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  1. #1

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    Great Planes Seawind Electric Conversion

    I've changed the heading on this thread as no one entered any shots,meanwhile i've built my own and thought if there are any people considering this plane for conversion this may help with your decision.I will add photo's of test 's made as much as possible ,I know I like to see them when people are making claims,it helps to see actual numbers before you spend a considerable amount of money on a project like the Seawind.I've only included information pertaining to the power system and hidden "canopy quick release" :the only mod I did other than go electric is laying in more fiberglass on the bottom both fore and aft of the main fuse former as well as the sides in front of the same former(that added 3 ounces to the plane and it's a must do for flying off snow/ice).

  2. #2

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    RE: Seawind electric conversion pics wanted

    Video of seawind electric maiden flight takeoff... 9 sec clip of an electric seawind conversion on it's maiden flight . The URL is http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VWn3JVCmI1g .This is powered by an axi 4130/16 ,3 blade master airscrew 12x8 , 2 packs of 4s1p evo 3700 mah wired in series (8s1p),castle creations phoenix 85hv esc , No extensive testing but some quick approx. numbers using extrema charger wattmeter and great planes tach 8000+rpm,1.3 h.p. , 42amp full throttle.Weight is approx9 lbs 3 ounces,approx 110 wattpounds(I'll be weighing it on some digitals soon and will post accurate numbers later)Test flight conditions -18 C,wind 30+kph(-30 with windchill-try that with gas).With half flaps on it took about 10 meters to get airborne and despite the wind it flew extremely well with plenty of power and speed .It cruised easily on just over 1/3 throttle.After 2 mins of flight The batteries used just under 300 mah each.It would be easy to fly in high wind conditions if it was warmer ,as this was it's maiden flight I kept it short.When the wind dies down I'll post some better video as well as pics.I'll be posting some pics of the setup including shots of tach and wattmeter soon.It feels like it has the power to haul a set of retracts around easily as well,I'm sure once I test a few different props I'll be able to get even better performance ,not that it's lacking.
    It should take off on water on 3/4 throttle,like it does on snow,when the temps go above 0 again I'll try it out,frozen water rudders are no fun.

  3. #3

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    RE: Seawind electric conversion pics wanted

    Here's a few numbers from static testing, 1324 watts, 1.77 h.p. ! , 44.49 amps peak,I have flown it 2 more times using approx. 700 -900mah for 5 min flights depending on conditions which have been - 10 to -15 C with winds 20 -30 kph and blowing snow.(5 mins is enough in these winds,fingers get numb).If the wind ever stops I should be able to get 20 mins + flight times.It flew extremely well despite conditions ,takeoffs were in 30 ft. (off snow) and followed by a solid 45 degree climb out - landings were easy but it wants to go long even with power off from the start of the downwind leg till touchdown.It penetrates well but wants to glide forever.I will get some tach numbers next as well as an accurate weight.I am totally happy with this planes power and flying characteristics in windy conditions,it flys like it's on rails as others have said.
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  4. #4

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    RE: Seawind electric conversion pics wanted

    A few more shots ,sorry for the long range in flight shot ,my photographer stayed in the house where it was warm....[X(].I'll pull the cowl off and get a few shots of the motor (AXI) and mount (hyperion) as well as the "hidden"canopy latch system,nothing is visible and you can take the canopy off or put it on in less than 5 seconds and it's solid as well as water tight.
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  5. #5

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    RE: Seawind electric conversion pics wanted

    A couple shots of the tach,the first says 9700 rpm but due to wind and vibration is a bit shaky,the second is taken after 1min full throttle -it reads 9400 .As soon as I find a set of scales I'll measure the thrust and post a shot .Also I have not measured all up weight as I am adding some lights etc. but as soon as i'm done I'll post an accurate number .Going by the bathroom scales while being held it is somewhere between 9 and 10 pounds,I'm guessing less than 9.5. No flying today, whiteout conditions,will the wind ever stop?
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  6. #6

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    RE: Seawind electric conversion pics wanted

    Here are some shots of the canopy release system,not intended for gas users as is -you would want to find another spot for the line to exit .It starts with a pull of the hidden ring tucked inside the cowl,I put some silicone tube around it to keep it from flopping around and vibrating on the cowl,it works perfect .This is hooked via fly fishing line (floating ,single taper)through the adjacent pulley and goes through the firewall to the next pulley mounted on the former under the access hatch.(you'll note the line guard blocking the view of the cable ,it's made from a piece of steel edging found in a wooden ruler and formed to go around the pulley and attaches to the motor mount)From here it heads down through the pylon and is looped through another pulley at the base of the same former.The pulleys come from Home Depot ,they are replacement pulleys that keep sliding screen doors in their tracks .I used fly line because thats what I had handy,it's very strong ,made for use in water,light,and it floats.I will be using rc boating control rod exit covers for all wiring and canopy release cable through the firewall.The boot that the release cable runs through will be packed with white grease or something similar to keep water out,the motor wires silicone.
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  7. #7

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    RE: Seawind electric conversion pics wanted

    Next shots show routing of line from pilon base pulley up to carbon fiber "latch rod" where it is tied on the end.The cf rod goes through the mini former where on the other side there is a spring that buts up to a lock collar.From the other side of that lock collar forward is a piece of silicone tubing that acts as resistance against the spring.This goes through the hole where the original dowel was supposed to go and ends up going into the rear canopy former.The front of the canopy has a cf dowel that sticks into a hole drilled horizontally on the edge of the canopy support frame of the fuselage.(I drilled horizontally into the block you are supposed to drill vertically in to).The canopy is placed front dowel in first and then the rear center is lined up and pushed down firmly,the rear canopy hole has a small "ramp"sanded into it to assist in easy latching.When the canopy goes sufficiently low enough the spring automatically latches "solidly".The bootom of the canopy has two small springs placed near the rear of the canopy pushing upward so that when you pull the release the canopy has an assisted lift in the rear(helps with the silicone ),the other benefit is that if you havent locked it securely it pops up when you lift your hand off.You can pick up the plane by the canopy no problems and try to shake it loose,it stays solid.The holes the cf rods go into have been hardened with Ca.glue.The canopy has had a seal made with the "saran wrap and silicone "method .I have sprayed it from all angles with a kitchen sink hose and no water gets in.I still have some sealing to do around the firewall as well as the drain plug(I'm flying without it ,haven't got there yet,may have other plans for it).
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  8. #8

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    RE: Seawind electric conversion pics wanted

    Some lighting testing starting to happen,hopefully tomorrow i'll post some fresh video as well as some shots.I don't care about the wind but I gotta see it to fly it, a white plane in blowing snow tends to blend in a bit.I still have about 5 inches of wire to cut out of the batt,speed control system,some left over motor mount to chop off and final mount receiver ,esc,receiver batt etc.Everything has been placed temp.for flight testing so I can play with the Cof G.I need to waterproof the speed control and build a waterproof battery box as well before the ice thaws.
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  9. #9

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    RE: Great Planes Seawind Electric Conversion

    Some more video shot at dusk today,cross wind take off,fly by and landing ,it can be found at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B5w_4elCPrA .If you look carefully you'll see the plane weathervane for a second and then as it acclerates it goes from crosswind to downwind on takeoff,just compare it to the direction it's going when it lands into the wind.

  10. #10

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    RE: Great Planes Seawind Electric Conversion

    AWESOME JOB! I was looking at this last summer but got discouraged after I read predominantly bad things (snappy, flies like a brick etc, etc) about its flying characteristics ... but yours looks like it flys awesome!

    Colin.

  11. #11

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    RE: Great Planes Seawind Electric Conversion

    Thanks ,I have to admit I was a bit skeptical but decided I would take a chance ,to say I'm happy would be an understatement .It's definitely an all season airplane and would take a set of retracts well. I bought a set of digital scales today to measure the thrust as well as the all up weight,but the included batteries were dead.I'll get some batteries tonight and post some numbers tomorrow,the light weight (stay tuned)makes it float on landing and with a good headwind it lands like my large gliders except it doesn't get bounced around by the wind.I have a new prop( graupner 12.5 x 7) on order and as soon as I get that i'll post the new numbers for that as well.I am continuing on the lighting system ,I do a fair bit of night flying with my 3d stuff and anticipate a lot of low light flights when the winds are down so I want lots.

  12. #12

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    RE: Great Planes Seawind Electric Conversion

    Thanks for starting this thread, I have long been interested in this plane. The previous threads seemed to end without clear results and the marketing video did not look impressive.

    I know you guys in Canada speek English, but, it's a different kind of English. Would you go into more detail on how you made the removable canopy. You might try to describe it like you were teaching a 10 year old, then I might understand exactly what steps needed to be done to modify the existing canopy. Also, more detail on how you modified other areas to make them waterproof.

    Thanks,
    al g

  13. #13

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    RE: Great Planes Seawind Electric Conversion

    LXQ1GO,

    What did you use for a CG when you flew your electric Seawind? Great planes suggested that I leave the CG at 26mm which is the same at the dry weight of a nitro model. With 12 oz in the fuel compartment, the CG moves back to 46mm, the equivalent of takeoff position in a nitro model. I am trying a similar electric conversion using an AXI 4120/18 and an APC two blade 13x11 prop. All up weight comes in at 10 lbs. I should be able to get 150-160 oz of thrust from the axi setup. Currently waiting for some snow in order to make the test flights.


    Bob93447

  14. #14

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    RE: Great Planes Seawind Electric Conversion

    Hi, I will try to describe the canopy release sytem first.
    -parts required:
    3 pulleys -one is mounted at the base of the pilon,one at the top of the pilon and one on the front of the firewall bolted to the motor mount,all can be seen in the photos.
    1 piece of carbon fiber rod approx 8 " long 1/8 th to 1/4 diameter will work-this rod will have a hole drilled in one end for the pull line to be tied to,the other end is rounded as seen in the pics.This rounded end will be the piece that sticks in to the rear of the canopy to hold it down.On that long rod you will place a locking collar (like used to hold wheels on landing gear),a spring and silicone tubing.
    The rod needs to be long enough to go from a couple inches away from the pulley at the base of the pilon and go all the way through the little former where it will stick an inch or so in to the canopy.If you look at the pics you will see how the rod has a spring ,then locking collar ,followed by surgical tubing(you could use another spring or 2 pieces of tubing).Looking at the pic that shows the spring you can see where it goes through the former,I added a little block of wood for support.You put the spring collar and tube together,insert them into the rear hole (compressing the spring) and then lift the front end up and stick it through the hole where it will go into the canopy to hold it down.It takes a little trial fitting,once in place tie your line through the hole drilled in the end of the cf rod,the line then goes into the pulley at the base ,upward to the top pulley,forward through the firewall and finally goes around the pulley on the motor mount(with the cable guard).This has the pull ring on the end.Pull the ring ,it pulls the string which pulls the carbon rod rearward compressing the spring,releasing the canopy.Let go and the spring pushes the rod forward by pushing against the locking collar.Place the short pice of cf rod in the nose of the canopy as a hold down dowel ,see pics.
    For sealing the hatchlace foam strip as seen in pics
    cover the hatch opening in saran wrap and tape it down ,
    next test fit the canopy using the latch mechanism you made to hold it down.
    Take the canopy off,lay a generous bead of silicone around the inside edge of the canopy and place it back on the fuselage for 24 hours.Wipe off excess silicone,I outline the gap with painters tape on both sides and after wiping off excess I pull the tape right away before it dries leaving silicone only in the gap where you want it,the rest dries for 24 hours .After waiting release the canopy,pull it off,take off the saran wrap and you have a custom silicone seal.do the same on the pilon hatch.I hope this helps if you need more information let me know.


  15. #15

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    RE: Great Planes Seawind Electric Conversion

    I started with my cof g as called for in the manual,thats too noseheavy as evident by the up trim it needed.I am moving my receiver battery back bit by bit,it's helping as the trim is decreasing.When I get it bang on I'll take a measurement.Real weight 11 lbs 1 ounce ,I was suprised as I thought it flew so well because it was light (9.5 pounds was my guess)Also the thrust is 8.5 pounds on fresh batteries and after a bit drops off to 7.5 pounds.I'll post some pics later.Good luck on your test flight,inspite of mine being noseheavy it took off well as seen in the maiden flight clip.The other clip is cross wind and doesn't show the quick take it gets into the wind,however it shows some good speed.I'm getting a new prop Monday 12.5 x 7 so I'll see what numbers that makes.

  16. #16

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    RE: Great Planes Seawind Electric Conversion

    Thanks for the detailed instructions, I finally got it.

    Good work, can't wait to see it fly off water. Please keep this thread active it will really help all future builders.

    Al

  17. #17

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    RE: Great Planes Seawind Electric Conversion

    Hi Al ,I will include a couple close up shots from the release mechanism,in fact i'm pulling it out of the plane to show a couple of clear photos of the entire system minus the pulleys and line.Stay tuned.
    Mark

  18. #18

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    RE: Great Planes Seawind Electric Conversion

    I just put a new prop on : a graupner 12.5 x7,measured peak at 1805 watts ,2.45 HP ,64 amps,11lb 8 ounces thrust !!My plane weighs 11.1..........3D Seawind anyone ?Since the amp draw is more than the axi is supposed to take I backed the throttle down right away.After a 20-30 secs of 3/4 throttle I went full again and it read about 55 amps ,10.9 pounds thrust,1570 watts ,2.1 HP. I will post some shots of the meters etc,I will borrow a tach and get some shots of that as well.One big difference I noticed is that the graupner sounds better ,the other prop seemed to sound like it was trashing air above 3/4 throttle.I will flight test it this week and post a new video,if you thought it looked fast in the other video you should see a huge difference again with another almost 2 pounds of thrust.

  19. #19

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    RE: Great Planes Seawind Electric Conversion

    i couldn't wait to flight test the new prop so I took off for the afternoon and went flying.I couln't believe how much more power it had.No wind (rare this month),full flaps 30 ft takeoff on snow,half flaps maybe 45-50 ft.The climb angle is 50+ degree's now and rock solid.I would have to say it would probably be equal to or outperform a 90 size gas engine ,it would be interesting to do a side by side comparison,it definitely fly's better than a 60 size.If you fly 3d style power you would really enjoy this setup.Also I have a correction :the original prop was not a 12x8 ,it was a 12x6,sorry for the misprint.I have a week off so I am going to get a real camcorder and get some good video to post.I also did a few rolls today and they were quite tight without any rudder input,tomorrow we loop from level flight.[X(]

  20. #20

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    RE: Great Planes Seawind Electric Conversion

    I managed to get a second Seawind Electric Conversion into the air today. My maiden flight was at 7700 ft (the lowest snowfield I could find for the test flight). It was sunny with an ambient temperature of 50 F (10 C) and a moderate breeze. Flying was relatively easy -- takes off in about 100 ft. using 3/4 throttle and 50% flaps. Since I removed the water rudder for flying off the snow, directional control on takeoff is minimal.

    Setup is as follows:

    Flying weight -- 10 lbs (landing gear omitted)
    Motor -- AXI 4120/18
    ESC -- Jetti Opto 70
    Prop -- 13 x 11 APC (2 blade) Using an extra 1" of pitch to compensate for high altitude
    Batteries - 6S1P ElectriFly 3200 mAh + separate 700mah nicad for receiver and servos
    Max Power -- >1100 watts (input) measured at batteries using Astro Flight 101 Watt Meter (max current draw 55 amps)
    Calculated Thrust > 160 oz

    Initial CG -- 32 mm behind leading edge (feels sightly nose heavy in flight)

  21. #21

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    RE: Great Planes Seawind Electric Conversion

    Congrats,how was the speed?Yeah ,control is minimal on the rudder till you get moving a bit on snow.We are in between right now waiting for water as the ice is melting and the snow is gone.I also found it nose heavy and have been moving my receiver battery back a bit at a time to compensate .It's getting better but I haven't flown for two weeks due to work or weather so I'm still working on it.Have you got any pics of your setup,I would like to see where you put everything.How many rpm are you getting out of that prop?

  22. #22

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    RE: Great Planes Seawind Electric Conversion

    I'm running a slightly different setup. I am using 10 gauge wire from Home Depot to send DC power to the ESC which is located in the fuel tank compartment. At the suggestion of people from both Jetti and Castle, I put a fairly large capacitor, 250 mirco farads, at the ESC end of the DC power line to attenuate voltage spikes. The receiver and radio battery are stuffed into the nose as far as I could get them. I borrowed your idea for locating the Li-Po's. The pics should show the details.


    On a full charge I get about 89-9000 RPM with the APC 13x11, but the test were run at an altitude of 6230 ft. That requires a bit more than 55 amps. If I were at sealevel I would back off to a 13x10 prop. My first flight had the batteries at about 24 v total, giving an RPM of 85-8600, which was sufficient to give me a 100 ft. takeoff at 3/4 throttle.


    Hope this helps.
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  23. #23

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    RE: Great Planes Seawind Electric Conversion


    Looks great,any shots of the motor and mount?It's interesting that you have added weight in the nose while my receiver battery is now about 4 " aft of the step.I have also added fiberglass fore and aft of the step as well as below the propeller "strike area"going back to the base of the pilon,this would make a difference in balance.Adding this has reduced the flex in the pilon signifigantly decreasing the chances of a prop strike.(just seemed to flex a bit too much for my liking)Also I haven't had any glitching or problems with the motor or speed controller but a capacitor seems like a good idea.The ice will be gone any day now and I'll test it on the water,can't wait!

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    RE: Great Planes Seawind Electric Conversion

    The pictures of the motor and mount are attached. I use the plywood plate shown in the pictures to pick up the mounting holes in the existing firewall. I cut aluminum tubing to set the spacing so that the Spinner flange is properly spaced from the front of the cowl. Inside each of the spacer tubes is a piece of #8 threaded rod which serves to hold the plywood plate in compression. When properly tightened, the plywood is very rigid and paralled to the existing firewall. I then mounted the AXI motor, bolted to its radial mount, to the plywood. The setup works well and is both light and low cost.

    My CG is still well forward of where I expect it to be when the plane is fully trimmed, currently 32 mm behind the leading edge. When I was initially setting up the plane, I e-mailed Great Planes to see if they had a suggested CG for an electric conversion. Their answer insisted that the CG be left at the 26 mm point, which didn't make a lot of sense since it meant setting the plane up to fly with the equivalent of an empty fuel tank. By jamming the flight batteries into the nose, I was able to balance the plane at the 26 mm point. But to see where a glow plane would be balanced on takeoff, I stuck a 12 oz can of Coke (the supplied fuel tank has a 14 oz. capacity) into the fuel tank compartment. That moved the CG back to 46 mm behind the leading edge. So when I put the flight batteries into the location you used, and the receiver + the radio battery into the nose, the CG moved to 32 mm which seemed like a reasonly safe compromise for electric flight. I worked but I feel like the plane is flying nose heavy so I will start moving the radio battery further aft as I get more experience flying it.

    LXQ1GO -- check you PM box for some information on Prop calculations.
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  25. #25

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    RE: Great Planes Seawind Electric Conversion


    ORIGINAL: Bob93447

    I cut aluminum tubing to set the spacing so that the Spinner flange is properly spaced from the front of the cowl.
    Bob, what kind of "aluminum tubing" is this and where can it be found?

    Colin.


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