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$5 Hobbyking Hand Launch Free Flight Glider - EPO - RC conversation
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May 08 2014 by FaTe
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Hobbyking is known for its super cheap models and more but how about an EPO hand launch glider for just $5!

It's free flight so converting to Remote Control is going to require some planning. Control surface areas are marked out in the foam and after some math appear to be scaled correctly so I used the markings. While it's a cheap model I don't like the design so much, so a custom paint job was also on the list.

[*] Hobbyking Hand Launch Free Flight Glider - EPO

[*] 4 * Turnigy 1370A Servo 3.7g/0.4kg/.10sec
/media/hk glider/0-stock-hobbyking-freeflight-glider
The stock V tail model looks ideal for slope soaring and as I had enough bonus points saved I got mine for free which is the best price!
/media/hk glider/1-blue-fade-paint-job
NOTE Here you see the sprayed model however this should be done AFTER electronics are able to be placed, I got impatient.

Starting from the front as solid blue including the wings it then fades out into the stock white colour. 2 layers of blue where applied followed by 3 coats of lacquer.
/media/hk glider/2-inline-aileron-servos
Using the same technique that I designed for the Depron Delta I placed the aileron servos in-line with the aileron itself. The control horn directly screws into the aileron via a 1.5mm plywood piece bonded to the aileron. This means no control lines, nothing to snag, less drag and 100% servo torque as specified possible.
/media/hk glider/3-wing-carbon-rod-support
The wing is actually pretty strong and has a good thick profile. However as I like to fly in winds up to and including BFT10 I thought it best to still add a 2mm carbon rod across the span on the bottom side.
/media/hk glider/4-servo-lead-running
I was deciding how to best run the servo leads inside the fuselage and settled on directly across the wing on a custom Y harness which leads to the front of the fuselage through the inside of the wing area. You can also see the tail servos in place slightly in front of COG with the aileron servos slightly behind which mostly balances it out.
/media/hk glider/5-all-servos-fitted
The servo leads poking out into the front ready to be plugged in. Because of painting it first there where times of it flaking and having to respray to touch up effected areas, hence it's best to cut out all the holes required then spray lol.
/media/hk glider/6-canopy-carved-out
I don't want to cut so much foam out of the fuselage itself to keep impact resistance so I carved out the lid as far as I could without making it weak. You can see the steel bearing weight originally in which was 20g for COG balance.
/media/hk glider/7-inverted-receiver-rx-placement
Fitting my RX in this without cutting so much foam was a tricky problem for a while until I released if I just cut out a hole out big enough for the servo plugs to fit then the receiver can go in upside down.
/media/hk glider/8-lipo-2S-250mah-cut-out
With the receiver upside down you can see how much space is left, the lipo battery fits into a slot I cut out just big enough for it too fit in. This means no velcro or elastic etc to hold it in place, friction does it for free.
/media/hk glider/9-all-electronics-fitted
That's all the electronics in place and connected, I did an electronics test first to make sure one last time everything worked.

You can see now the ailerons are also fitted. I used proper hinge tape to fit them and they sit pretty flush.
/media/hk glider/10-v-tail-control-horns
The tail control surfaces now need hinged and control horns fitted. Most are simply in my opinion too big for a model this size so I took the smallest ones I had and trimmed off the top 2 holes.
/media/hk glider/11-control-lines-fitted
I'm using 1mm carbon rod as control line using heat shrink pipe and CA glue to attach metal Z bent wires on each end of the rod. Each rod is channelled through a 2mm inside diameter pipe on each side. In total I have about 10mm throw in each direction on the tail, the ailerons have about 15mm throw hehe.
As a none RC model to convert its all pretty straight forward. I could of done this 20 times quicker and had it look a mess like most conversation builds I see. Instead I turned this $5 cheap kids toy into a high winds slope soaring glider ready for lots of fun while looking good :)