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Posted by gordonbw | May 26, 2014 @ 03:54 PM | 4,145 Views
Thanks to my TEMAC club-mate Greg Cadez for this fantastic shot of my BUSA Eindecker 40 on the taxiway .
Posted by gordonbw | Mar 12, 2012 @ 09:52 PM | 7,814 Views
I have a perfectly good JR XP662 transmitter lying around doing nothing.  Rather than pitch it I decided to try converting it to 2.4 ghz using the FrSky DIY module available for 16 bucks from HobbyKing -- http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/s...Y_Module_.html.

The advantages of the FrSky system seem significant....
  1. Cheap receivers... Much less expensive than Spektrum, Futaba FASST etc.
  2. FCC approved, unlike the HK orange receivers
  3. Arguably better performance than Spektrum ... there's lots of tests on the net showing how FrSky systems can quickly reestablish connection after a shutoff.
The module and a receiver arrived yesterday. I bought the 2 way version, which will allow me to try out telemetry at some future date.

The install process was ridiculously easy. I'm no electronics expert, but I had no trouble removing the old aerial and TX  circuit, soldering three wires, and fitting a switch and LED where the crystal used to go.  There are many online tutorials available ...Google "frsky diy module" to find them.

Anyway, if you have a surplus 72 MHz transmitter with functions that you like, this is a cheap 'n easy way to update and modernize it!

(Just like the FliteTest Josh guys did.)

New Hobby Room

Posted by gordonbw | Jan 01, 2012 @ 06:42 PM | 6,772 Views
This past August our basement flooded. As a result I had to pack up my hobby equipment and planes, and put everything into storage while the wrecking and reconstruction crew proceeded to do their damage.

This process lasted over three months, so my 2011 flying season was attenuated, to say the least.

However, there was a silver lining. I now have a properly set up and well organized hobby room, as opposed to the semi-closet I had before the flood.

When we removed my planes from the old space, my wife could not believe how much stuff I had managed to cram into a 6 x 9 area.

The new space is about double the size. It has two work surfaces, a storage rack for small planes, lots of wall hanging room for larger ones, four electrical outlets, a battery charging area, good lighting, and even a window for CA fume ventilation!

My first project in the new room involved resurrecting a crashed e-Flite Pawnee by rebuilding the wing and nose, and installing a new motor. Having the extra working area made the repair process much more pleasant and enjoyable.

Life is good!
Posted by gordonbw | Apr 26, 2010 @ 05:41 AM | 7,065 Views
I crashed my favorite plane -- an ancient e-glider -- on the last day of the 2009 season. Over the winter I acquired and built a Multiplex Cularis to replace it. Saturday was the maiden. It's a terrific-flying plane, everything I had hoped for and more. Graceful and smooth in the air, thermals effortlessly, and I especially like the way it shrugs off a 15-20 mph wind.
Posted by gordonbw | May 24, 2009 @ 09:23 AM | 7,513 Views
The Cub flies! Slow and stately, rock solid in the air. The sprung landing gear makes me look like a much better pilot than I am on landings. The set-up is time consuming with lots of wires and bolts to connect, and it took me a few tries to get everything functioning right. Over the next week I plan to clean up the wiring and find a new method to fasten the struts (the current approach uses small nuts that are far too easy to lose in the grass).
Posted by gordonbw | May 05, 2008 @ 03:42 PM | 8,779 Views
The 2008 flying season got underway April 19 at Toronto Electric Model Airplane Club (TEMAC). My renovated 4*40 looks pretty nice if I do say so myself....
Posted by gordonbw | Feb 01, 2008 @ 03:36 PM | 8,442 Views
Here's what I've been doing since the season ended in October. I've been busy, but miss flying...

- Completed the rebuild of my Dymond Double Blitz. Repaired wing joiner boxes, patched and repainted fiberglass tailbooms and fuse.

- Patched up covering on my SOY Buzzard Bombshell; added sprung landing gear.

- Repaired my E-streak fuselage -- installed new brushed motor and gearbox.

- Recovered my Sig 4*40 in US Army trainer livery with transparent red underwings. Looks great!

- Recovered my 2.3 m e-glider wings/stab in white Ultracote with red bottoms, added striping, repainted the fuselage, and repositioned the wingbolts to improve the wing/fuse fit. Looks brand new!

- Built a TM Models Star-EP (Chinese clone of the Fliton Quiet Storm) that I obtained at the Toronto Hobby Show. Framework is lovely; covering is not up to snuff, IMHO.

Still to come...

- Awaiting delivery of my new 80" Adrian Page SuperCub kit. Plan to equip this model with a sprung undercarriage and full lighting kit.

- Thinking about converting my under-utilized Skybench Little Bird HLG to a geared Speed 400.
Posted by gordonbw | Aug 28, 2007 @ 10:13 PM | 8,767 Views
Have I said before how much I love flying this plane? Too bad, I'll say it again -- I love flying this plane!

This past weekend I threw caution to the winds and tried some semi-serious aerobatic moves on the Four Star. Stall turns, spins, immelmans, snap rolls -- the model handled them all with ease (although my execution left a lot to be desired). I know this probably seems lame to most readers, but I'm a big chicken and have not tried any of these moves before except on a simulator. The Four Star is giving me the confidence I need to advance my skills. Highly, highly recommended!
Posted by gordonbw | Aug 28, 2007 @ 10:03 PM | 8,764 Views
A nasty setback with my Dymond Double Blitz last weekend.

I re-motored it with two TowerPro 2915s and 3s batteries -- producing over 500 watts total. Entrusting the maiden to a much more experienced friend, I hand-launched it wearing a heavy leather glove as a safeguard against the 11" rear propellor. It climbed strongly and went blazingly fast, until, with absolutely no warning and for no apparent reason, the batteries ejected from the canopy. Completely out of control, the Blitz gracefully swept down to a hard landing in the field.

It's not fatally injured but will require a few weekends of epoxy, filler, sanding and TLC before it's ready to fly again.
Posted by gordonbw | Aug 01, 2007 @ 07:59 PM | 9,640 Views
I built this plane last winter from a Spirit of Yesteryear kit. It's covered with Coverlite for an authentic free-flight look. Power system is a low-tech Speed 400, geared 2.3:1 with an MPJet box. Batts are 3s lipos -- not heavy enough for the short nose moment, so I had to stuff a lot of lead under the cowl. A delightful little model for a calm, sunny weekend.


One year later, the "Buzz" is still going strong. I've learned that Speed 400s, even geared, really don't do very well on 11.1 volts -- I have burned out two of them. Finally I decided to go brushless. I bought a Hobbycity combo, TowerPro 2408-21 motor and 18 amp ESC, for $16.95. Because the motor is so much lighter that the Speed 400, I had to mount the battery just behind the firewall to balance the model. Performance with the new setup is simply outstanding!
Posted by gordonbw | Aug 01, 2007 @ 07:41 PM | 9,080 Views
Bought this plane second-hand earlier this year from a fellow club member. I have overpowered it with an Axi 2808/16... rises off water with great authority.

The Aventura accompanied me on a cottage vacation this year, and I had tremendous fun with it on the calm bay for four days until a tip-stall downed it and cracked the wing. I have now repaired it and am waiting for a chance to re-maiden.

The plane does not like wind has an unfortunate tendency to roll onto its side when it turns. It has been suggested that I should reduce the rudder throw and keep my turns wide and shallow.

Update August 27... I did reduce the rudder throw and it made all the difference to the Aventura's manners. A very nice little plane that I will continue to enjoy!
Posted by gordonbw | Aug 01, 2007 @ 05:01 PM | 8,871 Views
There's an ugly pattern emerging in my RC life. In each of the past three years, somewhere around the first of July, I find myself at the TEMAC field with a strong gusty west wind coming over the trees beind me.

I think "I'm a good enough flyer to deal with this". I launch my model. It blows downwind. Way downwind. I lose orientation and control. The plane disappears from sight. I search the cornfields for hours and can't find it. A few weeks later at harvesting time, it turns up in one form or another. I salvage and move on.

I'm not exaggerating. Exactly the same thing has happened, on about the same date, in 2005, 06 and 07.

Two years ago it was my frankenglider (see below). Last year, my LT25 (again, below)

For July 2007 the plague victim was my FMA Razor flying wing. I got it back this week -- the only real damage is a puffed Lipo.

I must learn from this. So, Gordon, please repeat the following mantra: "I am NOT a good enough flyer to deal with westerly 30km/h gusts at my back"....
Posted by gordonbw | Jul 31, 2007 @ 03:47 PM | 9,258 Views
This is the perfect plane for me right now. Stable as a rock, fat airfoil that is virtually stall proof, big enough to see orientation at a distance, not too pretty so I don't worry about dings, sufficient aerobatic ability to keep things interesting.

Thank you, Mr and Mrs. Sigafoose!
Posted by gordonbw | Apr 24, 2007 @ 01:06 PM | 9,212 Views
Maidened my new Blitz on Saturday, April 21 at the TEMAC field. I tried a lightweight setup... 2x Axi 2808/16 with 8x4 props; 2x 2s 2100 lipo cells; current draw 18 amps each side, about 250 watts total on a 48 oz plane.

It didn't work at all, at all, at all... the model could barely get out of its own way. I was lucky to get it back on the ground in one piece (thanks, Electroflyer!)

I need to re-think the power system.

The Axis are basically 2s motors and I think they will overheat on 3s, unless I use a really small prop -- which is not what this application needs.

Might try a spare TowerPro 3520/7 that I have on hand -- a big honking motor that will require a 4s pack and should produce around 4-500 watts, depending on prop selection.

Alternatively, I could acquire a couple of cheap Chinese brushless motors that would, in combination, provide a similar power level with 3s packs.
Posted by gordonbw | Oct 16, 2006 @ 04:15 PM | 11,682 Views
Posted - Jul 01 2006 : 4:44:40 PM


My Sig LT-25 is on the ground, probably in many pieces, somewhere east of the field. I believe it is on the far side of the road in the woods past the tree line. Michael R. and I spent about 45 minutes bushwacking for it this afternoon, to no avail -- how can such a big plane vanish so completely?

What happened? While I was flying in gusty conditions with the wind at my back, the plane went into a nose-up attitude and I could not get it back into trim. It was swept downwind and I lost sight of it about 1/2 kilometer away on the far side of the road. I suspect that the quick-link on the elevator servo failed.

I have since searched for it in the roadside bush, placed reward notices in all the nearby rural mailboxes, and knocked on doors -- all to no avail. All told, a $600+ writeoff.

Anyway it would be nice to get the expensive bits back, and I'll generously reward any member (or anyone else for that matter) who locates it. The plane has a sticker with my contact information on it.

Posted - Sep 17 2006 : 8:45:16 PM

It's Baaaaaack!

The LT-25 was found yesterday by one of the neighbours, narrowly escaping the threshing machine.

The airframe is a writeoff, mainly because of exposure to the elements. Damage from the landing in July was minimal. (I had asked permission back then to search the field...Continue Reading
Posted by gordonbw | Aug 08, 2006 @ 07:25 PM | 9,652 Views
Creating a Monster!

By Gordon Braun-Woodbury

This is the chronicle of my “Frankenglider” – an electric sailplane cobbled together from spare parts (some them quite rare and expensive, I might add!). It’s a journal of my learning process in modeling improvisation.

I started this project in the summer of 2003 following the untimely passing of EMFSO member Lal Guneratne. After Lal’s death, his family offered a number of his planes and hobby supplies to the 14th Avenue flyers. I obtained the beautifully built but uncovered wings of a 1.8m rudder-elevator sailplane suitable for Speed 400 or 480 power.

“Nice wings,” thought I. Partly to honour Lal’s memory, I decided to do the best possible job on this plane.

Gathering the bits

My first task was to find a fuselage. After looking at a number of suppliers, I settled on Art Hobby in Montana, who import a line of ARF gliders and e-sailplanes from Poland. I purchased a fuse and V-tail for the company’s Andromeda model, a very light 2 meter LMR (limited motor run) competition e-sailplane.

For a motor, I really wanted to try brushless. I waited until the ‘drip feed’ for my hobby fund had filled up, and then paid a visit to A&J Hobbies in Unionville, where I purchased a brand new Axi 2808/16 outrunner motor. I was particularly attracted by the Axi’s ability to swing a large prop without a gearbox. The Axis I’ve seen the 14th have been demonstrated impressive power with very smooth, silent operation.

...Continue Reading