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Heathkit Commander Trainer Conversion Pointers Sought

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Old 11-24-2004, 10:14 PM
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Wolter
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Default Heathkit Commander Trainer Conversion Pointers Sought

I have a Heathkit Commander Trainer R/C plane, Model RP-1173, which I purchased back in ’82 when Heathkit was getting out of the kit business. It is an all-Styrofoam, MRC .15 nitro powered model that I never built. I tried to break in the engine but it never ran right so the thing got shelved and has moved with me throughout the years in its original box. I Googled this kit but came up with no hits. It has a 4’ wingspan, with special anti-stall wing tips, high dihedral wing, ~8” cord and the fusalage is 30.5” long. It has a tricycle landing gear with a steerable nose-gear.

I’m thinking of repowering it with electric and would like suggestions on how to go about doing this? I want to use it as a trainer and fun flyer. What size motor, prop and what kind of gearing should I try? I can shed weight by using smaller servos, making lightweight landing gear, etc. I want to do this on the cheap so brushed motor and NiMH power source.

Thanks for any help!
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Old 11-26-2004, 04:38 AM
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Default RE: Heathkit Commander Trainer Conversion Pointers Sought

Wolter do you know what the plane weighs? Also how much experiance in electric power do you have?


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Old 11-26-2004, 02:25 PM
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Default RE: Heathkit Commander Trainer Conversion Pointers Sought

The plane is about 300 grams for the foam alone. Two servos, a receiver, ESC and flight battery would need to be added to that. A bit under 1 Kilogram? The original .15 glow engine spun a 8” X 5” prop, if that’s of any help.

I have very little experience with electric planes but lots with electronics, motors, RC trucks and boats and the like. I have absolutely no qualms about this aspect of the project.

I know I said brushed but looking around I’m thinking something along the lines of the AXI 2808/16 on 7 cells for about 110 watts max. Am I in the ballpark?

http://www.hobby-lobby.com/brushless-axi2808.htm
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Old 12-10-2004, 09:23 PM
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Default RE: Heathkit Commander Trainer Conversion Pointers Sought

After lots of web surfing, looking at planes with similar specifications, and a few email from a helpful fellow in this group, I decided on the following:

Ultrafly A/30/24 brushless motor & gearbox (400 size brushless motor good for up to 180 watts and ~80% efficient), Castle Creations Phoenix 25A controller, Hitec HS81MG servos, my old ACE R/C Radio and receiver and a KAN 1100 mAh battery pack. I will select the number of cells and prop to maximize the efficiency of the motor while maintaining maximum prop diameter. I already have the Ultrafly and controller in hand. I have never played with brushless and I decided this was the R/C craft to try it on. It’s going to be fun!
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