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Make Bixler 3 more powerful

#1
Hello FliteTest Community!

I am Jonathan and i just bought my Bixler 3 which is my first plane. After some starting difficullties because of a bad CG and and some trimming i managed to fly and land the plane without doing damage. What i realized was that the bixler 3 is extremely tail heavy with the little 2200 mah 3 s lipo which caused some light crashes. To fix that problem i mounted my gopro to the wooden conopy which gave the plane a really good CG but made it also quite heavier. Because of the added weight the Bixler flys really slow and doesnt want to climb very high nor fast. I have to fly it at full throttle nearly all the time to hold the altitude which gives me a flight time of only 10 minutes. I am now thinking of buying a 4000 mah 4s lipo to give it more power and to get some weight in the front. Another alternative i saw on Andrew Newtons video on youtube is to put another motor with a larger prop in it. What do you recommend me doing, without spending to much money? Do i have to buy a new motor ESC battery combo? BTW i bought the bixler 3 PNF which means it has a 20 A ESC.
Thanks in advance,

Cheers!
 

nhk750

Aviation Enthusiast
#2
That's weird, I have a Bix 3 that is stock, except for the esc which I installed a bigger one, and it flys great with a 2750, 3s battery. I'm nose heavy with a full blown fpv setup so I had to add 35 grams of lead to the rear. But, I get 15-30 min of flight time and it is so floaty that it doesn't want to land. There are videos out there of guys installing bigger motors, but so far I don't see the need. Mine is pretty slow, but it climbs great.
 

rockyboy

Skill Collector
Mentor
#3
Welcome to the Forums! :D

Before spending more money on it, let's first check to make sure the propeller is installed with the small numbers on the blade facing forwards (I put a prop on backwards just last summer and cursed the poor performance).

Next recalibrate the ESC - to do this, take the prop off, turn on your transmitter, put the throttle to maximum, and then plug in the plane battery. When the ESC stops beeping after a few seconds, put the throttle all the way down. Then wait for the extra beeps to stop. I had a plane I bought two years ago that performed so poorly I was ready to replace the motor until I did this recalibration - it's a great performer now and one of my favorite flyers.

If these two steps don't work, let us know and we'll help you with the next step.
 
#5
Thank you! I tried installing the prop with the numbers forward and that seems to be the problem. At full throttle it is pushing way harder than before. I can imagine that this will solve the problem with the flitght times as well when i dont have to fly with full throttle all the time. Next flight i will check the ESC but so far i had no problems. Do you have an advice for a battery? when flying without the gopro the plane is super tail heavy. I can image the extra weight of a 4000 mah 3s battery would balance the plane pretty good when flying whitout any gear on it.
 

nhk750

Aviation Enthusiast
#6
The Bix3 is designed for fpv use, so without the gear installed it will be tail heavy. I use a Turnigy nano-tech 2650mah 3S 25~50C Lipo Pack w/XT-60 and have gotten up to 30 min of flight time, unloaded, with gliding on thermals and throttle management. Easy 15 minutes of flight time with fpv gear and throttle management. I'm usually around 25% throttle or less when cruising around and don't think I ever use full throttle. Get some lead weights and I just tape them on the tail or the battery depending on what I'm doing.