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Posted by charlton29 | Sep 27, 2012 @ 06:21 AM | 1,621 Views
Here's a video shot from the wingtip of the rotor - you can just see the nose.

Enjoy!

On the Wing (3 min 21 sec)

Posted by charlton29 | Sep 26, 2012 @ 07:05 AM | 1,638 Views
Well, after some damage and repairs, the Rotor is back in the air.

Repairing composite fuselages is not that difficult but can leave the finish looking, well, repaired. Still, I'd rather have something that looks a bit daggy and flies.

The wind has improved out of site this week. Sunday had 10-15 knots, good for cruising around and a few rolls and loops. Wednesday was more like 25 knots, plenty of speed, lift, throwing things around. I just had to watch not to get blown backward.

Landings are a bit awkward - it seems to lose airspeed and just drop the last metre or so to the ground. There does tend to be a lot of turbulence, more at this site than others. Perhaps a more aggressive descent is needed to keep some control. Any good ideas here would be of interest.
Posted by charlton29 | Aug 24, 2012 @ 08:12 AM | 1,663 Views
So, another session with the new Rotor. It was late-ish in the evening, so the Sun was fairly low. The rolls work quite well, but a small slope and enough but not too much wind meant loops did not happen too well.

I tried a camera on the tail shot, but the balance was just far enough back to make control difficult. So, most of the video was from an eyeglass mounted camera. It worked surprising well.

Here is the video:

Rotor in the Sunset (4 min 40 sec)

Posted by charlton29 | Aug 14, 2012 @ 05:58 AM | 1,870 Views
Just in case there were any doubters...here are some pictures from the first flights of the new Rotor. They are just stills from a keychain video camera, so the quality is not great, but you get some idea.
Posted by charlton29 | Aug 12, 2012 @ 05:56 AM | 1,770 Views
Well, the new Rotor is off the ground at last! After getting the tail alignment all wrong, then deciding that it was a poor job anyway, I made a new one (tail, that is). Much better, also the wing rod is now closer to where it should be. A coat or two of paint, get all the surfaces moving in the right direction, and off to the slope with an average wind speed of about 20 knots. At least there was plenty of lift!

There's really no alternative once you are standing on the slope ready to launch - just launch it and be ready for anything. It needed a fair bit of up trim, but once that was sorted it flew superbly.

I'll put up some flight pictures shortly. Here are a couple taken in the back yard.
Posted by charlton29 | Jun 24, 2012 @ 07:40 AM | 1,927 Views
Well, the first fuselage out of the mould did not work too well - it did not join properly. A second attempt appears to have been more successful. with some imperfection but nothing that can't be filled with some chopped glass and microballoons.

The winds have been rather unco-operative (still), so there's not been a lot of flying. Short evenings don't help much either.
Posted by charlton29 | Jun 11, 2012 @ 03:02 AM | 2,212 Views
So, where did the year go? Now it's June, afternoons are short, winds are light.

The Rotor is no more...at least that one. There's nothing like getting a model between yourself and the Sun for losing orientation. And, there's nothing like a hard landing for breaking a fuselage into three pieces, bending pushrods and generally meaning that the model goes home in a bag.

So, I am now making a proper mould for a Rotor fuselage. It's gone reasonably smoothly, though I am learning how to do it as I go along. I am just about to get to the point of laying up a real fuselage in the mould.

The Aegea is flying reasonably well. A new wing has some interesting characteristics, including being more flexible than the old, but it seems to work well. The model generally seems faster than the old, which is curious, and the flaps are rather more efective than I'm used to which makes landing interesting.

I also have acquired a new video camera (a previous one is now at the bottom of Killalea Lagoon )

Here's a video for your enjoyment.

Along the Wing (3 min 12 sec)

Posted by charlton29 | Feb 23, 2012 @ 04:39 AM | 2,440 Views
After a bit of a gap, mainly caused by rain, I had a go at thermalling the Aegea again. Well, with an extended high-start and a bit of practice using it, I got higher launches than I thought possible and stronger lift than I knew existed! I was a bit concerned that I might lose sight or at least control in the stronger thermals.

Things settled down after a bit, but a bird (I think it was a whistling kite) took exception. It did not quite make contact with the model but came close.

More Thermalling (3 min 16 sec)

A video for your enjoyment - three launches and landings from different directions.

Also, a photo of the bird from above. Any identifications are welcome!
Posted by charlton29 | Feb 05, 2012 @ 04:53 AM | 2,121 Views
Well, now it's February. Seems we had far too much rain last month, but today sunshine, not a cloud in the sky and about 20 knots from the north-east. The water was covered in kite-surfers but I had the slope to myself (and a couple of pelicans).

The Rotor was up to form. Lots of rolls, a few loops, speed runs along the slope edge were all happening. There was enough wind to get some real altitude and to try inverted flight, though the wing seems not to like it very much. It might be the airfoil or just the balance, or even my ham-fisted controls, but it does like to be right-side up.

In any case, a great day to be out and everything came home in one piece. We are promised a southerly sometime tomorrow so perhaps another expedition will be in order.
Posted by charlton29 | Jan 07, 2012 @ 02:36 AM | 2,485 Views
Well, finally back in the air.

I built a new fuselage for the Aegea, with the original design tail. It is now the proper length (or maybe just a bit longer) and looks surprisingly spindly. The all-moving tail gives plenty of control authority...so when the model ended up tail-heavy it was quite a handful just to get back on the ground in one piece!

A bit of ballast in the nose fixed the balance and brought the stability under control and it flies quite superbly. Now I need to make a new wing and get the mistakes of the first one sorted.

The Rotor had almost met a sticky end after some attempts at extreme aerobatics. Nose-first onto rocks, in fact a shallow rock pool, is not the usual landing method advised. Fortunately the electrics seem to have survived a bit of a dunking in the salt water (though there was a bit of smoke around when I reached the crash site). A rebuild of the crumpled nose section and a paint job later and we are back in the air - for a little while.

The collars that secure the wings had also corroded a bit, not to mention that the sockets were almost circular from wear. So, I had trouble tightening them properly. I decided to make the first flight short and check the everything was OK, which turned out to be a smart move as one collar had fallen off. So, that was the end of flying for the day - there's no point in bringing home a bag of parts.

Tomorrow's forecast is for even more wind - NE 20 knots - so it should be just right for a second attempt. Watch this space.
Posted by charlton29 | Dec 11, 2011 @ 05:18 AM | 3,427 Views
You would think that the weather might be warmer now that summer is officially here (yes, this is the Southern hemisphere). Well, after about three weeks solid of rain, the Sun broke out yesterday. I got out to my favourite field with a hi-start and an Aegea 2 and started looking for thermals.

Nearly every launch found some lift, though not all of it was useful. There were several flights longer than ten minutes and would have been more if I were game to let the model go higher or drift further downwind. It's not that big a field and there are houses on the western side.

Still, a good day with nearly two hours all up of flying. A nankeen kestrel came around and took offence, then left me alone once it realised that fibreglass is not edible. A couple of ibis saw something circling and decided that my lift was good enough for them. So, all in all a positive experience.
Posted by charlton29 | Nov 26, 2011 @ 02:59 PM | 3,563 Views
A servo, in this case. I was giving the Rotor its pre-flight checks and noticed that the rudder was not working. Opening the hatch revealed a wisp of smoke rising and a strong smell of burning electrics. So, the plug was pulled before any more damage could be done.

Being only the rudder, I had a fly anyway - the rudder on a Rotor is largely cosmetic. The wind was a bit variable and almost dropped away at one point, but on the whole it was a good afternoon.
Posted by charlton29 | Nov 15, 2011 @ 04:42 AM | 2,509 Views
The Rotor has been getting a bit of air time lately. Winds have been strong with 20 knots fairly common. I'm starting to get the hang of rolls and inverted flight at last - a good blow helps a lot.

Launching remains a bit doubtful but standing as near to the edge as possible and giving a good throw works reasonably well.

Landing is even more doubtful, particularly with turbulence near the ground - all too common with the shrubbery and long grass. At least long grass is not too hard on the model. Nicks in the leading edge are slowly accumulating and I'm considering some different materials.

Some images for your enjoyment.
Posted by charlton29 | Oct 16, 2011 @ 04:54 AM | 3,107 Views
Well, it works, more or less!

I took the Aegea out with a hi-start and tried looking for thermals. After a slow start I spotted a hawk circling and headed for it. It was a big thermal, plenty of lift and I was nervous about flying right out of the field. It ended up not being a big problem after all, but good while it lasted.

So, I've not mastered the art yet, but it's a different challenge and a good one to work on. All I need is some more sunny weather and some time free in the middle of the day. Why does that never seem to happen?

A video of the flight for your enjoyment!

Thermalling (6 min 15 sec)

Posted by charlton29 | Oct 13, 2011 @ 05:39 AM | 2,616 Views
Well, winds from the west are a bad idea. I knew that, but after a whole weekend of waiting I thought it might have been just enough south to get away with some slope flying. No such luck! The Sun was right in my face and made things very unpleasant. Add to that a gusty wind and the Rotor either flying backward or dropping out of the air and it was really no fun at all.

Here is a (short) video for your enjoyment!

Rotors in the Sun (4 min 47 sec)

Posted by charlton29 | Sep 22, 2011 @ 07:26 AM | 2,779 Views
After a bit of repair work and some waiting for the right wind, the Rotor is back in the air. A 25 knot breeze had plenty of lift, the plane just avoided flying backward and it was rather exciting! I'll put a video up when I get a round tuit.

A couple of days later there was time for another go. The wind was a lot lighter, just enough to give some lift. The Rotor handled it surprisingly well, but I need more landing practice Some repair work will be required, but not too much. I was going home, anyway.

Just to show that it really flies, here are a couple of frame grabs.
Posted by charlton29 | Sep 02, 2011 @ 03:54 AM | 2,893 Views
A bit of a dramatic time last weekend...the Rotor managed to have a wing stick at full deflection and rolled into the ground. One wing was broken completely, the other got away with some creasing. The fuselage had one crack. I think it got away lightly by landing in rather soft mud

Next day, the Catalina had an outing. A misjudged landing had it hit some weed and more water in an ESC This one just stopped working; no smoke leaked out. I ended up wading into waist-deep water to get it back. I now have a can of conformal coating for the electronics and expect to have fewer problems. We will see

Here's a couple of pictures of the swan patrol.
Posted by charlton29 | Aug 26, 2011 @ 03:07 AM | 5,128 Views
A couple of new projects are under way...

I have set up a hi-start to have a go at thermal soaring. After managing to hook into a few thermals around the slopes, it was time to try it for real.

Once I got over the anxiety of pulling back on a giant rubber band, it worked very well. It's not really good thermal season yet, and was late in the day, but I did manage to find a few. More practice is needed!

The other is a branch into powered flight. Having been intrigued by waterplanes for longer than I can remember (and made a couple of unsuccessful forays into the field) I decided to go the RTF route to get started. One Guanli Catalina later and there we are! It flies surprisingly well, quite stable and controllable. After a few outings on the water I decided that differential throttles were the way to steer it - much better. Also, water in the ESCs is a really bad idea! Fortunately, overheating tends to be self-limiting when the solder melts

A video of the Catalina in action:

Catalinas over the Farm (6 min 33 sec)


Sorry about the focus...I need a new camera (and videographer).
Posted by charlton29 | Aug 24, 2011 @ 06:28 AM | 2,845 Views
Well, not that much sun, actually, and not much wind either. But, it flies rather well. I really need to use a better camera. Trying to get good video from a head-mounted 808 camera that won't focus properly is a losing proposition.

The Rotor Flies! (5 min 21 sec)

Posted by charlton29 | Aug 12, 2011 @ 01:50 AM | 2,973 Views
After a long time of not posting anything (but a moderate amount of building and flying...), here we are again.

I have built a new Rotor. This is my first all-composite model. Wings, tail and fin are vacuum bagged foam and fibreglass, fuselage is lost-foam (and about its own weight in microballoons).

So, today there was about 20 knots of wind from the south. Perhaps not ideal for a first flight, but certainly plenty of lift. The model flew about as perfectly as one could ask for. Minor trim adjustments, plenty of control authority, stable, easily visible, what else could one ask for.

For the statistically minded:
Span: 1480 mm
Length: 970 mm
Weight: 770 g
Airfoil: MH42

And a couple of photos for your edification (after the flight, but you will have take my word for that).