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Radio Control Forum => Jets => Topic started by: Konrad on September 15, 2016, 01:12:03 PM

Title: Freewing Mirage 2000C-5 , A tiger by the tail
Post by: Konrad on September 15, 2016, 01:12:03 PM
This Delta needs some changes.

I purchased this Freewing Mirage 2000 over two years ago from MotionRC as an ARF kit.  Motion RC did not have the Kit Plus option at the time. As with all modern military aircraft the camouflage makes tracking these models very difficult for these 50+ year old eyes! Low visibility gray works!!! On the ground I do like the two tone French camouflage. But as I have to see the model in the air to control it military paint schemes are not appropriate.  Luckily There Mirage 2000 has been painted in many "Tiger Meet” paint schemes. I’ve chosen to paint mine in the 2004 Tiger meet scheme.  The bright yellow, orange and green will make the model pop in the sky, well if one is looking at the top side of the model.

Much to my horror I’ve found the Freewing does not have, nor have they found a paint processes that allows their paint to adhere to the base material of the model. This is not only a problem for Freewing but is an issue for all manufactures of EPO foam models. I have yet to find a masking material that will not lift off the OEM applied paint!  The best I’ve come up with is to use “Frog tape for delicate surfaces”. And then to lift off the mask (Frog tape for delicate surfaces) I have to warm the mask with a hair dryer, warm only don’t get it hot of the EPO beads will expand.  

With all the masking and repainting issues I was having I was shocked to find that I had spent over 12 man hours just to get some color on the model. As this is a foamy I told myself there is no point trying to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.  It will never look great up close, that isn’t the point of a foam model. So I assembled the model to fly even with some of the tiger strips missing.

As I mentioned earlier I’m using ARF kit as my starting point, I'm using the Freewing inrunner fan housing with Neu1410/2Y/SE 1850Kv motor and Jet fan rotor. I’m also using Freewing branded servos. Batteries are Revolectrix 435 series 4600 mAh at 620 grams. Flight testing has reveled some major control issues, predominately with the aileron roll rate. As spec’d and as set up in the instruction manual, the full span control surfaces offer far too much deflection for any hope of controlled flight. Limiting the servo motion at the transmitter results in a large loss of servo resolution and power. This is NOT desirable under any condition. And is a greater concern with the recommended small 9 gram economy type servo with this model, as these are NOT of the highest quality nor are they digital (to be clear, they are adequate for a foamy).

With the servos set up to give the desired elevator response one needs to turn down the aileron command input by over half (48%) that of the elevator movement. This is a very bad condition if one hopes to maintain any kind of aileron control resolution.

The manual failed to mention that with delta wings there needs to be much more down elevator movement than up elevator movement. This is because the elevator is reflexed (airfoil) for a positive pitch moment (stability). To fly level inverted the elevator needs to move a great deal more in the “downward” direction to effect the needed reflex in the inverted position. For a balanced feel between up and down on the elevator stick I had to add 150% more to the servo's downward end points in the transmitter menu. Otherwise I had to hold over 3/4 forward elevator stick just to maintain inverted flight.

In my case I moved the push rod one hole closer to the servo axis, for an arm length of approximately 7 mm. This still allowed a bit too much up elevator movement. I had to electrical limit the high rate elevator, not the best solution. I plan to slant the servo arms rearward to set up the much needed elevator differential (mechanically). Unfortunately this will result is reversed aileron differential. I will have to address this electronically within the transmitter programing. The proper solution would be to split the wing trailing edge into dedicated surfaces (elevator and aileron). I don’t know why Freewing didn’t go this way. The cost of 2 servos would only have added to the manufacturing cost by about $5 usd. (The 80mm Freewing F-5 has twice as many servos)

Flight performance is exceptional for a thick winged foamy at 6,000 feet altitude. With the above mentioned power set up the model was drawing 92-90 amps. (My Freewing F-5 with the upgraded Freewing inrunner is drawing about 84 amps [73 amps inflight]). In straight line speed the Mirage 2000 is the fastest of the 80mm Freewing jets. But with the thick foam wing the speed is still in the sedate 100 plus MPH range. I did notice some instability in roll as the aircraft would rock about 2 degrees at a rate of about 4 to 5 oscillations a second. This would be a perfect place for a gyro but with the low resolution analog servos recommended and the poor mechanics of the linkage the true benefit of the gyro might not be realized.  

I find that the best balance point is 3mm ahead of the rear most recommend. (This point is found when all three wheels lift off the ground at the same time, none of this upside down desensitize (dampening) stuff). Delta wings are more limited in range for proper CofG. The range given in the Freewing manual is far too wide! It needs to be cut in half! I have found that best CofG to be at 523mm froward from the aft end of the nozzle. With a delta wing it is best to be a bit on the tail heavy side. With a nose heavy delta winged ship, landing speeds are just too high!

Even balance towards the aft end of the Freewing's CofG range I have to cary 1mm of up trim (measured at the widest part of the control surface and against the aft fuselage fairing). From the same point my control surface movement is as follows:

16mm up Elevator
22mm down Elevator
9mm up Aileron
8mm down Aileron
Rudder all I can get. With the low rate set at 40% to control the take off roll and to dampen the high speed taxiing.

Along with the Delta wing mix I have resorted to using one more mix. There is a strong downward pitching motion with the gear extended. This is a result of both a forward CofG shift, but and more likely from increased drag added below the wing. I mix in 8% up elevator when the gear is extended.

As has been hinted to earlier, EPO makes a horrible material to make a scale model from. Particularly so with darker models often typical of military paint schemes.  This is because EPO is very unstable when it come to any kind of heat. I don’t know what environment Freewing of MotionRC fly in but I fly in the comfortable dry high desert of Colorado with the temps around 25°C. I’m showing the cockpit of my Freewing Mirage 2000. This heat damage was as a result of the model being exposed to sun light for about 5 to 6 minutes. The was the time it took me to install the battery, taxi out to the flight line, fly for 2.75 minutes, land and taxi back. As you can see the EPO beads in the cockpit look more like pop corn than anything else! also the darker blue gray areas are starting to alligator (early stages of EPO instability, expansion). Its a bit late for my cockpit, but I’ve cut the floor away to try to give the cockpit some ventilation. I also use did this for clearance of my voltage telemetry sensor. I’m also showing the clearance pocket I make int he aft part of the cockpit/ battery hatch to clear the battery connectors.

Just to be clear EPO is fine (when engineered properly) for trainers and light colored models (white, yellow etc.). But for scale models the surface finish and stability issues, make EPO wholly inadequate. If purchasing an EPO scale model it would be best to think of it as a sport model, not a high fidelity scale model.

With the poor control issues (really this can be traced to a poor manual) and the fact that EPO foam is not a durable material for a scale model I’d have to give the Freewing Mirage 2000 a 2 star rating. With some corrections to the manual it would really be a strong 3 star model.

Friends don’t let friends fly foam, well not scale foam models,

BTW; The tiger paint schemes does show up well, even if only on the top side! While I do enjoy my Freewing Mirage 2000. The kit as sold by Freewing and marketed by MotionRC is not ready for the masses. The manual needs a lot of help. And Freewing needs to aim the control system for computerized radios, not entry level radios. This model is not suitable for beginners or even moderate fliers, as such it should not be crippled by a singe control surface wing.

I have to salute MotionRC for posting my critical and often less than flattering reviews of the products they sell. I hope they and their customer base can benefit from them.

Title: Re: Freewing Mirage 2000C-5 , A tiger by the tail
Post by: Bill G on September 15, 2016, 08:07:44 PM
That foam certainly did turn into a basketball finish, from the heat.  Maybe even soccerball.  From what I remember, GWS actually used some of the best EPS and EPO foam, from foamies I've seen.  I remember the foam being reasonably dense, small bead and with a good finish and never had any heat issues.  I got an EPS Eflite Sea Fury some years ago, where the wing LE required epoxy coating, so that mere grass wouldn't file and chip away the foam. The darn cowl suffered some heat damage, while in the car which was not extremely hot.  Of course the worst foam IMO was "built to crash and not to fly" EPP.  Sure enough, it would endure crash damage, with the disadvantage of not exactly being repairable, as well as having a horrible finish.

Title: Re: Freewing Mirage 2000C-5 , A tiger by the tail
Post by: Konrad on September 15, 2016, 10:25:01 PM
As real modelers (builders and flyers) you and I are painfully aware of the limitations of the materials we use. For a manufacture to bring a model to market that can't hold up the reasonable expected environment is unconscionable. And to offer a product that is not repairable is down right unethical.

Title: Re: Freewing Mirage 2000C-5 , A tiger by the tail
Post by: Konrad on September 20, 2016, 03:32:23 PM
After doing some more flying and research I’ve come to the conclusion that the 2° oscillation I’ve noticed may not be as a result of aerodynamic forces (tip vortices). I suspect that most of this issue is as a result of the servo and their control geometries.

Now what annoys me is that there is no technical data on MotionRC’s web site indication what these 9 gram servos are (from a performance perspective). I as a customer wish I knew what the Freewing servo was rated at. MotionRC has failed to supply me with this data (they claim they don’t know).
I’d like to ask if anyone knows what the performance data is for these Freewing servos. And if you can legally state the performance I’d like to know, prior to purchasing what I hope are upgraded servos.

I’m thinking of trying the Bluebird BMS 210 servo. Love the torque of 3.1 Kg-cm @ 4.8v. But it is on the pricy side at around $20 USD for a $200 foamy. (With these servos I’d have added 20% to the cost). It is also on the heavy side 16grams and it has a coreless motor. I don’t like coreless motors in high vibration areas (Ducted Fans)*

Now I’ve had real good performance and life from these E-Max servos the ES090MD as my replacement for OEM 9 gram servos. But at only 2.6 Kg-cm  (2.3 Kg-cm @ 4.8v) I’m not sure I’m actually gaining much over the stock Freewing servo. I think the Freewing is closer to 1.5 Kg-cm maybe 1.8 Kg-cm

* Now as the servos are held captive in a foam wing, fan vibration might not be the issue it was in the days of old. Coreless motors mean faster response times are there is less mass starting and stopping the motor (no iron core).

Title: Re: Freewing Mirage 2000C-5 , A tiger by the tail
Post by: Bill G on September 22, 2016, 01:26:27 AM
Whatever torque spec they give you would likely be unrealistic, like some other less than highly reputable servos.  Want some Emax ES08MA servos?  I have 4 sitting around, and rarely use anything heavier than a 7gm servo, if I can help it. 

From what I've heard, the FW gear at least functions with reasonable reliability, unlike some ARF gear.  Wouldn't be surprised if they're like Dynam servos, which seem to at least work with some reliability, but have been known to have less than perfect centering, some geartrain freeplay, and not the highest torque ratings.

Title: Re: Freewing Mirage 2000C-5 , A tiger by the tail
Post by: Konrad on September 29, 2016, 12:09:39 PM
Bill, thank you for your gracious offer. I’m sorry I missed it earlier.
As to torque spec's they are to be thought of as representative. Derived in a controlled environment, to be used for comparison purposes. Sort of like car gas milage estimates. Ok I see your point looking at Volkswagen!

Back to the Freewing Mirage 2000C-5, I’ve been in discussion over the last week of so with MotionRC about my findings with the Freewing Mirage 2000C-5.

It is with a heavy heart that I have to report that MotionRC really has no intention of offering the customer superior customer service. Nor are they true to their posted words. They have refused to post my honest review of the flight characteristic of the Freewing Mirage 2000C-5. The review is basically a condensed version of what I posted here. They claim it is too technical and that they want to confer with the OEM. Beside they claim there are no other reports of overly sensitive ailerons.

I for one don’t understand how a review can be too technical. I also wonder what blinders they are wearing.  ALL credible review of the Freewing Mirage 2000C-5 where the reviewer actually flew the model, state that the aileron motion is far too great. Often stating that the amount in the manual is twice that needed. Even their own sales video mention the problem in passing.

It looks to me that they want you to have the great customer experience by being a great customer by purchasing your second  Freewing Mirage 2000C-5. And to have a successful maiden with the lessons learned from the crash of your first Freewing Mirage 2000C-5.

MotionRC really has shown their hand as being no better than some of the fruit vendors that sold foam in the past when addressing the customer experience.

I’ve asked that they be true to their word and post my review. This is to help perspective buyers have a fighting chance at a successful maiden. And to uphold their reputation as a customer focused organization

I also asked that they add an addendum to the manual and web site sales page warning of the aileron control issue. I understand that with this request for an addendum that they might want to confer with the OEM or even their own test pilots as to what value to publish for aileron motion on the maiden flight.

Really it is a fun model once the errors in the manual are addressed.

I think I may start a shaming thread of MotionRC where I post the transcript in full.

Title: Re: Freewing Mirage 2000C-5 , A tiger by the tail
Post by: Konrad on September 29, 2016, 06:09:08 PM
Am I out of line to ask that MotionRC/Freewing publish data that gives the pilot a fighting chance at having a successful maiden flight?

I'm not so arrogant as to think MotionRC would have read this review. So I wrote then asking for corrected data. It had been 2 years sine I purchased the Freewing Mirage 2000C-5. I even gave them my finding as to what works great. Much to my surprise their sales guy said that; "Yes, the aileron roll rate was a hair raising experience" then he tried to up sell me a gyro. The correct path is to lower the aileron throw not sell the customer a gyro!  

To the management of MotionRC it isn't just me. Look no further than your own video crew!

Even MotionRC’s own "Pilot Ryan" is saying through out this whole video, 40% dual rate and 40% expo. Not sure what radio he is using but again he is saying cut down the aileron throw in half, at least!

I found this video by a guy that has more flight time on Mirages than Dassault, Criss Larry. Ok, model Mirages
His experience seems to mimic mine very closely. Love his quote at around the 6:30 mark, Criss Larry “Good luck with that”

I’m at a loss as to why MotionRC is so reluctant to correct the data in the product manual. Its been over 2 years since they started to carry the Freewing Mirage 2000C-5. To not give their customer proper set up instruction is just inexcusable even very dangerous should a model deviate from controlled flight on the maiden and crash into the pits killing somebody.

Horizon Hobbies has been very quick to correct issue in their manuals. I point the Cog issue in the Carbon-Z Yak 54.

MotionRC WHAT GIVES? Do the right thing and protect your reputation and the investment your customers made in you and your products. Publish the correct set up parameters for the maiden flight of the Freewing Mirage 2000C-5. Come on its been 2 years now!

Even at 7mm this unfortunate customer had issue!

I've given these guy (MotionRC) almost 2 weeks to give me a sane response to the aileron throw issue. I've come to the end of my tolerance for corporate stalling.

MotionRC, Please, please do the right thing and add an addendum to the manual with the corrected aileron throws!

Title: Re: Freewing Mirage 2000C-5 , A tiger by the tail
Post by: Hank G B Z on October 04, 2016, 12:05:42 PM

    Interesting thread.  You are correct, Free Wing and Motion RC should always update the manual to show the best way to set up the model so somebody has a hope in hell of flying it.  Such is the hobby these days that both Free Wing and Motion RC probably don't care and are waiting for the remaining stock to sell so they can break the molds and move on to the next jet.  The next release will probably have more servos, working ejection seats, and be so heavy that it either flies for 3 minutes or colapes the landing gear on landing each time.  The business of these foam arfs seems to be that release a model on the market and when the craze subsides release the next one.  No need to worry about how well it really flies, sales are based on how many people like the picture on the website. 

    Yes adding a gyro is not the answer.  If a gyro makes a poor flying plane fly well, then you're better off trimming the poor flying plane to make it a good flying plane, then add a gyro to make a good flying plane be excellent.  Currently my dad and I are messing around with a UMX habu with "Safe AS3X".  THe only times i've crashed it i was flying in one of the "safe" modes and ran out of throw fighting the gyro.  Can't complain though because my dad found it in the trash with the manual so we fixed it and have been flying it. 

   The hobby seems to be about consumption not craftsmanship. 

I like your paint job.  I'm gonna try to paint a Durafly SkyMule that my dad and I put a float plane kit from park flyer plastics on.  Gonna try to make it look like a water bomber.  Yellow over the white foam should be easy enough. 

  Bring the mirage down here and show all the guys at my field how an EDF should really fly.


Title: Re: Freewing Mirage 2000C-5 , A tiger by the tail
Post by: Konrad on October 04, 2016, 03:14:12 PM
Thanks for the kind words.

I had a minor set back with the 2004 Tiger Meet livery. I’m using Tamiya paints for the most part. While they spray out nice they are “delicate”. I was cleaning off some overspray with window cleaner and damaged the port eye ever so slightly. It should be easy enough to repair. Just a lot of re-masking and the like.

I’d love to bring here down to sea level, but for the foreseeable future she will live at the higher elevations of the Denver area. To be clear no foamy really can represent the full potential of the EDF power system. This one has a lot of issue with the intake and that super thick wing really does act like a brake keeping the speed in check!

MotionRC really has fallen from the position she held only 2 years ago as a firm offering superlative customer service to a firm one would only patronize if one had no other option. I now fully understand why FMS signed up with Horizon Hobbies as the sole importer into the North American market. I truly hope Freewing can survive the gross error they made in offering MotionRC sole distribution rights in North America.

It was this superlative customer service from MotionRC 3 years ago that turned my around from the rabid anti foam ARF modeler I was, to now having to admit 80% of my flyable fleet is foam. It all started with their disclaimer of Dynam products. They in red letters said that while Dynam products might not be the best they were of great value. This admission that a product line had issue was very refreshing to me. That I actually bought some Dynam kits. And sure enough they are second tier both in the systems supplied and in their packaging. But with the upfront disclaimer I knew what I was getting and was very happy with the Dynam purchase from MotionRC.

Now if one is looking for technical support (what I think of as true customer support, not 3 hour turnaround on a shipping order) from MotionRC you will be treated as if you are asking for superfluous information!
And told to “Follow the manual, regardless of the errors”! After all it will give MotionRC the opportunity to sell you a replacement.

I need to be clear, the Freewing Mirage 200C-5 is a thingy cat to fly if set up correctly. (No need for that expert label give her on their sales page). With her huge wing area she is very forgiving, dare I say trainer like, but with a twist. That is she goes where you point her. This actually makes her easier to fly than a trainer! She is far easier to fly than my Freewing F-5 and a lot faster to boot!

Bottom line is get the Mirage 2000C-5 but avoid getting it from MotionRC if at all possible! All they want is to sell you a gyro and a new (second) airframe!

I would love to see Park Flier Plastics come out with a Kiefer or two seat cockpit add on .

Title: Re: Freewing Mirage 2000C-5 , A tiger by the tail
Post by: Konrad on October 04, 2016, 05:52:22 PM
Wow, How did Pussycat autocorrect into thingy cat?

I now keep getting this song in my head "Smelly Cat"

Title: Re: Freewing Mirage 2000C-5 , A tiger by the tail
Post by: Hank G B Z on October 05, 2016, 12:37:06 PM
Nice pop culture references.  Never figured you for a "friends" fan.


Title: Re: Freewing Mirage 2000C-5 , A tiger by the tail
Post by: Konrad on October 05, 2016, 01:09:03 PM
Nice pop culture references.  Never figured you for a "friends" fan.
Or that I might have a passing knowledge of literature.

Something is rotten in the state of MotionRC. (My apologies to Bill)

The more I deal with the MotionRC the more I notice the putrid odor emanating from the upper echelons of the MotionRC management team.

Friends don't let friends buy from MotionRC, (well not if they want technically valid advice),

Title: Re: Freewing Mirage 2000C-5 , A tiger by the tail
Post by: Hank G B Z on October 05, 2016, 07:45:28 PM

  No worries, i won't buy from Motion R/C.  Between the amount of Kits i have, mortgage payments, pre school payments, and a complete lack of free time, i generally decide I don't like most of those foamies anyway. 


Title: Re: Freewing Mirage 2000C-5 , A tiger by the tail
Post by: Bill G on October 08, 2016, 12:05:37 AM
I would definitely say that I'm not a fan of what foamies have done to the forums, in terms of building.  There's a new 30mm A10 that's supposed to be released in a month or so.  I built a 30mm A10 a decade ago.  Not even a favorite subject and easy to build, but flies well.  I tend to like under modeled subjects, which these companies will never make.  Anyway, there's already multi-page threads of people posting, just trying to pretend to be "part of the mix" that must chime in like children just to announce to everyone that they're getting one of these new toys.  In the past when there weren't so many foam ARFs available, people had interest in builds, even if they weren't building.  I think part of that was due to there not being so many foam ARFs available, so if they saw something interesting it caught their interest, even if they probably would never build it, or build anything for that matter.  In recent times, these guys have zero interest in anything, unless they can buy it off the shelf.

Title: Re: Freewing Mirage 2000C-5 , A tiger by the tail
Post by: Konrad on October 10, 2016, 10:39:48 AM
I would definitely say that I'm not a fan of what foamies have done to the forums, in terms of building.  There's a new 30mm A10 that's supposed to be released in a month or so.  I built a 30mm A10 a decade ago.  Not even a favorite subject and easy to build, but flies well.  I tend to like under modeled subjects, which these companies will never make.  Anyway, there's already multi-page threads of people posting, just trying to pretend to be "part of the mix" that must chime in like children just to announce to everyone that they're getting one of these new toys.  In the past when there weren't so many foam ARFs available, people had interest in builds, even if they weren't building.  I think part of that was due to there not being so many foam ARFs available, so if they saw something interesting it caught their interest, even if they probably would never build it, or build anything for that matter.  In recent times, these guys have zero interest in anything, unless they can buy it off the shelf.
True the R/C hobby has changed. I remember actually building the electrical components like Servos, Tx, and Receivers. Now it is all on a chip and in the computer code!

Now to be truthful even at the height of the building craft (70's) there were actually very few modelers (fliers) that could actually build and repair their aircraft well. Think back of all the Ugly Sticks that truly were ugly stick, sagging moneycoat, oil soaked firewalls and wheels that pointed every way but forward. So I understand the appeal of an ARF, PnP, BnF or whatever allows the average person to show up at the field with something that looks like an airplane.

What we as modelers have lost is the NEED to learn to improve our building and engineering skills to progress in the flying part of the hobby, R/C or any other aspect. I can now buy a model and be flying the full pattern schedule, 3 hours after I bought it.

The forums as originally in visioned by men like Jim Bourke was to share in the advancement and promote of the skills and technologies for these advancements. I'm thinking the brushless motors and ESC by Matt Orme and Steve Neu, Laser cut kits by Mountain Models, and lipos by Charlie Wang (Thunder Power) and Fred Marks (FMA/Kokam). I loved to see how these folks addressed issues they faced so that we could enjoy the hobby even more than we did yesterday.

This is why I spend time in the build forms, not to show off (yes that is part of it), but rather to learn how others like you solved issue. Where and what you and the other great builders placed emphasis on in your builds. How I could incorporate what others had done into my work. And to share how I did things to help others and to allow other to critique my methods. I'm always thankful to those that correct my fallacies.

 Most forum sites have degraded into mutual admiration societies aimed at supporting the membership's need for validation of and through the purchase of product. We have lost to a great extent the expression of the individual through our "art" (building, engineering and troubleshooting).

Now in the case of my Freewing Mirage 2000C-5 I was looking for a low emotional investment model to mimic the experience of the Jet Hanger Models Mirage III I build in the 80's, and to that extent it was a success.

Now I lost focus a bit in that I tried to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear. I spent far too much time airbrushing on the livery. But as a modeler trying to express my individuality (by copying ::) ) painting a different livery is worth it.

Now what has left a bad taste in my mouth isn't the 12 hours spent painting this model but rather the total contempt MotionRC, the importer, has for its customers. After 2 years and a plethora of data showing that this model has fatal issues with the set up information in the manual they, MotionRC as the exclusive importer into North America, won't include an addendum correcting these simple yet critical set up errors. MotionRC is a warehouse only interested in moving boxes, ok making a profit in moving boxes.

This is not the only model from MotionRC/Freewing with critical information missing. The Freewing Me 262 manual has no control throws given. As counter intuitive as it may appear this total lack of information is far more desirable, from an experienced modeler's point of view, than the grossly misleading information printed in the Freewing Mirage 2000C-5 manual.

Friends don't let friends buy from MotionRC, (well not if they want technically valid customer service),

Title: Re: Freewing Mirage 2000C-5 , A tiger by the tail
Post by: Hank G B Z on October 10, 2016, 06:19:18 PM

   I agree on the need to learn how to make our models fly better.  That is surely lacking.  Also in regards to ARF vs building, old Don Snowden had a good point when he said he never built any of the full size aircraft he flew, he never even fixed them.  So when he got into R/C he wanted that same level of effort.  Other full size pilots build models because you can do with a model what you can't do with a full size plane very easy (move CG, add and or subtract stuff, motor swaps, etc).  When I worked at the hobby shop our best customers had us build thier arfs for them.  It was the best way for them to get a good model that flew well.  It also added at least 250$ to the price tag.  As long as we keep building that part of the hobby won't die. 

   Back to the Mirage, does yours have retracts?  Just curious because so many of these EDFs have them these days but they still never seem set up that well. 


Title: Re: Freewing Mirage 2000C-5 , A tiger by the tail
Post by: Konrad on October 10, 2016, 07:39:02 PM
Yes, The Freewing Mirage 200C-5 has retracts. And they work well, they are sprung. In fact all the Freewing 80mm jets have good electrical retracts. These are much better than what I've found with the ROC Hobbies, and Dynam brand of retracts.

My issue with the Freewing Mirage is the lack of concern MotionRC has with the dangerous information we find in the manual! Freewing is also culpable but as MotionRC is the exclusive North American importer they have leverage with Freewing to correct this dangerous oversight. Heck they have the means to add a sentence or two about the set up issue on their own sales page.

In the last 2 years there has been no effort made by MotionRC to correct this misleading information. I point to Horizon Hobbies as a firm that actually gives true customer service in the way of technical addendum or Service Bulletins. MotionRC is grossly deficient in this area of true customer service!

Friends don't let friends buy from MotionRC, (well not if they want technically valid customer service),

Title: Re: Freewing Mirage 2000C-5 , A tiger by the tail
Post by: Bill G on October 10, 2016, 07:47:17 PM
That's pretty much it.  Most all of these ARFs benefit from a few simple mods that make them much better performers, sometimes necessary.  I've seen some with things like incorrect CG specs, where actual modelers have proven that they do not work well. Of course those specs are still on the websites, not corrected.

Title: Re: Freewing Mirage 2000C-5 , A tiger by the tail
Post by: Konrad on December 04, 2016, 11:07:33 PM
It’s looking like the cost of PNP foam modeling is getting more expensive. You might have noticed that the link to the Mirage 2000 ARF "ARF Plus" is broken (See the bottom of the first post). In talking with MotionRC I learned that the "ARF Plus” concept is being abandoned. They claim that it wasn't popular and that the sales numbers did justify continuation of the concept. 

The "ARF Plus" is/was a great idea and should have been marketed  as such, ether by the OEM or the distributor(s). Reading some of the comments elsewhere on the "Open Box and Fly Forums" I was dumb founded to learn how many folks (fliers, not builders like we have here on HIP) really are befuddled with the simple engineering needed to even disassemble and remove the working components from their crashed ships. Then there is the lack of skills, simple tools or even determination to reassemble the parts into the replacement airframe. With the "ARF Plus" concept, I don’t see the "ARF Plus" requiring a lot more work to get ready to fly than the PNP concept, it only takes about 4 to 6 more fasteners. I would have thought that being able to move over the Motor, ESC and fan unit would have made for a popular concept. I know I bought a lot of "ARF Plus" models both as crash replacements and a the basis for making my performance upgraded models. As I often fly at 6000 feet I have always added more powerful power system to my models than those recommended by the OEM.  With proper marketing I would have thought that the benefits of the "ARF Plus" concept would be obvious to the market place.

To be honest the price point of the "ARF Plus" did not make it a good value. If the customer could use the power system (fan unit, motor and ESC) the PNP was a better value. If the customer could not use the power system the extra $70 to $100 for the PNP did not add to the modeling experience.

I know it takes just as much work to sell a $10 part with inventory control and such, as it does to sell a $400 model. But in the guise of customer support it is a needed cost, the $10 part that is. The "ARF Plus" concept might be thought of as a product/customer support feature much like spare parts. I’m sorry to see a product like the "ARF Plus” concept that addressees the needs of many (not most) withdrawn from the market place.

As an engineer I have to say I don’t put much value on “popular”. As a marketing/sales organization I understand MotionRC’s/FreeWing's need for products to be popular. But with proper marketing this "ARF Plus" concept should have made a great sales tool, being part of MotionRC’s and FreeWing’s customer support focus.

Here is the response I got from MotionRC when I asked what was happening to the "ARF Plus" models as I was seeing them dropped from their sales catalog.

Hi Konrad,

The ARF Plus range has not been as popular because the majority of customer want to buy the PNP, this is simply because there is a lot less work in  getting it ready to fly.

The market forces dictate which models are going to be popular when the customer is offered a choice. Motion RC is not the manufacturer, we buy from the manufacturer.

If Motion RC cannot sell the ARF plus range of models, we are not going to stock them. We stock the PNP models because they sell. This surely makes good business sense. Motion RC as a company has to make a profit to survive in business. Having a lot of models in stock that we can only sell very small numbers of really makes no sense at all.

Motion RC is not the only company that buys from Freewing.They sell to other countries, and other companies will have discovered that the ARF Plus range of models do not sell. If the ARF Plus range are not selling the manufacturer in turn is going to stop producing them. They will not want a large supply of models they cannot sell.

As an experienced modeler Konrad  I understand totally why you want the ARF Plus models. As you explain you can fit your own power units as well as servos and other parts. Plus it's a lot cheaper to replace an ARF Plus than it is a PNP model, and then end up with parts you do not require.

While the ARF Plus may be a great idea, and it is. It simply did not catch on and work as it was predicted to do at the time.


Customer Service Manager
Motion RC

End Quote

All the best,

Title: Re: Freewing Mirage 2000C-5 , A tiger by the tail
Post by: Hank G B Z on December 07, 2016, 11:00:53 AM

    Interesting thoghts.   The only EDF i play around with is a Habu that my dad and I built.  We bought the blank replacement frame from Horrizon and I painted it and we put a stock Habu fan in but all the servos were ones we selected.  IT's a nice model and flies well.  It's probably the most reliable EDF at my field due to the fact that it was assembled by a modeler who looked closely at the problem areas and adressed them.  ARF plus concept makes sense to me.  But i'm with you in regards to the difference between popular and good. 

    The best plan of resistance is to keep modeling and keep teaching people how to be modelers.


Title: Re: Freewing Mirage 2000C-5 , A tiger by the tail
Post by: Konrad on December 07, 2016, 11:05:45 AM
Yep, we are putting up a good fight.

But I keep hearing;
"Resistance is futile"-The Borg
My apologies to Star Trek

All the best,

Title: Re: Freewing Mirage 2000C-5 , A tiger by the tail
Post by: Konrad on February 28, 2017, 06:02:48 PM
I’ve given MotionRC several month, heck years, to do their due diligence in researching the issue I put forward in this thread. I am shocked that MotionRC has such contempt for its customer base as to ignore the control issues with the Freewing Mirage 2000, 80mm class jet. This is even more appalling as there is little intrinsically wrong with the airframe (Ok, I don’t like the single control surface for aileron and elevator control). These control issues can easily be addressed with a single page addendum to the manual. This is a grave safety issue as an out of control toy such as the Freewing Mirage 2000 potentially is a deadly weapon. (I’ve witnessed or seen our toy models  kill twice)  For god’s sake I don’t want to have to tell somebody that their loved one and support system was killed due to a toy airplane at the field. This is why I’ve taken the time to draw the following “cartoons” and posted this thread.

A bit of background on how a delta wing is made stable. With a conventional airfoil there is a stabilized that controls the negative pitching moment of the airfoil. In a flying wing and/or delta wing the wing itself must provide stability in pitch. This is done with reflexed airfoils and/or wing twist. This results a a low pressure area below and aft of the center of pressure that balances the pitching moment of the wing. For more details on how this is incorporated in our airplanes we have here, on HIP, a great area where this and other topics are discussed in great detail.

The designer at Freewing has chosen the reflexed airfoil approach. This is fine, but what a lot of folks (including a major stake holder (owner(s) at MotionRC) fail to understand is that to fly inverted this reflex needs to be re-installed in the airfoil’s profile to be in trim inverted. It is this need for reflex in the airfoil that results in delta wings needing so much forward stick when flown inverted. You might have noticed that most delta wings exhibit a strong barrel roll when trying to execute an aileron roll. This is because unless you are really willing to push the elevator stick forward, a lot, you are performing the roll with a lot of up elevator offset in place. I hope you can see from the drawings attached why the elevator control surface of a delta wing needs so much differential movement when referenced from the upright neutral trim position. It is needed to overcome the trim offset.

To maintain the servo resolution and power over the full range of the elevator surface deflection the servo arm should be biased aft 35° to 45° as shown. Since most radios don’t have an elevator differential mix, it is best to accomplish this offset in the trim offset menu of the transmitter. Also since the elevator often needs more control movement than the ailerons I like to increase the servo’s movement to around 100° to 110° for the elevator input. This can be found in the servo set up menu of most radios. And as most Delta’s don’t need as much aileron throw one might want to us a lot of expo to tame the aileron response.

You don’t want any aileron surface differential in the ailerons as this will result in a lot of elevator coupling. If setting up the elevator as described above you will have a lot of reverse aileron differential from the mechanical set up of the servo arm. This is where the aileron differential menu in your transmitter comes in. To negate the mechanical differential in the elevator linkage you have to add something like 70% plus differential to the aileron channel of your  transmitter. What you want is the same amount of up aileron as down aileron from the upright neutral trim position.  If you have a more advance radio you can add more “downward" aileron travel as you add more down elevator input. But that level of programing is beyond the scope of this thread.

A note on the center of gravity is in order. The further aft you place the center of gravity the less offset trim (reflex) is needed. This means that just like a conventional aircraft a delta is easier to control as the center of gravity is placed further aft. And just like a conventional aircraft as you move the center of gravity aft you don’t need or want as much elevator control throw. I’ve found that the Freewing Mirage 2000 flies best with the center of gravity place at the rear of the indicated range found in the manual. If placed in the forward range it is very difficult to raise to nose of the Mirage 2000 to effect a proper delta wing flair. The result is that you have to land far to fast, damaging the retracts or other parts as you slam into the ground at a high rate of speed, both vertical and forward speed.  Maybe that is why Freewing and MotionRC don’t want to revise the manual its errors help with part sales. As “Deep Throat” (Mark Felts) said; “ if it doesn’t make since, FOLLOW THE MONEY”. Really MotionRC, is the sale of a few retracts worth killing somebody from a ship that is improperly setup per the manual?

I’ve invited MotionRC to come here and make a rebuttal to my findings as to the errors in the manual and my solution to these errors. In fact I welcome MotionRC as I hope there is a logical explanation that I’m not aware of for their despicable lack of action on this topic!

I hope that the “Information Highway” that was the internet can be used to effect change from the consumer level. I know direct appeals to the importer (MotionRC) has fallen of deaf ears. In fact they now cower at the thought of having to talk to me.

* I need to make it clear that I’m not well versed in the “Master/Slave” mixing concept of most Asian radios. My background in radio mixing is based on the Multiplex surface oriented mixes (object oriented mixing).
BTW, the OPEN TX programing found in the latest Fr Sky radios is very much like what we had with the Multiplex radio. If you are in the market for a new radio with a very powerful mixing architecture give Fr Sky with the OPEN TX a good look.

All the best,

I found this blog from a well respected Delta wing flier which mirrors much of what I've been saying.

Title: Re: Freewing Mirage 2000C-5 , A tiger by the tail
Post by: OZPAF on February 28, 2017, 06:14:36 PM
A pity they can't just place most of this information in their manual Konrad.

Good on you for trying anyway.

Title: Re: Freewing Mirage 2000C-5 , A tiger by the tail
Post by: Konrad on February 28, 2017, 06:27:43 PM
It really is frustrating, especially when it is such a simple fix. I understand not going into all the detail about trying to get a balanced feel on the elevator. To be honest this really is information overload for the core of their customer base. But to have the aileron throw so far out from the realm of reasonable for even the average advance flier to control, is unconscionable.

I just got back from the field where I noticed a guy sweeping his new Freewing Mirage 2000 into the trash bin. I arrived an hour too late to help him with his maiden. And what pains me is that he said he bought the Mirage largely after watching mine fly. This makes me feel sick. I wish he would have talked to me prior to buying, really trying to fly the Mirage. But as I haven't visited the field in about  6 month maybe he didn't really have a chance to talk to me.

It is a fun ship when ironed out. But damn the manual needs some work!

Thanks for the kind words.

All the best,

Title: Re: Freewing Mirage 2000C-5 , A tiger by the tail
Post by: Konrad on March 01, 2017, 09:06:07 AM
A pity they can't just place most of this information in their manual Konrad.

Good on you for trying anyway.
That’s a good idea.
I here by surrender my copyright if applicable or anything else for the data presented here. If Freewing, MotionRC or anybody for that fact wants to use the data and cartoons I put forward in this thread to improve the manual or to help others with their Mirage 2000C-5, please feel free to use any and all.

All the best,

Title: Re: Freewing Mirage 2000C-5 , A tiger by the tail
Post by: OZPAF on March 01, 2017, 05:58:23 PM
That's a crying shame re the destroyed model - particularly when a bit of basic info would have helped.

Title: Re: Freewing Mirage 2000C-5 , A tiger by the tail
Post by: Konrad on March 01, 2017, 06:39:56 PM
So true!!! I'd like to add basic and technically accurate information needs to be provided!

I understand MotionRC, with her limited technical breadth, would want to ask the OEM Freewing about changes to the manual. But taking years, to incorporate what their company pilots where screaming about in the sales video, and that of other knowable customers, not just me, were complaining about. I'm dumb founded!!!

Not really, just pissed that an organization is trying to get away with this. This isn't unique to MotionRC to a large extent it is typical of many USA firms. They hope than burying their head in the sand will exonerate them from any liability. I can only hope that with Google and the internet that the truth will come out from behind the shrills and misleading ad campaigns. 

I have to admit that 3 years ago when I was looking first look at foam R/C models for a low emotional investment modeling experience I was impressed by MotionRC.  I was pleasantly surprised when I saw MotionRC actually say in bold red letters; That a brand they sold was not the best and was in fact a second tier brand. But that with a little work the products were a great value for the money. The brand was Dynam.  I was so impressed with this level of frank honesty that I actually bought  a 70mm jet that I wasn't even in the market for. With a bit of rework I got a very capable Meteor jet for half the price of the comparable Habu jet.

I have to be clear that I have not suffered at the hands of MotionRC. Not for lack of trying on MotionRC's part, but because I like most here on HIP am an experienced modeler and often know what pitfalls to look out for.

MotionRC, please do right by your customers and reverse this trend of contempt for your customer.

I don't know if MotionRC has had a change in management  or what happened behind the scenes but the customer experience has definitely fallen by the wayside in the last year or so at MotionRC. They are not on my "DO NOT PURCHASE FROM LIST" yet, but they are the last place I will patronize if I have other options.

All the best,

Title: Re: Freewing Mirage 2000C-5 , A tiger by the tail
Post by: Konrad on May 16, 2017, 10:28:28 AM
I need to acknowledge when a firm is moving in the right direction, all be it so slowly.

MotionRC has finally put in writing that the ailerons are to fast if set up per the manual.

The post is in error as the aileron throw should be 25% to 35% of that throw shown in the manual. Not turned down 25% to 35% from that found in the manual. Again recall their own pilots in their sales video screaming turn down the ailerons to 40% of the throw in the manual. 65% of throw is still way too fast for a maiden flight.

This notice of over controlling of the ailerons should be posted on the Mirage 2000's sales page in red. Not hidden deep in some MotionRC blog.

It is good to see MotionRC moving in the right direction, even if it is a half hearted attempt. >:(

All the best,

Title: Re: Freewing Mirage 2000C-5 , A tiger by the tail
Post by: Konrad on August 01, 2018, 10:55:16 PM
What a half hearted attempt from Freewing!

Notice the hard black torn curtain vs the soft blended line of the original. Same with the hard colors in the eyes. No radiating lines in the eyes, Also this tiger will starve as the eyes don't focus. Yellow is again a hard line. The orange does have the soft blend, so Freewing does have the knowledge and technique to do this should they choose to in their decals.

At least they now have admitted that the unvented  black canopy is a problem. But rather than address this at the point of manufacture they want you to buy an upgrade kit. I think these are the nice 3D printed parts from RCGeek.com

Glad to see they have gone away from that horrible 12 bladed impeller to a more sane 9 bladed unit. This is a big plus.
But V2 should have split the tail surfaces into four elements, 2 elevators and 2 ailerons. Again what a lost opportunity to truly improve the product! To say nothing about editing the information in the manual.

Yes, mine is still missing 6 stripes. Like all scale models it is a work in progress!

All the best,

Title: Re: Freewing Mirage 2000C-5 , A tiger by the tail
Post by: Konrad on November 17, 2018, 01:02:38 PM
Last Wednesday I got the chance to help maiden a FreeWIng Mirage 2000-5c V2 Tiger Meet. I have to say the new 9 bladed rotor and higher Kv motor are a much much better match to the airframe than that gross 12 bladed  EDF unit. The new FreeWing power system almost has the performance I was getting from the set up I’m using at 6K ft altitude. The set up I’m using is a JetFan driven by an 1850kv Neu motor. This actually is saying a lot for a system that costs about $50 verses $150 plus for the JetFan.

Unfortunately this is about the extent of the good news! For a brief moment I was actually expecting to see a conscience response from the corporations involved. I was duped into this feeling of euphoria after seeing an addendum fall out of the manual as I opened it up. My heart sank when I realized that Freewing and MotionRC failed to take the opportunity with the addition of the addendum to correct the gross safety issue with the control set up. All the addendum dealt with is the specification for the new power system. FreeWing and MotionRC failed to take their responsibility to address the gross safety issue that their improper set up recommendation create.
Again the ailerons response needs to be cut down to 40% of that stated in the manual v1 for the maiden flight! It is irresponsible and unconscionable to try to use this error in the manual to drive the sale of a gyro. The use of a gyro is to augment stability. Not to take the place of improper data found in the OEM manual!

As FreeWing and MotionRC failed to address the real safety concerns it really is too much to expect them to address the other issues with the FreeWing Mirage 2000-5c. Some of the issues I’ve noticed are that the materials and process are note suitable for a model that is more than a basic trainer. While the FreeWing Mirage 2000-5c is not a high performance model by any stretch of the imagination, it is not a basic trainer. For a stand way back scale model, EPO is wholly inadequate as the surface finish is atrocious. The EPO material and process used by FreeWing results in a product that is not stable outside of an air conditioned environment. If allowed to reach the nominal air temperatures often seen at an air field it with blister. If the model is painted a dark color (often the case with military aircraft) this critical temperature for the stability of the foam is reached at a much lower ambient outside temperature, if exposed to the sun for any length of time (this is measured in minutes)! Also Freewing has failed to develop a paint paint process that will allow the paint to adhere to the EPO and hold up to any handling of the model. These problems are not unique to FreeWing as all EPO foam models exhibit these issues to some extent or other. This is why EPO is unsuitable for a scale model and particularly any dark model. EPO foam may be well suited to white entry level trainers. But at its current development it is the wrong material for a dark scale model if one hopes to have a model that looks passable as a scale model for more than five minutes after opening the shipping box.

While the FreeWing Mirage 2000-5c is not a performance model it has enough performance to warrant the use of split controls on the wings. The FreeWing Mirage 2000-5c is not a Fight Test, dollar tree foam board model, and should not be crippled by a control scheme that does not allow for the full use of the servo resolution for all the primary control inputs!

A work around to the servo resolution issue would be to move the control surface push rod closers to the servo’s rotational axis. The FreeWing Mirage 2000-5c v2 Tiger Meet has a nice upgrade in that it uses digital servos. These really are of no help if the control mechanics are not properly implemented. As delivered the control surface push rods on the FreeWing Mirage 2000-5c are not set up to use the full potential of the servos.

Now as to the esthetic look of the FreeWing Mirage 2000-5c v2 Tiger Meet the decals really look like something from a Toys R Us toy! I know this is an opinion rather than factual, but Freewing really has show its contempt for the scale modeler with these decals. There was no effort made is trying to transfer to look of the full size Mirage 2000-5c  Tiger Meet  to the FreeWing Mirage 2000-5c v2 Tiger Meet model. The graphic art work on the decals is atrocious!

I'm glade I was able to help with this maiden unlike the one where I arrived an hour too late! In the end, the guy was able to get in 4 truely enjoyable flights, no thanks to the data found in the manual!

Please don’t purchase this poorly executed model. It is best to wait for more reputable firms like FMS to bring out better thought out EDF models. You won’t be sorry to wait. Unlike the buyers remorse you will have after opening up the FreeWIng Mirage 2000-5c v2 Tiger Meet box, if you follow the manual!

All the best,