TomM's blog View Details
Posted by TomM | Nov 15, 2017 @ 10:35 PM | 2,547 Views
I've been flying three different flight stabilizers in three identical planes. I'm liking the Graupner the best.
Posted by TomM | Oct 24, 2017 @ 03:06 PM | 3,086 Views
I know... I just needed a place to park some pictures.
Posted by TomM | Mar 27, 2017 @ 08:56 PM | 5,018 Views
I ALWAYS wanted one of these. A Craigslist search resulted in a 6 hour round trip and I came back with a prize.
I'm not sure how old it is, but Coverite sold the kit between 1977 and early 80's. So I calling it a vintage plane..... my "barn find" !!

The seller said he bought it already built years ago and never flew it. The original builder/owner must have flew a few times then hung it from the ceiling for decades. No evidence of bad landings and rebuilds. He did a top notch build- with Ambroid, great covering job and quality workmanship, a bit heavy by today's standards, but age took it's toll with rusty linkage and fuel soaked front. This is going to be a fun rebuild! I want to convert to a G32 and 4S 4000 pack, and leave it looking as original as I can. The picture of the whole plane is as I bought it.

Here's what was done today:
Removed center-servo wing linkage and bellcranks in preparation for two micro metal gear servos.
Cut battery access in bottom, and remove fuel tank and fuel soaked foam.
Repair the cowl cracks- removed paint and put a couple layers of glass cloth on the cowl inside.

I need to clean up the inside, make servo mounts and new carbon rod linkage, and carve some wheel spats and pants out of foam and glass and paint them.
Posted by TomM | Mar 06, 2016 @ 11:27 PM | 5,852 Views
It started when I had 7 days off to recoup from surgery. Doc said stay home and don't lift anything, so I figured not much weighs less than balsa, I needed a new profile plane, and I already had the plans tucked away. After that week was over, I couldn't stop. Four profile planes in 4 weeks. Three Stix41's and one Mojo25. I made a $100 purchase on balsa sheets and planks, cut all the sticks on the table saw, laser cut the ribs ( had a small laser fire too !), and traced mylar templates to scroll saw all the thicker pieces. I scroll-sawed the control horns from some scrap carbon fiber sheet, and cut and bent aluminum and wire landing gear.
Midway through the builds, I converted from pin building to a magnetic building board. I won't be going back to pins.
All planes are 3 cell 2200 to 2600, motors are Sunnysky, Suppo, and Leopard all between 360 and 550 watts....Continue Reading
Posted by TomM | Sep 29, 2015 @ 10:34 PM | 6,201 Views
Maybe I can retire a few years early...
Posted by TomM | Sep 14, 2015 @ 11:27 PM | 6,741 Views
Couldn't build any planes this past summer because I was building this for the last 100 days. All done and ready for the fall fun-flys....Continue Reading
Posted by TomM | Nov 28, 2014 @ 11:43 AM | 6,733 Views
My perfect 4 day weekend.
Posted by TomM | Nov 15, 2014 @ 09:30 PM | 7,872 Views
I started my winter build, but judging from a few days progress, I think I'll be done long before the snow is gone. After lots of forum reading and seeing other build threads, I put the balsa bones on a diet. Seems this plane is a porker at the box advertised weight of 16 to 18 pounds and some are even flying at 20 pounds. Hopefully I can get mine in the 13 pound range. Places I could substitute hard balsa for lite-ply I did for 50% less weight, and hand picking lighter balsa instead of the heavier kit pieces will all add up...or subtract up. Making the fuse sides from hard balsa and tossing the lite ply, and making cross-grain balsa ply for the tail area instead of lite ply is saving ounces.

I'll be starting the wing this week and I think I can cut 15% to 20% off the weight. The huge carved balsa block wingtips will go and I'll do built-up tips, the one pound wing joiner tube will go and I'll get a carbon fiber one, and then hand pick some lighter wood where stress will allow.

Plans are DLE30 power, smoke system semi-detailed interior, and undecided between Solartex or Ultracote......Continue Reading
Posted by TomM | Sep 17, 2014 @ 08:33 PM | 7,290 Views
Seven days ( a couple hours per day) from first glue to a covered plane. This was a short kit of only the ribs and curved nose and tail pieces, so all the sticks and sheets came out of my wood supply. This is my 4th profile plane and I'll probably build a couple more this winter... they are too much fun. It's sized the same as my Mojo 40 but it has a longer fuse and slightly thinner wing. I did the bottom surface in 1.2mil doculam to keep the weight down. The completed covered airframe weighs 25 oz. Judging from my COG estimates, it's either going to take some huge batteries up front, or I have to bump the motor mount forward to achieve balance- and that's with all servos inside the wing. We'll see. I added some carbon fiber tow to the wing spars and tail for extra dirt contact strength. I planned to add some fancy trim, but the "big plain white foamie" look is oddly appealing right now.
Posted by TomM | Apr 14, 2014 @ 12:36 AM | 8,096 Views
Status: Tricopter bug up my @ss. Never built any kind of multi-rotor before.
Ordered parts from my Chinese China. ... but not really my cousin.
Cut some stuff on the laser.... bought some CF tube.
Built one. Strapped it down and took power readings. Flew like a dream. Even had a GoPro on it so I can say- " Oooohhh look at my backyard." Got cocky making a tight turn around the garden shed and crashed.

Got on the CAD and laser and cranked out another one. This time with break-away wood booms. And it folds. 7 hours from drawing to triwhirlygigger.

Gonna fly tomorrow . Stay away from banked turns near the garden shed.
Posted by TomM | Mar 13, 2014 @ 12:29 PM | 9,233 Views
Came out pretty nice, with some anti-shock foam inside. I just wanted something to keep that LCD from flopping around. If you need one gimme a shout. The Lexan one came out prettier, but much heavier. Maybe useful if you like glowing LEDs and whatnot.

Visit my site
Posted by TomM | Feb 13, 2014 @ 04:15 PM | 9,434 Views
I did a plot of antenna polarity coupling to show the importance of NOT pointing your antennas at each other. If you can make out the colors of the plot, I started in Yellow with both antennas in the same orientation, then moved the transmit antenna 45degrees (blue), then 90 degrees broadside(orange) then pointed both antennas towards each other (aqua).Don't do that! Youíre losing 13dB by doing that. That means your 100 mW signal is now 5 mW at best 5 feet from the transmitter, and you STILL have to calculate the distance path loss to that faaarrr away model....maybe 90 to 120 dB, then you hope the noise floor of the receiver is low enough to even see that signal... . . . Itís brown short time.

Getting an RSSI warning and loss of signal are two different things. To the best of my searching, no one has done any correlation between the RSSI number and actual power at the receiver. When the fembot barks "92 dB" that means nothing in real numbers.... it's just a reference FrSky made up.. Hopefully I can get to it in the next couple weeks.
Posted by TomM | Feb 02, 2014 @ 10:52 AM | 8,000 Views
I was going after the retro 1950's toaster look. I think it's a success.

Duplicolor Candy Metallic, laser engraved walnut trim, opened up the speaker hole and added copper mesh grill.
Speaker upgrade and internal EMI mods listed at
Posted by TomM | Jan 21, 2014 @ 06:14 PM | 8,385 Views
Posted by TomM | Oct 23, 2013 @ 05:36 PM | 8,860 Views
Smallest one I built yet. 27" from plans. I changed the wing profile from the designers original. This one is a bit thinner at about 16% thick.

1.2mil doculam on the surfaces, and ValueHobby metalic blue and Ultracote lite yellow on the fuse..

5 gram servos and Hitec compatable micro rcvr to be installed. 2 cell 800mA for power.
Posted by TomM | Oct 23, 2013 @ 05:22 PM | 8,524 Views
...right ?

Lucky to have a wife who likes RC wall art.
Posted by TomM | Sep 23, 2013 @ 09:31 PM | 8,273 Views
Love the smell of laser cutting in the evening. New 40" sport/3d/profile I'm prototyping.

Here's a vid of parts being cut. The 1/16" wires lying on top of the balsa do two things.... they weight the balsa down so the 1.5 HP fume extractor doesn't blow them around, and they leave 1/16" uncut tabs under them so the parts stay attached to the balsa sheet and don't fall out till you pop them out.

lasercut ribs (2 min 24 sec)

Posted by TomM | Sep 16, 2013 @ 09:13 PM | 8,887 Views
Some pics of the Mojo 65 in progress. I had an Evo 26 sitting around so I decided to build a plane for it. A relaxing build, using mostly Gorilla non-foaming wood glue, and CA and epoxy where needed.

The previous Mojos were electric, this is my first venture into gas.
Posted by TomM | Jul 28, 2012 @ 06:28 PM | 9,035 Views
Just a great flying plane. The G-32 motor from Value Hobby is a screamer for the price. I'm planning on upgrading the AIL servos to something faster... I just used some lower end Hitecs that I had laying around. The HS225MGs in the tail are keepers. And I'll add more bright trim. When it's up high, the blue wings vanish against the blue sky.
Posted by TomM | Jun 16, 2012 @ 04:46 PM | 8,973 Views
Couple hours into the wing.

10 days from framing to parts ready- not bad for a couple hours per day.
Base of Ultracoat and ready for some trim and servo install,