popular Hobbico SWARM free-flight plane
was converted to R/C
SWARM provides easy access for wiring and placement of components
my FMA LV Flight Pack project, I decided to convert the popular
Hobbico Swarm electric free-flight plane since it is inexpensive
and runs on a 3-cell (3.6v) NiCd pack.
Fuselage Length: 24.4" (620mm)
Fuselage Height: 3.4" (85mm)
Elevator Adjustments: 1/16" (1-2mm) up or down
Motor: 180 size
On-Board Battery: 3.6 volt
The Hobbico Swarm will provide an easy conversion from electric
free-flight to R/C. The plane is sufficiently open and easy to
access the various sections. The cowl is held in place by two
screws and the rudder easily removes with a single screw making
it easy to convert and re-assemble.
stock 1.0oz 3-cell NiCd pack was replaced by the 0.4oz Kokam
3-cell NiCd pack was removed by cutting out the entire rectangular
circuit board containing the On/Off switch and charger jack assembly.
It weighed 1.0oz compared to the 0.4oz single cell Kokam 340 pack
in the LV Flight Pack.
hooked up the motor wires to a variable bench supply and made
the following measurements:
3amps @ 2.5v
5amps @ 3.6v
appeared to be a good fit for the Kokam 340 cell in my LV Flight
Pack since it can deliver up to 6amps continuous, if needed.
stabilizers can be removed with a single screw
Swarm vertical stab can be removed with a single screw. This makes
it easy to cut out the rudder and elevator from the stabilizers
on the bench. I simply taped my control surfaces in place after
first cutting a 45 degree wedge into the leading edge of the rudder
of downthrust is built into the stock motor mount. The cowl can
be removed with only two screws but I see no need to do this now
since the motor wires already run back into the open fuselage.
motor wires were soldered to the FMA Super9LV ESC. The plus (+)
side to red and the negative (-) side to black.
The SWARM wing is already reinforced by a plastic piece that uses
sticky-back tape and fits into the custom saddle in the fuselage.
PS20 servos were mounted into the removed battery opening
mounted the two PS20 servos in the opening created by cutting
out the stock battery board. A few pieces of balsa were used to
separate the servos and provide a framework to glue onto the foam.
I used the UHU Por glue which is foam-safe and dries in just minutes.
FMA M5LV receiver was placed in the remaining part of the opening
left by removing the original battery board.
I glued some light micro-horns into the rudder and elevator from
Other products like the Dubro micro hardware series may be available
at your local Hobby Shop.
The antenna was taped along the fuselage bottom and the landing
gear mounted with just a single screw. They are quite sturdy!
control rods (very light weight) were made from carbon rods and
small pieces of wire that I added a "Z" bend too. The
wire was held to the carbon rod with shrink tubing. This creates
a light set of control rods with adjustable linkages.
Although it is a tight fit, the rod length can be fine adjusted
by pulling or pushing on it with some pliers. First center the
servos and then adjust the rod length to center the control surface.
Linkage adjustment is made easy by the shrink tubing.
The Super9LV ESC was mounted with servo tape and the single cell
Kokam 340mAh pack fits up into the motor area for a perfect CG
Hobbico SWARM was RTF at 6.6oz using the FMA LV Flight Pack. This
was about half an ounce over the stock free-flight weight.