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Archive for April, 2008
Posted by DismayingObservation | Apr 28, 2008 @ 12:37 AM | 9,631 Views
Another forsaken model, another success story.

The old Global Hobby Raven kit, aka "The Bruise" referenced in my last blog actually took to the air earlier today.

Definitely a bit of a dramatic renaissance, though.

A couple of fellow Sunday flyers deemed the CG to be OK.

Which it wasn't.

Hoo boy, was she ever light in the ol' nose and therefore tail heavy. Thankfully, I was able to keep it under control and brought it in for a rather uneventful landing.

Two more ounces/56g worth of lead up front along with a burned-out li-po battery pack on hand if I needed it (thanks, for the weights, guys!) and it was off to try again.

Ah, much better and it didn't need the li-po as ballast. Underpowered, but much better. I knew it wouldn't be a barnstormer with that .40 up front based on what the original owner told me, but no slouch, either. I was only running a 10x6 prop; good for aerobatics, not so good for speed. The engine was still a bit tight as well, but it started coming to life after the second flight of the day. Going to an 11x6 prop helped a lot.

I need to dial in a tad more aileron and a tad less elevator and she'll be great. After a couple of flights, I was rolling and tumbling that old bird all over the place. Putting at least a .46 up front will help it enormously.

It flew so well that I didn't think it deserved to have its $5 price notice remain intact, so off it came with a dab of fuel and a paper towel.

The next nearly...Continue Reading
Posted by DismayingObservation | Apr 25, 2008 @ 09:57 PM | 7,329 Views
Without the slightest hesitation. He's in and boy, is he happy.

Now all I have to do is get a trainer cord to go between the Tactic transmitter from my little FlyZone Cessna Skylane with its Futaba connector and my Hitec Laser 4 with its DIN connector.

When I do, he'll be flying the resurrected "SPAD" referenced in my last blog entry. Maybe I can convince my son to try R/C flight as well.

In other news from earlier posts, "The Bruise" is nearly complete. That's the soon-to-be-reborn (and hideously ugly) Global Hobbies Raven .40 profiler given to me last December by its original builder of more than a decade ago. In keeping with the low-buck spirit of this project, virtually all of the accessories are used and/or gifts from fellow modelers; for example, the DU-BRO fuel tank is a new-old unit and was a freebie to boot. The engine is a new/old Thunder Tiger less the box. Got the remainder of the accessories from one of the local hobby shops which, sadly, will be closing its doors in early May. Sure, I got the stuff at cost plus 10%, but heck, we're losing an LHS. The owner has a second store, but it's in Tennessee. He'll still be selling to we here on the Left Coast via mail order...and I won't have to pay California sales tax!
Posted by DismayingObservation | Apr 21, 2008 @ 06:15 PM | 7,835 Views
Sonofagun, it's a nice feeling making a nice something out of a whole lot of nothing.

The little "SPAD" trainer/sport plane referenced a couple of blog posts back took to the air today under its own power and with virtually all of its original parts for the first time in what might have been years.

All was not happiness and lollipops because that Thunder Tiger Pro 40 refused to start. Kept on flooding like you wouldn't believe; turns out that the high-speed needle was still a bit cruddy and turned out too far. Once that was cleaned out, zoom! Fired up nicely and off it went.

It's an unlikely and ungainly amalgamation of equal parts home improvement store and hobby shop and took a little bit of time to get up enough steam to lift off, but lift off it did. I had to pull off a couple of dead stick landings since I suspect there's still some crud in the intake, but all in all, not bad for what was basically a freebie.

While not the fastest .40 in the fleet by a long shot, it's a pleasant, easy-to fly sport plane and a nice departure from my hyperactive glow planes. I may have to get a trainer cord and see if my dad wants to learn to fly. Landing is going to take some finesse and some really low speeds; the landing gear has a whole lot of spring!

Pix and videos by week's end!

PS: Almost forgot! I put the Raiden Tech Zero Fighter-25 in the air with its new Berg Microstamp 4 receiver. For those of you who think a receiver makes no difference, I urge you to reconsider. Response was IMMEDIATE in comparison to the previous receiver. It's a substantial difference between it and your basic garden-variety receiver, believe me. Even the cost is pretty darn cheap compared to big full-range receivers. Full-range reception, teeny tiny size. Can't beat it.
Posted by DismayingObservation | Apr 18, 2008 @ 05:51 PM | 6,718 Views
Having one's ducks in a row when faced with multiple extracurricular projects creates a nice feeling.

*I have all of the coroplast I need (and then some) to finish the little SPAD, not to mention enough material to perhaps build another from scratch...but that's a blog for another day.

*My pal who owns the LHS sold me the entire E-flite Blade CP Bell-Hiller upgrade for less than it would have cost me to replace just the grips and pivot arms. At a loss, yet. Small wonder he's been getting virtually all of my business as of late.

*The Hitec single-conversion receiver I got as part of that neat deal from one of this site's users found a new home in my E-flite Thunderbolt. Same LHS got me a channel 55 crystal and voila! Another project crossed off of my list. Works like a charm. The full-range Berg Microstamp now lives in my Raiden Tech Zero Fighter-25. That same neat deal was for an abandoned homebuilt SPAD plane which is cleaned up and ready for final assembly.

*Best flight ever with the VQ P-51 ended with the Pitts muffler coming loose yet again, this time with the loss of one of the retainer bolts. LHS to the rescue again. He sold me a pair that were a bit too short, but he has a pair of the correct length waiting for me. That plane has definitely moved up to the top of my glow-powered faves list now that the bugs are pretty much worked out.

That just leaves getting that servo box on the Global Raven built and installed, getting off of the stick and reassembling the HPI Savage 25 (I miss driving that brute) and the arrival of the wing struts for the Great Planes Cessna next month.

Happy weekend, all.
Posted by DismayingObservation | Apr 15, 2008 @ 05:48 PM | 7,151 Views
...it's full speed ahead on the projects.

Whipped out my Visa and I now have everything I need to finish the little SPAD as outlined in my previous blog. Needed very little, actually. I might reassemble it tonight after work.

Next, we have "The Bruise" and its servo tray. I'll definitely do that tomorrow since I don't want to go to sleep tonight to the smell of epoxy.

The "non-projects" will get some attention as well.

I'll need a sheet of 4 mil Coroplast to make some new ailerons for the other SPAD, namely the "Derelict." The tail's OK, but the hinge point tore off on one side in the crash. I'm strongly considering the possibility of recycling some three-piece DU-BRO hinges. Or not. Cutting out new tailfeathers is no biggie.

The tip of one of the retract pushrods for the VQ Model P-51 I reviewed over at RC Power snapped off the other day at the field; that soft metal had a lot of twists and turns in it thanks to my efforts to get those retracts working right. New pushrod stands ready and it can't come soon enough. That plane is way too much fun to fly.

I even have to delay some non-projects due to backorders.

I lost the prop and spinner for the Align Spitfire in flight yesterday. Gone. Couldn't find it. Prop of the correct size was out of stock.

And wouldn't you know I'd put the Blade CP into the same park fence that busted me up so badly last time around. Minor bump this time; only took out the blade grips.

Which were out of stock.

Heck, I'd better get started ASAP. I'm running out of flying things!
Posted by DismayingObservation | Apr 14, 2008 @ 07:12 PM | 6,473 Views
We begin with this short but eventful thread:


That little plane has a new home in the desert thanks to its original owner. He'd sent me a PM when he'd read my blog regarding the construction of a new wing for my little "SPAD" combat plane, one which a local friend of mine gave me. In exchange for a bit of gas money to help out with his trip to Arizona, this gentleman offered me the plane as you see it plus a few servos and a nice little Hitec receiver as part of the bargain.

I've dissected the little pootwaddle and am preparing it for reassembly with a new fuel tank and a receiver from another plane; my E-flite P-47 Thunderbolt 400 is getting the Hitec receiver once the crystal hits my LHS. The Thunder Tiger Pro 40 was a bit gummed up, but I got it freed up and running. Runs quite well, in fact. Lots of compression. Unfortunately, I did a boo-boo during the test run. Reached around the front to adjust the high speed and ka-WHANNG! Took off a nice chunk of the top of my right pinky. My bad.

Anyway, all the servos work, everything is nice and clean and awaiting reassembly.

Thanks, Hamilton. Glad you had a nice time in Arizona!
Posted by DismayingObservation | Apr 11, 2008 @ 01:17 AM | 6,372 Views
There's only one thing I can think of besides my Raven project plane which combines yellow, black, red and dark blue.

I have therefore dubbed it "The Bruise."

Thanks to a visit to the original owner the other day, I now know where everything is supposed to go. He even gave me some ply and square stock so that I could build a new servo tray for the rudder.

As a result, I made a bit of progress today.

I'd mounted the engine and prop a few days ago and removed an unnecessary support which the previous owner had used to hold up the exhaust pipe; a new/old 8 oz. DU-BRO fuel tank was strapped to the fuselage earlier tonight and the chewed-up foam wheels came off.

Turns out that the wheels are mismatched. So are the screws serving as axles, for that matter. The right wheel was held on by two nuts and the left by a short piece of fuel tubing. Proper axles shall be procured!

Even the hardware holding the gear in place on the fuselage is mismatched. Easy fix.

Another easy fix involved the careful removal of the 1998 AMA sticker from the left wing and the racing number from the right. No hidden boogeymen under either sticker in the form of torn covering, but I'll need to apply a bit of Goo Gone to clean up the adhesive residue.

On the other hand, I'm thinking of preserving the price markdowns just for fun.

The Bruise shall be punching hematomas in the sky very soon.
Posted by DismayingObservation | Apr 06, 2008 @ 01:19 AM | 6,291 Views
Did a bit of eeny-meeny-miney-mo today and found myself pointing at the Cessna.

It was decided that I'd do some simple tasks on it today.

After a rare Saturday spent at work, it was off to the indie LHS for an APC 12x7 prop and DU-BRO 3" spinner for the LA 65. The engine, though mounted when I got it, didn't appear to have ever been run.

I'd already removed it from the plane and it was a simple task to bolt it to the stand along with the prop and spinner. Good thing I hadn't tried to start the engine in place on the plane. The previous owner had secured it with machine screws threaded into the nylon.

Even running that engine as rich as I was, the thrust was phenomenal.

The fuselage got a good cleaning and the engine went back in place with proper mounting hardware. There's some evidence of at least one hard landing and there are some areas of torn covering patched with clear packing tape, but it's so clean inside that I have to assume that the plane was too much for the previous owner and he didn't fly it much. He also wasn't too careful about how he handled it, hence the tears.

The may look like a Cessna, but it'll likely have the climb rate of an F-15.
Posted by DismayingObservation | Apr 04, 2008 @ 02:23 PM | 6,294 Views
...really isn't too bad.

The Raven was free and the Cessna basically so. Total expenditures so far have included $50 for the Raven's engine and three JR servos from a friend, $15 for a crystal for the receiver in the Cessna (it works!) and mere pennies for the 4-40 hardware I'll use to mount the engine to the Raven. The Cessna came with a new O.S. LA 65 up front.

Enjoy the pix. Told ya the Raven was ugly! ...Continue Reading
Posted by DismayingObservation | Apr 03, 2008 @ 09:08 PM | 5,956 Views
...five if you count the unassembled kit in my closet!

Here's the best part: I'm doing three of those projects simultaneously!

One: I just picked up a new/old Thunder Tiger GP 40 and three JR servos from a friend. The engine is now broken in per the online instructions for the GP 42 and is destined for the ugly (but free of charge) Global Hobby Raven 3D plane given to me a few months ago by our club's VP.

Two: Just ordered the wing struts for the old Great Planes Cessna 182 with the new O.S. LA 65 up front. All the parts are still available! Might pop for a new cowl once I get it flying.

Three: I picked up a couple of scrap (but large) sheets of corrugated plastic from a sign shop in order to build a new wing for my little old homemade 25-powered combat plane. I should have more than enough material to try my hand at a coroplast plane once I track down some online plans.

That leaves only the slightly damaged (and also free of charge) Great Planes Cub 40 and the unassembled Mini Telemaster.

Pix forthcoming.