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Leadchucker's blog
Posted by Leadchucker | Mar 26, 2014 @ 01:15 PM | 1,040 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 | 2,386 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 | 2,857 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 | 2,641 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
Posted by Leadchucker | Sep 09, 2013 @ 11:10 AM | 3,789 Views
Picked up very nicely built Dynaflite 1/4 scale Super Cub from an old friend who had to sell off his stuff. He's a brilliant builder having been a machinist for 40 years and it shows in his aircraft. She comes in at 18 lbs with a 104" wing span power is a Moki 180 which is the largest displacement glow engine I've owned. No nitro methane for this beast, methanol and castor only says the manual as it's designed for European use. She only needs a little bit to get her in the air and a new 2.4 ghz RX.
Posted by Leadchucker | Aug 10, 2013 @ 09:25 PM | 5,063 Views
fhpe77 and myself took part in the SAM 12 26th Annual Old Timers Contest on 2 August 2013 at the Atlantic County Skyblazers Strawberry Field. Ray took a 1st in the Brown Jr. event and 2nd in the Electric LMR event with his beautifully executed Kloud Queen with changeable power noses. I managed a 1st in the Ohlsson Sideport event. Weather was nicer than some years with temperatures in the high 70s but the wind still a factor. My poor ol' Ramble got beat up breaking the tail off for the third time when a gust flipped her over on take off. It wasn't bad and she's all fixed and ready to go. All pics by Mike Salvator except the trophy one....Continue Reading
Posted by Leadchucker | Jul 16, 2013 @ 05:18 PM | 4,803 Views
. I'm done for now as I have too many planes and can't fly them all so I'm thinking I'm to speed on this years flying machines. Two new sailplanes, a 1/4 scale clipped wing Taylorcraft and a mini quad chopper with video cam plus what is already in the hangar. Pretty much no brainers setting this batch up as they were ARF's with the only thinking involved is the motor/ESC and servo selections for the sailplanes and engine and servos for the Taylorcraft. Maybe......maybe, I'll start on the rebuild of my Lanzo Record Breaker. All I have left of this one is the fuselage but I have the partial kit for the wing and tail so it should go fast....Continue Reading
Posted by Leadchucker | Mar 02, 2013 @ 09:36 AM | 6,488 Views
Resto on the Super Quaker I built about 40 years ago is done. It was mostly fix and patch except for recovering the wing, that and two attempts at getting the graphics on the wing right. Second attempt I went with an Art Deco style lettering to link to the time period of the plane. I'm going to go with the single wheel rubber band activated landing gear for now,if it gives me fits I'll do something else with it.

Power is a 1946 Super Cyclone .60 Model 'GR' with metal tank attached for burning methanol. Prop is a 14 x 6 Master Airscrew whch should turn up about 7000 rpm.Igniiton is being handled via a Larry Davidson module shooting the juice to a NIB 1940 Aero-Spark coil all powered by a 1800 maH single cell lipo.
It's not the best resto I've done but it'll work. Covering is Top Flite Mono Kote that turned out ot be very nice to work with despite the negative press about the new stuff. Guidance system is a Hitec Optima 6 RX with Hitec HS-325HB servos all linked to a Hitec Optima 6 TX.

Test flights will be in near future as weather and time allows.
Posted by Leadchucker | Feb 27, 2013 @ 05:25 PM | 6,063 Views
.....An' he said: "I'm outa-site!"
He said, for a nominal service charge, I could reach nervonna t'nite
If I was ready, willing 'n able,To pay him his regular fee
He would drop all the rest of his pressing affairs, And devote His Attention to me
But I said . . . Look here brother, Who you jivin' with that Cosmik Debris?

Worked on the blue monster AKA Pulsar Pro 3.6 metre e-sailplane most of the day. It's another fine product of Vladimir's Models in Ukraine purchased at Esprit Models. Assembly is easy as anything, especially having built one before and knowing all the stumbling blocks. Photos tell the...Continue Reading
Posted by Leadchucker | Feb 18, 2013 @ 08:25 AM | 6,401 Views
..............from across the sea
It lingered there, so warm and fair - to walk with me
All summer long, we sang a song - and strolled on golden sand
Two sweethearts, and the summer wind

Reminder by the Chairman of the Board that summer is on it's way...somewhere.
Been messing about trying to finish up the 1940 Megow Models Super Quaker as time allows. The wing is recovered with new Mono Kote and it went well even thought the new stuff is supposed to horrible. I had no problem at all getting it to agree with me and what I want to do. I messed up the vinyl 'Super Quaker" graphic on the port wing by placing them too low. It's not total disaster but it looks odd. Might get new ones made up or just leave them, I haven't decided yet. Left to go is install the igintion system, test the engine and then see if she flys.

The new Pulsar 3.6E Pro Competition RES E-sailplane has arrived bringing acres of blue Ultracote covering. Inspection revealed the top notch quality I have come to expect form Ukraine craftsman. Absolutely beautiful fit and finish at every turn. ZB and Miss Lucy at Esprit Model did thier usual fine job of packing and super fast deilvery, what a great outfit to do business with. All the bits to go with were packed in a seperate box inside so I have all I need to assemble her.
She will be next on the bench and I know she will be a fine sailplane, afterall, she is a Pulsar.
Posted by Leadchucker | Jan 30, 2013 @ 03:01 PM | 6,418 Views
...Backwards forwards square and round.
Over under sideways down,
Backwards forwards square and round.
When will it end, when will it end,
When will it end, when will it end.


Mini update on the blog with opening lines by the Yardbirds from 1966.
the Sunracer Super 3 pylon racer is finished and ready to go when some decent flying weather gets here. She is another very nicely made product of the Czeck Republic with great fits and finish with carbon fibre abounding everywhere. Fitting the gear inside was a challenge as there is absolutely zero wiggling space. A Neu Neu 1112/2D motor will be doing the duties up front being governed by a Castle 70 amp ESC spinng an APC 4.75x4.75 prop, juice is provided by a 2250 maH Nanotech 3s 50C lipo.

Did some engine switching on the Rambler which required hacking some of the front fairing out to fit the O&R .60 . A new engine plate was cobbled up from some 1/8" aluminium and a couple 3/16' ply spacer strips added under that to get the engine to sit right. This will now be my entry for the SAM Ohlsson Sideport Event,she should go like the dickens as this .60 is a real good runner. The plane is an already proven thermal machine so she should bring home the trophies with no trouble.

The 1940 Megow Super Quaker is back on the bench undergoing partial resto. The Super Cyke is installed with a metal tank for burning methanol and BeNol. I retained the rertacting single wheel landing gear for now to see how it works out.
Servos are in and control surfaces hooked up, ignition system need to be made up yet as does the radio and ignition battery packs. Then the wing need covering and application of decals and she should be good to go.
Posted by Leadchucker | Nov 06, 2012 @ 02:09 PM | 7,621 Views
......Something to make us all happy
Do anything take us out of this gloom
Sing a song, play guitar
Make it snappy
You are the one who can make us all laugh
But doing that you break out in tears
Please don't be sad if it was a straight mind you had
We wouldn't have known you all these years.

Cold weather is here already, it feels like winter even though we're only halfway into autumn. Gloom would be bound to happen soon if not for it being the building season. Sure, there are days when I can get out. Cold itself don't bother me, but wind and rain and s**w does put the brakes on getting into the big blue.

I've got the Siren rebuilt...well, actually it's a whole new one as the first one got pretty buggered up in the motor jettison occurance. While building the second one and installing the dihedral braces,the wing fell over and snapped the brace on the starboard wing clean off. It looked much like the end of a broken Kit Kat bar with the laminated plywood layers jaggedly staring back at me.
Attempted to mod the wing and insert CF tube joiners was thwarted when the drill bit went off on an excursion and the hole wound up being someplace other than where I wanted it. The rest of the kit was fine and went together nicely. So...I ordered a new wing kit and when I opened the box to my horror I saw a covering job that apparently was done by a 3 year old. Plus the wing roots and top sheeting didn't match by a long shot. Off came the covering, new ply and CF...Continue Reading
Posted by Leadchucker | Oct 02, 2012 @ 02:40 PM | 8,879 Views
........The moon don't move the tides,
to wash me clean
Sun don't shine
The moon don't move the tides,to wash me clean
Why so unforgiving and why so cold
Been a long time crossing Bridge of Sighs.......

Song for a rainy day and dealing with dorked airplanes.
Caught the bug for hotliners or warmliner in this case. I've been playing with the GP Siren, starting out with a MVVS 4.6/1120, with a Aeronaut 12x6.5 on 3S l 50C lipo. Ths was a bit disappointing as I had the impression she should have been faster that it was. Soooo..reading on the Siren thread,I decided to take her up a notch with a 4S to get some more watts in the wires. I had about 8 flights on the 3S and she flew great, the spoilerons would slow her down to make nice landings and she'd get about 20 minutes of air time per battery.

I knew the plane a little by now, so plugged in a 4S and checked the CG, fired her up and tossed her in the air. Much better, she zipped right on up and sounded great. The Siren is notorious for having a weak firewall for high wattage power plants over the recommended 300 watts. She was now pulling 650 watts and all seemed fine. Then it happened...a bang while climbing out....hmmmmm. I saw the motor go soaring in a big arc out of the nose and plant itself in the ground. This of course now put the CG somewhere around the middle of the stab which resulted in a "slightly" tail heavy situation.

Initial inspection seemed as though the damage was limited to the...Continue Reading
Posted by Leadchucker | Aug 20, 2012 @ 02:56 PM | 8,211 Views
........who seeks that which can not be seen,
you are in the company of those who relish the nuances of nature with long wings,
you gaze into the sky when cumulus clouds form their lofty beauty and hear them
beckoning you and your machine to roam high amongst them.
You have moved beyond the mundane,parted with the crowds and their need
for fumes and noise and have entered the envelope of silent flight.
You are a sailplane pilot.


A bit of encouragement I cobbled up above given to somene who was doubting his part in the soaring community.

Not much new besides fooling around with a GP Siren warm liner. It's not a high end machine but gets me in the door to explore a different realm of sailplanes I've not visited before. She's had a couple three flight on 3S batteries which gave a taste, however the 4S power supply has ariived today to take it up a notch. Preliminary investigation with 4S and current prop shows I have to go down a size or two. Bumped the 1000 watt mark for the first time but that is too much for the motor. Next sector I'm thinking of trying is a DLG of some flavour but still undecided on this.

A few snaps of the battery setup for my Pulsar for those who have asked are attached. Batteries are tacked in place on some 1/8" aircraft ply with Goop then wrapped in heat shrink. A 3mm blind nut is perfect to hold the battery as the 3mm thread is the same as the nose unit retainer screw, makes stuff simple.
Posted by Leadchucker | Jul 17, 2012 @ 05:15 PM | 9,247 Views
......Watch lights fade from every room.
Bedsitter people look back and lament
Another day's useless energy spent.......


Time for a blog update I suppose. Been messing about in the shop with little things that needed to be done. Right now I'm just trying to get the fleet in good flying shape, especially the contest planes. The two ALES sailplanes,the Avia and Pulsar are all sorted and running like well oiled clockwork. Took a day last weekend and hauled all the old timers out to the field to see how they were flying.

After much arguing with the Brown Junior in the Rambler it saw the errors of it's ways and came round to my way of thinking. I thought the engine was the culprit, but after a bout on the test stand this was dismissed. She started on the third flip and ran like a champ. Further investigation found a partly broken wire on the points lead that was causing all the headaches.

Installed my ebay chepo Forster .99 in a 30 year old Sal Taibi 1938 Powerhouse that was given to me. Sal designed this plane for the Forster and it's a classic Old Tmer setup. She also needed a radio install as well as new ignition system and some tidying up including new wheels and homemade wheel covers. I was going to do a full monty recover job, but after looking at her some more decided to leave it as is. She has a veteran patina about her that is kinda attractive and fits her well. She has yet to recieve the name and AMA number graphics which are being made by the Tall...Continue Reading
Posted by Leadchucker | Apr 10, 2012 @ 01:54 PM | 9,848 Views
Thought I had a good stand all made up, but it was while very sturdy indeed, it was also way too large to pack in the Tahoe with all the gear. Sooooo, off to the shop and do some re-engineering with the challenge being to come up with a smaller version that folded up . Bought a sturdy camera tripod for cheap, cut some of the old a parts down, cobbled up the rest to fit. This one breaks down to a package of 5" x 24" and is well good for the job. It's made from white pine and some aircraft ply then finished off in natural clear polyurethane. The only thing left is to make up a nice box to keep all the bits in one place. Reminds me some of a rubber power winding stooge,works for me.
Posted by Leadchucker | Apr 03, 2012 @ 02:41 PM | 9,625 Views
Been working on a couple projects the last few weeks,one is ready for maiden and the other is moving along. I picked up an Electrafly Rifle to fill my need for speed,went with a 350 watt Neu motor which is just a tad above stock. She should be in the 110 to 120 mph range if all is right,we'll see.

The other plane is a Taibi Powerhouse that was given to me by an old friend to go with my recently purchased Forster .99. The Powerhouse don't need a lot as it's in pretty good shape with only minor patching and cleaning up done or to be done.
Posted by Leadchucker | Mar 25, 2012 @ 11:39 AM | 9,480 Views
Lots to know to fly this bird.

How To Fly The B-17 - Flight Operations (1943) (28 min 45 sec)

Posted by Leadchucker | Mar 06, 2012 @ 02:38 PM | 9,962 Views
Leaves are falling all around, It's time I was on my way.
Thanks to you, I'm much obliged for such a pleasant stay.
But now it's time for me to go. The autumn moon lights my way.
For now I smell the rain, and with it pain, and it's headed my way.
Sometimes I grow so tired, but I know I've got one thing I got to do...

Ramble On, And now's the time, the time is now, to sing my song.


Messing about in the shop today with some Led Zep cranking at Warp 9 from the speakers while making up a field stand for my sailplanes. I had all kinds of visions of this way over engineered gizmo but went simple again. Simple build that is, I'm already simple. A nice 1" x 10" x10' piece of white pine from Homer Depot gave itself up to be cut to bits in the bandsaw for the project. The stand itself is a Rigid outfeed slider for a table saw and it too was from Homer Depot for around $29.00.
I might redo the side pieces to make them adjustable so it will fit a wider variety of sailplanes. Then some paint and it's done.


The other items I picked up was some sailplane vinyl decals for the Tahoe. They are just right and look pretty slick. They're made by a guy in his spare time and are available in different sizes,colours and sailplanes. Check 'em out at sailplanestickers.com.


7.3.12-Little update: I notced the window sticker was off centre in the photo. Even with laying it out with tape and measuring from about 6 points I got it wrong. Removed and replaced it today, got it right this time.
Posted by Leadchucker | Feb 07, 2012 @ 01:19 PM | 10,281 Views
Almost done on the Pulsar "build" or assembly. Used some 65 mm clear heat shrink tubing to make up the battery assmeblies on trays with t-nts for reatainer mounts in plane. Changed the servo covers on the tail as I didn't care for the suppied ones plus they wouldn't fit with the changes made to make better geometry on the control linkages. I managed to bump the horizintal satb and crack the tip, fixed it by making a pin hole on the bottom covering and wicking some thin CA in, it's fine now.

The barn door spoilers should stop this bird like a brick. Had to do some fiddling with to get the then to close evenly. Had thought about a long ,way over engineered fix however I went with simple. Two strips of 1/8" x 1/4' balsa CA'ed to the top of two ribs on each side and it too is fine. Also had to rebuild the spoiler servo bay that I had hacked to pieces because I'm an idiot and installed the servo backwards first time round. You'll never see it as it's hidden under the wing.

Went a bit over the top and treated her to a RFM CF spinner and prop, these are absolutely beautiful pieces purchased from Soaring USA. Set up the Castle ESC via Castle Link, another brilliant item with all the ESC programme features you can think of. It's set for hard brake for the folding prop and soft start/ stop to keep from throwing the spinner or hub.

Being a RES ship there isn't a whole lot of radio programming to do. The throttle is on the gear switch for off or on operation and...Continue Reading