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Posted by dmrcflyr2 | Aug 02, 2015 @ 04:02 PM | 971 Views
Since getting my Saito twin cylinder engines I have been flying them on the Value Hobby Easy Stik. That was always intended to be my test bed verification airplane for these engines. However one might always stay on the Stik as it is a sweet combination. My intention all along was to build an airplane for one of these engines. I had to access the power, reliability, and flight times for these engines and that was the role of the Easy Stik. Once I felt comfortable with the engines I set out to find a suitable airframe. I did not want to do the typical Cub that you would find one of these engines in.

After some research I decided on the Fred Reese Cloud Dancer 60. I already had the plans for it. I bought them back in the late nineties and reduced them for my first scratch build; a 40 size Cloud Dancer. That was one of the best flying airplanes I have ever owned. A fellow modeler and RCG member, Balsaworkbench, provided me with some very nice laser cut parts and all I had to do was buy the remainder of the wood.

I started this build on Saturday August 1st, yesterday. I began with the tail feathers. They are a simple frame structure and took no time at all to complete. I moved on to the fuselage after that and got 90% of it completed yesterday as well.

Today I began on the wing and as of now have about 90% of the wing panels completed also.

This is a very standard and easy model to build and there are no special instructions, techniques, or materials...Continue Reading
Posted by dmrcflyr2 | Jul 29, 2015 @ 06:52 AM | 1,210 Views
I have flown several times now with my older JR XP6102 system and it has worked flawlessly. The really nice thing is that I never have to contend with other flyers for a channel as 98% of the folks are on 2.4GHz.

I dusted off my even older JR XF622 system last night, charged the old NiCD pack and brought it in to work to check out the output signal. I figured the battery pack in there would be good enough to test the signal but if I do use it I will most certainly be replacing it with a 2000mAh NiMH pack.

I used the HP 8562E Spectrum Analyzer and saw the following signal. This is a ch 19 which is 72.170MHz. It looks pretty good. Good enough to take out to the field and do a really thorough range test anyway.
Posted by dmrcflyr2 | Jul 25, 2015 @ 06:50 PM | 1,263 Views
I pulled this out for a test run today. It needs a home and I have an GP Ultra Sport 40 kit waiting to be built for this engine.

Tower Pro 46: a real screamer (0 min 44 sec)

Posted by dmrcflyr2 | Jul 14, 2015 @ 05:36 PM | 1,178 Views
She is alive and running beautifully!

Saito FA-90T First run after rebuild (1 min 30 sec)

FA-90T Second run of the day (1 min 53 sec)
...Continue Reading
Posted by dmrcflyr2 | Jul 14, 2015 @ 06:29 AM | 1,596 Views
I happened upon a nice Saito FA-90T from a fellow member and local flier. It looked pretty rough and had no compression at all. He and I both figured it just needed a little TLC, so I figured I was the one to give it.

Once I got it home I cleaned the exterior up first using some spray cleaner and an old toothbrush. It turned out pretty nice, but the real question was how was it on the inside? It turns out that it wasn't too bad really. I disassembled it and carefully cleaned and oiled all of the parts. The lack of compression was due to stuck valves; an easy fix.

It turns out that it could use a new set of bearings so I ordered some and it patiently waited until they came in. While waiting on the bearings I installed the carburetor onto my other 90T just to verify that it operates properly; and it does. Once the bearings and new gaskets were installed reassembly was a breeze. The older Saito single throw crankshaft engines are quite easy to disassemble/reassemble and setting the timing is just as easy.

Now the the compression is back, it is looking nice again, and it awaits its first run in probably 10-15 years. I will be taking video of it tonight as I run it for the first time in years. Once that is done, it heads to the classifieds to find a new proud owner.
Posted by dmrcflyr2 | Jul 06, 2015 @ 05:43 PM | 1,577 Views
I have met a terrific fellow modeler on this site and he was kind enough to send me a Saito FA-30S engine to get my Sportsman Aviation Waco 30 back in the air. Rob is a great guy and a pleasure to call a friend even though we have never met face to face. Thank you Rob!

This little engine arrived and I was prepared to replace the bearings in it, but upon initial inspection, they felt fine. I may still install them at some point but I just opened her up and did a quick inspection. Once satisfied that the bearings were not in imminent danger of letting loose I put the engine on the stand to see how it runs. It runs GREAT!

Saito FA-30S (0 min 8 sec)

Saito FA-30S (0 min 30 sec)
...Continue Reading
Posted by dmrcflyr2 | Jul 03, 2015 @ 10:59 AM | 1,693 Views
Yesterday the replacement Easy Stick arrived. I did investigate only buying replacement parts as Value Hobby does offer the wing, fuselage, and tail feathers as separate spares. After looking at the cost of what I would need, fuselage ($50) and tail feathers($25) plus shipping I figured I might as well buy the entire airplane again.

Once again it was packed in 2 blank double boxes and it arrived undamaged. Seeing as I have assembled one before, I did not even bother to open the instruction manual, I knew exactly what I needed to do. The first step was to apply plenty of wood glue to the entire joint areas inside. I smeared this around each joint with my finger and did not worry about applying too much. These joints can use all the extra glue they can take.

The next step for me again was to punch out the blind nuts in the original firewall to make way for the new firewall I epoxied onto the original. Once drilled for the engine mount, throttle, and fuel lines I moved onto the aft fuselage section.

This time I am putting both elevator and rudder servos in this section of the fuselage. I don't think the extra weight is going to be an issue and if it is I have plenty of room in the forward end to move things around.

Once the servos with extensions are in place, it is time to glue in the 4 wood joiners. These align the front and rear halves and provide more area for gluing. I installed the four joiners in the front section and used CA to hold them in place for the...Continue Reading
Posted by dmrcflyr2 | Jun 30, 2015 @ 07:35 AM | 1,976 Views
Well in light of my recent loss of the Easy Stik, I have considered going back and using my lightly used JR XP6102 radio system. It is a 72 MHz system that I bought probably back in 2001-02. I have 2 receivers for it and plenty of servos; the transmitter has a new 2000 Mah battery pack.

After the failure analysis to include queries on this forum, it seems that the root cause for my crash was ..... me! It appears that I did not heed the instructions for proper RX/antenna placement and that the signal was shadowed for a time long enough to send the RX into fail safe mode.

A very valuable lesson was learned for sure. I know in the past with the older systems 'shadowing' was never an issue. There was a 39 inch long antenna sticking out of the airplane grabbing all of the signal. The receiver could be right next to the servos and it did not matter.

So I pulled my trusty JR system out last night, cycled the transmitter battery and brought it into work to check out the signal. Using an HP 8562E spectrum analyzer I checked the signal. The transmitter is channel 25 which is 72.290 MHz. The transmitter checks out perfectly. The signal is clean and strong. I think once the new Easy Stik arrives I might just put this system in it and go 'old school' along with the 30+ year old engine in the nose.
Posted by dmrcflyr2 | Jun 26, 2015 @ 07:22 PM | 1,486 Views
Yes, thanks to lots of rain and very soft sandy soil in FL, the 80T easily survived a nose dive into the ground. The only casualty were the headers. One smashed closed the other tweaked. I soaked it with alcohol and sprayed it off with the air compressor and that's it. I turns over freely and feels perfect. Coming from someone too willing to open up an engine.... Great engineering, Saito.
Posted by dmrcflyr2 | Jun 25, 2015 @ 06:49 PM | 1,782 Views
It was a bittersweet trip to the flying field today. It was going to be the first aerial videos using my new Mobius camera and I was excited. The first, and only flight, started out well. I started recording and took to the air. I made several circuits around the field and then the unthinkable happened.

I lost radio contact while flying straight and level. The Stik went from a straight and level flight into a dive straight into the ground. I was helpless as I watched my airplane plummet into the ground. 1 second after impact the sound wave hit me. it was a sickening CRACK!!

As I began the long walk to the impact site I contemplated what had just happened. I took the radio with me to see if all controls still functioned. When I got there the radio was unresponsive. The impact must have turned the switch off as it was in the off position. When I turned it on all control surfaces worked perfectly. I gathered up the Mobius and all I could carry in one load and walked back. The second trip I gathered all of the pieces I felt like bringing back.

There is good news and bad news in this story. The good news is that the Mobius and video survived the impact as you will see below. The bad news is that the Easy Stik is a total loss. The condition of the Saito FA-80T is unknown at this time, but I will be evaluating that very soon.

Amazingly the wing seems relatively unscathed. I will not be using it on the next Stik. Oh yes, I plan on replacing this airplane. It is a great platform for my twin cylinder engines.

Oh well, such is life. Now to check out my engine.

Last flight of the Easy Stik 60 (2 min 56 sec)

Posted by dmrcflyr2 | Jun 13, 2015 @ 04:39 PM | 2,047 Views
I flew a few airplanes today and had a great time! My wonderful 10 year old grandson took the videos and he gets a bit better each outing. I flew my Value Hobby Easy Stik 60 with the Saito FA-90T and my SIG Astro Hog with the Enya 60-4C shown in my blog entry below this one.

This particular Enya 60 seems a bit more powerful than the other one I had on it before. They both have very good compression so I am unsure why there would be a difference, but there is.

The Saito 90T is getting broken in and ran flawlessly today. I did not touch the needle valve settings at all after the last run in my yard a few days ago. I had reset them and tached the engine for a bit of unloading in the air. This engine is very sensitive to the needle valve settings; one click of either carb in either direction can make a big difference on overall high speed RPM.

Easy Stik takeoff 1 (0 min 30 sec)

Easy Stik touch n go (0 min 27 sec)
...Continue Reading
Posted by dmrcflyr2 | Jun 06, 2015 @ 09:29 AM | 2,163 Views
It runs like a champ! After the disassembly, clean and re-assembly. Apparently I have the timing correct.
It started on the second flip of the prop. I am running an APC 13x6 with Omega 10% and a brand new Enya #3 plug.

Enya 60-4C: First start, first run (1 min 9 sec)

Enya 60-4C: First run (cont.) (1 min 3 sec)
...Continue Reading
Posted by dmrcflyr2 | Jun 05, 2015 @ 07:35 PM | 1,843 Views
So I am a sucker for a good deal, especially when it is a 4 stroke engine. This is the second Enya 60-4C I have purchased for under $85. This is is just as good as the $50 one. It is a used but low time engine which I will be running on the stand tomorrow.

As is customary for me and used engines, I first completely disassemble them to assess their true condition. Upon opening the nicely packaged box I find an engine that has some external wear on the finish, clearly it isn't brand new, but the aluminum is a bit tarnished. Still it is in very good shape. There are no surprises with the disassembly. No stripped screw heads, no over torqued fasteners. It is a bit gummed up but nothing a good cleaning won't remedy.

As each part was removed I initially soaked them in alcohol to begin to loosen the crud. As the exterior did not look as nice as I wanted, I decided to go to something a bit stronger. I soaked all parts in CLR. This is not recommended for Aluminum, according to the manufacturer, but I have used it before with very good results. The aluminum just needs to be VERY throughly cleaned immediately after removal from the CLR. I soak them in alcohol, used compressed air to dry and then coat lightly with 3-in-1 oil. The steel parts is where the CLR really works. Any surface rust is removed and things look almost new again.

The bearings were not in bad shape but the congealed oil residue had them looking a bit rough. The CLR makes quick work of that...Continue Reading
Posted by dmrcflyr2 | May 30, 2015 @ 02:04 PM | 2,453 Views
I was out last evening running about the 8th break-in tank through this engine when a scary thing happened. The engine just stopped while running at about 6000 RPM. Died, stopped. I had been monitoring the head temps and they were fine at around 175 each.

After it stopped it felt very tight when I turned the prop. Oh crap, what have I done? Well I immediately took it off the stand and brought it inside to cool down. After it cooled it still did not turn over freely. I did not feel or hear any grinding noises. I injected some Marvel Mystery oil into the port at the bottom of the crankcase to see if that helped things at all; it did not. I don't know if the front bearing let go or what, but there was one thing for sure, I wouldn't know until I took her apart.

So the disassembly begins. I took it apart with the back of the engine facing me and I kept all left and right side parts separate. I pulled the heads off and the pistons look just like new still. The valves look great. I had to pull the piston wrist pins and the piston heads off to get the connecting rods out. After each part removal I tried to turn the engine over to see exactly which part is causing the drag.

I found it. The right timing gear and cover came off and the engine freed up. Wow this is odd. The timing gear seemed to be somewhat seized on the shaft. It was quite hard to turn the gear but as soon as I loosened the set screw holding the shaft in place the timing gear began to turn...Continue Reading
Posted by dmrcflyr2 | May 23, 2015 @ 12:19 PM | 2,465 Views
After almost 27 years of patiently waiting to be run, this engine waits no more. I secured it to the stand and took it out for its first runs. The first run/tank went very fast due to the extremely rich setting. Heck I almost think more fuel was spraying out of it than was burning. I started with both needles at 3 full turns open, but almost immediately had to begin to close them up so it would run.

It was so rich most of the tank had to be run with the ignitors on. In fact as soon as I removed the one from the right cylinder it died and would not re-fire even when I put it back on. There are a few seconds of it just pumping fuel out before I killed the engine.

The restart I leaned a bit more so it would finish up without the ignitors on. I let it cool for about 15 -20 minutes while I topped off my ignitors again.

The second tank it started on the first flip already. I have run 3 tanks through it now but only shot videos of the first two tanks. It is well on its way to break-in.

FA-90T 1st run EVER. (1 min 27 sec)

FA 90T End of 1st run tank (0 min 45 sec)
...Continue Reading
Posted by dmrcflyr2 | May 21, 2015 @ 05:57 PM | 2,528 Views
This is the first ARF I have purchased from Value Hobby; I have bought servos from them but that is it. The price of their ARF's are very attractive and just beg you to take a chance on them. I have been eyeing several of thier airplanes for years but never pulled the trigger on one until now. I had been searching and thinking of the type of airplane to test fly my new twin cylinder engines on. The size, nose profile, and overall flight charateristics of the 'Stik' type airplanes were the deciding features for me. I have never owned or flown a 'Stik' before so this should be very fun.

The box arrived undamaged and the opening begins. I immediately found ONE of the reasons these ARF's are so inexpensive. They are not packaged in full color boxes as most kits/ARF's are. In fact I thought it was triple boxed, but in fact it was only double boxed. The inner box was just as plain as the outer; and as in good of condition too. ABout the only lettering on the boxes are the words "Made in China". What? I thought for sure these were out of Vietnam, but I guess not.

Once the box was opened I was pleased to see all subassemblies were individually bagged and nicely taped in place to keep them from shifting during transport. I removed each item and gave it a brief inspection. It was not my intention to begin building this tonight so further unwrapping was somewhat unnecessary. I did unbag the main section of the 2 piece fuselage. I wanted to set my Saito FA-...Continue Reading
Posted by dmrcflyr2 | May 20, 2015 @ 08:15 PM | 2,806 Views
It cost me several other engines but I think it was worth it now that she is here. I have scored the second Saito twin in a month. The FA-90T arrived at the front door today and man is she beautiful! This engine is the perfect compliment to the 80T. Granted it is not much of an increase in displacement but they have over 25 common parts. They also share the exact same mount/mounting dimensions meaning they will be an easy swap out of the same airplane.

At a few feet they look nearly identical but there is one major difference, the heads. The 80T has a two piece head while the 90T has the modern and currrent integrated cylinder head. I really doubt there is any difference in the carbs bodies. I am unsure how long the production run for the 90T was but the 80T was a very short 2 years. I think this is one reason you never see it mentioned in any manuals or the alpha engine codes guide.

So the first thing I did after opening the box was to remove the valve covers and check the valve lash. Two were out of spec and they were quickly reset. A few drops of oil on the rocker arm pivots and cover screw holes and back together it went. This 90T is NIB; it has never seen a drop of fuel. That is going to change this weekend though. I plan to begin the break-in process ASAP. No, no, no, I'm not keeping this a museum piece. It will be in the air very soon. In fact my test bed for these engines is due to arrive tomorrow as well, a Value Hobby Easy Stik 60.
Posted by dmrcflyr2 | May 08, 2015 @ 07:08 PM | 2,490 Views
So I started out with a Master Airscrew 14x6, the glow plugs that came in the engine, 10% Omega fuel. After prime the engine fired on the very first flip!! Being my first twin I was learning on the fly what it should sound like, what happens when a cylinder drops out, etc. It seems the engine likes the pressure tap on the left cylinder. ( I am referencing left/right from behind the engine) Anyway with setup as above I was able to tune it to nearly 8000RPM WOT. I could not get any more than that out of it for fear of leaning it too much. I did shut down the left cylinder once by leaning too much.

After the first two runs I changed 3 things.
1. Propeller from MA 14x6 to TF 13x6
2. Plugs: unknown plugs that came in the engine to Hangar 9 Super Plug
3. Installed a header from another Saito on the right hand cylinder for pressure tap. The original runs the pressure fitting was on the left cylinder.

I had a heck of a time getting it to start and run after these changes. WTH??? So I moved the pressure tap header back to the left side and I was finally able to get it started and running again. This really does not make any sense to me. But in the first video above, I did remove the pressure line once and it immediately dropped the left cyclinder.

Seeing as I am still very green to running twins, I am unsure what to make of this. it is also a bit difficult for me to know how to tune each carb. You can see in the videos I was using an IR temp sensor to read the head...Continue Reading
Posted by dmrcflyr2 | May 05, 2015 @ 06:20 PM | 3,085 Views
I realized one of my RC dreams! I have acquired a Saito twin, more specifically the FA-80T MKII. The FA-80T was the first twin cylinder engine that Saito mass produced. The MKI was introduced in 1981 and featured a singe carb. It was soon determined that the single carb was in adequate and the MKII with dual carbs was released. Basically they added the dual carb and designated it the MKII in 1982. This engine was only produced until 1983 when it was replaced with the FA-90T.

The 80T also has a two piece head assembly as opposed to the most common feature of Saito engines, the single integrated cylinder head. The 2 piece head has an advantage for me, which is the ability to remove and inspect the valves without completely tearing down the engine. A task I did last night when trying to determine approximately how much run time this engine has. My best guess is 1 gallon or less, but it is used.

This is not going to be a display only engine. It will be powering an airplane possibly this year and running even sooner. However, I am making the preparations to get it running this weekend if not sooner. I have a PSP Mfg. test stand with the back mount adapter. Tonight I drilled holes for the engine and throttle arm....Continue Reading
Posted by dmrcflyr2 | Apr 25, 2015 @ 04:44 PM | 2,803 Views
So, I have a crappy day at the field today. My GP Escapade is laid up for the time being due to a pancake landing I managed to excute. It was a gusty day again and as I was touching the rudder to straighten it out to land I must have had brain lock on the elevator. It was coming in at 45 deggrees to the runway and ideally I should have waited until just before touch down to straighten her out, i didn't. My flying skills were not up to the task with the huge rudder on this airplane. The result is the landing gear being ripped off the airframe and as a consequence rolling up under and damaging the wing. Easily repairable. I just seldom get in the mood to repair airplanes....

Then after that while flying my Tower Uproar, I did a slow fly by and while powering on to pull out, the engine flamed out. My only choice to make the runway was to turn immediately and do a downwind landing. It would have been fine if I had actually made it to the runway. The result was a broken prop, and my self esteem.

Fortunately, my grandson caught both on video.

Bad day at the field (0 min 12 sec)