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PAU/BME 87" Extra 330L - Build and Fly

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PAU/BME 87" Extra 330L - Build and Fly

Old 12-15-2006, 07:43 AM
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Maudib
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Default PAU/BME 87" Extra 330L - Build and Fly

I recently got my hands on the new Performance Aircraft Unlimited 87" (30%) Extra 330L... PAU is the proud new owner of the designs formerly marketed by BME Aircraft.

It arrived very well packed and completely unscathed. A few earlier recipients found a damaged cowl and were promtply replaced by PAU. Since then they have rectified this issue and have improved packing for a better chance at surviving our US delivery boys... tee hee.

First impressions?

VERY NICE...

Paint and covering is excellent... no drips or scratches to speak of. Paint very closely matches the covering. Construction of the fuse looks really nice... no loose joints, proper amount of glue, etc.

Wing, stab and fuse bags included and are used in part as packing to protect it during shipping. It's a beautiful scheme and my favorite so far of the PAU line.

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Old 12-15-2006, 07:47 AM
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Default RE: PAU/BME 87" Extra 330L - Build and Fly

One feature that sticks out is the cowl attachment... it uses the cowl ring method for a flush and definite fit to the fuse. The ring is already installed and matched to the fuse with 4 screws/blindnuts. This saves time in installation and provides a nice, clean look to the nose. I haven't seen this feature on many ARF's of this size (or any for that matter).

The paint matches VERY closely to the covering used and as I mentioned before looks really nice. No cracks, chips or drips to be found anywhere.

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Old 12-15-2006, 07:58 AM
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Default RE: PAU/BME 87" Extra 330L - Build and Fly

The design seems sturdy with a good compromise between weight and strength. Reports of coming in 17 lbs or under seem promising... as a DA50 (my engine selection for this airplane) will pull it around nicely at that weight. Pilots in higher elevations might want a litle more power to weight.

There seeems to be a couple areas where we MIGHT save a little weight... and with judicious radio selection/setup... we might get it down to 16.5 or so. Other engines that might do great for this include the Brillelli 60, RCIgn Lightened G62, ZDZ 50, Taurus 52 and other light 50-60cc class engines.

The turtledeck is sheeted foam and the framework is lasercut, tight fitting and glued well. If anything it is a LITTLE overbuilt... but that means longevity and vibration resistance. You can see in the pic the pull-pull slots designed into the front TD former.

ANother nice feature is the canister tunnel. I'm torn between using the stock muffler for weight, or installing a canister for quiet operation. Since I already have the DA50 and stock muffler... I may lean that way... yet I have to order the standoffs (3") for this aircraft so what's another header right?

Well, we'll see what that ends up as...

Is is a canister tunnel... not a tuned pipe tunnel... meaning it does not extend long enough for the KS Tuned Pipe that DA sells... though it appears quite possible to modify the setu to accept it or a CF tuned pipe.

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Old 12-15-2006, 08:13 AM
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Default RE: PAU/BME 87" Extra 330L - Build and Fly

The front area of the hatch shows the tank tray and two servo slots on either side (near the rear of the tray and in front of the wingtube) for throttle/choke servo locations. I prefer to use a SmartFly Optical Kill on my engines and will be using just a throttle servo.

There is the potential to save some weight here... but not much... the ply tank floor is also the canister tunnel roof... SO any materil removed would have to be somewhat replaced with light material (balsa sheet) to keep then tunnel enclosed... that is IF you install a canister... if not this is a non-issue.

For on CG tank installation, there is a partial former in the way above and slightly forward of the wingtube. However, for those wishing to get their tank on CG... it seems pretty easy to mod it for that purpose.... The wingtube looks fairly forward in the wing, so I suspect this would be necessary for on an CG tank install.



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Old 12-15-2006, 08:48 AM
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Default RE: PAU/BME 87" Extra 330L - Build and Fly

The hatch is a beautiful piece of work with fully enclosed cockpits, prepainted. For IMAC guys... just add pilot and instrument panels.

Though the area seems sheeted with light balsa... this could be an area for lightening as well... removing it with a razor knife or dremel up to the ply framework, as well as from the back of the hatch and the dashpanels COULD save a couple ounces...

Is it worth it? Well only if you are doign everything across the board to save maybe 4-6 oz. total.

I don't know if I'll do it or not... May wait until nearly completed, CG checked, etc... before making that decision.

The hatch seems well constructed and attached with 4 screws. Mine fits like a glove. The canopy is clear (no tint) and the trim is prepainted and simply needs attached to the hatch. There might be some weight to save by trimming it a little closer... but again... not much.

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Old 12-15-2006, 09:26 AM
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Default RE: PAU/BME 87" Extra 330L - Build and Fly

The surfaces are pre-drilled for hingepoints (included) and the bevels are nice and sharp. The first pic shows the bevels on the aileron and the triling edge of the aileron too... straight as an arrow.

Initially the plane came with not a wrinkle to be seen anywhere... but after about 7-10 days of "curing" in the house... a few wrinkles appeared here and there. This is perfectly normal as the airframe dries out and shrinks a little and the covering acclimates to the steady temps.

It's always the first step to go over the covering with an iron and heat gun to shrink and seal the edges of trim. After doing so I returned the airframe back to it's taught, sleek appearance.

There is PLENTY of throw ont he surfaces.... I mean PLENTY. The stabs are removable and are are held in place with two screws into the fuse and blindnuts.

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Old 12-15-2006, 09:39 AM
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Default RE: PAU/BME 87" Extra 330L - Build and Fly



Thank You Dave !

Very detailed, very informative, can't wait!


regards, Ward
Old 12-15-2006, 09:49 AM
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Default RE: PAU/BME 87" Extra 330L - Build and Fly

The hardware provided is very nice. The gear is composite and painted nicely (with maybe a few very minor dimples in the surface of the gear) and predrilled for fuse attachment, axles and wheelpant screws.... NICE.

The wheels are dense but light foam... I have always liked the wheels provided witht eh PAU/BME ARFs. Lightest I've found with little "flattening" found on other brands.

The control horns are milled aluminum, lightweight and feature "autoleveling" washers. Since the surfaces are beveled, this allows the washers to sit flat on the surface and not dig into the material. Many of the other designs (including Dubro HD) have a nut that will not sit flush...

The axels are 3/16 I believe and come with the wheel collars... a fella might save a smidge using 5/32 or even more by going to titanium axles. Still these are very nice and applicable.

The CF tailwheel is one of the nicest I've ever seen... and is more than adequate for a plane this size... I would have no qualms using it on a 33%-35% either.

At 2.35 oz it's fair in weight... but if balance was an issue for someone... a 1 oz tailwheel could be used instead...

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Old 12-15-2006, 10:16 AM
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Default RE: PAU/BME 87" Extra 330L - Build and Fly

The ARF is supplied with a length of CF tube and special pushrod ends to create your pushrods.

Two thumb-tabbed wingbolts hold the wings in place.

What looks like Dubro ball links are supplied as well.... these are not the HD variety and though I'm sure would be fine, I'll replace with the HD's I have on hand.

In the first pic is also a shot of the aluminum horns... The screws too are aluminum I'm told... light and very hard...

The tank looks to be approximately 20 oz and comes with a gas compatible stopper... however the clunk line is not usable and should be replaced with Tygon when plumbing the rest of your fuel system.

I almost always use a 16 oz tank with my 50cc planes... giving me easily 20 minute flights with some to spare. So I will probably swap it out with a DuBro 16 oz tank but use the stopper supplied.
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Old 12-15-2006, 02:51 PM
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Default RE: PAU/BME 87" Extra 330L - Build and Fly

Old 12-15-2006, 06:18 PM
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Default RE: PAU/BME 87" Extra 330L - Build and Fly


Dave,

On the Aluminum control horns, could you drill and tap the hard points in the surfaces (not all the way thru) screw in the bolts and cut the heads off, so nothing is visible from the top? Elevators, Ailerons, etc. ? Never cared much for exposed fastners from the top side.

thanks, Ward
Old 12-15-2006, 06:34 PM
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Default RE: PAU/BME 87" Extra 330L - Build and Fly

It appears that there is a sizeable solid block for a hardpoint so I don't see why not. I'd drill it undersized... CA harden the hole, redrill to proper tapping size, harden again with CA. Then tap the hole once the CA has fully cured.

I'm working on getting the weights now of the goodies... stay tuned...

Old 12-15-2006, 07:13 PM
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Default RE: PAU/BME 87" Extra 330L - Build and Fly

O.K. now for the weights (in ounces):

Fuse with cowl attached: 51.75
Gear: 10.4
Hatch: 8
Canopy: 6.65
Wing/stab tubes: 6.05
Right Stab: 4.85
Left Stab: 5.3
Wheelpants: 3.05
Left Wing: 24.25
Right Wing: 22.7
Rudder: 3.95
Wheels: 1.5
Tailwheel: 2.35
Tank: 3.05
Control Horns: 3.00
Firewall & tristock: 2.25
Axles: 1.5
Misc. remaining screws/hardware: 1.7
___________________________


Total going up in the air: 162.3 oz

Or 10.15 lbs...

On a stock DA50 setup on a 50cc plane I add right at 6.5 lbs for a guesstimated all up weight of 16.65 lbs...

VERY nice.

With some minimal weight savings here and there I might be at 16.25 lbs and that should ROCK with the DA50.

Really it's not even necessary... but there will be those that worship at a similar helium filled altar....

MINIMAL Savings can be found:

5/32 Axles, 16 oz tank, lighter tailwheel, titanium turnbuckle pushrods, hatch lightening, canopy trimming, MAYBE a little inside the plane... but I would expect only 4-6 oz max savings. These are of course "electives" meaning that there is certainly nothing wrong with what is provided... quite the contrary... What is supplied is very nice... I'm only pointing out the few areas I see that "lightening freaks" will want to know about for the lightest build-out.

Old 12-17-2006, 06:59 PM
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Default RE: PAU/BME 87" Extra 330L - Build and Fly



Great job Dave .........

post back on top.
Old 12-18-2006, 07:57 AM
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Default RE: PAU/BME 87" Extra 330L - Build and Fly

Thanks Ward...

I've had a busy weekend and have to go out of town until tomorrow evening... but I hope to pound on this project starting Wednesday...

Stay tuned...

Old 12-18-2006, 12:27 PM
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Default RE: PAU/BME 87" Extra 330L - Build and Fly

great job as always Dave.

Ahmed
Old 12-19-2006, 07:03 PM
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Default RE: PAU/BME 87" Extra 330L - Build and Fly

Hi David, looking forward to the build, I am ready to start mine also so I will follow along and learn. Here iis the before and after pics of the taurus standoff we dicussed, I think it turned out ok (think it will work). Anyways on with the build.





Brad

[img][/img]
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Old 12-19-2006, 08:15 PM
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Default RE: PAU/BME 87" Extra 330L - Build and Fly


Brad, that's sweet. Should be perfect, most Gas applications are hard mounted.

Ward
Old 12-19-2006, 10:31 PM
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Default RE: PAU/BME 87" Extra 330L - Build and Fly

Been thinking of which engine I should buy for this airplane.
Looking hard at the Tarus also but have been thinking lately about maybe going the electric route with this airplane.
What do you all think?
John
Old 12-20-2006, 06:16 AM
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Default RE: PAU/BME 87" Extra 330L - Build and Fly



John,

Go Gas, you'll never look back, guarunteed! Electric would be 50% more with batteries and more hassal. Get a DA-50 and canister.

my 2 cents ...

Ward
Old 12-20-2006, 06:45 AM
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Default RE: PAU/BME 87" Extra 330L - Build and Fly


ORIGINAL: jgraham10

Been thinking of which engine I should buy for this airplane.
Looking hard at the Tarus also but have been thinking lately about maybe going the electric route with this airplane.
What do you all think?
John
It would be hard to put smoke on the electric. Many people will at sometime at least consider smoke on one of these birds. It has been a normal progression for me at least....smoke is cool[8D]


RDB
Old 12-20-2006, 12:02 PM
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Default RE: PAU/BME 87" Extra 330L - Build and Fly

Thanks Ward, btw this is still a hard mount I just had an aluminum standoff made instead of using a ply ring on the firewall,my hope is that this 1/2" standoff can be used in other apllications in the future(so it will just move with the engine). John, I agree with the others go gas, I have a da 50 also and it is a great engine. I am looking forward to following Davids build here.


Brad.
Old 12-20-2006, 12:47 PM
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Default RE: PAU/BME 87" Extra 330L - Build and Fly

Certainly nothing wrong with e-power... and if expense is not concern... has it's advantages.

Research Neumotors... and do some searches on other 50cc conversions. Expects 10s-12s 6000-8000mah lipo packs and 100+ amp speed controllers.

Visit here for a few ideas on other 50cc conversions:

http://www.e-flightline.com/movie.htm

I'd have to agree though that for 50cc Gas sure is a sweet solution... fairly clean, low cost, quick refueling and greatpower to weight ratio... but electrics are really starting to breaking into the giant scale arena and doing it with power. (at a cost)
Old 12-20-2006, 01:58 PM
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Default RE: PAU/BME 87" Extra 330L - Build and Fly



missed you Dave ............. been sitting here for two days waiting on more pictures!
Old 12-20-2006, 04:19 PM
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Default RE: PAU/BME 87" Extra 330L - Build and Fly

Still in Ohio (has some more tests to have performed)... but hopefully will ne home tomorrow...

So you're still stuck a day or two... tee hee

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