Construction / tuning:
As this is my 4th Twin Star that I build and convert I may say that I did not
needed the instruction manual anymore ...
This time it was my goal to create a plane as a video carrier that was
able to fly a very long time and carry 3 or 4 flycamone cameras. The flying
weight achieved is 300 g below the producers weight indications.
Although I used the recommended servos I changed the stock motors to
small Himax brushless outrunners. Actually these are the Merlin
(Multiplex) motors (set included also the controller, BEC & folding props).
I came to this conclusion as I do own and fly the Merlin and with this
power pack vertical climbs at 400 g flying weight are possible at flying
times around 10-12 minute with a 850 mAh 3-cell lipo. Note:
Of course vertical climbs were not the goal for this Twin Star conversion,
but the flight time, the plug and play system and the tested reliability
were! So I invested in these mini-motor sets.
In addition I added the following changes:
Removable elevator wing for transport:
This always bothered me with most of the Multiplex planes that storage &
transport is hindered by the fixed (glued) elevator wing. So I gave it some
thought and came up with this - very simple solution:
- 2 cm of 8mm dia carbon (or GFC) rod piece
- a piece (in my case a 2 cm dia round one) plywood
- 6 mm dia nylon bolt (55 mm long)
- nob where the bolt is screwed in
Before fixing the rudder I put on the elevator (with double tape), then I
drilled a hole from the bottom through the fuselage & elevator wing
approx. 2 cm from the very tail of the fuselage. First with a small drill, then
with a larger one so that the 8 mm CFK rod could be inserted and glued
in place with super glue.
Next I drilled a 8mm whole into the plywood piece (or similar) for the nob
where the screw goes in. I glued the nob in place (epoxy) and then I cut
out the plywood in a round shape, just a bid bigger then the nob.
Next I carved out some foam on top of the elevator wing (where the screw
comes through) and glued from the top the plywood-nob into this space.
Careful with super glue - it must not run into the nob because otherwise
the screw will not come through.
Once all is dried, glue the rudder in place, let it dry well. Now you can
insert the elevator wing - but before cut off a small piece of foam at the
end of the elevator wing, where it inserts into the fuselage at an angle of
approx. 45 degree.
The insert and extraction of the elevator wing needs a bit of "force" but
that is no problem. From below you can fix the wing with the screw - this
works 100 % to my satisfaction and filghts have proven so.
After the building of the plane I decorated it in the colours of Styria, a state
of Austria where I lived my entire childhood. Graz is the capital of it and
my rc career started there. So I dedicated this plane to this great place!
On the first weekend in October 2010 the first flight was made. I went
with all my (by now) four Twin Star 2 planes to the field and unpacked.
First I tested of course this new plane.... Battery hooked up... pre-flight
check... range test... all OK... ready for take off.
On full throttle I felt how these little motors tried to pull the plane from my
hands so I just let go... and...a great 22 min flight followed. And believe it
or not, I recharged just 1250 mA in the battery.
The plane is not fast, but quiet and flies very stable without vibrations.
The folding prop reduce drag during motor off times and as such
increase flying time!
On the other hand, due to its "underweight" of 350 g compared to the
stock setup (Multiplex recommendation) this plane can be flown very
slow .. you may almost walk with the plane, which makes short field
landings easy when flying in new territories and using it for AV of FPV
So, in a nut shell, this plane project turned out to be a full success and
surpassed my expectations.
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