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Posted by VicT | Sep 08, 2021 @ 09:51 PM | 16,371 Views
I purchased the Tori Arf 2 m because of the fiberglass fuse and thin balsa built up poly wings with ailerons. The included Great Planes 10 motor and 40 amp ESC were measured with a 11/8 Super Carbon fiber folding prop mounted on a 38/4/8 BB aluminum folding spinne. The ESC must see full throttle then idle for normal operation. The brake works and .....With a 2200 Gold Racing 3S 35 C I measured 492 w, 46.7 amps, 10.4 volts. This exceeds the ESC so a smaller prop will be used for initial testing. A backup battery and diode will take over for ESC failure. Testing will include trimming a d flutter testing with flaperons using a NX8 and 637 T receiver.

The stock elevator and rudder pushrod screw clamps had too much play so we’re repack with .047” music wire keepers. The .047” wire was used to drill out the 2 horns. Wire was wound to allow sliding on the pushrods. After centering rudder and elevator they will be secured with solder.

The program was copied from the Conscendo spoileron program.
Posted by VicT | Sep 01, 2021 @ 08:55 PM | 25,073 Views
Don C has been flying with me on wireless buddy box after a 37 year leave of absence. He has 10 good flights with his Aeroscout S 1.3 and an. E flight Mustang is on his bucket list. He bought a Valiant as a next step up before E flight retracts and I have maidened and trimmed the Valiant for training. I made some modifications from my experience with two other Valiants and countless training flights. I made a top battery hatch, moved the gear forward and made a hoist/CG checker.

While all 3 mods are worth the time and effort to me the hoist is the easiest and most used. You will need a wire coat hanger and some plyers.

The hoist is great to hang the model from a garage ceiling or mini van ceiling. It fits two fingers for carrying out to the runway or back into the pits. You can check the CG with one hand. The manual states 65 mm plus or minus 3 mm from the leading edge. I marked this on the plastic wing joiner with a CG symbol. I used .068 inch music wire for the handle but coat hanger might work. See the diagram for dimensions. I used 50 pound fishing line for a loop that slides along the handle for an accurate CG measurement. The two wing panels can be separated. See pics
Posted by VicT | Aug 19, 2021 @ 06:57 PM | 27,176 Views
Mike and I lost control of his Conscendo Evolution while it was flying north 100 ft AGL (above ground level). She continued to glide north about 500’ into a swamp.

The cause of loss of control is suspected to be a loss of power to the receiver from the battery to ESC connection or from the ESC to receiver connection. It takes about 8 seconds to get full control on the pre flight table and this is with a perfectly still model. If the model is held by hands then the minute movement may take longe. So in flight if there is an intermitttant loss of power the model will continue flying far away.

Fail Safe can prevent the model from flying straight away. The BNF receivers such as the AR637TA can be set up during the bind process to provide a gliding turn with the motor off. Forward programmed receivers such as the AR637T have a specialized procedure to designate angles for pitch and roll. Here is how I programmed Fails Safe using the AR637TA reciever in the BNF Aeroscout 1.1

After take off I used full aileron left trim and full up elevator trim. With power off this gave me a nice descending left hand turn with about 20 degrees left bank and 5 degrees nose down. You can recenter the trims for landing or use aileron and elevator to land the model. On the ground I rebound the model with those trims set. After binding I put the trims back to center. To confirm Fail Safe I turned off the transmitter ( by the power switch or System menu) and...Continue Reading
Posted by VicT | Aug 17, 2021 @ 10:51 PM | 21,245 Views
My first fly away model was a $500 Hobby Hawk glider in 1982. I used a glow power pod to climb to about 1000 ft and after 10 minutes of soaring there was no control. I figured it was the 10 year old 4 cell Nicad battery pack that gave out. Since then I have tried to keep preventative maintenance a top priority.

Today I was instructing with Mike’s Conscendo Evolution. She had an upgraded Art Hobby Spinner and 10/8 Graupner prop and reinforced fuselage using fiberglass. The two long antennas from the AR 637TA were aft off the receiver and inside the foam fuselage with holes made from a 1/8 “ diameter pointed stick. There is no way to put one of the antennas at 90 degrees unless a hole or tube is made for one of the wing panels.

We had about 5 minutes of getting familiar with the spoileron program switching from Instuctor to Student. Mike was about 6-800 ft away and could not turn. He said he had no control so I took over and I could not turn and I could not climb with elevator and the motor did not work. The Conscendo headed over the north tree line until it obstructed our line of sight. I looked down at my NX8 and noted normal flight pack telemetry voltage and signal strength. There were no holds and only 445 fades in the 5 minutes of flight. I got out my Iphone and went to Google Maps to draw the last heading into the swamp area. I texted Mike the pic with the heading highlighted. I then notified the 3 persons that we use to search and...Continue Reading
Posted by VicT | Aug 04, 2021 @ 09:09 AM | 36,790 Views
I had a crash on the Geotech runway right after hand launch . The fuse broke at the leading and trailing edge of the wing saddle. There was no damage to the prop spinner or motor and radio system. It’s been 6 weeks waiting for a Replacement fuse so I decided to repair. I used Locktite Pro ca to glue the pieces back in place. After lightly sanding with 100 grit paper I used an Olfa wheel cutter to cut out 6 oz glass cloth. After placing the patch on the fuselage I squeezed ca on to the cloth and then pressed down with clear Monocote backing until the reaction cooled down. The tail seam is a known weak area so I reinforced that area as well. Compression wrinkles on the left nose area indicated left side thrust when I put a 20 inch brass tube on to the 4 mm motor shaft. I used the same tube on a new fuselage and no side thrust was indicated. Some down thrust is stock but was not measured. I used washers on the left side of the motor mount to restore the thrustline to neutral. A Canada Dry green soda bottle was used to make a canopy and cowling. Gorilla glue was used to secure the cowl to a 1/8 inch ply firewall....Continue Reading
Posted by VicT | Jul 25, 2021 @ 11:37 PM | 12,658 Views
This is a new BNF Aeroscout S 2 1.1M BNF BASIC from the Brandon Fl Hobby store for $149,99. After unboxing I used a 3S1300 SMART lipo to Bind my NX8 to the model. After confirming SAFE could be turned on and off I taxied her on the street to check tracking and she tracked great.

This Scout will be a club trainer using my NX8 TX on wireless training for other pilots that have the NX6 or DX transmitters.

Since most pilots do not want to remove the wings I glued the bind plug to the side of the fuselage to make it easier to bind. Yes you can use the included bind cable after removing the canopy but I prefer the side mount. Its easy to leave the bind plug installed and fly off then crash when someone in the pits binds their model. I tie a string or colored tape to the bind plug so I can see it hanging from the side of the fuselage. It’s easy to see when taxiing for take off. I sand the black plastic connector and use just a toothpick of CA on the plastic to secure it to the foam.

I make a lanyard for the canopy as eventually it will depart the fuselage and you will have to make or buy a new one.

I use an old credit card cut down and sanded to act as a guard to protect the elevator and rudder servos.

The black velcro can be made easier to use if a colored string is glued or tied to the end of one strap.

The stock tires and wheels are nice for rough terrain. However the center of mass is high and eventually the Scout will end up...Continue Reading
Posted by VicT | Jul 02, 2021 @ 11:24 PM | 7,780 Views
The stock prop and 30 amp ESC is OK for 3S lipo packs. But if you want more power for whatever reason you can go to a different prop and use 4S lipo packs. You should check amps and temps of the ESC and motor to prevent overheating electronics and motor components.

I purchased a left hand 5 mm nut at the hardware store and wrapped the motor shaft with painters masking tape and tested a 5 inch prop that came off an old Multiplex Easy Star that used a brushed can motor on 6 nicads. It provides about 2.3 times the power (watts) and the motor and ESC are not warm after 10 seconds. Flight testing will provide more data.

Stock E2 prop with a 2200 3S 35C lipo:
12.1 Amp
10.9 Volts
134 Watts

Multiplex 5” scimitar black plastic prop
Turnigy Graphene 4S 1500 (188 gms)
20.2 amps (below 30 amp ESC)
15.4 Volts
314 Watts
Motor and ESC are not warm after 10 seconds.

After a few flights I can see added thrust and speed with the new prop and 4S. The motor is not even warm but I have not checked the ESC as the 3 wing bolt removal takes time. I will continue to monitor the ESC temp with an infra red heat meter. The increased RPM causes more noise at 1/2 to full power so if neighborhood noise complaints are possible then keeping the stock prop might be a better choice. I will be checking a larger diameter prop to see if noise is reduced.
I did some torture test turns with the hot glued gear on the foam belly. The placement is fine and on a very hard and fast landing the foam failed and the gear separated. I removed the black plastic main gear mount and move it forward to a slightly aft position for testing. I also removed the black plastic nose wheel mount and metal strut to save some weight.
Posted by VicT | Jun 25, 2021 @ 07:20 PM | 27,350 Views
I really like the performance of the scout when the 3 wheels are removed. There is a 20 percent reduction in flying weight and drag. She is much faster and a better glider for thermal hunting. But hand launching can be tricky and ground sliding takeoffs are unpredictable. I made a low rider trike with Hobby King wheels and it works but wanted to reduce drag and weight even more so the taildragger mod is done. Remove the stock gear and total weight added is only 13 grams and drag is minimized. Ground handling on the street is very good but final axle placement will be determined with actual testing on our Geotech 230 fabric runway. With the high thrust vector and low wheel height I will optimize for best yaw performance with throttle bursting and stock delay. The carbon fiber main wheel axle is temporarily taped in front of the leading edge for initial testing.

Ground testing was completed with tight turns and the low center of gravity prevented wing tip contact. However on takeoff it was not possible to rotate and so a higher speed and distance was needed for liftoff. Inflight performance was acceptable but on landing rollout the tires broke loose from their rims as the CA glue did not hold up to the stresses.
Posted by VicT | Jun 23, 2021 @ 05:40 PM | 15,053 Views
I usually repair foamies with CA and fiberglass cloth or clear tape depending on the situation. I paint the cloth white to hide the weave and it works. For the wing saddle area I did not want to spend the time to glass the outside of the fuse so used 1/32 inch thick plywood. A 12 x 6 inch piece cost $1.85. A 250 mm x 15 mm piece was cut for the left side and duplicated for the right side. A box cutter was used to slice 17 mm deep into the wing saddle from the leading edge to behind the trailing edge. The ply was used to enlarge the slot so when pushed into the slot it was totally concealed with no interference with the wing bottom. Both ply pieces weighed 3 grams each. I imbedded both pieces into the wing saddle and used medium CA to secure them to the foam. Thin CA might be better. The fuse is much stiffer and the flexing is gone from the leading edge to the fin area.
Posted by VicT | Jun 17, 2021 @ 06:23 PM | 11,176 Views
The AeroScout S 1.1 is a nice trainer for those re entering fixed wing flying from glow power or new flyers with out any experience. The AR631 receiver and DXe transmitter are just about perfectly matched for stabilized flight or for aerobatics. With a talking DX gen 2 transmitter like the DX6,7,8 or the new NX6,8,or 10 the combination can’t get any better. Horizon knows that the cost must be down to attract buyers so they chose to include an electronic speed control (30 Amp ESC) that does not have telemetry. This saves the buyer $20.

I train every Tues, Thurs and Saturdays and have experience in the Apprentice and Mini, Valiant, Commander, Timber, UMX Timber, Conscendo A and E models, Extra 300 and various warbirds with retracts. The design of the AeroScout is the most forgiving and versatile designs so far.

I don’t like pusher designs as they are inefficient, noisy and are not scale looking. The Multiplex Easy Star started the revolution of low cost foam trainers and is still a good design that has been copied and modified over the last 20 years. However the AeroScout seems to have the best features to date.

The RX (AR 637 or newer 631) is programmed by E flite test pilots that is perfect for beginners or experienced pilots.

I tried to improve descent performance with Spoilerons with right aileron on ch 2 and left aileron on ch 6 but I did not see any improvement. My preferred method to descend slowly is to cut power and use full up elevator in high rate. The descent is steep and with a slight nose up pitch a grass landing with or without wheels does not stress anything.

If left in the sun for 5 or more minutes the black canopy bubbles up into alligator skin. I sanded the black paint and used 2 coats of Kilz white primer then made black decals for windows. Toothpicks anchor 50 Lb fishing line to the canopy and fuselage in case the canopy comes off inflight.
Posted by VicT | May 19, 2021 @ 05:58 PM | 34,462 Views
V900 is ready for first flight to trim and adjust elevator spoileron approaches with power on and off. I removed the 8x8 prop and used a 50 mm Turbo spinner with a 4mm collet for 9x7 Cam blades. On 3S this will be a low power set up with an estimated 11,414 rpm using Electro Calc and a 1260 KV E flite motor. I’l tach her before takeoff to get actual RPM on the Turnigy 75C 1300 mah Graphene. My goal is to make her easy to fly like a motor glider with high speed power off dives. I’ve used the V900 receiver in 3 other motorgliders and have had no problems with Self Level/SAFE On. I’ve never flown the V900 but have flown a 2M warmliner to 125 mph. Others have reported that she does not turn with SAFE at full throttle. If this is true I have increased aileron throw at the clevis and on the DX9 with 120% high rate, 100% mid rate, and 80% low rate with 40% expo. Elevator and Rudder are IAW manual. The CG is marked IAW manual and I’ve made a removable CG bridle to check battery placement. The wing decals are lifting despite CA adhesive. I’v covered and secured the decal edges with Chrome Monocote. The canopy is hinged with Tyvek paper after using 100 grit paper to remove mold release and rough up the skin. An aluminum swivel latch prevents the canopy from liffting off. The belly is protected using black Duct tape. The program has automatic spoiler retraction with high throttle and cross trims to make aileron and elevator trimming easier to...Continue Reading
Posted by VicT | May 14, 2021 @ 05:33 PM | 22,367 Views
This is a file for NX transmitters. The program retracts spoilerons when full throttle is applied. It uses flight modes. The program will work with NX transmitters and iX12 but not DX Gen 2 transmitters.
Posted by VicT | May 05, 2021 @ 07:08 PM | 4,734 Views
Flaps get you down and slow you down. Flaperons and Spoilerons get you down but don’t slow you down. That’s why I cut flaps into the Apprentice wing the same width (chord) as the ailerons. You can drive them with one or two servos. The challenge is the Apprentice receiver. Keep the ON/Off white switches in the Off/Off position. I use B0 and B1 for Beginner Mode but audio alerts are “Self Level”. B2 is “OFF. I make the B switch a FM or transmitter flight mode and switch the Trim to FM so I can trim the B switch. I select the D switch for flaps in the Aircraft Type menu. A y cable for the ailerons and a Y cable for the flap servos. I can trim the elevator for D0 “Flaps UP”, D1 “Take off Flaps”, and “Landing Flaps”. I have aileron to rudder mix butt limit the value so as to prevent rudder reversal which is a bug in the receiver. The AR 636 receivers solved this problem.

First plug any working servo into Aux 2 of the receiver to check servo operation and program verification. Select 1 Ail 1 Flap on Aircraft Type on your DX 8 or 9. If you updated your DX6 to get 7 channels you might have good luck. Bind with a new model making sure your B switch turns SAFE ON and Off. Next follow the pics below:
Posted by VicT | Apr 23, 2021 @ 07:51 AM | 7,452 Views
I used an old Clouds Fly that was missing a canopy, RX and ESC to test a Timber RX that was in a crash. The CF airframe was in good shape but the prop was being retained with a prop saver fitting in front and aft of the prop. This worked until the third flight when the aft prop saver departed the prop shaft and I lost the prop. Fortunately I was able to glide back to my launching area. I’ve replaced the prop saver by using a collet. There is no more vibration and the prop should stay on.

The AR636 Timber receiver is stock and has not been unlocked. I made a belly hatch and mounted it using 3M Dual Lock. This makes it easy to remove for plug inserting and checking and is solid. I don’t use fuzzy velcro because the gyros/sensors see movement and interferes with pitch and roll leveling. I had to use a servo reverser on the aileron channel 2 and on the rudder. I could have moved servo and horns around to eliminate the reversers but use the RX in another aircraft that may not even need reversers.

The RX has had no problems flying out to around 1200 feet where the CF is very small and hard to see. With SAFE On she is very easy to fly and with SAFE Off she can do standard rolls and loops. Surprisingly CF handles 10-15 mph winds just fine using a 2200 3S for added weight and CG. I use Flight Modes and use up elevator trim for Thermal Mode and just rudder. CF will tip stall so I will reduce the amount of up elevator to prevent any onset of a stall....Continue Reading
Posted by VicT | Apr 08, 2021 @ 07:34 PM | 4,836 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 flight.......to be continued
Posted by VicT | Mar 30, 2021 @ 07:28 PM | 6,992 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 | 13,272 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 | 9,424 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 | 9,777 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