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The plane was successfully flown in manual (RC) mode however the motor blew up approximately 2 minutes into the flight. The following footage (20 seconds) is of the plane gliding in for a smooth landing after motor failure (please excuse the camera shake my little bother was filming).

Cause of failure:

  • Propeller size & pitch was incorrectly selected for the motor used.
  • 100% motor duty cycle was used for ~40 seconds.

Scorched windings

Outcomes for this test were:

  • Plane stability whist under power and while gliding was verified.
  • Servo throw for all control surfaces will be reduced to make the plane less "twitchy" to control.
  • Review of propeller size and pitch.
  • All motor and speed control components will be replaced with well documented locally supported equipment (Australia).
  • Maximum of 80% motor duty cycle to be used during takeoff. Approximately 65-70% maximum motor duty cycle to be used during regular flight.

This concludes build progress update 3. The next update will document the incorporation of the identified outcomes above and will re-validate manual flight.

Tagged in: video , UAV , subsystem , servo , RC , modular , manual , design practices , Borjet , airframe