gtfreeflyer's blog View Details
Posted by gtfreeflyer | Apr 22, 2014 @ 12:18 AM | 22,888 Views
Over a year ago I got into dropping little payloads with parachutes (see my Parachutes! blog). It's been tons of fun, but my Twin Otter can only carry about 12 oz. of payload. Sure enough, I outgrew this and needed something bigger...

I decided it was time to scratch build my own airplane after flying now for 19 years. Self-imposed requirements: 10 lb weight without payload. Must be able to lift its own weight in payload. Electric powered. Must fit in a Honda Accord sedan. Flight profile is take off, climb to altitude, drop payload, land, and have enough battery left for one go around. 2-3 minute flights at most.

I've delayed creating this blog for quite some time. I completed the wing and tail, with all electronics installed last winter and I've been on a hiatus until this week. A few days ago I finally started cutting bulkheads for the fuselage, and today the project becomes official with the creation of this blog.

I'll go back in time now and start posting pictures from the start of the project and will continue to keep this blog updated...

Keep on reading and feel free to say hey...

Current setup:
Motors: Turnigy SK3-3542-800kv, 42A peak, 625W max, 5oz, 5mm shaft, 3.5mm bullets, 37 mOhm resistance
Props: APC Electric 12x6
ESCs: Turnigy Plush 40A
Connectors: XT-60
LiPo: Turnigy A-Spec 4s 2200 (two packs in parallel)
BECs: Dual CC 10A for redundancy
Aileron Servos: Align DS415M digital 27 oz-in
Flap Servos: Spektrum A7020 digital
Steering Servo: Hobbico CS-35MG
Extraction Parachute Release Servo: Futaba S3101
All Other Servos: Spektrum A7010 47 oz-in
Tx/Rx: Taranis Plus with four X8R receivers for redundancy
Spinners: 1.5 inch
Main Wheels: 5" diameter x 1.5" wide
Nose Wheel: 3" diameter x 1" wide
Main Gear: Great Planes Giant Big Stik (Modified) with GPMQ4278 axles
Nose Gear: Du-Bro 5/32" Cat. No. 153
Covering: Monokote white, Insignia Blue, Black, and Missile Red
Posted by gtfreeflyer | Dec 16, 2011 @ 07:13 PM | 19,771 Views
So itís been about a week since Iíve flown, and after flying several times a week for the past few months I was badly itching to fly and I had my Edge 540T in my car.

12:00. Lunch break. Time to fly. I walked out of the building and got smacked by a wall of air moving quickly. The winds were blowing hard! I figured Iíd drive over to the field anyway to check what was going on. On my drive over there, I passed a large tree that had been uprooted and was laying on its side. I arrived at the field and it turned out I was the only one there. No surprise. I took the plane out of my car and walked over to the pits. Holding the plane was a monumental task of its own. The field is wide open, not many trees, and it is by the ocean. The winds were blowing even harder here than back at work. I was leaning into the wind to maintain my balance.

I set my plane down pointed into the wind, popped the canopy hatch and the wind just grabbed it out of my hand. By the time I turned my head to see where it went it was already 50-100 feet downwind. I took a few running steps to go get it when I heard the all too familiar sounds of my planeís wheels rolling. I turned back around and my Edge was in full flight mode, tail up in the air and headed straight backwards at me, fast! Oops, I should have thought about that one. I caught it, placed it up against a post, and got some exercise when I retrieved the canopy. Okay, so as much as I advocate flying in the wind since it...Continue Reading
Posted by gtfreeflyer | May 18, 2010 @ 05:17 PM | 22,265 Views
Records and data for my EXI 500.

Post #2: Components & Costs
Post #3: Setup, Programming, Performance & Data
Posted by gtfreeflyer | Oct 05, 2009 @ 09:00 PM | 25,929 Views
I finally decided to enter the world of 450 sized electric helis and bought a HK450.

Quick Specs and Info:
Heli: HK450
Motor: Turnigy 2836, 3700KV, w/11T pinion
ESC: Castle Creations 45A running on governor mode and disabled the following: BEC, over-current and LVC protection.
BEC: Castle Creations 10A
Gyro: Spartan Quark
Receiver: Futaba R617FS, 2.4 GHz
Cyclic servos: HXT900
Tail servo: DS480
Battery: Zippy Flightmax 3s1p 2200 mAh, 30C
Upgrades: All-metal main rotor head, non-slip tail drive gear, glass fiber main blades
Normal pitch curve (degrees): -2, -1, 0, +5, +10
Idle up 1 pitch curve (degrees): -10, -5, 0, +5, +10
Idle up 2 pitch curve (degrees): -10, -5, 0, +5, +10
Throttle hold pitch curve (degrees): -4, -2, 0, +5, +12
Normal throttle curve (RPM): 0, 2700, 2700, 2700, 2700 using governor mode
Idle up 1 throttle curve (RPM): 2700, 2700, 2700, 2700, 2700 using governor mode
Idle up 2 throttle curve (RPM): 2950, 2950, 2950, 2950, 2950 using governor mode
Throttle hold throttle curve: Motor off
Flight time: 7 minutes doing advanced aerobatics (not 3D) and fast flight with occasional hovers.
Posted by gtfreeflyer | Jun 09, 2009 @ 08:03 PM | 21,914 Views
(not necessarily in this order)

1. Goldberg J3 Cub - Kit - Glow - My first plane - Been hanging collecting dust for many many years now.
2. Right Flyer 40T - Glow - Crashed into tree, RIP.
3. Avistar trainer - ARF - Glow - Lost orientation, RIP.
4. Fun Tiger Extra profile plane - ARF - Glow - Flew the heck out of this until it was done with, RIP.
5. Sig Four Star 40 - Kit - Glow - Bad Rx battery, RIP.
6. Kyosho Cap 21 - ARF - Glow - Bad Rx battery, RIP.
7. Top Flite P40 Warhawk - 60 size - Kit - Glow - Bad Rx battery, RIP.
8. Hirobo Shuttle Z .30 size Heli - Glow - Sold to pay for some boat repairs.
9. Top Flite F4U Corsair - 60 size - Kit - Electric conversion - Needs repairs from a hard landing.
10. Great Planes Super Sportster EP - ARF - Electric - Ripped the wings off during high G manuever, RIP.
11. Cessna 337 Skymaster - ARF - Electric - Someone switched onto my Tx channel, RIP.
12. Low wing balsa sport plane, forgotten name - Electric - Bad LiPo caused motor to cut out on takeoff climbout, RIP
13. Vimar Twin Otter - ARF - Electric - Midair, RIP.
14. Vimar Twin Otter - ARF - Electric - (Replacement of above) - Active.
15. Phil Kraft Quic Fly - Kit - Electric conversion - Under construction.
16. HobbyKing HK450- Kit - Electric Heli - Active
17. E-Flite P-38 Lightning - ARF - Electric - Active
18. Exi-500 Carbon Edition - Kit - Electric Heli - Active
19. Great Planes Edge 540T 49.5" - ARF - Electric - Many, many flights. Needs repairs from a hard landing. For sale....Continue Reading
Posted by gtfreeflyer | Jun 09, 2009 @ 12:07 AM | 22,090 Views
Here's my latest project. First of all, thanks so much to Carl for giving me this kit for free after knowing me for only 2 or 3 days. So kind of him This is the Quic Fly vintage RC plane designed by Phil Kraft many many years ago.

The first photo is of Carl's Quic Fly. It has a fully sheeted and glassed fuselage, painted to match the monokote wing. The wing is glassed where ever there is balsa sheeting underneath. Carl let me fly this plane and it flies like it's on rails. It's a real good flyer.

I'll be building my Quic Fly for electric power, and I'll add retracts. My paint/covering scheme will also be quite different.
Posted by gtfreeflyer | Jan 21, 2009 @ 04:01 PM | 46,807 Views
This blog is dedicated to my build and flying experience with this Twin Otter.

Current setup:

Motors: Turnigy 2213, 1050kv, 16A cont, 19A peak, 56g, 27.6x32mm, 3.175mm shaft
Props: APC Electric 9x6, or 10x5 for payloads. 10x5 is approx. 10mph less than the 9x6, but higher thrust at low speeds.
ESC: Turnigy Plush 30A
LiPo: One 3s 5000 for 15 minutes, or one 3s 2200 for 6 minutes or when carrying payloads.
Aileron Servos: Align DS415M
Elevator and Rudder Servos: Hobbico CS-17
Steering Servo: Futaba FP-S133
Aileron Gyro: Spartan Quark (headlock gyro)
Elevator and Rudder Gyros: Turnigy TG380 (rate gyros)
Tx/Rx: Futaba 7c with 617FS
Posted by gtfreeflyer | Oct 17, 2008 @ 09:47 PM | 22,693 Views
This blog is dedicated to my first workbench. Really though, I'm just putting this picture here so I can look at it in the future and remember how organized I once was

I put my CG tool on the bench to share. Just put two pencils into a block of wood and it's very easy to balance a plane. This holds my 11 lb Corsair without a problem.

Also shown is my storage spot for my planes
Posted by gtfreeflyer | Aug 26, 2008 @ 09:32 PM | 45,607 Views
Don't know why I'm starting another project without finishing the last one, but hey, that's what it's all about!

Flight log:
As of 9/14/09: 31 Takeoffs/Landings, 2hr 18.5min flying time.
As of 12/24/12: 68 Takeoffs/Landings, 6.1hr flying time.
As of 1/14/14: 78 Takeoffs/Landings, 7.1 hrs flight time, 70 packs flown.
Posted by gtfreeflyer | Aug 15, 2007 @ 11:41 AM | 29,211 Views
The Great Planes Super Sportster EP was my first electric plane after flying the gas ones for 12 years. I flew it stock for the first three flights and then bought a new power system:

Jeti Phasor 30/3 motor
Castle Creations Phoenix 45A ESC
Align 3 cell, 2100 mAh, 22C LiPo battery

After 2 months of clean quiet fun and dropping paratroopers, I was 5 feet off the ground on a high speed landing approach when my radio frequency got glitched and my elevator went full down (see my SkyMaster blog to see how that blog ended). The damage wasn't bad at all for a nose-into-ground "landing". A few of the stringers on the aft-top of the fuselage broke due to the high compression of the frame. A little bit of the wingtip was also cracked and the wing mounting blocks came loose.

I could have had this repaired in one evening, but I am a sucker for airplane modifications. I like flying my own creations. This probably has something to do with the fact that I'm a design engineer in the aerospace field.

That evening, I tore off all the red covering of the Sportster so that I'd be commited to modifying this airplane. This airplane, unmodified, floats in the sky with power off. I also have more power than I need for this plane. This all means that I can carry a little more weight if I have to. Here's the plan I came up with:

-Retractable landing gear
-Complete lighting system (landing, wingtips, tail).
-Modified wingtips to accomodate lights
-...Continue Reading
Posted by gtfreeflyer | Apr 11, 2007 @ 11:00 AM | 39,005 Views
This blog is dedicated to my SkyMaster and the modifications I've made to it.

Before I started putting this plane together, I was following a great thread on this plane and collecting ideas:

Here is my build log... enjoy.