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25 Flights: 3D Hobby Shop Velox Revolution

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25 Flights: 3D Hobby Shop Velox Revolution

Old 12-20-2007, 08:08 PM
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Doc Austin
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Default 25 Flights: 3D Hobby Shop Velox Revolution

The Mystery Aviation Development Team

and

ADC Hobby Store

presents

25 Flights: 3D Hobby Shop Velox Revolution


Airframe:
Wingspan: 47 inches
Wing Area: 450 square inches
Weight: 38-43 ounces

Power System
Motor: Extreme Flight Torque 2814
Kv: 820
Weight: 5.04 oz.
Max Amps: 37A
Constant Amps: 28A
Max Watts: 518W

ESC: Airboss 45 Elite
Number of cells: 5-10 NC, 2-5 Lipo
BEC: 3 Amp
Weight: 31 gr-5


Why The Velox Revolution?

Well, why not? If you check the videos at the 3DHS website, it's pretty clear those guys are a bunch of wild men who love to push everything past the edge and redefine the boundaries. I don't think they are interested in freshening up last year's leftover, ripped off clone of someone else's design and making a few dollars the easy way. I think 3DHS only cares about selling the best products they can crank out, and blowing everyone's minds in the process.

After the smashing run of success that 3D Hobby Shop has had with it's Extra SHP, the boys from Fredricksburg were going to have a hard time topping themselves. They compounded their dilemma by choosing to build a new plane that looks similar to the Extra SHP, so the comparisons were going to be absolutely unavoidable.

However, they are on very solid ground because Scott Stoops has incorporated some groundbreaking new tweeks in this plane. There's nothing innovative about such items as airfoiled vertical and horizontal stabilizers, but we haven't seen them in this class of airframe before. We've also seen side force generators, but they have always been poorly placed, or so large that they have caused really bad instability in crosswinds, not even to mention looking goofy. Generally, until now, they haven't lived up to the hype.

At first one might think it wasn't worth coming out with a new plane just to put those items into production, but a deeper look reveals that the entire airframe is substantially different. While the Velox looks like an Extra, the canopy and turtle deck are contoured a Little differently. It's subtle, yes, but much of this has been done to reduce roll coupling and add a little lift in knife edge maneuvers. I spent some time talking with 3DHS' technical guru, Ben Fisher, and he explained how and why he and Stoops arrived at the final shape of the Velox. While I didn't understand all the talk of boundery layers and such, it is very clear to me how much thought was put into this airplane. Nothing was done by chance and nothing was arrived at just because it "looked right."

This is rocket science.

The cowling also has an intake scoop under the spinner which rakes in a little more air, something that comes in handy when running the firebreathing Extreme Flight Torque 2814. For the Velox, more punch out power was wanted and the Torque 2814 delivers on a pretty grand scale......but more of that when you see the videos.


THE ARF
As usual my 3DHS arf arrived in good condition, triple boxed so to avoid shipping damage. UPS must be congradulated on this particular delivery because they only punched completely through one of the shipping boxes, so the're definately improving. Perhaps with the Christmas rush there wasn't time for them to play soccer with my package on their lunch break. I guess it's a little too cool for soccer and too warm for hockey, but my package was spared.

Hardware
Also as usual, every piece of hardware you'll need was included in the basic kit. Wheels, pushrods and connectors, bolts, screws, etc. As long as you've got a radio and power system, everything you need will be in the box. My local hobby shop misses me, but I almost never need to go there as long as I'm building a 3DHS plane.

Included in the hardware package is 3DHS' new phenolic control horns, and new for this release is their line of ball link pushrod connectors. These offer less resistance from friction and no slop in the linkages. This results in less drag and faster, more precise control surface movement......and better centering. The short version is that the plane flies better.

New for this project, I opted for 3DHS' new phenolic servo arm extentions. These extentions give you an addittional two holes of control throw, and that's going to come in handy on this plane. The extentions are extremely robust and simple to install.


They also kind of look cool, in a robotic sort of way. They are designed to fit on the standard servo arm that comes on the High Tech HS65mg servo....the ones that we usually just throw in the junk box....so we all have plenty of them. You are offered the choice of securing the extentions to the servo arms with either bolts or self tapping screws. I choose the latter and simply put a drop of CA on the back side of each. I also ran a little bead of CA between the two pieces just to be sure.

For the landing gear not much has changed. I'll have to compare them when I get a chance, but I believe these are the same gear legs as used on my Extra SHP, which I think is fine.


The gear legs on my Extra SHP have been really, really good and held up well. I have only broken one, but the impact should have pulled the bottom of the the plane out. A gear leg is a lot cheaper and easier to replace than fuselage, so I think structurally they are just right. The wheel pants are the simple, no brainer installation as with the Extra and Katana. They are light, rugged (as rugged as light wheel pants can be, anyway) and look great.

And, quoting Fred Midget, 3DHS axles are included "of course."

The Plane
Oh, yeah, least we forget....the plane. I choose the blue version because once you've got a 3DHS Katana with American flags on it, you don't need another red airplane. That, and the blue looked kinda nice.


Like the V2 Extras, the Velox has a spring loaded pull latch that secures the canopy. If you've ever tried to install a device like this, you know what a mess you can make of things, but this one is very cleanly built right in. It works well and is easy to use.


To take even more work out of it for us, the Velox comes with the vertical stabilizer pre installed. I have a sort of dyslexia about installing stabs, so this is a really welcome upgrade for me. It's just one less thing I can install crooked and screw up the way the plane flies.


I still have to install the horizontal stab, but with half the work already done this isn't so bad. Inside the fuse is a large balsa sheet area where the stab sits, so once you run some glue in there it is really, really secured on a large area. This is very sturdy, but lightweight, construction.

Both horizontal and vertical stabilizers, and their control surfaces are airfoil shaped. Two things are especially worth noting here. First is that this is a much more efficient shape. Everything works better. Elevator and rudder authority are shocking at first, but even though the plane will respond much, much quicker and more assuredly, it's not twitchy or uncontrollable.


Also, both of the airfoiled stabs are extremely rigid because they are built up and sheeted. With the kind of control surface movement we demand from our 3D planes, sometimes a flimsy (by comparison) flat, built up stab will bend and twist when the control surface is deflected to a large degree, which in 3D is most of the time. This can steer the airplane where you don't want it to go, and when you fly in close and low to the ground, this can be annoying at best, and dangerous at worst. In general, with the stab being so rigid the plane flies much more precisely.

New for the Velox are side force genertors. They are simple little bolt on pieces, but they are extremely well done. They are only about as big as you can go without them looking obtrusive, but they are still big enough to do the job. In other words, they are just right. I'm sure we'll be seeing these sprout up on other 3d planes because it won't take the Velox long to prove these item's worth.



Power System
Something a little different on this plane is the insane Extreme Flight Torque 2814 motor as standard recommended equipment. I've had extensive experience with this motor during the Aspera project and the 5s Super Ballistic Aspera experiments. The 2814 is a solid motor that has it's own distinct, lovely sound. It is a jewel of a little motor but don't let that fool you. When you hammer this mutha it really puts out the torque, no pun intended, but of course.

Once again, we chose the Airboss 45 Elite for an ESC. We can run up to 5 cells with this unit and not have to worry about the rat's nest of wiring and extra spaghetti of installing a seperate BEC. It's a bonus that this unit also has really good throttle mapping and it's easy to program, but we originally went with the Airboss unit because you just plug it in and it works.

Imagine that.

I've got a real problem with stuff that you have to re-engineer just to get it to fit into the plane and do it's job. That stuff is supposed to be taken care of before you get it. I can't imagine why a company would build a 45 amp ESC and not expect some of the guys to run a plane that large on 4s or even 5s. What the heck are these people thinking? Or, more importantly, are they not thinking?

I put the Dean's plug on the Airboss, strap it in and go fly. Thank you, Extreme Flight.

THE BUILD

I have had the 3DHS Aspera, Katana, Extra, and Yak. Each time I had thought that I knew better than what the instructions had to say and went my own way. A lot of this is forgivable because as modellers we are hackers and tinkerers at heart, but each time it was a mistake. The lesson here is to follow the instructions, right down to the amount of control throw and exponential.

So, the best I have to offer on the build is to post the instruction linkie:

http://www.3dhobbyshop.com/private_i...elox47edit.pdf

Like I said before, there's only one stab to glue in, so the build is about half the deal it used to be. The landing gear goes together like on the Extra SHP, so it's no different than what most of us are already used to. The engine and cowling go on the same way, so we already know how to do that. The phenolic control horns are different from those on the Katana, Yak and early Extra SHPs, but you just glue them in the pre-cut slots, so even this is easier than what we're used to.

Basically, everything is improved and easier than ever.

FLYING


My first experiences with 3D flight were with the 3DHS Katana. Since the Katana is an advanced 3D plane, there were a few scares until I got myself a 3DHS Extra SHP. I think the Extra is a perfect 3D "trainer," and the Katana is more for the experienced 3Der. Now the Velox comes on the scene and at first none of us were sure where it would fit in the grand scheme. Sure, the 3DHS guys can make it look like magic on their videos, but what about us mere mortals?

Again, I've learned enough to follow Stoop's setups to the letter, so the Velox was dialed in right from the start. The Velox is responsive in a way I wasn't quite ready for, but she is so stable otherwise that it was only a matter of time to dial myself into the plane. The plane is right, and it does everything the way it was designed to do it. Like with the Katana, I had to adjust my own style (or some would say "lack thereof.").

Once I had flown the Velox a few times she no longer seemed too responsive. She delivers everything that you can ask from her. You just have to be careful what you ask for, that's all. I've spent a lot of time studying our video footage, and it's easy to see how tentative I was in the beginning, yet after trying a new maneuver only once or twice, I has hammering them right on the deck.

First, the Velox is incredibly stable. It is difficult to imagine being impressed by another plane's stability after flying the Extra SHP, because that plane redefined 3D stability, but it's so true. The Velox is more stable than the Extra. OK, some of that gets lost in translation because the Velox is also so responsive, but at high speed she grooves almost like a pattern plane. Of course, if you have the battery pack way back this isn't going to happen for you, but with a neutral CG the Velox locks into a high speed groove and stays there. Even with a rearward CG, she is still more stable, and less pitch sensitive at high speed than other 3D planes I've tried. Obviously the airfoiled tail sections are working hard here.

At the other end of the scale, you can do an "elevator" maneuver with the Velox from three, four hundred feet up, and with the elevator surface locked at full up set her right down in the middle of the runway without hardly a single wing rock. Even the Extra won't do it that well. A lot of planes will rock violently back and forth or plain snap out on you, but the velox just sinks predictably in a straight line. Of course, once you get down to about five feet off the deck, ground effects comes into play, but a simple notch or two of power slows the descent down enough to make a soft landing. The Velox does an elevator maneuver extremely well. I've never seen anything like it. I can only imagine that the side force generators on the wingtips are helping a lot here by keeping the airflow from spilling off. Instead of dumping lift, the Velox simply bleeds it off gently.

I'de offer my thoughts on alpha rolls but I'm still working on them. They aren't very good, but it's just me. I will say, however, that my alpha rolls are much better with the Velox than any other plane I've tried, including the Extra SHP.
While my harriers need a lot of work, it's pretty easy to maintain one with the Velox. You can drag her around nose high and the wingtips never feel like they are going to drop out from under you. Again, this has got to be the side force generators, but the Stoops airfoil and proper wing platform are pretty helpful too. Generally slow speed antics with the Velox are easy and the plane won't surprise you with any bad habits or temper tantrums like some other planes will.

The other end of the spectrum is that the Velox is capable of really violent pitch changes. Part of what makes 3D so exciting to watch are the violent changes in attitude and speed, and a lot of this is on the pitch axis.
I love to fly the Velox by at medium speed and snatch the elevator. She will rotate hard to vertical without climbing, and slide on a horizontal line. Holding a bit of power you can choose from a myriad of maneuvers to go into from there, but I've only got a few of them figured out. I like to hold her in a short hover and then roll her around with the ailerons and blast off the opposite direction....all without gaining any altitude. You can also hold the elevator a little longer until the Velox will rotate over onto her back....a "cobra" maneuver, and then go into an inverted maneuver, or just roll her over to upright. Of course, once you pitch up that hard and the plane slides to a stop, you can enter an extended hover, torque rolls, harriers, or whatever other post stall maneuver you are capable of....because the plane certainly is.

The Velox' extreme pitch change capabilities is by far my most favorite and fun aspect of it's improved performance, but the plane does much more than that. Hovering is easier because the side force generators provide increased rudder authority and yaw stability. The Velox also rolls very axially, and yaw changes due to massive rudder deflection don't effect the roll axis (roll coupling) much because so much effort was put into getting the tail section just right and the fuselage shape so correct.

I am still playing around with tumbling maneuvers, and the Velox is capable of some really, stupidly violent antics. I have been working on a horizontal blender, and the Velox drops into that one so violently that I am half expecting the plane to blow up, and half expecting it to spin into a super nebula black hole and never come back. The violence is just incredible, but, judging by the reaction of the guys in my club, it sure must be fun to watch.

Again, the airfoiled tail section helps everything. It's an airfoil, so it's going to generate much more lift than a flat surface. The airfoiled stabilizer is what gives the Velox so much pitch authority and the ability to rotate so hard on that axis. The rudder on the Velox is a bit smaller than the Extra's, and yet the Velox' rudder produces much more authority because it's airfoil shape is much more effective. Because the airfoiled sections are producing this lift through efficiency rather than the brute force of a massively deflected flat control surface, this authority doesn't come with the penalty of sensitivity. In other words, you have all the control you want, but the plane isn't jumpy or prone to be over controlled. You can have colossal amounts of control and still fly smoothly.

Another benifit of the airfoiled tail surfaces is that they generate much less turbulence than flat surfaces and this results in a smoother flying plane. Common to all the 3D airplanes I have flown, thier biggest downfall has been they are difficult to fly smoothly with the contol setup pegged. The Velox is breaking new ground here because it does fly smoothly, even on high rates. Compare my videos and judge for yourselves. At the time we took the Velox videos, I had only flown her about five flights, yet I am smoother with her than the Extra, which I've flown almost 100 times.

Basically, the airfoiled tail section is an absolute massive quantum leap forward. I would not be surprised to see this be a hallmark feature of all future 3DHS designs, if not an entirely new direction for the industry.

The Velox is a total package. It's not the trick new control horns or the trick side force generators or even the wonderful airfoiled tail sections that make the Velox such a smooth yet explosive flying aircraft. It's not the mega watt Torque motor or the cool robotic servo arms that make the Velox seem like it is directly connected to your brain. And, it's not the ball link hardware that makes the Velox make you look so good. It's all of these things engineered to work together.

It is rocket science.


Starts a little slow but rocks near the end..........


So, exactly where does the Velox stand in the 3D picture? I'de say at this point it stands alone.





[CENTER]

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