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Pheasant's blog
Posted by Pheasant | Feb 15, 2010 @ 02:44 AM | 5,058 Views
Finished, but not flown.
Posted by Pheasant | Jan 12, 2010 @ 09:28 PM | 4,866 Views
1/2A Country Boy fuselage coming together. Needs stab plate and a little sanding, will be ready to cover.
Posted by Pheasant | Nov 23, 2009 @ 02:45 PM | 5,779 Views
Discovered a local field, went out for the first time yesterday. Took the kids and the new Hangar 9 DeNight Special to test fly. Everything went great, and the DeNight flies awesome.
Posted by Pheasant | Oct 10, 2008 @ 05:47 PM | 6,476 Views
Almost two years since my last entry here, funny how time passes and priorities change.

Have still been involved in the giant scale racing scene, not racing full time though doing some custom building along the way.

Here's my most recent project, a 42% GR-7 Formula 1 racer. This is a complete build from the ground up; I did the layup, assembly, installation and paint. Wingspan 130" (one piece), length 89", weight is around 25lbs. ready to fly with a Zenoah GT80 alcohol conversion. Speed will be in the mid 180mph range straight and level.

Craig.
Posted by Pheasant | Sep 30, 2006 @ 11:12 PM | 8,311 Views
Went out to El Mirage this morning and test flew the Cassutt. Conditions were perfect, couldn't have asked for a better morning. I am extremely happy with the performance of the airplane, it handles well, speed is good and it turns very well. Took a couple of flights to get it the basic trimming and control travel adjustments done, then was able to simulate a race on the third flight. Cornering is excellent, will pull a hard turn with minimal loss of airspeed and is easy to put on a line. A real 'point and shoot' type of airplane.

It goes back in the shop now for some clean up and a coat of gray primer, then will be ready to race at Parker next month.
Posted by Pheasant | Sep 25, 2006 @ 10:40 PM | 8,788 Views
Got the cheek cowls finished and glassed over the weekend. Had to figure out where to locate the break at the front end so that both the wing and the top hatch would go on. Turned out ok and the fit is pretty good. Took about five separate potting operations to get all the gaps filled.

Glass is 1.4oz cloth and thinned resin (50/50 with acetone), will get some primer in the next couple of days.

Also got the tailwheel steering connected and replumbed the fuel tank. I had a separate filler line into the tank but it goes to the top of the tank and won't allow the tank to be drained. Had to blank it off and put a tee in the feed line. The tank needs to be drained to get a dry weight in case by some miracle it makes a Gold final. Also better when transporting to have the fuel out of it.

Test flights this weekend hopefully.
Posted by Pheasant | Sep 17, 2006 @ 12:48 PM | 9,055 Views
Finished the kill switch wiring, got a tank vent installed and plumbed, and am working on the cooling inlets. That's pretty much the last of the big items before running the engine and doing some filling and sanding. Also got the wing potted to the fuselage with micro, it's just a cosmetic filler as the wing rides on an innner fuselage subframe.

The kill switch is USRA rule requirement, there must be an externally mounted switch on the model, as well as a method to shut off the engine from the transmitter. Some guys use a microswitch mounted on a servo, I prefer an electronic switch such as the RC100 from RCATS.
Posted by Pheasant | Sep 10, 2006 @ 04:03 PM | 9,029 Views
Here's the latest contraption from my shop. Many (most) of my models have two receiver packs, and I prefer to charge them at the same time because there's not always time to do them separately with a single charger.

Carrying two chargers and a big 12V battery around is not ideal, plus there are leads everywhere. So I put this box together to keep it all in one place.

The lower section contains two 12V 7Ah sealed lead acid (SLA) batteries, and the terminal posts and wiring. On the removable platform are mounted two E-flite Pinnacle chargers, and there's a cavity in front to house the charge leads, each having a receiver and transmitter charge plug. The two jacks in front are to charge the unit, and can also supply 12VDC. Each charger is connected in common with the parallelled 12V batteries, and each has it's own power switch. These are the older version Pinnacles, still available but I'm not sure for how long. I prefer them as they have an automatic cell count indication that shows on the lcd.

It's pretty basic, and is limited to NiCd and NiMH packs, but that's fine for it's intended use. A smaller, and wider application unit could be made using something like Schulze ISL 6-330 or the Multiplex LN-5014 chargers.
Posted by Pheasant | Sep 05, 2006 @ 11:48 PM | 9,821 Views
More work on the Cassutt in the last couple of weeks. Got the engine mounted, and exhaust pipes made and installed. Receiver and tank mount finalised, battery location will have to wait until it gets balanced.

The weight looks like being very close to the 27 lb. minimum, which is a good thing. The landing gear weighs almost three pounds, so there's over a pound to be saved if needed with carbon gear.

I decided against a sealed cooling system like the GR, am going to try more of a pressure cowl approach with a central outlet on the lower centerline of the cowl. Main advantage is simplicity and speed of construction. All that's remaining now is installing the canopy, cooling air inlets and some odds and ends. That doesn't include paint and filling gaps but that will wait until after test flights, which will be this weekend or the one after.

I was originally going to use the scale inlet for induction air, but the ducting would have run through the cooling air exit area inside the cowl and I wanted to keep it as clear as possible. Ended up making a NACA duct and installing it on the underside of the right cowl cheek, with a SCAT tube through the engine mount box to the carburetor.
Posted by Pheasant | Aug 21, 2006 @ 09:42 PM | 8,814 Views
Got back today from a good weekend of racing in Ashtabula, OH. Friday through Saturday was the second USRA race of the season, I took the lightened and more reliable GR-7 out there to run in the F1-GT class. Had some weather delays but ended up with 5 heats flown over the three days, and trophy races Sunday afternoon.

The GR was jumpin' and I managed four heat wins and a third, and then a win in the Gold final. I was happy just to make the Gold for the first time, and the win made it even sweeter.

Next race is Parker, AZ, end of October. www.usrainfo.org
Posted by Pheasant | Aug 14, 2006 @ 06:40 PM | 8,938 Views
Got some stuff out of the way and am back to working on the Cassutt. Hoping to have it done for the October race for a friend of mine to fly. Got the upper half of the cowl located today, and am working on the canopy/hatch location and retention. Need both in place to be able to fab the aft cheek cowls.

The GR-7 went well at Rantoul but I paid the price for some substandard bench work and had a couple of DNF's due to engine issues. I didn't put a retainer on the clunk line inside the tank and it came off the tubing, causing the engine to miss after burning off a little fuel. Fixed it on the Saturday and was able to finish 2nd in a close final heat.

Since that race I've done some work on the airframe and it's about a pound lighter and should be a little faster. The spinner backplate got lightened, and I found 5 ounces of lead in the tail from the previous owner that I removed and compensated for by moving the receiver batteries.

There's an article in the most recent Model Airplane News with some good info on the Rantoul race also.
Posted by Pheasant | Jun 11, 2006 @ 03:06 PM | 9,206 Views
Here's the front end of the fuselage that the wing being tested in a previous entry belongs to. Here the cowl and engine are being fit, the cowl at this point has a top hatch but it's too small (my fault) and the motor is basically impossible to install and remove. The hatch will get bonded to the cowl at its front edge and then cut along the horizontal centerline so that the entire top half is removable. The lower half is permanently attached to the fuselage.
Posted by Pheasant | Jun 07, 2006 @ 05:36 PM | 9,226 Views
Have spent the last couple of weeks prepping the GR7 for paint. It had a great paint job on it but was pretty beat up due to the previous damage. I had a feeling I'd regret it once I started stripping off paint but went ahead anyway. I also decided to replace the canopy, cockpit floor and pilot figure.

It's far from perfect but overall is an improvement. Might shoot some trim color on it one day but for now I like the all white.
Posted by Pheasant | May 29, 2006 @ 11:33 AM | 9,602 Views
Spent a couple of days at El Mirage dry lake over the weekend. Saturday was not a fun day, the wind blew at about 30mph for most of the day and into the early morning. Sunday was spectacular, the best day I've ever seen out there. Little to no wind all day, moderate temperatures, even some cloud cover in the afternoon. The wind did pick up a little at about 7pm but no big deal.

My friend Ray flew out Sunday morning from Santa Paula in his Cessna 180 and brought along his new Balsa USA 1/4 scale J-3 to test fly. Couldn't have picked a better day for it. The model has a Saito 1.80GK for power, JR radio gear throughout, Robart scale Cub landing gear and an onboard glow ignition system.

The flights went great and I think he's real happy with the model, he put about six flights on it including some aerobatics....Continue Reading
Posted by Pheasant | May 29, 2006 @ 11:14 AM | 9,309 Views
Test flights out at Rabbit dry lake on Friday went well. Needed some small adjustments to control throws and leaned the motor a little but it went very well.

Now it'll go back in the shop to get stripped and new paint after some cosmetic repairs including a new left wingtip.
Posted by Pheasant | May 25, 2006 @ 11:15 AM | 10,431 Views
Beginning construction of my AR-6 for the USRA F1 class. This is a glass fuselage foam wing kit from Rankin Race Designs in Texas. Hoping to have it done for the final race of the season at Parker, AZ in October. Engine will be a modified Zenoah GT80 running on alcohol.

The full size AR-6 was designed by Mike Arnold and was raced at Reno last year by its owner/pilot David Hoover. He finished second in the Gold final and the airplane shows a lot of potential. More on both the AR-5 and -6 can be found at Mike's website www.ar-5.com.
Posted by Pheasant | May 25, 2006 @ 11:00 AM | 8,306 Views
Here's the model that the cooling ducts from the last entry went into. It's a 42% Grove GR-7 set up to run in the F1-GT class of USRA racing. More info on the races is at www.usrainfo.org. These fully molded kits are still available and it's one of the most competitive models in either of the F1 classes.

This airplane was run on alcohol before I had it and took a little work to swap it to gas but everything is ready to go and test flights are planned for tomorrow.

Span: 130"
Weight: 27.5lbs. (27lb. minimum for F1GT)
Area: 1676 sq. in.
Engine: Zenoah GT80
Receiver: JR 945 PCM dual conversion
Servos: JR DS8411