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Posted by dmrcflyr2 | Today @ 02:04 PM | 199 Views
I was out last evening running about the 8th break-in tank through this engine when a scary thing happened. The engine just stopped while running at about 6000 RPM. Died, stopped. I had been monitoring the head temps and they were fine at around 175 each.

After it stopped it felt very tight when I turned the prop. Oh crap, what have I done? Well I immediately took it off the stand and brought it inside to cool down. After it cooled it still did not turn over freely. I did not feel or hear any grinding noises. I injected some Marvel Mystery oil into the port at the bottom of the crankcase to see if that helped things at all; it did not. I don't know if the front bearing let go or what, but there was one thing for sure, I wouldn't know until I took her apart.

So the disassembly begins. I took it apart with the back of the engine facing me and I kept all left and right side parts separate. I pulled the heads off and the pistons look just like new still. The valves look great. I had to pull the piston wrist pins and the piston heads off to get the connecting rods out. After each part removal I tried to turn the engine over to see exactly which part is causing the drag.

I found it. The right timing gear and cover came off and the engine freed up. Wow this is odd. The timing gear seemed to be somewhat seized on the shaft. It was quite hard to turn the gear but as soon as I loosened the set screw holding the shaft in place the timing gear began to turn...Continue Reading
Posted by dmrcflyr2 | May 23, 2015 @ 12:19 PM | 1,312 Views
After almost 27 years of patiently waiting to be run, this engine waits no more. I secured it to the stand and took it out for its first runs. The first run/tank went very fast due to the extremely rich setting. Heck I almost think more fuel was spraying out of it than was burning. I started with both needles at 3 full turns open, but almost immediately had to begin to close them up so it would run.

It was so rich most of the tank had to be run with the ignitors on. In fact as soon as I removed the one from the right cylinder it died and would not re-fire even when I put it back on. There are a few seconds of it just pumping fuel out before I killed the engine.

The restart I leaned a bit more so it would finish up without the ignitors on. I let it cool for about 15 -20 minutes while I topped off my ignitors again.

The second tank it started on the first flip already. I have run 3 tanks through it now but only shot videos of the first two tanks. It is well on its way to break-in.

FA-90T 1st run EVER. (1 min 27 sec)

FA 90T End of 1st run tank (0 min 45 sec)
...Continue Reading
Posted by dmrcflyr2 | May 21, 2015 @ 05:57 PM | 1,332 Views
This is the first ARF I have purchased from Value Hobby; I have bought servos from them but that is it. The price of their ARF's are very attractive and just beg you to take a chance on them. I have been eyeing several of thier airplanes for years but never pulled the trigger on one until now. I had been searching and thinking of the type of airplane to test fly my new twin cylinder engines on. The size, nose profile, and overall flight charateristics of the 'Stik' type airplanes were the deciding features for me. I have never owned or flown a 'Stik' before so this should be very fun.

The box arrived undamaged and the opening begins. I immediately found ONE of the reasons these ARF's are so inexpensive. They are not packaged in full color boxes as most kits/ARF's are. In fact I thought it was triple boxed, but in fact it was only double boxed. The inner box was just as plain as the outer; and as in good of condition too. ABout the only lettering on the boxes are the words "Made in China". What? I thought for sure these were out of Vietnam, but I guess not.

Once the box was opened I was pleased to see all subassemblies were individually bagged and nicely taped in place to keep them from shifting during transport. I removed each item and gave it a brief inspection. It was not my intention to begin building this tonight so further unwrapping was somewhat unnecessary. I did unbag the main section of the 2 piece fuselage. I wanted to set my Saito FA-...Continue Reading
Posted by dmrcflyr2 | May 20, 2015 @ 08:15 PM | 1,673 Views
It cost me several other engines but I think it was worth it now that she is here. I have scored the second Saito twin in a month. The FA-90T arrived at the front door today and man is she beautiful! This engine is the perfect compliment to the 80T. Granted it is not much of an increase in displacement but they have over 25 common parts. They also share the exact same mount/mounting dimensions meaning they will be an easy swap out of the same airplane.

At a few feet they look nearly identical but there is one major difference, the heads. The 80T has a two piece head while the 90T has the modern and currrent integrated cylinder head. I really doubt there is any difference in the carbs bodies. I am unsure how long the production run for the 90T was but the 80T was a very short 2 years. I think this is one reason you never see it mentioned in any manuals or the alpha engine codes guide.

So the first thing I did after opening the box was to remove the valve covers and check the valve lash. Two were out of spec and they were quickly reset. A few drops of oil on the rocker arm pivots and cover screw holes and back together it went. This 90T is NIB; it has never seen a drop of fuel. That is going to change this weekend though. I plan to begin the break-in process ASAP. No, no, no, I'm not keeping this a museum piece. It will be in the air very soon. In fact my test bed for these engines is due to arrive tomorrow as well, a Value Hobby Easy Stik 60.
Posted by dmrcflyr2 | May 08, 2015 @ 07:08 PM | 1,371 Views
So I started out with a Master Airscrew 14x6, the glow plugs that came in the engine, 10% Omega fuel. After prime the engine fired on the very first flip!! Being my first twin I was learning on the fly what it should sound like, what happens when a cylinder drops out, etc. It seems the engine likes the pressure tap on the left cylinder. ( I am referencing left/right from behind the engine) Anyway with setup as above I was able to tune it to nearly 8000RPM WOT. I could not get any more than that out of it for fear of leaning it too much. I did shut down the left cylinder once by leaning too much.

After the first two runs I changed 3 things.
1. Propeller from MA 14x6 to TF 13x6
2. Plugs: unknown plugs that came in the engine to Hangar 9 Super Plug
3. Installed a header from another Saito on the right hand cylinder for pressure tap. The original runs the pressure fitting was on the left cylinder.

I had a heck of a time getting it to start and run after these changes. WTH??? So I moved the pressure tap header back to the left side and I was finally able to get it started and running again. This really does not make any sense to me. But in the first video above, I did remove the pressure line once and it immediately dropped the left cyclinder.

Seeing as I am still very green to running twins, I am unsure what to make of this. it is also a bit difficult for me to know how to tune each carb. You can see in the videos I was using an IR temp sensor to read the head...Continue Reading
Posted by dmrcflyr2 | May 05, 2015 @ 06:20 PM | 1,933 Views
I realized one of my RC dreams! I have acquired a Saito twin, more specifically the FA-80T MKII. The FA-80T was the first twin cylinder engine that Saito mass produced. The MKI was introduced in 1981 and featured a singe carb. It was soon determined that the single carb was in adequate and the MKII with dual carbs was released. Basically they added the dual carb and designated it the MKII in 1982. This engine was only produced until 1983 when it was replaced with the FA-90T.

The 80T also has a two piece head assembly as opposed to the most common feature of Saito engines, the single integrated cylinder head. The 2 piece head has an advantage for me, which is the ability to remove and inspect the valves without completely tearing down the engine. A task I did last night when trying to determine approximately how much run time this engine has. My best guess is 1 gallon or less, but it is used.

This is not going to be a display only engine. It will be powering an airplane possibly this year and running even sooner. However, I am making the preparations to get it running this weekend if not sooner. I have a PSP Mfg. test stand with the back mount adapter. Tonight I drilled holes for the engine and throttle arm....Continue Reading
Posted by dmrcflyr2 | Apr 25, 2015 @ 04:44 PM | 1,626 Views
So, I have a crappy day at the field today. My GP Escapade is laid up for the time being due to a pancake landing I managed to excute. It was a gusty day again and as I was touching the rudder to straighten it out to land I must have had brain lock on the elevator. It was coming in at 45 deggrees to the runway and ideally I should have waited until just before touch down to straighten her out, i didn't. My flying skills were not up to the task with the huge rudder on this airplane. The result is the landing gear being ripped off the airframe and as a consequence rolling up under and damaging the wing. Easily repairable. I just seldom get in the mood to repair airplanes....

Then after that while flying my Tower Uproar, I did a slow fly by and while powering on to pull out, the engine flamed out. My only choice to make the runway was to turn immediately and do a downwind landing. It would have been fine if I had actually made it to the runway. The result was a broken prop, and my self esteem.

Fortunately, my grandson caught both on video.

Bad day at the field (0 min 12 sec)

Posted by dmrcflyr2 | Apr 23, 2015 @ 04:47 PM | 2,236 Views
Well, I did it, I bought another 2 stroke engine. What is with me? Well this just tripped my trigger as a good deal and I was not disappointed. For under $50 I scored a NIB Magnum XLS 40A.

I was quite surprised when I opened it up and all items were in bags, but wait. There happened to be two bags with muffler screws, gaskets, and carb attachment screws. Ok, a bonus, thats cool. What I did not expect was a carbuerator with a needle valve along with a bracket and hardware to make it a REMOTE needle valve assembly! Super cool! I am unsure if this is how all Magnums were sold, but if so, nice.

Heck I forget to mention one of the coolest surprises, an aluminum spinner nut!

No glow plug was supplied, but as luck would have it I stopped at the LHS today at lunch and picked up a new McCoy glow plug for it.
Posted by dmrcflyr2 | Apr 22, 2015 @ 06:05 PM | 2,586 Views
Once again, this forum is the best!! For about the 3rd time I have posted looking for something and a great member comes through for me! This time I was looking for an ACE R/C 4-40 Bipe kit. Well it arrived today! I am so stoked that I had to share some pictures.

So a bit of history. I entered this hobby back in 1988 while stationed at Whiteman AFB in Knob Noster MO. The RC club I joined was from Central Missouri State University in nearby Warrensburg MO. Anyone that knows that area of MO knows that Higginsville MO, the former headquarters of ACE R/C, was located 20 miles due north of Warrensburg. So I flew with the folks at ACE several times and back in those day ACE also sponsored an annaul float fly that was always documented in RCM and MAN.

So in all of my time there I never purchased an ACE kit. Don't ask me why, because for the life of me I do not know the reason. Well I never thought I would actually get my hands on a piece of history like this, but I did.

This kits looks 100% complete and still has the plastic wrap around groupings of wood parts. The decal sheet may not be useable however. I tried to unroll it and the stickers started lifting off having been rolled for so many years. The ffront windshield is a bit dented up, but again, no big deal. One thing I did find missing is the aluminum landing gear. Easily replaced.

I unrolled the plans, rolled them the opposite direction, very carefully, and then pinned them to my wall to flatten out....Continue Reading
Posted by dmrcflyr2 | Apr 18, 2015 @ 05:09 PM | 2,135 Views
So I took the Astro Hog out to the field along with my 9 year old grandson. He was the videographer. I gave him a quick lesson on the camera and the difficulties in following an RC airplane in the air and off we went. He did quite well too. I had to do quite a few edits and only a small sample of what he shot was really useable but it still was pretty darn good. Next time I will bring out the tripod and let him use that. The videos should be much more stable.

The weather conditions were warm, partly cloudy and a pretty siff breeze with some gusts. The Hog flies very nice with or without the wind. It performs much better than the pilot. The Hog is sporting an Enya 60-4C, 13x6 MA propeller and Omega 10%.

If weather permits tomorrow we will go out and I have him shoot some videos of the Escapade and Uproar.

SIG Astro Hog (1 min 2 sec)

SIG Astro Hog 2 (1 min 18 sec)
...Continue Reading
Posted by dmrcflyr2 | Apr 04, 2015 @ 04:54 PM | 3,042 Views
I have been primarily a kit builder the vast majority of my 27 years in the hobby. I have on several occassions purchased and flown ARF's. The quality of the ARF's available now is FAR superior to the first ones I bought back in the early 90's. Still I favor building my own airplanes because you have more options with regards to weight, wood selection, landing gear options etc. In the last month and a half I have built 1 kit, a SIG Astro Hog, and assembled 1 ARF, a Great Planes Escapade 61.

The SIG Astro Hog is a classic kit and flier and being an older design does not incorporate any laser cut parts. It is still an 'old school' build. While I was building this airplane I kept saying to myself, why is it designed like this, and why is this wood so heavy. The airplane is very solid and strong which means over engineered and heavy to me. Although I do not have a scale as yet I am unsure how much my Hog actually weighs, but I am sure it is close to the 7 - 7 1/2 lb stated weight. The specifications for it are:

Wingspan: 71"
Wing area: 824 sq in
Weight: 7 - 7 1/2lb
Wing loading: 21 oz/sq ft @7.5 lb
Engine range: 45-60 2 stroke/60-75 4 stroke (wheere did SIG come up with a 75 4 stroke size??)

I am powering my Hog with an Enya 60-4C engine and it provides excellent flight performance, in fact more engine is really just more added weight with less benefit IMO.

In contrast the ARF I assembled is the Great Planes Escapade 61. I think this airplane has been around...Continue Reading
Posted by dmrcflyr2 | Mar 29, 2015 @ 12:33 PM | 2,639 Views
I recently acquired 2 NIB engines and decided not to 'save' them for later. I put them on the stand and began breaking them in. At the time of running today the Saito has 2 tanks on it, the second being what is shown here, the Enya is on its third tank shown here. So obviously this isn't the best means to compare them, but this is how I did it.

The weather conditions were a perfect 65 F with humidity of 34%. I ran 10% Omega and identical 11x6 APC propellers. I started each engine up and allowed them to run at mid throttle for 1 minute to warm up. I then adjusted the high speed needle to peak RPM 1 time on the Saito and twice on the Enya. I did not let either sit at that setting for very long at all as you will see. I recorded a peak RPM and then showed a bit of the idling characteristics.

Each engine started right up once properly primed. Each engine reached a peak RPM of 11,040 RPM before I decided to back them off.

Here are some manufacturer specifications for each engine
Enya 46-4C
Weight 385g
Practical RPM range 8500-13,000RPM

Saito FA-50
Weight 435g

Saito 50 startup:
Saito FA 50 startup (0 min 38 sec)

Saito 50 runup to peak.
Saito FA 50 runup to peak RPM (0 min 46 sec)
...Continue Reading
Posted by dmrcflyr2 | Mar 22, 2015 @ 03:33 PM | 2,367 Views
I was at the field today flying the GP Escapade for the first time, which BTW, went fine. I saw a member here Ronwc and he metioned that he had a NIB Enya 46-4C. Of course I already knew this becuase I saw it posted on the forum before I even went to the field. Being a complete sucker for NIB engines, especially a 4 stroke, I had to take a look. Well once I got to his house the look turned into a transaction and now I have 2 Enya 46-4C engines. Well I certainly don't need 2 so I listed my tried and true used 46, opting to keep the new one.

Instead of keeping it new I immediately put it on the stand for a tank of fuel. I took several videos of the one tank I ran; they can be viewed here,

So I was comparing the 2 46's to each other an saw what I considered an amazing difference. I also have a NIB 53-4C and pulled it out for a further comparison. Can you see the difference in photo 1?

Well the new 46 I got today has the breather nipple on the back of the gear box instead of on the front end as the used 46 and 53 have. This strikes me as odd becuase both of my 46's are the latest Mark II version and it is differentiated from the original version by what is stated in the supplement. Yet they have the breather nipple in different locations. The 53 SHOULD have come out after the 46 Mark II, but yet it's breather nipple is in the same location as my original 46. Other than that the engines are identical.
Posted by dmrcflyr2 | Mar 21, 2015 @ 06:08 PM | 2,437 Views
So I bought this ARF about a year ago and it sat there in the closet taking up room. I got sour on all things ARF such that I listed it on craigslist. I began building again and really wanted it gone. No takers on craigslist for over 3 months. One guy lowballing the crap out of me. Then a few months back I bought an Enya 90-4C engine and this would be the perfect airframe for this engine so...... Well yesterday I started pulling this out again and test fitting the engine on the supplied mount. One thing led to another and I was fully engaged in this assembly process.

Changes and issues. The Escapade is set up for right side throttle linkage. The rudder and elevator also go in specific places due to the fact that the pushrod tubes are already laid out that way. Well my throttle on the Enya is on the left side of the engine, as viewed from behind servo location. So the throttle servo must go in the place of the rudder servo. No biggie, I'll just mount the rudder servo in the tail. And I did just that and I figured this Enya engine is heavy weighing in at 29 oz. Even with that the tail was still a bit heavy with the rudder servo in the aft.

The throttle linkage was going to be a different story. The Enya throttle arm is near the firewall and up as high as the magnetic hatch so running the pushrod through there is out. I had to fabric a quick indirect linkage setup. Using an old 4 arm servo wheel I simply drilled and screwed the arm in place. The long arms...Continue Reading
Posted by dmrcflyr2 | Mar 20, 2015 @ 12:00 PM | 3,665 Views
Well today was the perfect day for a maiden flight, sunny, no clouds, light winds. I got the Waco onto the tarmac and pointed here nose into the wind. I slowly advanced the throttle and within 30 feet she was airborne. A few clicks of trim here and there and she was flying quite nicely in about 2 minutes. After another 5 minutes in the air it was time for the maiden landing.

As with most biplanes, she bleeds air speed quickly. I chopped the throttle above the runway and set her down for a nice 2 wheel landing and a short run out. Whew! Nerves now calmed a bit and time for another try.

The second take off was just a uneventful as the first. I set the ailerons and elevator to high rates to test out the aerobatic qualities. The Waco rolls nicely and loops look superb. Time for the second landing. On base leg and turning to final.....I lose radio contact!!! For about 10-15 seconds the Waco is not responding to any inputs. Finally I here the engine slow down and BAM into the ground about 300 feet from the end of the runway behind a dirt burm. I take the radio out to the crash site to see if it is still functioning and expecting to see a pile of Waco pieces. I come upon what looks like a fully intact airplane!!!

There was damage however. It was on the ground upright looking like it was ready to fly again. Once I got closer I could see the tell tale broken prop. The cowling and landing gear took the brunt of the impact. The gear was severely bent backwards and...Continue Reading
Posted by dmrcflyr2 | Mar 19, 2015 @ 01:26 PM | 3,754 Views
I have placed most of the videos of the various engines I have or have had onto my Youtube channel. Those interested in seeing a number of different engines running/idling please pay a visit. I will be posting more in the near future.
Posted by dmrcflyr2 | Mar 14, 2015 @ 05:27 PM | 2,863 Views
Family picture time. The one not in the photo is nestled in the cowling of the Waco 30. From left to right These are the Classic sizes. Missing FA-50.

Posted by dmrcflyr2 | Mar 08, 2015 @ 10:46 AM | 3,051 Views
Well for the first time in a very LONG time, I had more than 2 airworthy airplanes ready to fly. I took 3 to the field today. The newly built SIG Astro Hog, an older Tower Uproar 40, and the Sportsman Aviation Waco 30.

I flew 2 of the 3 today, the Uproar and the Hog. The Uproar was sporting an never flown before but broken-in Enya SS40BB. The weather was nice, but the darn wind was really whipping up. It was a steady 10MPH with gusts to about 18MPH.

I took the Uproar up first since I had flown this plane many times before so it was all trimmed out. It was just a different engine on it, no big deal. So the flights with it were uneventful. A bit windy on the landings because this airplane is so light it gets tossed around a bit.

The Waco maiden flight was scrubbed due to the high winds. The Astro Hog was a last second decision to fly. I fired the engine up for a test, then ran it out to the runway for some taxiing tests. Well once on the runway..... I figured what the heck, I slowly advanced the throttle and the Hog ran nice and straight down until I gave it a bit of up and away she went! I gained altitude as quickly as possible to get about 2-3 mistakes high, of course it was much more turbulent up there. It did not take much to trim it out for straight and level flight and 1/2 throttle was all that was needed for good flight performance. I circled around for about 3 minutes and decided to attemp a landing so I could shake the the nerves. The wind aided here as it settled in nice an slow and on 2 wheels. Very nice!! I took it up again for another round. The final landing was just a uneventful as the first. It is a nice flying airplane and I can't wait to fly it in much less windy conditions.
Posted by dmrcflyr2 | Mar 01, 2015 @ 04:56 PM | 2,807 Views
Well the Hog is 99% complete now. I got it covered this weekend. I may still do a white stripe down the side of the fuselage and a blue stripe on the bottom of each wing panel for visibility. Right now the entire bottom is white. Yes it is red and white now unlike what I said I was going to do. Call it input from my wife. She did not like the idea of yellow on red. So it looks much like the box.

All in all it was an enjoyable build. I still have to hinge the ailerons and install the windscreen. The intial balance seems ok, but I really need to check the exact CG on the plans. It may require just a battery location adjustment.

It is fitting that this ends on the 13th post. That is a favorite number of mine.
Posted by dmrcflyr2 | Feb 28, 2015 @ 04:21 PM | 3,377 Views
So I am 'officially' done buying engines...... The last one arrived today, a used but excellent condition FA-80. I got a great deal on this powerhouse too. As usual with used engines, I disassembled, inspected, and cleaned it. Even though it is a rainy day here, I still managed to run it afterwards. I just put the stand in the garage.

The engine arrived in a white box that was originally for an FA-82a. The muffler was heavily carbon coated; no aluminum was visible at all. 5 minutes with some fine sandpaper and 0000 steel wool had it all cleaned up.

The inside of this engine was quite clean but obviously well used by the carbon deposits on the exhaust valve and top of the piston.

I did not do anything with the carb during the disassembly, as I wanted to see how it ran with the settings it had when it arrived. Once reassembled and the valves set it was test stand time. It started by hand quite easily and as all FA-80's had tons of compression. It was not running well initially however. There was a peak RPM spot long before the WOT position. Once advanced to WOT the RPM would drop about 700RPM and the engine was getting quite hot. I stopped the engine and pulled the carb. The velocity stack was removed and the idle needle reset to the factory settings. It was set way too lean. Now the engine was running properly. I tached it at a max of 9700 RPM turning a 13x6 TF PROP. I might could have gotten some more but it sounded good there. I richened it to 8900RPM...Continue Reading