SMALL - espritmodel.com SMALL - Telemetry SMALL - Radio
Reply
Thread Tools
This thread is privately moderated by jbourke, who may elect to delete unwanted replies.
Old Jul 24, 2013, 02:29 PM
Administrator
jbourke's Avatar
United States, OR, Corvallis
Joined Nov 1998
5,425 Posts
Discussion
An update

It's been awhile since I blogged so let me do some catch up about recent activities:

Russian Thunder Update

I sold my Yak-54, Russian Thunder!

It was a tough decision but after flying it a bit this year I realized that it was time to move on. I'm just not flying enough to stay current with the Yak-54. I didn't feel safe taking it up once a month or so. It's not a terribly difficult airplane to fly but it is a bit on the heavy side.

Also, I started feeling like I was spending too much time at the hangar that didn't involve flying. Radial engines sound and look awesome, but they need quite a bit of ground work before and after every flight.

I put it on the market and an enthusiastic buyer snatched it up so I'm suddenly without an airplane. I'm looking at the new Xtreme Decathlon and also thinking about building a Pitts S1 with Wolf parts.

Sbach 342

I wish there was a happy ending to the story.

The Sbach 342 was totalled out and auctioned off by my insurance company. No one seemed ready to bid on it so I was going to get the wreckage back for free but on the last day of the blind auction someone stepped in and bought it. That person had a lot of advantages making the bid because I had confided my intentions to him. I understand the plane has since been repaired and is flying in air shows in the southern California area.

Unfortunately after the wreck the insurance companies would no longer insure Sbach aircraft in the US, and therefore we couldn't find any finance companies that would work with potential buyers. In the end I felt it was best to resign the distributorship until the situation improves. At some point I'm sure these excellent aircraft will be available again the US. They have since received US certification.

So I was in the airplane business for three months. It was the longest ten years of my life.

Visit to Tim Lunceford's personal aviation museum

Jim Graham called me for the RCG podcast yesterday and I told him about a visit I made to Tim Lunceford's hangar. Tim restores old Heath airplanes. I took a few pics which I'll post below. The neatest item in Tim's collection is the bones of the Baby Bullet, a 1928 racer that handily won the Nationals in Los Angeles.

I tried as hard as I could to shoehorn myself into the fuselage in the hopes that someday I could fly it, but when it was pointed out to me that Heath weighed 110 pounds compared to my 205, it became pretty obvious that there would be serious CG issues even if I got in there.

Visit to California

I took a vacation to California with the family a couple of weeks back and managed to squeeze in some flying.

I went to Sky Thrills to get some Extra 300 time in with Mike Blackstone. We had a great time doing basic acro.

I also flew a T-6 while I was down there. I've attached some pics. The T-6 is a great flying airplane. This was my first time in one. I just loved it! I wish I lived somewhere near a major airport so I could get in a partnership on a plane like this.

Next up

I'll be attending Oshkosh this year to look at some aerobatic planes for sale. Perhaps I'll post some pics and more when I get back.

Jim
jbourke is offline Find More Posts by jbourke
Administrator
Reply With Quote
Sign up now
to remove ads between posts
Old Jul 24, 2013, 02:41 PM
Registered User
Shoreline, WA
Joined May 2004
365 Posts
Jim - Glad to see the post, I missed reading your adventures. Either I missed the totaling of the Sbach 342 or you didn't enlighten us. How did it get totaled? Were you in it at the time?

Richard S
LSF226 is offline Find More Posts by LSF226
Reply With Quote
Old Jul 25, 2013, 01:39 AM
Team Park Pilot - Airborne
OzparkPilot's Avatar
Australia, NSW, Sydney
Joined Nov 2006
4,492 Posts
Jim, Having got my tailwheel endorsement in a citabria, I think the xtream decathlon would be an outstanding aircraft - Its an everyday plane, can carry alot of gear. get in to fairly short strips and does fantastic aeros !
OzparkPilot is offline Find More Posts by OzparkPilot
Reply With Quote
Old Jul 25, 2013, 12:02 PM
Administrator
jbourke's Avatar
United States, OR, Corvallis
Joined Nov 1998
5,425 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by LSF226 View Post
Jim - Glad to see the post, I missed reading your adventures. Either I missed the totaling of the Sbach 342 or you didn't enlighten us. How did it get totaled? Were you in it at the time?
The ferry pilot loaded the aircraft incorrectly with baggage which caused his gear to impinge the movement of the elevator control rod. He crash landed at an airport in Arizona.

I wasn't in the airplane at the time.

Jim
jbourke is offline Find More Posts by jbourke
Administrator
Reply With Quote
Old Jul 25, 2013, 12:05 PM
Administrator
jbourke's Avatar
United States, OR, Corvallis
Joined Nov 1998
5,425 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by OzparkPilot View Post
Jim, Having got my tailwheel endorsement in a citabria, I think the xtream decathlon would be an outstanding aircraft - Its an everyday plane, can carry alot of gear. get in to fairly short strips and does fantastic aeros !
Yeah an everyday plane is what I'm looking for right now. The Extra 300L is another option, but honestly I can't see ever finding a non-pilot passenger who wants to fly front seat in an Extra. The Xtreme Decathlon looks more like a normal airplane.

I think that given the kind of acro flying I'll be doing over the next few years the Xtreme Decathlon will work for me. However, I'm going to miss climbing at 3,000 fpm!

I have an Xtreme Decathlon spec'ed out and ready to order, but I won't pull the trigger until after Oshkosh.

Jim
jbourke is offline Find More Posts by jbourke
Administrator
Reply With Quote
Old Jul 25, 2013, 03:14 PM
B for Bruce
BMatthews's Avatar
The 'Wack, BC, Canada
Joined Oct 2002
11,523 Posts
The Baby Bullet is such a slick design that I'm surprised that no one, as far as I know of, in the full size world has not taken a page from us modellers and blown it up by somewhere between 10 to 15% so that normal size and weight folks can fly in one. Ed Heath was apparently 5' tall and around 110 lbs. So a bump up to handle a 6 footer would technically involve a 16% enlargement. But we "fold" differently when moving into a seated position such as would be used in the plane so likely one could get away with a smaller enlargement. Mind you from 19' 6" a 16% increase would still only be a 22' 8" span. Still small by anyone's figuring.

And factor in aluminium tubing and sheet for much of the structure and we could well be looking at a lovely updated "classic".
BMatthews is offline Find More Posts by BMatthews
Reply With Quote
Old Jul 25, 2013, 04:26 PM
Administrator
Jim T. Graham's Avatar
United States, TN, Nashville
Joined Mar 2002
11,492 Posts
You can listen to the full story of the Sbach crash in this RCGroups podcast.
Jim T. Graham is offline Find More Posts by Jim T. Graham
Administrator
Reply With Quote
Old Jul 25, 2013, 06:48 PM
Closed Account
Joined Aug 2006
978 Posts
Jim, sad to see the Yak 54 go. But I feel very honored to have had the chance to go for a flight in it! Thanks for that! That was amazing!
Sleepyc is offline Find More Posts by Sleepyc
Reply With Quote
Old Jul 26, 2013, 01:27 AM
Team Park Pilot - Airborne
OzparkPilot's Avatar
Australia, NSW, Sydney
Joined Nov 2006
4,492 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by jbourke View Post
Yeah an everyday plane is what I'm looking for right now. The Extra 300L is another option, but honestly I can't see ever finding a non-pilot passenger who wants to fly front seat in an Extra. The Xtreme Decathlon looks more like a normal airplane.

I think that given the kind of acro flying I'll be doing over the next few years the Xtreme Decathlon will work for me. However, I'm going to miss climbing at 3,000 fpm!

I have an Xtreme Decathlon spec'ed out and ready to order, but I won't pull the trigger until after Oshkosh.

Jim
Sounds like you may have found your new plane then Jim !
OzparkPilot is offline Find More Posts by OzparkPilot
Reply With Quote
Old Jul 27, 2013, 10:36 PM
Team JR
Doug Cronkhite's Avatar
San Diego
Joined Feb 2002
1,826 Posts
$235k for an Extreme Decathlon is insane, Jim. If you want a Decathlon, buy a $60k 8KCAB and just fly it forever on the 175k you save.

After owning the Yak, and the SBach, you'll get bored with the Decathlon VERY quickly. Buy the airplane YOU want to fly, not the one you think someone else might want to fly in with you.
Doug Cronkhite is offline Find More Posts by Doug Cronkhite
Reply With Quote
Old Jul 28, 2013, 04:15 PM
Tally Ho!
kusunokimasahige's Avatar
The Netherlands
Joined Apr 2006
4,144 Posts
Hey Jim, was wondering whether you knew of the L-19 Bird Dog which has been for sale for a while now in Italy. Gorgeous plane, not aerobatic but a true classic.
kusunokimasahige is offline Find More Posts by kusunokimasahige
Reply With Quote
Old Jul 28, 2013, 07:19 PM
BANG IT!!!
DaOldGuy's Avatar
United States, PA, Bellefonte
Joined Dec 2007
12,397 Posts
Jim,

The Orange plane you have listed as "Another Culver" is actually a 1937 DART, there was one at my home town FBO 25+ years ago. I got to take a couple trips in it with a banker <I did paint work on his planes> friend, great plane.

While at the Weak Signals Toledo 2012 I came across a really nice model one that brought back the memories.

This pic is in my RCG blog with some others.
DaOldGuy is online now Find More Posts by DaOldGuy
Last edited by DaOldGuy; Jul 28, 2013 at 07:27 PM.
Reply With Quote
Old Jul 28, 2013, 08:36 PM
Rekitter of fine aircraft
SFT2's Avatar
United States, TX, Spring
Joined May 2004
1,337 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by jbourke View Post
Yeah an everyday plane is what I'm looking for right now. The Extra 300L is another option, but honestly I can't see ever finding a non-pilot passenger who wants to fly front seat in an Extra.
Bring a 300L to Houston and I will promise you that I will be in that front seat every chance I get. I've flown a -29 from the front, but while trying to find a doctor with a different view on my totaled spine I made the fatal error of talking to my flight surgeon. Yeah, bad plan. I have pretty much zero chance of getting a medical now. The chemistry and hardware I have in me is so far off the FAA's approved list it would take the light from the paperwork 12 years to reach DC.

But I can ride shotgun as long as there's a license in the other seat
SFT2 is offline Find More Posts by SFT2
RCG Plus Member
Latest blog entry: Expo
Reply With Quote
Old Jul 28, 2013, 09:46 PM
Administrator
jbourke's Avatar
United States, OR, Corvallis
Joined Nov 1998
5,425 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by dcronkhite View Post
$235k for an Extreme Decathlon is insane, Jim. If you want a Decathlon, buy a $60k 8KCAB and just fly it forever on the 175k you save.
I see your point but really a $60k 8KCAB is no match for a new Xtreme Decathlon. A plane with 1,000 hours on it is certainly less expensive to purchase, but that's because it has 1,000 hours on it. Also, the 30 extra horsepower (at the same or less weight) with the new ailerons and higher roll rate make the Xtreme more intriguing than the Super D.

Quote:
After owning the Yak, and the SBach, you'll get bored with the Decathlon VERY quickly. Buy the airplane YOU want to fly, not the one you think someone else might want to fly in with you.
Those are great points! I do see what you are getting at.

I'm pretty excited about the Xtreme Decathlon. I have probably 25 hours or so in the Super D and it is a great airplane. A plane doesn't have to be unlimited class to be fun to fly or to present interesting challenges.

Thanks for chiming in.

Jim
jbourke is offline Find More Posts by jbourke
Administrator
Reply With Quote
Old Jul 28, 2013, 09:46 PM
Administrator
jbourke's Avatar
United States, OR, Corvallis
Joined Nov 1998
5,425 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by kusunokimasahige View Post
Hey Jim, was wondering whether you knew of the L-19 Bird Dog which has been for sale for a while now in Italy. Gorgeous plane, not aerobatic but a true classic.
Nope. I can't see buying an airplane without an inverted fuel and oil system.

Jim
jbourke is offline Find More Posts by jbourke
Administrator
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Category Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
News Toledo 2013 - An RCGroups.com Update Jim T. Graham Electric Plane Talk 1 Apr 22, 2013 08:03 PM
Discussion RCG Podcast 19 - An Overview of the Recent RCG Updates Jim T. Graham Official RCGroups Podcast 1 Mar 19, 2013 01:45 PM
Question Firmware update 10.57 "An unsupported operation was attempted." V_Okto Eagle Tree Systems 2 Mar 05, 2013 03:58 PM