The flying monkeys got me...

Helis and fixed wing

AMA 957918
IRCHA 4345
AMA Intro Pilot Instructor

Saturday, June 27, 2015

MS-Bach Topped!

The new spinner bolt came in, and so did the muffler connectors I am using as extensions on the Pitts to make sure they get below the cowl.

I put that spinner on, and now she is fully ready to be balanced and flown!



Southern NH Flying Eagles

Last year I checked out a couple of fields and clubs, joined a couple, but never made it out. Yesterday I renewed my membership with the Southern New Hampshire Flying Eagles, AMA Clube 2417, in Merrimack, NH. No electricity, but they have a great geotex runway!

Flying there today was a small crowd, which allowed me to fly a couple of times. I met Carl, who greeted me right after I arrived, friendly and welcoming! Then Tom, a 17 yo with "the touch", and his dad, Bob. Tom is an intro pilot instructor. Chris showed up later. I really felt welcomed, and comfortable flying. Some kids showed up with their dad and Tom took them up on a buddy box. A touch breezy but not bad at all.


The stations are well designed and made. I love the transmitter holders, and that they designed in a fold-away foam support for putting the airplane in upside down!
Trees at the North end of the geotex runway.
Runway 18 (looking south). Once you cross the low end trees on the north end there's a long approach to the threshold. The planes seem to eat it up in a hurry though. Yes, those trees at the south end are very, very tall, and very, very close.
Looking across the runway to the stations which are on the west side of the field.
Runway 36, looking north. Those are the low trees, and they are further back than they look. Getting used to where they are is a challenge. You can see the grass landing strip to the right.
Looking at the stations from the south end of the field.

I flew several packs, flying the Alpha Sport 450, the first plane I always fly at any new field. I mentioned in a previous post that the MX-Bach had its rudder go over hard and stay. Nothing mechanical, leaving only some programming issue. I had to remove the control arms and reset it. It had not stripped. Well, today the Alpha Sport did the same thing. Hard landing, and all of the sudden the rudder was over hard and I had to climb out over the pits and it was all I could do to control her. Back in the pattern and brought her down successfully. When I got home I had to remove and reset the control horn, and on again, it was not stripped and the programming had not changed. This is wierding me out... Is there something wrong with my DX8?

Fortunately I also brought the Ultimate and the Pulse, which flew perfectly. Set up differential ailerons on the Ultimate and the worked pretty well! Will try them on all my planes.

I like this club so far. These guys were good ambassadors. It will take some time for me to get used to flying out of the bowl the trees create, and landing on the geotex runway. It requires a bit more precision, and I am excited about that. Not that there is a good place to crash, but here, there is no good place to crash. It's nice to have some skilled people to watch and learn from. I look forward to coming back!


Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Busy Day

So, a day off, and it was beautiful. The winds were gusty. They'd be fine on the ground and howling 30' up. Then just gusting. I took three planes out, but just flew the Alpha Sport. After 3 flights I gave up, but it was fun!

The new Turnigy 7V 2300 mAh reciever and ignition packs arrived, so I replaced the old 4.8V ignition and the old reciever packs, in the 30cc MXS-R.

I put together my own dual charger after my new Traxxas Onyx dual output charger had one display crap out. I like to charge the reciever and ignition batteries at the same time. I don't have the receipt, let alone know where I bought it... It's almost a year old. All of the dual chargers out there are well over $100. Instead I bought two simple chargers, a $10 Stanley toolbox, soldered the two separate AC powercords together, and made my own for about $50. I used the box one came in to make a shelf so both could fit side by side, and hide the cord Y point. It works perfectly!

Soldered, capped, and then tied together.
Testing the power cord.


The other day I put an extra 7.4V 2S Lipo I had into the Alpha Sport, just to power the lights, because I could, and I knew it would make them brighter. And it did! I flew her this morning, but at dusk I took her back out and flew her 3 times. I have to say it was very cool seeing them as she flew. Did I get pictures at the field? No. Did I get video at the field? No. But I did think of it as I was unloading, so...



Monday, June 22, 2015

A little spit...

...and she's ready to go!

I trimmed out the cowl and it went remarkably well. It lined up nicely with the engine. I have some black silicone exhaust connectors coming that I will use to extend the Pitts muffler pipes below the cowl. I also decided to replace the 4V ignition pack and the 7V receiver pack with new ones by Turnigy. I decided to make the ignition pack 7V too. I had to order a screw for the nose cone as I could not find an M5 40mm bolt anywhere locally.


Underside. So shiny it's reflecting everything under the aircraft.


Once the final pieces are installed I will retune the engine with the cowl in place, then man up and fly her!


Friday, June 19, 2015

Can you hear that?

It's the sweet sound of my DLE 30 running perfectly! She doesn't even 4-cycle like she used to. She started up this morning almost right away. Cleaning the carb is all she needed. Somehow I knew she would not disappoint! She idles a bit rough, the airframe shakes a lot without the wings, but after a gallon of gas she already runs smoother. I later put the wings on to save the airframe. She runs wonderfully, clean throttle response. I put in a throttle curve with expo to smooth out the advance, and increase resolution. Now a sweet run from a bit rough idle at 1800-2000 to sweet 7800 rpm.

She liked having the wings and the canopy on. The last thing I have to do is cut and install the engine cowl.


And from our "It's Always Something" department... I kept having problems with the right elevator sometimes not responding. It would just ignore commands. This would have been deadly in the air. I ended up replacing the Spektrum AR7010 with a new AR7610 from my local hobby shop. Problem seems solved. We'll see!

In a few days I will get the balls to trim the cowl for the spark plug and the exhausts. After that... She will need to fly.



Model Aircraft Fabricators, Merrimack, NH


Thursday, June 18, 2015


As I wrote previously I haven't been able to get the DLE 30cc to start after it sat for almost a year. I got some carb cleaner and soaked it for hours, picking it up and shaking it and using some spray carb cleaner to blow the ports. I had removed all of the needle valves, and cleaned their ports. I completely rebuilt the carb, and then the engine, and reinstalled it with a new Hall sensor.

Tomorrow, we try again.

I also applied the lettering and some labels. I think I did a pretty decent job laying out the BREITLING logo! The kit came with the letters but I had to apply them one at a time on both sides.


Tomorrow we find out if I am buying a cheap Turnigy gas engine to replace the DLE...

Flew this morning. The Cosmic Wind hates the tall grass on landing, even without the wheel pants. She is one faaaast flier. I flew the second Alpha Sport 450 before selling it to Jerry, to make sure she flew well, and she of course flew marvelously! The Pulse XT went up and as always flew smartly.

Now, tomorrow.


Wednesday, June 17, 2015

No Pants for You!

People have told me not to wear pants on the grass field, and time and again I get them knocked off. In fact, I don't recall the last time I flew this MXBach without some how damaging one. They get caught up in every blade of grass, twisting and tipping planes on landing, and fouling take off runs. It's a real pain in the ass.

Today two pants came off. This one cracked on the MXBach, and I flew the Cosmic Wind today. She too depants herself.

Fine. You win. Ugly ass depanted wheels.


The tiny Cosmic Wind. Damn she is faaaast.


The MXBach.

I am keeping them on the Pulse XT. She almost never tips on her pants, being a lady and all that.



I flew the MXBach today, both sets of dual 5S. She and I are starting to come to an understanding. Although today she did something bizarre. In flight on final she decided her center rudder was hard left. Scared the crap out of me. Got her on the ground, skidding off to the left and sliding on her gear. That's how that pant leg broke. I taxied her over and at center rudder it was well off to the left. I have no idea what happened. The trim was centered on the DX8 for the rudder. The rudder bar was tight on the servo, it didn't strip. To get it recentered took all 125 right subtrim. When I got home I had to remove the servo, the top screw would not budge. On the servo tester she was way off left on center signal. So, I cut the top screw off, recentered the servo and the control wheel with the bar, and reinstalled her with 12 right subtrim. WTF?

On another note, I hovered the Trex 600e. Her tail had a fine wag. No matter how low or high I set the gyro gain. It was almost off. What is it with every single Align gyro'd heli I have, the tail wags? Don't even...


Charged the MXBach reciever pack, and her 5S batteries. Fly her again tomorrow. Without her pants.


Monday, June 15, 2015

No gas for you!

For a couple of days I have been trying to get the DLE 30cc gas engine from the Sbach, now on the MXS-R, to start. Several times...

I know the CDI is sending a spark to the plug, or was, but more on that in a moment. I know gas is getting through the QuikFire to the engine, but it doesn't seem like gas is getting to the cylinder. I have taken the carb apart and cleaned it, again. Then realized that the hall sensor wasn't picking up as it usually registers every prop start attempt on the inline tach. And there doesn't appear to be anything wrong with it. I confirmed that it's no longer sending a spark to the plug.

Well... They are hard to find, but I have ordered a couple of niverslamhall sensors. I bought a couple as rcextreme says it's a sensor and bracket but on the PayPal order it says bracket and doesn't mention the sensor. Then I found one at GravesRC, which I have used before, they call it a Valhallsen sensor, which I hope is what I am looking for.

A couple of days break from the gasser is just what I need. It has been a downer. Work tomorrow, then three days off with flying friendly weather!

I think it's time to start building the Eflite PT-19 Cornell.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

MXS-R Ready For Shakedown!


Today was a bit of a marathon build day. I installed the engine, fuel system, electronics includingThe new electronic ignition, the old igntiion pack and reciever pack, and the reciever. I checked things out electronically, the kill switch light illuminates when the ignition switch is powered on, the receiver bound fine and all the servos seem to do what they are supposed to do (though in after thought the throttle servo needs to be reversed). I set a few limits and tweaked a few programming settings in the DX8. I essentially just renamed the old Sbach and adjusted the settings. I haven't checked the wing flap and aileron settings, instead using extra servos just to make sure the signal was right.


I installed the QuikFire fuel filter and sump, and a nice big fuel dot. I built up the fuse for the dot and the screw for the QuikFire. The tank is 380cc. I soldered the third pipe closed and its setup as a two pipe system: fill/vent and fuel-to-engine. Pic is before electronics installed.


I installed the ignition pack behind the firewall, and the reciever pack just forward of the rudder servo, right behind the Spektrum AR 7010 reciever.

The red thing is the ignition pack. In addition to the fuel lines you can see the carburetor metering vent tube ending in the orange cap. The blue control horns are the throttle linkages. You can also see the back of the Miracle switches, and the tachometer (the dark rectangle just behind the firewall at the top of the pic).

The Miracle switches and charge ports. I built up the wall f the fuse for the switch too. Repaired and reinstalled the LED for the ignition power on indicator.

Tomorrow I will pick up some two-cycle semi or synthetic oil, and gas, and see if I can get her to start!