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ChrisS's blog
Posted by ChrisS | Jul 15, 2014 @ 08:34 PM | 1,748 Views
Not too long ago, I mentioned to a friend that I was thinking about giving SPA a try and I thought maybe the classic Curare would be a good way to go. What a good friend, not much later he calls me back and tells me he found an original MK kit, as new in-the-box. This is the 40 size kit (57" wing), I think it'll do well as an electric conversion...retracts and all.

It is somewhat prop limited (about 10 to 11"), with that in mind and wanting a power system based around middle sized 4S packs, I chose a Hacker A30-8XL as the motivator. This should spin a 10X7 right around 13K rpm and yield a thrust of better than 80 ounces and pitch speed of around 90mph...sounds good.
Posted by ChrisS | Aug 11, 2013 @ 05:53 PM | 3,906 Views
-----Soooo, I've been wanting to do a large-ish scale project for a while. I still have a love for all things "two". So why not a twin engined biplane?

I looked around at the available offerings for plans and settled on Ivan Pettigrew' newest creation, a 74 inch DH.90. A beautiful plane, one of four different models of it's general type produced by the British de Havilland company in the 1930's. The Dragon, Express, Dragon Rapide and finally the Dragonfly.

This will likely take a while but I'll post pics here as I progress, along with observations and nuances of the general build.

So far I have pretty much finished the fuse, Upper wings and empennage pieces. The most interesting detail so far has been the "Frise" ailerons. These do good things for planes that would otherwise suffer from adverse yaw. The designer has also added another detail to tackle the known issues of the long thin wings of the DH.90 by adding washout. These features and several others should yield an airplane that is well mannered and easy to fly...I can't wait.

The wing loading is stated to be 13.7 ounces/ft^2. Mine will be a bit heavier as I need the wings to come apart for transporting. Hopefully I won't add too much weight in the process...the woes of driving a small car.

-----I have been working on the Drangonfly a bit. I finished the upper wing by creating a center section that will afix permanently to the fuse. The wing outer sections connect with a carbon tube-in-tube...Continue Reading
Posted by ChrisS | Jan 19, 2013 @ 02:36 PM | 3,063 Views
I got this bug a while back to build a vacuformer. We had one at MinAir while I worked there and I learned to really like making stuff with it.

After some research on the internet, I came up with a plan of my own utilyzing several of what I considered the better ideas from what I had read. A few trips to Lowes and a couple weekends working on it had the completed unit ready to try.

It is an outstanding success, I could vacform a fly and capture the details of it's wings!

For those of you who may be on the edge with building up one of these things, don't be, dive in and do it. The major parts are a shop vac and electric grill. All else is just a bunch of bits from the shelves of the hardware store.

Chris
Posted by ChrisS | Jan 19, 2013 @ 02:24 AM | 3,168 Views
A few months ago, RCM&E included a nice set of plans with the mag, the Speedtwin. Nice looking plane, scale, twin and what the heck, free plans. I had to give it a go.

Well, it took a month or so and had it's challenges, there are no molded parts included with free plans (although there is now a laser cut wood pack available). In the end, I prevaled and wound up with a nice looking model that flies well.

I set it up with, what else, a pair of Hackers. A20-8XL's to be exact, on 3S, swinging 7x5's opposite to each other for about 20 amps to each motor.

Additionally, I used a pair of "RC Lander" landing gear from Hobby King, a pair of aluminum 2" wheels from Maxx Products. The result is a nice, good looking landing gear combination.

The model wants more power, and as soon as I work over some cooling issues, it will get more, as simple as a pair of 7x7's. The issues I have are with the esc's, as they seemed a bit warm after the first few flights.

For now, it's very distinctive in the air and flies quite well, exhibiting no bad tendencies at all. Landings are smooth and drama-free, even with the extra wing loading I added with the retracts and larger wheels.

Chris
Posted by ChrisS | Aug 04, 2012 @ 05:09 PM | 3,801 Views
I started this one a while back, got it finished a month or so ago, and then never flew it until just recently. I'll blame the hot Vegas weather, that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Anyway, it's an unusual subject in that no part of the fuse extends forward of the leading edge of the wing. The kit is produced by Hobby Hanger and is fairly complete even including a number of moulded plastic parts. As there was only one original built, and that one was not particularly pretty, I chose to model the "Blackhawk" plane from the comic book of the same name a few decades back.

I set it up with a pair of Hacker A30-14L's running on two 4S 2700mAHr packs taking in right at 1000watts. I used the $8 electric retracts from HobbyKing. And of course the vinyl was done by my wife Sharon (she's gotten pretty good with a vinyl cutter).

The plane flies very sedately. It gets off the grass in 10 to 20 feet and flies at a brisk but easy to follow speed (I know, get out the radar and quantify that).

It is only a 60" wing, but with virtually everything on that wing, it becomes quite bulky and heavy. Field setup is a little cumbersome as a result. I need to build a rack to hold it all together while I fix the wing to the fuse and install the batteries.

That said, it's just plain cool lookin' in the air. It has great presense and the sound of the two motors in harmony is second to none. I think it'd make a good addition to anyones fleet...especially if you are into odd looking twins.

Update:

I have gone to Hacker A30-10XL's turning APC-e 10X10's on 4S. This added another 300 or so input watts while increasing my ground clearance (smaller diameter props). At the same time the change also allowed me to take some of the lead off the firewalls. The net result yields a pitch speed of right at 100mph. The model sings along quite swiftly now, certainly not 100mph, but more than fast enough for a model of this type.
Posted by ChrisS | Jul 31, 2012 @ 01:34 AM | 3,668 Views
Soooo, I had never built a Cub before, they always seemed kind of like a scale trainer to me. Actually, that's exactly what they are. But I spotted one of the older Herr kits in the classifieds one day (I really like Tom's kits) and in a moment of weakness, I bought it for a rainy day. Well, rainy days don't happen all that often here in Las Vegas, but they do happen... So, last weekend, I dug the kit out, and 20 hours later, had it done. Using nothing but stuff I had on hand, hardware-wise (I did have to order the monokote and paint), the plane turned out well.

It's the 48 inch version. I deviated from plan in that I flattened the wing and added ailerons (I can't stand R/E only planes). A Hacker 20-20L provides motivation and surprisingly, it is fun to fly.
Posted by ChrisS | Mar 23, 2012 @ 10:28 PM | 3,978 Views
Well, I spent better than 7 months away from home last year, which put a serious crimp in my building activities. But, I'm back home now, hopefully for a while, so let the building continue.

First for 2012 is an Alien Aircraft C-310B. A neat little kit done by Tom Herr. Tom has a long history of making fine model aircraft kits and this one continues in that tradition.

I set it up with a pair of Hacker A20-34's swinging a pair of APC-e 7X5's opposite to each other. Certainly not a power house or particularly aerobatic, but darned fun to fly around as scale like as possible. I have also found that differential throttle mixed in with rudder makes for some pretty neat yaw maneuvers as well as taxiing (it has a fixed nose wheel).
Posted by ChrisS | Dec 25, 2011 @ 09:13 PM | 4,191 Views
Top 10 Reasons to Spend Christmas Holidays at Kandahar
1. Where else can you get your picture taken with a Predator or Reaper
wearing a giant Santa hat?
2. You can wrap all of your presents with newspaper and everyone will
think it’s okay.
3. If you’re really nice to the omelet guy at Niagra, he may even make
you an omelet with cranberry sauce and turkey (by turkey, I mean
some form of pork product).
4. The dust looks like snowflakes if you squint your eyes and look at
just the right angle.
5. If you had “dead terrorist” on your Christmas list, Santa may just
deliver.
6. With all of our special ops friends sporting cool beards, there is no
shortage of Santa look-alikes.
7. The squadron provides a safe haven from visiting in-laws.
8. The Chinese government has sent free mini-Christmas trees complete
with USB plug-ins to all Kandahar personnel.
9. You really don’t have to shop for anyone…if someone asks you what
you bought them, stare blankly and yell, “Rocket Attack!”
10. With any luck at all, you might find a cool holiday souvenir (rocket
fragment).
Posted by ChrisS | Aug 14, 2011 @ 03:01 AM | 4,898 Views
I'm not sure what it is, but I have a lot of affection for twins and biplanes. Recently this has turned to DeHavillands. This one has a 50 inch wing, retracts and almost a horsepower divided between those two nacelles. I built it from a short kit put out by T&J models. Not for the faint of heart, this model has no angles, it's all curves, so lots of sanding and shaping. I actually started this first in the year and put it down out of frustration. I got back to it later with renewed zeal. My wife, Sharon, did the vinyl for it (and all my models). I'm very lucky to have someone to take on such challenges for me. And she does a good job to boot.
Posted by ChrisS | Aug 11, 2011 @ 04:48 PM | 4,994 Views
This is an EMBAT for those that remember them. Kitted in the early 2000's, they were sold by AVEOX. Basically a sport/performance plane, it followed in the footsteps of the then popular ElectroStreak from Great Planes. Long since gone from the market, I had the good fortune to run across a complete kit here on EZONE and decided to re-live a bit of the past. I updated the model with flaps, a reinforced wing, Landing gear and a ton of power...hence the "2011" designation. It is a blast to fly and has a wide speed envelope.
Posted by ChrisS | Aug 11, 2011 @ 04:35 PM | 4,965 Views
This is another of those early electric kits that did very well. Great Planes kitted this one all in balsa at first and then later in an ARF kit with FG fuse. It was called the ElectroStreak.

Twice lucky, I found this one here on the Ezone at the same time as I found the EMBAT kit above. Loving to build wood kits and modify things, I built the wing with carbon spars, added the landing gear, lengthened the rudder and installed a bunch of power under the hood. The final product is a plane that flies remarkably well at mid stick settings and is ballistic at full stick...faster still than the EMBAT, and a good bit more predictable.
Posted by ChrisS | Aug 10, 2011 @ 03:26 PM | 5,015 Views
One of five planes so far this year, a Radical RC e-Hornet. This is a neat little kit consisting of 110 of the nicest laser cut parts I have ever shaken out of a bag. The kit builds very much like a 3D puzzle and requires no special building board or tools. I built the plane 100% box stock and installed a Hacker A20-6XL motor turning a Graupner 5X5 prop at 23K rpm. the result is breathtaking. By far the fastest flat and level flyer I have built in a long time...maybe ever.