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Tensor 4D Aerobatics Aircraft

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Old 01-17-2005, 10:34 PM
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Default Tensor 4D Aerobatics Aircraft

I have got a Tensor 4D Aerobatics plane for indoor flying. This is a very interesting airplane. I am in the process of putting it together by the numbers.
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Old 01-17-2005, 10:41 PM
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Default RE: Tensor 4D Aerobatics Aircraft

One of the first things I noticed is how light everything is. Its really designed to be very light and competitive. One of the first steps is to join the elevator halves together with a piece of high quality carbon fiber, about quarter inch wide and about 1/16 inch thick. The stab and elevator are pre-hinged (top hinged like the composite ARF wings). With the cf piece on the bottom, I used a dremel to cut a small slot just where the horn goes through. I followed the directions about putting it in through the top rather than the conventional horn mounting, that way it gives it a little less stand-off and it allows me to use standard length control horns I had (left over from my 8411's). They fit very well on the 241 servos.

There was one interesting thing I found when putting together the horizontal and vertical fuselage segments. How do you get them perpendicular? They are very flimsy alone, but once glued together they make the fuselage quite rigid. I used the edge of the counter top to set the initial glue and keep the fuselage straight while keeping the pieces 90 degrees.

Anyhow, thats it for now.

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Old 01-27-2005, 10:30 PM
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Default RE: Tensor 4D Aerobatics Aircraft

test
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Old 01-27-2005, 10:59 PM
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Default RE: Tensor 4D Aerobatics Aircraft

The airplane has gone together very well. I found that the servos can be mounted very easily with just a couple of small drops of CA- on each side of the servo mounting tabs and in the case of the aileron servo, one drop arount the base attached to the fuselage. The cross-braces are very well engineered. They all fit very well and add a tremendous amount of lateral strenght. I did not try setting books on the top wing, but it was quite strong. Looking forward to getting the outrunner 370 motor so I can do some Christmas tree trimming before my wife takes it down.

Looking forward to having an indoor model in the winter. It seems strange when the temp gets up to 30 and it feels warm enough to not wear an overcoat.

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Old 01-27-2005, 11:10 PM
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Default RE: Tensor 4D Aerobatics Aircraft

Hello Don

I am also in the process of putting a Tensor together but since I'm new to electric planes , it's nice to receive lots of info and reduce the chances of bad mistakes.

Keep it coming!!!

C Lim
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Old 01-28-2005, 10:38 PM
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Default RE: Tensor 4D Aerobatics Aircraft

There are these items called side force generators (SFGs). I thought they were little control surfaces on the wing vertical struts, but they are just vertical fins (I heard a story of George or Mike putting servos on these but found that they are not really needed). Nonetheless they have an orientation. The small holes that come pre-marked are aligned closely, but I started at the inside and somehow ended up a little off. (actually mounted one of the SFG's upside down). While adding the second cross brace, I simply poked a hole in the vertical side force generator in the correct place to make sure the two carbon fiber pieces touched at the center. Another interesting item is doing an alignment check. With just 1/16 inch of the CF rods protruding through the bottom of the wings, when the come together at the top, it helps alignment to get them symmetrical (don't need a square). The piece of carbon fiber being equal length and equal angles provide for a symmetric mounting of the wing surfaces. Basically with the bottoms of the carbon fiber rods glued to the bottom wing. I just kind of shifed the top wing back and forth to get the CF rods to stick out symmetrically with the top of the wing... and this ensured that the wings were glued straight.

Ailerons- I used a post from a genius in George's area- there was a suggestion to get proper control throw on the top ailerons, you have to put the connectors at the trailing edges of the ailerons. He suggested to do the following (I did this)... I extended the slots on the ailerons all the way to the trailing edges and then put these pieces in place. Then I cut four pieces of half inch long, plastic tie wrap (about 3/16 wide tie wrap). These are the kind of tie wraps I use to hold in batteries or my carbon fiber pipe, fuel tank etc. on my pattern planes. Any case, after cutting them and before gluing them in place I got an exacto point and "drilled" small 1/32 holes about 1/8 inch from the end and rounded it off on the edges to look nice.

I've got to get out and buy that digital camera tomorrow to take a picture of this. Its really easy to do and its very functional- plus lighter than the standard horn setup in the plans (which I understand produce some aileron differential)
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Old 01-29-2005, 11:27 PM
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Default RE: Tensor 4D Aerobatics Aircraft

Here are a few photos of the aileron connections as recommended in George Hicks' section. By the way, My wife just bought this digital camera. Its really neat- a keychain camera. It takes up to 138 pictures or 20 seconds of video. Here is the clincher. Its only about 2 oz. Let me see, if I take the case off, set it up with a rc operated switch, and.... on-board video for the Tensor.... way too much time here. Any case, here they are. These connections provide symmetric aileron throw.
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Old 01-30-2005, 09:57 AM
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Default RE: Tensor 4D Aerobatics Aircraft

Thinking of purchasing a tensor, what motor is everyone using?
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Old 01-30-2005, 05:00 PM
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Default RE: Tensor 4D Aerobatics Aircraft

I'm planning to use the Park Outrunner Brushless 1360Kv
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Old 02-03-2005, 11:02 AM
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Default RE: Tensor 4D Aerobatics Aircraft

Don,

I am in the process of building the Tensor and I don't quite understand the section that talks about trimming the control horn to obtain more throw. Maybe I am having a brain fart or something but the pictures in the manual were not clear enough to tell how they should be modified. I read your post above about doing the mod to the control horns so I figured you may have a picture or can explain what part to cut off with my scissors. I did have and addendum sheet with the manual that mentioned cutting the carbon elevator joiner to 1 5/8 in length to keep it from blocking the elevator horn but it looks like you just notched the carbon fiber joiner where it went over the slot for the horn. Is this correct?


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Old 02-04-2005, 10:24 PM
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Default RE: Tensor 4D Aerobatics Aircraft

I really LOVE this little digital camera. I have not had so much fun with a new toy since I got my Funtana.

Pictures show the horn, how its assembled (without the control surface). You just cut the part that would normally go thru the surface off. I did this after I assembled it in the control surfaces. I did this for the elevator and rudder so that I would not have to buy the large size arms. the other two pictures show how it looks from both sides.
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Old 02-04-2005, 10:36 PM
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Default RE: Tensor 4D Aerobatics Aircraft

The last few steps took all but about 10 minutes. Glued in the vertical fins on the top and bottoms of the wings, and then mounted the landing gear. I was not sure til I did it, but I poked the landing gear legs through the foam in the horizontal fuselage per the guidance of gluing on both sides of the foam. Took some more pictures of this and the engine mounting.
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Old 02-04-2005, 10:44 PM
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Default RE: Tensor 4D Aerobatics Aircraft

And here are the pictures that show the elevator horn around the carbon fiber reinforcement with the extra throw option exercised.. I just used a dremel to carve out a 1/8 inch slot about 1/16 wide, glued the cf piece in place so the slot was aligned with the slot in the foam for the horn, and then put a couple of pieces of 1/16 balsa on either side of the horn behind the cf piece, so when the "locking" piece slides down over them and secured with CA, it will be parallel to the control surface and have plenty of mating surface. Note that the "locking" piece to the control horn does not lock, since the grooved part it normally mounts to is on the other side of the surface (soon to be cut off).
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Old 02-04-2005, 10:51 PM
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Default RE: Tensor 4D Aerobatics Aircraft

This is what the horn pieces before, and after they are put together.
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Old 02-04-2005, 11:12 PM
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Default RE: Tensor 4D Aerobatics Aircraft

Cool, Thanks, I did end up figuring out you just cut off the bottom and I inserted the control horn through the bottom then glued the lock down over the top (instead of the bottom I cut off) This made the horn have less sticking up from the surface which should equal more throw. I am using the Hs 55 Hitecs with the large arms that came with it. I just got my Jr 610 Shrinkwrapped recvr today. Boy is that thing light. I also ordered the AXI motor for it and a 2 cell 900mah battery. I am trying to build it as light as possible. Thanks for your input Don.


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Old 02-06-2005, 12:38 AM
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Default RE: Tensor 4D Aerobatics Aircraft

I test flew the Tensor tonight. After cruising around up and down the street under the street light I was able to bring it around and keep it for the most part in the confines of the front yard. Definitely not coordinated with it to hand launch, but it takes off and lands from the sidewalk and street very well.

I added a couple of pieces of foam scrap (its very light) I had left over from the elevator and rudder servo cutouts. I did them with a 1/8 inch hole punched in toward the end of each. These were then glued to the sides of the fuselage about mid distance between the servos and the control horns. This seemed to stiffen up the control pushrods for the elevator and rudder, keeping them from flexing.

I set up two rates on a 6102 transmitter. I picked up the manual for about 20 seconds and put it back down. I figured out how to enter these inputs. Like the 10X and the 9303, this radio is very intuitive. Its easy to figure out how to get to the menus and enter data. Any case I went with high rate 100% servo throw and 40% expo and low rate at 65% on elevator and ailerons, with 20% expo. After flying the plane for a minute on low rate I switched to high rate and left it there for the rest of the flight. I like the extra control.

The rudder is nice and effective. I like being able to steer it around with the rudder. It makes it very neutral in terms of inputs. A couple of knife edge passes quickly began turning into knife edge loops, even with the throttle reduced. Great flying airplane.

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Old 02-06-2005, 10:06 AM
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Default RE: Tensor 4D Aerobatics Aircraft

Don,

Sounds like you had fun with it. I can't wait to fly mine. I started building it last night and it seems to be going good. I did find that foam safe ca activator will burn foam sometimes. I had it burn a small hole on the elevator when I installed it and put a drop of ca activator on it. Seems like this foam safe Ca takes a lot longer to dry so I used a dropper and the ca activator to speed things up a bit. Did you have any issues flying it outside? I am assuming there was no wind when you flew it. I used to fly my fancyfoam extra outside all the time, even in insane winds for a foamy, funny watching the wing flex on it. It was a larger heavier plane though, like 14 oz. Thanks for your input on this plane.


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Old 02-06-2005, 11:19 PM
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Default RE: Tensor 4D Aerobatics Aircraft

The wind today was blowing about 5 mph. Maybe gusting to about 6 or 7. The plane would go into a torque roll straight up and down, and it would just drift down the runway at a fast walk pace is it was torque rolling. So, 5 mph is like about 10 to 12 on a larger plane.

The airplane is so light and fragile- the elevator and rudder (rear fuselage twists a lot with hardly any force) However the aerodynamics are so well thought out that even with the flex, the fuselage, etc. does not seem to distort under load. The truss system on the wing is really strong. I feel like I could put a brick on the top wing and it would support it. However the wing twists horzontally very easily. Again, since the side force generators keep the airflow front to back, they provide a stabilizing force which means you really don't need much strength where you don't have it. Having said that, I have not planted it yet. It seems to be very easy to control.

I was able to torque roll left and stop it easily and then start rolling right. I did not do it much, since its such a strange feeling/seeing things rotate the other way.

The small fins on the top of the wing and the bottom of the wing are the same color scheme. I got disoriented several times, seeing the yellow spots was mentally symmetrical. I'll probably paint the fins solid blue or solid white. I've only got 4 flights on it so far (last one was a few minutes ago just after the football game).

Did some rolling harriers earlier today. They are very easy, but Mike McConville was right, you don't need much if any rudder while doing these. The Tensor puts itself in a slightly nose-high attitude during knife edge due to the side force generators between the wings. Putting rudder in during a rolling harrier pretty much would put the Tensor vertical into a torque roll almost instantaneously.

The plane does have some pitch coupling during knife edge loops. I think it feels like it needs a little up elevator with extreme rudder throw. At the top of a KE loop, coming around the back side and at the bottom, it would kind of roll to inverted. It was doing some very tight KE looops.

Its taking me less time than I thought to get used to the "box" like shape of the fuselage and wings. I'm used to looking at it now. All the stuff hanging out in the air makes it very stable in torque roll. All the wings and side force generators helps (aerodynamically) make the plane more stable as its parked vertically.

My battery pack is set about 1/4 inch in front (as best as I can see) from the pictures in the instructions. However, I'm using the standard long black rx antenna with the JR 610 (without case version) receiver. The antenna goes back to the bottom of the rudder fin, then doubles back and is tied to the center fuselage/truss.

The foam is extremely light and the plane is generally very fragile. My son lifted it up under the wing between the center and the side force generator, and it was flexing almost as if to snap off. You have to grab it by the center wing mount. This plane is definitely designed for indoor or outdoor calm conditions. Its quite easy to fly in the confines of an indoor gym or hangar. My CG is just at the front recommended spot. 2 1/4 inch.

Well, thats it for now.
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Old 02-06-2005, 11:42 PM
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Default RE: Tensor 4D Aerobatics Aircraft

By the way, I measured how much total CA I used for the entire plane. I used one half of a 1/2 ounce container. That is 1/4 ounce. I used just a drop here and a drop there. You know the blue doubler thing that really is not glued to the other piece of the horizontal fuselage piece? Well, I did not even glue them together. I just used enough glue to hold the plane together, nothing else. Where the instructions said to use 6 inches of string for the pushrod ends, I used 2 or 3 inches with a half drop of CA.

I actually had on backorder the E flight Foam CA and could not wait- I bought from the local hobby shop (Hobby Hangar) Super Gold oderless CA (gap filling), the stuff with the gold label. This stuff did not bother the foam at all. I used some leftover ProCA activator.

The only blemish was when I was holding the horizontal stab and some CA got under my finger. When I used the accelerator, my finger stuck, and even gently pulling my finger away from the foam took out a 1/4 chunk of the stab. No problem, just a little more CA put it back in its place. I used a fine wood bamboo cooking stick (with the point) and dipped it in the activator, just touching the drop or two of CA i'd use and it would cure it pretty fast. Reminds me of the techniqe building indoor rubber powered freeflight models.

I used the standard engine mount setup per the plans. I was going to use some balsa triangles to help reinforce the little ply plate, but decided to just go with the standar setup and put a couple extra drops of CA around the edges. So far its holding up fine.

The e-flight outrunner motor is running flawlessly. This along with the e-flight 20A speed controller seem to give the plane very linear throttle response. I'm using the recommended prop, a GWS 10x4.7

Am looking for a rubber/foam spinner for the nose. The prop shaft is about 1/4 inch thick.

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Old 02-08-2005, 09:20 PM
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Default RE: Tensor 4D Aerobatics Aircraft

Weighed the plane. I am not sure what the average weight is of the Tensor. Mine came out at 7.8 oz without the battery. With the battery it was 9.6 oz.

JR 241 servos
E flight 20A speed controller
E Flight Thunder Power 860mAh battery
JR 610 lw receiver

Guess thats about it. Now just have to figure out how to hover and catch, and fly it in the play room (without the kids, that is).

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Old 02-12-2005, 10:15 PM
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Default RE: Tensor 4D Aerobatics Aircraft

Bottom Rudder.

I went to do some fine tuning mixing on the Tensor, and found that when I put it in knife edge, I did not need any rudder. There was no mixing that I could to do! In fact when I put some rudder in, I found myself immediately putting in bottom rudder to steer it around, straighten out and fly knife edge to the left. Right rudder knife edge needed just a little rudder to sustain. An interesting learning curve.

Heading outside to do some more night flying under the street light.

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Old 02-18-2005, 01:01 AM
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Well I got up at 6:00Am this morning and there was no wind dead calm, so I went out in front of my house with the Tensor and decided to maiden it. I really had it setup for indoor flying but I figured no wind is just like indoors. I throttle up and took off from the street, it seemed to climb vertical or nose up really bad, I kind of freaked and though something was up so I decided to glide it into the front yard, BIG MISTAKE. This plane is very very fragile, I barely hit on the gear and it broke in half at the rear and where the gear goes through the fuselage. I was upset all day, so I cam home at lunch and said what the heck, I threw some ca over everything and took it back outside with more wind this time and no gear. I tossed it up and flew it around for about 2 min, I landed it on my driveway which wiped out the front, now the motor is hanging off it. I get home from work today and decide well I can't hurt it to much more and oh well if I do! I did a quick glue job and get the gear back under it. I take it out front again and take off on the street and I flew for about 3 min learning the airplane. I decided to land and I touched down on the gear but it immediately tipped onto its nose breaking the motor out again and breaking the fuselage at the gear. By now I REALLY don't care so I go in glue it back and fly it some more with the same results again and again. I got a wild hair at 9:30 tonight and decided to glue it again and fly it under the street light. To be honest with you I flew it more at 9:30PM then I did at 5:00PM, I was hovering right in front of me and really learning the plane at least what was left of it that glue was still holding! I get it out of wack in a hover and smack down on my driveway nose first which demolished the front. I think I am done with it. I stripped my gear out and am planning on either getting another and only flying it indoors or getting the Yak 54 Shockflyer. I do like how the Tensor flew its just built a little flimsy for my taste. I guess indoors on a smooth gym floor it would probably do good landing on the wheels and taking off. Anybody know another good strong foamie for my Axi 2208/34? Thanks folks I am now Tensor less from the freakin MAIDEN. Oh well its just FOAM I GUESS.


Later,
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Old 02-18-2005, 11:51 PM
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Default RE: Tensor 4D Aerobatics Aircraft

AC, hope you're not landing it like a pattern plane! I did land mine on the street and parking lot in front of the hobby shop after the first couple of flights. It was fine, although I did land gingerly. I've cracked mine through the vertical boom below the top wing, when I "caught" it at the end of a flight. Actually, I had caught it correctly this several times but learned there is a way to do this correctly. Outside if there is any wind at all, the plane will weather vane after you catch it (on the vertical fuselage just behind the wing). The foam is a bit brittle in the cold as well. Hear is my learned capture technique. I hover it stationary up to about 5 feet in front, then walk up to it and gently grasp the fuselage, but do not kill the throttle yet. I reduce the throtttle some to get a better grip on it before reducing the throttle all the way. It takes a while to get used to this but its quite predictable.

Give the Tribute a shot- its a lot sturdier and the transition would be about right.
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Old 02-19-2005, 12:16 AM
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Default RE: Tensor 4D Aerobatics Aircraft

The Tribute is not for me. I am probably going to get a Shockflyer Yak for my Axi motor and go back with a Fancyfoam model for my Himax Gear box motor I have. I did land the Tensor gently on the gear but it tipped into the nose and broke the fuselage. Something may have caught the wheels and stopped them. Maybe the street was too rough. It hovered nicely right out in front of me, it is stable I will give it that but fragile. I guess to have light you have to have fragile though.

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Old 02-20-2005, 12:19 AM
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Default RE: Tensor 4D Aerobatics Aircraft

Yes, light and fragile. High performance you might consider it as. Well, best of luck with the Shockflyer. I've flown them (but not the Yak specifically) and they are a blast as well.

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