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k4kjf's blog
Posted by k4kjf | May 08, 2007 @ 12:04 PM | 3,106 Views
My Goldberg Electra build is close to completion so I need another project to work on while glue, paint, etc is drying on the Electra. I’ve had a Gentle Lady kit on a shelf in the closet for some time and this seems as good a time as any to get a start on it.

I’ve already got a Gentle Lady (see earlier 3/25/07 entry) but it was already assembled when I got it. This Lady (Lady II) will be mine from the get go….. flubs, boo-boo’s and all.

Started on the right inner wing panel. This wing might be my first experiment with spoilers…
Posted by k4kjf | Mar 25, 2007 @ 04:15 PM | 3,058 Views
Spring is in the air. Anticipating endless sunny summer weekends ahead, I joined the local sailplane club and hope to learn all I possibly can about sailplanes in general and Thermal Duration flying in particular.

However my Electra project still has a way to go. I don't want to rush finishing it, but because I enjoy building, I'd like to continue to take my time, savoring each milestone, and let it get done when it gets done. But….. I need something to learn TD and how to fly off a high start or a winch – and the weather is nice already! What to do?

I indicated interest in a Spirit or Gentle Lady for this purpose in club email and the result was a generous offer by one of the club members of his Gentle Lady which he had built from a kit some years ago, but no longer flew. It had seen some use, but was still very much air worthy, and having it meant my Electra build could continue at the same sedate pace.

I took the Lady to the field two weekends ago and more experienced club members advised for my skill level (slow stick experience only) moving the CG and tow hook forward before I made any serious attempts to fly it would be a good idea. So, I brought it back home, made the modifications and took it back to the field yesterday. Had a great day with a total of seven flights with the Lady. All were launched off the club winch. One of the experienced club members did the first flight all by himself. On the second and third, he handled the launch till the...Continue Reading
Posted by k4kjf | Sep 08, 2006 @ 11:22 AM | 5,175 Views
The maiden for the plane (a Slow Stick) and for me as an R/C pilot was on March 18th of this year. On that day I had three fully charged batteries ready, but only got in two hand-launched, 10 sec flights before plane damage terminated the activities. I knew about the need for trim but had no real idea where a good starting point was, and what I should do with the transmitter controls to get it set right once the plane was in the air. (As you might have guessed, this was a boneheaded, no-instructor approach to learning how to fly R/C.)

6th Session: This was the first time I fully drained three batteries flying in simple, large circles, and brought the plane home in a still-flyable condition!

21st Session: Previous flights were at a grassy field and now that I could more-or-less keep it in the air, most flights continued for 8 to 10 min until the battery gave out, and were followed by reasonably gentle dead-stick landings in tall grass. Up until now I had been happy to just watch the plane fly gracefully in a simple, big circle pattern. However, at this point I felt ready for new challenges and moved to another location with a large open fly-over area adjacent to a small-unused asphalt parking lot at a vacant business park. Real wheels-down, rolling landings would be the next challenge!

22nd through 43rd Session:
I wouldn’t say I was obsessed, but I did make the trip to the new flying location almost every morning for several months. I’d get up at dawn, drink...Continue Reading
Posted by k4kjf | Aug 26, 2006 @ 06:56 PM | 3,665 Views
Attended the Triple Tree Aerotow yesterday near Woodruff, SC. Great experience for this newcomer! Beautiful, graceful scale sailplanes and the event hosted by the always-hospitable Confederate Air Farce. I learned a lot.
Posted by k4kjf | Aug 06, 2006 @ 11:22 AM | 3,405 Views
To better fit intended blog structure, follow-on comment regarding the Electra Wing build has been moved to the Electra Wing thread below, rather than posting each successive entry as a new blog item.
Sticky: Electra Wing
Posted by k4kjf | Aug 04, 2006 @ 07:59 AM | 10,709 Views
With this posting, I’m about caught up to present build status. There is something about watching a wing take shape that gives a real feeling of accomplishment. Sheer size and structural beauty I guess. The wing went together well, but I was disappointed that many of the rib slots for the main spar were cut too tall. I put a drop of epoxy in the gap for the worst ones and let Titebond fill in where it could on the others.
Posted by k4kjf | Aug 03, 2006 @ 11:52 AM | 3,543 Views
The fuselage has been finished to this point for sometime. Reading Electra postings here, it is clear that climb out will be much more impressive if either a 3:1 gearbox and a larger prop, or a brushless motor is used instead of the furnished direct-drive T-600 motor and 8-inch prop. For awhile I toyed with going to one of those configurations immediately, but then decided to first use the basic direct drive installation and components as furnished, and then once that baseline is established, make enhancements from there. Going slow… I am new to a lot of this…..

I did distrust the battery compartment latch design as being somewhat flimsy, and instead used a small piece of lite-ply backup and a blind nut to anchor the swivel to the fuselage. I also used a 2-56 nut epoxied in place on the inside of the hatch to anchor the mating swivel post. I’m hoping to avoid the experience described by monty_11!

The next step with the fuselage was to temporarily installed the wing and the stabilizer and make any adjustments necessary so that they are perfectly parallel. So … had to set it aside until I could first complete the wing - which at that point had not yet been started.
Posted by k4kjf | Aug 01, 2006 @ 09:16 AM | 3,848 Views
Started the Electra in April 2006.