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Posted by jmxp69 | Apr 24, 2019 @ 10:34 PM | 1,175 Views
Video of the Freewing BAe Hawk Maiden. No real drama. Just a little trim, and a few approaches before landing.

Freewing BAe Hawk 70mm EDF Maiden Flight (15 min 21 sec)

Posted by jmxp69 | Apr 21, 2019 @ 03:05 AM | 1,527 Views
I always like to see what kind of power my planes make. The BAe makes some impressive numbers.
Freewing BAe Hawk Watt Meter Test (6 min 36 sec)

Posted by jmxp69 | Apr 19, 2019 @ 11:10 AM | 2,020 Views
Hey Guys,

I put together an unbox video for the Freewing Hawk in case you're interested in the plane.
Freewing BAe Hawk 70mm EDF Unbox (15 min 56 sec)

Posted by jmxp69 | Feb 17, 2019 @ 07:40 PM | 3,665 Views
I had a great day with the Ryan for the maiden flight. I'm impressed with every aspect of the plane. Build quality is excellent. Aesthetics are hard to beat and flight characteristics--for the short time I flew it on the maiden--were excellent.

Check out the video to see this awesome little plane in flight:
Tower Hobbies Ryan STA Maiden (6 min 55 sec)

Posted by jmxp69 | Feb 15, 2019 @ 01:51 AM | 3,820 Views
One of my viewers asked me to put a video together showing my planes and how I store them. So.....I did. This system has worked quite well for me for a couple of years now. Hope it gives you some ideas on how to arrange planes in your hangar.

How To Store Radio Controlled Planes (4 min 31 sec)

Posted by jmxp69 | Feb 11, 2019 @ 05:30 PM | 4,116 Views
Maidened the P-51 Mustang from Phoenix Model today. I'll add my $0.02 to the infrequent CG discussions available on this plane. The book's 130mm recommendation flew well for me. The forward rake of the gear causes the CG to shift when operating the retracts. So for my maiden with the gear down I was at 125mm. I did not retract the gear which pushes the CG to 130mm on my plane.

More information about the maiden is in the video:
Phoenix Model P-51 Mustang Maiden Flight (6 min 43 sec)

Posted by jmxp69 | Feb 10, 2019 @ 02:13 AM | 4,103 Views
I decided on a Power 52 I had in my stash for my Phoenix Model P-51 Mustang from Tower. The rest of the setup:
- 100a Turnigy ESC from HK
- 5s 4000 30-40c Turnigy Lipo
- 14x8 APC Thin Electric Prop

See the video for the outcome. This plane definitely has a beast mode:
Beast Mode P-51 Mustang - Watt Meter Test (2 min 10 sec)

Posted by jmxp69 | Feb 09, 2019 @ 08:36 PM | 4,063 Views
Someone showed up at the field with one of these a few months ago. I'd been curious about it for some time, so when I saw it, I went over to take a look, and I really took a shine to this plane. It's one of those golden era designs that simply grabs your attention. I checked inventory at Tower when I got home and--of course--they were out of stock. I checked regularly for a few months and just recently they re-stocked. So I immediately ordered mine.

The unbox revealed a very well put together plane. The covering looks excellent, and there are some nice extra touches like pre-trimmed covering where glue goes on the tail feathers, the tail feathers are keyed for straight and balanced alignment. Ailerons hinges are glued. And the packing was top notch.

Take a look at the video for a closer look at the plane. I very much look forward to completing and flying this little sweetheart of a plane.

Ryan STA by Tower Hobbies Unbox (13 min 1 sec)

Posted by jmxp69 | Feb 09, 2019 @ 08:22 PM | 4,211 Views
If you're in the market for a .46 class P-51 Mustang ARF balsa bird, take a look at the Phoenix Model P51 on Tower. Like most Phoenix planes, this one is built well, but it's not perfect. Most of the issues revolve around the landing gear. Gear doors don't sit flush against the wing when retracted, scissor mechanism on main gear points forward instead of aft. However, those are relatively minor gripes. The value equation for this plane is strong given the completeness of the kit, quality of covering, and time invested from unbox to flight line.

See the videos below for a detailed unbox and build review. Hope they help with your buying decision.

Phoenix Model P-51 Mustang Unbox (14 min 26 sec)

Phoenix Model P-51 Mustang Build Review [Tower Hobbies] (14 min 11 sec)
...Continue Reading
Posted by jmxp69 | Jan 05, 2018 @ 10:16 PM | 6,947 Views
This little plane went together well and I was excited to get it to the field for a maiden. The 36" wingspan and tricycle landing gear were very appealing to me as was the 500w power plant I managed to [barely] fit under the cowl. Everything about the maiden was going great--from the takeoff to the 2nd practice approach. Then the plane got a mind of its own and decided to because a brushless powered auger. Watch the video to see what happened and what I believe caused the issue.
Top Flite Mini Contender Maiden Flight - Near Disaster (9 min 22 sec)

Posted by jmxp69 | Jan 01, 2018 @ 09:21 AM | 5,825 Views
Check out the Watt Meter results I got on the Value Hobby G32 Brushless Motor. I was surprised at the power level I saw with 5s and 11x7 prop.
Value Hobby G32 Brushless Motor Watt Meter Test Results - Surprising Power for a Value Motor. (3 min 52 sec)

Posted by jmxp69 | Jan 01, 2018 @ 09:19 AM | 6,333 Views
I bought the Tower Hobbies Sport during a sale in August as a Christmas present from the family to me . It sat in the box for 5 months as I waited for Christmas. Well, the day finally came, so I got the plane built and flew the maiden. The build review goes through the issues I faced assembling this ARF and calls out the strengths of the plane as well. Overall, it was a pleasant build experience with a few minor challenges.

The maiden flight was nice and boring. The plane lifted off the ground with no drama, took a few clicks of trim and flew like an old friend. Sink rate on final off power was gradual and easy. As the plane approached the runway, just a slight flare and it settled on the mains and coasted down the runway. Super simple airplane to fly. Stable and predictable, excellent orientation markings, easy takeoffs and landings. I know I'll be taking this plane to the field often.

Build Review Video
Tower Hobbies Sport Build Review (10 min 55 sec)

Tower Hobbies Sport Maiden Flight (5 min 45 sec)
...Continue Reading
Posted by jmxp69 | Oct 26, 2017 @ 04:53 PM | 6,324 Views
As I my interest in fast-mover type planes has grown lately, I've wanted to measure airplane speed. I know a radar gun is an obvious answer, but there are issues with positioning, finding a willing helper, flying the plane at the gun (and helper) etc. Pitot tube sensors are an option as well and for a very accurate measure, I may try something like that soon.

Thanks to RCG and a little bit of research, I found a reasonable and cheap [free] alternative using a sound recording and doppler analysis software. I put a video together demonstrating the process start to finish.

Have fun...

How Fast Does it Fly? How-to Measure RC Plane Speed without a Radar Gun [tech] (11 min 49 sec)

Posted by jmxp69 | Oct 08, 2017 @ 06:30 PM | 6,468 Views
If you follow my blog here on RCG or my Youtube channel, you'll know I've become interested in building a fast--100++mph--plane. I started out with the FT Racer. After fooling around with motor/prop combos I realized the plane could be spirited but it wouldn't make the grade. So I started searching for plans and came across Nic Lechner's Mig3 and P-39. Both of those airframes utilized techniques designed for a fast mover. Key among them: Reinforced double layer true airfoil stabilizer and double layer vertical stabilizer. Aluminum reinforced wing with a knife edge trailing edge, and wing/fuselage filets. Nic also produced a video clocking his P39 with a radar gun at 121mph. So I found the platform.

Nic borrows heavily from Flite Test but adds some advanced techniques to his plans such as sculpting the foam to provide knife edge trailing edges. He also uses BBQ skewers to reinforce the nose along the main deck. This little extra supports the use of higher output motors required to hit the speed target. He has a very nice build video for the P-39.

Anyway, here is my build review video of the P-39 and my experience with the 2nd flight. My maiden takeoff was actually much more controlled than the takeoff in the video below as I had someone hand launch for me while I focused on the controls. On the 2nd launch, I gave it an underhand toss with too much AoA and Yaw. Thankfully I managed to get it under control and finish the flight.

I'm using an Emax 2812/06 which is a 3535mm 1550kv motor on 4s with an 8x8 prop. I'm going to try a 9x9 and see what I think of it. I have no honest way of knowing if this plane made 100mph or not; however, whether I actually achieved 100mph is academic for me at this point. The plane is fast, faster than any other model I've flown, so my "need for speed" is satisfied (for the time being).

Thanks to Nic for sharing his plans.

nnP-39 Build Review Goal: 100+MPH (15 min 54 sec)

100MPH Foam Board Airplane nnP-39 Maiden *Holy [email protected]&* (5 min 15 sec)

Posted by jmxp69 | Sep 02, 2017 @ 11:15 PM | 7,189 Views
Lately I've had this urge to fly something really fast and to reduce the stress level a little. I've recently built and maidened a couple of 55" class balsa builds and while I've had some success I wanted something to bring the tension level down some.

It's been about 18 months since I built or flew a Flite Test plane so I scanned their plans and I found the Racer. I went through my spare parts and found a Turnigy 2826 2200kv, 7x6 APC clone, a 30a ESC, a 4 channel Rx and some lightweight landing gear. So I ran to Dollar Tree, bought a stack of foam, hot glue, and posterboard. The following video and pics are the result of my build.

eCalc estimated power @ ~280w. My watt meter showed well over 400w. Not sure why the difference. So I propped down a touch by going to a 3 blade 7x4. I probably need a something like a 6x4 or a 40a ESC. I'll just keep my thumb off the gas for now. For the main gear, I removed the tape and paper under the mounting block. I affixed the block to the fuse with epoxy, and the gear to the block with a couple of wood screws. For the tail, I used a blank gift card and made a skid. I expect takeoff to be a point and shoot affair. Originally I planned on using the standard Racer canopy. Then the wife thought the Ripslinger arrangement would look better instead (sigh).

Maiden video will be posted to this entry tomorrow.

Flite Test Racer Build Review [FT Slinger] (13 min 15 sec)

Maiden and post flight discussion.
Flite Test Racer Maiden and Post Flight [FT Slinger] - Round 1 (5 min 55 sec)

Posted by jmxp69 | Aug 11, 2017 @ 08:22 PM | 6,218 Views
I've been thoroughly enjoying my Phoenix Model airplanes. They make solid kits. There are some concessions in details, but for the price, I think the concessions are worth it. One example on the Spitfire are the gear doors that sit a full 1/2" above the lower wing surface when the gear are retracted. It's ugly, not aerodynamic, and could be fixed.

Anyway, the plane flew great even if the pilot needs some work...Enjoy the video.

Spitfire Maiden and 2nd Flight [Phoenix Model] [Parkfly] (9 min 44 sec)

Posted by jmxp69 | Jul 29, 2017 @ 10:06 AM | 7,826 Views
My all time favorite plane for daily flying is the Tower Hobbies Millennium Master. That plane goes with me every time I fly. I've been looking for a step-up successor for the MM now that I have access to a paved runway and a much larger flying field. The Pilatus PC-9 checked a lot of boxes for me:

1) Phoenix Model - They make solid ARF kits. Covering has always been very good and requisite hard points (landing gear, motor mount, wing joints) always seem to be built strong.

2) Low Wing - The MM has a low swept wing. The PC-9 has a low moderate sweep with dihedral. So it may not be as docile inverted as the MM but I don't fly inverted that much anyway; and, I'll get the added stability benefit of moderate dihedral with the PC-9.

3) Tricycle Retracts - Trikes lend themselves well to paved surfaces. The MM has fixed tricycle gear, the PC-9 has retract trike gear. Big plus on this point.

4) Balsa Construction - In my new location, wind is more of a factor than it used to be. Balsa planes just fly smoother in windy conditions. They're also more resistant to hangar rash.

5) Bigger Motor/More Speed - The PC-9 is a .46-.55 class plane, so I can use a bigger motor, higher cell count, and fly faster - However, the MM is no slouch with a 3s 9x7 on the stock motor.

I know there are other sport planes that check some of these boxes but the PC-9 checked most of the boxes for me as a successor. As of this writing, I've just started the assembly. I'll post the build...Continue Reading
Posted by jmxp69 | Jul 22, 2017 @ 08:53 PM | 7,850 Views
Aloft recently had a sale featuring the Tidewater. I did a little reading and the best I can figure, this is a Flyzone design currently carried by Tower in a receiver ready configuration for about $170. Aloft's version comes in kit form i.e. no electronics for $55. The Aloft version of the plane is made by T&B Model (Hong Kong) and it is clearly a Flyzone knock-off. Even the manual used the same fonts and print layout. The plane has graphics on the Fuse that say "Seagull". The box says Tidewater and Seagull. For me, it's just a Tidewater.

The following videos go through the unbox, build and maiden. Nothing particularly illuminating, but I have a few thoughts on the plane.

1) The battery hatch on the nose would be a great place for FPV Cam/Tx. Eventually I'll put some gear on it and fly it that way.
2) The battery compartment is big enough and placed close enough to CG to allow some experimentation with battery size. I'm confident a Multi-star 5000 3s pack will fit and balance.
3) Rudder is required - I've flown the plane a couple of times now and rudder is necessary. It gets uncoordinated in yank and bank only maneuvers. That's not to say uncontrollable, but it does get sloppy. If you're not a regular rudder user (you know who you are), this plane would probably be a good candidate for some aileron/rudder mixing.
4) It does loop and roll but I wouldn't call that a strong suit, nor should it be. It's a short span, high mount wing with dihedral. It's just a docile little flyer.

In closing, it would be difficult to fault this $55 plane. It flies fine, no drama taking off or landing. Fit and finish are acceptable. Not much more to say...

Tidewater Seagull Unbox (9 min 45 sec)

Build Review:
Tech - Tidewater Seaplane Build Review (7 min 1 sec)

ParkFly - T&B Model Tidewater (Seagull) Maiden (9 min 20 sec)

Posted by jmxp69 | Aug 01, 2016 @ 04:06 PM | 7,491 Views
I respect the fact that if you're already an RCG user you probably don't need this video; however, how many times have you been approached at the field asking for this type of info?

Obviously you'll have your own approach and preferred products--that's fine. Just take a look at the video below and if you agree with the premise--use it as reference material for rookies you encounter. If you think I'm totally off base, keep doing what you've been doing--but the video stays

The primary motivation for this was a new guy I encountered the other day who was still spending $50 for small batteries and thought his only option for a replacement motor on an Apprentice was going to cost him $70--after ONE flight! I just couldn't abide that and felt obligated to show budget alternatives.

How to Get Started in Radio Control Flying (24 min 5 sec)