The flying monkeys got me...

Helis and fixed wing

AMA 957918
IRCHA 4345
AMA Intro Pilot Instructor

Monday, June 27, 2011

Silent running

I have been giving my next airplane purchase a lot of thought, and I have decided I will focus on getting good at flying the planes and helis already in my hangar, with one addition. I have watched CJ, Dickie and Arnie fly their gliders, and Arnie let me fly his three channel power glider. I enjoy the gliders and decided I would like to add one to my hangar. After reading reviews and roaming around the internet, I am going to get the Graupner Electro Junior S. I want a power thermal glider low cost, easily transportable with pleasant flight characteristics, that can fly with batteries I have in hand. I also wanted a T-tail plane. The only mod I am considering is putting some red Ultracote stripes under the wings to give me an orientation reference. I hope to order it soon.

I cancelled the Bananahobby order for the BlitzRCWorks Nano P-51 as they wouldn't clarify parts support, were very difficult to communicate with via email (promptly took care of me by phone), and it was likely going to require me to purchase special batteries just for it.

After the glider I still have my eye on the Eflite Ultimate from Horizon Hobby. Sent them a form email asking if Eflite redesigned this production to address the battery access issues, they will be getting back to me soon.

Enjoying Boston, but can't wait to get home and fly!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Flying short

A break in the weather. I headed out for BMF, and found myself alone. I took Cubby up in a brisk breeze with south to east gusts on a beautiful morning. 3 takeoffs, no landings... First flight was nice and long, but the battery came up short and I had to glide to a crash landing. Harbinger of things to come. Snapped the motor cleanly out of its epoxied mount. Some fresh epoxy and takeoff number two. But she spun on takeoff and flipped onto her back snagged by tail gust. Takeoff number 3 and she flew wonderfully. After a while I tried to take her inverted a little too low, and she couldn't come back up, tried to roll her but she settled softly wheels down onto the blackberry patch. No damage, but in bending the landing gear back into place it finally snapped off. So, no more flights today for Cubby, but she flew sweet!

So I took the Alpha up with the key chain cam. Kinda nice I managed to fly her fairly smoothly despite crunchy winds with nice balanced turns until the battery flamed out 4-5 minutes into the flight. I was turning her into the wind when she sort of hesitated and seemed to hover. I realized the wind was not that strong, I must be in a low power state and worked her back to a landing across the runway heading nearly directly into the wind. Nice recovery, if I do say so myself. I am quite pleased with myself, actually!  I called it a day though. Two short batteries suggests I shouldn't be flying, and honestly, it isn't as much fun by myself. The weather was worsening, but after I left it seemed to actually improve... figures. Maybe I can fly again tomorrow, but the weather is supposed to progressively worsen, and I suspect I won't be able to fly again until I get back from Boston.

Monday, June 20, 2011

EXI 4 Blade

I put the CopterX plastic blades on the EXI 450 with the CopterX 4 Blade Rotor Head, and hovered it in the garage today (way too windy to fly outside). It took a lot of right aileron, and was difficult to keep stable in the confined space. I think it will need the BeastX before I fly her.

MX2 Almost Flight Ready

My MX2 Pro did some funky chicken several days ago, and ended up in two pieces with a crumpled  cowl, broken prop and nose cone, and bent landing gear. I started the repair work the day before yesterday by rejoining the two halves. I was so focused on getting the halves together with some spars that I didn't take pics of the repair process. It took all three of my hands to get it together. I decided to cut a slit that would allow the servo tray to slide in, thereby allowing me to bring the halves together with fore to aft spars. I used "popsicle" sticks as spars, and opted to use the Beacon 3-in-1 glue instead of epoxy. It came together very well. Unfortunately, as I expected, the low tack painter's tape still pulled the decals off, so I had to change the paint job...

Its interesting that when you look at the plane, the purple paint matches perfectly, but in a pic it comes out different and the plane appears blue. It appears blue in the BananaHobbies pics too. I used a cheap paint from Home Depot for the purple, but had to get Testor's Sublime Green to come pretty close to matching the lighter green. Not perfect, but it looks pretty good.  I used a sealing iron to smooth out the very badly bent up cowl, and it too worked surprisingly well, but not perfect. The servos are all in, digital all around, and work great. The control surfaces move freely and have a good full range of motion. I also threw a couple of ounces of large metal washers in epoxy in the cowl to bring the CG forward, one of the problems that has plagued the MX2.

The prop adapter and spinner remain a problem. BlitzRCWorks used a custom prop adapter that has a 6mm shaft on a base that has the mounting holes 13mm on center. I had bought a similar prop adapter from HeadsUpRC but the mounting holes were off by about a mm... Getting a new one from BH has been proving a long process, and I am not sure it will be successful as the parts are not listed (the adapter) or not in stock (the spinner). Besides, I don't want to be stuck with a custom adapter, or with that problematic ginormous spinner. So today I purchased a motor from Value Hobby after a very long search for a 700W, 700kc motor. I found several, but nearly every single one was out of stock. I bought the GForce G32 800kv motor (42-50-800kv), not as a runner up, its a really good motor. I am hoping it gets here in a couple days (paid the extra shipping and sent them an email asking for them to send it fastest means). This is all I need to fly the MX2, and I would like to do so before I leave on vacation. Yeah, that's sublime green paint on my thumb...

I will be adapting a three blade spinner I got at my LHS and once the motor gets here I am looking forward to flying her again! Hopefully successfully this time...

Saturday, June 18, 2011

MCRCC Spring Fly In 2011!

What a fantastic success our MCRCC Fly In was today! Great work by all involved. The field looked awesome, the prep and PR work was wonderful, the food and the "snow balls" were rockin! And the planes, helis and pilots! Thanks to the crew at MCRCC, our vendors, sponsors and guests! Here are 49 photos and two videos. Enjoy!

Aerial video of our Fly In Day!

Elite 3D flying. Yes, he does "parachute" it upside down to the ground...

Still from the aerial video of our field.

Bill Page's (MCRCC) F7F Tigercat

MCRCC Officers 2011

Luke and Maria (my son and wife)

Jerry, Paul (MCRCC) and Jeff (PBRC)

Me and Luke

Me and Luke

MCRCC President Dickie Ober

Cubby's trick of the day was to lose her spinner mid-flight...

Paul Verger and Kenny Chandler officially maidening Kenny's Extra

Kenny with his new Extra!

We had a wonderful time! I flew the Alpha a bunch, the Cubby once (and she lost her spinner. Since I couldn't find another or a 4mm nut, she was grounded for that mis-behavior...), and I lastly flew the Stearman once, had a rough landing. It was weirdly windy; we were sitting facing north with the wind in our face, but with the flag showing a wind from the south. Crazy! We enjoyed 3D pros, scale magic, and 3D and sport helis, jets, static displays and trainers. Looking forward to next year!