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Official Freewing F/A-18C Hornet 90mm EDF Thread

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  • Seems to be alot of questions concerning the BB ( Blue Box) on the Freewing Jets. Most seem to revolve around the F-18. Not willing to take any chances on when and if it fails I went straight to the receiver for all control surfaces. Attached is the wiring I did for the main wings (Ailerons & Flaps ) The Elevator and Rudder I just used Y-Connectors. Click image for larger version

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    • Got the maiden done and a second flight on my F18 today. The 3D printed control horns for the stabilator worked perfectly.

      I am just getting back into the hobby after many years away. It was my first maiden flight since the early 1990's. It was a bit nerve wracking, but the airplane flew well. My first landing was great. The second wasn't quite as nice, but I got back on the ground with no damage.

      I flew the book rates on Low for the rudder and aileron. The roll rate was not as high as I expected, so I am going to use high on the ailerons the next time out. I used the high rates for the elevator.

      I set the CG at just behind the forward wing attachment screw.. right in the middle of the plastic part. I needed about 10 clicks of down elevator trim and a few to the left.

      I babied the airplane on the first flight, and landed at around the 3:30 mark with 60% left on a HRB 6000mah battery.

      I have a Hobby Eagle gyro, but had it turned off for the initial takeoff. After a couple of minutes, I turned it on with a gain of about 30 and flew it their the rest of the time with no issues.

      I think I am going to really love this plane when I get more time with it. It's my 2nd EDF and my first is the Freewing Avanti.

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      • Congrats!

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        • Some more Hornet action! ^^

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          • Quick video from last week when I got about 4 flights in on my F-18 "Tiger Meet", along with a few others. Still having an issue with the flaps. It first started on my other F-18 Canadian after about 25 flights. Reducing the delay did not help. Ultimately, replaced both servos with metal gear servos (not the hybrids) and removed the ribbon cables and connected flaps & ailerons directly to the RX. This seemed to solve the problem on that one, so when I built out this F-18 and did the Tiger scheme, I did the same thing. First 20 flights, no issue with the flaps (thought I was "home free"). Last week, I just couldn't get one flap to deploy while in the air (on the ground, no issue, even while holding the flap to see if the servo had enough guts). Sure flies squirrely with only one flap fully deployed!!! Eventually reduced the delay to 1/2 second and it worked in the air after that, at least for now. So it's not the circuit board but must be something with the servo, either some aerodynamic issue causing a lot of stress on it (although only deploy at low speed) or most likely just cheap servos. If this keeps up, I'll have to swap out the servos to something else, like maybe a HiTech. Hate to spend money on flap servos when you'd think the thing to spend money on is the aileron/elevator servos, but that's where I'm at. Maybe these cheaper servos just get confused with any kind of a delay (had same issue on both B-24's and the Avanti and reducing delay to 0 solved it, but don't like using 0 on the F-18). Any advice on a decent servo to use that would fit easily and not cost an arm and a leg?

            Click image for larger version

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            Hugh "Wildman" Wiedman
            Hangar: FL/FW: Mig 29 "Cobra", A-10 Arctic, F18 Canadian & Tiger Meet, F16 Wild Weasel, F4 Phantom & Blue Angel, 1600 Corsair & Spitfire, Olive B-24, Stinger 90, Red Avanti. Extreme Flight-Slick 60, 60" Extra 300 V2, 62" MXS Heavy Metal, MXS Green, & Demonstrator. FMS-1700mm P-51, Red Bull Corsair. E-Flite-70mm twin SU-30, Beast Bi-Plane 60", P2 Bi-Plane, P-51, Apprentice.

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            • Hi Hugh….Not sure what price point you are looking at, but I’ve had good luck with the MKS HV-69 high torque servo. But, NOTE… there is no reverse option. You’d have to rewire the guts to reverse one. Flying my MiG-29, F-4 and P-38 on this HV-69.

              I elected to not do the rewiring and use a Futaba SR-10 reverser on the MiG. So far, so good with lots of flights in a wide range of air temps….stable position over temp.

              -GG

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              • For the spektrum users out there what percentages are you using for proper throws(rates) for this jet? thanks

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                • Tomorrow we'll have the new Freewing jet announcement... who's hyped? :DDD

                  Here are my finest F-18 flights to date (according to me) in order to celebrate!



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                  • Originally posted by Airguardian View Post

                    Here are my finest F-18 flights to date (according to me) in order to celebrate!
                    :
                    You'll get no argument from me (only instead of your finest, you should say ANYONE's finest).
                    Hugh "Wildman" Wiedman
                    Hangar: FL/FW: Mig 29 "Cobra", A-10 Arctic, F18 Canadian & Tiger Meet, F16 Wild Weasel, F4 Phantom & Blue Angel, 1600 Corsair & Spitfire, Olive B-24, Stinger 90, Red Avanti. Extreme Flight-Slick 60, 60" Extra 300 V2, 62" MXS Heavy Metal, MXS Green, & Demonstrator. FMS-1700mm P-51, Red Bull Corsair. E-Flite-70mm twin SU-30, Beast Bi-Plane 60", P2 Bi-Plane, P-51, Apprentice.

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                    • Help! I just got the new Freewing F-18C today, the grey one painted up with the VFA-146 decals. I have it partly together, but discovered when I hooked up the flaps and ailerons to my Spektrum receiver, some weird things happened:

                      1) The Left Flap and the Right Aileron move together when the Flap Switch (AUX 1) is moved.

                      2) The Right Flap and the Left Aileron move together when the Aileron stick is moved on the transmitter.

                      I traced the leads to the Blue Box, and the leads seem to be plugged in correctly, as they do on my Spektrum Receiver, too.

                      Has anyone had an issue like this on their F-18s before?

                      Thanks for any help on this,

                      Davegee

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                      • Originally posted by davegee View Post
                        Help! I just got the new Freewing F-18C today, the grey one painted up with the VFA-146 decals. I have it partly together, but discovered when I hooked up the flaps and ailerons to my Spektrum receiver, some weird things happened:

                        1) The Left Flap and the Right Aileron move together when the Flap Switch (AUX 1) is moved.

                        2) The Right Flap and the Left Aileron move together when the Aileron stick is moved on the transmitter.

                        I traced the leads to the Blue Box, and the leads seem to be plugged in correctly, as they do on my Spektrum Receiver, too.

                        Has anyone had an issue like this on their F-18s before?

                        Thanks for any help on this,

                        Davegee
                        On the wing connector electronic boards (can be removed via the screws to inspect), have you confirmed that the correct servo leads are plugged into the proper slots on each wing board?

                        Pictured below and with the arrow pointing to it is the electronic board that can be found on each wing. Once removing the screws, you can then gently pull out the board to reveal the Servo plugs that are attached to it. Look at each of those Servo slots to confirm they are plugged in properly.

                        Click image for larger version

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                        Attached Files
                        Instagram: @tcat.rc.creations

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                        • Thanks, T Cat. I had not checked those yet. I’ll do that first this morning. If they are correct, I’ll changeout my receiver with one from another plane just to be sure nothing is wrong with it. I did test every channel earlier, but I think it had been involved in a crash some time ago as there was a small crack in the plastic housing that I fixed with a drop of CA.

                          Appreciate the tip, hopefully that is the fix!

                          cheers

                          davegee

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                          • So this was not a new, out of the box one?

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                            • davegee , if you have the ailerons plugged into channel 2 of the RX and the flaps in channel 6 (or aux1), it should work correctly unless you have the wrong wing type selected in the TX (assume you have both RX & TX being Spektrum).

                              Personally, I'm using the AR637T RX with remote satellites in both my F18's and like that setup. I'm able to adjust the gyro gains in flight with a knob on the TX and I'm able to monitor flight pack voltage that warns me when I need to land. It also shows me signal quality/continuity with frame losses and any holds so I know if my antennae locations are optimal.

                              IMO, this bird flies so much better with a gyro at fairly high gains and balanced further aft of the 88 mm recommended to more like 100 to 110mm. Of course there are some pilots who will remain nameless, live in Spain and fly this one like nobody else can and I think he's pushing 115-120mm balance point, but don't that immediately.
                              Hugh "Wildman" Wiedman
                              Hangar: FL/FW: Mig 29 "Cobra", A-10 Arctic, F18 Canadian & Tiger Meet, F16 Wild Weasel, F4 Phantom & Blue Angel, 1600 Corsair & Spitfire, Olive B-24, Stinger 90, Red Avanti. Extreme Flight-Slick 60, 60" Extra 300 V2, 62" MXS Heavy Metal, MXS Green, & Demonstrator. FMS-1700mm P-51, Red Bull Corsair. E-Flite-70mm twin SU-30, Beast Bi-Plane 60", P2 Bi-Plane, P-51, Apprentice.

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                              • Originally posted by GliderGuy View Post
                                Hi Hugh….Not sure what price point you are looking at, but I’ve had good luck with the MKS HV-69 high torque servo. But, NOTE… there is no reverse option. You’d have to rewire the guts to reverse one. Flying my MiG-29, F-4 and P-38 on this HV-69.

                                I elected to not do the rewiring and use a Futaba SR-10 reverser on the MiG. So far, so good with lots of flights in a wide range of air temps….stable position over temp.

                                -GG
                                Late to the party here - was in the Antarctic and slowly catching up. . . .

                                $43 seems a bit steep for a servo reverser. If you are Arduino savvy you can make one for under $5. The code is simple and the processor timing is crystal controlled so is very stable.

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                                • Originally posted by T-CAT View Post

                                  On the wing connector electronic boards (can be removed via the screws to inspect), have you confirmed that the correct servo leads are plugged into the proper slots on each wing board?

                                  Pictured below and with the arrow pointing to it is the electronic board that can be found on each wing. Once removing the screws, you can then gently pull out the board to reveal the Servo plugs that are attached to it. Look at each of those Servo slots to confirm they are plugged in properly.

                                  Click image for larger version

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                                  Thanks, T-Cat. You were exactly right! the Left wing was plugged in properly, but the right wing had the aileron and flap positions reversed for their plugs. Once I made the change, all flap and aileron movement is now normal. This was a brand new in box kit, so I think the mistake was just done at the factory. Fortunately, it was an easy fix.

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                                  • Question on neutral elevator position on the ground with power applied: I sure didn't see this addressed in the manual, or I could have missed it. But, where should the elevator position be (leading edge up or down from neutral) with power applied? From videos like James flying his F-18C Blue Angels plane, the elevator sure has some nose up trim (leading edge of elevator below the seam on the fuselage several mm's, but I have no idea where to put it, other than a guess. I know they have a drawing in the manual to drop the flap 9.5 mm down for a neutral position, but I sure missed anything on the elevator position for neutral, if it was there at all.

                                    Last, although I didn't see it in the manual, but some like PIlot Ryan in his video advocated for a flap/elevator mix on this airplane, of about 5% nose up trim what he uses. Is this pretty universal among out Hornet fliers out there, or do you use any flap/elevator mix on your planes?

                                    Thanks so much!

                                    davegee

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                                    • Originally posted by Evan D View Post
                                      So this was not a new, out of the box one?
                                      It was a new, in the box kit, of the new grey with the VFA-146 decals already on it.

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                                      • Thanks. When you mentioned a crack I wondered. What you found is what I would have expected too.

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                                        • Originally posted by davegee View Post

                                          Thanks, T-Cat. You were exactly right! the Left wing was plugged in properly, but the right wing had the aileron and flap positions reversed for their plugs. Once I made the change, all flap and aileron movement is now normal. This was a brand new in box kit, so I think the mistake was just done at the factory. Fortunately, it was an easy fix.
                                          You’re welcome . I’m glad it was something quick and simple to fix. With the factories and assembly done by people, there is always a chance of something like that occurring. On each aircraft I get with quick connect plugs, I unscrew the board and check all the connections to confirm they are correct and that all Servo leads are seated properly. It always makes me feel better and I feel it’s part of my duty as a pilot to make sure it’s ready for flight, among the other typical things all of us pilots inspect before flying. It’s worth the little time it takes .
                                          Instagram: @tcat.rc.creations

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