VicT's blog View Details
Posted by VicT | Jul 25, 2021 @ 11:37 PM | 9,077 Views
This is a new BNF Aeroscout S 2 1.1M BNF BASIC from the Brandon Fl Hobby store for $149,99. After unboxing I used a 3S1300 SMART lipo to Bind my NX8 to the model. After confirming SAFE could be turned on and off I taxied her on the street to check tracking and she tracked great.

This Scout will be a club trainer using my NX8 TX on wireless training for other pilots that have the NX6 or DX transmitters.

Since most pilots do not want to remove the wings I glued the bind plug to the side of the fuselage to make it easier to bind. Yes you can use the included bind cable after removing the canopy but I prefer the side mount. Its easy to leave the bind plug installed and fly off then crash when someone in the pits binds their model. I tie a string or colored tape to the bind plug so I can see it hanging from the side of the fuselage. It’s easy to see when taxiing for take off. I sand the black plastic connector and use just a toothpick of CA on the plastic to secure it to the foam.

I make a lanyard for the canopy as eventually it will depart the fuselage and you will have to make or buy a new one.

I use an old credit card cut down and sanded to act as a guard to protect the elevator and rudder servos.

The black velcro can be made easier to use if a colored string is glued or tied to the end of one strap.

The stock tires and wheels are nice for rough terrain. However the center of mass is high and eventually the Scout will end up...Continue Reading
Posted by VicT | Jul 02, 2021 @ 11:24 PM | 6,956 Views
The stock prop and 30 amp ESC is OK for 3S lipo packs. But if you want more power for whatever reason you can go to a different prop and use 4S lipo packs. You should check amps and temps of the ESC and motor to prevent overheating electronics and motor components.

I purchased a left hand 5 mm nut at the hardware store and wrapped the motor shaft with painters masking tape and tested a 5 inch prop that came off an old Multiplex Easy Star that used a brushed can motor on 6 nicads. It provides about 2.3 times the power (watts) and the motor and ESC are not warm after 10 seconds. Flight testing will provide more data.

Stock E2 prop with a 2200 3S 35C lipo:
12.1 Amp
10.9 Volts
134 Watts

Multiplex 5” scimitar black plastic prop
Turnigy Graphene 4S 1500 (188 gms)
20.2 amps (below 30 amp ESC)
15.4 Volts
314 Watts
Motor and ESC are not warm after 10 seconds.

After a few flights I can see added thrust and speed with the new prop and 4S. The motor is not even warm but I have not checked the ESC as the 3 wing bolt removal takes time. I will continue to monitor the ESC temp with an infra red heat meter. The increased RPM causes more noise at 1/2 to full power so if neighborhood noise complaints are possible then keeping the stock prop might be a better choice. I will be checking a larger diameter prop to see if noise is reduced.
I did some torture test turns with the hot glued gear on the foam belly. The placement is fine and on a very hard and fast landing the foam failed and the gear separated. I removed the black plastic main gear mount and move it forward to a slightly aft position for testing. I also removed the black plastic nose wheel mount and metal strut to save some weight.
Posted by VicT | Jun 25, 2021 @ 07:20 PM | 26,626 Views
I really like the performance of the scout when the 3 wheels are removed. There is a 20 percent reduction in flying weight and drag. She is much faster and a better glider for thermal hunting. But hand launching can be tricky and ground sliding takeoffs are unpredictable. I made a low rider trike with Hobby King wheels and it works but wanted to reduce drag and weight even more so the taildragger mod is done. Remove the stock gear and total weight added is only 13 grams and drag is minimized. Ground handling on the street is very good but final axle placement will be determined with actual testing on our Geotech 230 fabric runway. With the high thrust vector and low wheel height I will optimize for best yaw performance with throttle bursting and stock delay. The carbon fiber main wheel axle is temporarily taped in front of the leading edge for initial testing.

Ground testing was completed with tight turns and the low center of gravity prevented wing tip contact. However on takeoff it was not possible to rotate and so a higher speed and distance was needed for liftoff. Inflight performance was acceptable but on landing rollout the tires broke loose from their rims as the CA glue did not hold up to the stresses.
Posted by VicT | Jun 23, 2021 @ 05:40 PM | 14,329 Views
I usually repair foamies with CA and fiberglass cloth or clear tape depending on the situation. I paint the cloth white to hide the weave and it works. For the wing saddle area I did not want to spend the time to glass the outside of the fuse so used 1/32 inch thick plywood. A 12 x 6 inch piece cost $1.85. A 250 mm x 15 mm piece was cut for the left side and duplicated for the right side. A box cutter was used to slice 17 mm deep into the wing saddle from the leading edge to behind the trailing edge. The ply was used to enlarge the slot so when pushed into the slot it was totally concealed with no interference with the wing bottom. Both ply pieces weighed 3 grams each. I imbedded both pieces into the wing saddle and used medium CA to secure them to the foam. Thin CA might be better. The fuse is much stiffer and the flexing is gone from the leading edge to the fin area.
Posted by VicT | Jun 17, 2021 @ 06:23 PM | 10,449 Views
The AeroScout S 1.1 is a nice trainer for those re entering fixed wing flying from glow power or new flyers with out any experience. The AR631 receiver and DXe transmitter are just about perfectly matched for stabilized flight or for aerobatics. With a talking DX gen 2 transmitter like the DX6,7,8 or the new NX6,8,or 10 the combination can’t get any better. Horizon knows that the cost must be down to attract buyers so they chose to include an electronic speed control (30 Amp ESC) that does not have telemetry. This saves the buyer $20.

I train every Tues, Thurs and Saturdays and have experience in the Apprentice and Mini, Valiant, Commander, Timber, UMX Timber, Conscendo A and E models, Extra 300 and various warbirds with retracts. The design of the AeroScout is the most forgiving and versatile designs so far.

I don’t like pusher designs as they are inefficient, noisy and are not scale looking. The Multiplex Easy Star started the revolution of low cost foam trainers and is still a good design that has been copied and modified over the last 20 years. However the AeroScout seems to have the best features to date.

The RX (AR 637 or newer 631) is programmed by E flite test pilots that is perfect for beginners or experienced pilots.

I tried to improve descent performance with Spoilerons with right aileron on ch 2 and left aileron on ch 6 but I did not see any improvement. My preferred method to descend slowly is to cut power and use full up elevator in high rate. The descent is steep and with a slight nose up pitch a grass landing with or without wheels does not stress anything.

If left in the sun for 5 or more minutes the black canopy bubbles up into alligator skin. I sanded the black paint and used 2 coats of Kilz white primer then made black decals for windows. Toothpicks anchor 50 Lb fishing line to the canopy and fuselage in case the canopy comes off inflight.
Posted by VicT | May 19, 2021 @ 05:58 PM | 33,697 Views
V900 is ready for first flight to trim and adjust elevator spoileron approaches with power on and off. I removed the 8x8 prop and used a 50 mm Turbo spinner with a 4mm collet for 9x7 Cam blades. On 3S this will be a low power set up with an estimated 11,414 rpm using Electro Calc and a 1260 KV E flite motor. I’l tach her before takeoff to get actual RPM on the Turnigy 75C 1300 mah Graphene. My goal is to make her easy to fly like a motor glider with high speed power off dives. I’ve used the V900 receiver in 3 other motorgliders and have had no problems with Self Level/SAFE On. I’ve never flown the V900 but have flown a 2M warmliner to 125 mph. Others have reported that she does not turn with SAFE at full throttle. If this is true I have increased aileron throw at the clevis and on the DX9 with 120% high rate, 100% mid rate, and 80% low rate with 40% expo. Elevator and Rudder are IAW manual. The CG is marked IAW manual and I’ve made a removable CG bridle to check battery placement. The wing decals are lifting despite CA adhesive. I’v covered and secured the decal edges with Chrome Monocote. The canopy is hinged with Tyvek paper after using 100 grit paper to remove mold release and rough up the skin. An aluminum swivel latch prevents the canopy from liffting off. The belly is protected using black Duct tape. The program has automatic spoiler retraction with high throttle and cross trims to make aileron and elevator trimming easier to...Continue Reading
Posted by VicT | May 14, 2021 @ 05:33 PM | 21,617 Views
This is a file for NX transmitters. The program retracts spoilerons when full throttle is applied. It uses flight modes. The program will work with NX transmitters and iX12 but not DX Gen 2 transmitters.
Posted by VicT | May 05, 2021 @ 07:08 PM | 3,970 Views
Flaps get you down and slow you down. Flaperons and Spoilerons get you down but don’t slow you down. That’s why I cut flaps into the Apprentice wing the same width (chord) as the ailerons. You can drive them with one or two servos. The challenge is the Apprentice receiver. Keep the ON/Off white switches in the Off/Off position. I use B0 and B1 for Beginner Mode but audio alerts are “Self Level”. B2 is “OFF. I make the B switch a FM or transmitter flight mode and switch the Trim to FM so I can trim the B switch. I select the D switch for flaps in the Aircraft Type menu. A y cable for the ailerons and a Y cable for the flap servos. I can trim the elevator for D0 “Flaps UP”, D1 “Take off Flaps”, and “Landing Flaps”. I have aileron to rudder mix butt limit the value so as to prevent rudder reversal which is a bug in the receiver. The AR 636 receivers solved this problem.

First plug any working servo into Aux 2 of the receiver to check servo operation and program verification. Select 1 Ail 1 Flap on Aircraft Type on your DX 8 or 9. If you updated your DX6 to get 7 channels you might have good luck. Bind with a new model making sure your B switch turns SAFE ON and Off. Next follow the pics below:
Posted by VicT | Apr 23, 2021 @ 07:51 AM | 6,708 Views
I used an old Clouds Fly that was missing a canopy, RX and ESC to test a Timber RX that was in a crash. The CF airframe was in good shape but the prop was being retained with a prop saver fitting in front and aft of the prop. This worked until the third flight when the aft prop saver departed the prop shaft and I lost the prop. Fortunately I was able to glide back to my launching area. I’ve replaced the prop saver by using a collet. There is no more vibration and the prop should stay on.

The AR636 Timber receiver is stock and has not been unlocked. I made a belly hatch and mounted it using 3M Dual Lock. This makes it easy to remove for plug inserting and checking and is solid. I don’t use fuzzy velcro because the gyros/sensors see movement and interferes with pitch and roll leveling. I had to use a servo reverser on the aileron channel 2 and on the rudder. I could have moved servo and horns around to eliminate the reversers but use the RX in another aircraft that may not even need reversers.

The RX has had no problems flying out to around 1200 feet where the CF is very small and hard to see. With SAFE On she is very easy to fly and with SAFE Off she can do standard rolls and loops. Surprisingly CF handles 10-15 mph winds just fine using a 2200 3S for added weight and CG. I use Flight Modes and use up elevator trim for Thermal Mode and just rudder. CF will tip stall so I will reduce the amount of up elevator to prevent any onset of a stall....Continue Reading
Posted by VicT | Apr 08, 2021 @ 07:34 PM | 4,126 Views
My friend Lonny W asked me to maiden his “Big Red” (BG). He had to do a lot of work to finish her up and she looks great. We found that the elevator pushrod was bending in it’s nylon tube and causing the elevator servo to strain and the result was the elevator could not return to neutral. The tube was removed and he threaded a 4-40 rod for clevis connection at the elevator horn and servo end. This solved the binding and allowed the servo to provide accurate return to neutral angle. There were many other issues with the model but the purpose of this blog is to report on the maiden and follow on flights with recommended angles for the flight controls.

The DX9 transmitter and AR637T receiver is installed as we both use SAFE Select for reduced pilot workload. When turned off aerobatics are available with AS3X taking care of gusty winds. It’s available on Horizon’s Bind and Fly models but with BG you have to program the receiver after the first maiden trim be continued
Posted by VicT | Mar 30, 2021 @ 07:28 PM | 6,277 Views
I like the Eflite P-39 for her size and performance on 3 or 4S. The trike gear make ground ops more predictable with less chance nose overs and bent prop/shafts. The P-39 is camouflage which makes her hide with trees in the background. The only thing is the red spinner and it’s too small. The PC21 is ALL red which should contrast with background trees. I always try and keep daylight between the models and trees until the model is 30 ft away then I commit to landing or go around.

I unboxed her 3/29/2021 and found only a little compression wrinkling at the nose area. The stabs were not easy to slide into the fuselage. I sanded off the foam corners of the stabs and used pliers to cold bend the plastic fuselage covers for more clearance. I don’t think the 4 stab screws will be needed as the fit is SO TIGHT!!!! I’ll be adding a more precise elevator servo like the Bluebird for better elevator centering and for redundancy. I had to open up a hole on the FMS servo output arm because the larger hole was too big for the Z bend wire. I plan to showcase this design as a warbird hotliner so speeds will be expected to be 120 or more. A folding prop will reduce drag along with 80 AMP Aerostar RVS ESC for reverse ops.

I used a Commander AR 636 receiver that was used in a Commander, then a MPX Heron warmliner. No telemetry but is a solid reliable receiver with acceptable factory programming. I only had to use a reverser between the flaps and receiver to correct for flap and gear operation. More to follow.......
Posted by VicT | Mar 07, 2021 @ 11:35 PM | 12,556 Views
The Heron’s T tail makes marking elevator trim settings difficult. Unlike a cruciform tail where you can mark elevator trim settings on the rudder or fin there is nothing for the Heron. To fix this I used a plastic credit card and cut a piece of music wire for an axle. I used frosted scotch tape that you can mark with a pencil and wrapped the plastic . When not in use I rotate the indicator down and into a slot in the rudder.

The elevator trim and maximum throws should be set to prevent a tip stall when flying slow as in thermalling. This should be with SAFE On or Off.

The pencil marks shown have been tested and should work with any other Heron with the same CG.
Posted by VicT | Mar 05, 2021 @ 06:07 PM | 8,727 Views
Got a nice 30 min thermal flight with my Heron today and my flying buddy got the same with his Night Radian. He offered me to have a flight and I launched with power off then slowly advanced the throttle but at 3/4 I heard severe vibration so landed. I looked between the spinner and firewall to see the firewall had a large crack that was allowing the prop and motor to flex and vibrate. With full power it’s highly likely the motor and prop would separate from the fuselage and result in an out of control crash. He will be using a new plastic motor mount. Reinforcing the front and rear plastic firewall with a stronger material is recommended. I will be using aluminum sheet.
Posted by VicT | Feb 28, 2021 @ 08:27 PM | 9,084 Views
I’ve had loss of pitch control from a single elevator servo failure, and pushrod system failures so I like to add redundancy when it is convenient. The Heron T tail is an easy compartment to add a second elevator servo. However the single elevator pushrod must be replaced with a left and right elevator pushrod and they should not touch each other. The other challenge is connecting them to the elevator with out the white plastic tube fixture. For high reliable servos I chose the Bluebird type. They are expensive but are metal gear and digital. Having them on the same signal with a Y connection will make it simple with a 6 channel receiver such as the AR 637T with SAFE. In case of a single servo lock up the other servo will provide pitch control to compensate for the other servo and stuck elevator. A preflight check will be easy to spot a failed single elevator servo failure as well as a post flight check.

The supplied 2-56 clevis and rod is OK for a single servo but I wanted a spring loaded connection so I soldered the .038 music wire rods to them for a flexible connection. Two servos and the pushrods weigh 15 grams and with a heavier motor this added weight will compensate. With a lightweight Heron build the fuselage plastic tube can be eliminated and clear tape skin can provide torsional strength. See pics
Posted by VicT | Feb 27, 2021 @ 05:04 PM | 11,775 Views
I’m helping a clubmember with his approach and landings with his Extra. We have a constant 5-10 direct crosswind so there is limitless to no headwind component to land on our fabric or grass runway. Ground speed has been reduced using near stall speeds with flaperons, and spoilerons but is problematic. Today I installed flaps and what a difference this makes. With half flaps she slows down and with full flaps she can come in at a higher approach angle and speed is much slower. Takeoffs with half power and half flaps can be slower and with more time to make rudder corrections.

The DX8 was changed to 1 aileron and 1 flap and both have Y cables that get plugged into channel 2 and channel 6 for the flaps. The flap menu was opened and the D switch was assigned: D0 for “Flaps Up”, D1 for “Takeoff Flaps”, and D2 for “Landing Flaps”. I set +100, 0, and -100% but reduced the throw to 95%, 0, 95% to eliminate servo noise from the min digital servos. The stock foam hinge was retained and a portion had to be repaired with after market hinges. The maximum landing flap angle is still good enough for maximum drag that reduces airspeed. Down compensation was put into the flap menu so that with 4 clicks of throttle the approach glide slope with landing flaps is about a 3 degree glide slope hands off except for rudder corrections to centerline. This power can remain until touchdown or reduced to zero during the flair.

The model will still roll quickly with the outer ailerons at max throws if that’s what you want. The inner portion of the aileron does not have as much roll force as the outer portion of the aileron.

I recommend this mod for the Extra 300.
Posted by VicT | Feb 21, 2021 @ 12:16 AM | 11,068 Views
One of nice features of the AR637 in addition to AS3X and SAFE is the built in telemetry without the use of sensors. There is a white connector with a black and red wire that gets plugged into the receiver labeled Volts. The other end is red wire that is bare and gets connected to the red ESC connector that gets plugged into the flight pack. You can solder it or just make a 1/4 inch long slit in the red insulation and force the little wire end into the bundle of strands. I use duct tape to wrap this little wire to the larger red wire so it does not come out. This red wire reads the voltage of your flight pack and sends it to the AR637T Receiver and then it gets transmitted to your talking DX, iX, or NX transmitter. The receiver and transmitter must be bound together in order to get real time voltage. You may have to download the latest airware into your transmitter for everything to work. There is not requirement for a TM 1000 for altitude so we can configure the transmitter to give you altitude numbers on your screen and audio alerts.

To configure your transmitter the receiver can be powered on or off. To verify real telemetry the receiver must be powered on. Since configuring the AR637 for Forward Programming you might be making multiple flights so monitoring the flight pack voltage is important since you don’t want to have the ESC’s BEC activate and cause you to deadstick/glide down to the ground.

The general rule for preserving lipo batteries...Continue Reading
Posted by VicT | Feb 16, 2021 @ 02:07 AM | 11,703 Views
I’ve been flying my Heron with a Turnigy SK glider drive first with my DX9 and currently on my iX12 transmitter. Russ C asked me to set up his new in the box Heron with a powerful motor and his NX10 TX. Using an NX6 to program I plan on using:
1. Motor control on the throttle stick
2. Ailerons on the right stick
3. Elevator on the right stick
4. Rudder on the left stick
5. Flaps on the D switch
6. Left aileron
7. SAFE On /Off on B 0/1 (On/On) and B2 (Off)

The NX6 has a channel to turn SAFE On and Off and you see it in the Channel Input Config screen as 7 Aux2:B B is a 3 position switch that like the C switch can be toggled by the left fore finger. If you grip the TX I think the B switch is more comfortable. Of course a tray can be used or a hand strap to make it easier but most US flyers do not use either. I use a hand strap because when I am spinning around to release my 9 ounce discuss hand launch glider I use my left hand and transmitter to counter balance the forces on my body. The side strap is extra insurance that it won’t drop out of my hand when lifting or carrying my TX. I plan on opening my NX radio to install a velcro strap. I’m not sure what model to use. The NX6 is the lightest using a single cell. I don’t have a NX8 to weigh. I weighed them from lightest to heaviest:

NX6 = 663 g = 23.45 Oz
NX8 =
NX10 = 785 g = 27.65 Oz
IX12. = 878 g= 30.9 Oz
DX9 = 891 g = 31.4 Oz This includes a left hand strap and...Continue Reading
Posted by VicT | Feb 12, 2021 @ 07:29 PM | 10,676 Views
Horizon sent me two wing tip skids for the Fox 3000 and they work great for the belly wheel. I removed the skeg and used 60 grit sand paper over the fuselage to sand the plastic down to match the curvature. I had to stop when the rubber wheel started to show. I used hot glue to secure the housing to the white exhaust grill. I will be using a top canopy exhaust outlet and this will reduce sand and dirt that gets picked up by the belly design.

I will be doing testing on our US Fabric 230 runway with high speed touch and goes and slides. Results to follow. Total weight of the housing and wheel is 4.68 grams and with hot glue I estimate 5.5 grams added.
Posted by VicT | Feb 09, 2021 @ 08:00 PM | 14,341 Views
I used fellow clubmember Greg L’s new NX6 TX to bind to his new Turbo Timber. I was able to export my Turbo Timber program with audio on to an SD card adapter and then use the mini SD card in his TX. I then used his NX6 to import my program and all work was transferred including the multi step pre flight checklist, servo rates, expo, flaps, mixing and the audio. This is a big plus in the NX 6 and hopefullly NX8 and 10. However the SAFE select B switch did not turn SAFE On or Off so I created a new model and this allowed the 100 numbers for aileron, elevator and rudder to show up on the monitor screen. After re binding and confirming that the B switch turned SAFE/Self Level On and Off I knew that the new AR 637T receiver would work. After “waking up” the receiver I rebound to my completed Turbo Timber program but after toggling the B switch 20 times I did not see the switch assignment. I then went back and rebound to the new model and built the program manually. This took about 15 minutes with assigning throttle cut to H and setting up audio, Assigning wing type to 1 aileron and 1 flap and then audio. Then putting in the recommended 100, 0 and -100 for flaps in the Turbo Timber manual. This worked but it was in the wrong direction. So in the servo set up I reversed the Flap channel and it works properly as D0 retracts the flaps, D1 at 0% brings flaps to about 50% or “takeoff flaps” and “landing flaps works with D2. Further programming of the B0, and B1...Continue Reading
Posted by VicT | Feb 04, 2021 @ 04:12 PM | 15,437 Views
Lonny W got his DX9 back from service. It had flashing zeros for the countdown timer and then the screen locked up with a message to return it for service. It took 7-10 days and it was returned with a battery and a missing charge receptacle.
Lonny is waiting for Horizon to call him back so he can get a RA and ship it back with Horizons battery remaining at home. This is the worst report of Horizon service that I’ve heard of. Maybe the tech has COVID and fever is effecting his thinking. I’ve had excellent service from them over many years.