The flying monkeys got me...

Helis and fixed wing

AMA 957918
IRCHA 4345
AMA Intro Pilot Instructor

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Crash-A-Day Program

It feels like that...
Took the PulseXT, Sbach, and Stearman out to BMF today. Perfect flying conditions. Kenny brought out his Stick, always fun to watch him whip that thing like a 3D machine (man can that boy fly...). Add that he's just plain good company.
The Hobby King Sbach 342 1000mm v2 flew wonderfully after her recent repairs. Had to shorten the canopy to get it to sit right; the firewall is pushed back about 2mm after that crash... hmmm. The cowl looks good too. I will need to get around to some cosmetic fuse work, but overall she looks good and flies sweet. She is a 3S machine. She flew well as a 4S, but heavy, slagging through turns, landing hard, and she tried to burn out her motor, curious since its rated for 4S. With a 3S 2200 - 2650 mAh she flies sweet. 3300 mAh bogs her down weight wise just a bit, but noticeably. With the 3S 2650 mAh she isn't super zippy but gets around well and has very good vertical. She snaps clean, accelerates well, and lands easily (though even with flaps she will stall a wing if one lands too slow). I did lose the tail wheel... tore right off in the hard scrabble grass. Fortunately had one I kept from the first Sbach. So, Power 15, 12x6 prop, 40A ESC, and 3S 2200 - 2650 mAh for a good 6 minutes of flight with 1.5 min bingo fuel. Rates are 30/30, 50/30 and 100/50. Flaps 20 and 40, though I may back the full flaps to 35 as she doesn't stall a wing at 35. I flew about a dozen packs with flawless performance, and I am starting to get used to her. Really love this plane and am already looking to get a 1500mm (55") version!
The Pulse, of course, flew flawlessly... practiced approaches and landings, long and short, with and without spoilers. Always predictable, stable and fun!
Then, there's the intrepid Eflite Stearman, pictured here just before she crashed. Last time I flew her I burned out the motor... or the ESC, not sure because they both work, but the motor fails at full throttle. Its also rated 4S, so I don't think its the motor, but that I am over peaking the amps on the ESC with the 12x6. I tried flying it 3S 3300 mAh today as its was designed for (so many repairs, I think its too heavy now, as evidenced by...) and she flew okay, a bit sluggish compared to 4S, working hard through loops and vertical. It was a fresh battery, 3 minutes into 8 planned climbing out of a low fly by the motor slowed then stopped and she dropped like a stone... managed to get the nose up at impact. Snapped a wing connection tab on the lower left wing, easily repaired. Snapped the landing gear clean off and chiseled off the bottom 2 cylinders of the mock motor, and broke the prop. No other damage. Spent the evening repairing the tab, building the landing gear block and recoting it, and cut two cylinders off an old Stearman cowl (I had just replaced this cowl the day before!) and grafted them onto the "new" cowl, with a near perfect repair. Needed to place a cowl tab, too. I also replaced the Hobby Wing 40A ESC with the Turnigy Trust 70A I had laying around. I haven't been using this ESC since programming it is a nightmare: the tones don't match the manual and the programming card is NIS at Hobby King. I mucked through the programming, and the only thing I need to test is the low voltage cut off... rather important, but otherwise the brake is now off and she runs sweet (In a curious set of design issues, Trust is the only Turnigy ESC I can't program with a Hobby Wing card, and the usual throttle range setting maneuver actually sets the brake as the throttle range is auto-detected). I believe I have auto-Lipo detect, brake off, auto timing and I have no idea what voltage cut off is... I ran the motor briefly at full throttle without load and it ran fine. I will power test it with a 12x6 prop and check the low voltage cut off. Need that damn programming card...
I was pretty pissed, mostly because this crash-a-day BS is annoying, and I am tired of repairing my planes... At least it wasn't the Sbach!

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