Tag Archives: ARF

Almost Ready to Fly models.

Rebel Ready To Fly Again

The guys at Motion RC took care of me after my Rebel crash and provided me with $50 store credit to offset damages, which more than covered the cost of a new fuselage kit.

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Everything else was salvageable, so this was the only replacement part necessary for the plane itself.  For piece of mind, I will scrap the battery back from the crash since it appears a bit damaged. So in the end, my only out-of-pocket cost is under $30. Not bad.

Reassembly was easy. The fuselage kit comes complete with plastic for the nose gear, a new canopy, tail and nose cones, and even servo extension cables pre-installed, so this was mostly a bolt together job. The nose gear strut and the pushrod connecting the nose gear steering servo were both slightly bent, but easy to straighten.

After reconnecting the ESC to the fan, I wrapped the connections tightly with electrical tape. That should keep them together.

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Since I had everything out on the bench, I decided to replace the “T” style battery connecter with an EC3 (I don’t the way the “T” connectors spark when you mate them). The EC3 was tight fit through opening in the fuselage, but with a little coaxing, it squeezed through.

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Of course, this meant I had to pull back the pre-installed servo extensions to make room. I was a little concerned about getting the throttle connector and servo extensions back through this tiny hole, but using a length of nylon pushrod sleeving, it was easy to fish them through.

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Everything else then was just bolted/glued in place. Since there was a small crack in the original canopy, I decided to use the new one provided with the fuselage kit. Like last time, I carved a small bit of foam from the underside of the canopy to allow for battery clearance. The plane rebalanced with about 1.3 oz in the nose (like last time).

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For good measure, I will re-verify all my control throws, but there is no reason to expect anything has changed since the wing and tail were undamaged and no changes were made to the electronics. Here she is ready to re-maiden.

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Now I just need the weather to cooperate!

Crashed My Freewing Rebel Today :(

Well after a very successful maiden last week, I had a very unsuccessful third flight today. After about 2 minutes in the air this morning, the EDF quit in flight and I ended up “lawn-darting” her in.

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The battery had plenty of charge left so it wasn’t a brown out due to a low battery. I could still move the control surfaces, so I know it wasn’t due to loss of radio signal. I assumed either the motor fried or something went wrong with the ESC.

After getting her home and doing a bit of disassembly, I discovered that the motor to ESC wires had come loose!!! How does this happen in flight? They must have been loose from the factory.

Unfortunately, the connection is hidden when the fan unit is installed and I never thought to remove the fan to check the connections. After-all, I never had anything go wrong on bench tests before her first flight. It just never occurred to me to even think about checking the ESC connections.

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Well lesson learned! From now on, I will be double-checking all connections and mechanical joints on any ARF I happen to buy.

To make matters worse, I had a new 4S 3000 mAh pack (only used once before) in the plane that got a bit crunched too. The pack is deformed and feels a bit squishy (not like its puffed), so I think I am going to trash the pack. It’s not worth the $37 to risk fire with a physically damaged pack.

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I sent pictures and a description of what happened to Motion RC (where I bought the plane). Maybe they will take pity on me and help me out here. If not, I can pick up a new fuselage for $50 and get her back in the air without too much trouble.

Maidened My Freewing Rebel EDF Today

My wife bought me the Freewing Rebel EDF for Christmas this past year. I have been slowly building up the courage to get her into the air and finally took the plunge today. I had two great flights despite all my nerves and shaking hands – thank god for expo!

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She’s definitely faster than anything else I’ve flown, but really stable and well behaved. Take-offs were uneventful, except she feels a bit sluggish until it picks up speed, and needs a bit more take-off roll than any of my prop planes. In the air, she was very predictable and responsive on low rates. I didn’t do anything fancy, but never felt like I was out of control, and at full throttle, she was tearing up the sky! With half flaps, landings are a breeze, really no harder than my old T-28. I did not try full flaps. Flight times are a bit short, I am getting about 3-1/2 to 4 minutes with a 3000 mAh 4S battery, with ending capacity at about 20%.

This was my first Freewing plane, and overall, I am very impressed with the quality. I did end up fussing with the elevator a bit. The stock setup had two pushrods, one for each elevator side inserted into a single hole in the servo arm. While I am sure that this would work fine, I was having a hard time getting both sides of the elevator to travel identically and could only het about 10mm total travel (vs the 16mm recommended).

To address this, I made up a new custom pushrod set by silver soldering two wires together and replacing the clevis links with Du-BRO micro links . I also slightly trimmed the foam ahead of the servo to provide clearance for the pushrods. Most of the control surfaces on this plane use low friction nylon hinges, but the elevator is a standard foam hinge, and felt a bit stiff. So, for peace of mind, I replaced the stock servo with Hitec metal gear servo. Finally, I used a slightly longer servo arm to get a bit more travel. All together, these small changes got the elevator travel up to the full 16mm, aligned, and moving smoothly.

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The battery compartment is a very tight fit. The receiver and wires fit, just barely, behind the battery cavity. I needed to trim a small amount of foam from the front in order to fit the pack without mashing the battery wires.

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With the 3000 mAh battery, the plane needed about 1-1/2 oz of weight in the nose to balance. Before gluing on the nose cone, I cut a small hole in the nose, then mixed some lead shot into a bit of 30 minute epoxy and “pouring” it into the hole.

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The only other fussing required was getting the aileron throws set properly. The right aileron had about 3-4mm more travel than the left. Since there are no empty spots on the 6 channel receiver, there is no choice but to join the servos on a “Y” connector. There is no way to trim one servo separately from the other. I’m not sure if the problem is with the servo, or (more likely) with the position of the control horns relative to the hinge line, but to fix the issue, I simply moved the right aileron pushrod to the outer hole on the control horn, and left the left in the middle hole. Travel is now aligned to within 1-2mm.

I probably am fussing a bit more than needed, but fussing is what I do!

I also got in a bunch of flights with my trusty ParkZone F4F today. This continues to be my no-fuss, no-muss plane. Like their tagline says “Just Fly”.

On the other end of the spectrum is my E-flite Hurricane. This is my “repair after every flight” plane. I had one fairly good flight with her today, but landed a bit hard and pulled the right landing gear mount out of the foam (again). No damage to the foam and, in truth, this is working the way it is supposed to (easier to glue the mount back into the foam than it is to repair a broken wing!).