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Kmot's blog
Posted by Kmot | Mar 17, 2015 @ 06:09 PM | 1,259 Views
My newest r/c aircraft is the Ugly Stik foamy from Durafly aka Hobby King. What intrigued me about this model was the faux glow engine. It looked very authentic in the promo photos.

Being a long time model airplane engine enthusiast I wanted to see one for myself. Hobby King had a 1/2 Off Sale for a week and so I got the Ugly Stik at half price.

Well, the fake engine is pretty sweet looking. Even in person, from just a few feet away it is indistinguishable from a genuine glow engine.

The 'kit' is absurdly easy to assemble. All appendages simply use screws to attach them.

The wood Durafly propeller is one of the most beautifully finished props I have seen. The glossy clear coating is truly stunning.

I embellished mine slightly with the sharks teeth and eye.
Posted by Kmot | Mar 11, 2015 @ 01:54 AM | 2,020 Views
I got my custom graphics stickers I created, from Callie. Put them on the quad and now the livery is complete.
Posted by Kmot | Mar 02, 2015 @ 10:26 PM | 1,768 Views
Threw some paint on my Yuneec Q500 Typhoon quadcopter. And some APC props too,
Posted by Kmot | Feb 08, 2015 @ 02:52 PM | 2,693 Views

I have installed firmware update V1.1 to the Scout and GCS update V1.0.3 to my tablet.

A new feature that I learned about is the ability to connect the GCS to the Scout and then turn on the F12E transmitter and see the video feed from the iLook+ camera. I just tried it and it is very cool. I still have not flown with GCS however.

So I did a flight today using the F12E, after the V1.1 update, in my backyard. Although I have had my Scout since November and have probably 30 (mostly short) flights on it I have never switched to a GPS mode, ever. So in manual mode I noticed not much difference at all. It still wants to wander around my backyard and I still have to constantly be flying it, making control adjustments. I don't consider that a bad thing, just mentioning that nothing seems to have changed there. The props start up evenly, but at a much too high RPM in my opinion. Oh well...

So today I switched into GPS mode for the very first time. I was prepared to immediately switch back out if anything went awry. I have a small area to fly between a house, garage, block walls, and neighbors monster trees. To my delight, it held very well. I would not call it 'rock solid', but certainly it is decent.

I also did some battery checking. Last weekend while flying over water, the Scout almost took a dunk. Because the battery is a 10C, and just does not have enough 'oomph' when needed. I made a rapid circling descent from around 50' and at 20' tried to...Continue Reading
Posted by Kmot | Jan 16, 2015 @ 05:45 PM | 5,999 Views
Here are my three quadcopter's that each can carry a camera and film video or take still photos.

Walkera Scout X4. Yuneec Q500 Typhoon. Quanum Nova.
Posted by Kmot | Oct 31, 2014 @ 09:27 PM | 3,254 Views
I just was made aware of this from LA City Councilmember Mitchell Englander:

This week, together with my colleague Councilmember Tom La Bonge, we introduced a motion requesting the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), the Board of Police Commissioners, the City Attorney, the City Administrative Officer (CAO), and the Chief Legislative Analyst (CLA) report to the Public Safety Committee with policy guidelines for the operation of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), also known as Drones, within the City of Los Angeles and provide recommendations on how to strictly enforce the operation of drones to designated areas or remote controlled airfields.

The operation of drones have been increasing greatly within the City of Los Angeles. These UAS are either gas or electric driven and controlled by a signal sending device that is in the possession of the operator.

These UAS are susceptible to the same conditions and could encounter the same problems that any aircraft, flying over the City of Los Angeles, would experience. Since the size of the drone is usually small and used as a recreational tool, the UAS currently can be flown anywhere in the City at a relatively low altitude. Because of its size, its ability to fly low and its low noise signature, drones can currently be flown in areas and virtually be undetected by citizens on the ground.

The operator also has ability of controlling the aircraft and losing visual contact with the aircraft which would put the safety of
...Continue Reading
Posted by Kmot | Oct 25, 2014 @ 10:10 PM | 2,544 Views
I have a Flyzone DH2 Beaver foamie. Nice model. I placed a GoPro Hero2 on the underside and then shot some video of my local flying field. It came out quite nice, actually.

Apollo XI Field, Sepulveda Basin, GoPro on Flyzone Beaver (6 min 19 sec)

Posted by Kmot | Jul 26, 2014 @ 02:10 PM | 4,737 Views
I have a Blade MQX mini quad and an Estes micro quad. I had been wanted a larger, camera capable quad like a DJI Phantom but the cost was out of my range.

Along comes Hobby King with their new Quanum Nova. I liked what I saw and so I ordered one. I have flown it 10 times now and I think it is pretty awesome.

I have mounted a GoPro camera on it and taken some video. I also wanted to be able to mount my Sony AS-10 camera and so I rigged up a mount using a Klinker clamp and some GoPro fittings.

Hansen Dam Lake - Quanum Nova - Sony AS 10 (5 min 52 sec)

...Continue Reading
Posted by Kmot | Jul 26, 2014 @ 01:36 PM | 4,334 Views
I love the old "Air Knocker". Has always had a soft spot in my airplane favorites list.

I had the opportunity to buy a used E-Flite Aeronca 15e a few weeks ago. It sat unattended in my hangar for a few weeks until I had a chance to go through it this past week.

It needed a couple of small repairs to the covering, and the faux exhaust stacks replaced, and a strut brace re-glued.

Since I did not feel like buying an entire roll of covering to make the needed repairs I simply used clear packing tape to patch over the tears in the covering.

For the exhaust stacks, I glued in a couple of pieces of plywood, that I had drilled a 1/4 hole into and painted the surrounding area black. I next cut off a couple of 1" lengths of brass tube and glued them into place. Lastly I mixed up some paint to resemble oxidized steel exhaust pipes, and painted the brass tubes with it.

I also changed the connector on the ESC from a Dean's to an XT60.

I expect to fly her next week at the Basin....Continue Reading
Posted by Kmot | Jul 26, 2014 @ 01:03 PM | 4,445 Views
I got a Tidewater this week, assembled it, and flew it's maiden flight this morning.

It's a sweet, gentle flying airplane that cruises slow and smooth at 1/3 throttle. It's really a pleasure to fly.

It goes on the water very nicely, easy to steer and tracks very straight when accelerating for take off.

Some issues I had with the model were the pushrod connectors using 2mm Phillips head screws. I could not get a good purchase on them to really tighten down on them. So I swapped them out for hex head screws.

Another issue is the paint trim. It looks great, but it does not stick on the foam very well. I had a piece of masking tape over some painted trim, for about 2 minutes and when I peeled back the tape it pulled the paint off with it.

Lastly, I use a Ernst airplane cradle with foam strips on the support arms. Just setting up the plane while in this cradle, the paint on the foam part of the fuselage hull rubbed off.

So all in all it's a pretty decently made model but the paint is very fragile.

It sure flies nice though!
Posted by Kmot | Jun 21, 2014 @ 03:54 PM | 4,213 Views
I walked around and took some snap shot photos of some of the model aircraft there this morning. B-17's were growing on trees! I was particularly lusting after the Freewing F-86 Sabre and a SebArt Miss Wind.

I met "X-Plane" Tony there and also saw a lot of old friends. It was a good morning. ...Continue Reading
Posted by Kmot | May 21, 2013 @ 01:10 AM | 7,066 Views
The body comes clear and requires that you paint it. I painted mine in four colors over four days and added stickers on the fifth day.
Posted by Kmot | May 16, 2013 @ 07:32 PM | 8,338 Views
I bought my Traxxas Summit for $479 and at the time I thought that was outrageous. Now look at the price. Yikes!

oops, my bad! I just looked at my order history and discovered it was actually $569 back in Feb 2010, minus a $60 coupon so I paid $509.
Posted by Kmot | Apr 26, 2013 @ 12:15 AM | 8,267 Views
It has been a while since I played with a fast electric model boat. Used to do it years ago, but then got more interested in scale working boats.

But recently I saw a few Revolt boats at a local pond and I was smitten with the way it looks. I decided I wanted one for myself.

I did not care for the dull finish of raw aluminum, as all of the hardware parts were. So I polished it all up. I replaced all the stock screws, and used some anodized aluminum washers to set off the satin stainless steel machine screws I installed. It turned out pretty well.

Other things I have done to it are install a ball bearing thrust washer on the motors output shaft, and install an oak wood support under the stuffing box. I dressed, sharpened, and lightly polished the prop. And I removed a few of the less desirable decals.

The Aquacraft Revolt 30 comes in four different liveries. Three of them are race boat style and one is civilian style. I chose the civilian style livery. I think it looks like a Day Cruiser type scheme.

I intend to build a more sturdy wood boat stand for it. The included ABS stand is too small, thin, and very flimsy for my liking....Continue Reading
Posted by Kmot | Mar 21, 2013 @ 07:53 PM | 8,157 Views
Would you care for a Death cigarette with your Death Wish coffee?
Posted by Kmot | Feb 28, 2013 @ 11:28 AM | 7,816 Views
I have never seen the ISS fly over before. So I decided to give it a try. I sat down in a chair and looked toward the northwest. I watched a few airplanes fly by (I live very near Van Nuys airport) and looked at a few faint stars and wondered what the space station might look like.

Off in the distance, in the northwest, I spotted an airplane with its landing light on. Nothing unusual there as I see that often with planes coming into VNY at night. But this one had no other lights. No flashing strobes, no red or green. And it was moving pretty fast. I thought it must be an airplane. I thought this for a minute or two. Then I thought to myself, "wait a minute, that must be the ISS!"

I could not believe how bright it was. And how fast it was moving, once I realized it was up in orbit.

I snapped some photos with my 300mm lens. All I saw with my eyeglasses on was a bright round dot. Once I brought the images into my computer and saw them at 100% I was thrilled to see the ISS with its outer solar panels. Very awesome!

Most of the pic's turned out too blurry but a few came out decent enough.
Posted by Kmot | Feb 26, 2013 @ 06:42 PM | 7,825 Views
I was at a local scale fly in recently and one of my friends had a vintage Jemco PT-19 there. He built it many years ago and it has over 240 flights logged!

I remarked that I had the same kit, partially constructed, and that it had been sitting dormant since about 1975 or so. Seeing his on the flight line got my interest up again.

Today I went fishing in my garage. I pulled down a few boxes from the rafters. The Jemco PT-19 kit is in an enclosed box and all the parts and bits are in excellent condition. However, the fuselage was laying in an open box and has a thick coating of dust on it. So do all the pieces of balsa wood, plans, and other bits that were in the open boxes.

I totally forgot about having a Jemco P-39. It is also partially constructed.

The reason is that back in the mid-70's I really did not have any place to build, and especially to sand wood. So these boxes got put up into storage, and I just kept hauling them with me whenever I moved to a new home.

I also became a strong proponent of ARF airplanes.

I think I will probably finish these models some time this year. ...Continue Reading
Posted by Kmot | Jan 06, 2013 @ 12:50 AM | 8,690 Views
I was going to get this Jenny ready to fly again. It has been hanging up in my workshop for a couple of years.

I was removing the battery from the cowl, when the fuselage crumbled.

The Lil' Rascal, on the other hand, is the same vintage but made from balsa wood and it is still fit as a fiddle.

The guys paying $300 and up for those foam airplanes being sold today are really going to hate it in a couple of years.

Balsa planes last forever.
Posted by Kmot | Dec 02, 2012 @ 04:29 PM | 9,814 Views
I have had an ASP five cylinder radial engine since 2006, and no airplane for it. But now I have an airplane, yay!

It is a giant scale, 28% Bower's Fly baby monoplane. The ARF is made by VQ Models and is imported into the USA by Hobby People.

M ost all of the Fly Baby mono's have been powered by flat four cylinder engines but there are two I have seen in photos with radial engines on them, and one of these, the "Hevle Classic", is quite famous as the flying demonstrator for Rotec, the Australian manufacturer of small radial engines for homebuilt airplanes.

So my Fly Baby will also be powered by a radial engine.

The kit is a combo birthday and Xmas gift and I will be waiting until after Christmas to get started on it. In the meant time I opened the box and checked the contents and also placed the engine in front to get an idea of how it will look.

More to come later......Continue Reading
Posted by Kmot | Nov 16, 2012 @ 07:04 PM | 9,158 Views
I recently purchased a Turnigy 1/10 scale 4WD SCT from Hobby King. I purchased from their USA warehouse and it took about a week to arrive via UPS.

Although it is listed as 1/10 scale it actually is more like 1/8 scale, at least compared to a 1/10 scale Monster Jam truck.

It is a pre-built model, only needing a radio system and battery to get it running. But it does require some going over and tightening, or loosening, of parts.

I installed a Fly Sky radio system and use a 2S LiPo battery. The truck is plenty fast. It will be used to exercise my dog in our backyard.