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Archive for February, 2008
Posted by DismayingObservation | Feb 27, 2008 @ 08:16 PM | 5,796 Views
Or not.

Since my latest review is now up over at RC Power and garnering interest, I thought I'd take the subject of the review for a ride.

I think that club is cursed.

I forgot the ignitor that plugs into the power panel and I had to borrow one to start the engine. Unfortunately, its owner had to leave, in turn leaving me to try and use the half-dead ni-cad ignitor I had on hand.

Sputter...sputter...die. Repeat until battery dies for good. It just wasn't lighting up the plug enough to help it start and it was a brand new, previously unused plug to boot.

When it did run, the right landing gear kept collapsing. Wouldn't lock all the way.

Off came the wing. Several times. Finally got the pushrod working right.

Except the ignitor was totally kaput by then.

Looking on the bright side, I tried to start the engine with the power panel ignitor when I got home...zoom! Started strong, stayed running strong.

Too bad it was in my driveway at the time...
Posted by DismayingObservation | Feb 24, 2008 @ 08:10 PM | 5,750 Views
Tell you what: Had I known this was going to be so relatively simple, I probably wouldn't have bothered all of you with progress reports.

I'm pleased to say that I'm down to the nitty-gritty. Here's what's been done since my last update:

*Crud emptied frrom the inside of the wing.

*Holes in the wing patched and painted. Not quite true olive drab as it turns out (too much green in the original paint), but I'll try and match it later.

*New gears in the stripped Hitec HS-81 aileron servo.

*Ailerons realigned.

*Forward wing locator tab epoxied in place. Owner of the LHS suggested that I reattach rather than replace the tab since the epoxy would be stronger than the surrounding wood. He was right.

*Engine cleaned out as a precaution since there was sand stuck in the carb's intake. Off came the carb, in went some nitro engine spray. All was nice and clean. Reset the throttle cable as well.

*Original covering on the underside of the fuselage at the firewall epoxied in place over the trim tape I'd used to replace it in the first place. Went back on nice.

*Replaced 3x25 wing hold-down bolts (one was bent in the crash) with beefier 6/32x1 socket head bolts and #6 blind nuts. The blind nuts were a perfect fit, but I'll have to buy a 5/64 socket driver. HIGHLY recommended upgrade.

*The cowl is filled, sanded and ready for a coat of dope.

All that's left is to dope the cowl, reinstall the fuel tank, test the engine, resolder the antenna lead on the receiver (it snapped in two a couple of inches up from the receiver case) and test fly the little monster. Should be soon.

Pix on the way!

UPDATE: The fuel tank's in and the new prop is going on in a moment so that I can check the engine. Found an unforseen but minor problem: The power switch for the receiver is kaput. If I hook the battery directly to the receiver, all is well. Going through the switch gets me zilch.
Posted by DismayingObservation | Feb 22, 2008 @ 03:35 PM | 6,094 Views
Wow...more than 2200 hits to my original posting! Thanks for your interest!

In any event, things are going exceedingly well. The fuselage is, for all intents and purposes, complete. The broken horizontal stab went back on with CA, but it's a tiny bit misaligned at one of the glue joints. Overall, it's nice and level.

This will cost me practically nothing money-wise. All I had to buy were a new prop, a new spinner and a set of servo gears. I already had the adhesives on hand.

I didn't take photos of the firewall before I reattached it. Other than that, here are a few "before" photos of what I'm up against. Thankfully, it isn't much.

Besides, I feel it's my duty to save this model. It is, after all, a part of RC Power and therefore a part of this site. Gotta keep our history intact!...Continue Reading
Posted by DismayingObservation | Feb 21, 2008 @ 10:56 AM | 7,534 Views
I'd become active on these boards last spring when I thought I'd share the progress of the repairs I'd be doing to a mildly crash-damaged Raiden Tech Zero Fighter-25. The repairs were a success, but my choice of too small a receiver battery meant a loss of control and a crash which totalled it for good. I liked it so well that I bought another which subsequently became my first review for RC Power.

Sadly, this newer plane suffered much the same fate the other day due to a reversed elevator control. Entirely my fault. It's crash-damaged all right, but it came in flat and in soft desert sand.

Both Raiden Tech and Nitro Models are sold out of the Zero (could my review have anything to do with it?) and after assessing the damage to mine, I've decided to fix it and share once again the progress I hope to make.

Here's what I'm up against starting with the fuselage:

*Separation of the firewall and engine from the fuselage along with some of the surrounding balsa; it wasn't glued in well at the factory in the first place

*Clean break of the right half of the vertical stab at the empannage

*Damage to the servo tray

*The rear wing hold-down popped off as a unit with the wing itself

As far as the wing is concerned:

*Small gouges in the covering on the top side

*Stripped gears in the left aileron servo

*Entire LE is scuffed (nothing I can do about that)

*Some sand and/or pieces of the internal structure are rattling around inside

*Locator tab...Continue Reading
Posted by DismayingObservation | Feb 20, 2008 @ 01:48 AM | 5,485 Views
Good news: Some minor tweaking to the Zero's rudder eliminated the ground wobble. Most of it was due to a slightly loose control horn.

Bad news: I'd forgotten that I'd reversed the elevator control at the transmitter, so it tried to nose down instead of up on takeoff.

So, what did I do? Right! Instinct took over and I went the other way on the stick, but just a bit too far and she took off.

Frankly, I wasn't sure if I had reversed the ailerons as well as the elevator The result, however, was pretty much what you'd expect.

Second crash in four days. Three altogether in the last two weeks; four if you count the Blade CP.

Like all of you, I pride myself on my piloting skills and I rarely damage a plane. It had been more than a year since I last got a case of "dumb thumbs" and totalled a model. Believe me, there's been a lot of flying during that ensuing year.

However, like the crashes before it, this is fixable. It isn't close to being a total loss and I am not in the mood to line Raiden Tech's pockets with more of my money.

Always cheaper to fix rather than replace, I always say.

"Project Zero 2.0" is on the way.
Posted by DismayingObservation | Feb 17, 2008 @ 11:44 PM | 5,535 Views
...when nothing seems to go right. I refer to yesterday.

Brought the Raiden Tech Zero Fighter-25 to the field yesterday along with my little .25-powered combat plane. Despite the assembly problems which I had with the Zero (which are outlined in an RC Power product review), it is one sweet airplane and plenty fast to boot. Takeoffs and landings have always been a breeze. In fact, it's one of the easiest planes to land I've ever owned.

I tried swapping a pair of 2" DU-BRO rubber wheels which I had on hand in place of the stock foam wheels to see if it would handle better on the ground.


Despite removing, bending and rebending the struts (which are made of K&S 1/8" music wire), I couldn't keep the thing from either torque rolling left on takeoff, pitching forward on its nose or both. A quick check of the CG showed all was well. Still, it wouldn't handle properly no matter what I did.

I even went one better when trying to straddle the fuselage ahead of the elevator in order to set the high end: I kicked the tail nearly clean off!

My flying buddy who was helping me through all of this provided the CA and kicker.

Landings were just as bad, with the tendency to want to nose over and/or shoot off into the dirt. I chewed up the tips of the original prop and put the very first scrape on the chin of the cowl, this after more than thirty successful flights to this point.

Thought I'd try the combat plane to which I'd added...Continue Reading