Posted by [email protected] | Jan 26, 2014 @ 10:03 PM | 8,865 Views
A venerable WWII era fighter/attack aircraft which served in many airforces and most theatres in the conflict.

The model itself is a challenge. The bare airframe is good, but almost every other sub-system from the spinner to the tailwheel retract has required some work/adjustment/modification. I might just be overly picky too.

Due to the historical importance (and the fact I spent good money for it) I have persisted with getting it airworthy and maiden'd.

The paint finish is still a work-in-progress, with the 2nd and 3rd test flights sporting a very rough representative paint job for the sake of weight and balance. The airframe is now being stripped back and finished properly, having proved it can fly OK.
Update Final finishing done and Callie's Graphics applied. She's come up looking OK

More pics to come as the work progresses.

Update Am experimenting with sound. Haven't got it right yet, but that's what experimenting is for!
Dan's RC P 40 Sound Card Test (0 min 52 sec)



Build and early flights vid:

Dan's P 40: Early days (4 min 8 sec)
...Continue Reading
Posted by [email protected] | Oct 14, 2013 @ 04:36 AM | 8,951 Views
Just an easy bind-n-fly model and my first water plane. Since I live only a few minutes from some beautiful beaches, it has turned out to be a great purchase.

It took an easy afternoon to have it ready for floating and flying.

The maiden was simple, even though it was my first off water. She weathercocks very easily into wind - calm conditions for beginners! The model is also known for a wicked tail wag, most noticeable just after throttling down and descending. Even so, it's a great little model and I'm having a ball with it.

I mounted a Hobby King Wingcam II to capture a dawn flight ...

Dan's RC Icon A5 20131012 (4 min 25 sec)

Posted by [email protected] | Jul 20, 2013 @ 06:28 PM | 8,638 Views
Not a complete collection as it is missing the Gloster Meteor, F-111 and Super Hornet/Growler. We're supposed to be getting F-35's sometime in the future, but I'll wait and see.

The Durafly DH Vampire has a HET 6904/4s setup and is one of my favourites.

The FlyFly Sabre contains a Stumax 90-45 on 8s and is hand-finished in the 76SQN Panther airshow scheme.

2OCU's Mirage IIIO dual-seat is represented by a Hobby Topgun Mirage 2000 model custom finished to more closely approximate the subject. Totes a custom 6s power setup from Extreme RC comprising a Jetfan 90 rotor and ERC alloy shroud.

The RAAF leased some F4 Phantoms from the US for a time. We liked them a lot

Until the RAAF receives its F-35 fighters, the venerable F/A-18A continues to be our frontline fighter. The 'classic' Hornet has been upgraded to maintain it's technological edge, but the airframe is starting to get old. My model is a Starmax F-18C model, has a Wemotec Midifan, ARC3675-1 motor and gets along very smartly on 6s. The model is hand-finished in an airshow scheme that celebrated the 20th anniversary of Hornet service in the RAAF.
Posted by [email protected] | Jul 20, 2013 @ 05:46 PM | 9,034 Views
Since I have been slowly collecting the jet fighters operated by the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), the Mirage was an inevitable addition.

In 2012, Extreme RC offered a limited run of Mirages as factory painted kits with decals for the RAAF No.2 Operational Conversion Unit (2OCU).

While the RAAF actually operated Mirage III O airframes not the Mirage 2000, Mark and Ricky adjusted the fin shape to more closely match the III O. I've never been a complete 'scale nazi', a close approximation is good enough for me. Thanks for the effort guys.

I did have to spend some time on the tail cone though - it was just too different.
By cutting out some thin segments, I was able to squeeze the exit diameter down to a better FSA number for my fan (ERC Jetfan rotor/ERC alloy shroud). Once I had the conic section I wanted, I shaped it significantly with my trusty Dremel - luckily there's plenty of foam to play with. Result isn't perfect, just good enough.

My O.C.D. also kicked in leading me to negate the factory's effort in pre-painting the airframe. I used lightweight spackle to fill the foam pits and profile, sanded and sealed with WBPU. This created a smooth, tough skin for painting over.

Also decided to make my first experiment with rivets and weathering. After the main camo colours were applied and dry, I sharpened a brass tube and poked/impressed the surface along the panel lines (adding a couple of lines just for fun). Weathering consisted of airbrushing a dirty/...Continue Reading
Posted by [email protected] | Apr 08, 2012 @ 11:49 PM | 9,985 Views
Bought this one on a whim about a year ago - gotta have a novelty plane in the hangar

The stock setup was very weak and the recommended CG was too far aft, which lead to an exciting maiden flight. I was not impressed, so this one went to the back of the line while I worked on my more 'serious' models.

Some months later, I moved the battery forward a bit to see if that made some difference to the flight characteristics. It flew a little better, but the stock fan detonated. Again, she went to the back of the line.

Recently I tore out the fan/motor and ESC, replacing them with a HET 6904/3W combo with an Extreme RC 80A ESC (typo in the video credits states 60A). This setup pushes my P3 F-16 pretty well on a 4s 30C 2200mAh LiPo.

Due to the potential for higher speeds from this setup, I also re-inforced the tail feathers and changed the long elevator push rods off a single servo to dual MG servos close to the cleavises.

I estimated the CG by eye based on one-third MAC, and added some lead in the nose to realise this revised CG.

What was once a complete embarrassment at the field is now a much better flying embarrassment I'll let the video speak for itself ...

Dans RC Shark Plane (2 min 58 sec)

Posted by [email protected] | Mar 17, 2012 @ 03:11 PM | 10,196 Views
Since I already have a Mustang, a Sabre, a Phantom and an F-18 it was a pretty simple decision to purchase this Vampire from Hobby King - just to add to my collection of RAAF operated aircraft.

I purchased the kit version and added my own power and electrics:
- HET 6904 fan with 2W motor,
- 60A ESC
- 4S 3200mAh LiPo
- metal gear servos

I did not add any undercarriage, opting for the simplicity of hand launch and belly landing.

The skinny twin tail booms were screaming out for some reinforcement, so I inserted carbon strip along their length and into the wing mount.

There are no spars in the wing either, so more CF strip went in there. Flexibility may be a key element of Airpower, but I don't like a lot of it in my airframe

Otherwise, the kit went together very easily.

I'll make a bold statement and say that the CG recommended in the manual is asking for trouble. It is too far aft, and apart from making life difficult for pitch control, it also creates a nasty pitch couple with power changes. The maiden flight was 'hairy' and I ran out of forward trim just to keep it level at ~30% throttle. I thought there may have been an inherent problem with wing and/or tail incidence, cheater hole dynamics and CG.

CG was the easiest thing to adjust and test. Moved the LiPo forward to achieve a CG 10mm forward of that recommended - and she flies like a champion!! No more dramatic pitching, and I don't have any significant attitude changes coupled with power modulation.

It is a floater and glides forever. You will need a long, shallow, approach to get her back on the deck. She has a very low stall speed, but will eventually drop a wing - not violently, more of a mush.

She's a good looking plane right out of the box, easy to build and a fantastic little flyer once she's dialled-in.

My favourite of the moment


Edit: New video

Dans HK Vampire 8 Apr 12 (4 min 32 sec)

Posted by [email protected] | Jan 06, 2012 @ 03:44 AM | 9,558 Views
I like to personalise my foamy jets with custom paint jobs. This means that the decals that come with the kit are often inappropriate for the new subject, hence I make my own. Here's how ...


Posted by [email protected] | Nov 24, 2011 @ 05:40 AM | 30,877 Views
How I Fibreglass A Foam Model

This is how I fibreglass a foamy, there are many other ways, but this one is mine (to paraphrase Full Metal Jacket).

Why fibreglass?

First, why would I bother fibreglassing? As you will see, there’s a little extra effort so I need a good reason. Fibreglassing adds weight too, something you don’t want unless necessary.

The fibreglass provides a firmly adhered skin which will transfer localised bending loads on the airframe to a much wider surface area – minimizing the likelihood of local failures, breaking or bending. So, on a model (or specific areas on a model) which I think might need some extra strength, it’ll get the treatment.

A hard skin will also help reduce dings from minor blunt impacts and if/when you crash, the pieces are bigger with cleaner breaks – making it easier to glue back together.

What you’ll need …

Get yourself to a Bunnings hardware store and buy some 400 grit aluminium oxide sandpaper, a litre of Cabots CFP water-based polyurethane (wbpu), a one inch paintbrush and optionally, some really light spackle/filler of your choice.

Then source some 25 gram (3/4 oz) glass cloth, sometimes called silk, from a fibreglass supplies outlet. Instead of ready-made filler, you can make your own using a mud made from glass microballons mixed with wbpu. These microballoons are sold under the name of “Q Cells” here in Australia – lighter and much less absorbent than talc, yet are hard as hell. Makes for a really tough finish,...Continue Reading
Posted by [email protected] | Nov 05, 2011 @ 12:17 AM | 9,864 Views
It takes a bit of work to make foamies look like this!

Sabre: Fly Fly kit with Stumax 90-45 driven by a HET 700 running on a 100A ESC and 8s 4200mAh. Has had two flights, so still making some adjustments.

Hornet: Starmax F-18 with Wemotec Midifan driven by an ARC 3675 running on an 80A ESC and 6s 5000mAh. Fast!!
Posted by [email protected] | Oct 27, 2011 @ 05:36 AM | 9,952 Views
My latest project.

Picture and a video build summary ...

Dans RC Sabre Build Summary video (2 min 8 sec)


After a workshop 'incident' which involved some carelessness with a Dremel tool - thereby rendering my electric nose gear retracts useless - the Sabre is now a hand launch airframe. And she's happy without the extra weight too!

Sabre 20120101 (1 min 29 sec)

Posted by [email protected] | Jan 08, 2011 @ 06:34 PM | 11,546 Views
I acquired a Stumax 90mm fan to put in a composite JTM T-45 'Goshawk'.

However, I also got a second Starmax foamy F-16 to replace the one I trashed.

The Stumax was calling to me in my sleep, but the T-45 is gonna be a longer build, so I did a 'quickie' build on the foamy and the Stumax has flown!

Here's the vid ...

Dans RC F-16 90mm Stumax Fly Bys lo-res Short.wmv (1 min 50 sec)
Posted by [email protected] | Sep 02, 2010 @ 01:53 AM | 14,418 Views
Who doesn't like a big F-16?

I just had to have one - and it had to be fast. So I purchased a kit-only and fitted it some good gear from Extreme RC:

Wemotec Midifan with thrust tube
ARC 3675-1 motor
100A ESC
2x 4s 30C 5000mAh Lips for an 8s setup

There was much discussion about the air intake on this model, and whether the fan would get enough air to make some decent speed - even with the cheater holes. Some people went to extraordinary lengths with hot wire to expand the intake duct and/or the cheater holes. Being a lazy builder I figured if it didn't go fast enough without modification, I could expand the airway later.

One of the great features of this kit was the extensive ply supporting structure for the retracts. With a little shaving, the Springair 602's fitted in nicely. (The stock retracts need a severe re-design IMHO, and shouldn't be used on this nice jet). I mated a set of Jet Teng trailing-link struts to the 602 retracts to create a very robust undercarriage that will handle my rough grass field.

The build was fairly straightforward, with the only fiddly bits being the making of a ply battery tray for those two huge 4s LiPos and making room for the retract air tank/valve/servo setup. I also added some reinforcing to the elevator pylons thanks to Extreme RC's custom kit.

Some of the control surface hinges can be 'fragile'. Another builder replaced the stock leading edge flap hinges with CA hinges - just to be sure. I had one pull out, but I just...Continue Reading
Posted by [email protected] | Feb 13, 2010 @ 06:08 AM | 14,132 Views
In a previous life I had the privilege to have two flights in the back seat of a dual-seat F/A-18. Unforgettable experiences both.

So when this model came along, I had to get two (just in case J)

The model was originally powered by the first version of the RC Lander 90mm alloy fan combo with a 1600kv motor. I added an 80A ESC and powered it with a 6s 25c 4000mAh lipo. A hi-voltage UBEC was wired in to provide power to the receiver and eight servos.

The mechanical retracts used three servos and were a bit of a pain to get trimmed right. Ended up using a JR Multi-Box to get it right. Unfortunately, the struts were also sloppy which was a big problem for the nose-wheel steering. In the end it was all wasted effort as the soft alloy struts bent and tore out during the first takeoff roll on my grass strip. So the gear was removed and the model was hand-launched for a while.

The other main issue was CG placement. In my opinion, the manufacturer’s recommended location was too far aft causing a rather exciting maiden flight. Moving the battery forward required the removal of some foam and the installation of a light ply battery box, which also provided some structural reinforcement across the fore/aft fuselage barrel join. (Funny, the fuselage barrels on the real ones have some issues too).

She was also fitted with an Eagletree Seagull telemetry system with GPS for real-time monitoring of airspeed, altitude, mAh used, etc. At approx 75% throttle she nudged 100mph and at...Continue Reading
Posted by [email protected] | Feb 13, 2010 @ 02:48 AM | 12,657 Views
I seem to have a thing for these big 90mm semi-scale EDFs

Ever since I saw a real one on static display at the Royal Australian Air Force museum at Point Cook, I've thought they were an awesome example of a warplane. Like an armoured warhorse with a personality of its own - a partner with the crew. I also enjoyed the book 'The Warbirds' by Richard Herman where the F-4 was the platform in the story.

While the RAAF only leased the Phantom from the USA for two years (while awaiting the delivery of the F-111), it is still fondly remembered by the pilots of the day. Hence I did my best to give it an Aussie colour scheme.

The model is pushed along by a single 90mm Wemotec Midifan EDF mated to a HYK 3660 motor. Power is supplied via an 80A ESC by a 6s 25c 4000mAh lipo.

Easy to build and a joy to fly, it's original configuration was elevons which I have since changed to ailerons and elevators. This model is EASY to hand-launch properly, but is also VERY forgiving to a bad launch too - as seen in this video ...

Dans RC Fly Fly F4 Phantom 90mm EDF Maiden (1 min 18 sec)

Latest vid. She still goes great!!

Dans RC Phantom Rave (again) (1 min 15 sec)

A highly recommended model when mated to a good quality powertrain.
Posted by [email protected] | Feb 13, 2010 @ 01:24 AM | 14,894 Views
My second EDF, and quite a step-up from the (P3) F-16.

Twin Wemotec 90mm Midifans, HYK 3660 motors, 80A ESCs, hi-voltage UBEC and two 6s 25c 4000mAh lipos. A rather hefty investment, but felt I was up to the challenge

Installed heavy duty servos for the tailerons, light ply reinforcing to the tail area and spine. Planned to be a hand-launcher, I also added light ply skid pads to the bottom of the intakes as well as some vertical support in the event of a 'belly flop'.

Fully fibreglassed using the water-based polyurethane (WBPU) method, then repainted in original kit colours. A very impressive looking model.

I can tell you that hand-launching a little F-16 is not the same as a 10lb MiG-29. I've had some mishaps (repaired) and tried a number of gear options (even a dolly). The stock gear is very soft, and I fly off a rough grass field.

Have finally settled on Spring Air 602 retracts which are working well.

A really good looking aircraft that sounds great with the twin fans. Being a bit heavier than most foamies, it's 'on rails' the entire flight.

Some vids ...

RC MiG-29 90mm EDF 3rd Flight short (1 min 31 sec)

Dans RC MiG29 with Launch Dolly 2 (1 min 30 sec)
...Continue Reading
Posted by [email protected] | Feb 13, 2010 @ 12:54 AM | 12,848 Views
I bought this little jet off Ebay a few years ago. Must have come pretty much directly from the factory as it lacked anything in the way of known brand names, build instructions or even much hardware.

Turns out it's the same airframe as the Phase 3 model, but without any stickers, etc.

The fan and motor that came with it were also unknown quantities. Oh well, I got it at the right price! I added a 30A ESC, 3s lipo and a cheapo receiver in it, gave her a lick of paint, crossed my fingers and threw it in the air. Surprisingly it flew OK, although nothing startling going up - definitely an example of energy management.

It now has an upgraded powertrain consisting of a HET fan and 3W motor from ExtremeRC - it goes VERY well now !!!

Edit: A recent video (2011)

Dans RC 70mm F-16 8 Jan 2011.wmv (1 min 2 sec)


Posted by [email protected] | Feb 13, 2010 @ 12:29 AM | 11,855 Views
As at Feb 2010 ...