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Posted by jrbike | Apr 02, 2016 @ 04:03 PM | 7,136 Views
So, I've been away for a while. Life just getting in the way. However, back in October, 2015, I finally took a step to get back into the air. I bought one of those little toy quads. I bought the Hubsan X4.

Cheap, indestructible and I could fly it inside. And I did. I ran into everything in our living room and didn't damage a thing (including the quad). So I took my skills outside and discovered that it wasn't really any tougher. As a matter of fact, having all that room was amazing after being restricted indoors by walls and furniture.

In November. I bought a Syma X8W. Larger and equipped with a "camera" for FPV flying through my iPhone. I put camera in quotes because this technology is reaaaaaalllyy sketchy. It works, but not well. Then I got the racing bug.

I bought a Lieber 250 and discovered how much harder these speedy little quads are. And how touchy they can be. I crashed a bunch but didn't break anything (or hurt anyone). I got the high speed banking turns down (like slope soaring) then fried the integrated board.

So I bought a Eachine Falcon 250 while I waited for China to ship a new board for the Lieber. The Falcon has tilted motors so the learning curve for this machine was almost like starting over.

At this point I'm getting the Falcon under control and about to start flying it with Fat Shark goggles. BIG STEP!

My next challenge will be to fly a bigger platform so that I can start building my video portfolio. I've flown a friends...Continue Reading
Posted by jrbike | May 20, 2011 @ 09:09 PM | 8,312 Views
After much delay, I finally maidened my new (new to me) High End. I was much more patient about getting this plane right then I have been with most of my other planes. In the past, I would dial things in and fly. However, this time, I "got trained" to program this bird properly and was very happy with the time spent and the results.

It doesn't get any better than hand-catching a 3.45m plane after it's maiden.

Also, it doesn't suck having such a gorgeous site as Torrey Pines so close to home for such maidens.

I also flew my Carbon Bird and F3F Aris. I'm learning (the hard way) that it is well worth the time to program a plane properly. Since I was able to hand-catch the High End and Aris. This was due in large part to finally getting the Butterfly function wired in my Hitec Aurora radio. Good stuff.

And finally, you might notice a "color theme". I guess I do like the red/white combination. Had to include the view over the ocean too. The little 1.5m Bird is tiny compared to the nearly 2m Aris and the aforementioned 3.45m High End.
Posted by jrbike | Jan 30, 2011 @ 03:16 PM | 9,124 Views
Now with the departure of the Rotor, I was able to focus on the Stingeron. This is Wyoming Wind Works 50" TWF screamer. The Shrike was the role/roll model for this plane and Adam did an awesome job of modernizing the concept and adding some really cool features to the Stingeron.

First off, the fully detachable tail section is very cool for transport. But the best part is the way this baby flies. Of course, being the "non-builder" that I am I bought the "Full-Kit". A steal at the price. Very high quality materials and Adam offers the best customer service out there. he replaced a couple of parts because mine was #2 off the production line. He's very meticulous if you follow his build thread. He reminds me of the perfectionist "Matin" at NCFM (home of the Ubermoth...).

Anyway, I had Chip cover the wings while Phillip installed the linkage. Not a tough job, but i wanted someone who would absolutely get it right to put mine together.

A little paint for the primered fuse and the canopy and this baby might look nice too. The "day glo" wing color was Chip's idea. i must say, functionally, the color scheme works. I put some colored stripes on the bottom so that I could have better perspective, but this thing gets out of sight in a hurry, so the bright wings help a lot (especially for my aging eyes).

I plan to assemble at least one more Stingeron and I have a second fuse. This is a hot little sloper and great for back seat flying. It flies in light lift (8 mph) and does even better in 15-20. I'm looking forward to pushing the limits in heavier winds. Wish me luck.
Posted by jrbike | Oct 26, 2010 @ 07:13 PM | 9,145 Views
It seems ironic that my latest addition to my "hangar" is a Rotor. If you look back at my earlier posts, that's where I started. Keep in mind, I am not a builder and make no pretenses to be a builder. Consequently, I did contribute during the build party at Oran's. I picked out the fuse. I bagged a bunch of wings. But this example as it sits is using wings from DC812 (Daniel). I did install the servos and "rig" the control mechanism ("Bling" by Ward), but I can't claim the wings.

I'm preparing to maiden this any day now. It's CGd and weighs in right around 50 oz.

Update. I maidened the Rotor and it just didn't carry the same thrill to fly as what I remember from my first Rotor back in the 80s. It's very likely that my set-up was deficient. I ended up selling the Rotor to Bill L who I'm sure will have it dialed in perfectly and the plane will be a stellar performaer.
Posted by jrbike | Aug 25, 2010 @ 03:12 PM | 9,325 Views
At this point in time, I would have to say that my Opus is my most consistent flyer. I actually have two of them. A carbon winged and a glass version, both v-tails. I've ballasted them both and have the most fun flying these birds. I flew Oranators "Colt" and after that experience, I knew that I needed an Opus of my own. They are fast, responsive and relatively forgiving (which I need given my limited skills). I've landed hard and had a couple of mishaps with the carbon plane, but it continues to serve well.

The Aris is my entry into serious 3M planes. One day soon, I will try my hand at F3F racing (again). I made one small attempt with my Opus and that was fairly disastrous. I'm hoping to make the next race at Grass Mountain with the Aris. This plane is so predictable and has no bad habits. It flies light and screams with or without ballast. Very stable and reliable plane. Bangs the F3F turns with the only limitations being my experience (and nerves) on the race course.

I've talked about the Bird, and just can't say enough. I DSd is last week for the first time and it is so much fun. Small package, but really covers the sky. Pretty forgiving and acrobatic enough to make it the perfect plane if you can only have one.
Posted by jrbike | Jun 16, 2010 @ 08:48 PM | 10,687 Views
So, I've been back into flying for about two years now. I've definitely churned through a lot of planes. I've made some (relatively) expensive mistakes but had a great deal of fun learning an awful lot.

My first 3M was an Eagle. I flew it for a while, but didn't quite get the snap in the turns that I saw the big boys doing with their Ceres, etc. So I bought an Aris and can't believe how cool it is. And how much more stable and easy it is to fly compared to my 1.5m Bird or even my Opus'.

The Opus' are absolutely my favorite planes that I've ever flown. The Aris is right there with them. I just need to get more comfortable flying (and landing it). Speaking of, my racing experience (one event and one crashed Opus) has shown me how far I still need to go. My nerves were fried. I couldn't believe how much more stressful it was to fly on command (rather than just sport flying around aimlessly). I suck as a racer, so I'll be practicing for a while. Practicing landing under pressure too. Fortunately the damage to my Carbon Opus was fixable. As was the damage to my Carbon Bird (that was the result of some meathead turrning-on Channel 50 at Blossom). Both planes will be back in the air, no worse for their respective experiences, I hope.
Posted by jrbike | Jun 16, 2010 @ 03:59 PM | 9,632 Views
Okay, the Mini-Acacia doesn't really fit here. I bought the Mini-Acacia cheap and sold it cheap. AV8ERLEU bought it and gave it a colorful burial. It was a fun plane, light lift flyer, but not very aerobatic.

But the JW and Le Fish fit the "new types of flying" category for me. I flew the snot out of the JW. Great flying plane. I used it to "learn" how to DS. I'm still not very good, but the JW allowed me to get some good laps in without risking serious damage to one of my mouldies. It's also done surprisingly well in light lift conditions.

The Le Fish is another story. I've only flown it once and thoroughly enjoyed it. It rolls and flies inverted and all that good aerobatic stuff. But it has proven to be just too big for my little car. Bad planning on my part, but I can't afford or justify buying another car for my hobby(s).

The Nano Floh was a great back-seat flier. The first plane that I would throw out to test conditions and new flying sites. Missing the aerobatic capabilities, but what do you expect for a very light, two servo plane.
Posted by jrbike | May 19, 2010 @ 04:59 PM | 9,285 Views
I can't even tell you the trepidation I had about flying my Speed. A 1.5m screamer. I didn't have much experience flying hollow-moulded planes and held them in this mythical highly revered place. I actually did assemble this one (much to the chagrin of FreeGlide). When I asked him to help me with the set-up for this plane, he corrected the 500 things that I had done wrong in "assembling" this plane. It wasn't really "building". It was more like assembling.

When I finally got it dialed in, I took it to Bill's and flew the snot out of it. I really enjoyed this plane. What a nice, smooth, reliable flyer. And so fast. Really big ailerons but no flaps. So the good news was that it would haul butt but was really tough to land, especially at a tough landing spot like Bill's (tough for me at least).

Until finally I encountered what I decided was my first 2.4 block out, dropped signal or something and wouldn't you know, the nose of my Speed found a very flat rock and just exploded.
Posted by jrbike | May 19, 2010 @ 04:50 PM | 9,318 Views
This is a bit out of sequence, but along the way I have come across planes that just weren't my cup of tea. For whatever reason, I didn't enjoy them.

As I make no representations that I am in any way to be misconstrued as a builder, I should say that I did build the AMD zero. It flew okay in fairly heavy wind, but was really squirrely in anything less. Just didn't work for me. Rockbus bought it from me and I think had the same experience and gave it to charity or something like that. I'm not sure that it's all that tough to build one of these, but clearly I failed at making a flyable version of this plane.

On the other hand, I did not build the Half-pipe but still didn't thoroughly enjoy flying it. The Half-Pipe did lead me to the Moth and Ubermoth (all three are manufactured and distributed by NCFM - North County Flying Machines). The Moth and Ubermoth are awesome examples of foam/plank high performance flying machines. The Half-Pipe ended up in the hands of local boy Andy who flies circles around me and I saw him rip it up with what used to be my Half-Pipe. So it could have been the pilot or the set-up or some combination thereof. I love my Moth and Uber, so I will just leave it at that.

These where two planes that just didn't rock my world.
Posted by jrbike | May 18, 2010 @ 06:21 PM | 9,727 Views
Thanks to Oranator, I discovered this cool little back seat sloper named the "Speedo". Made in and sold from China, this was the first of 4 or 5 Speedos that I built and flew the snot out of them.

I can't say enough about these planes. I have bought and sold a bunch of great planes. Very hi-tech, hollow-moulded new fangled expensive stuff, but the Speedo remains one of my favorite fliers.

It might be because they're cheap and I don't care what happens to the plane. Trash it and buy/build another. Even I can build one of these, they are so simple. Some slight modifications, like extend the area of the rudder. Invert the elevator servo and buy a bunch of 300mah cheapo batteries and you're ready to roll.

I have another Speedo in the box, that I plan to build when the rest of life slows down a bit and I take a break from buying new shiny planes...
Posted by jrbike | May 18, 2010 @ 06:13 PM | 9,439 Views
This was actually my first "build" when I re-entered sloping (the Rotor was from 20+ years ago).

Of course the Moth and Ubermoth came after this wing, but I just found this photo and felt the wing deserved some sort of editorial homage.

I believe that it was a wing warrior. I flew it avidly at Dave's and enlisted the services of many new friends at Dave's Beach. When I first re-entered the sloping world, I bought an Airtronics 2.4 radio. I had no idea how to program anything, let alone mix the aileron/elevator to give me elevon control. With the help of Ron, Ray, Oran and a few others, I got this wing flying and enjoyed it immensely. But it wasn't doing it all for me, so I looked into some other models.

Post Mortem. This wing was eventually "lost" at Bill's Hill. Only to be found by Ray (Rockbus). I considered nursing it back to health but opted to donate it to Oran's island of misfit slopers. Alas, it is probably collecting dust in some dark corner of Oran's mega store of used flying machines. But in it's day (or for a couple of months) it was a good flyer.
Posted by jrbike | Dec 31, 2009 @ 08:58 PM | 10,287 Views
Of course once you've had a Moth, you must try an Uber (so says Matin).

And just like those potato chips, you can't eat/fly just one. So I bought four, including one that is still in kit form.
Posted by jrbike | Dec 31, 2009 @ 07:27 PM | 10,082 Views
In June of 2008, I re-entered the wonderful world of sloping. Living in San Diego, it's not that tough to find sites along the coast. I flew Dave's in Carlsbad and revisited Torrey Pines. Discovered a new site in Bill's Hill and became fully-submerged in wings and foamies.

My first entree into foamies was with the NCFM Half-Pipe. I could never seem to get the hang of it so I quickly moved to the venerable Moth.

I bought this plane from "I'm Rick James" in Long Beach. It was in okay shape. I flew it until it was ragged and recovered it. The picture on the right is the original version of this Moth. Kind of an acid trip of color combinations, but who am I to say. The thing flew and still flies great. It's a Moth.
Posted by jrbike | Dec 18, 2009 @ 08:59 PM | 10,473 Views
I am a relative newbie and have taken about two years to decide that I should post some of my own stuff. Why anyone would be interested, I don't know. And like they taught us in kindergarten, I will share.

I started flying about 20 years ago, before the birth of my daughter. When she came along, everything changed and I sold or stored my planes and radios. Back then, I was an Airtronics guy. Vision, FM, PCM. I was mostly sloping. Torrey, Parker, etc. I had a Dragon Fly, SR7, Coyote, and many others that I don't remember.

But my favorite was my Rotor. A glass fuse version and a wood version. Here are some pics of the wood fuse version before I sold it.