jjmelo's blog archive for December, 2012 - RC Groups
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Archive for December, 2012
Posted by jjmelo | Dec 31, 2012 @ 11:03 PM | 4,949 Views
Durafly D.H. 110 Sea Vixen Maiden Flight (3 min 45 sec)

Introducing the Durafly (from Hobbyking) D.H. 110 Sea Vixen. I built it an about an hour, glueing the wings, the booms and the horizontal stabilizer. Setup was easy and balancing it was a cinch! I’m powering it with a 4-cell 2650 maH Turnigy Nana-tech 35-70 C lipo battery.

In the air

As you can see in the video, take-off was uneventful, I let it catch speed and I applied a bit of back pressure to get it airborne. Once flying, it needed a bit of down-trim to get it flying nice and stable hands-off. It is very easy to fly, thanks to the huge wing area. It just wants to glide! I set my low rates at 70% with 35% expo and it seemed perfect for normal flying. Tip stalling it is practically impossible, thanks again to the huge wing area. Landings are very easy: I just cut power when doing the final approach and the Sea Vixen just floats in.


The D.H. 110 Sea Vixen from Durafly is one of my favorite planes in my fleet. It flies even gentler than the Vampire, but when kicked into high rates, it handles acrobatic maneuvers like a champ. Flight times are about 5 minutes with a good mix of cruising and acrobatic flying. It is not super fast, but very impressive in the air, it certainly scoots along with gusto. I wonder what a 12-blade EDF fan would do to the top speed.
Posted by jjmelo | Dec 31, 2012 @ 06:28 AM | 4,493 Views
Durafly Sea Vixen - Unboxing video and first impressions (4 min 12 sec)

Check out the newest addition to my fleet! The Durafly D.H. 100 Sea Vixen. Comes with all the hardware needed, just build it, add your 4 cell Lipo and receiver and you’re ready to fly. The plane comes double-boxed for protection and very well packaged. The details on this plane are amazing. Stay tuned for the maiden flight video.
Posted by jjmelo | Dec 30, 2012 @ 03:21 PM | 4,408 Views
So, spent a couple hours last night and I finished the $7 EPO glider which I now call CheapoGlider. I reinforced the horizontal stabilizer with a CF rod, the wings and fuselage with a wooden dowel.

I mounted a Turnigy 2826 2200 kv motor with some upward thrust angle in the mid section. Added elevators and ailerons made out of dollar tree foam board with a couple of chepo-servos. Extended the vertical stabilizer with Foamboard.

Covered parts of it with white, red and yellow duct tape (also from the $ store). Mounted the battery in the front embedded in the foam to get the CP at about 1/3 of the wing chord.

Any predictions?
Posted by jjmelo | Dec 29, 2012 @ 10:21 PM | 5,066 Views
I picked up a $7 EPO foam (beer cooler stuff) glider from the RC shop. The challenge: adding a motor and RC equipment and making it fly. I have servos lying around, couple motors and a receiver.

I'm sure its been done before, not sure to what degree of success. I'm gonna give it a shot!
Posted by jjmelo | Dec 24, 2012 @ 05:00 PM | 6,050 Views
So, my girlfriend wanted to buy me RC stuff for xmas and I was browsing the Hobbyking site and I saw that they finally released the new Turnigy 9XR radio. Took the plunge and ordered it, along with a battery and a Frysky module/receiver.

The radio is a good deal, its basically a custom 9R with the programming port and backlight already installed, for $50. Add your own battery, TX module and you're set. I also got a FrSky DJT 2.4Ghz Combo Pack for JR w/ Telemetry Module & V8FR-II RX, which will go on my medium-range stuff, and I'll use my OrangeRX 433 RX and TX module for the long range stuff, provided it works well.

Can't wait for the mailman to arrive with the stuff, which will probably happen in 2-4 weeks, and start tinkering with my new radio equipment.

By the way, I love my Spektrum DX8 and Horizon Hobby's support. The pot that controlled my aileron channel was all kinds of trippy. I sent my radio over, they changed all the gimbals, replaced a bad capacitor, all for free and in exactly 1 week. I'll keep using my DX8 for my micros and short range stuff, and I'll use the new Turnigy 9XR for the medium to long range stuff, and for general tinkering.
Posted by jjmelo | Dec 11, 2012 @ 09:22 PM | 5,314 Views
Kondor FPV plane - FPV flight around the Apollo Field in L.A. (7 min 0 sec)

Check out the on-board camera footage I took onboard the Kondor FPV. Next step: get my FPV equipment on it and do some real FPV.
Posted by jjmelo | Dec 11, 2012 @ 09:20 PM | 5,236 Views
Kondor FPV Maiden Flight (1 min 19 sec)

This isn't the real maiden flight...on the first flight I had waaaaaaaaay too much throw on all surfaces, and the camera upfront wasn't secured so it fell right after take off making it tail-heavy. I managed to land it, I secured the camera and dialed down my rates. After that the plane flew very stable.

What do you think?
Posted by jjmelo | Dec 10, 2012 @ 07:44 PM | 6,012 Views
Hey gang!

I started working on a new scratch-built plane, using some techniques from Ed @Experimental Airlines (mainly, the Armin wing). I call it the Kondor FPV. Its 40in. long with a 60" wingspan. Its a boxy-design that opens up in the front and the back.

The design is heavily inspired by the Borjet MAJA.

It has a Turnigy D3536/8 1000KV way in the back, turning a 10X7 Prop, running on a 50 AMP ESC (also Turnigy).

It is tail-heavy by design, so I can fit 2 X 3,000 maH 4-cell LiPo in the front, along with 2 cameras, a high-def for recording and a board-cam for the FPV setup.
Posted by jjmelo | Dec 04, 2012 @ 07:22 PM | 5,116 Views
Flying the Conrad at the Apollo Field (3 min 58 sec)

This is the first on-board video I’ve shot, and I did it on a totally scratch-built airplane, the Comrad 1, based on the Axon design by Ed from Experimental Airlines. The plane is made out of Dollar Store foamboard, hot glue and packing tape. It is powered by a Thunder Tigre .10 spinning a 7×5 APC propeller in a pusher configuration. It uses two 2200 3-cell batteries in parallel all the way forward, mainly to balance out the plane.

Its equipped with four 9-gram servos (dual ailerons/flaperons, elevator and rudder), and an Orange 6 channel receiver, powered by the BEC circuit in the Turnigy 30 amp ESC. This is also the first foamboard plane I built following Ed’s (from Experimental Airlines) Armin wing technique and folded square tube made out of foamboard.

The plane flies very stable, the only inherent design flaw is that you need to shove a bunch of weight (or batteries) in the front of the fuselage to get the center of gravity right. It lands very gently and tracks like a champ. Have you built an Axon? What do you think?

Posted by jjmelo | Dec 04, 2012 @ 07:21 PM | 5,281 Views
Durafly D.H. 100 Vampire - Maiden Flight (1 min 16 sec)

The de Havilland DH.100 Vampire, made by Durafly (Hobbyking) in PNF configuration. Featuring a 70mm EDF (electric ducted fan), electric retracts, EPO construction, a custom red paint job and powered by a 2650 mah 4-cell LiPo battery. This is the maiden flight of my second vampire.

Posted by jjmelo | Dec 04, 2012 @ 07:18 PM | 4,629 Views
70mm BAE Hawk - Maiden Flight and crash (1 min 22 sec)

This is the maiden flight video and eventual crash and demise of this beautiful plane. The damage isn’t too bad, just a shattered canopy and a busted nose section. I ordered a new canopy, and I’ll start fixing the nose this week. Hopefully flight #2 will go better.

The center of gravity should’ve been set at 85mm behind the leading edge per the instruction manual, but the seller said it was wrong and it should’ve been set to 65mm. The manual for the E-Flite version of this plane says 80 – 90mm.

I balanced it at 65mm from the leading edge, after stuffing a 1000mah 3-cell in the nose to balance the plane, but after I crashed it, the very experienced fellow rc-enthusiast that was helping me out with the initial flight told me that it looked too tail-heavy.

It seemed like I had too much throw on the ailerons, even though I lowered the throw to 70% with 35% expo, per said gentleman’s recommendation.