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BJ CRAFT INVITATION (Electric)

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Old 05-15-2015, 07:09 AM
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Default BJ CRAFT INVITATION (Electric)

I was fortunate enough to receive a Invitation from BJ Craft and thought I would do a build thread on it. I feel this is the nicest pattern plane BJ has built so far and to me, this one has the best color scheme. At least for my eyes.

I think many may think that because it is made for glow or electric that it may not be as light. However, it is very light, just like all of BJ's other models.
And actually, with the removable chin cowl, I feel that mounting the motor was much easier. The ESC I located in the chin cowl area, so it was very easy and hides out of the way which was very nice also. This is not your normal glow plane that is converted to electric and has a weight penalty. This is just as light as all the other electrics BJ Craft has built as you will see.

The package arrived nicely with no damage. Always a great way to start such a beautiful plane.

Lets get to the weights.

Landing gear package with mounting bolts 123g
Wheels, pants with mounting bolts 55g
Fuse 1227g
R stab 76g
L stab 72g
R wing 292g
L wing 295g
Canalyzer 75g
Wing tube kit 82g
Stab tube kit 21g
Stab fences 19g
Misc other parts I didn't weigh as they were still attached to the plywood or other things.

My all up weight with a TP 2 cell 1320 and Zippy 5000s........ 4769g

I will show many pictures of how I built it, and setup tips as I get some flights on it. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask.
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Old 05-15-2015, 07:22 AM
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Default Unpacking



The box showed up nicely from BJ's factory with 1 small little hole in the plwood. Luckily, BJ thinks ahead and double skins the sides of the box. Nothing inside had any damage at all.
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Old 05-15-2015, 07:29 AM
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Default Unpacking

Remove the screws (4) on both sides to get the fuse out of the box


Everything was nicely wrapped for protection with foam and plastic
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Old 05-15-2015, 07:32 AM
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Default Inside of fuse

A few pics of the inside of the bare fuse. Same good quality as normal.

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Old 05-15-2015, 07:36 AM
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Default Chin Cowl

These 2 screws secure the chin cowl. Easily removable through the canopy. No need to flip the plane over.

The rear of the chin cowl is secured with 2 pins. Sorry the pic is a bit blurry.
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Old 05-15-2015, 07:43 AM
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Default Landing Gear

One of the first things I generally do is install the landing gear


Long bolts to the outside, short bolts to the inside. This was a very easy way to mount these with the removable chin cowl! I will cut the bolts off to be flush later on.
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Old 05-15-2015, 07:49 AM
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Default Tailwheel

Next I install the tail wheel.

Drill the appropriate size hole, test fit the nylon threaded bolt. Then cut the head off the nylon bolt.

It will obviously secure to the rudder later on.
I glued in the nylon bolt recessed a little. You want to keep the wheel collar off the fuse, but so that the aluminum tail wheel assembly holder doesn't have any friction when you turn the tail wheel. It should move freely as to not bind when moving the rudder.
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Old 05-15-2015, 08:06 AM
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Default Motor mounting

Just like any Plettenberg Advance install. I use the F3A Unlimited mounts. Its obviously fairly easy to install the motor with these mounts. I did put a full plywood donut in this install, backed with a smaller plywood piece to hold the t nuts. I cleaned the plywood up around the front mount and replaced the bolts later to make it neat and tidy. Just took some pics along the way when I remembered to take pics.
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Old 05-17-2015, 07:59 AM
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Thanks Chris it's pretty cool that your flying this plane.
I have a shipment due in soon on some Invitations.
If anyone wants to get on the list call me at
800 591 2875
I'll arrange that you get one soon.
Thanks, Mike Mueller
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Old 05-18-2015, 09:25 AM
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Default Mounting the ESC

So I chose to mount the esc in a little different of a spot that where BJ intended it. I wanted a cleaner look than normal seeing as I had that nice chin cowl. BJ does include a precut piece of plywood called the ESC support to mount the ESC, I still utilized it, I just mounted it different. I obviously mounted the ESC support plate to the bottom of the fuse at the chin cowl opening as seen in the picture.


Here are a few pics of where I mounted the ESC.



To complete the ESC mounting, I hooked it up the to receiver, and installed a shorting plug keeping the wires as short as possible. Sometimes its better to wait until you know where the battery is going to be before doing this.

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Old 05-18-2015, 09:42 AM
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Default Mounting the wheels and wheel pants

This is a fairly easy process the way BJ builds these and as long as you get it tight, it will be hassle free. Well, it is for me.
You will start with the following pieces.


Take the bolt, pass it barely through the wheel pant. Place two of the small plywood donuts on the bolt from the inside. Then place the tire on the bolt.


BJ intends for you to the place the wheel collar that comes in the wheel mounting bolt kit. I opted to use the 3rd and 4th lock nut that he also provides. So anyway, place whichever you prefer next. Then place the washer next. You will have to bend the wheel pant out to do this.


Make sure you push the bolt all the way through now while screwing it into that first nut. Get it where you want it with no binding. Then you want to push it through the landing gear hole and install another washer, then the locknut. Tighten it down. I only had to install my allen wrench in the bolt, and a socket on the outside nut and tighten it down to get it really tight. Make sure there is no binding of the wheel while doing this. You may have to adjust the inner nut if you used the nut. Maybe the wheel collar is better for it than the inside nut ; )


Now do the other side. Line them up with the fuse to get them where you want them. Or place the plane on the ground and line them up with the ground.
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Old 05-18-2015, 09:43 AM
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Just a quick comment on the last picture in post #10
I've had good luck with Deans arming switch (receptacle) mounting using these:
http://www.aztechaeromodels.com/inde...product_id=424
(they come in different colors of anodizing)

You can get them much cheaper at Hobbyking as well:
http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/s...h_T_Plug_.html

Makes replacing the Dean connector (if necessary) very easy; no need for Hysol

Also the fuselage cutout is the same size as an Anderson Powerpole housing
http://www.f3aunlimited.com/power-un...g-plug-housing
should you decide to change in the future
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Old 05-18-2015, 10:18 AM
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Thanks for the links, I will book mark the first one! I like that.

Chris
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Old 05-23-2015, 05:48 AM
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Guys I have some new stock due in about 10 days.
I'll have some Invitations and Essences in stock.
It's a limited amount and I can take the orders now. If interested please contact me. The planes are really flying well and are a proven commodity.
Thanks Mike Mueller
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Old 05-27-2015, 04:35 PM
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Default Servo Mounting

Mounting the servo's is fairly standard. Cut the covering, iron it over the corners. Take the plywood pieces, and glue them in, making sure your servo will fit. I like to install extra plywood pieces to the back to double the thickness of the plywood. And I like to pre drill mine and actually mount the servos to them before I glue them in so that I get them as straight as possible.
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Old 05-27-2015, 04:57 PM
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Default CA Hinges

The non fun part. I don't know why I don't like hinging surfaces, it's not really hard.. Anyway, I use a hinge centering tool like most of us do. I measure and mark where the hinges will go, and get busy with a xacto. Then I fold the hinges in half hard forming a crease, several times. Then I install the hinges as seen in the pics. I then check the surface to make sure that the centering of the hinge cuts wasn't high or low. Which causes warps in control surfaces and adds a bit of drag if the surface is high or low. Try hard to get them perfectly centered. Even if you put pressure on the surface to keep the hinge in place while the ca dries. I install spacers to keep the ailerons/rudder and elevators (not on this one as it has no elevators), but to keep them in the right spot. So the ailerons don't stick out past the wing tips and such. And also spacers to keep a little gap at the hinge so that they don't bind. Then I slowly wick super thin CA in there. Work the surface back and forth many times to keep it from binding while the CA dries.. Pics are kind of self explanatory..
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Old 05-27-2015, 05:05 PM
  #17  
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Have I mentioned how great this plane flies yet? This to me isn't like BJs other designs. BJ designed a whole new plane. I don't feel that he went off of his other designs. The tracking is amazing. Pace is very good. Great lines with very very little mixing. I'll get into the things I have done and setup later though. More on the build later.
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Old 05-28-2015, 12:17 AM
  #18  
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Patternflyer, on post 15 servo mounting - the brass ferrules that fit in the servo mounting grommets appear to be fitted backwards ?? (i.e the rounded end should be opposite the screw)

Steve
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Old 05-30-2015, 06:51 AM
  #19  
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Originally Posted by SAB View Post
Patternflyer, on post 15 servo mounting - the brass ferrules that fit in the servo mounting grommets appear to be fitted backwards ?? (i.e the rounded end should be opposite the screw)

Steve
Steve that's very observant to say the least!!!!
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Old 05-30-2015, 06:53 AM
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I have 4 Invitations on the way. No extra shipping costs involved just normal shipping here to your door FedEx ground.
They are expected in this coming week.
Mike Mueller
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Old 06-04-2015, 08:52 AM
  #21  
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In stock today I have 3 Invitations. Normal shipping costs only. Shipping today from Chicago.
http://www.f3aunlimited.com/bj-craft-g2-invitation-179
If interested let us know.
Thanks, Mike
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Old 06-05-2015, 06:19 PM
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patternflyer1
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Hi Steve, Yes sir, you are perhaps correct. I usually mount them the other way. I will have to take a look to see which way they ended up when I did the final install. I blame the beer! haha..

Thx!

Chris

Originally Posted by SAB View Post
Patternflyer, on post 15 servo mounting - the brass ferrules that fit in the servo mounting grommets appear to be fitted backwards ?? (i.e the rounded end should be opposite the screw)

Steve
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Old 06-10-2015, 06:07 PM
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Chris,
Did you get so excited to finish and fly the Invitation that you dropped the build thread? j/k
Looking forward to the completion
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Old 08-06-2015, 04:02 AM
  #24  
danamania
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Default Bumping up this thread with new flight reports

Got an electric Invitation (standard scheme & fixed stabs) flying this week and what can I say except that I am delighted with my purchase! Thanks BJ Park & Mike Mueller!

Maiden day:
First flight took a click of aileron trim which I later dialed out by fine tuning the physical set-up. Took a few clicks of down elevator trim more than I was expecting, so I revisited the thrust angle: I added a single washer to square down thrust with the nose ring ever so slightly, tweaking my Advance install (used the F3AU mounts with a spacer shaped from plywood that came with the kit).

Next day:
Second flight confirmed the thrust angle tweak as I was able to take out the down elevator trim. Trimmed the rudder a click or two I think, not much.

Third flight shifted the packs a half an inch forward from maiden flight, moving away from a neutral CG towards the forward end of the CG envelope (as described in the Essence thread), then flew the Intermediate schedule. What more can I say about BJ's QC that a middling pilot could fly a clean sequence with a new airframe on just the third flight? (Ok the pros get to check her out this weekend at the Penguin Pattern contest in Constantia NY and I believe they will be impressed as they help me further trim out my set-up.)

4th flight flew KE to check differential elevator trim and tweaked when I got home. Will see later today how that worked, but was not far off. The only mix in my Invitation is the traditional downline mix on bottom throttle and I hope to keep it that way from what I have been reading about sister ship Essence.

First impressions:
Wow this baby is big, and G2 looks very different in the air from my Nuance and Pegasus (and all other more traditional pattern profiles). Will take some time getting used to the sight picture, but my caller and I liked the presentation during the sequence and the Invitation tends to a constant airspeed that feels right. Downlines are not too fast even with the idle up and brake off (Falcon 21x14 V2). Very nice. Will likely switch to 13.5 pitch with cooler temps.

Easy inverted flight with just a little stick pressure. Similar light stick pressure on the massive rudder makes straight & level KE feel easy to me, very nice. The massive rudder will take getting used to for stall turn entry and it is clearly the most powerful rudder I have ever had on any model LOL! Good times. Multiple linked rolls look possible using only elevator pushes on inverted, which will be nice when I move up to Advanced next year: Look out 3 rolls LOL!

We had gusty winds and lots turbulence on short final for a few landings: the Invitation was predictable and stable while I wrestled with mother nature's finest efforts and settled into a beautiful flare once clear of the corn and over the grass. No big deal, but the last thing I want is to botch a landing with a new model. The arrivals were confidence builders which is nice so I can focus on technique without the model getting in the way. Awesome for 4 flights away from the workbench!

Gear:
Futaba R7003SB S.Bus2 Rx; BLS 171SVs on Ailerons & Rudder; BLS173SVs on Elevators (all HV); dual Tech-Aero regulators with 2S 480 LiPo Rx packs.

Tech-Aero ThrottleTech; CC Edge HV 80 with external ArmSafe switch for my callers/helpers; Pletty Advance; F3AU motor mounts; Falcon 21x14 V2.

Performance Unlimited 5S 4500 & 5200 sets. (Would use the 4500s on most days and reserve the 5200s for windy days only.)
Rx pack & external voltage telemetry from the main packs for safety's sake. Left off the GPS for the time being, but can swap in from another model.

Stock push rods & hardware that came with the Invitation (will probably upgrade these over time, but nice to have in the box to get flying quick).

Gator RC battery tray kit and MK style tailwheel assembly (thanks Mike!). MK wheels on the mains. Whatever was left over from other kits LOL. Cheers!

Last edited by danamania; 08-06-2015 at 04:06 AM. Reason: Formatting
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Old 08-07-2015, 06:53 AM
  #25  
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Dana,

Good to hear you have your Invitation flying. You are going to get to like this airplane a little more every time you fly it. The Invitation truly takes a lot of the work out of flying the sequence. Enjoy! I certainly am enjoying mine!

Larry
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