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Posted by Late99 | Jan 26, 2017 @ 05:27 PM | 8,971 Views
2016 went past really quickly. It was my fourth year flying RC planes. Skill wise I learned a lot, but also the learning curve is getting slower. I clearly have my limits and will not be ever as good as some of the more talented guys are.

Last year was also a bit weird. I didn't manage to participate too many events. Either not too many good events were held or then I just missed them due to other obligations. Also my local field was really quiet and I spent a lot flying myself. I'm finally concentrating flying to few bigger planes. Flight time with aerobatic planes was 45h 18mins or 391 flights (~30% increase from 2015).

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My bad luck with 87" Pilot Yak-54 continued. I crashed it second time in the spring (stuck elevator servo) and then had a lot of engine tuning problems. I just wasn't able to get proper flight time with it so I was also unable to use it to attend any competitions. I also crashed my 48" EF Yak-54 EXP already very early in the spring. Finally got around to rebuild it in the end of the year. I also had minor mishaps with other planes, but those were typically relatively fast repairs.

All bigger crashes / repairs had something to do with malfunctioning elevator servos, so if I have learned something it's that don't be cheap on elevator servos!

My most flown / favorite planes for 2016:

1. Skywing 38" Mini Edge - really good for getting quick flights at nearby farm field. I highly recommend this EPP hybrid, flies really well for it's size...Continue Reading
Posted by Late99 | Dec 03, 2016 @ 02:02 PM | 9,770 Views
I had three motors as good candidates for rewinding. One was my friends Turnigy 2730 3000kV (Red Wonder), second was my burned 1700kV Blue Wonder and third was an old DT750 motor that could have a higher kV of around 1200-1300.

I had rewound one motor earlier, so I was pretty confident that I can get this done. Still I wouldn't call rewinding as very easy or cost efficient - brushless motors are so cheap nowadays that these custom wound motors have to be the most expensive after this operation. Still it's nice to know that you can repair and even improve brushless motor with some effort.

I had 0,5mm (~24AWG) wire from my friend and also 0,4mm (~26AWG) in my own stocks. I decided that I should use these instead of getting more wire, which might end up unnecessary in the long run. This limited my options for rewind somewhat, but I still found potential candidates.

I used RCGroups forums on DT and 2730 as a reference and to give idea on possible combos for successful rewind.

Red Wonder @ 3000kV

My friend wanted this as 2S 3D plane motor and after a bit of researching I concluded that my best shot would be 10 or 11 turns of 0,5 winded DLRK WYE. What I ended up after test wind was 10 turns. The last turn was a bit challenge for me. I know some others are able to squeeze couple of more turns, but I'm just a beginner and my fingers were hurting already.

Tested at 8,3V (2S 1800mAh lipo not quite full)
  • 6x4 6,8A 54,5W
  • 7x4 11,1A 86,3W
  • 8x3.8SF 13A 100W
Blue Wonder @ 1700kV

...Continue Reading
Posted by Late99 | Nov 26, 2016 @ 12:48 PM | 9,911 Views
This starts to be my niche... Repairing broken planes... I have to say that I actually seem to have really hard time wrecking these planes completely. I seem to able to break them somewhere quite easily, but usually they're more or less easily repaired.

I crashed my Extreme Flight 48" Yak-54 EXP during early spring. I was doing low level inverted flight when elevator servo stuck momentarily causing plane to come down hard on it's nose. Motor box was completely demolished as well the canopy and cowl. Otherwise the damage was limited.

Well, I live in Europe and it seemed practically impossible to get all the required parts for repair. No store seemed to carry motor box kit in Europe. I emailed several Extreme Flight European distributors and basically had decided to trash the plane. Still I really couldn't do it and it was stored on top shelf in my carage.

Then in autumn I noticed that Aerobertics had ordered needed parts and had them in stock. I had also acquired Torque 2814/820 motor, but it was missing prop adapter and proper shaft. Aerobertics seemed to carry these too, so eventually I pushed the button and ordered the parts.
Posted by Late99 | Oct 29, 2016 @ 01:40 PM | 9,257 Views
I got 70" EF Extra during early spring 2015 as they were dumped at bargain prices (discontinued model) by a Scandinavian dealer. I went cheap route with elevator servos and picked Hyperion servos, which were same size and also quite similar specs as 7245 Hitecs. All the servos in this plane are run at HV.

Well, these servos also were very fluttery on ground from start. I knew that that flutter/jitter should stop during load (and it did when for example pressed with elevator with finger) so I wasn't too worried about it.

To my great surprise during flight 34 elevator fluttered violently during relatively fast straight line flying (IMAC style practice, not full power though). Something clearly broke in the plane (heard a crack) so I immediately initiated landing. Made it safely to ground, but it was evident already in flight that fuse was broken and also left side elevator servo wasn't working properly. As I touched down left servo totally stopped working and also right side servo quit when I tested high rate elevator movements after landing.

The servos clearly weren't up to the task, probably the gears were already damaged during previous flights and finally wrecked on this flight. The tail of the plane had completely broken, it was basically held only by covering together - so in that perspective I was really, really lucky to fly the plane to ground. Gears (carbonite) of both elevator servos were broken.

Based on earlier repairs I had made I wasn't too worried. Of course it was a bit disappointing, this was a new plane for me and first damage is always frustrating, but I was confident that I would get it repaired.
Posted by Late99 | Sep 13, 2016 @ 01:21 PM | 8,902 Views
Once again I visited the annual scale event held in Espoo, Finland to take some pics. Originally I had planned to attend this same event in IMAC & freestyle classes, but I've been totally out-of-luck with my Yak-54 this year. All the problems have caused that I haven't had almost any time to really practice with it (what a pity).

Weather was sunny, but really windy. Still people had fun and flights were good.

Check full set of pics and videos @ Google Photos!
Posted by Late99 | Aug 13, 2016 @ 03:47 PM | 8,293 Views
I guess I got bitten by Crack Fokker.

That resulted in the following prototype plan. Haven't actually decided whether to build it or not. Any interest in getting some cheap scratchbuild competition for Crack Fokker?! Should I publish proper plans, build the prototype and develope it further?

So far planning something like:
  • 6mm Depron or similar material, CF strengthening
  • 24g+ motor 1300-1700KV
  • 12A ESC
  • 4 x 9g servos (or 3 for combat, without rudder)
  • 500-1000mAh 2S or 3S batteries

Posted by Late99 | Mar 28, 2016 @ 03:43 PM | 8,669 Views
I got hold of an old 3DHS Velox Revolution 47" which was had been laying in dirty garage for couple of years. It was clearly in a relatively bad shape. Functionally ok, but really dirty and with small dings here and there.

In this thread I will go through the overhaul of the plane and making it airworthy again. The plane should be a fine flyer, even though it's an old design. I hope it will make a great plane for one of my friends!

Setup

Motor: Torque 2818/900
ESC: Airboss Elite 45
Servos: 4 x Hitec HS-65MG
Propeller: To be decided (13x6?)
Batteries: 3S 2200mAh

Cleaning the plane

Velox had a lot of dust & dirt on it so first step was to get it a bit cleaner to properly assess the condition of the plane.

After wiping parts with a wet cloth it was evident that there was several places needing attention:
  • Several small holes in covering, some covered with painters tape (uhhuh, please use transparent packaging tape!)
  • Covering had wrinkles and lifting here and there
  • Cowling had few cracks
  • Tail wheel needed changing
  • Landing gear needed checking
Otherwise the airframe seemed intact and airworthy. So damage mostly is cosmetic and after paying some attention to it even hard to notice...
Posted by Late99 | Dec 28, 2015 @ 02:30 PM | 8,966 Views
2015 was my third year in this hobby. The year was windy and quite lousy from flying perspective, especially spring. During autumn we were finally blessed with better weather. Nevertheless I managed to attend several events as a spectator and also had some demo flights in some smaller local events. I have to be quite satisfied as anyways I'm a working father of two kids with limited time available for personal hobbies.

I've also moved to fly mostly balsa planes. Foamies were still used in spring and I still use them for some quick flights on nearby farm field, but otherwise I'm flying my balsa aerobats practicing both 3D and precision flight (IMAC Sportsman). I've logged my flights on the balsa planes & Mini Edge. Total flight time with these ended up being 26h 20min including 300 flights.

Couple of crashes were also mandatory. My Slick shook it's motor mount on several occasions and I replaced it with 48" EF Yak-54 EXP as I spent more time repairing it than flying. And my 87" Pilot Yak-54 also crashed in the end of autumn due to power brownout (faulty PowerBox Sensor). It's being rebuild as we speak.

Foamies were also flown into a (same) tree in several occasions.

Ranking based on flight time

Name: 2015 Flight Times.PNG
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Description: 2015 flight analysis.

1. Sebart Katana S 50E v2 (8h 48min)
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Description: Sebart Katana S 50E v2
2. Exteme Flight 48" Yak 54 EXP (7h 12min)
...Continue Reading
Posted by Late99 | Dec 28, 2015 @ 01:39 PM | 10,949 Views
I obtained Katana as a second hand plane during spring 2015 as I needed something more reliable than my Slick 360 and also something heavier - the weather had been quite windy and I thought weight would help overcome that.

Katana has proven to be a reliable plane. No major problems with it and I'm able to get relatively long flights with it. However, I only have four sets of batteries for it. Katana can't be recalled as a floaty plane and it likes to be flown with some speed. Strangely, it's also pretty easy to hover. It also has wicked fast roll rate. I've been using it to practice IMAC and usually use rest of the battery after flying IMAC program for 3D training. Due to relatively heavy wing loading Katana wing rocks on upright harriers. Inverted harriers are much better.

Flight log 2015
  • 76 flights / batteries emptied with total flight time of 8h 21 minutes.
Setup
  • Motor: Hacker A50 14S V2 (345g, 425KV, 1600W)
  • ESC: DualSky 65A Lite
  • BEC: Emcotec DPSI Magnetic on/off -switch @ 6,0v, 2S 1000mAh battery
  • Propeller: Xoar / DFDL 17x8
  • Tail servos: 2 x Power HD DC 1217MG, digital servo, 62g, 6v 0,11s 15,9kg/cm
  • Aileron servos: 2 x Savox SC 1251MG, low profile digital servo, 44g, 6v 0,09s 9kg/cm
  • Receiver: Lemon RX 10 channel DMX receiver with satellite
  • Batteries: 4000mAh 5S Zippy Compacts and Turnigy Nanotechs
Specifications
  • Empty weight: 2466g
  • AUW: 2930g
  • Max measured amps (peak): 57A
  • Max measured watts (peak): 1112W
  • Watts/kg: 380
  • Watts/lb: 172
  • Flight timer: 6min 40s
Flight video
Sebart Katana S 50E 3D / aerobatics practice (4 min 28 sec)

Posted by Late99 | Dec 28, 2015 @ 11:22 AM | 9,247 Views
48" Yak 54 was for sale at Staufenbiel during early summer 2015 so I grabbed one to replace Slick. This is somewhat smaller plane than the Slick so I needed a lighter motor for it. Finally decided to get an 140g Emax as a practical alternative. I used the original Castle ICE ESC from Katana as it had adjustable BEC and thus I could skip using external BEC - wanted to keep this plane as light as possible. Otherwise I used cheap servos that I originally planned to use in the Slick, but then were left dusting as I ended up using Savox servos in the Slick.

First I had some trouble getting Yak properly trimmed and I also found out that it was quite front heavy. I ended up removing one former to be able to move the batteries next to wing tube. Also ESC was moved into the fuse. Once the CG issues were sorted the plane flew wonderfully. Yak was my preferred plane for good weather flying opportunities and I clocked a lot of flight minutes with it in the late summer and autumn. I haven't had any technical problems with it once the initial setup was finalized.

Yak serves really well as a quick plane to grab for a proper 3D flying session. 2200mAh batteries are also quick to charge as I can charge four of them at once with my (somewhat) limited charger. With Katana I realistically can only charge two at once. I have a feeling that this won't be my last Extreme Flight plane...

Flight log 2015
  • 82 flights / batteries emptied with total flight time of 7h 12 minutes.
Setup
  • Motor: Emax GT2820/07 (140g, 850KV, 590W)
  • ESC: Castle ICE lite 75 (BEC @ 6,0v)
  • Propeller: DFDL 13x6
  • Tail servos: 2 x Turnigy TGY-2216MG, digital servo, 15,8g, 6v 0,13s 3,9kg/cm
  • Aileron servos: 2 x HobbyKing 933, digital servo, 12g, 6v 0,10s, 2,0kg/cm
  • Receiver: Lemon RX 10 channel DMX receiver with satellite
  • Batteries: 2200mAh 4S Zippy Compacts and Turnigy Nanotechs
Specifications
  • Empty weight: 1255g
  • AUW: 1506g
  • Max measured amps (peak): 46A
  • Max measured watts (peak): 670W
  • Watts/kg: 445
  • Watts/lb: 202
  • Flight timer: 5min 10s

Posted by Late99 | Dec 28, 2015 @ 10:47 AM | 8,581 Views
Seems like Slick has been phased out by HobbyKing recently, too bad.

Slick is a really good 3D flyer, but for some reason I managed to break the motor mount time after time. It might be due to those ridiculously fun knife edge spins that I couldn't resist doing. I also had my share of bad luck with NTM motors. The plane is really fun and does excellent 3D. It's only vise is a slight wing rock on upright harrier.

Nevertheless my Slick spent a lot of time being repaired and motor mount rebuild and eventually I got a bit frustrated with it and I sold it. It was replaced by Extreme Flight 48" Yak 54 EXP.

Flight log 2015
  • 70 flights / batteries emptied with total flight time of 5h 46 minutes.
Setup
  • Motor: NTM 4238 750kv
  • ESC: Turnigy Plush 60A
  • BEC: Castle Creations 10A BEC
  • Propeller: APC 14x7, DFDL (wooden) 14x6
  • Servos: 4 x Savox SC-0255MG, Digital servo, 15,8g, 6v 0,13s 3,9kg/cm
  • Receiver: Lemon RX 10 channel DMX receiver with satellite
  • Batteries: 2200mAh 4S Zippy Compacts and Turnigy Nanotechs
Specifications
  • Empty weight: 1342g
  • AUW: 1608g
  • Max measured amps (peak): 52A
  • Max measured watts (peak): 817W
  • Watts/kg: 508
  • Watts/lb: 230
  • Flight timer: 5min
Flight video
Slick 360 RC plane 3D flying, NTM motor failure (5 min 56 sec)

Posted by Late99 | Oct 12, 2015 @ 03:00 PM | 9,312 Views
Uuuh, had a bad weekend.

I travelled to Jämi to fly my Pilot Yak-54 (87") before winter hits really bad. Had a nice, but cold day, but then just before landing during the last (sixth) flight I became a passenger on my Yak. Plane was flying at 8-10m height maybe 60m away from me, when the plane snap rolled and continued to rotate... Until it hit the ground head on. I didn't have any control on the plane.

I've setup fail safe to do a positive snap roll - this way you'll take the speed away and basically plane will just drop in it's place, which is kind of safe. And to me it looked like the fail safe just activated.

Well... The motor mount / nose is totally crushed - let's see if Pilot will make wood parts to me, which would mean second life to this plane. To make things worse also the DA-50 motor is broken - haven't disassembled it yet to really see how badly.

But the most frustrating part is that I don't have a clue what really happened. Plane is fitted with Spektrum AR9110 receiver with 3 satellites, all positioned just as Spektrum instructs, Powerbox Sensor is supplying 6v to the receiver from two 2200mAh 2S lipos - which both had plenty of power left. And there was only one other guy flying / preparing his equipment during the incident.

And of course radios worked just fine after the incident...

Really frustrating, I haven't had a single problem with these radios so far (I'm using DX9 as transmitter)... Why it had to happen with the most expensive plane I have??!!?

All ideas are welcome: What should I do with the receiver to determine if it's ok or not?!
Posted by Late99 | Sep 20, 2015 @ 04:19 PM | 10,099 Views
My Twisted Hobby / RC Factory 39" EPP 540 Edge started to feel a bit too easy so I sold it. To replace it as a quick and compact every day flier I purchased Skywing 38" Mini Edge 540 from HobbyKing.

The plane went together easily without problems. I fitted it with Emax GT2215-09 (KV1180) motor and four Emax ES08MA II metal gear servos. Turnigy Plush 30A ESC was used to power it together with Turnigy Nanotech 3S 1000mAh batteries.

I have to say that this is one wonderful full fuse plane. A great step up plane before going up to balsa planes. It knife edges like balsa planes, I need to mix it a little to get knife edge adequate, but flat spins are really crazy! The plane doesn't seem to wing rock at all and if flies really slow considering its weight. Harrier landing is easy...

Maiden video (first two flights):
Skywing / Hobbyking 38" Mini Edge 540 Maiden (6 min 32 sec)

Posted by Late99 | Aug 12, 2015 @ 06:12 AM | 7,112 Views
Something else this time... It's no secret that I'm into freestyle flying. I also like precision aerobatics, but nothing like freestyle can get your adrenaline pumping as pilot and spectators wondering "how the heck he did that?". In fact precision aerobatics are integrated part of the freestyle flying. And most of the really good pilots do both. I really don't understand the local discussion (in Finland) we're having between which is the "correct" or "better" approach.

I haven't been to RC that long (~ two years) and first I was totally overwhelmed on what the freestyle "pro" guys did. You aren't used to view the precision behind the maneuvers and easily think that they are just bank & yanking. This couldn't be further from truth, though.

I have found that these videos have been helpful for me to learn and also some of them just plain entertaining. I find myself viewing them again and again as I progress and learn myself - and I always find something new to enhance my own flying...

Watch them and enjoy (if you haven't already done that)! Also post your own favorites!

Donatas Pauzuolis at XFC 2013:
XFC 2013 - Donatas Pauzuolis - 1st Freestyle (Unknown) Sunday (6 min 24 sec)


Compilation video of EXFC 2013, plain entertainment:
EXFC 2013 (4 min 33 sec)
...Continue Reading
Posted by Late99 | Aug 09, 2015 @ 03:30 PM | 5,668 Views
This 87" / 2,2m wingspan smallish giant moved into my garage. I've been setting it slowly up (double checking electronics and installing receiver) and doing some maintenance / fixing on it.

I've got plenty to learn with this plane as it's my first gasser. The engine should be quite well tuned, though.
Posted by Late99 | Jul 26, 2015 @ 05:29 AM | 5,603 Views
I visited Jämi Scale Open 2015 event on Saturday. It's the main scale event here in Finland. All RC flying events and competitions in Finland during this year have been plagued by lack of participants. Some competitions have even been cancelled. Jämi Scale Open was a great event, but still the attendance could have been better. The weather has been really lousy all summer so that might be culprit why it's so hard to get people participate events. Who knows...

Eight teaser images attached, full gallery available here. Also turbine jet video available at Youtube.
Posted by Late99 | Jul 07, 2015 @ 03:41 PM | 4,974 Views
It's a small and low wooden bridge leading to local flying field over a creek. And we just had to test this.
Racing quad and the bridge (1 min 2 sec)