Shop our Airplanes Products Drone Products Sales
VicT's blog View Details
Posted by VicT | Jul 24, 2018 @ 11:04 PM | 1,126 Views
Separate flaps instead of flaperons or ailerons are more effective in decreasing touchdown speed and increasing descent rate.

Conscendo Advanced with flaps (0 min 3 sec)

Posted by VicT | Jul 23, 2018 @ 07:11 AM | 759 Views
After flying Conscendo Advanced (CA) with the ailerons as flaperons and spoilerons it was time to increase the performance by making flaps. Fortunately the stock 636 receiver has channel 6 operational and can be controlled by a 3 position switch (such as D on the DX 6 and up transmitters). The stock ailerons start at 160 mm from the side of the fuselage and I wanted more flap area so I filled in the hinge cutouts so that the ailerons start at 240 mm from the side of the fuselage. From inflight testing CA still rolls at a respectable rate even with less aileron area. However the increased flap area really slows CA down for low speed touchdowns. A plywood skeg provides protection for the flap ends during touchdown. Torsion springs (.020 O.D.) twisted provide flap return to plywood stops on top of the wing. One servo pulls on each string equally and amp draw is under .4 amps static. A music wire length adjuster and loop is provided so that the wings can be taken apart for storage and transport. 3M 40X tape is wrapped onto the trailing edge of the flap cutout and the whole flap is wrapped with this tape. This provides a good surface for the double sided poster tape that forms three over/under hinges. Tape is then placed over the exposed sticky side of the poster tape. The U shaped hinge is then pushed into the flap end and then twisted once before pushing the other end into the wing. The spring extends close to the aileron servo but does not come in contact.

Pictures to follow
Posted by VicT | Jul 16, 2018 @ 12:32 PM | 1,128 Views
There is a nice 104 gram 95C 850 mah 4S pack that will fit in the CA. Shorter motor runs in the 3-5 second time frame may extend motor off glide time and reduce weight. I plugged in a 90% charged 1500 4S 100C drone pack and after 4 seconds measured 23 Amps and 290 watts. I did another 5 second run with the Aeronautics blades and measured 20 amps and still high watts. Problem is the little. 28.8 mm motor got warmer so its either smaller blades or different motor rated for 3-4 cells. Will have to see what others have done. A 35 mm outrunner will fit with a little cowl trimming for cooling air.
Posted by VicT | Jul 13, 2018 @ 08:24 PM | 1,084 Views
Mounted the better Topmodel turbo spinner and Aeronautics 9.5x7 blades and on a Nano Tech 25-50C 1300 3S they pulled 13 A and provided 139 Watts static thrust. RTF with this pack and no underwing stickers is 692 gms/28.349=24.4 oz or 1.525 lbs 139/1.525=91 watts/lb.

This does not seem much but the climbout is not bad. I programmed up elevator so she climbs at 45 degrees in Self Level. With power off this elevator setting gives good speed for gliding. My thermal mode brings both ailerons down about 1/8 inch and up elevator slows her down. She does not thermal like my 10 oz DHLG but is fun anyway.

I set my motor timer for 5 minutes and landed with 30 seconds remaining. The pack had 12 percent remaining and total climb/glide time was 30 minutes. A second similar pack yielded 28 minutes and 31 percent remaining.

A lighter 4 cell pack should work to get faster climbs and lighter weight for thermaling.

I used 100 percent flaperons and 100 percent spoilerons. Self Level in roll axis works either left or right and I could not see a difference. With flaps I did not see the higher angle of descent that my DHLG shows. She slowed down but not as much as I thought. I will compare to the large center spring loaded flaps next. For now the 100 percent spoilererons work better with a higher sink rate. The nose up attitude is different but helps with tail down touchdowns first. Turbo Spinner with the center hold will pick up debris if nosed in...Continue Reading
Posted by VicT | Jul 11, 2018 @ 06:22 PM | 1,348 Views
The BNF Conscendo Advanced should be arriving July 12, 2018. I am preparing the prop upgrade and if you never have done this before this Mini How To will help.

Purpose of upgrade: There are known issues with the stock blade pins slipping away and prop departure. The plastic spinner and plastic blades are OK but there are better parts. The aluminum turbo spinner allows more cooling air to the prop shaft and motor. The aluminum will not change shape during max rpm. Vibration with the aluminum spinner is zero unless you crash and damage the metal or bladesl. The blades have carbon and are rated at 11,000 RPM. The blades fit perfectly in the yoke that I got and the bolts screw in to the aluminum yoke tight and the blades do not get hung up when folding and unfolding. The CZECH Topmodel spinner and parts from Aloft Hobby are excellent and worth the $35 spent.
I always make up a system for parking the blades against the fuselage....either out of one bungee band or with two bands or two springs. Here I have used two small Scrunchee Pony Tail Hair bands. I get a package of colored ones at Walmart. The bands last a few years if there is enough clearance between the firewall and the bands. The bands ensure equal blade unfolding during start up. This reduces imbalance if one prop is hanging vertically down and the top blade is flush with the fuselage. You dont feel this imbalance in flight but it accumulates and puts stresses on the shaft which transfers them to the motor mount. Pics should explain more:
Posted by VicT | Jul 06, 2018 @ 10:28 PM | 1,156 Views
Bought the battery to get max duration in the Maule. Had to remove most of the wooden floor and some foam from the battery compartment ceiling for the pack to fit. Will post amp and watt numbers with a 12/6 APC before maiden. AeroStar 60 amp ESC with ReVerSe.
Posted by VicT | Jul 02, 2018 @ 10:42 AM | 3,415 Views
The Toledo Special has a low drag cowl that allows a 13x 10 prop to fold/park flush with the fuse. This reduces drag and speed / glide performance increases. The Valiant got a prototype cowl out of red cutting board plastic. A 1/64 ply cowl will be made up for fiberglassing.
Posted by VicT | Jul 02, 2018 @ 12:12 AM | 2,499 Views
Same layout and similar power. TS has less frontal drag especially when prop is braked and parked against cowl.

Toledo. Val 10

Wing thickness
35 mm. 37 mm

60.8 oz. 68.9 oz

Wing & spar
27.2 oz. 34.0 oz

88 oz. 102 oz

102/88=1.16% or Val is 16% heavier

Wing area
702.8 sq in. 640 sq in.

88/702/144= 102/640/144=
18.05 oz/sq ft. 22.95 oz/sq ft=. 22.95/18.05=. 1.27 or 27% greater wing loading

640/702.8= 91 % or Val is 9% smaller in wing area

4000 40 C 4S. 4000 60 C 5S
13.6 oz. 17.8 oz
Posted by VicT | Jun 17, 2018 @ 09:57 PM | 2,633 Views
The reverse thrust after touchdown works great with wheeled floats. However I wanted to try the reverse thrust with conventional taildragger gear. To avoid reverse in the air and possible loss of control its recommended the reverse arming switch (Im using the E switch on my iX12/DX9) only be activated after touchdown. The ESC directions recommend using reverse only when the prop stops turning. So I activated the prop brake following the ESC programming directions. After closing the throttle the prop does not windmill but stops turning in about 1-2 seconds. The stopping distance is greatly reduced without the use of wheel brakes and without the risk of nose overs and prop strike damage.

Maule with Turnigy AeroStar 60 amp RVS ESC (0 min 13 sec)

Posted by VicT | Jun 14, 2018 @ 07:42 AM | 1,389 Views
My flying buddy is rough on his Maule and surprisingly she is more rugged than compared to his Timber. Of course the Timber does not have struts because Timber has a full length spar. The Maule has a partial spar that is 46 CM long.

I installed a full length plywood spar in my Maule to reduce downward deflection upon touchdown and I have no stress cracks even without struts. I can add struts for maximum strength for dropped in full impact landings but my floats and wheels are not designed for that.

When my buddy had a seperated strut mount I used Kicker on the foam and Locktite Prof. CA on the plastic. I used Monocote backing to keep my fingers from getting glued and to feel the exothermic heat. I the used a drill the same diameter of 4 round toothpicks and drilled 4 holes in the plastic. I used CA on the toothpicks and pushed them in about 1.5 inches. Small aluminum white nails would be better because of the nail head. See pics:
Posted by VicT | Jun 08, 2018 @ 12:05 AM | 1,490 Views
I use switch C to determine which rate I like best. If one rate and expo can be used for all phases of flight I change my he switch from C to always on. This frees up switch C for 3 different throttle curves. They are all pretty much the same except where the lowest throttle position starts.
Posted by VicT | Jun 07, 2018 @ 11:52 PM | 1,478 Views
The SIG T Clips 60 wing span model has a very fast glide and because she has no flaps or spoilers other techniques must be used. I did not want to have a long slow dragged in approach but a normal 3-5 (or steeper) degree glide slope.

I figured out a way to use 3 throttle curves using the 3 position C switch just above the throttle stick on the Spektrum DX and iX transmitters.

The lowest position (2) is a normal throttle curve where the lowest throttle position stops the prop using the ESC PROP BRAKE. The middle switch position (1) is the windmilling prop throttle curve. The lowest throttle position of 15% was determined on the ground by gradually increasing throttle until the prop just started to turn. The highest switch position (0) is a throttle curve where the lowest throttle position is 20%. This was determined by flying an approach with power on that would look like a 3-5 degree normal approach and then noting the 20% throttle setting on the transmitters display. After landing the curves were programmed and audio alerts created.

Throttle cut is still used as additional safety against accidental selection and a warning upon transmitter turn on can be created. A pre-flight Checklist can also be created in the DX TX as a reminder for the specific model. Here is a link to the You Tube video.

Throttle curves for approach and landing (0 min 15 sec)

Posted by VicT | Jun 04, 2018 @ 07:03 AM | 1,423 Views
Some RC planes are tail heavy and moving the 3 or more lipos forward does not balance the plane at the 25-33% point. Rather than adding lead to nose or prop spinner I plan on using the cylinder shape of the LiIon type cells. I purchased a spare 5 cell pack from Harbor Freight and carefully removed the plastic. A better way would be to cut the metal connectors to each cell before removing them from the plastic holder. This would avoid shorting and allow the cells to be mounted in a radial pattern. Soldering either at Batteries plus or at home would be required. A permanently mounted battery pack could be designed as these cells can be quick charged.
More to come.......
Posted by VicT | May 29, 2018 @ 10:40 PM | 1,477 Views
I recently purchased 10 balance plug extensions. They are used with battery meters and alarms to extend the location. At least 2 of the red metal pins have pulled out from the white plastic housing. Re inserting them does not fix the problem unless the metal barb is bent down to a 45 degree angle. Then the barb will catch into the plastic slot and the pin will remain in the housing. A gentle tug test should be done to each of the pins. So for a 3 cell battery with 8 pins a tug test for each of the 8 pins should be done. Any pin that easily comes out should have its barb bent down to a 45 degree angle then pushed in with a small flat screwdriver connected to motor the metal crimp pin.
Posted by VicT | May 20, 2018 @ 10:29 PM | 1,338 Views
If an Electronic Speed Control (ESC) fails in flight there may not be power to the receiver to operate your servos. The result will be a loss of control and possible crash damage to a person, place or thing. If the ESC fails on the ground before or after takeoff the risk of crash damage is still present but is minimized. The use of seperate receiver and servo battery power can be used or a back up pack but you will still be faced with a power off landing that might be cause damage. This is how I usually verify and validate new or suspect speed controls.

1. Measure the amp load (using a Wattmeter/ Current meter) and confirm it is below the rated amp load for the ESC. The amp load can be reduced by changing to a lower pitch prop or a smaller diameter. Reducing the cell count for example from 6 to 5 lipos will reduce the amp load.

2. Run the motor for at least 10 seconds with a prop and measure the heat of the ESC. Use an ingrared thermometer and ensure temps are less than 140 F. If you do not have one you should be able to keep your finger on the ESC for 3 seconds or more. If it hurts at 3 seconds the ESC is too hot and the resultant heat can affect or damage the internal electronic components. Increase ram air cooling and have more exhaust area than intake area. Keep the ESC from being insulated. Dont glue the ESC to the wood or foam fuselage. Keep the heat sink out in the cooling air flow.

3. For new speed controls or used...Continue Reading
Posted by VicT | May 15, 2018 @ 11:15 PM | 1,940 Views
Last week Sean from Horrizon Tecnical walked me through the programming of my Maule 636 receiver so I could use a switch or servo plugged into the ch 5 port. We got the servo working but later that day the ch 5 switch B operated both the servo and SAFE Self Level On/Off. I called Tech today and Joe walked me through the transmitter programming. After 3 or 4 binding attempts and programming changes we finally got it working but had to create a new model. The SAFE switch initially was the A switch and the servo was put on the E switch. I later put the SAFE switch on B where I am used to it. See screen shots of the final set up. Video shows a 12x4 Timber prop backing up.

Maule with Turnigy AeroStar RVS 40A ESC (0 min 16 sec)

Posted by VicT | May 10, 2018 @ 11:18 PM | 1,966 Views
Ive flown the Timber with stock floats from water and grass. Steering on the grass can be done but takes lots of power and is not accurate. To improve steering and reduce float drag on grass I installed two main wheels just aft of the CG and a left nosewheel that is controlled by the stock rudder servo. I use the stock steering servo arm and a wire pushrod. The right nosewheel is a castor design that follows the left nosewheel. I picked the tires that were soft and light with scale like hubs. Music wire axles and brass tubes are used for axle bushings and steering tubes. I am pleased with the tight turning radius on asphalt and look forward to grass operations. Once I activate channel 5 on the stock 636 receiver a two position DX9 H switch will operate a Turnigy reversible electronic speed control. This will allow reverse taxi and reverse thrust for braking after landing. See following video.

Maule M7 with amphibious float mod. (0 min 38 sec)
...Continue Reading