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Posted by KiwiKid | Nov 24, 2015 @ 05:05 PM | 672 Views
Took the E-Zulu out to the beach the other day and had some great sloping flights with it - really love this model :-D

All flights were in gliding mode - you can watch the vid in HD at Vimeo.

E-Zulu slope soaring (2 min 48 sec)

Posted by KiwiKid | Nov 18, 2015 @ 04:29 PM | 1,097 Views
My PSS Spitfire sloper has recently turned four and a half years old, which is gettin' up there for a foamy sloper. It has done a lot of miles and is a veteran of some brutal landings, but is still hanging in there.

Shot a bit of vid out at the beach the other day - it was a nice sunny day, but the wind speed was 10 to 12 kts and the Spit likes 20 to really kick loose, but was very pleasant flying conditions. You can watch the vid in HD at Vimeo.

PSS Spitfire (2 min 27 sec)

Posted by KiwiKid | Nov 08, 2015 @ 11:01 PM | 1,756 Views
I recently assembled a Zulu aerobatic slope glider from Zupair.

RCG thread is here:

The Zulu is a very agile sloper that gets a helping hand from leading edge drooperons and also can be built as a powered park flyer by virtue of having a fire wall and detachable nose cone incorporated in the design.

I went with the parkflyer option, using the motor and prop from the HobbyKing Wingnetic which resulted in the battery being positioned on the cg. The model will still perform very well on the slope with this set up and can be thermalled.

Very fun model to fly. Here's a vid of the maiden flight - just cruising around getting a feel for the model. You can watch it in HD at Vimeo.

Zupair Zulu (2 min 44 sec)

Posted by KiwiKid | Oct 05, 2015 @ 12:46 AM | 1,910 Views
Well, by a somewhat circuitous route I managed to end up with one of Alex Louw's moulded gulls and maidened it last weekend in around 20 kts which made it pretty frisky.

Flew really well and I had trouble getting it to come down low enough for my head cam to capture it. Struck a bit of a problem with elevonon flutter at (very) high speeds, so I will have to address that, but otherwise a great flying model. I added an elevator, mixed with the elevons.

Here's the vid - click on the Vimeo icon to watch it at Vimeo in HD.

Very fast little model so a bit hard to video - will try again on a sunny day with a bit less wind so I can slow her down and bring it in a bit closer.

My wife insisted on the soundtrack

RC Seagull (2 min 14 sec)

Posted by KiwiKid | Jun 22, 2015 @ 01:03 AM | 1,819 Views
This is my 20 years old 3.5m Hi Phase glider following renovation, which included recovering the wings and adding ailerons as I want to use it for ridge soaring as well as thermaling and club/park flying.

Vid of the maiden flight (this morning) following renovation - click on the Vimeo icon to watch it in HD.

Hi Phase glider (3 min 0 sec)

Posted by KiwiKid | Jun 07, 2015 @ 02:04 AM | 2,247 Views
Well, I have been flying the Vag for six months and it is still going strong. Takes a likin' and keeps on tikin'. Fun model to fly and Hacker has a whole bunch of new stuff coming out - new colours, SFGs, a larger Vag, a motorized option and some scalish models built off the Vag concept:

I had been considering electrifying mine to get a bit more stick time on it, but the thought of Beelzebub and all his little helpers sharpening their forks kinda put me off a bit But then I saw that Hacker had done it anyway, so I thought "well, at least I will have some company" and went and did it.

Flies really well and still performs well on the ridge. In fact, it is better in some ways in that the flight envelope is expanded and only the most extreme VTPR aerobatics are effected a little.

Some guys I correspond with asked to see it flying, so I made a short vid. The model does some neat flat spins and a few other tricks under power, but I tend to do them fairly high up as I often mess them up and they were too far away for the head cam to pick them up clearly - so this is just some low and slow stuff. You can click on the Vimeo icon to see it in HD if you want.

Vagabond (2 min 47 sec)

Posted by KiwiKid | Apr 16, 2015 @ 03:52 AM | 6,589 Views
So, I liked the look of the ZETA Science FX-61 Phantom FPV flying wing, but wondered how it would go with a wider wingspan. So I ordered a kit with an extra pair of wings and set to grafting the extra wings to the standard airframe. With a large dose of cf spars and a bit of glassing the job got done - extending the w/s from 1.55m to 2.6m. I then covered the model in brown paper and TowerKote and fitted a 600W 4S 4000 mAh power system. As a large part of the new wings were behind the cg I moved the motor from the rear to the front to save weight. A few decals and she was ready to go.

The Phantom Menace (2 min 0 sec)

The model weighs 2kg RTF and will be used for general roust about flying and ridge soaring.
Posted by KiwiKid | Feb 24, 2015 @ 08:02 AM | 4,384 Views
Been working on the Ogar recently and took it to the beach for its maiden flights. She's built pretty much stock. I added some cockpit detail and pilots and strengthened bits here and there. Flying with a 2200 battery and 44g of nose weight so could go up to a 2500 or so as the battery is currently all the way forward.

Fun model to fly and certainly looks different in the sky. Great park flier, thermaler, sloper and AP ship due to its RES (rear electric sustainer) set up. It has also become popular with FPV dudes o/a of the large space in the forward fuse:

Here's a vid of the maiden flights.

In the first part of the vid the model is just cruising around close in at a quarter throttle and then we head out to the ridge.

SZD-45 Ogar (3 min 58 sec)

Posted by KiwiKid | Feb 15, 2015 @ 07:38 AM | 3,700 Views
Hobby King are still selling the 2.4m version of the Habicht with the 2.6m available from the Aussie and US West warehouses.

I was never very keen on the 2.4m version due to the frail fuse, but one time in a Cyber Monday sale HK had them for sale for a few hours at $40USD so I thought "What the hell". For that price I could spend a bit of time knocking it into shape.

Got around to working on it recently and made a few mods to strengthen the fuse with some extra bracing and ripped all the innards out of the front section and laid in CF cloth, then put everything back plus added a deck for the battery and nose weight.

Will see how well that holds up over time.

Rest of the build was pretty straight forward and we were done.

...Continue Reading
Posted by KiwiKid | Feb 11, 2015 @ 05:10 AM | 4,484 Views
I picked up one of these recently on a bit of a whim as I liked the powered glider set up it was designed as and have access to some neat slope sites to fly it at.

Here's a vid of the maiden flights. First flight was behind the ridge in a 10kts turbulent breeze, then out to the ridge in 15kts. Really a neat model to fly.

HobbyKing Wingnetic (3 min 45 sec)

I have flown it several times recently in fairly calm conditions and have really been enjoying it. Very good bang for a buck.
Posted by KiwiKid | Jan 03, 2015 @ 06:40 AM | 3,527 Views
We had a brilliant summers day yesterday so I took the opportunity to take the Kate out for her first sloping session.

Had some mates along and some "interesting" spectators made for a fun filled day.

The spoliers I recently installed worked very well. You can see at the end of the vid the Kate dropped in about 50m short of where I would normally have expected it to land, but there was a bit of a head wind so it will be interesting to see how they perform in calm conditions.

Ka-8B ridge soaring (2 min 55 sec)

Posted by KiwiKid | Dec 09, 2014 @ 05:34 AM | 4,428 Views
One of my favourite slopies is the Calypso Cobra.

This model is somewhere around 16 years old, still going strong and always puts a smile on my dial.

It's an F3B model and has been to the world champs in Germany back in the day. F3B models are intended to be winch launched, but these are rather brutal affairs and my Cobra has had more than a few repairs done to the wings over the years so I would not be happy subjecting it to the stresses of a winch launch. The wings are hollow and, if the leading edge ever splits on a winch launch, the result is a catastrophic explosion of the wing.

So, I wanted to get a bit more stick time on her over summer and thought about attaching a SLS (self launch system). There is zero spare room inside the fuse so the whole mechanism has to be in a self contained pod attached to the wing at around the cg point to maintain correct balance.

Had a hunt around and looked at some eye wateringly expensive set ups. I had pretty much decided on making my own when I stumbled on one a German chap had developed himself and was selling online as the Lifter:

This was sort of what I was after, but had the disadvantage that it could only be used once, then it collapsed and had to be reset manually on the ground after landing. Not a biggy, but I figured that the Cobra is such a brute of a thing that it should still fly well with the pod raised which meant you could get maybe four climbouts from each...Continue Reading
Posted by KiwiKid | Dec 03, 2014 @ 10:07 PM | 3,883 Views
I have been wanting to build a "classic" type glider for ages and finally settled on one that I have had my eye on for some time - the Ka-8b, the original of which was popular in the late '50's. There are actually about five different models of this glider available and I chose one made by Phoenix Models in Vietnam.

The model has a power option and can be set up for aerotow with the motor still in place. Makes a good ridge soarer also, so is quite versatile.

There is a useful thread on the model here at RCG:

The build was pretty straight forward and the kit is well built.

Did the maiden flight yesterday and the model performed very well.

Shot a bit of head cam vid. Just some low and slow stuff.

Phoenix models KA-8B (2 min 52 sec)

Really thrilled with this model.
Posted by KiwiKid | Nov 16, 2014 @ 09:07 AM | 4,313 Views
Been flying my Birdie for a couple of months and it has become one of my favourite planes. Very convenient to haul around and quick to set up. I picked one up when Ming at Windrider had one of his free shipping deals. The model is primarily designed as a sloper, but I slipped a motor in to add a bit of versatility.

In the first part of the vid below the model is being flown in a landing ground behind the ridge with a turbulent 10kt wind blowing, which it handled well. Then out to the ridge for a spot of unpowered ridge soaring in 15kts.

Windrider Birdie (3 min 2 sec)

Posted by KiwiKid | Nov 10, 2014 @ 03:46 PM | 3,815 Views
Here's a vid of my 4M DG-808S ridge soaring at Raglan beach New Zealand.

DG-808S ridge soaring (3 min 3 sec)

Posted by KiwiKid | Aug 24, 2014 @ 03:59 PM | 5,557 Views
Been having a lot of fun lately with my Polaris Ultra from ModelAero.

Maiden was a non-event and the HK Skipper proved to be a good trainer. On 4S the PU has gobs of power, although it is a bit rowdier than the Skipper. I did expect this, but it makes it a bit marginal as a park flyer although the bulk of the noise is created above about two thirds throttle, so I just give it the full welly at a bit of a distance from the huddled masses and it sounds OK.

Real easy to fly and great fun on the deck. A few of the guys in the States have been using them for FPV - not long range stuff, just hooning around at low level. They reinforce the hull (which already has a belly pan) and the PU can then can just bounce off anything that it grazes. ModelAero sell a drop in gimbal structure that just replaces the cockpit.

Haven't done any vids yet, so here's a retail one that shows how she flies - great model.

Model Aero Polaris Ultra (2 min 12 sec)

Posted by KiwiKid | Jul 16, 2014 @ 05:22 PM | 5,575 Views
Well it's over a year on now and the Jazilla is still going strong. Had a couple of smack ups due to a POS UBEC and exceeding the VNE, but she's a pretty tough model to kill. I usually fly it out on the coast and at the club field, but sometimes in a local park that is generally deserted mid week.

Here's a short vid from a recent outing.

Jazilla Minogue (2 min 16 sec)

Posted by KiwiKid | Jul 14, 2014 @ 06:05 AM | 5,642 Views
In the last blog entry I recorded a vid of some of the adventures I have had with my 7 year old EPP Eagle. I sometimes wondered how it would go with a bigger wing and the project finally made it to the top of the build queue.

Built a 2.3m Condor wing to go on the standard Eagle body. Bit of tuning to do, but it went well - off to the paint shop.

EPP Eagle 2.3m wingspan (3 min 57 sec)

Posted by KiwiKid | Jul 09, 2014 @ 01:00 AM | 5,889 Views
My Eagle is just coming up on 7 years old and still going strong after over 150 flights. This model would have to be one of the best bang for a buck purchases I have made. Makes a great park flyer and ridge soarer and can also be flown indoors. Also good for exercising dogs and small children

Just chucked a few bits of vid together to celebrate her birthday.

EPP Eagle (4 min 19 sec)

Posted by KiwiKid | Mar 24, 2014 @ 07:26 AM | 7,051 Views
Well the DG-808S is done and ready for the maiden.

Overall I was rather impressed with the quality of the kit and it is quite a good buy as an "entry level" 4m model. I have made some additional mods and resisted the urge to "stick a motor in it". It has a tow hook installed, but I will mainly use it for ridge soaring. The decals are some custom ones I had made up by the lovely Callie.

So, here she is:

...Continue Reading