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Robert4613's blog
Posted by Robert4613 | Feb 27, 2015 @ 05:30 PM | 1,694 Views
After a rather quickflight and sudden crash of the Dirt Simple Delta Wing, it was suggested that build a 2X sized version by combining two sheets of 20" X 30" DTF and try again.

In pics #1 and #2 I had laid out the foam perpendicular to each other to mark out a perfect 45* cut and cut them accordingly.

In Pics #3 and #4 I had laid out a third sheet of DTF, cut it in half, and laid the two halves on each side of a fourth sheet of DTF.

In pics #5 & #6 I had laid out the foam and cut off the upper left and right corners to match the first sheet(s).

In pics #7 & #8 I had laid out the 50% marks and cut the top sheet(s) accordingly. I had done lap-joints, as you know is a stronger alternative to the butt-joints.

In pics #9 & #10 I had masked off areas that I didn't want the spray adhesive to get on to and sprayed both surfaces. I then waited for the adhesive to set up to a tacky touch before I had laid the foam pieces over and weighed them down with blocks to prevent delamination while the adhesive had dried....Continue Reading
Posted by Robert4613 | Feb 19, 2015 @ 02:43 PM | 3,054 Views
For lunch I had went down to my favorite flying area, the McCoy Flats, and flew my Apprentice S around a bit to warm up my flight skills for the maiden of my flying wing, and to perform a few other tests and practice some skills. I not only performed touch-and-go landings, but I also performed full stop take-offs and landings. The wind was getting a bit gusty so I had a couple of bumpy landings, but most of them were smooth. One of the landings the wing had suddenly changed direction and forced my plane to land somewhat sideways, but I still managed a successful landing.

Another thing I was doing was getting the Apprentice up in altitude and shutting down the TX to get a feel of that the airplane would do in the event of a lost signal. Just like the manual said, that in the event of a signal loss the airplane will go into a slow and gradual spiral. It was nothing out of control. In fact I was rather pleased with how nicely that it had reacted to the signal loss. Once I got to the 100-200 foot mark I would power on my TX and take the plane back up in altitude and do it again. What will be my next test to perform?

Once I had the Apprentice put away in my Jeep I had got out my flying wing and gave it a look over, selected my plane on the TX, installed and connected the battery, and performed a preflight check. All systems were a go. I positioned my bird in my right hand for a launch, flipped up the throttle to about 50%, and flipped the bird up in the air at about a 7-...Continue Reading
Posted by Robert4613 | Feb 16, 2015 @ 02:13 PM | 2,433 Views
It was another great day flying out at the McCoy Flats. The winds were blowing around pretty good though, so I got to test my skills in flying in stronger than 5-7 mph winds. You can tell by the plane shifting around that the winds were gusty too. This made for some very interesting landing approaches.

I had built and mounted a nacelle to mount my Mobius up and out of the prop view. Although I do still have some prop, it's not near as bad as it has been. I only had to apply a bit of down elevator to keep the aircraft flying level at 1/2 throttle. Overall I am quite happy with this set up.

Although the entire flight was great, I did manage to strike the road sign again. Fortunately there was no damage to the airplane and the Mobius. After a complete visual inspection and preflight test it was back up in the air.

Video Part I.
McCoy Flats 02 15 2015 Part I (12 min 9 sec)

Video Part II.
...Continue Reading
Posted by Robert4613 | Feb 13, 2015 @ 06:13 PM | 2,032 Views
Another fantastic flying day out at the McCoy Flats. It was a bit windy out there, it was blowing SSW at 1 mph when I started, but it had immediately gotten gustier, which had made for some interesting flying. I tried to reduce the prop wash noise on the Mobius by opening up the camera case and inserting a piece of foam in front of the mic, but there was no difference. I also had played around with gliding the plane, trying to get a better idea on the slow flight characteristics of the plane, plus seeing how the bird reacts to different wind directions. The wind was changing directions on me so the landing approached kept getting interesting. Finally on the last approach it appeared as though I was too high, but with the slow sink rate it had turned out fine. In the end I had a great landing without a bounce!

McCoy Flats 02 13 2015 (13 min 48 sec)

Posted by Robert4613 | Feb 12, 2015 @ 05:32 PM | 1,203 Views
Just another day of flying, this time on the Bonanza Highway down at the Green River. The wind was gusty and made things a bit more fun. I have been getting the air sound of prop wash on my videos, so this time I had covered the mic hole with a piece of tape, but it didn't seem to make any difference. Next time I'll try a piece of foam, like what is used on a TV reporters microphone to reduce or eliminate blowing wind noises. Overall it was another fantastic day of flying!

Green River off of the Bonanza Highway (10 min 48 sec)

Posted by Robert4613 | Feb 11, 2015 @ 10:26 PM | 2,338 Views
For the last week or so I've been looking around town for someone who would carry plywood thinner than 1/4" in stock, but eventually I had given up knowing that I'll probably have to order it. I haven't priced out the small sheets online, so I couldn't even tell you how much that they cost. So instead I had came up with an idea while I was at work.

There have been times in the past where I've had to trim down some framing boards to make them a bit narrower, and I remembered that every so often I had some very thin strips of wood left over from some of my jobs. So with that in mind, I grabbed some Douglas Fir 2x4s that were lying around, set my rip fence on my table saw very close to the blade, and ran a few passes through, adjusting the rip fence as needed until I had reached a desired thickness, or thinness as some will call it, without the saw blade ripping them to shreds. Please keep in mind that safety is very important if you're working around power tools! I stood to the side of the saw and used push blocks so that I can keep my hands away from the spinning blade.

Later on at home, I cut a 1x6 pine board into two 6" sections and set them aside for the moment. I located two of my small wood clamps and set them aside as well. I began by selecting a few of the better looking wood strips and cut them down to 6 inch lengths with a heavy duty pair of scissors. I then grabbed a piece of wax paper, laid it over one of the 1x6 wood blocks, and applied a coating...Continue Reading
Posted by Robert4613 | Feb 11, 2015 @ 12:32 PM | 2,935 Views
I traveled about 12.5 miles from work to my latest flying area, which is called McCoy Flats near the Green River valley. The weather was mixed sun and clouds, plus snow blowing to the NW (as seen in the video) which is just about where my home is at. The current temp was 54* F with winds blowing NE at 12 mph with occasional gusts. The landing strip was at the end of an old dirt road with gravel over parts of it, but the Apprentice S wheels were capable of rolling over it. At the beginning of the take off my wheels were stuck in the gravel, but once I gave it a little nudge it began rolling OK.

I flew around to see how the wind was blowing, my plane wanted to veer to the right quite a bit. I will say that this was because of the location of my camera, and that it was creating drag on that one side. I had thought that it was an off-balance issue, but earlier that day I had taped a huge flat washer to the opposite side of the aircraft wing. It balanced out the plane, but it didn't stop it from going right. While deciding that it's time for a landing I came around for a final approach. I didn't do any passes this time, just lined up for a landing. The gusty winds coming up the face of the hill was making the approach a bit tricky, but I still had managed to come in for a safe landing. Due to the gravel it was a bit bumpy, but it was still a good landing. I'd love to go back out there and fly again, but this time on a day with better weather conditions.

I'm still new to RC,...Continue Reading
Posted by Robert4613 | Jan 24, 2015 @ 08:56 PM | 2,320 Views
My new DX6 arrived Thursday afternoon, I spent that evening, Friday, and Saturday morning reading up on it and understanding some of the features and controls.

After my Apprentice crash I had to repair it and mechanically reset the control surfaces. Once I bound my new DX6 to my Apprentice I had to mechanically reset all of my control surfaces again. Once I had everything set where I had wanted them I took my plane flying.

I took my Apprentice S out flying this afternoon. I performed the preflight and range checks, both looked good. I checked the weather again, it said 0 mph wind but I can feel a draft blowing. I flew from a hard pack dirt surface which made the plane bounce around a bit on take off but it was up and flying almost instantly.

I performed a few in flight checks, only had to barely adjust the evaporated trim is all, everything else was great. I flew it around in circles, ovals, and figure 8's, plus a few touch and go's. I really liked how the DX6 felt, and my and flew fantastic.

On my last landing I had a near perfect landing, but the nose wheel struck a divet in the hard pack dirt and sprung the firewall loose. Luckily it happened at the 9:27 mark on my timer.

Overall it was a great day of flying. Once I got home I applied some GEII Silicone to the firewall and pressed it on. Then held it in place with two rubber bands stretched over the motor and the rearward wing mounting pins.

Tomorrow will hopefully prove to be another great day, but not at that area.
Posted by Robert4613 | Jan 23, 2015 @ 10:39 AM | 1,923 Views
I have been flying with my DX5e since late November, and I've already outgrown it. It's a great little TX for what it is, but I've got a few planes in my stables now. One of which will be flying (hopefully) by this weekend. It's my 60" OF-ish. I wanted a TX that I didn't have to rebind to my flying aircraft of choice at the time that I want to fly.

I've also picked up a carry case to safely transport my TX, as well as my charger and batteries from WalMart for only about $12.00.
Posted by Robert4613 | Jan 22, 2015 @ 12:00 PM | 1,798 Views
This isn't really an up grade, but it is a helpful tip.

When performing the balance for the CG, I usually have to look underneath to locate my ink marks that I had placed under the wing. After a few times of doing this, I grew weary of having to do this. Then I had came up with an idea.

I verified my distance from the leading edge near the fuselage of where the balance points should be. In the case of the Apprentice S 15e, it is located at 79mm, which is 3-1/8". Once I had verified this I had placed a pen mark at the precise location, them I had punched a thumb tack at each of the two locations. I had verified the location one last time, pulled them out, and put a small dab of GE Silicone II on the tacks and pushed them back in. Now all that I have to do to check my plane's CG is to feel underneath for the tacks and place my fingertips directly on them. No more guess work or worrying if my fingertips had "rolled off" the CG center points. And since the Apprentice S is a big plane, the marginally added weight of the thumb tacks will have no effect on it, especially at the CG points.
Posted by Robert4613 | Jan 17, 2015 @ 08:48 PM | 3,049 Views
It was another day that I just could not wait to get out and fly. To make things more interesting my girlfriend's dad was in town and had wanted to see my plane fly. So I had gathered up everything, got everybody loaded up into my Jeep, and headed to a local spot just on the edge of town. Well, we got there, I set up my plane, turned it on.......and nothing, no sounds, no controls. I fiddled around with the connections, all were good. Flight battery was just charged, so it wasn't that. But then I had remembered that I had tried to bind my TX to a quad rotor, and of course I had left my binding plug at the house.

Got home, found my binding plug, got it to working again, and we drove back in separate vehicles back down to where we went just a bit earlier. I break out the plane, plug in the connectors for the ailerons, and no rubber bands. Crap! They were on my chair back at the house. So the girlfriends dad took the boys to go ice skating, while my girlfriend and I went back home for a bit. I made sure that I had everything, including my pack of rubber bands, another bag of rubber bands, my extra clevices, and packed it all up into a handy, convenient over the shoulder pouch. As we were driving home she mentioned that maybe it was a sign for me that I shouldn't be flying my plane in that area. Reasonable enough explanation.

After we had picked up the two boys we had all headed to one of my favorite flying spots up at the Buskin Hills Complex. We got there and as I was...Continue Reading
Posted by Robert4613 | Jan 16, 2015 @ 03:13 PM | 4,377 Views
I had posted this to the thread "Review, E-Flight Apprentice S 15e," but I wanted to start my own blog. This one has been modified slightly to include some details that were forgotten or omitted from my thread post.

I took my Apprentice S with me to work this morning and left it out in the Jeep so that if I got a chance to fly it I would. On my lunch I checked the weather conditions, they were acceptable, so I drove to an open BLM area and parked on a dirt road. I installed the battery and the wing on my plane, turned on my TX, waited a few seconds, then turned on my plane, and waited a bit more for the system to initialize. I then performed the normal routine of the pre-flight check, observing that the control surfaces had moved properly, and then the Range check. All was good.

I checked the weather one last time, which it was at 11:30 a.m. It was cloudy with a current temp of 27 deg, F, which it had dropped 1 deg in the last 15 minutes, (hey, around here at this time of year every degree counts)! Wind was ESE at 3 mph, 77% humidity, barometric pressure was at 30.40 in. and visibility was 9 miles. With this I had decided that the weather was good enough for flying.

I set my timer on my phone for ten minutes and started it. After a vehicle passed by me (I was at a county road) I set my plane on the pavement facing the wind and proceeded to take off. It was a picture perfect take-off. I climbed up to around 250-300 feet then reduced the throttle to @ 50%...Continue Reading