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Posted by forwardonly | Mar 25, 2018 @ 07:38 PM | 1,365 Views
I've missed every good flying day all Winter long so today was looking decent. A little chilly but not too much wind. Headed out this afternoon with my Slow Poke and my Extra 300s. I always start with the Slow Poke so I got it put together, checked the controls and put gas in it. Then tried to start it but the prop not came off inside the spinner. Alas, I did not have the correct hex driver with me... Blah... OK no biggie, got the Extra put together and noticed I had erased the programming. Well, after 30 minutes of fiddling with programming, I was able to get it all working correctly. This one started right up! First good thing so far. Got the HSN set and took off. It was soon twitchy! I made the mistake of using positive expo on the Futaba radio. I believe it needs negative. Balance was great last time out and the plane was flying fine, just very sensitive to all controls. I decided to land to change the setting. It was going fine, but it settled a bit hard and the cooler temps helped the nylon nuts pop off the landing gear. They came off and poked holes in the wing covering and damaged the stringers on the tail. But no damage to the wing structure. Easy fix. Just par for the course today. I'll get the repairs done tomorrow and then get back to work on my Skyshark BF109G.

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Posted by forwardonly | Jan 01, 2018 @ 10:35 AM | 1,578 Views
I decided it is time to build another plane. I think I'm going to go for the Skyshark ME109E or G kit. But my shop was a complete mess and I had a lot of odds and ends that needed to be addressed on my existing planes. So I straightened up the show, swept up the mess from two builds (lots of dust!) and began reorganizing and purging unneeded items. Then I went through my planes to get them all flight ready. All of the covered planes got a once over with some heat to tighten them up. My Extra got a new fuel tank installations and some new fuel tubing. It now has a 3 line set up with a clunk on the fill line. I also added some washers to the cowl screws. My Etana needed new esc wires soldered up and the cowl glued. I still need to paint it but it is glued now. The Hog Bipe got its pants put back on and I went over it to check for loose hardware and such. I was missing a cabane screw! Glad I caught that. Despite being thread locked, these little dudes keep coming out! I check them every time I go out before I fly but apparently last time, one came out! I also soldered a deans connector onto my engine starter and hooked it up to m 4s battery from my 8th scale electric buggy. Now that thing will start all my engines with ease! And I have a use for that battery that has been sitting around since I don't have time to go race cars anymore.

Next up is to clean all of my race vehicles and sell most of them. I will keep my original TLR 22 buggy because I love...Continue Reading
Posted by forwardonly | Dec 17, 2017 @ 08:13 PM | 11,705 Views
Haven't written in a while. Been a crazy semester at work and not much time for fun with toy planes. BUT, I did get to finish my Extra 300 and I've been able to take it out to the field twice! The first time was very short as daylight was dwindling. However, the plane took off beautifully and only required a couple clicks of trim. It was super easy to land and I could tell it was going to fly really well. I did not do any aerobatics as the engine was nut running super well and I was afraid I would dead stick it. I had to wait a couple weeks to try again, but the second flight day was super fun! I made sure to have more time. I got the shakes out with my Hog Bipe and then took the Extra up. Again, takeoff was a non event and the plane still flew very well. I did some mild aerobatics this time and practiced landing approaches and slow speed maneuvers. Inverted only required a touch of elevator. All basic aerobatics were easy and tracked well. I flew for 8 minutes then landed. I guess that I had about 1/4 of a tank of gas left but I think I'm still running a little rich. I love the Saito FA100 although the 120 would be a better power match. The Saito is so dang quiet and smooth sounding! Starts easy and runs well! I made 3 flights and some touch and gos. Post flight inspection showed no problems except a stripped landing gear thread. I filled the hole with gorilla glue and recapped it. I will see if that holds next time out. If not, I'll use epoxy. I...Continue Reading
Posted by forwardonly | Jul 08, 2017 @ 09:24 AM | 21,733 Views
I been at work on my Great Planes Extra 300s for about a week. The bottom fuse and tail surfaces are done and the wings are started. The wings seem to be building pretty quick. There are some odd things about the construction that are not hard to do, but leave me wondering, "Why didn't they do this a different way?" The overall quality the kit and instructions have been good. The ply die cutting is not the best, but the balsa is cut well and of good quality. Some folks have mentioned that the wing ribs were too heavy/hard, but mine seem of good quality! My spars were not warped at all! I thought I would have a while to worry about getting a motor for this, but I do think I'll need to be figuring this out soon. I'm leaning towards the Saito FA100 or FA115. I have the 115 in my Topflite Corsair 60 and I may use it to test fit the engine. It has the same mounting as the 100 so I can go either way. I also have not thought about a covering scheme. Covering is a love/hate job! I get excited as it starts to come together, but as I get more complex with my covering, it becomes far more tedious and laborious!

On to finishing the wings!

I may get to go fly tomorrow if the wind cooperates. It has been crazy windy summer! I'm not afraid to fly in some wind, but it has kept me grounded this summer. I got desperate a few weeks ago and went out but I could barely get my plane back on the ground. You could not flare because the wind speed would send the plane back up! Of course it was my Slow Poke Sport and it is not a plane for flying in the wind. It was humorous though! I had to end up cutting the engine to get it down. I think the roll out was nothing! Just finally flopped down.
Posted by forwardonly | Jul 02, 2017 @ 06:55 PM | 2,352 Views
We were blessed with calm conditions at the lake today and last night. I took the Icon A5 out again and enjoyed some nice stable flights. I did a few mild aerobatics but really it's just fun to fly around the cove near the water gracefully. Touch and goes are super fun and landings as well. Take offs with this plane are not fun. It really needs water rudder and possibly wing pontoons. You have got to get on throttle quick and get the wing flying in order to keep the left wing from dipping due to torque roll.

I'm kinda wishing I was home with this nice weather to fly my Hog Bipe, Slow Poke, and Etana! Not to mention continue building the Extra 300s. I shouldn't complain about being at the lake house for a week though! Too bad the fishing isn't better!
Posted by forwardonly | Jun 29, 2017 @ 10:32 AM | 2,325 Views
I few the A5 at the lake this morning. Very little wind when I took off and then a steady wind as I was up in the air. It was handing this ok under power, but that T tail weather vanes so much! It wasn't much wind and I was not concerned. As I made my final approach, I banked and the wind just pushed the wind down and the ailerons do not have enough authority to fight it. I was able to splop it in the water at the last minute by kicking the tail down. It belly flopped for lack of better way to describe it. However! It stayed upright and all was fine. The hatch did come off and I had to get the pedal boat out to retrieve that.

Meanwhile, I started a new build. I purchased a Great Planes Extra 300s 60 sized kit. I am making a lot of easy mods to the kit to give it more control authority and to save weight. So far I have built the HS and EL's. This structure was changed to have counter balances on the tail. The rudder is next and it will get extended a bit in the rear and the VS will be shortened so the CB has a bit more surface area. I'm excited to have a nitro powered aerobat with a little size so I can fly in a little more wind than my electric Etna can handle. Seems like the wind is always blowing this year! Not to mention, the larger planes are just easier to see.

Later!
Posted by forwardonly | Jun 21, 2017 @ 03:40 PM | 3,786 Views
I finally decided on a new build. I was leaning towards a Balsa USA 1/4 Sopwith Pup, but I decided to build something sportier this go around. I've ordered a Great Planes Extra 300s 60 sized kit. I think this will be a great sport plane and the larger size will allow me to fly more often as it should be able to handle some wind! The build does not seem to be too difficult but I do plan on altering the rudder and elevator a little to get more authority out of them. Now to begin thinking about covering schemes!
Posted by forwardonly | May 27, 2017 @ 04:17 PM | 3,311 Views
On my way to the lake house, I stopped by a hobby shop in Springfield to see if they might have the Flyzone Seawind. They did not, but they did have a used Icon for sale pretty cheap so I picked that up to leave at the lake. Now I can get my flying bug satisfied at the lake! I have 5 flights on it so far and am enjoying the water take-offs and landings. The water handling is fairly poor on this plane as there is no water rudder. The plane also torque rolls and dips a wing tip so you have to experiment with getting on power without dipping a wing. In the air the plane is docile. Flies more in a scale fashion but you can do inverted and basic aerobatics. The most fun is just flying low to the water, doing splash and goes, and landing. It does not like the wind much and handles very poorly off power and down wind. While it is not a perfect plane, it is just what I wanted for the lake. A cheap, durable plane for some lake house fun! I think I may do some video projects with this as the canopy is begging for a camera.
Posted by forwardonly | May 07, 2017 @ 08:44 PM | 3,218 Views
Interesting day at the field today! I had planned on flying my Slow Poke, Etna, Hog Bipe, and possibly my Corsair. I started with assembling all the planes. Then I wanted to fire up the corsair to see if it needed to be tuned. It fired on the first twist of my chicken stick, but would not start. Then I couldn't get it to draw fuel? I decided to set it aside and fly the Etna. It was doing great. I added some solid red to the front/top of the wing to help with orientation as well as some black decals on the bottom. It was easier to see. However, when I gave it full throttle, the motor, prop, and half of the motor box flew off the plane. The cowl exploded into a few parts. I was able to land the plane well, but the motor has eluded me....

On the the pipe. Nothing to report there. It flies well, but must have some mixes programed in if it is going to be easier to fly. Anything with rudder really messes with axial roll. I need to mix rudd/aileron, but my radio will only do it to one channel at a time and I have channel 1 and 6 on aileron. I think I will just have to do 2 mixes and then another for rudder-elevator as the plane also wants to pull to the gear.

My friend Kerry came out to watch and maybe fly his trainer that I resurrected for him. We flew it and it performed nicely. After a couple flights on the bipe, I was ready to head out but Kerry wanted to go to our other fly spot to fly his trainer without an audience. Unfortunately, he decided his fingers needed to test the prop so off to the ER he went.

Back home, I have a new motor box ordered, new cowl, and new motor. Really irritated that I couldn't find the motor. Oh well. I still had a blast today. It was great to see the other members at the field (I'm usually out at weird times) and some really cool planes and some large scale fun. Having seen the larger scale planes, I have decided to stick with 60 sized or smaller. The 1/3 scale and up especially is too big for my space allowance!
Posted by forwardonly | Apr 23, 2017 @ 07:13 PM | 22,549 Views
Our club sent out the word that some of them would go out flying today so I took my Hog Bipe, Etna, and my little A-10. I figured the wind would be too much for my liking but it was not!

I started the day off with the Etana since I knew if it could handle the wind, my Hog Bipe would be "a breeze" lol. It certainly was a little windy for precision work on the Etna, but I was able to keep control of it for a nice fun flight. The down wind leg was interesting as the wind really whipped it's tail around.

After an easy landing, or rather a slow almost vertical descent to the ground against the wind, I got the Hog ready. In between I watched some club guys do a little flying too. The Bipe really took off in the headwind! Then tried to go vertical! but I got it under control and had some fun as I watched my right wheel and pant fall to the ground into the tall grass. I did some more flying, especially since I figured it would be grounded for the rest of the day. The plane flew great inverted and basic maneuvers were easy. I have got to program in some roll coupling when using rudder. It pulls pretty bad to the side the rudder is on. Hardly any up elevator was needed for inverted. Knife edge was sloppy because of the roll coupling issue. All in all, this plane few awesome. I then attempted a one wheel landing. I did a great job of landing on the only front wheel, but as it slowed, the other came down and the plane nosed forward. No problem though!...Continue Reading
Posted by forwardonly | Feb 06, 2017 @ 10:52 PM | 4,199 Views
So I have always wanted to build an A-10 but the larger kits and turbines are far out of my price range! So I broke down and purchased a UMX A-10. I wasn't expecting much as I don't really like these little planes but it is really cool. There is a lot of great tech in this little bugger. It is well put together and looks far better than I expected it to. So until I can find a kit or scratch build a larger A-10 (don't want foam), this will satisfy my thirst for a hog of my own!

On to the next building project. I have finished rebuilding my Corsair and it is ready for flight again! I have my eyes on a Balsa USA Sopwith Pup 1/4 scale. I got to take pic of a real one at the Airplane Museum in St. Louis and I really fell in love with it. Seems like a great way to get into a larger scale plane and to get into gas engines. I tend to like to just float around the fly field and these planes are pretty great gently fliers! Just keep some power on the draggy airframes! So stay tuned for some build log material from me soon. In the mean time, I have to finish some music writing projects before I can play with balsa dust. Work first.....
Posted by forwardonly | Oct 09, 2016 @ 09:53 AM | 4,040 Views
Not much flying getting done the last two months and by that I mean none! However, I have been slowly working on my fleet and fixing a friend's plane.

Corsair: the top flite corsair is just about air worthy again. I made all repairs except for replacing the former that sits behind the wing. It has a new 14oz tank with a proper three line set up. I have not fixed cosmetics as I'm going to wait for the second flight attempt. The retracts may have to be bent back a little but they look close. I hope to get a nice weekend in November to fly this.

Hog bipe: lost my radio programming so I had to reprogram the hog's settings. Took a second to remember how to assign the second aileron channel. This one is ready to go!

Etana: maidened this one today st my middle school. Great maiden and I look forward to getting the CG nailed for more neutral flight.

Slow Poke: ready to fly! This one is my stand by go to plane for stress free flight.

Round2it: my son cracked the VS but a little CA fixed it. This had its maiden in June and it is a terrific training plane. My son has yet to fly it though! It spent a month at 4-H and the state fair.

My friend's cat knocked his plane off a shelf in his garage. I had to reinstall bothe the VS and HS. These were weak to begin with so it was probably a blessing in disguise. A little gorilla glue had them strong and square and his plane is ready to go!

NEXT! I think I'm going to build a 1/4 scale clipped wing cub next. I tend to enjoy slower flight with basic aerobatics and I like scale so I think this would be a good choice. I am also considering a fun nitro sport plane like a 4-star or Ultra sport. I loved building and detailing my corsair as well so I'm always on the lookout for the next military subject as well but while I have the corsair, I think I'll stay away from military and do a scale civilian aircraft with aerobatic capabilities.
Posted by forwardonly | Jul 08, 2016 @ 10:31 PM | 4,476 Views
Well I finally tried to maiden my corsair. First attemp was shaken and I ditched the plane into some soft talk stuff and lucked out with no damage. The second attempt got airborn and trimmed out but it was waaaay out of trim. After some hairy flite, I got it settled down and flew a couple curcuits. Deployed flaps and tested the stall. Pretty hard stall to the left. Glad I had some altitude for that! Flaps required a lot of down trim. Flew some landing aporoaches and attempted landing 2 times. The theirs try the motor quit on final turn and I did not make it to the runway. At least I missed the fence! The wing ripped out but the damage really was not too bad.

I think the roll to the leftovers induced by a slightly uneven elevator. I will have to work that out. I think the balance is close but a little more nose weight would be desired. I should have refueled after the first attemp. I still had gas but not much and I don't think it was drawing well on the low tank. I'm excited to get it back up again! The 7 minutes it was in the air were glorious! What a great looking plane!

After my Corsair mishaps, I maidened my son's Mountain Models Round2it. That is a great little 3 channel flyer. I can't wait for him to fly it! Hoping he gets hooked!

My Etana is almost ready for flight! Waiting on a new canopy and I need to install the ESC. At some point this summer I hope to fly my Hog Bipe again too!
Posted by forwardonly | Jun 16, 2016 @ 08:09 AM | 4,820 Views
I've been enjoying the OS46AX on my slow poke sport 40! It really moves this fat bird along well and it is getting 20 or more minutes of flight time. Last night I went out for an evening flight and flew for 15 minutes then did some touch and go's and then practiced take offs and landings. After 18 minutes I got nervous so I brought her in and adjusted the idle speed as it was a little low. I wanted to burn the fuel so I decided to taxi around for a bit but it was still running, so I decided to do some go arounds taking off and landing. She just kept going! I'm going to have to get used to the long flight times. Next time out I will just set the timer and run it out in the air. This is an easy plane to dead stick.

Today I'm going to finish getting my Corsair flight ready. This includes adding a small spacer to each wheel to keep them from rubbing, adding my AMA and FAA numbers, install the receiver, and installing the tank support. I have a couple hangar rash spots to touch up as well. I may go out to see how it taxis today but I'm afraid to do this because if it feels good I'll just take it up and I'd like to have someone video the maiden.

If I don't go out to the field, I'll be cleaning off the bench to start my next build. This is an easy one. It is the Mountain Model's Etana and it builds like a 3D puzzle. Put all of the pieces together and then glue. I'm excited to get this one built as it is super fun to fly. I upgraded the motor and esc after my last one met its demise. I'm hoping for a little more vertical authority and the slightly more powerful motor should help as well as the ability to go to 4 cells if I wish.
Posted by forwardonly | Dec 27, 2015 @ 10:36 AM | 5,914 Views
It has been a very productive break from work for me! My corsair wing is close to done! I have sheeted the entire thing, installed all the servos and fabricated servo bay doors and rails, installed the vents (not my favorite job so far), and it is really coming together nicely! This build has been a great project and has required a lot more skills than the other kits I've built. It has also been a great way to focus on something that keeps my mind off of the cold I acquired. When I stop working, my head wants to explode. However, when I'm working, I don't think about it and I get so addicted to the project that I'll work all day on it!

I think I have finished the wing now so it will be on to the fuse today! I have another week off from work and my wife goes back to work tomorrow. Weather is supposed to be poor all week, so I'm sure I'll get a lot done! Which is good because once school starts back up, I have no free time. Tis the life of a band director in the second semester. Too many jazz festivals, concert band festivals, and other events and practices as well as two kids actively involved in school and sports. In the mean time, I'm going to enjoy my time off!
Posted by forwardonly | Dec 22, 2015 @ 12:14 AM | 5,595 Views
I managed to get quite a bit done on the corsair the last couple days. This has been my first experience sheeting the entire airframe and the corsair wing sure offers some challenges. I think it is all going well though! I have the entire wing sheeted except the bottom center. I have to install the flap servos and rails and create the servo bay doors and supports. This build has been a lot of fun and has helped give me something to do to relax. To be honest, I really enjoy the build more than the flying. Flying is fun, but I only fly my planes for a couple flights each time out. I'll lock myself in my rc room all day to build.

Now I have to take a 4 day break from the build.
Posted by forwardonly | Dec 15, 2015 @ 10:33 PM | 5,384 Views
Work has been so crazy. Holidays are hard on musicians! I need to get back to work on my corsair, but I have a convention to go to in Chicago this week. Great news though, we remodeled a room downstairs and this will allow my to have a workshop/practice room that doesn't double as a bed room! Guess I can make more balsa dust now! I'm looking forward to Christmas break so I can get some building done. Next up is servo installation in the wing and then sheeting.

In other news, I acquired 6 .049 engines to use for a 4-H project. I'm going to teach a couple kids about 2-stroke engines and then we will either make CL planes or air boats. I plan on showing them how to install a throttle on these as well as identifying all the parts and showing them how they work. Almost all the engines I got were in great condition (some never run!).

Sure would be nice if I could go race my offroad vehicles as well. Too many interests, so little time!
Posted by forwardonly | Nov 30, 2015 @ 10:51 PM | 5,749 Views
My corsair build has been going well. I've been able to work a bit each day or at least each weekend. Sometimes it is just a light sanding or shaping or planning, but it is something. I finished the basic construction of the wings pieces and joined them this weekend. I always get nervous joining my wings because I feel it is one of the most critical steps. Needless to say, I'm usually paranoid and picky about this process, but I guess I let this one slip. My right wing slid down as the glue cured. I had to do some surgery on that wing section and re-glue it. It did however come out OK and I'm back on track. Now I'm waiting on my servos to come in so I can install my aileron and flap servos.

I decided to mount the aileron servos in the F4 former instead of attached to a servo door. I am going to make an access door however and I should be able to remove the servo if needed. I will need a bent screwdriver to get the screws out, but should be very doable. I ordered servos from Tower and only one came in. After an email to customer service, they have sent the others claiming a packing error. I was very pleased with the speedy resolution to this and zero run around. WTG Tower Hobbies!

So I should be on to wing sheeting soon. This worries me a bit since I have not sheeted a wing before, especially one with all of these curves. Wish me luck! I'll take my time and get it right though! I'm already ahead of where I wanted to be with this.

I have really enjoyed this build as I actually feel like I'm building and not just putting a jigsaw puzzle together. Although everything is very doable and anyone with a few kits under their belt can do this. I have especially enjoyed the places where I have had to fabricate a way to install something like my servo mounts and retract mounts. I think I will begin some scratch builds starting with some cox .049 engines I am acquiring. Especially since I have so much scrap balsa now from my last 3 kits.
Posted by forwardonly | Nov 12, 2015 @ 08:07 PM | 6,134 Views
I recently started building the Top Flite Corsair 60. I'm really enjoying this build as it is a little more involved that the Sig Hog Bipe I just built. A lot more measuring, fitting, and shaping is involved. I'm also excited to be doing my first plane with retracts! They came in today. I'm going to give the Eflite 60-120 retracts a try. The seem to fit in the space well. I will be trying to get them installed this weekend!

Planning on using an OS 95V in this and I've been doing research on paint schemes and different types of F4U's.
Posted by forwardonly | Aug 14, 2015 @ 08:29 PM | 5,857 Views
After the demise of my Mountain Models Etana, I've decided to build another and while I was at it, I ordered a Round 2 it for my son to learn to fly with. The Etana was a great airframe and I'm looking forward to building another and doing a better job building and covering it. All of my servos survived the crash but I will be putting in a different ESC and motor. I had a Pheonix 36 ESC and an eflite Park 450 and it flew well on this set up, but lacked in vertical authority.

The Round2it is a simple 3ch aircraft and I think my son and some friends will enjoy trying to learn to fly with it. These Mountain Model kits are super easy to put together and a joy to fly. Can't wait to get these together and fly some more electric! The gas planes are fun but it is nice to have a couple planes that you can just plug in and fly with.

On another note: I am loving the OS 91 Surpass in my Hog Bipe. I'm so glad the folks on the forums suggested this and helped me find one for sale. I also enjoy my Enya 6002 but it is soooo much messier that the four stroke. I love the nostalgia of it, but the OS 91 is easier to start, sounds better, and is cleaner.

I'm hoping to go fly in the morning! My crazy season at work is about to be in full swing and I have got to take advantage of some good weather and free time.