|Mar 05, 2013, 01:15 AM|
Did you enjoy my gift to you ?
See , we all have " I suck " moments !
|Mar 05, 2013, 09:45 AM|
|Mar 05, 2013, 03:42 PM|
Here's another one from a couple of years ago . Brand new plane maiden flight . I was trying to get it trimmed and then lost it in the sun ! ENJOY !
|Mar 05, 2013, 06:12 PM|
Ad Astra, on tenterhooks all the way
|Mar 08, 2013, 04:39 PM|
Have I sent this out yet? Man that looks like fun. Maybe it's just the sound of the waves and the music and the frolicking child that makes it seem so idyllic
It's supposed to rain here for a few days so no flying for me. I was hoping to get some sort of LED UFO together to go confuse the crowds down at http://www.sxsw.com, but I am uncertain of my ability to not crash into one of the many drunken mobs and turn them into an angry drunken mob looking at the guy with the transmitter around his neck
|Mar 08, 2013, 05:14 PM|
It's been raining a lot around here. However, it's clearing up. Yesterday it was 40 F, sunny, beautiful. With 15 mph winds. Today it's 44 F, sunny, and the tree branches are moving a couple of inches back and forth.
Oh well, no flying... gotta work on Le Gran' Surprise !!!!
|Mar 31, 2013, 08:22 PM|
The Learning Continues ... oh dear
Rumors of my demise are somewhat exaggerated.
However, between work, weather, and a bit of down-heartedness I had stopped flying. That changed today. Sorta. In my own "special fashion."
One of my Dayton friends got me Aerofly Pro... After a bit of fiddling I got it to work with my ER9X transmitter. So, remembering what "Bixler Boy" said about the value of the hours of gaming and sims... I have been flying every night with that program.
I can fly a Slow Stick through the covered bridges, under the tents, etc. I can do loops and rolls and Cuban 8' and Immelmann with a Stearman. I can lumber around and land a Ju-88. I have gotten to the point where I don't have to say to myself ... "Plane going away, want to turn left, so move stick THIS way ..."
Most of the time.
So... I decided to build a Slow Stick. I've been practicing on it in the Sim, and they aren't very expensive. After a few episodes of
1) Get out the box
2) Put the box on the table, open it up
3) Think "I'll only crash it..."
4) Put box away
I finally got up the gumption. Oddly enough, it was a strip of cloth which did it.
I kept wondering if it was calm outside... I'd look out my window and the bare twigs weren't moving, but when I'd go out I'd find that there was a decent breeze (5 to 10 mph) that wasn't moving the maple branches. I finally hung a 4' long strip of cotton cloth in the tree and watched it. Just watching that outside my office window kept me thinking about flying - so, I had to do it.
So I got out the Slow Stick kit, and proceeded to learn that those dozens of "Slow Stick Build" videos on Youtube got a better kit than I had gotten. I laid the tail stabilizer and elevator on the work surface, and found that it had a 1/4" cup from end to end. I did the taping, cutting, beveling, taping, and got a nice hinge.
Except, it's a hinge with attitude. When the elevator and the stabilizer are in line they warp up 1/4". When I start to move the elevator, it resists, then moves, and then *pop* the stabilizer flattens out and the hinge moves nicely. When I left go it SNAPS back into neutral.
I'm thinking that a little 2 mm carbon tube, or 1 mm carbon rod, might help with this.
Same thing with the tail fin and rudder. It has a noticeable curve in it. Not sure how that is going to affect the flight characteristics - probably ain't gonna help.
After gluing that all together the instructions call for putting the parts on the long stick, and then attaching the long stick to the short one using the coupler. Okay, I did the former, and then slid the stick into the coupler. It ... didn't line up. No hole visible through the hole in the plastic.
A little bit of measurement with vernier calipers, and I find that it's not making it by about 1 mm. I look, and sure enough, there is a ridge in the coupler that is preventing the two sticks from bumping into each other. But the ridge is too long. It prevents the tube from sliding in far enough. I could drill another hole, but I decide not to weaken the CF tube more. So, I pull off the plastic coupler and try to remove the ridge with an Xacto knife. Yeah. Working 12 to 15 mm deep inside a 10 mm hole... not fun. Eventually a combination of Xacto, Dremmel, and files get it smooth. I do not consider that to have been a worthwhile 30 minutes of my life.
The rest of the build goes easily. I decide to forego the ailerons for now...
The thing isn't stock, of course. I can never do that. First of all, Radical RC didn't have a brushed motor at the time, so I got the 2830-1100 replacement. I also got the adjustable angle motor mount to compensate for the torque of the bigger motor. But apart from that, it's actually stock !!!!
So, I watch my wind strip all day today. Well, I don't watch it in the morning during the rain. But as it starts to dry out a little I watch it more and more closely. By end of afternoon its just flopping around fitfully in some gusts. Some of the gusts are pretty strong, but I GOTTA NEW PLANE AND I GOTTA NEED !!!!!
Plug it in, check control surfaces, check motor. All GOOD
Place on the ground, into the wind. Revv up the motor to begin taxi and takeoff.
Lesson 1: The sim lied to me.
You cannot put a SS on a cut hay field and taxi around. Every small tussock, every small declevilty, all conspire to grab the wheel and nose the SS over.
Lesson 2: Take a spare propeller.
So... after a short trudge back to the Ad Astra Aviation repair facility, I return with a repaired Slow Stick.
Test the control surfaces, test the motor, and go for a hand launch !!! Rev up to 50%, it's tugging in my hand !!! It wants to go !!! So, I face into the wind and give her a heave !!!
The next 30 seconds had a lot in common with a rodeo event. I don't remember if she went UP first, or sideways, or bucked, or stalled, or spun... all I know is that I used every ounce of that sim training to keep her in the air. EVERY BLOODY OUNCE.
Lesson 3: If it's fitfully gusty on the ground, that doesn't mean it's not pretty darn strong windy up at 25' above the ground.
The wind kept grabbing her and doing all sorts of things. She did all of the previously mentioned things in various combinations that I've never seen in a sim. At one point she's upside down. I remember something I read here... "Flying upside down - where down stick is up and up stick is expensive". I keep it in mind. Shortly after that she's back upright, in a tight death spiral... then she's back up in the air...
At some point... I notice that the steady fight against the wind is NOT going well. Or at least, it's going downwind. DEJA VU. It's heading towards the trees at the creek side of the field. I could go up (maybe) but then I'd be into the narrow space between the creek and the BIG SCAREY WOODS. So, it's time to bring her down QUICK.
OOOPS... not soon enough. I manage a nice, gentle, three branch landing in the top of a willow. Oh well, it's a small one, only 20' tall. This won't be a problem.
So, I walk to the creek. Oh oh, this is a bigger problem than I thought. It's in a willow growing from a sand bar in the middle of the creek. The two streams on each side are only 6' wide, but also 3' deep. BUMMER.
Then I notice the tree that has fallen and created a bridge from the far bank to the sand bar. Do you see it coming?
So, I walk around to the bridge, over the main road bridge, and back down. That's when I discover that the tree that has fallen used to be growing in a blackberry patch. The tree has fallen over, but the blackberries are "doing very well, thank you very much". I could go home and get the Rhino Hide suit and weed whacker... or fire up the tractor and the brush hog... but NO... I want my plane. So, I decide that a mere bramble of blackberries can't be that bad ! Ad Astra !!!
Lesson 4: Blackberries can be that bad.
I finally arrive at the tree, with deep scratches and most of my blood, and a resolution that the tractor and brush hog will be heavily employed over the next few weeks.
It is at this moment that I look at the tree, and wonder about this plan. The tree looks solid enough... but it's only 6" diameter. That's going to be bouncy... However, to go back now would NOT solve the problem... So, with fear in my heart I climb up on the trunk and start to go over the creek. About half way across I'm thinking: $28 for the kit, $10 for the motor. $10 for the receiver. ... versus $2500 for the ambulance ride, $1500 deductible, pain, suffering... is this REALLY a good idea ???
I finally manage to get to the sand bar, and make my way to the tree. A little shaking, a little bending, and the Slow Stick is mine again. YAY
Now, I have to go back. With a big honking some-what delicate Slow Stick in one hand. This plan could have been better. But I manage to get back, SS intact... well, NEARLY intact. It's only after I get all the way back that I discover the tail wheel is nowhere to be seen. It's probably out on the sand bar. There it shall remain.
However, battery is good, everything looks good. LETS DO IT
Test the control surfaces (both of them), test the motor, rev her up and INTO THE WIND.
Holy Poopies, it's going the right way ! Adjust the throttle back, trim, my goodness, I'm almost turning under control. Hmmm... more directional authority to the right than to the left... have to check it out. HOLY POOPIES, I'm actually thinking about TRIM and ADJUSTMENTS.
I'm tending to stall a bit much, but it's more or less under control. Less. But I'm not lawn-darting it !!! I'm doing a turn ! I'M DOING A TURN !!! AND ANOTHER.. AND ANOTHER... I'M GAINING ELEVATION. I'M LEVELING OFF!! I'M ... falling out of the sky ????
Lesson 5: Probability doesn't work.
Lets say you are flying between 10' off the ground and 70' off the ground. Lets further say that your plane occupies approximately 1' of air space vertically. That means that as you fly around a field with a high tension wire, the chances that you will run into that wire is only 1 in 60. Almost negligible. You couldn't hit that wire if you tried !!!!
I wasn't trying to hit it -- so I hit it. However, I'm not too worried. It only hit the hot wire and didn't bridge anything. There wasn't a 14,400 volt flash of BLUE. It's probably OKAY. Right ???
Lesson 6: Take a spare propeller. And a spare motor mount.
However... I'm going to call this day a limited success !!! I didn't lawn dart I only broke two propellers, the motor mount, and lost 1 tail wheel in 2 (3) flights. NOT BAD !!!!
Hey, if you set your expectations really low, everything looks like a success !!!
Ad Astra, or maybe Ad Nubes, at least not Ad Lutem
(Al, still working on your surprise... )
|Mar 31, 2013, 10:38 PM|
FUN reading about another RC flying adventure Dan - It's been a while ! Hopefully there'll be more soon !
Notice the lawn-dart photo to the left ? I thought it would be a good idea to see how fast my Dollar Tree Jet would go STRAIGHT DOWN AT FULL THROTTLE , turns out elevons made from DT foam board don't pull out of a 120 + mph dive very well !
Did you ever build the EZfly ?
|Mar 31, 2013, 11:48 PM|
|Apr 04, 2013, 10:59 PM|
United States, ID, Burley
Joined Mar 2012
|Apr 05, 2013, 12:59 AM|
Another flight. Okay, I broke the plane, but it was GREAT
I didn't really have any intention of flying today - the weather had been so bad for so long I didn't even look out the window much. But I went out to have a late afternoon walk-about with the dog and noticed that my strip of cloth was hanging straight down from the tree branch. STRAIGHT DOWN. NO MOVEMENT !!!!
So, I run back into the house... The Missus hears my re-entry and asks:
TM: Forget something?
AA: No Dear, there is no wind. It's TIME TO FLY.
TM: Oh dear... um, good luck.
So, I'm back outside with the Slow Stick. There is NO WIND. It's GLORIOUS. I turn on the XMTR, I plug in the battery... I think about launching and then ... for once ... better sense overcomes me. There is a procedure at the Ad Astra Aerodrome, lets follow it.
So, I put the plane on the ground, and begin the ground checks.
Rudder - CHECK.
Elevator - um... isn't it supposed to move?
Investigation determines that the flimsy GWS horn has done what a dozen people have predicted in the various Slow Stick Build threads. It's lost the keeper and become unkempt.
Well, that would have made for a bad flight. Good thing I checked.
Lesson 1: check the plane before transporting it to the field.
Back into the aviation repair facility:
TM: Oh no, did you break it already?
AA; Oh ye of little faith. No, it was broken before I could fly it.
TM: Well, that's efficient.
A little glue, some muttering's under the breath about efficiency and arsenic biscuits... and we are back out.
Flight surface check - PASS
Throttle check - PASS
TIME TO FLY.
I pick her up at the balance point, rev her up to 70% throttle, and give her a toss.
She's FLYING. Okay, a lot of climb, so I figure maybe too much throttle. I inch back, and inch back... WOW... I pull way back. Somewhere around 30% throttle it starts to behave more like the flight sim. Well, that makes sense - I have a 2830-1000 kv outrunner on a plane designed for a much smaller brushed motor.
So, I start paying attention to trim. A little rudder trim and she's flying more or less straight. I turn away from the High Tension Line of Aeroplane Death, and circle around in the close third of the field.
"The close third of the field." In the past, I've pushed the limits of my little 4 acre field. The Slow Stick can stay in a small section!! Dang, this thing IS SLOW !!! And for me, that's GOOD.
So I practice turning right, turning left, climbing, going down... no loops, no fancy stuff... but then I get brave and fly up up up, and then high to the Other Side of The Wire. I circle around on that side a bit, and then fly back coming back under the wire.
Okay... now, I know for you guys with more experience, more skills, (more Bixler ) this is NOTHING. It's like a child bragging that they can walk. But for me this is EXCELSIOR !!! I can actually fly for more than 1 minute. I am NOT HOPELESS. A thread of hope begins to dawn in my heart. Birds are chirping. The sky turns bluer. I begin to experience one-ness with my plane, with flight, with the univ.... TRA-LA.
Of course... that's when the battery runs out. Okay, no problem. Soft cut off... I can bring her down. I've landed a gazillion times in the sim.
And I almost land her... well, I do land her. BUT, the roughness of the hayfield catches the wheels and she noses over, and breaks the motor mount again...
Lesson 2: buy a case of motor mounts.
Actually, it might not totally be my fault. I've read that the Millenium motor mounts for the slow stick are sometimes very brittle. I'm going to use that excuse...
But apart from that, it was GLORIOUS !!!!
Spring has sprung. My hope is reborn.
|Apr 05, 2013, 01:05 AM|
By the way, this shows me one of the great features of the SUE - the mid mounted protected propeller. Yes, I managed to break a few props on the SUE by flying into trees and into the High Voltage Wire of Death... but I had to work at it. The front mounted motor and prop on the Slow Stick is very vulnerable for a noob like me.
Good design, Al.
|Apr 05, 2013, 01:50 AM|
Joined Aug 2007
After I could fly the Wing Dragon 4, I was on top of the world. I have had a few Super Cubs (2 PZ and one 60" balsa), and a few Slow Sticks. I remember each one fondly. (even the combat slow stick). I probably have over 40 hours of Slow Stick time. I've done a lot of Slow Stick mods, the best was the 50" Decathlon wings with a balsa tail so far. It flew well. A couple people wanted to buy it. I should have sold it actually.
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