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Electric Powered Model Aircraft Pt. 2

Our first article in the February 2006 issue showed the potential of the electric Piper Cub model aircraft. This month we continue our investigation by converting the Cub to a brushless motor to obtain a greatly improved result.

By Bob Young

Click for larger image

In the last article we recounted the trials and tribulations associated with using the original Speed 400 brush motor supplied with the Cub kit.

In passing, I mentioned the possibility of fitting a brushless motor to the Cub at a later date. This is the story of how a duckling was transformed into a swan. (For the politically correct, there is of course nothing wrong with being a duckling. Ducklings are nice too.)

For those who missed the previous article, the brush Speed 400 motor supplied with the kit caused serious radio interference, especially with FM receivers, resulting in greatly reduced range.

This problem was eventually overcome by replacing the FM radio with an AM radio (see box "AM & FM?"). Therefore there was much interest in examining the outcome regarding radio range when the brushless motor was fitted.

In addition there were several minor flaws in the aerodynamics of the Cub as originally supplied in the kit. These included too little down-thrust and adverse yaw during aileron turns. Even with these drawbacks, the Cub flew very nicely in its original form and provided several hours of very happy test flying. (To think I get paid for doing this...)

However it was obvious that the Cub could stand some improvement.

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