The flying monkeys got me...

Helis and fixed wing

AMA 957918
IRCHA 4345
AMA Intro Pilot Instructor

Friday, October 21, 2011

Skyangel F-86 Sabre: Bad ESC

My mini F-86 Sabre by Skyangel which I ordered from Hobby King arrived today! Very exciting, very fast  shipping (1 week via EMS). It was so simple a build, and took only an hour. What took longer was the ESC was bad... more on that in the video at the end of this post.

This is a well designed, very scale looking model!

A large white box, with this label in the corner. Very well packed. The model had a couple areas that were bent, likely from when it was packed, but not badly damaged.

All the parts, not many!

All done! Used epoxy and foam safe CA. Installed an Orange receiver and satellite. I later added the Pirate flag, welcoming her to the Piratey Squadron.

Curiously the securing screws in the elevator linkages were missing. I replaced them. I had to turn the linkages to the outside (removed them, reinstalled on the outside) as they were impossible to screw in this way. In this pick you can see the flat black I rattle canned into the exhaust (it was white).

Here's a video of the ESC problem I ran into. I was bummed since it is buried in the model and I had epoxied the wing. At first I thought all was lost, but I remembered reading about removing the panel aft of the wing on the underside of the plane to get to the EDF unit, and lo and behold, the ESC was easily accessed.  I was hoping it was just the motor wires were loose, but isolation determined it to be the ESC itself. I first replaced it during testing with an ESC from one of my 450 helis that is down, but its a 40A ESC. Once I was sure it was the ESC, I took the ESC from the Powerline Hobbies / Green RC Super Cub that hasn't flow right since I got it. It too is a 20A ESC. This will keep me from working on the Cub until I get a new ESC. Hoping Hobby King will replace the ESC.

Hoping to maiden her tomorrow!


  1. Hi Ken, one thought was that you may have needed to reduce the throttle trim a couple beeps OR if that didn't work you can also try resetting the ESC's throttle range by having the throttle stick at full, plug in the battery powering up the plane and when you hear the first tones reduce the stick back to normal starting position. The continuous beeping you hear is the ESC telling you it thinks your radio's throttle stick is not fully down at the off position.
    Been here many times :)

  2. Hi, Ray! Thanks! I didn't think of that... I know about this phenomenon with my helis, but just didn't think about it at all.

  3. Turns out Ray was right! I installed the replacement ESC and it did the same thing. So I set the ESC throttle limits. After binding the receiver turn everything off and remove the bind plug. Turn on the transmitter, then move the throttle to high/full. Now power up the reciever. After the first start tone finish, within two seconds of turning on the receiver, pull the throttle back all the way. Let the ESC startup finish. It should no longer alarm, and the ESC should function properly. Mine works fine! Thanks, Ray!