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Posted by VicT | Oct 18, 2020 @ 10:39 PM | 5,125 Views
I’ve been catapult launching my 64 gram Fox EPP free flight glider using 3 #64 rubber bands. They are tied to the end of a stick handle held in the feet hand. When stretched back about 2 ft and released the Fox climbs consistently up to about 30-40 feet. I’m a teaching my friends 7 yr old son how to launch and the effects of trim and CG.

Recently I started to fly my 4 ounce Elf with rudder and elevator. It’s got a wing tip blade for DHLG soft or hard throws however I wanted to see what a catapult system would be like. So I fashioned a music wire hook to the Elf Carbon fiber boom and used Gorilla glue for reinforcement. I will be using different rubber and bungee bands for experimentation. I have a stomp launcher that could be used as well. The objective is to have consistent launch angles and direction for indoor or outdoor confined space flying sites.

I tested Elf with winds 15-18 in a small park with 60 -80 ft trees surrounding the center field. I practiced tip launching about 20 times circling the wind shears. As long as Elf has airspeed over the rudder and stab you have good control. However a sudden tailwind wind shear can temporarily cause loss of control.
I used a stick with 3 # 64 bands and held it with my left hand and transmitter hand strap. I was able to get good smooth launches but only about 15 ft high where as tip launches were about 75 ft. So rubber has to be experimented with.

On post flight inspection the temporary hot glue repair to the rudder horn showed play. At home I made an aluminum rudder horn and bent it 90 degrees for a stronger glue joint. I used a rotary dental tool to rout out the old epoxy in the slot and used brown Gorilla glue this time. A clothes pin was made into a clamp while it hardens over night. A tube will be lashed to my DX9 to hold a launching dowel.
Posted by VicT | Sep 20, 2020 @ 11:21 PM | 2,979 Views
Mike K purchased a used Mini Apprentice from Mike B. This 48” span model will be able to handle winds better than his 4 ounce UMX Turbo Timber. I programmed his DX6 and trimmed her out with SAFE OFF then turned SAFE On. Every maneuver checked good except for aileron to rudder mix that I put into the transmitter. I did not know that it was already programmed into the AR636 A receiver. I think she went cross control similar to the larger Apprentice with the older Apprentice SAFE receiver. There was minimum damage and after replacing the stock prop with an APC 9/6E and inhibiting the TX aileron/rudder mix she flew fine. I like her more than the larger Apprentice because of the Re designed stab. This Apprentice came without a nose wheel and had been in a nose down crash as evidence from the compression wrinkles and a new cowl. I brought her home to make some improvements such as:
1. Adding a steerable tailwheel
2. Programming the ESC prop brake
3. Trimming the stock spinner to fit the APC9/6 prop
4. Glueing the bindplug receptacle to the fuselage side
5. Moving the 18 amp ESC forward to the motorway for more cooling air
6. Adding cloth covered bungee bands to replace the 6 rubber bands.

See pics and...Continue Reading
Posted by VicT | Sep 17, 2020 @ 10:49 AM | 1,676 Views
An inverted crash can occur in a number of ways with the Conscendo BNF (SAFE is installed and Off).
A common cause is to roll inverted and then mistakenly pull up elevator to climb and you dive down. If you have enough altitude you can pull out level with out hitting the ground surface. This Immelmann aerobatic manuever is a simple one but if you mis judge the amount of airspace needed then you have to abort and roll level and pull to level. This takes practice and is risky.
Another cause of an inverted crash happened to me a few weeks ago. I was demonstrating the CE in a power off dive with SAFE On. After pulling level at about 20 ft AGL (above ground level) I pulled my DX9 B switch to 2 (SAFE Off), pulled up and added full power. I then went into a full aileron roll and with in 2 seconds I was diving into the soft ground. I had forgot to turn my aileron to rudder mix off and the rudder input stopped my climb attitude at the first 90 degree bank. When I knew the crash was imminent I did close the throttle and post impact damage looked very bad but amazingly the motor and electronics still worked! The nose had broken away and was easily repaired. The pic shows the front wing bolt fixture.
I was going over how to prevent this from happening again and thought of using the throttle to turn the aileron to rudder mix off automatically. I usually do aileron rolls at full power and use aileron to rudder mixing when flying slow or when cruising at half power. Here is what I do now for the aileron to rudder mix program:

The first thing to do is press/roll to System Setup then F-Mode Setup, then for Switch 1 set Thr. Stick. I usually set Switch 2 to Switch D but you don’t have to do this unless you want more nice things to have.
Next press the Back button and go to the function menu and scroll to Mixing. The pics below show BC and AC.
Posted by VicT | Sep 15, 2020 @ 10:43 PM | 3,297 Views
The bolts fall out from there wing cover holes and are easily lost. I previously was rolling paper and glueing it inside the plastic tube. This worked until I assembled the wing but lost one of the bolts. Paper and glue work most of the time but I wanted something stronger that would last longer. I cut a slot in a 7/32 inch brass tube and then cut a 1/4 inch long section. The tube is a little loose in the tube but expanding the slot the tube fits snug in the plastic tube and a little Gorilla insures she stays in the tube. Don’t forget to put the 3 mm wing bolt in the tube first. I cut down a 4 mm Phillips head bolt and had to reduce the diameter of the head because it was hard to fit into the tube.
Posted by VicT | Sep 13, 2020 @ 06:40 AM | 1,713 Views
Sat Sep 12 was sunny and 85 F with 18 mph steady winds E at WPMPA. CA was tested fine with the plywood reinforcements and new Y cable. After a few minutes my eager 6 yr old student (Gabriel) started flying at 150 ft doing S turns into the wind. He has been steadily improving over the last 4 Saturdays and is less erratic with porpoising and pitch control. However flying into the sun and lateral control and situational awareness still needs improvement thru experience. I would add full power to regain altitude and he would repeat. The sun was almost overhead and a few times I would block the sun with my TX and steer the CA away from the sun.

Events leading up to loss of sight....
However on the 3rd recovery the CA got downwind aft of the metal roof and when I regained sight of her she was pointed straight back for return at about 150 ft altitude. However there was no response to throttle and I set up a slight nose down glide in an effort to achieve groundspeed. Due to the 18-20 mp winds at altitude and no groundspeed there was no progress at returning to the helicopter landing area. I left the flight line and crossed under the roof to re acquire the CA but the CA had gone behind the tree line.

Search.....and recovery......
John B was at the south end and watching from a different angle and observed CA entering the west swamp /tree line but was unsure of the exact entry. John, Mark S and I started a search and after 10 min John sighted CA...Continue Reading
Posted by VicT | Sep 10, 2020 @ 10:06 PM | 1,432 Views
The bolted on wing reduces the fuselage from twisting and turning. However by adding a 7gram plywood stiffener over the wing opening you can practically eliminate all torsional twisting and deformation. Plywood that is 1/32 or 2.5 mm thick is glued over the wing saddle. Gorilla glue was used and the bolted on wing secured the plywood while the Gorrilla glue dried.
Posted by VicT | Sep 09, 2020 @ 04:06 PM | 1,659 Views
Both my Conscendsos are getting lots of use and abuse. Especially the thin fuselage/fin area. Yesterday I was demonstrating to some prospective CE owners how to land and then takeoff again. Call it a glider slide and go. If you touch down with a slight nose down attitude and enough speed the elevator will rotate the fuselage high enough for the prop to unfold and provide climb out thrust.

I did this about 3 times and on post flight saw a foam crack. The phenolic belly stiffener had broken away from the foam. I usually use 1 ounce glass cloth and medium CA to reinforce compound curves as the skin is the best place to reinforce. However I wanted to try a quicker, easier and less expensive method using thin 1/32 or 1,5 mm plywood.

Here is a link to the CA thread:
Posted by VicT | Sep 03, 2020 @ 01:09 AM | 3,236 Views
Will be testing the smaller wing on the X440 fuse. It is thinner, lighter and smaller. Same design as the open bay but with a slightly different poly break design. Red Monocote.

Put my 850 4S lipo full forward for CG but dive test indicated too nose heavy. Wing warp caused right turn. Used full left ruddervator trim. Tried taking warp out with twisting wing in sun with weights but after 30 min it did not work. Must use heat gun to put wash out in left panel to match right panel wash out.

She flew fine being a little faster with a smaller turning radius and more vertical thrust due to less weight. This wing will be used when stock wing is put away for windier weather flying.
Posted by VicT | Aug 25, 2020 @ 09:41 PM | 5,256 Views
5 mm shaft
157 gms
900 KV
Wires state 3720 900
O.D. 37.2 mm
Stock ESC 45 amps, 12/8 prop, 3 S

Others have gone to a 60 amp ESC and 11/7 on 4S
Posted by VicT | Aug 23, 2020 @ 01:15 PM | 5,089 Views
The old Etomic transmitters that came with the Vapor and Ember work great for introducing first time flyers or copilots. Make sure the batteries are new and not corroded! Use your full size tally transmitter as instructor and see this link for more info:
Posted by VicT | Aug 22, 2020 @ 11:39 PM | 5,459 Views
I cut flaps out and used a single servo to pull them down against a torsion spring but burned a 9 gram servo up. So I used a Hitech HS 80 for each flap and used a Y cable to plug into ch 5 of the 637 TA RX. In thermal mode the flaps go down about 3 degrees to match the ailerons that are in ch 2 and 6. In the landing mode the flaps go down about 80 degrees and the ailerons reflex up about 10 degrees. To make connecting easier I used Deans 4 pin plugs to combine power and signal wires. See pics
Posted by VicT | Aug 20, 2020 @ 10:19 PM | 2,952 Views
The CE with SAFE On climbs in a vertical 90 degree attitude and with rudder will do a stall turn and dive down. However today the CE ended up inverted in a 45 degree nose down dive. I tried to apply elevator but there was no elevator. She landed in a large bush at the edge of the flying field and was recovered. Later that day I held the fuselage in the same attitude with a 45 nose down inverted dive with SAFE On. I applied up elevator but there was no up elevator but DOWN elevator! It was if it knew that the quickest way to level was to apply down elevator even though I was overriding with up elevator! With SAFE Off normal travel and direction resumed.

So in the event that SAFE is not recovering from an unusual attitude it’s recommended that SAFE be turned off and manual recovery be initiated if the model can be seen.
Posted by VicT | Aug 06, 2020 @ 03:24 PM | 5,450 Views
The concept has been proven by using the Valiant landing gear installed in the Apprentice, Timber and Gentle Lady. The U shaped landing gear allow the lipo to fit between the legs. The aluminum has to be secure to the foam via hardwood such as 1/16 thick plywood that would extend forward on either side of the cockpit. A brace at the top would allow a single screw to keep the gear from falling down and away from the fuselage. The plastic exhaust plate on the belly would have to be removed and put back in place after the gear was plugged in place. This exhaust plate could be modified with a plywood plate to further secure the gear from changing shape before it extends away from the fuselage sides. A small stearable tailwheel would be attached to the rudder. See pics
Posted by VicT | Aug 02, 2020 @ 01:45 PM | 3,642 Views
Attached is my DX9 TX file for the Conscendo Evolution with spoilerons, thermal camber and flight modes for the throttle and D switch. Audio files are included. There is a warning about charging a SMART battery. It poses no problem...just hit the clear button or wait and it goes away.

Component weights compared to CA and motor power measurement

Maiden notes and new clear canopy how to

Binding the CE637TA receiver

Fixing or replacing foam hinges

Spinner info and upgrade

Adding more wing tip dihedral for more rudder effectiveness

Park Flyer clear canopy and fuselage plastic

I swapped out the stock 38 mm plastic spinner and 9.5x7.5 blades for an Art Hobby Low Drag 35 mm aluminum spinner. It’s stronger than the plastic and the blades are angled to have less drag when they are parked against the fuselage. The spinner supports the Graupner blades that come in various sizes and types. I chose to go up a little in prop size by .5 inch. The blades are 10 x8 carbon fiber and fit perfectly. I had to file a flat on either side of the drive shaft...Continue Reading
Posted by VicT | Jul 26, 2020 @ 08:23 AM | 8,051 Views
I was practicing in the grass and concrete for water ops. Water rudders were hooked in the up position. The 4S and 10/5 APC prop have plenty of thrust with either a small 1500 4S or the larger 4000 Graphene 4S. The top battery hatch works great and the battery meter is easily viewed when I plug in a 3 or 4 S as I cut away the female connector side that allows 3 or 4 male connectors.

Using about half power and full rudder she does nice pirouette turns on the concrete. Duct tape on the float bottoms protect the foam but I may put plastic milk jug plastic in place as it is thicker and stronger. Here is a 10 second video:
Posted by VicT | Jul 23, 2020 @ 01:11 AM | 5,062 Views
I’ve always used bungee bands to get the folding blades parked against the side of my fuselages. The purpose is to insure there is minimum drag during power off flight, and when the blades start to unfold during start up the blades are symmetrical and there is no imbalance. Also when I pull the fuselage out from its storage bag the blades do not get snagged.

Recently I purchased the very nicely machine LD aluminum spinners from Art Hobbies. This design incorporates an optional dental band that provides the tension. Directions are included on how to install wires to secure the bands.

Aloft Hobbies sells the nice 30 and 32 mm CLM spinners and parts for folding blades and I incorporated the same design using dental bands that I purchased from Amazon. I used .020 inch (.050 mm) wire to drill the holes in the 10/8 Graupner blades. I then used a hammer and rod to flatten the end of two 1 inch sections of wire. This section was then pushed into the hole and the exposed end was cut and bent into a hook. Each blade has its own band and is hooked onto the collet before it’s pushed onto the motor shaft. Tools required are a Dremel drill, a cut off disc to sharpen the wire and make a chisel bit, wire cutter to trim and cut the wire, needle nose pliers to bend the wire hooks, and hemostats to hook the dental bands onto the hooks and the collet. A fingernail file and Dremel bit was used to sand the blades for a loose fit in the blade yoke and to trim away the...Continue Reading
Posted by VicT | Jul 18, 2020 @ 06:14 PM | 5,601 Views
Two weeks ago I had a nice 20 minute flight mixing thermal flying and some high speed aerobatics and low passes. The Mystique flew fine but on one dive I noticed a slight loss of roll. After slowing down and deploying flaps for landing I had full control. I took the wings and stab off and put them in my insulated storage bag.

Today I removed the wings from the bag and cleaned the hinge area with alcohol in preparation for applying some hinge gap tape from Aloft Hobbies. All of the hinges looked good until I found a 12” section of hinge on my left aileron. The Oracover white covering had delaminated from the inboard section out to the aileron horn. It was easy to see why I had some loss of aileron effectiveness. Most likely I experienced aileron flutter on that aileron which led to the Oracover hinge de lamination/failure. The rest of the flap and aileron hinges were closely inspected and were secure.

The plastic covering was easily removed but the white pigment is still on the balsa. The wood is good shape and it is straight with no warps. I ironed a fresh piece of Oracover over the pigment and did a peel test. It failed but took most of the white pigment away from the wood. I then used 91% alcohol and paper towels to wet the pigment. A credit card/debit card was used to scrape most of the pigment from the surface. Stubborn pigment in the grain can be removed with an old toothbrush. I tried nail polish remover and this caused the paint to...Continue Reading
Posted by VicT | Jun 17, 2020 @ 05:46 PM | 8,672 Views
The purpose of this How To article is to explain how to use Flight Modes on the DX9 transmitter for elevator trim.
Any of the talking DX transmitters and e (non talking computer transmitters) have the programming waiting for you to use. Flight modes can be used for other trims and things but this will cover elevator trim only.

Background: Elevator trim will change according to the airspeed of your model. If there is any incidence between the wing and stab you will have pitch up according to the airspeed. If you have little to no incidence then there will be little to no pitch up with airspeed changes. If you want to fly inverted with out having to hold any down elevator then you might want to have no incidence and/or move the center of gravity back so that there is little to no elevator stick required. Assigning a switch to give you a certain elevator trim to fly hands off might be another use of flight mode trim however this article is for basic flight control where minimizing pilot workload is the goal. This article is aimed for those that do not understand the value of using transmitter flight modes. The article does not go into flight modes for receivers or stabilizers or gyros. Transmitter flight modes can be used for receivers such as the Apprentice receiver, the AR636 receiver and the AR637T receivers. The 636 receivers usually are programmed to provide pitch up with full power. Many find this reduces pilot workload. Others don’t like it...Continue Reading