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Posted by DuPageJoe | Aug 11, 2015 @ 07:50 PM | 1,345 Views
Enjoyed another Free Flight meet with the Bong Eagles at the MAJ Richard Bong Recreation area in Wisconsin this past Sunday despite a shower about noon just as I was getting ready to wind my Cessna 140. The high light of the afternoon for me was the P-30 contest. I flew my modified Peck One Nite 28. Winds were light, and I got in three flights after the shower, each over a minute, and fairly easily recovered. After the last one, I walked past the plane which was stuck vertically in a patch of prairie wildflowers, but I spotted it on the way back. I made one test flight with the Cessna after the grass dried a bit. I increased motor length but needed to add a little nose clay to bring it back in trim. No other scale contestants stayed after the shower.

There were 10 registered pilots, most of whom brought P-30 planes.
Posted by DuPageJoe | Jul 13, 2015 @ 12:20 PM | 1,091 Views
It was a great day to fly free flight planes at the MAJ Richard Bong Recreation Area in Wisconsin yesterday. The Bong Eagles had a dozen registered pilots for their Old Timer Meet and a few spectators, besides the swarm of dog owners who showed up for retriever trials in the same parking lot. Winding while a curious Labrador noses over your flight box was a new experience for me.

Thermals were booming. A catapult glider made a flight of over two minutes. Winds were fairly light, recorded at 6 mph or less at the nearby airport, and temperatures were moderate, despite possible thunderstorms.

I brought out the Comet Phantom Fury with a new forward section of the fuselage, built with 3/32 square balsa instead of 1/16 square. Last year I couldn't get it to climb, and same thing happened on the first attempt. So I added a shim under the wing spar, and it took off OK. The 6 stand X 1/8 inch tan motor was fairly short at 6.8 grams. With 630 turns I got a 25 second flight. Altitude was OK but glide was poor, so the flight was not much longer than the motor run. I'll try adding a rubber band keeper to the nose block that might allow the prop to free wheel. It was still a lot more fun to fly than when it wouldn't climb.

The light winds made a good opportunity to get my Cessna 140 from a Dare Kit (about 26 inches span) out of the box. It's now flown at meets sponsored by 3 Midwestern clubs. The best flight lasted 55 seconds with a nice, level cruise at about 100 feet. I was advised to add more down thrust to tame the launch at higher turns , and it helped. I put about 950 turns in the 4 strand by 1/8 tan motor weighing 5 grams, The Cessna is a good consistent flyer. Now if I could make my launches a bit more consistent I could break a minute.

Hop the weather is as good for the next Bong Eagles meet on August 9. See their website for details.
Posted by DuPageJoe | Mar 30, 2015 @ 12:51 PM | 1,880 Views
I enjoyed this Spring's Indoor Free Flight meet that the Bong Eagles held at Racine on 3/22. I flew the Dayton-Wright No-Cal in my last post to a Third place with a 83 second flight. A Brewster Buffalo was First with 121 seconds, and a Chambermaid came in second at 91 seconds. I had some trouble with consistency because of bending in the prop bearing support. When it was adjusted right, the Dayton-Wright climbed to a nice wide circle about 30 feet above the floor. I used a 15 inch loop, about 2 grams, of 3/32 rubber to turn the Peck 7 inch prop. I put in about 1400 turns to get climb.

I got a second place in the Mass Launch contest for my Phantom Flash, staying in for three rounds. Rubber was provided, and this time was a little lighter than for past Eagles' contests, about 1.4 grams for a 14 inch loop instead of 1.7 grams as in the past. I needed to put in about 1800 turns to get good climb with this rubber, but when I did, I got an 83 second flight, My Phantom Flash was from the Peck kit and has a 6 inch Peck plastic prop,

While the new rubber seemed right for the Phantom Flash, I wasn't as lucky with the Double Whammy in the Cash Bash contest, getting eliminated after a 48 second flight with 1800 turns in the same sized motor. The Double Whammy has a Delta Dart prop.
Posted by DuPageJoe | Mar 17, 2015 @ 06:49 PM | 2,342 Views
I recently posted pictures of a No-Cal indoor free flight plane, a Dayton-Wright Racer, built according to Mike Welshans' plan posted in the Flying Aces Club Newsletter, in the Free Flight pictures sticky thread.

Last week I tried it out at the Woodland Aeromodellers' weekly Indoor flying session in Burr Ridge, IL. After a little adjusting of the thrust line, I got a nice shallow climb to the 20 foot ceiling. I also needed to add a rudder tab for right turn to keep the flight in the middle of the room. When I put about 1000 turns in the 12 inch loop of 3/32 Tan Sport rubber, I got a flight time of 58 seconds. I couldn't put many more turns in the motor because, at the torque I was using, the Racer was touching the ceiling trusses. The Prop is a 7 inch Peck, which also gave just enough nose weight to balance 2 inches back of the wing leading edge, about 53% of chord. I'm hoping to get a bit longer flights when I take the Dayton-Wright to Memorial Hall in Racine, where the ceiling is 40 feet high.
Posted by DuPageJoe | Jan 23, 2015 @ 10:12 PM | 2,663 Views
This week. I went back to the Woodland Aeromodeler's Indoor flying session in Burr Ridge, IL. for a fun night of flying. I tried out a new rubber powered plane built to the rules for the 2015 Wright Stuff competition for Science Olympiad. I tried out two propeller variations and got flights of 80-90 seconds duration. With a 225 mm Ikara prop, the plane was dancing along the ceiling trusses, even with fairly low starting torque in the 1/8 inch wide rubber motor. I'm putting the results on a Science Olympiad thread.

I brought a Syma X1 small Quadcopter I got for Christmas 2013 out of the closet, because I finally bought a decent Transmitter for it. The Syma X1 uses the FlySky protocol for frequency hopping control on 2.4 GHz. That limits the transmitters available for it. I found a FlySky FS-T6 6 channel transmitter at HobbyPartz that would bind to the X1. It was a lot cheaper than the more advanced transmitters that take a FlySky protocol module, and it came with a receiver besides. I found a thread that described the programming needs for the XI, and an online manual for the Transmitter, and did the binding and programming I needed. The "elevator" stick channel needed reversing so the X1 would go forward.

The handling of the X1 was much improved by the new transmitter. The throttle control made keeping altitude a whole lot easier. Directional control was also a lot smoother. I don't know how to program the "Flip" function, but no great loss, since that looked like a "crash" function.
Posted by DuPageJoe | Nov 17, 2014 @ 08:59 AM | 2,617 Views
I flew at the Bong Eagles' Indoor free flight contest in Racine, WI. yesterday at Memorial Hall, a Class II site with 40 ft ceiling. About a dozen fliers came, despite the 3 inches of snow on the ground at Racine. The "light" people flew before noon. Jeff Annis' mini-stick loitered at the ceiling for an 8 minute flight

I flew in 3 mass launches, starting with the "Cash Bash" for Markos' "Double Whammy". My new one is in the picture. I wound the provided motor to 1500 turns for the second heat to get 78 seconds and Third place among 5 competitors. My Phantom Flash from the Peck kit flew well, reaching the ceiling, but dropped out at 51 seconds, after bad hits with the ceiling and wall broke the motor stick. My Delta Dart had a stable flight, but I shortened the motor by over winding. After retying, I was eliminated in the first round.

I also flew No-Cal scale with my R.D. Hawes' Aeronca Champ, and got flights around 40 seconds on a 9 inch loop of 0.125 inch rubber with about 800 turns. A No Cal Wildcat and an Aeronca Sedan made longer flights

There were a fair number of scale planes, from peanut size and larger. One peanut scale P-51 flew in perfectly steady circuits about 20 feet up.

More pictures should be coming to the Bong Eagles new web site.
Posted by DuPageJoe | Oct 12, 2014 @ 01:55 PM | 2,398 Views
Thanks to the Woodland Aeromodelers, I have an opportunity to fly in a school gym on Thursday evenings. I took advantage the last two Thursdays.

The first Thursday I sorted out some repaired Delta Darts. There were three other fliers with a variety of rubber band powered planes from sort of Penny planes to Peanut Scale.

I built an R.O.G. from Peck parts and my own wing and tail, and flew it lastThursday. It literally jumped from the floor to the ceiling at 450 winds on the fresh rubber so I had to cut back to 375 to avoid hitting the ceiling.

After I went to the Hobby expo in Schaumburg last weekend I stopped at a HobbyTown and picked up an Ares Nano-Micro Stick 75 in British colors. I was also able to fly it last Thursday, mostly using rudder trim and throttle in a semi free flight mode. It took off from the floor and at a little over half throttle it climbed in a spiral. Throttle back to land.

There is a review and flying video of the Ares plane at another thread
Posted by DuPageJoe | Sep 17, 2014 @ 03:00 PM | 2,555 Views
This weekend I tested the modified Prairie Bird at Lorain County Community College in Elyria, Ohio, where the Cleveland Free Flight Society was having a contest. The field was large and winds light but unsettled until a lake breeze from Lake Erie started to blow from the north. With about 900 turns in the 4 strand X 3/32 motor, about 14 inches long (3.6 grams), I was getting flights of about 40 seconds long. One flight wound a bit tighter lasted 63 seconds. The climb out from the card table R.O.G. was about 40 degrees and steady to a couple hundred feet. There was no evidence of overspeeding, like barrel rolls. The new 7 inch prop was working out fairly well, but at 24 grams including rubber the Prairie Bird was a bit overweight.

There were about a dozen contestants in Embryo. I didn't expect to place very high, but I enjoyed the flying and as always the hospitality of CFFS.
Posted by DuPageJoe | Sep 07, 2014 @ 05:19 PM | 3,465 Views
I've been flying my Peck Prairie Bird, built to compete in FAC Embryo contests, for some years with the original Peck 6 inch diam. prop. I used 4 strands of 3/32 tan rubber to drive the prop. The motor length has been 48 inches total, made up 12 inches from prop drive hook to rear peg. Since the actual peg to hook length in the plane is 9.5 inches, this motor is a bit shorter than the preferred 1.5 X. Also when I put full torque, by feel, into the motor, the plane seems to go too fast.

When I flew the Prairie Bird in May at the Plum Creek Play Meadow of the Cook County Forest Preserve in May I saw this when I put about 900 turns in the motor. One of the members of the Calumet Escadrille I was flying with suggested I might try a 7 inch prop. I have an Anna Jr. Embryo from BMJR that came with a 7 inch prop, and I've flown it successfully, so I thought I'd try changing props on the Prairie Bird.

Trouble is, when you put on a bigger prop you add nose weight, so you need to rebalance the airplane. The Peck grey plastic 7 inch prop I got from their final sale weighs 1.2 grams more than the 6 inch one and is 4 inches ahead of the CG, so I needed to add a 5 gramXinch moment (pardon the units) back of the CG to counter it. The rear end of the fuselage is 10 inches back of the CG, so if I add clay back there, I'd only need about 0.5 grams to give the opposing moment. To start with, I added a bit of clay that ended up weighing 0.8 grams. So far, the modifications made my Prairie...Continue Reading
Posted by DuPageJoe | Sep 06, 2014 @ 06:32 PM | 2,810 Views
I've finally finished the Peck Nesmith Cougar Peanut. I posted pictures on the "Post your Free Flight pictures" thread.

I was going to try the Cougar at the Plum Creek Playfield in the Cook County Forest Preserves which I visited today. A Calumet Escadrille (FAC North West Indiana Squadron) contest was scheduled for today there, Unfortunately, the wind was too strong out of the North, blowing toward woods at the southern border of the field, so the contest was cancelled.

That play field is almost on the Indiana border, amid cornfields and horse boarding stables, and not typical of the south side of Chicago. Twice I've been there on Saturday when horse trailers pull up to start a trail ride.
Posted by DuPageJoe | Mar 20, 2014 @ 11:25 AM | 4,046 Views
I got a warm welcome from the Bong Eagles on a cold day in Racine, Wisconsin last Sunday. There were about 16 fliers in quite a few more classes than the five I entered. I was down early in the “Cash Bash” mass launch of Markos’ Double Whammy’s, because of a head on mid air collision. I made a 65 second flight later, but three fliers had flights between 90 and 121 seconds with these beginner planes. My Phantom Flash was flying pretty well but was hitting the ceiling, 40 feet up, too much for long times. It flies pretty fast with a 6 inch Peck Prop. I trimmed my Delta Dart for a shorter, lighter motor by removing nose clay, but only got 34 seconds out of 900 turns in the 8 inch loop motor, with no luck in the mass launch. Best Dart flight was nearly 2 minutes.

There were quite a few No-Cal scale planes, including the Dornier Falke and Aeronca Champ I brought, and best times were over 100 seconds a flight for a Taylorcaft and a Wildcat.. My Champ was flying well on a fairly short 8 ½ inch loop of 1/8 inch Tan Super Sport, making 52 seconds on a flight with 750 turns. The Falke was climbing smoothly to near the ceiling on 1400 turns in a 13 inch loop of 3/32 inch Tan Sport, but times were just under a minute.

There were three Bostonians entered, but none were the light, pancake style. One new Bostonian Beancraft Bonanza (Model Builder July ’86) was entered. It flew pretty well, with flight times just under a minute. I had tried that design, but had trouble...Continue Reading
Posted by DuPageJoe | Feb 25, 2014 @ 07:27 AM | 3,612 Views
I'm finishing another 1.5 meter span pusher for electric powered RC flying. It's called a Dragonfly, and the big difference from my other pushers is ailerons. This should make it more suitable for flying at my club field. The details are in a build log over at Foamies (Kits).

This quest for a nice flying pusher trainer started with the Push Panther I built from a Steelhead Products PS foam kit I built in 2011, It was the last build documented on the Push Panther thread. I covered the foam with colored packing tape. The tail is built up from balsa and covered with Ultracote transparent film.
Posted by DuPageJoe | Jan 31, 2014 @ 09:43 PM | 3,637 Views
I've finished assembling the Cougar. After I framed the two sides of the fuselage, I started putting them together from the middle. The first picture shows the first sub assembly using the flat surface of the wing saddle as a guide to get the fuselage straight. The second picture shows the fuselage flipped upright after all the cross members in the central box were placed. The third picture shows the complete fuselage after pulling in the rear end.

The last picture shows all the framework in place with the sub assemblies still loose.

At this stage the wing weighs1.8 grams, the tail surfaces weigh 0.7 grams and the fuselage weighs 2.8 grams, with the wire landing gear legs installed.
Posted by DuPageJoe | Jan 10, 2014 @ 10:20 AM | 4,300 Views
Recently got a peanut scale kit of the Nesmith Couger Homebuilt from Peck via A2Z Corp. The laser cutting was very sharp.

I've built the wing and the horizontal stabilizer. Both have a lot of wood, especially if flying indoors. I used carpenter's water based acrylic glue, diluted with water and dispensed from a dropping bottle with a16 gauge needle. I'll post the weight later.
Posted by DuPageJoe | Dec 17, 2013 @ 07:47 PM | 3,618 Views
I’ve flown indoor free flight with the Woodland Aeromodelers at their Trinity Lutheran School site a couple of times this Fall. They fly on Thursday evenings at this Category I site (about 16 foot ceiling) roughly the size of a basketball court. It is a good place for tuneups, and the Woodland folks have lot of good advice. The last time I flew there, I was able to trim my Aeronca 7AC Champ No-Cal for a 45 second flight. It is shown below.

This Aeronca 7AC Champ No-Cal is another plane built for the Bong Eagles' indoor meet last month. The plan is from Flying Aces Newsletter No. 245, January/February 2009, Wing Span 16 inches, by R. D. Hawes.

It has sliced ribs in wing, top only, with spar added after outline. Tips are hot water bent around forms. It weighs 9.5 grams without rubber and balance clay, and flew fine with 0,7 grams clay, mostly in the nose and a little at the left wing tip. I added a drag tab of clear acetate windshield plastic on the left wing to tighten the left turn. The motor was 1.4 grams 1/8 inch tan rubber, about a 8 1/2 inch loop. It was climbing good with 600-700 turns, touching the ceiling trusses and lasting about 45 seconds.
Posted by DuPageJoe | Nov 18, 2013 @ 12:20 PM | 3,994 Views
I brought six planes to the Bong Eagles indoor contest in Racine Wisconsin yesterday. The first picture shows a lineup of 5 of them. The new Aeronca Champ No Cal
still wasn't sorted out so I went to the backup, my silver painted Dornier Falke that's about 5 years old. With some 60 second flights reaching the 40 foot ceiling, I got a first place. The competition was not as stiff as some times. No Chambermaids flying. A couple fancier planes, like a Gloster Meteor, weren't sorted out yet. The new Phantom Flash from a laser cut kit by A2Z (Peck)
was nice and light and a good flier, thanks to taking it to the gym on Thursday night for a try out. Got a 65 second flight with it, but it was eliminated in a 7 plane mass launch when it hit the ceiling fairly hard and went out the door into the wind up area. The Double Whammy ( with a green wing and red prop on the stand in the lineup) made it through the first round of its mass launch contest with a 60 second time, circling near the ceiling. The Bostonian (the full fuselage baked bean colored one) flew pretty well to with a second place and a few 60 second flights. It had a little longer motor (2.2 g 1/8 inch, a 13 inch loop) than at the March meet and weighed 14.7 grams with rubber and a little extra nose weight. At 1000 turns, it has a tendency to hang on the prop after takeoff, but it settled down and circled, in a right turn, near the ceiling.

The other picture shows the new Phantom Flash on a new stooge I made to grip planes with plastic props by the prop end when winding. It worked fine for the No-Cals too. I used a stooge with a pin through the motor peg for the Bostonian.

There were about 15 flyers registered in about twice as many classes as the 5 I had planes in. Memorial Hall is a Category II site with a 40 foot ceiling. The Eagles are always fun to fly with.
Posted by DuPageJoe | Mar 23, 2013 @ 07:12 PM | 6,428 Views
I flew a few events at the Bong Eagles Indoor contest at Racine, WI last week. This was a Category II contest with a 40 foot ceiling. I was still having fun, thanks to keeping the Markos Double Whammy and the new Bostonian in reasonable shape.

There were 6 Double Whammys in the mass launch contest called the Cash Bash, but I finished out of the money. I had pretty good flights to the 40 foot ceiling and times near 70 seconds but still lost to the experts who could get nearly 2 minutes out of that humble rig. Unfortunately mine is a couple grams overweight. I must tell the usual cautionary tale about keeping the rear end light, so you don’t need nose ballast.

I needed to sort out some things with my Bostonian. Before I could put in more rubber and try full winds I will need to put in a bit more down thrust with a shim of about 1/32 inch thickness. At 1100 turns on a 13 inch loop of 1/8 rubber without the shim, I got some prop dancing in the power burst but finally recovered attitude for a flight time just over a minute. Everything was more controlled after the shim was glued in, but I had shortened the motor and put in 960 turns, so couldn't quite make a minute. I'm still using the prop with plastic bottle blades. This was good enough for third place. We launch by takeoff from the floor (R.O.G.). The winning time was 223 seconds for two flights, including charisma factor. My plane weighed 13.9 g with the 1.9 g motor installed and balanced at about 30% of Chord.

When I was putting my Dornier Falke No-Cal away, I found a crack in one wing trailing edge which probably accounted for low times at the contest, I must remember to do a better pre-flight next time. I’m also building an Aeronca 7AC No-Cal, which hopefully will be lighter.

Results have been posted on the Bong Eagles' web site. The Eagles are named for MAJ Richard I. Bong. an ace in WWII Pacific theater, who died at age 24 in a flamed out P-80.
Posted by DuPageJoe | Mar 23, 2013 @ 06:31 PM | 6,538 Views
I went to a meeting of the Calumet Escadrille, a Flying Aces Squadron based in North West Indiana and flying in Cook County, Illinois, south of Chicago. The meeting was held at Griffith airport in Griffith, Indiana, today and about a dozen members got together to decide on a schedule for the summer's flying. I think the contact information on the Flying Aces Club Squadron list is still good. Otherwise, those interested can send me a PM to get more details.

I brought my Anna Jr. Embryo for show-n-tell. Some of the other members brought excellent scale planes, including a British WWI trainer with lots of detail and two P-40's in different sizes with matching markings.

The Calumet Escadrille is still an active club, just old fashioned in the area of promotion. I passed my address to a member at last September's Cloudbusters FAC Non-Nats in Muncie to get on the list
Posted by DuPageJoe | Jan 14, 2013 @ 07:45 PM | 4,038 Views
I started a thread on airfoils for Peanuts and Bostonians, wondering where the designers get their ideas for which ones to use.

I've had some good participation. Yak52 has contributed performance simulation plots for some prospective airfoils between the flat plate and Clark Y. Thinner is better at low Reynolds numbers, i.e low speed and narrow chord, where these planes fly.

Thanks to all who have participated.
Posted by DuPageJoe | Dec 01, 2012 @ 07:45 PM | 4,380 Views
I started a thread on the Bostonian that I flew at the Bong Eagles meet in Racine Wi. Drawings and structure pictures were posted.