Assembly of the Eagle 580 doesn't
take long and it can easily be completed in 3-4 hours.
The fuselage, wings and tail are all pre-covered in
MonoKote. The first step in the manual is to install
the aileron servos in the wings. The wings come with
a string through the ribs to make installing the servos
easy. Just tie or tape the string to the servo wires
and pull the wire through to the wing root. I did find
that the all the servo cutouts were a little undersized
in width for the Futaba S3115 servos. The hardware kits
includes small carbon fiber plates to hold the servos
down in place of the rubber and grommets that are supplied
with the servo. The manual does show the included nylon
clevises being used on the ailerons, but I substituted
all the nylon clevisis for metal clevisis.
I made two modifications to the
airframe to make it more durable. Both were made after
the original airframe proved too weak. The first modification
is the landing gear mounting area and the second is
the elevators joiner. Both modifications are easy to
do, especially if you complete them before the airplane
is completely assembled.
The gear area of the fuselage is too weak. A bounce
on landing broke the attach plate rearward into the
fuselage. Some searches on the forums revealed that
I wasn't the only one with this issue.
I peeled back the covering just behind the landing gear
attach plate on the bottom of the fuselage. Then I installed
(5) pieces of 3/32 lite plywood. The first two pieces
of 3/4" wide lite plywood go on the fuselage insides
just behind the landing gear mounting plate up. An additional
two triangular pieces were also installed.
The last piece was a 1-1/2" wide piece of 3/32 lite
plywood installed from the rear of the landing gear
mounting plate to the battery tray. This piece was glued
on top of the original structure.
All these pieces were glued in place using thick and
thin CA. I then added some balsa to the bottom of the
fuselage and covered it with some MonoKote.
The wheel pants are easy to assemble to the gear legs.
The manual does a good job of pointing out which gear
leg goes to which wheel pant. The next step is to attach
the gear to the fuselage. The gear attaches with 4-40
screws and lock washers. I used a dab of thread locker
for some additional security.
Next the rudder is installed with
thin CA and CA hinges. The manual shows a great tip,
to push a pin through the center of the hinge when installing.
This will keep the hinge from going too deep on either
side. After the rudder is installed, the tail wheel
assembly can be installed. Looking down the inside of
the fuselage, you can see the carbon fiber laminations
that add strength to the airframe.
The elevators are connected with
a wire joiner that slips into balsa wood on each elevator
half. This setup worked for a while, and then some slop
developed. This modification is easier to do before
the horizontal stabilizer is glued to the fuselage.
I drilled the holes that the elevator joiner slip in
out to a 1/4" diameter hole. I drilled the hole out
using several drill bits, stepping up in size 1/8" or
so at a time. Then I inserted a 1/4" hardwood dowel
into the hole and glued the dowel into place with thin
CA. Next I drilled the dowel out to the original size
of the elevator joiner wire. Then I filed the hardwood
dowel to match the profile of the elevator leading edge.
The last step was to cut away some covering and epoxy
1 layer of fiberglass over the elevator joiner wire.
If you do this modification before gluing the tail in
you can do all this on your workbench. Otherwise you
will need to complete this with the elevator joiner
through the fuselage. This modification made a stiff
connection to both elevators.
Next it's time to glue the horizontal
stabilizer in place. Fist the manual has you install
the wings by sliding the canopy off and slipping the
carbon fiber joiner tube into place. Then the wings
can slide onto the joiner tube and get secured with
a nylon thumb screw. After the wings are installed,
the horizontal tail is fit checked against the main
wing. Remember to slide the elevators or wire elevator
joiner in the slot before the horizontal stabilizer
is glued in. Remove the covering from the center section
as indicated and slip the horizontal tail into the fuselage.
It's important to make sure that the wing and horizontal
are parallel to guarantee straight flight characteristics.
Once the tail is square with the wing, the horizontal
tail can be glued in place with some thin CA. After
the tail is glued in place the elevator can be installed.
The elevator installs the same as the rudder with CA
The next steps are to install the motor, ESC and the
remaining radio gear. The ElectriFly Rimfire .32 (42-50-800)kV
Outrunner motor simply bolts on to the motor mount without
any modification. The ESC installs with Velcro that
is included in the kit. I installed the ESC a little
further back to allow some additional surface for the
Velcro to stick to. I then secured the ESC with 2 zip
ties. Snap the cowling into place and install the propeller
The rudder servo is installed
in the fuselage and the elevator servo is installed
in the tail. The rudder is set up with push-pull cables
that work very well. To get the cables down the nylon
tubes, I used a piece of music wire to push it down
the tube. When installing the threaded rudder control
horn, the control horn should be installed 19 mm, not
21mm from the bottom of the rudder as the manual indicates.
You will see a hole cut in the rudder for the threaded
rudder control horn. Also, when installing the rudder
it is easy to confuse the threaded control horn nuts
and the nuts used on the push-pull cables.
The receiver is Velcroed to the
bottom of the fuselage in an open bay. This means the
receiver is stuck to the MonoKote. While I would prefer
a piece of wood to mount the receiver to, this worked
well. Velcro is also supplied for the battery, and the
plate that the battery sits on holds the battery securely.
Now comes the fun part, installing the giant decals
that come with the kit. The Embry-Riddle on the bottom
of the wings is pre-applied, but the decals need to
be installed on the top of the wings and sides of the
fuselage. The decals are easy to install if you follow
the directions in the manual. A mild dish soap solution
and water will allow you to position the decals. I used
a ruler and a marker to make very small marks on the
MonoKote to help me position the wing decals. The fuselage
decals install easier because the fuselage structure
gives you a good reference to where "straight" is. On
the rudder it may help to use some clear tape to help
the decals stick close to the hinge. I ran a piece through
the hinge line from one side to the other to keep the
decal pressed against the rudder.
Some of the decals were not illustrated
well in the manual (this is my only complaint about
the manual since overall the manual is excellent). The
pictures here will help you place the decals. One note
of caution, you may want to look at Matt Chapman's web
site (address at the bottom) to place some of the decals
if you're picky. The Lycoming Engines decals are in
a different position on the full scale plane. The full
scale plane also has Goodyear logos on the wheel pants
that were included with the kit but not shown in the
Once the decals have dried, it's time to begin those
final checks before you tear up the sky. The C.G. came
out perfect at 3 1/4" back from the root leading edge
per the manual after adjusting the position of the battery.
It's a good idea to put a mark on the battery tray so
you know where to put the battery after you've take
it out to charge. Set up your control throws and complete
a range check. Complete the rest of your preflight checks,
and this thing is ready to fly!