Landing is Inevitable

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The big plane project: Glow to electric conversion of the Phoenix Models Yak 54

It's been a while since I have built any plane and this next undertaking is the biggest project ever for me. Having seen the Phoenix Models Yak 54 in action at Ave 5 and Civil Defence Field, I'm sold that this plane flies really well. And for the price, it's a bargain. I've only seen the guys fly the Yak 54 glow-powered. I on the other hand, will be attempting an electric conversion. The easy part will be electrifying it, the difficult part is to get it to perform as well if not better than the glow counterparts. That is a challenge I'm taking with my stride. A huge ass electric plane; BEST!

First on the to do list; remove current covering and replace with a new scheme. I'm not really a big fan of the original scheme as it make the plane look like an oversized toy. The orange, red, blue and white is a no go. Pity, it was so close to looking very scale except the orange spoiled it. I'm also hoping that by re-covering the plane with a not-so-nitro-resistant covering, I can actually save some weight too. Another reason is that I need to remove some wood on the plane and I have to re-cover it anyways. By removing the covering I will also get access to hard to reach places in the fuselage to stiffen it up with some carbon.

Removing all the excess wood was somewhat a relaxing experience. Though contest balsa weighed closed to naught, every gram saved will help to reduce the overall weight of the plane. Generally an electric conversion will usually be a tad heavier than its nitro counterparts. So wherever I can save a little weight I will.

Check out the "Before" and "After" pictures. The fuselage, especially, is beginning to look like Swiss cheese. Mmmmm, taste-tay!





Marking out the areas where some wood will be removed from the formers.

Check out the lightening holes. I think the plane could have saved a shitload of weight if there weren't too many doublers. But it was originally designed for nitro.

Well, that's all for now. It's gonna be a massive project for me. So I reckon there'll be more posts for this build.

Signing Off,



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