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Archive for June, 2019
Posted by DismayingObservation | Jun 24, 2019 @ 06:03 PM | 19,542 Views
After a whole lot of assembly, detailing and waiting for the new ESCs, the new/old FlyFly Duke B60 lives!

Like the original, it took nearly a half a pound of lead up in the nose to balance it out. The factory recommendation would have made for a horribly tail heavy model. Not surprising; that was one of the worst manuals I've ever encountered and I mentioned that in the review of the original model. For the record, it balances just fine a few millimeters in front of the wing spar.

To recap, the one you see in the photos was the original review kit less the electronics and the prototypical pull-pull retractable nose wheel. An ESC failure wadded in that original, so out came this version after languishing for five years.

What the photo also shows is the very first decal set for this model by the one and only Callie Graphics. I sent the original sheet to Callie Soden and she was able to create a color-corrected custom set which included separate drop shadows for the tail number and a far more accurate Colombian flag on the vertical stab.

The new ESCs are fresh new E-Flite 50-amp units with the BEC disabled on one of them. On the original, both BECs were active on a single channel which may have led to the failure of one of them at the PC board. Propellers are from Master Airscrew and the remainder of the electronics are off of the original model. I'd stolen the main retracts some time ago for another model, but there wasn't anything wrong with the ones...Continue Reading
Posted by DismayingObservation | Jun 12, 2019 @ 06:10 PM | 14,387 Views
Wouldn't you know it.

After ordering a new thrust washer, I found the old one! No matter. I now have a spare!

I remember how much fun this little model used to be back in the day. Faster than heck yet wonderfully controllable. It tracks straight on takeoff and is as easy to land as a trainer. I never bothered setting the high rates - something I'll do soon - but even on low rates, this Great Planes Spitfire 25 sport/combat plane was every bit as much fun to fly as I remember.

It blew a lot of rust colored oil out of the muffler of the O.S. .25 Max when I started it at the field, but that quickly stopped. After its first start-up in several years a weekend or two ago, the crank bearings sounded noisy, but they're fine now. The bearings were, in my opinion, almost certainly the source of that small amount of rust.

Once airborne, the Spitfire sounded a bit too rich in flight, but no matter. Blasting laps around the pattern was simply, well, a blast! I only flew one flight this morning; it was a kind of "shakedown" to see how it would do. I was also down to about a pint of fuel with two more models waiting for completion and flight testing.

Sadly, the canopy managed to get broken! There are lots of parts still available for this discontinued model and a canopy is among them. On its way next week. Maybe I can track down a small pilot bust by then.
Posted by DismayingObservation | Jun 10, 2019 @ 06:10 PM | 14,468 Views
Back in 2010, I was lucky enough to review this model on behalf of RCG. Great model which, unfortunately, met an untimely demise shortly after this review was published.

Fast forward to mid-2019 for a partial return of this model to operating status, namely the engine, power switch and spinner.

The engine I got with this castoff sport plane was too large; I blogged about it not long ago and I posted its photo from that blog below.

What did it take to get this model back on the cusp of flying once more?

-The O.S. Max AX 46, glow plug and muffler from the P-40. No cost.
-A new/old Great Planes adjustable motor mount which I already had on hand. No cost.
-The newly repaired heavy duty power switch from the P-40; it had some torn wires at the receiver plug. No cost.
-The Great Planes spinner from the P-40. No cost.
-A new/old 11x6 Master Airscrew propeller given to me along with the model. No cost. Even the factory safety warning sticker was intact.
-Fuel tubing. Mere pennies.
-Mounting hardware. $2.89 from Ace Hardware.

The Thunder Tiger fuel tank which came with the model was in fine shape and only needed a new klunk line.

A new slanted fuel tank is waiting at the hobby shop for installation into the Rat Clanger. That'll make it model number five returned to operational status for very little money and only a bit of time. Flight report and updated photos to follow; I'm told it's a big, lazy and fun flyer with its 6' wingspan. We'll soon see!

My next project might be a long dormant, kit-built Great Planes Ultimate biplane, given to me with minor crash damage and originally set up as an electric. No telling which end was up; the wings have the same pattern top and bottom! I repaired the damaged landing gear a few years back, I have the parts to finish the build, so why not? A good, used K&B Screaming 48 purchased from a friend might go onto that firewall. Haven't flown that engine yet!
Posted by DismayingObservation | Jun 07, 2019 @ 05:45 PM | 14,525 Views
Some real props are due to my dear friend Jeff out in northern Georgia.

Jeff is not a hobbyist, but he enjoys the work and the blogs I do here and elsewhere and he coined an interesting new synonym for an R/C model plane.

"Clanger." After all, do model planes not crash - or clang - on occasion?

Therefore, it's my pleasure to update my blog with a progress report on the newly christened Rat Clanger.

The engine was a wee bit gummy, although some WD-40 and a bit of exercise with an electric starter loosened it up. The glow plug was good, compression nice and high and the carburetor worked freely.

The engine is an O.S. Max 28F two-stroke from the 1980s. Most of the patina is likely from sitting rather than use and it looks perfect on this model. I've had it for about four years and heaven only knows when it had last run. Today would be the day that I would connect the fuel tank and throttle rod from my test stand, set the carb and give 'er a go.

That little O.S. fired up with a small blip of the starter and idled beautifully! It even ran up to full throttle perfectly. Here was an engine which was at least thirty years old returning to life as if nothing had happened. That's a real testament to the quality of O.S. engines and now I feel confident to proceed!
Posted by DismayingObservation | Jun 06, 2019 @ 06:21 PM | 14,435 Views
While doing the wiring this morning on the FlyFly Duke B60 with its Callie Graphics decals, I couldn't resist sending a beauty shot to a friend.

The factory decals and paint are anything but prototypically correct for the full-scale HK-4628-G, but Callie Soden did her usual magnificent job based on the original decal sheet which I forwarded and color correction based on photos of the real thing. The tail number is a bit large (same as with the factory decals), but again, Callie came through not only with a font closer to the original, she made separate drop shadows as well. Instead of the vague, three-color Colombian flag on the original decal sheet, Callie came through with a perfect representation including the device in the center of the flag. Just beautiful!

The new E-flite ESCs are waiting at the hobby shop and some red and green LEDs for the nav lights are on their way. More and better pictures to come when it's finished.
Posted by DismayingObservation | Jun 03, 2019 @ 06:03 PM | 16,668 Views
Reviewed ten years ago.

A faithful, fun model afterwards despite a hard landing.

And...it's back!

My Wings Maker Wingman II, reviewed here in 2009 and again in 2011 as a test bed for a new GWS servo has been sitting for far too long.

It's now back. The fuselage and wing were replaced after a hard landing (the parts were too cheap to justify fixing the old ones), it was flown a few times after that and was relegated to a garage shelf.

I'd swapped in a Thunder Tiger .40 at some point, but it needed work, not to mention parts. The needle valve had an o-ring reduced to goo and the retaining ratchet broke. In went the original Thunder Tiger once I freed up the crank and carb.

Except for a new prop for safety's sake, a new fuel tank, new lines and guidance now provided by a Hitec Flash 8 radio, it's the same as when I parked it. I also have to thank a member of the club for giving me a new glow plug! I flooded the engine while filling it and I lost the gasket when I went to empty it with the starter. Darn thing went flying off, never to be seen again. I thought it had come off with the plug which was already in the engine.

The opaque black plastic canopy had long ago warped in the sun and was replaced by an off-the-shelf clear canopy. That meant I had to install a pilot bust. I don't like ghost ships. An Ace R/C Cap'n Eddy from a crashed Thunder Tiger park flyer was not only a perfect fit, he just seemed right in a model powered by a Thunder Tiger...Continue Reading