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Posted by jokeane | Dec 31, 2015 @ 09:28 AM | 9,688 Views
My friend is a professional videographer, and he stopped out to watch us fly R/C a while back.

This is a pretty standard aerobatic flight on my 3DHS Katana.

Jim Flies the Katana (6 min 0 sec)

Posted by jokeane | Dec 06, 2015 @ 12:18 PM | 8,443 Views
Did a 32" WS 5mm EPP scratch built MXS-C. Plan started based on tracing some outlines of parts for the Twisted Hobbies MXS-C, and then departed somewhat to make things a tad simpler.

Performs very well. Does all your basic 3D stuff easily.
  • Emax GT 2203 Park 250 Brushless Motor
  • HK 6A ESC
  • 1 5g servo for ailerons, 1 3g servo for elevator, 1 3g servo for rudder.
  • Lemon 6 channel featherlite receiver
  • 2S 300mAH battery
  • CF rods and homemade liteply motor mount and control horns.

AUW is 4 3/4 oz w/ 300mAH battery (5 oz w/ my larger battery)

6mm 1.3# EPP was from I got the lighter stuff, which was a bit floppy. I added a lot of CF rods to stiffen things up. Might try the 1.9# for my next build.

MXS C Inside Out (3 min 1 sec)

3D Maniacs (3 min 38 sec)
...Continue Reading
Posted by jokeane | Jun 10, 2014 @ 05:54 PM | 10,131 Views
My friend Dave pointed out that although I built my Le Fish last year, I never wrote a blog entry about it. I've been flying it a bit more this spring, and when the conditions are right, it is lots of fun.

59" WS, AUW is 18 oz. Had to add 1/2 oz. lead to nose to balance.

EPP cores from

Depron 5mm conventional horizontal stab and rudder for now. Depron ailerons just seemed too floppy, so went with 1/8 balsa.

Spray painted epp foam. Covered in 1.3mil laminating film, with some 3mil on nose and leading edge of wing.

LiFe 2cell Rx battery. Orange 6 channel spektrum compatible Rx.

The servos I used are MG, fast, not digital. Seem to work OK so far. I have a fair number of flights, one mid-air and a bounced landing or three.

Servos are all mounted just a bit ahead of the wing with the arms easily accessible. Not buried as per RCGroups. I used Dubro light pushrods for elevator and rudder.

Some light wind flying:
Le Fishing (5 min 15 sec)

Flying with some of the Middleton Glider Crew over Mini-M:
Big Day on Mini M (13 min 39 sec)
...Continue Reading
Posted by jokeane | Jun 10, 2014 @ 05:42 PM | 9,278 Views
Got a few flights in on the SebArt WindS.

Flies like it is on rails. Super nice knife-edge flight.

The battery that came with it 6S 3600mAH works the best. I'll be looking to pickup a few more of these.

First landing:
SebArt WindS 50E Pattern Plane (0 min 31 sec)

Posted by jokeane | Mar 24, 2014 @ 07:33 AM | 9,322 Views
SebArt Wind S 50E Pattern Plane, 62" wingspan

Hacker A50-16S motor
Castle Creations Ice 75 ESC
Xoar 16 x 12 PJN electric propeller
Futaba S9452 servos on Ailerons and Rudder (Three)
Futaba S9650 mini servos on elevators (two)
Spektrum 7 Channel DSMX receiver
Flightpower 6S 3600MAH 50C lithium polymer battery.
Posted by jokeane | Aug 03, 2013 @ 02:34 PM | 9,281 Views
Got a chance to fly the PA Extra, 3DHS Katana and GW MXS today. They all performed very well. Did some nice inverted flat spins and knife edge spins on the Extra and Katana. I also did some short hovering at high altitude with both of them.

The 2nd flight I did an inverted flat transitioning to a knife edge spin on the Extra and lost the prop and spinner! I had plenty of altitude so dead stick landing the Extra was no problem.

The GoldWing MXS-R flew for the 3rd, 4th and 5th time today. Performs nicely. Got some decent knifeedges and all the 'standard' aerobatics in on it. Have not yet tried high rates / 3D. So far, I'm pretty happy with it.

(MXS is green and blue, Katana is red and white, and Extra is yellow and black)
Posted by jokeane | Jul 27, 2013 @ 12:11 PM | 13,200 Views
I'm just finishing up my MXS-R 60" build. Not a bad ARF for the price. A bit heavier than a 3D Hobby Shop build.

I had a chance to fly the MXS-R for one short flight last night and another this morning. Nice flyer. So far, power seems to be good. Flew most of the flight on 1/2 throttle or less. Just low rate flying so far. Easy to land.

Only two issues:

The wheels were jammed against the wheel pants, and this complete 'lockup' of the wheels caused the landing gear mount to pull right out. I blame myself for not checking this prior to taking off this AM. Simple repair, very little damage.

I also might need to adjust the motor thrust angle, since the more throttle, the more the nose wanted to go down. I was wondering about this, since the motor mount seem to be somewhat more down thrust angle than I was used to.

Here are the stats:

ArfMfg / GoldWing 70 class 3D
(purchased from
60" WS
Monster Power 46 motor from HobbyPartz (same as Tacon 46)
60 HobbyWing Platinum ESC (90A burst)
4S 4500 lipo battery
4x BlueBird DMS-661DMG+HS High Speed Metal Gear servos
16x8 Xoar prop
AUW 5 lb 14oz

Pulls ~75A full throttle static, 1125W.

Should be enough power for sport aerobatics, but borderline for 3D.

UPDATE - Now that I've flown this plane a lot more, I'd say it has plenty of power for simple 3D and more than enough for IMAC style aerobatic flying. I've hovered it and done a variety of the simpler 3D maneuvers. It flat spins very nicely both upright and inverted. Knife edge flying is very nice.

But I'm still hunting for the right stick positions to get a knife-edge spin!
Posted by jokeane | Jul 07, 2013 @ 01:07 PM | 9,383 Views
I picked up a Precision Aerobatics Extra 260 at a swap meet last fall. The first time I've ever actually swapped planes. Plane came all built, minus ESC and Motor. I picked up an inexpensive 100g motor and used a 40A ESC I had sitting around. I've been flying it with old 3S 2200 packs, and it performs really nicely. Very precise. Very low wing loading makes it super forgiving.

It has small wheels and wheel pants, which don't work well if your grass is long. Fortunately I've been flying it off of the fabric landing strip at the club field and it works well for take offs and landings.

I've had a chance to fly this a bit. Performs very nice. Very low wing loading + high rates makes for some fun inverted flat spins and tumbling!

Motor: Exceed RC Rocket 3015-1100KV from
Servos: 4 x HS-65
40A ESC HobbyWing
3S 2200 25C lipoly packs
12x6 APC electric prop
AUW 2 lb, 4 oz
45A static, ~450 W at full throttle static
~200 W / lb
Posted by jokeane | Jun 30, 2013 @ 05:34 PM | 9,372 Views
Well I've finally built my 55" Katana. Had this sitting on the shelf since 2008. The build was easy, my only difficulty was getting the spinner fitted over the Xoar 15x7 prop.

AUW 4.5 lbs.

MOTROLFLY DM-3625-800 motor
Castle Creations 80A ESC
SportBEC external BEC
5 x HS-225MG servos
4S 3300 40C or 4S 3750 20C battery packs.
15x7 Xoar prop

Pulls 65A static.

I've now had a chance to fly about 8 flights. So far, the Katana performs extremely well. I've only done 'low rates' flying, standard aerobatics only so far, no 3D. Very predictable, no bad habits. Lands like a dream. Tons of thrust. Nice slow and fast speed performance.

Next up is giving the 'high rates' a test and attempting some flat spins, hovers, .etc.

I've had a chance to fly many more flights. Katana flys extremely well. Really spins, hovers, .etc very nicely, and very 'precise' flying when not doing 3D stuff. Great design!
Posted by jokeane | Apr 08, 2012 @ 10:43 AM | 11,511 Views
Maiden flights for new Aerosky Sbach 342. 55" wingspan foamie. Performs well. Only draw back, default layout only allows 4S 2200 mAH battery, which is only good for 5 to 6 minutes. Motor is Turnigy SK4250-650kv. ESC is 60A. AUW just over 4 lbs, power is 700+ watts input....Continue Reading
Posted by jokeane | Mar 08, 2012 @ 08:05 PM | 10,128 Views
Just finished building up my 2nd Gemini. First one had an unfortunate incident with reversed ailerons. Same motor as previously, 11x5.5 APCe prop. ~300 watts. AUW is 2 lbs on the nose.
Posted by jokeane | Feb 18, 2012 @ 05:40 PM | 10,093 Views
Looks pretty fun. Was a bit of a struggle to get the CG to 75mm. Had to add a lot of lead. AUW is 13.5 oz or 392g.
Posted by jokeane | Aug 07, 2011 @ 09:50 AM | 11,529 Views
Just built it, but I've flown it a good dozen times already! Flies great.

Very fun little sport aerobat. Not really designed for 3D (controls surfaces are too small). It does have a good sized rudder so it does very nice knife edge passes, wing-overs, hammer-heads, .etc. A very well mannered and easy flier.

My setup:
2x 9gr blue servos for elevator, rudder
2x HS-55 servos for ailerons
CC Thunderbird 54 ESC (overkill, but what I had on hand)
HobbyKing Turnigy 3542 1000kv motor
3S 2200mAH lipo packs (Turnigy, Zippy)
11x7 wood prop from HobbyKing
2lbs 2oz. (34oz, 963g)

Pulls 35A full throttle static (400+ watts, so very close to 200W/lb).

I fly mostly 60% throttle, 100% throttle for extreme climbs. will cruise on 30% throttle. Shoots straight up on full throttle as high as I'm willing to push it.

Balances at ~75mm as per instructions. Seems a tad nose heavy, since I have to have a bit more down elevator input for inverted than I would like ideally. Very stable in stall conditions.
Posted by jokeane | Aug 07, 2011 @ 09:06 AM | 10,491 Views
My friend had his camera along and snapped this picture on a recent summer evening.
Posted by jokeane | Jul 15, 2011 @ 07:47 PM | 10,672 Views
I picked this airframe up used on rcgroups. It was in pretty nice shape only one or two small flaws.

My setup is:
4x HS-65MB servos
Turnigy SK 3536-900kv motor
APC 14x7 electric prop
CC Phoenix 35 ESC
3S 2200mAH 20C lipo packs
2.5 lbs AUW w/ battery
~420 Watts input power full throttle static (35A on the nose)

All setup as per the instructions. Flies great. At half throttle it is nice and slow with tons of thrust. Shoots straight up on full throttle. I mostly flew on low rates for the first three flights. Did a little high rate stuff on last flight, an 'elevator' 3D maneuver, some tight loops and rolls.

Finally something to do with all my 3S 2200 packs.
Posted by jokeane | Jun 19, 2011 @ 08:41 AM | 11,263 Views
Flew my Hyperion Yak 54 40e Russian Thunder today. First time this year. A very nice performer. Tracks super well and also has tons of power. Under full throttle it accelerates going straight up.

Maiden flight of the SebArt MissWindS. Wow. It was like having a tiger by the tail! At full throttle, 1250 watts and you can really tell. Wow. Just a single flight for now.

I was super nervous, but everything turned out fine. It took a bit of trim to get it to settle down. Seems like it may be nose heavy. More trim flights will be needed to choose a nice CG for my flying style.
Posted by jokeane | Jun 05, 2011 @ 06:29 PM | 15,003 Views
I converted a Seagull .40 size ARF to electric flight. Got it up for the first flight today. It seemed to perform pretty well. A very well mannered flyer.

With the setup I used, it wasn't overly fast or slow and seemed to have decent handling in the air. Landing was easy. Tricycle gear worked well.

I'll probably try some other props. Perhaps a three blade 12x8 or 12x10.

The ARF is apparently discontinued. I got mine for $100 last summer.

My setup:
HobbyKing Turnigy SK42-50-650 motor $25.95
60A ESC TURNIGY Sentry 60amp Speed Controller $32.72
4S 3700mAH lipo pack ~$40 each
MAS 13x8 K series propeller
Dubro spinner
Standard size Hitec servos all around.

I had to add a couple of ounces of lead on the firewall to get it to balance. Total weight w/ battery in is 5 lbs, 8 oz.

Pulls about 35A, 550W or so static. Seems to be plenty for 'sport flying'.
Posted by jokeane | May 29, 2011 @ 10:31 AM | 11,091 Views
I tested out the motor / power using the CC ICE data logging feature.

Nice. 1250 watts, 55A peak. ESC installed is larger than needed. Could use a 75A ESC.

Using this little online calculator, it looks like I would top out at about 70MPH in level flight.
Posted by jokeane | May 23, 2011 @ 06:46 PM | 12,076 Views
I picked up this RX-Ready used Miss WindS Bipe from another pilot I fly with. He is going back for a graduate degree, and has no time to fly this summer.

Here is the setup:

Hacker A50 16s motor, Castle Phoenix Ice 100 amp ESC, Spektrum AR6200 RX, 4x align DS410m servos on the wings, Spektrum DS821 servos on the tail, 3 Turnigy 6s 4000mah 30c packs, Xoar 16"x10" prop. He built the plane using high performance heli style carbon push rods so there's virtually no slop in the control surfaces.

I'm just waiting for my AR6200 to get serviced by Spektrum. If I get it back soon, I'll be setting it up this week.