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DismayingObservation's blog
Posted by DismayingObservation | Jun 11, 2012 @ 09:11 PM | 5,276 Views
All is now well with the Blade 400 after some nurgling around with the throttle curve. In fact, it's never been better. It's now running the HobbyKing HK401 gyro that was originally in the HK 450TT Pro review heli. The 450 in turn now has a terrific Hobbymate gyro I'm in the process of reviewing. The great folks at Horizon Hobby determined that nothing was wrong with the E-flite gyro that an expert heli pilot friend of mine said was working improperly, so they sent it back. I'm torn whether or not to reinstall it on the 400, but for now, I have the HK401 dialed in. Personally, I never had problems with the E-flite gyro, but I like that little 401. It seems to hold the 400's tail better than it did that of the 450.

My friend who sold me the 400 in the first place has a stash of parts and rarely if ever flies his 400, so I asked if he had a set of carbon fiber blades he'd like to sell.

He did. Brand new, still packaged. He also had an aftermarket CF vertical tail fin and a new tail boom.

Which he gave me. The whole megillah. He insisted.

I in turn now owe him lunch, which I hope to do this week. Maybe I'll actually fly it with the CF's before then. For now, I've merely installed them and they look terrific with the blue flame canopy. I'm kind of sorry to see this marvelous helicopter stricken from the Blade lineup, but based on the good stuff I've been reading about the 450 and 450X, Horizon Hobby has made some definite progress.

Lots of busy time with some upcoming reviews of some really great helicopters, not to mention the gyro. Some high-discharge batteries might be coming as well to aid in that review.

Would you believe a 65C discharge rate?

This promises to be good, so stay tuned.
Posted by DismayingObservation | May 01, 2012 @ 06:53 PM | 5,198 Views
The E-flite Blade 400 is -or was - a really great helicopter, bumped off its perch of prominence by the Blade 450 and now, the insane Blade 500.

People have been lamenting the stock servos for years; they don't even respond as well as the very affordable, metal-geared Turnigy servos in my HK 450TT Pro.

The forward cyclic servo decided it was going to go blooey a couple of weeks ago. I have more stick time on that 400 than almost anything else I own and I knew soon after liftoff that something wasn't right.

The inevitable crash which was only the fourth one in its history was relatively low speed and from a low altitude, but it wasn't until I started dissecting the thing that I realized there was hidden damage, things like a slightly bent tail boom and a main drive gear with a couple of teeth knocked out.

Money heals all crashes and after a reasonably priced cash infusion, it's back.

Sort of.

I upgraded the firmware in the Castle Creations Phoenix-35 while I was putting everything back together.

So, the ESC has the very latest firmware...and now the throttle curve is completely weirded out. It lifted off just fine, but the head speed wasn't nearly as fast as it should have been. Changing the governor setting helped a bit, but it still lacks that marvelous head speed that an E-flite 440 helicopter motor can generate and has generated in the very recent past.

Tweaking the throttle curve on a DX6i is no big deal, but I have a friend who is, quite...Continue Reading
Posted by DismayingObservation | Apr 18, 2012 @ 07:44 PM | 5,482 Views
Aw, nuts.

The refitted P-51 went up yesterday and for all intents and purposes, the flight was a success.

I was afraid that it would be underpowered, but hoo boy, was I wrong.

She lifted the tail and was off like a rocket. The ailerons were a bit twitchy, but not bad.

It ripped through the sky at 3/4 throttle; full throttle blasts made it nearly ballistic.

Nothing but fun.

I bounced it a bit on the rather springy mains when I touched down and I knew I could do better.

Since the flight was only about two minutes long, up it went once more for a quick trip around the pattern. I was absolutely ecstatic at the results.

Turning from base to final would be the last time that poor little bird would fly.

I suspect the old Zippy battery I used for the test may have given up the ghost with the combination of the 1400Kv motor and 9" prop because it, well, simply kept turning left, augering itself into the clubs helicopter/control line pad. No evidence of any failed servos or control linkages at all.

I had far more time than money into the project, but it was a shame to see what was a castoff return to the air in such a spectacular manner only to fail just as spectacularly.

That leaves the World Models P-51 EP and the brushless Sky Fly 2, both of which are just fine.

I'm going to be phasing out all of my remaining 2200mAh off-brand packs for some 2100mAh Venom packs. Great reviews, multiple plug choices through supplied adapters...and only $20 a pop.

On to the Great Planes Ultimate bipe...
Posted by DismayingObservation | Apr 12, 2012 @ 06:30 PM | 5,031 Views
...consider putting the stuff over at the classified ad section.

I gave that reborn Blade CP helicopter project my best shot, but alas, it wouldn't fly right. The tail simply wouldn't hold and the instructions with that cheapie little Assan MEMS gyro were useless.

Flew like the proverbial bat on idle up, but again, there were times that the tail wanted to do its own thing.

It finally up and just quit in midair. I don't know if the 2-in-1 blew out, if it just lost the radio signal or what.

All I could do was to watch it slap the ground.

I'm honestly considering putting it up on the classifieds for a few bucks as is less the receiver.

Or, if you're interested in parts for your CP, hey, drop me a PM. I'm looking for an old .46 two-stroke for another project (it was an old but perfectly good plane which blew its Evolution .46), so let's talk.

In better news, the electric conversion of the old .15 P-51 continues. I'm pretty much down to installing a shelf for the battery, hooking up the servos and doing the aileron pushrods.

So, all is not lost after all. Smiley face!
Posted by DismayingObservation | Apr 09, 2012 @ 08:31 PM | 4,758 Views
If you happened to catch my last entry, you may have noticed that my rebuilt The World Models P-51 EP was suffering from motor timing problems.

No mo', Joe.

It went up on Saturday with the new SuperTigre ESC working in perfect harmony with a SuperTigre .10 outrunner and man, was it fun! It's a smoking fast little thing, but no bad habits other than a tendency to climb under power. No biggie. I'll double-check the trim and CG next time out. That motor is the same as in the much larger and heavier Flyzone Switch and it has no trouble whatsoever motivating the little P-51. I used the 1650mAh li-po from my late, lamented Escale A6M5 Zero. Plenty of oomph, but lighter than my E-flite and Flightmax 1800s which I used to set the intial CG on the maiden flight.

The newly brushless Flyzone SkyFly 2 was an oddity. It literally would not take off despite being plenty fast enough to do so.

I remembered a thread over here that discussed the wing's poor angle of attack. Up went the LE of the wing with the aid of a stick between it and the fuselage and sure enough, up went the SF 2! The lighter weight and extra power turned it from a model that wanted to drop like a rock when not under power to a thermal-chasing little monster.

Might have been a bit too much of a stick since it almost didn't want to come down, but I'm about to do a more permanent and less extreme fix thanks to some rectangular basswood stock. So far, I only have $15 into the thing, but it flies so...Continue Reading
Posted by DismayingObservation | Mar 23, 2012 @ 05:47 PM | 5,172 Views
The reborn World Models P-51 is Daddy's new little pumpkin! She flies great, but the timing on the original ESC didn't match up at high throttle. I tried a Castle Creations Phoenix-25 from another model...worked fine. I put the no-name ESC back in that other model...timing issues with that other motor as well. Back went the Castle and off I went to the hobby shop to part with dough.

The timing glitch been solved with a new SuperTigre 30A unit which, of course, matches perfectly with the SuperTigre .10 outrunner. Hasn't flown yet with the new ESC. It will soon.

The E-flite Blade CP/CP Pro/SR hybrid heli shows promise! It wouldn't lift off properly during a test in my garage, resulting in a slightly nicked main blade tip when it made light contact with the sidewall of my car's tire. I had the darn things mounted backwards. The receiver and 2-in-1 weren't tacked down and I had a too-small 500mAh li-po slung under the thing with masking tape, but once the blade issue was fixed, I got it to lift off in my living room! First time in at least two years, too. Twitchy to be sure, but I had it on high rates without realizing it. I'll report back when everything is tacked down and adjusted.

The dusty, musty old .15-powered P-51 electric conversion should be done soon. I'm getting the motor mount and some assorted hardware later today. The motor for the SkyFly2 project is on its way from HobbyKing.

I think I'll post a rogue's gallery photo of these little beasts when they're finished.

UPDATE: The helicopter lives! I hovered it in my front yard a couple of nights ago and fast forward flight is next. Hovering is definitely twitchy with a transmitter lacking expo, but hover it does and it wants to fly! Problem is, the HobbyKing Orange Rx receiver is too large to fit under the canopy, so I'll be going to a spare Spektrum AR6110 soon. I'd hoped to avoid using it, but oh well.
Posted by DismayingObservation | Mar 16, 2012 @ 09:45 PM | 4,943 Views
Things are looking promising for Project Blade CP. The used E-flite 2-in-1 and Blade SR transmitter I got off of eBay work perfectly. It took some nurgling with the DIP switches on the transmitter to get the servos to react properly, but react they do. Still waiting for the gyro, but HobbyKing e-mailed me to say it's on its way. Nine bucks for a MEMS gyro is almost too good to be true. Here's hoping it isn't!

Today marked the return of a rebuilt The World Models P-51 EP electric. I used it in the review of the Airtronics SD-6G radio...and I swapped the Airtronics receiver for another brand.

An intermittent failing elevator pot splashed the P-51 a few months ago; I blamed the problem on a faulty receiver. I didn't know the pot was failing until my beautiful EScale A6M5c Zero, reviewed at Ezonemag.com last year, crashed in much the same way. It, like the P-51, went full down elevator only a week ago. Total loss. That transmitter is now in the shop for a new pot.

Incredibly, the P-51 survived other than the fuselage. The fiberglass cowl suffered some minor damage, but it was still perfectly useable. I broke down and ordered a fuselage, decals and pilot figure from AirBorne Models who were kind enough to send a few other necessary parts as well later at no cost. The reborn version has a SuperTigre .10 outrunner mounted to a modified World Models outrunner-style firewall. It flew perfectly earlier today on a Futaba T6EX and full-range receiver. Only...Continue Reading
Posted by DismayingObservation | Mar 08, 2012 @ 09:30 PM | 5,010 Views
It would seem that I was born with a bit of an ornery streak.

When I was a kid, I remember my teachers complaining about how I wouldn't follow directions. Drove my folks nuts, too.

Time, maturity and wisdom have made me a much better Do-Bee, thanks.

Or not.

I am, against all professional advice from a team-sponsored R/C helicopter pilot, resurrecting a real monstrosity.

I learned to fly helis on an E-flite Blade CP, one of the first ever. I still have what was a dusty, unused carcass now being converted back to a helicopter. Blade CP's don't stay factory original for long. There isn't an original part left on the thing except for two of the S75 analog servos.

A couple of years ago, I tried a conversion I'd found online, namely that of a GWS tail motor to replace the geared micro motor. Think of it as a poor man's CP Pro.

Worked great...for about fifteen seconds. Motor went blooey, helicopter pirouetted in. So, I bought a Blade SR tail motor, prop and assorted hardware.

Nope. That motor spun too fast for the old 4-in-1 module and I think I may have burned out the module during the attempt.

What I was left with was an airframe with a lot of new parts, lightly flown parts and aftermarket upgrades, including a new canopy, a rebuilt Bell-Hiller head, a brushless main motor operated through an interface hooked into the stock 4-in-1 and one of the first ever sets of SuperSkids. I even upgraded it with an aluminum swashplate along the way.

This little Walkera-...Continue Reading
Posted by DismayingObservation | Feb 10, 2012 @ 08:41 PM | 5,062 Views
It took a bit of doing via different internet vendors and a bit of shopping at the local hobby shop, but the 450TT is back together and, I daresay, better than ever.

Oddly enough, a genuine Align tail boom fit poorly - it was too tight a fit - and didn't look as good as the original. Hobby King was sold out of the "Mighty Morphin Power Ranger" canopies, hardly surprising at less than three bucks a pop compared to $23 for a fiberglass Align unit...which also didn't seem to fit as well.

I found a domestic source for the parts including the canopy, namely Xheli.com. They had the the EXI brand parts for just a little more than Hobby King. OK, so the tail boom now says "EXI-HOBBY." Whee.

So, my little clone is now sporting some Align goodies, namely the torque tube, mainshaft, feathering shaft, feathering shaft dampers and skids, which are now white instead of black. Makes a BIG difference in the air. Looks classy, too.

All else is well, except overtightening the the prop retainer nuts on the quadcopter after losing one (nearly $20 to replace it with tax and shipping) caused two of the the props to fail as I was taking off. Solution: APC slow-flyer props! Normal rotation, reverse rotation.

I have some quad props from another mail order source on the way, but for now, the quad flies great on the APC's with a little bit of help from the brass bushings on the original props.

Until next time...have fun flying!
Posted by DismayingObservation | Jan 24, 2012 @ 09:20 PM | 4,712 Views
I really need to blog more often.

When last we met last summer, I told you of a couple of projects. Status: Unchanged. I've been busy hobby-wise helping out around here with reviews of some really fine hobby products. That little Cessna is trimmed out and flying right as well.

I had to put the brakes on my flying for awhile due to cataracts which snuck up on me. At age 50, yet. Those may have been what cost me my wonderful World Models P-40 Warhawk. I mentioned that a few posts back. Anyway, the eyeballs are nicely rebuilt and my distance vision is darn near bionic. The implants don't focus like natural lenses, so I have to use dollar store "cheater" reading glasses up close. Small price to pay, believe me. I must have put a good thirty flights on the HK450TT Pro I reviewed but couldn't fly because of the cataracts. Had its first crash a couple of weeks ago.

It's going back together with a combination of Align and Hobby King parts, but certain key parts from HK remain on backorder.

Thanks to a rather well-heeled friend, I and several others in the group we got together to descend upon the AMA walked out with shiny new quadcopters! What a fascinating branch of the hobby! You haven't seen anything until you see an autonomous quad fly itself via GPS. My new quad isn't one of those, but I fear seeing that GPS and R/C machine may have sparked a real interest.

Talk to you sooner than later!
Posted by DismayingObservation | Jul 15, 2011 @ 07:43 PM | 5,970 Views
One thing I discovered about the souped-up Flyzone Cessna I last blogged about is that the thing is most assuredly not an aerobat.

I discovered that banking it too far will send it straight into the ground. Ouch.

However, I liked the overall results so well that I went ahead and bought the new fuselage, cowl, decals and prop needed to get it airborne again. It flies even better on a smaller 1000mAh pack a opposed to the 1300...and besides, I had no other real use for the 1000's I had on hand. They now have a nice, new home in the Cessna.

I continue to have an absolute blast with the E-flite Blade mSR micro heli I got last Christmas, so much so that I've already worn out two batteries! I can even fly it outdoors if it's calm enough.

Two more orphaned "el freebos" have taken up residence in my garage. One is a new-old, assembled but unflown Global Hobby Raven .61 with an extra wing! The manual has a copyright date of 1995, no servos have ever been mounted and the cowl remains uncut. I just happen to have everything I need to complete it and get it flying. Ditto the Great Planes Ultimate .46 which has been on again-off again for awhile.

The other is a big .91 Kato sport flyer that looks like a Super Sportster. The tail section is damaged but easily fixed, the canopy is damaged and the pilot figure is definitely in need of replacement. Its a cut-down Rambo action figure complete with machete. It has some ancient Futaba servos I've yet to test, but no engine. I'm not entirely sure what I'm going to use for a canopy; perhaps a cut-down Sig or service part from Hangar 9 or a similar brand. Still deciding what to do with this big ol' thing.

Not much else to yak about, but I'll try and blog again sooner than later. See ya!
Posted by DismayingObservation | Feb 02, 2011 @ 02:35 AM | 6,938 Views
Some years back, I picked up a ready-to-fly Flyzone Cessna Skylane 182 foamie.

Nice scale looks, ready to fly, what could be better?

Unfortunately, it suffered from being a bit too heavy and prone to tip stalling. After replacing such things as the nose gear straps on the non-steerable nose gear as well as most of the airframe over time, the brushed 380 motor and Ni-Mh batteries kinda called it quits. Ditto a gimbal on the transmitter.

So, the poor thing languished in the garage for quite a long time after that. I didn't really want to part with a complete four-channel airframe, even one which had seen better days.

My idea was to eventually update the power system with a brushless outrunner and li-po battery.

The 2011 AMA would help with the Cessna's rebirth. It was there I found a booth selling inexpensive, no-name power systems. The young man who ran the booth was rather knowledgeable about his product and sold me a 1450Kv outrunner, 18-amp ESC, an APC-style prop and prop collet, all for twenty bucks.

Later that week, out came the rubber band-secured 380 and its cradle (and the dry-rotted rubber band itself) and in went the outrunner with the aid of an E-flite stick mount and firewall stick adapter trimmed to allow the cowl to fit. A Du-Bro 1/2A steerable nosewheel went in as well. A 1300mAh 30C 3S li-po I already had fit just fine with Velcro once I removed the bottom of the battery tray as viewed from underneath. That mount and firewall was a...Continue Reading
Posted by DismayingObservation | Jan 03, 2011 @ 09:41 PM | 6,441 Views
...ask for help.

Case in point: Two young gentlemen whom I met with some recently acquired Christmas presents, namely a couple of RTF foamies.

I was out getting video for a review I'm doing for "E Zone" when these two fellows walked by on their way to an alternate field next to where I was flying and asked (and properly so) about what frequency I was on. I was on spread spectrum, they were on 27 MHz and 72 MHz.

In any event, they'd explained that they had just gotten the models and that they were looking forward to trying them out. Ah, says I. Had you flown them yet? Well...not really. We're kinda sorta expecting to crash them.

Uh-oh. Would they like a bit of help?

No, thanks.

After finishing up the video and doing a bit of flying with the review subject, I decided to check on my new friends.

Sure as heck, both rudder-steered models had been augered in from too much rudder input. Making things interesting was the fact that one of the models had its wing mounted facing the wrong way. Somehow, it actually managed to fly with a reversed airfoil.

I took the opportunity to tell them about the full-time local club and the informal club which meets Saturdays at the field we were at; help, as I told them, would be abundant no matter where they chose to fly. To me, a lot of the fun is in helping new flyers. Heaven knows I got the same kind of assistance when I was learning and I'm just passing on the experience.

So, as we begin the new year with innumerable new electric RTFs taking to the skies, I'd like to take this moment to encourage you new flyers to seek help (which will save you some serious bread on replacement parts) and you grizzled vets to make yourselves available for a brain picking session or two.

Sharing is what makes any hobby great, after all.

Happy New Year.
Posted by DismayingObservation | Sep 01, 2010 @ 07:24 PM | 7,577 Views
I don't have to tell you that it ain't no fun when one augers in a model, especially when it could have been avoided.

Sad to say that I lost my World Models P-40 Warhawk to "short eyeballs," as Moe of the Three Stooges once said.

I had LASIK surgery a few years ago and it literally gave me HDTV-quality vision and beyond after 35 years of corrective lenses.

Well, the nearsightedness is creeping back in ever so slowly and I've been putting off a visit to the eyeball specialist for glasses. Flying nitro models has become a bit of a white-knuckler as a result. You'd think that alone would be incentive enough.

So, here I am, bringing the P-40 around to final after a really fine flight...and I lost sight of it. Wasn't too far away, either. Far enough to matter, though. When I last saw it in flight, it was heading straight down with no possible way to pull it up.

What does this have to do with the title...?

Well, the O.S. 46AX and all the electrics will be going into my nearly refurbished, kit-built Great Planes Ultimate Biplane originally built as an electric and abandoned by its builder after a very minor belly-flopper. Parts to complete the Ultimate will hit the hobby shop at week's end.

The Magnum XL .46 which was slated for the Ultimate will be going into the thirty-year-old Super Sportster (I don't trust the old Webra) and I'm getting an Evolution .46 off of a buddy soon. It was going to go into the Super Sportster, but instead will go into a new Hangar 9 Solo Sport trainer I got from my club nearly two years ago. I can use that to teach friends and family to fly.

So, I get three for one.

I will, however, miss that snarling shark staring me in the face every time I pulled into my garage.
Posted by DismayingObservation | Aug 18, 2010 @ 02:42 AM | 7,278 Views
So close...yet so far...

Just when I thought I had the old Webra 40 I'd blogged about a couple of times finally running well, wrong-o.

Took it out a couple of weeks ago, fired it up, everything seemed OK.

I got it ready for takeoff; the 30-year old Super Sportster gets off the ground followed by cough-hack-sputter-die-tip stall-splat.

The saving grace through all this is the fact this particular model is as rugged as the average log. It's skinned, covered and doped to where it seems as if it's carved instead of built.

All that broke was the prop.

The right horizontal stab popped off, but it had been repaired sometime in the model's past. Fixing it right with some 30-minute epoxy will be a cinch.

A friend says that he has an unused Evolution .46 which should suit this old bird just fine. I'll lose the cool vintage look and that uber-cool vintage exhaust pipe, but I can rest assured that I'll have an engine as reliable and tough as an anvil. I have an Evo .46 in another plane; it starts and runs every time I take it to the flight line. It doesn't make as much power as my other .46s simply because of the flywheel which makes it so beginner friendly, but an Evolution in the Super Sportster ought to be a nice match anyway.

Work is delayed somewhat on my Great Planes Ultimate Biplane project while I work on some reviews for The E Zone. Hacker Model Production of the Czech Republic is making some really nice 3D profile foamies, among other things. Reviews of two of those foamies will be hitting the site within a couple of weeks. The first should hit a bit sooner than that.

Now, what to do with nearly a gallon of FAI fuel...?
Posted by DismayingObservation | May 11, 2010 @ 07:26 PM | 7,140 Views
All is good in the land of nitro-powered airplanes. A single gallon of FAI fuel is on its way for the old Webra, I sucessfully completed repairs to a "SPAD" homebuilt plane I got through an RCGroups member about three years ago...and it was sidelined for two after some engine problems (now fixed; it was a carb problem) led to minor crash damage. Much fun seeing the old flying drainpipe back in the air!

The landing gear for the old Cub was silver-soldered at a local music store since I couldn't find anyone else to do it. In retrospect, I should have bought it to a radiator shop. The music store charged me thirty bucks! We all have to make a living, but thirty bucks? Oh, well. It's done, the repair is nice and strong and it went in the air yesterday at the private airstrip I mentioned a post or two ago and it looked terrific. The engine ran better with each passing minute and the thing was just plain fun to fly. However, the rough dirt runway managed to strip the gears of the aileron servo while trying to taxi back. Again.

The next project begins soon.
Posted by DismayingObservation | May 03, 2010 @ 12:53 PM | 7,203 Views
Might have found me a source for a single gallon of FAI fuel for my poor old Webra 40. Best part is, it'll be an imperial gallon of roughly five liters instead of four quarts for sixteen bucks.

My local club has made arrangements with Magnum Fuels for discount rates on imperial gallons. I'm getting the usual 15% nitro/18% oil stuff with a separate order for 0% nitro/20% oil FAI if they'll send some as part of the total order.

If Magnum will ship a single gallon of the FAI, I can have fun with a vintage model with a vintage engine and it'll free up my modern Magnum XL .46 for use in a Great Planes Ultimate Biplane I'm working on.

Fingers are crossed; this may be the best sixteen bucks I've spent in a long time.
Posted by DismayingObservation | Apr 24, 2010 @ 05:16 PM | 6,956 Views
As luck would have it, the Webra 40 I blogged about in my last entry is at least as old as the plane it was mounted in.

According to the wonderfully helpful Paul's Hobby Shop of Fargo, North Dakota, that old engine is designed to run on 0 to 5% nitro with 20% minimum oil content. The modern standard 15% nitro/18% oil was causing the engine to detonate and overheat, hence the loss of power.

No one - and I mean no one - in my area carries the stuff and I would have needed to purchase a case.

I have no idea whether or not that engine as four gallons of life left in it, so out it came and in went a lightly used Magnum XL .46 I had set aside for another project.

Same basic size (the crankshaft snout is actually a tad shorter) and weight, so in it went.

This engine was another prize from the same club raffle which went to a member who flies strictly electric. In fact, he was glad to give it to me since he had no idea what the heck he was going to do with it.

All I need to do is continue to help him out with his buddy box, which I am more than happy to do.

Tell you what, though: That Magnum revs like crazy, much faster than the Webra even with the tuned pipe.

This should be fun in the air.
Posted by DismayingObservation | Apr 17, 2010 @ 02:44 AM | 7,067 Views
I'd forgotten to mention in my previous blog that what might be a pesky little air leak was driving the idle setting on my ancient Super Sportster "castoff" absolutely bonkers. This morning, the engine started losing power in flight which, coupled with the weird idle issues, led to one very l-o-o-o-o-n-g landing with a broken prop resulting from it running out of runway. Basically, I was trying to bring it down in a hurry and it glided in hot at a private R/C airstrip I was privileged to fly at. The owner of the property had an old three-blade Evolution trainer prop which we used to get it back in the air. Not a whole heck of a lot of thrust with such a low-pitched prop as I'd correctly assumed and when it started losing power again, I knew it wasn't going to make the field, so down it came in the open desert before the runway. No harm at all to the plane, prop busted off a blade.

So, out came the engine this evening.

Which, as it turned out is not an O.S. 45 as I'd been led to believe.

It is an Austrian-made Webra 40. An old one at that, needless to say.

Off to see the Google wizard which in turn led me back here and over to Paul's Model Supply in Fargo, North Dakota. Apparently, Paul is an expert on Webra engines, so I e-mailed him a description of my issues.

I told him that while a new engine would be great, the model would lose a big chunk of that vintage cool.

Don't let me down, Paul!

Naturally, I'll share the progress right here on this very blog, so stay tuned.
Posted by DismayingObservation | Apr 14, 2010 @ 09:56 PM | 6,922 Views
Talk about fun; the former "castoffs" in my last post are not only no longer cast off, but are now proud additions to my fleet.

The 1/6-scale Cub - which might not be a Sig Manufacturing model after all - had been giving me trouble from the very start in regards to its landing gear. The sleeves which are supposed to hold part of the assembly together simply have no grab left in them and the whole works collapsed on the first takeoff attempt.

Ah, but the second attempt was a thing of beauty. She took to the air with real authority on a fairly windy afternoon. Straight line performance was terrific and that old O.S. 45 hummed like it was new. Throttling back let the Cub fly nice and gentle, but those old 45's like to rev, so it wasn't terribly happy, but hey, I didn't mind.

Not wanting to press my luck with the landing gear, I floated the Cub in for a landing and sure enough, one side let go. I was able to taxi back to the flight line with no problem. The flight convinced me to eventually finish the visual details such as the cowl, scale wheels and landing gear fairings. It's just too much fun to fly a Cub not to do this one right.

The real fun came when the Super Sportster hit the sky. What a rush! Loud and screaming fast with that tuned pipe, it ripped through the sky with little more than some left aileron trim. It pulled off some truly nice loops, Cubans, half Cubans and victory rolls with a lot more aileron response than I would have...Continue Reading