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KFC's blog
Posted by KFC | May 24, 2012 @ 02:26 PM | 9,275 Views
I have quite a few items on my summer build list and I thought this would be a good source of motivation to get as many of them completed as possible. Here we go...

1. 40 size electric Quickie. I got a set of plans from RC Modeler magazine for a sport scale version of Burt Rutan's Quickie. This is one of those truly unique airplanes that has been on my wish list for several years now. I managed to find an appropriate electric power system for it and construction has already commenced. With a little luck this one could be finished by the end of June.

2. 150% modified twin Springer tugboat
One thing I have definitely discovered a need for, both at home and on the road is a good recovery system for boats and floatplanes. This is my answer to that need.

3. Hodgehound challenge builds
These are detailed in a separate blog entry and WILL be completed in time for HHAEFI v7

4. 8 foot wing rebuild.
This is just a matter of building a replacement for my 8 foot nightflyer. Shouldn't take more than a week or so

5. RiteWing Z2 FYU.
This project will be unveiled at SEFF 2013. All details will remain classified until that time.

6. B-52 EDF
This one has been sitting on the bench for a while and will probable stay there for a little while longer. I hope to have this one ready for SEFF 2013

7. Beriev Be-200 amphibious EDF.
I think I have an easy way to manage the difficult aspects of this particular project so with a little luck I might be able to knock this out in a couple of weeks. A definite possibility for hhaefi this year.
Posted by KFC | May 15, 2012 @ 08:18 AM | 9,243 Views
So, while I was at SEFF this year, Kenny and Mel took me aside and said, "KFC, we want you to take these two wings and make something with them. When you come to HHAEFI we want to see these turned in to something really cool. If you do it, you get your Hound shirt."

Of course, I accepted the challenge.

It took a while to come up with the right idea for this one. I considered (and discarded) several possibilities before I got really inspirated.

#1: put a whole bunch of motors on the leading edge and make a 3d flying wing.
As much as I liked this idea, it isn't really new. I've been doing this with my foam wings for a while now and I really want this to be different.

#2: put the two panels together, attach a pair of handles to the bottom and hang on while being pulled by a golf cart.
As much as this idea amuses me, I'm not sure the golf cart can achieve sufficient speed to lift my fat arse off the ground.

#3: make a profile fuse and do a big 3d plane.
Again, not original enough.

#4: use the panels to make a big-ass spoiler for the roof of my truck.
This is my backup plan.

In addition to the criteria set forth by Mel and Kenny, whatever I put together had to be done on a shoestring budget. If I'm going to be able to make it to HHAEFI this year, I have to have some cash for gas and such and that ain't cheap these days. That is when I got truly inspirated! I got the idea to use the panels separately. Two cool ideas, each powered by a single wing panel: wingsails!

For those of you unfamiliar with the wingsail concept, it works just like a fabric sail, except it is rigid, so it maintains the airfoil shape at all times. Since conditions at Hodges are often windy, I think this plan has a lot of potential.

I did up some sketches, and I figure I can put all this together pretty quick and pretty cheap. I'll do one build thread for each, so stay tuned!
Posted by KFC | Apr 17, 2012 @ 08:14 AM | 15,044 Views
Here is the good news: the Spartan is easily capable of the 50+ mph that the manufacturer claims. The bad news is that it isn't going to happen with what is in the box. I had to make some changes to the boat in order to get it to run fast without burning it out on 6s worth of LiPo batteries. Thankfully, none of the upgrades I did were terribly expensive. 50+ mph can be had for an investment of $30. For around $50, you can get 60+mph easily, reliably, and without having to worry about smoking the ESC or the motor.

Cooling System
This is the Spartan's Achilles Heel. The stock cooling arrangement is too narrow to allow much water to go through it, and since it is arranged in series, rather than in parallel, the motor ends up being 'cooled' with hot water. The silicone cooling jacket on the motor just makes things worse, because when hot water is forced into it under pressure, it leaks, which fills the interior of the hull with water. The first fix that needs to happen is to bore out the water pickup and the outlet. I step drilled the pickup and the nipple at the top of the rudder out to .096". When that was done, I drilled a hole in the outlet wide enough to fit a piece of 5/32" brass tube through. This will allow water to easily enter and exit the boat. Next, I stopped by the LHS and picked up 3 feet of 5/32" I.D. Tygon tubing and a pair of 'T' fittings. The Tygon tubing is a little stiffer than the silicone, so it is less prone to getting...Continue Reading
Posted by KFC | Mar 22, 2011 @ 08:48 AM | 11,084 Views
So I'm a huge fan of night flying. I have a very serious LED habit and it just keeps getting worse. My latest project has been to upgrade my 8 foot flying wing night flyer from around 750 LEDs to just over 1,000 and to illuminate the props with reflective tape. This mod was so cool, I've started doing it to my 5 foot night flyers as well.

8 foot night flyer with illuminated props (0 min 46 sec)

Posted by KFC | Mar 07, 2011 @ 08:11 PM | 11,249 Views
So I've decided to join the outlaw band of FPV in my own fashion and am hoping to have a rig ready in time for SEFF.

Rather than a normal 'FPV' setup, what I really want to do is make an aerial camera system that can be 'aimed' accurately in real time. I have a ContourHD camera that I will mount on a pan/tilt system along with the FPV camera and VTx. The pan/tilt system will be controlled by separate receiver/transmitter from the ground.

I am going to build this around a 72" flying wing design with a 375W counter-rotating motor system that I've had lying around the shop for a while. I am also planning on adding some very unique features to this wing which I will post about as I go.

In the meantime, I have started putting together a ground station and gathering parts for the aircraft that will carry said cameras. More complete details to follow.
Posted by KFC | Feb 25, 2011 @ 04:11 PM | 11,600 Views
Never used this feature before, so what the heck. The foam is flying down in the workshop and I am sooo ready to jump in the truck and head for Georgia. I am getting the trailer fixed up and some airplanes put together. Working on having at least one surprise make the trip with me. Just for the sake of convenience, I'm going to keep all the pictures together in this post....Continue Reading