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  1. #1

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    Glowifly SE5a

    OK here's my latest addition to my electric to glow fleet. I had gotten the Great Planes SE5A from an auction at the closing of a LHS for just $50 about 3 or so years back and it just sat around. I had an electric power system laying around, but had other projects or crash rebuilds that kept it and the plane sitting. About a year and a half ago, I bought another TT GP.07 since I liked the pair on my Glowifly PBY so much and sat it on top of the SE5A box. Then I found an 80cc tank on closeout and sat it on the engine box.

    Then my friends started doing their own conversions. Three of them were working at the same time on projects, so that got me going. I shoved a mostly finished SNJ out of the way and got to work, but quietly....I was on a mission of surprise attack.

    I messed around with engine orientation, and was just about to start marking lines where the dremel was going to get a serious workout, and found that I could (possibly) actually get away with hiding the whole engine and muffler inside the airframe. I used the same method more or less that worked with the PBY and used the existing plywood outrunner mount as the backplate mount to start from. There is normally a large circular opening in the stock firewall/first bulkhead for the motor to mount and air to flow around it to the exits in the cockpit, the two upper openings in the firewall/bulkhead are for air to flow over the battery and ESC and also run to the cockpit.

    The ply mount ended up benind the bulkhead and was backed by a round piece of 1/8 heavy ply. The whole works was coated with epoxy and sandwiched together using the kit supplied machine screws and t nuts originally for the motor mount standoffs. The ends of the screws were cut off clean where they now exit towards the front. Then the whole engine bay, battery compartment, and radio bay was coated with thinned 5 min epoxy for fuelproofing.

    Here you can see the mount and screws behind the engine after it was mounted the first time.
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    Fly scale planes scale...really, it looks better.

  2. #2

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    RE: Glowifly SE5a

    The opening in the bulhead where the muffler enters was just too small, but about 5 minutes of dremel work made it slide in with room for air to flow around the muffler and out of the fuselage. To make sure the balsa next to the muffler inside wouldn't get toasty, I added two layers of thin aluminium tape, which I also call "Home Depot Flitemetal" as a heat shield. The pressure nipple just barely slid in there with fuel line on it, but I did not want to try to get my hands in there to attach it later.

    Since the head is just about half covered with the balsa cowl area, I decided to go with a remote glow system to keep it clean and SCALE!!!!
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  3. #3

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    RE: Glowifly SE5a

    Here's another look at the opening where the muffler enters the airframe. You can just see the muffler pressure tap in the background.
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  4. #4
    Mr67Stang's Avatar
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    RE: Glowifly SE5a

    Nice but we need more cowbell... err pictures, ya, pictures
    He who dies with the most toys wins!

  5. #5

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    RE: Glowifly SE5a

    The battery compartment was nice and had a light ply floor which was intended for mounting the ESC on top and the battery is then strapped in and accessed via a nice lttle magnetic hatch that was between the wing opening and the front. I removed the tray and slid it up into the fuse opening to allow more area for the tank and fuel lines as well as the remote glow head wire and mount. The top of the tray was also covered in heat shielding since it was much closer to the muffler than stock. I added a little foam padding for the area to cushion as well as add a little extra insulation from engine and muffler heat.

    In this picture you can see the remote glow as well as a little yellow tube. I bet you had already asked where the exhaust comes out if the muffler is inside. Well that's about 6 inches of Tygon fuel line that just happens to fit perfectly on the TT's little exhaust tip and exits out the bottom. The other fuel line is a second vent line to keep from flooding the engine through the exhaust while fueling. It stays plugged for running the engine. I added some light ply to the hatch to give it some more strength for mounting the remote glow head. The magnets needed a little helpto hold the hatch with all the extra stuff in there, so I added one small screw to hold it in place. It has the ability to hold a glow starter better that way when starting also.
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  6. #6

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    RE: Glowifly SE5a

    Here's a pic with the hatch open. I can only do one at a time as they start as big pix and these need to be blown up to really see some stuff.
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  7. #7

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    RE: Glowifly SE5a

    Here she is with the cowl on. As you can see it got a little love from the dremel. I plan on actually opening it up more to make sure I get plenty of airflow over the head and muffler. The throttle linkage is a nice straight run and the servo is mounted on the stock servo rails. There was plenty of room to still mount the rudder and elevator servos, so I guess they planned on me coming along. Sorry, no pix of the servo in the bay, but trust me, it looks just like a servo set up you've seen plenty of time before.
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  8. #8

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    RE: Glowifly SE5a

    Now for some nice outdoor shots I took the day before I took it for it's second round of engine runs and short maiden. I say short because things didn't quite go as planned... but first, the beauty stuff....
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  9. #9

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    RE: Glowifly SE5a

    OK I guess one at a time....
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  10. #10

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    RE: Glowifly SE5a

    One more...
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  11. #11
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    RE: Glowifly SE5a

    Nice conversion, I await the flight report
    He who dies with the most toys wins!

  12. #12

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    RE: Glowifly SE5a

    Last one...
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  13. #13

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    RE: Glowifly SE5a

    I tried to fly it last Sunday. The engine is a little finicky to tune with the long exhaust tube, but it can be done. I started with a 6x4 prop as they worked good on my PBY. Taxi testing proved to be a little challenging with the tailskid and no wheel back there, but I did get it up on the mains. I topped off the tank and decided it was time to go for it. The engine is probably at the bottom of the scale in what will fly the plane so it takes forever it seems for it to drag the tail along fast enough to get it off the ground.

    It finally got the tail off and it lifted off the ground and was about 4 feet up when a nice 3/4 crosswind got under the right wing. Rather than press the issue and splatter the plane in a snap stall, I just let it make a left turn, chopped the throttle, and settled her in. Two bounces on the gear and a soft nose over into green grass saved my experiment for the time being. The only damage was to the spreader bar on the gear, which seems to be made from thin walled plastic pushrod tube. It got fixed with a wrap of thread and CA to add strength by the wheels. It also gives it a neat look.

    I will be moving the CG forward as review with my comrades determined it was probably a little tail heavy, so I'm glad my flight was as short and uneventful as it was. I also am going to go for a 6x3 prop as I think I'm going to need every RPM I can get. I'm already running 25% nitro so I'm about to run out of tricks.

    I have a really nice, brand new OS .10 FP at home, but I'm not giving up just yet, because I know the dremel is going to have to remove lots more wood and I'll have a muffler sticking out somewhere for sure. Wish me luck until I try again.
    Fly scale planes scale...really, it looks better.

  14. #14

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    RE: Glowifly SE5a

    Well, I was really hoping to get some flights in this weekend at a scale event, but timing and the weather conspired to keep my S.E.5a grounded. Saturday my flying bud and I put our little glow conversions in the car and paddled through torrential rain for 3 hours to get to the event where our friends kept telling us they were flying. When we finally arrived at the Western Scale Rally we were astonished to find planes in the air and conditions still favorable for small craft as evidenced by Scale Dail putting his "G Flite" Taylor craft glow conversion around the pattern.

    I had done some modifications to the plane and was eager to see if they were succesful. I switched from a 6x4 to a 6x3 prop to improve RPM. Along that line, I also decided my 5" Tygon exhaust tube was going to hamper performance just too much on a plane that going to ask for just about all the little GP.07 has to offer. So now it exits just aft of the plastic exhaust manifold on the starboard side and is about 1" long now. It is still hidden enough that's it not too obvious until you look close. Sorry, no pics yet. I am happy to report that those changes made a big improvment in RPM and throttle response as well as better transition from low to high RPM. I think it's got plenty of pull to get her off the ground now, but I also know I shouldn't expect much better than scale performance either, which is just fine by me. I figured I was robbing a little power with the long exhaust, but I was still a little surprised just how much.

    I also made sure my CG was correct with the plane totally level by swapping the RX and battery locations to get the battery forward as possible. Unfortunatley I also needed 1 1/4 oz in the nose to get it just right, but I see it as well worth it if it keeps the plane stable in flight, which is quite important with a WWI bipe. I also added a non scale, but very functional tail skid to get the rudder off the ground while taxiing or on take off before the tail lifts. I highly suggest you do this if you fly on anything but a grass field regardless of the powerplant. Here in So Cal., grass strips are all but unheard of and even with thin aluminium tape back there, it didn't take long for some unscheduled sanding to occur on the bottom of the rudder from the asphalt.

    Just as I was topping the tank for the real maiden, the storm that we had slogged through followed us to the field and the wind, then the rain started in short order, chasing people and planes back to their cars until Sunday morning. Sunday brought wonderful dawn patrol conditions, but the event had started at the field early enough to keep me from doing any test flights. Then the wind returned and me and my flying bud were forced to put the planes away before the giant scale winds tossed our little planes around the pits.

    Looks like rain again tomorrow and Wed. but the weekend is looking pretty good for a flight at the club field this coming weekend.
    Fly scale planes scale...really, it looks better.

  15. #15

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    RE: Glowifly SE5a

    The weather finally decided to cooperate! With the changes it seemed to be much better in terms of pull. I messed with the engine for a minute or two, then topped off the tank for the real maiden. I placed it on the runway center line and gave it the gas. The tail came up pretty quick but I stayed on the ground for at least 150 ft before it started to veer to the left side and a fast flip over the soft green grass at the edge. I decided it better fly then so I pulled it off and it tracked nice and straight. The wind was around 10-12 mph and she had a hard time making headway. I was able to gain some airspeed on the downwind leg, but when it was time to get in the wind, things slowed down quite a bit.

    After 3 circuits of the field, I had about 25' of hard earned altitude to work with when the engine quit. I landed just off the runway in the soft short grass and only suffered a broken (for the 2nd time) spreader bar on the gear. It has since been replaced with Carbon Fiber tube that seems much better suited to the task. I'm going with a new type of oversized exhaust tube to get the slime out of the fuse which will also get the rest of the ponies out of the engine and giving it another try before I give up.

    At least it flies....just very scale and like the engine is running on less than all cyclinders....
    Fly scale planes scale...really, it looks better.

  16. #16
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    RE: Glowifly SE5a

    I'm not a great fan of the TT07 engines, they are heavy, low on power and prone to overheating...

    It is a little hard to tell from the images only, but are you getting enough cooling of the engine?

  17. #17

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    RE: Glowifly SE5a

    The pics aren't what the openings currently look like. I've opened them up quite a bit and I can definitley feel warm air exiting the fuse via the stock air ducts that exit in the cockpit. I think my main problem is having any sort of extension on the exhaust hampers performance too much and makes it finicky to tune. I'm not givin up yet though....

    It's the experimentation along the way that really makes it fun I guess. If it flies, it's gravy for me
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  18. #18

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    RE: Glowifly SE5a

    BTW, yep, I'm a glutton for punishment....you'd think I would be shy after having a fully cowled engine in a P-51, but here I am sticking motors in places they don't belong....

    Uh, please don't read into that one too far
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  19. #19

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    RE: Glowifly SE5a

    OK folks...guess what? It does fly!!! This is video of the first of four flights yesterday (3/21) and by the end of the day, I even got the engine tuned to where it made it back to the runway under power! I have 7 flights on her now and am just about there with the de-bugging process. For those who wondered, see for yourself if it's got enough power. It surely won't be accused of being overpowered, but I did 2 barrel rolls and a loop yesterday, so as far as I'm concerned, if it does that stuff, it's a success!

    Here's the link:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vlhi-vYXLes
    Fly scale planes scale...really, it looks better.

  20. #20
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    RE: Glowifly SE5a

    Watching that I never though it would get into the air....
    Very scale like I guess

    Is that on a 6x3 prop?
    Sounded almost like you never gave it full throttle, what rpm do you get, 12000 rpm ?

  21. #21

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    RE: Glowifly SE5a

    It's a little squirly, but if it wasn't, it wouldn't be scale. I bet it's great to fly off close cropped grass...maybe I should sneak out to a golf course.

    I finally gave it full power once it was up and solid on the mains. It's got a MAS 6x3 now, but I've got a couple of cute little wood 6x3 Zingers that I want to try. If a stock one works better, I'll probably modify the other to look a little more scale with some shape and stain work. I have a much more open exhaust now which sure helps. I didn't think to tach it until it got too late and cloudy for a good reading. Now that the motor is getting dialed I'll try to remeber to see what it's spinning at next time out.
    Fly scale planes scale...really, it looks better.

  22. #22
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    RE: Glowifly SE5a

    Very nicely done - I like the "travel back in time" bit. Good job on the deadstick. That's a beautiful runway you have there.

    The mounting may be contributing to the engine quitting. The muffler high 45 degree angle causes oil to accumulate at the exhaust port.

    The TT .07 is no powerhouse, but it is has a decent throttle and can lug a larger prop than you're using. Here's a video of my Bipe Stik with a TT .07 using a MA 7X3.


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  23. #23
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    RE: Glowifly SE5a

    That little TTR engine seems to be "de rigueur" for the E to G conversions!
    ~Tom~

  24. #24
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    RE: Glowifly SE5a


    ORIGINAL: Kmot

    That little TTR engine seems to be ''de rigueur'' for the E to G conversions!
    Or it's the only choice left.
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  25. #25
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    RE: Glowifly SE5a

    I have a few overweight planes that have flown on the TT .07 and have found a very slightly trimmed 7x3 APC worked much better for me than any of the 6 inch props. Rpm is down a bit but I guess theres still more thrust. My Cloud Ranger is at 2 LBS and will get airborne in a relatively short roll and can do loops and rolls no problem as long as you arent puttering along when you enter the manuver. Todd
    \"A guy told me the other day I must be very smart,......I told him \"No!, I\'\'m REALLY dumb, But learning from my mistakes!!\"\"


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