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  1. #1
    papajeff's Avatar
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    Nitromodels PREDATOR RQ-1B

    Meet the "PREDATOR" UAV! Ohhhhhh.......Yeahhhhhhh! Nitro Models has captured this unusual designed Unmanned Aerial Vehicle(UAV), formerly referred to as a "DRONE" in the old days, and has made this model available to the RC hobby. Since I am basically a little left of center
    and an "OLD DOG" Grandpa who appreciates things that are slightly different, (strange & unusual will do, too) I was pleased to have the opportunity to do a review of this very different BIRD! I just thought to start the process with an informal "build thread" and have the ability of
    getting feedback from the RCU community as the build progresses. Once the build is completed, I will have all of the necessary ingredients to put together the finished review. So, that's my plan........and I hope that it will be of interest. I'll get organized, and get started in a few days.
    For now, here are a few photos which may get the appetite sitmulated.
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  2. #2
    papajeff's Avatar
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    RE: Nitromodels PREDATOR RQ-1B

    Nitro's Predator is kitted as an ARF and all of the components to complete the airframe are included. The packaging is well done and each piece is properly protected, the carton is heavy duty and all parts arrived in excellent condition. The wings, fuselage, V-tail and canopy do look authentic in the matt camo design. The covering really needed no touch-ups with the iron, at all! The landing gear, wheels, hinges, control horns, push rods with sleves, decals and hardware are bagged and included. Yes, there is an instruction manual with adequate photos and a legend with symbols for assembly instructions based on specific sections of the construction process. Nitro is aware that it would be helpful for the manual to have more additional written instructions to go with the photos, yet if the modeler ( assembler, if you like ) pays attention to the assembly sequence, which is numbered 1 - 16, the build should go smoothly.

  3. #3
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    RE: Nitromodels PREDATOR RQ-1B

    Now, just give "Old Dog" Grandpa a chance and I will get the photos on this post one way or the other!!! Ohhhhhhh......Yeahhhhhhhhh!!!!
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  4. #4
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    RE: Nitromodels PREDATOR RQ-1B

    I have been thinking about picking one of these. I too like to have something a little different from the crowd. I will be watching your progress. Any idea on a motor yet?
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  5. #5
    papajeff's Avatar
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    RE: Nitromodels PREDATOR RQ-1B

    ORIGINAL: newjak

    I have been thinking about picking one of these. I too like to have something a little different from the crowd. I will be watching your progress. Any idea on a motor yet?


    Yes, Newjak, I was just about to get to the electronics and thanks for your interest. I did contact the "NITRO GUYS" (Tommy and Shawn) to get their recommendations and was pleased to find quite a selection of accessory items on their web site (www.nitroplanes.com). I did follow their suggestions and used the following Nitro items;

    LI-PO - 3e / 15C /3S1P / 1800mAh
    BRUSHLESS OUTRUNNER - A20-22L / 200w / 924 Kv / operating range 6-14A with burst to 17A
    TOWER PRO ESC - 25A
    SERVOS - 4ea. nitro 9G RC Micro

    In addition, I choose to use Castle Creations Berg 7p full range receiver as I have had excellent results and reliability from these little "gems!"
    For switches, servo and "Y" extensions MPI has an extensive array of items. Their #1570 universal controller switch has solved many issues for
    me and is so easy to install.
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  6. #6
    papajeff's Avatar
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    RE: Nitromodels PREDATOR RQ-1B

    The fuselage is long and narrow except for the bulbous nose (reminds me of W.C. Fields.....never mind unless you are older than dirt, like me)
    which is more than adequate space for the Li-Po and the receiver. The build up balsa is basically reinforced flat stock with formers and proper braces which makes for a very strong and rigid fuselage. The wings and V-tails are the typical stringer and former construction with the covering.
    At this point, I think that some specs. would be in order.

    Nitro Models: Electric Predator B UAV (actually the US Air Force RQ-1B version)
    Electric Sport Scale
    Wingspan: 63"
    Wing area: 372 sq in
    Wing loading: 11.95 oz/sq ft
    Flying weight: 30 oz
    Fuselage length: 36"
    4 Channel with 4 mini servos
    Brushless outrunner motor @200w minimum (my estimation)
    Prop: 9 X 6 SF
    Li-Po: 3S1P / 1800mAh
    Flight duration: 10 - 15 min. with throttle management
    **@90 watts/lb which is perfect for general sports flying with some extra reserve power available**
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  7. #7
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    RE: Nitromodels PREDATOR RQ-1B

    Thanks for the update! As you can see I am keeping a close eye on your progress. I know you stated that the fuse is sturdy , but how about the landing gear support in particular? I have and Eflite MUS and a minipulse XT and they are both week in this area.. Thanks in advance.
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  8. #8
    papajeff's Avatar
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    RE: Nitromodels PREDATOR RQ-1B


    ORIGINAL: newjak

    Thanks for the update! As you can see I am keeping a close eye on your progress. I know you stated that the fuse is sturdy , but how about the landing gear support in particular? I have and Eflite MUS and a minipulse XT and they are both week in this area.. Thanks in advance.
    Hey, good, I really need somone to keep an eye on me cause "OLD DINOSAURS" are sometimes a little off base! Now, to answer your question,
    let me tell you that the internal support structure to secure the main gear legs to, is well done and very sturdy. Also, the pre-bent metal rod type nose gear looks very sturdy. I might add that I really was surprised to find that the fuselage was basically constructed wih balsa sheeting. as
    I had expected to see the typical lightening holes and girder type of construction. But, as I reflected upon it (I do that sometimes) this was an
    excellent design as the fuselage is long and narrow, yet the wings are thin and long (63") which puts the stress directly on the rigid fuselage and the carbon wing rod. Pretty neat, huh???

  9. #9
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    RE: Nitromodels PREDATOR RQ-1B

    I was just on RCG and was reading about some guys having the wings break off in less than perfect landings. Something about the fiberglass wing rod breaking VERY easily. With that size wingspan I'm sure there is alot of stress at the wing root during touchdown especially if you " bounce it in" What do you think?
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  10. #10
    papajeff's Avatar
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    RE: Nitromodels PREDATOR RQ-1B


    ORIGINAL: newjak

    I was just on RCG and was reading about some guys having the wings break off in less than perfect landings. Something about the fiberglass wing rod breaking VERY easily. With that size wingspan I'm sure there is alot of stress at the wing root during touchdown especially if you " bounce it in" What do you think?

    I agree that there would be stress on the epoxy joint at the wing roots during a bouncing, less than perfect landing! Also, the wing roots will be stressed as a dive, loop or pylon type turn were to be exicuted. The carbon rod should distribute that stress (load) evenly along it's length, thus
    slightly relieving the wing root stress. However, I really hesitated to permanently glue the wings to the fuselage and came up with a method to make the wings removeable. I think that you will be interested in this method, which is really no big deal and we should be at that point of the build in a few days or so.

  11. #11
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    RE: Nitromodels PREDATOR RQ-1B

    Well, let's start with hinging the moving surfaces, in this case the ailerons & the "ruddervators" (V-tail). CA style hinges are supplied, but it's
    suggested to discard them and use a new pack of hinges (this is just a case of being carefull). The hinge slots are pre-cut, but just dry fit everything to make sure that all the hinges line up properly. It's best to use a little finger drill to open a small hole in the center of each hinge slot. This will allow the CA to have a better chance of wicking into the entire fiber hinge for a much stronger bond.
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  12. #12
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    RE: Nitromodels PREDATOR RQ-1B

    To insure that these CA style hinges operate freely and effortlessly, without having any of the CA build up on the hinge line, here is a method that works every time. Just grab some of the kids or grandkids crayons and mark the hinge line. You can even "color coordinate" by using the appropriate color crayon.
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  13. #13
    papajeff's Avatar
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    RE: Nitromodels PREDATOR RQ-1B

    Once all the hinges are properly secured and worked up and down, several times to make sure that they move smoothly and freely, we can start the wing servo install. The servo openings in each wing have been pre-cut and covered over with the camo covering, so just run your fingers over the approximate area where they appear to be in the instruction photos and you will surely find them. Once found, the covering can be cut out to expose the servo openings. But I favor another method which is to cut a center slit with your razor knife and use the trim end of your covering heat gun to basically create an "edge covered" opening. Hey, do you think that Pops is getting just a little too.......you know what??????
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  14. #14
    papajeff's Avatar
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    RE: Nitromodels PREDATOR RQ-1B

    To install the wing servos and run the extensions, it's best to have all the parts gathered together. I have had much success using the MPI servo extensions and Y- adaptors and suggest that you use "new" ones rather than some "old" ones that just happen to laying around......know what I mean????? Measure the length of the lead on the servo and then determine what length extensions will be needed. You will find the pre-attached string taped inside the wing, when the servo opening is exposed. Attach the string to the servo connector and "carefully" pull the string from the wing root opening. Now, secure the servos in the openings. I did use the 9G mini servos from Nitro Models and since the wings are somewhat on
    the thin side, the servos just might seem to set up a smidge (a very technical term) high which is just fine.
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  15. #15
    papajeff's Avatar
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    RE: Nitromodels PREDATOR RQ-1B

    As another added precaution, it's suggested to make sure that the servo extensions are securely attached to the servo lead as you surely don't want them to somehow disconnect during some wild manuever, now do you???? I just happend to have some braded fishing line or you can use dentil floss, tape is fine too.
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  16. #16
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    RE: Nitromodels PREDATOR RQ-1B

    Looks good so far. I just came in from a not so stellar day of flying. Nothing a little epoxy can't cure Thanks for taking the time and effort to share your build. It IS appreciated.
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  17. #17
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    RE: Nitromodels PREDATOR RQ-1B


    ORIGINAL: newjak

    Looks good so far. I just came in from a not so stellar day of flying. Nothing a little epoxy can't cure Thanks for taking the time and effort to share your build. It IS appreciated.
    I'm sorry to hear about the need for a little extra epoxy at the end of your day at the flying field! It may give you some comfort to know that,
    for sure, you are not alone! As a matter of fact, "repair epoxy" outsells construction epoxy ten to one! Thank you for your thoughtful comment
    and I am pleased that you are enjoying this thread. I think that you can tell that I am totally enjoying doing it.

  18. #18
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    RE: Nitromodels PREDATOR RQ-1B

    Now that the aileron servos have been installed and the extensions have been pulled thru to exit at the wing roots, I started to prep the fuselage to get ready to epoxy the wings. I dry fit one wing to the carbon rod and then sliped the rod thru the fuselage, drew the outline of the wing root,
    took the wing back off and removed the covering to expose the raw balsa to make a good bond for the attachment of the wing.

    ******FOR WHATEVER THE REASON....I CAN' T SEEM TO GET PHOTOS ATTACHED....SOMETIMES THE RCU SERVERS DO NOT COOPERATE......
    ALL THE WARNING STATES IS "JAVA ERROR"....SO, SINCE I'M OFF TO THE JOE NALL, I'LL JUST HAVE TO CORRECT THIS PROBLEM WHEN I
    RETURN NEXT WEEK.....SEE YA THEN!

    Papa Jeff

  19. #19
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    RE: Nitromodels PREDATOR RQ-1B

    I think that you will be interested in this method, which is really no big deal and we should be at that point of the build in a few days or so.
    I am at that point in the build as well and would be very grateful if you could share your method of making the wings removable.
    What comes down must always go up!

  20. #20

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    RE: Nitromodels PREDATOR RQ-1B

    Chris,

    This is Papa Jeff, but I am using my pals laptop from his motorhome as we are on our way to a
    huge event, here in the US, called the "JOE NALL." When I return, the end of the week, I will be sure to share the method of making the wings detachable. It's really relatively simple, so I would suggest that you skip to the installation of the V-tail, which is well shown in the instruction photos.
    Sorry for the delay, but I'll make up for it when I return.
    RON McGRATH

  21. #21
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    RE: Nitromodels PREDATOR RQ-1B

    Thanks Papa Jeff, I will leave the wings then and there is plenty else to do! Thanks for your prompt response!
    Chris
    What comes down must always go up!

  22. #22

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    RE: Nitromodels PREDATOR RQ-1B

    I built mine but can't seem to get it to fly well. Keeps stalling on me. The CG is set and everything is in order,but it is all over the sky...anyone currently flying one that can shed some insight?

  23. #23
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    RE: Nitromodels PREDATOR RQ-1B

    I dont really know how it should fly because I havnt flown mine yet. I did have to decide on a different motor though because the one I started with (AXI2814/10) put so much weight at the back that I had too add too much lead to the nose. Anyway there are a couple of vids on youtube that show the nitro-pred flying really well. So it should be possible. I have heard suggestions that the CG should be even more forward than the suggested position, and your problem sounds like a CG one to me! What does your model weigh all up?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ng-rR3BxrFE
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X5FR46AgrRs
    What comes down must always go up!

  24. #24
    papajeff's Avatar
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    RE: Nitromodels PREDATOR RQ-1B

    OK, now I'm back from the JOE NALL event (which was absolutely fantastic & quite unbelievable), so we can get going on the Predator build.
    Well, now I can get you those photos from post 18 as we were about to prep for the main wing attachment.
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  25. #25
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    RE: Nitromodels PREDATOR RQ-1B


    ORIGINAL: babenson

    I built mine but can't seem to get it to fly well. Keeps stalling on me. The CG is set and everything is in order,but it is all over the sky...anyone currently flying one that can shed some insight?

    For what it is worth, a 200w outrunner was used with a 25w ESC and the recommended CG was fine....only about 1/2 oz of weight was needed in the nose and the Predator blalanced and flew good!


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