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Posted by achurin | Aug 23, 2014 @ 11:43 AM | 3,420 Views
Watch and learn what NOT to do. The Crash is around minute 7 in the video...

A tragic crash of my scratch built RC plane in Utah (11 min 37 sec)

Posted by achurin | Jul 31, 2013 @ 03:31 PM | 4,333 Views
I have been a huge fan of Ed's (Experimental Airlines) techniques for building cheap planes. I felt like I needed to explore what was possible with this building technique as I have been very happy with the results thus far.

The result is the Red Devil, my latest addition to my fleet.

So far I have achieved mixed results. The plane clearly flies, but it requires 100% input. I will be updating this blog as I dial in this plane.

Video coming soon!...Continue Reading
Posted by achurin | Jun 30, 2013 @ 07:48 PM | 3,872 Views
My wife's dad took a real interest in the hobby...

I tried a couple of planes including my 58" Bi-plane that's made of dollar-tree foamboard and some hot glue... I have Bixler I and Bixler 2 that I like for different reasons and I flew those as well. The FPV footage was shot on the Bixler 2

Flying with Rich (12 min 53 sec)

Posted by achurin | Jan 21, 2013 @ 10:56 AM | 4,101 Views
I have been following Experimental Airlines designs for quite some time now and I have decided to take it up a notch and build a bi-plane... a really big one!

I will continue to update this thread till I get some flight footage. Stay Tuned...

NEW! Added landing gear......Continue Reading
Posted by achurin | Oct 21, 2012 @ 04:44 PM | 4,528 Views
Flying the Bixler around Moab, Utah with a Contour HD camera for some HD footage.

My wife gets pretty excited on the landings since they are usually eventful. As a result, the landings were pretty much missed... Still, there is some excitement towards the end of the track as I decide to grab my plane out of mid air!

Moab Adventure with the Bixler (8 min 55 sec)

Posted by achurin | Sep 27, 2012 @ 12:53 PM | 4,718 Views
Decided to chase the dream and get some aerial footage. Good practice for flying in the wind. Once the weather clears up, I'll be back for more!

Bixler I (11 min 40 sec)

Posted by achurin | Sep 21, 2012 @ 02:04 PM | 4,885 Views
I decided that it's time to change up my flying machines to front mounted engines, since my landings have finally stabilized.

I destroyed the AeroDactyl due to some engine mount issues and reused the tail section and wing here.

The dimensions are all in the video. It starts with the description of build, a few shots from the maiden flight and the second day adjustments.

It flies beautifully! I can't be any happier. If she survives long enough I would like to try a beefier motor...
Van Churin - Latest scratchbuild RC plane (10 min 33 sec)

Posted by achurin | Aug 24, 2012 @ 02:13 PM | 5,516 Views
I am huge fan of the simplicity and durability of Ed's Armin wing and foam-board construction. Experimental Airlines is a Youtube channel. Go check it out if you want to build your own plane and are not a master modeler. His techniques are super cheap and rather simple. I recommend building a few as they take very little time and offer a ton of fun and flexibility in return.

I opted for another 60" wing, simply because the first one was remarkably stable. Also it meant I did not have to cut my 30" foam-board. I increased the length of the fuse to 46" which gives it a ton of stability in gusty conditions. I also raised the motor mount to accommodate a 7x6 prop. Enjoy the pics and the maiden video!

AeroDactyl - Scratch Built Axon (4 min 0 sec)
...Continue Reading
Posted by achurin | Aug 18, 2012 @ 12:32 PM | 5,836 Views

4x Dollar Tree foam sheets
3x Packing Tape (Blue, White and a little black for the windows)
Gorilla Glue

4x 10g Servos HK Link
Tunigy 2200kv Motor HK Link
6x4E Prop
2s 1800mAh 25-50C Turnigyu Nano-Tech

New Video! Day 3
Pusher Axon Day 3 - Scratch Built (2 min 45 sec)

Day 2
AeroBus Day 2 (4 min 46 sec)
...Continue Reading
Posted by achurin | Jul 26, 2012 @ 10:29 AM | 4,713 Views
I had a couple of Dollar Tree foam sheets that needed to be used up (needed more space for more important stuff). I have been wanting to try building a descent bi-plane, so I made a fuselage and wings and started to piece it all together.

Being new to the hobby, I am doing more building than flying, but I really enjoy the experience. I am hoping to add the maiden flight video very soon, but for now check out the pictures.

You will notice the awkward shape to my rudder. I ran out of ideas there. It's ugly and probably way too large for this plane. I will find out during the trimming process.

I am planning on flying this thing on a 2S battery with 8x4.3 prop and a hexTronik 24gram Brushless Outrunner 1500kv motor.
Posted by achurin | Jul 03, 2012 @ 10:23 AM | 5,313 Views
So in my quest to build a plane I can fly without scaring those around me, I was scouring the Foamies (scratchbuilt) forums and stumbled into the the EzFly.

I really wanted an outdoor version that could handle some wind, plus the motors I had on hand were all a little larger.

This is what I have so far. I will be adding more pics in the next few days.
Posted by achurin | Jun 30, 2012 @ 01:39 AM | 5,396 Views
My flying still sucks, so I decided to throw together an "easy" flyer that can handle some wind as it is always windy here.

Not sure the Nutball is going to cure my lack of ability, but it's sure is fun to fly!

The last crash of the day took her out of commission for the night.

I took my time with the Nutball. I used Dollar tree foam (paper still on), with a dab of Lowes bought spray paint (Valspar?). It took me 2 nights totaling 4~6 hours. I can replicate this in about 2 hours no that I have some lessons learned...

The build is fun and easy. I fly her awkwardly still. A video will be added shortly.

And here is the video:
Nutball Maiden (3 min 34 sec)
...Continue Reading
Posted by achurin | Jun 27, 2012 @ 11:54 PM | 5,171 Views
My latest scratch build that actually took flight!
Here is my short tale of my attempt at taking RC flight.

The very first attempt was a bit of a disaster. Luckily my wife forgot to hit the record button. After a few adjustments, I tried her again....

I don't have the exact weight on her but she is 48" wide 38" long
This is the motor I had used with a 12" prop

You can hear the excitement in my wife's voice who has lost hope in me successfully getting anything airborne after the last few crashes.

Speaking of crashes... This first flight cost me a prop! A nose landing with minimal damage to the plane. If you watch full screen you can make out the crash in the distance:
Big Bird Flies 48inch Scratch built RC Frankenstein (0 min 49 sec)
...Continue Reading
Posted by achurin | Jun 21, 2012 @ 11:07 AM | 5,335 Views
I found a guy that sold me his flying hobby.... In total...

I am a couple of months into this hobby and suddenly I need a bigger garage!

Since my wife does not appreciate this I thought I would share with you guys...

A few hours in the car was well worth it!...Continue Reading
Posted by achurin | Jun 20, 2012 @ 01:27 PM | 5,069 Views
My Hawk Sky has been a great trainer and has been glued back together many times. Mostly cracks in the fuselage and an occasional cactus tear in the foam from an awkward belly landing in the desert.

I had a couple of great flights yesterday, with the best landing of my short flying career. In the evening showing off for my wife, I decided to throw the sticks in every which direction in hopes of some aerial acrobatic genius. I didn't have the speed, stalled, lost orientation and accelerated into the ground nose first.

The major casualties of the day are:
1. Motor. The shaft got bent and the hex screws got stripped while trying to remove the shaft.
2. Prop. When the shaft bends, chances are the prop is a goner
3. Battery. There was no fire, but it was pretty misshaped by the time I inspected it. Definitely warm to the touch as well, which prompted me to dispose of the battery ASAP
3. Pride. After a great day of lying ending on a low note is never fun....

And now for the pictures....
Posted by achurin | Jun 12, 2012 @ 10:22 AM | 5,330 Views
My Buddy Warren suggested picking up a throw glider from the local Target for $10. He sent me a bunch of links to videos of Air Hog (name of the glider) conversions by the hobbyists out there. Seeing all that made me really want to try on my own.

My first build was a biplane and was really a proof of my impatience. I just wanted to get my hands dirty right away. I am yet to wire it with electronics, but I don't expect much from it when I do. Not following plans has downfalls (like asymmetry).

This brings me back to the Air Hog. I ordered 4 servos a brushless motor and 30A ESC. I am planning on using a 3S 30C battery and a 6x4 prop. I will add the specifics of the motor soon.

I used a $20 Hobby Lobby foam cutter (a hot wire hanger might work just a s well if not better), some tape and of course a blade.

I will let the pictures do the rest of the talking......Continue Reading
Posted by achurin | Jun 01, 2012 @ 01:03 PM | 5,489 Views
I decided to build a biplane out of some material that I rescued from the Home Depot scrap pile! I went with my own plans that I made up based on some images I saw and the materials in front of me. I had a straight-edge, some foam (quite a bit of it actually), a glue gun and a knife.

I also used a sander, a butane torch/lighter, and some packing tape.

I'll let the photos fill the gaps in this story... Reading
Posted by achurin | Jun 01, 2012 @ 12:05 PM | 5,411 Views
I am trying to keep this chronological, so here is the video of the first attempts at flight

Seagull 2 (7 min 23 sec)

Posted by achurin | May 31, 2012 @ 11:35 AM | 5,764 Views
Before taking flight... even before receiving the plane, I purchased a 4ch USB controller to practice on a sim on my computer (about twenty bucks on Amazon).

I was told by my buddy about the free sims out there, but the first sim I tried loading was a dud. It did not play well at all on my 30". I am guessing the 2560x1900 resolution was to blame.

Being the impatient person that I am, I immediately purchased ClearView to practice on. ClearView is not a bad start, but I can not recommend it over the free options out there. A few more days in this hobby and I learned of FMS flight sim and BMI flight sim (same technology). BMI is really a branded version of FMS. The advantage of BMI is the number of pre-installed planes.

Which ever flight sim you pick, make sure to find a model of aircraft that closely matches the model you intend to fly. (Search around, there are hundreds of readily available models for download that will work with either FMS or BMI.)

Once you get a hang of landings (hardest part), try introducing some weather... I live in a windy area, so I always fly with 20MPH West wind and 40MPH gusts to simulate my real-world flying experience.

I am not including any links here because they get stripped out anyways, but google any of the flight sims I mention here and you should have problems getting started.

Lastly, I anticipate friends and relatives expressing desire to fly my planes. I am planning on using the sim as a litmus test based on 3 successful virtual landings in a row before handing over the real radio.

If anyone else has insights into the flight simulator experience, please reply to this post.
Posted by achurin | May 27, 2012 @ 04:15 PM | 5,181 Views
The manual did not exactly match in the following areas:
1. Wing shape (the included decals had to be trimmed to accommodate the new wing)
2. The brushless motor that I got was not shown or spec'ed
3. The battery charger was slightly different

It took me about 30~40 minutes to get it fully assembled. Since the battery will take an hour or longer to charge, it might be a good idea to read the manual.

Wing span :1370mm
Length : 917
Weight : 600g (21.2oz)

Package includes:
Plane: Hawk Sky plane including undercarriage and prop
Charger: Dynam 3 Cell standard Li-po charger
Transmitter: Dynam 2.4Ghz Remote Control
Receiver: Dynam 2.4Ghz receiver
Servos: Dynam 8.4g micro servos (4pcs)
ESC: Brushless Electronic Speed Controller
Motor: Dynam Speed 400 Brushless Motor
Battery: 11.1V 1800mah Lithium Polymer