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dmrcflyr2's blog
Posted by dmrcflyr2 | Yesterday @ 05:09 PM | 810 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 | 2,265 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 | 1,891 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 | 1,645 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 | 1,683 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 | 2,909 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 | 3,019 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 | 2,133 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 | 2,248 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 | 1,986 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 | 2,476 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
Posted by dmrcflyr2 | Feb 28, 2015 @ 04:01 PM | 2,375 Views
It is a nice overcast and rainy day on the west coast of FL. A perfect day to cover an airplane. I know I mentioned that I was going to cover the Hog in yellow and sky blue, well I changed my mind on those colors for this airplane. Now it is going to be red, white and yellow. White will be on the bottom of the plane, red on the top with yellow trim. I also happened to have a partial can of TF Monokote Yellow to paint the head rest. I did not want to spend the money on a can of paint for just that.

So far I have the elevator, stab, fin and rudder covered. I like to cover before final assembly for a more ARF like presentation. I have found it much easier to get the places done that would otherwise be very tight if pre assembled. I am not done for the night yet, but I wanted to post some pictures.

I also installed the control horns. I'll probably do the wing next.
Posted by dmrcflyr2 | Feb 23, 2015 @ 05:15 PM | 3,881 Views
So I am finishing up getting all of the Saito engines that I want for my collection and this one is the latest. The FA-30S. It is a cute little thing. I have read good things about this engine and I can't wait to get it out on the test stand for some break-in.
Posted by dmrcflyr2 | Feb 21, 2015 @ 02:04 PM | 3,683 Views
Work on the Hog has really slowed due to long hours at work last week. But I am in the final stages of prepping things before covering. The servos and pushrods are installed. The wing mounted to the fueslage; working on the bottom fairing for the wing to meet the fuse. I sheeted the fuselage also and began filling gaps and shaping the nose/engine compartment area.

The wing still needs to be sanded, filled and sanded again. I still need to install the control horns on the surfaces. I bought covering and main wheels today. Sky blue and yellow will be the colors. I need to figure out the scheme. I mocked it up for some pictures.
Posted by dmrcflyr2 | Feb 16, 2015 @ 05:38 PM | 4,137 Views
In the last 2 days I have been busy on the Hog. I started with getting the throttle cable to the correct length and routing it from the throttle to the servo. The flex cable is really the only way to do this as you will see in the bends. I still have not sheeted the fuselage so this helped a lot in routing and figuring. I ended up gluing the pushrod tube to one of the stringers above the tank to straighten it out before it got to the throttle arm.

I also had to put a new throttle arn on the Enya, the one on there was cut very short. Luckily I had a metal servo arm left over from my RC truck days. I drilled out the splines so the screw would fit in there and it was a done deal.

I had to add a stiffener on the fuse side to route the cable as well. I put this in first and now the angle doesn't seem correct so I may have to change it once I operate the servos and check for binding.

I also laid the fiberglass tape down around the wing joint. I have ALWAYS disliked this task. In the old days I used to use polyester resin, but in the last 10 years I have just used 2 part epoxy. I have never had a wing joint fail with either. I used 3M contact cement sprayed onto the wing to hold the tape in place while I lathered the epoxy on and smoothed it out.

I also started on the elevator and rudder pushrods. Yes, I am using the balsa ones included in the kit. A bit of a risk but I have used them before. Typically if I use wood pushrods I would use the hardwood dowels. I did...Continue Reading
Posted by dmrcflyr2 | Feb 14, 2015 @ 02:58 PM | 3,354 Views
I have been doing a bit on the Hog. Not as much as I was doing. Long days at work and I have been tired in the evening. Plus I am to the point in the build that I typically slow down. I'm not sure why. Maybe the hype is gone, maybe I'm tired of sanding even though that isn't close to being done, maybe I dislike the remaining work to do. I'm not really sure but I have slowed some.

All of the major assemblies are completed and the things that are left are the minor finishing touches. Shaping the ailerons, gluing the wing blocks in place, carving the nose to shape, etc. The tedious stuff.

So I have cut the aileron servo pocket into the wing. Done the aileron torque rod things, final sanded the leading edge. I still have to apply the fiberglass strip around the center joint.

The fuse is 95% done. I still have to sheet the bottom from the aft edge of the wing back to the tail. I am holding off doing this as I am not sure I will really do it. This darn plane builds so heavy anyway and with the Enya 60 perched out as far forward as it will go, I need to decide if I will need that weight. I have yet to begin the tedious task of carving the nose side filler blocks to shape. I think I mentioned that I am NOT putting in the bottom balsa block to fully enclose the engine compartment. I really do NOT need that weight in front. besides it is easier to service the engine with it open. I think I will go buy some 1/16" sheeting for the top of the fuselage. I just can'...Continue Reading
Posted by dmrcflyr2 | Feb 14, 2015 @ 11:36 AM | 3,546 Views
Instead of working on the Astro Hog I decided to run some engines today. I have to get my 'cologne' on and there is no better way than to run some new engines. The first of the day was the Saito 45 below, and now the new Tower Pro 46. All of the videos were from the very first tank of fuel. In fact I didn't even finish that tank.

Now since I normally run 4 strokes, I took a quick read of how Tower suggests running and breaking this engine in. Being a trus ABC construction it is a bit different than what Saito states for their 4 strokes.

In summary their instructions state: Start the engine, initially with the needle valve open 3 turns, I did 2.5. Get it going and gradually close the needle valve until you hear it 'come up on the pipe' my words not theirs. Until you hear a very high pitch sound and peak RPM, then open the needle 5-6 clicks from that point. Sounds pretty aggressive to me. Basically run it to peak RPM and then back off a bit. Well I deviated from that just a bit; I didn't richened it a bit more than 5-6 clicks from peak. Now I was running 10% Omega and a new APC 11x7 prop which was recommended as a good one for break-in.

This engine started on the second flip! It was off to the races after that. Now it did die once when I was messing with the idle adjustment. Warm start took a bit more, it took about 10 flips but it was because I ran it out of fuel. Another excellent hand starting engine.

I saw it peak at near 12,000RPM, but I...Continue Reading
Posted by dmrcflyr2 | Feb 14, 2015 @ 09:21 AM | 3,924 Views
Well I took this little gem outsides today for it's first drink of fuel. I ran Morgan's Omega 10% and an APC 11x6 propeller. After prime it started on the second flip; typical Saito for sure. I was careful not to run it over 4500 RPM for the first 10 minutes as sepecifed in the break-in instructions.

After that I ran it to WOT for about 15-20 seconds; some of that is shown in the videos. It actually showed a bit over 9000 RPM but I believe the video only shows about 8800.

There was one odd thing, there was a substantial fuel leak coming from the glow plug seat. It might be visible in one of the videos, but was easily seen by me. It was a brand new OS F plug and washer. I pulled it inspected both the plug, washer, and glow area on the engine. I did not see anything at all wrong. I re-installed it and tried again, still the same. This time I put 2 washers under the plug and the leak was gone. The extra washer did not seem to affect the perfromance of the engine however.

It was a typical Saito run, flawless. This engine runs very nice and will only get better as the break-in continues. I was quitre impressed at how it idled for being the first tank. It became a bit rough when I tried to get it down below 2800RPM, but that isn't unusal being it was the first 2 tanks and I had not even touched the idle screw as yet.

Videos located here,
Posted by dmrcflyr2 | Feb 13, 2015 @ 06:41 PM | 4,150 Views
As much as I didn't need another engine, this deal was too good to pass up. I purchased a new and unrun Saito FA-45MKII from a fellow member here. I already have a FA-45S which has hotter cam timing and basically makes the same power as the FA-50. The 45 Special according to this website: , was not sold in the US. I am pretty sure that I bought my 45S from a hobby shop in WI, but I really have no records or proof of that. Bottom line is I didn't purchase it used nor from overseas.

So I could tell immediately that this 45 had never seen a drop of fuel, very cool. It came in a slightly tattered box, some paperwork but not the instruction sheet, decals and tools.

I fully intend to run this engine tomorrow as I am never going to sell it. I usually disassemble, inspect, and clean all used engines I buy, but tonight I decided to do the same to this new engine.

I was really hoping for the instruction sheet as the carbuerator on this has a large knob for the idle mixture. Even though this engine has never run, I would like to know what the initial setting for this knob should be, as it could have been turned in its lifetime. There is no throttle stop screw so setting the idle is going to be interesting. It also has the reward facing carb inlet so you cannot see which direction WOT is without at least taking the carb off. I'm sure I will forget by tomorrow and have difficult starting the thing.

You can tell this one one of Saito's...Continue Reading
Posted by dmrcflyr2 | Feb 12, 2015 @ 07:12 PM | 2,422 Views
Ok, ok, yet another 2-stroke engine. What gives? Well I got this NIB 40 FP from a great member here toni2di for a great deal. Why did I buy it? Nostalgia plain and simple. This was the FIRST RC engine I ever bought way back in 1988. It brings back memories of when I started flying, or trying to fly.

Sure these engines are very reliable, easy to tune, and notoriously lower on power than ball bearing engines. I mean look at the throat on the carb of this thing. It can't hold a candle to the Tower 46 below, but it wasn't designed to be a power house. It was designed as an entry level engine of high quality, that would run forever.

The casting of this engine is a thing of beauty. Just flawless. I serioulsy doubt I will ever run a drop of fuel through this engine. Like I said, I bought it for the memories it brings back and that's it.

Oh BTW, the box says 40 FP-S 13341, well this isn't the original box the engine came in. This engine is a 40 FP 13331....Continue Reading