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Posted by Micubano | Yesterday @ 09:34 AM | 1,273 Views
This was a rough summer in every way except with my favorite hobby. Since this time last fall, I have built 5 Balsa ARF kits. Each one was a little different. They all took at least a month. With the latest, a PA Katana 52, I learned a few things that have me going back over my previous builds and tweaking their setups a little. I did a lot of flying with some really good people. I am currently depressed. It's OK. I know it and keep an eye on it. It's situational, started in April, and I'm not going to get into detail about it. I am out of my planes to build, but a friend was nice enough to let me build his PA Ultimate AMR this winter. That should help me get my mind off things. I am hoping to pick up another balsa kit to build during Black Friday or some other sale. Of course, I keep forgetting a friend gave me a little 3 channel Steerman balsa kit with plans to build for my son. I know I can do it, but there is one big block of wood in there that is intimidating. I have to make sure I am relaxed and ready to take it slow when I get to that part.

In the meantime, here is a video new club member at LAMs, Nate, took while I was flying earlier in the spring. It was probably one of my best flights all summer.

Precision Aerobatics Addiction - Just Having Fun (6 min 28 sec)

Posted by Micubano | Jul 11, 2019 @ 12:11 PM | 3,319 Views
Bob S. picked this EF 78" Extra up used last year and he finally got out for a night of flying. Based on my personal experience and watching others, kids sports is the #1 killer of hobbies. I am glad my kids are mostly past that phase and my youngest comes out with me of flying nights with his own planes.

Extreme Flight 78" Extra @ LAMs Field - Pilot: Bob Swika (5 min 56 sec)

Posted by Micubano | Jul 02, 2019 @ 09:22 AM | 2,426 Views
Tom showed up with an 80" plane that he has had for about 10 years. He had it out last night to test and trim it. I spent 3 1/2 hours at the field and went home very relaxed and happy.

Tom Trimming Out His EleXtra Fun @ Abington RC Sport Flyers Field (Lackawanna State Park) (4 min 32 sec)

Posted by Micubano | Jun 24, 2019 @ 08:45 AM | 5,392 Views
First, maiden flight video:

Precision Aerobatics Addiction - Maiden Flight (6 min 53 sec)

From August 2015 until September 2018, the E-Flite Ultimate2 was my #1 plane. By last summer, I was so confident flying it that I put a wood prop and aluminum spinner on it. That changed after NEAT Fair 2018. After a disappointing HK auction followed by a few beers in the Beacon tent, I walked by the Flex Innovation stand with exactly enough money in my pocket to buy a Mamba 10 from two really nice guys. Since then, my top lineup has changed significantly. The Pa Extra 260 is definitely #1. The next 4 are really close to each other. I'd have to go:

1. Precision Aerobatics Extra 260
2. Mamba 10
3. Precision Aerobatics Addiction (original)
4. E-Flite Ultimate2
5 Extreme Flight 48" Edge 540T EXP

Some of you may be thinking that Extreme Flight Edge should be higher on the list. I want it to be. It flies fine and I have it dialed in now, but it is taking me a while to get used to. I think it is because it is extremely light and it responds so incredibly fast. I love the insanity but sometimes I think it is going to tear itself apart. Definitely a high pucker factor plane when doing insane maneuvers with my most expensive plane. I'm sure after 50 or so flights I'll calm down. The FI Cap 232 would be on there if the servos didn't fail. There was no crash and FI replaced the two servos, but I am still nervous about it. I should turn the gains down.
Posted by Micubano | Apr 17, 2019 @ 08:21 AM | 3,197 Views
Technically I never stopped flying. This winter was pretty tame. It just feels good to pack the car up in the morning to immediately hit the field after work.

Edit: Apparently it is an orange plane day.
Posted by Micubano | Apr 13, 2019 @ 10:07 PM | 2,881 Views
My son's first balsa kit and he is going to build it with just a little help from me. It's my first year for balsa flying too, so he has 32 years on me with this one. We had the RA Cores Extra out today in some strong winds practicing. From what I hear, he will have no issues flying it. I'm putting an Aura 8 in for him too so it will handle a little more like a bigger plane.
Posted by Micubano | Mar 25, 2019 @ 08:59 AM | 3,037 Views
I admit I tried to get my son into flying way too young. Like when he was 8ish. He was not enjoying flying the high wings or biplanes. He always seemed so concerned about crashing and the cost of a crash despite him recording me crash planes on a few occasions and then seeing the planes repaired and flying again. Yet, he still liked going to NEAT Fair. I thought he just liked the nice drive and finding new places to eat. Last year, he found out profile foamies are very reasonably priced and durable. He started coming out with me to the clubs when he didn't have other activities and flying an old profile foamy that I beat up a lot over the years. He likes hanging with the guys. His flying was still pretty awkward and just a pattern around the field with a few snap rolls thrown in. Every time he was with me, I made sure we stopped somewhere to eat afterward and talked about the flights and whatever is on his mind. This winter, he hit RealFlight hard. At least 15 minutes a day for 3 or 4 days a week. He swore that the minor and constant stick movements improved his Fortnite game. Whatever. I'll take it. Yesterday, he asked to go try his new plane and I recorded this.

RA Cores Extra Profile Foam Airplane - Callum's First Flight (2 min 40 sec)

I only had enough money on me for a frozen Coke for him afterward. He deserved it. It was the first time he flew in wind and kept the plane under control the entire time. No buddy box. No help except for me walking on the field to hand launch it because the wind was at our backs. That is why the video is the way it is. I had to run back to the flight line. And he nailed the final landing. Plus this is a park he is normally not comfortable at. He prefers the wide open clubs, but they are too soggy to walk on. I am so proud of him. He's 13 and we are going to have a fun summer of flying together.
Posted by Micubano | Mar 15, 2019 @ 09:53 AM | 3,623 Views
I forgot to blog that I took a break from the balsa builds (right before my week from hell) to work on the RA Cores Extra with my son. Easy build and tons of aileron throw. It can handle a pretty strong breeze that some people would call wind. After the maiden flight, just for fun, I turned the wind on Real Flight up to 50 mph with 100% turbulence und flew a PA Extra 300. The landing was tough, but the plane was intact!

Our new RA cores earned its spot on the wall of things that I don't want lying around the workshop in the basement because they would warp or break there. You can't see it in the picture, but my son wrote both our names on the fuse. I think he likes the RA cores planes the most because they are durable. I can't wait for the flying season to start.
Posted by Micubano | Mar 14, 2019 @ 09:57 AM | 4,040 Views
So, I had a hip replaced back in October. That went as well as anyone could hope. Last Wednesday, I picked up a nasty head cold. One sick day from work and then I was able to work from home Thursday. Friday I get in work and IMMEDIATELY get a call from my son's school because he was sick. He had been out sick since Monday (and the one who got me sick). He really wanted to get back to school because the work was piling up, but the nurse said he needed more rest. I agreed. I work from home again because driving back will just waste more time. After work, I do get in a flight with our new RA Cores Extra in a pretty heavy breeze. I decided one battery was enough and not risk it because my son needs to fly it before it gets damaged. He did write both our names on it when we finished putting it together . Friday night, my hip I had the replacement on feels a little stiff. Saturday morning, now it's my ankle and knee too. I go to a party to watch a band for an hour around 3 PM, but don't drink or eat anything because I feel off. Sunday, I wake up barely able to walk because of the pain. . I take medicine prescribed for the swelling and pain, sit in my recliner, sleep a lot, and watch a perfect day for flying pass me by. Real Flight did help once I found models for two new planes I have for the spring. Monday is no better. I take a personal day at work because they were pretty generous the week before. I call the doc and get different pills because the ones I am taking did not work....Continue Reading
Posted by Micubano | Feb 24, 2019 @ 04:11 PM | 3,764 Views
I attended AMA Expo East this year. The PA Extra 260 is complete and waiting for a nice spring day to maiden. I have a 1/2 finished E-Flite Slick 3D on the bench. Despite not having flown anything sporty and balsa yet, I picked up the Extreme Flight 48" Edge. Plus I always have to get something from RA Cores when I see Jim. His planes are a lot of fun to build and fly.
Posted by Micubano | Feb 01, 2019 @ 12:43 PM | 5,684 Views
The pull-pull system, motor, air scoops, and ESC are run. All I have left are the wing bolts, cowl/prop/spinner, and the Aura 8/SR8010T combo. I looked at so many pictures for the pull-pull system for the holes. The hole in the rudder was the worst to find because it was under the solid black covering. Putting a light behind it would not help, but I could feel it. I kept running my finger over one side until the square was pronounced on the covering and then cut through it. Both ropes are clamped tight, centered, and give the same pitch guitar string like twang when I pluck them.

I took my time cutting through all the holes that were covered by the fiberglass on the motor box and the air scoops. Everything was flat and debris free in the motor box when I mounted the motor. The air scoops are aligned almost perfectly symmetrical. If they are off, I can't tell.

The one thing I noticed is how many different adhesives I used in this project. Thin CA (balsa screw holes), Thick CA (air scoops), 5-minute epoxy (hinges and other things), and 30-minute epoxy (I forget, but it was something that needed to be strong). 5-Minute Epoxy was definitely used the most.

Maybe this weekend I will actually finish the build and get the electronics set and tested.
Posted by Micubano | Jan 28, 2019 @ 10:30 AM | 6,020 Views
I've built a few RACores planes, so the idea of glue and thread push rods is not new to me. Last night after finishing all the soldering, I was doing the aileron pushrods on the Precision Aerobatics (PA) Extra 260. I was really, really taking my time. Despite that, the first attempt was too short when I finally installed it. I took it apart, scrapped the CA and thread off of the CF rod, and started over. The second time it was too long. So now I feel I am missing something because everything looks good until I install it. So the third time while I am adjusting I look around and see what else is moving. I am using the PA CF servo arm extenders. I notice that they are what is moving because I'm not putting in the center screw when I put the arm on because I have never needed to do this in the past. This is my first time using extender arms. So, the third time I was dead on. Aileron 2 was so much faster...until I misplaced the servo screw and crawled around my work area for 10 minutes. You know where it ended up being. It was exactly where I put it to not lose it but forgot about while putting on the glue and heat shrink. After I found it sitting in the servo (from now on they all go back to the screw tray!) and finally got the push rod in place, I decided that would be a good place to stop for the day. I have the elevator servo, pull-pull system, electronics, cowl, prop, and spinner left to install.

It's funny because I have seen some threads where someone builds an entire...Continue Reading
Posted by Micubano | Jan 24, 2019 @ 09:34 AM | 6,082 Views
And the PA Extra 260 ARF build keeps moving along. I epoxied the rudder on last night and made little corrections until it set. This morning the rudder and elevator have full range and no sticking points. Tonight I seal the rudder gap, install the final (elevator) servo, and get the pushrods and pull-pull system in place. My EC3 connectors should arrive Saturday. Hoping to finish it this weekend. I am totally putting together the Slick 3D after this. Not sure why I didn't do that one first for some practice. This is a lot more fun than getting slapping something together in an hour. I can't wait to hook up the Aura 8 to the PC and fine tune the out of it.
Posted by Micubano | Jan 23, 2019 @ 12:09 PM | 6,483 Views
I owned two Precision Aerobatics (PA) planes years ago before I joined a club. A Mini Kitana and an Addiction. I didn't build them and the only reason I had them is the LHS gave me a great deal on both of them because one of the employees damaged them a little while "testing" them. They were supposed to hang on my wall until I was ready for balsa and balsa repairs. About a year later I was tired of flying mostly alone and joined a local flying club. One afternoon a guy I'm friends with started going on about his two PA planes he sold and missed. Long story short, he got his planes back and I got wall space back. He was very grateful. It was worth it.

I've been flying for almost 8 years now. I didn't fly the PAs, but I do have an old balsa E-Flite Cessna 150 Acrobat 250 I picked up 2 years ago and take out from time to time. It has survived so far and I am happy with it. The rest of my collection has been foam and almost entirely Horizon. There is a balsa Slick 3D sitting in its box in my basement for two years too, but I didn't put in the time to learn about balsa assembly and repair. I didn't feel ready. Plus, why balsa when we have all this wonderful foam stuff that is easily repaired. That started changing after having a few beers in the FoamTac tent at NEAT after not winning the plane I wanted at the Hobby King tent auction. I was passing the Flex Innovations (FI) tent on the way back to my club's spot on the flight line and decided to stop. I had money....Continue Reading
Posted by Micubano | Jan 08, 2019 @ 09:34 AM | 7,059 Views
I am loving Flex Innovations' planes. I have a Mamba 10, Extra 300 G1, and the Cap 323 now. It all started with the Mamba 10 at NEAT Fair. When I go to the basement and look at all my other planes, I am wondering when I am going to fly them. Well, not the HH Ultimate2, CZ Cessna, and CZ Cub. I am in the middle of putting together a Precision Aerobatics Extra 260 too. I'm putting the IPA kit and an Aura 8 in it. I'm wondering how it will compare to the Flex planes. I didn't realize that I would need to cut holes in the covering in several places. I'm glad that I keep a lot of new Exacto blades around. I learned from cutting foam that using a new blade every session will keep everything nice looking. I also didn't know a sealing tool is needed. That arrives Saturday. Late 2018 was the Fall of Flex. Maybe 2019 will be about balsa. After 8 years, I finally know what kind of planes I like to fly and willing to sink some money into some good ones without the fear of breaking the landing gear off.

Before the Cap 232 trade happened, I started selling planes to make room. For the CAP 232, I let two guys go crazy and pick out a dozen planes of all sizes. I knew one for years. He is a good pilot. It turned out the other guy only talked a good game. I found out New Years Day at a fun fly that he destroyed the CZ Splendor and Force RC F-18 Blue Angels I traded to him. I just fixed the canopy hatch on the Splendor and the test flights were good. I had an AR636 tuned nicely in the F-18, that had 4 flights on it. I'm wondering if he put a 3S in it. He also has my old QQ Extra 280 that was like new. I'm hoping he hangs it on a wall and never flies it. It's thinking like this that makes my basement look like I'm an airplane hoarder. Well, it doesn't look that way now. I sold/traded a lot of planes. On the other hand, I do have his Cap 232. He set up nice with an AR8010T RX, sat, and even bought HK wing bags. I will have my Cap 232 for years.
Posted by Micubano | Dec 19, 2018 @ 01:09 PM | 5,676 Views
He picked the RA Cores Mini Yak up at NEAT fair. We were supposed to build it together, but he has been too busy with school and sports. I was thinking about what local gym we could use to fly it in during the build when I received a text that there is going to be a dome fly in New Years Day. He is going to love flying it there. It's not a Christmas gift, but I like putting some of the small planes on the tree every year.
Posted by Micubano | Sep 20, 2018 @ 02:43 PM | 7,046 Views
At NEAT Fair he picked up a Hobby King Arctic Cat Kit and Bonsai II PNF Wing plus a RC Cores 22" Mini Yak. He also got an E-Flite PT-17 1.1. Plus we are almost done building an RA Cores Spitfire that I bought a few years ago and pretty much forgot about. He put Fortnite guns on the wings already, so that is his too. I'd rather have him keep getting planes to fly and doing Fortnite themes that playing Fortnite . That's not a bad haul for a kid who just turned 13.
Posted by Micubano | Aug 23, 2018 @ 11:05 AM | 7,276 Views
This summer my son has gone from no interest in flying to wanting to fly a lot. He has been flying his UMX Radian, PT-17 and Pitts. Last night he brought the X-Vert to the field and insisted we didn't need to buddy box. He seemed really confident, so I let him. I took a brief video just to capture the moment and then put the phone away in case I needed to take the TX. It turns out I didn't need to. By the end of the night he was doing loops and his turns were pretty solid without SAFE and on the flight line by himself. All his flights (PT-17 and X-Vert) were great and he didn't crash once.

Our trip last week to both Air and Space museums in Washington DC (The Udvar-Hazy center is a must visit place if you like planes) seemed to really solidify his love of planes. We were still on vacation when we picked out a new UMX Yak 54 for him to try. Yeah, I know it's delicate. I have the AS3Xtra. I'm willing to risk the $100 on him so he can try something new and build up his own hangar.

Now that I think about it, his interest started up again when I showed him pictures of a full scale biplane that someone locally built next to a 1/4 RC version of the same plane that a club member built. He seemed fascinated that someone built their own plane. He asked about building a full scale airplane once. I wonder how serious he was?

My Son Flying the XVert (0 min 46 sec)

Posted by Micubano | Aug 07, 2018 @ 10:41 AM | 6,594 Views
My son went all in on sports for a long time there and told me he was done with flying. He burned out on the sports and is taking a well deserved break, but his Mom hates him sitting around. I think he just asked me to go flying to get out of the house originally, but after a few flights he genuinely seems interested. This video was from a few days ago, but last night he was getting fancy with the UMX Radian. He is also liking the UMX PT-17. With the UMX Pitts he is having trouble correcting after a turn, but he'll get it. He also started an RC channel on YouTube for his videos. Right now he only has 2 subscribers, so if some RCG people wouldn't mind subscribing, that would help keep him interested. The channel is dedicated to RC videos only. Thanks!

Flying the E-Flite UMX Radian at Lackawanna State Park (2 min 54 sec)

Posted by Micubano | Jul 24, 2018 @ 01:43 PM | 6,837 Views
So...were are having a new roof put on and the contractor asked to store some things inside. My wife said "Sure, there is plenty of room" not realizing that there is no more room in my workshop. I get a phone call from her. She asked me not buy any more planes for a while. Does that include the Crescendo I bought this morning? I probably should have told her about that. Well, I made it to 80. Time to sell some planes cheap to the guys at the clubs and put the money towards vacation in a few weeks to smooth things over. Maintenance time was getting out of control anyway.