long delays abound
well . .. Im back!
It has been a horendous couple of months, between a couple of insane monthly flying schedules and family stuff . . .church stuff . . . . sick kids and house work . . .projects . . . you know the drill
I have been working on the planes in the evenings over the last week trying to get them back on the road to completion.
I am sure Jeff is even more please as he has been patiently awaiting my dog a** slow progress for months without complaint
Either way . . . .
Vacation is finally here and we are going to the outer banks again this year
Time for a little mixed flying with some new airplanes.
I am planning on throwing the MCW 36 (again), 48 and the Beta 1 starfire in the car for fun and excitement on the dunes again with a little sloping and powered flight.
I hope I can fit all of them in the family truckster as my wife already has a pile of stuff sitting in the dining room awaiting transport too!
My van is only SO big and I still need to fit the kids in there too
Beta 1 - update
Beta One was the furthest along at the start and the one that Jeff was most interested in as it opens the door on the design for the mid engine.
I believe he is looking for performance and Cg on this one first so it has been put on the front burner.
Here is where we were and where we are.
The Beta One radio gear was routed and set with hot glue.
The servos were covered with a 3mm small depron cover that was held in place with hot glue on the servo. only the servo arm extended through a slot on the top of the wing keeping everything nicely faired in.
The covers were then sanded flush with the airfoil and any holes were filled with light weight spackle.
The whole airframe was sanded with 120 grit sand paper and any dings or dents were filled in with the spackle then resanded to smooth.
I opted for the Water Based Polyurithane again and went with a mixed base of Sig japanese tissue paper (a form of covering for models in the "old days" and .75 oz cloth on the top.
As I was getting ready to glass the airframe I realized that the area behind the prop was rigid enough for a smaller motor, however, the motor I am using is a moderate performer. I felt that a small piece of carbon fiber was needed to add a little rigidity to the area to prevent flutter at high speeds.
I installed a 3mm x .014 piece the length of the slot. It was epoxied in place and sanded to make it rough to hold the cloth.
I installed 5mmX.25mm rare earth magnets to hold the battery cover in place and ensured the fit of the cover in the hole I cut.
I retested all of the radio gear for fit then sanded one last time and vaccuumed the entire model.
Beta 1 update 2
I sprayed the bottom of the airplane LIGHLTLY with 3M spray 77 then layed one sheet of Japanese tissue paper down. the first sheet laid across the airplane overlapping the other side to 1" past the opening for the prop.
I lightly worked the sheet down the same way I work fiberglass cloth down..keeping the cloth tight and trying to minimize wrinkles.
The Jap tissue is very very forgiving and works a little easier than the glass cloth . . no tearing or pulling as you work . . great on flat surfaces.
I lightly sprayed the tissue paper where it overlaps then laid down the second piece with the same overlap.
Work the poly in the same way I did with the fiberglass cloth. It takes a little more poly than the fiberglass but works like a dream...wrinkles do not go away though so be vigilant as you work the project . . . corners are a dream . . use a very sharp razor blade to pierce the tissue over the holes for the prop area and work the tissue into the corners . . you can use narrow strips to make it a box in the prop area . . . . very nice!
Work the top the same but with the cloth and gently brush the poly into the cloth with a foam brush . . .
I used a filler this time on top of the glass cloth of two tablespoons of talc power in three ounces of poly to fill the weave a little better on a second coat once the first one completely dried and I lightly sanded and vaccuumed the model . . . .
Beta 1 fins
4 fins were cut from fan fold foam, the backing film was removed from the fan fold once the forms were cut and finalized in the foam. I stacked sheets together and cut them on a .
a 2mm round CF rod was installed across the fin from one corner to the other from the front bottom to back tip to make it a little more rigid.
The inside halves were sprayed with spray 77 and joined on a perfectly flat surface to ensure a straight fin.
The fins were then sanded round on the leading edge and sanded to a taper from 2" back from the trailing edge . . I left the trailing edge 1/4" thick.
Sanded the fins then hit then with primer (the primer atatcked the foam because I tried to spray too heavy of a coat . . light coats . . .)
If you make the same mistake, take spackle and coat the entire fin then sand.
Light coats to cover the blue and get it to the same color of the airplane...
once I decide on a location for them, I will route a 1/8" deep trench in the wing using a dremel rounter bit then set them with epoxy . . .
beta one update 3
sanded, primed and ready for final . .
Bright yellow on the bottom and - - top is going to be a suprise!
Cover set and all ready for the final set up and paint!
Got all the linkages set, servos checked and rechecked,
tacked the battery cover on there with four tiny drops of hot glue then sprayed the entire top with gloss white acrylic . .three coats to be exact.
Let it sit for a few hours then started on part two of the painting.
The painting and the detailing have been a little more than expected, spent the entire eve trying to cut frisket paper for masking to no avail . . finally took out some artist brushes and started in!
I am a Creatix lover and can pump that stuff through any airbrush with ease . . but it will not brush on as it is thinned for spraying from the start . .
I went to the art store and found basic acrylic paints and got as close to the colors I wanted as possible then started in on the project.
Two hours later, the majority of the job was done!
Beggars cant be choosers and time aint on my side . . The car door closes at 9AM tomorrow to go to the beach, we are either going to be ready - or leaving this one behind!
It is a cross between a rabid zombie squirrel and Stitch, the alien from Disney . . . .
It looks better in person . . even my neighbor came over to look at the new wares!
time is a killer - changes on the fly to get it out the door
time is a killer - changes on the fly to get it out the door
Well, it is midnight and time to go to bed, I have a long drive ahead of me tomorrow and have been busy doing the radio, motor and esc set up.
The original AXI went into the 48 MCW for kicks and I do not have time to mess with it...
I had a Turnigy 2120 motor that is suppose to be a clone of the AXI . . .at least that was the way they advertized it.
I got everything set up and hooked up an 8X6 apc . . the axi handles an 8X8 on an 18amp esc . . . .
Luckily I had a 25A esc on that thing as the watt meter showed 28 before I could respond and shut it down...
Changed to an 8X4 apc and still pushed it up to around 21 amps
checked motor for shorts then ended up swapping escs to a 40 amp.
Checked everything out again and set it up again to see a draw of 22 amps on 3s. The motor is OK with it, it was just a boat load more amps than I was expecting from a clone of the AXI. . . .
Either way. .. . . .
Just ran out of time monkeying with the fins, I did not have adequate time to install them properly and . . . not willing to do it half a**ed...
temporarily installed the Alpha Starfire winglets as I know they worked with the original...When I get back from the beach, the fins will be put on . .. just want to make sure it is adhered properly and aligned correctly the first time when I am more awake . . .and have had a few less beverages!
here we are
take off weight
1 lb 5.5 oz . . thats 21.5 oz for those that need the math help!
CG is dead on original
dual rates set at 65% with 3/16
expo set on dual rates on -and -off to 30%
dual rates set at 65% with 3/16
set on dual rates on -and -off to 30%
No differential has been set at this time.
I will be flying with 3s 2200 mah 25C packs as well as a 3s 2500 Mah 20c pack . .both are similar in weight.
trims and the like
I have been flying the MCW 48 for the last few days to get the lay of the land . . the site is choice and I am just getting comfy enough for the maiden of the Starfire. The sun set before I could get out there tonight
I got the final control checks and esc programming set. The tape is well set on the elevons and all of the wires are secured . . .
I ended up putting 1/32" of up reflex in as a launch mix just in case for the maided..I should not need it but . .
sometimes a little precaution is the mother of sucess!
Looking foreward to flying . . I had a few folks out watching tonight while flying the 48" mcw . . . .the High that is pushing through yielded some honking 28 mph winds tonight and I got my first inverted slope flight in about 15 years! I am so excited about seeing how this bird does on the slope - based on how the Alpha build went, I can only anticipate that it will handle as well as or better than that
It is lighter and cleaner than the 48 is with the Alpha build elevons so it sould really perform well in the lighter winds we are suppose to have tomorrow!
Beta 1 first flight!
well . .. . mission complete!
I am here is Corolla NC for vacation - loving it, best vacation I have had in a long while - except for Cabo San Lucas
Finally felt comfy enough to put the maiden flight up!
All went well. The airplane survived three flights without incident. Unfortunately, my camera man did not!
My dad was the camera man tonight and he was not real comfy or familiar with the equipment so what I got on video is what I got . . . .
General conditions, 65 degrees, 20 kt wind, overcast and early evening.
I had my dad with me who is not my usual camera man. He made a pretty good effort but was not real comfy with the camera.
Launch went without incident, airplane jumped out of my hand and throttle was immediately brought back to about 50% to get things stabilized. It is very apparent that the airplane is clean aerodynamically and has plenty of power.
Did a bunch of patterns to get things trimmed out and get the general feel of the airplane, no funky traits at 1/2 throttle, speed approx 50 - 55 mph.
Had to get the airplane up high as the air coming over the dunes was a little too rough for getting things trimmed out.
Airplane had plenty of power and roll rate was very reasonable but a little bit of adverse yaw in turns (same as Alpha build after adjustments but without differential).
Set up several passes at different speeds. Slow flight characteristics were very predictable and elevon response was clean. Power out of slow flight and into high speed flight was effortless with minimal trim input.
Climbs from level flight are just sweet . . . nice big chandelles were easy.
Did several more low speed and high speed passes. Tried some tight turns at high and low speed with no quirks with only a little adverse yaw.
Came in and landed first time 7' from my deck stairs!
I increased the elevon dual rate setting on ailerons to 65% and input a little differential (20%) to assist in helping out in the turns.
Reset trims and checked all connections and controlls.
The launch was uneventful, differential was immediately noticable and effective . . a little more needed though to get things dead on.
Flew several high speed patterns and large loops.
Flew several landing finals with go arounds at very slow speed.. Airplane is very manageable in very slow flight with significant turbulance ( from the slope).
I was very happy with the ability to really run this plane into the slot and put it where I wanted it for passes and landing as well as walking around the slope to find the lift at slow flight...
Differential increased to 30%
launch again without incident.
Differential was right on, the adverse yaw was much more manageable and made for more positive control in turns and in slope lift...
I was very pleased this flight with the general roll rate and the positive control.
I did some nice slow rolls and some big loops without any issue.
The roll rate was a little different than a regular wing and not exactly what I would have expected from a normal wing. The mid motor makes the handling a little more responsive than a normal pusher type set up.
The airplane has the same response whether the motor is pushing or not and there is no pitching up or down with throttle up or down.
The one thing that I was pretty suprised by was the prop noise, esp with the 8-4 prop . . . lots of push and lots of RPM but not a lot of speed - but this was what I expected as it is a very low pitch prop . .motor is able to handle up to an 8-8 racing prop for real gittyup!
As it was, the motor really wanted to open up and the plane was more than able and willing to go . . . . just held back by the low pitch prop . . .
I am guessing but... slow flight speeds around 15 mph...normal level flight this evening yielded an average speed around 55 mph... full throttle passes yielded about 70-75 mph.
Very exciting to have this bird in the air!
day 2 flying
Had a perfect day for beaching but not a great day for flying as we had an inland breeze all day and into this evening. I was hoping it would die down a little by sunset - not to be!
Sooooo anchors away!
wind was parallel to the slope at 22 kts . . .lots of bumps but low tide so lots of room to play and no one on the beach at sunset .
Put up three flights, had my wife come down for the first one to do some video work for me.
I think we had some pretty good footage from the first flight..
The overall flight list was fine with no quirks. I had a lot of higher speed work and got the ship dialed in better.
Launches were all uneventful even though the first one the wind almost came to a stop as I tossed the plane.
The throttle response is all smooth and predictable with no real change in trim except for very slow sustained flight.
Tight slow speed turns were very managable with the exception of the turbulance knocking it around ( something that would have made other wings fall out of the sky).
The airplane is very clean and relatively light in relation to other wings yet it performs like much heavier airplanes in heavy winds and turbulance.
Watch the video and enjoy.
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