ICON was Ready-To-Fly at 20oz with a 5oz 3-cell ThunderPower
checked the CG before flight, and, although it was tail-heavy,
we decided to try it anyway since most of my 3D planes are
tail-heavy. It turned out to be excessively tail-heavy as
the elevator was difficult to control. We measured 115mm
back from the LE at the fuselage. The manufacturer recommends
95-100mm back from the LE.
manual has no reference for where to place the battery but
there is only one obvious place where it will fit. The rear
motor mount fits into a custom cut slot in the fuselage
so it will be important to know that this slot must not
be used. The rear stick holder is too far aft which forces
the battery in a small area that cannot be moved.
guess is that the position may have been designed with a
heavier brushed Speed 300 or Speed 400 motor in mind. The
lighter brushless motor made the plane tail-heavy.
plan to cut the stick 1" shorter and move the rear
mounting plate 0.5"-0.75" forward. This will allow
my 3-cell ThunderPower 2100 pack to move up to 1" forward
to balance the CG. I will let you know how it works out
and post some photos.
in the photo is my modified battery compartment. I
supported the balsa stick about 1" forward with
some balsa sheets and then cut out the original plywood
brace with a Dremel tool. My 3-cell ThunderPower pack
was moved an inch forward.
a second flight test using the new CG setting, we decided
that the Razor 400 motor is too light and does not have
sufficient power for 3D maneuvers. This is likely the reason
that I was so tail-heavy, even after moving the pack forward.
I am still about 15mm away from the manufacturer's recommendation.
Razor 400 weighs about 1oz and the Razor 2500 about 2oz.
An extra ounce in the nose along with more power is what
this plane needs.
upgraded my ICON 312 power system to a Lehner 1020/15 motor.
The Lehner 1020 series is a 300 watt class "top of
the line" motor available at Bishop Power Products.
It is similar to the Razor 2500 but can sustain more continuous
current. Notice that it fits into the same GWS EPS-350C
gearbox and therefore the same motor mount.
new motor/ESC/gearbox and 11x4.7 prop combination weighs
4.6oz compared to the lighter 3.0oz Razor 400 setup using
the 10x4.5 black Wattage prop. This extra 1.6oz allowed
me to balance perfectly from 96-106mm depending upon the
Cobri Aluminum Gearbox has a sturdy aluminum case
will not warp under heavy 3D stress and strip the
nylon gears like the GWS plastic gearbox.
Cobrii 20 Aluminum Gearbox is possibly the best spur/pinion
GB ever made for our hobby and is one of the best upgrades
you can do for serious 3D flying! The gearbox is precision
CNC machined from T6061 Aluminum and fitted with a Stainless
steel hardened shaft. The Cobri 20 fits Lehner 10xx/xx series,
Hacker B20L & S series, Astro 010 & 020 series,
Himax 2015 & 2025 series, Elight Park 370 & 400
series, Razor 300, 350, 400, 2500, Mamba & Nemesis brushless
motors. The sturdy aluminum case will not warp under heavy
3D stress and strip the nylon gears like the GWS plastic
seen in the photo, my APC 11x4.7 SF prop still has 1.5"
ground clearance when the fuselage is parallel to the ground.
ICON does appear to slow down much better than the Flubber,
which is a nice characteristic for 3D flying. I recommend
a lower pitch prop like the 11x4.7 SF prop instead of a
10x7 prop. The current draw is similar but the reduced pitch
speed and increased thrust is better for 3D.
had some excellent weather on Friday so I took some video
of the maiden flight on my ICON with the Lehner power system
upgrade. We were on a private grass flying field so I had
to hand launch it first time on video with the new power
system. I got caught off-guard as the plane had so much
power that it ripped out of my hand before I could toss
it. I managed to save it as it veered one way and then the
other and finally when up. In hindsight, I should have only
used half throttle. Since everything worked out well, the
launch seemed rather humorous!
this time in the flight testing series, we had broken the
gear mains several times now on what should have been acceptable
landings. I felt that the material used in the mold was
the real issue and submitted my findings directly to Fliton.
After further testing, Fliton promptly changed the material
used to make the custom gear mains. The quick solution from
Fliton was further proof of their commitment to quality!
See the summary section for replacement or spares information.
liked the way the ICON flew. My plastic GWS EPS-300C gearbox
will need to be replaced with my new aluminum Cobri gearbox
soon. I decided to wait until it was needed.
the video of the ICON 312