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REV 2.4 - Mon Nov 15 00:00:30 2010

Edmonds
Ecee Thunder
13326 Preuit Place
Herndon, VA 20170-4341
 
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SPECS: 44" x 28" -
ROCKSIM FILE: MISSING - please submit here
SpaceCAD FILE: MISSING - please submit here
REC'D MOTORS: D12-3, E9-4

Rating
(Contributed - by Todd Williams)

[Rocket Pic]Brief
A BIG rocket glider kit that is easy to put together, looks and flies great.

Construction
The instructions are both sides of a single 11x17 sheet of paper. They may be just a little sparse for a complete beginner, but are adequate for anyone who has built a couple of rockets. They do not include any instructions on balancing and trimming for glide, which would be helpful to those without glider experience. I needed only to make a minor adjustment to add "positive motor retention" points for holding in my 24mm reload casing. Other than that they are complete and accurate.

The laser cut balsa parts fit like a good jigsaw puzzle. I was able to complete construction in one evening, which is amazing considering the size and sophistication of the model.

My finished model was balanced almost perfectly without any trimming when built according to the instructions. Very easy - time to fly it!

Finishing
This kit looks good as is, and I chose not to paint to keep weight down and get longer glide times.

Construction Rating: 4 ½ out of 5

GliderFlight
The Ecee Thunder requires a 3/16" launch rod.

The instructions say to tape the motor in, which is adequate for D12's, but I added a more positive retention for the 24mm reload casing. The added weight is minimal, and I think it would be a nice addition to the kit to include some more secure motor retention system as standard. Preparation is simple: Slide the piston back, secure the motor and fly.

The Ecee Thunder needed no extra trimming for glide - it was ready to go as built. It is large enough that it was was still in pretty good trim after adding a couple of blind nuts and wiring in a 24mm reload casing. To fly with the F12 reload does require some reinforcement - pay special attention to the wingtips and be sure of all glue joints. Boost is nice and straight, and glide is impressive looking, if not of "competition" duration (but then, how many big competition RG's have you seen?).

Flight Rating: 5 out of 5

Summary
The Ecee Thunder (like the Deltie Thunder before it) is a show stopper and will get attention even at high power launches. Easy to build. Fun to fly. Recommended!

Pros: ease of construction and flight, great looking, easy to trim
Cons: could use some sort of motor retention, kits hard to find

Overall Rating: 4 ½ out of 5

[Submit your Opinion]

GUEST's OPINION:
10/05 - "After nearly a dozen flights of my Ecee Thunder, I had a bizarre flight on what is my favorite motor for it, the Estes E9-4. I have flown this motor a half dozen times before, but on the last flight, the rocket re-kitted itself! It literally came apart along all the glue joints in the wings and stabilizers! My only guess is that the glue failed due to the extreme heat at Plaster Blaster 2005! It should be easy enough to reassemble. Good thing I wasn't flying the F21 that I had planned for the next flight!" (T.M.)

GUEST's OPINION:
03/02 - "I had a canard failure on the first flight, it landed safely but due to mis-alignment of the locking arm the canard was split from the center just behind the notch for the arm to one edge. the only thing holding it together was the tape hinge. Also you must try this bird on an Estes E9-4, It's my favorite motor for this bird!" (R.G.)

GUEST's OPINION:
08/00 - "The first thing you see is that it's BIG. Then when you hold it, you realize that it's really light! I would have liked to see more about balancing and motor selection. I saw a guy try to fly this on an D12-5. Big mistake, much too much delay. Perfect on a D12-3. Things I would improve: Bigger vent hole for ejection gasses. I saw three ETs blow off pieces of themselves if the ejection charge was too robust. Piston is REALLY hard to get back in hold and will quickly get crudded up. Grain on canard flap is the wrong direction and breaks too easily. Not one ET at NARAM 42 escaped broken canard syndrome. Reasons you should buy it anyway: It's a great flyer. It's a show stopper. The construction is amazingly easy. It's a marvelous, unique design. You'll fall in love with it. Try Totally Tubular to get one, they had a good supply of all the EA stuff last time I looked." (D.U.)

GUEST's OPINION:
08/00 - "I have to disagree with this. Although I would prefer offset grain this way is better. I flew mine 5 times at NARAM with RC gear onboard and otherwise unmodified. I never broke a canard even the one time I crashed it and the last flight where I crabbed it in too hard because of a boost failure. on the E15 (fifth flight) I thought the canard did shred and declared an emergency but it was the left rudder that shredded. With full left aileron I was able to barely level it out. It crabbed in and twisted in half (not designed to land like that) the canards even in this was undamaged. The reason you need the grain that direction is that the canard is one piece but looks like two and with the grain the other way it could very quickly become 2 when that piston jammed it. This would be catastrophic to say the least. At NARAM I did see a Ecee Thunder literally blow itself to pieces! It was on its way to crashing anyway but as it deployed the charge 20 feet off the ground the aircraft blew itself to literal pieces. Very spectacular. But being all balsa I bet the flier could repair it. I plan to rebuild mine with a more flexible fuselage to withstand off center landings since the heavier flight mass (radio gear) make this a problem. He could make the grain the other way and then add a second piece to offset the grain but this make the kit more complex and more to goof up. Under normal handling and performance the canard should never be in danger." (C.T.)

[Enter Rocket Specific Tip]

SPECIFIC ROCKET TIP:
07/08 - "The moving canard flap should be reinforced before flight. The torque at canard lock-down is tremendous and can cause the flap segments to snap themselves off (a common problem as evidenced by the flight logs). Reinforcement should start just behind the hinge tape and back about 1/2-inch. One way to reinforce is by gluing paper to the top and bottom of the canard flap." (D.L.S.M. )

SPECIFIC ROCKET TIP:
09/02 - "I got a nice glide circle by first balancing the glider laterally, then subtracting 3 grams from on wing tip. Going from a straight line to a circle will probably require the CG to be very slightly moved back." (B.B. from RMR )

[Enter Flight Log]
Date Name Motor Ejection/
Altitude
Wind Notes
10-17-2006 Donald Besaw Est SU D12-3 Just Past (1-2sec) 0-5 mph winds - Nice first flight, kicked out motor despite tight friction fit. Glided down with a pretty steep angle but landed without damage.
10-17-2006 Donald Besaw Est SU D12-3 Just Past (1-2sec) 0-5 mph winds - Second flight, nice boost but the elevators broke off which led to a nasty nose dive. I expected to find balsa shavings but everything was intact with just a few cracks. I also found the elevator pieces. All fixed and good to go again.
10-21-2006 Donald Besaw Est SU D12-3 Just Past (1-2sec) 5-10 mph winds - Great flight and glide, kicked motor again. This was a real crowd pleaser. No damage.
11-11-2006 Donald Besaw Est SU D12-3 Just Past (1-2sec) 0-5 mph winds - Nice flight but once again kicked the motor. Auggered in rather deep and hard but sustained no damage.
11-24-2006 Donald Besaw Est SU C11-3 Just Past (1-2sec) 5-10 mph winds - Great launch on the C11 but ended up nosing straight in for some reason, forward section broke off on impact. I have since nicknamed this the Crash Machine. Will fly again.
11-26-2006 Donald Besaw Est SU D12-3 Just Past (1-2sec) Calm - Great flight but failed to glide, spun down to the ground in a flat spin. No damage.
11-26-2006 Donald Besaw Est SU D12-3 Just Past (1-2sec) Calm - Second flight, once again failed to glide, came down in the same flat spin as the previous flight. I have added nose weight and will try again.
01-06-2007 Donald Besaw Est SU D12-3 Apogee - Perfect 0-5 mph winds - Excellent flight, very straight boost. A very energetic ejection kicked the motor and took the hook with it. With some nose weight added, I finally got a great glide but landed very far away. No damage.
02-17-2001 Brett Buck Est SU D12-3 Just Before Calm - Ejected slighty early, half inside loop. Large amplitude long period stalls, hit sidewalk, broke nose off at elevator cutout
02-17-2001 Brett Buck Est SU D12-3 Just Before Calm - Nose glued back on, CG +1/8. Ejected slightly early, 3/4 inside loop, perfect glide. Landed 20 feet from pad.
07-24-2004 David Fergus Est SU D12-3 Just Past (1-2sec) 0-5 mph winds - kicked motor, (not taped well enough), nose too heavy and nosed into ground and broke into seven gluable pieces.. will rebuild with an engine hook, and remove the one extra nose piece to lighten the nose some...
06-25-2005 Matt Gillard Est SU E9-4 Apogee - Perfect Calm Event: worksop college launch
- Arched backwards, and then flew flat at about 200 feet, motor ejected and the ecee continued to glide for just over half a mile- i enjoyed the walk
12-08-2005 Matt Gillard Est SU D12-3 None - Glider Calm - Arched back, pulled a lazy back loop, glider nose cone down and then settled into a wide slow semicircle glide.
12-08-2005 Matt Gillard Est SU D12-3 None - Glider Calm - boosted straight, back looped too close to ground landed quiet hard snaping canard. can easily repair
12-13-2005 Matt Gillard Est SU D12-3 None - Glider 0-5 mph winds - staight lift. flipped at top and settled into a steady glide, only a slight turn to glide so a long walk, found glider in two pieces- drat. can easily repair.
08-09-2009 Matt Gillard Est SU E9-4 Apogee - Perfect 0-5 mph winds - great flight, gave a wide turn. landed perfectly
10-10-2009 Matt Gillard Est SU D12-3 None - Glider 5-10 mph winds Event: October Sky / Twycross 2
- flew with video camera strapped to the side, gave a shortish but good glide of 26 seconds
09-18-2010 Matt Gillard Est SU D12-3 None - Glider 5-10 mph winds Event: Midland Sky
- Good flight.
09-18-2010 Matt Gillard Est SU E9-4 None - Glider 5-10 mph winds Event: Midland Sky
- Good flight. Long walk.
09-18-2010 Matt Gillard Est SU D12-3 None - Glider 5-10 mph winds Event: Midland Sky
- Good flight.
09-18-2010 Matt Gillard Est SU D12-3 None - Glider 10+ mph winds Event: Midland Sky
- Good flight. winds took it hald a mile down wind.
11-14-2010 Matt Gillard Est SU D12-3 None - Glider 0-5 mph winds - another great flight, need to rebalance so that it turns.
042807-0-20 Todd Mullin Est SU D12-3 None - Glider 0-5 mph winds Event: Fiesta Island
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042807-0-20 Todd Mullin Est SU D12-3 None - Glider 0-5 mph winds Event: Fiesta Island
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02-25-2006 Todd Mullin Est SU D12-3 None - Glider 0-5 mph winds Event: DART Launch
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04-29-2006 Todd Mullin Est SU D12-3 None - Glider 0-5 mph winds Event: DART Launch
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04-29-2006 Todd Mullin Est SU D12-3 None - Glider 0-5 mph winds Event: DART Launch
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05-14-2006 Todd Mullin Est SU E9-4 None - Glider 0-5 mph winds Event: DART Launch
- Too much power...came apart 3/4 of the way through the boost. Major repair work needed, but it will fly again.
05-14-2006 Todd Mullin Est SU D12-3 None - Glider 0-5 mph winds Event: DART Launch
- Perfect Flight
06-03-2006 Todd Mullin Est SU D12-3 None - Glider 0-5 mph winds -
07-08-2006 Todd Mullin Est SU D12-3 None - Glider 0-5 mph winds Event: Fiesta Island
-
07-08-2006 Todd Mullin Est SU D12-3 None - Glider 0-5 mph winds Event: Fiesta Island
- Broke airframe at joint behind canard (again...) This seems to be a very weak point that seems to break frequently on landing. Perfect boost, crowd loved it! Repairable, it'll fly again.
08-26-2006 Todd Mullin Est SU D12-3 None - Glider 0-5 mph winds Event: Fiesta Island
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08-26-2006 Todd Mullin Est SU D12-3 None - Glider 0-5 mph winds Event: Fiesta Island
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08-26-2006 Todd Mullin Est SU D12-3 None - Glider 0-5 mph winds Event: Fiesta Island
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01-27-2007 Todd Mullin Est SU D12-3 None - Glider 0-5 mph winds Event: Fiesta Island
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01-27-2007 Todd Mullin Est SU D12-3 None - Glider 0-5 mph winds Event: Fiesta Island
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02-24-2007 Todd Mullin Est SU D12-3 None - Glider 0-5 mph winds Event: Fiesta Island
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03-11-2007 Todd Mullin Est SU D12-5 None - Glider 0-5 mph winds Event: Fiesta Island
- Grabbed the wrong delay motor out of my flight box. The ecee came way past apogee before kicking the elevator. Nice recovery even with the bonus delay that I wasn't expecting.
03-11-2007 Todd Mullin Est SU D12-3 None - Glider 0-5 mph winds Event: Fiesta Island
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03-11-2007 Todd Mullin Est SU D12-3 None - Glider 0-5 mph winds Event: Fiesta Island
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03-11-2007 Todd Mullin Est SU D12-3 None - Glider 0-5 mph winds Event: Fiesta Island
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03-24-2007 Todd Mullin Est SU D12-3 None - Glider 0-5 mph winds Event: Fiesta Island
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05-05-2007 Todd Mullin Est SU D12-3 None - Glider 10+ mph winds Event: Plaster City
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05-26-2007 Todd Mullin Est SU D12-3 None - Glider 0-5 mph winds Event: Fiesta Island
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05-26-2007 Todd Mullin Est SU D12-3 None - Glider 0-5 mph winds Event: Fiesta Island
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06-10-2007 Todd Mullin Est SU D12-5 None - Glider 0-5 mph winds Event: Fiesta Island
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01-10-2010 Todd Mullin Est SU D12-3 Just Past (1-2sec) 0-5 mph winds Event: Fiesta Island
- First flight of the new Ecee Thunder! Great flight! Still needs a little trim, but very close on the first try!
01-10-2010 Todd Mullin Est SU D12-3 None - Glider 0-5 mph winds Event: Fiesta Island
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01-10-2010 Todd Mullin Est SU D12-3 None - Glider 0-5 mph winds Event: Fiesta Island
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02-14-2010 Todd Mullin Est SU D12-3 None - Glider 0-5 mph winds Flight PictureEvent: Fiesta Island
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02-14-2010 Todd Mullin Est SU E9-4 None - Glider 0-5 mph winds Flight PictureEvent: Fiesta Island
- Power prang! Ecee Thunder drag race and both rockets hit the dirt on the same motor. DO NOT FLY THIS ROCKET ON AN E9-4!
03-14-2010 Todd Mullin Est SU D12-3 None - Glider 5-10 mph winds Event: Fiesta Island - DART Open 10-1
-
03-14-2010 Todd Mullin Est SU D12-3 None - Glider 10+ mph winds Event: Fiesta Island - DART Open 10-1
- Got some bonus delay on the motor and with the higher than recommended wind causing a lot of weather cocking, there was no activation of the elevator. Broke head off glider again... Back to the repair shop!
01-13-2008 Todd Mullin Est SU D12-3 None - Glider 0-5 mph winds RIPEvent: Fiesta Island
- Beautiful, rail straight boost. Canard and elevator blown off at ejection. Airframe came SCREAMING straight down and smashed into too many pieces to even think about reassembling. Status: Not Repairable
07-06-2008 Dwayne Surdu-Miller Est SU D12-3 Apogee - NC Up 0-5 mph winds Event: SAROS launch
- Very straight boost and coast, no spin. Perfect nose-up deployment, but starboard canard flap separated. Very level glide with very slow spiral. Fabulous regal glide! Gentle landing in weeds.
08-03-2000 David Urbanek Est SU D12-3 Apogee - NC Down 5-10 mph winds - Good boost, kind of leveled out at just about the time the motor burned out. Ejection blew piece of balsa off nose section. Still stayed aloft for 32 seconds.
   

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