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Old Oct 17, 2010, 01:13 PM
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Parkzone Stinson SR-10

Well, there is a NEW BIRD in the hanger, a PZ Stinson! What a beaut of a plane. Picked it up yesterday afternoon, put it together last night and got up this morning DETERMINED to get a maiden flight in.

Here is the unbox video:

Stinson Unbox ONLY (6 min 8 sec)


Here is the Build Video:

Stinson Build (10 min 36 sec)

The wind was BAD but this bird just had to go up, so up it went.

I fought the CRAP out of it the entire time, and it took a LOAD of concentration to get it trimmed out half reasonable. (Hard to know for sure, as every angle changed the flight characteristics in the 15+ mph gusting winds!) That said, I got 3 packs through it, and had a load of fun.

It looks awesome, and handles grass much better than my ME109. Landing was actually easier than I though it would be in the wind, and partly because of the wind. I never used the flaps as into that wind it was moving awefull slowly at 1/3 or 1/4 throttle on final. Just floated it down, chopped power just above the deck and it settle down nicely for a very short landing. Had to keep your eye on the ball with Rudder for directional control and Aileron to keep the wings level and ele to keep from getting too buffeted up and down, but overall, not too eventfull. (With the exception of the last landing, where a gust, about 1 foot off the ground, threw the right wing high and nose right. Quick shot of L rudder and R aileron and it leveled off just as the wheels touched down.)

Can't wait for some calm weather to try this baby out. Based ONLY on this flight I would say this is DEFINATELY NOT for the begginer, as the controls were VERY sensitive, even with low rates and EXPO, especially the Elevator. That said, I think most of that came from the wind. (Truly was TOO windy to be flying, should not have maidened it ...)

I took some still shots as well on the ground, we'll see how they turn out. I will post everything later, when I get a chance.

This thing is BEGGING for a nice light kit. Being so big and bright, and distinct colors, I think with a nice light kit it would make an AWESOME flyer for late day, dusk flights ... gotta check that out.

UPDATE:

I have had the Stinson out twice more now, once flat calm evening, once in mild (6-9 mph) winds and it flies GREAT! Incredibly stable, and gracefull. A joy to fly and watch. Here is a vid of the THIRD flight of the Stinson:

Stinson 3rd FLight (5 min 21 sec)


I have went out and purchased lights for it, as this thing begs for lights. Gonna wait till the weather is bad and use those days to mod in the lights.

Should look even more incredible!

October 24th Update

I couldn't wait and went ahead in installed the Eflite LED light set for this baby. Went out last night right at DUSK and flew it, it looks absolutely amazing! Had to push the envelope and did 2 totally true NIGHT FLIGHTS and it was a whole new experience. The bird looks AWESOME and makes a great night flying platform as it is predictable, flys VERY slow when you want to, turns VERY short, and yet has more than enough power to pull out strong at a high angle, when needed.

I had to put the lights on the GEAR channel, as the AR500 only has the five channels. As such, I am NOT using the flaps right now, so it's a LITTLE faster coming in than before, which is not good. My next step is to pull the AR500 out and exchange it with the 6110e that I have in my PZ Spitfire. The spitty is only running 4 channels anyway, so I could use the true 6 channels for this bird. That would give me the ability to still SWITCH on and off the lights and keep my flaps functional!

Have to take some photos and upload it, but I basically STOLE the light pattern from a fellow RC GROUPS member as his set up was too awesome and historically accurate. (Did some internet searches and found photos that showed this type of nav light system)

Two blinking red Anti-collision beacons on the TOP of the wings, center of the wing struck mount plate. Two solid white landing lights on the bottom side of the wings and to the OUTSIDE of that same spot, pointing at about 40 degrees down from the wings, so they are visible on approach, and still light up the runway pretty well. Standard solid green and red nav lights on the wing tips (green - right of course) and a flashing white beacon at the back, at the upper part of the rudder, about where you see it on the real planes. For good measure I put a solid green light in the cockpit below the glass window line. This lights it up pretty well and lets you get a good look at CLIVE, my pilot. (He's an old PZ Spitfire pilot who got the 1930's makeover and is mounted on an add-on foam shelf I put just back of the existing dash board.)

As a bonus, the green cabin light also shines through the 3 air holes on the rear of the fuselage on the bottom and makes them visible at night, helping greatly with orientation.

I found that no matter what direction I was pointing at you could see several lights and knowing the patterns it was always dead easy to maintain orientation.

I actually drew quite the little crowd of on-lookers last night as people stopped their cars and came out from their yards to watch the plane fly. Had a great conversation with a bunch of folks after! This plane is a real looker to begin with but the light kit just makes it amazing! GREAT airplane, now easily my favorite to fly. (Sorry to my Spitfire!)

2010-10-29

It happened, I got TOO COCKEY and crashed this beautifull plane! I was having a GREAT flight, when, at the end, I decided to do a couple of rudder turns / chandelle's before bringing it in. Downwind turn went great, no problem, up, kicked around, straight back down the line, then went into the wind pulled up a bit too high, lost too much energy. About 3/4 of the way through the rudder kick it STALLED! Went into a straight down, spinning dive. I had a brain cramp, tried to correct with ailerons, not happening of course. Got the spin stopped with rudder, probably 5 feet off the ground, then yanked up on the elevator, but it was too late. She went in FAIRLY hard, on one wingtip first. Didn't completely break the wing, but it was broke through in an "h" pattern right at the mount area. Tore the left landing gear off, along with a chunk of foam an inch deep, and part of the plastic mounting plate! Smashed the left side of the dowl into about 30 pieces! Bent the landing gear strut. Broke the wing strut pin on the top off.

Motor, motor mount, lights, electronics rudder and the rest of the body were all ok.

Took me a day to get the body back into flying shape with CA and Epoxy. The cowl was a different matter. After a TON of CA and some epoxy and cardboard on the inside, I managed to fashion it back into a MOSTLY proper looking cowl, though I now call it FRANKEN-COWL. Up close it looks a mess.

I have had the plane up and it flies great! (Put a couple packs through it today, the 31st.) Have ordered a new cowl, new landing gear (also cracked on the landing gear strut pants) and hoping to get the red touch up paint. Also took some pics of the lights. (Editing up the video of the lights and will link to it once posted on Youtube.)

2010-11-25 UPDATE

See COMMENTS For more details on the lights, light video and SKI MOD!

Marlin
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Old Nov 25, 2010, 08:16 PM
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Light DEMO / DISPLAY video

Here is a link to the video taken of the lights out on the street, just to demo/display the mod!

Stinson Lights (2 min 37 sec)


Marlin
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Old Nov 25, 2010, 08:19 PM
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Night Flight Video

Here is a link to a video of a VERY dark night flight. It was actually not as dark as it showed on the camera, though you truly could NOT see the plane out past about 10 feet so I had to rely entirely upon the lights for orientation.

The lights work AWESOME! Very easy to retain orientation. Landing in the pitch black light that was a bit tricky. I flew at a local park that I know VERY WELL, so as to limit the risk of hitting trees or posts, but the grass was a bit too long for landing. (It wants to nose over pretty much 3 out of 4 landings ...)

Stinson Night Flight (3 min 39 sec)


Great mod, loads of fun and looks amazing!

Marlin
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Old Nov 25, 2010, 08:25 PM
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SKI Mod ...

Well winter has set in and I am getting ready for the conversion over to SKIS on the Stinson. I picked up a set of Du-bro park flyer skis a while back and an extra set of landing gear. There is a SLIGHT crack on the original set so I pulled those off and have used them, with the skis, to set up a winter gear rig. This way I need only swap out the gear, pants, boots and all, spring and fall and I can switch over!

I just finished setting these up the other night and took a couple pictures of the gear before putting them on the plane. The boots hide the hardware used to hook up the skis very well! The springs keep the skis pointed NOSE UP when off the ground but still allow them to travel a long ways under load.

I hope to install them and taxi test on first hard pack then snow very quickly, with a maiden flight this weekend if all goes well!

Marlin
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Old Nov 26, 2010, 09:46 AM
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Taxi Tests of the Skis

Well, got out and taxi tested the skis last night in front of my house. First runs were on the street where it is hard pack / icy snow. Obviously no problem there, but I was actually pleasantly surprised as how true they tracked a straight line. Another surprise was how effective the tail wheel and rudder were in steering. I was able to keep a straight line down the street and got it to taxi up to tail lift speeds without incident. No more throttle required than wheels really.

Next test was to put it in the powder snow (about 6 inches) I have in my front yard. It taxi'd great. Much to my pleasant surprise it did NOT sink into the snow very far, maybe 1/2" to 1" at most at times. The upward canter on the skis kept is popping up quickly with any movement and it tracked very well. Little more throttle needed to get it going than wheels, of course, but it was in fact LESS than the throttle I need to get rolling on several of the grass fields I fly from! Once it was on step throttle requirements were pretty much as per the wheels! I AM HAPPY!

Can't wait to maiden this off snow, I am hoping for this weekend!

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Old Dec 04, 2010, 05:31 PM
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Flight Vid with Skis

Just posting my flight video to YouTube! Perfect day for it today and my oldest son helped me out by taking some video. Sunny, just a gentle breeze, only -7 C so you won't get much better than that!

My left ski is not sitting right. While tightening on my wheel axel I over-did it and broke the wheel fairing. Right now the axel bolt that secures it on the outside of the fairing is held on by epoxy. It's not going anywhere, but the axel still spins around, so the spring keeps it pretty much LEVEL in flight, not cantered tip UP like the right side. It also has a bit of a nose in angle to it. Does not appear to be affecting taxi, take off or landings at all, but looks odd, so I will order a new boot from the LHS and fix her up soon.

Will post the link as soon as it finished uploading. First landing was a good one, next two were a bit wonky with minor nose overs, all pilot error, but the last 2 were awesome landings! All in all, great flights, a LOAD of fun, and made for a nice vid.

Marlin
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Old Dec 05, 2010, 11:43 PM
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Flight video is ready, here is a link. I have been out flying this bird at night off the skis today, it's even MORE fun than the day light. Same park, much better results on the landings, just had to remember to be a bit easier on the elevator on the flare, no issues now. Greases right in.

What a great bird!

Marlin

Parkzone Stinson with Skis (6 min 19 sec)
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Old Feb 20, 2011, 01:15 AM
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New Jim Baker Skis!

Well, after flying my Dubro Parkflyer skis a bit this winter, I noticed that they were VERY fragile in the cold. Any hard pack or ice or even a boot print, and the skis cracked or broke. Just about impossible to keep them in good condition. While they worked, I also noticed that I had to be VERY exacting on my approaches and taxi as they were easy to nose over with.

A fellow RC-Grouper, Jim Baker, was making some VERY nice Aluminium skis and has his last set for sale. For $40 he shipped them to me from the states, postage included, and also included the attachment hardware, including the landing gear legs! They are of VERY high quality.

I Sprayed the legs and top of the skis WHITE, waxed the bottom and got them out for the maiden flight the next day, despite -22C temps and serious winds. (As I taxi the plane you can see the wind pushing it sideways and swinging the tail out! Very gusty!)

The maiden went GREAT! I love the new skis, tremendous improvement over the Dubro Parkflyers, not even in the class. Much easier to install, very solid ground handling, consistent canter in flight with little to no extra drag over regular gear, and amazingly forgiving landing characteristics.

Here are a couple pics.

Marlin
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Old Feb 20, 2011, 01:16 AM
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During today's maiden I also tried out, for the first time, my new HAT CAM mount. I used an old ball cap, a 1/4 inch bolt, three nuts, three washers and a nylon spacer. Worked well, though I know now I need to tip it UP a bit more.

Anyhow, here is a like to the Video, it was DARN cold, but loads of fun.

Marlin

Parkzone Stinson with Jim Baker Skis (5 min 29 sec)
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Old Mar 05, 2011, 11:44 PM
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Evening Flight - Touch and Goes & some stunts`

Got home from work and the wind dies off just as the sun was going down. It was a bit cold but I HAD to fly the Stinson and give the skis a shot at dusk with the lights on. I put quite a few batteries through it, though in the cold the video camera died on the second flight. I got a good bit of solid video though so decided to edit a bit of a DEMO video.

Here it is.

Marlin

Parkzone Stinson on Skis - Evening Demo Flight with Lights! (5 min 5 sec)
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Old Mar 29, 2011, 01:25 AM
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What a nice compendum on what looks like a beautiful plane! Very nice work!
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Old Mar 29, 2011, 01:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ViperZ View Post
What a nice compendum on what looks like a beautiful plane! Very nice work!
Thanks man, much appreciate the comment. I do love this little plane, and the folks on this and all of the other fixed wing forums are awesome folks, very strong level of knowledge and positive support for each other. I have learned a ton.

I got the skis from a great fellow name Jim Baker and have to be honest, the ski flying with this baby has been the only thing making me not too upset about the late spring, as it is an absolute blast.

Take care,

Marlin
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Old Apr 25, 2011, 10:46 AM
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PZ Stinson on FLOATS!

Well, spring is finally here and the ice is off the water in most parts, so it's time to try the next challenge with this most versatile plane, FLOAT FLYING! I found the Stinson to be amazing, stable and easy to fly on wheels, and just as fun and stable all winter while flying off skis. I have seen others set it up on the Hobby Zone Super Cub floats and fly it off snow so at the end of the winter, as the snow was getting slushy I had to try this. (I have had the floats in my garage for 1/2 the winter waiting for this.) I did a little modifying to get it to adapt to the spare landing gear spars I had and mounted the floats.

Initial tests done on snow were VERY promising. It slid better on snow than the skis did, and flew great. No problem doing loops and even a couple rolls. I found them actually less draggy than the very nice aluminium skis I picked up from Jim Baker!

Pics of the mounting to follow.

Marlin
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Old Apr 25, 2011, 11:04 AM
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Stinson on Floats - Pictures

Here are some pictures of the Stinson with Floats and how I mounted them. Basically, the spacer bars, front and back, mount as per normal and are almost a PERFECT fit around the landing gear struts.

First off, I took the skirts and boots off the struts, exposing just the bare aluminium. I think you could leave the skirts / leggins on, just not sure I like the look with them on. I am thinking I will simply paint the struts either black or white.

Then I cut a very small SLOT in the foam just infront of the hole where the front support bracket is to mount, to allow the strut to go into the foam far enough to line up the hole in the strut for the wheel axle with the float mount hole. I used a short screw to mount the strut onto the float. Same both sides.

I then attached the mounting bracket to the rear of the float and, turning the plane upside down and using the supplied mounting plate, marked on the foam where the plate would fit. I had to make a couple holes in the foam for the mounting plate and then using 5 min epoxy mounted it. (It is not quite flush but I will cock it with a tiny bit of white silicone shortly)

THAT'S IT. Very simple mod / install. Here are some pictures.

Marlin
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Old Apr 25, 2011, 11:11 AM
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First Water Tests

Well the floats worked GREAT on water, the step seems to be at the right spot. Did some taxi tests on the little pond (residential lake) in our sub-division and got some geese a little angry with me! Unfortuneately there was a good bit of wind that made taxi testing difficult. There is no water rudder and as such the tail section blows around in the wind a lot. I could NOT get it to turn around past 90 degrees to the wind.

Did some run ups, no issues at all, but with any speed you need a BIT of UP elevator to get it up on step. Once on step it just pops out of the water, no problem at all. Did a couple pop outs and landings then got brave (read STUPID) and actually took off! This is NOT a big pond and there are trees ALL AROUND it and it's a small park area, really! Couple quick LAPS in the air then I brought it down. Had to land WITH the wind (not a good thing) and was trying not to hit the geese. Bottom line, tip stall about 1 foot off the water on landing. Thought it was going to be ugly but it simply caught the wing, slapped over a bit and landing upright on the floats! BONUS! Taxi'd it to shore and called it a day.

Overall, very impressed. It takes off, stock motor and prop, in 20 to 30 feet max, with take off flaps applied. Very happy. Now I can't wait to get it out to the lake and try a REAL maiden flight. The hat cam is coming on that one for sure for some flight video.

Marlin
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