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Doug Sipprell's blog
Posted by Doug Sipprell | Jul 26, 2012 @ 12:35 PM | 4,391 Views
I call it my big red Cadillac. The plane was built by the late Ron Ewing, and I subsequently replaced the original Jeti Phaser brushless inrunner and ESC system with an E-flite Power 32 and Venom 60A ESC. Three channel, flys like a dream (sort of like a big Caddy going down I-95 to Florida), on a 11x7 wood prop (from my glow fuel days), pulling electrons from a 4000mAh 4S Lipo. Previously use an 8 sub-C NiMH pack, weighing in at one pound. New Lipo is the same weight, but MUCH more powerful.

And, yes, it will fly inverted, just takes a heap of down elevator while upside down. Ron built very good planes, nice to keep him in mind while flying my Big Red Cadillac.

...Continue Reading
Posted by Doug Sipprell | Jul 24, 2012 @ 06:23 PM | 4,481 Views
Well, it had to happen. I got bit by the mini EDF bug, in the form of E-flite's UMX MiG 15 EDF jet. Had my eye on this plane for some time, then got to actually fly another club member's UMX MiG 15. That sealed the deal.

So, another micro to the ever growing Micro Fleet. Learning now about alternate batteries, as the included E-flite 200 2S 25C pack is marginal at best. So, will be looking at the MiniAviation 300 2S and Thunder Power's 325 2S 65C packs. Probably will look at what Hyperion has to offer, as I have had good luck with the 1S 240 25C's for some time now, being used in the HZ Champ, UM P-51 Mustang, UM T28 Trojan, and the UM J-3 Cub. Stay tuned, it's another learning experience, and IMHO, a great way to get into EDF's.

RD

Update 08/02/12: Mini Aviation 2S 300mAh 30C Lipo packs (4) arrived. They fit the Mini MiG perfectly, and I was able to go to neutral trim on the elevator, as the packs weighed in at 16 grams, as compared to 13 grams for the original E-flite 200mAh 25C 2S Lipo, and 24 grams for the E-flite 300mAh 2S 35C Lipo. For the record, the 200mAh 2S Lipo supplied with the plane is barely adequate to get a good 3 minute flight. Initial flights with the Mini Aviation 300's were limited to 4 minutes so as to not overwork the new packs. Once there has been a few chrge/discharge cycles, I would expect these Mini Aviation 300 packs to provide for 5 minute flights. The plane is also now being flown without landing gear. Saved 3 grams weight there, and it makes belly landings easier. More as it happens.

Update 09/20/12: Thunder Power 2S 325mAh 65C packs from RCBabble are clearly the best I have used thus far. Breaking in the Lipos carefully, should be able to milk 6 minute flights, with throttle management. Of course, it's almost impossible to NOT fly the Mini MiG at WOT. What a hoot. Great model. Working up the cajones to fly the MiG from my own Aerodrome, now that some of the trees have been.....um.....cleared.

RD
Posted by Doug Sipprell | Jul 22, 2010 @ 11:57 AM | 7,341 Views
Some time back, I purchased a Speedy 400 from Hobby Lobby Intnl. The plane was essentially a pylon racer trainer, powered by a brushed Graupner Speed 400 motor, pulled by a 6x4 folding prop, and fueled via an 8 cell AA NIMH 1100 battery pack. The first flight clearly indicated I was having a problem flying the plane, it was constantly "late" on aileron input. No rudder on this plane, just barn door ailerons and elevator. I was up and down (Speedy was very sensitive to elevator movement!) and all over the place in trying to maintain level flight.

The problem was the central mounted servo/bowden cable arrangement for the ailerons. I went up on RCGroups and asked for help. A fellow in Switzerland replied, advising I install individual servos for the ailerons, as the stock system allows for non-centering of the ailerons due to friction of the bowden cable within the plastic tubing that located the cable within the wing. Wow! What a difference. I used Hitec HS-55's, used a Y-cable arrangement, and the problem was solved.

After flying the Speedy 400 on it's stock motor arrangement, I decided to go brushless. Wish I knew then what I know now. I grossly over "motored" the Speedy by installing a Mega 16/15/3 brushless inrunner. Talk about high prop rpm's and eating amps. The NiMH 1100 packs would barely hold voltage, got so hot the plastic wrap melted! Then I discovered Lipos. A 2-cell 2100 Thunder Power 12C pack would provide more...Continue Reading
Posted by Doug Sipprell | Feb 19, 2010 @ 03:49 PM | 8,527 Views
The interest in micro flyers has really caught on here at WWAerodrome and continues. It started out with the original ParkZone Ember and then grew fairly quickly with the addition of two more Embers, these being the Ember 2 version. The DMS2 capability is really most convenient, and a Spektrum DX6i is being used to fly most of the "Micro Fleet".

Micro Fleet inventory as of 12-02-2012:

1 - Ember 1 (original Ember)

2 - Ember 2's

2 - PkZn UM J-3 Cubs

2 - PkZn UM P-51 Mustangs

2 - FlyZone Playmates

1 - HobbyZone Champ (now lost!)

1 - Replacement HobbyZone Champ

1 - eRc Micro Stik

2 - FlyZone Albatroses

1 - PkZn UM T28 Trojan

1 - PkZn UM Pole Cat

1 - E-flite UMX MiG 15

1 - E-flite Carbon Cub

1 - PkZn Mini Vapor

Most of the fleet are active flyers, three are in sick-bay in need of repairs/mods.

The reason for "2 of everything" was based initially on having one plane for flying, the other as a complete spare and to which modifications might be made from experiences with the first of each type. This was not the case with the Ember 2's. Ember 2 #1 was lost in a late evening flight, not found until several days later, having ended up in someone's swimming pool. A replacement had been ordered after search efforts were abandoned, hence Ember 2 #2 arrived shortly after #1 was found by the neighbor and returned to WWAerodrome.

Both Ember 2's now fitted with the Tiny Brite Lights #2022 micro light system, a...Continue Reading
Posted by Doug Sipprell | Mar 24, 2009 @ 07:03 PM | 8,409 Views
Having flown T-Hawks for a few years now, in various configurations, I have come to learn that the most fragile part of the plane is the boom, just before the tail feathers, where the control rods exit to connect with the elevator and rudder. Seems that most T-Hawks, when they crash, are in "lawn dart" mode at the time of impact. The inertia of the tail feathers assembly is enough to cause the boom to flex at this location, resulting in a snapped boom, bent push rods, and no way to fly the plane until a boom replacement is made. The replacement is more difficult than one would think, having to remove the original (or 2nd, 3rd, etc) and then run the control rods, antenna through the new boom. The process is further complicated now that www.readytoflyfun.com has closed it doors (for the moment ). I decided to experiment with some aluminum tubing, to act as a long sleeve over the fractured area. The taper in the original fiberglass boom (on standard T-Hawks, not the trainer) is sufficient to prevent sleeving the entire boom. I wanted the aluminum sleeve to fit tightly without having to be oversized so as to fit the larger diameter of the stock boom where is connect to the fuselage pod. The procedure was basically this:

1.) Removed tail assembly, with fin and stabilizer intact. I disconnected the control rods from the control horns.

2.) Removed any ragged edges from the broken boom tubing.

3.) Prepared an aluminum sleeve, using a K&S 3/8"...Continue Reading
Posted by Doug Sipprell | Feb 08, 2009 @ 07:53 PM | 8,763 Views
As with the World Tour Tiger Moth project, I was a pilot for the Wings Across America program (WAA-08), having just recently flown the Stevens SQuiRT plane at the York County Flyers field. "Squirt" is to be flown in all 48 contiguous states, traveling in a specially build hardwood case, and being delivered personally from pilot to pilot. This differs from the World Tour Tiger Moth project wherein the plane was shipped via USPS, UPS, FedEx, etc. from one pilot to another. In addition, the World Tour Tiger Moth (a Pico Tiger Moth in essentially stock form) was flown in all 50 states and most of the Canadian provinces. Quite a privilege to have been a designated pilot for both of these "tours". The World Tour Tiger Moth is now the property of AMA, residing in the National Aviation Museum in Muncie, Indianna. I am not sure what the final disposition will be with the WAA-08 project. Would be nice to have this plane also accepted by AMA for inclusion with their historical planes in AMA's museum. Below are photo's of both the World Tour Tiger Moth and the WAA-08 Squirt....Continue Reading
Posted by Doug Sipprell | Feb 07, 2009 @ 10:37 PM | 8,588 Views
WWAerodrome is my personal flying site, made up of a landing strip established on a diagonal in my back yard. It also includes an approach starting over the cul-de-sac at the end of road out front and cutting across the neighbors front yard, flying what is called "the slot". Launches are made off the rear deck (aka control tower), and flights are high up over the trees and over the surrounding houses and streets. Three of the planes in the fleet can and usually do fly at WWAerodrome, the rest at the YCF club field. No complaints from the neighbors as yet, most don't know where the plane(s) are coming from, and at the altitudes flown, they can't hear them. Nothing like a high altitude Moth flight in the early evening, calm airs, sun right at the horizon, nice smooth flying.

Update: For reasons partially agricultural, but mostly for better flying, the Aerodrome has has some "trimming" done to it. More "adjustments" to some of the foliage are planned, but for the most part, the major changes have now been made. The Ember's love it, as will the Pico Tiger Moth. Other micro flyers will be "auditioned" for the newly opened-up surroundings. Additional photo's coming.
Posted by Doug Sipprell | Feb 06, 2009 @ 05:04 PM | 9,824 Views
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Note! Click on the "Comments" section to get the most recent update on Ember activities here at WWAerodrome.
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After having seen the Ember fly at SEFF 2008, I decided to try one for myself, so I bought one there on the spot. Since then, Ember (I call my planes by their proper name! ) has flown several times, all outdoors. I haven't sufficient space indoors to fly it there, so I have flown it on those totally calm late afternoon/early evening times. I also installed lights on it. Tried flying in total darkness, but could not stay orientated with the plane. Ember's sibling, Vapor, is enjoying great success as an indoor flyer only, from what I read on the thread(s). I'm happy with Ember, and once we get some calm air again, preferably a bit warmer, I will have Ember out again buzzing the chimney on my house and chasing stray dragon flys. Ember's mentor is Moth, who holds the record altitude flight at my private Aerodrome (1468 ft). So, for the high flying stuff, Moth gets the assignment. For the buzzing the house, trees, and rear deck, Ember gets the nod. They have actually become good friends!
Posted by Doug Sipprell | Apr 21, 2008 @ 08:11 PM | 10,838 Views
I built this kit some time ago and never got all that enamoured with it after the build. It was difficult to hand launch, and taking off from our grass runway was always an effort. Swapped out the original 7.2V Speed 400 brushed motor for a 6V motor, to gain more RPM. Olympus gearbox was 4:1 if I remember correctly. Damaged one of the aileron linkages trying a hand launch. The plane languished on display, no flights for many months, maybe even a year or so. Then, based on my success with the E-flite 480 brushless outrunner upgrade to my Ferias #2, I decided to do the same for the X250. Both planes weigh about the same, and a B/L 480 outrunner is a significant jump in power compared to a brushed Speed 400 motor. Had to fabricate a composite firewall to keep weight down, as the new motor is heavier than the original motor with gearbox. Also guessed at how much down and right thrust I would need. Maiden flight with new power set up (E-flite 480, Jeti 30A Advance ESC, 9x7.5E APC prop, TP 3S 2100 LiPo pack) proved there was sufficient power for ROG's. Still having a problem with the aileron arrangment, the mechanical differential built in may be part of the hassle with getting the plane to do a decent aileron roll. Probably more me than the plane. I will try no differential and see what happens. The thrust angles apparently were close on, no need to major trim changes to get the plane to fly staight.

More as the project proceeds....Continue Reading
Posted by Doug Sipprell | Oct 09, 2006 @ 05:19 PM | 10,794 Views
I recently purchased the T-Hawk 3Ch RFT Trainer system, for use at our flying field when teaching new flyers. Nice package, transmitters are 72 Mhz based, and the "trainer" T-Hawk has a longer boom for more stable flight. The boom is also carbon fiber versus the standard and shorter fiberglass tube boom.

In experiementing with the two transmitters, connected via the included buddy cord, I noticed the following:

1.) Both Instructor and Student transmitter/consoles MUST have batteries in them. One console does NOT power the other.

2.) The student transmitter MUST be turned ON.

3.) The Instructor transmitter MUST have the same channel as the plane's
receiver, common sense dictates this, and the only way the student
transmitter/console can "communicate" with the plane is through the
Instructor's console, on the frequency or channel installed on the
instructor's console.

3.) If there is a crystal installed in the Student transmitter/console, the
transmitter will be transmitting on that channel, regardless of the position
of the trainer switch on the Instructor's transmitter/console. Therefore,
if the Student transmitter is on a different channel (frequency), and common
sense dictates it should be, than there is the real possibility of the
Student transmitter causing interference with another plane, and both the
student and the instructor would not be aware of this.

4.) If the crystal is removed from the Student transmitter,...Continue Reading
Posted by Doug Sipprell | Sep 06, 2006 @ 11:07 AM | 12,131 Views
Latest addition to the fleet: a Wendy.

Almost complete, needs some electrical measurements (amps, watts, etc.) and a spinner. Will fly it initially on a 2S1P TP 2100 lipo, then probably go to a 3S1P 2100 pack. This would require some modification of the battery shelf I built into the plane.

Power: MiniAC 1215/20
Direct Drive
Prop: Graupner CAM 6x3 Folding Prop
Servos: (4), all Hitec HS55's
Receiver: FMA M5V2
ESC: CC Phoenix 25
WS: 44"
Full 4 channel

If this drive system is overloaded, I might swap it out for a Mega 16/15/5 if it will fit. Could also run gear drive on the MiniAC motor but I understand that can get real noisy.

Won't maiden the plane till the spinner is obtained and installed.

Stay tuned if you are interested.
Posted by Doug Sipprell | Aug 09, 2006 @ 03:08 PM | 11,781 Views
In addition to being an Elfi enthusiast, I also have had an on-going interest with the T-Hawk, from www.ReadyToFlyFun.com . I have two of these planes now, one is essentially stock, with original 27 Mhz electronics. The other is a highly modified T-Hawk (hereafter referred to as T-Hawk #2) which, among other modifications, has a Mega 16/15/5 brushless installed and 72 Mhz electronics.

Much of the chatter, banter, general info swapping about the T-Hawk is scattered over many posts, in several threads, across more than one forum. So, for interests sake, here is a compilation of the links that I have on record concerning the T-Hawk. I make no claim as to the chronological order of these links. I simply went by the last numbers in the address. Hope other T-Hawk fliers can find some interest in or help with these links:

T-Hawk Threads - RCGroups
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http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=86102

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=160910
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showt...&page=12&pp=15

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=188659

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=243202

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=295323

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showt...t=318905&pp=15

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=321390

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=353827

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=355451

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=361279

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=363462
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showt...2&page=3&pp=15

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=376995

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=404422

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=446174

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=456663

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=513342

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showt...31#post8742435

RD
Posted by Doug Sipprell | Aug 08, 2006 @ 02:17 PM | 11,624 Views
Elfi #3 (my own nomenclature, not that of the manufacturer) is up and flying well. New PJS 3D 550 Brushless Outrunner does a real fine job of hauling Elfi #3 around the skys. The wing design of the Elfi works well, IMHO, for thermalling, and I have had this plane waaaay up there, almost a speck in the sky. TP 1320 3S1P ProLite seems to be the perfect power source thus far. The pack fits easily in the plane and delivers more power than the former 3S1P 1500 Kokams. In defense of the Kokams, the TP's are a more recent LiPo design, that being the ProLites, and thus pack a little more power. As with Elfi's #1 and #2, Elfi #3 makes use of a Jeti 18-3P Advance ESC. Nice to have an on/off switch, a real safety luxury for me, and the controllers can be externally programmed.

This Elfi getting a fair amount of flying time now, but Elfi #2 also gets some decent time in the air. Elfi #1 not flown as much, but when it does fly, it flys VERY WELL. Wish there were a few other Elfi flyers in this area, but I seem to be the only one. Great plane, what Park flying is all about, even if I do fly my Elfi's waaaay out there and waaaay UP there. Seriously considering a How High Altimeter for Elfi #3. This device works well in my Tiger Moth.

RD
Posted by Doug Sipprell | Jul 19, 2006 @ 09:15 AM | 11,307 Views
Well, folks, finally had to do it. The stock 280 motor and original 3 blade 9x6 prop just would not cut it with a 2S1P Lipo. I used to fly Elfi's #1 and #2 on 8 cell AA or AAA 500 and 720 NiMH's, but they would cook in the process. Hard to believe I orginally started out with 7 cell 350 NiCads! Most of my NiMH inventory is fairly well "used up", and LiPo's now power almost every plane in the fleet. A 3S1P would burn up a Speed 280 or Speed 300 fairly quick. Elfi's #1 and #2 had at one time been fitted with Speed 300's, and with the 720 NiMH packs did fairly well. Elfi #3 has struggled every since I got it and started flying her. Burned up my last brushed motor three weeks ago. 1320 TP 3S1P ProLite was just too much, even though it fit the plane beautifully.

So, Elfi #3 leaves her brushed motor roots and joins her fellow Elfi's in the fleet with a PJS 550 brushless outrunner, powered by the 1320 TP 3S1P ProLite LiPo pack. Amazing transformation. Will post a picture when I get back to the Aerodrome (presently on business travel).

With this "upgrade", Elfi #3 becomes almost (but not quite) a twin of Elfi #1. New motor is slightly more powerful than the PJS 500 on Elfi #1 and #1 will continue to use the Kokam 1500 3S1P and 2S1P packs while they last. Then, the TP 1320 3S1P will become standard issue for Elfi's #1 and #3.

And what does Elfi #2 sport as a power train? A little more suds, in the form of a PJS 550R powered by a TP 2000 3S1P ProLite. The pack fits like a glove, and Elfi #2 (with ailerons) is definitely the more performance orientated member of the trio.

RD
Posted by Doug Sipprell | Mar 16, 2006 @ 10:34 PM | 15,705 Views
Always interested in hearing from others who might be flying this plane. I have three of them, all of which are flying.

They don't call me Elfi Flyer for nothing!!

RD

Update, 07/2012:

Yup, another Elfi added to the fleet. This one was donated by someone who wanted a good home for his Elfi, which had been damaged. Elfi #4 was given a brushless upgrade, similar to the other Elfi's. #4 now flys very quick, and has a ton of power on tap. Elfi's will always remain my favorite plane. If you are an Elfi fan, please keep in touch!!

Thanks

...Continue Reading