This is an old Graupner Race Rat
kit I picked up recently. I
plan to power it with an AstroFlight 035 sport and the only
modifications I plan to do are a 5/32" carbon fiber spar in the
wing. I've heard that this wing has been known to fold in high G
maneuvers. I may even make a mold of the fuse, I think this
could be a popular flier. I've been told this is a 100 MPH plane!
The 1st flights were conducted at
the Mid Winter Electric's in
San Diego, CA. on Feb. 11, 2000. The batteries were charged up
and I couldn't put it off any longer. I gave it full throttle and threw
it as hard as I could. She dipped slightly but started to gain speed. I
slowly started to feed in a little UP and away she went. about 2 clicks
of down trim was all that was needed to maintain level flight. I backed
off to 60% throttle and checked responsiveness to the controls. The roll
axis seemed OK but it was very sensitive to pitch input! I lined it up and
landed immediately. She came in fairly hot as I wanted to make sure
there wouldn't be a stall. After traversing the entire field and one BIG
bounce, she came to a safe rest in the overfly area. I've moved the CG
forward since then and she seems to be just fine. I'm not sure what
speed it does but I'd estimate 70-80 mph, flat out. It really moves for a fairly
inexpensive power train! I fly most of the time at about 60% throttle
(~60 mph) and I routinely get 5+ minute tearing up the sky flights.
I just got in my 50th flight on
4/6/00 at the DVRC field in Antioch CA. I
really love this plane, it looks terrific in the air and does almost anything I
want it to do. I'm using it as my pylon trainer, and getting used to flying a
fast plane. I even took it on an airliner to Houston as carry on baggage, it
fits in the overhead perfectly. The wing is only 39" long and very thin, it'll
fit almost anywhere. I haven't had this much fun with a plane for a long time.
I'd recommend it to anyone with aileron experience.
On 11\7\00 I purchased a new set
of zapped 2000 NiMH cells from Greg
Kamysz of Specialized Model Supplies. These were to go in the plane to
try and extend my flight times over the aging 1000 SCR cells I had been
using. I had heard that the NiMH cells didn't hold the voltage as well as
NiCd cells. I've read many posts on the Ezone discussion list that a
person would normally add an extra cell over the number of cells they
had been using in a NiCd pack. I decided I didn't want the extra weight
so I ordered 10-2000 zapped cells. These were made into a pack and
slowly charged overnight. I made the 1st flight with the new pack on
11\11\00 at the DVRC field. I was totally amazed at the performance
increase I had now. And as a plus, my flight time was extended to
five full minutes of aerobatic flight! I checked the pack when it landed
and they were actually cooler than they were coming off the charger!
Everyone that sees it fly is amazed that it's an electric and it gets a long
flight at such a high performance level. I was suprised that I could now fly
to speck height before loosing climbing ability. This is something the glow
fliers value highly. I'm glad there were plenty of them there to witness this.
On 11\20\00 I made the tenth flight
on this new pack. The performance
seemed to get better every flight. I had launched the plane into the wind and
kept it at full throttle for one circuit around the field. I then pointed it up
and climbed it straight up until it stalled and started down. I was still on
the throttle and picking up tremendous speed. I slowly pulled in some up and
was at ~45 deg. angle, 75 ft. from the ground, when it just went BOOM!
The wing literally exploded, showering the area with pink confetti. I couldn't
believe my new toy had left me. I went out to pick up the pieces and it
took me almost an hr. to find them all. They were spread out over an
area of maybe 150 X 50 feet. The wing bolt was still intact and so was the
dowel that held the leading edge. The carbon fiber spar was still holding
the two wing tips and it didn't have a scratch on it. The post mordem
investigation makes it look like the wood around the center of the wing
just couldn't take this kind of punishment. You can see in the photo
below that the spar is all there with the tips. That's exactly how I
picked it up. You may also notice the center section still holding on
to the nylon bolt, and the pile of pink confetti in the bottom left corner.
The hardest thing to find was all the new cells. The pack had come
apart and the cells were all over the place. I finally managed to round
them all up. They still look great, even if they didn't stay in a pack.
I highly recommend these cell to anyone that will listen. NiMH cells
look like they are the future for electric flight. That is until something
else comes along!
The wreckage picture is at the very bottom of this page. I hope
you're not squeamish.
|Wing area||266 sq. in.|
|Wing loading||23.28 oz. / sq. ft.|
|Motor||Astro Fight 035 Sport|
|Batteries||10 Panasonic 2000 NiMH|
|Prop||4.7" X 4.7" 25,110 RPM!|
|Speed Control||Viper Speed Demon 200|
|Amp Draw||32 Amps (with 4.7X4.7 CAM)|
|Watt Loading||119 watts / lb.|
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