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Posted by Micubano | Apr 17, 2019 @ 08:21 AM | 2,384 Views
Technically I never stopped flying. This winter was pretty tame. It just feels good to pack the car up in the morning to immediately hit the field after work.

Edit: Apparently it is an orange plane day.
Posted by Micubano | Apr 13, 2019 @ 10:07 PM | 2,092 Views
My son's first balsa kit and he is going to build it with just a little help from me. It's my first year for balsa flying too, so he has 32 years on me with this one. We had the RA Cores Extra out today in some strong winds practicing. From what I hear, he will have no issues flying it. I'm putting an Aura 8 in for him too so it will handle a little more like a bigger plane.
Posted by Micubano | Mar 25, 2019 @ 08:59 AM | 2,263 Views
I admit I tried to get my son into flying way too young. Like when he was 8ish. He was not enjoying flying the high wings or biplanes. He always seemed so concerned about crashing and the cost of a crash despite him recording me crash planes on a few occasions and then seeing the planes repaired and flying again. Yet, he still liked going to NEAT Fair. I thought he just liked the nice drive and finding new places to eat. Last year, he found out profile foamies are very reasonably priced and durable. He started coming out with me to the clubs when he didn't have other activities and flying an old profile foamy that I beat up a lot over the years. He likes hanging with the guys. His flying was still pretty awkward and just a pattern around the field with a few snap rolls thrown in. Every time he was with me, I made sure we stopped somewhere to eat afterward and talked about the flights and whatever is on his mind. This winter, he hit RealFlight hard. At least 15 minutes a day for 3 or 4 days a week. He swore that the minor and constant stick movements improved his Fortnite game. Whatever. I'll take it. Yesterday, he asked to go try his new plane and I recorded this.

RA Cores Extra Profile Foam Airplane - Callum's First Flight (2 min 40 sec)


I only had enough money on me for a frozen Coke for him afterward. He deserved it. It was the first time he flew in wind and kept the plane under control the entire time. No buddy box. No help except for me walking on the field to hand launch it because the wind was at our backs. That is why the video is the way it is. I had to run back to the flight line. And he nailed the final landing. Plus this is a park he is normally not comfortable at. He prefers the wide open clubs, but they are too soggy to walk on. I am so proud of him. He's 13 and we are going to have a fun summer of flying together.
Posted by Micubano | Mar 15, 2019 @ 09:53 AM | 2,846 Views
I forgot to blog that I took a break from the balsa builds (right before my week from hell) to work on the RA Cores Extra with my son. Easy build and tons of aileron throw. It can handle a pretty strong breeze that some people would call wind. After the maiden flight, just for fun, I turned the wind on Real Flight up to 50 mph with 100% turbulence und flew a PA Extra 300. The landing was tough, but the plane was intact!

Our new RA cores earned its spot on the wall of things that I don't want lying around the workshop in the basement because they would warp or break there. You can't see it in the picture, but my son wrote both our names on the fuse. I think he likes the RA cores planes the most because they are durable. I can't wait for the flying season to start.
Posted by Micubano | Mar 14, 2019 @ 09:57 AM | 3,244 Views
So, I had a hip replaced back in October. That went as well as anyone could hope. Last Wednesday, I picked up a nasty head cold. One sick day from work and then I was able to work from home Thursday. Friday I get in work and IMMEDIATELY get a call from my son's school because he was sick. He had been out sick since Monday (and the one who got me sick). He really wanted to get back to school because the work was piling up, but the nurse said he needed more rest. I agreed. I work from home again because driving back will just waste more time. After work, I do get in a flight with our new RA Cores Extra in a pretty heavy breeze. I decided one battery was enough and not risk it because my son needs to fly it before it gets damaged. He did write both our names on it when we finished putting it together . Friday night, my hip I had the replacement on feels a little stiff. Saturday morning, now it's my ankle and knee too. I go to a party to watch a band for an hour around 3 PM, but don't drink or eat anything because I feel off. Sunday, I wake up barely able to walk because of the pain. . I take medicine prescribed for the swelling and pain, sit in my recliner, sleep a lot, and watch a perfect day for flying pass me by. Real Flight did help once I found models for two new planes I have for the spring. Monday is no better. I take a personal day at work because they were pretty generous the week before. I call the doc and get different pills because the ones I am taking did not work....Continue Reading
Posted by Micubano | Feb 24, 2019 @ 04:11 PM | 2,979 Views
I attended AMA Expo East this year. The PA Extra 260 is complete and waiting for a nice spring day to maiden. I have a 1/2 finished E-Flite Slick 3D on the bench. Despite not having flown anything sporty and balsa yet, I picked up the Extreme Flight 48" Edge. Plus I always have to get something from RA Cores when I see Jim. His planes are a lot of fun to build and fly.
Posted by Micubano | Feb 01, 2019 @ 12:43 PM | 4,900 Views
The pull-pull system, motor, air scoops, and ESC are run. All I have left are the wing bolts, cowl/prop/spinner, and the Aura 8/SR8010T combo. I looked at so many pictures for the pull-pull system for the holes. The hole in the rudder was the worst to find because it was under the solid black covering. Putting a light behind it would not help, but I could feel it. I kept running my finger over one side until the square was pronounced on the covering and then cut through it. Both ropes are clamped tight, centered, and give the same pitch guitar string like twang when I pluck them.

I took my time cutting through all the holes that were covered by the fiberglass on the motor box and the air scoops. Everything was flat and debris free in the motor box when I mounted the motor. The air scoops are aligned almost perfectly symmetrical. If they are off, I can't tell.

The one thing I noticed is how many different adhesives I used in this project. Thin CA (balsa screw holes), Thick CA (air scoops), 5-minute epoxy (hinges and other things), and 30-minute epoxy (I forget, but it was something that needed to be strong). 5-Minute Epoxy was definitely used the most.

Maybe this weekend I will actually finish the build and get the electronics set and tested.
Posted by Micubano | Jan 28, 2019 @ 10:30 AM | 5,221 Views
I've built a few RACores planes, so the idea of glue and thread push rods is not new to me. Last night after finishing all the soldering, I was doing the aileron pushrods on the Precision Aerobatics (PA) Extra 260. I was really, really taking my time. Despite that, the first attempt was too short when I finally installed it. I took it apart, scrapped the CA and thread off of the CF rod, and started over. The second time it was too long. So now I feel I am missing something because everything looks good until I install it. So the third time while I am adjusting I look around and see what else is moving. I am using the PA CF servo arm extenders. I notice that they are what is moving because I'm not putting in the center screw when I put the arm on because I have never needed to do this in the past. This is my first time using extender arms. So, the third time I was dead on. Aileron 2 was so much faster...until I misplaced the servo screw and crawled around my work area for 10 minutes. You know where it ended up being. It was exactly where I put it to not lose it but forgot about while putting on the glue and heat shrink. After I found it sitting in the servo (from now on they all go back to the screw tray!) and finally got the push rod in place, I decided that would be a good place to stop for the day. I have the elevator servo, pull-pull system, electronics, cowl, prop, and spinner left to install.

It's funny because I have seen some threads where someone builds an entire...Continue Reading
Posted by Micubano | Jan 24, 2019 @ 09:34 AM | 5,285 Views
And the PA Extra 260 ARF build keeps moving along. I epoxied the rudder on last night and made little corrections until it set. This morning the rudder and elevator have full range and no sticking points. Tonight I seal the rudder gap, install the final (elevator) servo, and get the pushrods and pull-pull system in place. My EC3 connectors should arrive Saturday. Hoping to finish it this weekend. I am totally putting together the Slick 3D after this. Not sure why I didn't do that one first for some practice. This is a lot more fun than getting slapping something together in an hour. I can't wait to hook up the Aura 8 to the PC and fine tune the out of it.
Posted by Micubano | Jan 23, 2019 @ 12:09 PM | 5,697 Views
I owned two Precision Aerobatics (PA) planes years ago before I joined a club. A Mini Kitana and an Addiction. I didn't build them and the only reason I had them is the LHS gave me a great deal on both of them because one of the employees damaged them a little while "testing" them. They were supposed to hang on my wall until I was ready for balsa and balsa repairs. About a year later I was tired of flying mostly alone and joined a local flying club. One afternoon a guy I'm friends with started going on about his two PA planes he sold and missed. Long story short, he got his planes back and I got wall space back. He was very grateful. It was worth it.

I've been flying for almost 8 years now. I didn't fly the PAs, but I do have an old balsa E-Flite Cessna 150 Acrobat 250 I picked up 2 years ago and take out from time to time. It has survived so far and I am happy with it. The rest of my collection has been foam and almost entirely Horizon. There is a balsa Slick 3D sitting in its box in my basement for two years too, but I didn't put in the time to learn about balsa assembly and repair. I didn't feel ready. Plus, why balsa when we have all this wonderful foam stuff that is easily repaired. That started changing after having a few beers in the FoamTac tent at NEAT after not winning the plane I wanted at the Hobby King tent auction. I was passing the Flex Innovations (FI) tent on the way back to my club's spot on the flight line and decided to stop. I had money....Continue Reading
Posted by Micubano | Jan 08, 2019 @ 09:34 AM | 6,164 Views
I am loving Flex Innovations' planes. I have a Mamba 10, Extra 300 G1, and the Cap 323 now. It all started with the Mamba 10 at NEAT Fair. When I go to the basement and look at all my other planes, I am wondering when I am going to fly them. Well, not the HH Ultimate2, CZ Cessna, and CZ Cub. I am in the middle of putting together a Precision Aerobatics Extra 260 too. I'm putting the IPA kit and an Aura 8 in it. I'm wondering how it will compare to the Flex planes. I didn't realize that I would need to cut holes in the covering in several places. I'm glad that I keep a lot of new Exacto blades around. I learned from cutting foam that using a new blade every session will keep everything nice looking. I also didn't know a sealing tool is needed. That arrives Saturday. Late 2018 was the Fall of Flex. Maybe 2019 will be about balsa. After 8 years, I finally know what kind of planes I like to fly and willing to sink some money into some good ones without the fear of breaking the landing gear off.

Before the Cap 232 trade happened, I started selling planes to make room. For the CAP 232, I let two guys go crazy and pick out a dozen planes of all sizes. I knew one for years. He is a good pilot. It turned out the other guy only talked a good game. I found out New Years Day at a fun fly that he destroyed the CZ Splendor and Force RC F-18 Blue Angels I traded to him. I just fixed the canopy hatch on the Splendor and the test flights were good. I had an AR636 tuned nicely in the F-18, that had 4 flights on it. I'm wondering if he put a 3S in it. He also has my old QQ Extra 280 that was like new. I'm hoping he hangs it on a wall and never flies it. It's thinking like this that makes my basement look like I'm an airplane hoarder. Well, it doesn't look that way now. I sold/traded a lot of planes. On the other hand, I do have his Cap 232. He set up nice with an AR8010T RX, sat, and even bought HK wing bags. I will have my Cap 232 for years.
Posted by Micubano | Dec 19, 2018 @ 01:09 PM | 4,918 Views
He picked the RA Cores Mini Yak up at NEAT fair. We were supposed to build it together, but he has been too busy with school and sports. I was thinking about what local gym we could use to fly it in during the build when I received a text that there is going to be a dome fly in New Years Day. He is going to love flying it there. It's not a Christmas gift, but I like putting some of the small planes on the tree every year.
Posted by Micubano | Sep 20, 2018 @ 02:43 PM | 6,262 Views
At NEAT Fair he picked up a Hobby King Arctic Cat Kit and Bonsai II PNF Wing plus a RC Cores 22" Mini Yak. He also got an E-Flite PT-17 1.1. Plus we are almost done building an RA Cores Spitfire that I bought a few years ago and pretty much forgot about. He put Fortnite guns on the wings already, so that is his too. I'd rather have him keep getting planes to fly and doing Fortnite themes that playing Fortnite . That's not a bad haul for a kid who just turned 13.
Posted by Micubano | Aug 23, 2018 @ 11:05 AM | 6,504 Views
This summer my son has gone from no interest in flying to wanting to fly a lot. He has been flying his UMX Radian, PT-17 and Pitts. Last night he brought the X-Vert to the field and insisted we didn't need to buddy box. He seemed really confident, so I let him. I took a brief video just to capture the moment and then put the phone away in case I needed to take the TX. It turns out I didn't need to. By the end of the night he was doing loops and his turns were pretty solid without SAFE and on the flight line by himself. All his flights (PT-17 and X-Vert) were great and he didn't crash once.

Our trip last week to both Air and Space museums in Washington DC (The Udvar-Hazy center is a must visit place if you like planes) seemed to really solidify his love of planes. We were still on vacation when we picked out a new UMX Yak 54 for him to try. Yeah, I know it's delicate. I have the AS3Xtra. I'm willing to risk the $100 on him so he can try something new and build up his own hangar.

Now that I think about it, his interest started up again when I showed him pictures of a full scale biplane that someone locally built next to a 1/4 RC version of the same plane that a club member built. He seemed fascinated that someone built their own plane. He asked about building a full scale airplane once. I wonder how serious he was?

My Son Flying the XVert (0 min 46 sec)

Posted by Micubano | Aug 07, 2018 @ 10:41 AM | 5,838 Views
My son went all in on sports for a long time there and told me he was done with flying. He burned out on the sports and is taking a well deserved break, but his Mom hates him sitting around. I think he just asked me to go flying to get out of the house originally, but after a few flights he genuinely seems interested. This video was from a few days ago, but last night he was getting fancy with the UMX Radian. He is also liking the UMX PT-17. With the UMX Pitts he is having trouble correcting after a turn, but he'll get it. He also started an RC channel on YouTube for his videos. Right now he only has 2 subscribers, so if some RCG people wouldn't mind subscribing, that would help keep him interested. The channel is dedicated to RC videos only. Thanks!

Flying the E-Flite UMX Radian at Lackawanna State Park (2 min 54 sec)

Posted by Micubano | Jul 24, 2018 @ 01:43 PM | 6,069 Views
So...were are having a new roof put on and the contractor asked to store some things inside. My wife said "Sure, there is plenty of room" not realizing that there is no more room in my workshop. I get a phone call from her. She asked me not buy any more planes for a while. Does that include the Crescendo I bought this morning? I probably should have told her about that. Well, I made it to 80. Time to sell some planes cheap to the guys at the clubs and put the money towards vacation in a few weeks to smooth things over. Maintenance time was getting out of control anyway.
Posted by Micubano | Jul 03, 2018 @ 10:26 AM | 10,924 Views
Despite my stock props being balanced, symmetrical, and free of defects they always seem to loud and to not have a lot of punch at full throttle. I've been told get wood props countless times, but I was out and my CZ Yak was making me cringe when I heard the advice yet again. This time I listened.

The video is short. It was a hot day. I had a bad summer cold going on. The bugs were horrible and my son/camera man stole my hat that I cover with bug spray when I fly. I chose a battery (E-Flite 6S 2900) that some one here on RCG shipped to me for free about 6 or 7 years ago when I was into helis to keep the power low and the esc cooler. Amazingly that battery has a little sag but still holds a full charge and the cells are all good. Doing battery maintenance on all batteries twice a year does pay off! Despite all that, I loved the flight and the next two as well despite my son going back to the car to sit in the AC with my hat. He volunteered to come with me and take video without me asking, so I took him for a nice lunch afterwards. Apparently he wants to learn video editing, so I am helping him with that too.

E-Flite Carbon-Z Cub with Xoar Wood Prop - Test Flight (3 min 55 sec)

Posted by Micubano | Jun 07, 2018 @ 12:54 PM | 6,779 Views
It's been over 6 months since HH replaced my Convergance that suffered a horrible, horrible death. I've broken (and fixed) a couple planes on the maiden flights. I've never been more sure that a crash was not my fault than that one. The replacement Convergence was hanging brand new on a hook next to the F-27 Evolution, which I fly often until yesterday. While reaching for the F-27 Evo, I decided to finally maiden the Convergence. Mainly because I remembered I charged 3S batteries and not 4S. It didn't crash and I had good control the entire time. I liked it and I hope it keeps flying this way. I hope that better collets eventually work their way into the system. Until then if you buy one, use a strong and rubbery glue on your two front props. I'm glad HH's CS took care of me with this one. I felt like I just threw money out the window until they sent me the new one.
Posted by Micubano | May 22, 2018 @ 12:15 PM | 8,251 Views
Video First. Blog post follows.
MPCNC Drawing Tests - Time Lapse Video (1 min 8 sec)


I love tech. I bought a Champ S+ just to try the safety features for beginners. I don't mind buying beginner planes because you can turn all the safety stuff off and fly like you don't care. With a few exceptions, I've stayed away from balsa and stuck with foam. This all started when I saw a guy with a beautiful little red bipe that turned into toothpicks during the first flight. After that I saw quite a few balsa crashes with some of them going in the garbage can. But just like I swore I'd never fly planes when I was a heli guy, I think it is time to start building and flying my own balsa planes.

This isn't a sudden decision. It's been coming for a while. I've seen what a talented guy with an iron can do with the coverings. I've seen some very nice scratch-built planes. One guy at the club even built a full scale bipe that he flies over the field with a few times a year and puts on a nice show with. Of course, all these guys have decades of experience. I'm about 6 or 7 years in. I have been repairing my own planes and learned as much as I can with them. I've been designing my own parts, 3D printing them, and installing them for a few years now. That has been working great. I was going to start making my own foam planes, but I think I need a bigger step. The problem is getting the time to do things.

When I first started flying foam, I took some PVC, guitar string, a 3S battery, and...Continue Reading
Posted by Micubano | May 16, 2018 @ 10:23 AM | 6,834 Views
As usual, no one uses my local parks unless there is a sporting event for a kids team. It's kind of sad, but I get a ton of flying time in on the micros. My only issue is the grass grew really fast. The Maule M7 needed to be rolled back and forth a few times to create small path for takeoff, but it did take off.