30 May 2011

Staying with micro laser cut

Such was enjoyment in building of RadicalRC.com laser cut Micro Stick, it was decided to have the next "mini table in front of the TV" project lined up, so shot off an order to Speedwing for their Dart, only three inches bigger in wingspan than the Micro Stick, at twenty inch wingspan.

As with the Radical kit, the laser kit cutting is amazingly accurate and a treat to assemble. I would suggest the back to basics ticking off the numbers on the excellent instructions, as I managed to omit the ply floor for the battery bay and resorted to super glue reinforcement there. It was a pleasure to plug in the fin and then find it exactly 90 degrees, such is the accuracy of laser cutting in comparison to the old "die crunch" style. Notice the flatted carbon tows added at the intersection of the carbon rods - once the soaked in super glue had dried, the frame felt so rigid it could be used for burglar guards!

The laser cut compartment lids fitted immaculately and this kit is so complete that it even comes with tiny hold down magnets for the battery compartment and all the pushrod hardware. The elevons are even pre-bevelled, for goodness sake!

The biggest surprise was in completing the model, to find the CG magically spot on half way between the two recommended extremes, without a single gram to adjust. I decided to go exactly with the recommended throws, with ailerons surprisingly at 3/4 of elevator throw but perfect in action, the plane completely solid and on rails, with twinkle rolls still available at the extremes of my own 30% expo on both elevator and aileron.

The only instruction I erroneously did not completely follow was that the craft does not need reflex of any kind. I set up with the elevons dead in line with the top surface, leaving a teeny reflex effect. Simon Nelson did the launch throw honours and the plane tried to do huge loops every time the throttle was pushed wide open, boot fulls of down trim soon sorted that and the plane was enjoyed for one of the best buzzes I have enjoyed in electric flying. Having found the transparent blue and solid white so vision effective on the Micro Stick, I did err in tweaking the combination here to checkers, which simply camouflaged the tips and there may be a retro fit to solid white.

Whilst ARF kits are a boon in the modern age, it is fun to revert to the builder of the model pride in assembling these excellent value, inexpensive gems. Foamies are becoming "so last year" ;-). Next up may be the Speedwing Dart XL or those RadicalRC.com built up space invader style wing options, after the laser cut mini Z22 wing twist sloper.


Rodger said...

Awesome job on the blog! I enjoyed reading your thoughts on the SpeedWing Dart. It is one of my more fun planes to fly. If you like the 20" Dart, you'll REALLY love the Dart XL. They fly very similar, but the Dart XL is so much larger, that you can fly huge aerobatics with ease (much easier to see).

Have fun flying the SpeedWing Dart!

Tigger said...

Hi Dave,

Would it be possible to provide the details of the powertrain; motor, ESC & battery?


davedurbs said...

Hi Lionel

It is a 4200kv 400 size Eflite inrunner on 3cells and 4.1x4.1 prop although, as Sy says, a 370 inruner at 3600kv would probably be more appropriate - the vertical twinkle rolls are fun but munch the 800ma Turnigy, so I will change to the 1100ma Hyperion. No heat issues.



davedurbs said...

Oops, ommitted esc. The no name brand 40amp esc was duff up front so using the Hobbyking 20amp esc which seemed fine, although flown in short bursts (or the damn thing gets away ;-) The plan spec is a range of 70 watts to 200 watts.