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SlopeMe

MAXA Pro 4

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Technically this is not a build, but then they seem to talk about "the build" with any new molded glider, even though all you have to do is bung a few servos into some pristine carbon/kevlar masterpiece that someone called Vladimir or Boris has spent years perfecting, and sometimes you might be required to stick a boom onto the fuse pod. I guess when you're a national F3B/J hero (not me!) and don't have time to play with balsa and glue because you're at the field practising for the next comp, this constitutes a "build".

The MAXA Pro 4 is the first F3? glider I have bought brand new, and as mentioned elsewhere, I've been dying for ages to get something to replace my scratch built Supra which I wrote off at Matamata a couple of years ago. That was a complete b*stard after so much work. Anyways, I fell in lust with the MAXA whilst attending a recent F3j meet at Matamata where more than half the guys were flying them. Afterwards I rode home on the bike trying to figure out how I could justify buying one. After finally realising I could'nt, I decided my life would be better with one anyway. The MAXA is produced by Vladimir's Models in the Ukraine but I ordered one through Dave's Toys for Big Boys in Aussie because it seemed the easiest way and the price did not seem to be affected.

Vladimir's web site has the coolest colour picker for your model, you can select from a number of colours for each component separately and there are a few options for design logos as well. While waiting for the model to be built, I went ahead and ordered from Dave a few KST servos and a 5 AA Cell 2500 mah Eneloop Rx battery which duly arrived, so I set to and cut some servo frames from birch ply in readiness for the install. The eneloop battery turned out to be faulty and would not receive a charge so I intend returning it to Dave. I subsequently bought some AA Eneloops from Jaycar and made up my own Rx pack.

The MAXA arrived after an 8 week wait, protected from damage by the excellent 1.5m plywood box reinforced with 20x20 pine framing and plenty of foam sheets. After levering off the lid the first component out of the box was the fuse pod, which is a masterpiece by itself, carbon with a kevlar layer, which is be there to assist the carbon shell from shattering in those popular dork landings. Next was the spread-tow CF tail boom complete with pushrods already installed and shaped to fit onto the pod perfectly. This perhaps the most impressive component because the strength for weight is amazing! it's slightly oval shaped for greater strength and so light you hardly know it's in your hand. Its also shaped so the fin/rudder can easily be removed for transport. Next was the stab which also felt so light that at first I thought it just wouldn't be strong enough. But of course I knew it had to be and so when I tried it for torsional strength and longitudinal bend, it too was impressive and molded from the same spread-tow CF. Out came the wing tips and centre section all with the same gorgeous finish and after close inspection, I could not fault anything except a tiny area on the extreme flap TE tip, which had broken off somehow. But its so tiny Im not going to worry about it.

The wing centre section bolts onto a superb aerodynamically clean pylon, very similar to the Supra with four small metal allen screws from the underside. The wing tips come with two sets of CF joiner blades with your choice of 5 or 7 degree dihedral depending on your circling preference on the day. Flap cables are pre-installed and you get a full wiring harness complete with two four pin plugs. The centre comes with pre-installed female plugs already fixed, ready for use. The only wiring required is to extend your aileron servo leads which plug into the pre-installed aileron servo leads inside the centre section!

The servo bay in the pod comes with a ply servo tray which you have to install yourself and the MAXA is designed for two tail servos to lie flat inside the canopy area. Fitting the 5 cell battery was a bit of a mission as the nose is very narrow, and as a result, the Futaba 9 channel Dual conversion RX had to go aft of the rudder/ele servo tray. I'm sticking with my 40 meg system as all my models have their own receivers these days, so the antenna will exit the pod and run outside along the top of the CF boom.

Aileron and flap servos are currently being installed with their respective servo frames using the method shown by Ollie on YouTube, at FlightComp. This involves coating the servos with mold release wax, then PVA parting solution, then mounting the servos into their frames and epoxying the whole thing inside the servo bay which has been scuffed up with 80 grit and cleaned with alcohol or acetone to remove any residual surface sheen that might interfere with adhesion. After full cure, the servos are unscrewed from their frames and pulled out easily with pliers, leaving the frames solidly in place. A better system than any I've used before. The control surface rods for ailerons and flaps come pre-made for the MAXA at the correct length which considerable improves and simplifies the installation process. Once I had programmed my Futaba 10 CAP Tx with maximum sub-trim, the flaps deploy at a satisfactory 75 degrees. I'm stuffed if I can get any more travel out of this tranny, I've tried and tried but my programming skills are not that great. 

More later....

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Nice, Paul. I must say, i am somewhat jealous of your new aquisition, however, i do have plans to get one myself sometime. And yes, "build" is very much the wrong word - perhaps "clip-together" is more accurate?

Does this mean you will fly some of the F3J events?

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Thanks for sharing - as per kiwi kid - pics please! Out of interest, what servo frames are you using with the KSTs, and where did you get them?

for those interested in Paul's comment about epoxying in servo mounts, the videos on installing servos is at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SUk0SlCkIso&list=PLK05zXmk7AwcWLE3DC3T167ucudP5ptXQ&index=4

takes about 1/2 an hour

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Pete: I'm not the competitive type, I prefer to fly recreationally so I probably won't fly the F3J events. Also I'm not a member anywhere. I do have a winch, its a very old one I got from Warwick Gatland and its not a good one for F3B/J because the drum is quite narrow and this causes a diameter increase as the line is wound on during launch. It is very powerful though, and I've used it a lot in the past for launching the big scale gliders ROG style (that's Rise off the Ground, for you younger guys).

Daz: yeah I've been a bit lazy not doing pics as I progress through the "clip-together". Plus, there are already so many pics on rcgroups of MAXA's being put together. But I will take some today and post up.

Shaz: I cut out my own servo frames from birch ply. I have on loan a great little tool that is owned by Rex James, it's his home-made fret saw he built using a washing machine motor. It made the job very simple. The ply was 4 mm thick and once the frames were cut out I used my sanding disk (also built for me by Rex) to thin them down. I think you can buy frames for KST servos from "Dave's Toys".

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I must apologise for the rain we're getting at the moment, it's my fault since I've just finished a model.

The weather cleared a bit this morning, sufficient to grab a few shots to show, vomit bag is under your seat:

 

 

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Really nice Paul - should be no problem spotting that at 400'. Very slick - not a push rod in sight.

It should stay up in about 3kts at Rags -  great for some summer cruisin'.

 

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beautiful looking machine - I'm sure she'll look even more beautiful in the air. Thanks for the info about the servo mounts - I have nothing to mount at the moment, but might try and do as you did if/when I have a ship needing wing servo mounts - a bit of extra time, but I would have thought quite satisfying to get right, and at $US26 + shipping per mount (Taurineman's link), quite a bit cheaper.

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On 23 November 2015 8:07:57 am, KiwiKid said:

Really nice Paul - should be no problem spotting that at 400'. Very slick - not a push rod in sight.

It should stay up in about 3kts at Rags -  great for some summer cruisin'.

 

yeah Daryl, I was thinking 400' maximum myself. (insert bloody liar emoticon)

And yeah again: 3 kts will be plenty.

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I did a really dopey thing by not taking enough care over the CG placement the other day.   Duh...

I went ahead and epoxied in some lead in the nose, only needed a small amount, about 10-14 gms I think. Then later on I decided to do a re-check and measure the CG properly on my home made balancer. So I taped the little plywood bits under the wing to protect the skin from getting dents and sat the model at 108mm where I wanted the CG to be, and it was too nose heavy.  Bugger! 

How to get the lead out of the nose.  The fuse was too skinny to get the drill down parallel without damaging the hatch opening, and cutting off and re-attaching the nose was unthinkable (although I did think about it). So after a lot of buggerising around I finally had a screw screwed into the lead inside the nose, onto which a strong nylon cord was attached, which was no mean feat I can tell you. My brilliant idea was to heat up the nose with the Bosch heat gun and yank out the lead once the epoxy got hot enough. Bloody brilliant, I thought, but I could not heat things up too much or the molded nose might forever look like it belonged to the wicked witch of the west. I tried for half an hour but could not get the epoxy to go soft enough.

The next brilliant idea was to drill out the lead after all.  I had to somehow "make" a long enough drill bit to allow the drill to clear the servo hatch. So using a 1/4" bit, a tight fitting brass tube and another same size bit, I finally had a 600mm long drill bit that would do the job if only it would hold together!  After another half an hour of persevering I managed 10gms of lead filings (weighed) but I wanted a bit more out yet. So I gave one last attempt at removing more lead without going all the way through the molded kevlar nose.  But of course it had to go right through the pretty nose didn't it !!

Fortunately the lead removed was exactly right and the CG ended up at 108mm where I wanted it and the nose had only a tiny hole which has now been repaired. Next time I will be more careful.

 

Anybody want a slightly used 600 mm long drill bit?

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b**dy nice, Paul! not sure about the colours, but *BOY* what a machine! Im getting one in January - although only the 3.5 and an additional e-fuse.

Ive done that with the ballast...  not on something so nice. I ended up choping the tip of the nose off and drilling into it from the front with a 1/2" bit, then glueing the nose cap back on and filling, sanding, painting etc. Came out ok.

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On 8/12/2015, 4:57:32, SlopeMe said:

Next time I will be more careful.

I think this every aircraft assembly/build - there is always something in the way of perfection.

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Hi Paul. No, unfortunately I get the color scheme that is available/pre selected by Joe. Or I can select from whatever range he brings in. Small price to pay for the deal. He thinks sometime in January. When I know I'll let you know.

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Mine will be a 3.5 with an e-fuse and a normal fuse. Unsure of exactly when it will turn up. Im hoping a good 3 weeks before the Nationals over Easter...

Heres my scheme:

 

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ouch...

battery is a 5x2/3AA NiMH pack. Should be pretty bulletproof.

for the e-maxa, it is a tatu 75c 1300mah LiPo and castle edge lite ESC/BEC. So that should be pretty bullet proof too.

 

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Finally, i got to fly my Maxa EL today. After replacing the hacker motor with a Florian Schambeck 1025 and running the 2.4 whiskers outside, i finally was happy enough with it to let her into the air. Flew it in the local club ALES contest today, in beautiful light spring air. At 1.7kg, she hangs like a champ and flies just like a large DLG! Very impressive indeed. And the flaps on it are amazing! they generate a lot stopping power, but a lot of lift so she just hangs in the air defying gravity when they're down 1/2 way.

Now, i just need to finish the F3J (non-motor) fuselage for it and we're all good.

Anyway, here she is.

IMG_20160911_113722.jpg

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17 minutes ago, AlexH said:

Nice mate! I can't justify the cost of one of these though lol Thats got to be over $3K sitting there...

Joe did me a deal :)

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