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Hostage-46's blog
Posted by Hostage-46 | Dec 03, 2013 @ 08:29 AM | 1,529 Views
Well it finally happened, after two years of outstanding service, my beloved Supra, #1096 has moved to a new home in Canada.

It's amazing how the technology in this hobby progresses. Back in 2011 when I started with the Supra, I truly thought I had purchased my last sailplane. After a year or so I began to pickup the nuance that people spoke about, specifically, understanding the how the model performed with smallish amounts of ballast. In the end, I flew the model with 5.5 oz on board, she seemed to handle more easily, carrying inertia better and generally more efficient. On dead air, calm days, I few with no ballast at the 57 oz.

Over the last year or so the marketplace has responded to a demand for lighter weight and more wingspan, in our club, here in Dallas, we've seen this manifested in the Maxa, the Aspire, and the Xplorer series.

When the Nan X2 airfoil showed up I saw something that I was looking for, better legs, landing performance.

Both the Maxa and the Xplorer offer these attributes, I chose the Xplorer based on a reasonable amount of stick time with both models.

So the RED X2 4.0 is on order from SUSA, I'm looking forward to taking her out on the circuit in 2014!

Dan in Dallas...

PS, the ship arrived on Christmas Eve, had her in the air about a week later, not bad considering the holiday. Flies as great is she looks!
Posted by Hostage-46 | Aug 29, 2011 @ 04:43 PM | 3,504 Views
It began with Spirit back in the late 80's off the slope at Camp Pendleton Then 10 years passed and I got another Spirit, now on the flat lands of NJ
A few years later I move to Dallas an joined SLNT, that's where it got serious and I got and flew a Compulsion
Then an Ava
Then a Sapphire
Then a Genie
Then an Eraser...
And now the ultimate sailplane, in my eyes anyway. 57 ouces of practial artwork. I'm Smitten what can I say!

I had a plan, placed an order and figured I'd be flying an Aspire.

Logisitcs didn't quite work out and bit of a deley ensued, no biggie really, I wasn't in any rush.

Then Barry called to tell me about this new thing called a Maxa, he was prepping to bring to Nats. Well he let me fly it, onr morning down at eastfield. And then I got to thinking. I fly an Ava, and a Blaster 3, the Supra dealer is local and a personal friend, then Mark let me wiggle the sticks on his Supra and the decision was simple. Sent a note out cancelled the Aspire, I know someone was happy to get it, then went for a visit with Barry and Snickers.

Work and life got in the middle but I finally got her assembled, my first full house mouldie with pleny of advice from flying buddies.

57 ounces and it's a absolute work of art....see ya'll a the field!
Posted by Hostage-46 | Nov 26, 2010 @ 07:17 PM | 4,042 Views
Loving the Eraser, and doing quite well on the local circuit. I've really connected with this ship and now, after a year of waffling, I've made a change to next year's plan. While I'm a Supra fan, I've decided to stick with Lubos. So I contacted Larry and am on the list, I expect to take delivery on my Aspire F3j version in early March. I am psyched!
Posted by Hostage-46 | Aug 22, 2010 @ 08:50 PM | 5,074 Views
So it's done, it only took about two hours, as soon as I posted the Genie for sale, she was gone. I suppose that means I didn't ask enough, but I wanted her on someones hands quickly, she;s meant to fly.

Genie SGP 5 was good to me. I picked up all my contest points needed to complete my LSF IV. In the process I've become a respectable contest pilot, and I'm at a point where equipment matters. I knew this day would come. I knew it was here when I found myself just missing wood by a few points in a few consecutive contests. I'm just not good enough to beat that hardware margin.

So the plan has been 2011 with a Supra Competition Pro. But the toy airplane fund is still growing. While at lunch after a contest I got word of a very clean Eraser that was available. "Dude, you deserve that Supra.." Ya but I'll need a backup anyway, and the Genie is liquid, so the whole deal took maybe 24 hrs.

I time often for an Eraser pilot, it's a good ship, perfect for me as I move into the moldie ranks. The airplane is in superb condition, I'll be adding digital servos, and Lifo battery. I'll have to setup some external wiskers, no biggie, it works on the Ava.

So we'll finish the year with the Eraser/Ava, and in 2011 it's Supra Competition Pro/Eraser/Ava

Thermals from Big D...
Posted by Hostage-46 | Dec 06, 2008 @ 08:00 PM | 5,306 Views
Must have been a month ago now when flying buddy Mike, who is thankfully a morning person, shot me an email, it was short and to the point. Harley is selling an airplane on RCSE....

Within 1 min I sent a note to Harley, only to find out I was second up, unless the first guy didn't follow through.... Oh well, I guess I'll find time to get mine bagged up and flying, some day....

Then the email came, first guy backed out, and I'm in...pity.. fast forward to today...

So today was a bit rare for December in North Texas. Winds were very light, clear skies in the low 60's. I knew it was going to be a good day to fly so I called the usual suspects Friday night for a Saturday flying session, but alas, nobody responed, oh well, maybe Sunday. So I set about to some honey do's.

Then around noon I get a call and we're on after all for today at 2:00. I don't like scrambling to get an airplane ready. The Genie was essentially ready to go, servos installed, just handn't mounted the radio or switch. So I told myself I would work on her for a hour, and then go to the field. At most I expected her to be ready for a hand toss, at worst I'd assemble her and show the boys my new ship....

So I got the AR9000 into the nose, it wasn't tidy, but functional packed her up in my JT Models Plane Pack and shuffled off to the field. After the usual niceties I mounted the wing taped the tips and turned on the radio. Let me just say, the JR9303 is amazing, very intuitive and so simple to...Continue Reading
Posted by Hostage-46 | Oct 31, 2008 @ 09:57 PM | 5,462 Views
Sure has been a while since I posted here, much less worked on the Genie! Job change, Koi pond, man the list goes on!

So the other day I'm looking at email over a cup of coffee and I see an email from trusted flying buddy Mike. "Harley is selling a Genie on RCSE"

Mike knew I've been trying to get one of Harley's baby's for a while. So I shoot him a note and find out I'm second in line, damn, it's 7:00 am. Oh well...

Then a few hours later, the early riser has second thoughts on getting the funds and I'm in!!

So it won't be long now, Harley is making a box and I suspect, checking it twice

I'll soon be the proud owner of a Smooth Genie Pro. Meanwhile, I'll get around to finishing this wing, maybe mate it with the SGP fuse some day. But for now, it' goes into storage.

So soon I'll use the Genie as my primary TD contest ship, Ava backup RES. And I'll soon turn to on a Super Gee build, next thread on this blog.

Meanwhile, I will be selling the Genie fiberglass fuse, it's a work of art and it needs to go to a good home. I'll post on the for sale forum. If you're a genie builder and subscribe to this blog, send me a note and I'll make you a good deal.
Posted by Hostage-46 | Feb 14, 2008 @ 01:05 AM | 5,949 Views
Well I didn't get the "mini supra complete in time for the contest last week, so I decided to set it aside to convert my Ava to Spread Spektrum. Worked well, now to complete the the modified Supra fuse and get back to the Genie.

This process actually was worth the effort as I was able to bag my first components. It's much more cost effective to make a second horz stab instead of a wing!

Meanwhile, the postman showed up with a little something from Pacific Sailplanes. Keith created a real beauty, with a bonus, a slip on nose skeg. Quality is supurb and I'm highly motivated!
Posted by Hostage-46 | Jan 26, 2008 @ 10:25 PM | 5,962 Views
I have too many projects going, and it just got worse. I had a chance to fly a new Thermal Dancer today, and I've decided to make a "little adjustment" to my trusty hybrid Thermal Dancer, Sapphire.

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=808512

Seems a bit flighty but this is actually good thing as I'll get a little practice bagging stabs. I'll assemble the fuse tomorrow and have this thing flying by next week. It really will be worth the effort. Priority always goes to flying airplanes.

On Thursday PM I did fabricate a little servo wire foam hole melting rig and tested with a piece of scrap, pretty straight forward. In addition to the little diversion, I'll cut the flaps and ailerons, add in the balsa sub-spar at the TE and inner edge of the flap. And burn in the servo holes. I'll go with Harley's technique, cutting the core in half as I can't go quite that far otherwise without burning a hole in the core.

Busy day in the shop tomorrow.... no football so why not?

Oh and one more thing, my fuse is shipping form Pacific Sailplanes on Monday
Posted by Hostage-46 | Jan 23, 2008 @ 10:14 PM | 6,246 Views
Moving along per the schedule, 1 hr or so per night in the shop, small steps.

Spar is wrapped, In the "Genie in the from the middle" thread http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showt...=762111&page=5 I posted a question on Kevlar thread. Tony E was good enough to send me a spool, good karma goes a long way....

Turns out I had 3 packs of 1/8 kevlar ribbon, 90 feet of it. And it worked out very nicely, I used about 89 feet No more Kevlar left but I have some 1/8 carbon ribbon that I'll probably use to wrap the tip boxes.

I laid the pieces together, spar, end caps leading edge and aft section of the cores. I made a slight departure, adding a wooden bolt beam chordwise at the center of the panel. It serves two purposes, makes for a robust hold down for the aft bolt, and will be a solid anchor for a DB connector pin, I'm not a fan of cables or wires.

I fabricated the end caps by stacking and sanding all at once, somehow I managed to make them all about 1/4 too short. No worries, like the Gunny said, that's a 30 min redo.

I'll do that tomorrow and swing by Home Depot on the way home from work to pick up a propane torch. Need to melt some servo wire holes.

A also need to make a template so I can find the main wing hold down bolt after bagging.

Next is cutting the flaps and ailerons on Saturday.

Time to start thinking about wing color, painting mylars as soon as Sunday, maybe Monday.
Posted by Hostage-46 | Jan 21, 2008 @ 09:33 PM | 6,418 Views
No pictures tonight, but an hour or so of progress none the less. I cut the spar to length, which was nothing more then cutting the blade boxes in half.

I tested out the springs, very tight, but will loosen with time. Better to start tight IMHO.

I rough cut the end caps, will sand them down to contour tomorrow. I also remembered that I neglected to seal the blade boxes to prevent epoxy from seeping in during bagging. For this I put a lite coat of gorrilla glue over the boxes, hopefull that won't seep in as well. If it does I'll be able to work it out with the spring steel.

Tomorrow I'll wrap the spar, and fine sand the end caps, that ought to occupy an evening session.

Next will be servo wire holes and cutting flaps and ailerons. I'm going the pre cut/faced method as outlined in Drela'a Supra. For this I'm in my own, it is a departure from the plans, but a fairly common technique. This is where I'll use the spare core I've mentioned in previous posts.

More tomorrow..
Posted by Hostage-46 | Jan 20, 2008 @ 09:54 PM | 6,134 Views
"You never have time to do it right, but you always have time to do it again..."

I suspect I'll build two Genies before I'm done

The objective today was to get the spar stacked and glued. One of the things I've been thinking about on all of those business trips is that I DO NOT want to make the fundamental mistake of building the spar too thick and have it show up as a bump in the wing.

The plan is to complete the spar an 1/8" or so narrower then the core, and lay over soft balsa over the spar and sand it down flush to the top of the core.

Well today I noticed that my joiner boxes were a bit close, I used beefier ply on the top/bottom and it was just a bit too thick for comfort. I started sanding and realized it was just easier to build a few new boxes, what's an hour anyway in the scheme of things?

Once complete I made a poster board template and cut the spar webs, they fit perfectly. from there I just went via the plans, and stacked the spar I used 30 min epoxy and painters tape to hold it all together. The Lexan work bench worked very nicely for this, the spar looks like it came out nicely.

Tomorrow I'll give her a wrap
Posted by Hostage-46 | Jan 19, 2008 @ 09:41 PM | 6,303 Views
From Thanksgiving to Christmas I took 6 business trips, it's good to be busy! The pace has slowed a bit, but I expect I'll make about 20 or so trips this year.

It occurs to me that if I could be better organized, and keep things reasonably tidy, I could get in and out a for 1 or 2 hour sessions, that translates to 4 to 8 hours of shop time during the week instead of, well, watching TV or surfing the web.

Why the concern about shop habits? N872P is why, my next project is a 1:1 scale, RV-8. Been daydreaming for too long, as in 20 yrs!

http://www.vansairforce.net/ VAF #1 is my nieghbor, and he's the guy that gave me the $$ ride after daydeaming for a few decades. I realize now I could have built three of them by now!

That means I really need to get better about keeping my shop in good shape and clean. I generally build something in a flurry of tools, dust and clutter. At the end of the project I pull out a decent toy, and leave the shop in a disaster until I get the urge to build again.

Does this sound like a confession?

So I found my self in a pile of dust and wood chips and realized that;
A) Too much crap on the bench to hope for a decent bagging job
B) My cores were getting tore up on the surface by bits of dried glue and general mess
C) I need to get the RV-8 tail kit catalaloged and put away.

The solution was a total tear down of the shop. Now I realize how lucky I am to have a shop like this. It's 20' by 12' air conditoned. It was one of the...Continue Reading
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Posted by Hostage-46 | Jan 19, 2008 @ 09:30 PM | 6,213 Views
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Posted by Hostage-46 | Dec 30, 2007 @ 12:22 AM | 6,044 Views
Hold down assembly - complete
Blade boxes - complete
Spring blades ground down and fit - complete

Whew! I guess it's all about the learning curve, takes me 3X to do the first piece.

Gonna fly tomorrow, I'll get in the shop and have a look at getting the spar together. Maybe beging the wrap on Monday.

Still need to do the servo wire holes... also need to clean the bench, what a mess I have going! Sawdust and metal everywhere.

Progress is coming along, My initial hope was to have something in the bag by end of my holiday break. Not realistic. I think I can have the pre-work just about complete, but I expect cutting mylars to take some time for precision.

I will also bag a few pieces as you only get one shot....

I'll add some pics tomorrow...
Posted by Hostage-46 | Dec 24, 2007 @ 01:06 AM | 6,338 Views
I'm off work until 2 January! I plan to make use of this time. Flying and building! This evening I cut and measured the spar web material. I was planning to use a carbon sock over the spar, but what I ordered is just too big. So I'll stick with the script and press on per the plans (Kevlar wrapped spar). I still like the carbon sock approach and will do that with the Supra spar.

Today I fabricated the aluminum hold down bracket. I just had a door in the house replaced and there was a very nice piece of scrap aluminum left over it worked perfectly. I also cut bass wood strips that will laminate into the spar at the center with the hold down bracket. I also cut the web, measuring it against the leading edge with the spar cap in place. Tomorrow I'll get the joiner boxes complete, on Xmas say I should be able to wrap the spar! Goal is to get the center section into the bag by Saturday.

We went flying this afternoon, more carnage, Arnold lost his Hera, something bad happened on launch, didn't rotate, just went straight out ... then in. Looked like some sort of radio problem. This happened around noon, he had it fixed by 4PM, Arnold is an excellent builder.

Winds were up, sustained around 15mph as the flying session wore on. We'll be out again tomorrow, promises to be a nice day winds 5-10. This all makes for nice tuning of the Super Sapphire. Flew with the new ballast system today, tomorrow will be totally different. The airplane is getting to be dialed in. I I recently picked up an AR9000 with a logger and satellite recievcer, next little project is to get the Ava converted over to 2.4.
Posted by Hostage-46 | Dec 18, 2007 @ 11:34 PM | 6,391 Views
It seems like ever since the first time I looked at Harely's Genie plans, I pondered, worried, obsessed about the cutting of the cores for the spar. I considered all kinds of wacky schemes to figure out a way to cut the spar with precision.

Finally, as he often does, Harley gave me a gentle nudge, and I just moved on. Sure enough, it was pretty simple. It turns out I can cut within the width of a fine line, any variation is handled easily with a sanding block.

So that hurtle complete, I move on to fabricating the spar, end caps and joiner boxes.

Off tomorrow to Knoxville for a business trip, "working from home" on Friday, I expect to make some progress.
Posted by Hostage-46 | Dec 16, 2007 @ 11:10 PM | 6,358 Views
I've been on 5 cites the last two weeks with heavy travel for work. That redeye from SFO on Thursday was particularly exhausting

I ordered a new TV from Costco, it showed up and I just had to install that sucker. It's a 47" LCD, and is something else connected to the Fios box. Well, I had to watch it a bit during the horrible weather on Saturday.

Sunday we flew our annual Pro-AM. I'm proud to say me and my Pro won!

I did get the shop cleaned up a bit, I'll be joining the cores, cutting out the spar slots this week. I broke out the cores and I have to say ... that is one BIG wing!

Goal for this week is to get the cores joined, spar section cut be Friday. This weekend will be joiner boxes.

Plan of being off between Xmas and new years so things ought to get rolling.
Posted by Hostage-46 | Dec 09, 2007 @ 11:19 PM | 6,373 Views
Thought I'd get more done this weekend, but such is life. I spent a good deal of time, more than I planned frankly, working on the main ship in my quiver, the Super Sapphire (Sapphire fuse, Thermal Dancer wings, Ed Whyte stabs). I finally came up with a suitable ballast system that's easy to use, basically it's a series if 1.5 oz lead sinkers held together by heat shrink all attached via a wingnut through a washer at the end. Wing nut to bolt at the end of the servo deck holds it in. First slug I made was about 14 oz. Why not a tube after all the effort I put into bagging one? Well I couldn't get it in the way I liked it due to a reinforcing tube going across the fuse. Anyway, this method was much better.

I also had to rework the flaps. For whatever reason, when I installed the servos on this ship I messed up and could only get 45 degrees of flaps. Got that fixed and now I swear I have a new airplane! I can just walk it right in to the tape!

After all that work we went out Sat to fly expecting a bad day and canceled contest on Sunday. The Sapphire flew well and I continued to work on my radio setup, fine tuning here and there as well experimenting with some different switchology.

On Saturday I witnessed an inadvertent shoot down, it was sick, a beautiful HKM Space Pro lost. It was a fluke, two guys who fly together often, one on ch22, the other on ch23. Long story short, guy waiting to launch shot down his buddy after coming off the winch. BUT THEY WERE A CHANNEL...Continue Reading
Posted by Hostage-46 | Dec 06, 2007 @ 11:12 PM | 6,564 Views
ACP supplies showed up a few days ago. The only thing left is the fuse, another week or so.

I've just about completed my stabs. I'm very pleased with them. They have the proper shape and look of the Genie, but have a carbon spar and leading edge per the great Ed Whyte, who's stabs I've been flying for a few seasons on the Sapphire. Just need to sand them a bit more, I'll wait on covering for now. As noted before, I'll also wait on the fuse before I start on the rudder.

Been traveling a bit for work. I watched some Phil video on the way back from MKE this evening. This was good prep for this weekend.

This weekend I'll begin working on the "reference wing" Les sent me some extra pieces of Supra cores to play with, they had flaws in them, perfect to practice on.

I'll build a center section and wing tip for practice. To save $$ the spar cap will be hard balsa, only partially wrapped. I'll make one set of joiner boxes, cut and face aileron & flaps. I'll only use glass, no carbon, it's too pricey. IT's sort of a dry run to get the process down.
Posted by Hostage-46 | Nov 25, 2007 @ 09:34 PM | 5,835 Views
It sure was a good day to build, 38 degrees and rain, all weekend...

Today I spent the day on my improved stabs. Waiting on some wood glue to dry over night, they'll be all framed up tomorrow and sanded likely on Tuesday.

Feeling even better about my band saw skills cutting stab pieces. I'll cut on the test core I got from Les yesterday,

Having a problem with endgrain balsa, spruce or basswood with the burning of Lonestar. I did find some hardwood square dowels that might work for joiner boxes, I'll take a closer look and ping Harely for some input.