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  1. #1

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    Top Flite SE5 cg

    Does anyone know the cg for the old Top Flite Dave Platt SE5A kit? Any help is greatly appreciated.
    Barzini

  2. #2

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    RE: Top Flite SE5 cg

    The manual states exactly in the middle of the top wing. I balanced it there when I maidened mine about two months ago and had the most hair raising flight of my life. It is now at +-90mm from the leading edge of the top wing and, although still slightly tail heavy, flies like a dream.

  3. #3

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    RE: Top Flite SE5 cg

    Mine likes to be more nose heavy too. I added about 2-3 oz just behind the radiator from the plans balance point.

  4. #4

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    RE: Top Flite SE5 cg

    I rebalanced it at 90 mm and it flew real nice!Thanks, Does anyone know the scale of this plane so I can look for a pilot.
    Thanks, Barzini

  5. #5
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    RE: Top Flite SE5 cg

    Barzini. According to Squadron/Signal publications #1026 (I looked for a publication or copywrite date and couldn't find any), the wingspan of the whole series, from B through N, was 37' 3 1/2". Time to dig out the calculator, and go from there.

    Les

  6. #6

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    RE: Top Flite SE5 cg

    I believe the plane is 1/7-1/6. I have a kit thats packed away some place. It might say what scale it is. But as Les mentioned.. do a lil math.
    BobH.

  7. #7

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    RE: Top Flite SE5 cg

    It is 1/6...53 inch span on the model, 26 1/2 foot span on the full size.

    Jim

  8. #8

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    RE: Top Flite SE5 cg

    Hey Guys,
    I have just begun building this kit, which has been in its box in my workshop for the las 40 years! The plans are brittle but usable. The wood is still great, apart from one of the ply sheets, which has delaminated a bit. Easy to get around that. What I do not have and would dearly love to have, is the assembly manual for the kit. Can anyone please help me with finding one?
    By the way, I am going to build it for electric power, so will be making mods to the fuselage but I have the expertise to do that easily enough.
    I'd also like to avoid having to manufacture wheels for this model, so if anyone knows where I can buy a set, that too would be appreciated.
    Thanks, folks; I'll keep an eye out for this forum.

  9. #9

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    RE: Top Flite SE5 cg

    The wheels are 5 inch Williams bros. As to a building manuel ?
    BobH.

  10. #10

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    RE: Top Flite SE5 cg

    I built mine about 8 years ago, and if I remember right the instructions say things like " slide ribs on the spars and glue, glue all other parts to finish wing." Defiantly not a step by step in the modern sense. It did give hints like block up the spars so the ribs dont touch the bench. It was actually pretty easy to build as the plans are first rate. I built mine stock with the socket mount top wing and struts and it works fine but I wish I converted it to a more conventional setup as if it does break on you, you are on your own for repair as those parts have not been made sense the late 70's. Electrical lug soldered to music wire is how I would go. I did the z bind flying wire like the plans and had problems with them coming loose, so i used the same wire and got parkflyer solderable clevises, and that is better; it flies right now with a mix of that and original. I did the pushrods in the wing but with 2 servos; I would bury 2 HS81mg if I did it now; lots of slop. One fun thing I remembered in the manual was the statement that the plane flies great as a single channel/rudder only airplane; defiantly shows when it was designed. It does fly great.

  11. #11

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    RE: Top Flite SE5 cg

    Thanks for the info, guys. Every little bit helps. I am a little worried by the plastic parts in the kit because I wonder if they have become brittle over the past 40 years. I'd still love to get a copy of the manual but if it comes down to it, I'll have to rely on inovation in some areas. There seems to be a few bits missing from my box and I have already had to make a few pieces. I came to get this kit because an aquaintance of mine had bought it and actually started the build, when his wife laid down the law to him; "It's me, or your darned model airplanes"! He made the wrong choice and got rid of his airplanes:-)
    It is good to know that it flys well, but it is a worry that it breaks easily. I intend to cover mine with Koverall and dope, so I hope that will make it a little bit strong.
    I'll see if I can find a web site for those wheels, thanks.

  12. #12
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    RE: Top Flite SE5 cg

    You might also look into whether the Flair 110mm wheels are actually closer to the correct scale size. They are definitely more scale in terms of profile for the Palmer aerocord tyres used on the SE5.

    http://www.rcuniverse.com/forum/m_31...tm.htm#3197779

  13. #13

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    RE: Top Flite SE5 cg

    Thank you for that link. Very interesting and helpful. So far we have the lower wing and ailerons built but not covered. All seems to be in good shape. What starts out as a flimsy looking construction becomes more robust as it completes. I have a sheet of W16 ribs and W12 wingtips missing for the top wing, so will have to cut some from 1/16 sheet. Easy! I suspect also that there is some hardware missing, so inovation is going to be the order of the day, especially if I can't find a  manual. Hard to see how I could improve on a Dave Platt design but as needs must :-)

  14. #14

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    RE: Top Flite SE5 cg

    I have a manual in my kit that I can copy. Send your addy to my PM and I'll be more than happy to send it to you!

  15. #15

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    RE: Top Flite SE5 cg

    How good is that?  Many thanks to ARUP for that offer and I have sent a PM to him.
    Having some pretty ordinary weather here at the moment, so the build is going along well. Have ordered the wheels from a business in the US, so will get them soon too.

  16. #16

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    RE: Top Flite SE5 cg

    Hi Keithy, if you don't want to wait you can download the manual at the following link; look under "Discontinued Red Box Pre-Gold Edition Kits"

    http://www.top-flite.com/manuals/index.html

    The CG on mine, which I finished last year, after receiving the kit 35 years ago :-( is at 97mm from the leading edge on the top wing. The manual states in the middle of the top wing, and like I said in an earlier post, the maiden when balanced there was hair raising to say the least.

  17. #17

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    RE: Top Flite SE5 cg

    Thanks Franc,
    Will have a look at that URL and contact ARUP If I find it.

  18. #18

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    RE: Top Flite SE5 cg

    The manual is on its way! Franc- link is a great idea! Keith- if you are like me I like to have it in my hot hands and not a computer screen. (I don't have a printer)

  19. #19

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    RE: Top Flite SE5 cg

    Yup, I also like to have hard copy. Thanks again[8D].  The excitement is building with the model beginning to take shape down in my den. I call it my 'dugout' because that is exactly what it is. I excavated a fairly large area under the house, to act as a workshop cum cyclone shelter. It has brick  walls and a concrete floor. In the past 13 years, it has never been used for the latter purpose but it has seen quite a few wooden creations and now, after a long break, the creation of flying machines. Life is good!

  20. #20

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    RE: Top Flite SE5 cg

    I have two of the old kits, but the one in front is a total wreck and the other one is being restored after a crash snapped the fuse in half. I'm very excited to get the the second one back in the air after repairs.

    Jaybird
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  21. #21

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    RE: Top Flite SE5 cg

    Which one is the total reck? Both look to have potential.

  22. #22

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    RE: Top Flite SE5 cg

    I was refering to the one in front with the radiator forward missing, broken cabane struts and just the top wing which I had built many years ago. The bottom wing was smashed and would have to be rebuilt. At the time I just didn't have the heart to try and scratch build the wrecked parts and landing gear. The one in back I bought finished from another club member a few years after I crashed mine. The second flight the engine over heated and quit and it crashed snapping the fuselage in half just behind the cockpit. I gave both to a club member who was interested in them and hadn't seen them for a long time. He glued the tail section back on but hadn't tried to repair the cloth covering and had just hung it up. I asked him about it last month and he said I could have them both back as he'd like to see at least one fly again. I took the repaired fuselage back to the original builder and he still had scrap covering and paint on hand and did a great job of getting the panels back together and touching up the paint. I have since started changing the wing mounting to make a bolt together design instead of the nylon ball and sockets which I built into the one I did. The second one also had stiff wire bracing screwed into the wing panels which were cumbersome to take apart (similar I imagine to the original design which called for all the wires to be mounted individually) as the builder had a large van at the time and could transport it in one piece.

    The pictures are of when I first bought the second one back in 2005 and you can see the wire rigging. The next few show the new strut and cabane mounts.

    Now that I look at mine again, I guess it's not a total wreck, but it sure felt like it at the time. I have all the plans and I suppose I could try scratch building the lower wing panels. It might be a fun winter project. The aluminum cowling and lower panel are pretty badly crumpled and I'm not sure how I could repair or replace them.

    Jaybird
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  23. #23

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    RE: Top Flite SE5 cg

    The aluminum is the easy part. They just started out as flat pieces with holes cut in and bent; you dont have to put the louvers in the bottom or you could make them out of 1/64 ply. My kit had most of the fuselage missing so I had to scratch all but the radiator and one bulkhead; there is enough on the plans to make the wing. Good that you're reviving old planes.

  24. #24

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    RE: Top Flite SE5 cg

    Wow, how good to see a couple of oldies being resurected like this. Keep it up and get some more fun from flying them. Mine is now finished, the last thing to arrive in my mail was a large sheet of Koverall, directly from SIG in the US. Far too expensve to buy here in Austalia, so online was my saviour. To save money, I made my own replica Lewis machine gun and it passes not too fussy inspection. I was able to use the original decals in spite of them having become britle over the years. I found that giving them a long soak in water, did the trick. Once applied and dried, I was able to use some of my artist's acrylics to touch them up. They now look quite authentically weathered. As I mentioned previously, I have adapted mine for electric power and have installed a 40 size electric motor, with a 3,800 mAh Lipoly battery, which fits very neatly in place of the flight battery and fuel tank space. C of G is as stated on the plan and easilly accomplished with battery placement. Flight times are about 12 - 15 minutes. I have taken it to the club field three times, where it has been much admired and compliments on theappearance have been received with gratitude. So many of the aircraft now being flown are foamiesso a sticks and cloth model really opens a few eyes.
    As for flying it, A lovely thing to fly, with scale speedfly pasts receiving the most admiration, but also, very maneuverable! I took the advicein the booklet re. take off needing to be flat out throttle, or risk a ground loop. WHOOPS! The 40 size motor is way too powerful for the job and the model leapt into the air and climbed almost vertically out. Not very scale like, to say the least. Subsequent flights were made using gradual throttle opening and plenty of right rudder until speed was aproaching take off. This made for delightful, realistic take offs.
    I have been away from home for the past month, visiting family in the southern states and will be here in Melbourne for the next three weeks. Nice as this is, I can barely wait to take the model out when we get home. I will post a few pix of mine after I get home.
    Keep the home fires burning, lads and the old war birds can live on in miniature.

  25. #25

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    RE: Top Flite SE5 cg

    Not sure I'll get both back in the air soon but one should be ready by next spring easily. I was very pleasantly surprised to find this thread as it seems to be the only one on RCU for this particular kit. I'm glad to see that others have them as well and are keeping them flying. I have a large number of build pictures of my first one but they are all 35mm prints as I didn't have a digital camera at that time. I do a a VHS video of the after crash parts pick up and it is pretty sad. I had put in some control surface details on mine that I liked and a nice scratch built instrument panel using reference pictures from a book called "Wind in the Wires". I used olive drab and white Solortex on mine but I didn't do any rib stitching or pinking strips like those done by the builder of my second one. I removed the instrument panel from mine after the crash and mounted it in the second one as his didn't have one.

    Jaybird
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