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xplaneguy's blog
Posted by xplaneguy | Feb 23, 2012 @ 11:51 AM | 10,337 Views
Back in August 2011, I had the pleasure of flying my first pusher jet. It was the Nico Hobbies F-22 Raptor and I was hooked. I immediately purchased a RxR F-22 from Nico Hobbies owner Pat Gagnon during the West Coast Big Jolt Event and have been flying the Raptor for 6 months. This is one fun RC aircraft and I love it! In fact, several weeks ago, I sent Pat a PM for another RxR F-22 in Edwards AFB markings and a RxR SR-71 which is done in the markings of aircraft 955 which is here at the Edwards AFB Museum. I met Pat and the rest of The Chino Renegades in Ontario to not only pick up these models from Pat but to fly with some great RC pilots. We had a great time!

Here's photos of the Nico Hobbies RxR SR-71 which was photographed yesterday evening with the real SR-71 Blackbird (955). Note the 955 serial number and Lockheed Skunk on the tails of both model and real jet. Flying photos taken by my daughter Evelyn. Great job Eve!

Check out all of the Nico Pusher Jets at:
www.nicohobbies.com

Best,
...Continue Reading
Posted by xplaneguy | Jan 31, 2012 @ 04:00 PM | 10,251 Views
My involvement in model aviation has been one of the great joys of my life but my greatest gift and joy is my daughter Evelyn. She always amazes me and recently expressed an interest in how I began flying RC aircraft. As I explained to her, it all started with the Cox .049 PT-19 control line model and then on to the Cox .049 Cessna Centurion which debuted in 1977. My good friend had one sitting on a shelf in his closet after it crashed during the maiden flight. I asked him if I could fix it and we could try to fly it. He said "Sure!" With the model repaired, my buddy wanted me to fly it since I had been hanging around RC fields for years and watched other pilots fly. I had no stick time when I started the .049 engine on that Cessna and I was nervous! My buddy hand launched it with a great toss and a solid runnning .049...the model climbed beautifully! I began a gentle left turn and kept the model off my right shoulder so that I wouldn't have to worry about control confusion. Remember it was my friends plane, so the pressure was on for this first time flyer. He trusted me and I didn't want to disappoint him. After 4 minutes of run time, the .049 quit and glided, still keeping it in a shallow left turn till I approached a 150 foot strip of grass. I over shot and landed safely in 7 foot tall corn field. We were jumping up and down in celebration then ran another 300+ feet into the corn rows trying to find the plane. A few minutes later, I spotted the plane resting on...Continue Reading
Posted by xplaneguy | Jan 23, 2012 @ 03:55 PM | 10,317 Views
Here's photos of the New Durafly de Havilland DH 100 Vampire Mk.6 from Hobby King. This is my new favorite 70mm foamy EDF jet! I've now flown the aircraft 5 times using an 14.8v 40C 2200mAh battery and I love it. Per the Hobby King description, she can easily handle up to a 3300mAh battery.

The maiden flight was a little tail heavy using the CG from the manual. I immediately landed and moved the battery to where the front edge of the 2200 pack is centered over the nose gear retract motor and the aircraft was a dream to fly. My flight times were right around 5 minutes with the 2200 mAh pack. Just like the Hobby King item description states, this aircraft is a glider power off yet moves out nicely at WOT. One of the pilots from my club said, "It floats like a Muliplex Easy Star!" That is does! Another nice surprise...the sound of the fan. You would think someone put a sound card and speakers in this thing. It has cool stock jet noise. The landing gear retracts slow and smooth and has handled all five landings on the Dry Lake here at Edwards AFB, CA. This Vampire is unique EDF jet subject and a lot of fun to fly! She's a keeper!

All the best,
...Continue Reading
Posted by xplaneguy | Jan 10, 2012 @ 04:00 PM | 11,818 Views
This year's AMA Expo 2012 was packed with lots of great demos, featured projects like Aero Telemetry's Hughes XF-11 and NASA Droid as well as lots of vendors. One of the great rooms was the Free Flight/Make & Take room which feature the Black Sheep Exhibition Squadron. My daughter and I spent a lot of time hanging out flying free flight models and visiting with the finest free flight modelers in the AMA including Don Butman and Dave Gee. What a great way to introduce the public to such a fun part of Model Aviation. Free Flight and Control Line Models is where it all started for me more than 35 years ago and now my daughter is taking an interest in balsa stick and tissue models, all due to the AMA Expo.

Unfortunately, after two days of photographing the event, I returned home to find the auto focus feature did not like the indoors, so many of my photos did not make it on here. Time to invest in a new camera.

If you can, try to make it to the AMA Expo 2013....you'll have a great time!

Best,
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Posted by xplaneguy | Dec 20, 2011 @ 01:21 PM | 9,483 Views
After a year of debating, I finally pulled the trigger on Dynam A-10 PNP version for $109 from Nitroplanes. I'm glad I did! The plane required several mods for me to be happy with it. First mod was adding a CF rod to the horizontal stabilizer, which took 10 minutes. Second, add small stir sticks to the leading edge of the horizontal stabilzer mount point to correct negative incidence. Third, cut and reposition the vertical stabilzer to a more vertical position. Fourth, epoxy the velcro battery holddown. Fifth, paint cockpit and add pilot. Sixth, paint all brown camo patterns...gunship gray! Seventh, add scale gun and the final step was remove the white star and bars from the national insignia with an x-acto knife and paint the red bar...black. Yes...it involved patience but for a guy that supported Green Camo A-10's at RAF Bentwaters, England....this was neccessary!

Epoxy was used throughout the assembly with the exception of reinstalling the canopy after painting the cockpit. I used the included foam glue.

I used an 11.1V 40C 2200mAh battery for the maiden and two additional flight this past weekend. The front edge of the battery was placed at the fourth fuselage rib inside the battery compartment to achieve the 75mm CG. The maiden was a piece of cake. The power is fair for an aircraft which is not meant to be a speed demon. For an A-10 fan....I'm happy with it! Heck...for $109, it beats the pants off the old GWS A-10. Friends from my local club here at Edwards AFB were debating like me but are now pulling the trigger too!

Best,
Tony
Posted by xplaneguy | Nov 11, 2011 @ 08:11 PM | 10,902 Views
This is the Exceed RC 90mm F-18E/F available from Nitroplanes.com.

Upon opening the box, you immediately appreciate the size and appearance of this F-18. She's a thing of beauty! The next thing I noticed was the optional two seat cockpit which is very cool. I had the pleasure of supporting the very first F-18F here at Edwards AFB, CA more than ten years ago, so once I get a second pilot, I will be using the two seat cockpit. Assembly time for me was several hours. The majority of the time involved removing the paint from all attachment points for the wings, horizontal stabilizers, vertical stabilizers, nose cone and exhaust nozzle. I used two part epoxy to glue everything on. Loctite was applied to all landing gear hardware for added security. Foam safe CA was also appled to the nose landing gear rear wood mount to ensure a stronger attachment. The kit gives you the option to install thrust vectoring nozzles. I opted for fixed nozzles to minimize additional weight and additional work.

Once our weather clears, I will be flying this aircraft on a 6S 40C 4000mAh battery. I can't wait! More feedback to come after the maiden.

Here's a few pictures.

All the best,
Tony
Posted by xplaneguy | Oct 31, 2011 @ 12:49 PM | 10,058 Views
Here's the New RTF Airfield F6F Hellcat from Nitroplanes.com. The assembly time was only 40 minutes and another 30 minutes devoted to painting the prop tips, push rods, landing gear and plastic parts for more scale realism. I used the included foam glue to install the wings and horizontal stabilizers. With the stock 7.4V 1000mAh battery all the way forward in the battery compartment, I added 1/4 oz. weight to the firewall to achieve the proper CG.

This was the first time I've flown an Airfield 800mm Warbird with the Airfield 2.4 Ghz. Radio and I was very surprised at how well the radio worked. I own several Parkzone RTF Micros and this Airfield 2.4 radio is as good if not better. The transmitter only requires 4 AA batteries and your ready to fly. Like all the other 800mm warbirds, the F6F required plenty of ground speed before lift off. Once in the air, I added a two right clicks of rudder to counter a little prop torque and she tracked beautifully. Even without expo, the stock radio was dialed down to minimize control sensitivity, A big surprise! The Hellcat flies very well! I did five slow speed pass as my daughter snapped a few inflight photos during the maiden and the Hellcat was very stable at slow speeds. After 5 minutes, the battery and ESC were barely warm. This is another winner from Airfield and it looks great with it's bigger brother, the 1400mm F6F Hellcat from Nitroplanes.com.

For added fun, do some formation flying and dogfight your Airfield Warbird...Continue Reading
Posted by xplaneguy | Oct 25, 2011 @ 04:12 PM | 10,509 Views
Evelyn and I made our third trip to Visalia, CA in October to attend the CVRC Fall Float Fly on Saturday, 22 Oct 2011. We had a wonderful time! Thanks to Chris Pratt and John Wilson for hosting another great event!

Check out the CVRC Website for future event dates:
http://www.cvrcsoaring.com/

Here's some photos!

Best,
...Continue Reading
Posted by xplaneguy | Oct 20, 2011 @ 02:36 PM | 10,017 Views
During the Air Force Flight Test Center 60th Anniversary held Friday, Oct 14 2011 at Edwards AFB, CA, I had a cool opportunity to display several of my EDF jets at the event and spend several days with Brig Gen Chuck Yeager.

Here's a few photos of my LX 70mm F-35 and Skyangel 50mm F-35 with the real AF-01 F-35 Lightning II. The reaction over the EDF jets from the crowd and the F-35 maintainers was really cool! We may have more RC pilots joining in on the fun!

Another photo of Evelyn with Gen. Yeager.

Best,
Tony
Posted by xplaneguy | Oct 20, 2011 @ 01:48 PM | 9,716 Views
Here's photos from Sunday, 16 Oct during the CVRC Fall Aerotow. Photos from Saturday are on the thread below this one.

Best,
...Continue Reading
Posted by xplaneguy | Oct 20, 2011 @ 01:21 PM | 9,718 Views
This past weekend, Evelyn and I returned to Visalia, CA to attend the Fall Aerotow hosted by the Central Valley RC Soaring Society. We had a great time visiting with friends and fellow pilots. This event and many other CVRC events are a most for any RC enthusiast and their family. The atmosphere is welcoming and family oriented. The aircraft are stunning and the pilots are skilled and supportive of one another.

Here's photos from Saturday, Oct 15, 2011.

Regards,
...Continue Reading
Posted by xplaneguy | Oct 13, 2011 @ 04:39 PM | 10,356 Views
During the West Coast Big Jolt Event, I picked up this Rich Models Long-EZ ARF. The seller wanted $70. I asked,"What's the best deal you could offer?" He said, "$40!" and I said, "Sold!" I've always loved aircraft designed by Burt Rutan and the Long-EZ is a favorite! Living only a short distance away from Mojave, CA where Rutan's Scaled Composites is based and many Long-EZ aircraft flying over my home weekly, It couldn't say no. This Long-EZ model was going to be a fun addition to the fleet and my first RC aircraft with a canard.

The Rich Models ARF kit took several nights to assemble and install the electronics. I used an E-Flite Park 370 with an APC 7x5E prop and a 30 amp ESC. I also installed 4 Cirrus 301 9 gram servos from Hobby People. There was no cockpit so I added a 1/16 sheet of balsa, painted it black and added two Dynam light weight pilots.

I flew the maiden with a Turnigy 3S 25C 1500 mAh battery but it made the aircraft a little nose heavy. I now have 5 flights on the aircraft using Turnigy 3S 25C 1300mAh and it flies perfect! Scale like speed with th e ability to do basic aerobatics. Landings requires power to keep enough air over the canard for solid pitch control. I've been told that Rich Models no longer produces this kit. I hope that's no true. It's is a cool little Long-EZ that looks and flies great! A definite keeper!

Best,
...Continue Reading
Posted by xplaneguy | Oct 06, 2011 @ 01:29 PM | 9,836 Views
Evelyn and I attended the CVRC Soaring Fall Fest this past weekend and it was impressive! More than 200 pilots attended the weekend event and the weather was perfect.

Checkout www.cvrcsoaring.com for more info.

Here's the pictures!

Best,
...Continue Reading
Posted by xplaneguy | Oct 03, 2011 @ 06:16 PM | 9,630 Views
My daughter and I attended the "Best in the West" Jet Rally held in Buttonwillow, CA. It was another stellar event with stunning aircraft and skilled pilots.

Here's a bunch of images!

Best,
...Continue Reading
Posted by xplaneguy | Oct 03, 2011 @ 04:53 PM | 9,336 Views
During the "Best in the West" Jet Rally held in Buttonwillow, CA, Evelyn and I had the opportunity to talk with John Redman of Horizon Hobby about the New E-flite F-4 Phantom II which he stated it will be available in 2 weeks. Needless to say, there is lots of buzz about this new 80mm EDF jet and we were glad to see it first hand.

Here's a few photos of my daughter Evelyn holding this new 80mm F-4 Phantom II from E-Flite.

Best,
Tony
Posted by xplaneguy | Sep 26, 2011 @ 01:17 PM | 9,240 Views
Here's the new Airfield F6F Hellcat available from Nitroplanes.com. Once again, Nitroplanes and UPS got the Hellcat to my home in 22 hours. The Nitroplanes Shipping is the Gold Standard in the industry. AWESOME!

Needless to say, the scale and detail of this new 1400mm Hellcat is stunning. I painted the control horns insignia blue, light blue and painted the prop hub silver. I'll be flying this bird on Sky Lipo 14.8v 40C 3300mAh batteries. Can't wait to get it in the wind!

Here's a few sunrise photos of my awesome daughter Evelyn holding this beautiful F6F Hellcat. We were having fun with her early morning giggles.

UPDATE-I put two flights on my Hellcat this morning (28 Sep 11). I used a 4S 3300mAh pack for both flight. The aircraft was a little tail heavy with those batteries. I added an ounce of weight and she flew great. A 4S 4000mAh pack would be perfect! This F6F looks so great in the air and the flaps are awesome. I was shooting approaches with full flaps right at sunrise with the wingtip lights showing up beautifully. The Hellcat looked and flew amazing. The retracts are working perfectly and I was flying off my dirt runway. She's a keeper!

All the best,
Tony
Posted by xplaneguy | Sep 26, 2011 @ 12:47 PM | 9,165 Views
Back in 2005, I built the Dynaflite Butterfly 99 inch span powered glider from a kit I purchased from Tower Hobbies. It was originally powered with an O.S. 15 FP and covered with Monokote in an Edwards AFB Flight Test scheme. After watching it collect dust for the past four years, I decided to convert it to electric using the E-Flite Power 15, 60amp ESC and a 14.8v 25 C 2200 mAh battery. The conversion only took 45 minutes with another 30 minutes devoted to reheating/cleaning the Monokote. I have four flights on it now with the new electric set up and I'm very happy.

Best,
Tony
Posted by xplaneguy | Sep 14, 2011 @ 07:01 PM | 8,949 Views
For those of us who grew up with Carl Goldberg Models, the Gentle Lady was one of classic sailplanes from Goldberg. Needless to say, when I saw this beautiful ARF in a Tower Hobbies advertisement, I had to add this classic sailplane to our fleet. This ARF is nicely packaged and the instructions are the top quality product you expect from Goldberg Models, now distributed by Great Planes. Evelyn and I are looking forward to slope soaring this beautiful model and using a hi-start for local thermal flying.

Best,
Tony