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Posted by suseuser | Jun 18, 2011 @ 11:27 AM | 1,852 Views
I saw my first glider pilot at my flying field yesterday. I was a little embarrassed because all I had was my Radian. I felt like I was flying a foam cooler compared to his beauty. I forgot to ask him what type of sailplane he had with him. I know it was a 2M, it's didn't have a lot of dihedral in the wings, the wind tips came to a point, and he landed it into the ground like a javelin.

I also saw my first use of a winch. When I got there the line was all tangled around the spool. So, he wasn't in a real talkative mood. I showed him my favorite spot to catch thermals and then made a quick launch with the Radian. I stayed out of his way. Once the older gentlemen got the tangles worked out I got a chance to watch him launch. All I can say is the winch sent it off like a rocket! And and at the top he flew off the end of the line with a vengeance. It was not the gentle line drop off at the apex of the Hi-Start. He intentionally "zoomed" it off the end of the line. And he headed off to the area I had suggested. His glider immediately caught a thermal and off he went. I was glad my suggestion worked out.

His flying style was totally different than I am accustomed to seeing. All I have seen is mine. He was very aggressive with steep bank angles and lots of speed. Not casual at all. It seemed to work well for him. But, I don't think I could have stayed up 15min flying like him. I meander around the sky looking for anything that will keep me...Continue Reading
Posted by suseuser | Apr 10, 2011 @ 06:26 PM | 2,126 Views
This time of the year drives me crazy. The sun comes out, the weather starts to warm up a little and the cabin fever takes hold. You are itching to get out an put all those winter projects into the air. But wait, the wind is blowing constantly. And if the wind isn't blowing, it's raining! So, you are tempted on a kinda of gusty day to take your pride and joy out to the field. With anticipation you step out of the vehicle. Plane gripped tightly in your hand. This is mainly due to the fact the gusting winds are trying to tear it from your hand. Your plane tries to beat you into submission by smacking you in the face as each wind gust attempts to convince you, "it's not a good day to fly!" Oh, but you don't listen do you.
You toss it into the wind and it flies like a ground bloom on the 4th of July. Totally out of control and the eminent crash is near. And of course there are always spectators. One or two of them look at you and say, "wow, that's awesome!" They think you actually mean to do death spirals, inverted loops and buzz the ground. Then it happens, plane meets ground in a very unpleasant way. Welcome to Spring!
Posted by suseuser | Mar 16, 2011 @ 03:59 PM | 2,174 Views
I can't believe it's raining again! I don't know if it's the time of year or Murphy's law that it seems to rain on my days off. At least I've had plenty of time to work on my sailplanes.

The Fling:
Today I'm replacing the pull-pull lines on the Fling with Spider Wire fishing line. The original line was really strange stuff. I'm also going to install a some sort of guard to protect the elevator control horn. I can see how any contact with a semi-hard surface would cause some damage. Luckily when I was out with the Fling the grass still had a soft, moist layer of soil underneath it.

The Spirit:
Well, it's still waiting to put some lead in the nose for balance. I've got all kinds of lead around the house. It comes from many years of reloading. I've even got some lead ingots around somewhere. I hate to use good lead cast bullets for ballast. But, it would make an interesting discussion topic at the field. It works out to be exactly five 44mag 240 grain SWC bullets.
Next, I need to get the canopy installed. It's just a minor thing but it needs to be done. I don't know why I am dragging my feet about getting the Spirit finished.

The BOT:
All it needs is to be balanced. But, the crazy thing is so big that I haven't found anywhere in the house big enough to get the wings on and check the CG! Truth be told, I don't plan on flying it for a little while.

When I was younger I would have already rushed out to a field and been flying all three planes in the rain and snow! I must be getting old. But then again, I would have pretty much destroyed all three planes by now. I'm also trying to take heed to what I've read in the "Old Buzzard's Soaring Book" about getting to know one plane well. I plan on flying the Fling for a while before I move onto the other Sailplanes. OMG, am I becoming more mature or cautious? Maybe both? I sure hope not.
Posted by suseuser | Mar 10, 2011 @ 06:19 PM | 2,399 Views
Well the BOT, Spirit and Fling are all complete. I really wish I had a decent day to fly them! I've been really tempted to fly in marginal weather. But it would be bummer to rush out and crash a new plane to satisfy my urge to go flying.
The Fling will be the first plane to get some air. Fun thing about the Fling is it's a toss in the air affair. Should take the edge off my NEED.
The Spirit will be next. But, I will need at least one decent day to fly. I get a week off each month and not one of those weeks had decent weather!
The BOT will be the last to get into the sky. I don't think the bot is really any harder to fly. But I think it would be a little fragile
Posted by suseuser | Feb 16, 2011 @ 04:15 PM | 2,124 Views
Here it is February and lots of cold weather and wind. Not one day of decent flying weather. Plenty of time for a build since the weather is not cooperating. At least the Grandkids needed a couple Pine wood Derby cars built by Grandpa.
Posted by suseuser | Dec 28, 2010 @ 11:27 AM | 2,466 Views
After having a few days of flight time I've come up with some observations. At first I thought the MSR had the dreaded TBE. But, after I got a little more flight time in I think it is just the self-stabilizing gyro. The Heli always wants to return to a neutral state. In that aspect it responds a lot like my coax. But, unlike the coax it seems to over-correct with excessive opposite response. This over correction can get the Heli into a pendulum-type situation. IMO, it's due to the gyro trying to find a neutral rest position. When it gets pushed over a certain pitch angle it continues to pick up speed at a proportional rate. Which is unlike the coax.

The 4#3b does not have this inherent over correction in the gyro. It's stable. But, when you push the nose over it's not coming back! Without opposite input it will just keep accelerating. And when you add stick input opposite to the direction of travel there is considerably more lag time than either the coax or MSR. The MSR seems to fit exactly where it is suppose to; right between the coax and a full-on FP or CP Heli.
Posted by suseuser | Dec 20, 2010 @ 11:21 PM | 2,538 Views
The more I fly the 4#3b the more I am liking it. Even if the concensus seems to be that its an out dated model. I still don't have a grasp on stable flight. But, it's so much stinkin fun! I love the challenge. When I get the hang of flying it, I get the feeling this Heli will be a speed demon.
Posted by suseuser | Dec 17, 2010 @ 02:13 PM | 2,779 Views
Got the parts. There was not even the slightest breeze outside today. So, I thought I would take the Heli outside. I got a lot of flight time in. It gave me enough time to get a feel for the Heli. It was only 10 to 15 seconds at a time, but that's a huge amount of time compared to my indoor flights. I learned a lot with my outdoor session.

#1 It's critical to keep control of the tail. If I can't accomplish that, than I can't control the Heli.

#2 Try to anticipate the direction of travel. It seems like there is a point of no return. Once it starts to "falls off" a hover it tends to slid off to the left or right. I can't seem to get enough input to counteract the direction of travel. My feeling is that if I can swing the tail around this could be recovered.

I am having a hard time staying on top of the controls. There is so much going on in such a short amount of time. I know this will all gel with practice. It's going to take a while to master. My biggest concern is that I will damage the Heli before I've reached that point. I've looking forward to getting my MSR for Christmas!
Posted by suseuser | Dec 15, 2010 @ 01:22 PM | 2,658 Views
Spent some time today going through some threads on the 4#3b. I didn't know it has been around so long. I found one that started on May 16th, 2008.
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=864937
It was a hot Heli when it first came out. I like how a lot of people stated how easy and stable it is to fly! I wasn't involved in Heli's then but the other small Heli's must have been a bear to fly. Funny how things change in just a couple years.
I'm hoping to get the parts in for my Novus today. It would give me a couple good days of flight time. I've been getting my hover fix with my ol' reliable Proto CX.
Posted by suseuser | Dec 12, 2010 @ 01:11 AM | 2,746 Views
I knew the battery tray was going to be an issue right away. The first time I put a battery in and tried to pull it out, I knew I was going to have a problem. I've had plenty of hard, unplanned landings. But, there just isn't much structural strength if you take the weight of the battery in to account. So far I've ordered a battery, new canopy, landing gear, and screw set. I spent a little time on YouTube checking out 4#b3 flights. Even the guys that said they had never flown a Heli before were at least getting them up in the air. Maybe a little shaky but they keep them up in the air. Mine seems to careen out of control. Then smash into something the room. And I've flown my coax for hours. So, I've had some experience. I guess, I'm just a little frustrated. I do enjoy the challenge of learning to fly it. But, if I could just get it in the air for a minute or two, I think I could get the hang of the controls. But 5 to 10 seconds of airtime just isn't enough. The canopy has a lot of tape on it so that might be contributing to it's erratic behavior. When I get the bolt set and battery tray, I will put on the new canopy and see if that is the issue.
Posted by suseuser | Dec 08, 2010 @ 01:19 PM | 2,578 Views
Last night I was able to get in some decent hover time with the Novus. Even better was that I accomplished some decent landings! It is a heli that takes a light touch. I have to stay on top of it every second or its in control. I can see its potential as a very nimble flyer. And it strikes me as being a very fast heli.
Posted by suseuser | Dec 05, 2010 @ 02:22 PM | 2,536 Views
Today I got the Novus into the air. If I had a little more room it would be easier to get a feel for the controls. I'm trying to think of some open places where I could get a little more air time. If it wasn't for the foot of snow in the yard I would take it outside.