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IfIHadWings's blog
Posted by IfIHadWings | May 23, 2014 @ 09:02 PM | 2,051 Views
The December 2013 issue of RCM&E magazine included an article and plans for a canard, the "Can-Doo", that grabbed me as soon as I saw it. I began writing a shopping list shortly after Christmas and was able to begin the build in March 2014. I have built a Gently lady, Piece O'Cake and Alien Aircraft Gadget along with a number of Guillows kits but I've never built, bought or flown a canard. The rest of my hanger consists of foamy ARFs.

None of the model is built over plans as I am used to. A buddy of mine, Ringo, made a copy of the plans so I could develop templates and not ruin the original plan. I made the items for each stage versus cutting everything first.

The main wing is a tapered airfoil with a flat bottom. The foreplane is flat on both sides. The fuselage is three long pieces with three formers. I reinforced the ply motor mount with triangular balsa and epoxy on the interior. The designer, Nigel Hawes, offered a vacuum formed canopy but the overseas shipping and transit time made me fashion one from layered balsa.

I knew from the start that I didn't want to glue the wings given the chance that I might need to work on something inside after construction. I created a key to lock the foreplane when the canopy is in place. I added another key to the top leading edge of the main wing that mated with the interior of the mounting slot. Once in place, the main wing is anchored with two small wood screws just forward of the motor.

The...Continue Reading
Posted by IfIHadWings | Feb 27, 2014 @ 09:39 PM | 1,747 Views
I have taken my mentor for granted. There's no other way to say it.

A few years ago, my yet-to-be known neighbor was demonstrating R/C pattern sequences at the local GA airport's annual fly-in. I struck up a conversation and filed the information away (name, face, etc.). About a year later I picked up a FZ Switch RTF to get back into the hobby but wasn't comfortable flying it without some help. I recalled my down-the-street resource and called him. To my surprise, he not only had time for me that day but he has had time for me everyday since. He has patience beyond measure as well as the gift of being able to explain complex things in easy to understand terms. And his generosity is extraordinary....he never thinks twice about offering what he has be it props, wheel collars or Cuban coffee! I will never be able to repay him but I will continue to try with friendship and Chick-fil-a sandwiches.

My hope is that I will be able to pay it forward when I get that call from a neighbor down the street...

Here's to Joe Grant and all the other mentors out there who selflessly pass along their knowledge and help others realize their dreams. You are appreciated more than you know!
Posted by IfIHadWings | Feb 06, 2013 @ 10:21 PM | 2,404 Views
After 13 months of owning an Airfield/FMS 1400mm Corsair, I finally flew her for the first time today! My wife gave me the RTF for Christmas 2011 after I half-jokingly put it on my list. The Corsair was my second plane and WAY beyond my skill level at the time (FZ Switch was my "return to the hobby" after 15 years - still have my AM Futaba that I used to fly my .049 Gentle Lady). I'm glad I had enough sense to admire the F4U on my bench and not fly it until I gained experience.

I spent the past few months completing the RCG mods, double-checking everything and practicing my taildragger take-offs/landings. I bet I took the Corsair to the field a half dozen times since late November but something always seemed wrong...too much wind, setting sun, tired from all day at work, etc. BUT today was perfect...mild wind straight down the runway, severe clear skies and beaming confidence.

The take-off was not perfect but I know what to expect next time. P-factor is one thing, but that prop is unlike any other I have! I was amazed at how well it flew...with authority. And the sound of that prop was too cool! One slow pass about 40' AGL was beautiful then climb for a left pattern to land. Brought the power back on final to about 20-25%, kept the nose down and gently flared to put it on the mains. I can still see it...

What a great day!
Posted by IfIHadWings | Jan 04, 2013 @ 10:27 PM | 2,895 Views
It was 28 degrees this morning and rose to 65 by mid-afternoon, so naturally one would expect that a few early evening hours could be dedicated to R/C projects in the garage with a space heater. Who knew the temp would drop close the low again and I'd freeze may hands, feet and tail off while swapping the Rx in the Corsair and pulling the motor in the Albatros. I still can't feel my toes and my fingers are tingling as I type this. I know...anyone north of Chattanooga thinks 28 degrees is sun-tan weather this time of year but my blood is thin after 30 years of living in the south. I'd rather sweat than shiver any day.

Quick shout out to Flyzone. Once again, their customer service exceeded my expectations. The support I've received for my Switch and micro Albatros has been remarkable. Horizon has been the same with my DX7s (and, no, I do not work for either of them).

Looking forward to the annual swap meet in Perry, Georgia (http://www.gamarc.com/georgia.html) this March 1-2. It is an excellent sources of parts, supplies and kits just in time for spring flying!
Posted by IfIHadWings | Dec 11, 2012 @ 10:49 PM | 2,969 Views
It seems like yesterday that I was flying every evening from 6:30-9pm and reluctantly making the last landing because I couldn't make out the orientation of the plane due to low light. Where did the daylight go?

In Georgia, we had an amazing October...a real month of autumn! Not the typical 90+ degree/1000% humidity days directly to freeze warnings, but real moderate temps and crisp air. I was flying my Switch, Formosa, Mustang, Champ and PoleCat almost everyday and I'd take the Piece O'Cake to the field surrounding the local water tower on the weekends to ride thermals with the buzzards and hawks for hours. I bet I did more flying in October than the entire summer.

Woke up this morning to 38 degrees, light rain and wind...and its been this way, in one form or another, since early November. Not wishing my life away, but I'm looking forward to spring.

A buddy of mine keeps reminding me of the "R/C Seasons" and that the earth has now tilted to the Building Season. I admit it takes me a little while to transition from one to the next...there is something wrong when planes just stay on the rack and aren't in the air. When this season winds to an end, I will have to remind myself that I can fly a R/C plane in spite of my poor showing the first weekend after Building Season ends and Flying Season begins.

Building Season has started with a strong effort to prepare my 1400mm Airfield Corsair for her maiden flight before she has her first anniversary in...Continue Reading