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mopar_man's blog
Posted by mopar_man | Sep 02, 2013 @ 10:58 AM | 1,992 Views
Just a few photos from this weekend's West Texas Warbirds event in Abernathy, Texas (near Lubbock). It was a great event with lots of impressive models.
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Posted by mopar_man | Aug 03, 2013 @ 04:06 PM | 1,833 Views
I've been living in Lubbock since early June, and today was my first chance to fly at the Wings Model Aircraft Society field in Abernathy. After an early breakfast with club prez, Bryan McLarty, we arrived at the field just after sunrise. We both started out with our 1SQ V-Cam mini-quads in the still air. I immediately got too far out and had to dump mine in the field. I found it after 10 minutes of searching, but the SD card is gone forever

Next Bryan, blew his H & M Performance Spitfire...what a cool plane. It has a good profile and Bryan flies it well. Too bad the sun was opposite the runway. So not many good photos.

I talked Bryan into flying my Waco CG-4A while I pulled it up with a Venom C-47 of the same scale. The first tow went great and we both landed back on the runway. On the 2nd tow, I got too slow and stalled the C-47 with the glider still attached. Bryan detached when he saw the C-47 whip into a spin...but not before it yanked the whole vertical stab off of the Waco! I landed the C-47 with no damage. Bryan somehow coaxed the Waco back to the ground with no further damage! Thanks.

After that, I flew my Parallax Warbird and Vec-Jet PF and toyed a bit with my DJI Phantom and GoPro. I still need to go through the video footage and see how it looks. Too bad the Wi-Fi link on the Go-Pro fizzles at less than 100 ft.

Today was a scheduled work day for the club. So after others started to arrive, we put away the toys and did some improving. Abernathy is an...Continue Reading
Posted by mopar_man | May 13, 2013 @ 07:22 PM | 4,861 Views
A couple weeks ago, I found out I would have the upcoming weekend all to myself. So I pulled up the AMA event calender and picked out an event within driving distance of Houston. I ended up at the RC Fun Fly in Kingsbury, Texas (about 30 min east of San Antonio). One of the main reasons I picked this event over others is that Kingsbury is home to the Pioneer Flight Museum. PFM is a living museum with numerous original and replica full-scale aircraft from long ago. They have a nice collection of cars and motorcycles too. I've always wanted to visit there, and this opportunity was timed perfectly.

On the way to Kingsbury, I stopped in Schulenburg to visit the Stanzel Model Aircraft Museum. That's another modeling destination I'd hoped to cross off of my bucket list. Unfortunately, it was closed that day due to a death in the Stanzel Family.

I arrived at the field in Kingsbury on Friday afternoon and found that several folks were already there enjoying themselves. I introduced myself to event CD, Frank Simas and settled in for the weekend. The Tri-City Flyers have a very nice facility here. I was only planning a cameo visit on Friday, but I decided to stick around long enough for some night flying. The club rented a nice spotlight that illuminated plenty of airspace for flying unlighted models. I was also able to fly my LED-equipped planes.

I returned Saturday morning and was met there by my flying buddy, Fitz. Our pit area was a pretty eclectic mix of all-electric aircraft....Continue Reading
Posted by mopar_man | Jan 28, 2013 @ 05:11 PM | 3,329 Views
I just got my hands on a Heli-Max Axe 100 CP, so I thought I would give you my first impressions. Just so you know where I’m coming from, I should disclose that I’m not really a big helicopter nut. I’ve owned a few coaxial and fixed-pitch helis, plus one other collective pitch heli over the years. I’m a decent airplane pilot, but I would consider my present rotary-wing piloting skills to be rudimentary.

Now back to the Axe 100 CP

Boy, I’m glad they:

1. Put good stuff in the box (I have the RTF version)

a. TX-610 Transmitter. This radio is far nicer than anything I’ve ever received with a RTF before. 10 model-memory, airplane or heli mode, dual rates, expo, mixes, etc…all the stuff you expect in a modern 6 channel computer radio. Best of all, it will work with my Flyzone Tx-R airplane models too. The Tx-R version of the Axe 100 for AnyLink is a valid option that I’m sure many will choose. Just don’t dismiss the RTF because you assume it includes a low-grade transmitter…it doesn’t.

b. 2 flight batteries (1S-200mAh)

c. Spare main blades and tail rotor

d. AC charger – This is a pretty nice charger compared to most others included with 1S powered stuff. It has multiple charge rates and a 6V AC adapter. So you won’t have to burn through a bunch of AA batteries to power this thing. It also has a JST plug on the output side with an adapter to convert it to the Heli-Max/Flyzone plug. I plan...Continue Reading
Posted by mopar_man | Jan 21, 2013 @ 11:30 PM | 3,138 Views
For several years now, I've been a big phony. Despite the vehicular allegiance clearly stated in my user name, I have not owned a Chrysler product since getting rid of my Dakota in '05. But I always preferred the muscle-car era Mopars anyway. In fact I used to own a '66 Belvedere. I bought it in 1998, not long after I moved to Houston from Florida.

I drove the Belvedere home from the lot and soon started rebuilding it. I pulled out the smoking 318 poly and 904 tranny, intending to rebuild both. When the 318 was fully disassembled, I stumbled across a great deal on a freshly rebuilt 383. So I shelved the 318 and found a 727 tranny for the 383. I worked on the car on and off for a few years but never got it running. Then I started having kids...

After my son was born, I knew I couldn't devote the money and effort that the car deserved. So I gave it to my dad with the condition that I get 1st dibs when he doesn't want it anymore. Long story short: after about 10 years in his garage, it's finally a very nice car. I was able to drive it when I visited my family in FL at Christmas. So I'm not a complete phony anymore. Here's a little video:

1966 Plymouth Belvedere (1 min 24 sec)

Posted by mopar_man | Oct 03, 2012 @ 07:01 PM | 2,997 Views
Did some painting today. I wanted to try a unique camo scheme and this is what I came up with. Should be ready for maiden in a day or two.

All four of the Parallaxes (Paralli?) are a different configuration. This one is perhaps the most conventional since it has the motor on the left (for standard rotation prop) and a horizontal stab (rather than canard). We'll see how it goes.

Terry
Posted by mopar_man | Sep 22, 2012 @ 01:57 PM | 3,580 Views
After considerable flight testing with my prototype Parallax, I began work on a few others. While I did incorporate some improvements based on lessons-learned, the next batch was equally about exploring a few of the other configuration options. This is the 1st one completed...well, it's nearly complete. The remaining jobs are cosmetic.

The wing is essentially the same, but mirrored from the prototype. Rather than a canard, this one has a standard horizontal stab. It also has a functioning rudder. I'm anxious to see how this one fares compared to the first. My other airframes from the current batch are with buddies to be completed. At least one of those will be a canard. There's more to come I'm sure. I'll report back here after I've had a chance to maiden this one.

Terry
Posted by mopar_man | Sep 16, 2012 @ 09:12 PM | 3,333 Views
Just a few photos from the B-17 fly-in at Bomber Field USA today. The original plan was for me and Lee to attend all day yesterday. A lousy weather forecast scared us off, but the actual weather was great. So today I loaded the family in the car for some quality time. We arrived about 11:30 and not many people were left at the event. But we still got to see some cool stuff. Next year, I'll definitely go on Saturday!
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Posted by mopar_man | Jul 23, 2012 @ 10:51 PM | 4,000 Views
I've been wanting a PA Addiction or AddictionX for quite a while now, but I've been on a scratchbuilding binge. So I don't buy many new airplanes anymore. A buddy called me up and said he had an "almost" NIB addiction for a good price. After hearing the details of the "almost" part, I bought it sight-unseen.

I picked up the airplane this afternoon and was pleased to see that everything except the fuselage and cowl was still in the factory bagging. But the fuselage was a real piece of work. It seems that the original owner thought it wise to mount a .25 nitro motor on this thing. So he hacked up the front end a little and epoxied a 1/4" plywood firewall to the existing firewall. Then he bolted on a nylon beam mount and slathered his work in epoxy.

At first it seemed like a major front end overhaul was in order. But then I realized that the epoxy was the consistency of month-old sidewalk bubble gum (how's that for an analogy?). It wasn't pleasant, but it could be worked with. I gnawed away at the epoxy around the nuts on the backside of the firewall and soon enough was able to grip them with pliers and back out the bolts...motor gone.

Then I noticed that the middle of the firewall lacked the copious overflow of epoxy found elsewhere. With nothing to lose, I made some surgical cuts on my band saw and removed the upper and lower parts of the added firewall. Then with a few careful x-acto swipes and prying with a screwdriver, I managed to pop off the...Continue Reading
Posted by mopar_man | Feb 16, 2012 @ 09:29 PM | 3,856 Views
Don't answer that question...I already know.

This is the box that arrived from Tower Hobbies today.

A few weeks ago, I bought a few Flyzone Red Hawk wings and fuselages from the Tower clearance section. They were just a couple bucks each. I've been using those parts to make some pretty neat airplanes lately (a secret for now). I soon realized that I had more ideas than airframes. So when I saw the parts on sale again AND I had a $10 off of $50 Tower coupon, I loaded up on Red Hawk parts.

My plan was to feature my kitbashed creations in my next "Beyond the Box" column. Of course, I placed the above order just a day or two before the shake-up at 'Fly RC' that prompted me to resign.

But no worry, these babies will get used. I think I see a lot of red airplanes in my future.

Terry

PS - I've never flown a stock Red Hawk, but it sure is a lot of fun when you add a decent radio, a little power, and some lightness.
Posted by mopar_man | Jan 20, 2012 @ 06:01 PM | 4,046 Views
I got a really great deal on a JVC HD camcorder recently. I'm still figuring out how to use it. I'm also still learning the ropes of editing HD video using Sony Vegas. It takes a lot of time, but I enjoy it...probably because it fulfills both my techie and artsy ambitions.

My goal is to submit video with all of my future model reviews and my 'Beyond the Box' bits too. Hopefully, I can sustain a steady rate of improvement in my videography and editing skills with practice.

Here is a link to some stuff I shot last weekend when we had perfect flying weather here in Houston:

Fly RC Blog - Flying at JSC
Posted by mopar_man | Dec 06, 2011 @ 09:10 PM | 4,389 Views
I had the opportunity to do something very cool last week. Details are on my Fly RC Blog

Before you click to the FlyRC page, here are a couple hints:
Posted by mopar_man | Sep 06, 2011 @ 10:43 PM | 4,969 Views
I flew in to Hartford, CT today for a business trip. Before leaving Houston, several folks told me that I should visit the New England Air Museum that is located not far from the passenger terminal. Boy am I glad that I heeded their advice.

I arrived at about 1:30pm and pretty much had the whole place to myself. Lots of cool airplanes and artifacts here. After a while, I made my way to the B-29 hangar where one of the volunteers asked if I'd like to get up on the balcony for a better camera angle. "Uhh, sure".

The next thing you know, "Tom the volunteer" became my personal NEAM guide and we spent another 2 hours roaming the place. Thanks to his guidance, I was able to see and do way more than I ever expected. I think I can safely say that this was my best airplane museum visit...ever. Thanks Tom!

If you're ever anywhere hear Hartford, check out NEAM. It's a great museum...even if you dont have Tom showing you around.

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