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Chino Tom's blog
Posted by Chino Tom | Mar 19, 2009 @ 06:25 PM | 5,181 Views
I've been lurking for awhile with most of my airplane efforts directed twoards finishing my RV-8A. If flew for the first time on 12/6/08 and the test hours
were finally flown off this month. Pictured below is the first flight with my
wife (she liked it). Previously 40 hours were flown in the test area assigned
to me (roughly Chino to North San Diego to the west edge of the Imperial Valley) and the panel picture is on one of those flights. The new EFIS and
Engine monitor is real nice compared to the round gages in the RV-6. As you can see on the GPS, 175 knots (201 mph) across the ground at about 65%
power is not to shabby (did have a little tail wind ). Now I can get back to some RC stuff. The new Alfa 109F is on my list.
Posted by Chino Tom | Sep 03, 2008 @ 06:46 PM | 4,772 Views
Since my last entry, have sold my RV-6 (november) and continue all out to finish the RV-8A. The airframe is done and the engine and electronics are all installed. What remains is mostly finish work. The wings have been installed, all the controls rigged and them removed. They will be re-installed after paint. Currently finishing up the forward baggage door. This is the one of the last parts to be assembled and installed. The finish work are things like fairings and making all the fiberglass ready for paint. Looking like it will fly before the end of the year or early January 09. The total focus recently to complete this project (started the RV-8A fours years ago August, the RV-6 took 5 years to complete) has precluded much RC fun...but I did just buy the Vapor seen in the picture. So far one test flight. It's going to be a nice fun diversion.
Posted by Chino Tom | Aug 23, 2007 @ 03:43 PM | 5,434 Views
The past couple of months have keep me busy on my RV not my RC alfas. Had to remove the engine from my RV-6 and have it overhauled. This removal and reinstall process along with having to put breakin time on the engine has keep me busy. The first several flights were in the immediate vicinity of Chino Airport. After proving there were no leaks or other problems (had to re-adjust the idle speed) this last weekend I flew to Camarillo for their annual airshow and then up to San Luis Obispo to visit my son who goes to college there. The third largest fire (soon to become the 2nd) in California's history is burning in the mountains north east of Santa Barbara and i took some photos on my way back form SLO. As is the norm since 9/11, the FAA is quick to establish TFR's (temporary flight restrictions) over things such as fires or when dignitarys are around (forget about flying anywhere near where POTUS is). One of the pictures showes the map on my Garmin 496 and the red outline is the TFR for this fire. I'm just south of Santa Barbara and just off the coast (within gliding distance of the beach). Beautiful SoCal day. Only 102 deg on the ground at Chino.
Posted by Chino Tom | Jul 17, 2007 @ 10:14 AM | 5,186 Views
Just a few notes about my small Alfa airforce. The replacement Spit is still in the box and will be for a few more week. The Martlet (Wildcat) is a delightful flyer. I'm very pleased with the speed 300/gearbox combo will a 2 cell 1320 lipo batterey and gives plenty of power for scale like performance. A couple of issues I've had with the Martlet include the hatch poping open at the rear as the small dowel that holds it in place moves past and above the fuselage.
The problem it seems was I added multiple cooling holes to the cowling in between the molded engine cylinders and this was pressurizing the inside of the fuselage. With no where for the air to go, it was pushing the hatch open at the rear. I added two exit holes approx 3/8" dia to the lower fuselage at the wing trailing edge and this seemed to solve the problem. I also increased the aileron throw for a not so scale like but crisper roll. The 35% expo on the ailerons and elevators remains unchanged. Really a nice flyer.

The Wurgers first flight was this past weekend and I was suprised (shouldn't have been) at how effective the ailerons were. In Eric Browns book "Wings of the Luftwaffe" he comments on how effective and powerful the ailerons are at all speeds up to 400 mph. He noted that the FW rolled significantly faster the the Spitfire or the ME-109. Even though my Alfa experience is limited, this FW-190's ailerons are much more effective than the Spits and Martlets. Smaller control movements are required to fly the FW-190 smoothly (or I could add more expo!). I'm looking forward to more Wurger flights. The performance from the Blue MP is great.

I really like these Alfas. Researching the markings and the planes gets me to bring back out and read books on WW2 aircraft that I have been collecting for 30+ years. The hard part is deciding what might be next!
Posted by Chino Tom | Jul 02, 2007 @ 09:51 AM | 5,440 Views
With the left over decals from my tree bound Spit, I decided to convert the Alfa Wildcat to a Martlet. The markings are of Eric "Winkle" Brown. Eric was a Royal Navy pilot who is most famous for his late and post war flights in captured German WWII aircraft. I have his book with flight reports of the aircraft he flew. Worth picking up. I powered the Martlet with a speed 300 and gearbox (like the Alfa's used to be sold with) because I had a speed control from a previous park flyer and the $30 for the motor/gearbox was a bargain. I flew it for the first time Sunday and with my typical Alfa set up (35% expo), it flew great. Almost flew right out of my hand with 1/2 throttle.
It was a little hard to see (getting old) and I have added a couple of white stripes to the top wings and tail. I really like how these Alfas fly and bought the Martlet to gain experience (still haven't flown the 190 yet and the replacement Spit is still in the box) after D9 commented on what a nice flyer it is. Again used D9's attenna tube idea and the Marltlet has a nice exit area under the rudder. I am pleased that the speed 300 with a 2 cell 1320 lipo has plenty of power. The Martlet weighed 12.4 oz RTF.
Posted by Chino Tom | May 06, 2007 @ 10:36 AM | 5,589 Views
A replacement Spit is on order, but in the meantime a FW-190 will fill in.
Much quicker build time than the Spit. Considered a speed 300 but in the end the MP 28/7-35D was installed with a Jeti 18 amp speed control. With only one aileron servo, I expected the Wurger to weigh in about the same as the Spit but is was 13.2 oz (the Spit was 12.8). The extra weight has to be the motor. Used a 1320 mah battery this time but it weighs the same as the 900 (with 2 quarters taped to it= 3 oz). Used Dora 9's antenna tube idea again but this time ran the antenna inside the fuselage and exit on the right rear just forward of the rudder (no rudder control). When I was a kid I built plastic models and enjoyed researching the markings for the models i built. Doing the same now, but I get to fly them! Had to choose markings that could use decals from the kit. This represents a Fw 190A-8 from 5 staffel, JG 300, November 1944. The pilot of this 190 was shot down by P-51's on 24-Dec-1944. Still have to gloss/dull coat to finish. First flight next week.
Posted by Chino Tom | Apr 30, 2007 @ 11:04 PM | 5,711 Views
This Spitfire flys better than I do. My lack of experience is pretty obvious. Glad I never fly my RV this way! Again a foggy morning and an imaginary FW 190 was on my tail. The low level roll with a pitch up. He must of missed the tree, I didn't. There is no way I was close to that tree, right? These fly so nice I'm ordering another one.
Posted by Chino Tom | Apr 27, 2007 @ 05:13 PM | 5,661 Views
Still learning the "alfa toss" it seems. Flight two resulted in an immediate crash. Not enough power or too wimpy of a toss. Anyway, 10 yards and then boom. Thought i was going to find a mess, but only a cracked wing.
The spar seemed intact so a little foam safe CA (finally had to buy some) and a little touch up paint. Which by the way, Testor's Model Master is not a close match to the Alfa paint, it is much darker. i also added a 3/8 inch wide piece of clear tape to the inboard leading edge. You can just see it it the pics. The next flight was a lot better. I've dialed back the expo on the airlerons to 35% and increased the d/r to 85%. The roll was just to sluggish with the initial setup. At speed there is plenty of elevator authority so I left that alone for now. Once I figure this thing out, I'll buy another one that I can try and keep perfect. I really like the flat finish suggested by Dora 9 although I had issues (paint crinkling) when i sprayed it.
Posted by Chino Tom | Apr 21, 2007 @ 09:01 PM | 5,770 Views
Hopefully the pictures will attach. During WW2 RAF Wing commanders used their own initials. Robert Stanford Tuck (RS T) etc... So I took the liberty to use mine. With Hobby-Lobby recomended power. 3 hs55 servos. Micro 6 receiver. 12.8 oz ready to fly. TP 900mah 3s battery with 2 quarters taped to it (3 oz total) for CG slightly forward of plans. TP 1320 3s no weight needed. Throws per plans, 40% expo, d/r 75%. Very tame. First flight 4/21/07. Flew nice.