I flew the Lil' Poke earlier this evening and it is still a tremendously satisfying airplane to fly. The battery has to be placed a bit forward to compensate for the brushless motor's lower weight, but the overall flight characteristics remain phenomenal.
I have decided to replace the flying and landing wires on the Eastbourne. This will be the third set and after drilling out the second set I think it will be best to replace the blocks in the wings through which the wires pass. To do this properly, I'll have to strip the covering off the top of each wing. Fortunately, I have a pack of cream coverlite tucked away so recovering won't be an issue.
No progress to speak of on the Aqua Star, but the pleasant warm weather gave me chance to start painting the 1/2A Sopwith Pup. I also worked up a D size model rocket with parts from a Estes' designer's kit, which I received as a gift in middle school. The parts have been languishing in my father's garage for thirty years.
We also put successful first flights on the SemRoc Swift boost glider and Squadron Kites' Sopwith Camel kite this past week.
The Lil' Poke and Eastbourne Monoplane date back to 2004. Both airplanes have a substantial number of flying hours on them and I've decided to resurrect them for another flying season. The Lil' Poke was shelved when the brushed 280 motor stopped providing enough power to take off. Rather than replace it with another brushed motor, I'm installing a brushless motor. The Poke's brushed ESC was a C-10, which I'd coupled with device from FMA to adjust the cut off for lipo batteries. All that's been removed and replaced with a brushless ESC. Both airplanes have had their receivers swapped out for 2.4GHz versions for use with my current radio. The Eastbourne's receiver was a swanky FMA dual conversion M5.
I'll likely replace the flying and landing wires on the Eastbourne before putting it into the air.
Still plugging away at the Aqua Star fuselage and tail feathers, removing weight where I can. I decided to use 1/64" birch ply for the windshield rather than the plastic provided in the kit believing the ply will be easier to seal. I also skipped the hatch at the front believing it was for the purpose of accessing radio batteries. As I'm converting this airplane to electric, the hatch looked like potential leaky spot I could avoid.
The SemRoc Swift boost glider is complete and the Herr Aqua Star build is underway.
I've read enough about the Aqua Star to know that not everyone has success getting it to ROW. I'm hopeful that lightweight electronics, a brushless motor, and a few of the tips I picked up reading about other folk's experience with this airplane will help get mine in the air.
I applied a coat of dope to the Brigidier’s recently completed wing this afternoon. As soon as I work out a way to secure the battery hatch at the bottom of the fuselage, I’ll finish that bit of work and put the airplane away until spring.
I’ve not weighed the airplane yet, but I suspect I’m a good place. The airplane balances per the plan, which I confess looks a bit rearward to me (behind the wing spar), but I’ll trust the plan and take some solace in the additional upfront weight that will come with the battery and few ounces of glowfuel in the tank.
UPDATE: I made a battery hatch with a sewn hindge and applied another coat of dope to the wing before testing the engine and radio configuration. The engine and throttle operated perfecty. No modification was needed for the placement of the fuel tank. The first flight will come in the spring...
Work on the Brigidier was sidelined in June by a renewed interest in rubber powered free flight and profile control line. However, exactly a year after starting the airplane, I've resumed building and set my sites on having it in the air this spring. So far, I've cut my 20 wing ribs.
This is a thirty year old Estes Cyclone model rocket. The rocket was produced in 1983 but it didn't stay on the market very long. I built many model rockets in middle school, but this is the only one that didn't go missing. When I retrieved it from my parent’s garage all four fins had been broken off and hastily repaired many times. The plastic nose cone even had a crack in it – how did that happen? I believe it’s ripe for an overhaul.
The body tube in the picture looks pretty rough where the fins were removed, but it’s got a couple of coats of sanding sealer on it and its surprisingly smooth. I used plastic putty to repair the crack in the nose cone. I'll put a dab of sanding sealer on that spot too before I paint it as I recall the putty being porous even when it looks smooth. Pictured are the original fins, cut into a slightly different shape and sanded. I never liked the fins on the Cyclone so this was my chance to improve them. The motor mount is a split between old and new material. The metal hook and upper centering ring are from the original, but the engine mount tube and the lower centering ring are new, along with the centering tube between the two rings. This is something the original rocket didn't have, but I had the part on hand and felt it wouldn't hurt to use it. I've tied a Kevlar thread to the motor mount. Once more, this isn’t stock, but rather it will be set up like the Quest rocket kits; the Kevlar will be tied to an elastic chord that will have the parachute and nose cone on it.
Recalling how much I enjoyed Sterling Models' Beginner Kit series, I've decided to build a profile Pup along the same lines (ha, ha, ha). I haven't flown control line in more than 20 years, but I recall it being great fun.
Also pictured is a great little glider inspired by Bill Hannan's article, "Soda Jets - The Last Straw."
This airplane flew best with a bit of clay on the tail so I dropped the Sig propeller and hanger and replaced it with an Easy Built propeller and thrust button. It's certainly balanced better...we shall see how it flies.