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Convert old Sequel pattern ship to electric?

Old 03-21-2010, 10:18 AM
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nonstoprc
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Default Convert old Sequel pattern ship to electric?

Just like to get some opinion on whether converting a Sequel pattern ship (with long and slim fuze body) is worthwhile. thx.
Old 03-21-2010, 11:38 AM
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Ryan Smith
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Default RE: Convert old Sequel pattern ship to electric?

I would say no. But then again, I've seen a Banshee converted over, so I suppose it's all in what your desired end result would be.
Old 03-21-2010, 05:06 PM
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Default RE: Convert old Sequel pattern ship to electric?

Is it because the converted does not have a chance to compete with wide body trendy ships?
Old 03-21-2010, 09:03 PM
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Ryan Smith
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Default RE: Convert old Sequel pattern ship to electric?

No, it won't compete with the "trendy widebody ships". However, the real reason I say that is that I just don't think it's worth it. It's bottom access, and would have to be flipped over every time to put batteries in, not to mention the fact that most of the fuse is inaccessible. It would be hard IMO to place the batteries as well as the ESC, not to mention having to be able to put in ducting for cooling. I can't remember if the Sequel has a chin cowl or not, but if it doesn't you'd have to fill the void on the bottom of the fuse between the old firewall location and the new one for the electric motor. You'd likely need longer gear struts to compensate for the much larger prop than the airplane was designed for.

Lastly, would it make weight? The newer airplanes are very much lighter than the older airplanes, which is a reason why fuse volumes have increased.

I would look around, try and find a deal on an older YS 1.20 or 1.40, OS 1.40 RX, or even a Super Tigre 2300 and go fly. You'll get more mileage out of the airplane and come out way cheaper in the end. Hell, a guy gave a friend of mine a Prophecy and he put a Saito 1.80 in it and it has good power for the airplane.

I don't mean to burst your bubble, if you have your heart set on it, by all means go for it and I hope it turns out well for you. Be sure to post some pictures so people can see how you did things!
Old 03-22-2010, 09:31 AM
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Walt Thyng
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Default RE: Convert old Sequel pattern ship to electric?

I couldn't agree less! I built an EyeBall from plans and a short kit. Powered it with a Hacker inrunner. Yes, it took a little creative modeling to get battery access, but it was more than well worth it. I did build it for nostalgia purposes, not for competition.

If you're interested, I think I have some construction photos I could post.
Walt

PS come to think of it, I did a build thread; probably on Wattflyer, but may Vintage and Antiques on RCU.
Old 03-22-2010, 09:45 AM
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Ryan Smith
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Default RE: Convert old Sequel pattern ship to electric?

Walt,

There's a big difference between an Eyeball and a Sequel. You could engineer it the way you wanted since you built it from scratch. Unless this specific airplane is still in kit form, it would be more work than it's worth to try and convert it.
Old 03-22-2010, 10:01 AM
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Walt Thyng
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Default RE: Convert old Sequel pattern ship to electric?

I guess that all depends on how much you like e-power - which is a totally subjective issue. Perhaps I don't notice the work involved because I've always had a habit of taking other guy's "un-rebuildable" wrecks and re-building them - (and converting them to electric since 92).
And you're right, I don't know the Sequel, so it may not have been fair for me to respond as I did. Being very pro-electric I may have read something inappropriate into your reply.
Walt
Old 03-22-2010, 10:11 AM
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John Ferrell
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Default RE: Convert old Sequel pattern ship to electric?

The only big problem is the diameter of the motor. I intended to put a Hyperion Z-5025, Castle HV-85 ESC and 10S batteries in a Prophecy. All fit well except the diameter on the motor. Flipping the plane over on a stand to change batteries is not a factor for me because I must work from a simple stand anyway. The pipe tunnel can be used as-is or replaced with a flat plate. If the firewall is in the way a 3 inch hole saw will remove most of it. Leave a generous amount of the firewall as a bulkhead.

A firewall/bulkhead may be easily installed closer to the nose to mount the motor. I believe (but have yet to try) the Hyperion Z-40XX motors will fit well and be more than adequate for the Sequel/Prophecy. My experience with the Z-5025/10S batteries in a Piedmont Sport lead me to believe that 8S batteries will be more than sufficient. The Sequel was powered by YS-120 engines. A lot of Prophecies used 17" props. The wide spaced gear sure is easier on take offs and landings. Leave the gear down and locked, cover the gear wells. In the 1999 Nats a lot of Prophecies were weighed in with full fuel. Weight is not a problem.

The Prophecy fell out of favor when the Widebodies became popular. Widebodies became popular as more powerful pattern engines became available. The judges are currently in love with the Widebodies and the National/International will only allow the chosen few a chance. If you can get by that. there are a lot of airplanes that are great performers. The Sequel/Prophecy will cost a lot less to build and maintain due to lower power requirements and much more durable design.

The Hydeout that Ryan sold would be a really easy conversion with its big nose.

If you need to be a Top Contender in the Masters or FAI competition The Sequel/Prophecy or any of the other "Barracuda" Class planes won't do. If you want an affordable, great flyer through Advanced, IMHO they should be your first consideration.

BTW, As soon as I can bench test them I have 4 YS 140's to sell with the "best" at $250 and the " ? " at $200. I am not aging gracefully and I can no longer deal with the wet engines at the field.
Old 03-22-2010, 11:05 AM
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Ryan Smith
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Default RE: Convert old Sequel pattern ship to electric?

Walt,

I love E Power. I'm converting my two PL Products Partners over to Plettenberg/Schulze power, as well as powering my PL Excellence that I'm building with the same combination. I also love YS engines. They are truly works of art, and there is nothing at all wrong with them. The decision has come down to my time available. Unfortunately, I'm not a kid anymore (that has been about the roughest thing to go through, you know, having to take back all the discussions I've had with my parents that they just don't know what it's like to be a kid!), and my time is at a premium. I am working 40+ hours a week, will be returning to school this fall to finish a bachelor's degree in Finance, as well as flying fullscale again in hopes that I can become situated to fly a King Air or something part time when my wife goes to vet school.

YS's are fairly low maintenance, however the stuff on the airplanes that break because of their vibration is not. They require active maintenance, whereas I would say electrics are passive maintenance. I can do something else close by while my batteries are charging, whereas, when I'm working on something that's fuel soaked and broken, I can't wiggle my nose and have it complete itself while I'm studying.

I fully understand the benefits of electric power, hence the reason why I frequent this forum. Also, as John said, they're great airplanes. To be totally fair, I have never owned a Sequel. My first airplane was a Hydeout, which was almost identical, engineering-wise to the Sequel. A Prophecy is very close to the Sequel. I did not take into account the diameter of the motor into the equation. An inrunner would do great I would think, if you were to go that route. John, I understand your argument that a lot of the airplanes that were flown at the 1999 Nats were weighed with full fuel, but to be fair, most of those airplanes were probably brand new at the time. I doubt very seriously, unless someone took one of those airplanes and hung it up, and didn't fly it since, that it would be the same weight today, almost 11 years later. Many of these airframes were sold to lower class guys when the widebodies came around, and probably weren't treated as well as the Masters and FAI guys that flew them. You could lock the retracts down, but dammit if it has them, I want to use them! I love fixed gear, but a Jeckyll/Prophecy/Sequel looks so much better with the gear tucked up!

Remember, this post is worth what you paid for it.
Old 03-22-2010, 11:18 PM
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Default RE: Convert old Sequel pattern ship to electric?

OK. Thanks all for thoughtful inputs. I appreciate each and every post.

Here is the some background info on why I post this thread. The Sequel has been with me for about 10 years. I flew it for about 3 years with a YS140. Eventually I gave up because the extra trouble to maintain the setup: the fuze space is limit to get inside to check the fuel tanks, taking the engine out etc. Not to mention that each time the muffler pipe has to be removed. etc. That there is no access from the top of the fuse is a big minus here. On the other hand, Sequel is a nice flying plane and I'd like to know if it can be converted. I have tried the gas ZDZ 40 F3A on my other pattern ship. The amount of maintenance work is no less. So going with another IC engine is far less attractive.

Now on the feasibility side.

1. Weight
The fuse has a width about 3.5 inches, and the nose section can take electric motors in the diameter not bigger than 2.5". The fuse weighs 3 lb. Two wing panels 2 lb 4oz. 4 servos + receiver + receiver battery should be around 13 oz. So I should have about 11 - 3 - 2 - 1 = 5 lb for the electric power system. Consider the current state of the art motor and battery, looks like the weight is not an issue. For example, two Turnigy 4500 mha lipos are weight at 2*519g = 2*18oz (36 oz) = 2.25 lb. Hacker C50XL has a weight of 529g = 18.65 oz. Together, the EP is about 36oz + 18.65 oz = 3.4 lb. Make it 4lb to include ESC and mount plates etc. At the end, the converted plane weights minimally around 10lb. Seems like the weight is not an issue? Am I missing anything here? What are the 2M converted or straight weight normally?


2. Accessibility
It seems allowing access from the top of the fuse has to be done, considering the motivation for the project. A portion of the top fuse needs to be cut out to form a canopy. Fiberglass re-enforcement will be placed around the edge of the cut-out. Some work is needed here. The bottom access cover (3" wide, 10" long) probably should be sealed/fiberglassed for good to compensate for lost rigidity at the top. BTW, the fuse has a width of 3.5", and has sufficient room to allow two 4500 30c lipos to be velcro taped in placed (stacked rather side by side seen in Widebodies). Any comment for the canopy idea?

3. Air cooling for EP system.
TBD. Sounds like something is to be done around the chin cowl to provide sufficient direct air flow to the motor, and the battery. As mentioned before, the nose part of the fuse is about 2.5" wide, it expands to about 3.5" (at main body of the fuse) over a length of 5-6". The chin cowl is about 1" thick. The trick question is if an air scoop with enough volume can be built. The air scoop can be made thicker than 1".



The competitiveness of the converted
From the posted, I sense that Sequel has no chance to compete in higher classes, which I probably will not be in considering my other obligations in life :-). The gain from this project (if ever started) is the EP experience and a 2M ship requiring almost no maintenance.


Thoughts?
Old 03-23-2010, 12:31 AM
  #11  
Ryan Smith
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Default RE: Convert old Sequel pattern ship to electric?

Well it sounds like you're doing this more for the fun of it, than trying to make the airplane something that it's not.

It sounds like weight is under control. I didn't get a chance to weigh my first Partner before I started converting it over to electric, but the second one is heavier and with a YS 1.70 it weighs around 10 lb 6 oz, give or take. I also won't be getting a fair comparison, as I am building new wings and stabs, that should be 5-6 ounces lighter than the original panels, as well as recovering the rudder to shed some weight, as it was covered in Ultracote and then painted over with Chromabase and then cleared. Just the covering/paint weighed 1.5 oz, half of the weight of the rudder itself! I would think that if I didn't do these things to shed weight, it would end up being a wash in the end with my setup (Plettenberg 30-10 Evo, Schulze 32.80KA, and Thunder Power 5300 ProLites).

If you're looking into the Hacker, I would gut the original firewall, and mount the motor with the rear essentially in a nose ring, that has two triangle gussets to attach to that would allow you to adjust the thrust in the rear. The front would be hard mounted as well, and would likely replace your nose ring mount you have in place already. If I were to convert the airplane over, this would be my preferred setup.

I wouldn't fool with making it a top access airplane if I were you. You'd have to be very careful with your cutting, and then have to add bracing for both the fuse and canopy. I would think that if you removed all of your internal components for glow, you'd end up with the same access on the bottom as you would cutting a top access in, unless you made it very long like some of the purpose-built electric two meter designs. I would replace it with a flat plate that has two dowels in the front, and a hatch latch in the back, that way you could get inside quickly. This would probably be the easiest solution, and you wouldn't have to worry about messing up your paint.

Now that I've heard some feedback from you, the purpose of this project that I got from the first post has changed. It sounds like it could be pretty neat!

If you go through with it, post photos!
Old 03-23-2010, 04:21 PM
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Walt Thyng
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Default RE: Convert old Sequel pattern ship to electric?

Amen
Walt
Old 01-30-2011, 08:15 PM
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Default RE: Convert old Sequel pattern ship to electric?

Well, I finally completed the trim flight of the converted and would like to report what I have done.

What I feel important things for a successful conversion are as follows.

1. Trim weight from the glow engine setup as much as possible. Since an electric motor vibrates much less, lighter weight material can be used instead for frames, firewall, etc. On top of that, two 5000 mah battery packs can weigh as much as 2lb 11oz and the outer runner motor 21 oz. One has to trim the weight everywhere to meet the 11lb weight rule.

2. The current design of popular f3a motors suitable for 2m pattern planes calls for big E-props (e.g. 20.5" or 21"). The old landing gear good for 18" prop does not provide enough prop clearance. A tall landing gear is needed instead. In the Sequel, I decided to install a fixed 9" CF gear. The total weight is 4 oz. The landing gear servo will go.

3. Two 5000 mah packs take space and for Sequel I decided to access them from the bottom of the fuse. Originally I thought about opening up the canopy area for the purpose. To save some labor and maintain the integrity of the CF fuse, I decided to let the two packs hang vertically from a deck with Velcro strips. It seems the idea worked well.
Old 01-30-2011, 08:26 PM
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Default RE: Convert old Sequel pattern ship to electric?

The first thing I did was to strip the Epoxy paint from the fuse. I used the Orange paint stripper and it worked OK.
Old 01-30-2011, 08:31 PM
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Default RE: Convert old Sequel pattern ship to electric?

The first thing I did was to strip the Epoxy paint from the fuse. I used Citristrip and it worked out OK. I found one has to careful not to let the liquid to penetrate the fiber glass material as it can leave oily stains that are hard to remove and make repaint difficult.

Anyway, here are the two pics showing how strong the Citristrip is.
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Old 01-31-2011, 06:45 AM
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Default RE: Convert old Sequel pattern ship to electric?

Pictured below are thick plywood parts - firewall, frames, servo decks etc. They must go.

The firewall was removed 90% originally and a thin ring was left untouched. Later on, the ring was removed as well.

From the 2nd picture it can be seen that the wood was "wet". It is so because the tank under pressure of the YS engine leaked and the fuel got to the wood.
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Old 02-01-2011, 05:29 AM
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Default RE: Convert old Sequel pattern ship to electric?

Cutouts for glow engine setup will be patched with fiber cloth and filler. Shown in pic1 and 2 and the needle cutout and fuel/return line mount holes. They will be gone. The wood back plate will be removed.

I purposely left alone the access hole for YS regulator adjustment, as it allows some cooling air to hit the motor. I was also considering install an air scoop at that location if the motor runs too hot. See pic3.
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Old 02-01-2011, 05:41 AM
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Default RE: Convert old Sequel pattern ship to electric?

The next step is to reinforce the nose area to better support the motor and to spread the torque/load. I heard stories of motor ripping off the thin fiber glass when it is not done so.

I did the same for a section of fuse where the landing gear mount plate will be installed.

For both areas, I used 1 layer of 6oz carbon fiber cloth. After the application, both area is as solid as it can be.

Pic1 shows the landing gear area, and pic2 and 3 the nose area.
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Old 02-01-2011, 05:56 AM
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Default RE: Convert old Sequel pattern ship to electric?

Now the exciting moment came as the motor can be mounted.

FIrst, I measure the depth of the motor from the prop washer to the rear. That become the location of the firewall on fuse. I then draw one line at either side of the fuse. I allocated points on those two lines about half inch between consequent two points. Setting the fuse on the table and put a ruler against the fuse side, I measured the distance between the straight edge of the rule and each point allocated. The measures allowed me to draw a firewall template on paper. I was able to get a very precise template in one step.

I decided to use Himax F3A 6330 motor as it was just introduced to the market and has the same mounting pattern as other more popular outer runner. I figured I can always go with a better motor later on.

Shown below are the installed motor mount / firewall made from 3mm aircraft plywood, and Himax 6300 installed on the new mount.
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Old 02-01-2011, 07:49 PM
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Default RE: Convert old Sequel pattern ship to electric?

The next major item is the landing gear.

I decided to go with the fixed landing gear for simplicity and more importantly for providing space in fuse for the battery pack. To save weight, a carbon fiber F3A gear set was ordered. It weighs 4oz even. I purchased it from eBay and today I was not able to find it anymore. You have to realize how unstable f3A supplies can be.

Back to business. There are two mounting locations: under the fuse or with the fuse on a deck. The 2nd option was ruled out because the deck would occupy the space needed by the battery pack.

I installed two pieces of 1/4 plywood within the fuse. Each piece has two blind nuts to accept the two mounting screws. A 3mm CF plate was used to accept two more screws to secure the tip side of the gear half. The gear is very strong and I do not have a doubt that it can handle grass runway.

Pic2 shows the new frame to provide further support for the two plywood pieces.
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Old 02-01-2011, 08:19 PM
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Default RE: Convert old Sequel pattern ship to electric?

With the landing gear done, I can focus on the deck for battery packs, receiver packs, receiver, and elevator and rudder servos. In fact, I found I need to build two such decks since I want the battery pack to be in the center of the fuse. If the same deck was used for servos, the control links will not be 90 degree to the control horns at the tail.

In Sequel's original design, two stringers are used on each side of the fuse. Together with two frames on each side, they form a rigid box in the wing section. I decided to do the same with lighter material. The servo deck will be built on top of the one pair of stringers.

The battery deck will be built on top of the box, as shown in the pics below.

To save weight, I used 1/8 balsa laminated with 1/32 plywood on one side for the receiver battery and the receiver, and regular 1/8 light ply for servo deck. For battery deck, I used 1/4 light ply found in Lowe's and laminated with a thin layer of fiber glass cloth.

Wing incidence angle adjustment brackets are installed on pieces of 1/8 ply wood. Each is smaller and thiner than the original design for glow engine. To spread the load, I patched the area 1/2" larger on each side of the wood piece with 6oz fiberglass cloth.

Pic1 shows one of the frames for the box structure. Two 1/4" cuts are made to accept stringers for the battery deck. These stringers are supported by a short frame. Pic2 provides a focused view of one side of the mounting structure for the two decks. Pic3 shows the plate for battery deck.
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Old 02-02-2011, 03:58 AM
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Default RE: Convert old Sequel pattern ship to electric?

Now it is time to paint the fuse.

I have been a fan of K&B Ultrapoxy paint and decided to use KlassKote's Epoxy paint instead. Originally I thought about applying only the white primer only to save weight. It turns out the primer does its best to be sandable. The surface is not durable as such and I do not think it can last long. During priming, I added 40% in volume of milled fiberglass to help fill dents, pinholes etc.

At the end, three more colors of KlassKote were acquired: white, deep blue and gun metal grey. All gloss type. I wet-sand off almost all primer and applied these three colors in this order: white, grey and blue. GreatPlane's mask tape was used to separate colors.

I am pretty happy about the end result as the surface is very tough and durable. I wet-sand with 800 grit sandpaper the entire surface when done. The surface is unbelievably smooth and no edge can be felt between two different colors.
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Old 02-03-2011, 06:57 AM
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Default RE: Convert old Sequel pattern ship to electric?

Heavy-duty control linkages can be replaced by lighter ones. I borrowed the idea from Todd Bloss and did the replacement for all linkages. Parts used: 2mm carbon rods JB-welded to CHS 2mm rod ends. A total of 1.5 oz was saved!

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Old 02-03-2011, 10:08 AM
  #24  
texzen1
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Default RE: Convert old Sequel pattern ship to electric?

Your plane looks good, I met you at Lester Field a couple times....i too (to a much greater extent than you, are having severe weight issues - have a post on here for help).  I personally like the bottom access battery change of your sequel.  You can change batteries about 5 times faster than the remove the canopy and call over the guys with small hands method.....
Old 02-03-2011, 08:23 PM
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nonstoprc
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Default RE: Convert old Sequel pattern ship to electric?

Thanks Texzen1. Access from fuse belly for batteries may not be the perfect way but so far it works (with some practice) :-).

So far, with Turnigy 5s 20c packs and the Himax 6330, CC HV85 and 4 cell Nicad rx pack, it weighs about 11 lb 4 oz. I can cut 4 more oz with CC HV80 and Lipo+regulator setup, or go with lighter packs.

More will be posted.

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