FVK Models ELECTRON 600
I purchased an Electron 600 from Northeast Sailplane products this summer while I was in Eugene, Oregon. The Electron is a very nice 2 meter sized electric glider. It is an arf with a very nice fiberglass fuselage and a truly excellent wing. Because it's an arf I'm just going to write one section on overall construction. And then some on flying.
Construction of the Electron goes very quickly but there are several area's to watch out for where a little foresight is useful. The Electron comes with a few instruction sheets but they are really of little use. The first problem area comes when you are installing your pushrods. Make sure you install the ends of the pushrod far enough into the fuselage from the exit and servo mounts to have room for the soldered on connections. The pushrods are a very nice braided wire with soldered on 2-56 threads and I used nylon connections as I like to avoid metal to metal especially in electrics. The kit is supplied with metal connectors. I didn't install my pushrod housings far into into the fuselage so I had to grind off over an inch of housing when I went to install the pushrods and attach the controls. The next key area to watch out for is the firewall. Mine was loose. I discovered this when installing my motor. While trying to tighten the mounting screws I knocked the firewall out. So I epoxied it back in and this time used enough excess epoxy to make a nice small fillet around the edge. Make sure you add quite a bit of downthrust is your using a motor on the higher end of the power spectrum. You'll need it. Everything else in this kit goes together very easily. All you need to do for the wing is glue in the 2 hold down dowels. They are predrilled already and when I test fit the wing on the fuselage everything lined up perfectly. Let me also note that the wing has some of the best construction I've ever seen. Better then a lot of gliders I've seen that were built and not ARFs. For this model I used a mega mini 6 turn motor coupled to a 2:1 gear reduction and a 10x8 folding CAM prop, 7 1250 mAh cells. I used a New Creations RC ESC and 2 Hitec HS 80 servos. I built the non aileron version. The kit leaves it up to you as to how you want to attach the canopy. I just use scotch tape to attach it for each flight. It has worked very well so far. Remember to cut out cooling holes in the fuselage. Motors generate a lot of heat.
After arriving at the field I range checked everything and checked balance and all the normal pre first flight tests. I had someone else toss the plane and I was intending on just doing a glide test first. It tracked extremely well so I I applied half throttle and climbed up. It tracked very straight on climb but did try to purpoise. A lot more downthrust would have been nice. This plane manuevers much better then the Spirit I used to have and has a significantly better glide ratio. When it came time to land I had a hard time getting it to come down. I had to circle 3 or 4 times because I kept coming in to high. This thing floats forever in ground effect. Spoilers would have been a definete plus. For the next flight I finally applied full throttle. With the Mega mini the thrust to weight ratio is real close to 1:1 so the Electron got up to thermal height very quickly. Holding down is necesary durring the climb to prevent stalling and to keep a good efficient climb. You'll be up to height in 5 to 10 seconds. More downthrust would have definetely been good but I've gotten very good at compensating for it after a few flights so I don't think I will adjust the fire wall at all. The Electron thermals very well. It is very responsive to lift. It is definetely a floater but with it's very low drag can hunt out thermals well.
I have been extremely pleased with my Electron so far. I would recommend it to anyone looking for a good 2 meter electric glider. It outperforms any of the popular american arf 2 meters or the Spectra/Spirit or Electra. It has excellent workmanship and flies extremely well. I would like to in the future build an FVK Silent Dream 2.5. The Electron's big brother. It features a large spoiler which the Electron could really use when it comes to landing.