• This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn more.

Icon A5 480 Size 960 kV Motor Upgrade

#1
Alright so here is the deal, I'm planning to buy the Icon A5 BNF and I watched the review on Flite Test. I want more power to do crazier tricks and to go faster. But I do not know what would be a good upgrade for the 480 960 kV. Also, I don't want motor that could practically rip the wings off either. Any suggestions would be great, Thanks! :)
 

Craftydan

Hostage Taker of Quads
Moderator
Mentor
#2
UAG,

laudable goal to upgrade this engine, but lets look at what it would take for you to pick out your next motor so you know "why" and maybe even "how", for the next plane.


- Find your limits:

What are your limitations? Since the A5 airframe is picked, the motor mount is limited and the airframe dictates the prop can't lengthen by much (or at all).

- Use the limits to define a plan:

unfortunatly, since the prop is the more significant limiting factor, you'll need to consider that first. To get more power into the air, from the prop side, you need to either:

1. lengthen the prop
2. slow down the pitch (more pull, less max speed)
3. turn the prop faster (as long as you don't turn it too fast).

well the first two are out -- you can't make it longer and you want both more pull and faster.

Now option 3 makes things tricky. If the A5 was using a 2 bladed prop, it would be easier . . . but it's not. Spin it too much faster and the 3 blades will be eating the prop wash of their nearest neighbor -- robbing you of power. that means we need to switch to a 2-bladed prop spinning *MUCH* faster.

- Use the plan to define your search

What you have is a low KV motor swingin a 9" prop, So, what you are looking for is a medium-to-high KV motor capapble of higher wattage/amps. It'll also need to swing a standard 9" prop or smaller (at max wattage), with a similar motor diameter.

Specs for the park 480 1026kv (no specs for the 960) show a *burst* current of 28v, which gives you a rough guess for absolute max wattage on a 3S -- around 350W max. So you're looking for something in the 1300-1700 kv range, that can pull between 350-400w or 28-32A continiuos, has a 35mm diameter, and works well swinging a prop smaller than 9".

Quick glance at hk's site popped up:

http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/__18157__Turnigy_Aerodrive_SK3_2836_1500_Brushless_Outrunner_Motor.html

Dead center of medium Kv, a bit smaller diameter, but higher wattage. I've bought a smaller aerodrive before, and liked it, but YMMV. Don't like that choice, you know what you're looking for!

BTW, keep in mind, you swing a prop faster and the same pitch will yield a higher speed (proportionally). So at 1300kv, a 9x6 will give you the same speed as the 9x8 at 960kv -- a 1500kv motor will give you more on 9x6!

I blazed through that pretty fast -- if something doesn't make sense or doesn't look right, feel free to ask (I've been wrong befo . . . actually, frequently.)
 
#3
Dan,

Excellent write up on how to approach the question! I think that much of that thought process is taken for granted by seasoned builders, which probably learned it the hard way.

Here is the same motor Dan linked from the US Warehouse which is delivered much quicker than the international warehouse: http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/...Brushless_Outrunner_Motor_USA_warehouse_.html

The stock three blade 9x8" prop will technically work on the 1500KV motor as for as wattage and current limits go. If you find the performance isn't what you'd like, then get a two bladed 9x8E Master Airscrew prop and give it a whirl. While the two bladed prop is technically less power, it may give you more performance at the higher rev range.
 

Craftydan

Hostage Taker of Quads
Moderator
Mentor
#4
ohh! good call on the North America warehouse -- didn't think to check that.

And good point about the prop, but UAG, if you choose a Master Air Screw prop, make sure you get the "electric-only" series (the "e" in 9x8e) and balance it! MAS props are really rugged but I have yet to get one balanced off the shelf -- some bad enough to damage the airframe.
 

tramsgar

Senior Member
#5
Maybe a contra rotating motor? That'd take that nasty torque away that constantly dips the left wing when you taxi on water.

Other thing you could do is to reduce the weight: carve out the cockpit, remove the nose weight and push the battery more forward. In any case you need to reinforce the tail around the bend (where the main spar stops) by inlining carbon strips or rods or it will flutter at high speeds.

It's quite fast as stock, actually, but it does not have an aerobatic airframe. Despite this, I've done some "crazy" stuff with it, most basic manoeuvres can be done, excluding knife edge =).
 

tw-ryder

Well Grounded
#6
With the BnF falling in price recently on Horizon Hobby's site, I approached my LHS (affiliated with HH) to inquire if their price would match. Yes they will, as well as the new low price on the DX6i. Bought the radio, waiting till the weekend for the plane.

And the results of this thread! :D

Crafty Dan, thank you for the most concise explanation of common sense upgrading I've ever read!
 

Foam Addict

Squirrel member
#7
Very nice! while I have only built a Sea baby (awesome plane by the way) I loved every minute of it. Water flying is so much more fun than regular flying. I hope you have a great time with the Icon.
 

Craftydan

Hostage Taker of Quads
Moderator
Mentor
#8
Pardon any misquote, but Burt Rutan has repeatedly said the natural reaction to landing a plane in water is to giggle.
 
#11
UAG,

laudable goal to upgrade this engine, but lets look at what it would take for you to pick out your next motor so you know "why" and maybe even "how", for the next plane.


- Find your limits:

What are your limitations? Since the A5 airframe is picked, the motor mount is limited and the airframe dictates the prop can't lengthen by much (or at all).

- Use the limits to define a plan:

unfortunatly, since the prop is the more significant limiting factor, you'll need to consider that first. To get more power into the air, from the prop side, you need to either:

1. lengthen the prop
2. slow down the pitch (more pull, less max speed)
3. turn the prop faster (as long as you don't turn it too fast).

well the first two are out -- you can't make it longer and you want both more pull and faster.

Now option 3 makes things tricky. If the A5 was using a 2 bladed prop, it would be easier . . . but it's not. Spin it too much faster and the 3 blades will be eating the prop wash of their nearest neighbor -- robbing you of power. that means we need to switch to a 2-bladed prop spinning *MUCH* faster.

- Use the plan to define your search

What you have is a low KV motor swingin a 9" prop, So, what you are looking for is a medium-to-high KV motor capapble of higher wattage/amps. It'll also need to swing a standard 9" prop or smaller (at max wattage), with a similar motor diameter.

Specs for the park 480 1026kv (no specs for the 960) show a *burst* current of 28v, which gives you a rough guess for absolute max wattage on a 3S -- around 350W max. So you're looking for something in the 1300-1700 kv range, that can pull between 350-400w or 28-32A continiuos, has a 35mm diameter, and works well swinging a prop smaller than 9".

Quick glance at hk's site popped up:

http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/__18157__Turnigy_Aerodrive_SK3_2836_1500_Brushless_Outrunner_Motor.html

Dead center of medium Kv, a bit smaller diameter, but higher wattage. I've bought a smaller aerodrive before, and liked it, but YMMV. Don't like that choice, you know what you're looking for!

BTW, keep in mind, you swing a prop faster and the same pitch will yield a higher speed (proportionally). So at 1300kv, a 9x6 will give you the same speed as the 9x8 at 960kv -- a 1500kv motor will give you more on 9x6!

I blazed through that pretty fast -- if something doesn't make sense or doesn't look right, feel free to ask (I've been wrong befo . . . actually, frequently.)
So what you are suggesting, CraftyDan is to put a 2 bladed, 9x6 prop onto say a 1600kV motor? But, there is an issue. The stock ESC is rated at 30A and you said a decent motor would draw about 32A continuous. Would I need to buy a new ESC or could I just keep the stock ESC cool?
 
Last edited:

Craftydan

Hostage Taker of Quads
Moderator
Mentor
#12
So what you are suggesting, CraftyDan is to put a 2 bladed, 9x6 prop onto say a 1600kV motor? But, there is an issue. The stock ESC is rated at 30A and you said a decent motor would draw about 32A continuous. Would I need to buy a new ESC or could I just keep the stock ESC cool?
I'm not saying the stock ESC is sufficient -- it's sized for the motor you have and you want something bigger. If HH did their job right sizing the ESC, you've made better than even odds you'll need a bigger one.

Frankly, I didn't know what shipped on the A5, but yes, a 30A ESC for the power level you're looking for is in risky territory -- You'd need a watt meter to tell for sure. There was a lot of slop in those numbers, so you might still be okay, but If you want to get flying right away, you're better off getting an ESC matching your selected motor and replacing both as a sized pair.
 

tramsgar

Senior Member
#13
The stock ESC on the A5 get very hot when flying casual with the stock motor. Cooling is just about none-existent. I suggest you upgrade the ESC if you change the motor.

I also recommend you try the stock setup before upgrading. It's not underpowered, really.