Last weekend the inevitable happened – I crashed my Brio 10. Though overall the plane flew quite nicely, its bad tendency to snap with elevator input finally got the best of me and it went into the ground. I had about 30 flights on it, and no matter how docile I was with it, it always felt like it had a mind of its own. Though repairable, I decided to pull all the electronics out and drop it into a new plane. And what better plane than the E-Flite Mini Showtime 4D. It’s a direct fit for the Park 480 1020 kv motor, S75 servos, 40A ESC, and 3S TP 2200 V2 battery. What sold me on this plane was a single sentence of a review over at RCGroups.com where they stated that the plane had “no tendency to snap out” no matter how much elevator input they gave it, and above all things, that’s what I wanted. Not to mention the super-large wind area as compared to mt Brio 10. This plane is more geared for 3D and not so much of a pattern flyer like the Brio 10 was. It should be able to stay afloat at much lower air speeds and hopefully won’t be dropping a wing every time I bank around a turn at half throttle.
The build went together with only a few minor hiccups. The major two issues I had were the lack of necessary parts to complete the plane. They shorted me two of the CF rods for the rear stab as well as the little 1/2″ spacer for the spinner. I managed to fabricate a spacer (out of an old 5×5 prop) to get the spinner to work properly and I stole a couple of CF rods from my Great Planes Extra. But still, no one likes having to fabricate their own parts with a Dremel or steal parts from other kits to get a new plane up and running. This seems to be common complaint with E-Flite planes on these very two issues. You think they would have figured it out by now? Maybe I got an older kit? Either way, E-Flite should fix the problem. (I never did get the spinner to work on my Brio for the same reason).
Other than that, the plane was a lot of fun to put together and was accomplished in just a few hours over a 2 day period. The other reason I picked this plane is it just looks so stinking awesome. I love the color scheme, much cooler than the Extra 260 (which was the other plane I debated). The clear undercoat really adds to the planes looks too. It’s got a massive rudder that sits out far behind the elevator and has a steerable tailwheel so taxing around should be a breeze.
While setting up my radio and getting all the control surfaces adjusted, I noticed my S75 servo on the elevator was clicking at max deflection. I turned down the EPA a bit as it was just barely on the edge of pushing the elevator beyond its physical max deflection capability. I think I am going to replace just that one servo with a Hitec HS-65HB servo mainly because I did kind of a crappy job installing the elevator into the stab and it’s pretty stiff going up and down. The servo appears to be having a harder time moving it. I shouldn’t have glued those hinges so tight, but oh well, not much I can do about it now. I think the S75 may work fine, and for the rudder and ailerons they should be fine. Those hinges all worked out really well and move super smoothly and freely. Just that stinking elevator I made too tight. So an HS-65HB has 25 in.oz. of torque which only weighs 4.1 grams more should do the trick. I could use the tail weight anyway, since it’s nose heavy right now. CG is about 3.75″ instead of the recommended 4.5″. I really worry about the elevator servo more than the others, because if that one fails, I’m pretty sure the plane would be toast, but any of the others go, I feel like I could still bring it down in one piece. So if I have to have one servo not fail for sure, it’s the elevator. And $25 seems like a small investment to make on what could potentially be a fatal first flight.
For the prop I’m starting out with an APC 12x6E and we’ll see how she flies and go from there. I know I’m looking for something that will allow the plane to fly a little slower than the 11x7E I was flying with my Brio 10. After running some static tests I can say that little Park 480 motor can move some air! Swinging a massive 12″ prop it has no problems just cranking it out. I really need to get a power meter to see what kind of power I’m really getting, but I’ll just stick with the recommended prop settings for now and hope for the best.
Here’s a few pics of the build. Maiden will probably come next week. Until then…oh and one other thing, Happy Father’s Day!