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Caelus New F3A design by Top RC Model

Old 07-05-2015, 06:50 AM
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Ok thanks, I have my rudder servo installed but don't have the cables run yet.
Old 07-05-2015, 10:02 PM
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Originally Posted by jetmech43
Ok thanks, I have my rudder servo installed but don't have the cables run yet.
You can mount the servo upside down and get a straight shot to the rudder.
Old 07-07-2015, 12:17 PM
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Are the incidences pre set to anything, stab and wing
Old 07-08-2015, 07:16 PM
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Default Caelus V2: Motor Install

So, I installed the Pletty 30-10 and Jeti Opto 90 tonight. No real surprises. Dave had everything fitting perfectly. I did do a couple of extra things though.

I reinforced the area around the arm-safe with a couple of layers of fiberglass tape and 30 min epoxy. The fuselage flexed a bit too much for me when the plug was pushed in. This is more to my liking now. I also wrapped the motor wires in snake skin and zip tied them to the wall of the fuselage.

I did note one probable problem area and that is the battery tray. I accidentally bumped the rear support of the tray with my hand as I was mounting the motor and it popped off. Close inspection showed that it had not been glued in at the factory. Just pressed in place. No big deal to fix, but it did draw my attention to the battery tray in general. It seems like the tray is too thin for my comfort. It is made of 1/16" light ply and only anchored with any authority at the front end and middle. The aft end only has the 1/16" support that was not glued. I think I will be buying a battery tray from Mike. I think so far this is literally and figuratively the weak point in the design.

More tomorrow.



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Old 07-10-2015, 10:39 AM
  #105  
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Ok got mine ready to fly, lot more work than I thought but not to bad, just have to be patient, I will let you know how she flies. I haven't weighed it yet but its very light.
Old 07-10-2015, 07:39 PM
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Default Caelus V2: Stabilizer incidence adjusters

Here's a quick look inside the tail where the incidence adjuster is for the horizontal stab. There's a screw that is used to run them up and down in unison.


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Old 07-10-2015, 09:24 PM
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kdunlap.....
Just looking at the left picture and I noticed the pushrod misalignment.
You might consider moving the clevis on the servo arm to the other side of the arm for best motion.
Just take the bolt out, move the clevis to the other side of the arm then re-insert the bolt from the other direction.
Old 07-12-2015, 01:05 PM
  #108  
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Default Caelus V2: incidence Setting

Per Dave he set the following incidence using the canopy deck as zero,

Stabs: 0
Wings: +0.7
Tcan: +0.2 or (-0.5 relative to the wing) Initially he felt that the Tcan needed adjustment, so he added the shims seen in the picture. He said it was -1.5 and that this was not normal.
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Old 07-15-2015, 04:43 PM
  #109  
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Default Caelus V2: IMPORTANT OBSERVATION ON BATTERY TRAY!

I bought a new Gator battery tray from F3AU and think this was the smartest thing to do. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THAT YOU REPLACE THE STOCK BATTERY TRAY. Sorry for shouting, but I removed the stock battery tray and found the following. The front and aft tray supports are 1/16 plywood. I noted this before but I found that mine were barely attached to the fuselage. The middle of the tray is glued to a former that runs across the fuselage. That's the only good support the tray has. However, all the joints in the battery tray are glued by a brittle white glue that easily snapped off when I removed the tray. There is no doubt in my mind that any flexing of the fuselage will cause these joints to fail. Combined with the 1/16 plywood, I judged that my airplane, if left stock, would have a high probability of ejecting the battery under aerodynamic load. Sorry but I don't think the current tray is sturdy enough over the long term to hold 10S batteries.

There is much to be appreciated about this airplane and I have a highly favorable impression of the Caelus; however, the battery tray needs to be reengineered. I don't recommend that you fly stock. That's what I think. Others may differ and have a different experience.

Last edited by kdunlap; 07-15-2015 at 07:59 PM.
Old 07-15-2015, 05:40 PM
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Default Caelus V2: Replacement Battery Tray

Here's the fix. First I notched the gator battery tray to fit the existing support across the fuselage. Next I added the front and rear CF rails and 30min epoxied everything in to place. Fits at the same level as the old tray. In the 3rd picture you can also see the support i mounted by the canopy latches to add some strength. I am about to call this assembly complete and get ready to fly. I just need to reinforce the mount for the esc. Thats that... So just to beat a horse dead.... please replace the existing battery tray.




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Last edited by kdunlap; 07-15-2015 at 08:01 PM.
Old 07-15-2015, 08:04 PM
  #111  
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Dave,
Thanks for the tip. I will look at the stabs and evaluate and post.
Ken
Old 07-18-2015, 07:08 AM
  #112  
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Guys I just weighed in to see if I'll be okay for the Nats.
With my new Power Unlimited 4600 mAh 5S 25C packs I make weight. Around 4980 grams. This is without any special modifications or removing of anything stock besides the wheel pants on the plane.
At the Nats we are allowed up to 5050 grams and the Intermediate and Advance fliers get a higher weight allowance around 5200 or so.
The plane has a very substantial wing area and thick airfoil and flys light and nimble.
As I get more flights on mine I find I like the CG aft. It rolls easier.
Thanks, Mike
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Old 07-19-2015, 07:40 AM
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Thanks for the thread. I ordered my Caelus from F3aunlimited yesterday. Only miss, I ordered and paid for the unpainted one. Luckily, I discovered this miss today, and sent an email where I asked them to change it into the painted one. It's been many years now without any pattern plane (the last one was my YS 120 AC powered Dr Jekyll II), I finally decided it's about time to start over again. I really look forward to getting my hands onto this one. I'm going to go with contra drive. Also, I look forward to seeing any film on YouTube. Hope you are able to get that done soon
Br
Finn Hermansen, Norway
Old 07-22-2015, 02:43 PM
  #114  
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I just finished competing at the Nats with the Caelus.
The reaction to the plane from many who we're seeing it for the first time was extremely strong.
There seems to have been a perception that it was too good to be true that the plane had to have major flaws etc etc etc.
I feel we dispelled those feelings at the Nationals. I had many people tell me they we're looking forward to having one soon.
I didn't finish well in my class but that was not the planes fault. Due to personal reasons I did not have any practice and it showed.
Many of the FAI fliers remarked to me that the plane looked great in the air. Rolls are fantastic. Snaps true and easy.
The trimming to date has been wing incidence. I had to raise the front of the wing some. I also like the feel of the CG when it locates .75 of an inch behind the back of the wing tube.
Also we had an official weigh in yesterday at the Nats and I made weight using the 4600 mil packs.
I can now say with great confidence that this is a really good flying plane and a tremendous value. I only have a limited amount of free lipo packs left and that deal will end in the near future so deal with this as you see fit. At $999 for just the plane it's still far and away the best bang for the buck on the market today.
Thanks, Mike
Old 07-22-2015, 06:11 PM
  #115  
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Default Caelus V2: Preflight final Impressions

So, I have just completed the build of the Caelus V2. I have a couple of comments on the airplane and would like to share these with you. I've built dozens of RC airplanes, a full size hovercraft, about a dozen pattern planes over the years and feel qualified to comment on fit and finish and construction. As I noted before, Dave Snow did all of the work this time, and I am just screwing things together. So, don't take this as a final word. Also, while I fly pattern planes, I've never competed and don't feel at all qualified to talk about flight characteristics. I will leave that for better thumbs than mine...

Overall, in terms of construction, I think the Caelus V2 is the best value pattern airplane that I have ever built. Dollar for dollar you are not going to get anything better for $1000. In fact, it makes the 125's, 110s, and smaller planes no longer a deal. If this plane was available when I got my Mythos 125 I would have purchased it instead. The Caelus just has too many good things going for it. The best part is that if you want to move to the next better thing you can take everything out of it and move on to another 2M plane. This is the perfect plane to introduce yourself to pattern flying. This will be my competition plane this year, as I want to go to a contest in fall for the first time. You should consider buying this airplane!!!!

The construction is thoughtful and well done in most places and frankly the problems that I did run into were minor. That being said, frankly if the price climbs, it then gets into the same category as the Sebart's, BJ's, and alike. Fit and finish-wise the Caelus is not at that level. Here's the craziest thing, with a bit of modifications in construction and quality control this plane could very well be at the top of it's class. It is very close to being world-class. As I was assembling the plane my basic frustration was seeing an airplane so nearly close to perfect that was derailed by a couple bad design choices.

Here's what I would change.

1) The battery tray. -said already.
2) The white glue and some epoxy used in some parts of the airplane. TopRC please use a more consistent quality and application of adhesive through out the Caelus. There were areas where some of the adhesive was brittle or soft. Don't skimp on the adhesive please. Also, my rough guesstimate is that in some places you just spread it on too thick and used 2X as much adhesive as necessary. (All please note that where the bonding needs to be strong such as the wings and gear it is, No problems in the structural areas,)
3) Paint. The airplane uses a lot of deep red in the color scheme. I've used these shades of red before and you have to use a heavy coat to cover the primer. Problem is that this leads to a very thick coat of paint. This is especially prevalent on the undersides of the wings which are all red. While not scientific again, I think that there is about 2x as much paint on the wings as should be necessary just to get the deep red color to look right. That leads to the bleeds that I referenced earlier and problems with the masking job.
4) Tail wheel. There needs to be a better way of attaching it to the rudder. The set screw which holds the arm into the collet which runs to the rudder is so small, I can't find a hex wrench for it. and when it does get attached I think the wire is going to bend.

All in all I couldn't be happier. Well done to Mike Muller and TopRC.

Ken

PS: I'll weigh mine before I go fly and post a picture at the field...

Last edited by kdunlap; 07-22-2015 at 06:55 PM.
Old 07-29-2015, 09:52 AM
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Hi, just finishing off my Caelus here in England,the build went quite well,I have run 3/4"strips of 90 gram carbon fibre cloth down the sides of the battery tray with laminating epoxy and the result is very strong indeed,I have tried with all my might to pull it out !!!!! but I think its in there for good. My concern at the moment is getting the C.G. right,I have fitted mini servos in the tail instead of standard ones to save weight but the C.G. is still a bit further back than the reccomended 190 mm from the leading edge,and thats with a Hacker Q80 11s up front and the E.S.C. in the cowling and batteries as far foreward as they will go on the tray so it looks like I may have to add some nose weight,has anyone else had tail heavy problems?Cant wait to fly this model when the wind and rain die down here
Old 07-29-2015, 10:09 AM
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It likes the AFT CG Mike is running his Cg 3/4 of an inch behind the wing tube, mine feels kinda nose heavy so I moved my batteries back they are even with the back of the battery tray, and seem to fly nice there
Old 07-29-2015, 10:38 AM
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Yes I agree. Lipos lined up at back of the tray. Make sure the incidence of the t can is corret as well as the alignment in relationship to the horizontal stab.
It has a good solid stable feel in the air.
I added stab fences and I think they give the plane an even more solid feel on sharp pitch pulls. A lot like the Episode.
Tony Frak uses the larger stab fences on his Episode and I too agree that this is the way to go. The fence I used is from a BiSide. Mike
Old 08-10-2015, 12:56 PM
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Ok any and all who are thinking of getting this aircraft better hurry, this is one of a very few pattern planes that I felt was dialed in after a few flights, dialed in for me I should say, the airplane flies and tracks straight and true ,rolls are crisp and solid, and snaps very well, I have a set of the 5100 mil power unlimited batteries and the sets that Mike sent when you buy the plane (4600mil), it flies much better with the lighter packs, I install them even with the back of the battery tray, and about a half inch past the end for the heavier packs, CG feels good there, the only thing I would like to see different is the battery tray as mentioned by kdunlap, it is fragile, but do able. I would have preferred it to be left out and installed after motor installation, maybe top rc can just send you the battery tray and you install during assembly. Other than that folks there's really not much more to say other than its a great looking and flying airplane and for anyone thinking or contemplating, giving pattern a try this is the plane for you. Trust me you wont be disappointed, kudos to TOP RC and Mike Mueller and F3A unlimited for bringing an affordable and great flying airplane to the pattern world, regards, Randy

Last edited by jetmech43; 08-12-2015 at 11:08 AM.
Old 08-10-2015, 06:27 PM
  #120  
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Originally Posted by jetmech43
Ok any and all who are thinking of getting this aircraft better hurry, this is one of a very few pattern planed that I felt was dialed in after a few flights, dialed in for me I should say, the airplane flyers and tracks straight and true ,rolls are crisp and solid, and snaps very well, I have a set of the 5100 mil power unlimited batteries and the sets that Mike sent when you buy the plane (4600mil), it flies much better with the lighter packs, I install them even with the back of the battery tray, and about a half inch past the end for the heavier packs, CG feels good there, the only thing I would like to see different is the battery tray as mentioned by kdunlap, it is fragile, but do able. I would have preferred it to be left out and installed after motor installation, maybe top rc can just send you the battery tray and you install during assembly. Other than that folks there's really not much more to say other than its a great looking and flying airplane and for anyone thinking or contemplating, giving pattern a try this is the plane for you. Trust me you wont be disappointed, kudos to TOP RC and Mike Mueller and F3A unlimited for bringing an affordable and great flying airplane to the pattern world, regards, Randy

Thanks Randy
I'm all smiles!!!!
Mike
Old 08-13-2015, 05:34 AM
  #121  
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New to our lineup of accessories for the Caelus is this mount for back mounted Outrunner Motors.
In particular the Himax 210Pro 20 pole motor.
This piece designed and made specific for F3AUnlimited makes the installation much easier.
See the pictures as a reference.
Featured with the plane is a special offer for the Himax210Pro and the Castle Edge HV 80 ESC at 10% off when bought along with the plane.
Sales of this plane are getting very strong which is an indicator that it is indeed a very viable option. Fully capable of the most difficult maneuvers yet stable enough for anyone at any level.
My inventory is starting to dwindle and I will not be able to have the free lipo promo much longer. At some point fairly soon it will go away.
Check out the listing for the firewall.
http://www.f3aunlimited.com/caelus-s...mounted-motors
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Last edited by mups53; 08-13-2015 at 06:17 AM.
Old 08-13-2015, 05:50 AM
  #122  
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I made my own fire wall, didn't know that one was available
Old 08-13-2015, 06:16 AM
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Hi Randy it is a brand new product.
It makes a seemingly hard job a lot easier.
Sorry we didn't have it sooner.
As the product evolves we will add items that make it simpler.
Thanks, Mike
Old 08-13-2015, 08:18 AM
  #124  
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No big deal to make one, just cut, sand and fit
Old 08-13-2015, 10:20 AM
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What kind of speed envelope does this plane have? Say compared to a Nuance or Pro log. Is it fast, slow, medium ??

thks
Allan


Originally Posted by mups53
Yes I agree. Lipos lined up at back of the tray. Make sure the incidence of the t can is corret as well as the alignment in relationship to the horizontal stab.
It has a good solid stable feel in the air.
I added stab fences and I think they give the plane an even more solid feel on sharp pitch pulls. A lot like the Episode.
Tony Frak uses the larger stab fences on his Episode and I too agree that this is the way to go. The fence I used is from a BiSide. Mike

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