Lee's Hobby Shack

Hobbico Flight Star 40 ARF / EP

WING AREA: 62" length, 700 square inches
MOTOR: Jeti Phasor 45-3 DD, Jeti BL controller, UBEC
PROP: 12x8E
CELLS: (14) Sanyo 1900SCR NiCd (Two 7 packs)
AMPS: 30-40 (turns 40 amps, FT, on (16) cells)
RADIO EQUIPMENT: (2) Futaba S-148 servos, (2) Hitec HS-56MG servos

A friend of my wife's who lives in our neighborhood had this plane sitting in her garage for about 8 years.  After several comments to her that I would love to "take it off her hands", she finally gave in.  The tape-like covering was removed (very aged).  I'm pretty excited about converting this to electric flight. 

My father built one of these kits.  I flew it a couple of times....until I crashed it <grin>. 


08/31/04:  Not a good test flight.  She taxied well on the runway but right before I began a high-speed run the receiver died.  For 2 hours we tried to troubleshoot the problem.  Even worse, while the plane was in the pits on the workbench, the motor kicked in and tore into my wing leaning against the table.  Pulled one of the ailerons right off.  Luckily, no one was injured.

The Hitec Electron 6 was yanked and a new Hitec Supreme 8 was picked up at Cy Fair Hobbies.  Still repairing the aileron so it'll be another week before she gets off the ground.

Hitec responded to my Email about the Electron receiver.  I'm sending it back to them for testing.  Let's hope it doesn't turn out to be my transmitter!

07/18/04:  The covering is complete.  A Hitec 85MG servo was installed in the nose to control the nose gear.  It seems to have enough torque to control it.  All that is left are:  1) installing wing servos, 2) mount battery tray, 3) new nose gear mount to lower height -or- reshape wing gear to sit higher with larger wheels, 4) program aileron/flaps, 5) hot air exit hole, 6) glue wingtips, and 7) find the CG.

07/08/04:  The bottom of the wing has been covered in black.  The top will be covered in gold.  This was done to create enough contrast in the sky when the plane is flying.  Covering on the fuselage is complete along with the tail surfaces glued on.  I picked up a nose gear from the LHS since the original was missing.  I believe my servo up front will do the trick on steering it.  Not sure how much weight that's going to add to the nose.  I have no idea where the CG is right now so that should be a fun step when we get there.  Up on the scale, the fuse & wing (no gear/servos/rcvr/batteries/motor) came in around 40 oz.  Not bad.

If I were to guess, I'd say I'm 80% done.  Hah!  80% done on a "90% completed ARF".  That's sad.

 - PHOTO: 

07/07/04:  Finished covering the fuselage and gluing on the stab.  There wasn't a lot of surface area for the fin so I built up some corner braces (see photo).  Things are progressing nicely.  One idea I have is to place a mini-servo in the nose to control the nose gear.  This will keep me from running a pushrod through the battery compartment.  I'm not sure if this is a 'good' idea because of the amount of torque normally placed on the nose gear...and the large hole I have to drill...but that's what I'm going to do.  <Pht!>


07/01/04:  Finished the tail pieces and covered some of the fuselage.  The wing was also repaired but still needs the aileron servos installed.  The ailerons were already glued into the wing and I didn't feel like prying them off to put new hinges on.  One problem with that is one of the torque rods won't come out.  I'll have to saw it off with the dremel tool.

Still not sure how I'm going to install the batteries.  I would love to have them removable but the CG may not let them fit that far forward.  I have TONS of space under the wing to place them and that is currently my plan of action.  Sure, I'll have to pop off the wing each time but who cares?  The only people who'll complain are those who have removable batteries....and Pat (ask me later). 

Oh yea...didn't mention that after I put the motor mount on...I forgot about down/right thrust.  The firewall is 90 and the mount needs to lay flat against it.  Hmmm...I wonder if that'll be a problem..??


06/30/04:  TOYS!!  Wowsers...the motor came in today.  Incredible service those guys at Hobby Lobby.  I couldn't wait to get her mounted and tested.  Pushing the envelope, I installed my (16) Sanyo 2400RC NiCd pack to get some numbers.  At full throttle, she pulled 40 amps.  Around half, she pulled 24 amps.  The 12x8 prop "feels" like enough motor for this plane.  It's not 3D ship so I just need enough to get me out of a jam.  Heck, on (8) cells, it seemed pretty good.


06/30/04:  Elevator is covered.  The color scheme looks really nice...especially since the wing tips are navy blue and they match the monokote color exactly.  The only problem I may have is the gold covering.  It's pretty old stuff and a couple of times it lifted off the balsa pretty easily.  I bumped up the heat a bit and stuck it to it. 


06/29/04:  A friend of my wife's had this model stuck up in her garage for almost 8 years.  Her ex-husband was 'working' on it and when they got divorced, he left it there.  I've been hinting to her that I would love to "take it off her hands".  On Saturday, she drove up to my house and had the plane in the back of her truck.  "Happy Belated Father's Day".  It was never completed and some parts are missing.  No biggee....it'll be fun!

My little hands started to work on  removing the tape-like covering right away.  I regret not taking a photo that would have shown you how aged the material was.  The sticky covering held on quite well.  I was surprised how long it took me to remove it.  (side note:  The tape stuff used on my Hangar 9 Solo Strike came off "in flight".  It had nothing on this Hobbico covering!)

Until the plane progresses, the photo shows it free of it's tape covering.  The monokote scheme I'm planning to use is Navy Blue on the fuselage and Gold on the wings.  I'll probably toss Black on the bottom of the wings to help distinguish it in the air.  I'm not one to apply fancy stripes...but I may try a few with this one.  Maybe a little Navy Blue on the center of the wing or wing tips. 

Overall, the plane is in good shape.  However, I am very glad I opted to remove the covering.  As you can see in the photo, three of the ribs are missing in the wing because they were 'crushed' inside the covering.  You couldn't tell from the outside....but they just broke into pieces when I peeled the stuff off.  It shouldn't be too hard to make up some replacements. 

I ordered a Jeti Phasor 45/3 from Hobby Lobby on Sunday.  After reading several threads in RCGROUPS.COM, I found a few people using these motors in direct drive to replace their .40 sized glow engines.  I'm still no expert with gearboxes yet so I wanted something simple.  The big concern is the weight.  It's heavier than my AXI 4120/18.  I'm not sure how far back I can push the batteries and still gain access to them through the front hatch.  If this doesn't go well, I may opt to simply position several cells on the floor of the fuselage and charge them from the outside.  It's not the 'recommended' option, but to get the CG just right without adding tail weight, it may have to do.  Most will say that it doesn't allow you to quickly swap out batteries....which is very true.  But, I have so many other planes in my arsenal, I can always charge this sucker and fly something else.