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FT Versa on steroids + Crash photo

j4mmin42

Junior Member
#1
I wanted a fast wing- a really fast wing.

So I went ahead and purchased the FT Versa, assembled it, and built it with the following:

-AR400 receiver

-Plush 80A ESC

-NTM 3536 1800KV 875W http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/uh_viewItem.asp?idProduct=26486

-Turnigy 9018 MG servos http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/uh_viewItem.asp?idProduct=36916

-Turnigy Nano-Tech 4S 2200 35-70C

-8x6 speed, 8.5x6P Master Airscrew, 7x5P, 7x6P

I set the Versa up in pusher mode. Basically, I followed the build video almost to the letter. I was going to add a spar, but the halves felt so strong I figured it would do fine without it...for awhile. ;) One of my biggest mistakes was using hot glue for some of the crucial joints, instead of my normal choice of Gorilla epoxy.

First flight was at my local sportsmen's club, where we have a 1kx300 foot runway, plus large areas fore and aft of the field for recovery. My choice of prop for the day was an 8x6. While it maidened well and flew great, I learned why you're supposed to use "pusher" style props on pusher configs...as the torque of the motor threw the prop and cone off mid-flight.

The next day, I took it out with an 8.5x6 prop on it, looking to push the envelope. It flew awesome! The speed was insane, probably the fastest plane I've seen in person except for a few true turbine craft. I wish I had a radar gun that day. Anyway, the biggest problem on this flight was that I overloaded the motor and battery (but not the esc...these plush esc's are unbelievable!)...I am guessing it was pulling well over 90 amps at full throttle. The battery was super-puffed, but cooled down and charged correctly.

-Today, I swapped the prop out for a 7x6P. It seems to be the best choice for my setup...batts get warm, but not hot, and everything else stays nice and cool. I flew a couple nice and fast passes- everything seemed to be going well. After I brought it in and swapped batts, I put it back up, and on the next pass, I heard the prop speed up without adding throttle, which confused me. I didn't think anything of it, and punched the throttle. About a second later, the airframe split in two and the plane exploded into pieces :D

After getting everything back, I found the culprit: The prop I used had split in two, and the vibrations split the entire airframe down the middle...hahaha. All of the electronics and even the batt and motor (both of which had separated and landed about 100 yards from the airframe) were all in great condition.

versa 1.jpg

Lessons learned: If you want to go over 100mph, choose a quality adhesive. If you run pusher setups, use pusher props so that the motor spins in the right direction. And, most importantly, don't ignore the sounds coming from your aircraft...lol.

Secondary to that...I have to say that the structural integrity of a properly assembled Versa is amazing, even without carbon reinforcement or spars!

Thanks Flite Test, I'm sure I'll be building another one soon, and repairing this airframe to take a smaller setup as well.
 
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#2
I think you can use any prop as long as the prop members are facing forward and the motor spinning in the right direction. Maybe next time try building Corrugated Plastic Versa Wing that I made. You can use your gorilla glue or glue gun. Also you might not want to cut out for the motor mount I've used "L" bracket aluminum plate and attach the motor to the bottom of the wing. IMAG0604.jpg
IMAG0605.jpg
it is super strong and has no aluminum bar or carbon fiber. It weighs in at 39 ounces and with all the components and 2 2200 3S batteries.
 

j4mmin42

Junior Member
#3
I think you can use any prop as long as the prop members are facing forward and the motor spinning in the right direction. Maybe next time try building Corrugated Plastic Versa Wing that I made. You can use your gorilla glue or glue gun. Also you might not want to cut out for the motor mount I've used "L" bracket aluminum plate and attach the motor to the bottom of the wing. View attachment 13015
View attachment 13016
it is super strong and has no aluminum bar or carbon fiber. It weighs in at 39 ounces and with all the components and 2 2200 3S batteries.

Ah, that's some good advice. Never tried the Corrugated plastic, so that might be the way to go...

As far as the motor mount- with the 3536 I have, it really needs to be placed as far forward as possible. So that would be a tough decision to make either way- add weight (batts), or lost integrity...

And as for the props- as far as I can tell, the pushers are designed to spin the opposite direction as normal props, which "self-tightens" the cone instead of loosening it. In other words, the motor spins in the same direction as it would if facing forward with a conventional prop. After losing one cone, I think I'll stick to the pusher props for these hi-speed setups hehe. ;)

Thanks for the advice, that CP construction is a great idea!
 
#4
ya you are right about the prop. but I don't use the bullet cone tips. I use lock nuts for big motors
nylon_locking_nut.jpg
only because my local hobby shop sells normal prop for $2.00 but $5.00 for pusher.
 
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xuzme720

Dedicated foam bender
Mentor
#5
Tape on the foamboard is remarkably resilient as you can see. I basically treated mine like a Singapore Post package and it still managed to fly at the end. This is a new setup I was trying; 2830 900Kv spinning an 11x6 cut down to 9x6 on a 30a ESC. Pulls about 15Amps/175watts but is way more torquey than I expected, as you can see. Plus I had high rates selected by mistake without realizing it for a couple of the launches, flipped the switch during the throw...

Should be up now.
 
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#6
At least it looks like you were having fun! It sure must be strong and well built! Nice job.
Not sure you are old enough to remember the old song about the Ant and the Rubber Tree plant!
Have a nice day.
 

xuzme720

Dedicated foam bender
Mentor
#7
I think the song is actually a little before my time, but I have heard it!

I was having fun, even though I couldn't believe it was taking so many throws to get it in the air. I was just thinking about it too much, I guess, until I finally stopped thinking and just threw it with almost full throttle so it didn't torque over on me. There was a lot more flying after the camera shut down, too. Oh well, she's still in one piece and will fight another day!
 

j4mmin42

Junior Member
#9
I resurrected the overpowered Versa! Seeing as it flew so well, I decided to just make some "improvements" and run it as-is:

-First thing I did was to chop the crash damaged area out of the middle. I took about 2 inches from each wing half, so the whole wing is 4 inches narrower now.

-I then forced a 3mm hollow CF rod into the lower halves. It sticks out a bit, and might even rip thru the paper eventually...but the tape seems to be preventing that so far.

-For securing the wing halves, I went back to the Gorilla epoxy. Same with the engine mount and ESC. I also hot-glued a batt strap in the front above the batt bay. I did some hot glue fillets in some areas on the main seam, just to be extra-sure it was securely on there.

-The CG changed when I shortened the wing. It now rests about .5 inches back from where the old CG holes are.

-The wing no longer takes any prop bigger than 7 inches. If I wanted more prop, I would need to chop the elevons past the horns.

I flew her today and she still flies great! It torque rolls a bit, unlike the first build, but hey, that's what 900 watts will do...after I trimmed it up that went away. This thing still flies like it's on rails! The noise it makes is pretty extreme, A few girls were out with their parents practicing soccer about 500 feet from the field, and they were screaming when I punched the throttle...oops... (I never fly anywhere close to people, just to be clear- especially with a plane this fast). ;)

Pics:

20130906_213657.jpg 20130906_213641.jpg

Sitting next to the wing is a second motor, an NTM 2836 3000kv. In retrospect this is the motor I would've wanted to use, but I'll be putting it on another wing (maybe a Versa?) soon enough. Should be even more speedy, although maybe not as "punchy" as the 3536 1800.