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DismayingObservation's blog
Archive for May, 2007
Posted by DismayingObservation | May 29, 2007 @ 02:26 AM | 2,516 Views
Wow, what a wonderful weekend this was. Didn't do a lick of flying, but my wife and I did spend time with my sister and brother-in-law at their place in beautiful San Diego.

My brother flew himself, his wife and one of his sons over from the high desert to visit my folks here at home. Lucky guy flies a full-scale Cessna Citation for a living and hopped over the mountains in his Piper Cherokee.

Turns out he's reconnected with some old high school chums. Successes, all. I couldn't be happier for them. One couple, like my wife and I, were high school sweethearts and are still married.

My oh my, did they ever have some news regarding classmates.

You see, these folks who contacted my brother were some of the nice people. The ones who got no mention in the yearbooks. The ones generally disdained by the "popular kids." We were in the band, in the theater. Sports? Don't make me laugh. We had one of the worst losing streaks in all of high school football going on when I started there. I turned my attention to the band, mostly because my mom objected to the thought of my getting smooshed on a football field despite my size. While the band was winning awards (I lettered in band, for that matter), the football team was out getting pummeled.

Naturally, they were the ones lauded at the baccalaureate, the prom and in the yearbook. We were largely ignored and hung around other band members and the occasional "Star Trek" fanatic. In short,...Continue Reading
Posted by DismayingObservation | May 24, 2007 @ 08:20 PM | 2,512 Views
Well, I traded in the Formosa. I think I want one at a future date.

Scratch that: I know I want one.

The gray matter kicked in prior to loading it in the car.

Since I was going to have to spend the money anyway (the store only issues store credit), why not spend it on Project Zero? Oh, yeah.

Except for the Cessna's tail and a spare tail motor for the Blade, the rest of the dough went into balsa stock, adhesives and epoxy filler for the cowl.

I bought Project Zero with me to match up material thickness; a couple of guys couldn't believe it had simply been given to me. An easy fix, they all agreed.

I even dared to look at a neat little O.S. .25 complete with muffler. It'll fit like a glove. Got some plans for my wedding anniversary, so no big purchases for now. Once I finish fixing the airframe and I'm OK with how it turned out, I'll get the engine before I start in on the cowl. That way, I'll know where I have to cut it before I patch and paint it.

I'm pleased to report this first influx of money into Project Zero was rather painless at less than $30.

As for the Cessna, it lives! Not bad for something I dug out of the trash, you know?

Pictures of the Zero to follow ASAP!
Posted by DismayingObservation | May 23, 2007 @ 09:37 PM | 2,273 Views
Boy, do I feel silly.

I could have saved myself $46 if I'd looked at the damage to the Cessna a bit closer.

The voices in my head told me to dig the Cessna out of the recycle bin this morning. Guess what? They were on to something.

Oh, sure, there was some CA...but only a few paltry drops. The foam was utterly pristine. The broken part wasn't completely broken off, you see. The antenna tube, trim tape and a few small shreds of foam were holding it on, more or less.

I mixed up some epoxy, trowled it on, and put the pieces back together.

It worked. Perfectly, in fact. If that empanage ever breaks off again, it sure as shootin' won't be at that epoxied joint.

The hobby shop will issue store credit, so I'll get the tail assembly and a few odds and ends for the Blade CP. I have two damaged tailfeather assemblies and I may be able to salvage the decals.

As it turns out, I would have had to have spent more money to get the Formosa in the air. My 1100mAh Ni-Mh packs from the Cessna were a bit too thick to fit properly in the fuselage and I didn't want to start hacking foam.

OR...I may keep the Formosa and assemble it a little at a time with an outrunner and a li-po. That'll give me an excuse to upgrade my radio while I'm at it.

Ah, the possibilities.
Posted by DismayingObservation | May 22, 2007 @ 09:26 PM | 2,389 Views
After three months of irritation, the Flyzone Cessna is hereby retired and will soon be on its way to being recycled into a food tray or something of that nature.

I tell you, I crashed that tip-stalling little monster more than just about anything I've ever flown. Made the mistake of hand-launching it the other day with a less-than-fully charged battery. Darn thing would not climb.

Wound up swinging it around into a palm tree. Ouch.

Busted up the tail and its mount on the fuselage. Glued it together as best as I could, but it simply wasn't going to stay together. I flew it today, but things were a bit shaky. The empanage busted off at the glue joint and the horizontal stab busted off at a whole new location.

By the time I would have bought a fuselage, decals and tailfeathers, I discovered that I would have been within less than ten bucks of a GWS Formosa, if memory served regarding the price of the parts. Doing the wing and cowl to make it a full rekit would have set me back more than sixty bucks. Plus, the fuselages are on back order. Wonder why...?

So, I bought the Formosa.

It looks as if it will accept the Cessna's battery packs with no problem and I already have the proper GWS speed control.

Now, I've seen a Formosa in flight. This little plane is a real athlete, ranking up with the best of them from what I saw, especially when compared to the Cessna with its flat-bottomed airfoil and its complete inability to loop from straight and level flight. I don't recall what the plane I saw had in the way of power, but I'm sure that I'll be happy with the stock setup for now.

I just can't help but wonder if I'm a victim of karma after what happened the other day. See my post below.
Posted by DismayingObservation | May 20, 2007 @ 02:31 PM | 2,445 Views
I've begun the preliminary repairs on the Zero. I reinstalled the framework for the fuel tank support (with as many of the original pieces as I could find) and reinforced it with some balsa. Once I repair the tail, I can turn my attention to the wing. Success!

I wish the rest of my day was as pleasant.

Today was as perfect a day for flying as one can imagine. In fact, I was one of the first at the field where a loose band of hobbyists like myself meet on Sunday mornings. The fellow who gave me the Zero brings a frequency board with him...but he arrived much later than I did.

There generally aren't any frequency issues, but those who grab the pins ask aloud if anyone is on that frequency.

Had a frequency issue today.

An elderly seasonal visitor flies on channel 50. My little Flyzone Cessna is on 50 as well. He hadn't verified that anyone else was on the frequency.

He arrived considerably later than I and was in the air when I switched my transmitter back on...and I had previously verified that no one else was on the channel.

The result was predictable. I sent the man's plane nose down into the dirt.

Before I go on, I have to say that the folks who come out to that field are some of the nicest in town, including the seasonal visitors. The only really poor attitudes belong to, well, the snowbirds. One of those snowbirds utterly refuses to check frequencies and has splashed a few planes as a result.

But I digress.

He and I had a...Continue Reading
Posted by DismayingObservation | May 07, 2007 @ 09:53 PM | 2,566 Views
I was thinking of documenting the repair of my crash damaged CMP Zero 25 with some photos just for fun...but my buddy in Georgia took it one step further. He suggested something in book form which in turn led to my idea of documenting it right here on the blog. It'll be a learning experience for me, so feel free to offer comments.

We shall see if we can get this Zero to terrorize the skies once again!
Posted by DismayingObservation | May 06, 2007 @ 11:40 PM | 2,440 Views
Now that I've gotten that eBay thing off my chest, I'm pleased to announce the arrival of my re-flashed PowerZone adapter board. It's back on the Blade CP and works to absolute perfection. Thanks, Thomas B.

I'm also pleased to announce the arrival of a free airplane to my hangar. Earlier today, a flying friend of mine gave me a CMP Zero Fighter 25S that had been damaged in a rare midair collision with another plane out at the field. He'd built it as an electric, but I'm going to "go for the gas" once it's repaired. The damage is actually quite minimal. The LE of the wing has a ding where it meets up with the saddle, the fuel tank mount and motor mount broke off, the fiberglass cowl got kind of beat up, there's a hole in the canopy and one of his sons did some slight accidental damage to the tail after he dropped something on it. I gave him two brand-new sets of wings from my old UltraFly Cessna 182. He's happy; I'm ecstatic. Thanks, Mitch H.

This gives me the opportunity to develop some building skills now that I've polished my flying skills thanks to RTF's and ARF's. Yes, I know this plane's an ARF, but it's a traditionally constructed ARF. Only other balsa ARF I've owned was too badly damaged in a crash for me to even attempt a repair.

Been looking for an excuse to buy a covering iron anyway.
Posted by DismayingObservation | May 06, 2007 @ 11:28 PM | 2,441 Views
Someone, somewhere, just laid out nearly ten million United States dollars over on eBay. The item is the single most expensive one ever sold on the site.

His 9.9 million just got him an autographed 1969 Dodge Charger done up like the General Lee of "Dukes of Hazzard" fame. The autographs are of the surviving cast and the car's owner and builder is John "Bo Duke" Schneider.

Ten million bucks? For a Charger R/T with a Hemi and a Torque-Flite automatic?

What I'd like to know is this: How smart did the guy have to be to earn the ten million in the first place and what could have possibly caused him to blow a fortune like that on a hot rod Dodge?

Guess there's at least one multi-millionaire "Dukes of Hazzard" fan on the planet. This is a scary thing.

Have we really elevated pop culture icons like this car (not even an original from the series, but did see use in a movie) to this lofty height? If the guy had the bread to buy this one, could he not simply have duplicated the feat himself for say, $25k? Even at $50,000 this is a comparative bargain. I understand that John Schneider is a very nice and decent guy. I'm sure he'd have autographed the car.

This Charger's new owner has a ten million dollar paperweight. He sure as heck can't drive it now! Not after laying out that kind of coin.

If anyone's interested, I'll be putting my '69 Ford Ranchero on eBay real soon.

Opening bid: $1,000,000.

No reserve.