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Graphite 2e 3.1m

Product Code: GRAPHITE-2E
 (12 reviews)

Price: $1,020.68

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The Vladimir's Models Graphite 2e is a 3.1m no compromise high performance glider/hotliner for experienced r/c electric glider modellers. The aerodynamic qualities have been further improved over the original Graphite with the assistance of Dr Drela.

The wing uses the popular MH32 section, is all molded, and of exceptional quality and surface finish, with the lay-up designed to combine extraordinary strength with comparative low weight.

Molded wing construction

The resulting performance is outstanding, and the glider’s toughness allows it to survive the rigours of competition and slope flying. Suitable for F5J competitions.

See this copy of a lost RCMF Hyperflight / Vladimir's model Graphite 2E Build Thread for a very high quality build log, with excellent photos, and flight reports.

The kit is very highly prefabricated, and can be assembled in a short time.
Parts breakdown

Fuselage - coloured, gelcoated and laminated in the aluminium mould. It's made of Kevlar and carbon and has a removable nosecone. Its keel for the RC mounting is made of carbon together with the ballast mounting tube.

Wing - coloured, three-section gel coated and laminated in the aluminium mould, has sandwich construction and is made of the materials according to the version. It has a high-tech carbon spar and joiners. The ailerons and flaps are completely ready and hinged. They also have wipers closing up the slot when aileron/flap operates.

Tailplane - coloured two section gel coated and laminated in the aluminium mould, has sandwich construction and is made of HEREX and fiberglass. It has a carbon spar and joiners. The elevators are ready and hinged. They have wipers closing up the slot.

Accessories - screws, horns, clevis, metal plugs wing pushrods, carbon pushrod for the elevator, servos covering plates and tow hook. They are of exceptional quality

Super quality accessories

Non-supplied parts - all r/c receiver, battery, switch, connectors, servo mounts. For the electric version: motor, gear, speed controller, battery, spinner, propeller.

One some sites you may see photos of the V tail version, but we will normally supply the glass wing cross tail version with glider and electric fuses. Carbon wing and V tail versions are available to special order. Our thanks to Justin Barber for use of his excellent Graphite-2e photos. See the glider product page for more Graphite-2 images.

Graphite 2e Specification
Wing span 3.1 m 122 in
Wing area 64.5 dm 1000 sq in
Length 1.515 m 60 in
RTF weight 2000 g - 2500 g 70-88 oz
Wing loading 30-39 g/dm2 10-12.7 oz/sq ft
Wing airfoil MH32
Stabilizer airfoil HT14-HT12
Spinner diameter 38 mm
Centre of Gravity 108-112 mm from wing leading edge
Controls Elevator, rudder, flaps, ailerons

The Vladimir's Models Graphite 2e can be built down to approx 2Kg by using very light servos and a lightweight powertrain, making it competitive in UK eSoaring contests. However for general fun flying more substantial servos and a large 1KW powertrain will result in a flying weight of about 2.5Kg

Graphite 2e Glass Weights
Tip panels 491 g
Centre section 571 g
Tailplane 50 g
Electric fuse 185 g
Electric nose 83 g
Accessories 100 g
Total weight 1480 g (52.2 oz)

Control Movements
Elevator 18 mm up / 18 mm down
Rudder 35 mm left / 35 mm right
Ailerons 17 mm up / 10 mm down
Flaps 5mm up / 75 degrees down

Recommended Servos
Elevator & rudder KST X10-710, MKS DS6100, MKS HV6100, Corona DS843MG
Ailerons KST X10 Mini, KST DS135MG, MKS HV6130, MKS HBL6625 Mini, MKS DS6100, Corona DS843MG
Flaps KST X10, KST DS125, MKS HV6130, MKS HBL6625, Futaba/Robbe S3173

Recommended Powertrains
Kontronik Kira 500-30 with 6.7:1 box, 18x10 prop, 4S 3Ah LiPo (62A, 3300 fpm)
Hacker B50 9S with 6.7:1 box, 17x10 prop, 3S 2.5Ah LiPo (84A, 2900 fpm)
Hacker B50 9S with 6.7:1 box, 16x10 prop, 3S 2.5Ah LiPo (69A, 2400 fpm)
Kontronik Kira 500-36 with 6.7:1 box, 17x11 prop, 3S 2Ah LiPo (63A, 2400 fpm)
Kontronik Kira 500-36 with 6.7:1 box, 16x13 prop, 3S 2Ah LiPo (59A, 2050 fpm)
Kontronik Kira 500-36 with 6.7:1 box, 16x10 prop, 3S 2Ah LiPo (47A, 1900 fpm)

Reviews 12  

 Review by:

Excellent service from Hyperflight, outstanding build quality of the Graphite 2e glider, the only negative is the lack of written instructions with the kit. I WILL make Hyperflight my go to supplier for all things soaring.

 Review by:

Excellent delivery service as usual, Packing and protection perfect.
Build quality exceptional and goes together with minimal hassle.
Waiting for suitable weather to test fly - but its looking great - very please with this aircraft....

 Review by:

Graphite continued

I wrote a review back in Nov 13 when I had just purchased it and have now had good chance to fly this beauty. My original purpose of buying this is that I have the Mini Graphite 2m and thoroughly enjoyed the thermal/speed versatility and wanted bigger and a bit more extreme. My Graphite (V-tail version as, I think it looks awesome) has the Kontronik 500-36 and a 16x13 prop on a 4S lipo. Vertical take off to height in seconds, WOW, level off and select thermal and you can be up there all day. Trouble is after half hour I get a bit board so from about 1500ft, select speed mode and dive straight for the club field, high speed pass with a jet like whine and all eyes look up. I then did some low level aerobatics with and without motor power. The height retention on the aerobatics is incredible, has to be seen to be believed and so graceful. I think Neil will be getting some calls for new models very soon.
Main issue for me was getting the linkage to the v-tail right, in the end I went for 4mm carbon pushrods with a support half way down the fus - perfect.

 Review by:

Graphite 2e

The service from Hyperflight was excellent. The model arrived well packed 48 hours from ordering.
On arrival it was found some of the parts in the hardware pack were missing. One call to hyperflight and they were shipped out straight away.
The model is mostly of excellent quality. There is a section on the underside of the central wing panel where the colour boundary has been redone before the final finishing and this has smudged. All the other boundaries are sharp crisp lines.
The detachable electric nose makes fitting the power train so much easier, no swinging the long fusalage about.
The build link provided on the Hyperflight web page is very useful, be prepared for a bit of a fiddle with the flap linkages. The recommended throws on Hyperflights page need amending. The travel for the rudder is 20mm each way not 35mm, any more than 20mm and the rudder would bang into the elevator.
Flying the model:-
In normal phase she is quick nimble turns well.
In thermal phase she moves at walking pace looking for lift.
In speed phase can cover ground quick.
Landings are easy, the large flaps make spot landing a doddle.
Altogether an excellent model that is a joy to fly. Found a new favorite.

 Review by:

New Wings

I had the misfortune to crash my Graphite 2 and needed a replacement set of wings. Hyperflight were most helpful and ensured the colour scheme was exactly as original. In only a month or so the wing was ready. The quality is as the original. All the fittings and wing joiners were in the set. All I have to do is change over the servos, and hopefully will be flying again soon. Thanks for the service.

 Review by:

Receiving my Graphite

Nov 2013. Have just received my gorgeous Graphite 2e which I am extremely pleased with. It is securely packaged and when unwrapped was in pristine condition. I specifically wanted the v tail version and found Neil most helpful in ordering it in the colour of my choice even with a photo of the blue version which although looked good but preferred the yellow/red version. So really pleased so far will keep you updated once completed and flown.

 Review by:

Quick Delivery to Australia

Received my Graphite 2 today, Friday 16th Nov at 1530 hrs Eastern
Australian time. Box was unmarked and glider in excellent condition. Great
service! Must be some sort of record, UK to AUSTRALIA via DUBAI in 3 days!
Parcels within Australia take more than a week. Absolutely top stuff!

Spent today admiring my new toy. Am very impressed with the standard of finish and level of completeness. I am very pleased.

Regards, Alfred.

 Review by:

Graphite 2e

I looked at various models within the class but kept coming back to the Graphite 2e although I took sometime to make the decision and take the plunge simply because it's an expensive purchase.

I already own a Mini Graphite so I had certain expectations about quality and I was not disappointed. I love the yellow colour especially with the stripped wing undersides which in my opinion improves visibility and of course it is always handy to know which way up the model is.

To be honest I followed the advice of Andy Sayle about several set-up suggestions and found his excellent build thread to be really helpful. I went for Hitec 82MG servos as they're quite a bit cheaper than the Futaba option which represents a large saving when you need six. I think they're slightly smaller than the S3150 as I was able to use a mount for the rudder servo after glueing the tailplane servo in position. The advantage here was that I was able to connect up the linkages to the flying surfaces once the servos were mounted.
I have about 14 hours of flight time and so far my servo choice has been fine. Just make sure that you eliminate as much play as possible in all the flying surfaces as this ship really wants to travel!

I have two battery options; X2 3s 3000mAh or X2 3s 1500 mAh lipo's. The latter gives me quite a gentle and light thermal soarer feel and the former a full blooded hotliner which is probably how the "heart" of this model wants to beat.

I agree with Andy Sayle about the flying characteristics of the Graphite 2e. The attraction is the versatility. It'll thermal just fine but with a little forward pressure she becomes very lively. There is just something about a large graceful looking model suddenly tearing up the sky with vertical climbs and high energy aerobatics with air noise that is more like a full size sailplane. The brakes are amazingly effective - easy 45 degree approaches maybe even more so it is certainly an impressive feature of the design.

I am very pleased with the Graphite and expect to have years of enjoyment from it.

 Review by:

The Graphite arrived. Wow! Incredible build quality. I am truly impressed.

The orange is much more orange than I could imagine. Visibility with some aviators glasses is not going to be an issue.

I did have moment of disappointment when I found a slight moulding error around the edge of the canopy. Then realised that it is a machined cutout for lifting off the canopy!

Vladimir rocks!

 Review by:

Graphite 2e

I ordered a V-Tail Graphite late last year (2008) and duly received the kit of parts (though lacking the V-tails). My only criticism was that I had to wait until February to receive these essential components. Anyway, it was well worth the wait. The finish was immaculate and of stunning precision. All parts fit together seamlessly.

I installed a Kontronic Fun 500-27 ith a 5.2:1 gearbox teamed with 55Amp Jazz 55-6-18 controller.

The receiver was a MultiplexRX-9-Synth compact, to go with my Profi mc4000 transmitter.

All servos were Multiplex digital, with SLIM-STAR FL for ailerons, MICRO digi for flaps and POLO digi 4's for the V-Tails.

The LiPo used was a Kokam 2100 C30.

The only installation problems related to the stylish, strong but not very spacious fuselage. Plenty of space up-front but not much under the wing mounts.

With the rather heavy motor, the LiPo had to be mounted well back and partly under the wing. So the front section of the fuselage just hosted the motor and speed controller. All the pickup sensitive components were mounted aft of the LiPo and in a rather constrained area. (I must admit the things would have been easier with a lighter weight motor).

There is a very strong "D" section carbon-fibre tube connection the front nose-cone with the rest of the fuselage and this is designed to give good impact resistance to heavy landings - a good idea. One can insert ballast into this tube, if required. I used it to hold the receiver battery-pack ie no bec. The V-Tail servos had to be mounted one-behind-the-other, at the rear-end of the under-wing access. This was the only way that I could fit them in. Alas, Dr. Drella's beautiful tails were far too slim for tail-mounted servos.

Having said all that everything went-in in the end.

The flying surfaces were set-up as recommended as was the C.of G. Using an 18x11" CAM prop. the motor delivered 550 W static drawing roughly 48A. and well within the Jazz controller rating.

On test flights the model climbed rapidly enough for contest-work at about 70deg. and was beautifully stable. Likewise, an absolute joy in thermal flight where my usual problem is visibility at altitude - I get concerned above 1200ft.

I ended-up with the C.of G a few mm forwards of the suggested figure probably due to my geriatric touch on the controls.

The model has a tremendous speed range and is sensitive to controls at thermalling speeds but without any real tendency to side-slip or tip-stall.

Some pilots are wary of V-Tails for handing at landing speeds. I have found that the full range of up-aileron is needed for steering with full crow landings. Having said that, no problems.

In short, a joy to fly and great in our usual UK blustery conditions.

By the way, I have ordered another.

Comment by:

Keep an Eye on the flaps :)

Just one further point worth mentioning from my review, and that is to keep an eye on the Flap lower surfaces.

After over 200 flights, and the occasional landing where I don't quite get the flaps tucked away in time, one of the flaps has started to delaminate slightly.

The tell-tale sign is a bubbling of the nice smooth finish on the underside of the flap. This shows where the internal structure has started to peel away from the glass skin.

It is an easy fix, just inject some thin CA between the delaminated glass skin and core structure, and clamp it together gently (support the clamps so the load is nice and even over the whole flap surface. I used some balsa sheets), and leave overnight to thoroughly cure.

The easiest way to avoid this, is to put the flaps away before touchdown! Lesson learnt :)


 Review by:

Graphite 2e - A "Rather-warm-liner"!!

I ordered my Graphite 2e from Hyperflight in June 2008, and after a short wait for a fresh batch of kits from Vladimir, a rather large and rather well packed box was delivered to my doorstep. After spilling foam peanuts all over the place (my other half was really not impressed!), I had teh basic components laid out on the living room floor.

The quality of the wing panels and fuselage were impeccable. The finish was nice and even, and I could not find a blemish anywhere! I chose a red underside, with yellow everything else, and red splashes on the wingtips. With hindsight, this colour combo realy stands out in the air, especially on dull days. On the brighter days, I keep wondering if some contrasting stripes on the underside would help gauge those thermal turns in the distance a bit better, but then, it's probably more down to lack ofpiloting skills!

The build was pretty quick really. I did complicate things slightly by installing servo frames for the Futaba S3150 servos in the wing, but other than that, there is very little work to be done. Just install servos, linkages and wiring to the wing, then start on the fuselage.

As I was planning on a fairly warm electric setup, I decided to install a Spektrum AR9000 receiver in the rear of the fuselage, thus giving maximum space for batteries under the wing, and in the forward fuselage. A simple wrap of foam was enough to wedge the RX in place, and provide some shock protection too. Up front, in the removable nose cone, I installed a Hacker B50-11l with a 6.7:1 gearbox. This motor, if anything, is a little on the large (heavy) side, and I wouldn't hesitate to swap it for a B40 on the same gearbox if I ever need to. The motor fitted perfectly, with no need for any dremelling! Behind the motor, I fitted a Castle Creations Phoenix 80 ESC. The BEC on this had no chance of coping with 6 digital servos when powered from a 6s lipo pack, so I fitted a Castle Creations CC-BEC to the main battery connector too. This BEC is rated up to 5A (powered from a 6s pack), so should cope fine with the servo load onboard the Graphite 2e.

With all that installed, the rest of the space is available for batteries! As luck would have it, my existing 3s 2150mAh Zippy and Rhino Lipo packs fitted in perfectly, just needing a small block of foam at back of the fuselage to stop them sliding back too much. With the nose assembled to the fuselage, the packs can just about slide in through the canopy opening, which means easy pack changes at the flying site!

To begin with, I fitted a 16x10" cam folding prop at the front end. Bench testing this setup gave a current draw of around 50 amps (21 volts ish) for just over 1kW input power. Plenty considering the whole model weighs in at around 2.45kg! I have recently tried an 18x10" prop, and this sees the current go up to over 60 amps, for an input power of over 1300Watts!

The first flight was a bit of a non-event, mainoy because I left the battery wiring harness (to connect the two 3s packs in series!) at home! After a quick trip to fetch it, The model was range tested, and all setup ready to go.

The handlaunch was easy, just a firm push forwards, and the graphite was away. I needed a fair bit of down trim to get a level glide (ip ut that down to me getting the neutral All moving tail incidence not quite right), but once it settled into a level glide, I opened the throttle gently. The model literally shot forward, and started to rotate upwards. I had to hold a fiar bit of down elevator in to keep the climb at around 60 (meaning the CG is a bit far forward), but it climbed rather quickly (2600fpm later recorded on my Micrologger!). Levelling off and shutting the motor down, the Graphite settled into a nice flat glide at around 600 feet. A quick few circuits to check the control response out (spot on as given in the manual!), and I had to push the nose down for a fast, low pass!

The sound it made as it came past me about 12 feet off the deck, is perhaps my most favourite sound in aeromodelling. A sort of whistling, whoosh type noise. The sound air molecules make when being tortured! In over 200 flights since last summer, I never fail to grin from ear to ear when I hear that noise!

I spent quite a lot of time exploring the flight envelope of the Graphite, and it is VERY easy to fly. The stall is very tame, with it only wanting to drop a wing if the CG is quite far back, and you really provoke it. With a bit of camber dialled in, it really slows to a crawl. A bit of reflex on the wing, and it is nice and brisk too, especially if you point the nose down!

The landings are a piece of cake too. With the assistance of just the flaps hanging out at about 75 (or crow brakes if your TX can handle them), teh descent rate increases dramatically, yet the airspeed doesn't! A party piece of mine is to launch the model, climbout almost vertically to about 500feet, pull inverted, put out full crow brakes, then pull through to an almost vertical descent, before levelling out at about 10 feet, tuck the crow brakes away, and alnd at my feet :) It never fails to impress!

IN summary, this is a fantastic bit of kit. It is so versatile, from hot climbs, and high energy aerobatics, to circling away at a snails pace looking for thermals, it does it all. It may not be the fastest ship in the world, and it may not be the best thermal hunting machine, but it does fit the "Jack of all Trades" label perfectly! If I ever lose this one, I will not hesitate to buy another one straight away! In fact, I'm tempted to buy a spare now.....


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