The flying monkeys got me...

Helis and fixed wing

AMA 957918
IRCHA 4345
AMA Intro Pilot Instructor

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Well... that's nice.

Earlier today I shared my Sbach's Spektrum AR600x issue. If it could be the cheap part I have, or the expensive part I need to return for service exchange, which do you think it will be?



Mailing it to Horizon Hobby tomorrow...

UPDATE 4/30/12: Well, Horizon Hobby says my reciever was fine... but kindly sent me a new one. No comment on why it was doing this, but they also kindly gave me the email address and a note from the tech, so I am asking. LOVE Horizon Hobby's always exceptional Customer Service! (And the email address is not valid... oh well).

UPDATE 5/12/12: Oops... it isn't the receiver after all... here's what it is.

No fun at all...

Okay, maybe a little.

I decided to take advantage of this gorgeous day and took some time off fom the job search to fly. It sort of felt like mandatory fun... my heart wasn't in it.

I flew the PulseXT first, and as always, she performed awesomely. I haven't had my hands on the sticks for a while, but she made me feel like I had never left. I only flew her twice today, but both so pleasant.

I then took the ill mannered, ill fated Green RC Super Cub up. It took about 8 tries to get her off the ground, and we only managed when Jerry held her on the ground at full throttle. She waffled up, I got her steady, then pulled back hard to clear the fence. She was wobbly, but I got her trimmed out and started to enjoy flying her in basic maneuvers for several minutes. I had had an 8x8 prop on her, and I think it was too much pitch. I changed to an 8x4 that Ron Johnson gave me, and she finally had good thrust, and that's when she got off the ground. I took her to altitude and throttled back for stall, she settled with a good sink rate but remained stable. At about 30', still in control, I powered up, she rolled hard right and spiraled into the ground. Just like she has done on every single flight. POS. I picked up the pieces, her broken fuse and crushed undercarriage, walked her back to the pits, and did what any good friend would do. I gave her to Ron. The curse is now upon him...

I also brought out the Sbach. Powered her up, she bound, and I started out to the flightline. In the 10 seconds it took me to get there she hard rebound 3 times. She would continue to do it evey few seconds. Crap. Took her back to the pits, tried another battery, checked for loose connections, etc. I think its the BEC on this HobbyWing ESC. Didn't I just have this problem? Wasn't it this ESC, on another plane? I need to look back through my blog. I have a HeadsUpRC 40A ESC that I will replace it with. So, I did't get to fly her, and I hope its not my new AR6000.


I did get to fly the EXI 450 BeastX Heli, and she was fun. It has been some time since I flew heli, and my initial flights were very over controlled. Got a couple of flights in, nothing much since I was not in the mood to rebuild a heli. Flew the PulseXT again and called it a day...

If it wasn't for the good company it would have been a bust. I got a hung from Sandra Gollot, spent some time chatting with Harold, Jerry and Steve, and Tony even dropped by.

Maybe tomorrow. Maybe if I can get Kenny to show up...


Friday, April 13, 2012

Gettin' it done.

I redid the Sbach cowl after its meltdown. I really wasn't interested in spending hours sanding it all down, so just concentrated on the melted spots. It came out pretty darn good!


I didn't mention the flight of the haunted Super Cub... I maidened her the day before yesterday, and she took off okay, needed a lot of trimming out, but once I got her settled in she flew pretty darn good and was becoming fun. Until on approach she tip stalled... Broke the firewall, and that was it. Rebuilt it a bit better, and in an hour she was back up to flight ready. I also put some 2-1/2 inch wheels on her. I have programmed a little flaperon into her which should calm that nasty tip stall. This was the same experience Kenny had when he could get her to fly: any airflow loss and she tip stalls irrecoverably to death... I also went from a 10x7 prop to an 8x8, which seems to increase her thrust.



I decided with the Eflite Stearman to go back to 3S as she was designed to fly, and stick with the 12x6 prop. She flies just fine that way, I went to 4S for the power and it really didn't change her performance much. I think all it did was make her heavier.

Tomorrow is going to be way too windy, and I have some work to do anyway, but perhaps Sunday or Monday? I really, really want to get the Sbach back in the air! Stay tuned!


Thursday, April 12, 2012

Melting Enamel... And Stearman Burn Out

Yesterday landing the Sbach, she illustrated her tendency to roll when at stall and a brisk gust catches her a foot off the ground, tipping over her nose. Have to land her hot... This chipped and cracked her cowl, and as before, broke loose the motor box. Very fragile. It separated clean, so it was easy to CA it back in place, then epoxy in some more support. Today I epoxied the chips and cracks in the cowl and painted her back to fine form. She dried for about 6 hours. I then applied a thin coat of clear enamel. And the red paint melted... crap,

I will let her dry overnight, then resand the melted parts and try again. I am learning I prefer lacquer to enamels. Enamels take way too long to dry, and do this kinda crap.

STEARMAN: I also had an inflight emergency with the Stearman yesterday. At about 200 ft her motor stopped while at full throttle. I landed her and she wouldn't do more than chatter. Wasn't sure if it was the ESC or the motor. The motor seemed sticky... I put a new motor on the existing ESC and worked fine. It appears I burned out the motor. I think when I went to 4S I should have propped down. I will pick up an 11x5 and see how that works out!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Glutton for punishment

I have related in previous blog posts my adventures with the Green RC Super Cub. It has never been one of my loves. Cubs are notoriously squirrely on the ground. This one would just never fly right. So I did what any good friend would, and I gave it to Kenny. Kenny tried, and it had its moments, but continued to be a POS. So, he did what any good friend would. He gave it back. I let it sit for a week and finally decided to do something with it. I don't know why this time would be any different...

Taken apart, no wheels, removed crushed motor, etc.

Rebuilt the front end. Been here before...

The servo box I built ln the right. I had no frickin' clue how I wanted to do this. I started with a horizontal servo position, realised I had no good way to secure it, then realized the servo would stand up fine in the existing space. Undid some work and made this box. Works perfectly.

The left box looks much better as this time I had a clue...

Servo and cote in place, all done. I installed a small piece of thick balsa sheet in the aileron to support the aileron control horn. I thought I had a photo of the plate I installed, but nope...

I changed the landing gear from the crappy wire ones to a set I took off the original Hobby King Sbach. They are a bit tall, but work great. I created a gear attachment with a piece of 4mm plywood an epoxied it to the bottom of the fuse, to which I bolted the screws for the gear. The design initally used embedded nuts, but they slipped trying to screw the bolts in, so I popped them out and used nuts and bolts. Came out perfect. If she flies well I plan to put big fat tundra tires on her.

I would like to fill in the chin, looks thin under there. She needs a better cowl.

That's a cowl from the a Parkzone cub, since I can't get one for this Green TC plane anymore. I need to find a better cowl, one with a chin on it.
So, here's hoping the remodeled Super Cub flies like an angel! I have no idea what themmotor is. She swings a 8x4 prop and seems to pull some decent thrust. A 20A ESC and a 3S 1000 mAh 25C battery, Orange reciever and satellite, two EXI D213f digital MG servos in the ailerons, and the stock 9g servos for rudder and elevator.
Here goes nothin'!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Flight of the Sbach: HOLD ON!

I have detailed my ongoing Sbach adventures and the build of my second one. Yesterday I got to take her up on her maiden flight. Conditions were very good. There were cross winds of 5 mph or so, clear skies, no turbulence.

I am flying her quite heavy. Her all up weight is 2.75 lbs, 1250gms. She is a 450 class airplane that is designed for up to a 480 motor, and her designed AUW is less than 2 lbs, around 900 gms. My first one had that motor and flew well (she died when for some reason she could not pull out of a dive. I think the 9gm servos could not pull her out of the dive as I was flying her with a 480 motor but this large 4S battery, so I am going with mini servos on the rudder and elevator with more than double the torque). I have her equipped with a HeadsUpRC Power 15 Sport motor behind a Xoar 10x5 electric wood prop from Graves RC. I power her with a 4S 3300mAh 30C battery, and a 40A ESC/L-BEC. She has two Fusonic mg-d-9g aileron servos from wowhobbies and JR MN-48 mini servos from Horizon Hobby (I prefer faster Hitec HS-82mg servos, but I have two of these MNs so used them. They are fine, just a bit slower and with nylon gears). I found a way described in my build post to get the wheel pants to work, and they performed flawlessly. They look very good! Check out the build post in the link above. My DX8 is programmed with flaperons, 30% expo, and rate sets of 30, 50 and 100%. I found she flew quite well on the mid rates. I usually fly 25% expo and may dial her down, but she seems pretty happy as I have her set up.

She takes a little more runway on takeoff, and sinks fast, but she is incredibly agile and fast! She had no problem with the cross wind. In the vids I am flying some serious aerobatics and she handles it all on 50% rates! The frame shows no stress issues. On full rates she rips the sky apart! She is stable, stops moves on a dime, but is so quick to respond that a moments inattention will end in disaster. In the vid there is one moment where I have to duck down under Vinsen's Revolver, and come withn a foot of the ground. Big time pucker factor, but she pulled it off.

I didn't film the first flight as my camera fell off my noggin. I didn't bother with it on the next two flights either. The video here is of the fourth flight, I think. I had evaluated her in takeoff, fast, slow manuevers, and light aerobatics, stall, approach and landing. In this flight I took her through rigorous high and low speed aerobatics. She is on rails and required almost no trimming. I planned the last flight to be an evaluation of the flaperons, but, well, the ESC failed and I had to deal with an inflight emergency where she glided marginally downwind with one heckuva sink rate.





Antonio and Steve's Great Parachute Adventure

Antonio Vilchez and Steve Burton rigged Antoni's parachute to Steve's Radian Power glider with a command drop mechanism (an ingenious servo and rubber band system on the gear channel). It was simple and worked flawlessly. They leased the parachute man from a couple hundred feet up! how to turn grown men into little boys; we were all chasing after it!



Kenny mourns his Ugly Stick

My friend Kenny Chandler's Ugly Stick suffered a full lost bind at Pine Belt RC on Saturday and literally fell from the sky... He was flying a Spektrum DX600 on a Dx6i. So sorry, Kenny!

But, I still have you two for one on these lost comms crashes...



Sunday, April 8, 2012

Antonio Rocks the 450!

Today I asked Antonio Vilchez (George's son) to take up my Eflite Alpha Sport 450, solo. Of course he did an awesome job! This is the unedited video! Enjoy, Antonio!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Everybody came home!

It was a beautiful day to fly at Bob Miller Field in Gulfport, MS. Occasional winds were variable, but consistent, if that makes any sense. It was a fun day! Big crowd, wide range of planes. Took Antonio up on my PulseXT with the buddy box. He flew awesome and really enjoyed himself! Later he took his Cessna up in a very good wind. Well done!

Dick and Arnie worked on Dick's Decathalon, which eventually threw itself into the ground in an uncommanded left turn. They were getting pretty close to getting her sorted out, and she needed some sorting out. Sorry for your loss, Dick...

I flew the trio, all behaved nicely! I still have to work ar relaxing when flying the Cosmic Wind. Darn thing is fast, fast, fast, and agile as a cat. Constant attention is required. I realized I have a nitro prop on her, and have ordered some lighter APC eprops, which I suspect will give me a lot more rpm, and even more speed! The Ulitmate is just one fantastic plane. Fun to fly, stable, reactive, quick! And the PulseXT is easily my favorite plane. Need to figure out why one flaperon drops differently than the other; causes the right wing to dip when the flaps are deployed. She definitley is easier to land with 45 degrees. With full flaps, she wobbles a bit. I suspect I just need a little more power, but then, what's the point of the flaps? I usually land with 45.

Waiting for the props for the Sbach. Cannot wait!