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Posted by Libelle201B | Aug 23, 2017 @ 03:14 PM | 2,251 Views
A few months ago I stumbled upon several video's of a new rc aerobatic glider by Dream Flight called the Ahi and was really impressed, so I bought one and it arrived very quickly, less than a week later, they have excellent customer service. The foamy glider is very high quality and very well thought out in design and engineering. Assembly is very strait forward and simple and the instructions are very good. The only thing I would suggest is that you make sure you are using micro or sub micro gear for servos, receivers, battery, there is very limited area in the fuselage and the wings are fairly thin at the servo locations. Dream Flight offers a servo/battery pack option. I went with Hitech HS-53 servo's, a Tactic TR624 receiver and the Dream Flight 700 mAh battery pack. I had to make very minor changes to the R/E servo holes in the mounting tray in the fuselage to accept these particular servo's, the holes were just a few millimeters short lengthwise. The Tactic receiver fit perfectly in it's slot, but because the servo leads connect into the top at 90 degrees to the receiver I had to remove some of the foam in the inside of the canopy to make the canopy fit properly, not a big deal but something to take into account. A receiver with the servo leads plugging into the end of the receiver and not into the top might be a better bet for fit. So, now we finally have some good easterly wind at out hill after several weeks of cross wind conditions and its time to go fly the Ahi....Continue Reading
Posted by Libelle201B | Jun 04, 2017 @ 01:22 PM | 3,991 Views
... oops double post
Posted by Libelle201B | Jun 04, 2017 @ 01:18 PM | 4,032 Views
The first flights were conducted in my front yard, each showing a nose heavy situation in regards to the up elevator trim required for a flat glide. I removed probably 1/4 oz or so of weight and waited for a better day at our hill, which turned out to be the same day as the first Chupa Dart flights,ie no real prevailing winds I should mention there were very brief moments of 'breeze', no doubt due to thermal convection which I took advantage of and tossed the Silhouwhat into the air. Still a tiny bit nose heavy so I took out the remaining nose weight, about 3/8 oz or so leaving the receiver battery as my nose weight. Anyways that proved to be the trick and now the trim/elevator was very close to neutral. I built what I thought was about 1 degree positive incidence into the fuselage/wing but after building and measuring more accurately it turns out the rigging is more like 0/0. I launched probably four more times when there was a 'breeze' and was surprised at how well she reacted to the very light lift. She is very sleek like the original Silhouette and very stable in flight. Although each flight was very brief I detected no bad habits and really liked the addition of rudder (yaw) control. The roll and pitch rate is just about perfect on high rate, crisp, not so fast your brain and reflexes can't keep up. Inverted flight is very good also with just a touch of down elevator. The very basic Tactic X600 radio I am using now is going to be replaced by the Tactic 650 computer radio very soon, lots of model(30) memory and lots of other functions to fine tune the control movements. Really looking forward to a nice real 'breeze' kind of day for the next flights.
Posted by Libelle201B | Jun 02, 2017 @ 05:31 PM | 4,358 Views
The Chupa Dart has flown and it's performance was as predicted, no floater but certainly a good R/E thermal platform. Unfortunately the day I went to the hill to fly there was very little wind, not what was forcast allowing for no slope lift. Anyways the first hand launch turned out to be almost perfect, finding some lift but still trying to get used to the plane within less than two minutes max, causing me to lose the lift I had encountered.(a good excuse) Nothing really improved on the north side of the hill after several (many) hand launches, so I ventured off to the west side where there seemed to be a developing wind which is common once the local atmosphere decides what it's going to do. In any event the conditions improved and I had several almost speck out flights, but being very careful to not get to high due to no spoilers etc. Overall I'm quite happy with the Chupa Dart in it's first flight series.
Posted by Libelle201B | May 03, 2017 @ 08:24 PM | 4,602 Views
Getting close to finishing the ChupaDart. Decided to use a paint finish vs iron on covering for the flying surfaces. I just happened to find in my odds and ends collection a fiberglass conopy that fits almost exactly, talk about getting "lucky". Being this is a very simple and unsophisticated model I have chosen to go with the inexpensive Tactic 6 ch receiver/TTX600 TX combo, I already have the TX, no need for programing stuff here, KISS being the goal. I also like the fact there is no lengthy antenna as with the old 72 mh receivers, an asthetic problem with smaller models IMO.
Posted by Libelle201B | Apr 08, 2017 @ 04:46 PM | 5,495 Views
This is the last of my Chupa series of gliders, I have used all the remaining Chuperosa parts now on this final Chupa build. I still had the balsa covered cores built by someone else, so why let them sit, and I also had the fuselage from a Multiplex Dart sitting around, hmmmm, time to experiment What I found very interesting is that the sheeted cores resembled nothing like the original E214 airfoil or the modified plan version cores of the SD 4061 airfoil, they were much closer to the SD 7037, my guess being the last versions of the improved Chuperosa incorporated that airfoil, or, that these were cores cut by someone else. On a side note it was then that SD airfoils were becoming the new craze in rc soaring airfoils. Back to my build. I decided to keep things really simple R/E only, a fun sailplane. So far I really like the lines.
Posted by Libelle201B | Apr 08, 2017 @ 04:02 PM | 5,421 Views
Posted by Libelle201B | Apr 08, 2017 @ 03:55 PM | 5,378 Views
Years ago the Douglas Aircraft "Silhouette" was a big hit in the sloper rhelm, I bought one and enjoyed it quite a bit, but it did lack the inverted performance I wanted, the original airfoil was an Eppler 205, not really aerobatic and was only 2 axis control (ailerons/elevator), not fully aerobatic IMO. So, I cut new cores for a new airfoil keeping the upper E 205 profile but increasing it's thickness which reduced the camber to about 1% which was my target and it worked out perfectly. I sold the plane and it was destroyed except for the wing which was returned to me. Now 20+ yrs later I have the modified wing but no fuselage or tail feathers and after searching it seems plans for the Silhouette are really hard to find if at all, so I decided to rebuild the fuselage and tail surfaces by memory and this is my new 'Silhouwhat'.
Posted by Libelle201B | Dec 18, 2016 @ 04:04 PM | 6,176 Views
Well, a month or two ago at least, I got the idea to bring back my Dodgson Lovesong back to life after 20+ years in mothballs. She was my unlimited class pride and joy back then (1995) in the FSS ( Florida Soaring Society) when I won first place in expert, my score beating out those in the Masters class at the time if I'm not mistaken, I'm quite proud of that. Getting into full scale soaring ended my rc competition soaring, while I still engaging in recreational rc soaring. So it's yesterday after 20+ years, some new servos, a new rx battery and reprograming the same Airtronics Infinity radio with the same receiver, it's time to get the "Song" back into the air. I should mention however I did remove the "turbulator" tape on the wings often suggested for the Eppler 214 airfoil, why you might ask, well because IMO it may decrease drag at one specific airspeed ie max C of L, while being quite detrimental at higher airspeeds ie cruising, no soaring pilot should ever be spending their time at min sink if not trying to climb. Anyways it was quite windy and I decided to use the flat ground on the north west side of our hill for several hand launches to verify stability and control response to make sure things wouldn't go wrong with the bungy launch, with my equally old "orange" histart rubber for the first flights. The first two flights or so were very short given the 200'-300' max altitude launch but I did make changes in trim, control throw etc, I wasn't all that concerned about thermaling until I got most of that figured out. In any event it so happened that there was quite a bit of lift available if you watched the buzzards and where they were along with the direction they were headed, I followed them even though they were quite a bit higher than 200' and was rewarded with several sky out flights flying in the general direction they were. Seems the "Song" can dance quite well in this day and age
Posted by Libelle201B | Oct 19, 2016 @ 08:53 PM | 6,413 Views
Several test flights in my front yard allowed me to make initial adjustments, adjust the ailerons for wings level, no tendancy to bank either way, second was pitch performance which was very good in control throw but required a small amount of nose weight (1/4 oz) to fly level given the way the plane was rigged. My starting cg was 35% MAC.
So a week later it's time to fly the Sloperosa! It's bretty windy and gusting at the Hill and I'm kind of reluctant to send such a light sloper into these conditions for it's first flight, but I'm pretty confident both the plane and myself are up to it, so here we go, and off she goes....! The air/lift was hardly smooth and the Sloperosa was being kicked all over the place but at least I had adequate control in all three parameters, pitch, roll and yaw. So, after a few minutes of flying and getting somewhat comfortable with everything I try some aerobatics and here is where I got a surprise of sorts. Most all aerobatic gliders don't have a symetrical airfoil, most have 2% camber or a bit less and some down elevator is a given while inverted, but the Sloperosa airfoil is symetrical, my normal down elevator inputs were sending the Sloperosa into inverted climbs and that translates into loss of airspeed, not good at all in these conditions if you happen to get low. In any event I had to spend some time compensating for this. I also noted the Sloperosa wasn't all that stable in going where you pointed her, and after landing several times I added some nose weight which eventually came out to about 1/2 ounce which really improved the directional stability, the CG now being at 30% or so. A miniscule amount of elevator is needed for inverted flight and outside loops are very symetrical. All in all it was a very good flying session.
Posted by Libelle201B | Sep 18, 2016 @ 04:16 PM | 7,014 Views
These pictures were taken about a month or so ago, taken by our fellow flyer Kit at the Pompano FL hill. He does some excellent photography
In any event this is a 40 yr old design that still performs very well, it's light wing loading, simplicity and aerodynamic design is a real plus for fun flying today. No, it won't take hi power winch launches that seem to be required now a days to get your "time", negating much of any soaring knowledge, or the ability to land like a lawn dart of sorts for points, and calling that a "landing". I guess I am a traditionalist rc soaring pilot of sorts. This weekend the Monterey soared from a low 'up start' bungie launch half the altitude of the winch launched hi tech planes and easily made or maxed their altitude, it isn't all about technology
Posted by Libelle201B | Aug 06, 2016 @ 06:18 PM | 9,041 Views
The tail surfaces are now built, so the major components are done. I went off of the standard rule of thumb for vertical stab ie 6-10% wing area and for horizontal stab 15-20% wing area and based on my TLAR rule it figured out just about right, within those requirements. Every thing else like the forward fuselage and how it will take shape is up in the air at this point, no pun intended.
Posted by Libelle201B | Jul 30, 2016 @ 05:22 PM | 7,509 Views
The Radian XL flew its maiden flight today at our Pompano Hill. There was supposed to be some wind out of the SE but as I got closer to the hill I saw flags pointing strait down, leaves on the trees weren't moving. There were already some guys flying electric launch sailplanes, obviously no wind. So I put the RXL together. There was a very slight breeze now but out of the west rendering the slope useless. I set up the RXL per instruction ie cg, no extra weight required up front besides the flight battery, control throw on elevator factory set and I used the second hole out from the rudder. Launch went perfectly with about 75% power and after powering off at about 200' I dialed in some up trim to slow down a bit getting closer to what I figured would be min sink. I am using the Spectrum Dx5e transmitter, the same one supplied with my Park Zone Ka-8. (note, the spoiler servo lead is ch 5 on the receiver). I had the TX on low rate to start with giving me aprox 3/4" up/down on elevator and well over 2" L/R on the rudder. The RXL flies much like the little Radian, very stable but a bit faster due to I'm sure a higher wing loading, I havent done weight/area calcs to verify that though. So back to the flight. After shutting down the power I head off searching for lift which I eventually find a ways off, it's not strong but it's lift. Entering a turn I start to go up slowly and after a bit of adjusting I'm now getting some good altitude so off I go again. Pushing the nose...Continue Reading
Posted by Libelle201B | Jul 24, 2016 @ 08:47 PM | 7,350 Views
The Chuperosa was a very popular HL glider from the early mid 90's if I am not mistaken. I aquired a partially built one from a fellow flier a while back. Parts of it ie the tail surfaces became part of my Chupacabra, an ad hoc hand launch glider I designed from parts of other HL gliders, one from Multiplex (the wings) and fuselage from Brian Agnew's Vertigo design, it flies very well. What was remaining was the fuselage of the Chuperosa and it's partially finished wings. So, I have decided to build a light weight and simple sloper for light lift conditions using the Chuperosa fuselage which is also of built up construction ie light.
Posted by Libelle201B | Jun 17, 2016 @ 10:12 PM | 7,375 Views
Took the Monterey to the Hill last weekend for its first flight. There was little to no wind with a slight breeze at times. The first flight required some down trim and it was apparent I needed more rudder throw, so after a few short passes I landed the plane. I added a bit of nose weight maybe 3/8 of an ounce and went back on the elevator trim three or four clicks, also moving in one hole on the rudder control horn. The second flight was a blast as I encountered lift soon after launch and circled right on up having to leave the lift several times to keep from getting to high. The Monterey has no spoilers so I was being very careful. The adjustments were just about perfect. It's been a long time since I have flown a larger span rudder/elevator sailplane but like riding a bike it came back to me fairly quickly. The Monterey is fairly light and climbs very well but you have to think a bit ahead while maneuvering as things don't happen as quickly as an aileron equipped sailplane. Overall the Monterey is very stable and beautiful in flight and she didn't display any bad habits, almost certainly why it was my first really successful rc sailplane back in 1971 or so. The landings were very smooth and predictable but the landing pattern will have to be adjusted to compensate for no spoilers i.e. a bit larger and lower than usual if there is no wind. I can't wait to fly her again, this time maybe launching with my up-start if there is little or no wind., saves a lot of walking I should add that way back in 1971 I had not learned how to thermal or even recognize thermal lift so this series of Monterey flights were kind of special.
Posted by Libelle201B | May 22, 2016 @ 02:29 PM | 7,609 Views
Finished covering the wings, next install rc gear, hook up linkages, add tow hook, balance, go flying! May put N numbers on the tail or fuselage, haven't decided yet.
Posted by Libelle201B | May 21, 2016 @ 09:33 PM | 8,069 Views
Major components done, covering under way. Will mirror to the best of my recolection the Monterey I built in 1971 or so, white fuselage with orange wings and tail surfaces.
Posted by Libelle201B | May 08, 2016 @ 12:15 PM | 7,899 Views
Almost done with the fuselage, some delays for various reasons, one being the bulkheads were all supposed to be 1/16" ply, only one was ply, the main leading edge bukhead which was 1/8" ply, not a problem, all the rest were balsa and none of them had the nesessary openings for pushrods or wiring so I had to make new bulkheads out of available 1/8" ply. There were some other minor issues, no material for reenforcing the fuselage under the wing root structure shown on the plans and no hardwood for the tow hook or servo rails. Also after 30+ years the (thin) tinted canopy developed several cracks, one of which is close to the front of the canopy tray and impossible to fix wo showing.
Posted by Libelle201B | Apr 04, 2016 @ 08:30 PM | 8,445 Views
One wing is done now except for wing tip and final wing sanding. I have to admit the Monterey wing structure is a bit different from the many other built up wings I have built since the 1971 or so Monterey. First off there is no lower spruce spar, just the one on top with shear webbing between the ribs of course, also the main wing joiner is located forward of the wing spar, not inside the spar box area as would be expected. Not sure of why but these guys I think knew what they were doing, that is until winches and mega launches for altitude became the norm. Also there are no spoilers, thought about adding them but I'm gonna stick with the original disign. Colors will match those of my first Monterey, solid orange on the wings and tail surfaces with a white fuselage, maybe in some way it will take me back to when I was 16 or 17 years old I'm hoping . The last photo is of the E 387, seems the text is limited. Anyways I have a hand signed computer generated airfoil plot of the E 214 (Windsong) signed by Richard Eppler himself at the first Soaring Jamboree in Richland Washington back in I think 1994, now that's COOL:0