The flying monkeys got me...

Helis and fixed wing

AMA 957918
IRCHA 4345
AMA Intro Pilot Instructor

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Wounded Trojan Rehab

The Trojan needs some lovin' after its mishap with the fence last week! Yesterday I took the wounded T-28 Trojan apart, and repaired the plastic firewall with some CA. It had cracked at the bottom where the gear mount is. I also used some Beacon 3-in-1 glue to fix the left horizontal stab (in retrospect, I prefer epoxy for foam repairs nowadays). I placed a small piece of popsicle stick in the foam to act as a support spar. Today its good, strong, flush and level. This morning I removed the remnants of the wing and epoxied the fuse, cracked all the way across the bottom at the front of the wing root, and epoxied the plastic firewall in place against the foam of the fuse with a piece of popsicle stick to support it and level the firewall (a bit right and down remains). I tested the electronics: all the servos, the ESC and receiver and even the motor are all fine! So all I need to replace is the wing and prop! I'll be ordering that wing next week. A little auto primer gray touch up and we will be as good as new!


The upside down fuse. The blue tape is holding tension on the mid-fuse crack as the epoxy dries. The piece of popsicle stick in the firewall can be seen to the left of the yellow shrink wrap on the motor. Epoxy all around the exposed gray plastic firewall to secure it to the fuse.



Underside of the left horizontal stab. It was sheared clean off. Added a little epoxy along the crack for strength.



Topside, same break.


Remnants of the wing. Recovered the servos, they will fly again!



Long view of the fuse drying. The mid-fuse width-wise break is just along the front of the midline lengthwise box on the fuse that secures the wing and allows the aileron leads to pass into the fuse. Again, the blue tape applying tension to keep the gap closed while drying. Will be good as new!



Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Resurfacing the field at BMF

Harrison County has undertaken a partial resurfacing of our landing field at Bob Miller Field. They are doing one section now and will hopefully do the other end in a couple of years. This is a wonderful compromise that allowed us to get our field much needed repairs while staying within county budget constraints. We are grateful to Harrison County Parks and Rec for making these efforts and giving us a great field! I stopped by and took a few pics of the work in progress. It is expected to be completed within a couple days!


View to the northeast from the clubhouse.



A bit to the right of the first pic...



Continuing right, mid field.



Continuing right towards the southeast.



Panoramic from the clubhouse looking to the east.



View from the road along the north end to the south.



Right down the middle of the runway.



From the road, to the right of the midline, looking back to the clubhouse.



Panoramic from the north end looking south.


Can't wait to see the end product. The piles of dark dirt along the edges is the "grass" that was tilled up. It will be spread over the top and smoothed hard. The original "grass" will regrow from it, but that will take several days to a couple of weeks, but the field will be flyable, hopefully in the next couple of days. It is going to look awesome for our Fly-In on Oct 15th!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Model Aviation Magazine Oct 2011

Hey, Paul Verger gave me a shout out for my contribution of pics to his report in the October 2011 issue of the AMA's Model Aviation Magazine! Thanks, Paul!


Saturday, September 24, 2011

POST #300! A great day at BMF!

Spent the day flying the Stearman, Cornell and a couple of flights on the Alpha, which I am flying less and less. We had really nice conditions, sometimes sunny, sometimes very dark and cloudy, but no tricky breezes. A big crowd, a lot of fun!

I have nailed the landings on the Stearman, coming in with some power, getting the flare just right. And takeoffs are sweet! Flying her is starting to become more routine.

Worked on takeoffs and landings with the Cornell. Its hard to get her to roll out without tipping over in the thick though low cut grass. I hold full elevator to keep the nose up, and if she starts a good roll out, I have to keep it, and add some right rudder. This sets her up for a right snap roll the moment she leaves the ground, so I have to stay focused and come off the elevator a bit, and let all the right rudder go, just right, and she will reward me with a smooth, graceful takeoff. A couple of times, before I figured this out, she would swing hard right and I would correct left, over correct, swing her around like a bucking bronco, apply power and level her out, climb over the rapidly approaching trees and then go about with a great flight as if nothing happened! Jim Farned pointed out what I was doing with the rudder and elevator, and once I started to pay attention to that my takeoffs became far less eventful!  Landings are still challenging. Even with the wheels forward she wants to go head over heels and stop. I will work on these takeoffs and landings and hopefully will get a groove.

All in all a fantastic day! All my planes came home, enjoyed good company and great weather. Next week they are closing the field for much needed repairs, and the following week I am away, so not much flying or posts for a bit. And that ends my 300th post!

Kenny Chandler on the Edge

Vid of my friend Kenny Chandler landing his Seagull Edge 540!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Dead Trojan

Or what happens when Kenny Chandler tries to thread it through the fence! Trust me, this flight (all 3.82 seconds of it) and the shocked look on Kenny's face were worth the price of admission!


Kenny taking pictures of the victim.



It was hilarious! Kenny is one helluva pilot, but he's never flown anything like my T-28, so I challenged him to give it a shot, and today he took me up on the offer. He took off sweet, it got up about 15-20 feet, then he tried a right turn and all hell broke loose! It went right, it swung all the way around left, came up behind him going to-and-fro like a crazy thing, and slammed into the fence at about 50 mph! Pieces of foam were driven in, through and around the fence! Kenny just stood there having no idea what the hell just happened it went so fast! He feels terrible about it, but hey, its what happens out here at BMF! I nearly fell out of my chair laughing, which confused Kenny even further. We all busted up watching him stand there. It was awesome!

Kenny Chandler and his Edge 540

Kenny Chandler and his Seagull Edge 540 after a couple of very excellent flights!


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Cornell Cowl Completed

I completed the work on the Cornell's cowl. I have to say it came out pretty darn good for a newbie. I learned a few things I would do differently next time, but all in all, nice look! And it was a real pain in the ass...


This is what the cowl looked like after the crash. The small openings in the front are cracked and broken.






I didn't need a fiberglass repair kit, but some Bondo might have done nicely. But I would only have needed a small amount. It seemed to me that some spackle combined with epoxy might give me the strength of epoxy with the sandability of spackle. I thought, what the heck and mixed them 1:1:1, with a little more spackle.



I spread it using a popsicle stick, and let it dry overnight.



Then sanded it smooth, or as smooth as I could. There were some areas I couldn't get completely flat, hard epoxy from previous repairs. Worked awesome!



Primer gray. 




Coated with the blue paint that comes pretty close to Hanger 9 Midnight Blue.




I also did the gloss black on the hatch and the top of the cowl. You can see the imperfection where the low tack painters tape pulled off some paint on the side, even though it had dried overnight. I spackled it, painted over it later, better but not perfect.



I couldn't find any 1" tall Collegiate font sticker numbers, so I decided to use the pirate flag with the white border cut off, and used the P-touch printer to make the 87 with a collegiate font.  I covered the entire cowl with clear enamel. The cowl looks pretty darn good!

The problems came from trying to get the previous epoxy repairs flatter and smoother, and making painting mistakes (low tack tape pulled day dried paint right off the cowl, not waiting long enough for touch ups, mistaking  the need to smooth out fine bubbles in the clear enamel that would have resolved on their own had I not tried to use the foam brush I found...that sort of thing). I have extended its life again, which I hope I am done with, as a new one is still not going to be available until 1/20/12. Letting everything dry overnight, then I will re-install it on the aircraft and post pics!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Cornell Rebuild Nearing Completion

I continued work on the Cornell today. All that is left is the cowl, which is a work in progress; more on that in a later post..


To close the bottom of the forward fuse I first worked out a paper mock up of the space, including the outer (upper) edge that curves up, or as it lays here, down.



I traced the paper mock up out on the sheet balsa.



And dry fit the part. Fits perfectly!



CA'd and clamped into place.



Sanded to smoothness!



The stringers and spars in the right elevator were supported. Its still not really straight.



The fuse before coting.



Used spackle to fill in Neko's bite marks...



The bottom and side of the re-coted fuse.



The completed tail.



Nearly done!




After the failure of the Spektrum AR6100e, I installed a HK Orange Receiver with a satellite receiver. The Orange receiver can be seen in the foreground middle and the red-white wire leads back to the satellite. I chose to put the sat on the opposite side, facing down. The main antenna on the main receiver points forward. This should give me good antenna views. I also created an EC5 extender cable, seen in the upper area.


Motor and ESC installed.

I am trying something new on the cowl, something I made up that will either work great or prove a disaster. Should have more on that tomorrow!