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Author Topic: Another X8 build thread  (Read 3478 times)

electricmick

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Another X8 build thread
« on: July 29, 2012, 07:20:56 PM »

I wanted a faster and more agile plane than the very excellent Skywalker so I chose the X8. I ordered a black one back in February and it arrived in early July. The build was straight forward, following the previous build threads on this and other forums. Therefore I will only describe the decisions and changes I made to my X8.

I had a full set of stuff including Eagle Tree logger, OSD, guardian etc. removed from my venerable and now retired EasyStar so no decision required. I had an E-Flite BL32 in the draw from a previously crashed Pulse XT which is a 600w motor and turns a 13x6.5 prop on 4S battery. So I can use my existing 4S 5000mAh batteries from my Skywalker. The only choice I had to make was either 1.3GHz or 5.8GHz as I have both. I decided on 5.8 so ordered a new LR VTx from Simon. This works very well, so far, as it stays nice and cool but have not yet flown FPV.

The enormous space inside the X8 means that everything can be spread out and tied down well. I started off with the Turnigy Plush 60 ESC but have now swapped it for a Castle Creations Phoenix 60 as it matches the motor better.



I chose to use velco and velco straps to hold the batteries. There are 4 positions to play with.



The biggest choice was on camera positions. I took Coyote's advise on flight camera and ordered a WDR 650 from SecurityCamera 2000. Again the image looks good on all testing but the proof will come later. I also wanted to use my GoPro for HD filming but where to put them? Once again developing and idea stolen from Coyote I decided to use a GWS 360deg sail winch servo mounted on the top of the fuselage. However, and this is the difference I have elected to have three alternative camera set-ups:

High speed or long endurance: WDR650 in the nose and no GoPro (lowest drag and weight)

Aerial Photography: WDR650 in the nose and GoPro on the sail winch servo:



Sport flying: WDR on the sail winch servo with head tracking, no GoPro. Not built the tilt mount yet.



So it all went together easily and balances well with a single 5Ah battery in the most forward position if no GoPro fitted and in the second position if it is. The two rear positions are either side of the CofG so can be used to extend flight time.



So off to the local club field for a first flight. The launch was very easy and the plane was stable. It needed about 10 clicks of down elevator to counter the excessive wing reflex near the fuselage, no trim needed on the roll axis. It was agile but seemed to use a lot of throttle to maintain speed. I had one OMG moment when I slowed it down too much and a wing dropped, I applied full throttle and some down elevator, then pulled up and recovered the plane and my dignity. The video has got to be the worst quality ever as I realised afterwards I had the focus switched to macro - plonker. It is only raw footage as it is not worth doing anything with, at the least it is a record of the first flight.

X8 first flight


I have subsequently reduced the reflex on the wing, so that the wing follows the line of the fuselage, and taken out the down trim on the elevons and it flies much better, I guess it was like having crow braking on all the time. The cruise current has reduced from 15A to 9A. It cruises at 70-80kph. Four flights so far and I am very pleased with the plane and equipment choices. It flies well but really floats on landing, each landing has resulted in a long walk to recover the plane.

Next challenge will be to set up the Eagle Tree stabilisation and RTH and then FPV it. Nearly did that this afternoon but it started to rain.
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EasyStar, Skywalker V2, X8, Zephyr II, FPVraptor, Spidex quad with Naza & BLG

http://www.youtube.com/user/mickforey1

Teamftp

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Re: Another X8 build thread
« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2012, 07:40:00 PM »

I have found an even better way of launching it!!!!

A big throw and then once clear slap on the power. They float like a butterfly so cope with it very well. The idea of a 14" prop, in my case, running down an arm is not a nice one.

What a great plane!!!

Will pop a video on shortly of my antics today.....

WELL DONE!!
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Coyote

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Re: Another X8 build thread
« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2012, 08:39:11 PM »

Very nice looking build, very high kph for 9 amps, I`m very interested in what motor that is, kv wise ?

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electricmick

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Re: Another X8 build thread
« Reply #3 on: July 30, 2012, 06:46:04 PM »

Thanks guys. The motor is 770kv and quite chunky at 200g so I assume it has good magnets to make it efficient, it wasn't cheap!

Speed/current is very difficult to judge based on the data downloaded from the logger as you have to find some straight and level flight but it looks OK. I will be able to judge better once I start FPV. I will let you know.
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EasyStar, Skywalker V2, X8, Zephyr II, FPVraptor, Spidex quad with Naza & BLG

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electricmick

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Re: Another X8 build thread
« Reply #4 on: August 02, 2012, 07:38:47 PM »

Two more LOS flights with a mate John using the goggles to set up the stabilisation and test the RTH. All successful with the default settings, just you just love stuff that works just out the box. I will make a few tweaks to tighten the turns and I will also move the CofG back a few cm as it pitches up with power.

Then it was time for an FPV flight: breathe deeply and launch. Right from launch to landing it was fantastic, the X8 is a really agile yet smooth plane to fly. It has momentum so needs to be respected. The landing was a bit frenetic with a strong gusty wind but it got down OK then ground looped which was scary through the goggles as I didn't know what was happening. Sadly no video as I have misplaced my lead for the DVR.

One final flight of the day to give a bunch of guys down the club a passenger ride with the goggles whilst John and I took turns to give them a few thrills including who could do the fastest and lowest beat-up down the strip, great fun and much appreciated by the other club members. It is a BMFA affiliated club and no issues with flying FPV under the CAA exemption.

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EasyStar, Skywalker V2, X8, Zephyr II, FPVraptor, Spidex quad with Naza & BLG

http://www.youtube.com/user/mickforey1

Coyote

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Re: Another X8 build thread
« Reply #5 on: August 02, 2012, 08:05:04 PM »

Excellent, good stuff Mick, they really are great to fly, love mine :)
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electricmick

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Re: Another X8 build thread
« Reply #6 on: August 23, 2012, 02:58:06 PM »

A few days ago with some nice weather and feeling confident about the FPV setup and with RTH fully working I ran out of excuses not to FPV the X8. I asked a club member to launch it for me.

This was the result:

How not to launch an X8


Not too much damage: torn and twisted front fuselage which was sorted out with a hot air gun and glue, wing tips ripped off and the front spar broke. I found a replacement carbon tube here: http://www.easycomposites.co.uk/products/carbon-fiber-tube/pultruded-carbon-fibre-tube-10mm-8mm.aspx

All mended and flight tested this morning and from now on I will do all my own launches.

Mick
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EasyStar, Skywalker V2, X8, Zephyr II, FPVraptor, Spidex quad with Naza & BLG

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Coyote

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Re: Another X8 build thread
« Reply #7 on: August 23, 2012, 03:31:43 PM »

Damn :( I`ve had a few of them, Mr Paul has launching to a tee WOT and he has a 99% success rate, two other members at the club tried, all 100% fails but I got away with no damage luckily
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henlo

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Re: Another X8 build thread
« Reply #8 on: November 26, 2012, 12:15:38 PM »

Hallo! I see you also use Eagle tree. What radio does you have? I struggle to setup my RTH / Failsafe on my X8 wing with ER9x & Eagle Tree... Can you please help me? :-)
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electricmick

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Re: Another X8 build thread
« Reply #9 on: November 26, 2012, 02:29:57 PM »

Hi henlo, I use a Futaba T9CAP as I have head-tracking. I have also used my Hitec Aurora 9 with the X8. The set-up is just the same.

The trick to initiate RTH in flight with the Eagle Tree is to use the "Carlyle Method". This involves setting the throttle channel to have a fail-safe position say 20% below normal zero throttle on the stick. You just need a position you cannot normally achieve in flight. I don't know the ER9X but has it got a throttle cut or can you produce a mix to move the throttle to this position via a switch. Once you have that set the fail-safe to obtain that position, then run servo wizard via your PC with the model connected, store this in the OSD in the usual way.

Once flying, reduce throttle to zero, flick the switch and the receiver will go to fail-safe positions, the OSD will recognise this and initiate RTH. It sounds complicated but is very simple to do, have a go and let me know if you still have problems.

Mick
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EasyStar, Skywalker V2, X8, Zephyr II, FPVraptor, Spidex quad with Naza & BLG

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