DismayingObservation's blog View Details
Archive for March, 2008
Posted by DismayingObservation | Mar 30, 2008 @ 08:43 PM | 5,686 Views
Since I am fortunate enough to be blogging today from beautiful San Diego, California, I thought I should mention the fact that this area is absolutely nuts for radio control.

There are two R/C stores within a few blocks of one another just in Clairemont Mesa. One is Hobby People, the other is an indie. The Hobby People store happened to have the very Cirrus 9g servo I needed to get the little Align Spitfire back to 100% functionality. It'll go in the moment I get home. So will a 9x5 prop to replace the 8x6 which I think is working the Common Sense motor a bit too hard. Didn't want to wait for the backordered replacement gear set for that servo.

Next project in the queue is the minor repair and resurrection of the poor, abandoned Global Hobbies Raven 40 waiting in my garage. Last time I was at the field, someone had a similar plane with the same Thunder Tiger engine I plan on installing in the Raven.

Holy mother of fast. This is gonna be a really, really hairy and fast ride. The plane's builder and previous owner was there and attested to that fact.

I am absolutely, positively going to bring a plane down here the next time I have the opportunity to hang with my sister and brother-in-law here in Carmel Valley.

Returning to my irregularly scheduled long weekend.
Posted by DismayingObservation | Mar 28, 2008 @ 12:52 AM | 5,600 Views
Glad to start off by saying that my house is now wired for fiber optic communications. I thought DSL and cable were fast. Nothing like this. Way too cool!

Finally got to do a bit of e-flying today and one of the planes which made the trek to the field with me was the little Align Spitfire 400 I picked up in January at the AMA convention and which belly-flopped on its maiden flight that same month due to some whacked-out balancing directions which left it woefully tail-heavy.

I spent a bit of Christmas swag on the thing and here I am, three months later, actually able to enter the fact here on the blog that I flew it today. Twice. I took my time repairing it thanks to all the other R/C projects on my plate, but I'd planned to finish it up just before Easter and, by golly, I did.

It's too bad that Align saw fit to discontinue this little model less than a year after its introduction. All it needs are some adjustments to the documentation, an ounce of weight up front and some far, FAR better retracts. They should reconsider power options as well. Ran my li-pos a bit too hot for my taste, thank you.

What steams my fleckmans is the fact that a closeout was sold at that event without the vendor stating it as such. The AMA needs to come up with some rules regarding disclosure of such information, with some sort of punishment (or banishment) of vendors who don't comply. I even asked the guy about spare parts. He said he didn't carry any because his warehouse was too small. Ri-i-i-i-i-ght.

Oh, well. It's back together, it flies beautifully, it has upgraded and readily available Great Planes retracts and I don't plan on crashing it anytime soon.
Posted by DismayingObservation | Mar 20, 2008 @ 08:20 PM | 5,369 Views
...but scheduling concerns leave me grounded.

No can fly tomorrow because of them.

Verizon is coming out Saturday to wire my house for fiber optics. Big job, more than six hours.

Sunday is, of course, Easter. Family time.

So, I took advantage of the really nice day to run two tanks of fuel through the resurrected Raiden Tech Zero Fighter and three li-po packs through the Goldberg Yak-54 EP.

Either the ailerons are warped on the Zero or the wingtips have some really weird washout. They never really did align right and seem worse since the crash. It flies fine, but it needs right trim and the ailerons are, quite frankly, a bit skewed. Not badly enough to cause drag and the lateral balance is fine. Chalk it up to cheap construction. Nevertheless, it's wonderful fun.

That Yak-54 is probably the finest airplane I've ever owned. Just beyond fun. My aerobatic skills have grown exponentially in less than three months.

Happy Easter, gang!
Posted by DismayingObservation | Mar 12, 2008 @ 07:14 PM | 5,345 Views
Well, you can't say I didn't try.

It isn't possible to stuff a .65 in a space just large enough for a .46, especially when dealing with a profiler. I refer to the old Global Hobbies Raven I plan on resurrecting per my last entry.

Professional opinion also states that the individual who stuffed said new or nearly so .65 in the used Great Planes Cessna which I purchased for little bread and was designed for a .40 to .46 stuffed a bit much into said Cessna. Glad I didn't try to fly that beast!

Ah, but the low-cost project isn't over. Not by a long shot.

My friend who gave me the engine which wound up powering the VQ Model P-51 I reviewed over at RC Power has a couple of .46's in his collection. One new, one nearly so.

Oh, yes.

Going to pick up the new Thunder Tiger plus a servo from him. I'll strip the servos out of the Cessna and one nearly new servo out of my damaged combat plane and stuff them in the Raven. Or, I'll buy both engines and enough servos to get both projects airborne.

Either way, I get a fast and furious 3D-capable screaming meemie for oh so little money.

This is what makes the hobby fun.
Posted by DismayingObservation | Mar 09, 2008 @ 06:45 PM | 5,360 Views
It's almost an anti-climax to report that Project Zero 2.0 is alive and well. It's back together and went up on a test flight yesterday. It flew great, but it had a real tendency to want to roll left, requiring a lot of right aileron trim. Once trimmed, it flew like new. Engine was running lean, so I brought it in, albeit with a somewhat too-fast idle. No problem; floated in like a butterfly, but boy, were those ailerons tweaked. The culprit was the receiver battery which had come loose and was likely affecting the lateral balance. If necessary, it would be easy to add a bit of right thrust. And to think I almost wrote it off!

I had another idea...

Back in December, I was given an old 40-sized Global Hobby Raven stunt plane which our club treasurer had assembled from a kit a number of years ago. Couldn't even sell the thing for five bucks at the club swap meet and he insisted that I take it or it would wind up stomped and trashed. It's a complete airframe which needs, as I recall, only some minor work on the servo tray.

Here's my thought:

I have a nearly new O.S. LA 65 which I bought attached to a well-worn Great Planes Cessna 40. Price: Fifty bucks, including an obsolete Futaba radio. The Cessna has three Futaba servos in the fuselage; I have a fourth.

All I would need to purchase would be a prop, spinner and assorted hardware and I can put that Raven back in the air with a honking, screaming .65 up front. I even have a new DU-BRO fuel tank of the proper size.

I was saving the O.S. for a big warbird, but this might be a fun way to use it for the time being. Of course, balancing the thing is an issue, but it's nothing a bit of weight on the tail wouldn't take care of if necessary.

Definitely doing pictures.
Posted by DismayingObservation | Mar 05, 2008 @ 08:58 PM | 8,193 Views
Project Zero 2.0 is complete except for a new receiver switch. That doggone horizontal stab is, quite frankly, ugly. No way to take the entire thing off and recover it. It's glued in too well...and I don't have nor can I get covering to match...which is painted. However, the engine starts and runs fine. Besides, Zeroes are suppsed to be kind of ugly. My only concern is that the stab stays together. Looks as if it will.

The VQ Model P-51D Mustang whose article is getting lots of hits over at RC Power flamed out on takeoff the other day. I was able to bring it in OK past the runway, but one of the wire landing gear struts bent and the other rotated in the socket. No damage, but I needed to clean a lot of yellow pollen off the thing. It landed in a bush full of wildflowers! I've dusted off the pollen and wiped everything down, but I'll need to fix the gear and pull the cowl to see what's up. It had flamed out earlier when the muffler came loose in flight, so I'm thinking bad muffler gasket.

Making slow but steady progress on the Align Spitfire 400 which crashed on its maiden. The new Great Planes retracts are fitted and ready to be connected once I shorten the pushrods. I also discovered that the Cirrus rudder servo has stripped gears. Gonna have to go through Hobby People for a new set.

Need just one more part get the HPI Savage 25 back to desert-tearing status.

Ah, the fun of running but the woes of repairing!