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Old Feb 26, 2008, 08:46 AM
I just love flying
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Traverse City ,MI
Joined Dec 2005
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Balsa USA Northstar Maiden Flight

Hey Guys!

On Sunday, February 24, 2008, around 2:30 PM, On Higgins Lake, Roscommon County, Michigan, I started the engine on my Balsa USA Northstar that was completed a couple days before by my Grandfather. I carried it out with engine running about 100 feet or so on the frozen over lake, and then set it down on the hard packed snow {From Snowmobiles}. I taxied out about 200 more feet until I found some un-touched snow that was light and fluffy. I had in my mind then that it was just going to be taxi tests, and thats all it was for about 15 mins, throttling up and down, and then running to go get it because of the 8 MPH wind that It wouldn't turn.

I found a new patch of snow, and asked my Grandfather if I should take off. He told me "You have to do it sometime, so why not now?" I checked all the controls again, and then advanced the throttle to half, and then to 3/4. The Northstar picked up speed and then after about 80ft and crossing out of the good snow into the rough track, it pulled off nicely and started to roll right and down. Instead of reacting with lots of up and left at low altitude and low speed, I let it bounce once more and throttled up to full before it pulled up and shot into the sky. Once in the air all it needed was two clicks of left trim. No Joke. It might of needed some down also but it was flying fine. I did probable 4 or 5 laps, and then a roll, which was surprisingly slow for how twitchy it felt just flying around. In the air it was stable, but It did fly like it weighed 8 1/2 pounds. It felt mushy and a little slow in the air, while still remaining stable and easy to fly. After I got it all good and fun to fly, I decided to land so I don't crash trying to do something that I wouldn't know how it would react. Further out there was a big patch of untouched snow, and I designated that as my landing area. I brought it downwind with probably about 1/2 throttle, and then on base leg, I chopped it to idle. I was about 120ft up and I put it into a casual glide slope to keep up speed. I was planning on getting it low and holding it out for a while and letting it touch down when it runs out of speed, but my depth perception is really off and I let it touch down early with about 1/3 throttle. It went a pretty long way before stopping but I do not think that I was idling. I brought it closer to me and decided whether to fly it again. I decided not and shut the engine down. It had to of been pretty much the best day in winter flying yet......

~Matt
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Old Mar 10, 2008, 01:54 PM
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Montreal, Qc
Joined Jan 2007
242 Posts
Congratulations, hope you have many more enjoyable flights!

MArc
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Old Apr 03, 2008, 09:20 AM
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Joined Apr 2008
4 Posts
Glyn

Hi Mat, this is my first time on anything like this so hope you will forgive any mistakes i may make. I to have just finished my second North Star, the first one lasted 3 1/2 mins. i didn't fly it myself but gave that thrill to a member of the club, the engine went dead stick and it fell to earth with quite a bang. well i like the plane so much i decided to build another from the plans, but the weather over here in the uk, has been realy bad so not a lot of flying. Now down to the reason i have come on, appart from having a chat with other North Star flyers, i had no instruction book with the first one so built it off the plans but it only showed the elevator on the tail fin, so this time i have put in ELEVON MIX as well as the elevator, and i was wondering if you now anyone else that has done this and what the results have been. i would be very greatfull for any information as to results. thank you very much, PS. the pics are brill but it looked a little cold, QUOTE=redjem13]Hey Guys!

On Sunday, February 24, 2008, around 2:30 PM, On Higgins Lake, Roscommon County, Michigan, I started the engine on my Balsa USA Northstar that was completed a couple days before by my Grandfather. I carried it out with engine running about 100 feet or so on the frozen over lake, and then set it down on the hard packed snow {From Snowmobiles}. I taxied out about 200 more feet until I found some un-touched snow that was light and fluffy. I had in my mind then that it was just going to be taxi tests, and thats all it was for about 15 mins, throttling up and down, and then running to go get it because of the 8 MPH wind that It wouldn't turn.

I found a new patch of snow, and asked my Grandfather if I should take off. He told me "You have to do it sometime, so why not now?" I checked all the controls again, and then advanced the throttle to half, and then to 3/4. The Northstar picked up speed and then after about 80ft and crossing out of the good snow into the rough track, it pulled off nicely and started to roll right and down. Instead of reacting with lots of up and left at low altitude and low speed, I let it bounce once more and throttled up to full before it pulled up and shot into the sky. Once in the air all it needed was two clicks of left trim. No Joke. It might of needed some down also but it was flying fine. I did probable 4 or 5 laps, and then a roll, which was surprisingly slow for how twitchy it felt just flying around. In the air it was stable, but It did fly like it weighed 8 1/2 pounds. It felt mushy and a little slow in the air, while still remaining stable and easy to fly. After I got it all good and fun to fly, I decided to land so I don't crash trying to do something that I wouldn't know how it would react. Further out there was a big patch of untouched snow, and I designated that as my landing area. I brought it downwind with probably about 1/2 throttle, and then on base leg, I chopped it to idle. I was about 120ft up and I put it into a casual glide slope to keep up speed. I was planning on getting it low and holding it out for a while and letting it touch down when it runs out of speed, but my depth perception is really off and I let it touch down early with about 1/3 throttle. It went a pretty long way before stopping but I do not think that I was idling. I brought it closer to me and decided whether to fly it again. I decided not and shut the engine down. It had to of been pretty much the best day in winter flying yet......

~Matt[/QUOTE]
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Old Jul 05, 2010, 08:19 AM
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Joined May 2010
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Hello, I know I'm a bit late to this thread but I built a mini North Star (polaris) and now have to build the real thing. I have the plans (physically and in my head!) and would really like to get my hands on the construction manual!

Does anyone have the North Star construction manual and could they scan it?!

Thanks
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