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Posted by Leadchucker | May 27, 2015 @ 12:22 PM | 2,399 Views
The Electra 2 maiden went exceedingly well with her flying spot on right off the bench. Despite the slightly heavy weight she has the stuff that good sailplanes are made of. Climb out with the Powerline 1025 is about 2200 fpm which is spot on for my application in ALES flying. After goofing around a bit I found some nice lift and let her ride it out and she did it in grand style. CG is right on the money @ 102 mm and all the bits work very well indeed. Second flight was about 30 minutes after a relight at 75 foot from the goofing part mentioned. She has good visibility at altitude and it steady as anything. I think I'll keep her. See attached odd photos from build.
Posted by Leadchucker | Apr 22, 2015 @ 01:16 PM | 2,483 Views
Got two days off and got some stuff done on the new toy. Fuselage is done and the wing setup will be up soon. Pretty much standard assembly proceedings after dry fitting the parts to determine CG Servos are at rear of canopy opening, ESC slammed all the way forward behind the motor which required soldering motor plugs on in reverse and 1300 maH 7c 3S TP lipo as far forward as it can co and I'll still need about 2 oz. in the nose. Some pics attached to laugh at....Continue Reading
Posted by Leadchucker | Apr 06, 2015 @ 11:21 AM | 3,166 Views
Checkin' this chicken over some more and dry fitted the main bits together to see how she looks. Finish is good but not the shiny waxed 26 coats of hand rubbed street rod with a big block blown Chevy engine sticking out the hood lacquer look, but a slightly matte appearance. I like it and it not going to matter at 2600 foot or heading for the tape anyhow. I see her as a tool to do the work I want to do, so the look is fine.

A bit hard to see the slicker than owl snot setup for the elevator horn to make the stab removal. Look close at second pic and you'll see a piece of brass tube that accepts a pin on the stab. The brass tube is attached to a ball link then is connected to the CF bowden rod.

Some other pics as well for short tour....Continue Reading
Posted by Leadchucker | Apr 03, 2015 @ 11:00 AM | 2,769 Views
The Eagle flight went well except for the elevator/flying stab being trimmed with too much up to the tune of about 10 mm. Screwed the bowden clevises in and got the stab zeroed out then found I didn't have enough down elevator to offset the flaps.
Back to the shop, fiddled with the settings a bit and she's all ready for the next round.

Coming in a 51 oz. AUW the Powerline 1025,CC 50 amp ESC and TP 1300 mah 70C 3S is perfect for ALES giving a vertical climb rate of about 2200 FPM plus it puts the CG right at 86mm behind the leading edge. She answers the helm very smartly on all controls and turns on a dime with 9 cents change. It's early on and she needs some more flying time, but it seems she likes to point away from the wind a bit. Not sure what this is all about or maybe it could be the trim as she also wants to fly a bit faster than most of my gas bags. Overall, I'm happy and I think she's a keeper.


My final ( heard that one before) sailplane for ALES and fun arrived yesterday. Made by Mibo Models in Slovenia, she's a 3.9 metre disser moldie. The Electra 2 was unpacked and checked out and it looks good. She should come in at about 52 oz. or so and will be powered with a Powerline 1025 with a CC 50 amp ESC doing the electrical duties swinging a 16 x 10 prop. Servos will be MKS DS6100s except for flaps which will be Hyperion DS095FMDs for the added power. Guidance by Hitec A-9 and Hitec Optima 7 RX. Might be a bit until I get to work on her as I have to order the guts yet but I shold do that today. Some preview pics attached.
Posted by Leadchucker | Feb 07, 2015 @ 06:10 AM | 6,450 Views
Short update. She's done and waiting for a test flight. Work demands and weather are holding up the maiden. Builder's photos attached.
Posted by Leadchucker | Jan 22, 2015 @ 10:22 AM | 3,572 Views
It's been an absolute slog getting this thing together with work getting in the way of having fun. She's almost done except for the elevator bowden that I had to replace because I broke it. This turned out to be an expensive mistake as I had to order new 2 meter 1.5 mm CF rods from The Composite Store. Extra shipping cost for oversize package and extra charge for small order ran up the bill a tick or two.

In addition there was no manual so the engineering part of installing the bits was up to me to figure out. The fuselage is small with no room at all compared to Pulsars and my Longhorn. Other setbacks included having a motor that was too heavy so I had buy another winding up with a Powerline 1025 and a CC 50 amp ESC to achieve CG balance.

Some bright spots are the servo covers on the wings which are slicker than owl snot. They come pre-made and sit in a recess that make them flush with the wing and have a push rod tunnel that is actually usable with standard hardware.

Powerplant tests have been done and everything comes in 'on the advertised' as we said on the railroad. She's pulling 45 amps with a 16 x 8 wheel and the little 1025 just screams to pull the Eagle into the big blue.

Some pics...Continue Reading
Posted by Leadchucker | Nov 06, 2014 @ 05:04 PM | 4,677 Views
New bird on the block from Soaring USA has arrived. The Eagle is a 4 metre full house electric sailplane that will be setup for ALES competition and LSF tasks. Motor is here, a Hacker B40-10L that will swing a 16 x 10 Aeronaut folder controlled by a Castle Creations Phoenix Edge Lite 75 amp ESC. Servos are MKS 6100's all round controlled by a Hitec A-9 with a Optima 7 RX.

She's gonna be a gasbag coming in around 51 oz. AUW making her a light weather ship and from reports she rides lift like crazy. Overall build quality is good and pretty much standard for the ARF sailplanes coming from Ukraine and Czech Republic with no new ground shaking techy stuff. Fuselage pod is a very light layup of glass compared to Pulsars and AVA's but I foresee no problems as dorking for landing isn't in my flight habits.

One minor build glitch in the fuselage pod where the wing mount screw inserts were not right with one being off by 3 mm. Soaring USA fixed it right up and anew pod is in route free of charge. SUSA rocks for customer service. More as the assembly process gets under way.


Some pics attached.
Posted by Leadchucker | Oct 14, 2014 @ 04:16 PM | 4,486 Views
Short update:
Slogging away on the big bird as time allows. Had to cut my own trailing edge stock out of 3/8" sheet to get right size and then scarf them together to get the length. I found all the ribs from the Klarich partial kits have the main and sub spar slots cut too small, so now I have to sand each one to size just to slow things some more.

Bright spot is Caiile at Callie's Graphics did her usually top shelf work and I now how the lettering for the LRB I went simple with the lettering as it see to fit the plane...and well, me.
Posted by Leadchucker | Oct 02, 2014 @ 11:15 AM | 5,313 Views
Some more messing about in the shop and the fuselage and tail assembly are done. With a fuselage at 52" long a roll of red Solar film don't go far but I got away with using only 1 1/2 rolls. Covering around the tail mechanism was easier than I had imagined it would be. The stick built access hatch also came out better than i had thought.

Finished up the battery tray and it's waiting on some nice 6-32 pan head screws to install in the fuselage. Two 2200 maH 3s batteries put the balance point at 50% on the cabane which is about where it should be. Building the wing is next on the board. It should go pretty fast as it's simple,. Some pic attached....Continue Reading
Posted by Leadchucker | Sep 25, 2014 @ 07:10 PM | 4,647 Views
Some more messing about in the shop today. Some time spent going backwards undoing and fixing mistakes, some moving forward.
Made up the battery tray for the two 2200 mah Lipos and bolted it in. It has to be bolted in to allow for access later to the ESC/motor connection. Battery and access hatch built up from sticks to keep with the spirit of the look of a flying pile of sticks, it came out better than expected.

Removed and repositioned servos and now have straight line pushrod/bowden setup and I like it much better. Fuselage warp is being addressed now and the covering should take care of any minor tweaks
Posted by Leadchucker | Sep 24, 2014 @ 04:13 PM | 4,563 Views
Long time in between entries due to work and selling some land and all kinds of stuff, but I finally got in the shop and fiddled with the LRB a bit. The landing gear drove me barking mad until I discovered the drawing were redone somewhere and the dimensions were all wrong. So I cobbled up something on my own and it works. I originally started painting the gear to prevent rusting of the wire and now like the look of the finished look better.

Made up some wood wheel covers like I do for all my old timers to give the right look without fooling with Trexler wheels which I've come to not like very much. Motor is installed on false firewall as mentioned to allow for refit with a ignition engine if I want to. Bowdens are installed and servos in place but I'm not 100% happy with the bent wire connections . Not too much I can do about it with the cabane mount dictating the position of the bowdens.

Looking backwards I should have built the elevators with a wire connector or a CF rod. I had to make up a yoke and slide arrangement to get both hooked up with out two servos . It looks heavy and cumbersome but its less than 2 grams and works really well. CF pushrods connected with ball links finish he setup. I came ever so close to making her rudder only and why exactly I didn't i don't know now.

Maybe some more fooling around tomorrow. Be a good day as it's supposed to rain buckets...or maybe I'll build an ark real quick.
Posted by Leadchucker | Jun 24, 2014 @ 04:16 PM | 6,907 Views
Real short one this time. 1600 square inches of red Solarfilm later the vertical and horizontal stabs are covered. Used CA hinges in the rudder and went with tape hinges on the elevators sailplane style. Next up, install the Hyperion DS-11 servos and push rods or perhaps bowdens. Engineering Dept. hasn't decided on how to setup the control surface linkage yet, but they are leaning more and more toward using sailplane methods of doing things. Ordered a 32 size motor and 80 amp ESC from Jeff at Heads Up Hobby today for the power plant.
Posted by Leadchucker | Jun 10, 2014 @ 02:00 PM | 5,919 Views
WOW is all I can say. What an experience. Plus found untold amounts of respect for those who flew and fought in these planes. No room with more no room, noisy and smelly. A ride is one thing, everyone loves the sound of radial engines chugging along, but 10 hours flights during bombing missions with the lack of crew comforts, the freezing cold temperatures and getting shot at by everyone is something else.

Great flying weather over Cape May County N.J., a bit hazy but a smooth flight and the sound and smell will stay with me for a while. Some pics attached....Continue Reading
Posted by Leadchucker | Jun 04, 2014 @ 09:18 PM | 6,053 Views
Slooooooooooooowly making progress on the LRB. Finding time to build has been not easy but I manage to get in the shop for a few hours and hack some wood out to make the tail.
The Engineering Dept. had some delays in sorting out a few things like the stab mounting system, the hinge point and stab break for the same. Stab will be held on with three screws, one in front and two at the rear on the underside. The trailing edge stock to make the elevator spars due to the thickness of the break or hinge line. Unforeseen glitch is as the trailing edge stock was tapered at the end of the spar, it also became narrower making a slight gap at the ends. I'm leaving it the way it is, it'll be fine after looking at it for a while.
Posted by Leadchucker | Apr 23, 2014 @ 07:14 PM | 6,605 Views
This has been on my bucket list for a long time. After many years of missing the dates or finding out about flights too late, I finally got my act together and have a ride coming in a B-17. It's going to be a heck of a week of vacation starting with the B-17 ride then off to the Pole Cat ALES contest on the weekend but I think I can handle it.

Yankee Lady is a B-17G–110–VE, bearing USAAF serial number 44-85829. The airplane was built by the Vega Division of Lockheed Aircraft Corporation at Burbank, California and was delivered to the USAAF on July 16, 1945. It went to Dallas, Texas for modifications and in September 1945 was placed in storage at South Plains Field, Texas along with other brand new B-17s. The YAM is certain that this aircraft did not fly combat missions during World War II.

In 1946 the aircraft was one of 16 “Flying Fortresses” that were transferred to the U.S. Coast Guard. These aircraft were re-designated PB-1Gs, “P” signifying patrol, “B” denoting designed by Boeing, “1” for the first model of the type and “G” for Coast Guard. This particular aircraft then became PB-1G serial number 77255. All of the guns and turrets were removed, and a radar dome was installed in the position formerly occupied by the chin turret. It was used for air-sea rescue and iceberg patrol duties out of Argentina, Newfoundland, Elizabeth North Carolina and San Francisco, California. At one time it carried an air droppable, 27 foot long 3300 pound wooden lifeboat under the fuselage for rescuing people stranded at sea. This aircraft was retired from the U.S. Coast Guard in 1958.
Posted by Leadchucker | Mar 26, 2014 @ 01:15 PM | 6,712 Views
WOW, I'm in love. WOW. what a machine. Absolutely spot on perfect right off the bench in every way. Motor/prop combo is just right for ALES work getting to altitude in 22 seconds and still staying within the zoom rule with transition at 684/689/683/686 ft for 4 flights. She loves lift, if you can't find it, she finds it for you. No bobbing or stalling, she just goes up and up and up.

Wind was a steady 10 kts with gusts to 20 but she's steady as a rock and handles just fine as a RES ship. No problem with penetration and again rock solid on approach and landing. Spoilers are just right, not too squirrely and no too lame making her very predictable. Only got her too 1600 ft working some light lift and she was still very good in the visibility department. I'll know better when I wring her out in some summer boomers to higher altitudes. She might be the best flat land thermal RES sailplane I've had yet in 40 some years of model soaring. She's a keeper.

Some photos attached. I finally have another camera.
Posted by Leadchucker | Jan 21, 2014 @ 07:41 AM | 8,176 Views
WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOW!!!! What a plane.I love beeeeg sailplanes.
I finally let some moths (and bucks) out of the wallet and sprung for one of the bigger electric sailplanes on the market. Vladimir's Models Hyper AVA Pro-e RES AKA Kennedy Composite's Longhorn with this one coming from Barry Kennedy in Grand Prairie, Texas. I guess it's true everything is bigger in Texas with this model coming in at 157" wingspan. AUW is 58 oz. resulting in a wing loading just a tick under 6 oz./sq.ft. She's a take off of Dr. Mark Drela's Bubble Dancer and uses his AG24/25/26 airfoils on the 1335 sq.in wing. Not cheap by anyone's standards tipping the till at around $1600 in full working order but worth every penny in my opinion.
Vladimir's Models of the Ukraine did a brilliant job in the construction of this with carbon fibre,balsa and fibreglass plus excellent engineering making a beautiful model that is light and a real showpiece. Everything is very well executed from the moulded glass/CF vertical fin to the slick as owl snot CF canopy cover.

The build is almost complete with some minor things to finish such as installing the wiring,RX and servo covers. She balanced right on the mid point between 100 mm and 108 mm recommended at 104 mm with no extra weight needed. Power is supplied by a Hacker B40-10L with a Swiss made Maxon 4.4:1 gear box swinging a 16 x 10 Aeronaut prop, A Castle Edge 75 amp ESC and a Thunderpower 2500 mah 3s 70C lipo . Guidance is by a Hitec Aurora 9 TX, a Hitec Minima RX ,two Hyperion DS09 servos in the tail for rudder and elevator and two Hyperion DS11 for the spoilers. Photos are at a minimum for now as my camera took a hissy fit but I did manage to grab these two.
Posted by Leadchucker | Nov 26, 2013 @ 02:20 PM | 8,555 Views
Fiddled with wing mount today and installed on the cabane. The garnet colour Gudebrod rod wrapping thread was perfect for the job. A total pain in the caboose to install but it's the original setup and I went with it for the second time round...again. The light wire and thread wrapping never gave me a seconds trouble even with the impressive thundering sounds like a crashing space ship DT landings. I added a couple photos of her and me in Denver doing our thing.
Posted by Leadchucker | Nov 25, 2013 @ 03:07 PM | 8,442 Views
Finally after about three years of good intents but no results, I have my Lanzo Record Breaker on the bench. She was designed by Chet Lanzo in 1938 for a lifting and flight time duration event powered by a Brown Jr. which she won. She has a 96" polyhedral wing with a 14 1/2" chord and floats on 1256 sq.in of wing area, the lifting horizontal stab has another 630 sq.in. AUW is in the 4 lb range in free flight from, she should tip the scale at less that 5 lbs in RC setup.

She's got a bit of history under her belt, having been built in 1973 as a R/C assist model with a K&B .40 for power, then rebuilt in 1974 as a free flight with an Ohlsson & Rice sideport for power to go to the 1975 SAM Nats in Denver. She was a real floater in free flight mode and did very well at Denver winning the 30 Second Antique event putting up 6 maxes against modelers such as Sal Taibi, Chet Lanzo himself, Leon Schulman etc. and coming in third in Fuel Allotment.
She sat in the shop for a while and was sold to a good friend who converted her back to R/C and flew her for a bit. The for about 30 years she sat some more in his shop. A few years ago he gave her back to me minus the wing and tail assembly. He did however give me a Klarich Kits partial kit so the plane could be put back into flying shape.

The fuselage is in good shape for a 40 year old model. It has some stains and broken pieces but nothing to keep her from being airworthy with a bit of work.
All the old radio...Continue Reading