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Caelus New F3A design by Top RC Model

Old 06-16-2015, 10:49 PM
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MIke what size spinner does it use
Old 06-17-2015, 01:44 AM
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I used a 82mm Gator RC vented spinner on mine. Looks and works great.
Troy
Old 06-17-2015, 06:41 AM
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Ok thanks just ordered one
Old 06-17-2015, 06:56 AM
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well I got my V2 last week. It is a very nice looking plane and it really is a full composite. The assembly is very straight forward. Basically epoxy the hinges and control horns and bolt on the landing gear, then install the electronic stuff. The V2 comes with a carbon fiber motor mount. The stab uses standard size servos different than most pattern planes. You can easily make a plate(former) to use a mid sized servos if you want. The hardware looks very good, you really don't need to replace anything.

Randy
Old 06-21-2015, 06:02 AM
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Added to the inventory and for sale now is one ARC version of the plane:
http://www.f3aunlimited.com/arc-vers...-by-toprcmodel
Thanks, Mike Mueller
Old 06-30-2015, 12:56 PM
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Has anyone come up with a template to make mount for rear mounted motor
Old 07-01-2015, 02:58 PM
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Default Unpacking Caelus V2 and Assembly

Thanks to Mike and Dave Snow my new and nearly assembled Caelus V2 just arrived and I started to unpack it. I'll be posting my impressions in this thread of the airplane. Please note that Dave did all the building and I am simply unboxing and putting it together. I'll have a couple of comments from time to time about what I am seeing and general impressions. But I will restrict these to the model manufacturer and factory fit and finish. No need to comment on Dave, the master builder! In fact I am honored that he had the time to fit this airplane into his schedule and build it for me!!

Packaging: A+

Simply very very good. The airplane is double boxed. It has a traditional corrugated cardboard outer box. The inside walls consist of 1/2" honeycomb sheets. Each corner is reinforced with an angle type cardboard bracket. There is a top lid consisting of a honeycomb frame and corrugated top.

The airplane is held in the box by a series of 1" foam (sturdy) custom cut sheets that form a 360 degree cradle. These fit the fuselage, wings, and tail feathers exactly. Not shown is a 1/2" honeycomb reinforcing shelf that runs between two of the formers to hold them in place. Additionally, the wing tube is run through the foam for added support. This is the best packaging system that I have seen for a large size model. My guess is that I could stand on the box and jump up and down on it and it wouldn't collapse.



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Last edited by kdunlap; 07-01-2015 at 03:02 PM.
Old 07-01-2015, 03:28 PM
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Default Caelus V2 Wings - First Look

Wings
I unpacked both wings and weighed each. Note: I have servo (JR 9411HV 38.6g), linkages, extension and hinges installed. The wings weigh out as:

Right: 400g
Left: 405g

Impressions:
The wing is fully sheeted top and bottom in fiberglass from root to wing tip.
The wing root has an anti-vibration pad installed.
Construction is sturdy and wing will not flex with torque applied.
Airfoil is maintained throughout length of wing.
Paint in a few places has bled or lifted where the masking tape or agent was placed. (minor -see pictures)
Hardware is of very good quality.

Tomorrow, I'll put on the macro and take some pictures of the interior structure of the wing.


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Last edited by kdunlap; 07-01-2015 at 03:34 PM.
Old 07-01-2015, 06:58 PM
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Default Caelus V2 - Inside the Wings

Here are some pictures of the wing structure and a comparison of the wing against the Osiris 2M prototype in my basement that I am working on and the subject of another thread.

The fiberglass work on the skin of the wings is outstanding. There are no seams, delaminations, gaps, etc. Just a very good attachment of the skin to the rib structure underneath. Rib to rib attachment looks excellent as well.

As you can see in the internal pictures it looks like every structure is glued either to a structural member or the wing skin. While not a scientific analysis, it looks like a good quality 15/30 min epoxy is used for the bonding in a sufficient quantity. I looked deep into the wing and could not find any gaps or missing areas that need glue. Also, the leading edge appears to be glued along its entire length to the ribs and upper and lower skin. The wing tube is epoxied in as well at the anti-rotation cf tube.

One thing that I noted is that the Caelus graphic on the wing is pixelated and looks blurry close up. Probably not the best camera ready art was used for the decal. At 6' you probably can't tell. But it does look a little cheap.

Finally, a quick word on the ailerons. These are very solid and sheeted with fiberglass. Very well made and stiff.

Conclusion: structurally this is a very well made wing built to last. Fit is excellent. Graphics could be better. In a later post I will review the finish on the airplane.




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Old 07-02-2015, 07:10 PM
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Default Caelus V2 Tail Feathers

The construction of the horizontal stabilizers is of the same excellent quality as the wings. These are very sturdy and well made structures. With a Futaba S9650 servo (26g) and control rods, the stabilizer weighs out at 140g. The part has a foam anti-vibration pad. It has a solid fiberglass skin with no gaps over the constant airfoil which spans the part. All seams are sanded flush. The servo cutout looks like it will fit a standard servo. With the S9650, you can see that there is room to spare. Two high quality carbon fiber rods complete the unit. The elevator is covered with fiberglass sheeting and is sturdy, straight and true.

One note that applies to both the wings and the stabilizers is that the hinge gap is almost nonexistent. Both surfaces are true and that allows for a hinge gap that is only slight larger than a piece of paper. None of my other pattern planes have such a small gap. In fact it is so small, I think that I will not be sealing the hinge gap. I will fly a couple of flights and see how it flies. It appears to be more work than what it is worth at this point.

There is a slight paint blemish where the striping bleeds into the red paint. The Caelus logo is also pixelated. Not noticeable at 6', but you can see it up close.

I would rate construction of both the wings and the stabilizers as A+

Will comment on the finish after I post pictures of the fuselage on the gear and have the chance to inspect it.

So far, I am very impressed with the overall quality of the airplane. Far more hits than misses.

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Old 07-03-2015, 06:15 PM
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Default Caelus V2 Fuselage Part1

So here are some pictures of the exterior of the fuselage. Once again, excellent fiberglass work. No wrinkles, gaps, seams, uneven spots... nothing. I grabbed on to the horizontal stabilizer and the wing tube to check for flexing or torsion. None at all. This is a very stiff fuselage longitudinally.

Rudder is attached with a piano wire that slides through all of the hinges. The canalizer comes with a preset, probably easily changeable, angle of attack. It also has an anti vibration pad. The painting of the fuselage is very good with no bleeds or other errors. As some previous commenters have said, this is a big fuselage with massive side area. I will have a couple of pictures later in the weekend of it compared to a WindS 125.




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Last edited by kdunlap; 07-03-2015 at 06:17 PM.
Old 07-03-2015, 06:24 PM
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Default Caelus V2 Fuselage Part2

Now for the interior of the airplane.

The first thing I notice is that the front 1/3 of the Caelus has a layer of carbon fiber cloth that wraps through the fuselage 360 degrees. The front of the plane is rock hard with no flexing what so ever. In fact, it is almost armored! Very well thought out and appreciated. It's one tough plane. As you can see from the rest of the pictures, plenty of epoxy is used and the wing tube is one tough piece of CF! Nice addition in the tail is the tube for the servo wires.

Don't have any complaints on the fuselage at all. Next wheels and canopy.

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Old 07-03-2015, 06:33 PM
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Default Caelus V2: Fuselage Part 3

As you can see from previous pictures, the exterior of the canopy is flawless and looks beautiful. It is very nice. There is one comment though that I need to make about the layup process on the glass... If you look closely at these two interior pictures you will see some debris, threads, and other junk embedded into the fiberglass resin. All of the "stuff" embedded into the resin give it the texture of sandpaper. It's rough and dirty plain and simple. My guess is that the mold at the factory was probably dirty when this canopy was made. In all of the fiberglass work on this airplane, this is the only part where the QC process was a bit lacking. This is probably just bad luck for me where this canopy was in the production run. But it does detract. It won't change how it flies... but it should have been caught.

One other note on the canopy and fuselage. They mate perfectly and look great. However, it is a bit difficult to operate the canopy latches because in that area of the fuselage (no CF reinforcement) the fuselage does flex inward a bit. The solution is simple. I am going to epoxy a CF rod or even a piece of balsa between the sides of the fuselage where the latches are. Frankly, this is no big deal, but I wanted to point it out.



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Last edited by kdunlap; 07-04-2015 at 04:47 AM.
Old 07-03-2015, 06:36 PM
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Default Caelus V2: Fuselage Part 4

The landing gear appears to be standard F3A type gear with a matte finish. Very good and tough. No issues here. Let me just say that the wheel pants are a work of art!! These are perfectly formed and sturdy. I am impressed!!


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Last edited by kdunlap; 07-03-2015 at 06:40 PM.
Old 07-03-2015, 11:27 PM
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Mine didnt come with the tube for the servo wires
Old 07-04-2015, 04:33 AM
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You know, I wonder if Dave didn't put that in there for me...
Old 07-04-2015, 05:55 AM
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Yes I added the tube for the servo wires, it's just made from paper wrapped around a tube, added some packing tape around it to hold the tube shape then glued to the foam in the fuse with Poly Urethane glue.

Please ask any questions on the build or send me an email at [email protected] and I may be able to help some.

Dave Snow
Old 07-04-2015, 08:01 AM
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Default Caelus V2: Fuselage Part 5 Mounting the Gear

The gear is mounted on a 1/4" aircraft grade plywood platform. The gear and mounting holes are precisely drilled. It fits perfectly into the mounting platform. The platform is epoxied into the frame which is mounted onto the CF reinforced front fuselage, This looks to be a very substantial and I think that it will take and survive many of my bad landings. Also, the gear is a bit larger than standard F3A type. It is 44.5mm. Other gear that I have for 2M planes is 40mm. So, bravo to TOPRC for going the extra mile by supplying top end gear.




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Old 07-04-2015, 09:30 AM
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Originally Posted by kdunlap
The landing gear appears to be standard F3A type gear with a matte finish. Very good and tough. No issues here. Let me just say that the wheel pants are a work of art!! These are perfectly formed and sturdy. I am impressed!!


Are the tires lightweight foam? In the second picture, they don't look like molded rubber...more like turned foam.
Old 07-04-2015, 09:44 AM
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The wheels are light weight foam, originally they were square but I sanded them slightly to fit the wheel pants.

Dave Snow
Old 07-04-2015, 12:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Dsnow
The wheels are light weight foam, originally they were square but I sanded them slightly to fit the wheel pants.

Dave Snow
Thank you, that makes sense.
Old 07-04-2015, 05:10 PM
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I still don't understand why you call these "build" threads, they are "assembly" threads.
Old 07-04-2015, 05:45 PM
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This is a thread on the Caelus. We all get along whether it is building, assembling, or flying!
Old 07-05-2015, 04:54 AM
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Im curious on the rudder cable set up, looks like the crutch running aft will interfere with the servo hook up
Old 07-05-2015, 06:17 AM
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I was worried about that too but the angle of the cable and the openings in the crutch seemed to line up almost perfectly, there is a slight rub but no bind and if this does cause an issue a small portion of the crutch can be removed.

Dave Snow

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