Glow to Electric Conversions Discuss glow/gas conversion to electric here.

Dick Hansen "Elan" Glow to Electric Conversion


Old 11-01-2014, 09:21 AM
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Post Dick Hansen "Elan" Glow to Electric Conversion

I've had a Dick Hansen "Elan" hanging on my wall for almost 25 years with a nice new YS 120 SF installed but never run (for sale $350 with all new tuned pipe & extras); the airplane was the last pattern ship I built but never flew. So now that I live in Florida and the season for flying is year round, I decided it was time to get it finished up and fly it. But, the nice workshop I had up north was gone and I had limited space and tools to finish it. The first problem was the painting the airplane with fuel proof paint for the Glow engine; but this was the only Glow airplane I had. If I converted it to electric I could paint with anything, including spray cans, and the thought of hauling all that fuel, cleaning supplies, engine tuning and starting problems, starters, Glow igniters, noise etc. made the decision to convert fairly easy.
The conversion went well, I could get the motor, ESC and batteries into the space forward of the wing so that all I had to do to change batteries was flip the Elan onto its back, remove the two screws that held the belly pan on and swap the batteries out. I removed all the unnecessary plumbing and fuel tank, fiber glassed all the unnecessary holes in the airplane shut but did leave the tuned pipe opening in place to exhaust cooling air out. I added 3 louver's on the top side of the fuselage (2nd combo) over the motor to allow motor cooling air out; works very well, the motor is only slightly warm after 6 minutes of flight.

It took 2 tries to get the right combo of motor and batteries.
  1. The first try was by the numbers I'd calculated (which seemed adequate if everything went well) which worked but not as nice as I wanted; vertical performance wasn't great but general flying was good; I only used a 15"x10" prop for this test. The airplane required 1 click of elevator trim on the first flight. The first combo was an EFlite Power 60 turning a 15"x10" prop with a Castle Talon 90 and a 6000mah 6S battery. I also added about 5-6 oz. of lead (dead weight) to get the CG in the correct place.
  2. The 2nd try used an EFlite Power 90 turning a 16"x10" prop (largest prop I could use w/o modifying the basic airplane for more prop clearance) with a Castle Edge 100 ESC and (2) 5000mah 4S batteries in series. I removed the lead weights to get the CG correct and added a baffle in the belly pan to direct some of the cooling air down onto the motor. The increase in power was substantial and the cruise power setting was less than 1/2 throttle; the vertical performance was awesome! After the flight the engine and batteries were slightly warm, the cooling was working well, the remaining battery was 55%. The final weight of the airplane was about 9.5 lbs.
  3. If you have any questions or want more pics, send me an email:

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