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Posted by target | Dec 16, 2020 @ 03:31 AM | 11,611 Views
So, a while back, Mr. "FlytoBob" had an issue with a plane that he had received used.
The dilemma on many used moldies are that they come built by another person, and you are not in control of how they built that plane, or repaired it.

Often, if contest flying, a flap servo will be stripped, and a spare glued in hastily, without taking care to match the servo arm offset for proper throw geometry. If the flap servos are BOTH off a bit, the same way, usually you can live with it.
But when they are extremely miss matched, it creates all sorts or radio problems.

I encountered this, on my latest used model acquired. :-(
I scored around the servo that was epoxied in, but alas, it was glued in really well! Additionally, it was glued to the SPAR, really well!
It was an older Airtronics 94761 servo, which I had used many of in the past.

If only I could get the arm off with the servo still in place...


You need to have a spare servo arm, and some of these nifty socket head machine screws from McMaster Carr, and a hex key.

1. Remove linkage from servo.
2. Use Dremel tool to remove enough of the nylon servo arm to get a grip with needle-nosed pliers on the head of the original machine screw.
3. Turn out screw with pliers.
4. Slide off arm from servo output shaft.
5. Reclock servo to the PROPER orientation with same (opposite) numerical offset in your transmitter.
6. Modify hex key with your Dremel cut off wheel.
7. Use a rare earth magnet to get the socket head screw to stay on the hex key, eliminating swear words.
8. Reassemble linkage.
9. Mail me $10 when you use this technique and are impressed that I thought of it.
10. Fly a balanced, better tuned plane than you bought. Merry Xmas, FlytoBob!
Posted by target | Sep 19, 2020 @ 08:45 PM | 7,881 Views
I finally found a MPX Twist, through the kindness of a good online sloper friend. Thanks, you know who you are!

I have needed a 2M efficient light weight sloper for a while, because I have been flying frequently when conditions are such that only the old school EPP Weasel would stay up. A nice light but agile plane is what I needed, and the Twist should fill the bill, and it comes with, and breaks down into a coroplast travel case. SO AWESOME!
I hope to have an AUW of @ 20oz RTF.

Pics to follow.
Posted by target | Sep 19, 2020 @ 08:40 PM | 7,843 Views
Yep, it happened. I built a 48" Moth!
What a different mentality building with EPP is.....

Pics to follow when I have time.

Posted by target | Feb 16, 2013 @ 05:49 PM | 64,442 Views
Got a hankering for a new TD plane and something a bit less "common" than all the current rides. Enter Stork 4 Pro X-tail.
I did a little research and heard some good things but no bad things about them.
The stab arrangement is a bit unusual, but makes a lot of sense to me. It spreads the loads over a large area.

Speaking of area, this plane should be a real performer at slow speeds. It has a healthy fuse length (about the same as a 4.0 Xplorer) and just a 3.56m wing span, so in theory, its got gobs of tail volume. I know that is not very scientific, but hey, I'm not the analyst that some are....

I will be using a LiFe pack, and because I want to do this, my servo choice will be adjusted accordingly.
I am favoring the Hyperion digital servos these days. I have MANY DS-11AMB's in service, and will be trying some of the other servos in their line as well. The Hyperion website states that most of their servos are good to 6.5v loaded, and 7.3v unloaded. That puts them right into the proper voltage range for using a 2S LiFe pack.

I'm a fan of using fairly strong servos for the flaps and stab, so for these positions I am thinking DS-13TMB. They have 116 oz/in of torque at 6.0V! The speed is a little slower than some at .16 sec at 6.0v, so at 6.6v, they should be slightly faster, about .14 sec. I think that is fast enough.
The flaps on the Stork are LARGE! The center panel is...Continue Reading
Posted by target | Jan 01, 2013 @ 09:33 PM | 64,382 Views
Got this 1/3.75 scale Discus 2 from a buddy (Thanks Mike!) as a bit of a basket case.
It had been involved in a crash, and had the stab busted, fuse broken at the base of the fin, and the wings also had some unknown amount of damage. Mike had already done the major repairs, and added some filler and some rough shaping to the damaged areas.
The fuse is molded fiberglass, and the stab and rudder are hollow molded pieces, but the wings are foam with carbon and then Obecchi over them.

It was handed off to me in pieces (but pretty much all there!) on the premise that I would put it back together, and come fly aero-tow with the guys.
Why not, right??!!

Anyway, this poor plane sat and sat in my shop. every so often I would take a look at it, and think, "This is gonna take a bit of work to get going!" Some of the areas, like retracts and spoilers, I really had ZERO experience with. I know its not rocket science, but I'm most comfortable doing what I already know, or think I know, than what I don't know about at all!

Anyway, it's almost back together. I have had a bit of a vacation, being off from the 21st of December to today, the 1st of Jan, 2013. Now its back to work, but it looks like I will actually MAKE the Feb 2 Coachella Aero-tow with this plane functional! Yay, I'm looking forward to it!

Attached are some pics.

Happy New...Continue Reading
Posted by target | Nov 19, 2012 @ 12:28 AM | 66,222 Views
I guess I will commit to building this large, 1979 era Dave Jones designed Plank wing design, called the Sunbird.
It's 1300 square inches, and should challenge my building skills.
And, it looks cool!
It has elevators and a rudder instead of elevons, so will be RES class legal for TD comps, and also being designed before 1980, will be Nostalgia class legal. And, wait, its also Woody class legal!

I'm off to order some balsa, plywood, and spruce.

And I WILL be editing it, so don't get your panties wadded up if I delete a post that is wandering.

Posted by target | Nov 26, 2010 @ 03:48 PM | 74,446 Views
I have a new toy. Since I am starting to fly some F3B when time allows, I decided to get one of these babies.
I wanted a plane that would be light unballasted, so that I would be able to make the duration task without as much trouble as a heavier plane.
And, I have to use my less than "world class" thermal skills to do it.
I believe that the Extasy will be easier in this regard than my Cyril was. I can also use this plane as a windy condition TD plane, the way I did with my NAN Tracer.

Anyway, a little bit about the plane:

It's a little over 3 meters in span. It comes with the wings setup with RDS, and the frames are pre-installed. This, in my opinion makes for a "starter" RDS plane. The factory has already done the measuring, taking the head-scratching and guess work out of the build. While I had no problem with installing the RDS in the Cyril, and it came out great, I did spend a lot of time "looking" at the servo install in the wings, and gluing the frames in is a "leap of faith".... So, the Extasy is more of a "plug and play" plane in that regard.

The fuse is more of a standard setup, that requires the builder to cut out the shelf on the sub-nose for their own servo arrangement. This is a bit more work than where there is a pre-cut, specific servo arrangement. I like options for the gear layout in the fuselage, and I will likely add a ballast tube in the fuse....Continue Reading
Posted by target | Sep 03, 2010 @ 08:16 PM | 74,354 Views
So, some of you know that I'm a huge Ceres fan. The plane is fast, has good manners, and is built like a brick outhouse. Hard to want anything more for F3F.

I recently purchased a Cyril, since I started dabbling in F3B when I have time.
The last F3F race I went to the Cyril was finished just an hour or two before the race, so I brought it along, to get the maiden out of the way.
I had flown Warrens plane (thanks, that is a true friend!) a few times, but it's hard to push someone elses $$$$ molded new plane, at least it is for me.
\The maiden went fine before the race at White Point, but the lift was light at best.
I also flew it for about 20 minutes after the race, and it was fine. However, I still felt like the Ceres had more grip, and was faster in a straight line than the Cyril. And, it could be..... But!

After flying both planes today at Fermin, all I can say is, WOW!
That Cyril is fast both into and out of the corners, and is a slippery little bastard overall.
But what struck me the hardest, was this thing has such impeccable handling manners; it is SO EASY to fly fast. I think I'm really gonna love it for F3B!

More later.

Posted by target | Dec 23, 2009 @ 01:12 PM | 74,317 Views
I am certain that some of you wonder why on earth my Screen name is "Target".

Here is the story behind it:

I started working on boats when I was 17 years old (a mere 32 years ago).

When I was 20, I was working as a deckhand, on a charter sport fishing boat. This was in the early "wild" '80's, where nearly anything was acceptable. We were out on a two day charter, with a group that chartered us for two days, once a month, all year long. It was October, and the water was warm.

We were trolling on our way back from 2 days at one of the islands. I just got done fish cleaning....Several of the passengers were shooting a .22 cal revolver at an empty bleach bottle tied to a long string astern of the boat. It was all in good fun.

One of the trolled feathers hooked a fish. Excitement and hopes of a Yellowfin Tuna ensued! But it was a lowly Skipjack tuna, and disappointment took over. Some shouted, "Shoot the Skipjack!" I was getting ready to rinse off and store my fillet knife in the galley. I approached the galley, but the Mate of the vessel was blocking the entrance, with his back to me, head down...

He was loading the revolver that I couldn't see. He spun around, pulled the hammer back (prematurely) and discovered the definition of a hair trigger. He shot me, point blank! The bullet traveled through my liver, kidney, and colon, exited my back, and went into a passengers' lung! D’oh.

I got a "free" USCG helo...Continue Reading
Posted by target | Sep 19, 2009 @ 09:55 PM | 81,439 Views
*************************CLICK ON COMMENTS TO ^^ OPEN THREAD!

B-day present to me, from my wife (I picked it out for her, and she doesn't know just how well she did....)!

270g Fuse (has about the first 1/2" filled with lead shot already)
68g V-tails (pair)
135g Joiner
592g Left Wing
597g Rt Wing
56g Misc Hardware/covers
1718g Empty weight -60.6 oz!
138g 6x 761 servos
31g Fusion 9 rx
115g 5 cell 2/3A 1500 pack
35g Target made ballast tube
2037g Total, before build out, 72 oz

I may try to shave some weight here and there to trim the fat. It does have music wire pushrods in the snakes, for example.
The joiner is a bit heavy for its size, and is likely very strong.

Wings have ballast tubes in the roots, 14mm diameter x 267mm long.
Should hold some weight, but maybe not enough. Calculates out to about 16oz per side, so 900g total in the wings.

************************************************** *******
EDIT: Looks like I can fit a "Ceres" rectangular tube in the fuse to hold 7 slugs; they are 4.6oz each in the stock brass (32.2oz, or another 900g), or 6 oz each in lead (170g each, 1.19kg total), 42oz total.
So, I should be able to ballast up the Tracer with between 64 and 74 oz of total ballast, if the wing tube is in the right place (it's centered on 109mm).
************************************************** *****

Nose is considerably long, may not need...Continue Reading
Posted by target | Apr 23, 2008 @ 07:55 PM | 77,986 Views
Posted by target | Oct 03, 2007 @ 11:48 AM | 95,804 Views
*************************CLICK ON COMMENTS ^^ TO OPEN THREAD!
CERES F3F from Soaring USA

Well, I just had to have one....
After exchanging emails with the designer of the the wing profile, Dirk Pflug, I knew the plane would be fast. And the distributor for Baudis Models is Soaring USA, so I knew I'd get the plane when/as promised.
And, even though the rest of the world seems not to favor the Trinity, it still has my best F3F time of 31.61 seconds at Parker Mountain. The Baudis Trinity has served me well, and is still going strong!
I decided I wanted the latest Baudis plane, the F3F version of the F3B CERES.

You can get yours, and most of the electronics here, at SUSA:

I had to play hooky from work, just to pick up my plane, I had been working offshore so much.
Upon getting the plane, it looked great! It's got an all carbon, very light, black fuselage, and the flying surfaces are white on top, with trim, and black and white on the bottoms.

Here is the breakdown of the component weights:

wing half..705g
stab half....42g
Total....1,820g (64oz)

10 ballast slugs, 130g each, or a total of 46oz of brass ballast!

A discussion thread is HERE:

If you have a comment PLEASE do it there. Thanks.

This plane comes with a complete hardware kit...
The plane also comes with the horns already in ALL the contol surfaces, nothing to mess up on there.

You will need the folowing items to finish the plane:

(4) Futaba S3150 servos (TRY to get the servos with Hitec/JR style plugs; the supplied harness uses this style females)
(2) 3421 JR servos
(1) Receiver
(1) 4 cell battery pack; either CP1300 1/2Sub C cells, or IB1400 1/2 A cells, configured as pictured.
(1) Switch/charge plug
* Solder and soldering pencil
* Heat shrink tubing
* .015 music wire
* Quality epoxy
* Clear tape

Posted by target | Jan 02, 2007 @ 12:27 AM | 90,171 Views
*************************CLICK ON COMMENTS TO ^^ OPEN THREAD!
Soaring USA's Destiny, Built with Ballast Tube

NOTE: Please post any commentary in the slope forum:

And here is a mini-how-to on the ballast tube build:

My brother Mike had a second Destiny that he bought for a back up to his original Destiny, from Bob at:

He had the extra plane for over a year, and I suggested that he build it up, so that it could truly be the back up to his original 4-year-old Destiny, or at least, the other way around.

My brother is a fairly good pilot, and flys his Destiny more than any of his other planes, so his has been repaired many times. We have found that the plane is an extremely good value, but I figured I could make it a little bit better with a few simple modifications.

First off, we both agreed that the plane was a little bit light for really high lift, and the turbulence that often accompanies high lift into the landing zone.
So, the inclusion of a ballast tube was a high priority. We wanted to get the plane over 30 ounces ballasted, but stay close to 20 ounces empty.
Also, we wanted to avoid having to take the wing off to ballast. Heck, my brother, Mike, hates to take the wing off at all! So, ballast would have to be inserted through the canopy.

To help the fuselage cope with the extra strain of ballasted landings,...Continue Reading
Posted by target | Nov 19, 2006 @ 01:39 PM | 88,738 Views
Soaring USA Cappuccino Build Thread


My brother has been flying his 54" Destiny for a couple years now. It's a great little plane, but needs more than light lift to fly comfortably. A bigger plane is what he needed for light lift.
I promised my brother that if he bought a plane bigger than two meters, I'd build it for him. He took me up on my offer. But which one?

We decided on the 2.6 meter Cappuccino for him, mostly to fly at our local site, which has relatively light lift .
It has the HD45 airfoil, the same one the Trinity F3B has, so should be fast, and be able to float, too.

Bob at
had pretty much everything we needed to get the plane up and running. Servos, reciever, etc.

It's a nice kit, and I can honestly say that Valenta keeps getting better and better. There are MANY very nice details already done for you.
Some of them include:

*Pre-cut slots for all the control surface hook ups: ailerons, flaps, rudder, and the entire full-flying stab is done for you!

*MPX plugs are included in the kit bag! So are all the hardware, and it's good stuff. The only thing missing was the 2-56 all thread for the short linkages between wing servos and surfaces. The rest is all there.

*Pre cut servo frames for the aileron and flap servos!

*Holes for the MPX plugs are molded into the fuse shoulder!

*Even the canopy hold down wire is pre-glassed...Continue Reading
Posted by target | Nov 08, 2006 @ 09:31 PM | 88,137 Views
Well, no Blog entries for a LONG time....

In the que-

Jart parts on the bench presently-
S6062 stock Carbon V-bagged wings, but 2 pc, with 5/16" wingrod, AND-
A6522>>A6020 1/32" ply sheeted and glassed "shortie" wings, to interchange
with the stockers....
Bagged Carbon tail parts, Dutchy fuse

************************************************** **
Brother's SUSA/Valenta Cappeccino, I told him I'd build if he bought a real plane, not a 2 meter or 60"!
So, he did; D'oh! DONE!

Xica! Ken Stuhr Pitcheron MADNESS!


Two sets of wings, one set needs glassing. Waiting on BIG digi servos. May make some new tail pieces.

Timmig/Carlski/Target "Secret Project". Hope to have examples at 2007 PSS Fest, we'll see.


New fuses that cry out for bagged wings:

SUSHI fuse-
Mmmm, California Rolls!

Avion fuse-
The only 60" that I ever saw with a cross tail... May have to chop this BEAUTIFULLY LAYED UP glass/carbon fuse, stretch 3" longer tailboom, and make a mold; it would be the ultimate 60" slope racer...looks like a mini Eagle.

New Zipper fuse-
Might have to bag me a PW-51 wing @ 54-56", and a bagged airfoiled vertical, to stop that wagging...

Maverick 3M F3F fuse-
Very nice and light fuse, maybe DS-19 wings would work?? Or the stocker RG-14's? Hmmm.

Super Dragonfly...Continue Reading
Posted by target | Mar 19, 2006 @ 10:35 AM | 85,117 Views
I bought another new plane; when will it end?

Thanks to Larry out in MO; he mailed the kit on a Saturday, and I had it on Tuesday. THAT'S FAST!!

Anyway, it was just a $50.00 kit, quite the bargain. It's K&A's Mini One, a very small, low wing, aileron/elevator sloper. It has forward swept wings, with high taper, and should be a "blur" on the rolls.

I find it amusing that I've bought other planes, costing over 10 times as much, that I still haven't made my maiden with! I've already started construction:

Fuse is built, and 3oz glass twill went on last night. The wings were sheeted night before last with West Systems, and now have a pine LE and the balsa tip blocks, and balsa sub TE drying with PU glue. I love that stuff, so sandable!

Will post pics later.

Posted by target | Mar 11, 2006 @ 01:27 AM | 84,990 Views
Well, I finally got to winch launch the Airtronics Thermal Eagle at Field of Dreams, on Sunday, March 5th.

It seemed that the odds were stacked against me, when I finally got to the field when they had the winch set up. The previous SULA club meeting resulted in no winch, just E-planes flying. This time the winch was there, and after the club secretary launched his Compulsion just one time, the battery was dead. He felt really bad, since he knew that I was hoping to get my plane up over a flat field this day. He went home, and retrieved another car battery, but that hadn't been charged, and brought it back. The other battery was weak, but since my Eagle has a rather "wimpy" joiner, and required a light pedal pumping, he felt it would do.

And so, the Eagle was hooked up to the winch, and tossed off with the line being pulled back onto the drum. Up she went, not at too steep an angle, but no "weaving" either. I dove at the end for a mini "ping". Altitude was MAYBE 300 feet, is all. I flew around, checking out the trim, and camber settings. Landing was fine, nice and soft on the soccer field grass.

After landing, I took a little bit of lead shot out of a small ziplock bag in the Eagle's nose, to get the CG back a bit. It was time for the second ever launch.

This time, I used some droop in the flaps, that I had programmed in as a launch setting. This launch was ok also, but nothing to get really excited about. Might have had something...Continue Reading
Posted by target | Feb 21, 2006 @ 10:44 PM | 85,741 Views
Check this out!

I'm not sure if it will post properly, but early this morning, there was a maniac in a ferrari going about 200 MPH on PCH that crashed. That is precisely where I would normally be around that time every morning in my commute to work.....

But instead, I was driving up Interstate 5, towards Bakersfield, to P/U my new Nyx from John Frudge. I guess this sailplane addiction is really a life saver!
And thanks to John, too. After making the deal with John this morning, I drove back to work, down the grapevine, taking hwy 126 to Ventura.

On the way home today, there was a delay at the accident site; they were putting the wires on the NEW POWER POLES!!!

Lucky again!

Posted by target | Feb 08, 2006 @ 12:00 AM | 87,107 Views
Just completed an old Airtronics RG-15 Eagle kit I found on Ebay. Maiden took place at White Point in San Pedro in about 5mph of slope lift. Everything went pretty well, except for right after the launch, when the plane was ballooning abit, due to the elevator trim being about 6 clicks off.
Landing was a non event, with my trusty EVO 9; I used the "digi adjuster" to set the elevator compensation for the "crow" in the landing mode, whil the plane was up.
It is one smooth flying bird! I am looking forward to my very first winch launch in a couple weeks at Field of Dreams, the S.U.L.A. club field.