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FN-RC F-104G Starfighter 70mm

Old 08-21-2015, 06:28 AM
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crxmanpat
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Default FN-RC F-104G Starfighter 70mm

OK, been a while since I posted any new plane thread, so here goes. Yesterday I came into possession of the brand new FN-RC F-104G. This is the first mass production kit that FN-RC has put on the market, and they did this in collaboration with Freewing (all the electronics are Freewing stock). I purchased mine from Motion RC:

http://www.motionrc.com/freewing-f-1...m-edf-jet-pnp/

Up until now, FN-RC has only done special order CNC EPS foam planes. They have built several special order planes for fliers around the world, but they finally decided to get into mass production.

This first post is for the basics, and then I'll go through the rapid assembly process and add my hints and tips.

The plane is made from EPS foam. Most companies these days use EPO, but I like EPS as it is lighter. It's got a Freewing 70mm 6-blade fan, 2849-2200kv outrunner, 60A ESC, and 9g metal gear servos. And of course, servoless retracts. Standard 6-channel setup; throttle, aileron, elevator, rudder, retracts and flaps.

Comes painted in Southeast Asia camo with markings for "Smoke II". It has a nicely detailed cockpit with pilot.

Here are pics of the unboxing.
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Old 08-21-2015, 06:46 AM
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On with the build! The first thing you'll notice is that the tail fin decals have not been applied. I think the reason for this is so that the builder can paint over the elevator servo if they wish. I wished, so I mixed up some water based acrylic to match as close as possible. It's not perfect, but it did the job. It dried darker than what it shows in the pic.

After that, simply soak the decals in warm water for about 30 seconds, let sit for another 30 seconds, then slide them in place on the fin.

Now you're ready to follow the instruction guide. The first thing is to glue the tailcone onto the fuse. TIP - the outlet is about 65mm, which is close to FSA. If you want to add a thrust tube, do it before gluing on the tailcone. I added a thrust tube to mine to shrink it to 55mm.

The instructions then say to glue the vertical stab to the fuse. DO NOT DO THIS YET! It is much easier to assemble the horizontal to the vertical first, so skip this step and go to the next three.

You will notice there is a small disc of foam stuck into the slot for the horizontal stab. Remove this as it was just in there for support. Slide the horizontal into the vertical. Before screwing that in place, take the smaller of the two carbon fiber rods and check to ensure it will insert into the hole in the top of the vertical properly. Mine had excess glue in the hole that had to be cleaned out first. Using the four KB3x4mm screws (these are the shortest screws in the package with the flat head), secure the horizontal in place.

Next, put a small dab of glue into the hole for the CF rod, then slide it into place. Then, attach the control rod for the elevator. TIP - According to a few pilots, you hardly need any throw, so use the outermost hole on the control horn.

Now you're ready to attach the tail assembly to the fuse. First, hook up the elevator and rudder servo leads. Then, being careful to get the leads down into the cavity, glue the tail to the fuse.
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Old 08-21-2015, 06:57 AM
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Now for the wings. First you will attach the wingtip tanks. Using the four PWA2.0 x 8mm screws, secure the tanks to the wings. This is a nice feature as you can easily loosen the screws slightly to remove the tanks if you wish to fly without them.

Next, THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT! The instructions left out the step of inserting the wing tube. This is the longer of the two CF tubes included. It slides into the hole directly behind the servo wires. It is shown inserted in the build guide picture, but there is no mention of it in the writing. Make sure you add your wing tube!

Then slide the wings in place and hook up the servo leads. You will need to push the wiring into the fuse as you slide the wing all the way on. You may want needle nose pliers for this. Once the wings are on, us the four PWA3 x 8mm screws to secure the wings. Note that I moved the aileron control rods to the outer hole on the control horns.

Next, glue the ventral fin to the fuse. Again, this is pictured, but is not described in the instructions. I had to trim just a small bit of ply from the fin to get it to fit in the slot. I also had to remove a little excess glue from the ends of the slot.

Finally, glue the pitot tube to the nosecone. The nosecone itself is held on with magnets. However, these magnets are not the strongest, so you may want to add more. I've heard that anything but a greaser landing will pop it off.

This completes the assembly.
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Old 08-21-2015, 07:05 AM
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Now it's time to hook up the electronics, program your radio, and set the CG. CG is 35mm back from the wing break. This is approximately 3/8" ahead of the wing mount screw as measured from the center of the head. I placed a black dot at the CG location.

I'm using a 6S 4000 lipo, and the pic shows the placement in order to hit CG. There is an opening past the end of the battery bay if you need to slide your lipo back a little further.

She's all programmed and ready to fly! I'll do the maiden this Saturday.

Here are my stats:

Wingspan: 25.9", 656mm
Length: 55.23", 1403mm
Fan: Freewing 70mm 6-blade
Motor: 2849-2200kv outrunner
ESC: Freewing 60A
Servos: Six 9gr metal gear
Lipo: Admiral 6S 4000 40C
RX: XPS Nano-E 6-ch
AUW: 3lbs 14oz, 1758gr
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Old 08-21-2015, 01:22 PM
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Angler-Hi
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Can't wait to see how she handles! Subscribed!
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Old 08-21-2015, 02:44 PM
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Great to see this Pat ! Nicely done.

As a fellow Freewing jet jock(A6/F5N), I have my eyes on this one. Waiting for the Kit + version to get back in stock. Who doesn't love an F-104 ?

Do you think this plane could be hand launched? Our grass field, albeit very short, is still a grass field. I saw where MRC does not recommend even attempting rog from grass due the little wheels. I do have access to a paved sited at Texas Motor Speedway but if I could hand launch the F-104, that would be a plus.

Looking forward to your flight review.

-Hawk
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Old 08-21-2015, 04:30 PM
  #7  
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Hawk,

I think that on a hot 4S system with the LG removed and holes covered, hand launch should be achievable. I think you could get it under 3 lbs easily that way.
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Old 08-21-2015, 07:25 PM
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Thanks Pat , I'll await the next shipment of kit plusses. Have a few 70mm edf/motor combo's laying around looking for a new home. 5 blade and a 11blade Don's wicked XRP setup.

Still need to maiden the F5 and T-50. Waiting for cooler weather so I can head over to TMS.

-Hawk
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Old 08-21-2015, 08:17 PM
  #9  
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OK, I'll be the first to admit that I'm quite "hard" on my models, and one of the worst things is turning too fast on the ground and scraping the wingtips. So what I did was set the model on the ground, then tipped it over onto a wing to find where the tip tanks contact the ground. I then added some strips of clear 3M Anti-Slip Tape at the contact spots. You can see how well the color shows through on the clear tape.
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Old 08-21-2015, 08:49 PM
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Thanks for the great write-up, crx! The tips will help when I assemble mine. I also painted my elev and rud servos, but instead of mixing paints, I used Testors Flat Brown #1166 and it looks like a perfect match to my eyes. Testors 1165 Flat Olive wasn't a great match, but close enough for jazz. (As my band instructor used to say!) I'm hoping to find a break in my schedule today to be able to assemble mine and fly over the weekend.

Looking forward to your reports with the thrust tube, though you won't have one without it to compare. I guess it should be a no brainer! It'll be faster. Hopefully the wings will stay on! Good luck with your maiden.
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Old 08-22-2015, 11:40 AM
  #11  
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Great work and happy landing with the maiden
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Old 08-23-2015, 02:53 AM
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I got a chance to assemble my 104 last night. Maidened and got a 2nd flight in today. Wow! I'm very happy with this one. Barely needed trimming. Flies great. Easier than My E-Flite F-4. And I can't praise them enough for this fan. This is probably the first time I got an ARF EDF that didn't vibrate and rub and was practically useless. Has a great 'wooshy' sound, and is very smooth. While it does have pretty good speed, I think crxmanpat's thrust tube will be a good addition. Though I wonder what it will do for low speed thrust, as it did take a while to accelerate at and after takeoff.

I programmed in the manual's recommended throws and did both flights at mid rates just fine. I did add some pretty hefty expo to the ailerons and elevator though beforehand.

Great fun. Not for the very faint of heart! But they did an amazing job with the 'missile with a man in it'. And just a personal observation, I wasn't thrilled about it only coming in camo. It's a STARfighter after all, isn't it? Camo implies slugging it out down in the mud, and this was the first mach 2 plane. It was meant to be up in the stratosphere shooting down the hordes of invading bombers. Yeah, I know, that's what it wound up doing. (Down in the mud.) But FNRC did a good job on the finish, and I'm happy with it.
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Old 08-23-2015, 10:26 PM
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xmech2k
I think you will find the "G" was an export only model which Lockheed kidded the Luftwaffe (and many other nations) that it would make a good all weather multi role fighter hence the camo. A decision that most of those nations came to regret!
The USAF never used the G model themselves and only kept their pure interceptor F104s in service for a relatively short time.
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Old 08-24-2015, 12:16 AM
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Sorry for the late maiden report. I got mine done yesterday, and there was good and bad. First, the flight went well, but my landing really sucked. But I will say this, those landing gear are STOUT! You'll see when I get the video loaded, but I smacked it really hard on landing. The bottom just fell out on me on final and it hit pretty hard and bounced. Seemed like it was nose heavy (I have CG set at 35mm from the wing break).

And now for the other bad. I got the LG all straightened out after the first hard landing, moved CG back slightly, then tried again. Hit a bump on takeoff, plane got in the air too soon, and it rolled over. Broke a lot of stuff, and scraped up a lot of stuff. However, it does seem repairable (with a little spackle here and there ). I'll get her back together, go get some matched paint at Home Depot, then get her going again.
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Old 08-24-2015, 01:41 AM
  #15  
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Sorry again for the mishap, crxmanpat.

Quorneng, yes, the German Air Force experience with the 104 is what I was referring to. I thought they wound up trying to use them in ground attack roles. Sad. I don't think it was a matter of kidding, but some money under the table that got them to buy into it!
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Old 08-24-2015, 02:56 AM
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Here's the maiden video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jeovolBnUHM

I think it was nose heavy and that's why it fell out from under me on landing. After I took off I had to add a lot of up.

She's on the bench and repairs are underway. She will fly again!
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Old 08-24-2015, 04:43 PM
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Originally Posted by crxmanpat View Post
Here's the maiden video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jeovolBnUHM

I think it was nose heavy and that's why it fell out from under me on landing. After I took off I had to add a lot of up.

She's on the bench and repairs are underway. She will fly again!
Sorry man, but she looked good up there. From the video, it seemed she took that beating quite well. Keep us posted on the repairs. Good winds friend.

Mike
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Old 08-24-2015, 04:56 PM
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Well skip to my Lou,...

Held up great. Should buff out easily. Keep us posted.

Hawk
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Old 08-24-2015, 05:20 PM
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Very impressive!
But you can see why the full size had sophisticated 'blown' flaps and still landed at about 170 mph.
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Old 08-24-2015, 07:34 PM
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Just to clarify, the damage I currently have was not from the landing on maiden. It was sustained during the takeoff roll of the second flight. It's broken up pretty good, but is repairable.

The only problem on the maiden landing was a couple of bent struts and a few minor scrapes.
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Old 08-24-2015, 09:51 PM
  #21  
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Here's the damage from my failed second flight attempt. On the wing, you can see where it broke off near the tip tank, which has already been glued back together. It should be noted that both of the plastic wing mounts were also broken away. I noticed this on the other wing after my first hard landing, that the plastic mounts had peeled away slightly. I fixed that by adding some epoxy under them. They are only held on by contact cement, and not a lot of it at that.

After I get her glued back together, I'll use DAP lightweight spackle and get some color matched paint. She should look close to new when I'm done.
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Old 08-25-2015, 01:33 AM
  #22  
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Hope you get her back together man.
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Old 08-31-2015, 01:57 AM
  #23  
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Hope you get her back flying; once you get to know her you won't regret it. Trust me. My Saturday morning flight:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Qj48CF2TRc
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