VicT's blog View Details
Posted by VicT | Today @ 05:54 AM | 1,682 Views
I removed the landing gear on my TT to compare power off glide performance and was amazed at the difference both at high and low speed. With a folding prop and ESC programmed for brake there is no windmilling drag and no risk of prop damage during grass belly landings. My favorite foamy motorglider is the Multiplex Heron and it outperforms the TT. This mod is a compromise but can be usefull when soaring over hills or treelines or when landing on soft sand .
Posted by VicT | Dec 27, 2019 @ 09:51 AM | 741 Views
It was 2 weeks before Christmas and chilly with winds 20 gusting to 25 so I decided to introduce my friend to indoor flying. At the local community center I asked the receptionist if we could use an “Open Gym” to fly. I showed her my Night Vapor box and after showing my drivers license, signing a waiver, and paying $1 she OK’d me to use the larger of 2 gyms. I sat down at the bleachers mid field and my friend wheeled in his heavy duty walker equipped with 2 UMX Radians, TX box, and a tool box. I got my Night Vapor trimmed out on a DX9 TX and then my friend’s UMX Radian. After a few partial power circles I used max power to demonstrate a few high speed (20 mph?) pylon turns. My friend was eager to try his hand but flying slow at partial power and constant turning in a confined space was foreign to his outside style of flying. I convinced him to try fixed flaps to help slow down.

Using a steel ruler and a new box cutter I estimated what would be a good hinge line for the flaps. Starting a little way out from the fuselage I marked with a pen the point where I would start my cut. Because the wing has curved polyhedral I went out to where the curve starts and started cutting the outer flap end. Setting the blade depth to about 90 percent of the flap thickness I made a few shallow cuts on the top of the wing. I completed the foam hinge line back to the fuselage flap end. I then bent the flap down about 10-15 degrees and secured this angle with some...Continue Reading
Posted by VicT | Dec 21, 2019 @ 11:57 PM | 3,579 Views
At the Largo club I bought a used Mystique 2.9 meter with ailerons, flaps, and an Eflite 25 motor. Joe said he had plenty of flights but he was having a hard time seeing her. He removed his Futaba RX and I installed an AR636 RX from a Commander. I an using the sailplane type menus with motor on the throttle stick and flight modes on the throttle stick and on the D flap switch. Each flight mode can have different aileron, rudder, and elevator trim. Since elevator trim is used more frequently I have cross trim selected. In System setup, Preflight Checklist I have typed “Cross trims” as a reminder.
Flaps are on a Y cable to RX ch 5 Flaps on D switch. A Turnigy reverser is in line to the left flap because that servo is positioned in the wing pocket the same as the right flap. Right Ail is plugged into RX ch2 and the left Ail is plugged into ch 6. The DX9 uses a copied program from my Heron and though only the right aileron levels the wings when SAFE Self Level is turned on (via DX9 switch B ch 7.....the Heron flys great with SAFE ON or Off. I removed the prop and clevis from flap and aileron horns to prevent jamming. I bound to a new model and Self Level worked on B switch so I rebound to the copied Heron program and renamed it Mystique 2.9. Joe had both ailerons and flaps on Y cables so could not adjust aileron camber. I used seperate aileron channels for crow and thermal aileron camber. The flaps are on a Y cable and are on the 3 position D switch (0 neutral, 1 thermal and 2 landing flaps. Flite modes are assigned to the D switch and aileron camber uses the D switch to activate. The elevator required a reverser for proper self level. Only the flaps were reversed via the TX menu. The AR636 Commander RYX is secured with 3M Dual Lock for easy mounting and removal and receiver plugs face aft.
Posted by VicT | Nov 30, 2019 @ 10:36 PM | 1,793 Views
I have made wing covers from the aluminized windshield covers from Walmart. However this material was posted in the Allusive thread.

It’s Reflectix Radiant Barrier Double Reflective Insulation from Home Depot. It’s $24 for 24 in. X 25 ft. I used clear packing tape and orange Duct tape for the seems.
Posted by VicT | Nov 28, 2019 @ 01:09 AM | 2,790 Views
The aileron inner end has a width/chord of 50 mm so I decided to have a constant 50 mm flap chord from the aileron to the fuselage. I used a long straight edge/ruler and placed painters tape “loops” on the bottom to keep the ruler from slipping. Using a new large box cutter I made perpendicular cuts along the ruler’s edge. The 1/16 inch balsa was easy to cut through but the root end had hardwood and I used Zone saw for that. After separation I used a sanding block to lightly sand away any imperfections in my cut. I then used my straight edge to cut away the top of the flap for reflex. Again I used the sanding block to lightly sand away any imperfections.

I used 1/64 inch thick plywood to face the flaps and wing. I cut 4 lengths of ply a little wider than the faces and made sure the bottom hinge edges were straight and true. I used blue painters tape to hinge the facing on to the bottom of the flap. I then used 5 minute epoxy mixed on to scrap paper before smearing it on to the plywood. After closing up the hinged plywood facing I laid it on its edge on my cutting board and cut away the overlapping ply with my box cutter. I then used painters tape to keep the facing up against the white foam and balsa wing sheeting. Total time to cut and face the flaps and wing was about 2 hours.

After leaving the epoxy to harden overnight the next morning I removed all of he blue painters tape that was keeping the ply facing against the balsa wing sheeting. About 5 %...Continue Reading
Posted by VicT | Nov 27, 2019 @ 01:13 AM | 3,291 Views
This technique can be used on any fiberglass or CF canopy (like the Allusive CF canopy.

The Allusive does not have any intake vents other than the firewall and has no exhaust vents. Other owners have used the aluminum turbo spinner to cool off the motor shaft and motor. Others have used spoons or scoops that stick out away from the fuselage. This technique uses intake and exhaust cutouts.

I used blue painters tape and cut out 2 intake and 2 exhaust templates. There is more exhaust area to allow for low pressure movement of hot air inside the canopy area where my ESC and battery are located. Air entering the turbo spinner hole and firewall holes can exit thru the exhaust vents.

I positioned the blue tape templates so that the folding prop would not interfere with the vent openings or the CF hold down strip under the canopy. The canopy sill was used as a guide to place the blue tape templates. Using a diamond rotary wheel on my Dremmel I cut along the edge of the blue painters tape as shown.

Using 1/16” plywood I cut out 8 vent sides for the 4 vents. After wedging the vents open with scrap plywood I used CA kicker and medium CA to glue the ply pieces to each vent. After they were dry and secure I cut away excess wood and then used regular Gorrilla glue to reinforce the ply pieces to the CF canopy....Continue Reading
Posted by VicT | Nov 24, 2019 @ 10:55 PM | 6,865 Views
I recently bought a used Allusive motorglider with Hitech MG servos and a NTM Motor with an Eflite 40 amp Lite Pro ESC. Specs state 55 amps for 15 sec. A hard brake was programmed using the ESC online manual.

The 12/7 prop on 3 S used 30A and 325 watts.
With the same prop but with A 4S she drew 45 amps and 623 watts.
Posted by VicT | Nov 16, 2019 @ 08:48 AM | 4,340 Views
This is a brief explanation on how to configure your talking DX 5, 6, 7, 8, or 9 transmitters. The photos are the same or very similar. You must have an AR636 receiver that comes with the 50 or so models that are the Bind and Fly type. You can buy a receiver from Horizon and have them program an “open stock” AR636 receiver for about $90 (as of Nov 2019). Most of the older types of wood or foam models can use the AR 636 receiver. The receiver must be solidly mounted and orientation is important and reversing the direction of the elevator, aileron, and rudder channels can’t be done at the transmitter. A $7 servo reverser, or a reverse servo are some ways to solve this situation. Removing the servo output arms and repositioning them 180 degrees so they push or pull the flight control surface is another way. The pushrod or tubing must not bind or interfere with anything and this may take time and effort. Purchasing a program cable and connecting it to the Bind port of the receiver is another way. You must use a Windows computer or tablet, and download programs and updates. Learning how to program the receiver can take some time. Terms like relative and absolute gains and flight modes must be understood. There are Spektrum videos and third party programs to help. If you enjoy spending hours on your Windows 7 or newer computer then read RC Groups on how to program your AR636 receiver. The pics are numbered and correspond to the following paragraphs.

1. Go to...Continue Reading
Posted by VicT | Nov 12, 2019 @ 05:02 PM | 1,359 Views
Flys great using the V900 AR636 programmed by Horizon Technical.
Eflite Power 52
Castle Lite 100 amp
APC 13/8
5S Glacier 5300

7-9 min with moderate power use.

Did not use cable to reprogram RX but used 3 electronic reversers

Y channel for ailerons on ch 2
Flaps are on ch 5 and 6

SAFE On/Off on DX8 switch B0/B2
Posted by VicT | Nov 06, 2019 @ 05:44 PM | 1,654 Views
The Maule has 3 plugs (aileron, flap, and wing led lights that must be connected and stuffed into the left and right wing panels. They come with a label but after time the labels disappear and it’s easy to make a mistake. I’ve engraved the black plastic and used white paint to identify them but it’s still a potential problem. About a month ago I took off and there was not the usual aileron response so I landed and found out that I had connected the flap to aileron plugs witch rendered no aileron movement. However because I usually mix ailerons to rudder I was able to steer with rudder only using the right stick.

In my rush to complete a test flight I failed to complete a flight control check. It was on my pre flight DX TX Checklist but I failed to complete the drill. Lesson was learned. Yesterday I found one of the pins bent and it would not seat correctly so I had to resend the pin for correct spacing. I decided to fix this problem and improve the connection process for ease and reliability.

My Radian Pro has been flying since it first came out. I converted the plugs to a glued in single plug and I’ve had no problems with over 100 or so connections and disconnections. The pins are bigger and stronger than the typical servo plugs, Deans, or other pins. The spacing is bigger and there is more surface area for glue to bond with foam or wood support.

I ordered the same type of connectors for my Maule except it’s a 6 pin plug with a matching header. I will use 2 pins for +/- power, 2 pins for the aileron and flap signals, and 2 pins for the +- led power.

To be continued......
Posted by VicT | Oct 15, 2019 @ 06:23 AM | 2,512 Views
The stock landing gear is good for rough ground or sand/snow/mud as the large tires provide added floatation and little rolling resistance. Once in the air though the large frontal area provide drag. The wire gear sags and gives negative camber when on the ground. You can bend the axles down for positive camber but now she looks like Cessna Birdog! because the axles are approximately .75 inches aft of the leading edge the tail wheel has less weight compared to axles that are in front of the leading edge. This and rolling resistance can cause nose overs while landing and decelerating on certain surface conditions. Prop strikes and fin damage can result that might end further flying for the day. Here is an alternative landing gear system that reduces the above negative aspects. Like any modification be careful and responsible when operating and proceed at your own risk.

I chose the #132 Robart Scale Diamond Tread 2.75 inch tires because of their low bounce properties and looks. The landing gear is the Dubro Super Strength .35-.61 size. Dubro Axle Shafts 5/32 are bolted to the injected molded gear after drilling out a 5/16 inch hole. There is a pilot “dimple” on the gear but there is room for a different hole for a slightly lower axle location.

The Maule has sufficient foam in front of the stock plastic landing gear parts. Plywood that is 1/4 inch thick by 3 5/8 wide by 2 inch long is used with 3/32 inch thick plywood longerons to carry the...Continue Reading
Posted by VicT | Oct 11, 2019 @ 02:11 PM | 2,394 Views
When I first got my Timber I liked the articulated/hinged main landing gear with springs. I thought it would hold up to true dropped in hard landings and it did for about 20 landings. Then problems started to show up. Spring stretch, then spring limiter failure then splitting of the seam where the plastic landing gear mounts are located.

I called Horizon fixed wing technical and they gave me free landing gear and springs (when they were in stock). I installed the new parts and the same problems would re occur. This did not happen at the 2 clubs that I belong to that have hard runways. However I quickly learned that the Timber is a great trainer if the student and instructor can avoid nose overs and prop strikes. (I’ve been flying RC since 1965 and RC instructing since 1996 when I retired as a military C-130 instructor pilot)

I changed my landing style from STOL type touchdowns to conventional round out/flare type touchdowns and this helped but when landing in grass the added drag on the big wheels caused momentum problems where the Timber would nose over and the windmilling prop would strike the grass/ground. This did not help beginners learning the Timber and I ended up fixing many Timber landing gear problems until I switched to the Valiant 1.3 landing gear. It changed the looks but kept the Timber operational much longer than the stock articulated gear design. Here is how I tried to fix the articulated design problems.

I wanted to fix the design problem of the...Continue Reading
Posted by VicT | Oct 05, 2019 @ 10:09 PM | 2,098 Views
I’ve set up two brand new Maules in the last 2 weeks. My Maule on wheeled floats is still holding up despite a potential mishap.... more on this later.

Dennis had been flying his Maule since it was released but lost sight of her and it got lost in the Florida swamps. He switched to the Valiant for 6 months but decided he liked the Maule for its rugged construction.

I offered to program his new Maule. It has the same Jan 2018 Manual but he had to pay an extra 18% tariff because of the sanctions against China. The servo plugs are now labeled on the black plastic so. No sticky paper labels to fall off. I had to pull the aileron, flap, and light plugs out of the fuselage with a small hook. They really jam them in. Too bad they can’t make a modular connector like on the Commander, and EC1500. Once you make it he connections and use the 4 wing bolts and 2 strut bolts the tendency is to keep it a one piece model. I made up a handle from .046 inch KS music wire and before the final bend used coffee stirrer tubes to position a hook for ceiling mounting at home or in the vehicle. I used credit cards CA’d to the fuselage to keep them secured.

Dennis still had his program in his DX8 Gen 2 TX but to initially program SAFE I used a new model and made sure that the gear channel 5 would be operated by assigning switch B. I used an aileron extension ( actually I used the included float Y cable to extend the bind connector to the outside of the fuselage. After...Continue Reading
Posted by VicT | Oct 05, 2019 @ 12:19 AM | 1,776 Views
Dropping parachutes and other things from the cargo bay can get caught up and snagged with the drop linkage. Covering the drop linkage can minimize “hung loads”. Here is one way to cover the linkage.

Remove the wings, stab and fin. Place the fuselage on your lap or in a foam cradle. The drop linkage extends out towards the center of the cargo bay and can be moved closer to the fuselage wall. To do this first power up the fuselage and extend the ramp fully open and remove the bolt and nut from the ball link on the ramp/door. A small pair of forceps can be clamped on to the nut while a long Phillips head screwdriver unscrews the bolt.

With the ramp/door disconnected insert a small box cutter between the servo sides and the foam. This will cut the bond between the glue and foam bond. Be careful not to cut the servo wires. Now move the servo fore and aft with your fingers to further loosen the glue/foam bond. Do this until you can pull the servo out and away from the foam cavity. Do not use plyers or Vise Grips as you can squeeze the servo and damage the internal gears.

With the servo removed use a small box cutter to remove the foam servo support structure. With the structure removed use a Dremmel tool to grind away a deeper servo pocket. Be careful not to break thru the fuselage wall. Test fit the servo into the deeper foam pocket. When satisfied glue the servo into the pocket. I used regular Gorilla Glue on the sides and bottom of the...Continue Reading
Posted by VicT | Sep 16, 2019 @ 03:50 PM | 1,779 Views
The cowl uses 3 screws to secure it to the nacelle. Once those are removed you still have to remove the spinner bolt, adapter nut, prop, and backplate. If you can’t remove the prop because of a jammed nut or stripped collet threads then cutting the cowl away is one way. Here is a cowl that uses red (or white) electrical tape to hide the cut line. The top tape can stay in place and act as a hinge. The remaining cut lines can be hidden or left visible as the 3 screws will secure the cowl to the nacelle.

I made up a tool to keep the the motor from turning while tightening the prop adapter nut. If you can’t keep the motor from spinning by gripping the spinner backplate you must grip the motor. Removing the cowl with this clamshell mod will allow you to do this and screw it back in place. If you have a prop strike and suspect a loose motor mount this mod allows you to inspect the motor area quicker because the prop will not have to be removed.

The top hinge can be made from any kind of tape. I have been using a Tyvek paper hinges on flaps and other flight controls and CA works excellent on plastic if it’s sanded first. However clear or electrical tape can be used.
Posted by VicT | Sep 15, 2019 @ 11:47 PM | 1,855 Views
The Esprit Prop Shaft Adapter is about 30 % bigger than the stock unit so you can put more torque on the nut and threads. This translates so about 30% more gripping power between the aluminum collet and steel 5 mm motor shaft. In Jason M’s video he recommends holding the spinner backplate or motor to keep the threaded adaptor from turning. This is done with one hand while the other hand uses a wrench to tighten the nut.

I made up a tool that slips into one of the 4 motor cooling slots and this keeps the motor/shaft from turning while the collet is being tightened onto the shaft. It’s a steel 6 “ mending bar that I cut with a hacksaw and filed down to fit the slot. It’s bent into an “S” shape to fit between the prop and plastic nacelle. The nacelle is cut out for clearance.
Posted by VicT | Aug 28, 2019 @ 06:07 PM | 1,898 Views
I know I tightened my prop adapter too tight because when I removed the nut I saw pieces of aluminum threads. The adapter threads were damaged beyond use. As an experiment I cut away the damaged threads and used the same nut on a thinner grey APC prop to see how tight I could get the nut without damaging the threads. I tightened the nut to finger tight and marked with a Sharpie pen the 12 o’clock positions of both the nut and threaded prop adapter. I then used a wrench to tighten 1/4 turn (3 o’clock). I proceeded to turn the nut to the 6 o’clock position. I then went to the 8 o’clock position and with a motor restraining tool tried to make the prop slip on the shaft. I could but it was difficult. I then removed the nut easily (not jammed) and inspected the threads and no damage was found. The black plastic 8 blade prop and the grey APC prop are similar but could have different compressibility so this test is only a guide.

I am waiting for larger 5/16 (5mm shaft, 8 mm prop bore) adapters from a non Eflite company to compare the gripping difference.
Posted by VicT | Aug 28, 2019 @ 02:50 PM | 1,821 Views
I flexed the two elevators to eliminate binding but did not check the elevator pushrods. I pried off the plastic cover and removed the output arm. I saw that I had about 5-8 degrees up and about 30 degrees down before binding. Using hemostats I pushrod back and forth on the pushrod about 100 times to eliminate the binding. Now I get about 30 degrees up elevator without binding. Now the elevator servo won’t get worn out as quickly. Such a shame there is not a redundant elevator servo on a Y cable to operate one elevator when the other one fails. See pics.
Posted by VicT | Aug 27, 2019 @ 11:51 PM | 2,040 Views
I like my new EC1500 but do not want to lose the 5 bladed prop and spinner in flight. The loss of control and crash into someone/something concerns me. Last week the right prop , spinner, and collet departed the motor shaft while I was applying full power on 4 S while on the ground. I had about 10 minutes of scale like flying two days before with no problems. Apparently that 10 minutes was enough to reduce the grip between the aluminum collet and steel motor shaft. I remounted the undamaged prop and re tightened the nut a little more than what I usually tighten and put a 4S and then a 3S flight in. On the post flight I found I could tighten the nut a little more so I did but then I felt less resistance. I tried to unscrew the nut but it had jammed on the aluminum collet threads. I made a slot on the end of the collet and with a screw driver was able to keep the shaft from turning while freeing the jammed nut. After the nut was removed I was able to remove the prop. I have not flown the EC 1500 since as I am waiting for collets (not Horizon/Eflite) that are bigger like the Timber, SR22 and other Eflite collet adapters. Horizon sent me some Zap Z-42 thread locker however I still do not know how much torque to apply without jamming the nut. I could measure with a torque wrench the foot pounds required to jam and damage the threads on a new collet and nut and use that for a reference or go to a different collet that has more surface area like the Timber and SR...Continue Reading