RTF 1,8 m WS ST Model FOX electric glider. ARF beware.

Discussion in 'Storebought Planes' started by Lgel, May 24, 2018.

  1. Lgel

    Lgel Ace Pilot

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    I bought this glider on a sale, probably had spent a long time in it's box before being sold.

    I want to use it as a low lift slope soarer, I always liked the Fox (couldn't find the Windrider version at a reasonable price).

    Before building it, I read a thread in RCGroups about the glider, full of complaints about lack of stability (you buy a scale model of an acro glider as you first plane, and you are surprised when you crash it), crap ESC, crap servos, wings flexing, ailerons flexing, loose clevises, etc.

    Surprisingly, only experienced flyers were satisfied with the glider.

    Out of the box, this ARF only needs to fix the horizontal stab, screw it, slide the wings, fix them with two screws, put your receiver and a battery, and you are ready to fly. It took me less than half an hour to have this ARF totally RC (Ready to Crash).

    What did I find?

    The horizontal stab was bent at 30 º from the wings once in place, the vertical stab was also bent, the servos were just able to move slightly the controls with an agonizing noise, drawing an inordinate amount of current (what a surprise if they failed in flight, as the ESC). The internal mechanism in the wing for activating servos was erroneously mounted in one wing, giving extremely low throws, not longer reachable once factory glued.

    I don't believe I got a particularly bad sample, but I wonder how some reviewers were able to fly this thing out of the box in half an hour.

    Does the importer fix all the details before sending it for free to the Youtube reviewer who flew it from the box in no time and without any problem?

    To be honest I found once a Youtube reviewer of RC planes working in an RC store who gave detailed explanations of what to check before flying a store bought plane.

    I believe it will take me 10 to 15 hours to rebuild it properly, probably changing how the ailerons and elevator work, for a friction less system, replacing servos, reinforcing wings, ailerons, and rudder. More time than building this glider as a kit.

    I hope she will fly after fixing the issues.

    Without the know how acquired by building parkjets from scratch and later flying them, I would have been unable to spot the many defaults of the ARF and even less solve them. It would have been a direct crash in less than ten seconds.

    Cheers.
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2018
  2. bogusbandit56

    bogusbandit56 Top Gun

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    That sounds pretty dreadful. I have bought cheap hobbyking planes which take less work to get flying reasonably well.
    I would have thought you would get better quality from Ripmax.
     
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  3. Lgel

    Lgel Ace Pilot

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    Bought it in a physical store, at a steep discount, so I don't feel ripped, I just try to warn buyers of ARF planes, of what they get and to take reviews of Youtubers for what they are sometimes.

    In the club they are several EZ gliders from Multiplex (very good and well designed gliders), those built as a kit are much better than the ARF version some have.

    Cheers.
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2018
  4. Lgel

    Lgel Ace Pilot

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    Finished rebuilding the Fox.

    Reinforced wings with 3 mm flat carbon strips, moved servos (new ones) from root of wing (actuated before by a 70 mm long wire, with asymmetrical throws built in, and awful friction) to the wing, facing the middle of the ailerons actuated now by a short and stiff 3 cm long wire.

    Reinforced foam ailerons with flat 3 mm carbon stripe (she is an aerobatic glider after all).

    Reinforced wing with 1 mm thick plywood square of 5x5 cm were servos are located in the wing, following advice from a friend (sublime builder of wood gliders).

    Replaced rudder and elevator servos, solved friction of wires, improved hinges of both tail moving surfaces.

    Glued two plywood rectangles to align elevator with wings (was at 30 º from wings).

    I learned a lot during this process, that is the positive thing.

    Will fly her at the club with motor before launching her on the slope.

    Cheers.

    Fox St Model.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2018
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  5. Lgel

    Lgel Ace Pilot

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    Slope soared as a pure glider, after this rebuild, she is a fast and nimble glider, a real joy to fly.
    Used a 1000 mah battery, and some lead ballast, built a new nose with Depron (no longer any motor, nor prop).

    In my view a very nice glider ruined by an awful factory build, nothing that can't be solved.

    Cheers.
     
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  6. Lgel

    Lgel Ace Pilot

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    Must improve fixation of wings to fuselage, the screws pressing the carbon rod allow the wings to separate under load, as seen after landing (may cause the loss of the glider, because one wing could rotate on the main spar).

    Put a second 3mm carbon flat strip to reinforce wings that were still flexing a tad too much, the plane is crisper to fly.

    Cheers.
     
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  7. OldSchoolFlyer

    OldSchoolFlyer Airman

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    Lgel I like your German aircraft picture Do you know if there are plans ??
     
  8. bogusbandit56

    bogusbandit56 Top Gun

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  9. Lgel

    Lgel Ace Pilot

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  10. Lgel

    Lgel Ace Pilot

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    Tried to solve wing separating from fuse with velcro, improved things, but after a long aerobatic flight in fresh air, found again wings ready to quit fuse. This time I have added a second 4 inches carbon spar behind the main spar (if wings separate a little, they wont rotate on main spar with disastrous result).

    I programmed reflex on ailerons for fresh air flight associated with down elevator- increasing notably flight speed on demand, a real saver when wind threatens to blow back your glider -, and found the limits of the airframe or 9g servos used, at high speed ailerons (even reinforced with carbon strips) flutter.

    Cheers.
     
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  11. bogusbandit56

    bogusbandit56 Top Gun

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    Sorry to hear you are having problems with the ASW.
    Sit back and relax with this vintage soarer, it`s gorgeous:)
     
  12. Lgel

    Lgel Ace Pilot

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    Thanks these vintage gliders are wonderful, I would gladly build one, but on my slope every landing (even very good ones) would mean repairing the Oracover.

    I would like to fly now a plane like Topmodel's Bikini (https://www.topmodel.fr/en/product-detail-21626-bikini-1-80m-arf) glider with a very thin wing (fast aerobatic flyer). But once again, the wing wouldn't resist the landing.

    Back to the topic, the ST Fox with those mods is a very nice flyer, fast and nimble on my slope. But she doesn't hold a candle to a Windrider Fox (it is amazing how this 500 g foam glider can slope in winds from 2 to 7 without any ballast).

    Cheers,
     
  13. Lgel

    Lgel Ace Pilot

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    This slope is incredible (easy to fly by, with soft grass to land in a low lift zone with no rotors - there I cry -), I have spent many hour watching his videos, but I suppose they are not many days with such a nice weather.

    Wouldn't you enjoy taking your camping car and your Phoenix there?

    On my slope I have developed a landing technique, soft cautious descent path lead to an uncontrolled crash in the non lift zone where rocks abound.

    I dive from height behind, in the non lift zone, well below the slope ridge, speed is important there to cruise the rotors, and blow my speed climbing steeply in the no lift zone towards the ridge exposed to the wind, trying to land (get stuck) in a thorny bush with very little ground speed.

    I make a few passes too high above the ridge this way, to evaluate the speed and inertia of the glider after the dive, skimming the ridge, and finally a lower pass to land.

    Cheers.
     
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  14. bogusbandit56

    bogusbandit56 Top Gun

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    The wing is the thing with sloping, or should I say the wing section is the thing.
    I would be tempted to build a strong plywood and balsa fuselage and wrap it with light weight nylon like they did in the olden days and hot wire different wings for the conditions. :)
     
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