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Electric Racing Development Efforts

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Old 02-26-2009, 08:57 PM
  #1  
DonStegall
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Default Electric Racing Development Efforts

I'm starting a new thread because there are some efforts at entry level racing with electric power systems that people are working on.

Club 40 has been a success partially because of the ease of entry and the parity. That has been an issue for electrics.

I've been looking at the Wingman II from [link=http://www.thewingsmaker.com/index.php]The Wings Maker[/link] as it is a smaller, lighter version of the Sky Raider Mach II and they sell a electric power package for it. So just like we have the Sky Raider Mach II with (predominantly) the Thunder Tiger Pro 40, we could possibly use this combo and call it "Club Wingman". I intend to get a couple and try them out. If anyone has gotten one and tried it, or seen one, please let me know what you think.

I posted this in another thread ... [link]http://www.rcuniverse.com/forum/fb.asp?m=8522381[/link]

A local guy had ordered a 1/3 scale Super Cub from me. It came in today and he came to get it and see my shop. I took a couple of pictures of it. The box was 78" long. For reference. I laid a Sky Raider Mach II wing panel over the stab. The stab is even bigger than the wing panel.

Now get this!!! He is going to electrify the Cub. He is an electric fan. He thought the racing stuff was cool, but he wasn't interested because it is glow. As he was leaving we were talking about batteries and I mentioned that The Wings Maker has a slightly smaller version on the Sky Raider Mach II called the Wingman II that is made for electric power. His eyes lit up, and he said "Now if you do that, I would probably try racing." So I'm going to have to get a Wingman II with the electric power package and start testing for "Club Wingman".
There is a contingent of electric fans out there that we could bring into the racing fold with the right formula. Let's see what kinds of electric projects people are working on for racing.
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Old 02-26-2009, 10:58 PM
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Default RE: Electric Racing Development Efforts

I got an email from Dwayne and he sent me a link to a video of a conversion he has done of another giant scale plane ... See it at [link]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FUxQT6heYNo[/link] ... I already got an email from him about the Wingman II ... We may try it or maybe we'll just see about using the Club 40 airframes instead. So many color choices and so many options already. All we need is the right motor and battery setup. He knows electrics and how to make them perform.
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Old 02-27-2009, 07:20 AM
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Default RE: Electric Racing Development Efforts

Don,

I am currently ready to fly a Lanier Predator 500 converted to electric. It uses a Great Planes aluminum adjustable motor mount, a Turnigy SK Aerodrive XP 35-42-1000 turning a 9 x 7.5 or 9 x 9 APC "E" on 4S 20C 2350 Rhino Li-Poly cells. The all up weight of the airplane is 3lbs, 13 ozs. I have tested it on the ground and the system is capable of sustaining close to 600 watts. (Tested with Eagle Tree Data Logger) The goal is to be competitive with a TT40 Pro both in speed and cost. I have ordered a Turnigy SK Aerodrive XP 35-48-1100 in case the 35-42 isn't enough. All testing has indicated that the system will do it.

Total powersystem cost:
Motor $33 (Turnigy SK Aerodrive XP 35-48-1100)
ESC $43.89 (Turnigy Plush 60Amp)
Battery $32.83 (Rhino 4S 20C 2350)
Balancing Li-Poly Charger $27.68 (Hextronik 8080)

I will post as soon as the weather breaks. We are supposed to get some decent flying weather next week. This system would be great in the Wingman II as well.
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Old 02-27-2009, 09:36 AM
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Default RE: Electric Racing Development Efforts

I got my SkyRaider Mach II on a 5S set up with a DualSky 4260-5 (680 KV) turning a 12x10, the baby had unlimited verticals! It was much faster than any 46 2C by a mile. Here are some pics ...
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Old 02-27-2009, 11:10 AM
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Default RE: Electric Racing Development Efforts

Quite Awesome. I bet that thing scoots. I am hoping that the Predator turns some heads. If the conversion works, it would be applicable to both 424 and Club 40. Even the Wingman II with a smaller, cheaper, and lighter system would be appealing as well.

Got any videos of Sky Raider in action?

Take care,
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Old 02-27-2009, 11:20 AM
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Default RE: Electric Racing Development Efforts

Hindsight is 20/20. I have written this to Don privately, but now will admit to it in public.

I believe one of our big mistakes in Texas was basing our classes on equipment rather than break-out times. Two years ago, Bernard Siegle of the San Antonio Prop Busters had electrified a Sky Raider. He was not allowed to race it, because it was electric. Classes based on a spec airplane and break-out times would have allowed him in.

Yes, racing has been based on regulating what kind of equipment may be used. Wait, there is the Warbird racing.

Here in Columbus, IN there will be an attempt to use Sky Raiders and LA racers and base classes on break-out times, because the engines I want to use are only available used. Archie"s prices are intriguing to me, as I had not tried to figure the cost. But will the electron guys be tempted to move up to 424?

I did the test flight of Bernard's electric SKM2. It wasn't great with his 5000 mA battery, but when he put in the smaller capacity, same voltage one, it was quite fine. So fine that I flew it until the power weakened and emergency/crash landed short of the runway.

Maybe the Cowman and the Farmer can be friends. But that was Oklahoma.

Maybe we can run motors and engines in the same heats.

Ken
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Old 02-27-2009, 12:35 PM
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Default RE: Electric Racing Development Efforts

Ken,


There is an additional thing that could be used to govern electric that would make the power-systems really up to the pilot. In F5D, they use power limiters that are set to 1000 watt-minutes. Basically that allows you to use up to 1000 watts for 1 minute and then it shuts the motor off. With thess bigger airframes, none of them are going to go (10) laps in one minute, so say for the typical 1:30 times we see in 424 on long course, you could sustain 667 watts for 1.5 minutes giving you 178 watts/lb on a 3.75 lb Quickie 500. The limiters are $50 and available from Steve Neu in San Diego. Again, the system I have in the Predator right now is not quite capable of that power level, but I have a motor on the way that is. For the prices I have listed, it could be an attractive selling point to bring electric racing to people'e attention.

Now obviously, the smaller higher current batteries would be what you would want. Limit the min dia to 9" and you have an event.

I will make sure that the LA Racer I have will be able to employ the system I have in the Predator right now so I can get some real data. I have an Eagle Tree data logger to track motor RPM, Current, Battery Voltage, Watts, and Mah used.

Interested yet??
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Old 02-27-2009, 05:42 PM
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Default RE: Electric Racing Development Efforts

I had an electric Mach 2 - AXI 4120/14, 7S A123, CC60, UBEC, forgot the prop APC something 11 inch.
Got low. slow and planted it.
I will see if I can find a pic.
Flew quite well and other Club 40 pilots tested it - said it was good.
I have 2 airframes (1 set of equip with 4 batts) ready to be converted...
Crash
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Old 02-28-2009, 10:50 AM
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Default RE: Electric Racing Development Efforts

Iceman ... I did not get one. She is not all that fast compared with a Viper 500 with a mere TT46. I lost her when I was racing with my pals, I love to fly really tight, really close to the rest in turns, its nice but a very foolish strategy. I may make another soon! I shall make videos. You have to see that baby when she goes vertical!
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Old 02-28-2009, 02:16 PM
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Default RE: Electric Racing Development Efforts

Iceman67;

I’m following this thread with a lot of interest.

I see that Neu also offers a 1,750 watt-minute limiter. This would probably be about the right amount of energy equivalent to a TT Pro 40 powered 424 or Club 40 plane for 10 laps. E.g. 1.2 hp X 746 watts/hp X 1.75 minutes = 1,567 watt-minutes. If you were to have 1,750 watt-minutes of electrical energy available by means of a limiter, you may very well only end up with no more than 1,500 – 1,600 watt-minutes of energy at the prop shaft due to losses in the speed control and the electric motor: 1,750 X .95 X .95 = 1,534 . . . or less. Propeller losses would be similar in either case.

I’m wondering how hard it would be for Mr. Neu to re-calibrate his limiters. It might be something as simple as changing a programming parameter. If this is the case, he may easily be able to supply us with appropriately “sized” limiters if neither the 1,000 nor the 1,750 are suitable.

I think a good starting point for this new class would be to 1) limit the amount of total energy available, 2) spec an airframe, and 3) have a reasonable minimum weight. Let the pilots buy whatever equipment they choose; their “fuel tank” size will be limited and the drag and flying characteristics will be fixed. It will then be up to the pilot to balance rpm, voltage, current, prop, flying style etc. so he has just enough energy to complete an entire heat (including a possible 11th lap).

I am looking forward to your testing.

Doug Bebensee
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Old 02-28-2009, 05:44 PM
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Default RE: Electric Racing Development Efforts

I'm watching this thread with interest. I have no interest whatsoever in glo or gas anything, only in electric.

I flew a little Blue Ray electric pylon racing last season. The plane is little, and I accomplished very little racing, despite building and destroying many airframes.

The Blue Ray was really too small for me to fly successfully. This size plane seems more practical for me to see. But I'm a little concerned about the cost of the motors, batteries, etc. at this significant size. And the likelihood of this being 3-pole racing requiring a large space and lots of people to run a race. Meaning there would probably be a few races, and that's all. So I suppose I might be more interested in something somewhere in the middle size-wise, and 2-pole. Some people you can never please!

I've seen stuff about the limiter elsewhere before, as some others were adopting it. If such a limiter is required, I'm probably not at all interested. That's certainly an equalizer, but is taking racing to a whole new seriousness level. My interest is in getting out and having some fun practicing and racing with fun people, not to preparing a whole van load of flight equipment and computer instrumentation to wring out every last Joule of energy in a race.

Just my $.02.

Jim Marconnet
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Old 02-28-2009, 08:49 PM
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Default RE: Electric Racing Development Efforts

I would love to convert a Viper 500 but I find that its hard to get reasonably sized batts that will fit with ease into the tank compartment. I would love a set up that can pull about 800W-1KW on 4S, maybe 6S even. I think I only need 20C 2,500 mAh packs at the most. Flight time will be pretty short though.
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Old 03-01-2009, 06:01 PM
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Default RE: Electric Racing Development Efforts

Doug,

If it was decided to use the 9 x 6 APC sport prop like the TT40's use, I would agree that would be the amount of power we needed to make. The electric props are much more efficient and I have found that I have been able to mimic glow power performance with less total power using electrics. We would have to use higher pitch props because outrunners don't spin up like a high performance 2 stroke engines. Now, the proof of this system is still to be seen. But the success of an entry level electric racing event would be to keep things cheap. The limiter would be a more limiting factor than any other racing event we currently have. The weather is supposed to break this week here so I hope to get the Predator airborne and see what it's got.

I am sure that Steve's limiters could be reprogrammed for different power levels. I was shooting to keep thigns to currently readily available equipment. I would lobby for the airframes to be any currently legal 424 airframe. I don't like to specify airframes because it really limits peoples options. Threr are many people out there who provide good airframes. The viper and Predator are (2) really good mass produced quickies. But I think it is wrong to cut out anyone else who make 424 airframes.

I will post my flight results of the predator with the Eagle tree plots to show the results. I am very happy to see that this thread has gathered so much interest.

Take care,

Archie Adamisin
Muncie, Indiana
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Old 03-01-2009, 06:16 PM
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Default RE: Electric Racing Development Efforts

Jim,

It is great to see all the opinions in this thread. My reasoning for the limiter would be that it would basically be the Nascar COT of Q-500. Limiting it with props or limiting it to certain power systems won't govern the racing enough. Flying 424 for the last (4) years has really taught me that it really isn't about the airframe, engine, or prop. It is all about the flying. The success of any entry level event has to give everyone equal chance in a race. The people who work the hardest and fly the best will always win. In the 50 heats of 424 I have flown in, I would say that 45 of them the race was determined on the last lap. That's great racing!! That's exactly the kind of racing I would suggest for an electric event. If there is no limiter, it would be a pocket book event which would die very quickly.

I wouls also suggest that if the speed could be controlled by prop choice. I would have to run the numbers, but say run a 9 x 9 for all out speed, but run a 11 x 5.5 for beginners or a (2) pole sport race. Both would use the same amount of power but the speeds would be drastically slower with the large dia low pitch. I have recently got an LA Racer Club 40 Model and I plan to test it as well and shoot for a 50-65 mph airframe at the 4.5 lb weight limit.

I really miss speed 400 racing. It was a great event, but it died becasue of small expensive composite airframes and people didn't like to fly small airplanes. It is my goal to get a system together that would fly a normal sized airframe and won't cost an arm and a leg. I can't wait to fly the Predator.

Take care,

Archie Adamisin
Muncie, Indiana
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Old 03-01-2009, 09:40 PM
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Default RE: Electric Racing Development Efforts

The Wingman II would make a great electric. I have one with a GP.42 (bushing) that we use in our club racing. It goes real good with this set up, weighs 3.5 pounds with all full size stuff in it, maybe somewhere in the 80-90mph?. It does have light construction, and very cheap/flimsy hardware, the only thing I upgraded was the hinges, the supplied ones were only 1/4" or so wide. There are two currently in the club, no failures on them yet. Since I have other airframes for our club racing, I think I want to convert mine to "E" power if the set up Iceman listed is that cheap and works (where is that from?)
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Old 03-02-2009, 08:46 AM
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Default RE: Electric Racing Development Efforts

What I'm thinking for "Club Wingman" is to use the Wingman II ($80), the GA029EPTS power package ($65), and the 40 amp speed controller ($70) that AirBorne sells, for the Club Wingman Sport class.

The manual at [link]http://www.thewingsmaker.com/products/airplanes/manuals/GA029.pdf[/link] gives a little more information about the power system. It is a 450 watt setup. That should be just about right for the airframe for racing newcomers.

I think I want to convert mine to "E" power if the set up Iceman listed is that cheap and works (where is that from?)
Consistent supply of motors (and ESC's) has been an issue for trying to do "Spec" electric pylon racing.

I have already had discussions with AirBorne about the supply of the power package and the plane. If we start a racing class based on this plane and power package, they are committed to producing them as long as we need them and they are selling.

The CA hinges on the Wingman II mean that it is easy to strip and recover. So we don't need solid colors ... perhaps an ARC if there is enough demand.

I think that we would have the similar success with Club Wingman we have had with Club 40 because it is basically plug and play.

While I would like to do Club 40 EP, the planes are bigger and weigh at least a pound more. That translates into bigger motors and batteries. If someone is going electric, they don't care that we use the Sky Raider Mach II andLA Racer 40 in a glow class.

The electrified Quickie class would make a nice step up in technology and speed.
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Old 03-03-2009, 11:02 PM
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Default RE: Electric Racing Development Efforts

Here is the Predator RTF. We will have some 40 deg weather with light winds tomorrow, so a good testing day.

I will let you all know how it goes. I get off work @ 3:30 and it will be off to AMA for testing.
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Old 03-04-2009, 07:55 AM
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Default RE: Electric Racing Development Efforts

Last season when I got deeply into our local electric pylon racing, I thought it was going to be something radically different than what it turned out to be. My mistake.

I thought that most of the club that I joined would be participating. It turned out that just a few from the club raced. Most of the racers were from other clubs and even from 100 miles away.

I thought that my current flying buddies would be interested in the racing, and we could do some practice at our weekday lunch time flys at the arsenal parade grounds. None of my current buddies wanted to build a particular plane with particular gear, much less to race across town with another club. I thought about building two racers and letting a buddy or two race with me, but I hardly managed to keep one pylon plane flying, much less two or three!

I thought we might have several racing "teams", groups that practiced together, perhaps had some sort of uniform or other identifyier. etc. No Way!

I thought we'd talk about the racers and the racing in the club meetings, in our on-line discussions, and in person. Nope.

I realized last season that pylon racing is a very unique sport of interest to only a few people. And it's not something we ever talked about.

All of this may well seem very far off-topic, and it may be. It's hard enough to accomplish the technical stuff involved in developing a new class of racer and organizing some races, much less to do something socially.

Jim
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Old 03-04-2009, 08:52 AM
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Default RE: Electric Racing Development Efforts

Iceman ... what set up do you have there? Is the 3542 motor sufficient? Lemme know! I got some 4S 2,500s and would not mind to get another Viper for EP.
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Old 03-04-2009, 10:31 AM
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According to the numbers and the taxi tests I did yesterday on grass, it is plenty of power. I only have a 9 x 6 and 9 x 7 (clipped 10 x 7) to test today. I know it will be enough to fly the airplane. I don't know how fast it will go. I know it pulls like crazy with both props. I am pulling 42 amps static with the 9 x 7 and 38 amps with the 9 x 6. The 9 x 6 turns up @ around 13,000 rpm. I haven't tached the 9 x 7.

The motor is a Turnigy SK Aerodrive XP 35-42-1000, Castle Phoenix 60, and Rhino 20C 4S1P 2350. I have ordered a Turnigy SK Aerodrive XP 35-48-1100. This motor will definitely be 100 mph plus and can sustain the 675 watts that is my target to compete with a TT40 424 airframe. The 35-42 will probably compare to a TTGP powered model. I have ordered a 9 x 7.5 & 9 x 9 APC "E" to test as well. I will fly today after work with an Eagle Tree Data logger to see what it does in the air.

The Viper 500 would also lend well to a EP conversion. You will run into the same issue I had with the Predator though with having to mount the motor on an extension mount to get it to balance. If this works, I want to build an extended nose version Q-500 to move the battery forward and make it so that the wing can stay on when taking the battery in & out. I would put the prop at the same 7.375" in front of the wing which is pretty standard with todays quicke 500 designs. The electric motors are much shorter and lighter, so a longer nose is a must.

I will post as soon as I get back from flying. I am hoping to get some video of it too. I wish I had a radar gun, but I will just have to judge off of past experience with 424 for speed.
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Old 03-04-2009, 08:02 PM
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Default RE: Electric Racing Development Efforts

I have posted a video of today's flight.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u7quc0xne1s

Check it out. It flew great. I don't know if it is as fast as a TT40 pro, but it certainly faster than a TT40 GP. I would estimate around 90 mph. The Eagle Tree wouldn't fit, so I will have to repack the guts and try again.

I did do some calculatios based on my 2:30 minute flight and I used 1300 MaH using the 9 x 6 equating to approximately an average current of 31 amps @ 460 watts. This equates to 123 watts/lb power loading. The flight with the 9 x 7 video didn't turn out, but the Predator was faster & used 1455 MaH which would calculate into 35 amps average @ 518 watts giving a powerloading of 138 watts/lb. The motor and battery were barely warm to the touch so they weren't overloaded at all.

This was a great first test. The 35-48-1100 and the 9 x 7.5 or 9 x 9 will seal the deal. This is a succesful conversion in my opinion and would make a great racing event.

Enjoy,
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Old 03-05-2009, 09:33 AM
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Default RE: Electric Racing Development Efforts

Iceman ... I hate you!!! Now I have to go out and buy another Viper ... she looks about as fast as my Viper on a TT46.

Thanks for your info, I still got 4S 2,500s to use. I shall await your Turnigy 35-48-1100 motor run and see how she runs. The similar DualSky motor on their MotorCalc with a 9x9 on 4S shows 60+A. Pitch speed is 100 mph. Perhaps that can drop to about 55A in flight. Just nice for a 3 min flight. I wonder what would happen with 6S 2,500s since the plane would enjoy some extra weight up front?

See the chart below ... 40A ... 115 mph ... but I wonder if the thrust is sufficient? It will pull 60A with an 8x6 with a 110 mph pitch speed.
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Old 03-05-2009, 09:56 AM
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Default RE: Electric Racing Development Efforts

You hate me??? LOL To be honest, I was quite surprised by how well it did. All my numbers and bench testing said it would work. I sold my Viper 2 years ago, but I have a Conspirator 500 that I am going to put the conversion on and do more testing. The Predator was a hanger queen and I thought that if there was any airframe I could afford to loose, it was that one.

The beauty of this if we can get an event going would be to use the 1000 watt-min limiter and then it wouldn't matter what you used for motor or cell count because you would have the limiter level the field. I would opt for a 9" prop min dia to limit RPM and control the speed. It would also increase the thrust available. I would use all other Quickie 500 rules as they are including the min weight.

I haven't seen any currents higher than 45 amps with the Turnigy motor on 4S. The 35-48-1100 will really improve the speed and efficiency of the system. I am sure the current will go up too so maybe the best prop would be the 9 x 6 or 9 x 7.5. Going to 5S would reduce the current needed to make power and could also reduce the size of batteries needed. The set-up as is would be a great entry level event using the AMA 504-B (2) pole course. It is also very cheap!!

Take care and enjoy that new Viper!! LOL
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Old 03-05-2009, 10:13 AM
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tIANci
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Default RE: Electric Racing Development Efforts

Iceman ... I think controlled EP race is hard unless its done like Club 40 races. Same plane, same motor, same this and same that. I think I will go with the EP Viper for May, I still got too many projects in hand. I am waiting to see a video of your Predator with the new motor and after that I shall hate you even more!!!
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Old 03-05-2009, 12:12 PM
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Default RE: Electric Racing Development Efforts

The 35-48-1100 motor will make it comparable to a TT40 pro. I think after yesterday, the 9 x 7.5 will be enough prop to get 115-120 mph. I think your right about same motor, controller, battery, but I disagree on the same airframe. I would like to keep it open to all current airframes because it is a plug and play system. Anyone who has a legal Q-500 airframe could do this without having to buy "Specified" airframe. For example, The only readon I even had a Predator and a Viper was becasue I couldn't get a Conspirator built in time for the CAPS Classic race 3 years ago and I ordered the ARF's to get me through the race. I was very happy with both of them mostly because I won 424 with the Viper on Sat with fast time, and got 3rd on Sunday with the same plane. I design and build my own racing planes though and I have a new airframe in the works for 424 & 428. You can bet that I will build one with this conversion and quite possibly build an EP version fuse with a 2" longer nose to eliminate the mount needed to get it to balance.

I am excited about moving forward with a set of rules for this event governing power-system and requiring a legal Q-500 airframe, but I think people will have to see it in action before interest in it will grow. I will post results of the 35-48-1100 flight as soon as it comes in. It is only a (4) bolt & (3) wire switch and it will be off to the field again. Unfortunately, the motor won't be here for the weekend. RATS!!!!!

Take Care,
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