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jokeane's blog
Posted by jokeane | Apr 19, 2009 @ 04:31 PM | 3,227 Views
I picked up a used Aspera airframe last fall. This is the 'ver. 1' R/W/B/S color one. I finally put a Spektrum 6200 receiver in it, 4 HS-65 servos, TR35-48B 900kv motor and 40A ESC in it today. I'm using larger wheels and no wheel pants, since my field is grass.

I've got it setup for 3S packs for now, APC 13x8e prop pulls 35A static for around 385-400 Watts. All up weight is 2 lb 10oz. So that's ~150 W/lb.

(Update - I've changed the setup to use 4S 2200 mAH packs. Now it is a 500W setup, very, very sweet!)
Posted by jokeane | Apr 12, 2009 @ 08:33 AM | 3,050 Views
I flew the VQ AT-6 again yesterday. It flew very nicely indeed now that I've got my controls setup properly. Still a tad windy at our field. My landing was less than optimal, so I have minor repairs to do on the landing gear mounts.

We also flew my friend's Multiplex Magister with an upgraded brushless motor w/ 4S lipo packs. 140 w/lb. It was almost ready for pylon racing!
Posted by jokeane | Mar 15, 2009 @ 05:25 PM | 2,717 Views
I finally got a short flight in of my AT-6 today. The field was a bit wet (squishy) and it was fairly windy. The good news was I had PLENTY of power, good speed and climb. CG seemed good.

The AT-6 took off in about 10' as I taxed at 60% throttle into the wind. It proceeded to get really small, really fast! I also found out that my ailerons were far too sensitive even on low rates. I nearly lost orientation in the distance... the fact that that bottom and top of the wings have the same colors in the same place was not helping. After I settled down, I flew a couple of circuits and then brought it in for a very ugly landing which ended in a nose over. No damage other than a little mud. I'm going to blame the nose over on a combination of poor piloting and soft conditions for now.

I'll tweak out the controls, maybe dial in some expo. The field should be dried out in a few days if the weather holds. More details soon!
Posted by jokeane | Mar 01, 2009 @ 01:29 PM | 2,866 Views
As promised, I'm writing up a complete build thread about this plane here:
build thread
Posted by jokeane | Feb 16, 2009 @ 05:59 PM | 2,954 Views
Well today I had off from work, so I started on my VQ models AT-6. This is 60" WS ARF designed to be flown with a .46 two-stroke glow engine. In theory it will weigh around 6 lbs.

The kit quality is very nice. It is going together very easily. Hardware is very complete. Anyone need a fuel tank? :-)

I'm taking lots of pix as I assemble it. Hopefully I'll be doing a complete build thread on it after it is completed.

I plan to fly it with a Reaper GR-60 motor, 60 Amp ESC, and 4S 3700 mAH lipo packs.

It can take retracts, and while it is VERY tempting to jump right in and take them on, I don't have any retract servos. To start with, I will build it with fixed gear. Maybe if it flies nicely, I'll order the retract servo and mechanical retracts.
Posted by jokeane | Nov 23, 2008 @ 03:27 PM | 3,032 Views
Another 'golden oldie' - a 52" WS Zagi-style flying wing. Powered with a speed 400 brushed motor, 8 cell NiMH pack.

I actually built two of these, the red and black one had some serious orientation problems since in the sky the red and black colors were too similar. The yellow and black scheme worked much better.

Video here:
Home made 52" Wingspan flying wing (0 min 17 sec)

Posted by jokeane | Nov 23, 2008 @ 02:52 PM | 2,698 Views
Another picture from several years ago.

This was the beginning of my foam to balsa conversion. This plane flew so crispy... fast and accurate. Very fun for what the ARF cost... something around $65.
Posted by jokeane | Nov 10, 2008 @ 09:33 AM | 2,384 Views
I've been doing some 'hanger shuffling' and repair work now that the weather in Wisconsin has officially turned nasty.

I've sold a number of NIB kits I had sitting around which were on the small side wingspan-wise.

This weekend I fixed up the Brio. Looks like it will fly again in spring. It turns out that repairing the wing was really pretty easy. Since I have only five 2.4Ghz receivers, I might move one of my 72Mhz receivers into the Brio. I ordered another NIB Brio off R/C groups... just in case. ;-)

I also picked up an 3D Hobby Shop Aspera airframe from a guy I met from McFarland. I'm placing the motor from the Sky Cat into this airframe. It needs smaller servos than I used in the Sky Cat, so I'll be using HiTec HS-65's. This one gets a Spektrum 2.4Ghz receiver.

So it looks like I'll have two pattern type planes ready to fly in the spring.
Posted by jokeane | Oct 20, 2008 @ 10:57 AM | 2,361 Views
I think my comments about not having an 'incident' were heard by the R/C gods. My luck has turned pretty ugly.

Since that post, I've had several 'incidents':

1) Crashed the Brio 10 on landing. Ran out battery power on final approach, stalled it, ripped left wing right off. Looks repairable, but will take some fiddling around. Sure would be nice to find something with a spare left wing, so I don't have to mess about with it. Fall/Winter project.

2) Sky Cat caught a gust on taxing back to the flight line, caught air and hit the snow fence. Damage was minor, repaired it.

3) Saturday ... flying the Sky Cat nicely when cowling came loose, and mixed it up with the prop... ugly result. The Sky Cat is no more. I've rescued the motor, ESC, radio, and servos and they will be placed in a new plane.

4) Saturday ... helping my buddy by doing a trim flight of his GWS ME-109 when an guy with 3D Gasser mid-aired me. My first mid-air... the ME-109 was totaled. Gearbox wrecked, one servo wrecked. I felt pretty bad for Rick, so I gifted him with a GWS P-51 kit I had sitting on the shelf as a replacement.

5) Early Sunday thought the wind was going to be low... but got the field and it was 10 MPH and gusty. Like the fool I am, I tried to fly the 10-size Hyperion YAK 55SP. Crashed it on takeoff due to dumb-thumbs and a gust. Snapped the motor shaft, ripped off the landing gear and knocked a piece off the elevator. Damage was actually pretty minor except for motor shaft and I...Continue Reading
Posted by jokeane | Sep 21, 2008 @ 02:45 PM | 2,378 Views
I've been trying to get in as much flying as possible. I've flown the Hyperion YAK 55SP 10e for around 6 flights now. I'm very happy with it, the power system is very good and the plane performs extremely well. The only draw back with the 10e size is landing on grass. Not that I cannot land it, it lands fine but it is very hard to keep from nosing over when the plane slows up. I've so far done only one 'perfect' landing where the Yak didn't nose over.

Yesterday I went to the field with all 5 of my planes. The day started well, with nearly calm conditions. I flew the Sopwith Camel first. It is a fun and very slow flying plane. Nice flight. Next was the Yak 55 SP 10e. Next up the Fokker D VII. Another fun little flight. I noticed it was starting to get a little gusty. But no problems so far.

My friend Dave showed up with the T-34. I watched him do a flight on it. He commented on the gusty conditions, but had no problems.

I took up my Sky Cat for a short flight, but when taxing back to the flight line I was probably going a bit fast, and caught a gust which cased the plane to take off. I was too low to clear the snow fence. The Sky Cat sustained minor damage. I'll have to remount the motor and re-attach the rudder. It is EPP foam, so it bounces well. :-)

My last flight of the day started out nice. I took the Brio up and had a nice flight with it, but I was really noticing the the wind gusts. As I was bringing in the Brio, the battery went completely flat. Since I was landing into the wind, this was NOT a good time for a strong gust, which slowed me down so much I just ran out of airspeed well short of the landing area. Stall. Crash. Then the long walk of dread. Damage was pretty bad, but perhaps is repairable. Ripped one wing completely off. Broke the prop. Bent the axle on one of the landing gear.
Posted by jokeane | Sep 12, 2008 @ 09:22 AM | 2,715 Views
Well I new I had to do it sometime. This weekend I pulled all of the electronics (except motors) out of my GWS DC-3 (see below for pix). The GWS DC-3 is an OK flyer, but the small wheels are just a problem on a grass field. I was constantly messing up take-offs and landings on it. The airframe is still in pretty good shape. Perhaps I can find it a home.

I just need the servos for new planes. I will also probably re-use the receiver.

I'm mostly using my Spektrum 2.4Ghz radio now, but I do still use my 72Mhz Futaba radio for some planes (Fokker D-VII). I think I'll use these to build up some more 'park' size planes that I can goof around with in the local parks.

Even though I've become a bit of a balsa snob, I will still fly foamies ... especially when I want to build something myself from fanfold or depron and bash it around.
Posted by jokeane | Sep 12, 2008 @ 09:13 AM | 2,655 Views
I finally had a chance to fly my Hyperion YAK 55SP 10e this morning before work. I have been waiting for a low wind situation to test it out. Wind was almost non-existent, so I quickly packed the plane, transmitter and a charged battery into my car.

There is a public park on my drive into work (in Westport on the north side of the lake Mendota). It has some big soccer fields as well as a large empty field to the south. I've only flow there once before. I figured what the heck, this is a small plane, so a small field should be no problem.

Take off was nice and controlled. It climbed out easily at about 60% throttle. Only needed one or two clicks of right aileron trim and it was flying perfectly level. Did a couple of simple loops and rolls, the plane handles very well. I flew the entire flight on low rates, so no crazy stunts. Flew around for about 6 minutes. Since I was unfamiliar with the field, I didn't to a bunch of landings. Just the one landing, and it was smooth as butter. The grass was long, so when the plane slowed up, it gently nosed over.

This makes the fifth new plane of put together this year and flown. So far no major incidents. True - I've dorked up the landings a few times. :-)

Four of the five planes have been balsa ARFs. One EPP foam plane; the Sky Cat, which is still my favorite for 'trying new things' since I'm not all all worried about mishaps.

I must say, I'm totally convinced of the superiority of flying experience of a balsa and monocote style plane vs. a foamie. Perhaps I'm just a better flier now and I can notice the difference more, or perhaps the balsa ARFs I'm currently flying are better than average.
Posted by jokeane | Sep 07, 2008 @ 04:49 PM | 2,730 Views
Yes, I finally got another plane that had been sitting in a box for over a year off the shelf and built up. I picked up the Yak 55SP 10e blue and yellow version with the motor and ESC as a package from Hobby Horse about a year ago. Price sticker says it cost $230. (Wow, that seemed like a deal then, but now you can get (on sale) a 25e size Yak 55SP w/ motor and ESC from ALLeRC.com for $222.)

The Yak has a 38.6" WS and comes with a 30A ESC and the HP-Z3007-26 motor.

I used four HS-55 servos and I'll probably fly it with a 1500 mAH 3S pack.

With the APC 10x5e prop it pulls around 20A static.

17 5/8 oz, 670g total weight - which is right on the numbers according to the instructions.

Seems so small in comparison to the Brio and Sky Cat...
Posted by jokeane | Sep 07, 2008 @ 04:32 PM | 2,384 Views
Dave has solo'd on his T-34. We flew one last buddy box flight Friday night, and then he flew several more on his own.

He is doing great and really loves the plane. He is experimenting with dialing the flaps down. I think he will probably add a servo to control the flaps so he can use them for take-offs and landings.

Now that he has three battery packs (got a couple of Rhino packs from Hobby King) he is getting in at least three flights each time he goes out.

The T-34 is really a pretty darn nice plane. It flies nice and looks great doing it. And the RTF starter package is one of the best deals around.
Posted by jokeane | Sep 07, 2008 @ 04:27 PM | 2,269 Views
I flew the 32" WS Fokker DVII for the first time Friday evening. First flight was a bit scary, the trims were really far off and the plane is pretty responsive on the controls. It was also a bit windy. I managed to get it sorted out, flew around a bit, landed reasonably well.

Today I flew it again early in the morning before any wind had a chance to build. It is a pretty fun little flier. It moves right along on the little 400 size brushless motor. I'm using an APC 8x6 prop, cheapo ESC, and a 1300 mAh 3S lipo. Landing was an ugly one with a big bounce. No damage.

Since this is a 'fun scale' only, and the kit was very cheap, I don't feel as much concern when flying it as some of my nicer planes like the Sopwith Camel and Brio. So I flung it around the sky with abandon; doing loops, rolls, and stall turns.
Posted by jokeane | Sep 01, 2008 @ 05:33 PM | 2,481 Views
I've built a 32" WS Fokker DVII from an el cheapo ARF kit from Ebay.

The instructions were terrible and the ARF was definitely a lower quality level than other balsa ARFs I've built.

More after I fly it...

(Apparently these are still getting flogged off on Ebay:
http://cgi.ebay.com/NEW-R-C-RADIO-CONTROL-FOKKER-D7-ELECTRIC-ARF_W0QQitemZ380060630409QQcmdZViewItem?hash=item3 80060630409&_trkparms=72%3A1142|39%3A1|66%3A2|65%3 A12|240%3A1318&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14)
Posted by jokeane | Aug 31, 2008 @ 09:01 AM | 2,521 Views
Dave and I returned to the flying field yesterday, and brought the T-34 out for its second maiden attempt.

The weather was great, but a tad more wind that the previous night. In theory, for the larger planes like the T-34 and the Sky Cat this isn't a huge problem.

To start with we setup my Sky Cat and the buddy box and double checked all the trims. For the first flight I handled take off and landing, but Dave flew the rest of the flight un-aided. The Sky Cat is pretty responsive, but Dave did a good job and got a feel for what happens when you get a gust of wind strong enough to knock the plane around a bit.

Next up was the T-34. I took it up for a short flight and trimmed it out for neutral flight. As per the official blog, it actually just needed some down elevator to compensate for the full down fixed flaps (part of the 'training' setup). The plane flew very nicely and has very good coloration for orientation. As many people have told me, the larger the plane the 'smoother' it feels in the sky. I'd say this is definitely true with the T-34. My landing was decent, but not perfection.

We hooked up the buddy cord on the two Spektrum 6xi radios, and once again made sure the trims were properly entered into both radios so they were setup identically. For this flight I was on the Master and Dave on the Slave radio. I gave Dave control, and he taxed out and took off like a pro!

He flew a bunch of nice circuits, and looked to have nice control of the aircraft. He...Continue Reading
Posted by jokeane | Aug 30, 2008 @ 02:34 PM | 2,195 Views
As I've mentioned previously my friend Dave has a new T-34. Well we attempted to fly it last night using a trainer / buddy setup. The T-34 is a large balsa ARF - 55" wingspan. Around the size of a ".40" gasser, but the electric power system is supposed to be .25 equivalent. We tested it static, and it pulled a bit over 40 amps on the bench, and almost 500 watts of power at full throttle.

I was on 'Master' and Dave was on the 'Slave' controller. I gave him control so he could taxi and take off, the idea being he needed to learn how and gee whiz, as long as you are gentle on the sticks and give the plane some time to build up speed, take offs are normally not a big deal.

Not this take off... Dave throttled the T-34 up and right after it left the ground it pitched back almost completely vertical! There was a lot of exclamations of "oh sh*t" all around. I took over and punched the throttle to full and gave it full nose down. I got it back under control and throttled back to 40% to 50% throttle ... the plane wanted to climb like crazy. It was all I could do to keep pushing the nose down trying to keep it level. I did a few circuits like this and then I started trying to shoot landings and bring it down. It did NOT want to come down. Even though killing the throttle completely would slow it some, I had to really push the nose down to get it to decrease altitude. Needless to say the landing was very scary, but I did finally get it down all in one piece. I don't believe there was any damage that I saw. Not my smoothest landing.

Afterwords I was shaking from the adrenaline rush. It was by far the most hair-raising flight I've had in quite a while. This is a *beautiful* balsa plane which I would have hated to damage.

From what we can tell, the CG was aft of what it should have been and/or the idea of having full down flaps (see E-Flite T-34 thread) isn't such a great one.