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Staufenbiel Vitesse

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Hydeflyer02/10/2013 19:29:49
38 forum posts
19 photos

I've been looking at the Vitesse 3.0m electric soarer from German model supplier Staufenbiel. It's seems great value at just under £300 as a plug and play with six servos fitted and a brushless motor.

I actually want it as a slope soarer for moderate to strong winds so I would set it up as a glider without the motor connected. Has anyone out there got one, or knows about this model?

I believe there was a review in the RCM&E but can't find any reference to it.

David Ashby - Moderator03/10/2013 08:07:20
10953 forum posts
1681 photos
614 articles

Yep, a very thorough review by Mike Freeman in the October 2013 issue thumbs up

PatMc03/10/2013 14:36:34
4321 forum posts
524 photos

I've just taken delivery of this version of the PNP .

I read Mike's review of the ARTF version & was impressed with what he found but decided to treat myself to the older PNP (long) version to save some bother. Also when cost of motor, prop, servos,extensions etc were considered the extra cost wasn't excessive. Another point in the older version's favour, in my eyes, is that it has balsa skinned wings whereas the V2 versions are obeche veneered.

On a relatively minor point - according to the review the motor supplied is the Himax C3528 800KV. I don't know if this is an error or Mike's older version had this motor but Staufenbiel's website lists the Himax C3526 870KV in the currently available kits. There's no markings on my motor & I although I found data on the C3528 I can't find any data on the C3526 anywhere online. I did a check on my motor measured the KV at 860, which allowing for tolerance & measuring discrepency seems to confirm it at 870KV.

First impression of the kit is generaly favourable, the aileron & flap servos fitted are the D260mg as listed for the V2 PNP not the older D300s listed for this version. But I'm not at all happy with the way the servos are mounted or how the excess wire to each is positioned in the servo wells. The tailplane is difficult to fit in the moulded position without scrapping it's surface & impossible to fit at all without sanding away some of the moulding once the front locating pin is fitted.(Wonder if Mike had this problem with the review kit ?)
I'll take some photos of these issues & post them later when I have time.

In hindsight I wish I'd bought the V2 ARF version & fitted the servos myself.


Edited By PatMc on 03/10/2013 14:40:11

Hydeflyer03/10/2013 14:52:10
38 forum posts
19 photos

Thanks. I've just ordered the same one as you, since the V2 is 50 euro more. (my budget is limited!) I'll get round the tailplane issues I'm sure, but am a bit worried about the servo mounts! Let's wait and see. I'll keep you posted and look out for any issues you might elaborate on.

Pete B - Moderator03/10/2013 20:15:11
7627 forum posts
733 photos

I'm (slowly) fitting out an Epsilon 3.5m from Staufenbiel and have read a lot on the Continental forums about issues with the PNP models - lots of gripes about servo installation, motor mounts and cockpit trays not fitted securely - and a good number of purchasers have regretted the decision to go for the ready-fitted option.

That's not to say there isn't a bit of head-scratching to do with an ARF version but at least I'm not having to undo that already done.....


Mike Freeman04/10/2013 06:45:11
83 forum posts
60 photos

A great model the Vitesse! The review model was the older (shorter nosed) version in ARTF guise and I needed to install the gear. I quite pleased about this because I have heard some reports of servos coming loose on the PNP version. If you go for the PNP I'd give the installation a good going over if I were you!

For once with a pre-installed power system, the gear is just right for the model. The spec'd motor doesn't exist and, as the motor is unbadged, it is difficult identify it properly. The one quoted in the review is the closest I could find. What I can tell you is the motor and prop combo is spot on for the model giving it a great climb rate and performance off a 3S pack.

With regards to the tail install. Sliding the tail into the slot on review model is tight and the balsa skin has been bruised underneath the covering but the tail plane strength hasn't been compromised. As long as I push the tail in straight I don't see the damage to the finish.

If you go for the shorter nose version make sure you use a big battery to make use of the nose weight you'll need up front!

Have fun, it's a great allrounder off the flat or the slope.


Hydeflyer08/10/2013 15:46:36
38 forum posts
19 photos

I've unpacked my new P N P Vitesse and everything looks lovely! There's a bag of hardware with it, some of which I don't recognise from my previous (somewhat limited) building experience. There are two brass horns with 1.5 mm dia. threaded ends, which are for the rudder and elevator control surfaces. How are they fixed? It's not a self tapping thread or very long so is it a case of making an oversized hole and epoxy glueing them in position.? Seems a bit crude!

Also there are 4 epoxy control horns with loose rectangular plates for the wing control surfaces. How do these fix to the ailerons / flaps? Again, is it dig a hole and glue them in? I'm used to screw-on horns with a nice backplate.


PatMc08/10/2013 21:49:36
4321 forum posts
524 photos

I've used epoxy board horns quite a lot. Most times I cut them myself to replace supplied plastic horns.
My intention is to use the horns as they are for the for the ailerons but modify them or cut new ones for the flaps & cut a pair from epoxy board for the elevators & rudder to replace the brass horns supplied. On previous models I've sometimes used a thin ply reinforcing plates similar to the epoxy plates supplied with the Vitesse.
For the reinforcing plates supplied to fit properly the radius needs to be filed square on the horns' tongues. My fitting method will be to place the plate exactly in position then mark & cut away the film where it will be glued. Then cut a slot in the control surface so that the horn's a tight fit. Place the plate in the exact position, push the horn into place then a few drops of thin cyano into the slot either side. The cyano should wick it's way into the wood & under the reinforcing plate.

Pete B - Moderator08/10/2013 23:05:49
7627 forum posts
733 photos

Be aware that there are more than a few reports on the foreign forums about these supplied epoxy horns. They seem to be rather brittle and tend to crumble apart at the clevis hole. I've made my own from 1.5mm PCB ,increasing the sizeslightly to give a lttle more meat around the hole.


PatMc08/10/2013 23:53:56
4321 forum posts
524 photos

Here are some photos of the issues I encountered

tight tail.jpg

trial fit_tail .jpg

the tailplane didn't fit as supplied - not a biggie but annoying - fixed with a bit of sanding.

Next pre fitted servos -

rudder servo.jpg

No access to any of the servo arm screws nor, at first sight, to their fixing screws.

Then there's the wires around the aileron servo -

aileron servo wires.jpg

and worse around the flap servo -

flap servo.jpg

Bearing in mind Mike Freeman's comment re servos coming loose I decided to check the security of them as well as do something about the wires. I had tried to get at some of the screws with a philips driver without any success because of the angles. Then looking closely at the photos I'd taken I realised they were alan headed. Access was difficult & with only about 10 -15 degrees of movement possible at a time it was a frustratingly tedious task but I managed to remove both the rudder servo screws. In the process one of the mounting blocks came away, confirming Mike's warning - it was barely glued & only at the end grain. I'll be wrapping masking tape around the servo & epoxying it securely when I fit the rudder.

servo removed.jpg

Next I enjoyed, not, unscrewing all of the flap & aileron servo screws. Unfortunately it appears that these servos were mounted on the ply frames then the whole assemblies, including the servo bodies were permanently epoxied to the wing inner skins. I decided that it was too risky to try & remove them but managed to break away all of the fixing blocks which made room for the spare wire to be better placed - I did consider cutting away the excess wires with plug & sockets then soldering them.
When working on the flap servos I discovered that there's a void in the foam between the servo bay & TE - enough to take the excess extension wire for both servos. It seems incredible that the wires were jumbled together the way they were in the flap bays when the servos were fitted.

aileron servo tidied.jpg

The excess aileron extension wire was pulled into the flap bay allowing the aileron servo wire some room.

flap servo tidied.jpg

There's room for flap servo plug & socket to be pushed further into the void out of the way than shown in this pic.

My conclusion is that I would have been better off with the ARTF version since the pre-fitted servos haven't saved me any extra work & although I think the included servos are up to the job, I would probably have chosen smaller ones in the wings.

Edited By PatMc on 09/10/2013 00:06:56

Hydeflyer09/10/2013 14:15:45
38 forum posts
19 photos

Seems like a lot of effort to go to with the servos and wires to me.. Mine seem rock solid.. certainly enough to withstand normal servo torque (I hope). Perhaps a big hit on the aileron or flap on landing might loosen them but I'll cross that bridge etc. And the wires will all be covered up by the servo covers won't they?

One other observation on my model is that when I first powered up the servos they all sprung nicely to attention at right angles to the servo bodies, except for one of the flaps which was angled over and binding against the wing skin. So for this one I had to cut a 20 mm long slot in the wing skin to get a philips screwdriver in to remove the servo arm screw and realign the arm with its opposite number. I'll cover the slot with a small patch when everything is set up.

If you haven't already worked it out, it might be useful to know that the smaller diameter chromed stud and screw in the hardware bag are to fix the tailplane nice and square to the fuz. The stud inserts into the centre of the tailplane leading edge and locates into the fuz rear end. The screw passes vertically through the tailplane and screws into the threaded hole on top of the fuz, just behind the rudder. You have to find the holes through the covering by touch and punch them through with a podger. Neat eh? My tailplane fits perfectly although there's a slight crushing of the balsa skin when you first insert it in the slot, but this is hidden when it's in.

The wings are a very tight fit into the fuz with the locating studs, joiner, connecter and Multiplex locks all coming together. At least to start with it needs a lot of pressure to push them up close and you have to be very careful not to crush the wing skins when doing this. I hope they loosen up a bit in use!

Thanks for the info about control horns, I'll go with the stock items and keep an eye out for wear.

Mike Freeman09/10/2013 19:49:45
83 forum posts
60 photos

Some interesting photos there. On the review model I found the brass horn for the rudder too long and the one for the tailplane too short! I ended up with a home made epoxy sheet one on the rudder and a brass/piano wire one for the elevator which simply screws into the spruce brace in the elevator. Hopefully these pics show the idea.rudder horn.jpg



elev horn.jpg

I used the aileron and flap horns as they came. you need to cut a slot and remove some of the covering to make a good key. I epoxied mine in and they are pretty strong. I've done a few landings with the flaps fully down and not had a problem. One thing I did different to the instructions was the flap horns which are supposed to be glued in back to front. This throws the clevis hole way too far back and would cause some serious slop issues. Hopefully the following shows what I mean...

flap horn.jpg

The top diag is as the instruction manual. I did mine in the bottom format. I made a jig to make sure both flap clevis holes were in the same position. A photo of this is in the review.

There is definitely a pinch point where the tailplane enters the slot but as long as you always slide it in square the slight crushing of the balsa skin under the covering is not visible. There is no loss of strength.

The Multiplex locks work a treat. They have a very solid snap and hold the wings together very well. But, as Hydeflyer says, watch you don't crush the skins whilst gripping the wings!

Good luck with the rest of the build make sure you keep the tail light otherwise you'll need a lot of weight up front. I use a 5000mAh 3S pack instead of dead weight lead and regularly get 30 mins flight time without taking notice of any thermals!


Edited By Mike Freeman 1 on 09/10/2013 19:50:34

Edited By Mike Freeman 1 on 09/10/2013 19:53:31

Petr Červenka13/12/2013 22:42:01
1 forum posts
4 photos


I have here some snapshots of my custom control horns made from glass textile (similar material to the original aileron control horns)

I estimated the sizes as follows (measured from the surface to the hole for the push rod):

Rudder: 2 mm


Elevator: 9 mm


Flaps: 8 mm


My Vitesse is still not flying, because I have still one wing servo in garancy repair.

Also one of the fuselage multiplex connector has some bad / unreliable soldering (left flap signal), so I will probably need to think out how to unglue/rip it out and fix it.

I have also replaced all of the servo mounts (all but elevator), because the old ones were badly glued and unservisable.

The bottom of the rudder had to be shortened about 2 mm because of the elevator mounting screw.

Sorry for my english, I'm from Czech republic (Prague)


Peter Roberts21/01/2016 11:05:47
194 forum posts
20 photos

I originally bought a Vitesse from the Dortmund show a couple of years ago and had to return it when I discovered that there were tailplane issues. Staufenbiel suggested I ripped out the tail servo and put a different one in but as I had bought it PNP I decided that if I damaged the plane they wouldn't want to recompense me!

They tell me that the latest batch of V" has solved all thse problems and as this is 2016 I hope so and have ordered one. I wonder if anyone has any 'improved experiences' other than those listed here?

I wonder as a subscriber whether I can download Mike Freeman's October 2013 article as I think the instructions (in German) don't translate well and realize how good Hangar 9 instructions are by comparison.


Peter Roberts27/06/2016 14:31:14
194 forum posts
20 photos

I've now got a V2 Vitesse and some of the issues have been addressed although I still had to trim 2 mm off the base of the rudder and getting linkages to fit rudder would have been easire with a very small connector (not supplied) I still had to carve out some of the access at the rear to allow the rudder linkage to operate. Too much cable for wing servos is still an issue. Wings are very tight to fit the Multilok - the red plastic wedge they supply is obviously to help separate the wings after a flight.

I'm struggling with 2 things a) rx mounting? - I want to fit a Spekky 7 series receiver - does anyone have a photo how they've laid out the cockpit area please? b) programming my JR9XII I've picked up one article from the web but ideally would like to be able to program so that I have motor on normal throttle stick at least during launch phase understanding that I'm not sure wether I'll need it available during landing and how I go on if I need it during another phase. The programming article I've found sets up launch, 'normal' landing. - Any articles, setups or advice gratefully received please.

Many thanks


Edited By Peter Roberts on 27/06/2016 14:31:28

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