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mechrick's blog
Posted by mechrick | Apr 27, 2008 @ 01:08 PM | 14,185 Views
Over the past couple of years I have built a few planes from scratch, as my hangar is full as I can not seem to let a plane go after a crash (to salvage gear and make room for new). I must attempt at least to repair them if they get dinged. So, I still have every plane I have ever built and flown, except for for some I have given away for others to fly.

After just posting a build thread for a new BluCore DH-2, I thought I would collect my BluCore builds in one place:

My first scratch build, based on simple Fiddlers Green Fokker DVII paper airplane plans:

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=368341

My second, a more significant build. With no inexpensive FW-190's on the market (there are several not so great ones now), I decided to take on a big project for me, an FW-190D:

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=422890

Going back to WWI, I thought I would give an idea I had a chance for making the dreaded Lozenge camouflage, a Pfalz DIIIa:

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=654367

I finished another WWI plane, an Airco DH-2, as my buddies were complaining that I had too many Axis airplanes:

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=855865

The latest BluCore build in my circus, a 48" Fieseler Fi-156 Storch:

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=990121

I have a few new BlueCor projects planned. I just need to get inspired, get some free time, and retire a plane or two to salvage the gear...
Posted by mechrick | Mar 07, 2008 @ 02:01 PM | 13,991 Views
I finally bought a helicopter (unless you count PicooZ's and flying "bugs"). Say hello to E-Sky's Co-Comanche.

All it takes is removal of the silly stickers ("ARMY HELI" LOL), addition of some more accurate stickers (or decals), a little bit of dullcoat and this little helicopter looks absolutely scale (er... except for that second level of blades... ).

I made a sticker set (using clear sticker stock from the office supply store) on PowerPoint, doing it trial and error to match photos I have of the Comanche doing test flights in South Florida. All I did then was liquid mask the windows, slap on the stickers, and spray the two fuselage halves with a light spray of Testors dullcoat. That did the trick to make the shiny toy a scale flying model. I just wish they had designed the fuselage with the navigation turret facing foward (they made the same mistake several model/toy companies made by modeling the sensor outer-mold-line mockup that was just a weighted fiberglass shell). It looks much better with the moving turrets on the front.

It is a great flying little heli. Right out of the box I could hover in my cramped living room five feet off the carpet and hands off (after proper trimming).

Rick
Posted by mechrick | Jul 21, 2007 @ 02:38 PM | 17,949 Views
Almost all of the guys I fly with have red GWS Slow Sticks, and pull them out to float around after a day of throwing fast planes and warbirds around. All I have that is gentle any more (at least for me) is my old GWS Beaver, but a quick look through the spare parts bin showed I had all I needed to throw a BluCore Slow Stick together. A couple of movies for the DVD player, a sheet of BluCore from the stack in the garage, and off I went with an X-Acto.

All spruce and BluCore construction. The wing is a single sheet cut 44" in span with a 5 degree dihedral, with thin spruce spares at the lift center and leading edge, and 4 formers to keep the shape. In the center I closed the formers into a box, with a center spare within, which is plenty stiff and still light. How light? I don't know.

350C GWS motor and gearbox, a standard 9.6V 750 MAh NiMH battery, and 1147 prop. I tried a 1080 prop, but the 1147 seems perfect for the drag and span of the stick. I love making little things like the servo rod supports in the rear (between the tail and servos) to keep them from buckling. The front gear interface was maybe the only head scratcher. It is a GWS retract housing cut in two and slid down over the stick, and the gear wire is 0.074. A large zip tie around the wire holds it on and gives just enough in landing. The wheels are off the old BF-109, which is currently a belly lander.

Total cost (to add to the gear on hand): $2.00 for the prop, and $1.50 for the...Continue Reading
Posted by mechrick | Jun 22, 2007 @ 06:21 PM | 15,541 Views
I have started playing with an inexpensive Bubblegum VGA USB camera (available at Hobbypartz.com),

http://www.hobbypartz.com/hicocagrforf.html

I have taken only a few videos, having fun with Windows Movie Maker to edit multiple flights into singles in a couple of cases. Enjoy:

First up is a simple flight with my old trainer stock GWS Beaver. I velcro'ed the camera to the right strut, and just flew about. I purposely put the prop in the field of view to see what it would look like. Yep - horizontal lines due to VGA vertical integration:

GWS Beaver Flight (2 min 59 sec)


Second is my BluCore Pfalz, placing the camera in the pilot's seat facing forward for one flight, and backward for a second, then editing the files together. Excuse the Space Shuttle-like take-off.

If I were the pilot, I would complain to the builder about lack of forward field of view...

...Continue Reading
Posted by mechrick | Jun 17, 2007 @ 10:20 AM | 15,799 Views
My dad was proud of everything I did, brought me up right, and was always there when I needed him. He never got to go out to the field and fly with me, but in WWII he was stationed in Alaska and serviced P-40's and C-47's and took me for a ride in a Ford Tri-Motor at an airshow when I was a kid. I miss him, but am glad to have had him.

Happy Father's Day dad.
Posted by mechrick | Jun 16, 2007 @ 07:26 PM | 15,840 Views
Brodie has been going out to the flying field for a couple of years (he's a three year old Scottish Terrier). Minna the miniature Dachsund joined him this year.

After a long run to check out the take off and landing conditions of the field when we arrive early, and then excitedly welcoming flyers at the Boggy Creek site, they retire to the back of the van to relax in the shade with a cool bowl of water and watch the morning's flights.

And so long as I take both dogs with me to the field and tire them out, I'm allowed to go flying whenever I like. Coolness....Continue Reading
Posted by mechrick | Jun 15, 2007 @ 01:10 PM | 15,881 Views
I can pile drive an RC plane with the best of them. Mostly while learning ailerons on a GWS Zero and Corsair, when "tip-stall" was an unknown phrase to me and I limited myself to stock 350 GWS gear. Nothing wrong with the light gear, you just need to use all of the plane to stay in the air (that's a good thing for a beginner though I guess).

Most of the recent damage (every one of my planes has suffered at least a little) is in the form of nose scuffs from tip overs on landing. Enjoy some carnage......Continue Reading