The flying monkeys got me...

Helis and fixed wing

AMA 957918
IRCHA 4345
AMA Intro Pilot Instructor

Thursday, July 19, 2018

The Bad, The Good, and the Awesome

The Bad

Maidened the Hacker MX2 today (see Good, below). First landing, the right wheel pant came right off. These things are hard enough to keep on planes, but the foam ones never survive grass.

Screw them, tore off the left one by hand. No Capes and No Wheel Pants!

The DLE 30cc on the Breitling was idling a bit low but didn't quit on start-up, thought it would come up as it warmed up, gave it a few notches of subtrim and took off. Few moments later as I idled out of  tumble she quit. Dead stick: remember up elevator is never good. I could and should have turned right in and landed her awkwardly even, but she was going from left to right and right in front of me at altitude, so I thought I would just keep going. This unexpectedly put me in a tail wind on final (learned after the crash; winds shift on Mt Hudson and there really wasn't one, so...). I tried to keep her nose up in the turn which was a mistake, and that was all it took, she dropped nose first, I let her to gain airspeed, then at the last moment as she disappeared over the edge of the hill I pretended I was landing her normally but with full up elevator. That worked! This is how I found her.
From engine quit to hard landing was less than 10 seconds

She pulled her landing gear back, very little apparent damage anywhere else, as designed.

Gear is somehow still attached aft... Will get around to this repair next week. Another pilot was there and he likes to really reinforce these. I prefer they be strong but able to break away and it works every time to save the fuse from severe damage.

She just looks so sad sitting there like that...

Well, I guess its time to reset the Crash Clock.

The Good

Maidened the Hacker MX2. The light breeze surprised me at how much it blew her around, making the trim out a bit challenging. She is a touch nose heavy (up-line, inverted, tended to drop). The Battery Cover came off in flight, seems I didn't close it right. Took me 15 min to find it. She flew wonderfully though, snappy and responsive. A few more familiarization flights and I will be able to fly her anywhere!

The Awesome!

Flew the HK 500 FBL "Drone" with the canopy mod allowing the 5S 3500 mAh battery to fit underneath (damn, I am clever!).  I took a moment to clean up the blade tracking, then I flew the entire pack for 5 min, with two landings, one tail in, one nose in, flew her in hover, in circuits, back-and-forths and figure-8's with total control! I had her going where I wanted her to go when I wanted her to go. My hands were shaking so bad at the end I decided to take the win and walk away. Now I need to fly one every time I go out so that the shakes stop. I am super excited, love these helis so incredibly much! Sim time pays!

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Reconditioning the A-10

I don't know who the make is, but my A-10 hasn't seen much flight time because it doesn't do well off grass. I cleaned it and filled in wrinkles and cracks with lightweight spackle last night. I sanded off the outer crude layers today and will let it dry, fine sand it tomorrow and prime paint it.

Before the work begins.

Everything works fine, lousy landing gear not withstanding. She will be fun to fly again!

Hacker MX2 Ready to Maiden

Finished up the Hacker MX2 today. This is a nice aircraft. I am a bit suspicious of the flimsy landing gear, but otherwise she is really solid. She is over powered with an Eflite Power 10 motor, a 12x6 Xoar prop and 3 or 4S battery pack (I will fly her 3S). Nice looking plane! Sad its been discontinued, I literally got the last one from Tower Hobbies.

Monday, July 16, 2018

A series of unfortunate events.

I am not sure WTF...

So the other day the Waco wouldn't start and I figured out it was either the hard switch or the RCExcel Opto Switch. Today I verified that it was the Opto. I installed the new Opto (not wanting to force the Ignition  LED out of the socket I soldered in a plug on the LED and the new Opto after cutting the LED off the new Opto). I installed everything and now the reciever won't turn on. I figured out that my Ignition pack is bad, removed them both (they are attached) and find that actually BOTH of my packs are bad, Reciever and Ignition. That just seems really unlikely. One registers zero Volts, the other 1 Volt and some change. This is a pair of Turnigy 6V NiMH packs. WTF is going on?

So tomorrow I will visit ABC Hobbies and see if I can pick up a new set of packs.


UPDATE: Put the packs on a charger and the Reciever pack is fine, the Ignition pack is toast. Curiouser and curiouser. 

Monday, July 9, 2018

Things I learned again today.

That plane you think, "She always starts...", Will be the one that doesn't. I preflighted her at home for her first outing, and everything was fine. I figured this is my best running engine she'll be fine. I'll do the first season start at the field. I drive alllllll the way to the field, set her up, turned on the receiver, everything looks great, flip the ignition switch and the red ON light isn't on. Huh. Check the transmitter switch... Its fine. Flick it a few times... Nada. Check the battery voltage, it's fine. Check the wires, they are fine. I rewire things so the ignition is directly connected to the ignition battery. Ah! She starts right up, and runs great. Have to grab the prop hub at idle to stop the engine . It's either the RCExcel Opto electronic cut out, or the switch. Its likely the switch, not the first one to go bad. I will find out when I get home. Pack everything back up, drive alllllll the way home.

I also learned that just because it's a 500 size canopy that doesn't mean a 5S battery will fit under there... All set to fly the HK 500 Marine Drone, but the battery doesn't fit under the hood.

More to follow.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

A Day in the Life of an RC Pilot

Beautiful weather for today, minimal winds with acceptable gusts, clear skies with thunderstorms moving in during the afternoon, time to go fly! I thought I would document the steps of a good flight day.

First, top off charge the ignition and receiver packs. Charged them the other day.

Pack the car. Only taking the 30cc MXS-R and the 10cc Sukhoi. The Stik's 10cc is on the fritz, and I don't feel like flying a heli today.

Check the winds one last time before committing to the 12 mile drive.


I-93 and whatever road it is that I am on...  NH 102.

SNHRCC's Wagner Field is located on the top of a closed landfill that I lovingly call Mt Hudson, so we have to drive through the Hudson Town Dump. Its usually locked, but town workers may be there as the gate is unlocked. Our club gets a key.

The gate to Mt. Hudson, club members only have a key.

Park the car... unload. Must be in the front row!

Set up a plane.

Fuel up and preflight, including warm up.


Check settings, check controls, last engine check.

Taxi out.

Take off!

After a few touch and goes I suddenly had trim issues and brought the Sukhoi in for inspection. Weed stalks stuck in the elevator.  The grass weeds grow overnight here, so the grass is low cut, but the weed stalks are too and snag on the controls. Freed up, problem solved.

Taking a short break, cover the canopy. Its 95 degrees and canopies melt in direct sunlight just sitting.

Happy shirtless guy selfie. Mild sunburn, will be a tan by morning. The harness around my neck leaves a nice V shaped tanline...

Break out, set up the 30cc MXS-R. 

All set up, ready to go. These bigger planes are so much more fun to fly, so stable and powerful!

So love this 30cc Engine. If I remember correctly its a DLE.

Pee break. 140 degrees inside there, at least...

Water break, sitting under the covered picnic table area at the field.

Like a boss. 

Repack the car at the end of flight time, and ready to go home. Spent about 3 hours flying.

Lock the gate on the way out.

Drive back home...

Unload the car and cart everything into the basement workshop.

Clean and inspect, make repairs as necessary. The Sukhoi runs rich so gets a coating of unburnt fuel and oil, the 30cc runs clean. The grass cuttings end up all over the wings and props. Good time to inspect the cote and balsa for dings.  Put everything away.

Sit back, have a beer, pet cat.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Now it won't run at all...

Took this poorly running 10cc RCGF motor off the Stik, took it completely apart and cleaned it, rebuilt it. And now she won't run at all. Good spark, fuel gettting to the intake, fuel all over the carburator. Just.Won't.Run. Not even a burp. I guess it's getting time to send her to the gang at RCGF USA and see what they can do.

UPDATE:  I realized the engine has almost no resistence, no compression. The gaskets are tight, the plug well seated. I suspect its the piston ring. Ordered a new one from Hobby King (RCGF USA has such steep shipping charges wanting $10 to send a $6 ring. I got it from HK for about $4 with about $3  International Airmail shipping).Will take a week or so to get here by airmail.