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Author Topic: Cloud Dancer- conversion from .46 IC to electric  (Read 1387 times)

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Online Frank v B

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Cloud Dancer- conversion from .46 IC to electric
« on: November 20, 2021, 09:22:20 PM »
Bought this plane from Geoff yesterday and am just sizing up the project.
Spent about an hour deciding how to tackle it.

Keep in mind:
1) gas to electric conversions tend to come out tail heavy
2) there needs to be at least a hatch to plug in the battery connectors to go flying
3) on larger planes I use a separate RX battery (4.8 volt nicads) to power the receiver and servos for safety in case the ESC fries in the air.
4) the prop on an electric plane is larger than the gas equivalent.  Ground clearance needs to be higher.

Decisions:
- am keeping the plane in the current covering, converting it and flying it.  If it flies nicely....and it should.... I will re-cover it next winter.
- am going with a Turnigy G46- because it is heavier than the E-Flite Power 46.  Possibly 4 cells (790 watts) or maybe 5 cells (1000 watts). (Photo 4521)
- the servos are going to move forward.  They need to be standard size because the hinging binds a lot.  This helps move the CG forward. (Photo 4517)
- the hinging is bad so the pushrods need to be changed for both the elevator and rudder.  (Photo 4520)

Work done:
- drilled a stop-hole* at the end of the split in the canopy (photo 4516).
- removed the pushrods so I can extend them to move the servos forward.
- the current nose cannot house the motor.  The bell hits the cheeks. (photo 4518, 4522)
- Used a Dremel with a sanding drum (Photo 4525) to thin the balsa in the nose to see if the motor can fit. Yes it does. (photo 4526)

This conversion will work fine.

Frank

* stop-hole- used to stop cracks from getting bigger as used in the aircraft industry when cracks appear in aluminium skin.
Excerpt from an article
"Small cracks are a common problem on sheet metal airplanes. Created by vibration, you'll often find them developing on areas like the engine cowling. The common fix is to "stop drill" the crack with a small diameter drill bit. In other words, you drill a small hole at each end of the crack in the hope of stopping its growth. This fix is not a repair."
« Last Edit: November 20, 2021, 11:22:38 PM by Frank v B »


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Offline GeoffM

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Re: Cloud Dancer- conversion from .46 IC to electric
« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2021, 12:21:48 PM »
This is an awesome play-by-play Frank. School is in session!!!!

Online Frank v B

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Re: Cloud Dancer- conversion from .46 IC to electric
« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2021, 07:15:55 PM »
Thanks Geoff.  School continues........

Installing the motor

1) make a balsa spacer to slip between the back of the spinner and the nose ring on the fuse.  I used 3/32 balsa.  I do not like close tolerances on spinning things like props. Photo 4530.
2) Mark the back of the motor X mount on the balsa nose and connect the dots. Photo 31
3) take a piece of aluminum foil and squeeze it into the corners to make a rough shape. Photo 33
4) transfer the aluminum outline to a piece of balsa.  I used 3/32". Photo 34
5) when happy with the shape, transfer it to the plywood firewall material and trial fit.  Make a registration mark on the plywood and the balsa nose of the plane (pen). Photo 35
6) drill out the old firewall for wires and cooling air.  It also allows the battery to move farther forward if there are balance issues. Photo 37
7) apply a few spots of 5 minute epoxy to the firewall, screw the motor in place, slip the balsa spacer between the back of the spinner and the nose of the airplane and let it cure vertically.  The new firewall actually floats in place so the thrust line can be perfect with the nose ring.  Let cure.  Photo 38.

Letting the epoxy cure over dinner.


Frank


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Offline GeoffM

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Re: Cloud Dancer- conversion from .46 IC to electric
« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2021, 07:47:22 PM »
Clever.

Offline bfeist

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Re: Cloud Dancer- conversion from .46 IC to electric
« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2021, 06:54:37 PM »
Looks great. If I recall correctly, a Cloud Dancer was one of the original electric conversion that @piker did back in the 90s.

Online Frank v B

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Re: Cloud Dancer- conversion from .46 IC to electric
« Reply #5 on: November 26, 2021, 08:52:11 PM »
Ben,  I believe both Piker and Marc Thomson built one each.

I replaced both pushrods to extend them to the new servo location (5" ahead of the old servo placing).  As well, cut the fuse side so the rudder servo pushrod exited the fuse about 3" ahead of the old position.  The old angle was impossible.

Three photos
49 - motor permanently installed.
50 - servos installed.  The new mounts are 5" ahead of the original position.
53-  the new rudder pushrod exit.  Note the old exit hole for the rudder pushrod and how impossible the angle was to the rudder horn

The decision now is that I will test fly it as soon as possible.  If it flies fine, I will consider re-building it to make it a keeper.  The re-build will include enclosing the motor, fixing the broken rear stringers, and improving the hinging on both the rudder and elevator.  Both surfaces are tough to move.

First flight will be on 5S.  Why not!   8)

Frank
« Last Edit: November 26, 2021, 10:45:00 PM by Frank v B »
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Online Frank v B

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Re: Cloud Dancer- conversion from .46 IC to electric
« Reply #6 on: November 26, 2021, 09:02:00 PM »
Ben,

Just found a photo of Marc Thomson's Cloud Dancer on the EMFSO website.

Frank
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Online Frank v B

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Re: Cloud Dancer- conversion from .46 IC to electric
« Reply #7 on: November 26, 2021, 10:37:44 PM »
Ready to fly.

- Installed the radio, Esc and prop (12.5 x 6)
- programmed the radio
- tested the motor.  It runs the right way (...now).


Frank

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Offline BJROB

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Re: Cloud Dancer- conversion from .46 IC to electric
« Reply #8 on: November 26, 2021, 10:39:17 PM »
Man that plane looks so good.
Great job Frank
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Re: Cloud Dancer- conversion from .46 IC to electric
« Reply #9 on: November 29, 2021, 03:33:04 PM »
Ben,

Just found a photo of Marc Thomson's Cloud Dancer on the EMFSO website.

Frank

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Re: Cloud Dancer- conversion from .46 IC to electric
« Reply #10 on: December 12, 2021, 04:04:31 PM »
Looks great!

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Re: Cloud Dancer- conversion from .46 IC to electric
« Reply #11 on: December 12, 2021, 07:14:37 PM »
Looks great Frank,  let me know how she flys.  I have a new one that's been built however not covered as yet.

Online Frank v B

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Re: Cloud Dancer- conversion from .46 IC to electric
« Reply #12 on: December 18, 2021, 06:17:11 PM »
OOOOHHHH! you have a new uncovered one.  I may have to liberate that from your hangar as a back-up. :D

Frank
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Online Frank v B

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Re: Cloud Dancer- conversion from .46 IC to electric
« Reply #13 on: April 26, 2022, 10:08:01 PM »
Fast forward a few months.  Just finished the details for a possible maiden this Friday.

Finished the following:
- power system all set up: Turnigy .46 550 kv, 12.5" x 6" Graupner* prop, 5 cells 3300 mah (for balance reasons), E-Flite 60 amp ESC.  The power set-up is about 750 watts.
- basic 4 channels.  The wigglers wiggle the right way.  Conservative throws.  Just want to take off and land safely.
- balance is nose down on the spar.  Prefer a nose-heavy plane for a maiden and then fine-tune it later.

Frank

* love Graupner props for electrics.  They are strong, more flexible than APC, are not as sharp (fingers, runway) and have a wider blade area.  They are harder to break than APC, Windsor or Master Airscrew.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2022, 10:13:52 PM by Frank v B »
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Online Frank v B

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Re: Cloud Dancer- conversion from .46 IC to electric
« Reply #14 on: April 29, 2022, 09:41:44 PM »
Maidened the Cloud Dancer today.  The power was fine, the take-off was fine but it did not feel right and it missed one input so I brought it in.  Landed fine.
I will check the aileron servos, connections and aileron hinges.  Something was off.

It will fly fine.

frank
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