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Old 06-11-2006, 08:50 AM   #1
Troy Newman
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Default Pinnacle Electric

Hey fellas,

I have been a little busy this spring. We moved into our new home and Internet time has been drastically reduced. Its that Bob Villa stuff, moving stuff, and shop setup stuff.

The good news is I now have a shop to work in that exceeds a 2 bedroom apartment. Next good news is my new model is done and flown. Last week was the maiden and its flying well I already have about 15 flights and its getting dialed in quickly. This is my third Pinnacle and I have a good idea on what is needed to get it in top shape.

First off the electric Pinnacle is a totally redesigned model to take advantage of Electric Power. Oh know Troy is switching to E-Power...Well I have not switched but I have one. Today the E-version has 15 flights and the Glow versions have about 1100 combined between the two of them. So no I'm not switching just experimenting. All the previous models out there for electric have been converted glow setups. In Europe the Matt's designed the Onyx that was E-Specific and it did pretty well with 3rd at the Worlds. The Pinnacle E is along this idea and is dedicated to Electric. You can't stick a YS in it baby! But you can stick just about any Electric setup you want in it.

This thread is going to be a "Build" thread and a discussion of what we did to the model to optimize it for Electric. Oxai is a great group of folks to work with and they are superb at implementing ideas. I guess that is why Wolfgang and Roland are now having the Beryll their new E-powered model built by OXAI. Its not cheap stuff but I think you will find its probably at the top of the charts for finish and composite work out there. The model is really a superb piece of work.

I have photos all through the build and will update as time allows. If you fellow FG maniacs have questions then by all means jump in. I'm always willing to share my secrets. I not always right but I'll be honest and tell you what I use and and why.


Upfront, I need to thank Oxai for making these changes to the model. This plane is a little different than the standard Pinnacle Electric as I wanted to try some stuff out. They executed the changes and so far I'm really happy with the results.

I also need to thank JR, Horizon Hobby, Central Hobbies, Thunderpower, Hacker, YS Performance, and Cool Power/Morgan Fuels. These folks make the great products that allow our planes to fly so well.

So on to it.

Troy Newman
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Old 06-11-2006, 08:55 AM   #2
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Default Re: Pinnacle Electric

Bring it on please Troy.

We need to see it.

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Old 06-11-2006, 02:21 PM   #3
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Yes, bring it on Tony...
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Old 06-11-2006, 06:20 PM   #4
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Default Re: Pinnacle Electric

Looks good Troy. I can't wait to see some set up pictures.
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Old 06-11-2006, 08:50 PM   #5
Troy Newman
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Default Re: Pinnacle Electric

Ok gents here it comes. I went flying this morning and enjoyed both of these models in the photo. These models are really cool and fly awesome.

On to the build thread and an overview.
The Pinnacle is a model produced by OXAI models in China. Its an ARF of sorts. The plane is all built and finished. The fuse is a combination of CF in the nose area and molded balsa in the main section of the fuse. Basically this fuse is a glass-balsa-glass composite. The balsa is very thin as in 1/16" sheeting thickness. The fuse has some ply hard points and the result is a really stiff, light structure. The Electric version fuse is around 30-32oz complete. This includes the rudder already hinged and done, all the hatches are mounted. The wing, stab, and gear plates are all installed and aligned. This means even the incidences are already set for you.


When you get this plane is comes in a wooden box like a coffin. They get shipped to you via air freight. They ship either America West/US air or Southwest airlines and you need to go to the airport and pick it up at the freight terminal. Not a problem. In PHX the freight terminal is open from 5am to 3am every day. Each airport and airline has its own hours for their freight terminal. The box is 80.5" long, 16" wide, and 23" tall. Below is a photo of the crates.

They are expensive no doubt and there is no way that you need this type of a model to compete in pattern. PLEASE remember that. Pattern flying doesn't require this type of model. There are some of us that like top notch stuff and this is exactly what this model is. To compare this to something we all know the quality and value of.....a Huffmeir built TOC/Masters model. That is what this model is to the Pattern world.

What do you need to do to get it in the air.

--Wings and stab come aligned so nothing there. The wing and stab slide on tubes into the fuse. They have adjustable incidence angles for fine tuning in the trim process.

--Install control horns. All hard points are in the surface they are built in. These are designed around some higher end hardware like the MK control horns. This is the hardware I used.

--Landing gear plate is installed. You have to choose a landing gear as it doesn't come with it. This is good as there are some heavy and some light choices out there. I have a stack of about 4-5 sets of gear that I have not used that came with other models and I chose different versions based on various things to included height, weight, and looks. Tail wheel needs to be installed and there are a couple of choices here. I found a lightweight deal that works really well. Pics later on.

--Motor mounting. The glow versions come with firewalls that are designed to work with a couple different mounts. I choose the Hyde in the glow models and built my own in the electric. The electric version has nothing up front so this is all up to the guy assembling the model.

--Mount up the servos. Aileron servo mounts are in. Rudder servo tray is in. All you need to do is mount the elevator servo, and in the case of the glow model a throttle servo. These are easy and as always many pilots have preferences on this so the Oxai factory leaves the work up to you and your choices.

--Install elevator push rod system. If you choose pull-pull, great you can do that. Separate elevator servos in the stabs like a big IMAC model...yep you can do that too. The stabs are finished but the stuff is all wood so its easy to cut in and install the servos in the side of the fuse or in the stabs. I use the DEPS system of dual CF rods running back from a canopy area mounted servo. I have found this to be the most precise and solid control system I can find.

--linkages for ailerons, sting rudder cables and hook up the elevator linkages

--Program the radio and go fly it

The total time is about 20-25hrs to get one of these BAD boys to fly. I have a buddy in Atlanta that got his on Easter weekend and it was flying glow powered the very next week. My electric one was delayed with the purchase of a new house. I have had it since February and its been almost ready to fly since then.
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Old 06-11-2006, 08:52 PM   #6
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Default Re: Pinnacle Electric

This is my glow version.....wings and stabs slide on.....Pull it out of the box and it looks like this:
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Old 06-11-2006, 08:54 PM   #7
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Default Re: Pinnacle Electric

This will be interesting, Troy. I will be watching this one closely, I'm always open to learning some new things.
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Old 06-11-2006, 09:20 PM   #8
Troy Newman
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Default Re: Pinnacle Electric

Control Horns:

The model is designed around the MK hardware. Do you need to use this stuff no but it make it easy and this stuff is top drawer. The Wings get MK offset horns. I use the Medium version. These have a plastic base and mount with (3) little about #2 sized wood screws. The ailerons have a Ply plate installed in the bottom of the surface...so a horn like this is needed. There are lots of option. The MK is cool it gets the pivot point over the center of the hinge line and mounts up in minutes literally. All you need is a hand drill, some little drill bits an a Japanese standard screw driver. The Japanese Phillips head screws are a little different and the JPN std drivers fit Awesome and make for a slip free install. Remember this wing is done man and the finish is awesome so don't slip...

In the photo below you can use a light at an angle and see the hard point under the surface. I marked with a fine point sharpie marker as it wipes off with rubber alcohol. Be careful as some of the other markers out there can "stain the paint" then you have to get out the turtle wax and buff out the mark. You can use masking tape to mark the edges if you like also....I marked the wood plate then marked the center line based on where my servo horn takeoff would be.

The Pinnacles are built with the use of the big Futaba Aileron servos in mind. 9150 I think is the number. These are a wide and long low profile servo that work well. The reason these are used as a template is this is the biggest servo that will have to fit here. Since the wing is all painted and done...it sucks to cut into it and change the mounts. However if you choose a different servo you can make an adapter plate. This is what I did. I use JR 9411SA servos. I think these are the best servos we have on the market today for pattern models. They are accurate, strong and light. They weigh about 1/2 that of those big Futaba servos and are digital. The power is excellent at 82in-oz, weight is 1.2oz, and they are fairly fast at 0.15sec. The SA versions of these digital servos have nylon gears and stay really tight with extreme precision. I have been flying these servos since 2002 and never had any issues. Many pattern guys use this servo regardless of Futaba or JR guidance in their aircraft. This servo is a superb choice in the application.

I took my small adapter plate..and glued on some small 1/16th strip of balsa so the servo sits "recessed" to the plate, covered it with H9 Ultracote to make it look good. I then used a good epoxy to secure it in the wing. It sits right on top of the factory installed rails.
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Old 06-11-2006, 09:43 PM   #9
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Default Re: Pinnacle Electric

Result is a B-A servo connection. I used a JR 6" extension lead to get the servo lead out of the wing and to the fuse for connection. These wings are plug in and slide on a main spar type wing tube. They are secured to the fuse using nylon wing nuts on the inside of the fuse. This is a WIDE pattern model and you have plenty of room to get your hands in there. Many of the IMAC models use this attachment. It does two things. Makes the wings tight and secure to the fuse and the bolts act as anti rotation pins. The Pinnacle has a single wing adjuster that sets the incidence of the wing. The bolts carry the load. This allows for small adjustments for aileron trimming and also to tweak the model. We trim our pattern models to be as pure in all axis as possible and sometime wing and decalage angles need tweaked just a smidge to get this type of precision.

The bolts carry the load and the adjuster stays tight and in the right spot. This means the wing goes in the same spot flight, after flight, after flight. I know many of the Cardens and WoodisGood does this same idea on their big stuff. They don't use adjustables but the bolts carry the load. To move the angles just file the holes a little and add a new ply disk inside the fuse and its now changed. Works like a charm. Or as a teacher once told me...Piece-o-cake Upside down!

Linkage for the ailerons is Central Hobbies CF-Titanium push rod system. These are the 1/8" hollow CF rods with 2mm titanium ends. The 2mm is the lightest and the finest thread. Since the fitting are titanium they are very strong and 2mm is good enough on both Glow powered and especially electric powered pattern models.

The MK clevis is a the 2mm version and threads right on the fitting. I do cut the fittings down a little. They have about 1" of threads and this is not needed. So I cut about 3/8" to 1/2" f the threads off the titanium push rod ends. This makes the linkage stiffer and lighter. Plus give more than enough room for adjustment.

These push rods are assembled with JB weld (slow dry stuff) and the whole assembly with ends is like 4-5g depending on how long it is. Very light....Very good for E-Power. But the same setup is working on my glow models too.
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Last edited by Troy Newman; 06-11-2006 at 10:32 PM.
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Old 06-11-2006, 09:53 PM   #10
Troy Newman
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Default Re: Pinnacle Electric

Setup the aileron throws and the wings are ready to fly. Total with the servo rail mod is about 2-3hrs.

Pretty good ehhh?

Last edited by Troy Newman; 06-11-2006 at 10:09 PM.
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Old 06-12-2006, 12:09 AM   #11
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Landing Gear install. Plate is already in. You basically you just pick which gear you want. There are lots of choices. On my Glow models I chose the Bolly CF gear. I like the looks of the Bolly2000 gear. So I used it on both my glow versions. On the electric we know there is a bigger prop...22-12 to be exact. So we need longer gear. On my Electric Pinnacle one of the changes was the landing gear plate was lowered in the fuse. This did two things. Lowered the Batts and gave enough ground clearance without going ludicrous on the length of the landing gear legs.

I chose the ESD gear that Central Hobbies sells. The CF wheel pants are some old ones I had I think they are a ZN pant but could be something else. Not sure on them as they were not in the package. In any case they are CF and weigh about 3/4oz for both pants. Very light and sexy looking too.

Axles NMP axles are really lightweight at like 4g for the pair of them. These are good on models up to about 11lbs. The axles use a "C" clip as the wheel collar and use a 4-40 bolt to hold to the gear strut. This is a really lightweight setup. Most guys will use a 8-32 bolt for the axle and I weighed these up and its just over 11-12g for this method. tettra 55mm wheels is another lightweight wheel that is big enough for the pattern models. These work well on pavement and are OK on grass. For grass I prefer a bigger diameter wheel, unless your grass looks like Triple Tree. The NMP axles are from Northern Model Products and Tettra wheels are sold through Central Hobbies.


Tail Wheel assembly is done light also. This is the lightest I have seen. Its a 1/4-20 nylon bolt center drilled on a lathe. Then use a Dubro 40 sized tail wheel assembly for the wire and a MPI electric foamy wheel that is about 1" diameter. Seems to work well...and by the scale its very very lightweight.

Remember we are doing the electric version here and light is best.

Troy
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Old 06-12-2006, 12:22 AM   #12
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Landing gear mounted using (2) 4-40 bolts per gear leg. This is a little light on the bolt size but I want to make sure the model is at a good weight. Shooting for under 10.5lbs with batts. I can always drill them out and install 6-32 bolts. Besides we used to hold YS120 and 140's to the firewall on our pattern models with (3) 4-40 bolts I did this for years on my Hyde mounts. Merle changed the mounts to (4) 6-32's a few years ago although I never had any trouble with the (3) 4-40's

A quick check of my machinist handbook on the strength of a 4-40 alloy bolt....and I'm satisfied its enough. Besides I now have 15 flights to prove its working so far. Do I recommend this to others...Maybe not sure yet. Its holding up well for me. I used JR servo wheels as washers. This give a large area to distribute the load. Seems to be working. I have Nylon lock nuts on the bottom side of the gear to keep everything tight.

A quick modification to the slots the gear pass through in the fuse side will keep the flexing of the gear legs from cracking the paint on the side of the fuse. This is a wood model and wood will flex a little. Since its painted that flex could end up in a little chip or crack in the paint. Nothing structural just not as pretty to the eye.

So I mod the slots a little and it solves the problem.
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Old 06-12-2006, 12:25 AM   #13
Troy Newman
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Default Re: Pinnacle Electric

Wheels and axles installed on the gear struts.

Another 2-3hrs on the landing gear and this was screwing around....So we are at about 6hrs total on the model so far. Its sitting on its wheels. Time to go for the Motor install.
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Old 06-12-2006, 12:10 PM   #14
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Default Re: Pinnacle Electric

Looks awesome Troy, can't wait until we get the Berryl we have on order. This past weekend I saw Bill Cunningham fly his Oxai Astral and his light blue was really blue. Just watching him fly, I had trouble seeing the airplane and the attitude it was at. Any comments on the visibility of your pinnacles? The Berryl is pretty much the same scheme as the Astral and I don't want to end up with a $$ plane I can't see. Also, do you think you're going to end up flying your electric or one of your glows as a primary at the NATS?

Beautiful work, can't wait to see you again at the NATS.
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Old 06-13-2006, 10:17 AM   #15
Troy Newman
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Brett,

I have not had any problems with seeing the model. The white paint has a little blue tint to it. Depending on your glasses, I use a polarized sunglass and it gets more blue tint when I put the glasses on.

I have seen no issues on bright sunny blue sky days and on hazy days...I have never had a problem where the light blue on the model blends into the blue sky.

Now I have not seen Bill's XX as it went straight to him from China. I have seen the X version that was built for a customer last year and it also had the same blue as my Pinnacles.

I was a little concerned when I first got the glow version in 2005. I just have not had any issues with it. In fact the way its done I think it makes the model look better. Others have commented on how visible the model is in the air...So it a personal taste thing I guess.

Troy
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