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Electric Model Flyers of Southern Ontario => General Discussion => Topic started by: Keyrigger on April 04, 2018, 05:53:27 pm

Title: New E-Flite Maule M-7 Review
Post by: Keyrigger on April 04, 2018, 05:53:27 pm
Hi everyone:

Well, the sky has fallen because I have bought another plank, lol. Ok, not really a flying plank the near scale Maule M-7 from E-Flite. I had been looking at the Great Planes medium scale amphibious flying boat, the Seawind, but got cold feet when I saw one at Skyview Hobbies in Waterloo a few weeks ago. The landing gear would not stand up to Crosswinds or the Burlington Bayview grass field so I decided to hold off for a bit. About two weeks after that, I noticed an advanced review of a new aircraft from Horizon and it caught my eye as it was not a sport plane but a near scale high wing bushplane. I read the review and found it also came with floats which was a very large bonus as I wanted a float plane (flying boat) for the various float fly-ins I attend around the GTA. The aircraft is available in two conditions, BnF or Plug n Play. The BnF version comes with the Spektrum AR636 Sport AS3X receiver, all servos, landing and wing tip lights, floats, manual, and a couple of scale antennae that I know I will get cleaned off when this flips on its back.

The Plug n Play has everything but the receiver and the cost difference allows you to sell the AR636 and come out ahead for a change. I might do so as I really want to try some wild flap/aileron/elevator combinations that cannot be done with "Y" cord servo connections to the receiver. For now, I have set it up with four flight modes, Takeoff (half flaps and no elevator compensation), Regular Flight (flaps and trims level), Aerobatics (same as Regular Flight but with full surface deflections), and Landing with full flaps and elevator compensation. The elevator compensation will be tuned once I have it up in the air. The tires are hard foam and 4.75" diameter. Some have said that they are fairly durable and a few have changed them to a smaller normal sized hard surface wheel around 2.5". The factory wheels simulate tundra wheels used in rough terrain and scrub brush areas. It has a very wide stance to it and this will help keep it well planted on the ground, I hope.

The wingspan is 59" with a 9.25" root and a 9.5" tip cord. The aileron section sticks past the flap section by that .25". It is 43.5" length overall with the battery hatch on the cowl and the receiver access on the bottom. Both are wire latch retained with no magnets needed. The cockpit area is detailed (slightly) with a nice instrument panel decal and a shoulder bust pilot with seat backs front and rear. This is quite a departure for E-Flite foamies, that's for certain. Unfortunately, the float struts are not even close to scale but their looks could be improved with some false struts and braces. That is very unfortunate, in my opinion. It has a steerable tail wheel and has one rudder servo attached to a single fixed (not breakaway or pivot back) rudder. There were no instructions for the "Y" cord but being around model wiring for many years, it is fairly obvious. The harness must be fed in from the bottom, the rudder servo disconnected at the receiver, plugged into one of the leads that you bring inside, and then plug the female end back into the receiver. I shaved a bit of the foam from the box and used it to hold the last male connector in place while using canopy glue to fix it. The two rear pushrods are attached once you get the tail surfaces on but there is a caveat. The rudder horn is 90 degrees to the hinge but not parallel to the ground (when the aircraft has it's wing parallel to the ground) so if you install the pushrod without allowing for that deviation, it will bind. I bent the pushrod behind the threaded section (not where the threads start or you will fracture the pushrod, I'm certain of that) so that it meets the horn at the same angle that it is to the ground.

As of today, I have not been able to fly it (bad flight weather we're having, you know) but I hope to get it out this weekend. I only bought it on Monday so it looks very nice now. I was looking at the Seawind and really like that it had a two piece wing and good to form, E-Flite did the same with this model. The usual Phillips screws are nearly gone (only three very small ones used in the tail wheel area) and they have been replaced with 3mm flathead metric machine screws. There was one position missed in the manual that fixes the horizontal tail to the fuselage before fixing on the rudder. There are four screws used to hold on the wings at the root and two more that hold on the base of the wing struts to the bottom of the fuselage. There is a slight rat's nest inside where the receiver is but the wing root is not too bad. All servo leads are labeled but it takes a bit of fidgeting to get them in. The landing gear is straight forward but they don't tell you what way is front. When you look at the manual, carefully, you see the landing gear has a section that goes to the front that helps keep the strut from rotating on the wire. There is even rivet detailing to go along with panel lines here and there.

The flaps are hinged at the bottom and ailerons at the mid point of the cut. The wing aileron surfaces have some pre-set differential as the pushrod connection is not over the hinge point but slightly rearward. Even the elevator has the horn slightly to the rear but the rudder is extremely close to the hinge point but ever so slightly ahead. This is not a 3D or pattern ship surface configuration, lol. The tail surfaces are mostly slab but have a slight taper at the rear and the main portion of the rudder is nicely blended into the fuselage. A very pointed spinner is included which pretty much reflects the original. The prop is an 11x7 E-Flite and the motor is a 15 size brushless motor with a 40A ESC. All servos are the same and are the Spektrum A330 sub-micro 9gr. servo. What might catch a few people off guard is the battery spread. You can fly this with 11.1v 2200 30C right up to 14.8v 3200 30C packs. The plane is spec'd with the 11.1v 2200 so anything more is either longer flight time or rip-snorting up and down the field. I am keeping it sane with the five or six 2200's I already have plus a couple of 3200's when I go out with the floats. This aircraft seems to have a bit of everything for everybody but the proof will be in the pudding when I finally get this out and up in the air. I hope this weekend, at the latest. I'll report back afterwords with my flight findings. Take care.

Don
Title: Re: New E-Flite Maule M-7 Review
Post by: Keyrigger on April 08, 2018, 12:17:26 am
Hi all:

When I first looked into this airplane, I had no inkling of what I would end up doing with it. I have seen many sailplanes with a feature called "Crow" which is used for spot landings with those same sailplanes. For those that are not familiar with the term, it is the application of flaps with the throttle stick and at the same time setting ailerons so they both deflect up. This is a proportional application which can be added and subtracted at will but not in my case. I will be trying to find a fixed level of flap and aileron that will allow the Maule to drop like a stone and yet still flare in nicely at the end of the decent. I will be starting with lots of altitude where I will hit the switch and pray to the RC gods as it starts its drop. I have a busy day tomorrow but I might get the chance to fly in the mid to late afternoon at the Burlington club (our pit area is a bit of a quagmire currently) so if I get it up in the air tomorrow, I will report back. Naturally, if I need to wait later in the week, I will let you know. Take care.

Don
Title: Re: New E-Flite Maule M-7 Review
Post by: Keyrigger on May 20, 2018, 11:59:57 pm
I finally remembered to take some beauty shots of my Maule but long after it has a bunch of hangar rash and the odd scrape from the asphalt runway at Burlington, sigh. Oh well, it still looks great. I have the floats ready for the upcoming fly-in at Christie Conservation in a few weeks. Take care.

Don
Title: Re: New E-Flite Maule M-7 Review
Post by: Keyrigger on May 25, 2018, 02:16:32 am
The plan for a three blade prop has been fully finished. I wanted a bit more ground clearance and it's amazing how much of a difference a half inch can make. There is a simple formula to work out what the replacement prop should be. Take the diameter cubed, times the pitch, times the square root of the number of blades minus 1. So take an 11x7 two blade prop and it will work out to 9317. The replacement three blade 10 x 7 prop works out to 9898. Now for simplicity, the factor for the three blade head is 1.414 and for the four blade, the factor is 1.732. In a perfect hobby world, I would be best to use a 10 x 6.5 pitch propeller with a factor of 9191 but that is something the average shop would never have in stock and the few manufacturers I checked have very few .5 pitch increment blades available but certainly not multiple blade props. Real world performance was increased slightly but at the expense of a slightly warmer batter after the end of the flight. There is definitely more pull when doing multiple loops and the Maule climbs much further before running out of steam. I can run 4s batteries in the Maule but I don't own any and I am not that much interested in hovering like a helicopter.

Here are a few pictures of the conversion. The first does show the small spacer I needed behind the motor in order to use the flat back aluminium Tru Turn spinner. The spacer was 2mm and I used Shoe Goo to hold them in place while I fed the screws back into the motor mount. I needed to find a washer to spread the load from the smaller diameter machine screw used in the original prop nut so I found an old wheel collar and have used a button head 3mm x 25mm screw to hold on the spinner cone to the back plate. I have since changed the socket head cap screw in the picture to the button head screw. I didn't need to alter the spinner one bit at all as it fit the propeller like the proverbial glove. The asphalt runway at Burlington is really hard on the paint and scale details on the lower cowling but I will eventually need to replace the parts in the long run as I am pretty sure I will do the inevitable and do a dirt nap with it, sigh. It is the most fun I have had with a plane since my .60 size Sig Super Chipmunk back in 1977. On Saturday, I will do the one thing I have never done before and that is take a plane off of water and land it. It should be epic, lol. Take care.

Don
Title: Re: New E-Flite Maule M-7 Review
Post by: Keyrigger on May 25, 2018, 08:42:53 pm
I have finally finished the work on the Maule. The spinner has the button head socket screw, I finally put the antennae on, and mounted it on floats ahead of tomorrows fly-in with the Niagara Region Model Flying Club south of Vineland. This will be the very first time I have ever flown an airplane off of water so it should be fun to watch, lol. I added the striped on the side of the floats as too much white is not a good thing when viewed against light, fluffy clouded sky. The wings will be very visible but those stripes will help define the overall shape. I might be at Crosswinds Sunday, if I am let out of the house, lol. Take care.

Don