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Archive for February, 2016
Posted by CorvetteC5 | Feb 24, 2016 @ 11:26 AM | 5,916 Views
I totally intended to build my Micro Max kit, by Stevens Aeromodel, as designed when I bought it. However I spoke with flying buddy, Scott, who built his kit first and doesn't like flying it indoors in the space we have access to. Scott learned the hard way, several times, that his Micro Max has an abrupt and severe wing tip snap roll when slowed down too much. (A behavior I would see from my own build.) And flying it at nearly full throttle all the time in the basketball court size gym isn't his ideas of fun. Mine either.

So forewarned, I tweaked my Micro Max design from the get go to fly slower. I decided to try these changes:
a) Reduce the wing loading by lengthening the wing 25%. I simply added 1 additional rib to each wing half. Keeping the same rib spacing as designed. Stevens made this change a no brainer. He uses a 1/4" balsa stick as the leading edge of the wing. Each stick is 12" long, with only about 9" needed for each wing half. This left me plenty of length to use for my 25% span increase.

b) Lighten the airframe by drilling holes into the sheets of balsa used to form the fuselage and tail surfaces. Forstner drill bits in several sizes did the trick. See images for locations.

c) Route out the underside of the balsa headrest to save a tad more weight. Images attached.

That's all really. Not too much butchering of the original design after all, IMO.

So how did my maiden flight go? In a word: scary! It was...Continue Reading
Posted by CorvetteC5 | Feb 19, 2016 @ 08:18 AM | 6,047 Views
Just couldn't help myself I like unique RC flying craft and this one is very cool. Not the first of its kind for sure, but bought at the closeout price of $15 from Walmart summer of 2014 it is fun to explore

You might have seen these Ironman toys for sale around Christmas of 2013. At full introductory price I couldn't get excited about them. Plus I haven't paid more then $30 (before tax) for a toy RC aircraft yet. This includes my Silverlit 4-motor bomber, and Airhogs Stunt Jet both shared on my blog. But I did stay interested enough in Ironman to watch for the sales.

Inspection of the design shows it to be an important step-up above the Airhogs airplanes I have experienced. The TX has fully proportional control for both steering and thrust! True potentiometers on the control sticks and not the frustrating 2 to 7 steps founds by the other brand. Although still only 2-channels of control (differential thrust) at least the pilot has a fighting chance of holding the sweet spots for altitude and yaw.

Encouraged by the proportional control, I first flew this one stock during the winter of 2014-2015 indoors during a normal flying session. After a little trimming of the rudder (at the TX) and moving the CG by taping metal washers to the feet, I was able to fly circles within the gym. Mostly staying off the walls and out of trouble. Ironman just doesn't like to turn too tightly. That long and narrow body of his is acting like a rudder, of course, and when...Continue Reading
Posted by CorvetteC5 | Feb 17, 2016 @ 09:10 AM | 5,558 Views
Surprised myself just now realizing I hadn't created a thread for my micro S-Pou! model. This is the first Stevens Aeromodel kit I ever built and was purchased by Dad at the Toledo RC show in 2010. It was chosen for the unique look to the original design. Why share now? Because during January 2016 I completed a refresh of my S-Pou! And after 5 and one half years of use (and survival) it was entitled

Unfortunately the flying stabilizer of the original design results is a very pitch sensitive (unstable) aircraft. Flown too fast or in a bit of wind and it would porpoise dramatically. I also found my S-Pou! to turn poorly to the right, with a resistance to the rudder command. It would start the turn just fine, then partway along would rock hard to the left and then resume turning to the right.

I adjusted what could be trimmed with the airplane from summer of 2010 to 2012 and was to the point of either retiring the design out of frustration, or cutting into the aircraft and making drastic changes to the design in hopes of a fine flyer. As seen in the photos I reworked it! Glad I did as it is a very pleasing flyer now.

Summary of my redesigning:
a) Added plywood to the wing support tower to reposition the pivot point toward the tail. This provided a more forward CG and greater pitch stability. This is the first thing I tried to help control the porpoising. Helped a little but not nearly enough.

b) Replaced lifting (under cambered) stabilizer with flat...Continue Reading