Aerobeez 2016 Slick 540 48″ Mini Banshee EPP Hybrid ARF Build Log
Hey there pilots and welcome to our Step By Step Build guide for the NEW 2016 48″ Slick 540 EPP Hybrid! This model shares many of the same build qualities as the 48″ extra and the 55″ Edge, only now it is all on our new Slick 540 design with the Banshee scheme! Because of this, the build steps will be very familure to our other EPP models and we are happy to help walk you through each step for the Mini Banshee. This build guide is compiled from our very own team pilot Tanner Curtis. In this build log, we will take you step by step in building your new 48″ Slick 540 and in certain areas even give Pro-Tips or notes to help you along the way. So now, without further ado, let’s start the build!
Length: 45.15″ (without spinner)
Wing area: 523.9 sq.in
Flying weight: 40 – 45 oz
Motor: Hacker HC3516-0840
Propeller: APC 13×6.5E
ESC: Castle Creations Thunderbird 36
Battery: Hobby People 3S 2200 30C LiPo
Servos: Hitec HS-5065MG
The motor that Tanner is using is just slightly on the lower end of the power spectrum with about only 400 watts of power available on a 13×6.5E propeller. However, based on how Tanner flies and will build this frame, the model should come out right at 40-42oz which will still give him 160 watts/lb. This is more than adequate to fly full 3D and for Tanner’s flying style. Also one thing you will want to do is drip some thin CA along ALL of the accessible plywood joints to ensure the structure is firmly glued together. This is a necessary precaution for any model that has plywood in it. You can drip thin CA along some of the accessible EPP joints as well if you so wish. Don’t use kicker here, just drip it on and let it wick in on its own. Good quality thin CA will dry in a handful of seconds.
Before you get started building, unbox the kit and make sure all your parts are in order and organized.
Remove everything from the box and lay them all out on your work surface for inspection. If you find any parts with a defect or anything missing, please contact us right away.
Rundown of parts:
The hardware package is very complete. It contains a main carbon gear, 2 soft lightweight main wheels, a tailwheel assembly, CA hinges, axles, screws, ball linkages, carbon control horns, servo arm extensions, turnbuckles, and velcro accessories.
The cowl and firewall. Please do note that the firewall has thrust alignments built into it. It installs only one way so no need to worry about getting it right.
Wheel pants and EPP gear cuffs.
Rudder and elevator
Left and right wing panels as well as left and right ailerons, there are also wing root extensions that will be glued in place.
NOTE: There are thumb mounting screws already fitted to the wing.
Side force generators and carbon fiber wing spar.
Fuselage with removable canopy. The canopy is secured with forward tabs and magnets. It’s not going anywhere on this airplane.
Basic Tools and Adhesives Needed:
Goop, mainly used for areas that need to remain flexible.
BSI Insta Cure +, a medium CA compound for filling gaps.
BSI Insta Cure, a thin CA compound for wicking into joints and hinges.
BSI Insta Set, a CA activator that is safe for use on mostly any material, including painted surfaces.
Blue threadlocker, for securing bolts in their place.
Xacto knife with sharp #11 blades
Phillips head screwdriver
Sand paper, various grits
Remove all EPP cut outs and wood from the fuse and cowl.
Installing the main landing gear.
NOTE: The leading edge of the main landing gear will be straight and the trailing edge will be tapered. So once the landing gear is mounted, the leading edge will point towards the nose and the trailing edge will point toward the tail.
Use a hobby knife and cut the portion of the foam to install the landing gear. Only cut one side that has 2 shorted pre-slit cuts. You will be bending the foam over to install the carbon fiber landing gear. Removing the entire foam area is not necessary.
Gather all hardware to Install the wheel axles, wheels and wheel pants.
NOTE: Keep the set screw on the wheel collar in a vertical position. This will make adjusting the wheel collar position much easier.
Slip a wheel onto one axle.
Then slip the wheel collar on, get it relatively snug up against the wheel but leave just a hair of space between the wheel and the collar.
Thread the grub screw in and tighten it down.
Grab your wheel pant and gently spread the opening up, slip the threaded portion of the axle through the pre-installed plywood mounting plate.
Again, gently spread the pant and slip the outside of the axle through the hole on the outside of the pant. The EPP is very flexible.
Axle installed into the pant.
Grab your allen key once again and insert it into the grub screw, use this to hold the axle in place while you tighten up the axle nut on the inside of the landing gear.
Tighten the axle nut carefully, ensuring the wheel pant stays lined up.
When the axle nut is tight and the wheel pant is level, install the small wood screw through the main gear leg and into the pant to hold the wheel pant in place.
Landing gear installed.
The last step for the main gear is to glue the leg cuffs in place. There are four pieces of EPP shaped like this, glue one on the outside of each leg and one on the inside of each leg. Use Medium CA here.
First, we will need to remove this plywood plate. It is in there to help factory workers assemble the airplane and to keep things rigid for shipping. It simply punches out.
NOTE: If you’ve ever built and Extreme Flight plane or own our 2015 55″ Edge this will be familiar.
Next we will need to cut this section of foam out. Use a SHARP #11 Xacto blade and it will go through like butter.
SAVE THIS PIECE!! We will be reinstalling it later.
Building and mounting the horzontal stab and elevator section.
NOTE: Grab your horizontal stab and your wing spar as well as a tape measure. Center the wing spar in the fuselage and then use it as a guide to centering your horizontal stab. Make sure it’s even on all sides, and sitting horizontal.
Mark the stab on the underside with something light to ensure you can re-install it perfectly centered. I used a couple small dabs of GOOP inside to give me time to make sure it is centered again. Use thin CA along the joints to lock it in place.
Slip your elevator in.
Grab 4 of the CA hinges and using a marker or pen, mark the center point on each hinge.
Slide the CA hinges into the pre-cut slots on the horizontal stab, center them up, then carefully slip the elevator in place over the hinges.
You can use your Xacto knife or some t-pins to help center the hinges.
Begin dripping some thin CA onto the hinges, make sure they are thoroughly saturated to ensure they bond properly. Flip the airplane over and saturate the other side too. Keep the surfaces together while the CA sets up.
Once the CA has set up, flex the hinges back and forth a number of times to free them up.
The last step for the horizontal stab is to reinstall the piece we cut out earlier using medium CA. This completes the install of the horizontal stab and elevator.
Installing the rudder. The process of hinging the rudder is the same as the elevator. Grab three CA hinges, mark their centers, then slide them into the fuselage. Slip the rudder on over them.
Ensure the rudder is properly aligned with the airplane, the bottom edge will need to be aligned with the fuselage.
Saturate the CA hinges with thin CA. Do this for both sides, then hold the rudder in place while the CA sets up. Shouldn’t take more than 1-2 minutes.
Once the hinges are dried, flex them back and forth a number of times to free the hinges up.
Installing the tail gear.
Grab the plastic tailwheel bracket, your tailwheel, and the tailwheel bolt. Slide the tailwheel in place and slip the bolt through. The phillips head portion of the bolt goes into the countersunk portion of the bracket.
Apply a small bead of blue threadlocker to the open end of the bolt and then twist the nut in place. Don’t over tighten the nut or the tailwheel won’t be able to spin. Place a tiny drop of blue threadlocker on the outside of the nut to lock it in.
Slip the tailwheel bracket into the fuselage mounting bracket.
Take the tiller arm and slide it into the hole on the tailwheel bracket, this will lock the assembly together. Use a small drop of thin CA on the arm to secure it in place. Make sure the CA doesn’t seep into the joint.
Take this little guy and press it into the pre-cut hole on the bottom of the rudder. DON’T GLUE THIS IN PLACE YET, we need to adjust it later.
Gather the two tail gear mounting screws.
Fit the tiller arm through.
Make sure the guide is level with the tiller arm to prevent binding, then glue the guide in place.
Snug everything up to make sure it’s tight.
NOTE: A little trick Tanner likes to do here is to thread the screws in, then remove them and saturate the plywood holed with thin CA to harden them. Then re-install the screws.
Finished tailwheel assembly.
Building the wings.
Grab your left and right wing panels and ailerons as well as both root extensions. Also grab 10 CA hinges.
Mark the center of your hinges and then slip them into the pre-cut slots on the wing panels. We will work with one panel at a time.
Use your Xacto knife to slide through the pre-cut hinge slots on the ailerons to ensure they are free and clear.
Slip your aileron onto the hinges, ensure the hinges are centered, then saturate both sides of the hinges with thin CA. Hold the wing and aileron together until the CA sets up. Flex the hinges when the CA has dried to free the hinges up.
Repeat the hinging process for the other wing panel and aileron.
Installing the wing root extension.
Apply some medium CA to the inside of the wing root extension and the wing panel, then slide the pieces together and center them up. Hold the pieces together until the CA cures.
Now saturate the ends and inside of each wing root with thin CA to ensure they are sufficiently bonded together.
Repeat for the second wing panel.
Installing the motor box.
Get your motor box assembly and remove the canopy from the fuselage if you haven’t already done so.
Installing the motor and ESC.
Bolt your X-mount to the motor, make sure you use blue threadlocker on the x-mount bolts to keep them from backing out. Snug them up good and tight, but don’t crank them down to the point of you stripping the heads.
The kit supplies four screws for mounting your motor, they are going to be the longest screws.
Start out by driving the screws into the holes without the motor. They will make the holes the right size for themselves, make sure you drive them all the way through the other side of the firewall.
The next step is to saturate the holes with thin CA. This is important as it will harden up all of the wood around the holes to help prevent them from stripping out.
Let the CA dry for a while on its own, using kicker here will make the CA brittle and can be detrimental. Once the CA has dried, test fit your motor to the firewall using two screws.
Slip the cowl on over the entire assembly to check and see if the motor is spaced out far enough to fit your propeller.
If your motor is not spaced out far forward enough for you to fit your spinner/propeller without contacting the firewall then you can use the supplied wooden spacers to help push the motor out farther to clear the cowl.
Once you are satisfied with the fit then you can bolt the motor up with all four screws.
Get your speed control and put the appropriate connectors on it for your motor and battery. Make sure your battery connector is the correct polarity!!!
Before you stick the velcro down to the motor box, you will want to apply some medium CA to the area to make a surface that the velcro will stick to- stick the velcro directly to the wood and it may pull up easily. You only need a dime sized drop here.
Once the CA has dried, stick your velcro to the ESC and to the motor box. Tanner uses the fuzzy “loop” side of the velcro on the ESC and the rough “hook” side on the motor box.
Stick the ESC in place, you shouldn’t need to do much else to keep it in place.
Run your wires inside the fuselage and your motor/ESC install is complete.
Installing the servos, push rods, and control horns/arms.
Start out by getting your servo and extension. This is an HS-5065MG servo and a 16″ extension (Please note that digital servos are NOT necessary, Tanner just prefers digital. The analog HS-65MG works fine).
You will want to ensure your extension is secured to the servo lead and can’t come undone so I used a piece of masking tape. Servo clips, heat shrink and even fishing string work just as well.
Thread your extension down the fuselage to the front of the airplane. A trick I use is straighten out the extension as much as possible then hold the airplane vertically by the tail, then run the extension down.
NOTE: Depending on which servo you use, you may have to trim the mounting rails to get the servo to fit. I use my Xacto knife to mark where the servo mounting screws will go. Just give the Xacto a little twist and it will begin to ream some holes into the wood.
Drive your servo screws into these marks. Remove the screws and pop the servo out, then saturate the holes with thin CA. Let this dry on its own.
Pop the servo back in and tighten the screws down. Don’t crank the screws down, just tighten them enough to be snug.
Grab one of the four control horns and some sand paper. Slip the control horn into its slot on the control surface to check the fit. Make sure that the hole is directly over the hinge line!
Sand the gluing surface (the portion that sits inside of the wood) down to roughen it up and make the glue stick better.
Apply a bead of medium CA into the plywood slot.
Apply a small amount of medium CA to both sides of the control horn where it will glue into the slot. Slide the horn in the slot, you can mist the top lightly with kicker to help the CA set faster.
Slip the bolt through one of the ball links and into your servo horn, then place the nut on the other side and using your allen key, begin tightening the nut onto the other end. Repeat this process for the surface control horn.
Wings have nice servo lead channels built in. Just slip the lead through, the HS-5065MG leads are long enough to not need an extension.
Make sure the servo output shaft is oriented to the front of the airplane!!
Mount your receiver and plug everything in. Tanner used 6″ extensions here to make plugging the ailerons in easier.
This is where Tanner placed the flight pack. Temporarily slip the cowl and propeller on to help with testing CG. Saturate the plywood with thin CA before sticking the velcro on, it will help it stick better.
Your build is now complete!
Be sure to program your EPA/Travel Adjust, set your subtrims/dual rates, and always range check!
Tanner’s set-up for this build
Center of Gravity:
CG is right at the rear of the main spar.
Tanner found this location to give the airplane the best flight characteristics and fly the most neutral. You of course are always more than welcome to adjust back and forth within about 1/2″ in either direction at the most.
High Rates: All surfaces maxed out, 45% Expo
Low Rates: All surfaces 25 degrees in each direction, 25% Expo
Tanner’s Final Thoughts:
“Kit was really simple to build, everything fit perfect and was relatively straightforward using the very comprehensive hardware package. Airplane looks stunning just sitting on the ground and provides an even more impressive visual appearance in the sky. Flight characteristics of the airplane are impressive having virtually no coupling in any attitude, giving that rock solid locked in feeling that one would come to expect from a foamy, but with the added benefit of being a fully built up airframe. But don’t let its foamy nature fool you, this airplane flies laser straight with arrow precision and tracking, it’s a perfect mix of all out on the deck 3D fun with the ability to hold a line with the best of them.”
Happy Flying All!
If you have any questions, please ask!
Thank you as always for reading our build blog and for your patronage and support.