The complete radio control model airplane FAQ.
Lite Stik - Pico Stick FAQ'S
(Dedicated to the Global Lite Stik (which is made by Grand Wing), GWS Pico Stick, and GWS J3 Stick radio control slow flyer model airplanes.)
My Experience...this is a neat plane, but experienced advice will save you money!
Battery notes (the rec. 6 cells are poor)
My ESC notes (some just don't work)
Servos, Notes & Links
My Experience with the Lite Stick...
This is a fun slow-flyer. Unfortunately, my purchase was an impulse buy when Hobby People was having their opening sale in Escondido. Had I read up on it before I bought it, I'd have saved considerable time and money. I have some wasted battery packs, and I had to return 2 ESC's that didn't work well. Now that I have the major bugs worked out, I'm glad that I stuck with it. I've been flying my Lite Stik in my front yard/street, and it keeps you on your toes in that small of an area. I would recommend a larger area unless you are quite experienced.
I think the guys who said it needs dihedral are right! It would slowly bank one way, and if you corrected it, it would bank the other way. It has a hard time flying straight and level, although possible if you are careful with the sticks. I'm tempted to try some ailerons on it.... UPDATE...I flew it with some dihedral tied into it, and it is much easier to turn now. Not only that, but straight and level flight is improved as well. Now we just need to figure out how to add down thrust, or eliminate its need. rcfaq
6 cells 150mAh NiCads...poor performance, 2:03 flight time. The motor had to be on almost all of the time. The Zagi ESC works fine--it never kicked off, but the battery just didn't have enough oomph to fly the plane longer. Altitude never goes much over 20', and climb is pathetic. When I tested this battery in the house, it would last a full 4 minutes before the BEC kicked in. There is such a small amount of power available that it just can't fly after 1/2 of its capacity is used up. rcfaq
8 cells 150mAh NiCads...decent speed, 4:05 flight time. I was able to throttle back some with this pack. The Zagi ESC shut the motor down just as the plane hit the ground from not having enough power to fly. It looks like the Zagi ESC is a winner for this plane. With throttle, there is a lot of down elevator required--needs some down thrust built in, for sure. I was able to loop with this battery, but after the first minute, some down speed was very helpful. rcfaq
NEW...8 cells 280mAh NiMH...performance near the 8 cell NiCads, 7:00 run time. It will run for a full 7:05 before the Zagi BEC shuts the motor off, and with throttle management 7 minute flights are typical. Plenty of power...with a little down-line for speed, it will loop freely. There is not quite as much power as the NiCads, but plenty, nonetheless. The motor is still in dire need of some down-thrust to reduce the power-induced climb. An added benefit of these NiMH packs is that they are .2oz lighter than the 8 cell NiCads. I bought these packs from Dave at Radical RC--great prices, great service. rcfaq
Weather Flying...I tried to fly my Lite Stik in the cold weather
during my Christmas Vacation. The 280mAh NiMH 8 cell packs just didn't have the
guts to fly the plane. I was curious if it was a current issue, so I hooked up
two packs with a very short Y harness. Unfortunately, that didn't solve the
problem. The only solution that I came up with was to fly with 8 cell NiCad
*Long flights, watch your surplus stores for old Cell Phone Lithium Ion batteries. I use 3 of the 800mah cells. 24 - 40 minutes of flying time.
Irvin John Cooper
*Use a 7 cell pack of 225/250/270 NiCad/NiMH cells, or even a 7 cell 350 NiCad or some of the newer 600-700 NiMH packs. The 6 cell packs dont cut it! Jason
needs a minimum of 7 cells to have any performance with the stock motor and
prop. I get about 4-5 minutes of not too bad flight from a 7X150 NiCd
pack. I get maybe 15 minutes from a 7X700 mAH NiMh pack. I just made
up a 7X250 NiCd pack with my gold standard Panasonic cells, but have not flown
it yet. I expect 8-10 minutes. Paul Goelz
Our Lite Sticks are completely stock, except we use 7 cell-350mah batteries... Jack Hall
Finding a suitable ESC was more difficult than I originally expected.
The Zagi 400 ESC (Trick RC brand) works well for the Lite Stick. I took the heavier wires off, and put the smaller wires on. The BEC shuts the motor off with a 6 cell pack well after the batteries don't even have enough power to fly the plane (6 cells isn't enough--it won't fly when they have 1/2 charge left!) and with the 8 cell packs, it shut the power off just as the thing was about to land, flying in at full throttle. This one has the advantage of being useable in the future, should you decide to move up in size. It's also available where Zagi's are sold, which makes it easy to acquire.
The recommended Wattage ESC has a switching frequency that just isn't compatible with the Lite Stick motor. It vibrates very badly unless the throttle is full on. I would recommend avoiding this ESC for this plane.
The Jeti 050, although it has the same spec's as the Wattage, just can't handle the power that the Lite Stick uses. It would beep the overload signal at you. This ESC won't work.
I bought a GFS micro ESC from Dr. Blott. He put it in the mail and I had it the next day--very good service. This is a very tiny ESC for a good price--$35 shipped. He has tried it and said it works well, but it won't be until later this week that I'll have a chance to compare it to the Zagi unit. rcfaq
*Pick up one of the higher quality 5 amp ESC's for $20-$40 (I like the www.fmadirect.com 5 amp for $25...it doesn't have an auto cut off, but you will never have a problem...plus its small & lightweight! Jason
Receivers for your Lite Stick
I have had good luck with my Hitec Feather FM Rx. It has the advantage of being a Hitec--which means crystals are in abundance and their service is second to none. This Rx is about $50 with the crystal--$42 w/o. I have yet to exceed my Feather's range, but when I had it folded back on my Lite Stick wing, I think I got a slight glitch once. I've since rerouted it out the tail.
I just received my second Rx to try out--the GWS GWR-4P narrow band FM receiver that Dave Thacker is selling at Radical RC. (Who, by the way, gives EXCELLENT service with great prices.) The GWS Rx has a limited number of channel availability, but it's only $28 WITH the crystal! This Rx is supposed to get twice the range of the Feather--up to 1,000 feet, even with adjacent channels in use! We'll see... rcfaq
Servos...I have Hitec HS-50's on my Lite Stik, and CS-10's on my J3 Stick. They are a little shorter in length and height than the Cirrus CS-10's, but they are wider. The spec's on the CS-10's show them .01oz lighter, but I'd bet the Cirrus spec is without the required mounting grommets and rivets. The HS-50's screw straight on without vibration dampening. The HS-50's torque spec has the edge, and the speed spec's of the two match each other, although the Cirrus was visibly slightly faster. The Hitec's are about $3 more expensive than the CS-10's. From a size perspective, both brands are very similar. The Hitec is slightly shorter in length and wider than the Cirrus, which is also a negligible amount lighter. Both of the servos have gear sets readily available for $3-5.
I've started to favor the CS-10's over the HS-50's. That particular Hitec doesn't seem to be as good at centering as my others. In addition, the Cirrus is a ball bearing servo. I don't know what kind of a life expectancy there is with either brand, but ball bearings just seem to make a servo more attractive. One benefit that the HS-50 has over the CS-10's is that the Hitec's have considerably more torque near center than the Cirrus units do. They both have more than enough torque for this plane, though. And, to top it off, Cirrus and their replair parts seem to be carried more consistently at the hobby shops nearby--mainly Hobby People.
Alternately, you can save yourself about $20 if you buy one size larger--the HS-55's or CS-20's, but you'll be adding about .2oz to the plane. Not a lot...but about one cell's worth of weight.
One thing to keep in mind with these little servos--if you don't glue the wing mounts in place, you will strip gears if you have a rough or nose-first landing. (Like what happens after it falls out of a tree.) I went through a couple gear sets before I glued the wing in place. Also, the gears can definitely strip if you grab the control horn and force it to move. rcfaq
Pack...The Horizon Hobby Naro and Pico Flight Packs look like a good
value--$80 for Rx, 2 servos, ESC and unfortunately a 6 cell pack--which you will
probably not use much. The balance of the package seems good though, but the
servos are a little heavier than HS-50's and CS-10's. rcfaq
Kirk's LiteStick Page--a twin, and also a full flying tail
Other Lite Stik Action Shots and a wood wing mount, among other tips
nyblimp Lite STIK Page--there's one with ailerons, a canard, a Biplane and lots of other tips.
Sandy Franks Lite Stik flying wing
FlyWire Rx Antenna -- only 6" long
Anything R-C--Build your own Props
Radio Control Projects--and source for Rx's, ESC's and servos
EFLIGHT Archive search
The E Zone
Beginners Guide to slow flight
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Revised: October 05, 2001 .