08 September, 2006

Spirit Conversion

Well, I got sick of not being able to fly my Spirit 100. Our powered club just doesn't have anyone who is interested in sailplanes, and there isn't enough room out at the field for a full sized hi-start. I have been spending a lot of time on little electric planes, and a friend convinced me to go ahead with an electric conversion of the Spirit. Much of the work was already done for me here . All I had to do was just tweak it to my desires.

I had an E-Flite 400 brushless outrunner at home (great motor), and while this motor doesn't quite provide the 50 W/lb desired for a sailplane motor, I thought that it would be ok, especially with others' experience. Besides, I didn't want a hotliner, I just wanted something that would climb a few times on a charge.

So, my initial pass at equipment looked something like this:

1. Brushless 400 motor with folding prop.
2. Thunder Power 1320 LiPos in a 3S-2P configuration running at 11.1 V and 2640 MAh
3. A separate 1000 MAh Rx pack to provide the amperage to run the servos and give endurance for long flights
4. My Futaba R149 (it needs some test flights before it gets put in the Tsubame anyway)

I did some weight and balance calculations, and it looked like I could get all this mounted for roughly the same weight I have now. The practicality of that might not be so true. I also have to find a way to provide some airflow through the motor/battery compartment for the ~2 minute power climbs.

More to come...

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