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Hotrodding the E-flite Apprentice?

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Hotrodding the E-flite Apprentice?

Old 04-21-2009, 08:11 PM
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Dr_Bojangles
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Default Hotrodding the E-flite Apprentice?

The E-flite Apprentice is my first RC plane. I’ve been flying her for about 3-months now and having a ball while learning to fly. I’m certainly not getting bored and I wouldn’t have done anything different. However, at this point, I’d like to get a little more performance from her. A little better rate of climb and more response maybe?

Is there a better motor I could use and still keep the same ESC?
And/or can I just change to a different prop – without burning up the motor?

Here’s the stock setup - What would you change?

* BL15 Outrunner Motor, 840kV (E-flite Part # EFLM7215)
* E-flite 30A Pro Switch-mode BEC Brushless ESC
* Prop Size: 11 x 8 electric
* # AR500 receiver
* 3S 3200mAh Li-Po battery

Thanks!
Tim

Old 04-21-2009, 09:23 PM
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BigTb17
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Default RE: Hotrodding the E-flite Apprentice?

Try contacting Horizon support and see if they will tell you the ratings of the included motor (like max amp/watt rating and max voltage handling). Unfortunately Horizon doesn't publish any information about their plug-n-play motors. It's not likely there is much room to push much more out of the included electronics, but it's impossible to know for sure if you don't know what they are rated for.

A watt meter would be a good investment if you are going to start playing around with different motor/ESC/prop setups. It will allow you to know how far you are pushing your setup.

For response, are you talking throttle response or control? For increased control response, check your control throws (how far your control surfaces move) and see if there is any way to increase increase the travel. Increased control surface travel will increase responce. Be careful though. A small difference in control throw can sometimes make a model much more sensative, particularly at higher speeds. Also, some models don't respond well to large control throws, so take it easy at first and watch out for any bad tendencies.
Old 04-21-2009, 09:42 PM
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Dr_Bojangles
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Default RE: Hotrodding the E-flite Apprentice?

Thanks - I have emailed Horizon with the same questions.

The control response is sharp as is and, if needed, I can always move the wire to an inside hole on the horn(s). I was thinking more along the lines of a little better throttle response / acceleration.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZIGAPzBc5Hk[/youtube]
Old 05-14-2009, 10:46 PM
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crakey
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Default RE: Hotrodding the E-flite Apprentice?

What about a more aggresive prop? I don't know... is it just something I thought of. I have no experience w/ airplance, I just bought my Apprentice 15e today and LOVE it!
Old 05-30-2009, 11:52 PM
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crakey
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Default RE: Hotrodding the E-flite Apprentice?

Com'on guys! I want to "hotrod" mine too! Will a prop with more pitch help to increase speed and altitude gain?
Old 05-31-2009, 07:22 AM
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crakey
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Default RE: Hotrodding the E-flite Apprentice?


By the way, Dr Bojangles, I saw one of your onboard videos on another site. I was cracking up watching it, as therewere a couple a frames where someone with you RUNS for cover. Your "cross wind landing" video shows the durability of these planes. What else have to done to your plane besides the camera? Here are a couple of questions about the camera:
-can you mount it anywhere (I would like to see one mounted behind the wing looking forward, or backward at the control surfaces)
-how long does the battery last?
-how long does the memory card last?
-can you tell it is mounted when you fly? I mounted my cell phone to mine to try to take a video (it didn't work) and I could tell the plane was struggling to stay aloft... Ihad to run at 100% power the entire time.
Thanks for your help in advance!
-Clayton
Old 05-31-2009, 09:50 AM
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Default RE: Hotrodding the E-flite Apprentice?

Props-Shmops! I threw a Power-25 motor in her with a Castle Creations Phoenix-45 ESC. Video here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zhAHWLrXv84

Also added flaps:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=peyeQATVV9Y

After the motor swap, I mounted the camera on top of the wing facing back and made this video I like to call: Eflite Apprentice Bend-n-Stretch:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=693qI9497Fo


I never realized how much stress the flight surfaces and airframe were under OR how much they could withstand.

A couple of precautions:

In the past, even before the motor swap, I’ve broken the front peg at attitude and lost the wings. The fuselage came in like a lawn dart and totaled everything including my first SpyCamOne2 camera. I replaced the front peg with a piece of auto brake line (materials on hand, you know?). See discussion and description here: http://www.horizonrcflyers.com/Forum...sg1095#msg1095


I also run a rubber band from the front pegs under the fuselage across the battery door – I’ve had it come open at the bottom of a loop and lost an $80 battery. Found out what failsafe meant and I recovered the plane a 20-minute walk away (scuffed, but intact).

As for props, before the motor swap, I did run an APC 11x7e prop and found a little more bottom end at the expense of speed. After the motor swap, I’ve run the stock 11x8 and the 11x7. I just scored a 12x6, but I haven’t had the chance to try it with the new motor… yes, I’m running bigger wheels. http://www.apcprop.com/ProductDetail...tCode=LP11070E



The camera, as mentioned, is a SpyCamOne2. For the money, it can’t be beat. http://www.hobby-lobby.com/video-camera.htm

-can you mount it anywhere?
I’ve usually put mine in the battery compartment facing fore or aft. Video here (of course):
http://s196.photobucket.com/albums/a...ameraMount.flv

As long as you check your center of gravity and compensate for it, you can put it just about anywhere. However, compensating for the weight with more weight just adds more weight. For that reason, I like to keep mine close to the existing CG, i.e., the battery compartment or the top of the wing where the rubber bands cross. You only need to compensate for the weight that hangs fore or aft of your CG. No matter where I put it, I always use Velcro and another means of securing the camera.

-how long does the battery last?
About 30-minutes, but they also make a car charger as you can see on Hobby Lobby’s site.

-how long does the memory card last?
2-gig will hold about 30-minutes of video. I take my laptop with me and copy the videos from the camera after each flight.

-can you tell it is mounted when you fly?
Yes, the FlyCamOne22 camera weighs in at just over 1-ounce and will shorten you battery time somewhat. I use 3s 3200mAh, 20c: http://www.horizonhobby.com/Products...dID=EFLB32003S

As for handling, when I have it on top, I do notice a little more roll to the plane.

-there were a couple a frames where someone with you RUNS for cover.

That’s my 11-year old neighbor kid; My Wingman I gave him the call sign, Running Bear. He’s big into FlightSim and he’s had my Real Flight G45 simulator for a couple of months. I sometimes get the plane up two mistakes high and hand him the TX. He’s pretty sharp - smart in school and knowing when to get out of the way. We don’t live far from Frederick Airport. His parents are going to enroll him in [real] flight school next year, although I think he may be having seconds thoughts after watching me fly.

Have fun!
Tim
And yes, that’s my 72-Nova with my YouTube videos. She wouldn’t forgive me if I didn’t mention her too.

Old 05-31-2009, 10:07 PM
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crakey
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Default RE: Hotrodding the E-flite Apprentice?

Nice setup and flying!!!!!! What next for you?


Thanks for the videos.... the upgraded power is what I want! Would these motors work and mount okay? Recommendations (the E-Flite motor is high $$$$$)?
http://www.hobbycity.com/hobbycity/s...?idProduct=664

http://www.hobbycity.com/hobbycity/s...idProduct=2111

Of course I will get the ESC that you have, that is incredible? Could you possibly do prop hangs with the upgraded power?
Let me know when you try the new prop, I am dying to know if that makes a huge difference.
Talk to you soon!
-Clayton
Old 05-31-2009, 10:20 PM
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Dr_Bojangles
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Default RE: Hotrodding the E-flite Apprentice?


ORIGINAL: crakey
Nice setup and flying!!!!!! What next for you?
I just bought an EFlite Sea Fury (want to transition to a low wing).

Would these motors work and mount okay? Recommendations (the E-Flite motor is high $$$$$)?
http://www.hobbycity.com/hobbycity/s...?idProduct=664
http://www.hobbycity.com/hobbycity/s...idProduct=2111
Sorry, I'm not sure. I went with the EFlite motor from what I read on another forum. Ask around.

Of course I will get the ESC that you have... Could you possibly do prop hangs with the upgraded power?
Castle Creations is the way to go. As for props hangs, maybe the power-to-weight ratio is there, but I think the Apprentice wing has way too much lift to hold it there. I've found that when flying inverted I have to slow down and push down elevator to keep that big wing from 'climbing down'... think about it - up is down/down is up.

Old 06-01-2009, 12:36 PM
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crakey
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Default RE: Hotrodding the E-flite Apprentice?

Keep me updated, I am also looking for a plane(upgrade time!). Can you still use the DX5 transmitter on the newer plane, or does it need 6 channels?
Old 06-01-2009, 02:38 PM
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Dr_Bojangles
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Default RE: Hotrodding the E-flite Apprentice?

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<o></o>

ORIGINAL: crakey<o></o>

<o></o>

Keep me updated, I am also looking for a plane (upgrade time!). Can you still use the DX5 transmitter on the newer plane, or does it need 6 channels?<o></o>

<o></o>

<o></o>

Yes and yes. It needs six servos, but it runs the ailerons through a y-connector like the Apprentice. Also the two servos for the retracts run through a y-connector.<o></o>

<o></o>

I don't want to hi-jack this thread so I'll just redirect you to the forum where we've been discussing my first ARF build. Come on over and take a look if you like… but you have to promise to come back here too. Btw, I'm tkrahlin
http://www.horizonrcflyers.com/Forum...hp?topic=220.0

<o>Tim Krahling
</o>

Old 06-01-2009, 06:33 PM
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crakey
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Default RE: Hotrodding the E-flite Apprentice?

Will do! Thanks for the invite.
One (ANOTHER) question for you....
When I am looking at purchasing an ESC, should I go with the highest power rating? Why would I buy a 30A ESC if they also sell a 60A?

I am drooling after watching the video of the upgraded motor and ESC on the Apprentice. I love my plane, it just seems to be the best. I know what you are saying about inverted flight, it takes a lot of up elevator to keep it from doing an upside down loop.
Thanks!
Old 06-01-2009, 08:28 PM
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Default RE: Hotrodding the E-flite Apprentice?


ORIGINAL: crakey

Will do! Thanks for the invite.
One (ANOTHER) question for you....
When I am looking at purchasing an ESC, should I go with the highest power rating? Why would I buy a 30A ESC if they also sell a 60A?
The three things that matter most in our hobby: Money, Size, and Weight.

Check the specs and compare these two:
ESC 45-amp specs: http://www.castlecreations.com/products/phoenix-45.html
ESC 60-amp specs: http://www.castlecreations.com/products/phoenix-60.html

The bigger the motor the more amps it pulls You want an ESC that will match or slightly exceed that amperage.
Draw more than the ESC can handle and you burn it up.

The Eflite Power-25 motor specs say:
Continuous Current: 32A
Maximum Burst Current: 44A (30 sec)

Therefore, a 45-amp ESC is a perfect match for the Power-25.

Throwing a bigger ESC at it will not do anything except maybe buy you a little more insurance, but at the cost of added weight and money. Also, you’ll sacrifice some performance because you’ll lifting an extra ounce with no benefit.

Old 06-02-2009, 10:18 AM
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Default RE: Hotrodding the E-flite Apprentice?


ORIGINAL: crakey
Will do! Thanks for the invite.
Also check out this informative FAQ: http://www.horizonrcflyers.com/Forum...hp?topic=126.0

Old 06-02-2009, 08:43 PM
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crakey
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Default RE: Hotrodding the E-flite Apprentice?

But on the flip side, I can use the bigger ESC on the next plane without re-purchasing an ESCto match a motor. Have you looked at the cheaper ESCs and motors on that website I linked earlier. The prices are 1/10 of the E-Flite...quality is guaranteed to be lower, but it would almost be worth itto buy 5 or 6 motors and ESCs for the same price as 1 E-Flite set. Let me know about the bigger prop, I think I'm gonna up in pitch or up one size on the stock Apprentice setup...just to try it out. I don't know if it will make a big difference.
Old 06-02-2009, 08:56 PM
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crakey
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Default RE: Hotrodding the E-flite Apprentice?


ORIGINAL: Dr_Bojangles


ORIGINAL: crakey
Will do! Thanks for the invite.
Also check out this informative FAQ: http://www.horizonrcflyers.com/Forum...hp?topic=126.0

Thanks! This is great for me!
Old 06-02-2009, 09:09 PM
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Dr_Bojangles
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Default RE: Hotrodding the E-flite Apprentice?


But on the flip side, I can use the bigger ESC on the next plane without re-purchasing an ESC to match a motor.
You betcha! That's what makes this hobby so much fun. You have so many options that each bird becomes sorta personalized.

Have you looked at the cheaper ESCs and motors on that website I linked earlier. The prices are 1/10 of the E-Flite...quality is guaranteed to be lower, but it would almost be worth it to buy 5 or 6 motors and ESCs for the same price as 1 E-Flite set. Let me know about the bigger prop, I think I'm gonna up in pitch or up one size on the stock Apprentice setup...just to try it out. I don't know if it will make a big difference.
Just be careful you don't over-amp you motor, ESC, battery with too much prop.

You know I've been giving out advice like an old, seasoned flyer, but the truth is; the Sea Fury ARF is only my 2nd plane. I only got my Apprentice 5-months ago. There's still a lot I don't understand or have experienced firsthand (the best teacher).

Don't get me wrong, I really enjoy this and I'm enthusiastic and happy to help. However, at least for the time being and until I get some experience, I feel comfortable sticking with ‘bolt-on’ stuff that I’ve read worked for others. I’m not saying that you should do the same – I would never do that. At this point, at least for me, I just like to eliminate as many variables as possible when I mod or build something for the first time. That way if it drills a hole in the ground, it was probably something I did wrong.

Old 06-03-2009, 08:21 PM
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crakey
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Default RE: Hotrodding the E-flite Apprentice?

Dr. B-

I finally lawn-darted my plane late yesterday when the elevator clevis broke. Today I replaced the prop and motor mount, but the plane doesn't have the right amount of power at take-off. Once at higher RPMs it is no problem... but it takes 50' to get it off the ground! Upon further inspection, my motor is slightly "grinding" or rubbing internally. Before the crash,even at 0% power and coasting in the air when doing a fly-by, the prop wouldfree-spin.... now it stays still.
-Could you please check your brushlessmotor (BL-15, stockApprenticemotor) and see if there isanyrubbing when you rotate it. I think I know the answer, but don't wantto hear it.
-Can a brushless motor be fixed, or is it trashed?
-Can I buy the BL-25 and use the stock 30amp ESC?


By theway, after all thistimeofhassling you about the bigger prop, I finallytried one out on mine (1" longer, same pitch). The wind was blowing at 20mph, and I accidentally did a prop-hang trying to get it back to me, this was before the crash. You should give it a shot, it was lots of fun... andthe sound is really cool!

-Clayton
Old 06-03-2009, 11:07 PM
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crakey
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Default RE: Hotrodding the E-flite Apprentice?

okay, I am answering my own question. I took the motor apart and found that when I crashed it one magnet had developed a very small nick that was rubbing . I sanded it down, and am now back in business- for now! I am going to keep the 12x8 prop on it for a while and see if the motor can hold it, I believe it has the power to do so.
Old 06-04-2009, 12:15 PM
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rhampton
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Default RE: Hotrodding the E-flite Apprentice?

i really am glad to hear people are Modifying and havn a blast with the E-Flite Apprentice. I have the stock version and now after hearing this, i want to Modify mine and put a Power 25 in there. I to am having a issue also with the Pegs being week and are really bending and working it's way towards the top. I had too much ruber bands on there and is now using less but i still notice that the pegs are bent when the Rubber bands are on. the Pegs are still in the Fuse but what's the chance that i can loose the wing. How damaged do the pegs have to be.
Also i dont have those tools that Dr. bojangles suggest.. Is there another Alternative? i Rather Focus on this First before Modyfing the motor. I really need to resolve this Peg Issue. Is there anything i can buy from Home Depo?

Reggie
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Old 06-04-2009, 10:24 PM
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crakey
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Default RE: Hotrodding the E-flite Apprentice?

Good to have you on here Reggie! PM Dr. B from this post and ask him, he is the MAN with the Apprentice.
Check out this light kit for the Apprentice:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B84pfX_WD3Q

PLEASEkeep me posted on you upgrades.... but try out a 1" bigger prop OR 1 degree increased pitch, but not both at the same time!!!


-Clayton
Old 06-05-2009, 07:37 AM
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Dr_Bojangles
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Default RE: Hotrodding the E-flite Apprentice?


ORIGINAL: rhampton
How damaged do the pegs have to be.
Honestly, from what you're describing, they could go at anytime. At the very least, run a rubber band under the fuselage from peg-to-peg on the front to counteract the stress of the wings pulling up on them.

ORIGINAL: rhampton
Also i dont have those tools that Dr. bojangles suggest.. Is there another Alternative? i Rather Focus on this First before Modyfing the motor. I really need to resolve this Peg Issue. Is there anything i can buy from Home Depot?
What tools? I had auto brake line on hand and used that, but you can find aluminum tubing at the local hobby store (LHS) like this.i196.photobucket.com/albums/aa62/tkrahlin/RC_Helicopters/20081231-LEO_9660.jpg


Then find a small diameter bolt or screw to put in each end after you epoxy it through the fuselage. If you feel that the head of bolt/screw isn't enough to hold the rubber bands on, just epoxy a washer on each end.
Take a look at the procedure I documented in this thread:
www.horizonrcflyers.com/Forum/index.php

with slideshow:
s196.photobucket.com/albums/aa62/tkrahlin/RC_Plane/BREAK%20THIS/





Old 06-05-2009, 07:57 AM
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Default RE: Hotrodding the E-flite Apprentice?


ORIGINAL: crakey

okay, I am answering my own question. I took the motor apart and found that when I crashed it one magnet had developed a very small nick that was rubbing . I sanded it down, and am now back in business- for now! I am going to keep the 12x8 prop on it for a while and see if the motor can hold it, I believe it has the power to do so.
All the [official] specs say that, not only isn't the motor up to spinning that prop, but the ESC won't handle it.

Someone who knows better can jump in here, but from the way I understand; It's the amps you have to worry about. The motor sucks amps and the amps have to pass through your ESC. If you'll drawing 40-amps through a 30-amp ESC, you're pushing the envelope. If you're going to use that prop, use it in burst for short periods of time then give it some time to cool down. Think of it as running your car balls-out up a hill - your water temperature is going to go up. But, if you throw it up in neutral and coast down the other side, you're engine is close to idle while still getting air flowing through the radiator.

I like car analogies - this is my other hobby: www.youtube.com/profile



Old 06-05-2009, 09:33 AM
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rhampton
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Default RE: Hotrodding the E-flite Apprentice?

Thanks Dr. Bojangles. I appreciate the response. i'm gonna try and fool around with those pegs tonight and this weekend hopefully come up with a temptorary solution until i get those items.

Since i have u all on the line there is somethings i have been meaning to ask about the apprentice. i might as well ask now.

1. i have many 3s Lipos. 2800mah 30c,,,,2100mah 15c etc.....most of them are lighter than the blue 3200mah it comes with. if use a 2100mah 15 Lipo will this plane Fly ok? for at least 3 minutes? or is this battery to small....
Also will a 4s work on this stock setup? a 4s 4000mah? or 3000 even?

2. how can i make the plane more rollable. it's very slow when i do a roll and i want to make it a little more responsive.

3. Is this plane stable flying inverted or is this plane only meant to fly around normal. I want to try and practice my inverted skills flying upside down for at least a half a minute...So any feedback on the stability of this plane Flying like this?

Thanks for your responses. sorry for the many questions. i'm enjoying this plane a lot and want to get the best out of my Flying.
It's so relaxing. I am now addicted to this Hobby. I went out and got a 83" Mother Ship Flying Wing and is also having a blast Flying this huge Wing. I also Fly the Parkzone Radian and a 40size Kadet and a Parkzone Stryker...ok see how addicted i have become.???? What's it gonna be next...haha...

Reggie






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Old 06-05-2009, 11:10 AM
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Dr_Bojangles
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Default RE: Hotrodding the E-flite Apprentice?


ORIGINAL: rhampton
i have many 3s Lipos. 2800mah 30c,,,,2100mah 15c etc.....most of them are lighter than the blue 3200mah it comes with. if use a 2100mah 15 Lipo will this plane Fly ok? for at least 3 minutes? or is this battery to small....
Also will a 4s work on this stock setup? a 4s 4000mah? or 3000 even?
I have to confess; my weakness is the electronics. I’ve asked a lot of questions and pretty much followed the advice I’ve got. Err on the side of caution and cheap insurance when it comes to the electronics. From my unschooled knowledge, I nudge the envelope and only a little at a time. The motor and ESC mods I’ve made to my Apprentice are just ‘parroting’ what someone else did.

I don’t like to hijack or re-direct users from forums, but if no one else is going to step up here, you have to find it where you can. This guy over at another forum seems pretty knowledgeable about the electronics.
http://www.horizonrcflyers.com/Forum....msg391#msg391


ORIGINAL: rhampton
how can i make the plane more rollable. it's very slow when i do a roll and i want to make it a little more responsive.
I don’t doubt it feels sluggish compared to some of the other things you’re flying!

Maximize the throw of your ailerons. They are what rolls your plane over.

I’m sure your TX is on High Rate. Have you changed the positions of your control horns? Get something to measure the distance and angle of deflection of your ailerons. Use a cheap protractor from the school supply section. Put some masking or painters’ tape on the edges rather than mark up the protractor itself. Your TX sticks move the same amount, but you can adjust the throws on your control surfaces to maximize (or minimize) their effect.

Before changing your control surfaces (ailerons, elevator, rudder, and flaps), you must make sure that they all start out zeroed:

1- Remove the screws and take the arms off of each of your servos.
2- Unhook each clevis from their horns at the control surfaces.
3- Turn on your TX and, using the trim switches, center all of your sticks (except the throttle). My DX5 goes 20-beeps each way. Count them and make sure they are all centered.
4- Now connect your flight battery. You’re hear the servos center themselves (if your eyes are young enough, you may see them move).

Now we know two things; Your TX sticks are centered and your servos are centered.

(You may find it easier to do the next few steps one servo at a time).

5- Re-connect the arm to the servo. Try to put them on as close to 90-degrees to the servo as the splines will allow. This ensures you have an equal amount of travel each way.

If you move your TX stick now, you should run out of stick travel at the same time the servo reaches it max travel.

6- Move to the flight surface for that servo and do whatever you have to to make sure that the flight surface is level and at zero deflection. Use a protractor, a straightedge, or any of the nifty tools you’ll see at your hobby store. A couple of pieces of 1/4” x 1/4” balsam sticks above and below the flight surface held there with a clothespin will hold them zeroed.

7- Unscrew or screw the clevis onto the control rod until its pin matches up with the desired hole in the control horn. Do not move the control horn (thus the flight surface) to meet the clevis pin - that defeats the purpose.

Once you’ve done each servo and its corresponding control surface, you’re guaranteed that your TX sticks, servos and control surfaces are all starting out centered and level and you’re getting the maximum effect from your inputs.

Your plane may still need to be trimmed in flight due to some mounting misalignment of the wings or tail feathers or even warping of the airframe. But, at least, you know you started out with your control surfaces zeroed.

While we’re talking about zeroing; make sure your center of gravity is right each time you take the plane out. Approximately half throttle should get you flying level and NEVER have your plane tail heavy. Sure, you can trim the plane with the trim switches, but you are –in effect- doing what’s known as flying dirty. If your plane is too nose heavy and you trim it level using up elevator, you’re creating unnecessary drag over that surface dirtying the airflow over and around it.

ORIGINAL: rhampton
Is this plane stable flying inverted or is this plane only meant to fly around normal. I want to try and practice my inverted skills flying upside down for at least a half a minute...So any feedback on the stability of this plane Flying like this?
It’s the dihedral and properties of the Apprentice wing. It can be flipped and flown upside down, but it keeps wanting to right itself. It’s a credit to its characteristics as a trainer.
Get up about THREE MISTAKES HIGH, then roll it inverted. Push down elevator and pull about half way back on the throttle. You’ll have to make constant adjustments to these two sticks to [try to] keep it inverted. Your mileage may vary.

I am now addicted to this Hobby. I went out and got a 83" Mother Ship Flying Wing and is also having a blast Flying this huge Wing. I also Fly the Parkzone Radian and a 40size Kadet and a Parkzone Stryker...ok see how addicted i have become.???? What's it gonna be next...haha...
Holy Crap! You did jump in with both feet, didn’t ‘ya?

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