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Top Flite SE5 cg

Old 12-17-2011, 02:51 PM
  #51  
Keithy
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Default RE: Top Flite SE5 cg

Hiya Jaybird,The throws that I have set up on mine work very well but I have used differential in order to make it less twitchy. The throws are: Rudder 1" either side of neutral ( I think more might make take offs a little easier but is not necessary for flight). Elevator is plus and minus 3/4" and ailerons plus and minus 5/8". These throws make for a pretty responsive flight characteristic and work really well at scale speeds. The electric motor that I have installed is a Turnigy 4250 which is purported to be equivalent to a 40 two stroke glow engine. I have found that to not be the case, as on full throttle, with a 13 X 4 propeller, the plane will climb almost verticalley until out of sight! Far too much power, so I avoid using any more than about half throttle. Half throttle uses 30 watts of power but most of the flight can be done on about 1/3 throttle. I am waiting for some telemetry gear to arrive, so that I can install it and get a better idea of battery usage. Using a 3,800mah Lipo, I have been flying ten minute flights without running out of power but it is always nice to KNOW when the battery is about to quit. I don't use a separate battery for the receiver, so a dead battery would be catastrophic. Hope these figures are helpful but I know that we all have different preferences when it come to 'feel' of a model in flight.
Old 12-17-2011, 02:59 PM
  #52  
Keithy
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Default RE: Top Flite SE5 cg

Hiya Jaybird, The throws that I have set up on mine work very well but I have used differential in order to make it less twitchy. The throws are: Rudder 1" either side of neutral ( I think more might make take offs a little easier but is not necessary for flight). Elevator is plus and minus 3/4" and ailerons plus and minus 5/8". These throws make for a pretty responsive flight characteristic and work really well at scale speeds. The electric motor that I have installed is a Turnigy 4250 which is purported to be equivalent to a 40 two stroke glow engine. I have found that to not be the case, as on full throttle, with a 13 X 4 propeller, the plane will climb almost verticalley until out of sight! Far too much power, so I avoid using any more than about half throttle. Half throttle uses 30 watts of power but most of the flight can be done on about 1/3 throttle. I am waiting for some telemetry gear to arrive, so that I can install it and get a better idea of battery usage. Using a 3,800mah Lipo, I have been flying ten minute flights without running out of power but it is always nice to KNOW when the battery is about to quit. I don't use a separate battery for the receiver, so a dead battery would be catastrophic. Hope these figures are helpful but I know that we all have different preferences when it come to 'feel' of a model in flight.
Old 12-17-2011, 05:59 PM
  #53  
Jaybird
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Default RE: Top Flite SE5 cg

Hi Keith. thanks very much for the information. My recollection from flying the the one I built was that it was very responsive. As I explained in another reply I had a non-computer, standard radio when I flew mine so everything had to be adjusted or limited mechanically. The new radios make it so much easier to fine tune a model especially with end points and expo. I've got about 3/4" up/down on high rates and about 1/2" on low for the ailerons with 30% expo. I haven't measured the elevator travel yet but I certainly will as I go along.

It's cold here (19^ F) and breezy (and very dark!) in Hallowell. How are things in your part of Australia?

Jaybird
Old 12-17-2011, 07:42 PM
  #54  
Keithy
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Default RE: Top Flite SE5 cg

Hi again Jaybird,
Looks like you will find it easy to fine tune your throws. The hard part is not knowing where to start. too much - very hard to fly smoothly: too little and you may not have enough control.

It is a bit sub tropical here. Very humid and although the forecast was for a fine day, we have showers and current temp of 26deg C. A little cooler than normal for this time of year. Where is Hollowell?  19 deg F would see me off, I think.
Old 12-18-2011, 07:10 AM
  #55  
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Default RE: Top Flite SE5 cg

The SE5a is a pretty stable plane. In fact it was so stable that initially pilots wanted to remove the dehidral to make it more manuverable.

Go with the throws called for in the instructions for starters and you should be fine.

Rudder is used to begin turns like full scale planes. This will help bring the nose around and keep the tail from dragging through the turn.
Old 12-18-2011, 09:46 AM
  #56  
Jaybird
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Default RE: Top Flite SE5 cg

Well it's warmed way up to the mid 20's (F) and nice and sunny...but too cold for me to fly. Hallowell is just below Augusta, the state capitol. We are sort of in the middle of the state although my home town of Dover-Foxcroft is morer near the geographical center and that's an hour and half drive north.

Thanks again for the information.

Bob, I've looked through the original manual and on the prints, but controls throws aren't specified. I have flown this kit before, but it was many years ago and I remember once it was trimmed out it was great little flyer. I picked up the ParkZone electric SE5 a while ago just for fun and it too is a great flying airplane. Very smooth and graceful when you want and very aerobatic when prefer some excitment. My plan is take this Top Flite kit to the Old Rhinebeck Jamboree next September. There was a spectacular model there from Canada this year but it didn't fly due to engine problems. It was really amazing and the builder was very friendly.

Jaybird
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Old 12-18-2011, 02:58 PM
  #57  
Keithy
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Default RE: Top Flite SE5 cg

Wow!  What a beautiful model. Huge amount of time and effort gone into that. I wouldn't be game to fly it for fear of writing it all off.[]

Jaybird, I just looked you up on Google maps. Now I understand why it is so cold at your place right now. I had a bit of a poke around to see if I could find an obvious flying field, but could not find one. Our field is just ten minutes away from home and it is a really good place to fly. However, we have been given notice to quit, as there is to be a light industrial development on the site. The local council and the state government have promised us another site and we should know fairly soon where it will be. Hopefully not too far from the current one.  I don't know why it is shrouded in such secrecy but I suspect that it might be in case some other sporting organisation would covet it and cruel our chances.
I should be flying today, as it is such a beautiful day but domestic chores have taken priority. [:'(]
Old 12-18-2011, 03:26 PM
  #58  
Keithy
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Default RE: Top Flite SE5 cg

Don't know what went wrong there. I just tried to upload a photo but lost everything. I'll try again.
If you Google 'coolum beach' in Google Maps, you'll see an area to the NW which is labeled 'Experimental Farm'. In the top left of that area, you can see our two runways: E-W and N-S.
This is an old image, as we now have several buildings in the carpark area and covered pitt areas on the carpark side of both runways. What a shame we are being evicted!
I'll try again to attach the photo of my SE5A's maiden takeoff. It is in the Hands of Ken; one of our top pilots. I was the nervous photographer.
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Old 12-18-2011, 07:19 PM
  #59  
Jaybird
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Default RE: Top Flite SE5 cg

Looks like a solid take off...tail is up nicely! I'll have to take a more thorough Google map search to find your area. That's a real shame the site is being taken away especially since you've done all that work to it. Looks like a great, wide open area. One of the clubs I fly with is 20 minutes north, the Kennebec Valley Model Aviators, who have a field on the edge of a farm that we are allowed to use. http://www.modelaviators.org/ The field is in Sidney, Maine. The other two clubs I fly with are south of me, one in Topsham about a half hour away that is in the sort of the same predicament as you with the land for sale, and in Portland which is an hour south. They are on top of a landfill within a few miles of the international jet port so there are restrictions there as well. I think it's neat how the other people on this thread are spread out all over the US and Canada and around the world. I don't imagine there are too many of these kits around. I hadn't even though of looking online until i got my old planes back.

Spent several hours today on motor and fuel system installation. The builder of this kit had routed the exhaust through the fuselage so that it exits near the dummy exhaust stack end on the right side. I'll see how this engine likes it as far as back pressure and heating.

Jaybird
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Old 12-22-2011, 06:57 AM
  #60  
Jaybird
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Default RE: Top Flite SE5 cg

Put it all back together last night so I could check the balance point before mounting the receiver, battery and throttle servo. As the initial question of the thread was the balance point I've just done a quick comparison of the plans and responses. The plans call for half the width of the top wing which would be about 5" (127mm) from the leading edge. Two responses had theirs at 90 mm (3-9/16" approx) and another stated 97 mm (3 13/16" approx). These are 30 to 37mm ( 1-3/16 to 1-7/16") ahead of the point shown on the plans. I don't remember where I had the CG on this plane when I last flew it, but if I went by the plans it may explain why it did not fly well, especially with the smaller engine. I'll get an actual measurement this evening and see where it is. I did weight it last night and it's a whopping 10 lbs. This one is a lot heavier than the one I built, but there is alot more detail and I think the koverall and latex paint are heavier than the colored solartex.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Jaybird
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Old 12-22-2011, 08:15 AM
  #61  
BobH
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Default RE: Top Flite SE5 cg

Nice job on the entire build. For the cg, you add both wing cords together and take a percentage of that. Say both wings are 8 inches. Eight + eight = 16 total. Multiply that by 25% and you'll have a good starting point for the cg.
Old 12-22-2011, 08:21 AM
  #62  
Jaybird
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Default RE: Top Flite SE5 cg

The wings are both 10" chord, so (10 + 10) x .25 = 5"....exactly where it is shown on the plans for this kit. But experience seems to show a point further ahead works better. My small electric Parkzone SE5 is pretty heavy for an electric foamy and a little nose heavy...but flies great. I'm hoping this kit will act the same way. I can always move the CG back after the first flight if it starts out in a forward position.

Jaybird
Old 12-22-2011, 01:50 PM
  #63  
Keithy
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Default RE: Top Flite SE5 cg

What a lovely build! Congratulations, it looks absolutely beautiful. I agree about the c of g. Mine is pretty much as per the plan and I think it is just a tad tail heavy because it tends to porpoise at very low speed. Probably to be considered too, is the fact that mine only weighs 4 1/2 pounds. It is covered with Koverall and painted with household interior vinyl matte paint (one coat did the job). I guess yours has gained a little weight form eating too much oily food. That happened to my Dave Platt Huricane. However, with over 1000 sq. inches of wing, ten pounds is not going to make for any problems. In fact, it will likely be a very stabIe machine. I'd love to see yours flying.
Old 12-26-2011, 05:14 PM
  #64  
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Default RE: Top Flite SE5 cg

ORIGINAL: barzini

Does anyone know the cg for the old Top Flite Dave Platt SE5A kit? Any help is greatly appreciated.
Barzini

Greetings Barzini....did you get a pilot for Christmas? Haven't heard from you in a while since you started the thread and I wanted to thank you for getting it started. It's great to know there are several of these old kits still out there.

I'll be picking up a new receiver this week and should be able to finalize my radio gear. Of course we've got a couple inches of snow now so it will be a while before I do any test flights.

Jaybird
Old 12-26-2011, 07:04 PM
  #65  
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Default RE: Top Flite SE5 cg

Jaybird, I'm sure someone has answered this correctly before, but do not add the wing chords together to find the balance. You need to prop the model up in flying attitude, measure the horizontal distance from the upper wing leading edge to the lower wing trailing edge, then use that as the chord, and balance about 1/4 of this chord back from the upper wing leading edge. Upper and lower wings are similar in area on this model, and this method will give a good safe balance for those first flights.
Evan, WB #12.
Old 12-26-2011, 07:28 PM
  #66  
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Default RE: Top Flite SE5 cg

Here are two photos of my recently maidened (and remaided) SE5a from the CDScaleDesigns kit. The first shows what seems to be a reasonable balance that resulted in a nightmarish maiden flight. The second shows the extreme nose down I adopted for the second much more success flight.

Err on the side of caution!
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Old 12-27-2011, 04:14 AM
  #67  
gabriel voisin
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Default RE: Top Flite SE5 cg


ORIGINAL: Jaybird

I have two of the old kits, but the one in front is a total wreck and the other one is being restored after a crash snapped the fuse in half. I'm very excited to get the the second one back in the air after repairs.

Jaybird
Hey man, you've got a really good flying style.

greetings Matz
Old 12-27-2011, 06:26 AM
  #68  
Jaybird
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Default RE: Top Flite SE5 cg

Gee, thanks....I guess. I do have a lot more planes that I HAVEN'T crashed although my track record with these two aren't that good.

Jaybird
Old 12-27-2011, 04:37 PM
  #69  
Keithy
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Default RE: Top Flite SE5 cg

Hiya, fellow SE5 ers,
I have just returned from a morning's interesting flying.I thought I'd share this with you all, as it follows on from my previous post re. control surface throws. I mentioned then that I thought that more rudder might be beneficial for take offs, so I increased my throw to 2 inches either side, with -30% differential. This made an enormous difference to the way the plane handles on the ground and scale take offs are a breeze. I found that starting off with full right rudder and slowly starting the roll, I was able to ease off on the rudder gently as the tail came up and when close to flying speed, no rudder input at all, so nothing to correct as the plane lifted off. I am delighted with this and wil leave the set up as it is.
I did bring home a broken plane though. Caused by the failure of one of the aileron servos (again). I had about 15% up aileron on the left wing and had to fly on the right pair. Very difficult to doand it resulted in a heavy, somewhat sideways landing. It amazes me to see the the landing gear axle isquite bent. As you all know, this is one heavy duty piece of wire, so it hit with quite a bang. I will not buy any moreof that brand servo. It has stripped a gear, as did the previous one. Too much at stake to risk any more of those.
Hey, Jaybird, Put it on skis!!!
Old 12-28-2011, 06:12 AM
  #70  
Jaybird
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Default RE: Top Flite SE5 cg

Hi Kieth. Very sorry to hear of your damage, especially when it's the result of equipment failure. Was it limited to a bent axle? Glad you were able to find a good take-off technique that works for you. of course everytake-off is different but if you can be prepared for what it might do the chances of success are always better.

We've had a night of heavy rain and warm (mid 40's) temp's so our couple of inches of snow are all gone. It might be possible to fly off wheels this weekend. I try to get a flight in on New Years day along with some of the other guys. It's been different conditions every time. Not sure it will be suitable for a maiden flight though, but maybe and engine and system test.

Jaybird
Old 12-28-2011, 03:13 PM
  #71  
Keithy
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Default RE: Top Flite SE5 cg

Whoops, Lying awake last evening, it occured to me that my previous post was eroneous. For -30% differential, please read -30% exponential.
Good luck with the possible maiden flight Jaybird. I hope it goes well for you. We have the opposite weather problems to you. We are now mid summer and monsoon season, so we get lots of rain and quite often, lots of wind. A calm morning at this time of year is rare. Yesterday was an exception until about 09:30 and because our daughter is visiting from Sydney and wanted to see the model fly, we went to the field at 06:30 and had several flights before the wind rose to 15 - 20 mph. That's too much for safe flying.
As for the damage to my kite, I have not taken the wings off yet, so can't say if there is any other damage but I suspect not. The flying wires absorb a lot of the shock and I think Koverall is a wonderfully strong material, so here's hoping. The bent axle has also broken the glue joint of the balsa fairings but they are wrapped with cloth tape, so really easy to fix. I am now going to replace all of the flying wires with coated fishing trace wire and adjustable links, so that I can 'tune' the tensions properly. I think the method used in the kit instructions is not at all satisfactory and it makes it really hard to get uniform tensions on the wires. Now that I know this model is so nice to fly and looks so good in the air, I want it to be trouble free.
Old 01-01-2012, 09:54 AM
  #72  
Jaybird
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Default RE: Top Flite SE5 cg

Happy New Year everyone...Keith is already on day two by now. We've got a beautiful day out, blue skies, temps in the high 30's. I plan to fly a bit this afternoon as is my New Years day tradition, but the SE5 maiden will have to wait a bit longer. All the radio gear is installed but the throttle servo needs to be set up and before I can run it, I need to fuel proof the paint where the exhaust exits.

Here are a couple of shots outside for the first time since the rebuild started.

Jaybird
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Old 01-01-2012, 01:12 PM
  #73  
Keithy
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Default RE: Top Flite SE5 cg

Happy New Year everyone. Yes, day two here and showery again this morning. Our family and friend left yesterday and after spending last night at the friend's house in Brisbane, they are on the plane back to Sydney this afternoon.
Jaybird:- BEAUTIFUL!! That model has great character having lasted all these years and your restoration of it is just amazing. I hope you can have a movie made of its maiden flight. Mine is languishing in the dugout, awaiting my attention. I have to wait until some things arrive from Hong Kong before I can get to it but having had the sheer joy of flying it, I am going to give it my best shot to get things just right. Ergo, it is worth the wait.
Old 01-01-2012, 01:41 PM
  #74  
John Cole
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Default RE: Top Flite SE5 cg

Jaybird, nice work!! The TF SE-5 just 'looks right'. Dave Platt did a great job on this design. I think it was a bit ahead of it's time, showing us that a true-scale model can fly great if set up correctly.

John
Old 01-01-2012, 06:11 PM
  #75  
Jaybird
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Default RE: Top Flite SE5 cg

Thank you Keith and John, but I can't take credit for the building or painting. Ed Estabroke is a superb builder and craftsman and the plane you see is his work...I just happen to have bought it from him many years ago, flew it, crashed it, gave it away, and now have it back again. He even did all the repairs to the covering. I wish I had taken a picture of what it looked like before he fixed the covering and repainted the repair area...that would be really impressive. I'm sure it will handle well, but I am concerned about how much it weighs compared to the intended design weight. Although I can't find it listed, I'm pretty sure 10 lbs is on the very heavy side. But, not much I can do about it but be ready in the spring. I did fly my ParkZone electric SE5 today in it's honor along with my Seagull electric Extra 300 and old Goldberg Extra 300. I didn't get to the KVMA field until 3 p.m. so I only had time for one flight each. They were all good ones and end of the day was spectacular.

I did get a chance to play good Samaritan on the way home as a car had broken down at the on ramp area as I was coming home and I was able to give them a ride to a gas station for anti-freeze and water and a ride back. The young couple were very grateful...a nice way to start the year.

Rain and wind is expected tomorrow for our work holiday so I'll be cleaning up my work bench and starting on a couple of other projects.

Jaybird
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