u2builder's blog View Details
Posted by u2builder | Oct 04, 2018 @ 04:20 PM | 20,646 Views
Funny, but about 18 years ago, long before I got into RC, someone gave me a kit for a Mitchell U2 Ultralight. I built this Flying Wing one winter, but never dared to fly it, and eventually sold it. I made a photo of it my Avatar in RC Groups when I got into RC flying about 9 years ago.

I learned how to fly in a small field with a Slow Stick, GWS Tiger Moth and soon got interested in 3D and destroyed several Hobby Lobby Yaks getting the hang of it and learning to use the rudder.

I joined an AMC Club (Ashuelot Valley Flyers,Surry, NH) to have access to a decent flying site, other pilots, and really learn to fly. Over the next few years I built many 60 - 90 size models from kits, mostly glow powered 3D profiles and bipes. I got back into electric planes with a few small EDF jets and a Skysurfer and Fun Cub planes. I also dabbled in FPV with various quads as well as planes but never really dared to fly beyond LOS over our completely forested terrain.

But somehow I never flew a Wing until last fall when I bought myself a Wing Wing Z-84. I thought I would see if I could fly the little thing at my home field, since all my planes were way too big. I bought the kit and decided to add rudders since I find flying 3 channel kind of weird with my right thumb wanting more action. More about wings and rudders to follow.

I was really surprised at how well it flew in a small space. It tracked beautifully and could fly it around my tiny flying space better than with my...Continue Reading
Posted by u2builder | Jan 05, 2013 @ 05:20 PM | 27,689 Views
Rebel Twin Boom
Here's a scratch built Twin Boom plane designed for FPV. The basic concept is from Waldo, a flying buddy.

It is made from EPP foam with Flying Foam Clark Y wing cores, 10" chord, 72" long. There are two CF spars on the top and the bottom of the wing. There is no dihedral. The wing is very stiff and strong.

The fuselage is made from 9mm EPP with a 1/16" ply floor and 1/4" basswood stiffeners on the top edges.

The wings and fuselage were sprayed with 3M 99 adhesive, painted, sprayed with 3M 99 again, and covered with 5mm Docolam.

Tailfeathers were orginally made from solid 1/4" balsa but the CG was hopeless far aft so I tossed them, stick built some new ones, and covered them with Monokote. These pushers can't take much weight out on the end of the boom.

Ailerons were made from aileron stock but these too were too heavy for my taste so I made them from balsa sheeted foam with a balsa spar.

All in all the new parts weighed half what the solid ones weighed. Booms are made from a couple of my sons cheapo CF golf clubs that were missing the club part. They said "Rebel" on them so I'll call this plane the "Rebel". I like the name.

I decided to add a landing gear. Rear is made form 1/8" aluminum sheet and the front is a castoring wire gear.

Servo's are Futaba S-3004's partially recessed into the foam wings and hot glued. I had started with some lighter servos but replaced them for more...Continue Reading
Posted by u2builder | Sep 20, 2012 @ 11:28 AM | 26,138 Views
My latest obsession has been with quad and hex copters. Super easy to fly, they basically have computer stabilization and almost seem to be levitating.

I have a DJI F-450 Quad and a DJI F-550 Hex. They are stock configuratio with the Naza contoller and GPS.

I have a Go Pro camera I swap between them and have been shooting video and stills of my house and surroundings. But I have a lot of fun just flying them.

I learned to fly with little foamies in my yard, but the trees ate too many planes so I joined a club where I fly with the guys. But now I can walk out my front door and launch the little flying machine anytime I get the urge, which has been quite often,

I'll get some pictures posted eventually.

Update 12=27-2012:

Well, my multicopter flying has now evolved into FPV flying. I have both the quad and the hex set up with FPV equipment.

FPV is kind of like having a flying dream, except you can do it whenever you want. You gently transport yourself inches or many feet above the surroundings, and you can literally do that with a cheap video camera. If you wonder what it is like to see what a bird sees, this is absolutely the ticket.

I have 5.8 gHz TX's and ground based RX. The radio system consists of my trusty old Futaba 9C with a Frsky 2/4 telemetry module and D8R-XP receivers. The quad has a Skylark OSD and the hex has an Eagle Tree OSD. I am flying with the older model Fatshark Aviator Base edition goggles which I like a lot. I started with a small...Continue Reading
Posted by u2builder | Jun 14, 2011 @ 03:50 PM | 27,880 Views
Look, I am obsessive. I am addicted to planes. Over my 4 short years in this hobby I have built and flown quite a number of planes. I try to fly all the ones I like fairly often so they don't feel lonely or neglected. But I have two favorites, and at least one usually comes to the field on every trip.

The Primo 40 has been my all time favorite going onto its third year. It had a serious mishap last summer, but is all rebuilt, this time with my own removeable wing design. While I don't remove the wings, I think removeable wings make profiles much easier to repair. I also think they are much stronger, because they have an aluminum wing spar in addition to the balsa spar. The other mod I have made is to adapt MOJO 60 landing gear. It gets the nose up so air gets under the wing right now! The Primo can go from a standing start to a vertical takeoff in about 10 feet. My Primo has the super nice Saito 82a for an engine. It has to be the nicest engine I have ever flown so the Primo deserves it. It swings a Xoar 14x4 prop.

I have owned and flown quite a few profiles, but the Primo is really special. I makes everything easy. Despite its wild control throws, it is the most relaxing plane I have ever flown. It can fly circuits around the field with the nose in any position from horizontal to vertical with nary any wing rock. With a small headwind it can descend almost vertically. It hovers itself. Truly an amazing plane. Primo is a fitting name for this plane.

My MOJO is...Continue Reading
Posted by u2builder | Jun 12, 2011 @ 07:39 AM | 27,577 Views
I was always a "two stroke guy". I loved the concept of a simple engine without a valve train that gave twice as many power strokes per rev as a four stroke. I thought the old 2S Saab was a cool car, though I never had one. I loved the toughness of my chainsaws. I dropped one in the brook when I was cutting a tree, and pulled it out, pulled the cord to pump the water out, and then it started and ran fine. And all of my snowmobiles have been 2S engines that make gobs of power.

So when I got back into this hobby I naturally gravitated toward 2S engines. I put them on all of my first nitro planes, which were all profiles.
I knew they made a lot of power. I'd read things about 4S engines having better torque and better throttle response but I really didn't believe it. But finally I decided I swap out the OS 55AX on my Primo 40 with a Saito 82, running the same Xoar 14 x 4 prop just to convince myself once and for all that all the fuss was much about nothing.

Boy was I surprised. It is hard to describe how much better I liked flying the Primo. First, there was the incredible slow idle and low speed performance, where one click of the throttle would make a noticeable difference. Second, there was the smooth transition and quick throttle response in the midrange where I do most of my flying. And then there was the cool sound and little puffs of smoke when I hit the throttle. Plus, there was the always easy start, and the lack of issues with the engine...Continue Reading
Posted by u2builder | May 31, 2011 @ 05:47 AM | 28,385 Views
I don't like taking planes apart to get them into the car. And biplanes have always appealed to me. The Tiger Moth and Stampe SV-4B are a couple of long time favorites.

I can put a 90 size bipe in my old Volvo wagon without removing any wings. I don't like removing wings, but with airplanes the limit without removing the wings is less than 60" span, and even that requires some jiggling.

Last year I saw and Goldberg Ultimate kit come up on Ebay. I decided this would be a good choice as it is very aerobatic and can even do some 3D stuff. I put a Saito 125 on it. It flies great and I like it a lot. I think it was about 8.5 pounds if I remember correctly.

Last winter I got a Lou Andrews Aeromaster Kit. I have always like the Jungmeister Bipe, and "PD1" had done such a mod "back in the day" so I bashed the kit, redesigning the tailfeathers and moving the landing gear to the wing. The result is a standoff scale Jungmeister. I put a Saito 100 on it. This plane came in at 7 pounds and seems very rugged. The Aeromaster is said to be "one of the best flying bipes" and I can say that mine is a real pleasure to fly.

To get through that long winter, I built a D&L Designs Stampe. This is another aerobatic bipe. I put a Saito 82 on it because it was all I could fit in the cowl. I'd say I wish I had a little bigger engine. The Stampe also weighs about 7 pounds, and has about 1000 square inches of wing area.

So, what do I like? I...Continue Reading
Posted by u2builder | May 29, 2011 @ 07:49 PM | 29,167 Views
Like many on this group, I am obsessed. I thought I should take a few minutes and list as many of my planes as I can think of, and what I think about them. The order is approximately the order in which I aquired them.

Slow Stick: First plane, taught my self to fly, don't fly it much anymore. It was a really great first plane.

Pico Tiger Moth: I think this was my second plane. I know I enjoyed flying it. It is long gone, may it RIP.

Miss Stick: I thought I needed something big and slow with no ailerons. I have a small field at home and it really didn't fly that well out of my field. I never fly it any more.

Pat Trittle's Supercub, Tiger Moth and Waco. I spent a lot of time building them but rarely fly them. I moved on to other planes.

Steven's Aero Stick and Soar Stick. I taught myself how to use ailerons with the Aero Stick. I pretty much have not flown a rudder elevator plane since. The Aero stick was a great aileron trainer.

Steven's Aero Shaft: I really couldn't fly it properly in my small field, and eventually sold it.

Hobby Lobby Yak flat foamy: This plane changed everthing for me. I learned to hover and really sharpened my skills. I went through 6 of them my second summer flying.

MS Composite Unique: this was my next 3D plane. I loved it, but it really didn't fly very well. It was quirky at low speeds.

MS Composite Blade Dancer: This is similar to the Unique, but a much better flyer.

MS Composite Pitts: This was another fun...Continue Reading
Posted by u2builder | Jun 15, 2010 @ 08:02 PM | 28,403 Views
I started the airplane hobby when I was a kid back in the 50's, building little balsa planes with doped tissue. I loved the smell of that dope. I had quite a collection of balsa planes and Revell plastic planes.

I went on to other things but gave RC a try in the 90's. I built a bunch of Sig planes, including a Senior and Senioretta, LT-40, Astrohog, and 1/5 Cub. I tried to learn to fly with the Senior and Seniorette but basically had a deadstick about every flight and never did get the hang of it.

I left the hobby again and messed around restoring Brit Sportscars (MGA's, Healey's, MGB, TR6).

About 3 years ago I was messing around on the Internet and saw electric RC and agonized over spending $150 to buy a Slow Stick. I did, and I taught myself to fly it. It was a steep learning curve, but I practiced all winter on the snow and by Spring I was pretty good. I built a bunch of Pat Trittle's little flyers, like the TM and the Waco. Then I built an Aerostik to try to get the hang of ailerons. I saw a video of someone "hovering" and that looked like a great trick, so I spent the summer in my field with a Hobby Lobby Yak trying to learn. Four Yaks later I had it down fairly good. I followed up with a foamy Blade Dancer. My main problem was getting the planes stuck in trees. I cut 6 trees to recover planes and decided it was time to search for bigger fields. I joined a local club.

I built most of Kalteisen's Slabs, including Skeeter 30,36, 40, Extra 260 and KX2...Continue Reading