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FR4-Pilot's blog
Posted by FR4-Pilot | Jun 14, 2015 @ 05:42 PM | 1,466 Views
... but we've been really busy doing other things - the basement renovation (project "Nana") mostly The upstairs is messy and we're crammed for space. Can't wait for this to be completed !

Here's the goal: Create two bedrooms in the basement for my kids and move mom into their upstairs bedrooms with single floor access to bathroom, kitchen, living room, etc. While doing that, fix as much 'crap' the previous owner installed as far as electrical, plumbing, heating, etc. Also replace as many galvanized water pipes with copper and cast iron soil pipes with PVC as possible. And, re-think some really bad layout decisions made by previous homeowner and correct those at this time. Also, create a hobby room/office for me, and a nice family/sitting/TV room for a little R&R. Just for the record - I'm doing my part to stimulate the local economy thanks to a home equity line of credit from a local bank.

For the first time since Memorial Day we've been able do some laundry ! First round of inspections tomorrow, then insulation, drywall, more inspections, etc.

I'm hoping to fly my 550 helicopters this coming Friday at the company picnic, if the weather cooperates that is ....

Here's a quick 'before' video:
Project Nana - Phase 1 - 95% Complete (3 min 39 sec)


Thanks for checking in!
-...Continue Reading
Posted by FR4-Pilot | Nov 21, 2014 @ 08:49 PM | 2,984 Views
I just realized I've acquired enough bits-n-pieces of helicopter parts and electronics over the last 2 years to actually build up another 550 size Swift NX, for that beautiful scale Jet Ranger fuselage. Only missing a single tail push-rod ball link and Mligosh is kindly sending me a few of his spares - what a guy!

Phase 1 will be building up the pod and boom air frame and getting that all dialed in. This will be a lower RPM heli (1500 range). Phase 2 will be installing it all in the Jet Ranger fuselage. I'll be running on 5S 4000mah packs, with 550mm SpinBlades asymmetrical main blades.

That's the plan anyway.

Let phase 1 begin ! ...Continue Reading
Posted by FR4-Pilot | Jun 17, 2014 @ 11:22 AM | 4,292 Views
... almost exactly one year after purchasing my pre-owned Flyzone Sensei. It's not the newer (V2) re-designed one with SAFE technology, rather the original one (V1) from 2008. It seems to be in really good shape considering how old it could be. Just the plane and a battery - no transmitter or charger.

The plane has:
  • Stock BL15 outrunner, 840kV motor
  • 30A ESC with 0.7A switching BEC
  • AR500 DSM2 5-Ch receiver
  • 3x 13g metal gear servos (ailerons & elevator)
  • 1x 37g standard servo (rudder & nose gear)
The battery included in the deal is a 3200mAh 3S 11.1V 15C Li-Po.

Everything appears to be in working order. I'll be using one of my DX6i's (or both for buddy boxing).

I've got a bunch of 3S 2200 lipos (with XT-60s) so I'll be using those (with XT-60 to EC3 adapters) along with the 3200 battery included in the sale. It's great having the same batteries for my 450 helicopters, my Flyzone Sensei, and now the E-Flite Apprentice.

I've heard that the AR500 was prone to brown outs, the stock motor's base (made of a plastic like material) can get hot and melt, and the main shaft can get knocked out of alignment easily due to the motor's plastic-like features. I also realize the ESC has a rather weak BEC (700mA). And the wheels are small - not good for grass at all - thus the prop is only about an inch from the ground. All things that I'll keep an eye on for sure. But this plane has obviously been flow at least a few times successfully, so I'm not overly worried...Continue Reading
Posted by FR4-Pilot | May 08, 2014 @ 01:49 PM | 4,078 Views
E-Flite Apprentice 15e & Flyzone Sensei

Summary (Both)
High Wing Trainers
Foam construction
Tricycle Landing Gear
Basic 4 Channel*- Ailerons, Elevator, Rudder, Throttle controls
Steerable nose wheel

* Sensei has 5th channel drop door servo
Color Scheme
Sensei - White foam with orange, black and blue decals.
Apprentice - White foam with red, black and silver decals.
The Foam
Sensei - entire plane is made of (stiffer) AeroCell foam.
Apprentice - mostly made of (softer) Z-Foam, except tail fins and bottom panel (? material).
Size, Weight, etc.
Wingspan
Sensei - 58"
Apprentice - 58.5"

Length (nose - tail)
Sensei - 48"
Apprentice - 42"

Weight (Wing)
Sensei - 1.1 lb
Apprentice - 0.8 lb

Weight (Fuse - no batt)
Sensei - 2.0 lb
Apprentice - 1.5 lb

Weight (total - no battery)
Sensei - 3.1 lb
Apprentice - 2.3 lb

Weight (total - with battery)
Sensei - 3.54 lb with 2200 battery, 3.76 lb with additional 1800 2S battery for CG.
Apprentice - 2.85 lb with 3200 battery, 2.96 lb with 2200 & 1800 2S

Height (gnd - tail)
Sensei - 15.5"
Apprentice - 16"

Wing Loading
Sensei - 14 oz/ft²
Apprentice - 12 oz/ft²
Landing Gear
Wheel Base
Sensei - 13" x 10.5"
Apprentice - 14" x 9.5&
...Continue Reading
Posted by FR4-Pilot | Dec 28, 2013 @ 02:41 PM | 3,876 Views