiver and servos with their own battery pack.

Dabbling in the dark side????? no not really rather exploring into the leading edge light.
Try learn something new everyday it keeps your brain healthy and exercised.
I will post some pictures if these things actually get of the ground
Cheers for now,

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