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Posted by boingk | Apr 06, 2011 @ 11:24 PM | 8,793 Views
As the title might suggest, this installment primarily consists of my progress flying the FMS Mini P-40 and building of some balsa projects.

First up, here the P-40. Its all sorted out now and flies very well. I found the biggest difference to be the removal of the landing gear. It flies much better without them and bellies in fine for landings... provided you've got some grass cover. It cuts through the wind well, too, as you'll see in the video.

FMS Mini P 40 Aerobatics (2 min 55 sec)

The balsa projects include the aforementioned Stevens Aero 'QuickOats 100' and my version of the StevensAero 'Adrenaline Rush', both reported to be fun planes to fly and not too challenging to build. The last balsa model I built was about 15 years ago as a kid, and these models are just fine for somone like me who is good with their hands but not too experienced in kit building.

Progress on the QuickOats is good, I've just got to finish the tail assembly and wait for my ordering of covering film to show up. It'll most likely be blue all over unless I order some more colours. I'd like a mix of clear, white and blue covering but I'll see what happens.

Progress on the Rush is alright, but I'm held up by the lack of motor mount... I ordered a while ago and its still not here. Whats gives, HK? Whatever, its not a big deal, just means I can't get it airworthy for a while yet. Heres the progress:

The equipment there is what I'll be running it with and consists of:

...Continue Reading
Posted by boingk | Apr 04, 2011 @ 07:01 PM | 4,975 Views
Its been a good couple of days for flying, and now the weather is closing in. Winter is on its way. No matter, last night I roared up the fire and started on the balsa QuickOats 100 from Stevens Aero which was kindly sent by dhdrover. Thanks again mate, much appreciated.

So far the empennage and left wing are together, still waiting on assembling the fuselage and right wing half. The internals are going to be from my Parkzone UltraMicro P-51, which was my first plane. It took an absolute battering and ended up requiring a manual hold of about 30% left aileron and down elevator to fly. Trim was useless as it'd give unpredictable deathspirals at useful levels. Anyway, its organs are going to a better home so it'll live on (ironically, in something that probably would've made a much better first plane).

The L-4 has been fitted with a Hextronik 24g 1500kv motor, replacing the 3000kv version of the same motor that was in there. I'm still running on 3-cell and have fitted a GWS 8x4 direct-drive prop. It works very well, giving huge thrust and moderate airspeed. Hovering is easily possible, as is 0~5mph groundspeed into a wind. I'd estimate the thrust/weight ratio at 1.5:1, which is about double what it was with the 3000kv motor. Efficiency has soared as well - I'm now using around 70~80mAh per minute in flight, so can get 6 minute flight times from my Rhino 3s 610's and 10 minute flights from the Zippy 3s 1000's. Both times factor in only using 80% lipo capacity, too. Nice.

The speed stick I'm working on hasn't seen any more... er... work but I am waiting on some major components like the motor mount and GWS 5x3 props. I'm planning to run the Hextronik 3000kv from my L-4 in it, with Rhino 3s 610's and an 8/10A ESC. Light and (hopefully) fast setup, should be fun.

As always, stay tuned.

Cheers - boingk
Posted by boingk | Mar 31, 2011 @ 04:16 AM | 3,765 Views
Ok, so the P-40's been up (and down), the L-4 continues on its merry way... and Hobbyking has released a balsa kit. Interesting stuff, I've got one on the way right now so will be sure to document its build, both in a thread and here. Do we even have a balsa kit section? Hmmm...

Meanwhile, still waiting on some items to convert my J3 to be a bit more power efficient. The 3000kv motor in it at the moment is a lot of fun but doesn't give the best prop choices or flight times, especially if you're on the throttle a bit. Because I'll be replacing it with its 1500kv brother soon I thought a bit of a 'last hurrah' was in order. Heres the footage:

HobbyKing J3 Aerobatics (5 min 27 sec)

Bit of a goer, hey? Not really your run-of-the-mill J3 haha. I didn't take the P-40 up this afternoon but heres the video of its maiden flight. Theres a few crashes in there but when I got it to fly it was good.

FMS Mini P-40 from HobbyKing (6 min 35 sec)
...Continue Reading
Posted by boingk | Mar 28, 2011 @ 04:28 AM | 4,054 Views
The FMS Mini P-40 I ordered from HK arrived today, along with another 800mAh 2s for the L-4 and five 3s 1000mAh packs for general use. I'd highly recommend Australian readers to use the HobbyKing Australian Warehouse for any HK orders where possible, as postage is fast and priced a lot lower than from the international warehouse. I ordered this lot Friday afternoon and got it Monday morning, not too bad at all.

Initial unboxing of the '40 was good, everything was there and nothing was missing. Parts seem well made but the finish could be a little better. Its really nothing that you could pick up on from even just a few feet away (ie it'll look good unless you hold it up to your face) but caught my eye as I was assembling it. Whatever, its a damn cheap plane so I didn't expect it to look like an expensive one and it still looks very good in my opinion.

The stock prop is an 8.5 x 9 and also quite heavy... which means that it will never be fitted to my plane. There is nothing physically wrong with it, but for the size of the engine (25~30g 1300kv outrunner) I would not personally have chosen a prop with those dimensions. The one in the picture below is a GWS 8 x 3.8 slow-fly that I had lying around, which should work well with the battery I'm planning to run. I plan to spray it black before use.

The packs I'm planning to run this plane on are not to spec, either. Manufacturer recommends 800 to 1000mAh two-cell lipos, but I've gone one better and bought some 1000mAh...Continue Reading
Posted by boingk | Mar 25, 2011 @ 04:19 AM | 3,538 Views
No photos of the contruction project but I did manage to snap these at the field today;

...Continue Reading
Posted by boingk | Mar 22, 2011 @ 01:34 AM | 3,676 Views
If you're following along my incoherent ramblings you may have noticed that I've got a HobbyKing "J3 (Green)", which is really an L-4, and have outfitted it with some gear that would make for an edgy speed-machine in a plane perhaps half the size. Propping properly has, therefore, been an issue.

Today I swapped out the cut-down 8x3.8 for a proper TGS 6x4 propellor, and running times are now around the 5 minute mark with reserve left in the battery - that is hard flying in the wind, too, so calm weather would most likely see 6 minute flying times or possibly more. Its running on Turnigy 2s 800mAh 20C packs and ordered some Rhino 2s 750mAh 20C's which arrived today. Both are good, reasonably priced packs that perform well.

I've ordered a 1500kv motor to replace the 3000kv unit that it is currently running. Hopefully this will be a bit more efficient and provide some longer running times. If not, no worries, I've got plans for the 3000kv unit anyway.

Essentially it'll be used in a 24" mini-hotliner, or speed stick. Currently the fuselage is made out of an 18" length of 8mm aluminum tubing, the wing from 4mm balsa, and the tail assembly from 2.5mm balsa... all held together with epoxy. The components are as follows:

Rhino 3s 610mAh 20C / 2s 750mAh 20C
Hextronik 24g 3000kv motor
TGS 4.75x4.75 prop
HK SS 15/18A ESC
HXT500 servos

Pretty basic, but should be light and powerful enough to be a bit of a rocketship... for the size at least. Pitch speed for the prop is around the 100mph mark on 3s (11.1v/15A) and something like 70mph on 2s (7.4v/16A). All powering a plane that will (hopefully) weigh under 200g/8oz... interesting!

More as it comes, pictures of the hangar and construction project next post.

Cheers - boingk
Posted by boingk | Mar 14, 2011 @ 06:58 AM | 3,566 Views
...And we're back for another gripping instalment of Boingks Big Blog!

The news is that the ParkZone Ultramicro P-51 has had its share of crashes and repairs, and finally had its last, brilliant deathspiral in the hands of good old Dad; a look of concentration, confusion and happiness mixing on his face in some sort of surreal, intense blend. Either way, it was stuffed and would only fly if you held the aileron/elevator trim manually about 30~50% throw on each, to the left and down respectively. Subtrim wouldn't work as that'd deathspiral it, too. Whatever, I hacked it up and am now awaiting a replacement airframe... not quite standard though. There are a few plans for this old girl yet. You'll see.

The F6F continues to have problems, the sh!tty cheap components giving no end of grief. I believe a motor connection has shorted, or the ESC is faulty. I'll look into it at some stage I guess, it is a striking plane to see in the sky and I do like flying it a lot. Part of the reason I built my J3 using components I selected, really. Much less cost and much less of a pain in the ass.

Lastly, my aforementioned J3 (really an L-4 with that colour scheme) has had its maiden flight and, whats more, came back unscathed. It might have been drizzling, with a bit of a breeze blowing up, and the motor mount might have been made out of epoxy and plywood... but it flew darn well and I couldn't be happier with it. A crow even thought it interesting enough to come in for a look-see,...Continue Reading
Posted by boingk | Feb 28, 2011 @ 03:59 AM | 3,624 Views
Righteo, first blog post. Not just here, but ever. Feels weird.

Basically I'll just be writing about upcoming builds and/or things I'm doing with RC aircraft, more so I've got a concrete record of what works and what doesn't than anything else. If anyone wants to tag along for the ride then thats fine by me.

So, where to start... I guess it all started about 15 years ago when I was a kid. I was fascinated by flight, and made paper airplanes and models both at school and home. One year I was given a balsa/tissue/dope kit that turned out to look something like a Cessna. It flew by rubber power and would fly along at a nice sedate rate. I loved it, but inevitably it got lost to the sands of time as I grew up. RC was too expensive back then for me to pursue and eventually I forgot about it.

Fast forward to about a month ago, and I'm tooling around online... eBay or something I think. I saw an 800mm wingspan foam airplane, all ready to go with transmitter etc, for about $180. I couldn't believe it - electric stuff had just progressed to NiMh when I had left off in highschool and even that was dear. Now something called 'LiPo' was the big attraction, and could be had cheap as well? This was interesting...

I dug deeper and asked around, and eventually got onto an Aussie modelling site (not that kind you sicko! ) which carried transmitters and planes. After a bit more asking and digging I ordered a ParkZone micro P-51 and a pektrum DX5e... not the recommended beginner...Continue Reading