How to Assemble and Upgrade Freewing MiG-15 to 4S Power System

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About: My hobby is building robot. My goal is design and 3D printing all different kind of robot and provide the robotic hobbyist community with a platform that could then program and improve up on.

I wrote this article in the aiming of helping people like me, a newbie to the hobby. The Motion RC Freewing MiG-15 came with a complete assembling manual so please read it because I might skip some side step in order to make the post shorter. You can read it here.

Don't get me wrong, the stock power system comes with Freewing MiG-15 from MotionRC is plenty of power. How do I know? This is my second one. ;)

However, I have always wanted to swap an EDF unit and the MiG-15 would be a dream plane for that. There are also different factor why I want to swap the EDF unit so that it runs 4S Lithium Polymer Battery.

Step 1: Inventory

Open the box carefully and make sure the box facing up to prevent any damages.

I purchased a 4S EDF unit to increase initial thrust since I live in Arizona and the air is pretty thin here during summer.

Also, the MiG-15 know for tail heavy due to their oversize vertical stabilizer :D, a 4S Lipo in the front would be a nice addition nose weight. Some hobbies use lead weight to balance the CG, I have done that before however, I will always find a way to add useful weight.

I personally think the 60 Amp ESC is overkill since I think a 40 Amp ESC should work just fine and would not at too much weight or get in the way of the air flow.

Step 2: Remove the Stock EDF Unit and ESC

To remove the stock electric speed controller known as the ESC, you would need to access the EDF bay.

Freewing MiG-15 design their airplane with the hobbyist in mind, to access the EDF bay all you need to do is remove the 2 screws that hold down the EDF bay door, make sure you keep the bay door in a safe area where you can see it.

Now gently remove the EDF unit, if feel resistant, DO NOT RUSH, wiggle the unit back and forward slightly until it loose then attempt to remove it again.

When you able to lift the EDF unit off, before pulling it out completely, you want to make sure the ESC does not catch on anything. I cannot stress enough about taking your time.

When you have the stock EDF unit and ESC remove. Make sure you run the power and signal wire to the upper surface before you glue the 40 Amp ESC to the wood platform with some hot glue.

Do not install EDF unit just yet, we need the EDF bay empty for now.

Step 3: Vertical Stabilizer and Horizontal Stabilizer

First dry fit all the parts. This is the most important part that I and many hobbyists overlook, the last thing you want to do is try to enlarge the area while the part full of glue.

This step plays a big roll on how the plane will perform. One might look at this as a short, simple, and straightforward process, however, this is where mistakes make the most ( personal experience here).

What can go wrong? :(

  • If the horizontal stabilizer does not form perpendicular to the vertical stabilizer then the plane might require trimming.
  • If the horizontal stabilizer does not line up straight to one and another could cause the plane to roll during flight.

So let me be as clear as possible the objective goal of this step:

  1. We need the horizontal stabilizers to be perpendicular with the vertical stabilizer.
  2. We need the 2 horizontal stabilizers to be line up straight from one to another.

Sound simple enough? Critical things:

  • Do one side at the time.
  • Wait until the glue dries completely before moving on to the other side.
  • Continue checking both sides to make sure both horizontal stabilizers stay perpendicular to the vertical stabilizer.

Step 4: Wings Assembling

Just like the horizontal stabilizers, the wings of the MiG-15 should assemble the same way with only some extra step between.

Dry fitting all the parts before applying the glue to the parts is a good behavior to have. In this case, you want to make sure:

  1. One of the aileron servo motor wire connects to the provided Y connector.
  2. Run the wire through the holes on the fuselage.
  3. DO NOT pull the wire out completely, apply plenty of glue onto the contact surface between the wing and fuselage. Don't worry about the access glue too much, just wipe it down softly with a paper towel.
  4. Do the same thing to the other wing, make sure the aileron servo motor wire goes through the hole on the fuselage.

Just like the horizontal stabilizer, if the wings don't line up and stay perpendicular to the fuselage could cause a great deal to the plane performance.

Critical things:

  • Do one side at the time.
  • Wait until the glue dries completely before moving on to the other side.
  • Continue checking both sides to make sure both wings stay perpendicular to the fuselage.

After the wings completely dry, run the aileron servo motor wires to the top surface through the EDF bay. Connect the aileron servo motor wires together with

Make sure you have the 4S EDF, then connect it to the ESC. Before you try to fit the EDF unit back into the bay, it is a good idea to connect the ESC to a receiver and power it up. You want to make sure the EDF unit blow in the correct direction, if not, you can unplug any 2 wires between the EDF and ESC, swap them and test again.

When you have everything in place, install the EDF bay door, make sure its flush with the fuselage then install the 2 screws. Some people like to glue the EDF unit down to the fuselage, however, I think the FW MiG-15 EDF bay design is very solid and it is easier to maintain the EDF unit.

Step 5: Servo Horn

I like to keep the tail and the fuselage separate as long as possible because I don't want to damage the plane during assembly.

Motion RC provides great industrial nylon servo horns that secure down with screws. However, I just want to take it bit further with some Gorilla Glue, I like to think that my plane pulls couple G during aggressive maneuvers :D.

Step 6: Almost Done...

If you are here, I know how you feel. You ready to fly that bada** jet, but you don't want to fly it only once so let make sure that does not happen.

Connecting the tail to the fuselage is as critical as the wing and everything else.

  1. Dry fit the tail to the body, make sure the left pushrod go through the left side of the vertical stabilizer.
  2. Lead the right pushrod through the hole on the vertical stabilizer side panel.
  3. Carefully applying the glue on the inside surface of the side panel, avoid the area where the pushrod is located.
  4. Also allying a generous amount of glue on the surface area of the tail where it makes contact with the fuselage, avoid the area where the pushrod is located.
  5. Now make sure the tail is perpendicular with the fuselage and then install tail side panel. Use a paper towel wipe off the access glue.
  6. Hold everything together tightly, continue to make sure the tail is perpendicular with the fuselage.

When the glue is completely dry, you can now connect the pushrods to the servo horn. Connect all the wires to the correct channel on the receiver. Power up the jet, you can mechanically trim all the control surface to get the best range of control.

Step 7: Maiden

It is always good to have a maiden checklist:

  1. Check the center of gravity
  2. Range check
  3. Check the control surfaces for loose hinges and control connections
  4. Confirm control surface movement direction and rangeLanding gear ground roll test
  5. The most important, HAVE FUN and be SAFE.

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