3D-Dabbler's blog View Details
Posted by 3D-Dabbler | Oct 01, 2010 @ 08:38 PM | 6,783 Views
Here is a file that I created with the results of entering a lot of different data into Scorpion Calc. I used this to help my pick a motor, prop and battery combination for my 3D Hobby Shop 70" class planes. These planes weigh about 8.75 to 9.75 lbs. The design goal was to get at least 2:1 thrust to weight ratio and as high of a thrust as possible when the batteries are discharged and ready to land. I modeled each motor, prop and battery combination at various levels of battery charge to simulate the batteries being drained during flight.

The configuration in the model was set to an altitude was 300 feet above sea level and outside air temperature is 95 degrees Fahrenheit. Pitch Speed in the file is in miles per hour (MPH). Temperature is the predicted outside case motor temperature in degrees Fahrenheit.

Thrust and motor temperature vary with altitude and ambient outside temperature.

The color coding is as follows.

Blue = Awesome this is the best performance for the cell
Green = Good the numbers are within the limits of the motor and performance on this criteria is good
Yellow = The numbers are getting outside the range of the motor or are generating too low of a thrust to feel safe hauling a 9lb 3D acrobatic plane around.
Orange = The numbers are further outside the range of the motor or are generating too low of a thrust to feel safe hauling a 9lb 3D acrobatic plane around.
Red = The numbers for this cell are very far outside the range of the motor and...Continue Reading
Posted by 3D-Dabbler | Nov 26, 2009 @ 06:12 PM | 7,114 Views
Introduced my brother-in-law to flying today. We had a ton of fun. I would take off and then let him fly and then I would land. The Acromaster is still one heck of a lot of fun. I will fly it more often now. It is very responsive and my brother-in-law enjoyed it as well.

My PA 260 and 3D Hobby Shop 330 SC were awesome as well.
Posted by 3D-Dabbler | Nov 11, 2009 @ 05:07 PM | 7,638 Views
A friend was able to catch pieces of one of my Extra 330 SC flights. I need to build a hat cam

57 inch Extra 330 SC (3 min 55 sec)
Posted by 3D-Dabbler | Nov 10, 2009 @ 10:37 PM | 7,691 Views
I have had a few people contact me about my ratings scale and mis-understand it a little bit. Everyone's skills change over time and airplanes that they were interested in with a lower skill level may no longer be airplanes that they would buy again later in their flying "career". Looking at my ratings scale from that perspective is inaccurate.

What I am trying to convey with my ratings scale is: Did I make a mistake buying this plane?

So, if I could magically rewind time and make my decision over again to buy the particular plane that I reviewed, would I do it? If not, how big of a mistake was it. If yes, how great of an airplane is it?
Posted by 3D-Dabbler | Nov 10, 2009 @ 10:30 PM | 8,754 Views
Wingspan: 57"
Length: 57"
Wing area: 680 sq.in
Flight weight: 72 oz – 80 oz (4.5 to 5 lbs)
Wing loading: 15 – 17 oz/sq.ft

57" 3D Hobby Shop Extra 330 SC

I bought the 57” 3D Hobby Shop Extra 330 SC in September on a whim. I was looking for an airplane in 5 foot wingspan range and researched all of the options available on the market. I had seen some fabulous videos of 3D Hobby Shop planes on YouTube and Vimeo. Plus the marketing video with Ben, the owner of 3D Hobby Shop, flying his plane looked like it was both powerful and capable with even more powerful motor options available. I pre-ordered it. So, I had to wait a few weeks for the planes to be made and shipped to the US and make it through customs.
The Extra 330SC went together without issue. It was probably one of the fastest builds that I have had. I put the Reaper GR45 motor in it along with 4 Hitec HS-225MG Servos, an Airboss 80 amp ESC and Futaba R617FS 7 channel receiver, 14x7 VOX prop and Rhino 4s 3700 mAh batteries.

I managed to solder the connectors onto the ESC without breaking it. I used a technique recommended by GoldCraft to cut down the bullet connectors that come on the battery and then solder dean’s connectors into the cups. I burnt myself 3 times but I got the job done.

The control linkages in this kit are fantastic. They are adjustable. So, if you make a mistake or you want to change which holes you use on the servo arms you can make the tweaks without having to cut the connectors
...Continue Reading
Posted by 3D-Dabbler | Oct 31, 2009 @ 01:58 PM | 8,562 Views
I posted a couple of videos of my first visit to the Richmond Area RC AMA club.

Aeroworks Extra 260 (5 min 9 sec)(5 min 9 sec)

PA Extra 260 (4 min 10 sec)(4 min 10 sec)

Hobby People F 16 (1 min 4 sec)(1 min 4 sec)

Bob's 40% Yak 54 (6 min 23 sec)(6 min 23 sec)
Posted by 3D-Dabbler | Oct 31, 2009 @ 01:57 PM | 12,766 Views
Wingspan: 48"
Length: 43"
Wing area: 490 sq.in
Flight weight: 33.7oz
Wing loading: 9.9oz/sq.ft

Precision Aerobatics Extra 260

I bought the Precision Aerobatics Extra 260 shortly after the Multiplex Acromaster. The Extra went together without issue. I put the PA Thrust 30 motor in it along with 4 Hitec HS-65MG Servos, a Great Planes Silver Series 45 amp ESC and Futaba R617FS 7 channel receiver.

I also ordered the carbon fiber control horns, carbon fiber spinner and the wing bags. The wing bags are very high quality. They are the best wing bags that I have seen at the field or bought for my other planes. I never put the Carbon Fiber spinner on because I didn't know that it does not come pre-cut for the prop and frankly am not skilled at doing those kinds of things. I didn't use the quantum 45 Amp ESC either because I am not good a soldering. I destroyed the ESC that came in the Acromaster Power Pack when I tried to put connectors on it. So, I was not going to take that risk with the Quantum. I have since practiced and managed to get the connectors on the Quantum ESC without breaking it. I will use it in another plane at some point.

The control rods are more labor intensive than I care for and be careful to make sure that the lengths are correct when you assemble them. If you make a mistake they are NOT adjustable. You will have to pull them apart piece by piece and get some more thread, glue and shrink tubing. If you switch to adjustable linkages like I...Continue Reading
Posted by 3D-Dabbler | Oct 31, 2009 @ 01:56 PM | 10,263 Views
Wingspan: 43"
Length: 45.25"
Wing Area: 557.27 sq in
Weight: 32-36oz
Wing Loading: 8.19 oz/sq ft

Multiplex Acromaster

I bought this plane right after the HobbyZone Super Cub. It is essentially one of my 2 trainers. My other trainer is the Precision Aerobatics Extra 260. I used a combination of these planes and Real Flight G4.5 to get my flying skills.

This plane can be frustrating to get together and make reliable. To save anyone reading this a lot of time, reinforce the nose BEFORE you glue the fuselage together. DON'T get the recommended HIMAX 3511-1130. Get a Torque 2818-900 or equivalent motor that can spin a 12x6 or 13x6.5 prop. Solder a wire between the main landing gear wheels to hold them together and prevent "the splits" on landing or just get a set of carbon fiber gear instead. Read through the RC Groups Acromaster thread to see how people have strengthened the nose and the motors they have used.

The Acromaster flies very nicely. I only had about 7 flights under my belt when I started flying the Acromaster. It was very easy to fly and as I got better the plane was always ready to do more than I was capable of. So, unlike a regular trainer where there is not enough power or maneuverability, the Acromaster has no shortage of either. I have never been in a death spiral with the Acromaster. I have never had an issue where I couldn't go vertical to get out of a bad situation. So, with some practice on RealFlight G4.5, I went from...Continue Reading
Posted by 3D-Dabbler | Oct 31, 2009 @ 01:53 PM | 8,126 Views
WingSpan: 47.75"
Length: 32.5"
Weight: 25 oz

HobbyZone Super Cub

This was my second plane. I bought it right after I destroyed my first Art Tech P-51. I started out having fun with this plane. I took it to a large field near my house for the first 2 flights. I was concerned about not having ailerons but I decided to try to go down the stereotypical trainer route. I had fun my first 2 or 3 flights. I didn't do anything special with those flights. Pretty much just flying around in a large elliptical path and then land.

Then in my next 2 flights I tried to do tighter maneuvers. Tight turns with this plane are a disaster. Doing tight turns can quickly get into a death spiral. If there is not enough altitude then applying opposite rudder can take too long to pull out. I crashed a couple of times when entering death spirals too close to the ground. Thankfully, the plane is pretty durable. I broke a couple of the wing supports but other than that it survived well. As a new pilot I was still getting used to judging distances between the airplane and objects that I was flying near. I found out in an unfortunate way that this plane does not have enough power to do a loop from straight and level flight. I misjudged the distance to some trees and then decided that I would just do a loop and switch directions. I did a 1/4 loop when the plane stopped in the air at full throttle. It then fell. I tried hard to pull it out but it crashed right next to my wife. She had just...Continue Reading
Posted by 3D-Dabbler | Oct 31, 2009 @ 01:51 PM | 8,349 Views
Wingspan: 33.5"
Length: 36.5"
Wing Area: 368.5 sq in
Weight: 15oz
Wing Loading: 5-6oz / sq ft.

U-Can-Do 3D FlightFlex at Tower Hobbies

I bought this plane hoping to finally get a plane that could do 3D, was durable, had big ailerons that worked well and enough power to easily go vertical to get out of trouble.

It has no landing gear so it needs to be hand launched. When I spun up the motor it had quite a bit of power and I was impressed. I was disappointed that it had a brushed motor because all of my ESCs are for brushless motors. After running it up a few times, I noticed that the motor mount was starting to pull off of the mounting stick a little bit. I drilled a hole in the plastic and put a screw through the motor mount and into the mounting stick. That seemed to fix the problem.

I was pretty impressed on the first flight that it seemed to fly well and seemed to go where I pointed it. The first flight was really just flying in a big loop, some hovering, a little inverted flight, some harriers and then coming in for a landing. I made note in the instructions that it says to stop the prop before you land so that you don't strip the gear box. I was a little concerned that they would release an airplane with a gear box that could be so easily stripped and not put landing gear on it. However, I thought, I can remember to stop the motor!

So, I was coming in for my first landing and I cut power too much about 3 feet off of the ground. It started to...Continue Reading
Posted by 3D-Dabbler | Oct 31, 2009 @ 01:49 PM | 9,555 Views
This is a review of the The J-3 Cub.

Wingspan: 36 in
Length: 26 in
Wing area: not specified
Flying weight: not specified

I bought this plane because I wanted ailerons after getting frustrated with my SuperCub not having them. This plane has a very durable build with high quality parts used throughout. I was very excited to get this plane to the field and give it a whirl. I set it up according to the instructions.

The lack of a steerable tail wheel caused me a couple of problems on takeoff. I was trying to take off from an asphalt road. The road was not smooth enough for the airplane and took a left turn on me my first couple of times trying to take off. The second time I tried to take off, I couldn't avoid the curb and cracked the cowl. Well, at that point, I said why not and on the next take off run I just jammed the throttle to full and let it rip.

It got airborne and then I realized my problem. I was at full throttle and not able to gain altitude. I backed off of the elevator and tried to just fly straight and level and gain some speed. I gained some speed but not a lot. I tried to climb again and got a little higher. It became a concern when I had to get over the top of a hill that was coming up. There also was a tree line beyond that. I got over the hill just fine but the tree line was something that I was just not going to be able to clear.

I tried the ailerons a couple of times. The plane did not change course. I started to panic. I was very concerned...Continue Reading
Posted by 3D-Dabbler | Oct 31, 2009 @ 01:47 PM | 7,824 Views
I had 2 of these Art Tech P51D's. Art Tech P-51D

37-3/4" wingspan
30-3/4" long
245 sq. in. wing area
20 oz. flying weight.
11.75 oz. / square foot

I did not have much flying experience skills when I bought them and lost both of them after the first flight. The ad said at the time a P 51 that anyone can fly. Overall this is a powerful plane that has a lot of control. My only real problem with it is that it is not very durable. I mean nothing in it is durable. I crashed both planes and both motor shafts sheared off behind the propeller.

The first plane I accidentally flew it behind a house and lost site of it. It hit the ground on the other side of the house from a fairly low altitude and at around 20 MPH. The motor shaft snapped, the nose was crushed and not repairable and the wing snapped. Ok, I figured that I can't blame the plane. So I bought another one.

The second flight was much better and a lot of fun. Lots of loops, rolls, plenty of power for nearly any maneuver that I threw at it. As I was making my final turn for my landing approach, I cut the corner too tight and experienced a tip stall at about 40 feet in the air. It spiralled in with the ailerons locked in opposite to the spiral. Once again the crash was my fault. However, the amount of damage to the airplane was incredible. The wing was snapped in a couple of places, the motor shaft was sheared off behind the propeller again and the fusalage was completely destroyed in numerous pieces.

...Continue Reading
Posted by 3D-Dabbler | Oct 31, 2009 @ 01:46 PM | 7,579 Views
Way back when I was a teenager my dad got all kinds of RC Airplane magazines. I read them all of the time and my dad had lots of planes in the basement but no RC planes. He had built a bunch of Free Flight, Control Line, Rubber Power airplanes and gliders.

Back then RC was very expensive, at least for us. My dad wanted to get into RC but didn't have the time or money. I loved everything I read in the magazines and didn' want to do anything less than full RC.

So, I got a Christmas job and made enough money to buy a radio, plans and a bunch of parts. My dad helped give me advice as I built the plane. His years of building and coaching helped me get the plane together. I ran out of money before getting over the goal line. Then college, marriage, work and kids kept lowering the priority of finishing it.

Then my dad was diagnosed with termimal bone cancer. I wanted to get him in the air before he died. So I got started researching RC again and bought a few RTF planes. I was only able to get him into the air twice before he died but he had a lot of fun. We flew a silly little AirHog from Target and a 48" SuperCub trainer.

One day I will finish this plane and think of my dad.