WattAge | Thermalaire EP RTF | Specifications | WattAge Thermalaire EP RTF Specifications

INSTRUCTIONS FOR FINAL ASSEMBLY
Specifications:
Product Part Number 128422
●
Wing Span: 60 Inches
●
Wing Area: 355 Square Inches
●
Length: 34.75 Inches
●
Weight RTF: 22-25 Ounces Ready to Fly
●
Wing Loading: 9-10.5 Ounces Per Square Foot
●
Functions: Elevator, Rudder and Throttle
●
Power: 380/SP400 Direct Drive w/6 x 3 Folding Propeller
●
Radio: 3 Channel Micro w/2 Micro Servos & 15 AMP ESC
The Wattage Mini Thermalaire EP is distributed exclusively by Global Hobby Distributors 18480 Bandilier Circle, Fountain Valley, CA 92708
All contents copyright © 2002, Global Hobby Distributors Version V1.0 April 2002
Visit our website at http://watt-age.globalhobby.com for information on other Wattage products
1
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Safety Warning ...................................................................................... 2
Introduction ............................................................................................ 3
Section 1: Our Recommendations .......................................... 4
Section 2: Tools and Supplies Required ................................ 5
Section 3: Kit Contents ........................................................... 6
Section 4: Metric Conversion Chart ........................................ 6
Section 5: A Note About Covering .......................................... 7
Section 6: Replacement Parts ................................................ 7
Section 7: Motor Break-In (Optional) ...................................... 8
Section 8: Wing Assembly ...................................................... 9
Section 9: Wing Mounting ..................................................... 12
Section 10: Stabilizer Installation .......................................... 14
Section 11: Motor Installation ............................................... 17
Section 12: Control System Installation ............................... 18
Section 13: Final Assembly ................................................... 21
Section 14: Balancing the Mini Thermalaire EP .................. 24
Section 15: Control Throws ................................................... 24
Section 16: Preflight Check & Safety ................................... 25
Section 17: Flying the Mini Thermalaire EP ......................... 26
Section 18: Basics of Thermal Flying ................................... 28
Section 19: Glossary of Terms .............................................. 29
Product Evaluation Sheet ................................................................... 31
SAFETY WARNING
This R/C airplane is not a toy! If misused or abused, it can cause serious bodily injury and/or damage to property. Fly only
in open areas and preferably at a dedicated R/C flying site. We suggest having a qualified instructor carefully inspect your
airplane before its first flight. Please carefully read and follow all instructions included with this airplane, your radio control
system and any other components purchased separately.
FOR YOUR INFORMATION
To make your modeling experience totally enjoyable, we recommend that you get experienced, knowledgeable help with assembly and
during your first flights. Your local hobby shop has information about flying clubs in your area whose membership includes qualified
instructors. If there is no hobby shop in your area, we recommend that you contact the AMA at the address below. They will be able to
help you locate a flying field near you.
Academy of Model Aeronautics
5151 East Memorial Drive
Muncie IN 47302-9252
(800) 435-9262
www.modelaircraft.org
OUR GUARANTEE
Wattage guarantees this kit to be free from defects in both material and workmanship, at the date of purchase. This does not cover any component
parts damaged by use, misuse or modification. In no case shall Wattage's liability exceed the original cost of the purchased kit.
In that Wattage has no control over the final assembly or material used for final assembly, no liability shall be assumed for any damage resulting from
the use by the user of the final user-assembled product. By the act of using the final user-assembled product, the user accepts all resulting liability.
2
Need help or have any questions? Call us at 1-714-963-0329 or send us an email to service@globalhobby.net
INTRODUCTION
Thank you for purchasing the new Wattage Mini Thermalaire EP. Before completing the final assembly of your
new airplane, please carefully read through this instruction manual in its entirety. Doing so will ensure your
success the first time around!
Wattage Mini Thermalaire EP Features:
●
Built-Up Balsa and Plywood Fuselage & Balsa Tail Surfaces
●
Balsa Sheeted Foam-Core Wing with Lightening Holes
●
Great Flight Characteristics Both Under Power and In Thermals
●
Accepts Inexpensive 380/Speed 400 Motors or More Powerful Cobalt 400 Motors
●
All Hardware and Custom Decal Set Included
●
Fast and Easy Assembly - Over 35 High Resolution Digital Photos to Guide You
This instruction manual is designed to guide you through the entire final assembly process of your new airplane in the
least amount of time possible. Along the way you'll learn how to properly assemble your new airplane and also learn
tips that will help you in the future. We have listed some of our recommendations below. Please read through them
before beginning assembly.
Please read through each step before beginning
assembly. You should find the layout very complete
and straightforward. Our goal is to guide you through
assembly without any of the headaches and hassles
that you might expect.
●
There are check boxes next to each step. After
you complete a step, check off the box. This will
help prevent you from losing your place.
Keep a couple of small bowls or jars handy to put the
small parts in after you open the accessory bags.
●
We're all excited to get a new airplane in the air, but
take your time. This will ensure you build a straight,
strong and great flying airplane.
●
●
☞
If you come across this symbol
, it means that
this is an important point or an assembly hint.
●
Cover your work table with brown paper or a soft cloth,
both to protect the table and to protect the parts.
●
If you should find a part missing or damaged, or have any questions about assembly,
please contact us at the address below:
Wattage Customer Service
18480 Bandilier Circle
Fountain Valley CA 92708
Phone: (714) 963-0329
Fax: (714) 964-6236
E-mail: service@globalhobby.net
To serve your needs better, please include your email address with any correspondence you send to us. Your email
address will be added to our Customer Service Database so you will automatically receive free updates and tech
notices for your particular product. You will also receive repair status updates (if applicable) and other important
information about your product as it becomes available.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS
Global Hobby Distributors will not disclose the information it collects to outside parties. Global Hobby Distributors does not sell,
trade, or rent your personal information to others . Your privacy is important to us.
Visit our website at http://watt-age.globalhobby.com for information on other Wattage products
3
SECTION 1: OUR RECOMMENDATIONS
This section describes the items you will need to purchase for your new Mini Thermalaire EP. These suggestions are not
set in stone, but they should provide you with a good starting point.
IMPORTANT
When choosing accessories for your Mini Thermalaire, such as servos, ESC, and receiver, it's very important to take
the weight of these items into consideration. Remember, the lighter the overall weight of the finished airplane, the
better the airplane will fly.
What Motor & Propeller Do I Use?
For good overall power an inexpensive 380/Speed 400 size direct drive motor with a 6 x 3 folding propeller is ideal. We
suggest using a folding propeller to optimize drag while gliding and thermaling. If you want more power, a more expensive
Cobalt 400 direct drive motor with a 7 x 4 folding propeller will also work very well.
What Servos Do I Use?
The servos you use should be the lightest available, yet still have an adequate amount of torque. We suggest using servos
that weigh no more than 0.32 ounces and have a torque rating of no less than 7.0 ounces per square inch.
What Receiver Do I Use?
The receiver should be as light as possible, preferably 1/2oz. or less. Most four-channel micro receivers would be a good
choice. The receiver that comes with the Hitec Focus III AM radio system would also work well. We don't suggest using
short-range receivers like the Hitec Feather or Cirrus MRX-4 unless you plan on flying your Mini Thermalaire close-in. If
you plan on thermal flying, the range provided by these receivers will not be long enough for you to keep control of the
airplane in thermals.
Note: If you plan on using the HAS-3MB receiver included with the Focus III AM radio system, we suggest removing the case to
reduce the receiver's weight and overall size. If you do remove the case from your receiver we strongly suggest
wrapping the receiver with heat-shrink material to protect the internal components.
What Electronic Speed Control Do I Use?
The ESC you choose should be capable of handling 10-15 amps continuous current. Again, lighter is better. Your ESC
should weigh no more than 1 ounce including the wiring and switch.
Note: The continuous current rating we recommend for your ESC is based on the use of a standard 380 or Speed 400 size motor,
6 x 3 propeller and 8 Cell 500AR NiCD battery pack. The current draw of this power system is well within the 10 - 15 amps
range. If you decide to use a different motor, propeller and battery combination, we suggest first checking how many
amps your particular power system draws. You can then determine exactly what size ESC you need.
What Flight Battery Do I Use?
To get good flight performance you need to use the right type of flight battery. You need a flight battery that can
deliver enough voltage for strong climb-out and give you adequate duration, but not weigh so much that the airplane does
not fly good. Through much testing we have found that 8 cell 500Mah AR NiCD battery packs and 8 cell 600Mah AE battery
packs work great. They provide excellent power, good duration and don't weigh more than the airplane can handle - even
for thermal flying.
Note: At the time of this writing, most NiMH batteries cannot withstand continuous current draw over 10 amps, so we don't
recommend using them with this power system. NiMH battery technology is evolving quickly, so in the future they may be
able to handle higher current draw and therefore be usable with this power system.
4
Need help or have any questions? Call us at 1-714-963-0329 or send us an email to service@globalhobby.net
Here's What We Used to Finish Our Mini Thermalaire EP:
P/N 759118
Hitec 555 Micro Receiver
Hitec Dual Conversion FM RX Crystal
OPTIONAL
P/N 444227
Cirrus CS-21 Micro Servos (2)
P/N 128484
Wattage IC-15A Micro ESC
P/N 128519
Wattage 8 Cell 500AR 2/3A NiCD Flight Battery
P/N 131338
Wattage 380 Direct Drive Motor
P/N 648768
Graupner 6 x 3 Folding Propeller Set
P/N 130103
Wattage 7-8 Cell AC/DC Peak Charger
P/N 131175
Wattage 14 Gauge Hi-Temp Silicon Wire
P/N 869020
Dubro Double-Sided Tape
For more power for those extra-quick, long, steep
climbs try our Cobalt 400 motor with 7 x 4 folding
propeller in your Mini Thermalaire EP. You won't be
disappointed!
P/N 131480
P/N 131203
Wattage Super 400 Cobalt Motor
Wattage 7 x 4 Folding Propeller Set
IMPORTANT
The part numbers listed for the Hitec receiver, Cirrus servos and Wattage ESC are compatible with Hitec and JR (receiver
is compatible with Hitec only) radio control systems. These items are also available with connectors that are compatible
with Futaba and Airtronics radio control systems. (Micro 555 receiver is also available for Airtronics, Futaba and JR
radio systems.)
When you purchase the Hitec Micro 555 receiver, you must also purchase a Hitec brand crystal compatible with the
receiver. The crystal must also be on the same frequency as your transmitter. Note that the Micro 555 receiver uses a dual
conversion FM Hitec crystal.
SECTION 2: TOOLS AND SUPPLIES REQUIRED
❑
Kwik Bond 5 Minute Epoxy # 887560
❑
Ruler
❑
Kwik Bond Thin C/A # 887500
❑
Pencil
❑
Kwik Bond Thick C/A # 887510
❑
Builder's Triangle
❑
# 0 Phillips Head Screwdriver
❑
Masking Tape
❑
# 1 Phillips Head Screwdriver
❑
220 Grit Sandpaper w/Sanding Block
❑
Magnum Z-Bend Pliers # 237473
❑
Paper Towels
❑
Wire Cutters
❑
Rubbing Alcohol
❑
Needle Nose Pliers
❑
NHP Epoxy Mixing Sticks # 864204
❑
Adjustable Wrench
❑
NHP Epoxy Mixing Cups # 864205
❑
Excel Modeling Knife # 692801
❑
K&S 30 Watt Soldering Iron # 598120
❑
Scissors
❑
Heat-Shrink Tubing
❑
Electric or Hand Drill
❑
Solder
❑
Assorted Drill Bits
To break in your motor you will need:
❑
Emerald Performance Plus Motor Spray # 340186
❑
Trinity Motor Break In Drops # 840768
❑
Rubber Bands
Motor break-in is optional, but highly recommended.
Visit our website at http://watt-age.globalhobby.com for information on other Wattage products
5
SECTION 3: KIT CONTENTS
We have organized the parts as they come out of the box for easier identification during assembly. Before you begin
assembly, group the parts like we list them below. This will ensure that you have all of the parts before you begin assembly
and it will also help you become familiar with each part. If you find any parts missing or damaged, please contact us at the
address below:
Wattage Customer Service
18480 Bandilier Circle
Fountain Valley CA 92708
Phone: (714) 963-0329
Fax: (714) 964-6236
E-mail: service@globalhobby.net
AIRFRAME ASSEMBLIES
CONTROL SYSTEM ASSEMBLIES
❑
(1)
Fuselage w/Forward Hatch Cover
❑
(2)
Threaded Pushrod Wires
❑
(1)
Left & Right Wing Panels
❑
(2)
Nylon Control Horns w/Backplates
❑
(1)
Horizontal Stabilizer w/Elevator
❑
(2)
Nylon Clevises
❑
(1)
Vertical Stabilizer w/Rudder
❑
(4)
2mm x 8mm Machine Screws
❑
(1)
Length of Clear Tubing
MISCELLANEOUS WING PARTS
MISCELLANEOUS FUSELAGE PARTS
❑
(2)
Plywood Wing Bolt Doublers (W12)
❑
(1)
Aluminum Dihedral Brace
❑
(1)
3mm x 12mm Wood Screw
❑
(1)
3mm x 25mm Machine Screw
❑
(1)
3mm Flat Washers
❑
(1)
3mm x 18mm Machine Screw
❑
(2)
2.5 x 8mm Machine Screws
❑
(2)
3mm Flat Washers
❑
(2)
2.5mm Flat Washers
❑
(2)
3mm Blind Nuts
❑
(1)
Velcro® Strip
❑
(1)
Decal Set
SECTION 4: METRIC CONVERSION CHART
To convert inches into millimeters: Inches x 25.4 = mm
To convert millimeters into inches: Millimeters / 25.4 = in
1/64"
=
.4mm
3/16"
=
4.8mm
1"
=
25.4mm
21"
=
533.4mm
1/32"
=
.8mm
1/4"
=
6.4mm
2"
=
50.8mm
24"
=
609.6mm
1/16"
=
1.6mm
3/8"
=
9.5mm
3"
=
76.2mm
30"
=
762.0mm
3/32"
=
2.4mm
1/2"
=
12.7mm
6"
=
152.4mm
36"
=
914.4mm
1/8"
=
3.2mm
5/8"
=
15.9mm
12"
=
304.8mm
5/32"
=
4.0mm
3/4"
=
19.0mm
18"
=
457.2mm
6
Need help or have any questions? Call us at 1-714-963-0329 or send us an email to service@globalhobby.net
SECTION 5: A NOTE ABOUT COVERING
The covering material used on the Mini Thermalaire EP is real iron-on heat shrink covering material, not cheap "shelf
paper." Because of this, it is possible with heat and humidity changes that the covering on your airplane may wrinkle or
sag. This trait is inherent in all types of heat shrink material. To remove any wrinkles that might be visible you will need
to purchase, or borrow from a fellow modeler, a heat iron. If you need to purchase one, the Global Heat Sealing Iron
# 360900 is recommended.
Follow this simple procedure to remove the wrinkles:
❑ Plug in and turn on the sealing iron to the medium-high temperature setting. Allow the iron to heat up for approximately
5 - 7 minutes.
❑ After the iron has reached temperature, lightly apply the iron to the wrinkled section of the covering. Move the iron
slowly over the wrinkled section until the covering tightens and the wrinkles disappear. You will notice that the color of the
covering will darken when it is heated. When the covering cools back down, it will return to its normal color.
☞
If the color layer smears from any of the seams the temperature of the iron is too hot. Turn the temperature dial down
and wait about 5 minutes for the iron to adjust to the lower temperature. You can remove any excess color streaks using
a paper towel soaked with a small quantity of Acetone.
WARNING
We do not suggest storing your airplane in an extremely hot environment (like the back of your car in direct
sunlight) for any length of time. The extreme heat could cause the covering material to wrinkle or sag and
possibly damage the fragile components of the radio control system.
SECTION 6: REPLACEMENT PARTS
Wattage stocks a complete line of replacement parts for your Mini Thermalaire EP. Listed below are the replacement
parts that are available along with their respective part numbers for easy ordering convenience. We suggest ordering
directly from your local dealer. If your dealer does not stock Wattage products, you can order directly from us at the
address shown below:
Global Hobby Distributors
18480 Bandilier Circle
Fountain Valley CA 92728
Phone: (714) 963-0329
Fax: (714) 964-6236
Mini Thermalaire EP - Complete ------------------- 128422
Hardware Set --------------------------------------------- 150559
Wing Set -------------------------------------------------- 150555
Instruction Manual -------------------------------------- 150560
Wing Screw Set ----------------------------------------- 150556
Decal Set -------------------------------------------------- 150561
Fuselage Set -------------------------------------------- 150557
Motor Screw Set ----------------------------------------- 131360
Stabilizer Set -------------------------------------------- 150558
Visit our website at http://watt-age.globalhobby.com for information on other Wattage products
7
SECTION 7: MOTOR BREAK-IN (OPTIONAL)
YOU'LL NEED THE FOLLOWING TOOLS AND SUPPLIES:
❑ Wire Cutters
❑ Solder
❑ 220 Grit Sandpaper w/Sanding Block
❑ Emerald Performance Plus Motor Spray
❑ Paper Towels
❑ Trinity Motor Break In Drops
❑ K&S 30 Watt Soldering Iron
❑ Rubber Bands
IMPORTANT
Before installing your motor into the airplane it should first be broken in. This accomplishes two very important things:
breaking in the motor will maximize its performance, and, most importantly, you will be able to verify that the motor is
working properly before installing it into the airplane. It is strongly suggested that you not skip this important section.
To break in your motor, it is recommended that the motor be run for at least 10 minutes without a propeller at a voltage of
less than 5 volts - a 4 cell receiver battery pack works great for this. The low voltage will keep the motor from overheating
while the brushes and bushings seat. Please follow the procedures below for proper motor break-in.
☞ If you're using a Cobalt motor, please refer to the manufacturer recommendations for break-in.
Step 1: Installing the Noise-Suppression Capacitors & Motor Wires
If noise-suppression capacitors are not included with your motor, they can usually be found included with your ESC.
Noise-suppression capacitors should be installed onto the motor to prevent radio interference. It is strongly suggested
that you take the time to install them.
❑ If your motor does not come with noise-suppression
capacitors already soldered in place, you should solder three
onto the motor as shown. Two capacitors should be soldered
between the terminals and the can and one capacitor should
be soldered between the two terminals.
☞ So the solder will stick to the motor can, you should
roughen the side of the can with 220 grit sandpaper first.
❑ Solder two 10" long 14 gauge hi-temp silicon motor
wires to the positive and negative terminals on the back of
your motor.
☞ Most motors have a red dot and/or a "+" sign next to the
positive motor terminal.
8
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Step 2: Breaking In the Motor
❑ Set your motor between the handles of a pair of wire
cutters and secure the motor to the handles using several
rubber bands. This will keep the motor secure enough for the
break-in procedure.
❑ Before operating the motor, apply a couple of drops of Break In Drops to the motor bushings. (One at the front and one
at the back of the motor.)
❑ Operate the motor using a fully charged 4 cell battery pack and allow the motor to run for about 8 - 10 minutes. After
8 - 10 minutes, remove the battery pack and spray Motor Spray into the motor (through the two holes in the side of the
motor) to clean the brushes. Apply more Break In Drops to the bushings and run the motor for another 3 - 5 minutes.
❑ After 3 - 5 minutes, remove the battery pack from the motor and spray the brushes clean with Motor Spray. Apply a
couple of drops of Break In Drops to the bushings and wipe the motor clean using a paper towel.
❑
Now that you've completed breaking in your motor, remove the motor and set it aside for installation later.
SECTION 8: WING ASSEMBLY
YOU'LL NEED THE FOLLOWING PARTS:
❑ (1) Left & Right Wing Panels
❑ (1) Aluminum Dihedral Brace
YOU'LL NEED THE FOLLOWING TOOLS AND SUPPLIES:
❑ Kwik Bond 5 Minute Epoxy
❑ 220 Grit Sandpaper w/Sanding Block
❑ Excel Modeling Knife
❑ Paper Towels
❑ Ruler
❑ Rubbing Alcohol
❑ Pencil
❑ NHP Epoxy Mixing Sticks
❑ Masking Tape
❑ NHP Epoxy Mixing Cups
Step 1: Aligning the Wing Panels and the Aluminum Dihedral Brace
❑ Using 220 grit sandpaper with a sanding block, lightly sand the edges and sides of the aluminum dihedral brace to
roughen the surface.
☞ Roughening the surface of the aluminum will allow the epoxy to adhere better, increasing the overall strength of the
wing center section joint. Do not omit this procedure.
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9
❑ Using a ruler and a pencil, carefully measure and mark
the centerline of the dihedral brace. Do this on both sides.
❑ Using a modeling knife, cut away and remove the excess
covering material that overlaps onto the root ribs of each wing
panel, leaving about 1/16" overlapped so it does not pull away.
IMPORTANT
It's very important to the integrity of the wing center section
joint that you remove as much covering material from the root
ribs as possible.
❑ Test-fit the dihedral brace into each wing panel. It should
slide easily into each panel up to the centerline you drew.
WARNING
The dihedral brace is cut in the shape of a "V". The "V" shape
should face the top surface of the wing when the brace is
installed.
❑ Slide both wing panels together with the dihedral brace
temporarily installed (without using glue).
❑ Look carefully at the center section joint: the wing panels
should fit together tightly with few or no gaps in the joint.
10
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❑ Double-check that the amount of dihedral in the wing is
correct. To do this, do the following: with one wing panel
flat on your work table, check the amount the opposite wing
panel is off the table. This measurement should be about
3-3/4" at the trailing edge where the outer and inner wing
panels are prejoined.
❑
When satisfied with the fit and alignment, pull the wing panels apart and remove the dihedral brace.
Step 2: Joining the Wing Panels
❑ Apply a long strip of masking tape to the top and bottom
edges of the root rib on each wing panel.
☞ The masking tape will prevent excess epoxy from getting
onto the wing panels when you join them.
❑ Mix a generous amount of 5 minute epoxy. Working with only one wing panel for now, apply a thin layer of epoxy inside
the dihedral brace box and to only half of the dihedral brace. Make sure to cover the top and bottom, as well as the sides,
and use enough epoxy to fill any gaps.
WARNING
Make sure that the top of the dihedral brace is toward the top of the wing when you glue it into place.
❑ Slide the dihedral brace into the wing panel up to its centerline. Quickly remove any excess epoxy using a paper towel
and rubbing alcohol, and allow the epoxy to set up before proceeding.
❑ After the epoxy has set up, test-fit both wing panels together again to double-check that they still fit together properly.
Check the leading and trailing edges, too. It's important that they be even with each other.
❑ Mix a generous amount of 5 minute epoxy and apply a thin layer to the exposed half of the dihedral brace, the inside
of the dihedral brace box in the second wing panel, and the entire surface of both root ribs. Make sure to use enough
epoxy to fill any gaps.
❑ Slide the two wing panels together and realign them. Quickly wipe away any excess epoxy using a paper towel and
rubbing alcohol, and use pieces of masking tape to hold the two wing panels aligned until the epoxy fully cures.
Step 3: Checking the Center Section Joint
❑ Once the epoxy has fully cured, remove the masking tape and double-check the center section joint. If any gaps are
present, mix a small quantity of 5 minute epoxy and carefully fill any remaining gaps. Quickly remove any excess epoxy
using a paper towel and rubbing alcohol, and allow the epoxy to thoroughly cure.
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11
SECTION 9: WING MOUNTING
YOU'LL NEED THE FOLLOWING PARTS:
❑ (1) Fuselage w/Forward Hatch Cover
❑ (1) 3mm x 18mm Machine Screw
❑ (2) Plywood Wing Bolt Doublers (W12)
❑ (2) 3mm Flat Washers
❑ (1) 3mm x 25mm Machine Screw
❑ (2) 3mm Blind Nuts
YOU'LL NEED THE FOLLOWING TOOLS AND SUPPLIES:
❑ Kwik Bond Thin C/A
❑ 1/8" & 11/64" Drill Bits
❑ Kwik Bond Thick C/A
❑ Ruler
❑ # 1 Phillips Head Screwdriver
❑ Pencil
❑ Excel Modeling Knife
❑ Masking Tape
❑ Electric Drill
Step 1: Aligning the Wing
❑
Remove the forward hatch cover from the fuselage and set it aside for now.
❑ Using a ruler and a pencil, carefully measure and mark
the fuselage centerline at both the front and the back of the
wing saddle.
❑ Set the wing down into the wing saddle and align the centerline of the wing (the glue joint), at both the leading and
trailing edges, with the fuselage centerline marks you drew.
❑
When satisfied with the alignment, hold the wing securely in place using several pieces of masking tape.
❑ Using a 1/8" drill bit, drill two holes into the centerline of
the wing and through the plywood plates inside the fuselage
for the wing hold-down screws. The front hole should be
located 3/8" behind the forward bulkhead and the back hole
should be located 7/8" in front of the trailing edge of the wing.
☞ Drill both holes straight down through the wing.
drill them at an angle.
❑
12
Remove the wing and enlarge only the two holes in the fuselage using an 11/64" diameter drill bit.
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Don't
Step 2: Mounting the Wing
❑ Carefully push one 3mm blind nut up into each wing
hold-down screw plate from the bottom, making sure the blind
nuts are straight and completely seated into the balsa supports.
❑ After the blind nuts are pushed completely into the balsa supports, carefully apply a bead of thick C/A around each
blind nut to hold them securely in place. The C/A will prevent the blind nuts from popping loose when installing the wing
hold-down screws.
☞ Be very careful not to get C/A into the threads.
❑ Using a modeling knife, cut away and remove the covering material from over the predrilled hole in each wing bolt
doubler (W12).
❑ Place the wing onto the fuselage and realign it. Secure it
into place using the two wing bolt doublers, two 3mm diameter
machine screws and two 3mm flat washers.
☞ The longer machine screw is used at the front of the wing.
Also note that the wing bolt doublers are covered to match
the color scheme on the wing.
IMPORTANT
If you have trouble aligning the wing hold-down screws with the blind nuts, enlarge the holes in the wing using an 11/64"
diameter drill bit. This will allow you to align the screws with the blind nuts easier.
❑ Carefully trace around each of the wing screw doublers
using a pencil.
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13
❑
Remove the wing screws, plywood doublers and wing from the fuselage.
❑
Using a modeling knife, cut away and remove the covering material from within the two outlines you drew on the wing.
❑ Reinstall the wing as you did before, then carefully glue
each wing screw doubler to the wing using several drops of
thin C/A.
☞ The thin C/A will "wick" into the joints, so be careful not to
use so much that you glue the wing screws to the wing.
SECTION 10: STABILIZER INSTALLATION
YOU'LL NEED THE FOLLOWING PARTS:
❑ (1) Horizontal Stabilizer w/Elevator
❑ (1) Vertical Stabilizer w/Rudder
YOU'LL NEED THE FOLLOWING TOOLS AND SUPPLIES:
❑ Kwik Bond 5 Minute Epoxy
❑ 220 Grit Sandpaper w/Sanding Block
❑ Excel Modeling Knife
❑ Paper Towels
❑ Ruler
❑ Rubbing Alcohol
❑ Pencil
❑ NHP Epoxy Mixing Sticks
❑ Builder's Triangle
❑ NHP Epoxy Mixing Cups
❑ Masking Tape
Step 1: Aligning the Horizontal Stabilizer
❑ Using a modeling knife, cut away and remove the covering material from over the precut slot in the middle of the
leading edge of the horizontal stabilizer.
❑ Using a ruler and a pencil, draw a centerline mark on top
of the elevator joiner as shown.
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❑ Using a modeling knife, carefully cut away and remove
the covering material from over the precut slot in the back
of the fuselage and from on top of the stabilizer mounting
platform.
❑ Using a ruler and a pencil, measure and draw a centerline mark on top of the fuselage at the front of the stabilizer
mounting platform.
❑ Set the stabilizer on top of the mounting platform, aligning
the precut slot in the leading edge with the mark you drew on
the mounting platform and aligning the mark on the elevator
joiner with the precut slot in the back of the fuselage.
☞ The front of the stabilizer should be pushed up against
the front of the stabilizer mounting platform.
❑
When satisfied with the alignment, use several pieces of masking tape to hold the stabilizer firmly to the fuselage.
❑
Temporarily mount the wing to the fuselage.
❑ With the stabilizer held firmly in place, look from the front
of the airplane at both the wing and the stabilizer. When
aligned properly, the stabilizer should be parallel with the wing.
C = C-1
IMPORTANT
If the stabilizer is out of alignment, remove it and use 220 grit sandpaper with a sanding block to sand down the higher side
of the stabilizer mounting platform, then reinstall the stabilizer and check the alignment once more. Repeat this procedure
until you are satisfied with the alignment.
Step 2: Mounting the Horizontal Stabilizer
❑ Once you're satisfied with the alignment, use a pencil to draw a line on each side of the stabilizer (on the bottom)
where it meets the fuselage sides.
❑
After drawing the lines, remove the stabilizer from the fuselage.
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❑ Using a modeling knife, carefully cut away and remove
the covering material from between the lines you drew on the
bottom of the stabilizer.
WARNING
When cutting through the covering to remove it, cut only
through the covering and not into the stabilizer. Cutting into
the stabilizer can weaken it and result in a possible failure
during flight.
❑ Mix a generous amount of 5 minute epoxy and apply a thin layer to the gluing surfaces on both the top of the
mounting platform and the bottom of the stabilizer. Be sure to use enough epoxy to fill any gaps.
❑ Set the stabilizer into place and realign it, double-checking the alignment once more before the epoxy sets up.
Remove any excess epoxy before it cures using a paper towel and rubbing alcohol, and hold the stabilizer in place until
the epoxy sets up.
Step 3: Aligning the Vertical Stabilizer
❑ Set the vertical stabilizer into place. To align it properly,
the tab in the front of the vertical stabilizer should fit in the
precut slot in the horizontal stabilizer and the rudder post
should fit down into the precut slot in the back of the fuselage.
The vertical stabilizer should also be pushed down firmly
against the horizontal stabilizer.
Step 4: Mounting the Vertical Stabilizer
❑ When satisfied with the alignment, use a pencil to outline the base of the vertical stabilizer onto the top of the
horizontal stabilizer.
❑ Remove the vertical stabilizer and use a modeling knife
to carefully cut away and remove the covering material from
inside the outline you drew on the horizontal stabilizer.
❑ Carefully cut away and remove the covering material from
the gluing surfaces on the vertical stabilizer.
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❑ Mix a small quantity of 5 minute epoxy and apply a generous layer to the gluing surfaces on the vertical stabilizer,
horizontal stabilizer and in the slot in the back of the fuselage.
❑ Set the vertical stabilizer back into place and realign it.
Remove any excess epoxy using a paper towel and rubbing
alcohol, and hold it in position until the epoxy sets up.
IMPORTANT
While the epoxy is setting up, use a builder's triangle to
ensure the vertical stabilizer is aligned 90º to the horizontal
stabilizer.
SECTION 11: MOTOR INSTALLATION
YOU'LL NEED THE FOLLOWING PARTS:
❑ (2) 2.5mm x 8mm Machine Screws
❑ (2) 2.5mm Flat Washers
YOU'LL NEED THE FOLLOWING TOOLS AND SUPPLIES:
❑ # 1 Phillips Head Screwdriver
Step 1: Installing the Motor
Before installing your motor, make sure you have soldered the motor wires and noise-suppression capacitors to the
back of your motor. It's also a good idea to break in your motor before installing it. If you haven't done so already, turn
back to page # 8 and follow the motor break-in procedures.
❑ Slide your motor through the hatch opening and line up the two threaded holes in the front of your motor with the two
predrilled holes in the motor plate.
❑ Mount the motor to the motor plate using the two
2.5mm x 8mm machine screws and two 2.5mm flat washers.
Tighten the machine screws firmly to hold the motor securely
in place.
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SECTION 12: CONTROL SYSTEM INSTALLATION
YOU'LL NEED THE FOLLOWING PARTS:
❑ (2) Threaded Pushrod Wires
❑ (4) 2mm x 8mm Machine Screws
❑ (2) Nylon Control Horns w/Backplates
❑ (1) Length of Clear Tubing
❑ (2) Nylon Clevises
YOU'LL NEED THE FOLLOWING TOOLS AND SUPPLIES:
❑ # 0 Phillips Head Screwdriver
❑ 1/16" & 5/64" Drill Bits
❑ # 1 Phillips Head Screwdriver
❑ Excel Modeling Knife
❑ Magnum Z-Bend Pliers
❑ Ruler
❑ Needle Nose Pliers
❑ Pencil
❑ Electric Drill
❑ Masking Tape
Step 1: Installing the Elevator & Rudder Servos
❑ Install the rubber grommets and brass collets onto the
servo mounting lugs.
☞ When installing the collets, make sure the flanges are
toward the bottom of the mounting lugs.
❑
Test-fit the two servos onto the servo mounting rails.
☞ Both of the servos' output shafts should face toward the
front of the fuselage and the servos should be pushed together
and centered on the rails.
❑ When satisfied with the alignment, drill 1/16" diameter pilot holes through the servo mounting rails to make it easier to
install the mounting screws.
❑
Mount the servos using the servo mounting screws provided with your servos.
Step 2: Installing the Elevator & Rudder Pushrods
❑ Using a modeling knife, cut away and remove the covering material from over the two pushrod exit holes in the back
of the fuselage. One hole is located on each side of the fuselage, 2-7/8" in front of the rudder hinge line and 1/2" up from
the bottom of the fuselage.
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❑ Using a modeling knife, cut off all but one arm from two "4-point" servo horns. The remaining arm on each control horn
should have at least two holes in it and not be any longer than 3/8".
☞ If the servo arm is longer than 3/8" it will hit the side of the fuselage when installed onto the servo.
❑
Using Z-Bend pliers, carefully make a Z-Bend in the plain end of each threaded pushrod wire.
❑ Install the Z-Bend in each pushrod into the hole that is
3/16" out from the center of each servo arm.
☞ You may have to enlarge the hole in the servo arms to fit
the diameter of the pushrod wire.
IMPORTANT
So the pushrod wires line up properly with the servos, the
longer portion of the pushrod wires should be toward the top
of the servo arms as shown.
❑ Plug the elevator and rudder servo leads into their proper slots in your receiver. Plug the ESC lead into your receiver
and plug the flight battery into your ESC . Turn on your radio system and center both of the servos using the elevator and
rudder trim levers on your transmitter.
❑ Slide the threaded end of each pushrod wire into the
nylon pushrod tubes.
❑ Line up the servo horns with the servos and push the
servo horns into place, making sure they are both centered.
❑ Carefully install and tighten the servo horn retaining
screws, provided with your servos, to secure the servo horns
into place.
Step 3: Installing the Elevator Control Horn
❑ Using a modeling knife, cut out one 1/4" long piece from
the length of clear tubing.
❑ Slide the 1/4" long piece of clear tubing onto the base of
one nylon clevis.
❑ Use several pieces of masking tape, taped between the elevator and the horizontal stabilizer, to hold the elevator
centered.
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19
❑ Carefully thread the clevis far enough onto the elevator
pushrod wire that the clevis attachment pin is over the elevator
hinge line.
☞ The elevator pushrod wire is on the left side of the
fuselage. (When looking from the back with the fuselage
right-side up.)
❑ Using a modeling knife, cut the nylon backplate away from one nylon control horn and remove any excess flashing
from both pieces.
❑ Snap the clevis into the second hole up from the base of
the control horn.
❑ Position the control horn on the elevator. The clevis
attachment holes should be over the hinge line and the control
horn should be lined up with the pushrod wire.
❑
When satisfied with the alignment, use a pencil to carefully mark the locations of the two control horn mounting screws.
❑
Remove the control horn and drill two 5/64" diameter pilot holes through the elevator at the marks you drew.
☞ Be careful to drill the holes straight through the elevator and not at an angle.
❑ Mount the control horn to the elevator using the nylon
backplate and two 2mm x 8mm machine screws.
☞ Don't overtighten the screws.
You don't want to crush
the elevator.
❑ Snap the clevis into the second hole from the base of the
control horn and slide the piece of clear tubing over the clevis
to prevent the clevis from opening during flight.
Step 4: Installing the Rudder Control Horn
❑ Using a modeling knife, cut the nylon backplate away from the remaining nylon control horn and remove any excess
flashing from both pieces.
20
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❑ Using a modeling knife, carefully cut away the first hole
from the base of the control horn as shown.
☞ You must cut this portion of the control away so that the
control horn does not hit the side of the fuselage when the
rudder is deflected to the right.
❑ Install the rudder control horn to the right side of the
rudder using the same technique as installing the elevator
control horn. The clevis should be installed into the outermost hole in the control horn.
IMPORTANT
So that the elevator does not hit the rudder control horn when
the elevator is deflected down, the rudder control horn should
not be mounted too high on the rudder. The centerline of the
rudder control horn should be about 7/16" above the base of
the rudder.
SECTION 13: FINAL ASSEMBLY
YOU'LL NEED THE FOLLOWING PARTS:
❑ (1) 3mm x 12mm Wood Screw
❑ (1) Velcro® Strip
❑ (1) 3mm Flat Washer
❑ (1) Decal Set
YOU'LL NEED THE FOLLOWING TOOLS AND SUPPLIES:
❑ # 1 Phillips Head Screwdriver
❑ Ruler
❑ Wire Cutters
❑ Pencil
❑ Excel Modeling Knife
❑ K&S 30 Watt Soldering Iron
❑ Electric Drill
❑ Heat-Shrink Tubing
❑ 5/64" & 1/8" Drill Bits
❑ Solder
Step 1: Applying the Decals
❑
Working with one decal at a time, use a pair of scissors to carefully cut out the decal along its outer edges.
❑ Remove the protective backing from the decal and apply the decal to the airplane. (Use the box cover photos to
position the decals.) Lightly rub the decal with a soft cloth to remove any trapped air from beneath it.
☞ If any air bubbles form in the decal you can "prick" the bubble with a straight pin to release the air.
❑
Repeat the steps above to apply the remaining decals. Rub each decal down thoroughly to adhere it into place.
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21
Step 2: Installing the Propeller Assembly
❑ Install your folding propeller assembly following the
manufacturer's instructions included with your propeller. We
used a Graupner 6 x 3 CAM folding propeller on our Wattage
380 size direct drive motor.
☞ When installing the propeller assembly, make sure that
the back of the propeller hub does not rub against the motor
screws.
Step 3: Installing the Receiver
The location of the radio equipment shown in the next few steps are only approximate. This is how our test airplanes
were set up. The locations of your radio equipment could differ and should be dependent on what type of equipment
you use and where you balance your airplane. Balancing will be done in the next section.
❑
Plug the elevator and rudder servo leads into their proper slots in the receiver.
❑
Uncoil the receiver antenna and feed it through the preinstalled nylon tube and out the back of the fuselage.
☞ If you are having trouble pushing the antenna through the tube, wet the antenna first with some Windex
®
or similar
liquid. Doing this will make the antenna slide though the tube easier.
WARNING
Let the excess receiver antenna hang out the back of the fuselage. Do not cut the antenna shorter. Cutting the antenna
will greatly reduce its range and quickly result in a crash.
❑ Mount the receiver on the fuselage floor, in front of the
servos, using a small piece of double-sided tape.
Step 4: Installing the Electronic Speed Control
❑
Carefully solder the motor wires to your ESC, being careful that the polarity is correct.
☞ Make sure to use heat-shrink tubing to insulate the solder joints.
❑ The ESC is mounted behind the forward bulkhead, so run the ESC lead under the servos and plug it into the throttle
channel slot in your receiver.
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❑ Mount the ESC to the fuselage side, right behind the
forward bulkhead as shown. Use a small piece of doublesided tape to hold it in place.
☞ Do not mount the ESC next to the receiver.
Mounting
the ESC near the receiver can lead to radio interference
problems and should be avoided.
❑ If your ESC has an on/off switch, mount into the precut switch cutout in the left side of the fuselage, in front of the
forward servo mounting rail.
Step 5: Installing the Flight Battery
❑ Mount the flight battery to the fuselage side, opposite the
electronic speed control, using the piece of Velcro® provided.
To help balance the airplane push the flight battery up against
the back of the forward bulkhead.
☞ When the wing is attached to the fuselage, you can
access the flight battery through the precut hatch in the
bottom of the fuselage. To remove the hatch, pull up on its
sides and it will pop out of place.
Step 6: Installing the Forward Hatch Cover
❑
Set the hatch cover in place and align it with the fuselage.
❑ Using a 5/64" drill bit, drill a pilot hole into the hatch cover
and through the plywood plate inside the fuselage, 3/8" behind
the front of the hatch cover.
❑
Remove the hatch cover and enlarge only the hole in the hatch cover using a 1/8" diameter drill bit.
❑ Set the hatch cover back onto the fuselage and secure it into place using one 3mm x 12mm wood screw and one 3mm
flat washer.
☞ Don't overtighten the screw.
You don't want to crush the hatch cover.
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23
SECTION 14: BALANCING THE MINI THERMALAIRE EP
YOU'LL NEED THE FOLLOWING TOOLS AND SUPPLIES:
❑ Ruler
❑ Pencil
IMPORTANT
It is critical that your airplane be balanced correctly. Improper balance will cause your airplane to lose control and crash!
Center of Gravity Location:
2-1/4" back from the leading edge of the wing, at the fuselage sides.
WARNING
This location is recommended for initial test flying. The C.G. can be moved forward or aft up to 1/4", but it is not
recommended that the C.G. be located any farther back than 2-1/2".
IMPORTANT
As you move the C.G. further aft, the airplane will become faster and more responsive, especially in pitch. Do not start to
move the C.G. back until you are comfortable with the flight characteristics of the airplane.
☞ Balance the Mini Thermalaire EP with the flight battery installed.
❑
Measure and draw two marks on the bottom of the wing, 2-1/4" back from the leading edge, at the fuselage sides.
❑ With the airplane right side up, place your fingers on the marks and carefully lift the airplane. If the nose of the airplane
falls, the airplane is nose heavy. To correct this, move the flight battery back far enough to bring the airplane into balance.
If the tail of the airplane falls, the airplane is tail heavy. To correct this, move the flight battery and/or receiver far enough
forward to bring the airplane into balance. When balanced correctly, the airplane should sit level or slightly nose down
when you lift it up with your fingers at the C.G. location.
☞ Once you have flown and become familiar with the flight characteristics of the airplane, the C.G. can be moved forward
or aft up to 1/4" in each direction to change the flight performance. Moving the C.G. back will cause the airplane to be faster
and more responsive, but less stable. Moving the C.G. forward will cause the airplane to be slower and less responsive,
but more stable.
Do not fly the airplane beyond the recommended balance range or an uncontrollable crash could result!
SECTION 15: CONTROL THROWS
We recommend setting up the Mini Thermalaire EP using the control throws listed below. These control throws are
suggested for initial test-flying because they will allow the airplane to fly smoother and make it easier to control.
TEST-FLYING
Elevator:
1/4" Up
1/4" Down
Rudder:
5/8" Right
5/8" Left
☞ When measuring the control throws, measure from the widest point of the control surfaces.
24
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Once you're familiar with the flight characteristics of the airplane, you might want to increase the control throws to the
sport-flying settings listed below. These control throws will make the airplane more responsive.
SPORT-FLYING
Elevator:
5/16" Up
5/16" Down
Rudder:
3/4" Right
3/4" Left
We do not suggest increasing the control throws beyond the recommended Sport-Flying settings. Higher control
throws will cause the airplane to be extremely control-sensitive and result in a possible crash if you are not careful.
☞ If you don't have a radio system that features End Point Adjustments, you can still adjust the pushrods for the desired
amount of control throw manually. To increase control throw, move the Z-Bend in the pushrod wires out away from the
center of the servo horns or move the clevises in toward the base of the control horns. To decrease control throw, move the
Z-Bend in the pushrod wires in toward the center of the servo horn or move the clevises out further from the base of the
control horns. Because of the narrow proximity of the pushrod wires to the servo arms and control horns, you may have to
make shallow bends in the pushrod wires if you want to change their locations from those recommended in the pushrod
installation steps.
SECTION 16: PREFLIGHT CHECK & SAFETY
●
Check the operation of the throttle. To do this, do the following:
A)
Plug the flight battery into the ESC and turn on the radio system.
WARNING
Do not turn the receiver on unless the transmitter is turned on first. Always turn the transmitter on first. Never allow hands
or clothing to get in the way of the propeller when the radio is turned on. Sudden unwanted radio signals, or turning the
radio on with the throttle stick set at full throttle, can turn the motor on unintentionally. Always make sure that the throttle
control stick is set to idle before turning on the transmitter.
B) When the throttle control stick is at the idle position, the motor should be off. Moving the stick forward should
turn on the motor. Gradually moving the stick to the full forward position should result in the motor running at full power.
☞ Some ESCs will give you more proportional control than others. Your ESC may also have a manual control adjustment
screw that must be adjusted prior to using the ESC. (Refer to your ESC's operating guide for further information.)
Cycle the flight battery three times. When NiCD batteries are new they need to be used 2-3 times before they will
produce their top voltage and duration. To cycle them, simply charge the battery and then run the motor (at low speed to
prevent damaging it) until the motor stops. Allow the battery and motor to cool, then repeat this procedure two more times.
●
●
Check the condition of the transmitter batteries. They should be fully charged.
●
Check every glue joint in the airplane to ensure that everything is tight and well-bonded.
●
Double-check the balance of the airplane. Do this with the flight battery installed.
●
Check the control surfaces. They should move in the correct direction and not bind.
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25
●
Check to ensure that the control surfaces are moving the proper amount.
●
Check the receiver antenna. It should be fully extended and not coiled up inside the fuselage.
● We do not suggest storing your airplane in an extremely hot environment (like the back of your car in direct sunlight) for
any length of time. The extreme heat could cause the covering to wrinkle and possibly damage the fragile components of
the radio control system, ESC or batteries.
The following are our general guidelines for your safety and the safety of others. Please read and understand
these safety guidelines before going out to the flying field for the first time.
●
Do not test-fly your model for the first time without first having it safety-checked by an experienced modeler.
● Do not fly your model higher than approximately 400 feet within 3 miles of an airport without having an observer with
you. The observer should tell you about any full-size aircraft, which always have the right of way, in your vicinity.
● When flying at a flying field with established rules, you should abide by those rules. You should not deliberately fly your
model in a reckless and/or dangerous manner.
While flying, you should not deliberately fly behind the flight line. If your model should inadvertently fly behind the flight
line, you should change course immediately.
●
● You should complete a successful range check of your radio equipment prior to each new day of flying, or prior to the
first flight of a new or repaired model.
●
You should perform your initial turn after take- off away from the flightline and/or spectator area.
● You should not knowingly operate your R/C radio system within 3 miles of a preexisting model club flying field without a
frequency sharing agreement with that club.
SECTION 17: FLYING THE MINI THERMALAIRE EP
To prevent damaging the bottom of the airplane, we suggest flying only from soft grass or weeds. Landing on dirt and
rocks or on concrete and asphalt will quickly damage the fuselage and propeller.
Hand-Launching the Mini Thermalaire EP
Hand-launching should always be done into the wind! Determine wind direction by tossing some blades of grass into the
air and watching which direction they fall.
Turn on the transmitter, then the airborne system. In your throwing hand grasp the airplane from the base of the fuselage,
directly below the center of the wing, and hold it up above shoulder level. While keeping clear of the propeller, turn on the
motor to full power. The propeller should be spinning at a high rate of speed and you will feel the airplane pulling against
your hand. With the motor at full power, firmly toss the airplane straight ahead and level. Do not throw it up or down, or
throw it wildly out of control.
After hand-launching, fly the airplane straight ahead and level for about 20 - 30 feet to allow the airplane to build up flying
speed. You may need to hold a slight amount of back elevator stick to keep the airplane level and prevent it from
descending. Do not try to climb too steeply right after hand-launching or you may stall and crash the airplane. Wait to
make your climb until after the airplane picks up sufficient airspeed.
Continued on Next Page
26
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Flying the Mini Thermalaire EP
After you've hand-launched the airplane and the flying speed has picked up, keep the motor running at full power and apply
a small amount of back elevator stick to put the airplane into a shallow climb.
☞ Be careful not to over-control.
You don't need to move the control stick very much to make the airplane do what you
want it to. Moving the control stick too much will only result in the airplane pitching and rolling severely.
After reaching about 80 - 100 feet of altitude you should reduce motor power to about 3/4 to slow the airplane down. After
the airplane begins to slow, start making shallow turns to keep the airplane near you.
WARNING
Don't fly the airplane too far away from you or you could lose sight of it.
To turn the airplane, gently move the control stick in the direction you want the airplane to go and hold it for a second or two.
After the airplane starts turning in the direction you want it to, let go of the control stick. Because of the polyhedral wing
design, the wing will level itself from a shallow turn - after releasing the control stick. If you get into too sharp a turn or if you
want to level the wing sooner, move the control stick in the opposite direction that you turned. When the wing levels,
release the control stick. Remember, don't over-control.
☞ When going into a turn, the airplane will have a natural tendency to lose some altitude.
Unless you want to descend,
you should gently pull back on the control stick to keep the airplane level during the turn. The steeper the turn the more
altitude the airplane will lose.
WARNING
The longer you hold the control stick over, the tighter radius the airplane will turn in. We recommend gentle turns until you
are proficient with the flight characteristics of the airplane. If the airplane always turns one direction or the other, use the
trim lever on your transmitter to make the airplane fly level.
The airplane's altitude is controlled by moving the control stick forward and back. If you want the airplane to climb, gently
pull back on the control stick. If you want the airplane to descend, gently push forward on the control stick. If you're flying
slowly and want to climb, you should increase motor power so that the airplane doesn't stall. If the airplane is flying fast and
you want to descend, reduce motor power before descending. This will keep the airplane from flying too fast.
IMPORTANT
If you are flying in a light wind, the airplane will tend to climb as you turn into the wind. In this instance, you will need to level
off the airplane by pushing forward gently on the control stick. When you turn down-wind, the airplane will have a natural
tendency to lose altitude. In this instance, you should pull back gently on the control stick.
Landing the Mini Thermalaire EP
☞ All landings should be made flying straight into the wind with the wing level.
Turn off the motor. At this point the airplane will begin to descend. Allow the airplane to gradually descend. If the airplane
seems to be descending too fast, gently pull back on the control stick to make the airplane slow its descent. This will also
slow the airplane down. Once the airplane has slowed down and is descending gradually, release the control stick and
allow the airplane to continue its descent. Once the airplane is about 15 feet off the ground make sure the wing is level and
continue a shallow descent. Just before touch-down, gently pull back on the control stick to level the airplane with the
ground for landing. If you need to make turns during the descent, make shallow, gentle turns. Avoid making steep turns
because you could stall the airplane.
WARNING
Although the airplane will fly very slowly, be careful not to allow the airplane to get too slow during landing. If the airplane gets
too slow, it could stall and crash. It's better to land at a higher speed than normal until you get more familiar with the airplane.
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27
SECTION 18: BASICS OF THERMAL FLYING
The following is intended for those pilots who have mastered flying the Mini Thermalaire EP. Thermal flying is by far the
most difficult aspect of glider flying; however, it can be the most rewarding. For more information on thermals, check your
local library or the Internet. There are many books and articles available that detail what thermals are and how they work.
Basically thermal lift is created by areas of warm air rising from the ground. As the ground heats up from the warmth of the
sun, the air above it will begin to warm. This is especially true over terrain such as a freshly plowed field or a paved parking
area. As the air heats, it will begin to rise and allow cooler air to move in to replace it. This air, in turn, will heat up, rise, and
you will get a continuous current of rising air.
Thermal flying is truly an art but there is also a good amount of luck involved in finding the perfect thermal. There are ways
to hone your skills so that you can become an artist in flying thermals rather than remain a hopeful novice who blunders into
them by accident. The following are some keys to begin the process of becoming a better thermal pilot.
The first key is to become very familiar with the way the Mini Thermalaire EP flies. Knowing the way it responds when
entering and exiting thermal lift is essential. There are things you will notice as you fly the airplane more and more. You
need to be familiar with the airplane so that you can recognize when it is flying normally and when it is responding to up or
down air. It is very hard for the novice to tell what is happening to a new airplane in regards to the air. He or she is uncertain
if the movement is due to something that the pilot did or due to air movement. You want the airplane to be properly trimmed
out so that it flies smooth and stable and so you know how it responds when you turn. Polyhedral wing designs, like those
on the Mini Thermalaire EP, try to remain stable and are easier for the novice to fly than straight wing planes (i.e., wings
with no dihedral) and, more importantly, are responsive to hitting the side of a thermal more dramatically than straight wing
planes do.
You will seldom hit a thermal straight on in flight. More often you will hit the side of the thermal and it will lift one wing more
and literally throw your airplane away from the lift. When your airplane should otherwise be flying level, watch for a sudden
lift of a wing tip and turn the airplane into that area. There is a good chance that you hit the side of a thermal and it pushed
you away—into the air next to the thermal. Having located a thermal, turn into it and start circling to locate the area of
strongest lift. Tighten up the circle to get the maximum rate of climb.
Think of the air as water. No wind is a calm lake. A breeze is a slow moving stream and a heavy wind is a raging river.
Often, a pilot hits some lift, starts circling, then goes up and up and stays right in the same spot circling. Then he starts
coming down and doesn’t understand why. On a calm day, once you hit lift you can circle right there as it isn’t going
anywhere but up. It may die after a short time, but that happens. With wind, picture your lift as an escalator going
downwind at the same rate as the wind is blowing. You hit it and start to circle and you go up, but you must have your
circling go downwind at the same speed as the wind to stay on the escalator. The lift is moving and if you don’t go with it
you lose it.
Watch the tail of the airplane bounce up to see if you are hitting lift. When you fly into a thermal it kicks the tail up and thus
points the nose down. Despite this "dive" position your airplane may actually be going up in the lift. It depends on the
strength of the thermal. That "up tail" is a sign to watch for in thermal spotting.
Use your visual keys and work on your skills so you can become accustomed to thermal flying. Don't forget to watch the
birds, too. If you see birds with their wings stretched out, circling high above, you can be sure they are in a thermal.
Launch your airplane and head in that direction. They won't mind you joining them in the fun!
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SECTION 19: GLOSSARY OF TERMS
C/A Glue: An acronym for Cyanoacrylate. It dries very fast like "Super Glue." It comes in many different formulas for
different uses.
Center of Gravity: Most commonly referred to as the CG or balance point, it is the point at which the airplane is in
complete balance in all three axes.
Control Horn: Part of the control system, the control horn is mounted to the control surface. It allows the pushrod to be
connected to the control surface. Almost all control horns are adjustable to allow for more or less control surface
movement.
Covering: Made out of vinyl or polyester. Covering has heat sensitive adhesive that, when heated, sticks to the wood frame
of the airplane.
Covering Iron: A small hand-held iron, usually Teflon® coated. It is used to heat and apply covering material.
Dihedral: The upward angle of each wing half. Dihedral creates more stability which makes learning to fly much easier.
Elevator: The elevator is the control surface on the back of the airplane that moves up and down. This surface
controls pitch.
Epoxy: A two-part glue containing a resin and a hardener. Epoxy is available in several drying times and is stronger
than C/A glue. Epoxy is used in high stress areas such as joints of wing halves.
Hinges: Usually made out of plastic, nylon or even tape, the hinges connect the control surfaces to the stabilizers or wing.
They pivot, allowing the control surface to move.
Horizontal Stabilizer: Mounted in the rear of the airplane, the horizontal stabilizer works with the elevator to control pitch.
Pushrods: They connect between the control surface and the servo, transferring the movement of the servo directly to the
control surface.
Pushrod Housing: A tube that is usually nylon. The pushrod tube or wire runs through the housing.
Receiver: The part of the radio system that receives the signals from the transmitter.
Rudder: The rudder is the control surface on the back of the airplane that moves right and left. This causes the nose of
the airplane to yaw right and left.
Servo: The part of the radio system that produces the movement necessary to move the control surfaces. The servo
includes a small motor, gears and a circuit board.
Servo Rails: Usually made out of hardwood, the servo rails are the mounting base for the servos.
Servo Reversing: An option on almost all new radios. Servo reversing allows you to change the direction a servo
rotates by just flipping a switch on the transmitter.
Continued on Next Page
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29
Shear Web: Vertical or horizontal grain balsa that is glued between the top and bottom wing spars to strengthen the wing
assembly.
Stall Speed: The speed at which air stops moving fast enough over the surface of a wing to keep the airplane flying.
Thermal: A rising column of hot air. When you fly a lightweight glider into a thermal, the glider will rise along with the
hot air.
Transmitter: The part of the radio system that you control. It transmits the control inputs to the receiver, which transfers
that information to the servos.
Trim: Small adjustments made to the control surfaces to cause the airplane to fly straight and level without control input.
Trim Lever: A sliding lever on the transmitter that allows you to make small adjustments to the control surfaces from the
transmitter.
Vertical Stabilizer: Mounted on the rear of the airplane, it works with the rudder to turn the airplane. It also gives the
airplane vertical stability.
Wing Saddle: The portion of the fuselage on which the wing is mounted.
Z-Bend: This is a special bend made in the pushrod wire. While it cannot improve your ability to make adjustments, the
Z-Bend is the most secure way to attach the pushrod wire to the servo horn.
30
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