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Eddie P's blog
Posted by Eddie P | Feb 07, 2014 @ 03:10 PM | 6,959 Views
I am re-starting a stalled project that I've been sitting on for a while. While I have been in possession of the fiberglass nose, tail and nacelles from Norbert Rauch (Germany) for three years, in all honesty, I've been thinking about this project (on and off) since I was a kid. This project holds a special place for me because it is "THE" project I always wanted to build since the beginning of my experience in RC model aviation. I started cutting and gluing together scrappy balsa hand launch planes at age 6 or 7 and building and flying RC at age 8. At about that time, I wanted to build a DC-8-61 (in United colors) just like the planes my dad worked on to keep flying at the United SFO maintenance operations center. Though my parents were always extremely supportive of my aviation interests, I was often told "you can't do that" by many of the accomplished RC modelers because, frankly, it was pretty well outside the league of a "learn as you go" kid in the 1970's and 80's. And, it was outside most modeler's abilities at the time, too. It was also quite unknown to fellow modelers in California, flying countless "Das Ugly Stick" .60 size planes, that Norbert Rauch was doing this very thing in Germany at the time (building RC airliners and DC-8's specifically)

Ironisch, ja???

As time marched on and High School years approached I had little to no time for RC (and no money) so I went on RC hiatus. I returned to RC for two years in...Continue Reading
Posted by Eddie P | Oct 02, 2012 @ 02:53 PM | 11,367 Views
As far back as the 1500's there have been people trying to envision the gas turbine engine (of course not in the same way that we think of it today). No doubt for general industrial uses - pumping water, turning gears to crush grain, etc. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gas_turbine

More contemporary ideas of the turbine engine as an industrial and vessel power plant came about in the early 20th century. An American man named Charles Curtis first patented the turbine engine in 1899 in the USA, without industrial success. A Frenchman in 1921 patented a modified idea of the gas turbine engine in Europe but could not bring it fruition due to limitations in manufacturing and materials.

The obvious use for this engine now focused on aviation in the 1930's, and the need for such an engine was historically significant. Two leading teams from England and Germany were successful, at the same time in the late 30's and early 40's in producing a self sustaining (operating) turbine engine and later models that could produce usable thrust. They didn't even know of each other until much later. The teams were led by:
Frank Whittle of the UK http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_Whittle
and Hans von Ohain of Germany http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hans_von_Ohain

Both teams designed useful and successful gas turbine engines for use on aircraft. Interestingly enough, both were designing these in complete isolation of each other both in terms of physical location, political climate and with no...Continue Reading
Posted by Eddie P | Nov 05, 2011 @ 08:32 AM | 9,652 Views
I thought I'd post a few pictures from the late October, 2011 Lodi Jet Rally (just south of Sacramento, Ca). The Lodi club is a General Aviation (full size) flying club, combined with a RC Model flying club. We had use of the full 3200 foot by 60 foot wide runway, staged about 3/4 way down field. It was a fantastic facility. Here was some of the local news coverage:

http://sacramento.cbslocal.com/video...clipId=6399385

Thank you Jose and the Delta Valley Modelers for a fantastic jet rally. Thanks to my friends for their great fellowship and flying. I think we all really had a blast....Continue Reading
Posted by Eddie P | Aug 11, 2011 @ 03:39 PM | 37,717 Views
I've finished the extremely simple task of assembling my Starmax A-1 Skyraider, purchased from EasyTiger Models. This is not a build. It's just an assembly really. An easy one, at that. I'll try to bring a few thoughts to the table and let the ball roll as it will with anyone else's observations. My feeling is that it's a good basic airplane that can be flown as-is or made better (my choice).

Out of the box I give it a B-/C+ grade. With a few small fixes/mods as mentioned below, it can easily be an B+ model for very little effort. For a little more work, like fixing the canopy paint, adding a good pilot, a little weathering and a few extras; it could be more of a scale model than it is out of the box. (pictures below show my own custom cockpit and added pilot, more on that in this thread)

At the flying field, this Starmax A-1 Skyraider is a treat to fly. It backs up the often said, "Bigger Flies Better" motto. Where this warbird gets left behind a bit is in raw performance. It is very light, and reasonably modestly powered. So it doesn't tear up the sky. But it flies beautifully scale like for fly-by, and rolling maneuvers. Limited vertical is OK but there is a performance gap where some good planning is in order. In the pattern and down low when flown scale and smooth, it is just stunning to watch. She is very convincing in relative speed and movement, unlike many models with heavier wing loadings. Quite simply stated, it has very good manners for...Continue Reading
Posted by Eddie P | Jun 08, 2011 @ 03:10 AM | 7,167 Views
My daughter likes birds. We have a field guide "bird book" in our library and she's always looking at it. Recently she asked if we could build a bird to fly. This was great, I wanted to strike while the iron was hot. While we wanted to build the type she is interested in from scratch, we also wanted to get one flying right away to keep interest up and see if we could get some of the local birds to fly with us (I've had a RC bird before, it was a "real" bird magnet).

While we started on her "scratch build" bird, we also bought an "EPP Eagle" to get another bird in the air right away. Basically it's a light weight foamie kit made from 1/4" flat EPP sheet. And, it also has a more sophisticated, reflexed and shaped hollow wing structure using carbon fiber rods as spars. So it's very simple yet sophisticated at the same time. You can buy one pre-painted or go for the "bare" EPP foam and make a custom paint job. The bare version worked for us, much cheaper and a blank canvas for our project.

The kit built up in one evening. We used hot glue and CA with kicker. I've never used hot glue before, let alone on a model. I was seriously doubtful but I'm convinced now - it works great for EPP. The model was painted the next day over a few hours. The motor is a Grayson Hobbies 2212-13 (like a speed 400 outrunner, 1000kv), APC 7x5 e-prop, 3s 2200 pack, will run at about 100 watts max but mostly at partial throttle...Continue Reading
Posted by Eddie P | Oct 14, 2010 @ 10:23 AM | 23,928 Views
EDIT: I have test flown and begun fine tuning the F-100 Super Sabre "as of July 2014". This build was not an extensive amount of work - however, it WAS spread out over many years due to inactivity and losing interest a few times. I am so glad I was able to finish her, she flies great and looks fantastic in flight with that classic F-100 Super Sabre outline in the sky that is "so easy on the eyes".

From Oct 2010:
I am heavily modifying and glassing a "Fly Fly / Hobby Top Gun F-100". It's a very basic sort of kit for an EDF, but it has some very good "bones" as far as a scale airplane project goes. Aside from the fact that it is foam, it is a pretty good outline of a scale F-100 and it is a very nice size (large). Problems (for me) are Grand Canyon size panel lines that have to be filled anyway in the glassing process... and extremely blunt / thick trailing edges on all flying surfaces. Those can be fixed when I cap the trailing edges in balsa as I always do when I glass foam for durability reasons. The gear mounts retracts are unusable and the stabilizer control is un-airworthy and there is no rudder control but all these things will be addressed in the "kit bash" build.

The inlet ducting can use some work with certain areas opening up too rapidly inside and a light weight coating on the exhaust thrust tube to smooth it out a little.

The landing gear will use electric Eflite .46 size landing gear retracts, Tamjets...Continue Reading
Posted by Eddie P | Nov 26, 2008 @ 12:59 PM | 18,082 Views
I was the 8th person on the waiting list for Tam's A-4 back in 2006. Two small kids, family... and it's still being finished. It's a major slacker story to be sure.

EDIT: It's finished! As of March 30, 2009. Flew at Cal Jets 2009 in April!!

Most of the serious building occurred winter of 08/09 and then resumed in the spring of 09. All told it was not a difficult build AT ALL, it was just a build that occurred in a very busy time of my life. The time spent building was fairly short for such a complex aircraft. Hats off to Tam for offering this kit and doing all the ground work in making it available; and making sure it would fly as advertised!

Wren Supersport power (18 pounds thrust for a P-60 weight and less fuel burn). Finished weight is 18.2 pounds dry, with full UAT. Tank capacity is 84 oz. Tamjets Smoke pump, Details for Scale centerline hard point, dummy fuel tank/ECM stores. etc. I modeled the "F" series, with the avionics hump.

I used markings from the VF-126 "Aggressor" squadron of the late 1980's based out of Mirimar CA. The Aggressor guys are instructors and play the "bad guys" in the mock air-to-air training of the fleet pilots, hence the scale Soviet Styling and red star for a little sabre rattling. Many people apparently do not know about the Aggressor units as I've had constant questions about it since I've been flying it. The Soviet markings and color schemes on some US Navy/AF jets of the 70's and 80's vintage...Continue Reading
Posted by Eddie P | Feb 09, 2008 @ 07:34 PM | 18,266 Views
I made some big modifications to a balsa Reaction 54 kit in early 2006, to arrive at this modified version of an R54 that flew first in March 2006. I made the changes as inspired by the Hawker Sea Hawk of the Royal Navy: A 1950's era Naval Shipping Patrol and light attack aircraft.

Update - the P-60 turbojet powerplant is now a P-60SE, or Special Edition as per early 2008. Super fast spool up now and upgraded software for 2008 after the engine went in for a quick upgrade. During the upgrade the engine was dissembled for a few hardware upgrades per the SE package and checked out in great shape visually and during the test cell runs afterward. Put to Zero time per the inspection.

Before, upwards of 7 seconds were required for spool up from idle power - not difficult but it did require some planning at times. Now the engine spools up about as fast as a smooth EDF would on a throttle up. The engine didn't need any work done, but I thought the SE upgrade would be nice since it wasn't a lot of money and would bring a small safety benefit via performance as well as make sure everything inside was still in good shape. At 5000 feet MSL, I do have to slow the acceleration schedule down as compared to sea level operations; but with the SE upgrade, it's very simple to do now as the acceleration schedules are selectable in the limits menu page as plain english selections - no values to insert.

For the 2009 season I've put about 8 gallons of Kerosene through the engine on about...Continue Reading
Posted by Eddie P | Dec 29, 2007 @ 09:13 AM | 17,981 Views
EDIT - April, 2014

It has been 4 years since the previous edit to this blog. - The details are listed on the last post for the third motor and third rotor version, bringing a multi-blade, quiet and powerful 3500 watt power system to the classic airframe (over 1:1 thrust to weight ratios). Older listings are left in this original post below to document the history of the model that is now over 8-9 years old and still flying strong (with regular maintenance of course). The model was originally built in 2004 and flown regularly from 2006 onward.

EDIT - August, 2010
May He Rest In Peace - the designer of the El Bandito and master German craftsman, Ralf Dvorak passed away unexpectedly at a far too young age. We will sincerely miss Ralf's fellowship and amazing inspiration to the radio controlled jet community. Thank you for what you taught us and brought to the community, Ralf.

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Some models never get old.
This El Bandito has been flying regularly since construction finished (started 2003), and has been in my possession since purchased in kit form from Ralf Dvorak. I bought it before my first daughter was born and now at 10 years old she has gone with me several times to fly it with me at the field. Parts of the airframe itself pre-date all the kit Bandito's, as the fuselage itself was one of Ralf Dvorak's original "specification" parts that he compared various new releases to when he would get a new batch made. When he sold the rights to...Continue Reading
Posted by Eddie P | Aug 25, 2007 @ 08:32 PM | 19,799 Views
Twelve (12) consecutive Seasons of Radio Controlled EDF airliner flight for 2011 on this single project!!

This was my first electric model after making the conversion from large glow powered warbirds in 1999. I was told: 1) Electrics don't fly. 2) Electric Ducted Fans don't work and they sure don't fly or even taxi well 3) Multi-engine models are a crash waiting to happen in general 4) This project is way too ambitious for an electric noob to try, don't ya think big guy? 5) You are going to glass it? Sure, right, you'll never finish and if you do it will not fly even with glow powered props 6) Robbe has discontinued it, so you can't get it 7) What flaps? It doesn't have flaps.

Well, needless to say my modified Robbe BAe-146 electric powered airliner is still flying strong today. So take sage advise into consideration but don't let someone's off the cuff remarks take your eye off the ball if you have done your homework. Nothing risked, nothing gained.

I covered the foam, 6+ foot long wing and "basket ball" wide, chubby fuselage, in glass. Then I painted the finished product and also fit the wing with scale Fowler type flaps for shorter approaches. It has been re-motored since new but still retains the original specifications for the brushed, 12 volt can motors and Robbe Rojet EDF power plant.

I began using a 8200 mah 5S Lipoly pack in it starting in 2003, a vast improvement over the original 16 cell 2400mah NiCd pack. The capacity...Continue Reading