ODUsurfer's blog - RC Groups
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Posted by ODUsurfer | Dec 20, 2010 @ 08:36 PM | 2,648 Views
My Hangar Currently:

Lanier S.E.5.a.
Custom Parkzone Stryker
Custom Parkzone F4U Corsair
Parkzone Radian Pro
Ultrafly Furious
GWS Slowstick w/ ailerons

Parkzone P-51 Micro
Parkzone Vapor (original)
Eflite Blade MSR

Eflite Nieuport 17 (Hanging in my son's room)
GWS Formosa (Used/abused for over a year, great plane, just time for it to go)
Eflite Blade 400 (Tried Heli's, failed, will try it again eventually)
Parkzone Micro Citabria (Bought used off ebay, it never flew well)
Megatech Airstrike (Newbie airplane, horrible model, but good for some fun)
Balsa 50" Wingspan Piper Cub (unknown mfgr, given to me used, will fly eventually. Great model, hanging in my son's room.)

GWS Corsair (Product of newbie choice of electronics)
Posted by ODUsurfer | Oct 25, 2010 @ 08:50 PM | 3,391 Views
So I've always loved the Corsair, and I love Parkzone's Corsair. It looks great, flies great, and is just a solid airframe... But I've never liked Parkzone electronics. They are always overly cheap, with their plastic motors and weak servos that never last the life of a plane without stripping. Plus there is usually little room to speed planes up using any of the stock equipment... So, I just built one from parts!

Parts needed:
PKZ4667 Bare Fuselage (painted): Corsair $30.59 @ LHS
PKZ4620 Bare Wing (Painted no decals, no servos): Corsair $34.19 @ LHS
PKZ4625 Horizontal Tail with Accessories: Corsair $10.44 @ LHS
PKZ4626 Cowl: Corsair $5.99 @ LHS
PKZ4613 Clear Canopy & Painted Battery Hatch: Corsair $11.39 @ LHS
PKZ4603 Decal Sheet: Corsair $4.99 @ LHS
PKZ4428 Motor Mount w/Screws: T-28, F4U $3.29 @ LHS

If you're a true parkflyer like me, you'll likely just buy the Skid Plates (PKZ4627) that sell for $4.99, and just belly land in the grass. Otherwise you'll need to buy the Landing Gears (PKZ4606) and Tail Gear (PKZ4607) for $6.99 and $3.49, respectively.

Total: $105.87

That's it! So for just over $100, you get one of the best foam parkflyers out there as an ARF. Not to mention if you want to really run lean, you could pass on the landing skids in favor of masking tape, make your own motor mount, and even go without the decals if you wanted too, keeping the cost well under $100 dollars. I am simply amazed I don't see more people doing this!

So from there,...Continue Reading
Posted by ODUsurfer | Feb 24, 2010 @ 06:01 PM | 3,382 Views
So I see lots of questions about foam, particularly confusion and conjecture about the different types of foam out there. I am no expert, but as an engineer and scientist, I decided to do my homework on the topic, and post up my findings to maybe help people understand the differences.

Most everything I will post up is from fact-based websites like wikipedia and the like. I'll try and cite sources where I can.

The Basics
In order to make foam, you start with a plastic polymer of some sort, and "expand it". (The "E" at the beginning of "EPO" and "EPP" always stands for "Expanded") You start off with a dense plastic resin material, mix it with a catalyst and it fills with millions of tiny gas bubbles while expanding to several hundreds of times its original size. If you think about how a popcorn kernel expands out into popcorn when heated, you're not far from the mark.

Now the real key between the different types of foam is the base polymer expanded.

More to come.
Posted by ODUsurfer | Feb 23, 2010 @ 10:19 PM | 4,065 Views
So the question is, what's the largest prop you can put on a 24" wing without having major torque roll problems?

I have a Mini Speedwing that I used a Feigao 1208436L on, and quite honestly I found it very underpowered. Doesn't vertical, doesn't go super fast, and I find myself at 100% throttle almost the entire time.

I have an extra 1700 KV 2712-17 outrunner from another plane lying around, and am going to throw it on there... Only thing is the RPMs are obviously much less, and I'll need to get the biggest prop on there as I can. -Just worried about torque roll. I have a 6X4 prop on it right now, but I think I'll get one a bit smaller before trying to fly it. Will update.
Posted by ODUsurfer | Feb 11, 2010 @ 08:29 PM | 3,930 Views

What a great plane! But let me tell you, it took some work to get this thing flying right.

I spent quite a bit of time with faster foamies, like GWS warbirds, and the GWS Formosa. But quite honestly I missed having a lazy, slow flying biplane. But I definitely wanted acrobatic capability. So that's how I came to the decision of wanting a light 3D-ish acrobatic bi-plane.

That said, I narrowed my search down to a couple different planes: GWS Tiger Moth 400 (modified with 4 moving ailerons), the Ultrafly Furious, and the Great Planes "RC Universe" Flat Out Biplane. Ultimately the Tiger Moth was eliminated because I wanted something I could use my (6) 2-cell 1000 mA batteries with, and the RC Universe Flatout was eliminated because of horror stories about how fragile it was, and the strong recommendation of the Furious from a guy I trust from my local hobby store. Easy enough!

It should be known that the Ultrafly Furious has a sister plane, the Ultrafly Outrage. They have minor design differences, and supposedly the Furious has slightly larger control surfaces. But from what I understand from those that have flown both, they are basically the same plane, only the Furious is red, and the Outrage is Yellow.

The Furious is marketted as an "Advanced Parkflyer" and a "Beginner 3D plane", and it fits that perfectly. If you are looking to make the transition into 3D with an easy flying plane, this one might do it for you.

...Continue Reading
Posted by ODUsurfer | Jan 12, 2010 @ 11:29 PM | 4,028 Views
Well, I've had a Megatech Airstrike (lovingly referred to on the forums as a "Groundstrike") collecting dust in my garage for almost a year now. How I got it is kinda a long story. My elder brother owns a contractor company that, with the mega real estate crash, does foreclosure home clean-outs for banks. You'd be amazed at the stuff these poor people leave in these houses when they get evicted... Anyhow, he found this Megatech Airstrike with a broken wing in the attic of a house, and thought I might want it. -Obviously it's a crap plane, but free is kinda a hard price to beat.

I tried to fly it once, and like many novice pilots I crashed it due to its underpowered overweight bloat. I was in the process of finishing my Eflite Nieuport 17, which flew like a dream, so the Airstrike was put away on a shelf in the garage, never to be touched again... Until Now.

So what do you get when you combine a bored engineer and a crappy RC airplane? A rebuild! -Plus I somehow stumbled on this thread from 2004, explaining how he rebuilt his crappy Airstrike into a very descent little 3-channel trainer. -Fair enough! Time to get to work.

The Rebuild

So I stripped the whole thing down. Radio. Speed control. Servos. Motor. Everything. All that was left was the plastic fuselage, landing gears, and (detached) wings.

The radio, ESC and servos were all packed onto this insanely bulky tray attached to the top of the battery compartment, so I then cut that off...Continue Reading
Posted by ODUsurfer | Jan 07, 2010 @ 06:17 PM | 3,651 Views
Gah, I didn't even mention my Ultrafly Furious in my last post. I'll have to get back to that one. -But in the meantime, I wanted to post up some thoughts about my latest plane, the Mini Speedwing!

Fun little plane!!!! This is my first delta wing, so it's been a big learning curve to fly well. Flying wings don't fly like anything else, so you have to really feel them out.

So I spent a lot of time researching setups for it, and to be safe, I built it almost exactly how they prescribe in the instructions. The biggest decision for me was the motor. I had read about how to build it using a brushless outrunner, and was tempted to go that route, but eventually decided to play it safe for my first delta wing.

Feigao Brushless motor 1208436L. I was seriously considering going with the Feigao 1208428L motor which is essentially the same motor with 28 stator windings instead of 36, resulting in a "hotter" motor that spins faster, and has less overall electrical resistance. (Disadvantage being higher amp draw and heat loads.) The thrust specs are much stronger for the weight, but I decided to stick with what they recommended. Hindsight, I still don't know which would be better... The 436 motor seems to have a descent amount of power on 2 cells (yet won't go vertical or anything), but still seems to get rather warm flying on 2 cells. I'm kinda scared to find out how hot the 428 would have been, especially if I upgrade to 3 cells like I plan...

Spektrum...Continue Reading
Posted by ODUsurfer | Dec 31, 2009 @ 03:50 PM | 3,179 Views
Just wanted to post up my latest planes, and lessons learned from each.

Parkzone Vapor
One of the funnest little micro planes you can buy. On top of that, it makes a fantastic trainer for someone who has never flown. I've had it almost a year now, and I've beat the hell outta it. I've replaced the propeller twice, the rudder once, and the motor mount once. -And I still love flying it.

Eflite Nieuport 17
-So I've had my little Nieuport 17 since this summer, and have upwards of 100+ flights on it now. Love it! I used a 2712-17 outrunner motor, 10A ESC, GWS 8043 prop with 7.4v 1000 20C Lipo batterys, all from Headsuprc.com. (Great vendor, btw.) It basically flies like a slowstick, but looks about a million times better.

One criticism I have though after all this time though: It's just a little too fragile. They specifically say that this is not a "3D" plane, and they are quite right. Capable? Definitely. -But not recommended unless you really beef it up with some carbon fiber.

Even though it loops all day long, does death spirals, flies inverted, and pretty much any other manner of tricks capable of a 3-channel plane... -If you do so, expect that you will quickly develop cracks in the wings, and/or break loose the struts on a regular basis. I've had major cracks on my bottom wing 3-4 times now, once on the upper wing, and had the struts pull out of the foam bunches of times as well. This ain't no GWS Slow Stick! Granted, I've probably been flying it...Continue Reading
Posted by ODUsurfer | Sep 23, 2009 @ 08:20 AM | 3,543 Views
Haha, this hobby used to be so expensive to get into... Not anymore! All it takes is some shopping! Never underestimate the power of networking at your LHS, classified area in these forums, and craigslist! As long as your careful, used stuff at half price is the best, especially for a newbie learning the hobby!
  • Spektrum DX6i - $50 used from a buddy of mine that really wants me to fly with him.
  • Parkzone Vapor BNF - $50 used off Craigslist
  • Parkzone Micro Cessna RTF - $40 used at the LHS
  • Megatech Air Strike RTF - FREE from my older brother that hasn't flown it in over a year, just needed a new battery. (Granted its junk, but great to learn on!)

So for what is a ridiculously low investment, I have three different planes I can wreck... -er... -I mean learn on... *cough, cough*... and three different Tx's, one being a DX6i that should last me for a *very* long time in this hobby. (and in all actuality, I could have just as easily gone with two, or even one of these planes, if I was on a serious budget.