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Outback Joe's blog
Posted by Outback Joe | May 01, 2010 @ 10:57 PM | 3,926 Views
I spent the day painting and installing the tail and motor. I think that the paint came out OK, but not as good as I wanted, it has been years since I have worked with and airbrush. I still have the wing mounting hardware to install, along with the servos and control horns. I will be using dowel rods in the front and a 10-24 nylon screw in the back that will screw into a piece of taped basswood.

Here are a couple of photos that show the paint job.

More later....
Posted by Outback Joe | Apr 28, 2010 @ 10:21 PM | 3,061 Views
The wing is mostly done as well as the fuse. Cutting the parts was the quick part. Putting everything together with slow glue makes the process seem much longer.

I have a motor and prop selected my well used Super Tiger and a 9 x 7 prop.

I now need to find a pattern to etch the wings with a lines that make them look like they have feathers on them. If I can get the feathers to look good I will try to use the airbrush to color the feathers in.

More later...
Posted by Outback Joe | Apr 27, 2010 @ 03:26 PM | 2,790 Views
I have been wanting to try my hand at a fully scratch built plane and have been thinking about the FFF Eagle. Not what you would think of as a plane but it should be fun and very different from the other planes that I have built in the past. And it may attract the attention of other birds in the area.

I cut all the parts out of foam core board last night and removed the paper on each side after cutting them out. The paper on the dollar store foam core comes off very easy with just a little water. I was surprised at how well the foam cuts with a sharp #11 blade. All the parts were cut in about 4 hours. I need to go back and sand some of the areas that need it but after that I can start to assemble the plane.

I hope to use a folding prop on this plane, so I will need to mod the area around the head and beak. Time will tell if I can get this flying but it should be fun trying something new.

Stay tuned
More Later...
Posted by Outback Joe | Apr 25, 2010 @ 10:19 PM | 2,780 Views
Just got back from maidening my new Assassin from Crash Test Hobby and I must say that this it one fun wing to fly. Easy to build and easy to fly.

I am guessing that you can buy one of these and get it into the air for just under a $100.00. I used some parts that I had on hand. I did buy a new motor from HK and props. For the price you get a plane that has good vertical performance and is reasonably fast, it handles very nice and does good aerobatics. It can take some abuse without showing it, not that it is indestructible but it can bounce back after some less than graceful landings. I used some left over covering on this plane so it turned out with a different color scheme but if you didn't want to go to the extra work of covering it you could just put a little spray paint on the foam. This would be like the paint job on the Hyper Flea.

I also wanted to post a picture of my Hyper Flea. This is a great little plane that can be flown in smaller areas like a small park. It is a great plane to keep at work and fly it at lunch. The Hyper Flea is a very in you face plane. Since it is so light you can putter around or rip it up and be very close in. The Hyper Flea also has one thing that it does very well. You can get it into high alpha flight and almost set it on its tail. It can be landed at your feet and be traveling at just a few MPH.

Well it is time to think about going back to work after being off for two weeks And I mean it!!!

More later....
Posted by Outback Joe | Apr 15, 2010 @ 10:39 PM | 3,210 Views
Well I nosed in my old Electra this week and just this evening I lost power to my Hyper Flea on final. I was using an old battery in the Flea, my fault. The Flea is a very quick fix just a dab of hot glue and the canopy will be fixed and no one will ever know, the Electra not so much. It will need a new fuse but the wing and all the electrics are OK. Maybe build a new composite fuse for the wing and tail this next winter.

I have been down in Lakeview Oregon this past week and I don't know how many flights that I have on the Radian, Slinger and the Hyper Flea. To tell the truth I was planning on doing a lot more work to the shop but flying got in the way. Well I am on vacation this week so what the hey.

It is good to be out of the city and here where I can fly when ever the wind dies down. The Flea does great in winds up to about 25 MPH, the Radian needs calmer conditions, so I don't launch if the wind is above 10 MPH. Not that the Radian won't handle winds in the 20 MPH range but here in Lakeview a 10 MPH wind can blow up into a 35 - 45 range in a half hour. Not fun trying to get the Radian out of the air in those conditions.

I am having so much fun that I ordered a Assassin wing from Crash Test Hobbies. It will be fun to get that up and running for the next trip down here. They look like a fun wing to fly. And since I have all the electrics from the Electra it won't cost much. If this goes well I would like to build a bigger wing for slope soaring, more on this...Continue Reading
Posted by Outback Joe | Apr 11, 2010 @ 09:35 PM | 3,518 Views
Well I maidened my Hyperflea today. The first attempts at a launch ended with a bounce. Good thing that this is a foam plane. I am used to flying gliders so just an easy toss gets them into the air. Not so with the Flea.

After 5 attempts at launching it I just grabbed the wingtip and hauled back and gave it a good hard discus toss up at about 60 degs and off she went. Surprising that once in the air and flying it will really slow down, so much so you can land very nose high and plop it at your feet. This is a very fun plane to fly. It also handles the wind here in Lakeview Oregon with ease.

Yesterday my Electra met its end because of said wind, it went in almost vertical. So most of the fuse from the wing forward is gone. Well it was my fault. I knew that I was pushing it with the wind.

I also got the Slinger out today and flew it for about 20 mins. I think that if the wind is more than 10 MPH here I will stay with the wings. They are the ticket when the wind picks up. And up here at 5000' most days are windy

More later.
Posted by Outback Joe | Mar 26, 2010 @ 02:35 PM | 3,050 Views
I would first like to say that I have had no issues with HH product support up to this point. I have lots of there product. They have been great to work with until this point.

To be fair, I have had problems in the past. The first product that I bought was a CX3, it had a bent inner shaft (known issue), called HH and they shipped new parts. I bought a mCX that did not have enough power to get off the ground, replaced at the LHS. Prop failure on the radian (known issue), prop and firewall replaced by HH. These were all simple fixes and that is the way that it needs to be.

I also have a DX6i and DX7 radios, a blade MSR, I have used lots of S75 servos in most if my gliders for flaps, spoilers and ailerons, I can't count how many recevers that I have off hand.

The point is that stuff happens, and we need expect that. But the manufacture needs to understand that there are problems with there QC that need to be addressed. I won't be giving up on HH just yet but I sure will think long and hard about the next new plane that I am considering. The thing is that I am in this hobby to get away from day to day problems, I don't want to fight with a supplier about there products and have that as just another problem.

I my eyes the jury is still out on HH. I hope that they can see that there are problems that they need to address.
Posted by Outback Joe | Mar 23, 2010 @ 12:10 PM | 3,169 Views
Well not so fast, I stopped by my LHS, Ultimate Hobbies here in Salem for a few small parts and ended up leaving with two kits. The first kit is a Hyper Flea and the other is a Wing-E balsa kit. The Wing-E has been on the shelf since mid 2003. There is lots of info on the Hyper Flea but so far not much on the Wing-E.

I am looking forward to both builds but the Wing-E Should be interesting as it is a balsa build up wing and that makes it very different. It looks like the kit calls for the motor to be mounted to the from of the wing. This may get changed to a rear mounted out runner.

The Hyper Flea kit comes with a small out runner but no ESC, For some reason this strikes me as interesting. Why the motor but not the controller. Maybe it is just me but it seems strange.

I hope to start on the Hyper Flea in the next day or two so stay tuned for info on that.

More Later .....
Posted by Outback Joe | Mar 20, 2010 @ 11:18 PM | 3,310 Views
Well I have been in Lakeview Oregon for the past 10 days and it has gone from sun to snow to sun and now it is fixing to rain.

I did get three flights in on the Slinger and I love the way that it sounds in flight. It almost has the sound of a nitro motor. Must be the air coming off the rear of the wing or the pulses hitting the flaperons. I don't know what it is but it was unexpected. It does like its speed, not much of a slow plane but it will slow down to land at a decent speed. I have heard that the wings don't like turns at slow speeds so I kept it high and long on final so I could recover if it stalled. Didn't show any signs of a stall but I will play with that more later.

I also had the prop on my Eflite Ascent 450 come apart on my 6th flight. I was just beginning my climb out and I hear a pop and then just a faint buzz. I thought that I had the vibration fixed. But there may have been a crack already started on the plastic hub. All that was left after landing was the metal prop adaptor and a small amount of plastic from the prop hub. I have to hand it to Horizon Hobbies they are great about servicing there products. I just explained what had gone wrong and they are sending me a new prop, hub and motor. I have never had anyone stand behind there products like Horizon Hobbies does.

Well this is my last night here in the Oregon Outback for this month. After the quiet here I am not looking forward to retuning to work this next week. Had some good flights here with the three planes that came with me, but I will be back next month and hope to have more good times.

More to come later.....
Posted by Outback Joe | Mar 08, 2010 @ 11:14 PM | 3,277 Views
In my last post I talked about getting a Great Planes Slinger. I finished it tonight and it looks nice. I like the look of this wing. OK I like the look of a wing almost any wing. I wanted something that was cheap that I could play with in Lakeview. I have a nice slope very close that the wind hits and should provide some lift. This may be a great plane for that kind of flying.

I did upgrade the motor with an Atlas AM2308-11, a 7 x 5 prop and a Castle 20 amp ESC, powered by a 1300 mAh lipo. I did go with a bigger prop because of the lower speed of the Atlas motor. I needed to move the control horns out and cut the slot in the rear of the wing out by about an inch on each side. I didn't find many photos on the net for the outrunner conversion. At least ones that showed me what I wanted to see. If anyone wants photos of anything on the motor and mounting let me know and I will try to put some up.

This kit seems to be of good quality overall but I was surprised by the amount of winkles in the fabric covering. Not hard to remove but I don't think that this would have flown very well. I have seen many Great Planes kits and they are all covered better than this one. I guess that everyone has bad days. I did put some markings on the bottom of the wing to help me with orientation. I went with a swoosh patten that kind of matches the top but in teal and orange. Now that should help with keeping the correct side down

I did get a test glide in tonight so I think that the...Continue Reading
Posted by Outback Joe | Mar 08, 2010 @ 10:33 AM | 3,127 Views
I took the grandson to a hobby store in Oregon City (Coyote Hobby's) on Saturday. I wanted to look at the Xeno wing from Multiplex, for $70.00 not a bad deal. They had 3 on the shelf, I asked the owner of the store if we could look in the box, but when we did we found that it only contains 2 wing half's, winglets and the center section that allows it to hinge. If you want to build this plane you will need to fork out another 170.00 for the power section, or try and figure out what parts and pieces that you need if you want to supply your motor and ESC. So for the low price of $240.00 you can get into this FOAM plane but you will still need the RX and servos.

Long story short the Xeno did not follow us home and I don't think that Coyote Hobbys will be keeping them on the shelf, the owner seemed to be very unhappy with the fact that you can't build a plane without getting more parts at a very high price.

This was my first visit to Coyote Hobby and to say the least, I was very impressed with the help at the store. If you are in the area stop by and take a look at there inventory. They have lots of kits in a small area.

My grandson did find a Slinger tucked into a bottom shelf. Since I could not afford a Xeno the Slinger at $49.99 was a bargain. I have been looking for a Slinger for about a year and had to have this one. I will post some photos of the build later. It says on the box that you can build it in an hour but I don't know how that is possible.

More Later....
Posted by Outback Joe | Mar 03, 2010 @ 10:21 PM | 3,938 Views
Finished covering the Rascal tonight and all that is left is to put a windshield in. I put a simple curved pattern on the wings and did a small wasp waist to the orange that runs down the top of the use to make it look even narrower.

This has got to be one of the nicest looking planes that I have built but I do like things that have that modern age look from the 40's and 50's. I was unsure about using the orange and cream color scheme but now I think that I really like the colors together. Thinking about adding a few thin black pin strips, what do you guys - gals think?
Posted by Outback Joe | Mar 03, 2010 @ 11:02 AM | 3,257 Views
I did find the problem with the Mudbug not having the power that I thought it should. The ESC was not delivering a full power to the motor. I have full voltage at the battery but the delivery side of the ESC is only delivering 5.1 volts. Swapped out the ESC with a new one and what do you know that little brushed motor really pulls hard. I think that the Mudbug will easily ROG.
Posted by Outback Joe | Mar 02, 2010 @ 10:52 PM | 3,323 Views
Finished the cover on the Mudbug last night if you can call it covering. I did take the covering out to the edge of the wing just to get a smooth clean edge.

Added two yellow racing stripes to the wings, just seemed to funny not to. I am guessing that this may do 20 MPH flat out and down hill

Hope to fly it this weekend if I can get someplace indoors. I did try to taxi across the living room carpet and it takes full throttle just to do that, what a let down. It does taxi better on a smooth kitchen floor but I am not sure that it will ROG. I am hoping that this will fly with the power that it has. If not I will trade the brushed motor out for a small outrunner.

Total weight is 4.1 ounces. Part of that is the bigger wire on the 6 amp ESC and AR500 RX.

Here a few shots of the finished plane.
Posted by Outback Joe | Feb 28, 2010 @ 10:06 PM | 4,455 Views
I ordered a Mudbug last week because my wife saw me looking at the Stevens Areo website and thought that it was cute. Not sure that I see it that way but building a kit for any reason is good enough for me. And I must say that the Trexler balloon tires are just too much, who could pass this one up.

This kit is laser cut so nicely that it almost looks like it is printed on the balsa. The lines are just so fine that it is hard to start pulling pieces from the balsa sheets. All the parts are laser engraved with part numbers and witness lines so getting lost is hard to do. They even mark the parts with lines so the ribs are perfectly placed and aligned and parts that need to face to the front are marked Front. This would be the perfect kit for a first time balsa build.

It took about 3 hours to get all the balsa parts put together and ready for cover. At this point I am waiting for the GWS geared motor and servos. They should be here later this week. So all that is left to do is to cut some covering for the wings / tail and put all the electronics in. I think that I will cover the wings out to the edges and not just cover the open areas in the center of the wings. I don't think it will be more than a few more grams doing it this way.

Here are a few photos of the progress so far.

More to come.....
Posted by Outback Joe | Feb 26, 2010 @ 08:55 PM | 4,409 Views
I have been working on a Sig Rascal for the past few weeks. I was talking to my friend Leakteck about it and he wanted to see some photos of my project.

So here goes.

First some basics;

Sig Rascal C, from Sig Aircraft. 49" wing span.
Turnigy SK2822-1200 Outrunner w/turnigy Sentry 25 Amp ESC.
3s Turnigy Lipo 1300 mAh battery.
2 - Hitech 65HB servos.

This has been a very fun build due to the quality of the kit from Sig.

Here are the photos of the plane so far.
Posted by Outback Joe | Feb 23, 2010 @ 11:56 PM | 4,353 Views
Now that I have the Ascent vibration sorted out I really like the plane. It is fun to fly and flying it right after one of the bigger gliders it feels like a rocket. Great climb, easy to go vertical and just keep climbing. If I remember the AUW is just over 22 OZ. It does not float like the bigger gliders but I think that it will be good in a medium wind. I will find out next month when I spend a week in Lakeview. Lots of wind in that area.

I am also working on a Sig Rascal a 48" model. It is a great little kit to put together. The fuse almost snaps together. The parts are nicely cut and like all Sig kits they have great balsa stock and they are generous giving more balsa so little mistakes are easy to fix. One thing about the kit it calls for a type of thin main gear wheel that is very narrow, 3/8 total width, not easy to find. I did find a wheels that are used in pattern ships and the "Quickie 500". I had to drill some material out to get some of the weight off them. The wheels that I used came from Northwest Dist. Auburn Washington. So at this point I am ready to cover the Rascal.

I did come across a little plane from Stevens AeroModel, it is the Mudbug.
http://www.stevensaero.com/StevensAe...G-p-18968.html Had to have it. So that is due to be here by the end of the week. I really need to stop looking at models. But this one is so unusual that I needed to have one.

Since I returned to the hobby I have gotten a slew of models. I think that I have 5 helis and 8 planes with the mud bug coming soon. This is one of the reasons that I gave this up when I was younger, it became additive and expensive to a young man that mowed lawns to support it. I guess now that I have more time I can justify this as a way to pass the winter months and a great way to spend time outside in the warmer months.

I have rambled on long enough so ,,,, more later......
Posted by Outback Joe | Feb 16, 2010 @ 11:33 PM | 4,011 Views
Well I have been working in a Sig Rascal for the past 3 weeks and am very close to covering the plane. I tried some Monocote this time and man was that a mistake for me. I am have been using Ultracote for my projects but the LHS was out of the color that I wanted. So I thought that Monocote would be just as good and it should work the same WRONG. It takes lots more heat and a heat gun is just about mandatory. I like to work my covering slow and use an iron, not with Mono. Anyway I have a roll of the correct color coming in Ultracote I know that I can cover with it. I was talking to the owner of the LHS and he likes Monocote but he also likes to cover with a heat gun. I guess that is why they make more types of covering.

The Rascal has a little 150 watt Turnagy Areodrive and a 8 x 6 prop. I used a 25 amp ESC but I can't get more than 15 amps WOT. So far I like the lines on the Rascal and it is a fully lazer cut kit. So easy to build you really don't need to pin parts down to the plans. Only time that you really need the plans is for rib spacings.

If you are reading this you also know that I bought a Ascent 450 from Horizon Hobbies. Nice little plane that I was able to fly for the first time today. I thought that I would never find the problem with the vibration coming from the prop and spinner. I did find that the factory had installed the wrong screws that kept the prop adapter from fully seating on the motor shaft. Once I put the correct screws in the motor and seated the prop adapter all the vibrations went away. I must say that the Ascent fly's nice and I think that it is going to be a fun plane for quick outings after work or at lunch.

More Later.....
Posted by Outback Joe | Jan 31, 2010 @ 09:01 PM | 3,578 Views
Hi I am 53 and have been away from this hobby for almost 40 years. Man now that sounds like a very long time. I work in the civil engineering field for Oregon State Hwy Division. I got back into this about a year ago and have had to learn a lot of new terms and all the new possibilities of electric aircraft. For me electric is the way to go, no mess and makes flying quiet so you can pick many more spots to fly in. Everyone is happy.

I was looking for something to fill the void after flying light aircraft since my mid 20's. I started reading about the hobby and liked the idea of trying electric helis. I thought that this might be a good place to get back into the hobby. WRONG I have a very beat up eflite CX3 to show what old hands can do to one of these. It did get me thru the curve of learning the eye hand thing. Then came the Align 400 Pro, it taught me forward fight and how fun flying can one of these new electrics can be.

This past birthday I was gifted a Radian. This glider is a great first plane and should have started there. Very fun and I just fell in love with the size and grace of the glider. Funny how your eyes seem to need a BIG target. Since then I have converted crashed Electra to an e bird, built an OLY II S and just finished a Spirit electric full house.

More to come.....