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Posted by Suenaga | Apr 25, 2015 @ 06:45 PM | 1,467 Views
The price of the Parkzone Artizan has dropped quite a bit so I picked up a PNP version and put an Eflite SAFE Rx in it. I know a couple of guys did the conversion and reported it as "no muss, no fuss". They were right--no modifications or servo reversing necessary. She flies great and lets me practice my noobie aerobatics with a lot more confidence--a video is below--I threw her in and out of all 3 modes quite a bit and she performed well with SAFE.


Parkzone ArtiZan with SAFE Rx (5 min 41 sec)

Posted by Suenaga | Apr 01, 2015 @ 05:46 PM | 3,232 Views
Apr 1, 2015 Freewing F-86 Sabre 80mm Flights 1 and 2

Both flights used the Admiral 4000mah 6S battery, pushed all the way back to the foam barrier. The plane was balanced to hit the 200mm COG, verified upside down with gear extended and also with the tail tip test. I did add a very small weight to the tail (a spare rare earth magnet from another plane).

The first flight took off with partial flaps (abt 30 degrees). I ran her long down the runway and was at full throttle when I rotated. In the video you can see the plane do a bounce about 3/4 into the take-off run. I think the nose gear hit a rut in the runway, the nose bounced up and she tried to get airborne on her own. I let the nose come down again and finished the acceleration and then rotated. The first flight was stable, but I had main wing oscillation from the gyro. (Man, she sounds sooooo good!). After one pass I brought her back down but with only partial flaps. She landed fairly smoothly despite the noob flying, but I needed the whole runway on the landing

The second flight I took off with lower gyro gain and partial flaps. The take-off was smoother and the oscillation was gone. Most of the flight was half to 2/3 throttle. The timer was set for 3:30. The landing was done with my full flap setting (still only about 55 degrees). It was shorter and smoother with the extra flaps. (Need lots of practice. The battery had 14% left in it after the taxi back to the pit.

All in all I'm a happy camper. This is my first...Continue Reading
Posted by Suenaga | Mar 21, 2015 @ 11:35 PM | 2,386 Views
As Horizon starts branching out with its SAFE technology, it is becoming a bit confusing as not all SAFE Rx's are "equal". Here is a quick and dirty guide to what's out there now, not including the Rx/esc combo receivers we see in the Hobbyzone Sport Cub S and the Habu S. Hope this helps a bit--

Versions of SAFE Programmed Receivers

Eflite EFLR31003 Rx (7 channels) sold in the Eflite Apprentice S15E (suitable for beginners)
Has a Panic Button for all modes
3 Modes (Beginner-Intermediate-Experienced)
Beginner (self leveling, restricted flight envelope plus AS3X))
Intermediate (restricted flight envelope plus AS3X)
Experienced (AS3X only)
"Locked rx" -- no user programming allowed

Spektrum SPMAR636F4U Rx (6 channels) sold in the HobbyZone Corsair S (suitable for beginners)
Has a Panic Button for all modes
3 SAFE Modes (Beginner-Intermediate-Experienced)
Beginner (self leveling, restricted flight envelope plus AS3X))
Intermediate (restricted flight envelope plus AS3X)
Experienced (AS3X only)
"Locked rx" -- no user programming allowed

Spektrum SPMAR636SU Rx (6 channel) sold in the Parkzone SU-29MM Sukhoi (not suitable for beginners)
Has a Panic Button for all modes
1 SAFE Mode and 2 AS3X modes
-Stagility Mode (no flight envelope restrictions, self-levels when you let go of the sticks plus AS3X)
3D Mode (AS3X only tuned with higher rates/gains)
Precision Mode (AS3X only tuned with lower rates/gains)
"Locked rx" -- no user programming allowed

Spektrum SPMAR636 Rx (6 channel) (specific designation for this model unknown yet) Perhaps SPMAR636VA?). Sold in the Eflite Night VisionAire (not suitable for beginners)
Has a Panic Button for all modes
2 AS3X only Modes
3D Mode (High rates and gains--AS3X only)
Precision Mode (Low rates and gains--AS3X only)
"Locked rx" -- no user programming allowed
Posted by Suenaga | Feb 18, 2015 @ 01:47 PM | 4,273 Views
Here is this morning's maiden flight of my Electrifly Electrostick, sold by Great Planes at my club's field (PVMAC at the old Norton AFB) here in Southern California. This is a 52" wingspan balsa wood model flown stock. The battery is a 3S 3200mah. After the maiden it looks like I should be able to get 7-8 minutes of flying time on this battery. Most of my flying is done at half to 2/3 throttle. The SAFE Rx performs well in this plane. All control surface directions were in the correct direction out of the box--no servo mods were necessary. A smooth flying, easy landing plane. its only drawback is a terrible tail wheel setup which makes it hard to turn on the ground--I'll be doing some mods to improve that. Video Is at 1080p so be sure to adjust your youtube resolution.


Electrostick w/SAFE, Maiden Feb 18, 2015 (1 min 40 sec)

Posted by Suenaga | Jan 28, 2015 @ 03:53 PM | 4,139 Views
Finally got my LX Models 79" B-25 maidened today. On board was installed an Eagle A3 6 axis gyro with an AR9020 Rx. I use a Spektrum DX9 transmitter. I was paranoid about the 4S battery so I only took her up for about 3.5 minutes but she came down with 3.9v per cell after mostly full throttle, so Im guessing I can get 5 mins out of her for sure. She took a nice long take-off, didn't need much trimming, but I botched the landing and have some minor repairs to make on the nose gear (part of the plastic arm that helps guide the gear back into the gear bay broke), and I broke one prop blade. All parts were in stock at Banana Hobby so I ordered them but I also tried to get another set of the hardware kit which they were out of stock on. I was adjusting one of the outboard flap control rods and somehow lost it. If anyone has a spare Id pay to take it off your hands

All in all I thought she was a very smooth flyer, not real fast, and not much power to spare to get you out of a jam. I'll look at a 5 s setup down the road. Here are some pics my friend took.
Posted by Suenaga | Jan 04, 2015 @ 07:01 PM | 3,294 Views
I am working on a project with a large 9 channel B-25 bomber (79" LX Models B-25) that wont be able to use the SAFE Rx that I normally fly with. So I am testing out the Eagle A3 6 Axis gyro in my Apprentice S (SAFE Rx removed and replaced with a Spektrum AR610 and the Eagle A3). The A3 is similar to the SAFE Rx without any panic mode, The other main difference is that corrections in the auto level mode are much softer and take longer to execute, so recovering from a mistake at low altitude is problematic. This flight had the auto level gain set at about 70%. My next flight will be at 100% to see if it reacts more "SAFE Rx like".

Once I am comfortable with this auto balancing gyro I will be using it in my LX B-25 along with a Spektrum AR9020 receiver.

Rudder authority on the ground is much greater with this gyro because until it is flying, the throws basically stay 100%, no matter what rates you are using--this makes her very responsive on take-offs and landings with regard to the nose wheel and taxiing. as well as rollouts and takeoffs.

Apprentice S testing the Eagle A3 6 Axis gyro (3 min 27 sec)

Posted by Suenaga | Nov 29, 2014 @ 03:40 PM | 3,772 Views
Here is the maiden flight of the new Eflite Habu 180 S with Safe Technology. This is my first UMX plane. Its very easy to have it go too far out and lose orientation, as I soon realized. I was flying in 5-10 mph winds which was also not a great idea, but I could tell that the AS3X was helping. All in all, she is a good flyer. I got about 4 mins out of the stock battery.


Habu 180 S Maiden Nov 29 2014 (1 min 58 sec)

Posted by Suenaga | Nov 14, 2014 @ 05:49 PM | 4,386 Views
Below is a video of the maiden flight of my Parkzone Radian. This is my first experience with a powered sailplane (or any type of glider). I really enjoyed the relaxing feel. I am flying with a Spektrum DX-9 transmitter, 1300mah battery, and a Spektrum AR6210 receiver.


ParkZone Radian Maiden Flight Nov 14, 2014 (4 min 23 sec)

Posted by Suenaga | Nov 08, 2014 @ 03:37 PM | 4,893 Views
Here is this morning's maiden flight with a SAFE Rx equipped HobbyKing PT-17 Stearman. Wingspan is just over 47 inches (1200mm). This is my first Bi-plane and SAFE performed well in it. The plane is flown stock except for the SAFE Rx and the esc which was swapped out for a HobbyPeople 40a S-BEC. The battery used was a Grayson Gold Series 4S 2600mah 30c battery. Each cell was at 3.87 volts after the 6 minute flight. She skips along fairly quickly and you will see towards the end she can move to a crawl (about 1/3rd throttle)--but be careful--she's right at the edge of a stall there! Ill try to do a better job with the video tomorrow--didn't quite have it lined up right to catch the landing which was fine (luckily), and I'll try some closer fly-bys.

Two new friends from RC groups joined me (Tom and Steve) from the local club, who used to fly at this site years ago.


HobbyKing PT-17 Stearman w/SAFE Rx Maiden Flight (2 min 43 sec)

HK PT-17 Stearman, 2nd Flight Nov 9, 2014 (3 min 4 sec)
...Continue Reading
Posted by Suenaga | Nov 06, 2014 @ 07:16 PM | 4,505 Views
I finished installing and testing a SAFE Rx into my new Stearman from HobbyKing. Hopefully the maiden will be Saturday morning.

I mounted the Rx to the center of the bottom wing where it is visible from the top when the electronics/battery hatch is removed. Fairly easy to do. I flipped the rudder servo arm 180 degrees which was going the wrong way for SAFE. No issue there as well. The elevator was moving in the correct direction for SAFE. The aileron directions were going the wrong way but my Turnigy servo reverser would not work with the ailerons. I tested it on the rudder and elevator and it reversed those two with no issue. So I physically flipped the two aileron servos so their arms faced inward toward the fuselage and repositioned their control horns.

The HobbyWing 40a UBEC would not work with the SAFE Rx--I could not get it to arm so I switched it out with a 40a Hobby People S-BEC and it worked fine.

Pics below:

Posted by Suenaga | Oct 25, 2014 @ 08:14 PM | 3,872 Views
Here is today's Op with my SAFE Rx equipped ParkZone Mosquito Mk VI. The ground camera is a GoPro 3+ Black at 1080p and the onboard camera is a Mobius, showing a good view of the twin props and gear operations. Enjoy


ParkZone Mosquito Mk VI Oct 25 2014 Operations--2 camera view (3 min 48 sec)

Posted by Suenaga | Oct 18, 2014 @ 06:55 PM | 4,077 Views
Here is today's Carbon Z Cub flight equipped with a SAFE Receiver from Eflite, with views from 3 cameras (ground, over left wing, facing forward). The Dubro 6" inflatable tires make for a nice soft landing. Take-off was with half flaps, landing with full flaps. All stock except the tires and the Xoar 15 x 6 wooden prop.


Carbon Z Cub w/SAFE Rx multi-cam Oct 18, 2014 (3 min 49 sec)

and practicing landings and take-offs with flaps the following day:

Carbon Z Cub--Practicing with Flaps (3 min 20 sec)
...Continue Reading
Posted by Suenaga | Oct 12, 2014 @ 03:27 PM | 3,960 Views
Im still working on my throttle management with the Durafly Fieseler Fi-156 Storch at slower speeds--here is this morning's practice flights--I still have much to learn but its getting a bit better--


Durafly Fieseler Fi-156 Storch Throttle Mgt Practicce (3 min 19 sec)

Posted by Suenaga | Oct 11, 2014 @ 06:27 PM | 4,228 Views
Here are today's (Oct 11, 2014) flights with my SAFE Rx equipped Airfield Zero (1450mm). On-board and ground view cameras.


Airfield A6M Zero w/SAFE Oct 11, 2014 (4 min 49 sec)

Posted by Suenaga | Sep 27, 2014 @ 03:05 PM | 5,067 Views
Today's maiden of my Eflite P-51D equipped with an Eflite SAFE Rx. Onboard camera is a Mobius and Hat Cam from the ground is a GoPro 3+. Transmitter is a DX9. No flaps were used for landings or take-offs. The first landing was a bit bumpy as I held up-elevator for too long on touch down. This bird likes to land like my ParkZone FW-190. Final landing was much better, even with the small pebbles dotting my landing strip.


Eflite P-51D Maiden w/SAFE Rx (7 min 3 sec)

Shorter raw 3 minute ground version:
Eflite P-51D Maiden from the ground (short) Sept 27 2014 (3 min 0 sec)
...Continue Reading
Posted by Suenaga | Sep 24, 2014 @ 10:41 PM | 5,037 Views
Here is a quick video of bench testing the control surface correction directions for the Eflite SAFE Rx (originally found in the Apprentice S RC plane). In this video I have installed the SAFE Rx in Eflite's new P-51D. This will also be applicable to bench testing the SAFE programmed AR636F4U found in the HobbyZone Corsair S. I want to do a longer more detailed one in the future, but I had a few requests to throw something together soon so this will have to do for now.


My YouTube Channel:

Bench Testing the Eflite SAFE Rx (8 min 26 sec)

Posted by Suenaga | Sep 24, 2014 @ 07:34 PM | 5,198 Views
I received my new E-flite P-51D today. A very quick build and I managed to install the SAFE Rx without too much trouble. I installed it in the same place as the AR636 was, except I installed it right side up, hanging (attached) from the top of the Rx--I needed to cut a tad of foam as the SAFE Rx is a bit wider than the AR636, but it was very easy. Because the servo leads exit our of the top of the SAFE Rx, I used the existing opening for the rudder and elevator lead wires and expanded it a bit so the protruding servo leads on the top of the SAFE Rx could easily fit into that open space.

I did not hook up the flap servo as I am short one channel on the SAFE Rx. The gear went into the open Aux 2 channel.

I fired her up, and all control surface correction directions were perfect. No modifications or servo reversers were necessary, The P-51 uses the same aileron and rudder servos (and in the same configuration) as the ParkZone FW-190 and ParkZone Mosquito, neither of which needed any mods as well.

One interesting thing---the P-51 comes with a long wire labeled "bind" already inserted into the bind port of the included AR636. It has the red wire "cut". When I tried to use this long "bind" wire to bind my SAFE Rx to my DX-9, I kept getting "Bind Failed". When I pulled out that long wire and inserted a spare regular old shorty Bind plug, she did a Bind on the first try. Below is a pic of that long Bind wire, and the short one I normally use. . I've since learned that the long "bind" lead is just a bind extension. You still need to insert a bind plug into the long lead to bind. Must be because the rx is pretty inaccessible once you get the wing on.

The maiden will be Saturday morning.

Bench Testing the Eflite SAFE Rx (8 min 26 sec)

My YouTube Channel:
Posted by Suenaga | Sep 21, 2014 @ 05:23 PM | 4,646 Views
Today's Flight Ops with my SAFE Rx equipped Airfield Zero 1440mm wingspan (57 inches) on a gloomy Southern California morning. A bit of a bounce on the landing, but she flies and handles really well.


Airfield Zero over Loma Linda Sept 21, 2014 (3 min 13 sec)

My YouTube Channel:
Posted by Suenaga | Sep 20, 2014 @ 07:20 PM | 4,806 Views
Today I did some test landings and take-offs with new wheels on my HobbyZone Corsair S equipped with the Spektrum AR636F4U Rx. These are 2.5" Dubro Diamond-Lite wheels that I fitted on the Corsair in place of the stock wheels which I felt were too bouncy on my hard dirt runway. I fitted these same wheels on my Parkzone Mosquito, and while there is still some bounce, it has lessened significantly and I think the wheels look nicer. It was also a good chance to see how the Corsair S performs in some light to moderate winds which were blowing at a steady 15mph with gusts to 25. It was fun to see how she seems to stop in mid-air and float into the wind, as well as how quickly she lifted off the ground---one take-off wasn't much more than about a 18-24 inches before she was airborne.


Corsair S in Wind Sept 20, 2014 (3 min 28 sec)

My YouTube Channel:
Posted by Suenaga | Sep 07, 2014 @ 04:19 PM | 5,771 Views
I have completed the first phase of my flight tests with the new AR636F4U SAFE enabled receiver in two planes with very different airframes. I chose the very stable high wing trainer, the Apprentice S, and the Sport plane from Dynam, the SU29M, for my first tests. The AR636F4U is the receiver found in HobbyZone's (HH) new Corsair S, a SAFE enable warbird that is a dream to fly compared to what many people are used to with RC warbirds. Of course I have experimented extensively with the SAFE Rx found in the Apprentice S in other planes, but I was curious to see how this new SAFE programmed receiver would perform. After the first day of unsuccessful tests yesterday, after which I discovered I had broken my own cardinal rule of SAFE technology, "ALWAYS BENCH TEST ALL SAFE CORRECTION DIRECTIONS FIRST", and found that I had been trying to fly with my rudder direction reversed (DOH!), I found that both test planes, the Apprentice S and the Dynam SU26M, needed a servo reversing wire between the rudder servo and the Rx to get the rudder to move in the correct directions for both SAFE and AS3X. I set out again this morning...... bench tests completed, pre-flight done, and ready for action!

Both planes flew very stable with the AR636F4U receiver. All three SAFE modes worked correctly, as well as the Panic button. I did notice that I was achieving a greater bank angle in beginner mode on the Apprentice S than I was used to with its stock SAFE Rx. I was able to...Continue Reading