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First look at CN Sensors


thermaldoctor
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thermaldoctor

Yesterday the first batch of CN Sensors arrived in the UK. I was very keen to have a close look at these models and compare them with some of the other F5j models currently available.

When unpacking two things were immediately apparent - 1) the quality and surface finish of the wings is possibly the best I have seen out of handling lots of models from quite a number of different manufacturers and 2) The attention to detail is truly outstanding and definitely the best I have seen.

Other things apparent when unpacking were the very thin airfoil and general level of completeness and pre-fabrication. The latter was expected as the Flightech price of £1750 includes a full factory IDS and fuselage install. Just add servos, motor etc and it is ready to go.

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Basic parts count. Four piece wing, two piece fuselage, rudder, tailplane. Plus a very complete accessories pack. Initially when 4 piece wings started to come on the market I thought it a bit gimmicky. After now owning four piece wing models I think it is a great idea, and when combined with a two piece fuselage it really helps pack the models away into a much smaller box. For example CN models kindly made me box measuring only 130cm x 30cm x 30cm and I can fit three 4m Eternity models in it.

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Flightech Sensors all come with pre-fitted CNC machined alloy motor mounts

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Servos are mounted in the top of the boom. All will come with factory installed servo trays, linkages and a really superb MPX plug system that automatically engages with its opposite side in the front fuselage. I really love this feature and it made me smile when I first saw it.Note slot at front edge - this automatically engages in a molded in carbon spiggot in the front fuselage to stop tail rotation.

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Plug holder is molded in carbon. Really nice.

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The internals of the rear portion of the front fuselage. You can clearly see the mpx plug. The white disc is the end of the fuselage mounted ballast tube.

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This is what greets you when you take off the canopy - rudder and elevator servo plugs. Not so clear but just visible if you look closely is the carbon ballast tube. With the servos in the tail boom there is plenty of room for motor, esc and battery. 

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Tail boom showing rudder mounting system and pre-installed rudder pushrod. Needless to say the fit of the rudder is perfect.

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The elevator linkage system. I liked the specially molded elevator horn with molded in ball joint. However I know from a lot of the Ospreys sold (which has the same type of pushrod system) the fiddly 2mm screws used to bolt the horn onto the tail are not too popular with people so as with the Ospreys this is something that might want modding to the Samba type tube and wire system. I personally don't mind it as it helps the tailplanes pack down nice and flat without anything sticking out.

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A shot of the fuselage. The wing is four piece as mentioned, but rather than being plug on like the Eternity and Explorer Q the Sensor features a bolt on centre panel. The 2 panels are joined together in the middle with a main central carbon joiner and then this is then bolted on with 4 bolts (2 bolts per panel). Seems to work well.

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The bottom of each centre panel has a MPX plug for wing servo connection. In the fuselage are two rectangular cut-outs for the fuselage side MPX connectors. The fuselage plugs appear to be floating and not permanently mounted which is fine but I am sure could be made self-engaging if wanted.

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Flightech Sensors all come factory fitted with carbon rudder horns that link up with an L bend in the rudder pushrod.

 

Looking now at the wings, as previously mentioned these are possibly the nicest quality I have seen so far from any manufacturer. I have yet to see (thank goodness) how ding resistant they are but they but they feel similar to wings from Samba so pretty good. Again, we have tried to go for completeness so Flightech Sensors all come fitted with Servorahmen IDS foam mounts. And very nicely they have been fitted. You can see in the pic below how crisp and neat everything is.

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On the top surface it is clear CN have used the larger heavier duty IDS linkages with 1.4mm pins. This is very wise as although not huge flaps as found on the Explorer Q and Hawk, the Sensor can be considered to have pretty large control surfaces. Certainly when compared to the Prestige.

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Of particular note is the molded in recess if you wanted to use stick on gap seal tape. This is a nice feature if using gap seal tape. Personally I don't think they make any real difference but your mileage may vary.

Looking at the tip panels, what is not immediately obvious is that the ailerons are top hinged. This is very different indeed and quite a departure from most commercially available molded models from the last 15 years or so. It certainly allows for plenty of free up going travel if large control movements are your thing. It has been done because the wing section is just so thin the aileron horns need all the help they can get with creating a long enough moment arm to make the geometry work. To this end, the Sensor comes with small carbon aileron horns (like pictured on the rudder) and the linkage comes out of the bottom skin. I will show more about this later on.

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You will note on this one no aileron servo frames are fitted. This is only because the Servorahmen IDS frame that fits the Kingmax C507 needs slight modification as it is intended for the KST X08. So I will be doing this mod myself for the customer. But as we speak there are already loads of foam mounts i have already modified on their way out to CN models so they will be fitting them at the factory.

Not the most exciting pic below, but as all Flightech Sensors normally come with fully fitted IDS frames here is a chance to see the servo pocket. Note the neat CNC cut channels already cut in the rohacell core for the servo wires. This is nice attention to detail. Also apparent in this shot is the beautiful crisp neat molding quality. 

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Very thin Stefan Eder / Max Steidle airfoils are used. As with many of these new type of airfoils (perhaps not all) it promises better ability to move around the sky at much lighter weights and penetrate better in wind. We will have to see with the Sensor but so far reports are very good.

Root section..

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Tip section..

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And that pretty much wraps up the first look at the CN Models Sensor. I am sure you can now appreciate my opening comments about the overall quality and especially the attention to detail of these new F5j models.

 

 

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The combination of Stefan Eder, Max Steidle and CN Models is a very strong one.  From what I have seen of the continentals flying these they are doing really well.  I notice the front seems to be all carbon - will they be producing a more 2.4 friendly version, and/or a GPS version at an appropriate empty weight?  Must resist…….

Simon

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