dmrcflyr2's blog View Details
Archive for August, 2015
Posted by dmrcflyr2 | Aug 31, 2015 @ 06:08 PM | 4,057 Views
Late last year I purchased this ARF from someone on RCU I believe. It is an older ARF and long discontinued. I had an assembly log for it but for the life of me I can not find it anywhere on this forum now. I did write a blog post about my first flights of this airplane in the link below.
(Google search to the rescue!

SInce that time I have acquired another Saito 30 from a great member here, Balsworkbench. The engine had some issues and would run hot and overheat. I replaced the bearings, needle valve o-rings and eventually the crankcase; it was replaced because the bearing outer piece would not come out of the case.

Anyway, after the re-build the engine seemed to run fine on the test stand, but it would not run well at all on the Waco. In between Saito engines I had replaced the fuel tank, tubing, and I tried to adjust the tank position to see if that could be why the engine ran hot. BTW, the original Saito 30, that I sold, never had an overheating issue while on this airplane.

Fast forward to tonight when I thought installing the Saito would be a good idea. I took it out for a test run and yet again the engine began to overheat within 1 minute. These were the same needle valve settings that it last ran with fine on the test stand. So now that the engine was hot I knew it would not hand start so I reluctantly pulled out the electric starter. After the second attempt at starting it the firewall completely disconnected itself from the fuselage. See the photos.

This airplane has been a problem for me from day one. It looks nice on the outside but it is so lightweight that it is easily damaged. And apparently it is not the best glued or constructed ARF. Again, it is an older airplane, but imagine this firewall incident happening while in the air?

I am through messing with this POS.
Posted by dmrcflyr2 | Aug 23, 2015 @ 11:51 AM | 4,489 Views
My last few blog entries have been about my recently built Cloud Dancer 60. The airplane is a Fred Reese design that was featured in RCModeler magazine I believe in 1993. I purchased the plans for this model back in 1995. In 1999 I reduced them and scratch built a 40 sized Cloud Dancer. This was before ACE R/C kitted the 40 size version.

I call this a short kit because I did not cut the parts for this kit. A great RCG member here, Balsaworkbench, provided me with a beautiful set of laser cut parts. I simply had to look over the plans and decide what additional balsa sheets and sticks I would need to build it.

The parts from Rob were fantastic! The cut quality was what you would come to expect from any large kit manufacturer. The wood grade and quality was top notch also. I laid many of them right on top of my plan and they were exact. This made the build an easy one. It features a 50% stick built fuselage and many 1/16" parts to keep this airplane light. The final weight of my airplane with a weighty 26oz Saito twin was 6.25lb. With a lighter single cylinder engine it could be built around the 6lb range.

The airplane could very easily be used as low wing trainer; it is that easy and gentle to fly. I just logged another 3 flights on it today and I could not be happier with its flight performance and gentle flight characteristics. The the long tail moment and sleek lines it will do any pattern maneuver in the book too making it a great platform to practice pattern flying.

A copy of the build article and this and the plans are available from Outerzone at this link:

Just for kicks I have added a few pictures of my 40 sized Cloud Dancer. These are scanned from 35mm photos; yes that is how old they are.
Posted by dmrcflyr2 | Aug 22, 2015 @ 12:48 PM | 3,772 Views
I just returned from the airfield after 3 successful flights of my new Cloud Dancer 60. The first flight was somewhat uneventful, just your basic trimming out flight. After about 2 minutes of trimming I began to test the flight envelope. It flies quite nicely and the Saito FA-90T is plenty of power for it. The airplanes dry weight, no fuel, is 6.25 lb. The 90T is turning a Master Aircrew 14x6 propeller at 8150RPM WOT throttle.

There is really nothing too exciting to say about it. It is a great flier, quite gentle and easy to land. although you will see in my last landing that it was a bit less than perfect.

I also had my SIG Astro Hog out too. It was sporting a new Tactic TR625 receiver. I replaced the TR624 with the TR625 dual antenna. Again, no issues. A good range test was performed and there were no issues.

My Cloud Dancer is on a JR 72Mhz system while the Astro Hog is on my Tactic 6 channel system. There is a BIG difference between the two transmitters in weight. The JR system weighs at least twice as much as the lightweight Tactic. Quite honestly I like the weight and feel of the JR system better.

Cloud Dancer 60 first flights (2 min 41 sec)

Astro Hog flights (0 min 55 sec)
...Continue Reading
Posted by dmrcflyr2 | Aug 17, 2015 @ 05:50 PM | 3,908 Views
I shot a few videos of the Cloud Dancer engine, fuel tank, plumbing tests. The Saito FA-90T is turning a MA 14x6 at 8200RPM WOT and idles at 2500RPM.

Cloud Dancer engine idling and run up (0 min 29 sec)

Cloud Dancer engine runup (0 min 42 sec)
...Continue Reading
Posted by dmrcflyr2 | Aug 16, 2015 @ 03:52 PM | 3,624 Views
I completed the rebuild of this Saito 50 I picked up. I completed it yesterday and took it out for a few runs. It is a nice running engine. I had to replace the following components:
2.Connecting rod
3.Piston ring
4.Gasket set
I took a few pictures after I had cleaned it up, but I did not document it as much as I could have.
Posted by dmrcflyr2 | Aug 15, 2015 @ 06:36 AM | 3,937 Views
The Cloud Dancer is 95% done now. I have finished covering it, although it is not my favorite color scheme. Since I was trying to minimize some costs I used the covering I had on hand and that was material that was going to be used for a Hazel SIG Clipped Wing Cub.

I still have to do the final mounting of the receiver, install control rods for all servos, place the battery, and install the switch harness. I did just weigh the airplane and it it showed 6lb.
Posted by dmrcflyr2 | Aug 11, 2015 @ 04:50 PM | 4,211 Views
I just received my latest re-build project from a seller on RCU. I know nothing about this engine aside from what the seller told me: it needs bearings. How right he is! It is pretty dirty on the outside and has a strange sounding and feeling CLUNK as the prop washer is rotated. I already purchased a new ring, bearings, gasket set, and prop washer and nut. knowing those items would need to be replaced at a minimum. Now that I look at it I think the prop nut is the wrong size as I didn't find one for the 'E' engine code and i guessed it would fit a 45. I think I guessed wrong. It seemed to have decent compression but since I bought the Bowman ring I'll be installing it anyway.

Anyway, I'll start working on this engine sometime soon. I'll post before and after pictures and if I get industrious enough maybe I'll make a dis-assembly video.
Posted by dmrcflyr2 | Aug 09, 2015 @ 08:13 AM | 3,722 Views
It is getting down to crunch time! Covering should begin today sometime. Since my last post I have done the following:

1. Created a lower half cowling for the engine. I decided on a one piece section that acts as the lower cover under the fuel tank attached with screws. This gives me the flexibility to be able to access the tank from the bottom and the half cowling allows easy access to the engine. Access to the top of the engine is important for choking/priming the carbs, adjusting the needle valves, etc. Besides the single engine upright installation in the original design also was a half cowl open nose. I have coated the inside of this piece with epoxy for fuel proofing and strength.

2. This morning I have drilled and installed the Robart Hinge point hinges(dry fit only) on all control surfaces.

3. Added triangle stock to the bottom of the stabilizer and fin for better gluing surface and to help ensure a square installation. I will be covering all parts first, as I usually do, before final gluing of the assemblies together.

4. Final dry fit of all sub-assemblies and weight/balance check. The CD looks like it will balance just fine with minimal adjustment of some of the radio components. You can see I laid the battery pack inside the cockpit area and this allowed me to slide it fore and aft to achieve good initial balance. The airframe at this point weigh in at 5.5lb. I figure with covering and more epoxy to attach the surfaces, all up weight might...Continue Reading
Posted by dmrcflyr2 | Aug 07, 2015 @ 07:26 PM | 4,120 Views
Last night I drilled the wing dowel holes and glued the dowels in place. I also began the fitment of the fuel tank. Additionally, I bent the landing gear using my trusty old K&S wire bender. Tonight I have mounted the wing onto the fuselage and drilled/tapped for the wing hold down bolts. I also installed the elevator and rudder servos. That is about all I'll be doing tonight as I got a later start than normal. I had to reassemble the Saito 30 I was rebuilding and the last part I had ordered arrived today.

Anyway I also did the first full mock up of all parts for some naked wood pictures.

The stringers running from the cockpit to the nose are not glued in place yet. I am holding off until I complete the tank installation and plumbing. I am not making a magnetic or removable hatch to access the tank. I will be able to pull it out if necessary from inside the fuse, but I am sticking to the original design as much as possible.

There are plenty of odds and ends now to do. Sanding, installing the fiberglass cloth, control horn installation, hinging, and of course COVERING....Continue Reading
Posted by dmrcflyr2 | Aug 05, 2015 @ 04:46 PM | 4,102 Views
I have made some progress since my last post, but at a substantially slowed rate. I could blast through the framing section on the weekend, but now comes more of the tedious, planning sections.

I have the wings panels nearly ready to join. The new servos arrived and I have them installed. I faced the root wing ribs with additional 3/32" material. I have those sanded to create the dihedral. I still have to install the cap strips on each rib on four panels. Cutting and gluing cap strips are a pretty critical part for wing strength and the absolute LEAST favorite part of any wing build for me. Any wing that specifies for 1/16" thickness ribs requires EXTREME care when handling. Now this was done to keep things light but I have damaged about 6 ribs in just handling, so getting these darn cap strips on is quite important now.

I also bolted up the engine for the first fitment. It looks like I might be able to still have 1/2 lower cowling around the engine. The position of the carbs and needle valves might make it impossible for any top balsa. I could get industrious and try to form a soda can over the top but it if looks ok without, I won't be doing that. Plus I like things simple now and easy access to the engine is of paramount importance to me.

EDIT: Capstrips installed and wing panels joined now.
Posted by dmrcflyr2 | Aug 02, 2015 @ 04:02 PM | 4,446 Views
Since getting my Saito twin cylinder engines I have been flying them on the Value Hobby Easy Stik. That was always intended to be my test bed verification airplane for these engines. However one might always stay on the Stik as it is a sweet combination. My intention all along was to build an airplane for one of these engines. I had to access the power, reliability, and flight times for these engines and that was the role of the Easy Stik. Once I felt comfortable with the engines I set out to find a suitable airframe. I did not want to do the typical Cub that you would find one of these engines in.

After some research I decided on the Fred Reese Cloud Dancer 60. I already had the plans for it. I bought them back in the late nineties and reduced them for my first scratch build; a 40 size Cloud Dancer. That was one of the best flying airplanes I have ever owned. A fellow modeler and RCG member, Balsaworkbench, provided me with some very nice laser cut parts and all I had to do was buy the remainder of the wood.

I started this build on Saturday August 1st, yesterday. I began with the tail feathers. They are a simple frame structure and took no time at all to complete. I moved on to the fuselage after that and got 90% of it completed yesterday as well.

Today I began on the wing and as of now have about 90% of the wing panels completed also.

This is a very standard and easy model to build and there are no special instructions, techniques, or materials...Continue Reading