|Going Electric - With Electro Flyer!|
January has come and gone and it has been a dreadful month for modelling as far as the weather goes, just the PC to keep spirits alive! Once again I have been working away, 3 weeks in Kent have kept me away from things so this months offering is a bit scarce. I have yet to finish the Pfalz but will bring you photos as soon as I have. I have tested my new acrylic paints and they seem fine on both bare and painted foam - great coverage and no ill effects on the foam so I will complete the paint job on the Pfalz as soon as I get chance.
I have spent what little time I've have had, clearing out the garage for the next stint of modelling and to optimise space my models are now suspended on the ceiling. A great way to keep things neat! My I/C models hang vertically, nose up, on the wall for the sake of the engine and last years gunge!
As a way of review I thought I would cover a great old favourite of mine, the Goldberg Mirage, or Carl Goldberg Mirage 550 Trainer to use its full title. This model is a super introduction to electric flight and you really can't go wrong with it. The kit costs about £100 and includes the 550 motor, basic switch harness, spinner, prop, wheels plastic cowl and spats - well worth it! This is how the picture on the box looks:-
At 54" span and an all up weight of about 50oz it is all traditional construction and quite light with a good wing section for really nice flight characteristics.
It builds easily and very traditionally, using light materials (ply and balsa) and is strong enough to be covered in Solarfilm as mine is (I actually picked mine up second hand and ready built). It uses a Speed 550 type motor sitting on wooden bearers held in place with elastic bands (and a wiring tie) and is powered with 7 cells (anything from 1700's to 2400's is ample). Radio access is easy with the wings removed (they are held on with bands), makes for easy maintenance. Some people opt for ailerons but they are not really needed for this type of plane. Three channesl - rudder, elevator and a proportional speed controller are just fine. (Rather than using the flight switch).
She goes together as a very smart model and here is a view to give an idea of the fuselage.
For ease of use there is a cover on the bottom, which allows removal (changing) of the batteries without having to take the wings off, this makes lots of flights very easy - and you will want to keep going with this great little machine.
Using a reasonable BEC speed controller she ends up quite light and with an 8x4 prop and 2000mah cells she has ample power as a trainer or a fun machine. Being fairly rugged and well built she can handle a fair bit of abuse and as I have mine well set up, I just have loads of fun with her - loops and rolls are all easy, just stick the nose down and get a bit of extra speed first.
I am not currently a supplier of these models but I want my columns to be fair and objective and cover what is out there and available. I want to help potential electric flight modellers get an insight into the sport - and not to use these articles as a basis for projecting my own kits and motors - and in view of this I wish to extol the virtues of the Mirage. I felt it was well worth a mention.
The Mirage flies absolutely beautifully. An easy straight take off from a gentle hand launch, build up a bit of speed and then a good climb out rate - she would probably thermal on a good day and with a bit of breeze you can hold her nose up and climb whilst stationary relative to the ground without any major tendency to drop a wing. Even if she does, the recovery is easy and smooth.
For a bit of fun stick the nose down, build up more speed and loops and rudder/elevator rolls are easily possible. I have even had her flying inverted! She glides very well so practice you landings otherwise she will be well past you before touch down. You can slow her right down for a very gentle touch down without any real worries.
All in all a lovely model that is a pleasure to fly for those reasonably calm Sunday afternoons, (Not many of those about at the moment! Ed.) when you just want a nice relaxing and easy plane to fly around and have fun. A great trainer, first electric model or just for the more experienced who want that bit of fun and relaxation now and again rather than trying to push yourself too hard with doing it all "Just Right".
OK. What's to come - when I have time! Well, I intend to do a review of my own Cell Rat, the 61" span Aerobatic electric kit for Team Gear Sport Twins and I have also just bought the ultimate in silent flight - Charly is his name. A 15" high radio controlled parachutist. He's great!
He will be dropped from under the Radio Queen (Team Gear Scale Twin Powered) - once I have made a new undercarriage to give him plenty of room - from about 300 to 500 feet. He has a proper parafoil chute and is radio controlled via his moving arms - left, right and flare (with a bit of radio mixing) for full control during his decent.
I intend to test him first from my local hill as I understand he makes a great slope soarer and I want to make sure he is OK before I drop him from that height! I also intend (when and if I get time) to make him a backpack using a speed 400 motor and pusher prop so that he is fully self-propelled - the ultimate powered parachute?
Right then, sorry this has been brief, but I just haven't been around to do any more this month. The weather has also been awful - just can't wait for the summer!!!!! I will try and do more next month to bring you my latest developments in electric flight and innovation, although it does look like another 2 weeks in Kent is on the cards first!
I am please to say that I am just completing a Team Gear Triple Motor (the latest Quad design with 3 motors) to send to Australia - I will try and bring news and photos of its use when I get them. More next month hopefully, keep in touch if there is anything at all you want me to cover or review but bear in mind I will only have weekends to answer e-mails so do bear with me for a reply.