RC Gliders, Sailplanes and Slope Soaring Discuss rc gliders,rc sailplanes and slope soaring in this forum. Thermaling techniques, airfoils, tips, etc

Graphite 2E from Vladimir's Models

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Old 10-22-2012, 12:44 AM
  #26
longsoar
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Default RE: Graphite 2E from Vladimir's Models

I have a question to anyone who used Hobbywing UBEC. How dependable is it?
I decided not to use BEC connector from ESC and separate power feed to the motor and radio.
Since I'll be using MKS servos with a lot of torque that make them power hungry I think 5A UBEC (instead of 3A BEC) will deliver a better performance.
Optima receiver is fed directly from the 3S Lipo battery for telemetry to work (it shows the on-board battery voltage on Aurora 9 transmitter screen and low voltage buzzer will alert me on-time).
Any input regarding Hobbywing UBEC (good or bad) will be greatly appreciated!
I removed a switch from UBEC to avoid confusion with power-on procedure - so now it powers right-up when plugged-in.
cheers,
Mark
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Old 11-03-2012, 12:07 PM
  #27
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Default RE: Graphite 2E from Vladimir's Models

small update. Still waiting on flaps and aileron MKS servos ordered from Hyperflight in UK on October 14 but post office delays in effect and they still not here.
Price is good, but I wish I have ordered MKS servos from US supplier for a little more money.

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Old 11-13-2012, 06:00 PM
  #28
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Default RE: Graphite 2E from Vladimir's Models

Finally, after month wait got my MKS servos. (ordered from hyperflight.co.uk, they sure did mail them on-time, but either Royal Mail or USPS screwed delivery up by hiring a Pony Express, they must have..).
I'll be posting more servo mounting pictures soon.
cheers

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Old 11-15-2012, 03:46 AM
  #29
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Default RE: Graphite 2E from Vladimir's Models

Mmmm,,, yummy. Looks like you are getting all the good stuff Mark.
Still watching here,

Brad
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Old 11-15-2012, 05:35 AM
  #30
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Default RE: Graphite 2E from Vladimir's Models

Finally after long wait I got my hands dirty again!
Did all four servos frames with third ball bearing. When epoxy set I verified - the whole setup is light, rigid and servos are easy to install and remove. Servos just slide-into the third bearing and then screwed to the frames.
As for comparing KST and MKS servos. MKSs work smoother, zero slop, absolutely amazing centering. MKS-es I have do not buzz while KSTs are. One word: AMAZING!
I know what I paid for extra $208 for four MKS-es.
4 KST servos: $96
4 MKS servos: $304
Here some pictures from yesterday's work. I used silicone (Rebound 40 from Smooth-On.com) servo's mock-up with mark-up on it to properly set frames in-place.
Silicone is completely neutral to any epoxy or fiberglass resin so can be safely removed when epoxy is set and it leaves nice servo impression.
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Old 11-24-2012, 09:17 AM
  #31
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Default RE: Graphite 2E from Vladimir's Models

Hey everybody!
Finally, after a long wait on parts (servos) finally project came to an end and She's ready to fly.
Reinforced a bit aileron horns (images attached) by creating a carbon fiber extension which supposedly even-out a load on a copper horn.
Also I used 4-40 rods instead of 2mm supplied.
I just want to add a note on frustrating conversation with servo frames Honk Kong supplier who did send me a wrong parts in the first place, did not bother to hurry-up and replace the parts and was really surprised when I placed a charge-back on a credit card payment. The guy just did not want to understand technical issues and blamed me for stealing his stuff. I offered to send frames back on his penny. Bad business and I lost a lot of time.
Anyways, back to Graphite. Apparently CG came-out right on a money without any extra weights added (110mm from the front of the wing root). With light B40 12S Hacker and 2650mAh 3S LiPo.
I also bought Hitec Optima 9 receiver for Graphite. GoPro 3 Black with 64Gb SDXC card is on back order with B&H Photo.
Hope I can post some good video soon when weather clears.
Cheers,
Mark
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Old 11-30-2012, 01:27 PM
  #32
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Default RE: Graphite 2E from Vladimir's Models

I maidened my Graphite 2E Today!
In short - stunning ship! I'll post YouTube ground video later-on. For now a bit on how it flew.
At the beginning it was trimmed nose-up a lot - had to take care of it.
Power was right what I expected - not a space ship but has enough power. All power components were not even warm at the end of the flight.
Controls are very very responsive and thermaling flap settings help center thermal very easy and fast (yes, I caught a thermal on a first flight).
Butterfly is very effective (I mean very-very effective) but I have to work-out the correct elevator position for it (apparently 35% down was not enough).
I did not try everything on a first 10 minutes flight but I fell in-love with this ship. It is responsive, forgiving, fast, great soarer with big speed range and very small turn radius while thermaling.
Money well spent!
Some Aurora 9 settings:
Speed: Ailerons - 0.4, Flaps - 0.6 - creates smooth control and greater soaring aerodynamics.
I'll post YouTube link once video is uploaded.
Cheers,
Mark.
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Old 11-30-2012, 02:25 PM
  #33
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Default RE: Graphite 2E from Vladimir's Models

This is a video of maiden flight:
www.youtube.com/watch
Sorry, I took it myself with GoPro camera (not even a GoPro 2).
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Old 12-06-2012, 09:35 PM
  #34
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Default RE: Graphite 2E from Vladimir's Models

Flight day highlights video:

www.youtube.com/watch

low voltage buzzer could be heard on take-offs while battery was freshly charged and ballanced - I take it cold weather is to blame. It goes away when battery warmes-up..

A few notes on how the glider performs:
Glider is very stable
Has great speed range and stunning penetration
It acts beautifully pointing to the thermal and help center it very fast (if I can get a hang of it every time)
Graphite's sink rate is very small
Very easy to handle in the air.

It reminds me of transition from Blanik, which is a great glider to Jantar Standard 3 and then from Jantar to LAK-12 (open class). Every time I switched - it was like a day and night in performance.
I flew mostly a Samurai glider (which is very easy to handle and very responsive, great for dirty job of taking pictures from the air and it is cheap as dirt) and getting into Graphite was a big transition as far as performance goes.
Enjoyning every minute flying it!
cheers,
Mark.

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Old 12-13-2012, 01:04 AM
  #35
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Default RE: Graphite 2E from Vladimir's Models

Good on you Mark!![8D]
I can not believe you caught a thermal in below freezing temperatures.
I'll have to post a vid to show you how mine climbs.

Have fun and keep flying in that beautiful setting.

Brad
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Old 12-13-2012, 02:18 AM
  #36
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Default RE: Graphite 2E from Vladimir's Models

Hey Brad!
You will not believe it but in my real soaring times we did catch stronger thermals in a Winter times, and more of them than in a Summer.
This is due to the fact that surface in a Winter is cold and sun creates high contrast in temperatures real fast on a cold days. Therefore thermals are really strong. Many times I did catch 2-3m/s on final flying Blanik at about 30-50 meters and once was permitted to keep-on flying.
Although I have to say - Graphite has very small sink ratio in addition to other things and it grabs just about anything it passes. Flaps and all control surfaces are really effective. Properly sized tail fin and ruder keep glider straight and in full control.
In fact it's my first RC glider where I use "stick and rudder" very similar to a real glider in thermals spinning it with the rudder and control banking with ailerons, when more often than not they go in opposite directions .
Negative flaps let it penetrate air real easy. I just love this bird! So much fun to fly! It sounds like a real glass ship in the air - no extra noise.
Can't wait to get my hands on back-ordered GoPro3 Black to put it onboard.
cheers,
Mark
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Old 12-15-2012, 05:33 PM
  #37
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Default RE: Graphite 2E from Vladimir's Models

Fun flying at RAMAC flying field at Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area
www.youtube.com/watch


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Old 12-17-2012, 05:38 AM
  #38
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Default RE: Graphite 2E from Vladimir's Models

Have a question and any input from experience would be appreciated:
My batteries (two of them) started acting-up. If you saw Graphite videos - on lunch I have a voltage drop (and transmitter buzzer goes off) which becomes normal once battery warms-up under load in the air.
After last flight day I plugged the batteries to balance and one showed 4.20/3.98/3.96 V in cells. I rejected this battery and ordered a replacement.
I useBlue LiPo 3S 2650mAh from Hobby Partz. Bought it 8 months ago and did not use them that much. Always took care of them, never over discharged. How can battery go bad that fast? I had about 20-30 flights on it.

Also when I power-up the first time on the battery - motor needs to spin for a few seconds before it gets a full power. I wonder if it is a battery or an ESC?
Thanks for your input!
Mark


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Old 01-06-2013, 05:21 AM
  #39
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Default RE: Graphite 2E from Vladimir's Models

FInally, got my GoPro3 Black and after trying to figure-out how to install it on a glider came up with solution of making a new cockpit cover.


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Old 01-11-2013, 04:56 PM
  #40
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Default RE: Graphite 2E from Vladimir's Models

Inflight video GoPro3 Black.
Video settings:
1080p 60fps, Protune ON, WB: Auto

www.youtube.com/watch


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Old 01-11-2013, 07:17 PM
  #41
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Default RE: Graphite 2E from Vladimir's Models


Quote:
ORIGINAL: longsoar

Inflight video GoPro3 Black.
Video settings:
1080p 60fps, Protune ON, WB: Auto

www.youtube.com/watch


Link just takes you to youtube Mark, not your video.

Brad
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Old 01-12-2013, 05:00 AM
  #42
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Default RE: Graphite 2E from Vladimir's Models

Sorry Brad,
Trying again - this is URL
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XnI5Pwu4EtI
and posting link again

[link=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XnI5Pwu4EtI]Graphite 2E Video[/link]
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Old 02-21-2013, 08:46 PM
  #43
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Default RE: Graphite 2E from Vladimir's Models

Just bought the digital scale (just in time) to weigh the glider.
It turned the following numbers:
Total all-up weight: 2350 grams

By parts:
Left wingtip: 312 grams
Right wingtip: 313 grams
Center wing portion: 697 grams
Stabilizer: 53 grams
Fuselage: 662 grams (no battery)
GoPro3 with canopy: 88 grams
Battery: 225 grams

Wing surface: 64.5 sq. dm
Wing loading: 36.4 grams / sq. dm

Aiming for the Maxa 4 by Vladimir's Model. It seems to be on-sale right now at [link=http://www.hyperflight.co.uk/products.asp?code=MAXA%2D4E&name=maxa-4e]HyperFlight UK[/link] for only $1,994.13
I tracked it and usually it is over 2.5 grand
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Old 03-11-2013, 02:23 PM
  #44
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Default RE: Graphite 2E from Vladimir's Models

Had a great flight day Yesterday. Thermals were very strong and did soar with a hawk from about 60 feet of altitude.
Unfortunate part was - my GoPro ran out of juice and stopped recording. Missed the greatest footage. GoPro3 battery lasted about 32 minuts.
Decided to feed the power to a GoPro from the main battery. This way I'll know exactly how much power left on-board VIA Aurora's telemetry.
Done some googling and on powering GoPro3 via USB. Took apart one of the MiniUSB cables and made a hook-up to a Rx with servo connector.

And this a YouTUbe video on assembling my Graphite and launch: [link=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Np7vV0kVJYQ]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Np7vV0kVJYQ[/link]
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Old 03-14-2013, 07:37 AM
  #45
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Default RE: Graphite 2E from Vladimir's Models

Great results Yesterday!
After more than an hour of flight time - came back home and GoPro's battery was at 100%. I did not notice any big drop in voltage on a main battery during the flight. Although I had 3-4 lifts during 40 minutes flights - thermal activity was great in the morning.
So, USB connector to the main battery system worked great!
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Old 07-01-2013, 09:54 PM
  #46
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Default RE: Graphite 2E from Vladimir's Models

Some pictures I took with my old and dependable Canon PowerShot A720 IS using CHDK time lapse:
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Old 07-02-2013, 11:21 AM
  #47
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Default RE: Graphite 2E from Vladimir's Models

and a YouTube video:
[link=http://youtu.be/GNR__wy5Q18]Graphite 2 Timelapse Flight June 21 2013[/link]
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Old 07-14-2013, 04:59 PM
  #48
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Default RE: Graphite 2E from Vladimir's Models

Just looked at this glider yesterday. I might pick it up next weekend from the hobby shop. The owner is holding on to it for me. Would you buy it again, knowing what you know about it now? I will be going direct drive with a Mega 22 motor, took my TopModel Fantasy almost vertical on 3S, and I know it fits as I tried it in the fuselage at the hobby shop.
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Old 07-14-2013, 05:43 PM
  #49
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Default RE: Graphite 2E from Vladimir's Models

Hi japan3d!
Yes, for sure I'd buy it again. It has a bit higher than Supra wing load ratio. Otherwise it's a great glider! Very responsive to controls (takes a very little input). Straight-forward in setup.
In fact I am considering to buy another one for Drone application or I'll try Supra.
On landing it almost stops in the air. Very fine craftsmanship, all parts fit perfectly. It sounds in the air silky smooth which means aerodynamics are great too.
As far as power unit goes, unless you really fly competition - you can use power calculator and deduct 25-40% and it will fly just beautifully - it'll give you plenty of flight time to soar. As all gliders it takes a little power to fly.
Hope it helps.
cheers,
Mark
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Old 07-14-2013, 05:53 PM
  #50
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Default RE: Graphite 2E from Vladimir's Models

Not into competition, except club fun flys. The model is made very well. And feels a lot lighter then the Fantasy 3.2.
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