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Archive for October, 2016
Posted by UpNup | Oct 31, 2016 @ 06:55 PM | 3,461 Views
My first Champ S+ (Champ S Plus) wouldn't turn left. In one of my blogs, I noted how my LHS exchanged it for a new one. Well, after 35 flights, it suddenly developed that no turn left thing again. Rudder would turn right, but not left. I was about to bring it back in when I discovered the rudder pin was out of its hole. The control arm was on the right side, so it pulled freely, but when it pushed, the rudder bottom just leaned out rather than pivot and turn.

When my original plane arrived, its stabilizers were crooked. My hobby shop guy twisted them back level. By straightening them, I believe that pin jumped out of its hole. From what I experienced recently with the second plane, the rudder was facing right enough to override the ailerons attempting to turn left.

The solution was very easy and everything is back to normal.

I found the problem when I was installing a light kit. When I put the rear strobe under the tail of the fuselage, there it was. And in looking back, I caused the problem when I was trying to get my plane out of the top of an evergreen and it landed on its backside. I noticed the glue holding the stabilizers in place had broken free and simply re-glued it. But, I missed the pin being out of its pivot point.

Hope my "find" will help you if you're looking to turn left again.
Posted by UpNup | Oct 30, 2016 @ 03:01 PM | 3,164 Views
A friend of mine is a pilot with MAF - Mission Aviation Fellowship (www.maf.org). The float plane he flies in Bangladesh is registered out of Sweden.

YouTube video "How one floatplane is saving lives."
How one floatplane is saving lives. (3 min 11 sec)

Information on the real Cessna Caravan 208

I thought it would be a great way to honor him to take the only plane I own -- a Champ S+ (Champ S Plus) -- and change out the graphics and convert my plane into something that looks like his.

The MAF plane is a $2.1 million Cessna Caravan 208 outfitted for $50,000 floats. Here are some photos that shows the real thing and the ground crew. And I've added photos showing the steps I took to convert my plane over. Look elsewhere in my blog for details and a build log.

To God be the glory.

Update: The white paint was too heavy. I easily sanded the paint off and then kept going and sanded the red paint off, too. If you're looking for white foam in the first place, just use a 150-grit sanding block.
Posted by UpNup | Oct 30, 2016 @ 08:07 AM | 3,898 Views
Decided that I had to have a light kit for my Champ S+ (Champ S Plus). Eric Bolton (ebolton92) produced a very good priced set of lights for my plane.

The light kit included:
1 landing light (left mid-wing)
1 red light (left wing tip)
1 green light (right wing tip)
3 strobes (wing tips and tail)
Strip of 3 lights for the inside, lighting up the fuselage
On/off switch ($1 extra)

Plugs into front-most open port.
Switch was helpful during install, but the battery compartment is very small and so I've decided to just leave them on, when the battery is plugged in.

I was able to lift the front edge of the wing and pull wires out to the wings using tweezers.

These lights are very bright.

Eric Bolton talks post #778 on RCgroups:




Installation video #1 of 4
20160923 195148 (5 min 1 sec)

Posted by UpNup | Oct 30, 2016 @ 07:57 AM | 3,950 Views
While converting my Champ S+ (Champ S Plus) into a float plane, I ran across these great resources online. Here's an annotated bibliography:

History of float planes
History Of Float Planes (4 min 47 sec)

Building floats -- technical:

Basics of RC Float Flying:

RC Float Planes: Rise to the Challenge -- flying tips

Source for foam floats laser cut. Look at several plans to get ideas.

Converting an RC plane to floats:

Having fun with floats. Technical info:

Great Planes DIY float. Holding plans and specs:

RCgroups.com discussion about conversions and building floats:

Flat groove with straps:

Source for wire in mass quantities -- straight and spooled:
Andy Wilson Mapeswire.com
17 gauge .045
3/64 wire = 0.0469
Posted by UpNup | Oct 27, 2016 @ 03:17 PM | 3,807 Views
Here are the specs that I needed to develop my own set of floats for the Champ S+ (Champ S Plus). Two large ponds near my home were calling my name.

1. HobbyZone doesn't make them.
2. The 12" floats by E-flite are too short. I bought them and had to return them.
3. There is no rear bracket for struts and the landing gear passes through the battery compartment.

Here is some information pulled from many sites and experts:

1. Floats should be 75% to 80% of the fuselage length, so our length is 18.2" from prop adapter to the back end of the fuse. 75% = 13.65, so let's call it 14".

2. There's a general consensus that floats need to be wider than the landing gear and it should be 25% of the wingspan. Our wingspan is 27.3", so 25% = 6.8", so let's call it 6 3/4".

3. Mark your CG (Center of Gravity). It should be 1.1 to 1.4 inches behind your wing's LE (Leading Edge). Put your battery in and just use your fingertips. The CG is between that carbon fiber bar and the wiring for the servos. Make a dot with marker. While you're there, write your name and phone number under the wing next to the fuselage.

4. Floats aren't skis. They have a "step" in the middle on the bottom side. I like the "V" at the bottom. The step needs to be about 1/2" behind the CG.

5. I'm no foam sculpting master, so I contacted Mark at SeaPlaneSupply.com and ordered (PayPal) a set of 14" foam floats. Tell Mark you want them for...Continue Reading