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Posted by Eddie P | Feb 07, 2014 @ 03:10 PM | 26,592 Views
This is a build I've wanted to do for a long time. While I have been in possession of the fiberglass nose, tail and nacelles from Norbert Rauch (Germany) since 2011 In all honesty, I've been wanting to do a project like this since I was a kid. Back then, I remember really wanting to build a radio controlled DC-8-61. An odd subject perhaps, but it was motivated by my dad working for United and the DC-8 being my favorite airliner back then. Norbert Rauch was doing this very thing in Germany at the time (building RC airliners specifically) and that was something I was not aware of back then.

Ironisch, ja???

Fast forward a bunch of models and years... In 1995 I finally did a "experimental" scratch built: An 85 inch wingspan DC-8-21 (in United colors of course). I had no building shop where we were living at the time, so the living room floor was my shop. It was a slope glider, so it was not quite the project I had dreamed of, but it was a start. I still wanted the "full house" setup with powered engines, retracts, lights, etc. Some day, I thought...

I had the chance to build my first EDF airliner (a kit produced by Robbe) a "BAe-146" in 2000. The advances we have seen in EDF's and RC modeling in general in the last decade and a half have been staggering. Today, my DC-8 project is not all that impressive or unusual. There are many projects out there more grand, more involved, more costly and more talent laden. But this still...Continue Reading
Posted by Eddie P | Oct 02, 2012 @ 02:53 PM | 28,565 Views
As far back as the 1500's there have been people trying to envision the gas turbine engine (of course not in the same way that we think of it today). No doubt for general industrial uses - pumping water, turning gears to crush grain, etc.

More contemporary ideas of the turbine engine as an industrial and vessel power plant came about in the early 20th century. An American man named Charles Curtis first patented the turbine engine in 1899 in the USA, without industrial success. A Frenchman in 1921 patented a modified idea of the gas turbine engine in Europe but could not bring it fruition due to limitations in manufacturing and materials.

The obvious use for this engine now focused on aviation in the 1930's, and the need for such an engine was historically significant. Two leading teams from England and Germany were successful, at the same time in the late 30's and early 40's in producing a self sustaining (operating) turbine engine and later models that could produce usable thrust. They didn't even know of each other until much later. The teams were led by:
Frank Whittle of the UK
and Hans von Ohain of Germany

Both teams designed useful and successful gas turbine engines for use on aircraft. Interestingly enough, both were designing these in complete isolation of each other both in terms of physical location, political climate and with no...Continue Reading
Posted by Eddie P | Aug 11, 2011 @ 03:39 PM | 59,257 Views
I've finished the extremely simple task of assembling my Starmax A-1 Skyraider, purchased from EasyTiger Models. This is not a build. It's just an assembly really. An easy one, at that. I'll try to bring a few thoughts to the table and let the ball roll as it will with anyone else's observations. My feeling is that it's a good basic airplane that can be flown as-is or made better (my choice).

Out of the box I give it a B-/C+ grade. With a few small fixes/mods as mentioned below, it can easily be an B+ model for very little effort. For a little more work, like fixing the canopy paint, adding a good pilot, a little weathering and a few extras; it could be more of a scale model than it is out of the box. (pictures below show my own custom cockpit and added pilot, more on that in this thread)

At the flying field, this Starmax A-1 Skyraider is a treat to fly. It backs up the often said, "Bigger Flies Better" motto. Where this warbird gets left behind a bit is in raw performance. It is very light, and reasonably modestly powered. So it doesn't tear up the sky. But it flies beautifully scale like for fly-by, and rolling maneuvers. Limited vertical is OK but there is a performance gap where some good planning is in order. In the pattern and down low when flown scale and smooth, it is just stunning to watch. She is very convincing in relative speed and movement, unlike many models with heavier wing loadings. Quite simply stated, it has very good manners for...Continue Reading
Posted by Eddie P | Jun 08, 2011 @ 03:10 AM | 17,637 Views
My daughter likes birds. We have a field guide "bird book" in our library and she's always looking at it. Recently she asked if we could build a bird to fly. This was great, I wanted to strike while the iron was hot. While we wanted to build the type she is interested in from scratch, we also wanted to get one flying right away to keep interest up and see if we could get some of the local birds to fly with us (I've had a RC bird before, it was a "real" bird magnet).

While we started on her "scratch build" bird, we also bought an "EPP Eagle" to get another bird in the air right away. Basically it's a light weight foamie kit made from 1/4" flat EPP sheet. And, it also has a more sophisticated, reflexed and shaped hollow wing structure using carbon fiber rods as spars. So it's very simple yet sophisticated at the same time. You can buy one pre-painted or go for the "bare" EPP foam and make a custom paint job. The bare version worked for us, much cheaper and a blank canvas for our project.

The kit built up in one evening. We used hot glue and CA with kicker. I've never used hot glue before, let alone on a model. I was seriously doubtful but I'm convinced now - it works great for EPP. The model was painted the next day over a few hours. The motor is a Grayson Hobbies 2212-13 (like a speed 400 outrunner, 1000kv), APC 7x5 e-prop, 3s 2200 pack, will run at about 100 watts max but mostly at partial throttle...Continue Reading
Posted by Eddie P | May 09, 2011 @ 02:16 AM | 13,352 Views
This is a Test for Ecalc Data posts. These links only work if you are an E Calc member so if you are feel free to check out the motor and prop data tests. In the case of the Spitfire the real world numbers are pretty close. In the case of the PC-21, I have not test flown but I expect the APC prop data to be close, the Ramoser 5 blade prop... less so.

This is the Data Sheet for the PC-21XL on the 5 Blade Ramoser prop and a 10ah 12s battery pack at about 1500 feet on an 78 degree day (average density altitude to a little high for sea level guys).

This is the Data Sheet for the PC-21XL on a 2 bladed, APC 21x13 prop and a 5ah, 12s battery pack at about 1500 feet on an 78 degree day (average density altitude to a little high for sea level guys).

Here is a "High Altitude" Data Sheet reflecting the Ramoser 5 blade prop at 5050msl and 88 degrees.

Here is a "High Altitude" Data Sheet reflecting the 2 blade prop setup at 5050msl and 88 degrees like I fly at in the summer at Reno.

These data sheets how there is a cost to the scale 5 blade prop in amp draw. The 18.2" blades really such the juice but provide a tremendous amount of thrust of course. The 17.2" blades can be used for higher pitch speed, lower amperage but less thrust. It would fly more like an EDF at those thrust levels and would fly faster with prop pitch speeds of over 100 mph and level flight speeds of over 90mph.

On the other hand the humble APC 21x13 prop provides outstanding performance at all altitudes for reasonable power cost.

Next Aircraft, the H9 Spitfire 30CC and her performance information:

Data Sheet for the Sea Level Prop 19x12 on the A-60-14L / 12 combo

Data Sheet for the 5100MSL power prop, the 20x13

Data Sheet for the 19x12 prop at 5100MSL, a good all around power setup.
Posted by Eddie P | Oct 14, 2010 @ 10:23 AM | 42,819 Views
EDIT: I have test flown and begun fine tuning the F-100 Super Sabre "as of July 2014". This build was not an extensive amount of work - however, it WAS spread out over many years due to inactivity and losing interest a few times. I am so glad I was able to finish her, she flies great and looks right in flight with that classic F-100 Super Sabre outline in the sky.

Final Configuration as built and tested: HET 700-68-1200 - Castle Creations HV Edge 120 - Jetfan 90, 9 blade EDF and Tamjets housing for cooling - 10s 4000mah packs - 85A / 3300 watts.

From Oct 2010:
I am heavily modifying and glassing a "Fly Fly / Hobby Top Gun F-100". It's a very basic sort of kit for an EDF, but it has some very good "bones" as far as a scale airplane project goes. Aside from the fact that it is foam, it is a pretty good outline of a scale F-100 and it is a very nice size (large). Problems (for me) are Grand Canyon size panel lines that have to be filled anyway in the glassing process... and extremely blunt / thick trailing edges on all flying surfaces. Those can be fixed when I cap the trailing edges in balsa as I always do when I glass foam for durability reasons. The gear mounts retracts are unusable and the stabilizer control is un-airworthy and there is no rudder control but all these things will be addressed in the "kit bash" build.

The inlet ducting can use some work with certain areas opening up too rapidly inside and a light weight...Continue Reading
Posted by Eddie P | Nov 26, 2008 @ 12:59 PM | 29,786 Views
I was the 8th person on the waiting list for Tam's A-4 back in 2006. Two small kids, family... and it's still being finished. It's a major slacker story to be sure.

EDIT: It's finished! As of March 30, 2009. Flew at Cal Jets 2009 in April!!

Most of the serious building occurred winter of 08/09 and then resumed in the spring of 09. All told it was not a difficult build AT ALL, it was just a build that occurred in a very busy time of my life. The time spent building was fairly short for such a complex aircraft. Hats off to Tam for offering this kit and doing all the ground work in making it available; and making sure it would fly as advertised!

Wren Supersport power (18 pounds thrust for a P-60 weight and less fuel burn). Finished weight is 18.2 pounds dry, with full UAT. Tank capacity is 84 oz. Tamjets Smoke pump, Details for Scale centerline hard point, dummy fuel tank/ECM stores. etc. I modeled the "F" series, with the avionics hump.

I used markings from the VF-126 "Aggressor" squadron of the late 1980's based out of Mirimar CA. The Aggressor guys are instructors and play the "bad guys" in the mock air-to-air training of the fleet pilots, hence the scale Soviet Styling and red star for a little sabre rattling. Many people apparently do not know about the Aggressor units as I've had constant questions about it since I've been flying it. The Soviet markings and color schemes on some US Navy/AF jets of the 70's and 80's vintage...Continue Reading
Posted by Eddie P | Dec 29, 2007 @ 09:13 AM | 28,366 Views
EDIT - April, 2014

It has been 4 years since the previous edit to this blog. - The details are listed on the last post for the third motor and third rotor version, bringing a multi-blade, quiet and powerful 3500 watt power system to the classic airframe (over 1:1 thrust to weight ratios). Older listings are left in this original post below to document the history of the model that is now over 8-9 years old and still flying strong (with regular maintenance of course). The model was originally built in 2004 and flown regularly from 2006 onward.

EDIT - August, 2010
May He Rest In Peace - the designer of the El Bandito and master German craftsman, Ralf Dvorak passed away unexpectedly at a far too young age. We will sincerely miss Ralf's fellowship and amazing inspiration to the radio controlled jet community. Thank you for what you taught us and brought to the community, Ralf.


Some models never get old.
This El Bandito has been flying regularly since construction finished (started 2003), and has been in my possession since purchased in kit form from Ralf Dvorak. I bought it before my first daughter was born and now at 10 years old she has gone with me several times to fly it with me at the field. Parts of the airframe itself pre-date all the kit Bandito's, as the fuselage itself was one of Ralf Dvorak's original "specification" parts that he compared various new releases to when he would get a new batch made. When he sold the rights to...Continue Reading
Posted by Eddie P | Aug 25, 2007 @ 08:32 PM | 32,349 Views
Eighteen (18) Seasons of Radio Controlled EDF airliner flight for 2011 on this single project!!
Well, OK, I admit, the last few seasons have been "bye" seasons as I've been trying to source my fifth set of replacement brushed motors. This culminated with a complete brushless renovation, as I think I might have gone through all the remaining stock of Robbe 410-12 motors left in seller's hands

This was my first electric model after making the conversion from large glow powered warbirds in 1999. I was told: 1) Electrics don't fly. 2) Electric Ducted Fans don't work and they sure don't fly or even taxi well 3) Multi-engine models are a crash waiting to happen in general 4) This project is way too ambitious for an electric noob to try, don't ya think big guy? 5) You are going to glass it? Sure, right, you'll never finish and if you do it will not fly even with glow powered props 6) Robbe has discontinued it, so you can't get it 7) What flaps? It doesn't have flaps.

Well, needless to say my modified Robbe BAe-146 electric powered airliner is still flying strong today. So take sage advise into consideration but don't let someone's remarks keep you from building what you know will at least be worth the experience. Nothing risked, nothing gained, right?

I covered the foam, 6+ foot long wing and "basket ball" wide fuselage, empennage and long swept wings in glass (the whole thing is glassed). Then I painted the finished product and also fit...Continue Reading