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aerobird mods

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Old 09-21-2006, 12:42 AM
  #1  
hissyfit10
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Default aerobird mods

this thread can be about any modifications you have made or know of reguarding the aerobird or similar rtf trainers.
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Old 09-21-2006, 11:43 AM
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Default RE: aerobird mods

The two modifications that I made to the Aerobird Challenger is a Pro Tail and skiis for winter flying. The Pro-Tail is made by placing tape across the slot between the control surface and the stationary part of the tail, filling the slot with epoxy, then wrapping the tape over the top to keep the epoxy in place. Once the Epoxy is fully set, cut a new slot beginning at the old slot and going toward the front of the tail. The entire tip of the tail becomes part of the control surface. Adjust the location of the control lines through the control horns for differing amounts of response. I have mine set all the way in, and at full throttle on the stock batteries the plane is a handful to control. For details on maiking the skiis, go to my Skiis thread in the ParkFlyer section.
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Old 09-22-2006, 09:00 AM
  #3  
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Default RE: aerobird mods

cool the ski section doesnt help me much but may be helpful for others. i will definately do the controll surface mod,i definately need more control surface.
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Old 10-19-2006, 10:15 PM
  #4  
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Default RE: aerobird mods

It was the one day of the week when I could fly. I had the car packed and
ready for whatever type of flying would be best. The morning would tell which
I would fly.

2M & 3M sailplane in the car along with hi-start and winch for thermal
sailplane
flying if conditions are good.

EPP Foam Zagi wing - if the wind is in the right direction for slope soaring

Aerobird - all set with 5 freshly charged batteries and two chargers for
electric parkflying, thermal hunting or slope soaring. The Aerobird does it
all!


I went to bed dreaming of flying.


I woke up early, and looked out the window. There was a nice white layer of
snow and a fine rain had just stopped. Oh darn, that would make the field
sloppy for setting up the winch or hi-start and I really didn't want to land
my nice 3M balsa sailplane in wet snow.

No thermal sailplane flying today.

I ran to the computer to check the wind direction. Very little wind, and
coming from the wrong direction.

No slope soaring.

The last time I took the Aerobird out in wet snow, the insides got all wet and
the plane started glitching all over the place. The next day, after it had
dried out, there were no problems, but I didn't want to do that again.

Darn, no flying today.

I went out to the car to unload when I heard a little voice .... whisper ...

gotta fly!

Yes, gotta fly, but conditions are wet. No good.

Again I heard it and realized it was the Aerobird talking to me.

Ed, I just need a raincoat.

Raincoat? Right! Great idea!

So I grabbed the Aerobird and ran into the house to my workshop and made the
Aerobird a raincoat ... ... weather hood!

The posts at this link outline what I did.

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showt...19#post3442319

GOTTA FLY!
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Old 10-19-2006, 10:17 PM
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Default RE: aerobird mods

I have an Aerobird Challenger that has been through hell, high winds, slope
soaring, thermaling, crashes, trees and more than a few smooth flights and
good landings. I would guess 250+ flights easy!!

But over time the poor bird has degraded in the quality of its flight. It
lives in my car in the original box. In the heat of the summer and the cold of
the NY winter it sits in the car, ever ready to take to the sky. It rarely
gets the kind of "tune up" that my other planes get. Tonight it got a good
going over. I share my work as it might be helpful to you.

Good old Polyethylene!

The body is polyethylene, a plastic that can be molded when it is hot. This is
the body or the pod of the plane. If your body/fuselage had become dented,
twisted and somewhat out of true, try some heat!

The nose of mine was slightly offset to the right.

I also noticed that on the last few flights I needed more and more up trim to
keep the plane flying.

It also had a dented or bashed in nose, from a hard hit.

To check the tail allignment I laid the fuse and boom on a flat board in such
a way that the two orange screws on the tail could hang off the board. I
discovered that the rear of the fuselage, where the boom comes into the body,
was slightly drooped. The boom was mounted solidly so that was not the
problem. The body was bent. What to do?

Find the heat gun!

I heated the fuselage area all around the boom, going forward half way and up
half way. I got it hot to the touch but did not melt it. The plastic becomes
more pliable when it is hot. After I heated it, I clamped the boom to the
board so that it, and the body, were flat, V tail in normal flying position,
and let the fuselage cool. Much of the bend was gone. I did it again. This
time, after the fuse cooled, all the "bow" was gone. The boom now projected
directly out from the back of the plane. The structure feels strong so I think
it will hold. I am sure it will fly better now.

The nose was dented from a hard knock. It looked bad and the indented nose
messes up the aerodynamics. I removed the nose foam and again heated the
plastic. When it was hot I took a sharpie marker and pushed the nose dent out
from the inside till the nose was smooth again. Use something rounded to do
this, not a sharp item or you might push right through.

Two problems fixed. I used some double sided tape to reset the nose foam.

Looking from nose to tail I could see that the body twisted to one side. Heat
gun again to both sides of the body. Got it hot, then twisted the body in the
opposite direction slightly past straight and held it for about a minute as
the plastic cooled. Twist was almost gone. So I repeated. Now the body is
straight and true.

So, if your Aerobird Challenger, Xtreme, Firebird whatever, T-Hawk or any of
the other polyethylene pod and boom planes, is a bit twisted, or banged in,
try a heat gun or a hair dryer. As the plastic gets hot it is more flexible
and you can undent it, or take a sag out or twist it back to true then hold it
while it cools.


Give it a try!!!
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Old 10-19-2006, 10:18 PM
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Default RE: aerobird mods

This motor mount modification on the Aerobird and Aerobird Challenger is
probably the single most valuable addition you can make to your plane. I
originally posted this on the internet in April 2003 and hundreds, of people
have made the change and praised its effectiveness.

Here are pictures of the damage I sustained from a hard nose in crash as
well
as the repair. This plane would not have flown properly with the motor like
this.
http://share.shutterfly.com/action/w...2Ys2bU&notag=1

Here is a thread about the original repair:
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showt...5&pagenumber=1

You drill holes from the sides, right in front of the motor and put a nylon
tie wrap through that sits just in contact with the motor. If you hard hit
the nose, this helps support the motor and prevents it from moving. The
holes
are 1/2" apart, centered on the motor. I used an 8" nylon tie-wrap/zip tie,
but a 7" would probably be fine and a little less bulky.

I also include some shots of the motor and control board out of the plane,
just for reference. Remember that this is an original Aerobird so the
Challenger's board looks a little different but you remove the guts the same
way. The motor reinforcement works perfectly on the Challenger.

When you put the tie wrap in, you have to slip it under the noise
suppression
components that are soldered between the motor terminals. They are the
orange
disks in one of the photos. I used a small screwdriver to just lift them
away
gently from the motor slightly so the tie would fit against the motor.

Just take your time and don't over tighten the tie wrap. Leave a little
slack
as the body needs to flex on a crash and the tie-wrap will pull through the
body if it is pulled tight.

The photos show a yellow tie wrap, but that was just for pictures. I cut
this
out and replaced it with an orange one that looks much better on the plane.

I love the Aerobird. A few months ago I upgraded to the Challenger which is
now one of my favoriate planes. The original Aerobird is still with me, now
dedicated to night flying.

Between the two I have over 350 flights. I power fly the Challenger, I
thermal soar it and have added slope soaring to the things I do with this
versitle plane.

It is very good in the wind as well. I have flown the plane in a measured
18
mph wind, allowed it to get 150 feet down wind from me, cut the motor and
glided it back to me and landed it at my feet. It was fun to watch the
faces
of some pilots with large gas planes when I did that.

The Aerobird Challenger is the plane I typically use to train new pilots.
It
is rugged and easy to fly. Parts are cheap and very available. There are
probably 8 or 10 that fly at our club field.

I now have 17 planes that range from a 30 inch parkflyer and a 33" wing
span
discus launched glider to a 3.6 M (12 foot) wing span scale sailplane.
However, the Challenger lives in the car and is always ready for some fun,
no
matter what kind of flying I want to do.

Don't wait, do this mod on your Aerobird. Do it now, before you need it!
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Old 10-19-2006, 10:19 PM
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Default RE: aerobird mods

MAKING THE AEROBIRD MORE RESPONSIVE
by Ed Anderson

How you have your Aerobird Challenger or Aerobird Xtreme set-up will
determine
how it
behaves. Also, the speed at which you are flying and the position of the
throttle will impact the way the
plane behaves. And finally the wind strength and direction relative to the
plane will either enhanced or resist the turning of the plane. You have to
become aware of all of these things as you fly your Aerobird.

From the factory the Aerobird it is set for very mild behavior because new
pilots tend to over control the plane. You can make the plane more
responsive
in several ways.

1) In any mode, if you are flying at reduced throttle and want to make an
aggressive turn, boost the throttle for a moment as you give the rudder
input.
The greater flow of air over the tail will make the plane turn faster. A
brief
burst is
all it takes.

2) If you have an Aerobird Challenger, start the plane up in pro mode. In
sport when you give a rudder command, one surface moves. In pro mode, two
surfaces move in coordination giving you twice as much surface area to turn
the plane.

The control surfaces on the Aerobird are called ruddervators because they
provide both rudder and elevator controls. By increasing the size of the
ruddervator surface, or the length of the movement, the throw, of the
surface
we can make the plane more responsive.

3) Another way to get more surface movement is to move the control lines
closer to the hole closes to the tail surface. This results in larger
surface
movement when you
move the stick. This is called increasing the surface throw. You should do
this and get used to it before you do anything that follows.

4) You can tape something very light but stiff to the control surface to
make
it longer. A piece of a business card works well. Tape it so that part of
the card extends rearward from the moveable surface. Try it with just a 1/4
inch and see the difference. You can use tape or glue or both. Make sure it
is flat and perfectly aligned with the control surface or it will throw off
your straight flight performance.

5) I taped across the move able part to the outer stationary part of the
tail.
Then you cut to the side of the moveable part of the tail and trim away the
excess tape. Leave the tape on the outer stationary part as it is weakened
by
having part of it cut away. This makes the control surface wider.

6) You can combine 3, 4 and 5.

7) Lastly, you can drill a new hole in the control horn closer to the
surface.
Again, this will give you more throw. However I would caution this one as I
believe it puts some real strain on the servos. I have heard of people
burning
out the servos this way.

So, do them one at a time.

The first two are easy and require no modifications to the plane. The third
is outlined in the manual. The next three change the tail. The last one
should only be done if you are willing to risk the electronics. While
making
the tail wider and longer also put more stress on the servos, putting a new
hole lower seems to really stress them. Doing 6 and 7 will give you maximum
effect will almost surely burn out the servos.

If you are totally new to flying, you might find this
valuable in your training.

Six Keys to Success
http://www.wattflyer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=18
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Old 10-19-2006, 10:21 PM
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Default RE: aerobird mods

FIXING WINGS AND TAILS
By Ed Anderson
aeajr on the forums

Repairing a low cost foam wing, typicak of the HobbyZone and similar planes
is not hard. However trying it fix a creased or folded wing with packing
tape alone doesn't really work very well. It works better on the tail
because it encounters different forces, but what I am about to explain works
MUCH better on both the wing and tail and is easy to do. It should also
apply to the Xtreme, Sky Fly, the Firebirds, and all similar planes that use
a foam core wing.

A creased taped wing might fly, but at the first real stress, its going to
fold and you are going to crash. Tape alone has no body or stiffness of its
own to resist a fold since the wing's internal foam is compressed. Net Net,
there
is nothing to resist the next fold. You need to stiffen and support the
wing. Here are things I have used for wings and the V tail with pretty good
results.

Take a hobby knife or razor blade and open the vinyl covering at the crease
or stressed area. Get the wing set in the proper position, even bend it
slightly the other way to open up the gap.

Basic repair

Fill the folded area with Elmer's white glue or titebond yellow glue. The
white and yellow glues will seep into the foam and bond with it and stiffen
it.

It is best if you let it dry overnight, but give it at least 3 hours to seep
into the foam. Now, fill it again. The second coat will fill the gap. Let
it dry 24 hours then check it. If it is fully dried, apply a little clear
packing tape to help it resist pulling open.

Stronger repair approaches

If your repair is in the center area of the wing, say within 6 inches of
where the rubber bands cross, or if you tend to fly hard, do lots of loops,
fly in wind and the like, then you probably want to take this next step.

For a wing, I add thin but somewhat stiff strip of 1/32 ply, to the top of
the wing to bridge and support the area. Typically this is 8-16 inches
long and 1/2-1 inch wide. Regardless of where the repair is, you always
center this wood strip on the wing so that the wing is balanced and the
impact on the air foil is uniform. This will resist flexing in both
directions but is not so stiff that it encourages the wing to fold at the
end of the ply. Also 1/32 ply is light and flexible so it will shape to the
curve of the wing so as to minimize the extra drag the repair will cause.
To get it to more closely align with the wing I use thin double sided carpet
tape on the strip. Try to get the ply in complete contact with the wing.
It is stiff enough to resist the next fold, but will still flex with the
wing. When it is set, cover it with clear packing tape. Don't tuck it in
tight around the ply, stretch it out so that it forms a smooth air flow
surface.

Another method to support a deep fold or a break is to slit the vinyl along
the length of the wing and embed a spar, a piece of wood or wood dowel, that
will act as a support. If you look at the T-Hawk, or the Aerobird Xtreme,
you will see an embedded dowel that provides some stiffness to the wing.
Again, glue this in using the procedure above, then close the gap with
packing tape.

If you are fixing a tail, use the same process, but use 1/64 ply or a
thinner towel to keep it light. Be sure to do the left and right the same
to keep the tail balanced. Now cover it with clear packing tape stretched
so that it forms a smooth finish with no sharp edges so the air can flow
nicely over the wing. The repair does effect the shape of the wing so it
does impact how the plane flies, but not enough to matter if you fly under
power most of the time. If you like to glide and thermal, I find these
wings are not as good as a new wing but they are very useable.

When repairing the tail, any added weight on the tail will make the plane
tail heavy. If you are flying with the 6 cell battery and tend to leave the
landing gear off, this could tend to make the plane a bit "twitchy" or
sensitive. Some people like this because it becomes very responsive.
However if you like your plane stable, you might have to add a dime to the
battery area to rebalance it. Fly it and see what you need.

I have never had one of these fold.

While Epoxy is strong, it doesn't move with the foam the way Elmer's or
Titebond will. I have seen a tendency for epoxy to pull away from the foam
as the wing flexes. However give it a try and let us know your experience.
.

Reinforcing new wings

If you look at the T-Hawk or the Aerobird Xtreme, they have a support rod
embedded into it when you buy it. This gives you a stiffer wing which will
resist bending under pressure of aerobatics. You can follow the procedure
outlined above for repairs, but you can do this when you get he wing new.

This is a Recommended wing reinforcement posted by by mdp17681 for the Sky
Fly. Might work well on the aerobird too.
http://www.wattflyer.com/forums/show...8&postcount=16

Don't Depend on Tape

Give it a try. The key message here is don't depend on tape to keep the
crease from folding again. Tape is good for closing up damage on the front
or
rear edges of the wing and for reinforcement of a new wing by the prop area,
but it can't keep a creased wing from folding up again.
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Old 10-19-2006, 10:21 PM
  #9  
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Default RE: aerobird mods

FIXING WINGS AND TAILS
By Ed Anderson
aeajr on the forums

Repairing a low cost foam wing, typicak of the HobbyZone and similar planes
is not hard. However trying it fix a creased or folded wing with packing
tape alone doesn't really work very well. It works better on the tail
because it encounters different forces, but what I am about to explain works
MUCH better on both the wing and tail and is easy to do. It should also
apply to the Xtreme, Sky Fly, the Firebirds, and all similar planes that use
a foam core wing.

A creased taped wing might fly, but at the first real stress, its going to
fold and you are going to crash. Tape alone has no body or stiffness of its
own to resist a fold since the wing's internal foam is compressed. Net Net,
there
is nothing to resist the next fold. You need to stiffen and support the
wing. Here are things I have used for wings and the V tail with pretty good
results.

Take a hobby knife or razor blade and open the vinyl covering at the crease
or stressed area. Get the wing set in the proper position, even bend it
slightly the other way to open up the gap.

Basic repair

Fill the folded area with Elmer's white glue or titebond yellow glue. The
white and yellow glues will seep into the foam and bond with it and stiffen
it.

It is best if you let it dry overnight, but give it at least 3 hours to seep
into the foam. Now, fill it again. The second coat will fill the gap. Let
it dry 24 hours then check it. If it is fully dried, apply a little clear
packing tape to help it resist pulling open.

Stronger repair approaches

If your repair is in the center area of the wing, say within 6 inches of
where the rubber bands cross, or if you tend to fly hard, do lots of loops,
fly in wind and the like, then you probably want to take this next step.

For a wing, I add thin but somewhat stiff strip of 1/32 ply, to the top of
the wing to bridge and support the area. Typically this is 8-16 inches
long and 1/2-1 inch wide. Regardless of where the repair is, you always
center this wood strip on the wing so that the wing is balanced and the
impact on the air foil is uniform. This will resist flexing in both
directions but is not so stiff that it encourages the wing to fold at the
end of the ply. Also 1/32 ply is light and flexible so it will shape to the
curve of the wing so as to minimize the extra drag the repair will cause.
To get it to more closely align with the wing I use thin double sided carpet
tape on the strip. Try to get the ply in complete contact with the wing.
It is stiff enough to resist the next fold, but will still flex with the
wing. When it is set, cover it with clear packing tape. Don't tuck it in
tight around the ply, stretch it out so that it forms a smooth air flow
surface.

Another method to support a deep fold or a break is to slit the vinyl along
the length of the wing and embed a spar, a piece of wood or wood dowel, that
will act as a support. If you look at the T-Hawk, or the Aerobird Xtreme,
you will see an embedded dowel that provides some stiffness to the wing.
Again, glue this in using the procedure above, then close the gap with
packing tape.

If you are fixing a tail, use the same process, but use 1/64 ply or a
thinner towel to keep it light. Be sure to do the left and right the same
to keep the tail balanced. Now cover it with clear packing tape stretched
so that it forms a smooth finish with no sharp edges so the air can flow
nicely over the wing. The repair does effect the shape of the wing so it
does impact how the plane flies, but not enough to matter if you fly under
power most of the time. If you like to glide and thermal, I find these
wings are not as good as a new wing but they are very useable.

When repairing the tail, any added weight on the tail will make the plane
tail heavy. If you are flying with the 6 cell battery and tend to leave the
landing gear off, this could tend to make the plane a bit "twitchy" or
sensitive. Some people like this because it becomes very responsive.
However if you like your plane stable, you might have to add a dime to the
battery area to rebalance it. Fly it and see what you need.

I have never had one of these fold.

While Epoxy is strong, it doesn't move with the foam the way Elmer's or
Titebond will. I have seen a tendency for epoxy to pull away from the foam
as the wing flexes. However give it a try and let us know your experience.
.

Reinforcing new wings

If you look at the T-Hawk or the Aerobird Xtreme, they have a support rod
embedded into it when you buy it. This gives you a stiffer wing which will
resist bending under pressure of aerobatics. You can follow the procedure
outlined above for repairs, but you can do this when you get he wing new.

This is a Recommended wing reinforcement posted by by mdp17681 for the Sky
Fly. Might work well on the aerobird too.
http://www.wattflyer.com/forums/show...8&postcount=16

Don't Depend on Tape

Give it a try. The key message here is don't depend on tape to keep the
crease from folding again. Tape is good for closing up damage on the front
or
rear edges of the wing and for reinforcement of a new wing by the prop area,
but it can't keep a creased wing from folding up again.
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Old 10-19-2006, 10:23 PM
  #10  
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Default RE: aerobird mods

Plane Locator

Do you fly your Aerobird, Firebird, or other 27 MHZ plane near woods, swamps,
high grass or corn fields. If your plane goes down in one of those areas it
can be VERY hard to find. This can help.

On the Aerobird I use one of these on the plane and one stays in my pocket.
The effective range is 50-150 feet depending on conditions. It is called a
keyringer
www.keyringer.com

If I put the plane down in very tall grass, or in the woods ( don't ask ) it
can be hard to find. If I am looking for the plane, I click the one in my
hand and the one on the plane answers. I mount it under the rubber band that
holds on the wing. Doesn't seem to hurt the lift.
www.keyringer.com

Here is a review of another Emergency Locator Beacon that illustrates its
value. Your keyringer will serve the same purpose.
http://webhome.idirect.com/~arrowmfg...s/elb-revi.htm


Another great plane locator for the Aerobird is the combat module. When you hit the fire button it lets out a loud noise that you can hear for a long distance. I will help you find the plane.
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Old 10-19-2006, 10:24 PM
  #11  
aeajr
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Default RE: aerobird mods

After 300+ flights you can imagine that I have come across various things that
need to be fixed on my Aerobird. I fly it in the snow, the wind, the cold, I
fly it anytime and everywhere. My Aerobird is not babied.

On a couple of occasions I have gotten the interior quite wet. This lead to
some erratic motor control or problems with servo control. However when I let
it dry out, all was well. But not this time.

Two weekends in a row I flew it over snow. On landing, I got snow in the bird
which got all the electronics wet. Sure enough things didn't work right. So
I packed it up and took it home to dry out. But this time the problem did not
clear up. I was getting a pulsing of the motor above half throttle. What do
I do?

Since drying out did not help, I concluded that something had been left on the
circuit board that had been on the snow and it was causing a short. So I took
some electrical contact cleaner. In my case I used TechSpray RID-OX contact
protector/enhancer.
http://www.hmcelectronics.com/cgi-bi...duct/8591-0055


I sprayed the circuit board, still in the plane, especially the X port area.
Then I let it dry about 20 minutes. Problem gone.

About 2 months ago I had a similar problem with my transmitter. I was
occasionally getting full throttle even though I had the control all the way
to zero. I opened the radio and checked everything. Nothing obvious. So I
sprayed the throttle control with the Rid-0x. Let it dry overnight. Next
day, problem gone.

Net net, if you use your plane as freely as I do, you are going to get some
dirt someplace where you don't want it. If you see a problem like this, pick
up some contact cleaner, like Rid-Ox, and try cleaning the circuit board. If
your plane is not working right, it is worth a try.

Clear skis and safe flying!

================================================== ==


This product was recommended by the local electronics store for this purpose.
Cleans and seals to protect from moisture and corrosion. He encouraged me to
use it freely.

On advice of a friend, I originally bought it to use on my ZAGI electronics.
Since we fly near the ocean, before I sealed in the electronics, he had me
fully assemble the receiver connections, then put it in a plastic bag. Then
spray the receiver and connection area of the receiver with this to reduce
chances of corrosion from salt air sneaking in.

A few months ago, I dropped that zagi in the ocean water about 2 feet from the
shore line where It was washed over by waves for a few minutes till I could
get to it.

I opened it up a flushed everything with water several times at the beach and
when I got home. I pulled everything out and let it air dry after one more
washing. After a week the micro 555 receiver range checked fine and after
inspecting al the interior components of the receiver I saw no signs of
corrosion. It was all fine EXCEPT the receiver battery and the plane locator,
both of which had to be replaced and neither of which had been sprayed.
EVERYTHING GOT A LIBERAL SHOT ON THE REASSEMBLY. So far so good.

I will keep my eyes open for any sign of problems and will post if I do see
any problems. However after about a year on the Zagi and three months on the
Aerobird transmitter all is working fine.

I will put the Aerobird at risk and fly it where I would not dare to fly
anything else because it will take so much abuse, put up with so much and, if
fatally damaged, $45 and I have a brand new fuselage and a full complement of
electronics, ready to live the free flying life again.

My HItec Micro 555 and Electron 6 receivers cost more than that.

Yes, my Aerobird is taken everywhere. That is its role in my fleet and it
fulfills that role well. Parkflyer, thermal glider, slope soarer.
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Old 10-19-2006, 10:26 PM
  #12  
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Default RE: aerobird mods

I have been flying my original Aerobird since March 2003. I added an
Aerobird Challenger a 18 months ago. Between them I have over 600 flights.
I love them both!

Today my fleet consists of 2 Aerobirds, 3 other electrics, 7 thermal
duration sailplanes, two discus launched gliders and three slope gliders.

I added lights to the original Aerobird for night flight. That was
weird. It was like flying a ghost. You can't see the plane, only the lights.
They now have a night module for the challenger. I have that too.

I pounded the original Aerobird into the ground, destroyed three wings,
and two tails. I had to build a new motor mount because I destroyed that
too. All this, and the plane still flies, but it has taken a real beating.
That
is what makes it such a great three channel beginner plane. Along the way I
have had to solve many problems because I was so reckless with it while I
was
learning to fly it. So, I pass on what I have learned.

Fortunately the newer Challenger has had a somewhat easier life, but it
still gets banged around a bit because I will take risks with it that I
would not
expose my other planes to, because I know it can take it, and if I destroy
the fuse, for $40 I get a new body, and all the electronics. So I can
afford to
take chances with my challenger.

First - RTFM - Read the friendly manual.


Respect Wind

This plane can definitely fly in 12-15 mph winds. However wait till you have
mastered it. Most of my crashes came from flying in too much wind before I
was ready. Make your early flights in under 5 mph winds.

Always launch into the wind and land into the wind. And, fly with the wind
blowing toward you so the wind will not carry your plane away, it will tend
to bring it to you.

Motor Mount

This is the first thing you should do. Before you take a hard nose hit,
reinforce the motor mount. I will not elaborate here, visit this thread to
find the information. It contains advice from other pilots and what I
finally did to reinforce the mount. You should do this before you need it.
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showt...5&pagenumber=1
This thread was posted by someone did an excellent job using photos to show
how to do the motor mount modification. I encourage you to make this
modification.
http://www.rc-forums.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=1173

Here are also some shots of the control board out of the plane which can be
helpful.
http://share.shutterfly.com/action/w...2Ys2bU&notag=1


Plane Does Not Fly Straight - what could cause this?

Assuming you have not displaced the motor, and you are having
problems with the plane not flying straight, check the following:

a)) Check the trim adjustments. They may have been moved from center. Set
them to center and make all adjustments assuming you will fly with the trim
set in the center.

b)Make sure the moveable surfaces are even with the fixed surfaces on the
tail when the stick is centered and the trim levers are centered. You MUST
check this with the transmitter on and the battery attached. If they are not
even, adjust them with the screws on the control horns. The procedure is in
the manual. RTFM

Note, there is a tiny Phillips head screw on the back of the control horn on
the tail. Tighten it or the spool could unwind while the plane is in the
air, causing a crash. (Guess how I know this!)

c) Check to see that the boom is solidly attached at the body. If this comes
loose, it can move around while the plane is flying causing all kinds of
problems. It can also twist so that the tail is no longer aligned.

If you look at where the boom is attached inside there is a pinched area. I
drilled a small hole through the top of that area and through the boom. Then
I put a 4" nylon tie through to help secure the boom. I also put packing
tape
around the boom and the back of the body where the boom exits. Between the
two, the boom is well secured.

d) is the wing crooked or too damaged - try a new wing.

e) Check the tail. The foam is attached to the center plastic brace by small
pieces that punch through the foam. These can loosen up and the tail fin can
move slightly away from the plastic brace in the air which can cause the
plane to turn.

Tape or glue the tail fins to the center plastic brace. Also, look for
creases in the foam. If there is a weak spot, the tail will flex causing
the plane to turn. mine was creased at the meeting point where the
plastic support meets the tail. Looked fine on the ground, but it was
flexing in the air causing a hard right turn leading to crashes. Replace
the tail.


The Porpoise

When you apply power the plane starts to climb then noses up, then the nose
drops and it does it all over again. This is called a stall. The problem is
that the tail needs to be trimmed, the front is too low or the back is too
high. This causes an up elevator effect. Adjust the orange screws on the
tail. The procedure is in your instruction book. RTFM You might have to
slip a piece of thin cardboard under the front if the front is too low, to
shim
it up slightly.


The Tail is a Pull-Pull System.

The tail is based on tension of a rubber band below the tail pulling against
the servos in the plane. You must make sure that these are in proper
adjustment or your trim will go out or your responsiveness will go down.

The tension on the lines to the tail is held by a friction hold on the
adjustment spools. Well they can slip a bit from time to time. Just
remember to check your tail adjustments before every flight. Also,
there are little screws on the back of the adjusters. I make sure they
are tight before the start of each day's flying.

Finally, the rubber band below the tail does get weak after a while,
especially if you leave the plane in a hot car. That rubber band is the
second pull, with the servos being the first. If it gets weak, you have to
replace it. If you don't, you won't get much down elevator and in pro mode
part of the rudder effect will not be as strong.

Longer flights

Back off on the power. Both the 6 and 7 cell battery will last six to
seven minutes at full power. However, if you back off to half power, your
flights can last 12-15 minutes depending on how you fly. You can even
catch thermals with the Aerobird and riding them for long long flights with
the motor off. I also slope soar mine. On the slope you can stay up for
over an hour with the motor off.

If you charged your batteries a few days ago, top them up just before
flying. They lose charge just sitting around.

Neck Strap for the Transmitter

If you look at the high priced Futaba, Hitec and other radios, they have a
place where you can clip a cord so that the radio can hang from a neck
strap, leaving your hands free to make adjustments on the plane. This is
very
convenient.

Take a large paper clip and bend up the center piece in the middle to make a
place where you can clip a neck strap to it. Now take some sand paper and
sand a spot in the center of the radio. Epoxy the paperclip to the radio.
Use plenty so you can really embed the clip in the epoxy.

Reinforce the Wing

Got to Office Depot, or one of the other stores and get some glass
reinforced tape. The type that has a cross pattern is best.
http://www.officedepot.com/ddMain.do...5001_FM_171926
Put a piece on either side of trailing edge where the prop wants to bite the
wing if a landing is a little rough. Also centered in the front 6" on
either side of the body to help resist damage from the rubber bands.
The newer wings may come reinforced but you may wish to do this anyway.

Make sure you have a spare prop, they're cheap. Since the prop is less
likely to cut the reinforced wing, if it hits the wing, it might pop the
prop off,
or break it. However normally this does not happen.

If you get a crease or a fold in the wing from a rough landing, this will be
a weak area. The foam is compressed and the wing will tend to fold up under
stress. I have a procedure for fixing wings. Post if you need it and I
will post it for you.

Learn to Glide in for a Landing

If you run the battery too long, the speed control will cut the power to the
motor while preserving power for the control surfaces. This is good! If you
learn to land with the power off, if you get caught in the air with no
motor,
you will have no problem landing. Gliding in, even from 500 feet, in 15 mph
winds is my standard way of landing. In calmer air, the plane pretty much
lands itself from 10 feet in the air.

Parts

These planes have a great distribution system. Parts are very readily found
in most hobby stores. However if you can't get what you need, look here:
http://www.hobbyzonesports.com/Support/


HobbyZoneSports Frequently Asked Questions - Couldn't hurt to look!
http://www.hobbyzonesports.com/Support/FAQ.aspx

Plane Locator - The combat module

The combat module makes a GREAT plane finder. If you attach it
to the plane during your training and happen to drop the plane into the
woods or tall grass, just press the fire button and the module lets out
a loud noise. Makes it easy to flind the plane. I lost my first Aerobird
on the second flight. Amazing how easy it is to lose a bright orange
plane. I have found a number of them in the woods.

If you fly near woods, swamps, tall grass, etc., get one of these.

Also, put your name and phone number on the plane. If someone else
finds it they at least have the option to return it to you. :-)


Summary

Here are a few tips to help you live happily with your Aerobird and
help it survive your poor piloting skills. With a little luck, the plane
will make it through the tough part of your training as you pound it into
the
ground trying to learn to fly. Don't give up! Avoid the wind, take your time
and you will get it!

Six Keys to Success
http://www.wattflyer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=18

Oh, and RTFM ..... read the friendly manual!!!! :-)

------------------
Best regards
AEAJR
www.lisf.org
www.rcezine.com
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Old 12-01-2006, 12:31 PM
  #13  
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Default RE: aerobird mods

Here's a link to an eBayer that has a couple of nice tail mods for the Aerobird, Firebird Freedom and Challenger. The Xtreme tail kit includes a pushrod conversion and there is even a digital aerial camera rig that works with Hobbyzone airplanes.

http://search.ebay.com/_W0QQsassZtim...atetoysQQhtZ-1
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Old 03-07-2007, 10:14 AM
  #14  
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Default RE: aerobird mods

well I have put in my f27b stryker electronics in my airobird challenger and a 400 sized motor. Also I have made the pro tail and I will sea how it fly’s if it does well I will probably go out and by a lipo battery for it. I was wondering can I by just the fuselage whit ought the motor and electronics
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Old 03-17-2007, 08:11 AM
  #15  
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Default RE: aerobird mods

Aerobird - Fixing and securing the tail boom

On the Aerobird, Challenger and Xtreme, the tail boom enters the pod then slides into a pinched area and is glued in place. If you crash and hit the plane just right you can break the glue loose causing the tail boom to be loose. If the tail boom breaks loose it can cause several problems:

Tail boom can rotate causing the tail to be misaligned with the wing. This will cause the plane to turn left or right rather than flying straight.

This can also cause the tail boom to shift toward the rear and come out of the pinched area that holds it straight. This will cause the tail to sag resulting in a plan that wants to dive.

Most glues don't stick to the Aerobird's fuselage very well. I have not had much success with using glue to fix or reinforce this area. Before it breaks, consider these reinforcements.

In order to reduce the chance of this area coming loose, when you take your Aerobird out of the box, put a wrap of clear tape around the entry of the tail boom into the fuselage. This will give a little more resistance to twisting or pulling out. But if you crash hard enough this won't prevent the tail boom from coming out.

The second thing you can do is drill a pair of holes just above the tail boom just behind the pinch are and wrap a wire or a tie wrap through that area to again reinforce the tail boom and help it to resist the forces that would bend it down and pull it out. I actually drill it through the boom then put the wire or tie wrap in. This way it actually helps hold the boom from twisting or pulling out. It is easier to do this going through the top of the pinched area but then you will have trouble mounting your X port options that clip into this area.

Finally, some people have put a small screw into the tail boom to secure it. This should work but it also introduces sharp threads that could cut the control lines or the antenna. I don't recommend this, one but it is an option.

All of these methods can be used for repairs as well.
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Old 03-31-2007, 09:59 PM
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Default RE: aerobird mods

2) If you have an Aerobird Challenger, start the plane up in pro mode
aeajr, I have the aerobird 3 channel rtf and I am having problems with it. The servos are not very responsive for rudder input, but for the elevator imput it is ok. What do you mean by start it up in pro mode. I have been looking thrugh everything and I dont see where or how you start it up in the pro mode.

thanks,
david
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Old 04-01-2007, 07:06 AM
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Default RE: aerobird mods

The Aerobird Challenger has two modes of operation. Sport mode is the default and is why the plane makes a good starter plane. In this mode, when you make a rudder request only on of the surfaces, the ruddervators ( rudder/elevators) moves. This gives mild response and works just fine in under 5 mph breezes.

To go into pro mode you turn on the transmitter and hold it at full down elevator. I usually lay it on the ground or car so that the stick is all the way in down elevator position. Now power the plane up. You will see that when you make a rudder request both surfaces move giving you much stronger response.

Also, you can increase teh throws by changing the hole where the line goes through the control horn. By moving it down the control horn you will get more throw, in either mode, giving you stronger response.

The original Aerobird, the one I started with, only had sport mode.
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