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Archive for March, 2010
Posted by DismayingObservation | Mar 25, 2010 @ 11:06 AM | 9,367 Views
It is a slow and tedious process, but sure as heck, my project planes are finally getting some attention.

On my last blog, I told about an orphaned, thirty-plus-year-old Super Sportster given to me complete with engine and servos. She's ready to fly once I pop in a receiver and battery, set up the transmitter and check the CG.

This in turn inspired me to dust off an older project, one I creatively dubbed "Project Cub."

This poor old 1/6-scale Sig sat for heaven knows how long in someone's attic crawl space in the desert and was it ever dirty. It came with unusual Hitec HS-101 servos and not much else. No decals, no cowl and no evidence of there having been any. On the other hand, it was well-built and covered with 21st Century simulated cloth covering.

I slapdashed some basic repairs, slapped on an old (and yet another castoff) O.S. Max 45 with a fuel tank from a crashed model and put it in the air. The engine was a bit hard to start and the darn thing flew pretty well with more than adequate grunt, but I chose to ignore a slightly crunchy rudder servo. Landing on a windy day several flights later sent it into a safety fence, shattering the windshield and breaking off one of the posts.

So, back into the garage it went.

After cleaning up the Super Sportster, I thought it might be fun to revisit the Cub.

I had an old O.S. 25 on hand which would provide more scale performance, but the mounts were aligned for a .40-sized engine. Off...Continue Reading
Posted by DismayingObservation | Mar 15, 2010 @ 01:54 PM | 9,523 Views
Well, it would seem that another odd model plane has managed to find a new home...namely, mine.

A friend of mine who's basically just starting out in the hobby and flies only electrics managed to win a used but complete nitro-powered plane at a club raffle. Since he didn't want to mess around with nitro, he gave it to me as-is, with engine and four Futaba servos.

Not bad for one dollar for him and free for me.

I was told that this roughly .40-sized model is about thirty years old, but I have no way of knowing that unless I can track down the original owner. Regardless of the age, it is a finely built thing.

Both the fuselage and wing appear to be fiberglass over wood, covered with a fine fiberglass cloth and painted with dope. The fusealge actually feels like a single, solid unit as if it were carved out of a single piece of wood. The graphics are regular iron-on bits. I have never seen a model put together quite this way. The Donald Duck finger puppet which took up space in the cockpit was removed; it's too nice a model to have such an incongruous figure under the canopy and it was rattling around loose anyway.

The engine is an "odd duck" as well. It seems to run fine with its strapped-on tuned pipe open at both ends. Nice and loud and according to another flying buddy, it pulls the model through the air just fine. At least I can take heart in knowing it flies well and just flew recently. How anyone managed to fly it on the original fuel...Continue Reading
Posted by DismayingObservation | Mar 03, 2010 @ 12:51 AM | 9,409 Views
Where has the time gone? Heck, I haven't blogged since last summer, so here goes:

Still flying my E-flite Blade 400 and still loving it. However, I haven't had as much opportunity to fly fixed wing in the last few months since my wife and I moved. I'm now nearly fifty miles from my club field...ouch! On the up side, the powers-that-be granted me free membership this year thanks to my publicity efforts of the past year, so it certainly works out. Besides, I still have family out that way, so it's the perfect excuse to toss a plane in the car and drive out.

There's a dry lake bed considerably closer to home, but it's on a rather rough dirt road and the rains here in Southern California have pretty much turned it into a gigantic mudhole, or so I'm told. I went one heck of a long way down that same dirt road without finding the fork which would have taken me to the flying site. Had I gone any further out, I'm convinced that I would have found the ten lost tribes of Israel.

Nice part about the new place is that I have plenty of room to fly an eggbeater, so I do.

Two of my nephews have been bitten hard by the R/C flying bug. One is making absolutely incredible progress on helicopter flight thanks to lots of simulator time. He'd bought an indoor/outdoor coaxial just before Christmas and flew it beautifully here at my place.

About a week ago, he sent me a text message saying that he'd bought a used but very nice and nicely modified T-Rex 450.

Ooh, big jump, thought I.

He's not only hovering, but he's into forward flight...and he even went inverted and in control, again thanks to the sim.

I don't even like going inverted with a simulated heli, let alone a real one without a magic reset button which puts everything back together.

To be perfectly frank, I can't wait to see him in action!