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Greg Covey 12-29-2008 11:24 AM

EDF Predator UCAV from Nitro Planes
 
1 Attachment(s)
The [link=http://www.nitroplanes.com/edfpruc10eld1.html]EDF Predator UCAV[/link] from Nitro Planes is a large fiberglass jet model with sheeted wings. It comes complete with landing gear, fiberglass canopy, missiles, and all hardware. The model can be powered by a 90mm to 101mm ( 3.5" to 4" ) EDF unit.

Features:[ul][*] Top quality wood construction[*] Fiberglass fuselage and canopy[*] Sheeted built up balsa and plywood wings[*] Comes with all hardware and accessories
[/ul]
Specifications
[ul][*] Wing Span: 47.2 in / 1200mm[*] Wing Area : 521 sq in / 33.8 sq dm[*] Flying Weight : 6.6 lb / 3000 g[*] Fuselage Length : 58.7 / 1490 mm[*] 4-Channels Radio System Required[*] 5 Servos Required
[/ul]

Greg Covey 12-29-2008 11:35 AM

RE: EDF Predator UCAV from Nitro
 
1 Attachment(s)
The fuselage and parts come well secured in the custom box. All the parts are covered in plastic or bagged. The control surfaces arrive attached with hinge material but need to be CA'ed in place after alignment.

The fiberglass canopy is pre-finished and only needs the latch mechanism attached. The landing gear are fixed with a steerable nose wheel assembly. Two sheets of finishing decals are supplied and the 7-page manual, although sparse, provides sufficient photos and text to complete the model by an experienced assembler.

Greg Covey 12-30-2008 08:56 AM

RE: EDF Predator UCAV from Nitro
 
1 Attachment(s)
A closer look at the fuselage reveals the size, quality finish, construction techniques, and high level of pre-assembly. The T-nuts are already installed, and glued in place, for the gear mains and steerable nose wheel assembly. The battery and servo trays are also pre-installed.

evan-RCU 12-30-2008 09:44 AM

RE: EDF Predator UCAV from Nitro Planes
 
Greg, does the wing tube look large enough? It doesn't in the pictures. Is it aluminium? I like the gear set up but wish it would be adaptable to retracts.

What fan and motor are you going to use?

Greg Covey 12-31-2008 02:25 PM

RE: EDF Predator UCAV from Nitro Planes
 
1 Attachment(s)
Yes, the aluminum wing tube appears to be fine at first glance and touch. We'll know more as I assemble the ARF.

My power system will be a WeMoTec Midi Pro 90mm EDF, AMMO 36-88-1280kV Inrunner Brushless motor, Castle Creations HV85 ESC, and an 8s FlightPower LiPo pack. The motor appears to be a great fit for high-powering a low-cost 90mm EDF and at only $100. On an 8s LiPo supply, it can provide burst power up to 2000 watts at a 74amp burst current. This delivers 6.9lbs of EDF thrust and is within the AMMO 36-88-1280kV Inrunner [link=http://www.electrifly.com/motors/motors-ammo-36-88.html]specifications[/link].[ul][*] WeMoTec [link=http://www.hobby-lobby.com/ductfan.htm]WMD0015[/link] Midi Fan PRO for 5mm Shaft Motors [*] Great Planes ElectriFly Ammo [link=http://www3.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin/wti0001p?&I=LXLXA1&P=7]36-88-1280kV[/link] Brushless Electric Motor[*] Castle Creations Phoenix [link=http://www3.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin/wti0001p?&I=LXLBY4&P=ML]HV85[/link] ESC[*] Two FlightPower [link=http://www3.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin/wti0001p?&I=LXRWA2&P=7]EVO25[/link] 3700mAh 4-cell (14.8v) LiPo batteries in series
[/ul]

Greg Covey 12-31-2008 02:43 PM

RE: EDF Predator UCAV from Nitro Planes
 
1 Attachment(s)
After gluing in a pair of 2-1/4" long hardwood slats, the Midi Pro fan fit perfectly in the ducted fan bay. I'll be using the air intake ring that comes with the Midi Pro fan because the bay area opens into a large area.

Kwesdog 12-31-2008 02:58 PM

RE: EDF Predator UCAV from Nitro Planes
 
Greg,

Are you going with the stock landing gear or is there room for or better yet are retracts practical for this airframe?

Harry

Greg Covey 12-31-2008 03:12 PM

RE: EDF Predator UCAV from Nitro Planes
 
Harry,

My current plan is to start with the stock fixed gear and do grass take-offs. This is largely due to the constraints of reviewing the model unmodified. If the model flies well and goes as fast as I am expecting it to go, then I may revisit the gear design because less drag means more speed. :)

Regards.

evan-RCU 12-31-2008 03:34 PM

RE: EDF Predator UCAV from Nitro Planes
 
I was looking at the 101mm fan at united going hmmmm....

This looks nice at a pretty good price but to be honest I don't like dealing with some companies because parts are impossible to get and customer service is spotty.

Nitro Planes has had some very nice planes though and this looks like another.

Greg Covey 01-03-2009 04:04 PM

RE: EDF Predator UCAV from Nitro Planes
 
1 Attachment(s)
The assembly begins by securing the ailerons to the wing halves with thin CA. The servos are then either glued to the bay covers or screwed to the supplied blocks that are glued to the covers. I glued my servos to the covers with CA.

I had two Hitec HS-322HD servos and two HS-81 mini servos available so I decided to use the heavier (and larger) 1.5oz HS-322 servos for the aileron control since it was near the CG. The lighter 0.6oz HS-81 servos will be used in the back for elevator control.

All the hardware was supplied in the kit including the nut and keepers for added security. A string was installed inside the wing to help pull the servo wire through to the end.

Greg Covey 01-04-2009 09:15 AM

RE: EDF Predator UCAV from Nitro Planes
 
1 Attachment(s)
I skipped over the gear installation to install the wings. The fiberglass fuselage was only cut out for the aluminum bar so you needed to drill two holes for the wooden dowel supports and a slot for the servo control wire on each side. The fuselage had impressions for these areas so it was easy to drill and cut in the proper places. The four wooden dowels, two per wing half, were glued to the wing with epoxy. A T-nut is pre-installed in each wing half between the aluminum bar and servo wire opening. Once the wing is pressed against the fuselage, a M4x20mm hex head screw and washer hold it securely in place from inside the fuselage.

There wasn't a photo for the missile assembly but I could see the correct orientation from the "Main Wing" drawing on the back of the manual. This was a two step process in which you first glued the missile mounting piece onto the wing end, with 5-minute epoxy, and then glued the missile in place. I shaved the side of the missile to be glued flat before gluing it in place. The covering was also removed from the wing end before gluing the mounting piece in place.

slevin1 01-14-2009 09:52 PM

RE: EDF Predator UCAV from Nitro Planes
 
Greg,

Will you be posting this review on the RCU Magazine with some video?

Saul

Greg Covey 01-15-2009 07:31 PM

RE: EDF Predator UCAV from Nitro Planes
 
Hi Saul,

Yes, I will.

I'm a bit backed up with other projects and the AMMO motor I want to use doesn't get released for another month so there may be some delay in my posts. Since this model requires a runway (grass or paved) I can't fly it until Springtime hits upstate NY in April or May anyway.

Regards.

slevin1 01-15-2009 09:20 PM

RE: EDF Predator UCAV from Nitro Planes
 
Thanks Greg. Question: I see that you are using a 90mm fan & a 4 cell lipo pack whereas the website says the plane requires a 101mm fan (a 4" fan) & a 6 cell lipo pack. Explain please.

Thanks,
Saul

Greg Covey 01-16-2009 01:02 PM

RE: EDF Predator UCAV from Nitro Planes
 
Saul,

Read it again...it says two 4s in series for an 8-cell total. This is my best guess. It may actually use 8s to 10s depending upon my measurments. Sometimes the Kv rating on motors is not always accurate so it is important to take measurements of current, power, and RPMs.

A 101mm fan is the maxiumum that will fit. A smaller fan can be used in many applications, especially if it is more efficient and more powerful. Sometimes a smaller fan can be used to reduce weight as well because the motor, ESC, and batteries weigh less.

Regards.

slevin1 01-21-2009 10:46 PM

RE: EDF Predator UCAV from Nitro Planes
 
Hi Greg,

I took a look at the plane again on their web site & it says 22.2 volts which would be 6s.

Saul

Kwesdog 01-22-2009 11:30 AM

RE: EDF Predator UCAV from Nitro Planes
 
Greg you may already have looked at the other site that deals with electrics that has zone in it but I thought I would point this out to you in case you havent. Some of the guys have stated that there may be a nice CG error with regard to what the manual states. Might be worth looking into.

Harry

Greg Covey 01-22-2009 12:47 PM

RE: EDF Predator UCAV from Nitro Planes
 
Hi Saul,

Nitro only has a recommendation for a power system for the model without specifics. It is merely a suggestion. I am trying my own new setup using a motor that has not even hit the market yet. If it works, it will provide more power for less cost than others in the same range. Time will tell...

Harry,

Thanks for the heads up. Don't be afraid to say E-Zone or RC Groups here. I started my electric flight obssesion as a moderator on the E-Zone back in the late 90's until about 2003. If you saw the manual for this Predator UCAV EDF, you would be suspicious of the CG too. It is the price we pay for such a discounted yet excellent value model. I will take a closer look at the CG soon.

Regards.

Greg Covey 01-25-2009 08:49 AM

RE: EDF Predator UCAV from Nitro Planes
 
1 Attachment(s)
I thought this next step was going to be much more difficult but it turned out quite easy since the non-marked area to be cut inside the servo frame was soft enough to use just a razor knife.

The Hitec HS-81 servos fit perfectly in the plywood bay frame opening. I secured 36" HD extensions to the control lines by first tying the connectors with Firewire and then covering them with shrink wrap. The lighter .6oz HS-81 servos will provide 42oz/in torque on my 6v CC BEC.

Greg Covey 01-27-2009 05:50 PM

RE: EDF Predator UCAV from Nitro Planes
 
1 Attachment(s)
The elevator linkages installed nicely using the included hardware and keepers. One servo was connected to the elevator input on my Spektrum receiver and the other was mixed into the AUX2 channel. When using a Spektrum receiver, remember to use mixes 5 or 6 to have the trim work both channels together.

Kwesdog 01-28-2009 05:25 PM

RE: EDF Predator UCAV from Nitro Planes
 
I know where the CG issues are coming from now. I couldnt pass up this nice looking airplane for 130 bucks so I got one and have it 90% done.

The motor is no where near far enough back. To even get close to hitting the CG with where the motor sits even when its all the way back in the saddle you will have to put weight in the back or slide the batteries over the intakes on the airframe. I had to line up the back edge of my packs with the lip of the inlet and I was at about 7.25 inches back from the wing. That was with my 8S1P 3850 packs. I plan on going with an 8S2P 4000 but this is going to add another few ounces and I dont know how much farther back I can reall y push it before the packs get into the airflow. Not that it will matter a whole bunch as long as I am not restricting the airflow since I am not going to run inlet ducts but then its a pain to plug in the batteries.

Harry

Greg Covey 01-31-2009 11:31 AM

RE: EDF Predator UCAV from Nitro Planes
 
1 Attachment(s)
I'm approaching the point where I can check the CG so I marked settings of 7.25" and 8.25" on the wing bottom.

The main landing gear mounted very well without any issues. The holes were pre-drilled in the fuselage and T-nuts already mounted in the former. I only needed to cut off the excess axle length with a Dremel tool.

The steerable nose gear installation was not as easy. The hole for the gear wire was not marked on the fuselage so I installed the plastic piece inside the fuselage first since the T-nuts were already installed. I used a long rod with a sharpened end to press through the gear wire holes on the plastic piece to create an aligned hole from the inside to the outside. The hole was then opened with a 11/64" drill bit.

All the holes in the plastic piece also needed to be opened. I used a 1/8" bit for the screw holes and a 11/64" bit for the gear wire. The smaller nose wheel hole was also opened with an 11/64" bit. Once installed, it allowed me to finally sit the Predator UCAV on its own wheels.

Xpress 03-01-2009 09:43 PM

RE: EDF Predator UCAV from Nitro Planes
 
Looking great Greg! I cannot wait untill you maiden this thing. There doesn't seem to be any videos of it out there yet.

Greg Covey 03-03-2009 07:30 PM

RE: EDF Predator UCAV from Nitro Planes
 
Thanks. I was little bummed to see that the release of the new Great Planes ElectriFly Ammo [link=http://www3.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin/wti0001p?&I=LXLXA1&P=7]36-88-1280kV[/link] Brushless Electric Motor was delayed until late May. I am hoping to use it in this project as a new choice for the highest power at the lowest cost.

E Squared 03-07-2009 08:25 AM

RE: EDF Predator UCAV from Nitro Planes
 
Just purchased one of these kits and can't wait to get it in the air. Anyone else working on or flying one of these birds yet? I'd love to see some video. Anyone trying to put retracts on?

aps f4u 03-10-2009 11:58 PM

RE: EDF Predator UCAV from Nitro Planes
 
1 Attachment(s)

Quote:

ORIGINAL: Kwesdog

I know where the CG issues are coming from now. I couldnt pass up this nice looking airplane for 130 bucks so I got one and have it 90% done.

The motor is no where near far enough back. To even get close to hitting the CG with where the motor sits even when its all the way back in the saddle you will have to put weight in the back or slide the batteries over the intakes on the airframe. I had to line up the back edge of my packs with the lip of the inlet and I was at about 7.25 inches back from the wing. That was with my 8S1P 3850 packs. I plan on going with an 8S2P 4000 but this is going to add another few ounces and I dont know how much farther back I can reall y push it before the packs get into the airflow. Not that it will matter a whole bunch as long as I am not restricting the airflow since I am not going to run inlet ducts but then its a pain to plug in the batteries.

Harry

Ahhhh, A Predator thread! It's nice to see you all :D I see you have the same issue I had. This is what I had to do to correct it. I had to make a battery tray for my 6 cell li-po pack and screw the end of the tray I made to were the steering servo should have been, extend it to just in front of the wing tube exactly one inch. Just check the pick out, you can kind of see what I did. I have had this for quite a while now and I am just now taking it up for it's maiden this saturday. I'll let you know how it goes. My first attempt was about two weeks ago but I didn't have a big enough esc,(taking off grass runway) so I steped it up from a 70 to 100. That should do it!:DI may get my friend out there with his video cam and get some footage and put here on RCU. See you soon.

aps f4u 03-11-2009 12:03 PM

RE: EDF Predator UCAV from Nitro Planes
 
I forgot to note that I also had to use some of that pink foam insulation to help stablize the tray just behind the steering servo tray. you can just barely see some of the foam were it peaks out on the side in the one pic from the top view. I used it because it wieghs nothing and yet is dense enough to hold the tray I made. I used polyurathane to glue the tray to the foam and glued the foam to the fuse. Over all, my Predator came out weighing just between 6.5 and 7 lbs.

aps f4u 03-12-2009 11:33 AM

RE: EDF Predator UCAV from Nitro Planes
 
Well, it looks like Saturday is going to be put on hold. I was taxiing the Predator around in the back lot yesterday and my esc went poof-up in smoke! So I have another esc on order and should be here early next week. I don't have a clue as to what happened as I had it all working good on the bench and it was taxiing fine and on it's way back to me, it started making a funny noise and by the time I throttled down it was all over? I guess thats how the hobby goes :D I havn't ever had an esc burn up on me before like this, but I guess there is always a first! So it looks like I will try some time next week to fly this bird as soon as I get the new esc in the mail.

a

Greg Covey 03-12-2009 06:55 PM

RE: EDF Predator UCAV from Nitro Planes
 
aps,

Thanks for the photos. Where did you end up marking your CG location?

Also, what components are you using in your power system?

Regards.

slevin1 03-13-2009 06:57 AM

RE: EDF Predator UCAV from Nitro Planes
 

Quote:

ORIGINAL: aps f4u

Well, it looks like Saturday is going to be put on hold. I was taxiing the Predator around in the back lot yesterday and my esc went poof-up in smoke! So I have another esc on order and should be here early next week. I don't have a clue as to what happened as I had it all working good on the bench and it was taxiing fine and on it's way back to me, it started making a funny noise and by the time I throttled down it was all over? I guess thats how the hobby goes :D I havn't ever had an esc burn up on me before like this, but I guess there is always a first! So it looks like I will try some time next week to fly this bird as soon as I get the new esc in the mail.

a
You should go with a Castle Creations ESC. If something like that ever happens, they replace it for free. Plus their customer service is fantastic! They may be more expensive than other but they are worth it.

Saul

aps f4u 03-13-2009 08:00 PM

RE: EDF Predator UCAV from Nitro Planes
 

Quote:

ORIGINAL: Greg Covey

aps,

Thanks for the photos. Where did you end up marking your CG location?

Also, what components are you using in your power system?

Regards.

I always use the thickest part of the wing for c.g. if I cant get a good result with the manufactuer's and they have there's set aft of the main wing spar and with the way every thing was to be set up....way nose heavy! So I set the battery in my tray I made slide it around untill I got a good ballance with it at were the aluminum tube goes through (thickest part of the wing) and balanced perfectly and I hope to achieve a good flight that way. If I left the c.g were it was suppose to be, my battery was going to be right in the nose of my fan unit and I didn't want that.

As for my power, I am using some low grade stuff as you can tell:eek: but I didn't want to get a lot of money rapped up in such a low cost plane that and I am new to the bigger edf jets too. So here's the skinny: I have Hobby King 33000kv Brushless motor with 4"df unit, 4900 mah 6cell Rinoh li-poly pack with a Hang It R/C 100AMP esc that IS geting replaced for free:D and should be here early next week. So if every thing goes as planed, I will have it up next week for sure. Keep you all posted!

a

aps f4u 03-13-2009 08:09 PM

RE: EDF Predator UCAV from Nitro Planes
 
Correction, My c.g is just behind the aluminum tube. After closer inspection and pulling my wings off to see my mark, I was a little off from what I had stated before saying right at the tube. I took about an inch off from what they had originally had (8.4 down to 7.4)

algutkin 04-03-2009 12:55 AM

RE: EDF Predator UCAV from Nitro Planes
 
How did the maiden go?

Has anyone got one of these planes in the air yet?

The Himax 96 plug and play setup should be a really good match for this plane, 6S, 1300 watts.

Al

kmp647 04-16-2009 07:24 PM

RE: EDF Predator UCAV from Nitro Planes
 
Greg any news yet?

kmp647 04-16-2009 07:59 PM

RE: EDF Predator UCAV from Nitro Planes
 
I see the motor avail is holding you up

this MIGHT be an option

http://www.hobbycity.com/hobbycity/s...hless_Inrunner

$30 its a 36mm 74mm long 1100kv inrunner

a higher rated choice would b the new Medusa products 36-80-1100 v2 motor ratd at 90a for $145.95
http://www.medusaproducts.com/motors/036-V2.htm
just a thought

aps f4u 04-17-2009 06:13 PM

RE: EDF Predator UCAV from Nitro Planes
 
I ended up selling or should say, having to sell my Predator and a few other planes to a good friend of mine due to lossing my job. I hated to have to do this but in times like this and our economy falling on it's face, I need a roof over my familys head rather than my toy's right now.
My buddy told me I would be able to maiden it though, so I guess there is still an upside to selling an airplane that you really don't want but have too.... to a friend!:D

Kwesdog 06-03-2009 12:12 PM

RE: EDF Predator UCAV from Nitro Planes
 
I flew mine last Monday with the 8S2P packs. It flew great but be warned that with those hige ailerons you will need a good amount of expo.

 I also noticed that the landing gear block is one piece and it sucks. If anyone is building this thing I would reenforce the gear block from the topside with another piece of ply and epoxy then just redrill the holes through the new piece. I think they just hot glued the blocks in there because the spread is not uniform. The block will also rip out very easily because it isnt notched into anything so any resistance from rolling forward will be totally absorbed by the glue joint so flying of anything but the smoothest surface will eventually lead to a gear failure.

 Other than the gear problem and a couple of the parts that didnt line up too great this isnt a bad deal for 120-130 bucks. I am thinking if you wanted to venture into 90mm + sized stuff but were worrried about the cost that this plane wouldnt be a bad starting point.

 Harry

Greg Covey 06-03-2009 12:47 PM

RE: EDF Predator UCAV from Nitro Planes
 
Harry,

Thanks for posting your findings.

I will be resuming my build thread here in just a few days as I have given up on the new release AMMO motor since they pushed the date out to the end of September.

My new Medusa <span style="font-size: 9pt;">MR-3680-1100V2SE-5</span> motor should arrive today. I plan to run it on a 12s Lipo supply off of grass so stay tuned...

Regards.



aps f4u 06-03-2009 12:57 PM

RE: EDF Predator UCAV from Nitro Planes
 
So in other words, I take it  that the Predator has no real bad flying <font size="2">characteristics? I had sold mine to a good friend who has yet to fly it and is planning on getting it up in the next couple of weeks and is going to let me maiden it. I can't wait to fly it as I had it in my shop for what seemed forever to me untill just the begining of the year and then came the axe from the job so it had to go. I think I may tell him to reinforce the landing gear block as well as I noticed that they did pretty much hot glue the whole plane like you stated.
What is the finnished weight of your predator, Kwesdog? I had a 6cell lipoly which went with the predator when I sold it, and it came out around 7.5 lbs. My buddy was thinking of trying to go with some smaller packs in a series because the one I had is a pretty heavy Rhino pack and I know ther are a lot lighter packs out there.</font>

Greg Covey 06-03-2009 04:16 PM

RE: EDF Predator UCAV from Nitro Planes
 
1 Attachment(s)
As expected, my Medusa motor showed up today. My new power system for the Predator UCAV includes the following.
[ul][*] Medusa [link=http://www.medusaproducts.com/motors/036-V2.htm#MR036080XXXX-5]MR-3680-1100V2SE-5[/link][*] Castle Creations [link=http://www.castlecreations.com/products/phoenix_hv_series.html]HV85[/link] ESC[*] Two FlightPower [link=http://www3.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin/wti0001p?&I=LXWUD2&P=7]EON28[/link] 6s 3350mAh packs in series
[/ul]

Note that the Medusa V2 motor wires come out at a right angle for an easy exit through the exhaust tube. The motor shaft also has a flat side for the set screw on the Wemotec Midi Pro 5mm adapter to keep it from spinning under high RPMs.

The power system measurements are from Carl Rich. (12s LiPo, 75amps, 3333 watts, 200mph e-flux)


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