My "Improvement Obsession" Leads to Epiphany -- The Pinkstar V2
So, I end up with a lot of these planes that kinda suck wind. Sure, everybody builds a stinker now and then, but how long are you gonna stick with a plane that obviously doesn't perform? A couple of years ago I was plowing through planes at a rate of two or more per week. If I hit on a plane that smacked I tried working with it for a little bit, but then I'd scrap it if it didn't get any better.
Why is it now that I can't seem to let go of any of these lousy planes? Take that Son of Blue Star, for instance. The first pass wasn't horrible, but it wasn't very good, either. I kept hacking at it and hacking at it because the plane showed some glimmer of promise, even though my changes weren't getting the kind of improvement I wanted to see. Duh! The plane eventually mutated into something completely unrecognizable from the original, and I scrapped it because it was too heavy.
Now I have this Pinkstar thing, which was supposed to be an hour and a half project completed just ahead of a club meeting a few months ago. Yet Another example of a plane that I just can't seem to get rid of. I have massaged and mutated this poor thing so much that I can't tell any more what was there originally and what was added later. It's been flown and smashed up so much that it's mostly repairs and add-ons now, I think. Why can't I just let go?
Well, the first version of the Pinkstar certainly wasn't very good. In fact, that plane flew better inverted than it did right side up, maybe because of my lousy implementation of the KFm1. Okay, so for V2 I did a far better KFm1 step on the bottom side.
For the first plane I just used a small piece of balsa trailing edge wedge to get the shape and stiffness I need in the leading edge of the step. Later I added some more balsa behind the wedge to make the step wider and to add even more stiffness. I also added a triangular chunk of foam in the crotch of the V formed by the wing stiffeners to flesh out the step a little.
Viola! The Pinkstar V2 is born. Stay tuned for more info on this, one of my best ever park jets.
So, decided to rescue this thing after all. I added a pseudo-KF step to the underside of the wing by using balsa trailing edge wedges and a chunk of foam. I also carved out some huge control surfaces to overcome the plane's absolutely lackluster turning performance.
The result was actually pretty good; the plane flew a lot better after the mods, and the balsa stiffeners really made the thing cooperate with control input. A Turnigy 2211-2400 motor makes the thing boogie pretty good for a 200 gram plane, too. Not too bad.
Of course, I had to let a noob fly the thing and he put it in pretty hard, but nothing I can't fix. In fact, the way the balsa attaches to the underside of the wing made for a clean break. I'll just put it back exactly as I had it before because it was working well. Stay tuned.
Still More Improvement
Alright, I got it down now. This is how I'm gonna make a bunch of these things. Already two are spoken for, and I need at least one more as a replacement for the original (which has been blasted into the ground more times than I can count). The control surfaces have been slimmed down since these images were captured, but the rest of the plane is pretty much this way.
I replaced unit #1 with a New! IMPROVED!! unit #1 (actually #3). There are plenty more being made now. Also, I'm switching over the Model Plane Foam (www.modelplanefoam.com) as a source. It's RL Adams foam, which is great stuff.
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