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GuanLi Icon A-5 (from HK)

lobstermash

Propaganda machine
Mentor
#1
Well I finally decided to get this thing up and running... This came from HK as an impulse purchase a few months ago, but Canberra is a cold place and I've had more fun planes to fly.

The kit is an ARF, delivered for around $60. I had the 'stock' 2410 1200kv GuanLi rubbish special. This motor probably had less power than the brushed motor they used to supply, and weighed a hefty 70g. I've salvaged the useful bits from it after it couldn't propel either my (late) p51. I've got matching non-branded servos on the ailerons, a slowish digital servo on the rudder and another random one on the elevator. I've installed a 20A ESC from a friend's wrecked Skysurfer and a trusty 2208 1400kv, teamed with an 8x6 prop. I had to fiddle a fair bit to make and secure a motor mount, which was originally designed for a stick mount.

All the reviews said you need to cut the step to about 10mm, so I did that before hitting the water. The weather is warming up (28C today!) and I was going to maiden today but found I didn't have enough electrical tape to put around the canopy for waterproofing.

This thing looks good, and I haven't even applied the decals (want to see if it flies first). I'll see if I can get the maiden on film. Thanks to the Flitetest boys who've inspired me to get wet and wild with this hobby...
 

lobstermash

Propaganda machine
Mentor
#4
Damn, still not much luck with this thing. Couldn't resist a maiden today. Had the wind blowing behind me, so I put the plane on the water, motored a way and turned around. The plane lifted off pretty quickly, but flipped on the sudden release of drag. I went around to the other side of the lake to retrieve it. Drained the tiny bit of water out of it, tested everything and it was fine. For I tried to lift off again.

Couldn't get it off the water for ages, then finally got some air. It didn't stay in the air for long, but I managed to stop it from tipping. After several more attempts, I brought it in and pulled the floats from the wings off. It dragged a wing for a minute, but ailerons corrected it. Into the air it went without too much trouble, and it was stable enough, but given how much elevator I was giving it I was worried about stalling, so I gave it a little down... The plane plunged back in, and a wave of water went over it. In spite of the tape around the canopy, enough water got in to short out the ESC. I picked up the plane, went back to the car in disgust. Inspecting the damage, the ESC fried its shrink wrap off. But it was dry again, so I fired it up... I can't believe it, but it's still working fine! Went home anyway, as the battery had done enough by this stage. However I'm pretty confident that the next flight will be a lot more successful.
 

lobstermash

Propaganda machine
Mentor
#5
OK, so I took it out this evening. Dead calm. Which isn't a good thing, as there's increased surface tension. Also, as I'd get up to speed for takeoff one of the wings would drop and stuff the whole thing up. I guess I need a little wind to provide the extra lift and break the surface tension a little. I gave up and reluctantly hand launched. In spite of my apprehension, it flew like a big baby. Not at all pitchy, but drops a little on the roll. I put it up nice and high and trimmed it out, then enjoyed flying it for a bit before bringing it in for a landing. To add to the drama however, the BESC cut power on my turn in to land. It glided fairly nicely until it got about 2m off the water and tip stalled, but I recovered and plopped it down, a little hard, but safely enough. The issue was then getting the plane back to me. With very gentle throttle, the battery let me bring it back to my feet.