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Posted by VicT | Apr 08, 2021 @ 07:34 PM | 1,696 Views
My friend Lonny W asked me to maiden his “Big Red” (BG). He had to do a lot of work to finish her up and she looks great. We found that the elevator pushrod was bending in it’s nylon tube and causing the elevator servo to strain and the result was the elevator could not return to neutral. The tube was removed and he threaded a 4-40 rod for clevis connection at the elevator horn and servo end. This solved the binding and allowed the servo to provide accurate return to neutral angle. There were many other issues with the model but the purpose of this blog is to report on the maiden and follow on flights with recommended angles for the flight controls.

The DX9 transmitter and AR637T receiver is installed as we both use SAFE Select for reduced pilot workload. When turned off aerobatics are available with AS3X taking care of gusty winds. It’s available on Horizon’s Bind and Fly models but with BG you have to program the receiver after the first maiden trim be continued
Posted by VicT | Mar 30, 2021 @ 07:28 PM | 3,830 Views
I like the Eflite P-39 for her size and performance on 3 or 4S. The trike gear make ground ops more predictable with less chance nose overs and bent prop/shafts. The P-39 is camouflage which makes her hide with trees in the background. The only thing is the red spinner and it’s too small. The PC21 is ALL red which should contrast with background trees. I always try and keep daylight between the models and trees until the model is 30 ft away then I commit to landing or go around.

I unboxed her 3/29/2021 and found only a little compression wrinkling at the nose area. The stabs were not easy to slide into the fuselage. I sanded off the foam corners of the stabs and used pliers to cold bend the plastic fuselage covers for more clearance. I don’t think the 4 stab screws will be needed as the fit is SO TIGHT!!!! I’ll be adding a more precise elevator servo like the Bluebird for better elevator centering and for redundancy. I had to open up a hole on the FMS servo output arm because the larger hole was too big for the Z bend wire. I plan to showcase this design as a warbird hotliner so speeds will be expected to be 120 or more. A folding prop will reduce drag along with 80 AMP Aerostar RVS ESC for reverse ops.

I used a Commander AR 636 receiver that was used in a Commander, then a MPX Heron warmliner. No telemetry but is a solid reliable receiver with acceptable factory programming. I only had to use a reverser between the flaps and receiver to correct for flap and gear operation. More to follow.......
Posted by VicT | Mar 07, 2021 @ 11:35 PM | 10,212 Views
The Heron’s T tail makes marking elevator trim settings difficult. Unlike a cruciform tail where you can mark elevator trim settings on the rudder or fin there is nothing for the Heron. To fix this I used a plastic credit card and cut a piece of music wire for an axle. I used frosted scotch tape that you can mark with a pencil and wrapped the plastic . When not in use I rotate the indicator down and into a slot in the rudder.

The elevator trim and maximum throws should be set to prevent a tip stall when flying slow as in thermalling. This should be with SAFE On or Off.

The pencil marks shown have been tested and should work with any other Heron with the same CG.
Posted by VicT | Mar 05, 2021 @ 06:07 PM | 6,275 Views
Got a nice 30 min thermal flight with my Heron today and my flying buddy got the same with his Night Radian. He offered me to have a flight and I launched with power off then slowly advanced the throttle but at 3/4 I heard severe vibration so landed. I looked between the spinner and firewall to see the firewall had a large crack that was allowing the prop and motor to flex and vibrate. With full power it’s highly likely the motor and prop would separate from the fuselage and result in an out of control crash. He will be using a new plastic motor mount. Reinforcing the front and rear plastic firewall with a stronger material is recommended. I will be using aluminum sheet.
Posted by VicT | Feb 28, 2021 @ 08:27 PM | 6,667 Views
I’ve had loss of pitch control from a single elevator servo failure, and pushrod system failures so I like to add redundancy when it is convenient. The Heron T tail is an easy compartment to add a second elevator servo. However the single elevator pushrod must be replaced with a left and right elevator pushrod and they should not touch each other. The other challenge is connecting them to the elevator with out the white plastic tube fixture. For high reliable servos I chose the Bluebird type. They are expensive but are metal gear and digital. Having them on the same signal with a Y connection will make it simple with a 6 channel receiver such as the AR 637T with SAFE. In case of a single servo lock up the other servo will provide pitch control to compensate for the other servo and stuck elevator. A preflight check will be easy to spot a failed single elevator servo failure as well as a post flight check.

The supplied 2-56 clevis and rod is OK for a single servo but I wanted a spring loaded connection so I soldered the .038 music wire rods to them for a flexible connection. Two servos and the pushrods weigh 15 grams and with a heavier motor this added weight will compensate. With a lightweight Heron build the fuselage plastic tube can be eliminated and clear tape skin can provide torsional strength. See pics
Posted by VicT | Feb 27, 2021 @ 05:04 PM | 9,303 Views
I’m helping a clubmember with his approach and landings with his Extra. We have a constant 5-10 direct crosswind so there is limitless to no headwind component to land on our fabric or grass runway. Ground speed has been reduced using near stall speeds with flaperons, and spoilerons but is problematic. Today I installed flaps and what a difference this makes. With half flaps she slows down and with full flaps she can come in at a higher approach angle and speed is much slower. Takeoffs with half power and half flaps can be slower and with more time to make rudder corrections.

The DX8 was changed to 1 aileron and 1 flap and both have Y cables that get plugged into channel 2 and channel 6 for the flaps. The flap menu was opened and the D switch was assigned: D0 for “Flaps Up”, D1 for “Takeoff Flaps”, and D2 for “Landing Flaps”. I set +100, 0, and -100% but reduced the throw to 95%, 0, 95% to eliminate servo noise from the min digital servos. The stock foam hinge was retained and a portion had to be repaired with after market hinges. The maximum landing flap angle is still good enough for maximum drag that reduces airspeed. Down compensation was put into the flap menu so that with 4 clicks of throttle the approach glide slope with landing flaps is about a 3 degree glide slope hands off except for rudder corrections to centerline. This power can remain until touchdown or reduced to zero during the flair.

The model will still roll quickly with the outer ailerons at max throws if that’s what you want. The inner portion of the aileron does not have as much roll force as the outer portion of the aileron.

I recommend this mod for the Extra 300.
Posted by VicT | Feb 21, 2021 @ 12:16 AM | 8,487 Views
One of nice features of the AR637 in addition to AS3X and SAFE is the built in telemetry without the use of sensors. There is a white connector with a black and red wire that gets plugged into the receiver labeled Volts. The other end is red wire that is bare and gets connected to the red ESC connector that gets plugged into the flight pack. You can solder it or just make a 1/4 inch long slit in the red insulation and force the little wire end into the bundle of strands. I use duct tape to wrap this little wire to the larger red wire so it does not come out. This red wire reads the voltage of your flight pack and sends it to the AR637T Receiver and then it gets transmitted to your talking DX, iX, or NX transmitter. The receiver and transmitter must be bound together in order to get real time voltage. You may have to download the latest airware into your transmitter for everything to work. There is not requirement for a TM 1000 for altitude so we can configure the transmitter to give you altitude numbers on your screen and audio alerts.

To configure your transmitter the receiver can be powered on or off. To verify real telemetry the receiver must be powered on. Since configuring the AR637 for Forward Programming you might be making multiple flights so monitoring the flight pack voltage is important since you don’t want to have the ESC’s BEC activate and cause you to deadstick/glide down to the ground.

The general rule for preserving lipo batteries...Continue Reading
Posted by VicT | Feb 16, 2021 @ 02:07 AM | 9,119 Views
I’ve been flying my Heron with a Turnigy SK glider drive first with my DX9 and currently on my iX12 transmitter. Russ C asked me to set up his new in the box Heron with a powerful motor and his NX10 TX. Using an NX6 to program I plan on using:
1. Motor control on the throttle stick
2. Ailerons on the right stick
3. Elevator on the right stick
4. Rudder on the left stick
5. Flaps on the D switch
6. Left aileron
7. SAFE On /Off on B 0/1 (On/On) and B2 (Off)

The NX6 has a channel to turn SAFE On and Off and you see it in the Channel Input Config screen as 7 Aux2:B B is a 3 position switch that like the C switch can be toggled by the left fore finger. If you grip the TX I think the B switch is more comfortable. Of course a tray can be used or a hand strap to make it easier but most US flyers do not use either. I use a hand strap because when I am spinning around to release my 9 ounce discuss hand launch glider I use my left hand and transmitter to counter balance the forces on my body. The side strap is extra insurance that it won’t drop out of my hand when lifting or carrying my TX. I plan on opening my NX radio to install a velcro strap. I’m not sure what model to use. The NX6 is the lightest using a single cell. I don’t have a NX8 to weigh. I weighed them from lightest to heaviest:

NX6 = 663 g = 23.45 Oz
NX8 =
NX10 = 785 g = 27.65 Oz
IX12. = 878 g= 30.9 Oz
DX9 = 891 g = 31.4 Oz This includes a left hand strap and...Continue Reading
Posted by VicT | Feb 12, 2021 @ 07:29 PM | 8,082 Views
Horizon sent me two wing tip skids for the Fox 3000 and they work great for the belly wheel. I removed the skeg and used 60 grit sand paper over the fuselage to sand the plastic down to match the curvature. I had to stop when the rubber wheel started to show. I used hot glue to secure the housing to the white exhaust grill. I will be using a top canopy exhaust outlet and this will reduce sand and dirt that gets picked up by the belly design.

I will be doing testing on our US Fabric 230 runway with high speed touch and goes and slides. Results to follow. Total weight of the housing and wheel is 4.68 grams and with hot glue I estimate 5.5 grams added.
Posted by VicT | Feb 09, 2021 @ 08:00 PM | 11,897 Views
I used fellow clubmember Greg L’s new NX6 TX to bind to his new Turbo Timber. I was able to export my Turbo Timber program with audio on to an SD card adapter and then use the mini SD card in his TX. I then used his NX6 to import my program and all work was transferred including the multi step pre flight checklist, servo rates, expo, flaps, mixing and the audio. This is a big plus in the NX 6 and hopefullly NX8 and 10. However the SAFE select B switch did not turn SAFE On or Off so I created a new model and this allowed the 100 numbers for aileron, elevator and rudder to show up on the monitor screen. After re binding and confirming that the B switch turned SAFE/Self Level On and Off I knew that the new AR 637T receiver would work. After “waking up” the receiver I rebound to my completed Turbo Timber program but after toggling the B switch 20 times I did not see the switch assignment. I then went back and rebound to the new model and built the program manually. This took about 15 minutes with assigning throttle cut to H and setting up audio, Assigning wing type to 1 aileron and 1 flap and then audio. Then putting in the recommended 100, 0 and -100 for flaps in the Turbo Timber manual. This worked but it was in the wrong direction. So in the servo set up I reversed the Flap channel and it works properly as D0 retracts the flaps, D1 at 0% brings flaps to about 50% or “takeoff flaps” and “landing flaps works with D2. Further programming of the B0, and B1...Continue Reading
Posted by VicT | Feb 04, 2021 @ 04:12 PM | 13,055 Views
Lonny W got his DX9 back from service. It had flashing zeros for the countdown timer and then the screen locked up with a message to return it for service. It took 7-10 days and it was returned with a battery and a missing charge receptacle.
Lonny is waiting for Horizon to call him back so he can get a RA and ship it back with Horizons battery remaining at home. This is the worst report of Horizon service that I’ve heard of. Maybe the tech has COVID and fever is effecting his thinking. I’ve had excellent service from them over many years.
Posted by VicT | Jan 31, 2021 @ 01:36 PM | 12,237 Views
I like the no drag performance of my UMX Turbo Timber with a heavy 850 2S or a lightweight 250 2S lipo. But as a compromise I have replaced the balloon wheels with 131mm or 1.5” diameter wheels for hard surface operations. This is for inside Holiday gym flying or for our new fabric runway at the Odessa WPMPA club.

The new undercarriage adds 6.16 g instead of 9.26 g for the stock set up. This will reduce speed and endurance but allow maneuvering to and from the takeofff and landing areas. It will also allow training for “tricky taildragger training”. The 5 second delay on the Throttle Cut menu really helps out. Each model is different but if you determine the minimum power for lift off and set that when the throttle is cut you have a nice 5 second timeframe to correct for yaw with the left stick. It’s a reduced pilot workload takeoff where power is set and all you have to do is maintained centerline control. Very similar to commercial and military takeoff procedures.
Posted by VicT | Jan 14, 2021 @ 08:46 PM | 11,316 Views
This was the third time learning to fly the Eflite P39 Airacobra using the 12/8 APC prop and 2200 4S SMART lipo. Weather was 3 mph crosswind and 60F so we concentrated on low approaches and go arounds. We found out the lowest power setting for taxi and it turned out to be between 25-30% throttle setting on the DX6 (students) and DX9 (instructors) on screen display. We set throttle cut and moved the throttle up to 25-30% and then uncut the throttle. The P39 broke away from the fabric runway and with in 5 seconds (Throttle Cut Delay) the P39 reached a top speed of about 3-5 mph. We used this same throttle setting on the downwind and then on final with gear and flaps 100 the P39 had a nice descent. We kept her high to clear the 60 ft trees (that have claimed many models) and then once clear used full down (SAFE On limited to about a 40 degree dive) to level off in ground effect (5-7 ft). With only rudder she touched down smooth as silk with this 5 mph taxi power setting. No bounce no guessing when to flare just landing with power on. The hardest part is to take your eyes off the model and setting 25-30% throttle setting. No throttle curve or other adjustments needed.

We tried a 4 yr old 3200 4S pack and got more time but when the countdown timer said 20 seconds to land I made a steep descent clean and put the gear down at about 50 ft. The 2 second setting for gear and 100% flaps was just in time as I touched down in the grass 1 ft away from the fabric...Continue Reading
Posted by VicT | Jan 13, 2021 @ 08:40 AM | 11,710 Views
If you hate scrolling through the 512 voice commands, create a personal folder and copy your favorite voice commands to it. From the Function List go to System Setup>Sound Utilities>Select/Add Category>scroll down and select <Add new category> Give it a name and then select (Add Sounds to Category). Go down the list and select your favorite sounds.

I added about 64 sounds and then put them in alphabetical order. Go to Sort Sounds Within Category. Go down the list and drag the A’s to the top of the list.
Some of the sounds will do things for you. For example I put “photo click” on my I button switch. This takes a picture of what is on the display and puts it on your SD card. You can put “Time Remaining” on the I switch as well and it will tell you the amount of time left on your countdown timer.
Posted by VicT | Jan 06, 2021 @ 11:01 PM | 35,718 Views
The method described here applies to the Eflite Conscendo motorglider but can be used for other motorgliders.
When the stock canopy can’t be replaced or interferes with batteries and other components the plastic canopy is an alternative.

Start with an empty 2 liter soft drink bottle. The tinted green plastic shows the outline of a scale canopy and the tint filters much of the sunlight from fading the interior components.

The bottle has a vertical seam and label that should be avoided. The vertical seam can be used to measure a centerline of one or two canopies. The template plan shows dimensions for the Conscendo canopy. Use a Sharpie permanent marker and start by putting a mark 23 mm away from the bottom horizontal seam. The permanent ink is easily removed later with alcohol later. This initial mark is where the paper template can be taped in place along with small pieces of tape on the side of the paper template. The photo shows 2 canopy outlines on the bottle before they are cut out. The initial cut does not have to be exact as the canopy side edges should be cut with a straight edge and an Exacto #11 blade or a box cutter. The straight edges will be lined up along the decals and act as a straight hinge line with clear book tape. The inside of the canopy gets taped as well. The clear tape is used to make a band that slides aft and forces the canopy tight against the fuselage top and sides. After the canopy is hinged measure the circumference if the...Continue Reading
Posted by VicT | Jan 04, 2021 @ 03:18 PM | 10,053 Views
This is a link to my Jan 4, 2021 post in the P39 thread:

The Airacobra has a nose wheel that most flyers replace with a stronger one. Our new US230 fabric runway will be used for initial flights and ground ops. Grass will be avoided as much as possible. Wireless buddy box for fam training is planned with student DX6 and Instructor DX9 and eventually an iX12 or NX10

A DX6 has been programmed with D0 switch allowing gear and flaps up, D2 Gear and landing flaps down, D1 with Gear down and take off flaps. Gear and flap plugs go into a Y cable and then into Ch6 of the 636B RX. Ch 5 is used for SAFE On/Off. This is KISS with gear and flaps either up or downs and the middle position for other stuff. After gear is retracted moving from D0 to D1 gives just take off flaps. Thanks for Jim Lafferty’s blog on his F86 that he did using the Apprentice RX. I had to use a servo reverser to make the flaps go in the same direction as the gear.

A canopy latch and CG string was added.

The 3 bladed prop vibrates and will be replaced with a 2 bladed APC in the 12-13 diameter range.

If I get one for myself I will be using a 12 inch folder on the 41 850 KV motor extended forward 2 inches for clearance on the nose strut. The dive speed should be at least 1.5 to 2 times the full throttle speed. An Aerostar 60 RVS will allow reverse prop on the B switch for deceleration and backing up. SAFE will be OFF as B switch also turns on SAFE Self Level.
Posted by VicT | Dec 25, 2020 @ 12:50 AM | 13,496 Views
My UMX Turbo Timber weighs 107.2 g W/O battery and with an 850 2S that weighs 46.6g is 153.8 ready to fly. At 28.348 g/oz this equates to 5.42 OZ. Removing the main landing gear saves 13.01 g. The 2 blade prop and spinner with an added 2 gm makes the RTF at 140.8 or 4.9 OZ

The stock 3 blade prop is 120 x 7 mm and weighs 2.07 g the new 2 bladed 130 x 7 mm prop and spinner weigh 3.38 g.

Static wattmeter using an 850 2S Eagle 30-65C with the stock 3 blade is 49.01 W, 6.35 amp and 7.66 V
With the 2 blade folder and spinner the numbers ar............................................47.8 W, 6.22 amp and 7.61 V

Removing the gear and exhaust should extend the Powe off power and gain.

On Sat 12/12/20 I got a 22 min flight at the local soccer field. Temp was 49 and winds 5 mph. The 850 2S had 22% remaining and storage voltage of 3.77 V. Flying consisted of mixed aerobatics and low passes and some gliding. No thermals as the sun was setting. The position, strobe and wing tip lights are nice and show up in the low light conditions. I landed a few times for some adjustments with moving the rudder pushrod to the innermost hole for more throw. At full throttle she is like a little pylon racer! The two bladed prop is a little noisy and I may try a small Graupner prop.

On 1/17/21 I flew after sunset with an old Turnigy Nanotechnology 370 40C lipo that was 83% charged. After using 5 min of motor time I had 30% remaining with 3.7 v storage per cell....Continue Reading
Posted by VicT | Dec 21, 2020 @ 11:45 PM | 13,867 Views
This is the device I got wired up from a clubmember:

The purpose is to power the receiver and 6 servos in my Conscendo EVO and any other model when an ESC fails to provide power to the receiver and servos. ESC can fail to provide power when a BEC circuit fails or a main battery fails to provide sufficient voltage to the ESC or receiver. It can be used to back up a stand alone BEC and battery Incase either of those components fail. However where there is limited space and weight concerns this 25 gram system works well. There are commercial devices with magnetic on/off switches that do the same but this is a low cost alternative you can solder yourself with the pics below. The device costs $4.95 each and there are other alternative methods to do the same thing. This is just one design that is fairly simple.

The way I use it is to measure the voltage of the 1S 450 lipo with a meter or with my iX12 telemetry when the JST connector is plugged in. I get an audio alert from my iX12 “Warning Transmitter Low Battery/Voltage”. I make sure all. 6 servos are working then plug in my 3S or 4S pack and test the motor. The audio alert is silenced because the 3S/4S is supplying normal voltage to the receiver.

If inflight I have no motor power and/or I get an audio alert then I glide in to land and trouble shoot the battery or ESC system.

With components that are at the end of their lifespan this is a way to prevent a mishap and damage to a person, place, or thing.
Posted by VicT | Dec 11, 2020 @ 06:34 AM | 17,497 Views
The Aero Scout LVC was demonstrated to Joe G my latest student. After flying about 25 min. We checked capacity remaining with a Cellmeter 8. It was about 15% remaining. I had Joe straddle the scout to prevent forward movement and had him apply full power. In about 3 or 4 minutes we could hear a gradual reduction in RPM. This took about 1 minute.

I’m not sure which is a better signal to alert a pilots to land but having a gradual reduction in power over 1 minute seems to be an adequate time to set up and land the Scout. I instructed Joe to immediately recharge his 2200 3S SMART battery up to a storage value of 3.7 to 3.8 volts per cell. This is equivalent to 3 x 3.7 or 3.8 or 11.1 to 11.4 total volts as measured with a Cellmeter 8.
Posted by VicT | Dec 09, 2020 @ 11:30 AM | 14,040 Views
I was using a 10/8 blades on the Art Hobby Low Drag spinner and pulling about 28 amps and 430 watts. I had spectacular vertical performance but after about 20 flights I started to hear misfires while under full power. In some cases I had to wait 10 seconds for the motor to start turning. Switching to 3 S eliminated the misfire so I tried a smaller prop and swapped out the 10/8 for 10/7 blades that are a different shape. Power now is reduced to 19-21 amps and 280-290 watts.

I recently completed a 26 min flight with full power climbs to check performance and I am still satisfied with vertical performance and full power aerobatics. I’m using the same 1300 4S Turnigy Graphene 75C pack and I only got one half second “misfire” for about 1 second. Capacity used was 92-14% or 78% with end voltage at 3.6-3.7. I recharged to 3.8 volts for storage.

The blades are less in pitch and shape. I am temporarily using bungee bands but now that I know the blades work will drill out the blades for a