Freewing Mirage 2000C-5 80mm EDF (A tiger by the tail!)


Posting Elsewhere
I’m posting this here after recently seeing the aftermath of a failed maiden. I feel that to have kept this known gross misinformation in the manual concerning aileron throws and balance for over 2 years shows utter contempt by Freewing and/or her agent (MotionRC) for their customer. Should someone get hurt as a result of the misinformation in the manual, it would constitute criminal misconduct.

I’ll start with my initial on line post.

This Delta needs some changes!

I purchased this Freewing Mirage 2000 over two years ago from MotionRC as an ARF kit. Motion RC did not have the Kit Plus option at the time. As with all modern military aircraft the camouflage makes tracking these models very difficult for these 50+ year old eyes! Low visibility gray works!!! On the ground I do like the two tone French camouflage. But as I have to see the model in the air to control it military paint schemes are not appropriate. Luckily there're Mirage 2000s that have been painted in many "Tiger Meet” paint schemes. I’ve chosen to paint mine in the 2004 Tiger meet scheme. The bright yellow, orange and green will make the model pop in the sky, well if one is looking at the top side of the model.

Much to my horror I’ve found the Freewing does not have, nor have they found a paint processes that allows their paint to adhere to the base material of the model very well. This is not only a problem for Freewing but is an issue for all manufactures of EPO foam models. I have yet to find a masking material that will not lift off the OEM applied paint! The best I’ve come up with is to use “Frog tape for delicate surfaces”. And then to lift off the mask (Frog tape for delicate surfaces) I have to warm the mask with a hair dryer, warm only don’t get it hot or the EPO beads will expand.

With all the masking and repainting issues I was having I was shocked to find that I had spent over 12 man hours just to get some color on the model. As this is a foamy I told myself there is no point trying to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. It will never look great up close, that isn’t the point of a foam model. So I assembled the model to fly even with some of the tiger strips missing.

As I mentioned earlier I’m using an ARF kit as my starting point, I'm using the Freewing inrunner fan housing with Neu1410/2Y/SE 1850Kv motor and Jet Fan rotor. I’m also using Freewing branded servos. Batteries are Revolectrix 435 series 4600 mAh at 620 grams. Flight testing has reveled some major control issues, predominately with the aileron roll rate. As spec’d and as set up in the instruction manual, the full span control surfaces offer far too much aileron deflection for any hope of controlled flight. Limiting the servo motion at the transmitter results in a large loss of servo resolution and power. This is NOT desirable under any condition. And is a greater concern with the recommended small 9 gram economy type servos than come with this model, as these are NOT of the highest quality nor are they digital (to be clear, they are adequate for a foamy).

With the servos set up to give the desired elevator response one needs to turn down the aileron command input by over half (48%) that of the elevator movement. This is a very bad condition if one hopes to maintain any kind of servo resolution for aileron control.

The manual failed to mention that with delta wings there needs to be much more down elevator movement than up elevator movement. This is because the elevator is reflexed (airfoil) for a positive pitch moment (stability). To fly level inverted the elevator needs to move a great deal more in the “downward” direction to effect the needed reflex in the inverted position. For a balanced feel between up and down on the elevator stick I had to add 150% more to the servo's downward end points in the transmitter menu. Otherwise I had to hold over 3/4 forward elevator stick just to maintain inverted flight.

In my case I moved the push rod one hole closer to the servo axis, for a servo arm length of approximately 7 mm. This still allowed a bit too much up elevator movement. I had to electrical limit the high rate elevator, not the best solution. I plan to slant the servo arms rearward to set up the much needed elevator differential (mechanically). Unfortunately this will result is reversed aileron differential. I will have to address this electronically within the transmitter programing. The proper solution would be to split the wing trailing edge into dedicated surfaces (elevator and aileron). I don’t know why Freewing didn’t go this way. The cost of 2 servos would only have added to the manufacturing cost by about $5 usd. (The 80mm Freewing F-5 has twice as many servos, so servo cost isn’t the issue)

Flight performance is exceptional for a thick winged foamy at 6,000 feet altitude. With the above mentioned power set up the model was drawing 92-90 amps. (My Freewing F-5 with the upgraded Freewing inrunner is drawing about 84 amps [73 amps inflight]). In straight line speed the Mirage 2000 is the fastest of the 80mm Freewing jets. But with the thick foam wing the speed is still in the sedate 100 plus MPH range. I did notice some instability in roll as the aircraft would rock about 2 degrees at a rate of about 4 to 5 oscillations a second. This would be a perfect place for a gyro but with the low resolution analog servos recommended and the poor mechanics of the linkage the true benefit of the gyro might not be realized.

I find that the best balance point is 3mm ahead of the rear most recommend. (This point is found when all three wheels lift off the ground at the same time, none of this upside down desensitize (dampening) stuff). Delta wings are more limited in range for proper CofG. The range given in the Freewing manual is far too wide! It needs to be cut in half! I have found that best CofG to be at 523mm froward from the aft end of the nozzle. With a delta wing it is best to be a bit on the tail heavy side. With a nose heavy delta winged ship, landing speeds are just too high!

Even balance towards the aft end of the Freewing's CofG range I have to cary 1mm of up trim (measured at the widest part of the control surface and against the aft fuselage fairing). From the same point my control surface movement is as follows:

16mm up Elevator
22mm down Elevator
9mm up Aileron
8mm down Aileron
Rudder all I can get. With the low rate set at 40% to control the take off roll and to dampen the high speed taxiing.

Along with the Delta wing mix I have resorted to using one more mix. There is a strong downward pitching motion with the gear extended. This is a result of both a forward CofG shift, but and more likely from increased drag added below the wing. I mix in 8% up elevator when the gear is extended.

As has been hinted to earlier, EPO makes a horrible material to make a scale model from. Particularly so with darker models often typical of military paint schemes. This is because EPO is very unstable when it come to any kind of heat. I don’t know what environment Freewing of MotionRC fly in but I fly in the comfortable dry high desert of Colorado with the temps around 25°C. I’m showing the cockpit of my Freewing Mirage 2000. This heat damage was as a result of the model being exposed to sun light for about 5 to 6 minutes. The was the time it took me to install the battery, taxi out to the flight line, fly for 2.75 minutes, land and taxi back. As you can see the EPO beads in the cockpit look more like pop corn than anything else! also the darker blue gray areas are starting to alligator (early stages of EPO instability, expansion). Its a bit late for my cockpit, but I’ve cut the floor away to try to give the cockpit some ventilation. I also use did this for clearance of my voltage telemetry sensor. I’m also showing the clearance pocket I made in the aft part of the cockpit/ battery hatch to clear the battery connectors.

Just to be clear EPO is fine (when engineered properly) for trainers and light colored models (white, yellow etc.). But for scale models the surface finish and stability issues, make EPO wholly inadequate. If purchasing an EPO scale model it would be best to think of it as a sport model, not a high fidelity scale model.

With the poor flight control issues (really this can be traced to a poor manual) and the fact that EPO foam is not a durable material for a scale model I’d have to give the Freewing Mirage 2000 a 2 star rating. With some corrections to the manual it would really be a strong 3 star model.

Friends don’t let friends fly foam, well not scale foam models,

BTW; The tiger paint schemes does show up well, even if only on the top side! While I do enjoy my Freewing Mirage 2000. The kit as sold by Freewing and marketed by MotionRC is not ready for the masses. The manual needs a lot of help. And Freewing needs to aim the control system for computerized radios, not entry level radios. This model is not suitable for beginners or even moderate fliers, as such it should not be crippled by a singe control surface wing.


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Posting Elsewhere
After doing some more flying and research I’ve come to the conclusion that the 2° oscillation I’ve noticed may not be as a result of aerodynamic forces (tip vortices). I suspect that most of this issue is as a result of the servo and their control geometries.

Now what annoys me is that there is no technical data on MotionRC’s web site indicating what these 9 gram servos are (from a performance perspective). I as a customer wish I knew what the Freewing servo was rated at. FMS does this on the servo case. MotionRC has failed to supply me with this data (they claim they don’t know).

I’d like to ask if anyone knows what the performance data is for these Freewing servos. And if you can legally state the performance I’d like to know, prior to purchasing what I hope are upgraded servos.

I’m thinking of trying the Bluebird BMS 210 servo. Love the torque of 3.1 Kg-cm @ 4.8v. But it is on the pricy side at around $20 USD for a $200 foamy. (With these servos I’d have added 20% to the cost). It is also on the heavy side 16grams and it has a coreless motor. I don’t like coreless motors in high vibration areas (Ducted Fans)*

Now I’ve had real good performance and life from these E-Max servos the ES090MD as my replacement for OEM 9 gram servos. But at only 2.6 Kg-cm (2.3 Kg-cm @ 4.8v) I’m not sure I’m actually gaining much over the stock Freewing servo. I think the Freewing is closer to 1.5 Kg-cm maybe 1.8 Kg-cm

* Now as the servos are held captive in a foam wing, fan vibration might not be the issue it was in the days of old. Coreless motors mean faster response times, are there is less mass starting and stopping the motor (no iron core).
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Posting Elsewhere
I’ve been in discussion with MotionRC about my findings with the Freewing Mirage 2000C-5.

It is with a heavy heart that I have to report that MotionRC really has no intention of offering the customer superlative customer service. Nor are they true to their posted words. They have refused to post my honest review of the flight characteristic of the Freewing Mirage 2000C-5. The review is basically a condensed version of what I posted here. They claim it is too technical and that they want to confer with the OEM. Beside they claim there are no other reports of overly sensitive ailerons.

I for one don’t understand how a review can be too technical. I also wonder what blinders they are wearing. ALL credible review of the Freewing Mirage 2000C-5 where the reviewer actually flew the model, state that the aileron motion is far too great. Often stating that the amount in the manual is twice that needed. Even their own sales video mentions the problem in the moderator is screaming cut the ailerons down to 40%. An addendum to the manual should be a no brainer!

It looks to me that they want you to have the great customer experience by being a great customer, purchasing your second Freewing Mirage 2000C-5. And to have a successful maiden with the lessons learned from the crash of your first Freewing Mirage 2000C-5.

I’ve asked that they be true to their word and post my review. This is to help perspective buyers have a fighting chance at a successful maiden. And to try to rebuild their reputation as a customer focused organization

I also asked that they add an addendum to the manual and web site sales page warning of the aileron control issue. I understand that with this request for an addendum that they might want to confer with the OEM or even their own test pilots as to what value to publish for aileron motion on the maiden flight.

Really it is a fun model once the errors in the manual are addressed.

Unfortunately MotionRC really has shown their hand.
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Posting Elsewhere
Am I out of line to ask that MotionRC/Freewing publish data that gives the pilot a fighting chance at having a successful maiden flight?

I wrote them asking for corrected data. It had been 2 years since I purchased the Freewing Mirage 2000C-5. In that time I've given them my findings as to what works great. I did get a response, but much to my surprise is was their sales guy. He said that; "Yes, the aileron roll rate was a hair raising experience". Then he tried to up sell me a gyro. The correct path is to lower the aileron throw not sell the customer a gyro!

To the management of MotionRC, it isn't just me. Look no further than your own video crew!

Even MotionRC’s own "Pilot Ryan" is saying through out this whole video, 40% dual rate and 40% expo. Not sure what radio he is using but again he is saying cut down the aileron throw in half, at least!

I found this video by a guy that has more flight time on Mirages than Dassault, Criss Larry. Ok, model Mirages
His experience seems to mimic mine very closely. Love his quote at around the 6:30 mark, Criss Larry “Good luck with that”

I’m at a loss as to why MotionRC is so reluctant to correct the data in the product manual. Its been over 2 years since they started to carry the Freewing Mirage 2000C-5. To not give their customer proper set up instruction is just inexcusable even very dangerous should a model deviate from controlled flight on the maiden and crash into the pits killing somebody.

Horizon Hobbies has been very quick to correct issue in their manuals. I point the Cog issue in the Carbon-Z Yak 54.

MotionRC WHAT GIVES? Do the right thing and protect your reputation and the investment your customers made in you and your products. Publish the correct set up parameters for the maiden flight of the Freewing Mirage 2000C-5. Come on its been 2 years now!

Even at 7mm this unfortunate customer had issue!

I've given these guy (MotionRC) almost 2 years to give us a sane response to the aileron throw issue. I've come to the end of my tolerance for corporate stalling.

MotionRC, Please, please do the right thing and add an addendum to the manual with the corrected aileron throws!


Posting Elsewhere
MotionRC really has fallen from the position she held only 2 years ago as a firm offering superlative customer service to a firm one would only patronize if one had no other option. I now fully understand why FMS signed up with Horizon Hobbies as the sole importer into the North American market. I truly hope Freewing can survive the gross error they made in offering MotionRC sole distribution rights in North America.

It was this superlative customer service from MotionRC 3 years ago that turned my around from the rabid anti foam ARF modeler I was, to now having to admit 80% of my flyable fleet is foam. It all started with their disclaimer of Dynam products. They in red letters said that while Dynam products might not be the best they were of great value. This admission that a product line had issue was very refreshing to me. That I actually bought some Dynam kits. And sure enough they are second tier both in the systems supplied and in their packaging. But with the upfront disclaimer I knew what I was getting and was very happy with the Dynam purchase from MotionRC.

Now if one is looking for technical support (what I think of as true customer support, not 3 hour turnaround on a shipping order) from MotionRC you will be treated as if you are asking for superfluous information!
And told to “Follow the manual, regardless of the errors”! After all it will give MotionRC the opportunity to sell you a replacement.

I need to be clear, the Freewing Mirage 200C-5 is a pussy cat to fly if set up correctly. (No need for that expert label give her on their sales page). With her huge wing area she is very forgiving, dare I say trainer like, but with a twist. That is she goes where you point her. This actually makes her easier to fly than a trainer! She is far easier to fly than my Freewing F-5 and a lot faster to boot!

Bottom line is get the Mirage 2000C-5 but avoid getting it from MotionRC if at all possible! All they want is to sell you a gyro and a new (second) airframe!


Posting Elsewhere
Reading through these post I see where a bit of background on how a delta wing is made stable might be useful. With a conventional airfoil there is a stabilized that controls the negative pitching moment of the airfoil. In a flying wing and/or delta wing the wing itself must provide stability in pitch. This is done with reflexed airfoils and/or wing twist. This results a a low pressure area below and aft of the center of pressure that balances the pitching moment of the wing.

The designer at Freewing has chosen the reflexed airfoil approach. This is fine, but what a lot of folks [including a major stake holder, owner(s), at MotionRC] fail to understand is that to fly inverted this reflex needs to be re-installed in the airfoil’s profile to be in trim inverted. It is this need for reflex in the airfoil that results in delta wings needing so much forward stick when flown inverted. You might have noticed that most delta wings exhibit a strong barrel roll when trying to execute an aileron roll. This is because unless you are really willing to push the elevator stick forward, a lot, you are performing the roll with a lot of up elevator offset in place. I hope you can see from the drawings attached why the elevator control surface of a delta wing needs so much elevator differential movement when referenced from the upright neutral trim position. It is needed to overcome the trim offset.

A note on the center of gravity is in order. The further aft you place the center of gravity, narrowing the margin of static stability, the less offset trim (reflex) is needed. This means that just like a conventional aircraft a delta is easier to control as the center of gravity is placed further aft. And just like a conventional aircraft as you move the center of gravity aft you don’t need or want as much elevator control throw. I’ve found that the Freewing Mirage 2000 flies best with the center of gravity place at the rear of the indicated range found in the manual. If placed in the forward range it is very difficult to raise the nose of the Mirage 2000 to effect a proper delta wing flair. The result is that you have to land far too fast, damaging the retracts or other parts as you slam into the ground at a high rate of speed, both vertical and forward speed.

Maybe that is why Freewing and MotionRC don’t want to revise the manual, its errors help with part sales. As “Deep Throat” (Mark Felts) said; “ if it doesn’t make since, FOLLOW THE MONEY”.

All the best,

How does one control the placement of uploads, the last picture should be the first?


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Posting Elsewhere
To maintain the servo resolution and power over the full range of the elevator surface deflection the servo arm should be biased aft 35° to 45° as shown. Since most radios don’t have an elevator differential mix, it is best to accomplish this offset in the trim offset menu of the transmitter. Also since the elevator often needs more control movement than the ailerons I like to increase the servo’s movement to around 100° to 110° for the elevator input. This can be found in the servo set up menu of most radios. And as most Delta’s don’t need as much aileron throw one might want to us a lot of expo to tame the aileron response.

You don’t want any aileron surface differential in the ailerons as this will result in a lot of elevator coupling. If setting up the elevator as described above you will have a lot of reverse aileron differential from the mechanical set up of the servo arm. This is where the aileron differential menu in your transmitter comes in. To negate the mechanical differential in the elevator linkage you have to add something like 70% plus differential to the aileron channel of your transmitter. What you want is the same amount of up aileron as down aileron from the upright neutral trim position. If you have a more advance radio you can extend the “downward" aileron travel limit as you add more down elevator input. But that level of programing is beyond the scope of this thread.

* I need to make it clear that I’m not well versed in the “Master/Slave” mixing concept of most Asian radios. My background in radio mixing is based on the Multiplex surface oriented mixes (object oriented mixing).
BTW, the OPEN TX programing found in the latest Fr Sky radios is very much like what we had with the Multiplex radio. If you are in the market for a new radio with a very powerful mixing architecture give Fr Sky with the OPEN TX a good look.

All the best,


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Posting Elsewhere
I need to acknowledge when a firm is moving in the right direction, all be it so slowly.

MotionRC has finally put in writing that the ailerons are too fast if set up per the manual.

That blog post is in error as the aileron throw should be 25% to 35% of that throw shown in the manual. Not turned down 25% to 35% from that found in the manual. Again recall their own pilots in their sales video screaming turn down the ailerons to 40% of the throw in the manual. 65% of throw is still way too fast for a maiden flight.

This notice of over controlling of the ailerons should be posted on the Mirage 2000's sales page in red. Not hidden deep in some MotionRC blog.

It is good to see MotionRC moving in the right direction, even if it is a half hearted attempt. :mad:

All the best,
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