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Posted by Late99 | Dec 02, 2017 @ 05:11 PM | 1,664 Views
The lousy weather during last two months have kept me grounded more than I would have hoped. However, I have been able to catch flight here and there. Seems like my 70" birds are almost the only ones I fly at the moment. I've also sold many of the other planes and I'm hoping to get a new bigger bird, but let's leave that to later....

Few autumn pics for you guys to enjoy.
Posted by Late99 | Jul 24, 2017 @ 04:09 PM | 2,300 Views
I managed to participate also the second round of Finnish championships league. Surprisingly the weather was again sunny, only the wind was a bit gusty causing challenging landing conditions for several competitors.

Several of the competitors also continued directly to Nordic F3A championships held in Denmark (Lassi won the championship).
  • FAI 1st: Lassi Nurila
  • Nordic 1st: Emma Tuunala
  • Sport 1st: me

Posted by Late99 | Jun 17, 2017 @ 09:36 AM | 3,484 Views
This is not strictly model related, but I'm pretty sure this will interest plenty of model aviators & ship builders.

Finland is celebrating its 100 years of independence this year and special air show was organized in Helsinki, capital of Finland. Special in that sense, that the air show was located in sea area just south of centre of Helsinki and also because the attending planes were a bit special. It's not common to see this many different fighters & aerobatic groups in Finland.

Also part of the reason is that Finland has started a process to select new fighters to replace it's legacy Hornets and all the manufacturers are very eager to show their offering.

Check the full gallery (55 pics)! Attached pictures are just few teasers...

Planes pictured:
- Airbus A350
- USAF / Boeing with 2 x F/A-18E/F
- Red Arrows with 9 x BAe Hawk
- RAF with EuroFighter Typhoon (with killer aerobatics)
- 2 x Fouga Magisters (history flashback, these used to be trainers for Finnish Airforce)
- Saab Draken (another histroy flashback, Finnish Airforce used to operate Drakens and Mig-21s in 80s and early 90s)
- 3 x Saab JAS 39 Gripen
- Finnish Airforce with F/A-18D (another killer aerobatic show)
- Finnish Airforce Midnight Hawks with 4 x BAe Hawk

Ships pictured:
- Finnish Navy minelayer FNS Uusimaa
- Finnish Coast Guard multifunction patrol vesses Tursas
Posted by Late99 | May 23, 2017 @ 05:16 PM | 3,910 Views
I participated my first competition in sport class of F3A Finnish championships league. The competition was held in Espoo, southern Finland. The weather was exceptionally good, which seems quite rare for any local model competition.

The Finnish F3A FAI class hosts some world class pilots. Lassi Nurila won 2016 F3A World Cup and Janne Lappi placed 2nd in 2017 F3P World Championships (indoor). These guys are virtually on the same level with legends like Gernot and CPLR. Lassi is also building the Sensation biplanes the guys are flying - and makes own carbon fiber propellers, which are really work of art.

Despite flying 3D / freestyle plane instead of a proper F3A plane I managed to win the sport class. It really wasn't my best flying, but at least it seems that the winter / spring training paid off. And kudos to Extreme Flight for building really wonderfully flying plane(s)!

As a competition this was really educating. I competed myself, wrote down FAI class scores for one the judges and also read notes to several competitors in both sport & nordic classes.

Enjoy the pics! And more pics are also available at Google Photos....Continue Reading
Posted by Late99 | May 11, 2017 @ 04:17 PM | 3,894 Views
Raku RC club had their annual spring "bootcamp" again at Jämijärvi. Weather was nice, although windy, especially on Saturday. Still we saw all kind of flying gadgets from quad copters and helicopters to turbine jets. I took my EF 70" Extra EXP and Pilot 87" Yak-54 there and flew plenty with both. And this time I didn't have any technical problems or accidents!

Check full gallery or video clip!
Posted by Late99 | Apr 25, 2017 @ 04:07 PM | 4,404 Views
One more Model Expo visited. Brought three planes to our club stand: 3D printed Spitfire, Extreme Flight 48" Yak 54 EXP and indoor Extra. I also flew dozen of demo flights with the Extra in the indoor flight arena.

I was very happy with our club stand, we had plenty of different kind of planes for display there. Also simulator was available for visitors / interested people to test. The fair itself is getting smaller and smaller. I guess it's just too expensive for hobby stores to attend, which is a real pity. Raku actually was also the only flying club dedicated mostly to aeroplanes attending.

More pics are available here for those interested...
Posted by Late99 | Mar 11, 2017 @ 10:58 AM | 5,309 Views
Today was a beautiful spring weather, almost no wind and temperatures finally above zero (in C).

Several cars stopped by the flying field to check flying activity and one guy took some excellent pics of me exercising Sebart Katana S 50E v2.
Posted by Late99 | Mar 05, 2017 @ 01:17 PM | 5,007 Views
As a winter project I built a Messerschmitt BF-110 twin motor heavy fighter. This is a rather small model with wingspan around 85cm / 34". The size was more or less determined by the extra electronics I had laying around. The plan / 3 views were fetched from Outerzone and the materials for the plane were all kind of scrap I could find from my house. So this was really build on a budget.

The plane is now waiting for maiden. I'm really interested to see how it flies and what kind of flight envelope it has. The plane might see some fun combat action in future...

Check the build story! And if interested in WW2 models also check my old Ki-61 Tony build.
Posted by Late99 | Jan 28, 2017 @ 12:53 PM | 5,731 Views
Well this is a minor one, but still might help someone....

I managed to rip elevator off my Sebart Katana S 50E when doing a harrier landing on a field with lot of snow / slush. The counter balances just dug into the slush and all CA hinges were cleanly broken from the middle. The elevator joiner also come partially loose when elevator sides bend backwards. I also think that cold weather made the CA hinges more prone to breaking and this plane is quite old (I got it 2nd hand) so from that perspective it might have been time to replace hinges.

This is just a quick how-to on how I did the hinge replacement. Read further if interested.
Posted by Late99 | Jan 26, 2017 @ 05:27 PM | 5,445 Views
2016 went past really quickly. It was my fourth year flying RC planes. Skill wise I learned a lot, but also the learning curve is getting slower. I clearly have my limits and will not be ever as good as some of the more talented guys are.

Last year was also a bit weird. I didn't manage to participate too many events. Either not too many good events were held or then I just missed them due to other obligations. Also my local field was really quiet and I spent a lot flying myself. I'm finally concentrating flying to few bigger planes. Flight time with aerobatic planes was 45h 18mins or 391 flights (~30% increase from 2015).

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My bad luck with 87" Pilot Yak-54 continued. I crashed it second time in the spring (stuck elevator servo) and then had a lot of engine tuning problems. I just wasn't able to get proper flight time with it so I was also unable to use it to attend any competitions. I also crashed my 48" EF Yak-54 EXP already very early in the spring. Finally got around to rebuild it in the end of the year. I also had minor mishaps with other planes, but those were typically relatively fast repairs.

All bigger crashes / repairs had something to do with malfunctioning elevator servos, so if I have learned something it's that don't be cheap on elevator servos!

My most flown / favorite planes for 2016:

1. Skywing 38" Mini Edge - really good for getting quick flights at nearby farm field. I highly recommend this EPP hybrid, flies really well for it's size...Continue Reading
Posted by Late99 | Dec 03, 2016 @ 02:02 PM | 6,133 Views
I had three motors as good candidates for rewinding. One was my friends Turnigy 2730 3000kV (Red Wonder), second was my burned 1700kV Blue Wonder and third was an old DT750 motor that could have a higher kV of around 1200-1300.

I had rewound one motor earlier, so I was pretty confident that I can get this done. Still I wouldn't call rewinding as very easy or cost efficient - brushless motors are so cheap nowadays that these custom wound motors have to be the most expensive after this operation. Still it's nice to know that you can repair and even improve brushless motor with some effort.

I had 0,5mm (~24AWG) wire from my friend and also 0,4mm (~26AWG) in my own stocks. I decided that I should use these instead of getting more wire, which might end up unnecessary in the long run. This limited my options for rewind somewhat, but I still found potential candidates.

I used RCGroups forums on DT and 2730 as a reference and to give idea on possible combos for successful rewind.

Red Wonder @ 3000kV

My friend wanted this as 2S 3D plane motor and after a bit of researching I concluded that my best shot would be 10 or 11 turns of 0,5 winded DLRK WYE. What I ended up after test wind was 10 turns. The last turn was a bit challenge for me. I know some others are able to squeeze couple of more turns, but I'm just a beginner and my fingers were hurting already.

Tested at 8,3V (2S 1800mAh lipo not quite full)
  • 6x4 6,8A 54,5W
  • 7x4 11,1A 86,3W
  • 8x3.8SF 13A 100W
Blue Wonder @ 1700kV

...Continue Reading
Posted by Late99 | Nov 26, 2016 @ 12:48 PM | 6,332 Views
This starts to be my niche... Repairing broken planes... I have to say that I actually seem to have really hard time wrecking these planes completely. I seem to able to break them somewhere quite easily, but usually they're more or less easily repaired.

I crashed my Extreme Flight 48" Yak-54 EXP during early spring. I was doing low level inverted flight when elevator servo stuck momentarily causing plane to come down hard on it's nose. Motor box was completely demolished as well the canopy and cowl. Otherwise the damage was limited.

Well, I live in Europe and it seemed practically impossible to get all the required parts for repair. No store seemed to carry motor box kit in Europe. I emailed several Extreme Flight European distributors and basically had decided to trash the plane. Still I really couldn't do it and it was stored on top shelf in my carage.

Then in autumn I noticed that Aerobertics had ordered needed parts and had them in stock. I had also acquired Torque 2814/820 motor, but it was missing prop adapter and proper shaft. Aerobertics seemed to carry these too, so eventually I pushed the button and ordered the parts.
Posted by Late99 | Oct 29, 2016 @ 02:40 PM | 5,895 Views
I got 70" EF Extra during early spring 2015 as they were dumped at bargain prices (discontinued model) by a Scandinavian dealer. I went cheap route with elevator servos and picked Hyperion servos, which were same size and also quite similar specs as 7245 Hitecs. All the servos in this plane are run at HV.

Well, these servos also were very fluttery on ground from start. I knew that that flutter/jitter should stop during load (and it did when for example pressed with elevator with finger) so I wasn't too worried about it.

To my great surprise during flight 34 elevator fluttered violently during relatively fast straight line flying (IMAC style practice, not full power though). Something clearly broke in the plane (heard a crack) so I immediately initiated landing. Made it safely to ground, but it was evident already in flight that fuse was broken and also left side elevator servo wasn't working properly. As I touched down left servo totally stopped working and also right side servo quit when I tested high rate elevator movements after landing.

The servos clearly weren't up to the task, probably the gears were already damaged during previous flights and finally wrecked on this flight. The tail of the plane had completely broken, it was basically held only by covering together - so in that perspective I was really, really lucky to fly the plane to ground. Gears (carbonite) of both elevator servos were broken.

Based on earlier repairs I had made I wasn't too worried. Of course it was a bit disappointing, this was a new plane for me and first damage is always frustrating, but I was confident that I would get it repaired.
Posted by Late99 | Sep 13, 2016 @ 02:21 PM | 6,259 Views
Once again I visited the annual scale event held in Espoo, Finland to take some pics. Originally I had planned to attend this same event in IMAC & freestyle classes, but I've been totally out-of-luck with my Yak-54 this year. All the problems have caused that I haven't had almost any time to really practice with it (what a pity).

Weather was sunny, but really windy. Still people had fun and flights were good.

Check full set of pics and videos @ Google Photos!
Posted by Late99 | Aug 13, 2016 @ 04:47 PM | 6,048 Views
I guess I got bitten by Crack Fokker.

That resulted in the following prototype plan. Haven't actually decided whether to build it or not. Any interest in getting some cheap scratchbuild competition for Crack Fokker?! Should I publish proper plans, build the prototype and develope it further?

So far planning something like:
  • 6mm Depron or similar material, CF strengthening
  • 24g+ motor 1300-1700KV
  • 12A ESC
  • 4 x 9g servos (or 3 for combat, without rudder)
  • 500-1000mAh 2S or 3S batteries

Posted by Late99 | Mar 28, 2016 @ 04:43 PM | 7,435 Views
I got hold of an old 3DHS Velox Revolution 47" which was had been laying in dirty garage for couple of years. It was clearly in a relatively bad shape. Functionally ok, but really dirty and with small dings here and there.

In this thread I will go through the overhaul of the plane and making it airworthy again. The plane should be a fine flyer, even though it's an old design. I hope it will make a great plane for one of my friends!

Setup

Motor: Torque 2818/900
ESC: Airboss Elite 45
Servos: 4 x Hitec HS-65MG
Propeller: To be decided (13x6?)
Batteries: 3S 2200mAh

Cleaning the plane

Velox had a lot of dust & dirt on it so first step was to get it a bit cleaner to properly assess the condition of the plane.

After wiping parts with a wet cloth it was evident that there was several places needing attention:
  • Several small holes in covering, some covered with painters tape (uhhuh, please use transparent packaging tape!)
  • Covering had wrinkles and lifting here and there
  • Cowling had few cracks
  • Tail wheel needed changing
  • Landing gear needed checking
Otherwise the airframe seemed intact and airworthy. So damage mostly is cosmetic and after paying some attention to it even hard to notice...
Posted by Late99 | Dec 28, 2015 @ 02:30 PM | 7,849 Views
2015 was my third year in this hobby. The year was windy and quite lousy from flying perspective, especially spring. During autumn we were finally blessed with better weather. Nevertheless I managed to attend several events as a spectator and also had some demo flights in some smaller local events. I have to be quite satisfied as anyways I'm a working father of two kids with limited time available for personal hobbies.

I've also moved to fly mostly balsa planes. Foamies were still used in spring and I still use them for some quick flights on nearby farm field, but otherwise I'm flying my balsa aerobats practicing both 3D and precision flight (IMAC Sportsman). I've logged my flights on the balsa planes & Mini Edge. Total flight time with these ended up being 26h 20min including 300 flights.

Couple of crashes were also mandatory. My Slick shook it's motor mount on several occasions and I replaced it with 48" EF Yak-54 EXP as I spent more time repairing it than flying. And my 87" Pilot Yak-54 also crashed in the end of autumn due to power brownout (faulty PowerBox Sensor). It's being rebuild as we speak.

Foamies were also flown into a (same) tree in several occasions.

Ranking based on flight time

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Description: 2015 flight analysis.

1. Sebart Katana S 50E v2 (8h 48min)
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Description: Sebart Katana S 50E v2
2. Exteme Flight 48" Yak 54 EXP (7h 12min)
...Continue Reading
Posted by Late99 | Dec 28, 2015 @ 01:39 PM | 8,849 Views
I obtained Katana as a second hand plane during spring 2015 as I needed something more reliable than my Slick 360 and also something heavier - the weather had been quite windy and I thought weight would help overcome that.

Katana has proven to be a reliable plane. No major problems with it and I'm able to get relatively long flights with it. However, I only have four sets of batteries for it. Katana can't be recalled as a floaty plane and it likes to be flown with some speed. Strangely, it's also pretty easy to hover. It also has wicked fast roll rate. I've been using it to practice IMAC and usually use rest of the battery after flying IMAC program for 3D training. Due to relatively heavy wing loading Katana wing rocks on upright harriers. Inverted harriers are much better.

Flight log 2015
  • 76 flights / batteries emptied with total flight time of 8h 21 minutes.
Setup
  • Motor: Hacker A50 14S V2 (345g, 425KV, 1600W)
  • ESC: DualSky 65A Lite
  • BEC: Emcotec DPSI Magnetic on/off -switch @ 6,0v, 2S 1000mAh battery
  • Propeller: Xoar / DFDL 17x8
  • Tail servos: 2 x Power HD DC 1217MG, digital servo, 62g, 6v 0,11s 15,9kg/cm
  • Aileron servos: 2 x Savox SC 1251MG, low profile digital servo, 44g, 6v 0,09s 9kg/cm
  • Receiver: Lemon RX 10 channel DMX receiver with satellite
  • Batteries: 4000mAh 5S Zippy Compacts and Turnigy Nanotechs
Specifications
  • Empty weight: 2466g
  • AUW: 2930g
  • Max measured amps (peak): 57A
  • Max measured watts (peak): 1112W
  • Watts/kg: 380
  • Watts/lb: 172
  • Flight timer: 6min 40s
Flight video
Sebart Katana S 50E 3D / aerobatics practice (4 min 28 sec)

Posted by Late99 | Dec 28, 2015 @ 11:22 AM | 7,869 Views
48" Yak 54 was for sale at Staufenbiel during early summer 2015 so I grabbed one to replace Slick. This is somewhat smaller plane than the Slick so I needed a lighter motor for it. Finally decided to get an 140g Emax as a practical alternative. I used the original Castle ICE ESC from Katana as it had adjustable BEC and thus I could skip using external BEC - wanted to keep this plane as light as possible. Otherwise I used cheap servos that I originally planned to use in the Slick, but then were left dusting as I ended up using Savox servos in the Slick.

First I had some trouble getting Yak properly trimmed and I also found out that it was quite front heavy. I ended up removing one former to be able to move the batteries next to wing tube. Also ESC was moved into the fuse. Once the CG issues were sorted the plane flew wonderfully. Yak was my preferred plane for good weather flying opportunities and I clocked a lot of flight minutes with it in the late summer and autumn. I haven't had any technical problems with it once the initial setup was finalized.

Yak serves really well as a quick plane to grab for a proper 3D flying session. 2200mAh batteries are also quick to charge as I can charge four of them at once with my (somewhat) limited charger. With Katana I realistically can only charge two at once. I have a feeling that this won't be my last Extreme Flight plane...

Flight log 2015
  • 82 flights / batteries emptied with total flight time of 7h 12 minutes.
Setup
  • Motor: Emax GT2820/07 (140g, 850KV, 590W)
  • ESC: Castle ICE lite 75 (BEC @ 6,0v)
  • Propeller: DFDL 13x6
  • Tail servos: 2 x Turnigy TGY-2216MG, digital servo, 15,8g, 6v 0,13s 3,9kg/cm
  • Aileron servos: 2 x HobbyKing 933, digital servo, 12g, 6v 0,10s, 2,0kg/cm
  • Receiver: Lemon RX 10 channel DMX receiver with satellite
  • Batteries: 2200mAh 4S Zippy Compacts and Turnigy Nanotechs
Specifications
  • Empty weight: 1255g
  • AUW: 1506g
  • Max measured amps (peak): 46A
  • Max measured watts (peak): 670W
  • Watts/kg: 445
  • Watts/lb: 202
  • Flight timer: 5min 10s