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Posted by BamaBasher | Feb 16, 2014 @ 09:15 PM | 5,663 Views
I woke up to a gorgeous day today and knew I was going to fly. Sorry, no pictures this time. I focused on flying for the joy of being in the air and out inthe sun.

The weather warmed up nicely so I packed up my fleet, loaded my 7 year old son in the truck and went to a new found flying spot. Not far from the house is a subdivision that was started but never finished. There are streets laid out in both north/south and east/west orientations but no houses were ever built, no street lights installed, or power lines laid so it's just about perfect as a flying site.

It was beautiful weather - Sunny with winds calm, gusting to maybe 5. We started off flying the newly repaired Super Cub (see previous blog post dated today). I flew a couple of easy circuits at low throttle and all seemed good. So I put her up high, went to wide open throttle to do a loop and then the motor came loose from the mount, jammed and I had to dead stick it in. Anyway, the SC flew after hiding in the garage for the past year and half. It was only about 4 minutes, but it flew. I didn't bother working on it since the truck was packed with other craft.

Next I ran a few batteries through the Champ testing the winds aloft and working the rust out of my thumbs. A group of kids came by on bicycles, out enjoying the nice weather like we were. My son took great pleasure in showing them all our planes. One brave kindergartner asked to fly one, lol. Right. I flew the Champ for them, then flew...Continue Reading
Posted by BamaBasher | Feb 16, 2014 @ 01:54 PM | 5,343 Views
So about a year and a half ago I crashed my HobbyZone SuperCub. Well, twice actually.

My son and I were flying at the club field when the elevator locked, and the cub plummeted from about 50 feet straight into the ground prop first.

The cowl broke and the prop bent but that was it. So I replaced both, tested everything on the ground and it worked (including the elevator servo) so I put it back up in the air. A few minutes later again the elevator locked up and the SC dove straight into the ground, this time breaking the tail clean off.

I was pretty disgusted and put the SC on the shelf for a while.

I blame the first crash on a bad servo. I blame the second crash on myself. And I learned a lesson. Never trust a servo that's failed once.

This week I fixed up the SuperCub. I replaced the servo using silicone caulk to secure it in place, used CA and packing tape to reattach the tail. Everything seems to be good except all the rubber bands rotted.

So we'll hit the office supply store on the way to the field. Keep your fingers crossed for me!
Posted by BamaBasher | Feb 02, 2014 @ 10:13 AM | 5,984 Views
I'm thinking about upgrading my transmitter and struggling with that problem we all have - How much is too much vs. buying enough to grow in to. I'm trying to find that line between buying more radio than I currently need without spending money on features I'll never use.

First, a little history: I began my foray into flight by purchasing a Blade Scout and MCX2 RTF for my son and I in late 2012. Shortly thereafter I purchased a ParkZone Champ, HobbyZone SuperCub BNF, Phoenix flight sim and my first programmable radio - the Spektrum DX6i. Ok, so I'm a Horizon Hobby fan boy.

Since then I have added a second Champ, a ParkZone Night Vapor, and my first quad - a Blade 180QX to my fleet. I've got a plane with ailerons and a bigger quad on my wish list. I'm rapidly running out of model memory.

When I purchased the DX6i I was sure it was more than I would ever need. Just look at all those toggle switches! I'd never remember what they all do. And forget about actually programming the darn thing. Only rocket scientists and NSA types could understand how to do that.

Well, here we are in 2014 and I flip toggles without looking down to read them, adjust programming on the fly and just about have the manual memorized.

Couple that with the fact my son has gotten quite good at indoor flight, does pretty well on the sim, and is asking to buddy box so he can begin to learn outdoor flight and I think maybe it's time to upgrade. Granted my first thought was to pick...Continue Reading
Posted by BamaBasher | Jan 29, 2014 @ 05:09 PM | 5,448 Views
Down here on the Gulf Coast ice storms are a rarity, and a novelty. I decided to play with my 4wd Slash.

Slash 4wd running on ice (3 min 2 sec)

Yeah, yeah. Us southerners can't drive real cars on ice either.

PS. How in the heck do you embed video here?!? EDIT: ok it magically appeared. I has a confused.
Posted by BamaBasher | Jan 28, 2014 @ 09:55 PM | 5,652 Views
I've posted pictures everywhere else on the web but not my own blog - that I forgot about. So let's correct that situation.

I gave my 7 year old son a Traxxas Stampede for Christmas and bought myself a Slash 4WD. Well, I liked his Pede so much I bought another. It's more fun to bash with him with the same vehicle.

We burned out the Titan motor in his truck in 12 days. I got a deal on a take off Velineon system so now all three trucks are brushless.

As you can see we gave his Stampede an old school makeover. No, it's not a perfect paint job but it was an awesome father/son project. He and I are both very proud of it.

I've been working on the Slash as well, but that deserves its own post at some point.

Ok, on to the pictures. I've attached a few but you can always see more on my Photobucket.
Posted by BamaBasher | Jan 26, 2014 @ 11:50 PM | 5,627 Views
Here's a video I've made from my first outdoor excursion with my new Blade 180QX quad. I hope you enjoy it.

Blade 180QX First Outdoor Flight (4 min 22 sec)

Video edited with Pinnacle Studio for iPad
Photography shot with a Nikon D60
All audio recorded by me.
Posted by BamaBasher | Nov 19, 2012 @ 11:03 AM | 7,375 Views
The wind started to die down after lunch so my 6 year old and I flew the Champ for a little bit in the backyard then took the Super Cub to a field near the house and dropped bombs and parachutes. He had a blast and I had many good landings before the wind picked back up.

After 3 batteries through the Super Cub we drove to our local club field and met several wonderful members of the South Alabama RC Modelers at Irwin field in Foley, AL.

We watched several planes fly: Nitro, electric, and even a gasser. We saw everything from another Champ, to gliders, to 3D planes and a huge Super Sport they were flying for the first time.

I really appreciate how welcoming and friendly they were. So much so I joined the AMA last night and printed out my membership application for the club. I'll get it mailed off today.

Anyway, it was a great day and I learned a lot just watching these guys fly. It was an amazing experience.
Posted by BamaBasher | Nov 18, 2012 @ 10:23 AM | 5,448 Views
Perspective can be a funny thing:

I went to bed last night planning on flying this morning. The forecast was calling for 5 to 8 mph winds. Ok, I can probably do this with my Super Cub...maybe.

Well I'm sitting on my porch right now drinking my coffee and watching the trees bend. It's more like 10 and gusting higher. Too much for this new flyer.

Now you are probably asking yourself where does perspective come in? I've been a sailor for almost 20 years now. I have a 26 foot sailboat sitting in my back yard.

When I was starting out on the water a 10 mph wind was daunting but doable. Now I see 10 mph and think that's marginal for a good sailing time. Sure it's nice for some lazy running about but not so much for getting the blood flowing with the rail in the water while on a starboard tack.

Sailor me says its too calm to sail. Aspiring pilot me says its way too windy to fly. In this case it's a matter of experience and confidence in both myself and my equipment.

Posted by BamaBasher | Nov 16, 2012 @ 10:08 AM | 5,499 Views
No pictures this time. Sorry. Here's my after action review:

I got up early this morning and put three batteries through the Champ.

The first one I ran lots of touch and go's on the driveway. This thing almost lands itself. I found my best approaches happen when I cut the throttle and dead stick it in close, then add a bit back in for airflow over the control surfaces for the final touch down. Some still seemed a bit hot but I didn't bounce and didn't nose over so I guess I'm on the right track. I got a bit over confident on one approach trying to come in on a sharp angle then flare and hit the driveway nose first. I flared way too late. There's a little scuff on the spinner and some rash on the fuse but no real damage.

The 2nd battery was about dialing in the controls. I've got the Champ where it flys straight hands off. Sweet. One thing that surprised me was that the left wing seems to be getting more lift than the right. It looks okay but I'm guessing I changed the dihedral a bit when I taped it back together last night. I would have thought the right side would lift first because of the extra weight from the tape and CA on the left wing but its the opposite. A couple clicks on the rudder trim got it straightened out.

I let my 6 year old fly some on the 3rd battery. I put the Champ way up high and gave him the DX6i. He did pretty well but was scared the wind would take it away. He was fine. It was only blowing around 2 to maybe 5 mph. He did let it get...Continue Reading
Posted by BamaBasher | Nov 15, 2012 @ 10:58 PM | 5,506 Views
So I bought a Hobby Zone Champ tonight. The Super Cub is too big to fly in my yard but the Champ is perfect. The first flight went great, no problems. The 2nd flight ended in a nose dive in my neighbor's pear tree thanks to a gust of wind and ripped the wing in two. . So the Champ is dead. My son is upset.

Ah but it's a Champ! I used a little foam safe CA and some packing tape and got the wing back together. 15 minutes later we're flying again. Then my boy catches his sleeve on the top of the rudder and tears it. More tape and CA.

And it still flys great. Long live the Champ!

I want to add lights to it. I was flying it after dark as is and as long as I kept it close all was fine with the houselights lighting up the backyard but orientation is a bit tricky. I tore apart a cheap LED flashlight and was messing with the LED's in it but I kept popping them. Time to research here at RCG.
Posted by BamaBasher | Nov 12, 2012 @ 12:25 PM | 12,220 Views

The purpose of this post is to detail what changes I've made to the wheels of my Hobby Zone Super Cup LP both for my future reference as repairs become necessary and in the hopes that it helps some other newbie flyer.

SC Pre Maiden flight by BamaBasher, on Flickr

Disclaimer: This is my first RC Airplane. I've owned it less than a week and only flown it one day. I am by no means an expert on modifying these machines. I changed the wheel configuration after much research on this and other websites. Modify your plane at your own risk. By all means if you see something I've done that could be improved I'd love for you to post your suggestions below.

I bought my Hobby Zone Super Cub LP last Thursday night after researching the plane and deciding it was the right trainer for me in my local flying conditions. It's very rarely calm here. There's always at least a slight breeze.

While researching I decided there were several modifications I wanted to make before ever flying her. Knowing that I'd be taking off and landing in a field I felt that larger main wheels were a must. I decided to upgrade the tail wheel as well both for looks and in the hopes of getting a little more control on the ground.

I think I astounded the guys at the local hobby shop. They said I was the first person that had ever bought a "RTF" (ok so this was was really BNF) plane and unboxed it right in the shop and started making modifications. They were...Continue Reading
Posted by BamaBasher | Nov 11, 2012 @ 11:52 AM | 5,779 Views
So I woke up this morning to 0 to 5mph winds. We decided to brave it and maiden our new Super Cub. My 6 year old and I packed up and went to our flying site, a 40 acre field. By the time we got there the wind had picked up. So I took a few pictures instead of flying.

A small rain shower came through and the wind died after so I thought "Great, let's try it!"

I taxied around a bit, then attempted a rolling take off. I knew to expect the plane to veer left on takeoff but I was surprised how much it did so. I cut the throttle and put her down. She left the short grass, hit the tall grass and stopped with no damage.

Then we hand launched, I flew my planned pattern a few times, checked trim and then dropped a bomb from the aerial drop module much to my son's delight. While all this was going in the wind started to pick back up.

Then I tried to bring her in for a landing. Heh. My selected runway is a narrow grass strip in the field we drive on. It's oriented north and south. The wind was out of the ESE. I got the wheels down, no bounce, and the SC promptly turned into the wind, left the short grass for the tall grass and nosed over. Luckily I had already cut the throttle and there was no damage.

We did this same thing 3 times. All three times I nosed over on landing. Actually one time was a pretty good landing but one main wheel hit a small ant bed and stopped causing the nose over.

By this time the wind had picked up considerably so we...Continue Reading