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  1. #226

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    RE: Contra Rotating Propeller Drive for f3a 2m Pattern Planes

    Hey nicepoz,

    If you are interested in purchasing a Contra Drive from our next batch, which will become available in late May, you can send me a private message through RCU and I will help you make the arrangements.

    The current pricing structure that we are using is as follows:

    Contra Drive (includes one Replaceable Gearset, and Spinner Assembly, but does not include props, or electric motor...): $1,000 USD
    Set of Front & Rear Propellers (22X18, and 22X20 sizes are currently available ...): $200 USD
    Replaceable Gearsets (9.98:1, 10.15:1, 10.33:1 Gear Ratios Available...): $200 USD
    Motor Adapter Manifold & Carbon Fibre Mounting Plates (Hacker C50, & Neu f3a Motors Supported ...) $100 USD
    Custom Color (Yellow is standard at no extra Charge ...) $100 USD

    The length of the Contra Drive Spinner is 85mm, which fits perfectly within the 2m limit on my Carf Integral.

    Brenner ...

  2. #227

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    RE: Contra Rotating Propeller Drive for f3a 2m Pattern Planes

    ... Gulp... Those are really nice Brenner but definitely not cheap.

  3. #228

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    RE: Contra Rotating Propeller Drive for f3a 2m Pattern Planes

    Step up Mike, it's only money! Regards, Everette

  4. #229
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    RE: Contra Rotating Propeller Drive for f3a 2m Pattern Planes

    For the amount of tooling and machining that went into it, I would say that is more than reasonable. The gearbox alone for a Neu motor without the contra system is around 300.00. I remember reading somewhere I believe in this thread that the labor was donated. The workmanship on these units are first class without a doubt, and I'm definitely looking at getting a pair for next year.

    Arch
    Team Futaba, Aero-Model / Hacker, Tech Aero Designs, F3A Unlimited, Team BJ Craft, Thunder Power RC, Castle Creations

  5. #230

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    RE: Contra Rotating Propeller Drive for f3a 2m Pattern Planes

    And the really neat thing about it, it can have a "Made in the USA" sticker on it. What high tech item in the hobby can say that anymore?

    I tried the 22x18 on the front. It definitely had a different sound, but I preferred the performance of the two 22x20's. Actually, I trimmed 1/4"off each tip now and that seems to be working, but it was a very minor difference.
    TonyF - Team Horizon, Team BJ Craft, Team Contra Drive, Neu Motors
    2010,2009 US Masters Champion,2011 Masters Also-Ran

  6. #231

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    RE: Contra Rotating Propeller Drive for f3a 2m Pattern Planes

    Finally we were able to get out to the field after 5 months, felt great to get the first 3 flights on the new Spark in light winds and mid 60’s degree temps. The plane tips the scales at 10 lbs 11 oz with Rhino 4900 25c batteries, wood built-up wings/stab and rudder. The Neu motor, Brenner’s contra drive, 10.15:1 gear ratio and 22x20 props, the amps topped out at 88 and watts at 3300. The first thing we noticed while flying was the sound, it's very quiet compared to the version 1 contra drive and is not a distraction like last year, great job Brenner on the redesign. The second thing I noticed was the speed, much better - faster - than the V1 and very similar to what I was getting with the single prop setup. The plane is pulling slightly to the canopy so I did not make a good guess on the thrust line, just needs a little bit more down thrust. The plane seems very near final trim, I think it needs a bunch of little changes on throws and expo rates to get the feel just right. The plane feels very stable and I did not notice any yaw issues yet that Brenner and I experienced last year with several different planes, the thick trailing edge on the rudder may be helping but I would need to use the standard rudder to verify this - maybe later. I'm still charging but I think the battery drain will be similar to last year with the single prop setup, will know more later with more flights. So far it looks very good, thanks Brenner and team for all your great work.

    Dave
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  7. #232

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    RE: Contra Rotating Propeller Drive for f3a 2m Pattern Planes

    Hi Dave,

    The flights are wonderful with contra drive
    Have you tried 22X18 in front and 22X20 for the rear ??

    Vincent ...

  8. #233
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    RE: Contra Rotating Propeller Drive for f3a 2m Pattern Planes

    I would consider moving your CG forward first before adjusting your thrust. The closer to zero you are the better the plane will fly in all orientations.

    Do you have any coupling with rudder currently as well? If yes....moving the cg forward will help alleviate some if not all of this as well.

    Chuck
    Mark Hunt Designs

  9. #234

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    RE: Contra Rotating Propeller Drive for f3a 2m Pattern Planes

    Hi Vincent, I hope to try that the next time we get out but the weather does not look good for the next week.

    Dave

  10. #235

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    RE: Contra Rotating Propeller Drive for f3a 2m Pattern Planes

    Hi Chuck, with only three flights on the plane it's hard to know exactly what it's doing but from the other Spark I was flying the cg is already forward from that plane, that is why I think it's more a thrust issue not the cg. Not sure if you saw earlier posts - #118 page 5 - but the nose of the Spark was modified to fit the spinner size and I may not have gotten the thrust set properly, but it's easy to change and if needed the nose can be sanded to match a new thrust line. The plane did not pitch or roll significantly in knife edge, only a slight pull on the up lines and the typical pull to the canopy on the down lines. I'm sure once the plane and I have more flights there will be other things to look at but so far it's looking very promising and hope the weather starts to warm up soon.

    Dave

  11. #236
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    RE: Contra Rotating Propeller Drive for f3a 2m Pattern Planes

    Dave... looking back, forgot you had modified the front. good luck with the trimming. I begin a new setup tomorrow with my Beryll and hope to get it finished by the end of the day. Then its onto setting snaps and spins oh ya.


    Chuck
    Mark Hunt Designs

  12. #237

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    RE: Contra Rotating Propeller Drive for f3a 2m Pattern Planes

    Hi Brenner and Mike,

    Hats off to you guys. I am really impressed with the work you have done. I watched this thing in action today flown by Tony F. I think its pretty cool. I am thrilled to see this come out of SW Michigan!!! I remember Mike flying with my Dad, Bill, back a million years ago. You've put the spot back on the map years after the demise of Heathkit radios...LOL. After Tony's last flight today I have to say that I'm wanting one. I think it needs an airframe designed around it. It really is something unique! It is far better than the videos I have seen of Seba's initial contra unit. Yours had a nice consistent speed and not artificial looking.

    Great Job guys.
    Steve Hannah
    Team BJCraft

  13. #238

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    RE: Contra Rotating Propeller Drive for f3a 2m Pattern Planes

    Hey Steve,

    Thanks for the kind words. I'm really glad that Tony has been able to demonstrate the Contra to you guys out on the West Coast.

    Mike has told me lots of stories about the Heathkit days. I even have an old optical heathkit tachometer that Mike says he actually designed back in the day, and I pass by the old Heathkit buildings every day on the way to work.

    There are a couple of guys looking at airframes that would best suit the Contra. Flying a Contra changes how a plane behaves probably more than anything else you can do to a plane, and what we've discovered is that some planes work very well with the Contra, whereas other planes need small changes. For instance, I think the Wind S and the Spark seem to adapt well right out of the box, but my Integral needed the addition of a pair of 1/2 inch triangular strips to the trailing edge of the rudder to reduce rudder sensitivity around neutral and prevent yaw oscillations when the rudder is released too quickly. Mike has a plane that he designed himself that needed this same modification as well.

    I think any plane can be trimmed to fly well with a Contra Drive, but elimination of motor right thrust will cause plane designs to evolve so that additional drag is added to the tail of the plane to replace the drag that now results from motor right thrust. This will probably involve thicker rudder profiles, larger rudder fins, and/or larger/thicker stabs. Also, aerodynamic drag is no longer needed to limit speed on the downlines, because the dual propellers in a Contra Drive provide more than enough braking effect to slow any plane down. This means that fuselages and wings can become slimmer, which will potentially reduce battery consumption due to lower parasitic drag, and perhaps improve entries into snaps and spins.

    Brenner ...

  14. #239
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    RE: Contra Rotating Propeller Drive for f3a 2m Pattern Planes

    Well I successfully maidened my new contra powered Valiant. The model and power system seem very well suited and early indications are that it flys extremely well. My set up is as follows:

    Brenner contra
    C-ARF Valiant
    YGE 90 controller
    F3A Unlimited packs

    I completed 7 flights over the weekend six of which were with the 10.33:1 gears. Maiden was with 22X20 rear and 22X18 front and I then completed a few flights on the 22X20’s front and rear which did give slightly more speed. The last flight I put in the 10.15:1 gears and mixed props which gave slightly more performance than the 10.33:1 and two 22X20’s. I think I will stick with this for the moment as I can prop up for strong wind. One thing that struck me was how controllable the whole thing was. Tons of braking (no brake programmed in the esc) and huge amounts of pull. Verticals were simply effortless. Compared to my YS powered Osmose I felt it was more controllable speed wise. It didn’t β€œwind up” in horizontal flight if you left it in too high a power setting. Braking was better also which meant you could fly a smaller closer in schedule much more easily. A few observations:

    1) The model did feel fairly sensitive in all three axes. Perhaps this is just the plane or perhaps the contra. It wasn’t unstable, just sensitive. I have the strake to try on the Valiant and I will probably try a rudder flare. Although to be honest it is still very useable as is
    2) No right thrust required even when mixing props
    3) 0.5 degree down thrust seems fine for the Valiant
    4) Speed is much better than the E-factor unit
    5) Sounds much better than the E-factor unit, less β€œwhiney”.
    6) Static thrust is way more than a YS 170, top speed still not as high but I have another gear set down to try and also a higher pitch front prop. Speed as is seems very good
    7) Very easy to change the gears at the field
    8) Reduced rudder required when pulling/pushing
    9) No torque effect during stall turns
    10) The quality of workmanship on the drive and props is superb

    So overall I’m very impressed with the drive and plane and can’t wait to get some more time on it.
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  15. #240
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    RE: Contra Rotating Propeller Drive for f3a 2m Pattern Planes

    All I can say is *****in!!

    Ain't 'lectric Gnarly!!

    I will have me one of these setups someday!!
    LOOKING FOR ENGINEERING WORK ON UAV'S?

  16. #241

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    RE: Contra Rotating Propeller Drive for f3a 2m Pattern Planes

    These pictures are from Dmitry Zagitov. I asked him if I could post them, and he agreed.

    This is Dmitry's "Angel's Shadow" that he has fitted with a Contra Drive. The plane was designed and built by Vladimir Kozlovsky. Vladimir also installed the Contra Drive as well. I am glad to be able to show these pictures because not only is the plane beautiful, but both the craftsmanship and the Contra installation are immaculate. Also, the installation pictures show very clearly and consicely how the Contra is installed.

    Again, my thanks to Dmitry for allowing me to post these.

    Brenner ...
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  17. #242

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    RE: Contra Rotating Propeller Drive for f3a 2m Pattern Planes

    Brenner, thanks for posting Zagitov's pictures. After seeing all the peices and parts of the Contra drive laid out in one of the above pictures and think I finally understand what I'm looking at. It will probably be just a matter of time before I place my order. Thanks again, Everette

  18. #243

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    RE: Contra Rotating Propeller Drive for f3a 2m Pattern Planes

    I was able to get out and fly 9 flights yesterday in calm 65 deg damp air with Bill Ahrens and Ed White and am very happy with the contra drive and plane. The contra is providing very constant speeds and great pulling power over the tops of maneuvers. We did try the 22x18 front prop and 22x20 back prop with the 10.15:1 gear set and we all thought the plane looked good and performed better with this setup, it did not have more power or speed just looked smoother and very consistent speed through all the maneuvers. So far no mix is required for knife edge flight but I do have down elevator to throttle mixes for both high and low stick position, it still needs just a little bit more down thrust. Here are several pictures of the plane.

    Dave
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  19. #244

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    RE: Contra Rotating Propeller Drive for f3a 2m Pattern Planes

    G'day Dave,

    Your model looks great!

    Try a little more incidence in the wing to resolve your pull to the canopy. This is easier to adjust than the trust line.... You may also need to play with the CG for your KE.

    What did it end up weighing with the contra drive system?

    Cheers,
    Jason.

  20. #245

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    RE: Contra Rotating Propeller Drive for f3a 2m Pattern Planes

    Hey Dave,

    Did you shorten the rudder. It looks shorter. I like the thickened profile. How does the Spark track with this profile?

    Brenner ...

    PS-> Hey Jason, Dave mentioned the weight as 10 lbs 11 oz back in post 18. This is equivalent to 4.86 kg.

  21. #246

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    RE: Contra Rotating Propeller Drive for f3a 2m Pattern Planes

    Hi Jason, the plane does weigh 10 lbs 11 oz - post 231 - and I've been thinking about changing the wing incidence and may try that next time out but I like the way the fuse looks in the air and not sure I want to change that. Currently the knife edge is great so I think the cg is in a good spot, the dihedral correct on this series of wood wings to eliminate the roll couple and the anhedral stab to eliminate the pitch couple of our previous Sparks. Mike Mueller will be flying his Spark/ Hacker Q80 combo soon with the wing and stab I built for him so we should know more if the wing dihedral and anhedral stab works for him and requires no mix

    Hi Brenner, yes I finally got around to cutting about 3/4" off the rudder to be legal and it's still extremely effective. I will need to use the stock rudder to see how much it's actually helping but so far the plane feels very stable in yaw even at some slow speed exits of maneuvers where we saw the instability of the three planes last year. Do you have a picture of your modified rudder? I know you had an experimental one last year but what does the finished one look like?

    Dave

  22. #247

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    RE: Contra Rotating Propeller Drive for f3a 2m Pattern Planes

    Thanks Dave and Brenner. Looks like the weight isn't an issue....

    How many mAh are you putting back into your pack after a P schedule?[&:]

    Cheers,
    Jason.

  23. #248

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    RE: Contra Rotating Propeller Drive for f3a 2m Pattern Planes

    Hey Dave,

    Unfortunately my finished rudder still looks just like my experimental rudder, because I've been too busy with Contra Drive stuff to find time to do any actual model airplane stuff. Fortunately however, I was really, really happy with the way my Integral was flying at the end of last season, so I'm hoping to be able start this season where I left off, except with more horizontal speed for days with high cross winds.

    Brenner ...

  24. #249

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    RE: Contra Rotating Propeller Drive for f3a 2m Pattern Planes

    Jason so far most of the flying and trim flights have been with the USA Masters sequence and only two with the P11 but all have been 8 minutes long, I can usually fly four +/- more passes before the timer sounds. The recharges have all been very consistent at 4100 +/- mah when using the two 22x20 props and 10.15:1 gear set but when using the 22x18 front and 22x20 back props the recharges have been 3750 +/- mah.

    Dave

  25. #250

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    RE: Contra Rotating Propeller Drive for f3a 2m Pattern Planes

    Dave your plane is beautiful. Mine is ready to go and weather permitting maybe next saturday for the maiden.
    I can see the advantage of your rudder and hopefully I'll be doing the same soon. Mike
    Mike Mueller
    F3AUnlimited.com and Gator-RC Products
    1800 591 2875
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