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Posted by tking2097 | Aug 14, 2019 @ 07:30 PM | 871 Views

The Night Radian FT provides a great upgrade to my favorite aircraft in the hanger, the original Radian. The Night Radian's animated lights are very bright and flashy, and they never fail to provide quite a light show, often attracting quite a crowd of people curious to find out what that bright UFO they see in the sky is! My favorite comment about the Night Radian came one evening from an older teen watching the Radian light show: "Hey Mister, your airplane is DOPE!!" I certainly couldn't agree more!

Yet, the first evening my favorite flying partner, dawnron1 and I maidened our new Radian FT's, we both noticed something was missing! Even as very experienced night flying pilots, we were a bit uneasy flying the Night Radian FT, due to the fact that the Radian's lighting provides no fixed visual navigation light references, such as the FAA navigation light scheme on real aircraft, as well as lighting found on many RC night flying aircraft. We found it was very easy to lose track of the Radian's flight orientation!

So... We set out to add additional fixed navigation lights which provide traditional FAA navigation aircraft lighting, as well as adding two very bright forward landing lights and a rear facing solid red beacon. With this modest navigation light upgrade, we found our perception of the Night Radian FT's orientation during night flights is now very easy to follow! With the upgrade, we can easily chat with curious observers without danger...Continue Reading
Posted by tking2097 | Feb 19, 2011 @ 01:05 AM | 6,251 Views
I have always had a weakness for the U-2 Dragon Lady, and once I saw Phase 3 U-2 flight video, I knew I had to have one in my hangar! There was just one problem, the Phase 3 version is a belly-lander. After doing a bit of homework, I developed a Strut kit with double axles to mount in an E-Flite 10 - 15 nose retract, or the NitroPlanes retract for the Phase 3 U-2 kit.

My completed U-2 with the Strut mod and added tailwheel (3/4" Sullivan from LHS) can be seen in the first picture.

In the second picture, you can see the kit parts, the assembled strut assembly, and finally the completed strut with wheels. The strut is made from T-6061 aluminum, and all hardware is stainless steel. As you can see, the kit is simple and easy to assemble!

Wheels - The kit provides for the use of 1.5" or 1.75" sized thin wheels. Due to the rough surface of the field where I typically fly, I chose to install two 1.75" wheels (Dave Brown Products Lite Flite Wheels). Wheels too large to fit the axles appear too large for the U-2 and will not fit in the space inside the fuselage.

Note that the 2 screws used to form the double wheel axles were test fitted with the intended wheels, then assembled using Blue Thread-lock compound. The use of Blue thread-lock provides for a secure capture of the screws, yet allows the screws to be removed at a later time if required.
Since space inside the Phase 3 U-2 is limited, a bit of ingenuity to get everything to fit. For example, I chose to mount the ESC on the bottom of the fuselage, just ahead of the fan, in order to free up space for the retract, retract servo, and an optional rudder servo.

I made up a couple of extra retract kits while I was at it. Feel free to contact me about obtaining one for your U-2 project if you like.

The U-2 with added flaps, rudder and retractable nose gear is ready! All that is needed now is some good weather for a maiden flight plan!!
Posted by tking2097 | Dec 13, 2010 @ 03:18 PM | 5,932 Views
Yes, it themals - A Great Day Flying the Pro!!

We had a really nice break in the weather today, so I took the Radian Pro out to the field and had 3 hours and 15 minutes of quality time with it! A few key tidbits are included below for a quick report.

Temperature: 65ºF-67ºF
Winds: 7-15mph, very choppy, at times just ugly

Bat Time Description
1. 23:03 stock Radian Pro battery. Ran it until the ESC cutoff.
2. 26:09 2100mAh 35C Flightmax (flew with Eagle Tree GPS unit)
3. 37:52 2100mAh 35C Flightmax
4. 38:07 2100mAh 35C Flightmax

Key Flight Stats
total airborne time: 02:07:07
Maximum Speed Measured: 39.93mph / 64.3kph
Average Speed: 10.8mph / 17.4kph*
Maximum Altitude Flown: 807 feet / 246m
*high wind speeds slewed the avg speed numbers up!

On the first flight I hooked a decent thermal for about 4 minutes and had to fly out of it twice to avoid losing sight of the Pro! After the 1st battery, clouds came in, thermals moved out, and winds picked up.

For the second flight I remembered I had the Eagle Tree GPS and Data Logger, so I put them to work. Two graphs and the 3D flight path plotted on Google Earth are attached.

I very hastily landed the Pro towards the end of the third battery pack when I heard the sounds of actual warbird engines and saw a formation of 3 World War II planes heading towards the field! I identified the largest in the formation as a B-17! The other two appeared to be trainer or small single engine fighters. What a sweet sound and...Continue Reading
Posted by tking2097 | Sep 22, 2010 @ 08:42 PM | 5,010 Views
Clarence Taylor’s legendary creation - the Taylorcraft. I purchased this beauty a couple of years ago from a local RC pilot for a song. I generally don't buy used, but the price was too good to pass up, and the Taylorcraft is a great match for my nearby park flying field! The Taylorcraft did have one nasty accident with the previous owner, but I was aware of this and decided that replacing the fuselage would be appropriate to eliminate the damage and put the TC is pristine, new condition.

The new airframe has been installed, so the Taylorcraft is now ready to be re-maidened as soon as the weather cooperates.

Specs for the E-Flite Taylorcraft 450:
Wingspan: 46 in (1170mm)
Length: 36 in (915mm)
Wing Area: 370 sq in (23.87 sq dm)
Weight w/o Battery: 29–31 oz (680–740 g)
Weight w/ Battery: 24–26 oz (820–880 g), 2200mAh HC 20C MaxFlight

Power options:
Motor: E-Flite Park 450 Brushless Outrunner Motor, 890Kv
(E-Flite's Sport Outrunner recommendation)
Prop: Master Airscrew 10 x 8 electric
ESC: Turnigy 40 Amp

I chose the Park 450 Brushless Outrunner Motor since I prefer to fly this plane scale, and the Park 450 is very adequate in this capacity. The wheels are Dubro 2-1/2" Diamond Lite WheelsE-Flite suggests 1-1/2" wheels, but the 2-1/2" size is much better suited to the grass field at the park.

I will add a brief update as soon as the weather permits the re-maiden of the Taylorcraft.

Re-maiden Report - Tragic Incident Reported!

I am sorry to report a tragic incident occurred during the remaiden of the Taylorcraft:

The Taylorcraft suffered a mid-air collision with an F4U Corsair flying out of the joint military and civilian Trinity Airfield. The collision severed the left wing of the Taylorcraft, which subsequently crashed and burned, resulting in the total loss of the aircraft. It is uncertain at this time whether the pilot survived the crash.

The F4U Corsair involved in the mid-air incident safely returned to the airfield without major damage. A military board will be convened to review the incident.
Posted by tking2097 | Sep 15, 2010 @ 01:06 AM | 6,548 Views
The T-28 Trojan remains my all-time favorite plane for park flying, and has logged nearly 400 flights to date. Given the popularity of this plane in the hangar, I decided it is time to provide it's pilot, Lt. Bob "Bash" Trojan, with some well-deserved upgrades:

1. Open Canopy - Lt. Trojan can now cool down on the hot tarmac!
2. Working flaps with servo slow-down control (Hobby City, Turnigy).
3. Red and white prop stripes added to standard 2-blade prop.
4. Authentic new decals made and added: Cowl numbers, left & right sides, "Buzz" numbers on the bottom side of the flaps, Pilot's Call-sign added below canopy frame on both sides.
5. Existing decals on the tail and below replaced with new, better quality water-slide decals, including more authentic 4 digit tail number (vs. original 3 digit), Location ("E"), and build number info below the horizontal stabilizer.
6. Pilot Head swivel mod added by placing a servo slaved to the rudder within the pilot's body. The pilot now looks around while he is on the job!
7. Original Lighting upgrade package (my own PIC16F84 microprocessor version) still remains fully functional. Lights include red and green wingtip navlights with white strobes, white body strobe, red beacon body strobe, and functional landing light.

Current Power Specs:
Motor - Turnigy 3536C 1100kv brushless
40 Amp ESC, with 3 amp BEC

Spektrum DX7 transmitter & AR6100 receiver controlled.
Lights - PIC16F84 microprocessor design. Landing gear light switches on with gear switch, and low or idle throttle setting.

Video showing lights, flaps and pilot's moving head can be viewed here:

Parkzone T-28 Upgrades (1 min 11 sec)

With all these new upgrades, let's get it flying Lt. Trojan!
Posted by tking2097 | Feb 07, 2010 @ 12:06 PM | 21,971 Views
Hobby City now has a small servo speed and direction regulator circuit for about $7.50USD. This is the perfect device to add realism to flap and landing gear operation of RC aircraft. At this price, the addition of realistic flap and landing gear operations for RC aircraft is a real "no-brainer"!

The device takes 1 channel from your receiver as input (usually flaps or gear), and provides 3 identical slow-speed outputs for servos, CH1, CH2 and CH3. The servo speed for all 3 outputs is adjustable for each direction of servo movement. So it is possible to have flaps retract faster than they deploy, for example. The CH3 servo output direction is reversible.


Input: Single channel from receiver, usually Flaps or Landing Gear.

Outputs: 3 slow speed servo outputs, CH1, CH2 and CH3.
CH3 servo direction is reversible.

Independent servo speed adjustment for each direction of servo travel.
(SW1 sets Direction A speed adjust, SW2 sets Direction B speed adjust).

Regulator adjustments

SW1: Sets servo direction A speed for all 3 servo outputs, CH1, CH2 and CH3.
SW2: Sets servo direction B speed for all 3 servo outputs, CH1, CH2 and CH3.
SW3: Sets Normal or Reverses direction for CH3 output ONLY.

Note that the device does not provide for servo end-point adjustments. So if you wish to use your transmitter to adjust individual endpoints for 2 flap servos, for example, you need to use two regulator devices, one for each servo.

The input...Continue Reading