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-   -   OK the mini review / assembly Guan Li PBY Catalina (https://www.wattflyer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=77614)

solentlife 06-20-2016 02:15 PM

OK the mini review / assembly Guan Li PBY Catalina
While the varnish fuel proofer is drying in my Zlin engine / tank area - the delivery man arrived with my Cat ...

Unboxing first :

Usual big box full of polythene bags ... I love popping these !! ...


Yep - as usual double boxed ...


Discard outer box .. open up inner and we see everything is very nicely wrapped and undamaged ..


So after removing wrappings, emptying next boxes we have :

Nacelles and floats, taoiplane and rudder :


Wings with lots and motor pole mount installed ready :


Fuselage with excellent magnets holding hatch :


Goody bag as I call them ... motors, spinners, 2 + 2 spare 8x4.5 props, poles to mount motors, two aileron servos, extension leads, ESC's, wung struts, control rods, covers etc.


Next post will be assembly ...

Of note - I read that ESC's may not be the best ... I will use the stock and make sure I can get at them to replace if needed.
Second - it is essential the wing struts are used - guy on YouTube didn't and his wing folded in flight ...

Bear with me ... have to go to dentist now ... and then onto Zlin ... then this baby !


solentlife 06-21-2016 08:21 PM

So ... the model in box has had a few changes I think since manual written. At least its not the old Brushed instructions !!

First ... aileron servos have cutouts in the foam wing but no fix plates ... so the instructions to fix with two screws is ??


I used Uhu Por and glued the servos in ... Tower Pro 9g supplied.


The servo cables as all I've read agree ... too short so extensions called for which just happen to coincide with engine bays to neatly hide the joints ..


The leads can sit on the spar in the slot ... so a bit of tape and bobs your uncle.

The servo covers are useless ... they are too restrictive and do not sit properly ... rods bind inside .. so I did not use .. I tape over instead ...


Servo bay is cavernous and what surprises me is ... the rod runs from servo are a bit short to the outer tubes - causes a bit of bonding ... also the LiPo bay is right under the wing - great for not altering CoG ... but awkward to lock lipo in place and also if a bit more forward - the CoG would be better ..


I do like they use Z bends inside ...


Wings ... butting them up together reveals that the spars are not cut right ... so the wing halves do not meet...


The instructions also do not tell you to glue the wing halves together .. but its a must - as you glue the top cover later ... so wings are not intended to split down. The spars need to be trimmed to let wings butt properly ...



Here's wing properly mated ..


As I said .. servo leads lay reasionably well ..


One wings motor mount is offset and needs correction ..





All lines up now ...

Tailplane like other foam parts needs paint scuffed off before glueing ...


I had to shorten the mount sticks as half the motor was outside nacelle ! .. here it is set back after removing about 3/4" of the sticks ...



Instructions show ESC's in the fuselage front section based on the old single Brushed version ... but now they put the ESC's in the engine pods and the wiring harness is pre made up with long leads to battery !


Taped along the spar again - its sits ok. Nacelle bottom has been cut to allow cables to exit.

Then the wing saddle has to be notched for cables to pass through to the hole into fuselage.

Rudder and tailplane lock together as a jigsaw and align automatically.

Wing tip floats are just ply tabs into slots and not good enough to use ... so a decision needs to be made ... glue or leave of ? Haven't decided yet.

The wing centre cover effectively prevents you getting to wing bolts ... but its a pain with all the cables anyway .. so I decided to accept wing stays in place and if needed - I drill the cover to undo when repairs / access needed.

It all goes together well - as long as you are a bit relaxed in your expectations of the instructions ...

Decals are waterslide and that confused me for a while ... haven't seen waterslide for years !
Couple of decals are missing in my box ... the white numbers for tail ... I have the yellow ones ...
I elected to not do the Guan Li decal layout as its wrong ... I checked a few photos of real PBY's and put the Stars and Bars up front and numbers on the fin.

She's no scale model that's for sure .. but it still has character .. Wife likes it anyway - so that's saved me being in the doghouse !!



So all I have to do now is fly it.

CoG is stated as +/- 5mm on 55mm from LE. With 2250 3S in the LiPo bay - she comes out at about 58mm ...
I think it would have been better to have had the lipo a little more fwd - but you can't because of the tray make-up. I feel confident that she'll fly ok on this ... and may invest in a heavier LiPo such as a 3000 3S job ...

For the price ? Gotta be a bargain !!

Oh - I did add some thin white tape on the bottom to give some protection when I maiden her on grass, which may be tomorrow at our Club party.


JetPlaneFlyer 06-21-2016 08:45 PM

Good luck with the maiden, i look forward to seeing the Soloshot video, especially off water!

solentlife 06-21-2016 09:49 PM

Don't mention SS3 ---- that's a bit of a sore subject in my house at moment !

I forgot to mention - the push on spinners are both ccw jobs ! Had to cut one to get the cw prop to fit.


solentlife 06-22-2016 10:19 PM

Ok - today flew her 3x .... not bad for a maiden day !

BUT ...

Flight 1 : Port motor came out of metal mount when grub screws loosened ... in fact one screw was lost.

Salvaged grub screws from a wheel set sitting in tool box. Refitted motor AND checked other motor to make sure tight. (I had checked these all on assembly !)

Flight 2 : OTHER motor lost a grub screw and came out !! Unbelievable !

Salvaged last screw from wheel set and promptly dropped it in the grass !! So took one from the model not to be flown today ... (must remember to fit new one to that before flight !! )

Flight 3 : This is where I find out WHY the Water rudder is a fixed item ... which of course when I saw rudder didn't turn it ... left it off ...
Every time I made a take off run - she would screw round as a float touched water ... the fixed rudder of course would counter that as the tail sits down the water rudder would bite ...

Anyway she got of and overall - with the BL motors - this baby rocks. She is grossly overpowered to be honest.
ESC's ... Motors ... all performed well and no burn outs.

One other thing ... when trying to take off from grass ... she noses into the grass as she starts to move, this means the grass which guys had just cut was too long for take offs ... so smooth lawn surface needed.

Pleased ? Yes I am ... she flies well ....

Videos to follow ...


dahawk 06-22-2016 11:14 PM

Hip Hip Hurray ! Congrats on the quick build and maiden.

solentlife 06-22-2016 11:28 PM

Its midnight here after a great party at flight field ... I have new record deck and amplifier ... and enjoying a few beers along with my old 45's and 33's ... if you don't know what they are ... then boy you've missed out on a lot !!

Cheers ... hic ... hic ...


dahawk 06-22-2016 11:32 PM

33's? I'm not that old ! 61. But Vinyl has sure made a comeback. I truly regret selling off all my vinyl LP's in garage sales and passing on taking my Mother in Law's McIntosh tube amp and receiver.

solentlife 06-23-2016 12:33 AM

I have my mothers old Bakelite 78's from the 30's .Operas ... worth a fortune on market ... will I sell ........ NO !

I have Fleetwood Mac playing at moment ... believe me ... I am in another world ...


solentlife 06-23-2016 12:38 AM

I'm a 'Mod' from the UK 70's .... watch Movie "Quadrophenia" to understand ...

I was a Lambretta rider ...


dahawk 06-23-2016 04:17 AM

Saw FM several months back. Great concert. Put on 3.5 hour show . Christine Mcvie is back and looking pretty good . Mick Fleetwood amazes. How he can bang on the drums like that at his age. Stevie Nicks is still hot�� One of my all time favorite bands.

How to top Tommy ? Bring out Quadrophenia. I wore out the vinyl on that one. I think it was Peter Townsend's finest work. Saw them live in 1977 in Atlanta when Keith Moon was still alive. People were passing around funny looking cigs. Looked home rolled and smelled like burning rope. Lol.

I think my all time favorite rock band is still Led Zeppelin. C'mon Jimmy Page John Paul Jones, John Bonham, Robert Plant? First band in the era that refused to introduce a single.

Glad there are classic rock stations and thankful for Pandora.

solentlife 06-23-2016 09:32 AM

Can you believe that Led Zep are in court about origins of Stairway to Heaven !

I have to say that my all-time favorite song is "House of the Rising Sun" by the Animals.

Give me a few beers and a rendition is sure to happen !


solentlife 06-23-2016 09:35 AM

Back to the Cat - looking at ways to sort that water rudder.


dahawk 06-23-2016 07:48 PM

News alert; Federal jury in LA finds Led Zeppelin did not steal the opening for Stairway to Heaven So there ! Back to your model.

solentlife 06-24-2016 08:46 AM

Once I upload video - it will show that this model does not like rushing the throttle on takeoff. Its necessary to ease it up to avoid one float digging in and vicious loop.

I have now split the throttles and added differential. Easier than trying to sort the water rudder. I will fit it as a fixed unit as per book. That will at least help to hold the heading.


solentlife 06-25-2016 05:50 PM

Here she is on maiden day ...


solentlife 06-26-2016 01:53 PM

Here is on river and I think the ESC as failing in last 30 secs or so and then finally failed on port engine causing her to go in ... On examination - the ESC's took out controls as well even though Rx showed life.

But as you see - she's a bit tricky on the water ... I have since dialled back the diff throttle from 30% to 20% and waits trial again.

I have also got rid of the silly wing struts and replaced with piano wire with Z bend at one end and L end with wheel collet other. The nylon clevis in kit are too weak ...


road king 97 08-14-2016 01:42 AM

I bought the great planes one when it first came out .
Fiberglass fuse makes it real heavy besides itching the heck out of my hands trying to work inside the fuse . If i ever buy another one witch i doubt it will be like yours Nigel . joe

solentlife 08-14-2016 08:40 AM

The biggest complaint I have is - I cannot get her to take off from grass. She just digs the nose in. CoG is correct, all is correct as far as I can determine.


solentlife 09-15-2016 11:57 AM

Have now driven Cocktail sticks down through wing into floats legs (without glue of course) to try and stiffen the mounts. Without glue means that minimal damage if one decides to break away.


solentlife 09-15-2016 03:16 PM

OK ... water rudder problem ... turns out its a thread / friction problem. If you mount the water rudder so it does not foul bottom of fuselage - it will turn with rudder but its then loose on the thread and useless.
If you tighten on the thread - it hits bottom of fuselage and wont turn with rudder.

i have temp. filled part of the threaded water rudder hole so it does not screw on so far and blue loctited it to try and hold. Seems to work.

Permanent fix ? maybe I can get a nut up into the hole where pin comes through fuselage to give me a stop to screw against.

Anyway ... took her on river and the dreaded dig-in tip had her spinning like top in the water ... but finally had her in the air ... to then lose one motor ... at least I know she flies on one !! but boy what a fight to control her ... so I landed her out and she flipped over ...

When she went overhead I could see the dead prop ... and when I retrieved model - port nacelle was giving forth large volumes of smoke ... so I think another ESC fried ....

its really a silly design fault as the ESC's are out in the nacelles instead of in the fuselage. i will see if I can swap it round so they sit in fuselage out of harms way. That way I also correct the technical error of too long battery leads.

Video to be sorted ..


solentlife 09-15-2016 07:31 PM

OK .. ESC's now in Fuselage ... just have to find my large roll of white tape to cover the wires under wing.
I have 3 of these rolls and I can never find any of them until time I don't need them !!


solentlife 09-18-2016 08:09 AM

This model is now driving me nuts.

I moved esc's to fuselage. Checked everything - nice synch on motors.

Get to field. All fine at the van. Walk across field to lake. Check on bank - all fine. Place on water. Open throttle - all OK .... taxi round to line up for take-off ..... she gets up to speed and then float digs in and she pirouettes. Bring her back - try again .... same every time.
Then I notice that one motor is acting strange.

I lift her out and test motors ... seems starboard motor has mind of its own ... when throttling up sometimes makes a metallic click ... then stops at full throttle. This explains the pirouette .... when I ease up throttle no problem - but at full to take off, it stops causing her to yaw violently.

I though it was the ESC .... but I think its motor.

They are 2208 1300kv with no label identifying. Stock props are 8x6. Fact is there is no need for such thrust as she flies on half throttle. So I was testing 6x4 3 blade props which in hand give enough thrust. I have ordered 2210 1400kv replacements - slight increase in power and kV to spin up the 3 blade props.

Ideally I would like 7x4 3 blade jobs on her - but sold out at present. I need CW and CCW ....

I also need to make better seal of hatch as this last outing - I was emptying water out of her .....


solentlife 09-18-2016 09:39 AM

Got up this morning ... typed the last post and then thought I would check her again ...

I swapped motors on the ESC's ... guess what - the OTHER motor played up .... indicating Motors are fine - it was the ESC. That was a new one borrowed from my CG big Lancaster Inventory.

Took another ESC out of the Lanc box and fitted - all fine again. Will be testing her today ..


solentlife 09-19-2016 09:40 AM

Here she is with the 6x4 3 bladers on her ...

The 6x4 is a little too much reduction in props ... but she does fly on them. Looks like 7x5 3 bladers would be the ticket. I put the 8x6 2 bladers back on later in the day and she took of better ... the 6x4's seem to not have the oooomph and prop wash over wing to help take-off.

Biggest problem now is trying to get a smooth landing out of it ... as soon as she touches - a float catches and you see results. I watch others youtube vids and they seem to grease her in OK .. so how do they do it ...
I know some advise to shorten the float legs to raise them up a touch ...

A spot of video watching is called for I think !!


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