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Aeroworks 60cc Freestyle Extra 260 QB-L Build – Part 1
What I put in my Extra
Text and photos by Tom Hintz
Posted – 9-5-2014
Note: This story is not done and will be filled out as I get more photos (and time away from flying this plane!) to finish it! Check Back!
The first step to this giant scale project was to choose the components necessary to produce a flying airplane. I knew that quality components were mandatory in a giant scale plane but being giant scale meant the components cost more. That meant some serious investigating to be sure I was getting the best parts and pieces possible within the confines of what I loosely call a budget. I think all of us know there is no such thing as a strict budget when building an airplane, especially larger ones.
While I knew that I wanted to build a giant scale plane I was torn between Extreme Flight and Aeroworks. I already fly an Extreme Flight 60” Edge 540T-EXP (electric) and love that plane but have also wanted to try Aeroworks. After talking with several giant scale pilots that I trust for this kind of information Aeroworks was unanimous. The Aeroworks 60cc Freestyle Extra 260 QB-L was suggested and after looking over its specs it went to the top of the list.
Some of the often mentioned reasons these people liked Aeroworks is the light but strong and straight airframe. They also liked the Quick Build design that made assembly and setup faster and easier. That is a good thing for my first giant scale plane in 26 years or so. While checking out the Aeroworks web site the 60cc Freestyle Extra 260 QB-L was on sale and that tripped my “buy” response and my giant scale project was off and running.
Having recently installed and flown a DLE-40 Twin in my YAK I was duly impressed with DLE motors and how they run. I did look at other brands but when I balanced quality, performance and price DLE never lost its place at the top of the list. The fact that DLE motors come with mufflers, ignition system and standoffs did not hurt anything either.
The next choice was what size motor to put in. The Aeroworks 60cc Freestyle Extra 260 QB-L shows a motor range from 50cc to 60cc. People that know me were not surprised when I went with the DLE 61cc single cylinder motor. I seriously considered the DLE 60 Twin but that added a quick $100 to the project and the 61 actually put out a bit more power. Then I noticed that the DLE 61 comes with a muffler with a smoke nipple already in place – order placed.
I have a Spektrum DX8 DSMX Transmitter so went with a Spektrum AR8000 receiver that comes with one satellite receiver. I started using satellite receivers when my planes began getting bigger. I think this is cheap insurance no matter how rare brown outs or interference may be today. Plus, the Spektrum AR8000 is very small which makes installing it a much easier task.
The Spektrum AR8000 comes with a short lead connecting the satellite to the receiver so I always have longer leads on hand. Having options on where the satellite receiver can be placed can make using the radio gear and supporting battery systems to help get the CG right a bunch easier.
For the throttle I used a HiTec HS-485HB servo. This servo has a top ball bearing, 60-degree swing speed of 0.17 on 6.0V and develops 89 oz. /in. also at 6.0V. While not a tiny servo it weighs only 1.59 ounces.
For all control surfaces I used HiTec HS-7954SH High Voltage Ultra Torque servos. These servos feature coreless motors, dual ball bearings and have a swing speed of 0.12 seconds on 7.4V or 0.15-seconds on 6.0V. Torque generated is (6.0V/7.4V): 333 / 403 oz. /in. The weight of these powerful servos is only 2.3 ounces in a 1.57” by 0.78” by 1.45”. The Aeroworks 60cc Freestyle Extra 260 QB-L uses one servo per aileron, one for the pull-pull rudder and one for each elevator half.
I am using the Smart-Fly ignition regulator set that comes with a 7.4V Lithium Ion battery, regulator (5.2V out) and their charge switch with a built in LED battery monitor that shows the charge state right on the switch. This is a simple but very effective system to keep the ignition at full power without worry of low battery levels. After a full days flying I have seen recharge amounts in the 250 mAH range.
When it came time to work on the looks of my Aeroworks 60cc Freestyle Extra 260 QB-L there was only one vendor that came to mind, B&E Graphix. The quality of their stickers is second to none and they come up with some spectacular graphics. I chose an existing package designed and made by B&E Graphix specifically for this plane. they allow you to change the engine manufacturer which I did (to DLE) and I added a very cool graphic B&E Graphix has available on their site.
Electrodynamics EDR-108U Pow'R Back'R - Ultra Switch Combo with a pair of 6V, 2500mAH sub C NiCad packs. I have drawn the ire of some who think this is an “old time” system that doesn’t make use of the lighter battery chemistries but it works well and came as close as anything to fitting my “budget”. The slightly increased weight of these battery packs let me balance the Aeroworks 60cc Freestyle Extra 260 QB-L without adding lead anywhere.
Sullivan Skywriter Smoke Pump
The Sullivan Skywriter is an electronically controlled onboard smoke pump that thinks it is a servo which makes programming it possible. Sullivan says that you can control the smoke rate with transmitter adjustments. You can also mix the smoke pump with the throttle channel to automatically reduce the flow of smoke oil at lower throttle stick positions while adding more fluid at full speed. The Skywriter works with 6V to 12V battery packs and weighs only 3.9 oz. At 3.8" by 1.4" and 1.4" the Skywriter is easy to tuck into most planes.
Gas and Smoke Tanks
I love the Fourtitude tanks and put their 16-oz smoke tank in my Aeroworks 60cc Freestyle Extra 260 QB-L. Oddly, Fourtitude does not offer 24-oz tank (9-4-2014) and I did not have room or the need for a 32-oz tank so went with the Dubro 24-oz tank and stood it on its side in the plane.
My Favorite Source
Building a plane like the Aeroworks 60cc Freestyle Extra 260 QB-L usually means lots of mail orders but we are lucky to have Anderson RC (Thomasville, NC) in our area that has a huge range of quality RC plane parts and pieces in stock. Plus they do phone orders. Over the course of the Aeroworks 60cc Freestyle Extra 260 QB-L build I placed three orders with Anderson RC and got everything I needed, often at mail order prices. Try that with the vast majority of local hobby shops! The Anderson RC web site is a work in progress currently and doesn’t begin to represent what they have on their shelves. The site does have their contact info which is all you need.
Incidentally,Anderson RC is the home of the Vess propeller line that is gaining popularity quickly. I have been flying a Vess 24B prop on my Aeroworks 60cc Freestyle Extra 260 QB-L and it seems to like it a lot.
The full review of the Aeroworks 60cc Freestyle Extra 260 QB-L itself is in the works to be followed by individual reviews on the components used. Blame the delay on the powers that be (yes I mean you Rocco!) at Aeroworks for making the Aeroworks 60cc Freestyle Extra 260 QB-L so much fun to fly. When daylight and weather conditions allow I am at the field, not at the computer. Stay tuned! I will get the reviews done soon!
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