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Posted by Whiskers | Dec 10, 2017 @ 09:00 PM | 5,603 Views
On Sunday morning I had the joy of getting a new friend back on to RC flight after a very long time away from the hobby.
He comes from England and is now living here on the Sunshine Coast. As a youngster he had some experience with the planes his father built and flew.
I was impressed with how well he performed after such a time away from the sticks.
The plane I chose was my EasyFly glider, now very much modified and converted to be an FPV plane. It is the plane mentioned previously in this blog as having been rebuilt after a major crash.
It did not have the FPV pod installed for this session. I'm stupid, but not that stupid.
Anyway, I took the thing up to a good height and handed over the Tx. And he flew quite OK. This is a very easy plane to fly, a thing he commented on, but it was impressive that he did so well.
There was a bit of bad management on my part when I didn't resume control early enough and I had to land about 300 metres away with a sagging battery.
This distance is problematic for my ageing eyesight but no damage resulted.
I also flew Wedgetail, also mentioned previously. It is now fitted with new PVC landing gear.
The thing is quite a handful, being way over powered, short coupled and with large control surfaces. No nice relaxing flight time with this one.
Perhaps I found it a little daunting because I have not been flying recently. When I get back some form I'll probably be wondering why I had to really concentrate so to keep it on track.
It sure has an impressive rate of climb.
No doubt it also would have an impressive rate of decent which could easily end in planetary impact, and it was this that focused my attention.
The wind came up and put an end to the proceedings. But we'll be back.
Posted by Whiskers | Nov 20, 2017 @ 05:53 PM | 6,402 Views
When I was a young child I lived on a cherry orchard in a rural area. The house was located on a sloping site and had a high front veranda. The young me spent many a happy hour seeing how far I could get my sheet balsa gliders to fly across the long slope, over the dirt road and into the orchard after being hand launched from the veranda.
I didn't know it at the time, but I was laying down a good foundation of knowledge about trimming a model plane. And Cg location and the correct proportions of the flying surfaces, building straight. All Good Stuff like that.
I now live about one and a half thousand kilometers form that little house but I recently visited it by using Google Earth,. It enabled me to measure my best flights to be approximately 70 meters.
But no young boy will be able to do as I did. The house is still there but the grassy slope and the orchard have been converted to gardens and houses and the dirt road in paved.
WW2 was raging at the time I lived there, so in the bush block next door I went on patrol with an imaginary Owen gun seeking out imaginary Japanese infantry.
That treed hill is also now covered with housing. I suppose young boys living there now fight their imaginary wars on their computers. I think I was lucky to have had it the way I did.
Posted by Whiskers | Nov 18, 2017 @ 01:58 AM | 5,958 Views
My sports aerobatic plane, Wedgetail, suffered malicious damage as it hung on the wall minding its own business.
During the restoration I gave it a massive new motor and made provision for it to carry a 2200 LiPo. Although I shortened the nose I still had to add ballast to the tail.
I flew it this morning
The wind conditions were very light but with variable direction, and the sky was bright gray.
The new motor gives abundant power. In the hand-held vertical test it's pulling strongly at 1/2 throttle.
So it had no trouble leaping off the grass and into the sky.
Alas the thing proved to be loop-happy and I didn't have enough down trim on the radio to tame it.
It only requires 1/4 throttle to fly quite fast and it has a phenomenal rate if climb when the throttle stick is moved forward.
But it was not nice to fly in this badly trimmed state so I landed it.
I started to taxi back but was not delicate enough with the throttle and the thing leaped into the air again. It certainly has power to spare.
So, seeing that it was so eager to fly I poked it around and about in a rather inelegant manner for a while and then landed. But it was not a nice landing. The up-trim got me and I stalled about a foot high.
So I'll do the necessary things to it and I'll have another go. I'm interested to see what it does on WOT.
Posted by Whiskers | Sep 30, 2017 @ 09:32 PM | 5,894 Views
When this old man, depicted below, was a young man Tiger Moths were equipped with an acoustic intercom system called a Gosport Tube which was invented way back in 1917.
And it worked quite well.
The TM I am leaning on has an electronic system and although it worked fine on the ground when the engine was on low revs I found it was not good when the engine was bellowing.
Gosh dern new fangled gadgets...
Posted by Whiskers | Sep 28, 2017 @ 06:47 PM | 6,241 Views
I have a long history with the DH Tiger Moth, it being the very first plane that carried the teenage me, many years ago, up into the magical sky. Later I worked on a hangar full of them at the Royal Victorian Aero Club. Imagine my delight, therefor, when my family bought me an hour in one of these iconic legionary masterpieces.
Think 85 year old man being as excited as a little kid and you have the slightly disturbing picture.
The day of my choice, selected for its forecast of calm breezes turned out to be the one day in a long series of sunny days to be overcast with high bright cloud.
We were greeted by the friendly people at the airfield and it was nice to inspect their very well presented 1942 vintage 'Tiggy. Hey! It's had 76 years to prove it's a good airplane. What can possibly go wrong?
I had been worried about my ability to climb into the cockpit. The designers, back in the 1930s had not catered for the likelihood of the old and infirm embarking on this.
Needless worry as it turned out. The old limbs and bones did their thing surprisingly well and I was in. Everything is very close in a TM. It's a bit like wearing the thing.
Having coaxed the engine into life we were soon aloft, The overcast day meant that the horizon was lost in the haze but that just lent another dimension to the adventure.
The one slightly disappointing aspect of the flight then became apparent. I had requested to fly the plane myself and did so for a short time, but the intercom system...Continue Reading
Posted by Whiskers | May 28, 2017 @ 09:36 PM | 7,724 Views
Very successful test flight without the FPV gear. Full FPV very soon...
017 (8 min 38 sec)

Posted by Whiskers | May 23, 2017 @ 05:32 PM | 7,624 Views
A side by side of the old and the new.
The new version is lighter and massively more powerful.
Posted by Whiskers | May 22, 2017 @ 02:02 AM | 8,302 Views
FPV3b is in fact my old FPV3 revamped and made to share the self contained FPV pod mentioned previously in this blog.
The landing gear in formed from salvaged 3mm PVC water pipe and the wheels are scratch built also.
The older version had an inverted V tail and a trike landing gear, We'll see how it goes as a tail dragger with a + tail.
Posted by Whiskers | May 06, 2017 @ 07:54 PM | 8,601 Views
It has taken me a long time to get my act into gear and finish the restoration of the crashed FPV converted Easy Glider.
But now it's back in what I hope will be an improved form.
The wing attachment will now be more convenient with automatic servo wire plugging. See: https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/show...o-Aileron-Plug
Also featured is the swappable FPV pod which will be shared with another plane currently also being rebuilt. This is not the result of a crash, but is a conversion to Version B.
Posted by Whiskers | Apr 30, 2017 @ 12:34 AM | 8,308 Views
I'm rebuilding two FPV planes and decided to make a self contained pod that can be installed on either plane with the minimum of bother.
And here it is.
The Vtx gets quite warm, it's a 600, so it is mounted in the air stream on a simple heat sink.
All the other goodies are tucked away under the deck and the 2 screws shown ahead of the antenna are used to hold the pod on either plane.
Posted by Whiskers | Mar 29, 2016 @ 03:36 AM | 10,448 Views
There I was, having a nice time in perfect conditions, flying at about the legal height and 1000 metres from launch when my plane dropped its left wing and refused to respond to my frantic stick waggling and did a vertical rolling dive into the back yard of a house in a gated estate.
The vision was crystal clear all the way down to the impact.
I got the thing back but it is not well.
Posted by Whiskers | Mar 26, 2016 @ 06:56 PM | 10,560 Views
I go FPV all the way. Takeoff, entire flight and landing all FPV. It's the task I impose on myself just for fun.
I always set up my chair in a known direction and up till now I have been relying on feeling the breeze blowing past me to work out my landing direction.
This method lacked precision so I have used a FG folding tent pole and some fluro plastic tape to make a wind indicator I can see from the air.
I tested it this morning and am very pleased with it.
Posted by Whiskers | Jan 11, 2016 @ 07:05 PM | 10,517 Views
On this perfect morning I flew a couple of late Dawn Patrol flights with my FPV3 plane (mentioned previously) and my new OSD https://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/s...t_sensor_.html
This gear works very well indeed and I particularly like the information it provides about the health and happiness of the battery.
The grass at the field is a bit long and was wet with dew in spite of the warm sun.
I took off LOS and when I pulled on the goggles I was dismayed to see 2 blobs of water on the lens really messing up the image. But I could see enough to fly so I pressed on hoping the water would soon evaporate.
The image did clear a bit, but not as much as I thought it would, and when I landed I saw why.
As well as the water drops the lens had acquired a good collection of fine grass seeds.
Removal of the seeds made the second flight much more visually pleasing and I had the fun of being suddenly gifted an extra 100 metres of altitude thanks to a strong thermal.
Having glided down to a good landing it was a happy and contented old man who departed the field and set his course for home and breakfast.
Posted by Whiskers | Dec 19, 2015 @ 07:53 PM | 11,042 Views
I lost the Bix3.
The vision went away and I couldn't find the plane in the sky and the thing vanished like it had been abducted by aliens.
I think a badly soldered connection in the head-set wiring caused the fault. It's all been checked now and made as good as I can get it.
Searching, posters and inquires were all useless so I needed another plane.
FPV3 is the result. I gave my ego a bit of a battering with this one. I have become used to having my planes fly well first go. This one was sort of OK but not as I wanted it to be.
After a lot of mucking about. particularly with the landing gear, it went pretty well except that it was a nasty tip-staller.
It sure grabs your attention when you are flying an FPV landing approach and your plane suddenly drops a wing and goes into a spin. After much thought I added cuffs to the outer leading edges of the wings and these have completely cured its nasty behavior.
This plane does not have a rudder but it does have a steerable nose-wheel. Ground handling is very good.
The ailerons are drooped as flaps for takeoff but not used this way for landing which requires a little power to do sweetly.
Posted by Whiskers | Aug 17, 2015 @ 08:04 PM | 11,341 Views
I flew with the Quanum HD DIY goggle this morning, and was astounded how much better they are relative to the first version.
As can be seen in the picture I zip tied the VRx to a loop on the goggle sleeve and also tied the long wire loom to the side of the set so plugs will not be dislodged.
The substantial LiPo that powers the screen and VRx sits in my flight bag beside my chair.
I just need to do a little foam carving on the bit of the set that contacts my nose to make it perfectly comfortable.
Also I think my camera lens could be focused better. That's the next thing I'll do.
Am I happy with 'em? You bet I am!
Posted by Whiskers | Aug 15, 2015 @ 01:03 AM | 11,189 Views
My headset consists of the HK DIY goggle box hot glued to the brim of a cap.
Also the VT/x is attached to the top of the brim with Velcro. And so far it's worked fine. Until this morning.
To have the goggle box part company with the cap is disconcerting to say the least. Suddenly I was forced to fly with my right hand and hold the goggles to my face with my left hand. One of the good things about being seated when flying FPV is that the T/x can rest on your lap. I shut the throttle with my right hand and then got it back on the stick to do a dead stick landing. No big deal. That went OK although a bit long.
Anyway, it's now glued and screwed so it should stay on but that may not matter much because tomorrow I get my V2 goggles.
Woo Hoo!
The Bix3 flew well after its repairs, so that's all good.
I read that it's a good idea to put some matte black paint on the white nose of a plane if the camera can see it. That makes sense to me as I don't want the camera to be factoring that blob of white into its exposure calculations.
So the Bix3 now has some black on its nose.
Posted by Whiskers | Aug 11, 2015 @ 01:44 AM | 11,414 Views
I flew some more FPV this morning.
The conditions were perfect and the first flight was a delight.
However when I was out and about on the second pack the vision on the screen went totally black and then came back. Then it started flashing black and picture, about 1 second of vision and 3 seconds of black.
Grabbing what information I could I made my way back to where I thought I would be able to see the plane and land it LOS.
But I couldn't find the white plane in the bright sky (very bright when you take off the headset) so I resumed using the flashes of vision to come in to the field. During one of the blackouts I heard the plane arrive with a THUMP.
The damage was not too bad and everything is repaired now. It could have been a lot worse.
But what caused the problem?
Answer: The battery that powers the screen and the video receiver had gone flat. Doh!
I had used battery that was not fully charged to power the headset. I figured that it would be OK as I was only intending to fly 2 packs.
I won't be making that mistake again. That's for sure.
Posted by Whiskers | Aug 09, 2015 @ 10:28 PM | 11,145 Views
As I fly over my chosen field I have often eyed off the Hockey fields on the Eastern side.
It would be cool, I thought, to land over there and then takeoff again and resume my flight.
Yesterday I made a couple of approaches and powered up again when quite low. This morning I decided to actually land on the one furthest away.
All went well until the Bix3 was on the ground and then the vision went to grey garbage.
I tried to do some blind taxi turns to see if the vision would return, but no such luck.
Off I went with the T/x and headset and I was way over in the first Hockey field before the vision became clear.I made the plane taxi to me the final 50 meters.
I guess there were too many wire mesh fences sucking up the 5.4 Ghz signal. The downward facing VT/x could also be a factor.
Anyway, no harm done and a lesson has been learned.
Posted by Whiskers | Aug 04, 2015 @ 01:52 AM | 12,210 Views
This is a good little thing and handy to have in the field pack.

12 volt glue gun (2 min 42 sec)

Posted by Whiskers | Aug 01, 2015 @ 08:07 PM | 11,950 Views
A plane with FPV gear, a chair and a sunny morning with zero breeze.
What more could a man want?