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  1. #1
    Brad330l's Avatar
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    FVK Graphite test flight report, Awesome

    Hi Guys, First post in 'Gliders' here, usually hang out in powered talks but have always loved gliders and cut my teeth on them about 27 years back and had the odd one through the years.
    Today (Mums day here in Australia,,, Hi Mum) i test flew my FVK 3.1M Graphite F3J competition electric conversion. (am i still allowed here??)
    Ive been putting it together for a week and the test flights were great. Light afternoon breeze from the coast clear skys and nice and cool, not the greatest conditions for thermals BUT I extended out to the beach a couple of times and seemed to be slope soaring at about 300feet AGL, that was about a good 1/4 mile up wind.
    First launch was thrown by a mate and glider was rock steady and climbed out really well at just over half throttle.
    For the next hour I did landings and launches (by self now) and set elevator to flap mix and fine trimmed. Instructions said 5mm up for elevator with full flap and this is totally wrong, should have known better at set up. Now is 5mm down or 50% and works just fine.
    Did two greaser landings among the others and brought it home with out a scratch.
    Details;
    Motor- Hacker 50B-13S
    Speed controller- Hacker Jeti 70amp
    Battery- 3300Mah 10cell NiMh's
    Propeller- 17X13
    Overall, very happy.
    No pics from the field but got a few while under construction.
    Cant wait to fly it again.
    Cheers,
    Brad
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  2. #2
    Brad330l's Avatar
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    RE: FVK Graphite test flight report, Awesome

    Second time out and now I really love this thing. I achieved a total of half an hour with one flight and still had power in the drive battery. I did some more adjusting of the flap/elevator mix and got it spot on. Just have to make sure I get back to zero/no trim on the elevator during set up for landing. Flying was cut short when after a landing I discovered I had sheared a flap servo mount off the wing. Mmmm should have roughed up that nice shiney inside wing surface before glueing servo mount. Might touch down with only half flap deployed as well so flap not so prone to grass forcing them back.
    Still, easy fixed and another great day.

    Cheers,

    Brad
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  3. #3
    Brad330l's Avatar
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    RE: FVK Graphite test flight report, Awesome

    Fixed wing servo today and moved CoG back to 88mm from 85mm after noticing I had a couple of mm trimmed in to the elevator.
    Also reconfigured flap throws so I can have a small deflection for thermalling.
    Cant wait to test out the changes.

    Brad
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  4. #4
    Brad330l's Avatar
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    RE: FVK Graphite test flight report, Awesome

    A picture from its third outing.

    Brad
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  5. #5

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    RE: FVK Graphite test flight report, Awesome

    Nice work Brad, I just maidened my Mini Graphite on the weekend, very impressed with it.

  6. #6
    Brad330l's Avatar
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    RE: FVK Graphite test flight report, Awesome

    Hi Mate, good to hear, what kind of set up have you got?
    How about a couple of pics?
    Did you get it from Perth Hobbies?
    Cheers,
    Brad
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  7. #7
    Brad330l's Avatar
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    RE: FVK Graphite test flight report, Awesome

    HEY I CAUGHT A COUPLE OF THERMALS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Just got back from flying and got a total flight time of almost 50 minutes.
    Was soaring with some very inquisitive eagles and was sharing some air space with them. It was great and was the first positive proof of thermalling with this episode of gliding for me.

    Cheers,
    Brad
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  8. #8
    Moderator da Rock's Avatar
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    RE: FVK Graphite test flight report, Awesome

    Good info on your new bird.

    How about sharing some info with us Yanks.
    Where did you get it? LHS? Mail order?
    What did the kit and engine and battery cost you? What's it cost downunder to RC glider about?
    Good flying wit ya today

  9. #9
    Brad330l's Avatar
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    RE: FVK Graphite test flight report, Awesome

    Hi Rock, you may very well laugh at the distance to my LHS and the prices I paid for my glider and kitting it out but this is what many Aussies have to go through here as our distances and low numbers of people as a whole and then tiny numbers of aero modellers all adds up to.
    I purchased the glider and all the other required stuff for it exept radio gear in a hobby shop in Perth Western Australia. The shop is right into helicopters and cars and has some real good high end kits and stuff. Some of the not so seen stuff as well as the run of the mill stuff.
    I had seen this glider the last time I was visiting the shop when in Perth (Oh, I live 1200 miles North in Western Australia and Perth is one of the most isolated capital cities in the world) any way it looked real nice and I started looking at it and my mate who I visit down there just kept on saying "Buy it". So I check with the guys behind the counter and find out all about it and check out the motor and speed controller etc, I did really like it and all the extra bits I needed were right there so I brought it.
    Didnt get any discount for getting the whole lot but no harm in asking right?
    Glider kit was $1300AU, motor $385AU, speed control $205, and then prop and adapter and Deans connecter plugs ($7.30Au) and then battery $170AU all added up to a much lighter credit card for the day. Oh well just think of the Frequent Flyer Points ay?????
    Any way, I was single at the time, wanted a really nice glider and there it was sitting in front of me on the counter. Had to have it and love it and no regrets.
    The servos are all HiTec HS-125MG's and they were going to cost a fortune here in OZ so I got them through Tower Hobbies in the states and thought I was on to a good thing because six servos were going to be under $500 AU to bring into the country so no import tax, WRONG!!! It is $200 so I got slugged an extra $90AU for the pleasure of getting American servos. But over all I saved $60AU getting them from the good ol' USA.
    So thats about it. Just have to keep it in one piece and keep the batteries charged so I can take it out at a moments notice.
    Cheers ,
    Brad
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  10. #10
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    RE: FVK Graphite test flight report, Awesome

    Hi Brad,
    Well you have made a good choice mate, but then I think you know that by now. I am on my 3rd Graphit, the latest, like yours the cross tail version. I still fly mine on 10 2400 nicad batteries, but I rarely need to fly the batteries flat. I just love this design.
    Have fun.

    John

  11. #11
    Brad330l's Avatar
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    RE: FVK Graphite test flight report, Awesome

    Hi John,
    Your third one you say?? What happened to the first two?
    I am catching mild slope lift and a couple of thermals to get half an hour flights with 5 or 6 climbs out of my batteries. (it is cooling down here so conditions are not as usual) are you catching mainly slope lift for your flights?
    Love England, just come back from a visit.
    Cheers,
    Brad
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  12. #12

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    RE: FVK Graphite test flight report, Awesome

    Woah that's like over grand english money. Still v nice plane and sounds like you know what you doing in setting it up. Did that include that rather nice looking tx?

    I went to WA about 15 years ago - had a schoolfriend who emigrated to Perth - and travelled up the coast a bit made it as far as Geraldton, was right into windsurfing then and loved the Freemantle Doctor in the afternoons. Blazing hot sunshine and force 5-6. Good days.

    Do you use the doctor to slope lift?? Where do you fly?

    At the moment I'm learning slope gliding in UK? Have been flying virtually everyday for the last 3 weeks. It is something else.

  13. #13
    Brad330l's Avatar
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    RE: FVK Graphite test flight report, Awesome

    Hi Tim,
    No that doesnt include the TX, that was another (erk) $1000 or so Aussie dollers.
    The good ol' Freo Doctor, I am acctually 1200 miles north of where he blows and well above Geraldton too in a place called Port Hedland. Do a Google and check it out, then you will know how far I am from the nearest hobby shop.
    Here is our site if you like.
    http://www.aeromodellers.pilbara.net.au/
    It hasnt been up dated for a while but it gives an idea of where we are.

    Cheers mate and have a pint for me.
    Brad
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  14. #14
    Brad330l's Avatar
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    RE: FVK Graphite test flight report, Awesome

    Beautiful weather here at the moment and just had to dust off the Graphite and go fly.
    Took the Missus down to the town oval and after buzzing the field with my semi scale electric Boomerang I put the glider together and took to the skys for a good half hour. I was getting mild lift from both slope near the coast and thermal from our local shopping center.
    I did five climbs to height and two nice landings.
    Packed models and wife (who was now complaining of being cold) (20c) into good ol' 'Jacka' and home for a great barbie (BBQ) and a couple of 'Crownies'. Life is good.
    Cheers Guys,
    Brad
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  15. #15

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    RE: FVK Graphite test flight report, Awesome

    Sounds like you got it sweet down there Brad - nice one. I had a cracking day flying yesterday in somewhat different situation.

    Had good forecast for 15-30 mph westerlies at my local slope. Summer here is RUBBISH - think we're having the wettest june on record so in was weary of the cloud/sun forecast.

    Cycled the 5 mile trip to the hill with me epp sloper wedged in my rucksack and climbed the hill. When i got to the top it was perfection. Sunshine, 25 mph straight up the hill. Attach the airelon linkages - rx on tx on and glider is pulled out of my hands. Yahhooooooo - bombin it all round the place with full on lift.

    10 min later the sun dissapears and visibility goes to less than a mile and starts to rain - bolox!!. Sit it out for half hour and am rewarded with blues skies - mostly - AND 5 mph wind. Now i'm starting to lose the will to live - COME ON!!!

    But the lull was short lived and within 10 mins it was 30 mph and within 30 min it was totally bllue sky. Brilliant - flew for about 3-4 hrs giving it big style stunts, swoops and general blasting etc. Oh yeah and i learnt a new trick - new for me anyway haha - flat spin. Nice one bit tricky to get out of but looks sweet.

    Keep us informed of your exploits down under Brad...

    20c and your lady is complaining of being cold - unreal i'm not sure we've had more than 5-7 days of 20c+ up here this summer.[:@]

  16. #16
    Brad330l's Avatar
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    RE: FVK Graphite test flight report, Awesome

    Bloody British weather ay?
    Yes my poor wife, I was draging her around the UK late last year when all the storms were coming through. We had a great time and the cold windy days didnt worry me but she had to put on a brave face at times.
    I have seen photos of green rolling hills over there with big gliders sloping of them but it was not to be when we were there.
    The days over here would have to be described as 'balmy', being in the NW of Western Oz we dont get too cold but it can be dang windy with days of 20/25 Kts coming from the east. Yuk! They have eased off for the time and it is great. The ocean looks like a mill pond too.
    Good luck Tim and stay warm.
    Brad
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  17. #17
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    RE: FVK Graphite test flight report, Awesome

    Hi Brad, and everyone. I realise this is an older thread, but just wanted to ask a few questions... I'm considering buying a Graphite 3.1m Electric Full D-Box from someone, NIB, but have reservations about the nose cone design. I know on the Mk2 Graphite Electric, the nose design looks bullet proof and well attached. The design on the mark one looks a little more flimsy, but I haven't yet seen good pics and certainly not in person. Brad, you have one good pic of the nose cone / fuselage join which looks excellent. Does the nosecone extend back to bolt through where the towhook would be on the non-electric version?

    I want to run 2.4GHz on this so hoping that running the aerials externally will suffice, but will need to do some testing with that should I buy...

    Any other comments on the design? I'm looking for a sprightly performance so considering a B50 9S/6.7:1 on 3S LiPo, but still up in the air. Still wondering if I should go for the fully moulded Graphite 2, but hoping to get this older version slightly cheaper because of that.

    Cheers,
    Al

  18. #18

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    RE: FVK Graphite test flight report, Awesome

    Hi Brad

    I see you are in port Hedland a place I venture to often for work.

    I am a big FVK supporter with a 2m relax, 1.8m optima, kamerlot, 2m sprite thermik and a 2.4m backfire. Mate I am similar finding great relief in gliders from my jets. If you are in Hedland and still flying, flick us a reply perhaps we can go for a fly.

    Andy
    Regards

    Andrew

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  19. #19
    Brad330l's Avatar
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    RE: FVK Graphite test flight report, Awesome


    ORIGINAL: pilotrcuk

    Hi Brad, and everyone. Brad, you have one good pic of the nose cone / fuselage join which looks excellent. Does the nosecone extend back to bolt through where the towhook would be on the non-electric version?

    I want to run 2.4GHz on this so hoping that running the aerials externally will suffice, but will need to do some testing with that should I buy...

    Any other comments on the design? I'm looking for a sprightly performance so considering a B50 9S/6.7:1 on 3S LiPo, but still up in the air. Still wondering if I should go for the fully moulded Graphite 2, but hoping to get this older version slightly cheaper because of that.

    Cheers,
    Al
    Hi Al. Concerning the nose section,,, it is a great fit into the fuselage and when tightened down is very solid. The tow hook position would be quite close to where the screw for joining the sections is but I would not be able to confirm if anyone would be using it as such. When you hear pilots moving the tow hook a couple of mm's forward or aft you know this could end up any where and make a huge diffference to launch prifiles. Each pilot would have their prefered position.
    I am still using 36Mhz so can not comment on using 2.4Ghz. As far as batteries go I am happy with my NMhs as I continually get five good strong climbs to height and I need the nose weight because I have servos in the tail.
    Let us know how you go Al.

    Andy, no worries mate, we fly every Sunday morning down at the main town oval from 8am.
    I take my glider down every few weeks but if I know you are coming I will definatly have it there.
    I would love a smaller FVK and slope soar it all day

    Cheers,

    Brad
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  20. #20

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    RE: FVK Graphite test flight report, Awesome

    Hey Brad

    Sounds good mate... I am heading up later this week. I will send you a PM..

    Andy
    Regards

    Andrew

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  21. #21
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    RE: FVK Graphite test flight report, Awesome

    Hi Brad,

    Thanks for the info. I wasn't actually meaning about using the electric fuselage as a traditional fus i.e. for winch launch, just mentioned it as it looked roughly where a tow hook would be placed. Anyway, I still can't make up my mind between a Graphite 1e V tail D-box or Graphite 2e cruciform tail - decisions!!! It has been pointed out that perhaps the 1e fuselage is less suitable for LiPo packs since it has a moulded tray to the shape of two sub-C sticks, I'll need to think about that...

    Confused Al...

  22. #22
    Brad330l's Avatar
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    RE: FVK Graphite test flight report, Awesome

    I suppose it will depend on what you want to do with it Al. Sport flying or comp. Speed or endurance. Both will be great though

    I am just a sport flyer. There is only one other guy up here (down here) with a glider and that is an electric foamy so not much chance of any competitions with that. I just try to keep it in the air for as long as I can each time and have some fun. It is very flat up here so no real chance of slope soaring except maybe down the beach when the tide is out.

    Cheers,

    Brad
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  23. #23
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    RE: FVK Graphite test flight report, Awesome

    Brad,
    And I thought we pay too much for equipment here in US!
    I remember paying US$120 delivered for 4 HiTec HS-125MG's buying them off eBay brand new. Accidentally burnt one set and bought another one for the same price.

    Well, I used to compete in F3B (oh boy, back in 78'-81') but now I just want to enjoy the gliding (RC and real thing). Yes, I did compete in Open class gliders as well.
    Competing is a tough job and sometimes you lose the enjoiment of flying, that's one of the reasons I quit competition flights. Adrenaline becomes like smoking - you're getting it but do not feel the effect of it. Although for a few years I was not getting enough of adrenaline and turned it into speeding tickets (hah, many of them).

    Enjoy your Graphite!
    Thanks,
    Mark

  24. #24

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    RE: FVK Graphite test flight report, Awesome

    Here is my Video: Graphit in the Alps

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UXlmOpTcpPQ

    enjoy :-)

  25. #25
    Brad330l's Avatar
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    RE: FVK Graphite test flight report, Awesome


    ORIGINAL: stefala

    Here is my Video: Graphit in the Alps

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UXlmOpTcpPQ

    enjoy :-)
    stefala that is soooo awesome and I would love to fly my Graphite on a slope like that!!!!!!
    I love turning and burning with gliders but Australia is so flat so no slopes like what you have there.
    Never mind, I have a great flight battery now so love climbing and doing some aeros and doing it all over again.

    Thanks for posting, the 'V' tail looks great,

    Brad
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