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Posted by trees | Jul 05, 2010 @ 06:28 AM | 4,960 Views
It's funny how planes find people. Well, the NCFM M60 was on my list of planes to own someday. That day is now. I found a great deal while browsing the RCG Classifieds and couldn't pass it up. She should arrive in a week or so. I can't wait to rip some big inland slermal lift with this baby!

Here's what she looks like now, I may re-cover once I'm accustomed to it's landing characteristics.



Posted by trees | Jul 05, 2010 @ 06:19 AM | 4,988 Views
My friend has a lot of planes and he's a generous guy. That makes me lucky. While visiting his place the other day he offered up a dusty old kitbashed EPP combat wing. I can't remember what model it was but he chopped it in half, added a fuse and added the necessary components to create a scale replica of a de Havilland DH 108 "Swallow". He then proceeded to beat it on the slope for several years, surrender it to his young boy for abusive tosses off the deck at home then it made it's way back to the shop to collect dust for 3 years. Well that day it came home with me. I had to make it comfortable in it's new home so I stayed up for 16 hours refurbishing it. I tore off the covering and scale details, replaced the linkages and vertical stab, repaired one spar and added two more, filled holes, painted it, covered the whole thing with CP laminate, repaired and re-hinged the elevons, added electronics, etc. Having stayed up all night and worked on the plane all afternoon I dragged my tired body and dazed mind to the slope for a maiden. The wind was light but I tossed it up anyway. It was scratching for lift but IT FLEW and I was happy. I safely landed and tossed a more appropriate plane for the conditions. I've since trimmed it out and tweaked a few more things and it's just a blast to fly. Very stable and predictable, no bad habits. It's not a high performance plane but it's fun nevertheless. So far 4 of my friends have flown the Swallow and it always generates a smile. This will be our groups slope trainer. Pics and specs to come!
Posted by trees | Jul 05, 2010 @ 05:57 AM | 4,940 Views
This was my first night flyer build. I used the Grim Reaper as my platform for experimentation. I finally finished it a couple weeks ago. The maiden was a bit rough since I had never flown a powered wing (tricky launch until you get the hang of it) and for some reason the recommended CG proved to be wrong for my build. After some minor repairs, a major CG adjustment and some practice launching I was in business. I've yet to capture some decent video but It'll happen eventually. So far it's a crowd pleaser! Looking forward to flying it more and further fine tuning.


60" Grim Reaper wing
300 LEDs via Turnigy Light Strips
AR6200 RX
HS-82MG servos
Turnigy 1700KV motor
Turnigy Sentry 40AMP ESC
Zippy 3S 2200mah LiPo for motor and LEDs
4xAA Eneloop Pack for RX
Skyking RC lost model locator (with low voltage alarm) connected to RX
Additional low voltage alarm connected to LiPo/ESC
Turnigy Brushed ESC for dimming lights
Primed with thinned goop
Painted with Krylon Fusion
Covered with 1.5 and 10 mil CP Laminate




On the bench...

Posted by trees | Jun 09, 2010 @ 05:08 PM | 4,814 Views
First in line is a Windrider Fox which I'm re-building for higher winds. I'm basically adding lots of carbon fiber reinforcement. It's about halfway done. Looking forward to flying the new incarnation.

Second is a semi-crunchy 60" plane my friend gave me called the Plan 9. It's his design with a bagged fiberglass and carbon wing with an RG14 airfoil. The boom is a graphite shaft. It needs a V-tail, servos, radio and some TLC but it looks really cool. I'm excited about it. He says it's a smoking high wind plane.

After the Plan 9 is in the air I need to start cranking on my recent score, an EPP Jart. This was an unplanned purchase but I'm extremely excited about it. I'm HOPING to have it done for Cape Blanco Slopefest but that may be a pipedream considering my staggeringly slow build rate and RC ADD.

There's a tie for 4th and 5th on the build list. My poor Alula has been fully dismantled and neglected for some time now. I'm getting a little crazy with it so I won't go into details. Should be cool though. The other plane is my Franken Radian. I built it, crashed it and now it's time to re-build and try again.
Posted by trees | May 22, 2010 @ 07:25 AM | 5,357 Views
The Radian is coming back! Well, the wings at least. As you may have read earlier, my Radian was killed by the ground and a tree. The wings and electronics survived. I really loved the plane so I planned on buying the parts to get it back together but it just seemed too expensive. The wings are nice so I thought, "Why not make my own sloper and use these wings?" The FrankenRadian is (almost) born. The blue foam is purchased and the fuse it roughly shaped. Servos are in the mail. RX is ready to roll. I'm going to re-cycle a battery from the junk box to power the RX. The tail section is in development, I'm thinking coro. This is going to be a weird bird. Pure sloper (no motor), 2 servos, 1 aileron, elevator. It's going to be built tough for light wind conditions and teaching future slope pilots. This is my first kinda-scratch build. I hope it flies.


"Frankie" flew, for a short time. I prematurely chucked it off a cliff before adequate glide testing and adjustment. Bad idea. The tail was WAY too heavy anyway, resulting in too much added nose weight for CG. I'll be rebuilding with a wiffel bat fuse, lighter tail group, servo mounted in front of CG and two ailerons. Should be fun and more effective.

...Continue Reading

Windrider Fox

Posted by trees | May 22, 2010 @ 07:24 AM | 4,802 Views
I built the Fox light to try it out as intended. It's cool but I want to crank on the sticks so I'll be adding a fair bit of carbon and steel to get it ready for high wind and high speed.

Pics to come...
Posted by trees | May 22, 2010 @ 07:23 AM | 4,713 Views
My awesome and talented girlfriend so kindly crafted a TX mitt for me, from scratch. It's only been cold enough to need it a few times since it's been finished but it allowed me to fly all day when I would have otherwise had to take many breaks to warm up the digits. Not only does it work well, it looks great too! I'll post some pics when I take some. Thanks babe!
Posted by trees | May 22, 2010 @ 07:20 AM | 4,754 Views
- As much as I love the Alula, it has it's limitations. The Weasel is going to take over when the wind kicks up. Build finished! This beauty has become my most frequent flyer. Love it!!!

DX6i/AR6110e, 4xAAA, BB servos, Skyking RC lost model locator, switch/charge jack, clear plasti dip spray as a "primer" coat, Krylon Fusion for plastics paint (safety orange and black), covered in 3 mil CP laminating flim with a strip of 10 mil on the LE.

The stencil was a created from a graphic I found online and modified. The wings are taped on so I can remove them to add ballast when it nukes. 37g of lead was added to the nose to dial in CG. AUW 14.7oz

Posted by trees | May 22, 2010 @ 07:17 AM | 4,942 Views
Oh, wait...I bought an electric plane so I could garner the necessary skills to fly slope and thermals. I got carried away! Time to get back on track. After countless hours of searching RCG and the rest of the web I decided that the DF Alula might just be my first non-powered plane. I was looking for a do it all kinda plane that could handle the mishaps of a slope noob. Light wind flying and hand launch capability were attractive traits. I convinced my Paypal account to cooperate with Dream Flight and the deal was done. Impatiently waited a couple weeks and the little birdie was home to nest. Oh jee, I actually have to do something to fly this one unlike my PZ planes. The manual is great, the parts are all finished, the design is well planned. After some setbacks sanding nubs, painting and installing CF reinforcements I had it RTF. It's a basic build but I still learned quite a bit of stuff. I didn't really intend to hand launch it much but there was no wind so off I went. It seemed to fly a little funny but then again, I don't know what I'm doing with this plane. Didn't really get very far because I was more interested in waiting for slope lift. In the meantime I started scouting the local slopes so I would know where to go when the wind picked up. This exploration can be quite fun itself. I think it must have been a week or so before some Westerlies appeared on the radar. I headed up to one of our local slopes (Bald Butte) to see if I could get this thing to fly. It was...Continue Reading
Posted by trees | May 22, 2010 @ 07:15 AM | 4,651 Views
I was feeling a little empty having lost my everyday flier (Focke Wulf) so the search was on for a replacement. I've been happy with all but one of my Parkzone planes so that's where I started to look. I wanted 2.4ghz gear and something similar in size to the FW. Value was also a consideration. The look of the T-28 didn't appeal to me so I narrowed it down to the Corsair, BF-109 and P51D BL. They all seemed attractive but the P51 represented the best value if I could live without landing gear. I was reluctant due to my poor opinion of it's predecessor but the threads on RCG assured me that my experience with this new incarnation would be much improved. I put my faith in the groups and Parkzone and whipped out my credit card. I followed a similar un-boxing and setup as my Radian and before I knew it I was in the air. This was so drastically different than my first generation P51 it was unreal. So much fun! Fast, easy to fly, easy to land, durable, easily repairable, easy access to electronics and battery, better wing and servo configuration, easily upgradeable to rudder ship. I was in business! New daily flyer found! Relative to how long I've had this plane I've flown it quite a bit. I've had a blast with it and would recommend it to anyone looking for something in this class.

Posted by trees | May 22, 2010 @ 07:14 AM | 4,698 Views
E-Flite Blade CX2 - The Heli in the trade lot. I never intended to get a Helicopter, just not that interested. Kinda weird since I used to fly real helicopters years ago. I think they're cool but so far I have more than enough fun with planes. I've flown it a bit, seems to break easy. Kinda fun but I haven't given it a fair chance yet. Not sure what the future holds for this little whirly-bird.

E-Flite Blade CP Pro - I've read bad things. I'm guessing this is going to the the heli version of the PZ P51D. I'll probably sell or trade it. Interested?

Posted by trees | May 22, 2010 @ 07:12 AM | 4,730 Views
The 2nd warbird in the trade lot. Some parts were back-ordered so I had to wait awhile longer to get this bird in the air. I had such good luck with the Focke Wulf I was eager to try the P51 out. I had a blast flying the P51 in the sim so I planned on keeping it and selling the FW to a friend if he was interested. Parts finally arrived, spent the night repairing and bench trimming. I heard bad things about it being stall happy and somewhat of a chore to launch so I studied hard online, watched videos, etc. Headed to the park early the next morning ready for fun. Cranked the throttle, gave it my best javelin and held on for the ride. Did some trimming but this thing was flying awful. I don't know if I had a radio issue or what but the bird was wild and I mean wild in a bad way. It wasn't long before it came in for a hard landing. I didn't think much of it until I walked up and noticed it was a wreck. The P51 just does not take impact like the Focke Wulf. I flew for less than a couple minutes and I was already in need of another fuselage. Not happy! If the internal frame was replaceable (like the FW) I that would have been sufficient, no such luck. I ordered the parts and tried again. Even with a brand new fuse this thing showed many signs of it being garbage. The battery door broke before I even got a battery in. The battery compartment was a nuisance. Access to the electronics was a more involved affair than the FW. The list goes on. I really have nothing good to say about this plane. I stripped some of the parts and sent it away. Good riddance!

Posted by trees | May 22, 2010 @ 07:10 AM | 4,942 Views
My first warbird! I finally brushed off the dust and traded all of my old nitro truck stuff for a lot of 2 broken planes and 2 helicopters. I ordered the parts and impatiently waited for them to arrive. Once the parts arrived the repairs began. In an evening the "Focken Wulf" was fixed, trimmed and ready for action. I took it to the park, put in the battery, did a radio check, held my breath, cranked the throttle, ran about ten feet and heaved it up in the air. It flew! I was totally in love. I never expected to be taken by this plane but it instantly became my favorite. I had one major crash, repaired it, got back in the air. From then on it only sustained minor damage and eventually I no longert crashed and my landings became smooth and uneventful. I had tons of fun with this plane and flew it daily. The more wind the more I enjoyed flying it (first sighs of the upcoming slope addiction). The scale of this plane was responsible for killing my interest in the PZ UM Sukhoi. I had plans to upgrade the FW electronics to Spektrum gear but disaster struck first. One day while flying at a friends house the radio glitched sending my beloved Focke Wulf nose first into the ground from approximately 80 feet. She was dead. I usually do well accepting such RC tragedies but I couldn't help but feel sad about this loss. I intended to go all out and bring this plane back to life with BL motor, updated radio gear, lipo batteries, rudder, etc. but it just didn't seem cost effective considering the current BnF options on the market. You will be missed "Focken Wulf".

Posted by trees | May 22, 2010 @ 07:08 AM | 4,613 Views
My first aileron plane! Many thanks to the Clearview Sim for making my transition to an aileron plane a lot easier. I also learned to fly inverted in Clearview before attempting to try it in real life. I had quite a bit of fun with this little plane but I just got bored with the scale and the grinding motor. I may someday revisit this scale and buy/convert to brushless. I've also flown my friends PZ Ultra-Micro P51 and find it to be a fun little rig. More forgiving than the Suk but less aerobatic.

Posted by trees | May 22, 2010 @ 07:00 AM | 4,623 Views
I take a trip to the Oregon coast with my girlfriend and the dogs. We pass by the previously mentioned slope spot. I take pictures and tell her about the time I saw that guy slermaling years ago.

The seed is replanted.

Parkzone Radian - When I got home I started to research sailplanes. I thought to myself "how cool would it be to have a sailplane with a motor so I don't have to do all of this bungee launching stuff?". I modified my search and bam, there it was, the Parkzone Radian. I dug deeper and found other options like the Easy Glider and such. The Radian seemed to be a more complete package so I laid out the cash and walked away with the big box.

It doesn't get much easier than this. Skim the manual, charge the battery, minor assembly, go. Before I knew it I was flying and crashing at my local baseball field. It was not pretty but I could get some decent flight time in before breaking something. I mainly only damaged the plane on landings but repairs we're easy and not usually taking up more than 15-30 minutes after a flight session. I was very happy.

At first I felt like the Radian was a bit sensitive to the wind but eventually learned that I, like most beginners, was continually over-correcting and flying nervously. I can't remember if I was using dual rates but I'm sure low would have helped me. Once I got used to the Radian I was able to fly it in relatively high and gusty winds. Fun!

One day while flying in stormy conditions my wings popped off at approximately 300ft. The wings performed a fluttering dance in the air as they floated earthbound and the rest of the airframe impatiently torpedoed toward a tree alongside a gravel road. I was in shock as I witnessed the death of my beloved bird. It was theater to say the least.

All electronics survived as well as the wings but I felt like it was time for something different.
Posted by trees | May 22, 2010 @ 06:57 AM | 4,565 Views
Many years pass and I nearly forget about RC flight altogether. I try my hand at nitro monster and stadium trucks but realize that nitro power is not my thing. A pile of gear starts to collect dust.
Posted by trees | May 22, 2010 @ 06:56 AM | 4,677 Views
I finally broke away from work and headed down to the LHS to talk about this guy I saw sloping at the beach. They let me borrow some thermal soaring VHS tapes. So cool! I wanted to fly with the birds too! I knew a few guys that were flying Zagis but I made the mistake of buying an electric planes to learn with.

HobbyZone Firebird XL - I did have some fun with this plane but I learned that it was a waste of money. I would sped about a minute flying it and hours fixing it. Very sensitive to wind, more difficult to repair than a foamie, etc. It flew like garbage. I eventually gave up on the plane and the hobby. Sad. I would never recommend this plane to anyone.

Posted by trees | May 22, 2010 @ 06:51 AM | 4,570 Views
I saw a guy slermaling on the Oregon coast. It was amazing. I knew I had to do this someday. The seed was planted.
Posted by trees | May 22, 2010 @ 06:49 AM | 4,741 Views
I was approximately 14 and my dad bought me a glow powered heli. I don't remember the brand, model, engine size, etc. It had a kind of baby blue plastic canopy with black painted window. The boom was aluminum if I remember correctly and it had a rubber belt running through it to power the tailrotor. A glow heli starter (with a groove) was used vertically to spin a belt attached to the motor. It must have been about 3 feet long. It was an insanely cool thing for him to do but he wasn't a hobbyist and the thing was way over my head without guidance. The shop he bought it from built it. I tried to use it but couldn't really get it started let alone fly it. I would revisit it from time to time with no luck. As I grew older I eventually got it started and off the ground (with wooden dowel and wiffleball training wheels). I had it at full throttle and it didn't want to pull more than 1ft off the ground. All of a sudden it flipped upside down disintegrated the blades and other parts on the pavement. It was tragic. I was in shock. I was too young and naive to the technical details but I think it was determined that the gyro was installed improperly. If I remember correctly gyros were not always installed back then. Not sure what the norm is these days.
Posted by trees | May 22, 2010 @ 06:45 AM | 4,510 Views
I have vague memories of having a glow powered control line model. I think it was a warbird of some sort. It's such a fond memory I hope it actually happened but it may be a dream. I keep forgetting to ask my dad about this. Must do.