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Posted by SkyCadet | Nov 11, 2012 @ 04:42 PM | 2,902 Views
Well, we got over a foot of snow recently, and so me and the trusty Super Dec on skis are scooting about...

Really having fun in winds with that ORX 3AS rate gyro system. Moderate gain just below the 2-o'clock position on roll and pitch seem to hold the plane nicely on approach.

BTW, for those interested, I started a topic (re-started actually) on the Yak55 build I'm doing... Anyone interested please feel free to jump in with pics, vids, build issues, and more:

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1767897

SkyCadet
Posted by SkyCadet | Nov 02, 2012 @ 06:22 PM | 3,461 Views
While I build my Yak55 from HK, I thought that I'd better get a decent motor for it.

Normally, a 2lb. plane on sport could be run by a RCT1120Kv motor, but I am wanting a bit more out of this plane. The RCT3536-6 (1250Kv, 500W) motor seems to be the ticket!

Pix of the motor below. The unit is ~$18 shipped. 102g, 500W max. I plan on running either a MAS 10x7x3 or 11x7x3 with this plane. Somewhere in the 390 to 420W WOT is what I am shooting for. Should be fun!!! My ESC will be a Turnigy 45A/55Ap unit from HK. We put a 30A on a buddies plane with the 1120 and a 9x7x3 MAS prop and WOW! It hauls. So, this should do very well also.

SkyCadet
Posted by SkyCadet | Nov 01, 2012 @ 07:25 PM | 3,150 Views
Well... PHOOEY!

Thanks to Sandy, our arctic highs got drawn over the priairies, mixed with pacific air, and dumped snow on us! At least 5"!

So, I donned the skis on my Decathlon, and went out for some winter flying fun. I was really hoping that we'd curtail major snow until November late, but it was not in the cards.

Two nice flights, absolutely glacier-smooth touchdowns! That ORX 3AS is really nice to fly with on skis! It held my plane nicely for a gliding touchdown...

Powder is so fun to fly on - but alas, the kiddies already are taking their toll making snow forts, snowmen, etc. I hope that I'll have some of the field left not looking like the lunar surface!


SkyCadet
Posted by SkyCadet | Oct 31, 2012 @ 03:51 PM | 3,124 Views


Well, not THAT big... Just pulled pins and ordered a Yak-55M model from Hobby King. pics from their site below. This sport/3D plane is supposedly one of their best for build quality and flying characteristics (many have said its a dandy F3A machine) in its size class...

We'll see. I LOVE the color scheme, and wish more of their similarly sized and priced models had this type of very zippy color pattern .

Pix below... I'll begin the build log as soon as the goodies arrive! At $63 it's a steal! <I hope> Wingspan is 44.4", and overall AUW is around 930g (~2lb.).
I am planning on using a MAS 3-blade on her, with a 500W class motor. It should go VERY nicely on 3S (2200s). Also, first time using digital MG servos, and I also will be putting in a i86 3-axis stabizing system on this to test out for sport Aerobatics.

That i86 is currently on backorder, so I grabbed everything else I needed. If I borrow my AR500 out of my Lancair for now, I am at around $160 all built, maybe a bit less. Not too bad if its a mean 3D machine!!! Stay tuned!

SkyCadet
Posted by SkyCadet | Oct 28, 2012 @ 06:09 PM | 3,052 Views
Just came in from flying in... snow!

Yes, we finally got some of the white stuff - not enough to merit skis yet, but a system moved in the past few days, and we finally got our share. About 1/2".

I flew my decathlon with ORX 3AS system on it, tweaked up a bit from last setting. Almost what it was, just a touch back from my original settings. Loops are larger than nominal and snap rolls JUST complete on aerobatic (105%) throws.

Light 10km/h wind, plane flew on rails. When I was coming in for a landing, I was sort of nervous, only due to the fact that the snow might catch th eplane and flip it over. However, the approach profile with the 3AS on there really is nice! It holds flare perfectly for a 3-point even in those kind of adverse conditions.

My buddy was supposed to make it with this hat-cam so we could video the plane but he got delayed, and I did not wish to let too much more white stuff come down before testing.

During my 11 minute flight, the snow started to come back and fell as almost corn-flake like snowflakes... So, only one flight for now. The plane landed in the grass perfectly without even looking as if it was going to nose up. The tail stayed nicely down during rollout.

I think that for now I'll leave these settings as they are. Very stable, nice flying profile. When winter finally hits here, I'll have skis on this plane, and aerobatics are not the main thing to do - touch and gos are!!! So, having the stability will be nice.

It's due to warm up over freezing the next few days, and then I can shoot some vids with the plane in action.

Skycadet.
Posted by SkyCadet | Oct 27, 2012 @ 01:22 PM | 2,953 Views
HI all!

I was able to fly a couple of times yesterday and today in slightly higher wind.

Wind yesterday was ~10km/h today 20-22km/h. During the first flight, I noticed VERY smooth control responses, and the plane flew well, esp. on TD where flares could be held really nicely.

However, the aeorbatic performance of the plane suffered a bit, esp. on snap rolls. They widened out to the point where they were no long snap rolls, more like a "half-barrel" roll. Loops were fine, but slightly wider than without the 3AS in there. I dropped the gains down slightly, about 1/2 of what they were.

Today, I could do snap rolls (slower than nominal but still about 75% of full rate) and they weren't bad. Loops fine. The wind definitely affected the plane still, esp. on pitching. So, I tweaked the elevator channel and gave it a touch more rudder. Approaches still had some rolling behavior this morning although MUCH dampened.

I think I'll have to relegate myself on THIS unit to the fact that if I want full stability, sport aerobatics are not fully possible, unless I tune the gains down significantly. Sort of makes sense, but at the same time, the AS3X system in my Beast micro 3D seems to handle aerobatics and stability VERY well. Maybe a more expensive rate gyro system might be better suited to this application. I rarely do aerobatics with skis on during winter months, so I am not too worried. Maybe a touch more playing will find that true sweet spot.

So far, I am reasonably impressed with the unit, except for the VERY non-linear potentiometer trim behavior. Gains go up a LOT after 1-o'clock...

SC
Posted by SkyCadet | Oct 26, 2012 @ 03:30 AM | 3,197 Views
I have below the test video of my newly-installed Orange RX 3-axis rate servo stabilization system (ORX 3AS for short!).

The unit in this case was installed under the wing facing down (upside down technically), and thi srequired me to reverse the aileron channel behavior to allow for opposite correction. I also had to reverse my elevator channel as well. No big deal.

The idea here is to be able to run the servos as normal, but with opposing movement upon a non-input change in orientation. In the case of this plane, being a 3-channel model, the ailerons are running the rudder. This model also has a LOT of rudder authority, and as such, roll was the better option to correct for. I see this when flying in wind, where the plane may roll suddenly a bit during gusts.

I set both channels around the 2-o'clock position, which was enough movement to do SOME correction, but hopefully not too much to prevent more serious aerobatics with the model. I may have to tweak these settings, but we'll see...

Video below, showing the action I set for my first trials:

SuperDBL ORX3AS (0 min 0 sec)


Enjoy!

SkyCadet
Posted by SkyCadet | Oct 26, 2012 @ 12:18 AM | 3,026 Views
I just finished installing my ORX 3AS unit tonight.

Install was pretty easy. I took the cover off my unit to save some weight, it was too difficult to remove the board out of the unit. Since I am trying this first on my 3-channel Super Decathlon BL, I ran the aileron and elevtaor channels only. Gain on the rudder is set to lowest. I set the two other axes for around the "2-oclock" position approximately, and set a medium low compensation throw for both axes, to not overly correct flying.

This model is especially authoritative on the rudder, so I had to make sur ethe plane is not going to overly correct that axis.

I think that I have gotten them just right, but maidening with the system running tomorrow (day off - YAY!) may tell the story. I wil post results when they arrive... FYI - the unit just slightly runs the servos under idle on mid-mid high gain.

SkyCadet
Posted by SkyCadet | Oct 25, 2012 @ 01:42 PM | 3,614 Views
Hi gang!

Well, HobbyKing has offered this little unit for the very affordable price of $14.99/ea.

The unit looks well made; however, I feel that the 15g weight may be an issue for smaller planes below 20oz. (15g is 1/2oz. afterall!). The board itself is only 5.5g or so. I plan to remove my case and coat the board with either heat shrink, or mount it on a small thin piece of 1/32" ply to make it more secure.

9.5g of dead weight is not what I want for my test plane, the Super Decathlon BL. It flies now VERY smooth and balanced well. This board will mount near the CG currently setup, and will be running with the aileron and elevator channels, and I'll tweak the gains until I feel that they are enough to be flight-worthy. Picture of the unit below. I hope that this unit, once configured and set properly, will allow for better wind handling and more adverse air current stability. Stay tuned!

SkyCadet
Posted by SkyCadet | Oct 20, 2012 @ 12:44 AM | 3,066 Views
I had a great few dusk flights with my Beast AS3X this evening.

I mentioned this in the beast 3d thread as well. Anyone ever had a dogfight with a Raven and a micro? Well, I did tonight! My beast almost got snipped at the tail by the black menace, and in a fit of fury, my beast went animal!!!

I did a fast reverse at WOT and shocked the Raven, thinking it was an easy mark! ~30s of fast switchbacks, some tight turns, and the Raven knew he'd made a mistake!

I let him go, but the beast was showing all tonight that it was king of the clouds!

This little micro just amazes me in how absolutely manoeuverable and controllable it is. What a great offering by Eflite!

I hope everyone is enjoying good fall flying conditions. We MAY be in for... snow... this evening, but I am hoping not yet. I'd like to get in a weekend or two of decent flying before that sticky white stuff forces me to finally don skis on my planes.

SkyCadet
Posted by SkyCadet | Oct 08, 2012 @ 10:45 AM | 3,513 Views
I won't normally be commenting on every flight I have here on this blog, but I thought that this information may be of use to some of you who are considering or who own already an AS3X-capable 2S micro.

This is the 6th flight of the new Turnigy NT 260mAh 2S batteries (HK# 9210000083) that I recently received for use in the Beast UMX.

These are fabulous batteries! I get totally unlimited vertical with this plane over the duration of the flight, even closer to 8 minutes of moderate to high throttle use (55-70%). Even in 20km/h wind, this plane just rockets upward with no issue at all, despite my mods adding about ~5-6g or so of extra weight altogether (Dubro wheels, whiteglue coating, tray mod, and the 260s).

My two flights at 3C with a 10-18km/h wind this morning went no problem to 8.5 minutes, and the plane handled everything as expected. Landings were nice on the short, dry grass, with a tiny hop and I was down. My second flight, in which mid flight on a low pass over a knoll I accidently cut throttle about 2 feet up, bounced off the nose and gear and the plane was fine. Not even a scratch! Given the temperature, I was expecting something. Nada.

The Deans 3MCs are superb for connecting and disconnecting these batteries to the plane. Any 2S micro system I get will probably use these from now on. They are foolproof, work well, and hold well. The pins are much larger than those on the stock system, which should translate to better current delivery and lower...Continue Reading
Posted by SkyCadet | Oct 06, 2012 @ 09:45 PM | 3,041 Views
I flew the beast UMX 3x today, all close to 9 minutes each. The first flight was in almost 20mph wind - WOW! The AS3X does a dandy job at keeping the plane flying depite being tossled about by gusts!

The other two were less windy, maybe 10km/h at the time - better! The new Turnigy NT 260s really did fine in the plane. 9 minutes gave around 165mAh consumed of the available ~200. 60% throttle most of the time, some vertical climbs, rolls loops, a stall turn or two and just plain fun.

The new charging harness is superb. The battery tray and connectors worked just fine also! I am going to have fun with this plane now!!!

The plane flies very nicely, and balance (CG) is bang on for this aircraft now. I did a superb TD or two on the BBall court proximal to the park. Almost a high alpha 3-pointer... very cool.

I highly recommend these Turnigy Batteries - the NanoTechs deliver a good performance on these micros and perform well.

SkyCadet
Posted by SkyCadet | Oct 06, 2012 @ 09:22 AM | 2,934 Views
I recently got my Turnigy NanoTech 260mAh 2S cells for my beast from Hobby King.

Upon test-fitting them in the plane, I realized quickly that they'll be tight in there. So I took out the stock battery tray, and made one using 1/32" hard plywood. I made it a bit shorter than the stock unit as I lowered the whole tray by about 10mm - nearly 1/2". I did this by cutting the foam down on the plane to accomodate the tray.

Some weldbond white glue (undiluted) on the foam where the tray sits, and also on top where the tray needs to be held, and it was good to go after an overnight cure. Some thin velcro on the rear of the tray (~3/8 wide in the middle) and on the batteries, and I am set!

Some of you may have followed my earlier blog re: the micro Deans 3-pin connectors I replaced the stock battery clip for. I used female 3-pin DMCs (Deans Micro Connectors) on the batteries and then made a proper balancing/charging harness with a male 3DMC and some surplus JST connectors and balance leads from older 2S batteries I got rid of. Always save the goodies!!!

This way, I can connect the batteries to my chargers as a standard 2S cell. I have been running them at 0.3A charge rate for now. Seems to be just fine, as my 1S multicharger runs 0.3A rate as well. At 260mAh, I should get about 9-10 minutes of flight time with the Beast. I am looking forward to trying it this weekend! Balance for the plane sits at ~19mm aft of the bottom wing leading edge, per the manual - I position these batteries such that they sit flush with the top of the battery compartment when positioned to get the proper CG.

Pictures of the mod of the battery tray, the new 3DMCs and the charge harness (made two of these for both my chargers) shown below...

SkyCadet
Posted by SkyCadet | Oct 04, 2012 @ 06:52 PM | 3,124 Views


I thought it might be a good idea to feature the systems I have used successfully in several of my aircraft. Power systems can have a huge impact on the performance of an RC aircraft; it is always nice when someone has sort of put all the pieces of the puzzle together, so I thought I'd share mine...

Below are some pictures and specifications of the RC Timer motors I use in my models. I started trying these out two seasons ago - they are similar to the Turnigy gold series, but they have different power ratings and some have different Kv values as well. I suspect that RC Timer sources (or is the source of) these motors out of China.

For models in the 15-19oz. range, I suggest the RCT 1400Kv motor OR the 2200Kv motor. Both offer significant power available over many stock motors on ARF types. (including E-Flites) The 1400Kv has more torque, but the 2200Kv can offer more "power at the prop" for those wanting a bit more aggressive flight envelope. Both weigh in at 50g, and are ideal for the 1lb. class models and are able to deliver in the 80-130W/lb. regime. I run either a MAS 8x6x3 blade, or 8x6 Eflite slowflier prop, or a GP Powerflow type 2-blade with these motors. Running 2S, the 2200 will draw into the 18-22Ap regime, dep. on prop type. The 1400 sits in the 14-16Ap range. Turnigy 30A ESCs are recommended to be certain you have lots of coverage! 2S, 1200mAh batteries can easily deliver over 11-12 minutes of flight time on general cruise, and aggressive...Continue Reading
Posted by SkyCadet | Oct 01, 2012 @ 10:23 AM | 3,076 Views
Well, the conditions weren't perfect, except for Sunday evening. You could cut the cool fall air with a knife!

Saturday after 2pm and up to 5pm Sunday, winds were variable, gusting to ~45km/h - no flying then! So, I kept myself busy with a little Sunday afternoon field project. (Portable wind sock blog entry below)

I was able to finalize the thrust angle and CG on my replacement (old) new Super Decathlon BL, and flew it several times this past weekend. It flies almost like the one I had with ~700 flights on it, but its even better in some ways.

Also took the Pitts out for a stroll! A really nice landing - 3 pointer, and 20' rollout. Sweet.

My flying group had their foamy Cubs and Micro champs out as well. A good time had by all. Upper winds were really nice to provide excellent lift all weekend, when the wind was more favorable.

On another note: I am getting a couple of Orange 3 3-axis stabilization system for my Pitts as a winter project, and will initially try it out on either my Lancair ES or Super Dec. I have heard great things about these units, so I hope they work decently. It would be nice to have an "AS3X" type of system on my Pitts 12!

SkyCadet
Posted by SkyCadet | Sep 30, 2012 @ 05:23 PM | 3,578 Views
Well, I decided it might be a good idea, so I made one with a HobbyKing windsock ($3/ea) and had a spare. This way, if we fly at a field without one, I can take it along. The unit stands just around 2.5m/8' fully extended.

I made this with some golf poles (for practice chipping) that I had laying around. 3 sections around 2.5 feet long. They assemble like tent poles. On the top pole, I slid off the flag and end cap and put in a 3/8" SS rod 12" long into the 1/2" pole. I used graphite epoxy to secure it, and Cut a 7/16" aluminum Heli tail boom I had laying around that was damaged but I had enough to cut to cover the 3/8" SS rod. I glued this over the hollow rod by using GE as well, and 3/8" heat shrink to center the two. The sock base has 8" of nylon rod from a plastic coat hangar, and this was glued into the hollow sock shaft. I used a small steel washer with a 3/8" hole to act as a stop, and this was also glued onto the sock base. It provides a pivot point when inserted into the top of the modified pole.

Pictures below. Works great, is in four pieces (sock plus 30" poles) when disassembled, and will work in grass, snow, etc.

SkyCadet.
Posted by SkyCadet | Sep 29, 2012 @ 03:06 AM | 3,407 Views
Well, I had a brownout on my 20A ESC last Sunday when flying my older super Decathlon. I found out that my 2200Kv motor system, even governed at 90% throttle, still runs around 21.7 Ap! The system cut out, and took 6 seconds to reboot - during which time I had NO control. The system came back too late, and the plane crashed, nose-first.

My previous airframe I had before this one had the landing gear rip out upon an overly hard landing (weak point of the plane anyway), so I had this cut out, and trimmed, and used a Mini Funtana gear form E-Flite put in place. The gear assembly fit my axles and wheels no problem, and I used a piece of foam plate shaped to act as a cover after affixing the gear strut. This was done by bolting it onto the underside of the carriage, using 2.5mm, 15mm long capscrews and lock nuts/washers. Epoxy-Graphite was used to reinforce the system. It is rock-solid, a bit heavier (about 4g) than stock, and 2" wider, and almost 1" taller than the stock gear. Pictures are below.

The plane required some rear tail counterweights to balance, but this was no problem. Maiden showed that the thrust axis (from stock) required a lesser down angle and just a touch less right thrust. Landings are solid and sure, even in depper grass to about 3". Plenty of prop clearance for the 8x6 E-Flite prop on there now. The plane has a bit more lateral momentum due ot the larger struts, but this is not a problem and may make it handle windy conditions a bit...Continue Reading
Posted by SkyCadet | Sep 22, 2012 @ 10:22 AM | 3,250 Views
Hi all!

Well, I recently added a UMX Beast (w/AST3X) to the hangar! (Thanks to Remi and Shelley for their gift - they bought one of my micro champs, and then got me a UMX beast in lieu! You two rock!

As with all my foamy planes, I used 1:1 Weldbond glue:water (~40-50% diluted) to cover ALL surfaces except the hinges. This tightens up the pores of the foam and adds a sort of plastic coating on the surfaces to strengthen them - yes it adds about 0.3g of weight, but it's worth it!!!

I added some Dubro 1" microlite wheels to replace the stock gear and used two plastic ends from my Dubro 1/2" tail wheel kit, and placed the 1/2" Dubro tail wheel in place of the stock foamy wheel as well. The 1" wheels weigh in at around 0.6g heavier than the stock pants/wheels, but are nicer, and fit on the gear shaft perfectly!!!

I have yet to maiden: I ordered some 260mAh Turnigy Nanotech 2S 20C batteries from HK, and they won't be here for around 10 days. So, I opted to run 2x1S 160mAh batts (Turnigy Nanotechs) in series with a custom harness. I also replaced the custom E-Flite plug on the plane with a Deans micro 3-pin connector instead. This way, I can run whatever good batteries I want, and just add the female on the batteries. About the same size as the stock plugs. Easier to uncouple, and work superbly!!!

Below are some pixs of the new plane, ready to fly! I should be able to try it out later today!!! Can't wait! Bound to the DX6i, FYI...

SkyCadet
Posted by SkyCadet | Sep 20, 2012 @ 10:38 PM | 3,230 Views
I have added a flight video with selected excepts from a dusk flight demo I did for a friend. This thing is a total hoot to fly now - it is WAY more plane than stock, and a lot of performance for the size and type of plane it is. It is a plastic-covered foam material, and is reasonably strong and light. I have 600+ flights with this airframe, and two spare whole airframes to play with when this one goes. I just love this plane. I can't explain it other than it finds use in fields where some of my faster planes might be a real workout trying to land crossfield or on shorter landing spots than is generally wise to use. The Decathlon really does it for some types of flying I do...

Super Decathlon BL souped up!!! (4 min 4 sec)


Enjoy!

The plane is almost quiet except for the wind noise of the propeller as it goes zinging by!

As mentioned previously, this plane has an RCTimer 2200Kv 335W motor (50g) a direct size/weight replacement for the stock motor, which sucks. It has a 20A ESC, and I run 56g, 1200mAh 2S 25C Lipos on it. I use a Powerflow 8x6 prop on a 3.2mm collet, and Dubro spinner. It looks as great as it flies. I run around 140W WOT with the 2S setup, and limit the throttle to 80% to avoid over-taxing the 20A ESC during long WOT manoeuvers - this runs right around 18-19Ap during WOT now.

(**However: using batteries at over 20-25C discharge capabilities may exceed a 20A draw. I recently had a new 2S 1200mAh cut my ESC out during a high altitude...Continue Reading
Posted by SkyCadet | Sep 16, 2012 @ 01:17 AM | 3,154 Views
This weekend has been FANTASTIC!

Lots of great flying with near perfect conditions. YEAH!

Just finished posting a Youtube video shot by my friend Remi (also an RC enthusiast!) - he forgot to set HR on his iPhone4 so the video is vertical instead of widescreen. Still, a few good looks at the Pitts in action!

SkyCadet

Pitts 12 15e Duskfun flights (5 min 1 sec)