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Archive for June, 2017
Posted by rclad | Jun 15, 2017 @ 04:15 PM | 5,018 Views
Occasionally a creative genius or talented videographer with the skill to produce an exceptional video will cross our paths, and you have to stop and admire their work. Until you have tried to produce your own video, it's hard to appreciate the skill it takes. Here are some of my favorites:

By Gdranker2011, published on YouTube in 2015:
ToyStory with Eflite Super Cub 25e (7 min 12 sec)

By Xjet, published on YouTube in 2016: The opening scene on this next one is well done:
E-flite Super Cub (7 min 27 sec)
...Continue Reading
Posted by rclad | Jun 13, 2017 @ 10:47 PM | 4,682 Views
Just got back from a successful maiden of my new 87" Extra 300 SHP. Winds were calm or very light with no cross wind. Perfect!

Other than a hard bounce on first landing attempt - I was not use to the new throttle curve, which is very flat on the low end - the flight was uneventful. I couldn't resist a victory roll for completing a long six month build and getting all systems working so well for the maiden. I did one hammerhead stall turn and got a low cell warning from telemetry, so at least one cell dropped below 3.70V for more than 2.5 seconds. After resuming level flight the main batteries were OK. Packs are brand new and have never been cycled before, so I should have gone easy on them.

The plane kept tracking left during taxi tests, but we didn't discover the cause until after the flight was over. The left wheel pant rear was dragging in the grass, causing a pull on that side. These are not adjustable wheel pants: the blind nuts were pre-installed and the holes in the CF landing gear are pre-drilled. I'll have to "move" one of the holes, so I can re-align the wheel pant to match the one on the right side.

I was unable to get the aileron trim adjusted so the wings would remain level. It needed a half-click to get it right. I was able to adjust this later by changing the trim step setting on my Taranis Plus from medium to fine.

I have plenty of telemetry data to review! Motor, ESC, batteries, radio and flight telemetry from GPS.

I need to dial down the control rates and do some trimming flights, then it's off to my first IMAC contest with this plane eleven days from now!

Thanks to my co-worker Ed for taking the video and Jim for assisting with pre-flight checks and flight trims.

Enjoy the video and post-flight pics. See my build log for pre-maiden pics.

New 87" 3DHS Extra 300 SHP Takes to the Sky - Part 1 (9 min 43 sec)

87" 3DHS Extra 300 SHP Takes to the Sky - Part 2: Landing (1 min 0 sec)

Posted by rclad | Jun 05, 2017 @ 09:13 AM | 5,792 Views
My hometown airfield, the San Fernando Valley Flyers, hosted pattern contests when I was growing up. Watching the pattern pilots fly their maneuvers with incredible precision inspired me to work hard at flying with the same precision and grace. Several decades have past and my flying skills still have a long way to go, but I still think precision flying is a worthy goal. I took a step closer to flying pattern myself while flying for the Navy, but I was on the move too much and didn't have the space, tools, or time to build the pattern plane I bought, or practice enough to be competitive. So I sold the plane and stuck with sport flying.

After getting back into RC last year, a fellow club member talked me into giving IMAC a try. IMAC is the International Miniature Aerobatic Club. They promote scale aerobatic competitions modeled after the full scale International Aerobatic Club, the IAC. I had some time on my hands and a good field less than thirty minutes away, so I finally had no excuses. With only a week to get ready and only a small Great Planes Extra 300 to fly, I entered my first contest last September. I flew more practice flights in that one week than I typically flew in an entire year. I enjoyed the contest, nerves and all, and decided to go all in this year with a new giant scale plane.

This log will keep track of the contests I have flown and results: scores, ranking, and lessons learned.

Latest Entry: September 18, 2018
Posted by rclad | Jun 03, 2017 @ 09:54 AM | 5,921 Views
Frankenstein Jolts to Life!

This won't be a complete build log, as this plane has been around for nearly a decade, and plenty of people have documented their builds. This log will just cover custom modifications I am making (or just completed) for those interested in that sort of work.

I completed the Jeti Anti-spark Connector/Arming Plug installation last night (at 1 am), so I had to try firing this baby up as a quick test of the complete set up: the quick connect battery tray (see separate build log), the ASC arming plug, and the newly soldered leads on the new FrSky RB10 redundancy bus. Results? As soon as I pressed the arming plug into place, the Castle Creations ESC sang it's little tune. I flipped off the throttle safety switch, advanced the throttle, and for the first time (in the plane) the massive Xpwr 60cc motor came to life. It's alive!

More to follow, along with photos.
Posted by rclad | May 31, 2017 @ 07:22 PM | 5,180 Views
I just got back into RC last year after nearly fifteen years away while raising a family. So at the moment I only have two planes that are in flying condition, and a new one, my first giant scale plane, about ready to maiden.

First pic is of the last plane I flew before taking a break from the hobby. It's an old Ace Seamaster that I converted to electric back in 1997. I posted this on AMA's Generations of Flight. The wing, engine pod, MaxCim brushless motor and ESC, and the twenty cell NiCad battery pack I soldered together still sit in my hangar, waiting for the day they can fly again. Well, all except the NiCads, of course. With a LiPo pack the plane would have a slower stall speed and much better vertical performance. If I had lighter batteries back then, the plane might still be flying today.

The first plane I bought last year was a 69" E-flite Super Cub 25e. I thought this would be an easy plane to fly to make my transition back into RC, but I was badly mistaken. It may look like a trainer, but it's a handful on the ground and prone to tip stalls in the air, if flown too slow. I crashed it on its second flight, but repaired it and added some modifications along the way. It has an airspeed sensor - note the pitot tube on the right wing. Combined with haptic feedback on my Taranis Plus transmitter, I have the equivalent of a stick shaker when the plane gets close to a stall. It makes flying the pattern and touch and go's much safer. The photo...Continue Reading