yep, just got itthis weekend.......looking for all the info I can
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yep, just got itthis weekend.......looking for all the info I can
well after going thru this thread....alot of issues for a $2500 ARF. According to this thread the assembly instructions are poor, the spars are suspect, the cockpit kit is second rate and may cause some spacial issues, landing gear may be istalled backwards, installation of the pipe will cause problems or is not engineered correctly....am I missing anything? But the Phanthom flies great, looks great and is an attention getter at any event. Anyone put one together as per the instructions (poor as they maybe) without having to re-engineer her?
Did you get instructions or are they posted on the webpage? I haven't seen any.
So far, I'm using Dom's recommendations as a guide, but I haven't made any major modifications - other than to install a Details-4-Scale drag chute and working tail hook...
I'll get some pictures posted of where I am in a day or two...
I didn't find it necessary to do a lot of mods. Probably the only mods you really need to do isre-route the airlines and servo wires from the wings so that they enter the fuse along side the turbine and trim the front of the cockpit to clear the steering servo when the nose gear is up. In the stock location the lines & wires enter thefuse behind the rear engine former, near the hot tailcone, and you can't get at them to plug in. Also I didn't likeeverything routed through the wheel wells. The rest of my mods are mentioned in post #941.
Instructions:The instructions are poor to non-existent.The manual on Skymaster's website is for the large F-4 and a lot of it does not apply to the small one. The only thing they give you specific to the small F-4 are the throws and CG. Your best guide is this build thread.
Spars: Not sure it this is really an issue. I have another Skymaster jet with short sparsthat I've been flying for years. Just to be safeI didorderlonger ones.
Cockpit:It's not necessary to extensively modify the cockpit. You do need to trim the front as mentioned above. Space istight, so you have to carefully locate your equipment below.
Landing Gear: Mine were installed correctly.
Pipe: Mine had the pipe pre-installed. I had to trim the engine former to remove it so that I could route the rudder & elevator servo wires and add insulation. My tail paint did notblister like Dom's. Be careful not to install the pipe upside down. The instructions are not clear on this.
Fuel Tanks: They will work as designed but are far from ideal. I did relocate the openings to prevent having unuseable fuel.
Nose Gear Door with E-nose: Mine is the Enose and the forward nosegear door can catch on the strutpreventing it from locking down. It worked fine on the ground but caused the nose gear to collapse on my maiden flight. If you have the long nose version I recommend adding a block of wood inside the door or on the strut toprevent the door from catching on the strut sizzor. Anotheroption would be to open that door mechanically, linked to the strut.
Idon't think this is a problem on the short nose version.
Probably my biggest compliant is that the fiberglass is paper thin. This makes for a light airframe, but it's fragile and you need tohandle it carefully.
the instructions are downloaed from the website. It is pretty bad that those small details like the pipe installation are not included in the instructions and the question about spar length.....wow. Anybody want to buy mine?discounted
Which one you got? I have one as well, Sundowners scheme, just about finsihed rigging mine, and I hope it flies as good as it looks.
What you say is exactly what you get. The excitement of a new airplane (especially the Phantom) was tempered when I opened the box and found (due to poor packing) the Splitter Plates destroyed. BV paid for the repair and provided the exact paint, but then everything went down hill. Don't get me wrong; the size is perfect and the finish is superb, but nothing fit appropriately. The vertical fin was wrongly drilled for the fuse, as were the wings. The wing tubes were for the large F-4 (BV did get me the correct ones) and the mounting holes for the Stab had to be re-drilled. More than half of the door rams needed replacing and I am now waiting for a new pipe from Tam. The kit version is real junk. The tail pipe extensions hadn't even been welded, but simply slid in place. But, it's a Phantom and I'll fly it as soon as the new pipe arrives. While frustrating, having to refit nearly everything, as did Dom, I had to sit it aside on several occasions as to let my temper subside. Again, the finish is beautiful and the size is very manageable, but it's the worst airframe I've ever owned.
My issues were not quite as severe. Everything on mine fit very well, though I did have to cut the bottom of the cockpit to clear the nose gear. The tanks are an issue, but that has been addressed. My vertical stab fit perfectly, however it was not painted correctly to the scheme. Patty got SM to paint me a new vertical and I insisted on holding onto it till I got the new one. It took 5 weeks to get it, and the new one will not fit the fuse. There must be several molds, and they must not all line up correctly. The first vertical stab fits perfectedly, but the second is off by as much as 3/32. I plan to return the new one and just use the original with the missing stripes. Otherwise the fit of the gear doors and the paint are awesome. After some weathering and a few details she looks great. I have to finish tucking in the turbine, but everything is basically plumbed and working. I am using one of Dreamworks new EVO-5Pro gear sequencers and an additional gear valve to set up everything and that saved me a few servos and some room.
mine is the 1/9th scale f4 Playboy Bunny version. i am not saying the problems are not insurmountable just saying that when you spend this much, you expect something in return for your investment. If this were a car, there would be a recall
Mine also did not have as many issues as Chris's did. I had mine painted in a custom Sundowners scheme (see pictures earlier in this thread) and the background color on the vertical stab was grey instead of white. Also, I discovered that they did not add the weathering around the panel lines on the nose section to match the rest of the aircraft. I've decided to fix these things myself instead of asking Skymaster to so it - its faster and less hassle.
All of my parts seem to fit well and my main gear were installed correctly. I also don't have quite as bad a problem getting them aligned properly while still fitting into the wing as Dom did, but they do stick out a bit when setup with the proper toe-in (instead of toe-out as they came from the factory). My initial wing spars are a bit too short as Dom's were and the replacements, while long enough, were too big as his were too. However, I'm going to make those work as well.
For me, this airplane was the right size, the right price, and according to Joe's experience, flys OK, so I think its worth the price. I'd love to have it be 100% right out of the box, but at this price, I don't know where you could get that kind of quality...
Here's some pictures from mine. Lots of work to get the Details4Sclae chute system in and make the working tailhook. Now I'm installing the exhaust nozzles, pipe, engine, and fuel tanks...
interesting mods there. So is the tailhook setup on its own channel? Got me thinking about that parachute mo
Yes, the tail hook and chute will be on their own channels. I have a *bunch* of Matchboxes lying around, so I still only use one channel for flaps. I do like having nose wheel steering on a separate channel so I can adjust steering (which changes all the time if you have those dang wires to turn the nose wheel) without having to mess with a Matchbox. Thus most of my "standard" jets fly with an 8-channel RX:
So for the F-4, I'll have to go with a 14-channel (Futaba) RX to add:
Shame Futaba doesn't sell a 10-channel RX - you have to go straight from 8 to 14...
If you decide to do the chute mod, let me know and I'll take the cover off and shoot a few pictures of the inside. It was a bit of a chore to get the chute cylinder in there with the stab mechanism and there's probably other ways to do it that the way I did, but it took a bit of head scratching to figure out how to get it to fit. Seeing how I did it might save you some time - or give you a better idea.
My install is progressing, but I'm really struggling with getting everything to fit into this plane! I shortened the cockpit like Dom did and its still going to be really tight. I had to spend yet another $40 on this model to buy smaller Robart air tanks as the ones supplied don't fit into the nose without hitting the nose gear when retracted! [:@] This model is eating me out of house and home.
Joe, can you tell us where you ended up putting your batteries? I'm thinking of putting the receiver up in the nose if the batteries don't go up there just to use some of that room for something. If you could post some pictures of your install Joe, that would be really helpful.
Mine is the F-4E (long nose) so I didn't have any problem fitting the supplied air tanks in the nose. The frontof the cockpit needs to be trimed to provide clearance for the steering servo. By carefully locating my equipment I didn't find it necessary to shorten the cockpit tub like Dom did. The cockpit tub is a lot narrower than the fuse and hasmoreclearance at some locations than others.My UAT, retact and brake valves/servos, and ECUbatteryare located against the sides to clear the cockpit. Also the receiver, ECU, and fill valves & guages are located where there is clearance. The pump and solenoids are located below the equipment tray. I have two A123 batteries located each sideof the nose retract.
Locate your engine as far forward as possible. I needed about 5-6 oz. of lead in the nose to balance it at 245 mm. It flew rather nose heavy and needed quite a bit of up trim to fly level.I'll be moving the CG back to about 255mm.
Thanks for the pictures! If the nose on mine was about 1/2" longer, I could have gone with the supplied air tanks. However, with the forward fuel tank in there and the air tanks butted up against it, as far back as possible, the tapered, front end of the air tanks still hits the dual nose wheels. I ordered two of the small Robart air tanks for the gear/doors, and an extra small Robart tank for the brakes/drag chute.
With all of the air tanks down on the floor of the nose, I can get most of the valves, etc. on a board above them. I'm thinking of putting the RX on a board up in the nose. My UAT is in the back, beside the engine and I'm going to mount the fuel pump, solenoids, etc on a board on top of the intake in the engine bay. The ECU will probably go on the floor under the intakes.
I use LiPo batteries, so they have to come out to charge. I'll probably put them beside the nose wheel like you did with the turbine battery somewhere in the engine bay.
Its going to be tight...
Mount your equipment as far forward as possible to minimize the amount of nose weight you'll have to add. What engine are you going with?
Mine is a Jets Munt M140. Performance is awsome.
Mount your equipment as far forward as possible to minimize the amount of nose weight you'll have to add.Â* What engine are you going with?
Mine is a Jets Munt M140.Â* Performance is awsome.
Dom said earlier in this thread that he actually had to mount his batteries aft of the nose because he was nose-heavy. I'd rather have the batteries in the nose than weight...
I guess I need to hold off deciding what goes in the nose until I can test the CG.
Mine will have a Jetcat P-120SE. Not as much punch as you or Dom had, but it should still be pretty good...
I'll post some pictures soon.
Obviously a lot depends on your choice of equipment and where you locate everything. My engine (at 2.6 pounds) is lighter than yours, but I probably added more heat insulation in the back than I needed. In looking back through the thread my battery locations are not much different than Dom's. My receiver batteries are each side of the nose gear (same as his) and my ECU battery is on the equipment tray slightly forward of his. One big difference is that he used large NiMh batteries and my A123's and Lipo are quite a bit lighter, which is probably why I needed the lead.
I would have prefered to move the batteries into the nose, butI had no place else to put the air tanks. Of course YMMV, so some CG checks are definitely in order. Iwould recommend settingyour CG at about 250 mm. for your first flight.
Looking forward to seeing your pictures.
One problem I have ran into is that engine hits the rear of the tanks, which don't fit very well. It presses down on the rear of the tanks, and makes them rise in the front. When this happens the hatch will not fit properly. Aggravating to say the least. I am using a Kingtech 140 and wonder if others have had this issue with similar sized engines.
If you look back in this thread you'll see that Dom had a similar issue. I did basically the same thing he did: grind back the hatch flange and put a spacer between the saddle tanks.The tanks do stick up a little but clear the hatch cover. Look at my engine picture in post # 964. I have about3/4 to 1" space between the tanks.
I have plenty of clearance but my M140 is only 4" in diameter. Your K140 isabout 4.5" in diameter and longer but you should be able to make it fit.
Here's some pictures of my install thus far...
Anyone out there flying this nice looking plane regulary off grass?
We do have 200 meter low cutted grass and a pretty hard surface.
OK, mine is about finished up - I just need to check the CG, which I think is pretty close already, and run the engine...
Joe, do you recall how much expo you were running on the elevator and ailerons? 50mm of throw on the stab sure seems like a lot and I'm worried that it might be touchy in pitch.
Also, do you know how much flaps you have for takeoff and landing? I've got about 25mm (measure at the fuselage) for takeoff and 50mm for landing...
I had 30% expo on ailerons and 40% on elevator. Take off flaps 22 mm. and 57 for landing.I added a little to the recommended flap setting based on what BVM recommends for their F-4. The recommended settings are a good starting point,then you can adjust to suit your personal preferences. For a first flight I always set up my triple rates with the recommended in the middle, thenhave the option of switching to slightly more or less in flight.
The aileron and elevator seemed OK, but I have just the one flight and haven't had a chance to dial it in yet.
When's the maiden?