With the summer months well underway with the hot weather and lots of wind and thermals abounding. It made me want to get the Easy Star back out. This was a project I had started a couple of years ago. A friend of mine gave me an Easy Star (first generation) he had new in the box. Of course the first thing I wanted to do was make it a 4-channel airplane with ailerons as the stock Easy Star is a 3 channel airplane with rudder only. The original Easy Star kit also has a brushed motor that runs on a NiMH battery pack. My plans were to change this out for a LiPo pack running a brushless motor.
As mentioned above I wanted to mode this out with 4 channels including ailerons. I used a dremel tool and etched out ailerons in the foam. The Dremel did a good job of etching the foam, however, the dimensions I used weren't really large enough. I used a 10 inch length for the ailerons but only an inch of depth. In retrospect, I would have used 2 inches of depth for the aileron throws. What I did to retrofit this is I used Dollartree foamboard and extended the control surfaces out which you will see in the pictures.
For the motor, I decided to use a Grayson Hobby Microjet I had laying around along with a 30 amp ESC. This motor is definitely overkill for this platform and way more KV than I need, however, any decent motor for the Easy star will work. I also used a motor mount/platform from a Hawk Sky and cut the foam so this could be mounted on top and accept the Microjet. I also am waiting on some plywood for making a permanent motor mount plate to mate up to the plastic mount, however, I used in the meantime, a combination of Dollartree foam and gift cards alternating several layers and screwed the motor into this and then hot glued this mount onto the plastic mount. On top of that to make sure it doesn't come loose, I used black duct tape and secured the foam around the plastic motor mount as you can see in the picture.
For the receiver I am using a Common Sense RC RX3000e DSM2 receiver which is a great inexpensive 6 channel receiver I have used on multiple projects and in testing. For the transmitter, I have my Spektrum DX8 radio controlling things.
For the Easy Star slow flying and thermaling, I am using a flaperons wing setup which gives you some cool options in controlling your plane. I have one aileron plugged into the aileron port on the RX3000e and then one of the ailerons is plugged into the AUX port.
The pictures below show the screens on the DX8 on setting up flaperons and where I have the switch postions set currently. I will probably tweak on this as I have time to fly and dial the plane in more with flaps.
- Set Wing Type to Flaperon
- Go to function list and "Flap System" to set Flaps switch positions
- My current flap position percentages (will probably tweak these)
Again this is a great platform for many things, including FPV. This is a work in progress and I will keep everyone posted on my findings and any other changes I make. The current plan is to get this bird dialed in perfectly and then go from there for video platform, FPV, thermaling, etc. More to come!!!