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Posted by DuPageJoe | Oct 05, 2017 @ 03:57 PM | 3,941 Views
After taking a break to fly free flight planes, I flew my Valiant again today in a cross wind. Even made one takeoff from the grass, into the wind. Finished off the 4 flights with a landing on the runway, Also didn't break anything, unlike the last two times out. The APC E 11X 8 replacement prop worked just fine, though it may have shortened flight times a bit. I used 1/2 flaps and SAFE to make flying easier.

Before I flew, I checked current draw with a watt meter. At 90% of the stick travel on my Spektrum transmitter, current draw was about 23 Amps. The battery voltage was 11.5V at zero throttle just before the test and 10.5V at 90% throttle during the test. When I checked ESC and battery ( a 1600 mAh Hyperion 3S rated 45C) both were cool.
Posted by DuPageJoe | Sep 24, 2017 @ 01:05 PM | 3,427 Views
I flew yesterday at a contest held by the Flying Aces Club's Calumet Escadrille in Dyer, Indiana, at the Village's new Central Park complex. So far so good as a flying site. Not much obstruction, except for some soccer goals, and mown grass surface with only a few young trees. Plans for a pool and an athletic center building in the middle of the site might change that. Weather was hot, low 90's F, and the sun was strong with little wind. I flew my Anna Jr. again with a longest flight of 67 seconds after putting in 950 turns into the same motor I used at Muncie. Climb out from ROG was near vertical to a good altitude, helped by a light south wind. A soccer club showed up and planted their game in the middle of the field, but no problem, my Anna Jr. just flew up and over the game. The picture shows a Escadrille member's Embryo clawing for the sky in the same great air.

I also flew my No Cal TurboStallion from the Volare short kit. Some details of the build are on the Post Your Pictures Topic of the Free Flight Forum.


The Turbo Stallion was well balanced, with a good turn but not much climb. I used a single loop of 3/32 rubber and got 29 seconds for the longest flight, with lots of turns left at touchdown,
Posted by DuPageJoe | Sep 16, 2017 @ 04:12 PM | 3,545 Views
I flew at the Detroit Cloudbusters "FAC Outdoor Champs" free flight meet at the AMA HQ in Muncie, IN, this week and had a good time. Weather was cool and overcast the first day, but winds were very light. It was sunny and some what warm the next day, but winds picked up by afternoon. Attendance was OK, I was flier no. 33.

I brought my Helio Courier from the Herr Kit this year for the first time. I finally got it to climb despite its 107 grams all up weight. Wing span is 30 inches and I figure wing area of 121 sq inches, so wing loading is high for a rubber powered plane. It has a 9.5 inch Peck prop, like a P-30 with a minimum weight of 50 grams. First time I flew it was in July at the Bong Eagles meet and I used 4 strands of 3/16 inch rubber ( total width 0.75 inches), but climb was minimal. For the Cloudbusters Meet, I used a motor with 8 strands of 1/8 inch Tan rubber ( 1.0 inch total width ) weighing 13 grams. I got good climb and a 44 second flight with a little help from rising air. Glide was minimal, because the nose block fell out at the end of the motor run, resulting in a falling leaf DT. Need stronger magnets to hold it in.

The Anna Jr. Embryo from the BMJR kit is still a good flier, but the cool air of the first day held down the times. North wind pushed it toward the flight line. One landing on the road talked me into launching further out. Longest flight was 65 seconds with the motor of 4 strands of 3/32 rubber like I used last...Continue Reading
Posted by DuPageJoe | Jun 21, 2017 @ 01:16 PM | 6,348 Views
I recently put together an E-Flite Valiant 1.3m (BNF version ), and found a day with less than 10 mph winds to fly it myself. A couple weeks ago I had it flown by a Propmasters Club instructor to make sure I had the transmitter set up OK. I put some build notes, from the very quick build, on the Parkflyers forum. https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/show...postcount=1758

I used a 2200 mAh Glacier 3S battery and pushed it up against the back of the battery compartment. The 6 ounce battery made the Valiant a bit nose heavy, but made little difference to flying. I could have used my 1600 mAH battery, since I didn't fly very much at high throttle.

The Valiant is completely stock, with some duct tape hinges on the front of the battery hatch to keep from losing it. I put the SAFE mode on a switch on my DX6e transmitter, and I flew my first flight with SAFE on. I set dual rates to 100% and 70%, with aileron and rudder on one switch and elevator on another. I used 100% with the SAFE on as the manual suggests. I took off with half flaps from a smooth asphalt runway into the wind and didn't need to use rudder. The Valiant took off in about 15 feet, and climbout was very reasonable. Turns were fairly slow, so I took up a bit more sky than I figured. Visibility at altitude was good because of the wing stripes. Getting the Valiant down from altitude was a little tricky. I landed it on the mowed grass in a corner of the field, with a soft nose over.

The only strange thing was the lack of sound from the big prop with the low kV motor. There was no sound feedback from throttle position, even on takeoff. I put the Valiant down on the down wind end of the runway, walked over to the pilot station, then after I started the motor and took off I didn't hear the motor at all.

All in all a decent first flight by a low time pilot. Thanks to SAFE. I'll stick to winds of 10 mph and less, though.
Posted by DuPageJoe | May 24, 2017 @ 07:00 PM | 5,519 Views
I had a satisfying day at the Naperville Yard Soccer barn flying my EzFly and my Duet today. Indoor season is winding down, and my flying skills have gotten better, partly due to the forgiving nature of the EPP sheet I used to build my EzFly. I had put landing gear on the EzFly to protect the servos, but found the axles a bit weak, so I just left the axle and stub wing and took off the wheels. Landings on the artificial turf were smooth enough that way. I described some of my mods on Motorhead's thread. https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/show...postcount=2354

After my glide tests, I decided to make a box for the battery on the wing, as shown in the picture, This puts the CG near the slot, almost an inch back of where it started, and really made a difference in how my EzFly performs. I also put on a 7 X3.5 prop on the 1300 kV CD-ROM motor, and I get a good steady climb from a hand launch without using much elevator. Battery is a 3S 450 mAh type. Once in the air, I can throttle back some to keep away from the ceiling beams. Turns are easy, but I've got to watch out for holding rudder too long. Once it banks, It's best to use less rudder.

Hope I can carry some of the experience I've gotten in the Yard to the Propmasters' field this summer.
Posted by DuPageJoe | Mar 20, 2017 @ 05:11 PM | 7,230 Views
I flew a slightly downsized version of the EZ Fly at Naperville Yard Soccer Barn today. It flew just fine once I figured out the throttle response. My version has a 5/6 scale fuselage, but I didn't scale down the wing as much. Wing span is 30 inches and root chord is 7.5 inches. I powered it with a 25 gram CD ROM motor, with kV = 1300 rpm/V, on a stick mount. The motor turns an APC E 6 X 4 prop in a slot. just back of the K-F strip on the wing. That strip is 40% of the chord at the root, but goes straight across the span as in Motorhead's design. The CG is just behind the strip, at 3 inches from the wing leading edge.

With a 450 mAh 3S LiPo battery feeding the motor through a 10 A EFlite ESC, it draws nearly 3 Amps, for about 30 watts to the motor. Since the plane weighs a bit over 9 ounces all up the power loading is nearly 50 watts per pound. I needed to use nearly all of the throttle to climb out after a hand launch. I built the plane out of 1.9 lb/cu ft EPP sheet (8mm) thick I got from Flying Foam. With a 205 square inch wing, wing loading is 6.5 oz per Sq ft , and cube loading factor is 5.5 ounces per cubic ft, still consistent with a trainer's performance.

The EZ Fly is a very rugged design, and I hope to fly it quite a few more times at the Yard. I put more detailed pictures of the build on Motorhead's thread. https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/show...postcount=2348
Posted by DuPageJoe | Feb 08, 2017 @ 08:31 PM | 7,500 Views
I took my new 24 inch diameter NutBall to the Naperville Yard Soccer barn for its maiden flight today. It flew pretty much as advertised by its designer, gold guy.


It is powered by a 29 g G Force 2206 1900Kv motor. which will turn an 8X4 prop on 2S. It should give me just over 1:1 thrust to weight wide open. I've built it with 8mm thick 1.9 lb/Cubic Ft EPP sheet from Flying Foam, and I kept weight under 11 ounces with the battery installed. Since the wing area is 3 square feet, the wing loading is 3.7 ounces per square foot ( cube loading factor 2.1 oz/ cu ft). I painted the wing tips with red floral spray to make it easy to see.

I used full power for takeoffs from the Artificial Turf field, but reduced throttle once in the air. Trimming was easy to do. I had put in a bit of up elevator (reflex “airfoil” for this low aspect ratio wing), and I reduced it to 3/16 inch up, not much for a 3.5 inch wide elevator, to keep under control. I needed to be gentle with the rudder and elevator, since I forgot to switch to low servo rates. The NutBall flew with a nose high attitude, and increasing alpha while decreasing speed under the right circumstances could give a spot landing.

I’m looking forward to much happy flying with the Nutball at the Yard.
Posted by DuPageJoe | Jan 18, 2017 @ 06:14 PM | 7,169 Views
I've been going back to the Naperville Yard soccer barn after the holidays, and I've been trying out a new plane, besides flying my Duet. I built a MiG-3 Fatty according to redwhiskers plans. It is powered by a GForce 2206-1900 motor pulling an 8 X 4 prop on a 2 S battery, It has big ailerons I've set up as Flaperons moved by two 5 gram servos. They take some getting used to.

Here is a link to the redwhiskers thread.


Other folks are flying good sized flat 3D foamies from kits, One fellow has an outstanding flying and looking Ultimate bipe made from scratch.
Posted by DuPageJoe | Oct 20, 2016 @ 05:16 PM | 7,409 Views
I traveled to New York State's Hudson River Valley recently and caught the last "History of Flight" air show for this season at Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome. There was a large fleet of aircraft from the Pioneer, WWI and Golden Age eras of flight there. I will comment on two, a 1909 Bleriot with an Anzani 35 HP three cylinder radial engine and some original parts, and a very recent, quite authentic, reproduction of the Ryan NYP "Spirit of St. Louis" built at the Aerodrome around an authentic Wright J5 engine.

The Bleriot has some original parts from 1909 with parts plates Serial no. 56. During the show, the Bleriot took off and reached about 20 feet before landing. It was a great photo op. A tour around the Rhinebeck Bleriot is available at

At the show I attended, the Ryan NYP was only taxied around the field, but the engine was running and the plane moved under its own power.

A fly over by 5 veteran aircraft, including two New Standard bi-planes from 1929, a Tiger Moth, a Curtiss Robin (reproduction) and a Cub in V- formation finished the show.
Posted by DuPageJoe | Oct 04, 2016 @ 09:42 AM | 7,593 Views
For the last few weeks I've tried to fly small R/C at the Yard in Naperville. IL, at sessions arranged by the Naperville Propmasters. Besides the Flyzone Duet that I've once tried to fly outdoors (see below), I've flown my Trainer One, my BYOB and my version of Gene Bond's Gym Blu Stick.

My Trainer One is a 5/6 version, 30 inch wing span, of the original. I'm powering it with a Suppo A1510 Brushless motor spinning a 5X3 Prop. Battery is a 2S LiPo of about 400 mAh.

While my Duet is getting easier to fly indoors, with its differential thrust and partial stabilization, the Trainer One is still quite challenging, since it's a lot bigger than most of the planes . I need to anticipate the walls a lot earlier. It takes off from the turf OK, but the landing gear wire is too soft, so I need to keep adjusting the track to keep the run straight.

My BYOB flies with the same Suppo motor on the nose, but with a 6X3 prop it can loop from takeoff. The big wings let it do higher Alpha passes. I have a harder time controlling it. I've described my landing gear mod in the BYOB thread.


I've also flown the Gym Stick I'd tried at the MAX soccer barn at the yard. Turf at the Yard seems softer. so the smaller 9 gram motor on the Stick has a harder time with takeoffs. The Stick has a nice majestic straight line cruise, but turns seem harder to manage than with the Trainer One. The prop on the front has taken some hits, mostly saved by the O-ring.
Posted by DuPageJoe | Sep 29, 2016 @ 07:11 PM | 8,121 Views
I flew at the Detroit Cloudbusters "FAC Outdoor Champs" meet at the AMA HQ in Muncie, IN, last week and had a good time, not in the least because weather was very good, though hot. Attendance was quite good over the two days I was there.

I got 4 planes in fairly good trim there. I started out with my Anna Jr. Embryo from the BMJR kit. I reached 80 seconds after good R.O.G. launches with 950 turns in a motor with 4 strands of 3/32 inch Tan Sport rubber. It had a 7 inch Peck prop and all up weight was nearly 26 grams. I narrowly missed a bean field on one flight so I didn't force too much longer flights.

My Kiwi P-30, which I was winding in the picture, was flying pretty well too, even though all up weight was 71 grams, I put 950 turns in the 6 strands of 1/8 inch Tan sport motor, and got a good climb and 65 seconds time.

I made a long shot modification on my Flying Aces Moth and had trouble trimming it on the day for Old Time Cabin competition. I put on an 8.5 inch balsa prop and upped the motor to 6 strands of 1/8 inch Tan sport, and got straight up R.O.G.'s. Next day I took out added wing incidence and got it settled down. The story is on the Free Flight Forum.


Last but sort of least, I trimmed my Nesmith Cougar Peanut with 4 strands of 1/16 inch Tan rubber. Got one flight of 23 seconds before the rubber broke with 1100 turns in an 11 inch long motor (loop length).
Posted by DuPageJoe | Aug 08, 2016 @ 05:03 PM | 7,705 Views
I flew in the Free Flight contest run by the Bong Eagles at the Richard I. Bong Recreation Area in Wisconsin yesterday. Conditions were particularly good. The promised rain squall off Lake Michigan didn't even deliver dark clouds until 3 PM. Temperature was in the low 80's and thermals were abundant.

There were 3 entries in FAC Scale. I flew my Cessna 140 from the Dare kit. I had taken some warps out of the elevator, so I had to spend some time readjusting the thrust line. Finally got a fairly nice but short 22 second flight. A Fairchild 24 did somewhat better.

There were quite a few entries in P-30. Mostly I flew my old faithful Peck One Night 28 that I'd adapted to P-30. I was trying to get more turn, but had trouble with launch until I took out most of the modifications. Then I got a great booming launch that ended up going for the clouds. Once it stopped climbing and drifting down wind, it made a wide right circle to a 71 second landing. I'd only put in less than 900 turns, since I wasn't sure of the flight pattern. By then the squall was coming toward the field.

I also made some test flights with a BMJR Kiwi P-30. This version had parts that spent a week in a tree at a local park after an over zealous test flight. Now that its recovered, it flies OK. Needed to make minor changes in the wing saddle position to level out the glide. The version shown in the picture is the one that went OOS in 2014.

Hoping to get to Muncie for the Cloudbusters FAC contest in September.
Posted by DuPageJoe | Mar 23, 2016 @ 06:59 PM | 8,838 Views
I drove to McCook, Illinois, to fly at the McCook Athletic and Exposition Center (MAX) in a fairly industrial area of Cook County south of the Brookfield Zoo. I took my 28 inch wing span Gym Stick (shown in the picture) for its maiden flight. Details of my build are on Gene Bond’s “Gym-Blu Stick” thread in the Foamies (Scratchbuilt) Forum: https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/show...&postcount=777

McCook is an industrial village in south western Cook County, south of Chicago's Brookfield Zoo. The MAX has a string of indoor soccer fields side by side with about 30 feet of ceiling height. It is open for indoor flying about 6 hours a week. Half of yesterday’s session was on one of the fields, but the next field was opened for the second half, giving everyone room to fly. The floor at the MAX is covered with AstroTurf. This plastic carpet has "blades" about an inch high. I had set my transmitter so the motor would draw no more than 3 amps with the GWS HD 5X3 prop, so I was a bit concerned about take off power. I did fairly well that way. Once I had accelerated the Gym Stick to jogging speed on the carpet, I used elevator to lift it off. I had to wag the rudder to keep tracking straight on the stuff, but I did succeed eventually to get it in the air.

I had to make some adjustments for lateral balance to help rudder control. I was still having trouble getting 3 mistakes high, so finally I made a more drastic mistake and got a cartwheel on the carpet. I was...Continue Reading
Posted by DuPageJoe | Jan 29, 2016 @ 12:52 PM | 9,318 Views
I attended the first meeting of the year of S.O.A.R. , the Chicago model sailplane club, last evening. Besides setting up events for the coming year, a lot of attention was given to the team going to the World Championship in F3J thermal soaring run by the FAI in Slovenia this summer. One of the Junior team members, as well as a Senior alternate, comes from the same family of S.O.A.R. members. There is a team website at http://www.teamusaf3j.com and the team was featured in the RC Soaring column in January's Model Aviation magazine.

The club has a new website http://www.soarchicago.net which will be a great way to keep up with club activities. The club's sod farm field has attracted some new members interested in electric launched soaring, which is a rapidly growing part of the soaring hobby. There is good participation in the winch and bungey cord launched planes as well. Newer light planes in those categories still fly well in the thermals that rise over Illinois farmland.

I have a foam 2 meter wingspan sailplane nearly ready to fly and a couple of electric pushers ready to go, so I'm looking forward to a good summer at the field.
Posted by DuPageJoe | Dec 09, 2015 @ 09:40 PM | 9,468 Views
This Sunday I took my Avro Vulcan model to the Propmasters' field in Naperville, IL, for its maiden flight. It was built from Adams' Readi-board, AKA "Dollar Tree" foam, from plans published in Model Aviation by Larry Kruse. I published the build log in the Foamies(Scratchbuilt) Forum. Temperature was 45 degrees F, but winds were light.


The Vulcan flew well, but I had difficulty with the motor so I only made one flight.
Posted by DuPageJoe | Nov 08, 2015 @ 04:25 PM | 10,160 Views
It's Fall again, and the Woodland Aeromodelers are flying in the gym in Burr Ridge, Illinois. All the planes that flew this last Thursday were rubber band powered free flight ones. I brought the Wright Stuff rules plane I was trying out at Rantoul, and got a flight of over 2 minutes, after I had made sure the wing incidence was no more than 3 mm. It didn't take much more than that for a slow, draggy flight, with the nose bobbing up and down. I used the Ikara 225 mm prop and a 14 inch loop of 3/32 Tan rubber weighing about 1.8 grams, At 11 25 turns, I was hitting the ceiling. Too bad I hadn't gotten that sort of climb at Rantoul.

I also flew both the Dayton Wright Racer and Aeronca Champ No-Cals. I put some right thrust into the nose block and tightened the right turn, maybe a little too much. I had repaired a broken strut in the Champ, and got it flying again. I also made a few tune up flights with my indoor Delta Dart using a short 3/32 loop of Tan.
Posted by DuPageJoe | Oct 25, 2015 @ 05:35 PM | 9,732 Views
I finally flew the Hobby Zone Duet I got at a swap meet. It had been repaired, but the previous owner did a good job. Winds were supposed to be light today (for Chicago) so I gave it a try. This is a twin with differential thrust doing the steering. I was able to get altitude and adjust it with throttle alone. I flew at the weedy edge of the DuPage County field at Stearns Road. The Prairie plants were about 3 feet high, I made the first flight to about 15 feet up and got a couple of circles after hand launching at 3/4 throttle on the RTF transmitter. After I throttled back at the edge of the weeds, it landed, or rather hung up, just fine. The next time I gave it more throttle and got up to about 50 feet but the wind was close to 5 mph and started to take control. I got it turned back toward the field and slowed it down to drop into the weeds again. The wind sock was lifting a bit, so no use putting in another battery. If it weren't such a busy Sunday at the Field I could have gone out to the center, and had all the room I wanted. The Duet flew level at altitude, and I never touched the elevator, Flew like a well adjusted free flight. Just needs a little trim to turn it.
Posted by DuPageJoe | Oct 20, 2015 @ 04:42 PM | 10,619 Views
Many thanks to Mike and Jeff of the Bong Eagles for setting up an indoor free flight flying session at Rantoul IL last Saturday. There were 10 registered flyers, nearly all, except me, with NATS rated skills. The Hangar at the former Chanute AFB has a ceiling over 40-feet high and quite a large floor. It was a bit cool in the AM, since there had been a frost outside the night before, but sun shine warmed it fast. I had little trouble with the few ceiling obstructions, some sprinkler pipes and lights within a foot or so of the flat ceiling. Only my Dayton-Wright Racer No-Cal, from Mike Welshans' plans, would go that high. I saw a lot of good flying from the other folks with F1L's and the like scraping the ceiling for what looked to me like long flights. I’ve attached two pictures of other fliers’ planes which give a good view of the ceiling. The 140 mile ride from Wheaton, IL, for me was worth it.

My main reason to go to Rantoul was to fly my 2015 Science Olympiad Wright Stuff plane in a Category II site with a ceiling height of over 40 feet. I started with the 238 mm diameter prop I made with plastic Deli tub blades, but I had trouble getting enough torque for climb out of a loop of 3/32 inch rubber. At 1500 turns I got only a few feet of climb and a 43 second fairly level flight with lots of winds left. Boosting turns to 1600, about 100 turns per inch of loop, increased the time to 93 seconds with a bit more climb. Adding more turns made the motor...Continue Reading
Posted by DuPageJoe | Sep 28, 2015 @ 09:10 PM | 10,009 Views
I passed by my modified Guillow's Strato Streak in the basement and remembered I hadn't made a post when I flew it last year. I used Bill Warner's " Hey Kid" series in Model Builder to make the modifications.

I had posted the results in a Sleak Streak thread


Wingspan is 16.5 inches and airframe weight is 18 grams, Wing area is 41 sq inches, so wing loading is a bit heavier than for a good F.A.C. Embryo rules plane. Best time so far has been 29 seconds for 600 turns in motor made up of 4 strands of 3/32 inch super sport rubber to 11 inches loop length. The motor weight is 2.7 grams, about 13% of the takeoff weight.
Posted by DuPageJoe | Aug 11, 2015 @ 07:50 PM | 10,407 Views
Enjoyed another Free Flight meet with the Bong Eagles at the MAJ Richard Bong Recreation area in Wisconsin this past Sunday despite a shower about noon just as I was getting ready to wind my Cessna 140. The high light of the afternoon for me was the P-30 contest. I flew my modified Peck One Nite 28. Winds were light, and I got in three flights after the shower, each over a minute, and fairly easily recovered. After the last one, I walked past the plane which was stuck vertically in a patch of prairie wildflowers, but I spotted it on the way back. I made one test flight with the Cessna after the grass dried a bit. I increased motor length but needed to add a little nose clay to bring it back in trim. No other scale contestants stayed after the shower.

There were 10 registered pilots, most of whom brought P-30 planes.