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Posted by shimniok | Aug 21, 2011 @ 11:42 PM | 2,782 Views
I just picked up this Parkzone UM T-28 from a nice fella here on rcgroups for a good price. It had some crash damage but I figured it'd be a good low cost, high quality aileron trainer. Once I fixed it up a little. I didn't need to restore it to perfection, but at least good enough that it'd be passable zipping by 30 feet away.

Before

After removing the electrical tape holding it together, here's what I saw.





...Continue Reading
Posted by shimniok | Jun 25, 2011 @ 11:55 PM | 1,912 Views
I finally took the SkyFly up for a maiden flight! I decided to fly despite a fair bit of wind. I've been getting more comfortable with wind flying the Champ lately but took it cautious with the first flight to get a feel for things.

I found a perfect replacement prop for the original SkyFly: Hobbyzone P/N HBZ7207, 6.3x4 for the Aerobird, and it fits like a glove. Perfect diameter, and snug on the 380 motor shaft.

With the SkyFly, flat hand tosses don't work. Hand tosses require a 10-20 up angle; the plane needs more airspeed to fly than a hand toss can manage. Until it builds airspeed the plane flies slightly better than a brick with a foam wing strapped on it. Actually it kind of flies like that after it's going fast enough, too, now that I think about it.

Altitude was hard to gain. The park I was flying in was a bit too small in large part because the plane's responses were as crisp as cotton candy. This despite my increasing control throw and conversion to music wire controls from fishing line and rubber bands.

I had to keep the plane banked pretty hard to keep it inside the field and out of the trees to the point that the wings couldn't make enough lift to gain much altitude. Meanwhile the wind was tossing the wings around somewhat.

I managed a decent landing the first time. The second time I was losing altitude pretty quickly so I just dropped her into the grass hot. No problem. Third time I was heading a little close to a tree, cranked it over a...Continue Reading
Posted by shimniok | Jun 17, 2011 @ 11:20 PM | 2,127 Views
With the new battery pack, and COG adjusted per manual, the SkyFly took to the air in a short flight test. This is promising!

Unfortunately I had several goof ups the result of which is a slightly creased tail, bent up front landing gear and chewed tire, and broken prop. Don't ask.

I hope to be able to make repairs soon and fly the plane around a field to get a sense of how it handles. I need to find a fairly big field, I think, to play it on the safe side.
Posted by shimniok | Jun 15, 2011 @ 12:45 AM | 2,402 Views
I have another plane ready to maiden! I can't help it, I'm excited. The plane is a rebuilt-by-me Flyzone SkyFly. I think the addiction and hoarding have begun. I like fixing up stuff, so here I go...

This one I'll christen "El Cheapo" because I got the fuse/electronics for cost of shipping from a nice fella on here, got the tailfeathers and landing gear at the LHS on clearance. The only things left were main wing and prop. Both just arrived UPS today. All told I don't have much $ into this plane so far.

I rebuilt the controls with some fishing line and a couple short rubber bands I had laying around. Seems to work as intended.

The forward wing hold down rod had torn into the fuse. Holes on both sides were enlarged. I formed a lexan bracket out of scrap which properly locates the rod and applies the force more evenly to the fuse.

The original SkyFly prop is unobtanium so I tried a SkyFly 2 prop. While it fits on the shaft, the diameter is too large. Snipping 1/8" off the ends of the prop seems to have worked, no apparent vibe. More testing is planned. [Edit: I ended up finding the SkyFly original prop but they are getting scarce]

So, soon as the wind dies down, I'll try more ROG tests, a brief on-the-runway takeoff and landing. I'm new to RC planes with maybe an hour of Champ flight time. I tried the SkyFly in RealFlight and may practice more before taking the real plane up.

If the thing flies decently as-built, I'll attempt to mod it with cheap 'real' servos, control rods, and a cheap 2.4ghz radio system I've been itching to try. I may go with a higher voltage battery pack, too. We'll see...

So, wish me luck on the maiden, I'll no doubt need it. I'll try and be very careful and patient.
Posted by shimniok | Jun 02, 2011 @ 12:17 AM | 2,008 Views
Flew the plane again today... a little more wind this time, but not too much. The Champ bobbled around and was pushed in various directions, but it was entirely controllable this time. No lost plane.

Was able to pull off a couple of crappy loops and equally crummy landings. Still working the basics. Nose planted hard a couple times. I didn't expect the Champ to be able to loop so tightly. Kind of caught me off guard the first time. More practice needed...
Posted by shimniok | May 31, 2011 @ 11:38 PM | 2,312 Views
So, I bought a Hobbyzone Champ a couple weeks ago, promptly lost it to underestimated wind, posted fliers around the neighborhood, got it back with a bent tail.

A toothpick now braces the weak part of the elevator where it thins out to sneak behind the rudder.

I've flown it a couple times since on very calm days and it is ridiculously easy for this ham-fisted newb to pilot without doing too bad. Landings need work however. So do takeoffs.

But DANG this is fun. Who knew? Ok, a lot of people. But not me. This is really a riot. Can't wait to fly again.

On the latest flight, the motor quit so I got to practice a dead-stick landing in the grass. The motor plug was loose so replaced it and dabbed hot glue on the connectors to hold it together and I'm ready to take to the skies again!

When the wind dies down... so, it'll be awhile.