The flying monkeys got me...

Helis and fixed wing

AMA 957918
IRCHA 4345
AMA Intro Pilot Instructor

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Twinstar 2 is Ready!

It was a quick build. Checked CG today with a 4S battery, and she is ready to maiden as soon as the wind calms.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Fun, friends and an Ultimate crash

Banner day at the SNHFE field in Merrimack! It started a bit rough but ended good. Nice crowd out this afternoon, and they were good company.

I crashed the Eflite Ultimate finally. Took 5-6 years. She was that plane that I could always depend on to be predictable, (unlike the Eflite Stearman who will tip stall into a death spin so kuchbasnlook at you). The gray skies were causing us problems keeping the orientation bubble going. I thought I was going to hit another plane (not his fault) and looked away from mine. When I looked back I could not make out her orientation. She was just a black silhouette. I called out that I had lost orientation, and moments later I flew her right to the scene of the crash.

I crushed the front and broke the right lower leading edge. I just don't care enough to rebuild her. While she has never crashed she has taken a beating and its time to let her go. First flight of the day...

I flew the Eflite Stearman with a 4S. She had more power than she needed but flew kinda sluggish; she doesnt like the extra weight. I landed and changed out to a 3S and she performed much better. I did a couple of touch and go's, flew some piggish aerobatics (single surface ailerons, unlike the upper and lower on the Ultimate) and on the last landing the prop must have touched. Prop cam loose and the motor went out of phase. Usually I can simply stop and restart the motor and she will find her phase again, but this time she just wouldn't, even with a hard restart. So that was the end if her flying day, and will be until I sort that out.

I then tried to take the 10cc Sukhoi up. Tried, for as I picked her up her engine would quit. Recall the last time I flew her and went vertical, she quit and I deadsticked down. It was so bad all I had to do was move her and she would quit. Ron listened and told me she was running rich. 

Me, Steve, and Ron

Ron and Steve were willing, so we started trouble shooting. We ended up field stripping the engine. In the end they left, and I spent the  next couple of hours tweaking the needle valve on the single needle RCGF 10cc. She just kept quitting if I moved her. Near 5pm I finally got her where she wouldn't quit in idle and when moved. I took her up and flew around, simple flight, and landed. On roll out, a bit bumpy even with the Geotex runway, she quit. Tweaked a bit more, and finally found the sweet spot. Flew around, did simple aerobatics. Idled in flight, flew fine. Taxied to the gate, and... She quit when I stopped her in idle. 

Not sure what's going on.

While I was working on her, Kenny Pappas stopped by and we had a nice chat. I got share the adventure of trying to get a flying field up and running in Tyngsboro at River Bend.

I wrapped up, headed home, and took the Big Dobbie to Outback, and then Castro's for a cigar.

Tonight I have some work to do.

Happy Easter Bunny day!

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Twinstar 2 Begins

Always a sucker for a multiengine, when I powdered the Twinstar and was walking across the filed to gather her bones, I was already plotting the next one. The UPS man dropped off Number 2 the other day, and the replacement parts have come in. Late this afternoon I started the build.

The obligatory box pic.

New HITEC HS-82mg servos for the ailerons.

Both wings done and engine nacelles installed.

Tomorrow I will finish installing the motors, ESCS and completing the wings, may even get to the empennage.

I spent the morning fixing the aileron on the Eflite Ultimate and replaced the wheels, and since I am flying off a runway now, I put the wheel pants back on the little Great Planes red racer the name of which escapes me at the moment.  Hoping to get up in the air tomorrow!

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Repaired SU-26 Horizontal Stab

The landing gear on these planes never comes off clean. When the get torn off, they roll, and in the case of wheel pants poke a hole in the underside of the wing as they go by. In the case of the pant-less Sukhoi, the gear itself crashed into the port horizontal stabilized and crushed the center. I didn't take a pic of the pretty bad damage, but this is a hollow stabilizer, no foam so it broke like an egg. I cut out the damaged section first...

I added the bar to the front of the stab, and the tabs to support the sheet balsa. You can see the clean wedge resection. This is the underside.

Not having a piece of wood that would create a clean single piece leading edge, and given the hollow design, I built up a leading edge over the bar I had installed, with scrap balsa straps cut to fit the gap and surround the bar. These would be sanded down and create a nice smooth leading edge. It is interesting how the original manufacturer curved the sheet balsa like a clams he'll to form the leading edge. Seems cumbersome.

I sheeted the stab with a custom cut piece of balsa that was a tad thicker than the stabs covering balsa, and let that dry overnight. I did this to both the bottom and top. They overshoot the leading edge and when sanded will segue sweet and clean into the leading edge supported by the wood bar I installed. I then sanded them flush with the adjacent leading edge and the stab sheet covering. The small gaps I filled with wood filler  (ran out of Hobbylite, and it would need very little). Allowed that to dry overnight, then sanded it flush. Perfectly smooth!

Bottom after cote applied. The orange is a tough match, I had none, and since it's not IMAC, I couldn't care less. It's neat, clean and orderly!

Record the top and leading edge of the stab. Done! Good as new!

Will need to test run the engine and make sure there is no fuel problem that lead to the engine cut out, and then I can take her out to the field in Merrimack and fly her off a decent runway. Psych!

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Twinstar Number 2

Lets hope I don't powder this one...

I pulled the trigger on number 2, the Great Planes Twinstar EP. One Hitec HS-82mg never made it home from the crash, one is running a touch more noisy than it should, so ordered two of them. I don't like the red spinners that come with the ARF, and they were damaged so, two of those. Everything else I have, and a $15 discount on the ARF from Tower Hobbies.

Twinstar Number 1.

Southern New Hampshire Flying Eagles RC Club

I made it out to Southern NH Flying Eagles R/C Club in Merrimack, NH today. There was a nice crowd, a lot of club officers were there, and I felt welcomed and far more comfortable than before. It helped, I am sure, that the trees are still bare, so the field felt more open than when the foliage is in full bloom.

I flew my stalwart Alpha 450 through 4 packs, and got comfortable with the tree lines, and lining up with the the Geotec runway. Approaches from the north are easy, but from the south, well, that's gonna take some practce. The trees are right there. A nice steady headwind from the north allowing a very slow approach with a nice floating steep descent nose high would be ideal for getting in there.

The winds aloft were brisk, but there was a moment when it settled down, and I took the recently repaired Pulse XT25e up for a spin, and practiced approaches. She did well here.

I think flying my 10 cc planes here will be fine, but my 30 cc would be tight unless I really pushed her down.

They tell me Tuesdays are the popular days, with beers at The Common Man afterwards. I was the last to leave, and I was glad to be able to close and lock the gate behind me. I think I found my new RC home.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Time to Club Again

I've gotten tired of being at the whim of the quality of the field grass at the Joppa Hill Fields and having landing gear ripped off, and not being able to fly aircraft with smaller wheels. I am tired of repairing those landing gear, which I have spent the afternoon doing.

I have been a member of the Southern NH Flying Eagles for two years, and have flown there once. I didn't really like the feeling of flying in a hole. Most of the flying is done over a forest across from the runway, so the plane is high and distant. And when I was there I didn't get a warm vibe. They weren't rude or distant, it just didn't gel for me. But I only went once...

I Iike to fly, chat, and learn, and I think that is best done in a club environment. I just hope they are a fun bunch.

Wheels on, repairs done. She being my best will be the one I take to the club field.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Rough day at the office: Field Sucks

Two flights, two ripped off landing gear. The field is major clumpy... its a soccer/lacrosse field, and its not rolled. Hopefully it will be, or there will be some twisted ankles.

That dark spot is the pothole, about 4" deep, that my plane rolled into on a beautifully executed touch-and-go rollout.  Pulse XT25e.

I kinda own this one. First flight with the Master Airscrew 13x8x3. Runs sweet and smooth as glass! But in vertical, still runs out of steam, and this time gas: the engine quit in vertical. Did it overload the prop? Engine quiet, downwind landing with looooooong approach, touched down, bounce and ripped off the gear when she came down again. Of course, she ends up in the only smooth area...

Here's what she sounded like though!