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Archive for April, 2019
Posted by DismayingObservation | Apr 29, 2019 @ 06:41 PM | 15,051 Views
Normally, blogging about the assembly of a foam model would be something I probably wouldn't do. In the case of my new/old FlyFly Beechcraft Duke originally from RC Aerodyne, it's interesting to see how far such models have come in the last few years.

It's an interesting mix of nice molding, not so nice wooden parts and just plain bad instructions. The paint job is nowhere near the quality of a Horizon or Multiplex product, let alone the nice paint jobs which have been appearing on HobbyKing offerings. Let's just say it's stand-off scale. Way off.

In fairness, RC Aerodyne had the ARF versions with retracts done at the factory and the manual didn't reflect that. Even so, it didn't show such important details as the orientation of the motor firewalls. Found a photo on an old Duke build log right here on RCG and sho'nuff, I did it right! I checked using the surviving cowl from the wreck and the prop shafts lined up perfectly.

Since the photo below was taken showing the completed fuselage and partially complete wing halves, the wing has been joined and it's nearly complete. I have some E-flite 50-amp ESCs on backorder. Those should be here in a couple of weeks as will my new Callie Graphics decal set!

This model is being assembled with far greater care than the review unit and it will feature such niceties as magnetically attached nacelle tops. The kit came with eight disc magnets which are perfect fits in the dimples between the tops and bottoms. I hadn't noticed them until just yesterday! The rear of the tops are held by the magnets and the fronts are held by the firewalls and cowls. The cowls look as if they can be attached magnetically as well, so I'll play with that. Worst case would be having to attach them with a bit of foam glue.

I have a pair of nav lights from an FMS warbird, but they glow steadily and don't flash like those on a civilian aircraft might. I'll get some E-flite LEDs so that I can plug them into the E-flite controller I bought.
Posted by DismayingObservation | Apr 22, 2019 @ 05:57 PM | 14,771 Views
The instruction manual for these models is, at best, a guideline. Lots of out-of-the-box thinking is a must when assembling one.

So, I took it upon myself to wire together the tail before attaching the forward halves of the fuselage. Since taking this picture, I've completed the entire fuselage save for a few minor details. I changed out the ez-connector on the rudder left over from the wrecked Duke to a new/old Great Planes part. Much better setup which does a superb job of holding the pushrod in place. It was slipping through the original no matter how tight I cinched down the setscrew.

The really alarming thing was the poor quality adhesive used by the factory. I'm surprised the thing didn't self-destruct in midair!

This is no longer a problem.

Fresh thirty-minute epoxy is the main adhesive of choice and it's all going together nicely. Lots more to tell soon!
Posted by DismayingObservation | Apr 11, 2019 @ 05:51 PM | 21,959 Views
...all is not lost.

The model in question is the FlyFly Hobby Beechcraft Duke B60 once sold by the great folks at RC Aerodyne in Kent, Washington. The original review is here.

The first flight that day was on the same old 2DogRC.com packs from the original review. The second was on two newer packs, but which I knew were in questionable condition. Turns out I should have listened to that little voice in my head because one of the batteries cut out early turning from base to final and caused this wonderful model to spiral in. Ker-splat. So close, yet so far.

Here's the good news.

RC Aerodyne mistakenly sent a kit version without the electronics. The model in the review is the PNP version which was forwarded as a replacement. Shipping the first kit back would have cost a fortune; RC Aerodyne let me keep it! Since then, it's been in the box in case the unimaginable were to happen. Turns out it did.

Since the review was published, no one seems to carry the model anymore, let alone replacement parts.

Rather than fly a glue bomb, I made the decision to strip the electronics from the crashed model for use in the new one. FlyFly did, quite honestly, a horrible job of opening up the holes at the tail for the twin elevator servos and single rudder servo. Good thing the openings were hidden since they looked as if they'd been done with a dull butter knife.

Except for a couple of decals I stole from the kit's decal sheet, it's a complete kit which includes a bunch of extra hardware, almost none of which are for the model.

That decal sheet is going to be mailed to the one and only Callie Soden of Callie Graphics and some spare LED nav lights are going in the wingtips. The ridiculous multicolored LED serving as a tail beacon will be replaced by a proper unit.

I have one chance to get this one right, so wish me luck!
Posted by DismayingObservation | Apr 05, 2019 @ 06:59 PM | 23,387 Views
I mentioned in my last blog that I was the proud new owner of two old ParkZone airplanes, a P-51 and a first-generation Cub.

Since then, I had to give back the models.

Until recently.

A communication breakdown led me return them to the fellow who sold them to me who in turn returned them to the local hobby shop. That is, until I got a call last week.

The hobby shop and the original owner (I think) didn't want them! So, they were given back to me. El freebo!

The photo below shows the P-51 after its first flight while in my possession. I didn't fly the models when I had them the first time. Honestly, I don't know why Horizon discontinued this model. Sure, it'd be yet another P-51D if they did, but this model with landing gear, optional retracts and in receiver-ready trim would be a blast. This is one fast little bird on a simple 1300mAh 3S li-po! It handles and flies very well, despite a 27MHz FM radio. Yessiree, here is a prime example of the transition from PPM to spread spectrum and it works beautifully.

I may or may not switch over to, say, a Taranis, but the model is such a nice, original, low-time example that I'm really loath to do so.

Next up will be the Cub. Total flashback for me; my second ever R/C plane was one of these. I'll have to run it off of a 2S li-po. Carefully.