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Posted by BAF23 | Apr 24, 2014 @ 08:03 AM | 2,619 Views

Model as advertised and bought second-hand in April 2014

A week after getting a secondhand rare 30 year old WIK Twin Astir II glider, I stumbled on an advertisement for a quarter-scale Flair Ka8, fully assembled with servo’s and towhook, and advertised as “in good condition”. It was expensive, but a few hours after a half price bid I jokingly made, I got a mail that I could come and collect it. A few hours later, after having flown my Parkzone 2m25 Ka8b foamy to regain currency after the winter, I arrived at the seller’s home and spotted the assembled burgundy Ka8b in his open garage. It was love at first sight, the shape of that Ka8 nose was exactly scale, as was the front skid and the rear rubber skid. The wing had spoilers that extended on top and below the wing, as on the real glider. This model was still of traditional build, made of no less than 600 balsa parts (Flair manual predicts 400 assembly hours), and covered with fabric. Negative points were an atrocious outside towhook, a very roughly applied paintjob, and numerous “patchwork” repairs with inconsistent materials and colors all over the model.

I had been lounging for a nice Ka8b but was not happy with the looks of the 3m seagull nose, the lack of spoilers on the Phoenix 3,5m and 6m models, and none of them being in the practical (for size and detail) ¼ scale. I heard about the Flair model but knew they stopped production around 2008, and so far not many ended-up for sale in good condition within driving...Continue Reading
Posted by BAF23 | Apr 06, 2014 @ 10:37 AM | 3,113 Views
A few weeks after the last post concerning my unrestored Multiplex Ka6e adjustment flights (with the pictures of the windhose mishap to the real glider), I got in touch with the photographer and the owner of the glider at the time of that mishap (2010). I got a good selection of more detailed pictures and was surprised about the extent of the damage. The detailed cockpit interior pictures proved an invaluable source of necessary data, and I also got the word the glider is lingering around “as is” in a hangar at St Hubert airfield, in the hands of a well-known Belgian restorer with no progress having been made at the end of 2013.

Mid October I decided to ground my secondhand model after a total of 10 adjustment flights so I could start the restoration. After elaborated searches I had obtained pieces of yellow vinyl, fire-orange and cub-yellow Oracover, which all seemed to match the original colors rather well. The owner of the real Ka6e running a van modification shop, just mixed colors till they looked good, but didn’t take notes so getting them off the shelf with RAL numbers was not an option. Oracover also exists in the so called “scale” variety, which is completely opaque, but the catalogue warns this was obtained by a thin layer of aluminum which incidentally also tends to block RF signals towards internally mounted antennas.

I first experimented with the Oracover and vinyl to see how opaque these would be, and how much they stretched or could be shrunk to...Continue Reading
Posted by BAF23 | Sep 23, 2013 @ 06:06 PM | 5,049 Views
While initially for sentimental reasons I was tempted to buy a new 3m multiplex anniversary limited edition Ka8b or 3,5m Phoenix Ka8b, our club secretary gave me a hint about a second hand Multiplex Ka6E on the internet. It had been advertised for 9 months and although 2 serious bids had been placed the model still was available. A club member knew the seller and apparently it was an older honest guy who was selling his R/C stuff because he lately spent more time flying real gliders. I felt obliged to help him deliver that 9 month pregnancy and got in touch. Here is the picture of the advertisement on a popular Belgian second hand trade site.

We soon exchanged data and within 24 hours I drove to his place. When I arrived I saw he lived in a small house, which probably was the reason at the rendezvous time he was standing next to the fully assembled Ka6E on his front lawn. He still had his receiver and battery in and after I had the chance to check the proper operation of the 3 old slow “Simprop electronic contest” fuselage servo's and 3 recent faster hidden wing servo's (no clue about the brand or type), we concluded a deal and he removed his receiver and battery. He pointed out all non-standard things like a different but sturdy wing joiner, and the old but simple Multiplex tow hook release, after which I drove home without information booklet nor CG position (except it apparently flew fine with just NiMh batteries in the nose). I'm satisfied of the...Continue Reading
Posted by BAF23 | Aug 09, 2013 @ 05:59 PM | 5,420 Views
After reading and seeing some posts about finished Boeing 737 models from Windrider, I decided even if it didn’t fit exactly in my collection (I never was an airline buff), I had to have that model and finish it in some Belgian colors. I kind of liked the winglets and being a -700 I opted for a model of the well documented OO-JAR of the Belgian tour operator Jetair in its delivery configuration. Here you see a picture of the aircraft landing back at the Seattle Boeing factory after its maiden flight. Being christened with the Enjoy name on its nose seemed appropriate for an RC airliner.

I purchased the model “all in” during a sale of the Austrian dealer Lindinger, it was cheaper as the glider version! but from the start I discarded the engines, ECS’s, fans and retract system because I wanted more robust units. The RC group pages about that model contained valuable information which I thoroughly analyzed during months before deciding the configuration and modifications to my model. Getting all the necessary parts and trims also took months because most had to be imported from China, USA and various European suppliers. My choice felt on 5S fed HK2155-2100 engines powering CS10 fans with aluminum nosecone through 80A ESC’s. Gears had to be metal trunion 4mm hardened shaft with scale wheels on dampened springs, geardoors on all 3 legs and single slotted Fowler flaps. Realistic sequenced lightning set all around the vinyl covered airframe with...Continue Reading
Posted by BAF23 | Jul 27, 2013 @ 01:51 PM | 5,016 Views
Not feeling much confident to maiden my heavy 3,7kg highly modified one, I bought a second hand stock 2,7kg V1 Trojan via internet. Although it had flown about 40 times from a grass field, that model was unscratched except for glued together broken main geardoor. The previous owner had kept it stock except for a reinforced nosegear and installation of a quality 60Amp ESC, and the addition of some weight in the tail. As we used the same batteries, and his Spectrum AR600 remained in the airframe, I couldn’t come any closer to a bind and fly model for a reasonable price, and according to his experiences, the CG was ok with the 4S4000 battery fully at the back of the tray. That Navy aircraft looked much more attractive as a stock one, due to detailed realistic weathering painstakingly applied by the previous owner.

Closer analysis back home revealed the flaps could be bent up slightly under high load factors, only being limited by the servo being stressed. I had encountered that phenomena in a previous FMS P51 and that had led to uncommanded roll inputs during loops or steep turns, and pullout of dives. On the mustang I corrected that with just two small almost invisible strips of carbon where the flaps met the fuselage, resulting in a kind of mechanical uplock point. On my training T28 I choose another solution, and just epoxied small scrap plates of hardwood resting against recesses cutout in the wing blend part of the fuselage. I later painted that white, together...Continue Reading
Posted by BAF23 | Jul 18, 2013 @ 01:53 PM | 5,608 Views
On the 13th of October 1969 when I got towed the by a Stampe SV4, for unknown reasons the cable snapped at the towship side about 100ft high. I released the remaining cable and landed with full spoilers after a sidestep onto the hard runway, just short of the field end. My logbook shows it was with PL54 and I flew the same airframe a month later during my precision landing tests to obtain my glider pilot license. PL54 also had extra orange colored ailerons so the choice as a model was a no brainer.

Picture of the real Ka8 around the turn of the century at Weelde airfield

The 3,5m span Phoenix model was tempting but maybe too big a step so when Parkzone announced the release of their 2m25 foamy I ordered one at my LHS. It is a very nice ARF kit that will satisfy most flyers as coming out of the box. After analyzing the contents I quickly made up my mind about some changes. Luckily only the nose and tail had been factory painted, the rest of the lines and wingtips were adhesives which could be carefully removed. The z-foam fuselage has been factory coated and care must be taken during the peel off of the adhesives because it is easy to tear complete little foam balls out of their pressings. The wing leading edges needed sanding to get rid of unaerodynamic mold lines, and I didn’t like the mold stars sticking out all over the wings, the many mold hole openings on the bottom where the spars and other reinforcements were, the tape over the too deeply pushed aileron...Continue Reading
Sticky: Stampe SV4b
Posted by BAF23 | Jun 03, 2013 @ 05:17 AM | 5,899 Views
Since I had my first real aircraft ride during an open door in 1967, as passenger in a Belgian Air Force primary trainer Stampe and Vertongen SV4bis tail number V41, I had a strong penchant for that charismatic biplane. In 1972 those trainers were obsolete and got replaced by sleekly SF260M Marchetti trainers, and most were acquired by civilians. In 1982 V41 flew occasionally from the civilian airfield I used during weekends. It remained completely original except for sporting an additional civilian registration OO-LUK. I flew it many times over the years, and lately (2013) is in the hands of a former air force colleague pilot, having been restored to its former glory and being kept immaculate.

No wonder I wanted to have a model of it, but unfortunately the few kits on the market were either too large or out of production (Svenson), and all were for heavy petrol engines. In 2011 a fellow club member bought a second hand Stampe on the internet. It had a two stroke engine that had soaked the front, was missing struts and parts of wing covering, and most essential fittings were either unglued or poorly repaired (after a crash?). The landing gear obviously had absorbed serious hits and was pointing anywhere but straight. The cockpit and interior had the looks of a battered toy. But I wanted it so much I was able to persuade the new owner to electrify it, produce the missing bits and selling it to me so I could further finish it to my desires. It wasn’t cheap, but getting a...Continue Reading
Posted by BAF23 | May 21, 2013 @ 04:47 PM | 5,169 Views
As you might have read on my modeler history dedicated (and now illustrated) blog page http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1816598 the number of models exploded in recent years. Living in a 100 square meter apartment and driving the smallest Mercedes (A-Klasse) required ingenuity to combine space available and my rediscovered hobby.

Unwilling to permanently sacrifice the cozy and neutral aspect of my living space, during spring 2011 I opted to change the guestroom into a hobby room. The bed went to my parents and I bought a strong but folding 185x75cm worktable to fill one wall. The other long wall being already completely filled by pullout clothing and shoe racks, and one short side being a front window, the other the hall door, only left 4m60 by 2m20 to build and stock my model aircraft collection. Between the table and window I was able to securely fasten a shelf rail construction from the top to the bottom of the room, using adjustable and different length arms to support a variety of aircraft on a minimal space. The rest of that wall still had a wide wooden plank on which I could hang other models.

As usual build tables quickly fill up, especially when working on relatively long models as the Lander Hawker Hunter. And that was before I permanently established the left side of the table to a vertical drilling station, a Dremel with accessories, separate electrical and butane gas solder stations, lightened magnifying glass, mini table saw, and other...Continue Reading
Posted by BAF23 | May 12, 2013 @ 03:54 PM | 7,810 Views
Experiences with Orange RX3 flight stabilizers (V1 and V2)

After reading the RC group thread http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1702672 in 2012 I ordered 3 stabilizers before V2 came on the market. As you might be aware of through my other blog pages on this forum, I mostly fly enhanced foam scale models which are often critical under anything but very smooth calm air. Those systems had been intended to test on my Funcub, and install in an FMS Spitfire and Art-Tech T6 Texan. A few weeks later, winter came, I got a good bid for my Funcub, and the Version 2 stabilizers became available. Whilst the V1 is always active and sensitive to adjust, V2 can be switched on or off in the air and is less sensitive to adjust.

I quickly decided to mount a V2 in the vast accessible bay of the 1400mm FMS P51 to check the system.

Spring 1013 I took her in the air and assigned switch G (for Gyro) on my Specrtrum DX10t to enable the operation at altitude. I choose that knob because it was far enough from my other controls not to be actuated by accident, yet easily recognizable by feel for actuation with my left hand. I fly mode 2 so wanted my right hand on elevator and aileron during the switch, with my left hand on the G switch ready to disconnect the system in a fraction of a second if things got out of hand. System setup had been straightforward after reading the RC thread experiences of others, but final adjustments were more delicate as anticipated.

After trimming out...Continue Reading
Posted by BAF23 | Jan 25, 2013 @ 10:55 AM | 5,843 Views
FMS Stearman PT17

Having had the chance to give airrides during a couple of years in the 3 different 220hp Antwerp based Stearmans at the end of previous century, I wanted to fly this charismatic icon in model form as well.

The existing rather expensive wooden E-flite model often got criticized for having bad flying qualities, but when FMS commercialized it as a foam 1 meter span ARF, I jumped at the occasion and soon started to cosmetically change the kit appearance to conform to one of the aircraft I had flown. After opening the box and spreading everything on the table it became clear this model had all the good foundations to further detailing it into a charming little flyer.

I was glad to see FMS finally inserted an extensive spare parts list in the manual, but later orders I placed for reserve spinner shaft etc, took more than half a year to get delivered through the Belgian FMS representative, and wore another number (for common use with 5 other models). That is the reason why when I purchase any kit, I immediately order propblades , propholder, motor shaft and spinner. This is especially important with taildraggers because chances are high it will ever tip over causing damage to the drive train, and then waiting half a year for a part or discovering it cannot be obtained anymore is not what I like. With only a small serial number decal on the nose it became easy to turn that model over to 309, the British registered G-IIIG still operated from Belgium....Continue Reading
Posted by BAF23 | Jan 24, 2013 @ 11:24 AM | 7,356 Views
Model collection chronology

I made this page to show how I progressed from early age till present in model aviation. For past models the words are final, for current and future models amendments and complements will be added as the situation evolves.
Latest published updates:
25/1/2013 : inserted links in text to dedicated build logs where available
21/5/2013 : inserted appropriate pictures to the text portions
23/7/2013 : added new end after changes in the fleet
11/9/2013 : added video movies of B25, Spitfire and F16 flights
31/7/2013: added winter 2013-2014 message
31/7/2014: added summer 2014 message

It all started early sixties when my dad offered me 0,8cm3 Cox powered plastic Curtiss Helldiver. With neither of us knowing how to fly, and his perseverance of self-teaching on an abandoned parking lot, led to many short hops all terminating in catastrophe. I hardly had the occasion to try the handle on this control line aircraft, but it triggered an interest in aviation and model flying, that would never disappear throughout the rest of my life.

There was a model club at our school and I joined them. That’s how I learned to fly on the schoolgrounds (with the permission of the director), and build balsa wood models in a hobby room in the school cellar. With the little money we had purchasing kits was more of an exception, and we often copied designs we saw pictures of in catalogues. Quality of build was very poor, and repairs rudimental, but getting those things...Continue Reading
Posted by BAF23 | Jan 22, 2013 @ 05:34 AM | 6,516 Views
Multiplex Funcub

Summer 2010 while attending the annual Pampa Model Flyer jet show I stumbled along a German vendor who sold an infrared coax helicopter for a mere 25 euro. Back home flying it around the kitchen and living room it bought back memories from the seventies when I sold all my rc airplanes to invest in a house. After a week I realized the shortcomings of that heli and ordered a Nine Eagles solo pro, with proper tail rotor, more challenging to fly but more rewarding. A month later I discovered an rc club in my town, became member and told them I wanted to pick up my old hobby. The club president sold me his used Graupner electro junior powered glider modified with flaps, but after just a couple of flights I got the hang of it and decided I wanted a real aircraft again to practice takeoff and landings instead of hand launches. My choice felt on the Multiplex Funcub, a design sufficiently benign to pardon my beginners mistakes, but with ailerons and flaps offering me a range of flight maneuvers from basic till aerobatic, with precision landing capabilities as a bonus. I also felt a strong connection with the Cub, having spent many hours instructing in a local aeroblub’s aircraft during the seventies. My choice of colors was rapidly made.

At that time the Multiplex Funcub could only be bought as a kit, and I was seriously surprised the basic aircraft price tripled with the purchase of (quality) servo’s and a Multiplex power set (consisting in an extremely...Continue Reading
Posted by BAF23 | Jan 20, 2013 @ 05:53 PM | 5,630 Views
Lander Hawker Hunter 68mm EDF

During a sale by the Austrian Schweighofer dealer I purchased an attractive 1/12th scale (86cm span) Hawker Hunter model produced by Lander. This well finished foam model was a kit without electronics (no servo’s either) but with an excellent a 68mm Lander aluminum alloy fan EDF with a 3575kv engine turning at 48000rpm. The kit included mechanical metal retracts, each needing a dedicated servo. Split wing flaps were already cut out in the wing. I thought this EDF would be an ideal continuation after having flown a hand launched nano Robbe F86 Sabre, and a fixed gear 80mm Robbe F16 EDF. I choose for the red and white version because of its good visibility, plus the fact I had a ride in two-seater XL600 during the mid eighties. I certainly plan to convert this model with the side by side wider nose and cockpit after getting the hang of it. The fact the particular aircraft I flew is still very active in the airshow circuit as G-VETA (some jokingly refer to it as Very Expensive Toy Aircraft) in a black and gold livery is a tribute to its sturdiness. When I got my ride it sported this attractive color sheme and operated from Laarbruch (RAFG) in support of 15sqn (flying Blackburn Buccaneers).

The airplane required the purchase of a staggering 9 servo’s. Elevator, rudder, two ailerons, two flaps, 3 landing gear retracts. Because of that I choose a 70Amp Red Brick ESC on a 4S battery for the engine, and a separate BEC with dedicated...Continue Reading
Posted by BAF23 | Jan 20, 2013 @ 03:11 AM | 5,648 Views
Part 1: fundamental cosmetic changes

Summer 2012 a stock reduction took place at the Austrian Schweichofer dealer and an FMS 140mm PNP T28 for less than 200 Euro Lipo included, was irresistible to me. An attractive full size T28 had been teasing my mind this season by operating during the weekends less than 100ft from our r/c club parking. Because I had in mind to decorate my model as the real one I choose to order the white navy version, figuring it would be the easiest one to adapt.

When the box arrived it looked like it had been exposed to the sun for too long, a wing was more yellowish as white, and the cockpit interior looked very faded. Everything was still packed in the original plastic and the box carton sealed as usual. I just could make up that this kit was an early production and had been stocked for a long time. Even not exposed to sunlight the foam and decoration just faded by age. I took everything out and assembled it in my garden for pictures of the standard original product. It was obvious the cockpit was a disaster. It didn’t fit well and protruded above the front fuselage. The interior was anything but representative of the real thing, both in shape as for decoration, and the dashboard stickers with 10 times landing mentioned on the checklist placards were just too gross to stay in there.

I had seen many T28 models fly in the various stock deliveries and knew it was a honest stable flier. I thus started reading the RCGroups thread concerning this (...Continue Reading
Posted by BAF23 | Jan 19, 2013 @ 04:28 PM | 5,744 Views
Part 8: weight and balance and final decoration

The picture at the end of part 7 illustrated how a stock FMS T28 could be rigged. Mine being anything but stock I was prepared to see devious numbers concerning weight and balance, especially with the heavier cockpit assembly (215 grams), the MrRCsound system (190 grams behind the wing not even counting the small aux speakers), added elevator servo, added hinges on all control surfaces and flaps, and total vinyl covering. I retracted the gear so I could put the complete assembled model on my precision (digital kitchen) scale and panicked finding out it was above the scale limit. Taking the battery out was sufficient to bring it under 3 kilo so that got my heart beating slower again.
After installing the battery again I attempted to lift the model from the scale with two fingers at the recommended 80-85mm CG position. It was no surprise to find out it was tail heavy, but by how much? I had anticipated that problem so had kept everything free in front of the factory battery tray. I moved the battery against the firewall but even that left the CG around 3cm too far aft. Time to take old lead blocks and squeeze them between the prop and cowling. The model eventually started balancing and I knew I would have to find adequate space for all the lead, as far in the nose as possible. After removing the plastic nose cowl I saw the possibility to glue preshaped lead strips all around the lip.

That amounted to 120 grams, bringing...Continue Reading
Posted by BAF23 | Jan 19, 2013 @ 04:10 PM | 5,580 Views
Part 7: final assembly and wiring

After getting the fuselage up the cradle and removing the canopy it became time to hook up all the servo’s and get those flight controls to behave. With the gear sequencer in place (doors open first, gear leg lowers with a delay and vice versa), I noticed it got rather hot so that would have to find a cooled placed as well for final positioning. It also required a cycle or two to get everything right after power ups but luckily I had no serious jams when things didn’t go as advertised. I wanted the gear down so I could arrange the directional setup. I already had decided I would use separate channels for rudder and nose wheel steering (NWS) instead of using the provided Y cable, because I wanted to be able to adjust their neutral point (by subtrim) separately, and have serious expo on the steering because the very short distance between main and nose gear probably would cause touchy steering at higher speeds during the ground rolls.

I first tried to connect the aircraft rudder on the rudder channel, and the NWS as a mix on one of the aux channels. I didn’t want any expo on the aircraft rudder control because I want instantaneous response to cater for gusts in finals, and also prefer to have rudder trim effectiveness to cater for engine torque according to power (maybe by mix later). Having aileron rudder (mix) interconnected to eliminate adverse yaw from the (differential ailerons) it is also better to have a positive...Continue Reading
Posted by BAF23 | Jan 19, 2013 @ 03:58 PM | 5,402 Views
Part 6: wing assembly

The morning Santa was supposed to bring me something from Winterland, the postman rang with one of the Hobby King packs. On an order of various small things for 47 dollars, I had to pay 25 euro (about 33dollar) for import, taxes and administration, no wonder our hobby is expensive. Included in that order were the long awaited heavy duty flap hinges.
After cutting slots in wing and flaps to install them, I was able to play with front and back alignment, and elevation versus each other, to find the ideal position where the top curve of the flap would hug the still to be made cover plate, and a gap would only start between take-off and land position. I now could measure how deep that cover plate had to be to get best visual and aerodynamic results. Two centimeters seemed fine and I used an iron saw to cut the flap cover strips out of a 1mm white styrene sheet. The pictures below show the cutouts and how much wing area I lost at the back compared to the original wing root fillet.

Those flap hinges are shown here at the various positions, demonstrating their shape is ideal for deployments with the extrados hugging the same top portion (of the future cover plate).

After much sanding I dry fitted the flaps on their loose hinges and observed everything went as thought of. Dry fitting of the FMS flap actuator horns showed they wouldn’t work. Trying to pull (even below the hinge pivot point) on a...Continue Reading
Posted by BAF23 | Jan 19, 2013 @ 03:40 PM | 5,163 Views
Part 5: wing modification

As you read in previous chapters, whilst mainly concentrating on the fuselage, I already started working on the wings when time available. A test of all electrics showed, although I have a version one, the flap servo’s are of the slow type. Lights were of correct colors but mounted so deep in the foam, much of their effect was lost. The transparent covers had been glued excessively and were anything but flush with surrounding foam. All had to be removed because my wingtips would be blue, and the transparent covers had been applied over the red painted foam. Removal of the covers without cracking them required some delicacy, but removal of all the glue from them proved impossible. The thick lights bulbs were pulled out from their recesses and glued only at their base, shining much better now. The area around the wingtip lights was painted blue, and the one around the landing light silver. Covers were again glued, but now as flush as possible. Traces of factory glue excesses requires partial covering of the transparent area during the vinyling phase. I then removed the factory applied plastic tapes that covered electric wirings and servo’s, and applied several coats of lightweight filler to fill all surface creases and wire channels. After much sanding I obtained really smooth surfaces as a good base for later vinyling. Ailerons were cut off because their thickness and foam joint only allowed minimal deflection. They got the same...Continue Reading
Posted by BAF23 | Jan 19, 2013 @ 03:30 PM | 5,068 Views
Part 4: fuselage assembly

I had just 5 days to cover the complete fuselage, and for the first time assemble all the parts to transport it to the flying club. During winter once a month we gather together for some kind of activity and December traditionally means everybody displays the project(s) we are working on. Early march everybody brings their completed models after working all winter on them. I had covered my fuselage in shoulder to shoulder applied vinyl panels, coinciding with the now filled in deep FMS panel lines. Some panels like the one just behind the canopy required very delicate application because of their complicated concave/convex shape. Remember I had varnished the fuselage to get rid of most contrast between the factory painted parts, and the parts where upon removal of the decoration, the paint had come off with. The varnish makes a nice flat adhesive base, but the vinyl has to be spot on before pressing it down, any attempt to pull it off to reposition or get rid of a crease or bubble, results in the varnish remaining stuck to the vinyl and adhesive capabilities of that area being totally gone. The only solution then is to get rid of that worthless complete vinyl piece, cut another one out, and applying it over the area that has to be sanded with 600 grit paper again to soften the transition between bare foam and varnished foam, because the thin vinyl otherwise would show that.

Before covering the bottom of the fuselage I had to cut out an additional...Continue Reading