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Posted by Kmot | Aug 09, 2020 @ 08:16 PM | 7,829 Views
In 1974, I taught myself how to fly RC. I did not belong to a club, I did not know anyone else who was into flying RC. But I wanted to get started.

I purchased everything I needed from Hobby Shack. A little 1/2-A high wing trainer called Mini Star, by Pilot; a Cirrus 4-channel radio, Cox engine, fuel, epoxy, rubber bands, battery, starting clip, etc. The cost added up to $213.36 with the 6% local and state tax. I priced everything from a 1974 Hobby Shack catalog. With inflation, that would equal $1115.69 today! Can you imagine. It was an expensive thing to get started in RC back then, and you had to be serious about it.

Well, I don't recall exactly but I think my first 30 to 50 flights were very short and all ended up with some sort of crash damage. Mostly to the front of the plane. With epoxy, balsa, and whatever else I repaired it and tried another flight. By the time I completed a full flight, IE ran the Cox engine tank empty, and landed smoothly, the plane looked completely different in the front! And it weighed significantly more. But, it was a glorious day! I had graduated!

A few years ago, I was thinking that it would be cool to find one of those model airplanes, and have it hanging up in my hangar, just for old time sake and to remember the challenge and struggle it was. I found a Cirrus radio easily enough. But the Mini Star ARF eluded me. I did see the balsa kit version come up for sale occasionally, the 1/2-A Baby Star. But I wanted the same ARF,
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Posted by Kmot | Aug 03, 2020 @ 10:50 PM | 4,232 Views
I was thinking about my very first radio, a Cirrus 4-channel from Hobby Shack. I purchased it in 1974, for a cost of $150, plus whatever the tax rate was back then. Looking at the US Inflation Calculator, that would be $784 dollars today. Plus the tax.

4-channels. No dual rate. No expo. No servo reversing. No LCD screen. No computer. No mixing. No programming. No software. No adjustable gimbal sticks.

Yes, it cost a lot more of your hard earned money to get into RC back in the day then it does now.

Posted by Kmot | Jul 27, 2020 @ 12:43 AM | 8,860 Views
I got an engine made the same year I was born. I think that is pretty cool.
Posted by Kmot | Jul 05, 2020 @ 03:54 PM | 9,136 Views
Plane is all ready to go now. I plan to fly the maiden this coming week. ...Continue Reading
Posted by Kmot | Jun 12, 2020 @ 04:30 PM | 13,059 Views
Just finished my Beaver today. I added a 3D printed radial engine and oil coolers. And an ESS-One Air sound system.

FMS Beaver V2 (3 min 10 sec)
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Posted by Kmot | Apr 18, 2020 @ 09:34 PM | 4,935 Views
Wanna see some really awesome action? Look up Formula Offroad on Youtube.

Here is my latest RC car, a Kyosho FO-XX (Formula Offroad - 2X size) with a .25 glow engine, done up with some decals to look like the full scale racers.
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Posted by Kmot | Dec 29, 2019 @ 11:34 PM | 8,030 Views
Just finished this one. Only need some CAF decals which will arrive in a week or so.
Posted by Kmot | Dec 19, 2019 @ 11:56 PM | 7,595 Views
RC Groups member, "Peter from GER" has made a 3D printable Pratt & Whitney R-1340 radial engine that can be built and then installed onto the E-Flite AT-6 foamie.

I am currently painting the parts and will assemble the dummy radial soon.

The STL files can be purchased for the mere sum of $10 USD and then you can print the parts yourself or have a commercial printer do them for you. Or, you can order a kit of parts from Peter himself.

Link to STL files:

Peter's contact page:

Posted by Kmot | Dec 17, 2019 @ 12:43 AM | 17,917 Views
This is my latest model I have built. It had some defects I had to correct but all is good now.
Posted by Kmot | Oct 10, 2019 @ 06:20 PM | 5,735 Views
This plane was built and flown in 2006 and 2007. Last time out it had a hard landing and broke the nosegear bulkhead, broke the right main landing gear wood blocks, and broke the right wingtip. I hung it up in my workshop and there it has hung for 12 years.

I recently decided to get it going again. I repaired the nosegear bulkhead and cut away the crushed wingtip and replaced it and recovered it.

The engine was spotless inside and only needed some fresh oil.

I replaced the old FM radio with a newer 2.4 gHz version.
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Posted by Kmot | Sep 29, 2019 @ 04:57 PM | 5,326 Views
This is the FMS 1400mm "Sky Trainer 182". I suppose due to licensing issues they did not use the Cessna brand name.

Beautiful scale model.

Posted by Kmot | Sep 29, 2019 @ 11:14 AM | 5,433 Views
Japanese version of the Me-163 Komet. This one has a cool paint scheme.
Posted by Kmot | Sep 14, 2019 @ 11:01 PM | 5,751 Views
Today, I converted a Hewlett Packard 500W PSU to a 12V DC bench top power supply to use with RC battery chargers. I cut off 53 wires and 10 connectors. I grouped like wires together and then covered them with heat shrink tubing. I soldered 6 12V leads and 6 ground leads each in parallel. I soldered the power on signal wires together so that the power supply turns on when plugged into 120V AC. When I was finished I connected my Turnigy quad charger to the converted PSU and the charger lit up and then I charged a 2200 3S LiPo at 8.36 amps. Pretty cool.
Posted by Kmot | Sep 11, 2019 @ 09:52 PM | 5,304 Views
House of Balsa Me-109. I built it in 1974, or maybe 1975. It had a Cox TD .049 engine. The radio was an Aero Sport from Hobby Shack. The servos were standard size, the receiver battery was a 4-cell NiCd pack. The plane was heavy. Hand launching it, I would give a mighty heave while the TD was screaming. It would dip, almost smack the ground, and slowly gain flying speed. Once it was flying, it hauled like a raped ape.

Being without a throttle, you just flew till it ran out of fuel. And then hoped you made it back to the runway. The last time I flew it, it did not make it back to the runway. It landed off in the dirt field. But since it had rained recently, it was soft dirt. So no damage happened. I put the plane away and moved onto another model as I was just starting in RC and was excited about getting new planes.

I kept this HoB Me-109 with me for decades, Wherever I moved too, it came along. In 1996 I moved into my current house. I have a metal storage shed out back. The Me-109 was stored in this shed along with a couple of other models from my early RC days. In 2005 (hard to believe 14 years ago already!) I was playing with the idea of getting it into flying shape again. Unfortunately, it had become so brittle that after taking these photos, it crumbled when I tried to take it apart. So I saved the pilot bust and the engine and scrapped the airframe.

I restored the engine a few years ago, and it is ready to be used again if the opportunity ever arises.

Posted by Kmot | Aug 09, 2019 @ 04:13 PM | 6,363 Views
I did not know much about Merco engines, except that I recalled the brand name from being in the hobby all of my adult life. I did not even know that they were made in England. Until recently, that is.

I had been thinking of getting a Merco, mostly because it seemed to be a somewhat obscure brand of engine and I wanted one for my collection. How wrong I was! Thanks to the website Sceptre Flight, which has dozens of old engine reviews from the long gone print magazines, I learned just how much the Merco was revered back in the day, and what a world champion caliber competition engine it really was.

But before I had read any of those old articles, I had purchased from the RCG classifieds, a well used and castor oil coated Merco .61 Mark I. I intended to tear it down, and rebuild it.

This particular engine was frozen solid like a rock! The old, dried castor oil had welded every part to each other. It took copious amounts of heat to get anything to loosen up so that I could disassemble something as simple as the back plate. To get the cylinder out I had to machine a drift from bronze, and use a lead hammer while wearing thick leather gloves to protect my hands from the searing heat due to having to super heat the crankcase to loosen up the burnt on, dried out castor oil residue.

Once I had the engine completely disassembled, I soaked the parts in an ultrasonic cleaner with a diluted cleaner concentrate. That took care of most of the old castor oil but some of the parts
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Posted by Kmot | Aug 09, 2019 @ 12:56 AM | 5,986 Views
This is my 2nd Flyzone Beaver. This is the Island Wings version, a much prettier livery. This one I have made into a float plane. My other Beaver was strictly on conventional landing gear and tundra tires.

This one I coated with Minwax polycrylic. I also added the "steps" to the float supports. And I detailed the faux radial engine. I also added an electronic switch so that I can turn the navigation lights off if I wish.

Maiden voyage and flight soon.
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Posted by Kmot | Jul 08, 2019 @ 12:30 AM | 9,022 Views
This is a "Rocket Victor .45" from 1945. It was manufactured by the May Motor Company. George May was the proprietor and designer.

It was probably a "budget" motor back in the day as it is made from low cost materials and methods. Such as, a stamped steel connecting rod, three piece stamped steel crankshaft, steel piston with a sheet metal baffle bolted to the top. It has no bushings, let alone bearings. The needle valve is aluminum with what looks like a tapered nail. But, it is cool looking! The exhaust stack is classic! And the points adjusting lever looks like an old fashioned gearshifter.

This engine had a lot of field repairs done to it. Most of the screws are not original. There was a hole drilled into the top of the fuel tank and later plugged and epoxy glue applied. There was some epoxy glue on the backplate too. Two of the cylinder hold down screw holes are stripped and drilled out and larger screws and nuts in place.

I disassembled it and cleaned all the parts. The back plate has a sheet metal rotor staked to a drum and it broke off because the drum was stuck inside the back plate with dried castor oil. I repaired it, It needs a spark plug. In the mean time it has a glow plug installed. It has good compression and pops nicely when flipped over.

I just happened to have a vintage, custom made motor mount that I got years ago. Never knew what it was designed for. Well, it fits the Rocket like it was made for it. Coincidence?

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Posted by Kmot | Mar 27, 2019 @ 10:18 PM | 14,175 Views
This model is specified to us a 4S battery. I did the maiden on a 3S because I wanted to see if it would be doable. And it was. It had enough power and flew on the wing, very scale like.

I used the same battery yesterday, fully charged. However when I got to the runway a 3D guy asked if I could wait while he did his routine. So I waited for around 15 minutes until he landed. My plane was "on" but not using any servos.

I took off and did not even make a second lap around the field before it had lost so much power it could not stay in the air and crashed into the tall weeds just short of the runway. No damage thankfully because the weeds are fresh and soft from all the recent rains.

I then inserted my second battery, the same type and size as the other one. This time it flew as expected, and because the other battery spooked me I only flew it for a few minutes. But when I got back to the pits the cells were still over 4 volts each so I could have gone longer.

But I have proved my point to myself. I think in the future I will use 4S batteries.

Taft Models Fly Baby on a 3S battery. Short flight. (3 min 3 sec)