Freewing JAS-39 Gripen - RCCanada - Canada Radio Controlled Hobby Forum
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Old 11-22-2020, 08:28 AM   #1
pogo
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Freewing JAS-39 Gripen


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I pre-ordered this jet from Motion and it arrived last week and I did a quick (for me) assembly, hoping to sneak in the maiden before winter set in. Yesterday was the opportunity (unusual this late in the fall) and I got two flights in although it was cool with 20k gusts across the runway.
Much has been written in threads on RCG and Squawk about the jet and I can't add much but it flew well and lands easily. It needed a bunch of down trim initially and this was more from the canards than the elevons, I think. I found it twitchy in roll although those rates were already reduced from the manual's recommendations so I reduced them some more for the 2nd flight and it was better. The wind was pushing it around some and although I didn't have time I'll certainly be adding a gyro (on roll only) to tame the inherent delta wing rock. The flights were about 3.5 minutes (of throttle over 20%) leaving 45% in the 45C 5000 batteries.
I like the jet but it's one failing (and a big one) is it's nose heaviness- I had to put 35 grams of lead in the tail to balance it with a 724 gram battery. Rearward placement of the battery is restricted because of the converging intakes so not much can be done- I'll have to see how much foam can be removed...
I have lots of mods in mind including a repaint. Seeing as the Gripen is on the short list to replace our F-18's (although maybe not in our lifetimes) I thought a fictional RCAF demo bird scheme would be fun- we'll see.
Hope everyone is well.
Tom
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Old 11-22-2020, 11:16 AM   #2
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Some people mentioned that this jet is too nose heavy with 5000 lipo
Apparently it flies the best with 4000 mah battery or even smaller lipo
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Old 11-22-2020, 05:16 PM   #3
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Re: Freewing JAS-39 Gripen

Yes, but then the flight time suffers more than is reasonable. I decided a small weight penalty is worthwhile with 5000's. Another (not small) consideration is that my other 4 EDF's use 5000's, so investing in yet more batteries isn't an attractive option. Rationalization is easy!
Tom
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Old 11-22-2020, 07:27 PM   #4
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Re: Freewing JAS-39 Gripen

Congratulations on your successful maiden Tom!
Thanks for sharing your experience and thoughts.
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Old 11-22-2020, 08:25 PM   #5
j-c terrettaz
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Re: Freewing JAS-39 Gripen

Very nice jet , congratulation
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Old 11-23-2020, 05:50 PM   #6
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Re: Freewing JAS-39 Gripen

Thank you guys! Eric, hope to fly with you next season and if I can make it to Ottawa with you too J-C! I think this jet is going to be fun- I'll keep you posted.
Tom
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Old 11-23-2020, 07:20 PM   #7
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Re: Freewing JAS-39 Gripen

Yes we have a new friendly club in Ottawa...only jets ..turbines or EDF
Flew my EDF vampire with out problem taking off, huge sky and very long landing runway..
A dream
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Old 11-24-2020, 04:34 PM   #8
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Re: Freewing JAS-39 Gripen

Love your Vampire, J-C. In normal times we're in Ottawa every summer and your club sounds great- here's hoping!
Tom
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Old 12-07-2020, 12:06 PM   #9
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Re: Freewing JAS-39 Gripen

I had some time in the shop this weekend and began the planned modifications. Landing lights were added to the main gear (as the full size has) by bonding aluminum tubing to the struts with KB weld into which the LED's slide. Plastic tubing was used to hide the springs.
The silly (huge) nose light was removed and a bulb fitted to a door made from 'glass sheet to sort of replicate the real Gripen. After some trial and error I used pinned hinges and a spring from the Venom nose door to close it and then cut back the existing doors.
The struts and insides of the doors were painted white and the wheels got a bit of detailing, as did the exhaust nozzle with some weathering and a flat coat applied. The inside was covered with aluminum tape to enhance the LED 'afterburner" and the last inch or so painted to simulate a jet pipe.
Tom
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Old 12-07-2020, 04:02 PM   #10
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Re: Freewing JAS-39 Gripen

My first 2 flights were flown with the last of my still useable Roaring Top 5000 45 c batteries, weighing 720 grams. The model balanced at 133mm with 34 grams of lead in the tail and seemed to fly well at that CG. I've since replenished my battery supply with 6 Liperior 5000 45c (thanks Richard!) which are heftier (and I hope longer lasting) at 780 grams.
Foam was removed to get the battery as far back as possible and the corners of the battery now protrude just slightly into the intakes- not enough for any ill effects I reckon. Everything else- rx, gyro, light controller, AB controller,10 A BEC and wiring is also to the rear. I was happy to see that the CG is about the same as before so no extra lead required despite the heavier battery.
Tom
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