KiwiKid's blog View Details
Posted by KiwiKid | Jun 18, 2017 @ 02:15 AM | 1,500 Views
Back in the day the RNZAF had a very rowdy air combat wing comprised of a bunch of A-4K Skyhawks. They were a pretty old airframe, but had been upgraded with state of the art electronics designed for the F-16. They were great air show performers, but never fired a shot in anger and our government of the day in 2002 decided to can them. Very painful for aviation enthusiasts, but in hindsight saved the country billions of $$$ over the ensuing years and helped us cope a bit better when the hairy legged WWFC turned up a few years later.

Anyways, in remembrance of the air combat wing, I built an EDF Skyhawk about 8 years ago and have my own little airshow from time to time. The model is done up as NZ2654, one of the TA-4K trainers. She's on her second motor and third fan unit. The modern 10 or 12 blade fans work really well and another resulting development is that they are much quieter than the earlier fan units meaning they are more user friendly for park flying and sound more like jets than an overamped vacuum cleaner.

Here's a recent vid of some park flying down at my local park. You can hear the difference in the fan units as the ground shots are with the older fan unit.

TA-4K EDF Skyhawk (2 min 26 sec)

Posted by KiwiKid | May 30, 2017 @ 05:25 PM | 1,728 Views
Know then that it is the year OneThousandNineHundredandFourtySix. The Third Reich is still in control of much of Europe. The Allied invasion has bogged down following the German break out during the Battle of the Bulge and the Russians have been fought to a standstill following their defeat at the massive tank battle at Kursk. The skies over Germany are crisscrossed with vapour trails from the latest Luftwaffe jet fighters. The USAF B-29s have been taking a mauling from the Swallows and Hucks and have had to retreat to night bombing. This has caused the Germans some concern as the fast high flying B-29s are hard to intercept at night and the existing jet and piston engined fighters struggle to reach their altitude with enough fuel to loiter for very long.

Blohm und Voss have been engaged by the RLM to complete the prototype of their type 219 high altitude flying wing night fighter which can carry a huge fuel load and is built around the massive new turbo super charged BMW double in line piston engine. B&V, still smarting from their 212 losing out to the Ta 183, have thrown themselves into the 219 project and the prototype has been completed and is undergoing test flights. Some grainy footage has emerged showing it to be a very agile fighter.

B&V 219.01 (2 min 30 sec)

Posted by KiwiKid | Apr 09, 2017 @ 09:20 PM | 3,004 Views
Here's a balsa bashing project I have been working on for a couple of years off and on The Sorcerer thermal glider built from Charlie Parker plans (produced in the early eighties).

Well, after doing a bit every now and then, we finally got the beggar finished. The model is designed to fly on the dual rudders only, but performance was pretty sluggish, so I added ailerons. These work really well and make it agile enough for general park flying, particularly when you let loose with the twirly bit on the front. Also should make a good light wind sloper - I hope.

Here's a vid of the maiden flight following the addition of ailerons.

Sorcerer (2 min 35 sec)

Posted by KiwiKid | Apr 03, 2017 @ 11:13 PM | 3,992 Views
This model has been around for a few years now, but I just picked one up from Banggood. Changed out the ESC for my old favourite HK Plush 60. She's got a 3000 4S Graphene lipo in the tank which hits the cg sweat spot nicely and gives her plenty of poop.

Here's a short hat cam vid of the maiden a few days ago - just cruisin' around getting a feel for her. Landings are a work in progress.

Waco YMF 5D (2 min 6 sec)

Posted by KiwiKid | Feb 06, 2017 @ 04:30 PM | 4,005 Views
Well, in a moment of weakness, I shelled out fifty hard earned bucks for this model in HK's Xmas sale and, I must say, it was money well spent

My local park is a bit noise sensitive and, apart from being an abomination, I always intended to replace the EDF unit with a nose mounted motor and folding prop. I did this by back mounting an outrunner to a ply firewall and gluing the whole shebang into the fuse.

Set up is:
Motor: HK 28-30S Propdrive 800kv
ESC: HK 40amp Plush
Prop: aero-naut 10x8 folder
Battery: HK Nanotech 1300mAh

I will drop the supplied EDF unit and ESC into something else.

The weight of the motor and prop on the snoz necessitated the battery being placed back under the trailing edge of the wing. I opened up the lower fuse and was pleased to find a perfect channel in the fuse to take a 1300 battery.

The model is mildly aerobatic and thermals like a champ. With the folding prop on I expect it will be a nice sloper too. Here's a short vid, just cruising around down at the park.

Hall Cherokee (2 min 17 sec)

Posted by KiwiKid | Aug 31, 2016 @ 07:24 PM | 7,767 Views
I have been flying my Luft '46 Horten Amerika bomber for ten years and she was getting a bit tatty, so I stripped her nekid, strengthened the framework a bit and gave her some new glad rags.

Here's a vid of the maiden flight following the makeover.

Horten Amerika Bomber (1 min 50 sec)

Posted by KiwiKid | Aug 27, 2016 @ 01:31 AM | 5,148 Views
So I thought I would dip my toe in the canardly pursuit and see what all the fuss was about

I chose a rather old design called a Canardex, built from a plan, as it has a relatively simple balsa construction and looked pretty tough, so would make a good trainer.

The model has been built with a 3S set up running on a 1100mAh battery, 25 amp ESC and 1100kv Turnigy motor with a Multiplex Xeno 9x6 folding pusher prop. These props are really neat (particularly if you are planning on doing a bit of slopin') for 3S pusher applications and, being specialized pusher/folder props, they don't over-rotate forwards or backwards.

Here's a vid of the maiden flights with a bit of AP. Crank up the HD to 720.

Canardex (2 min 38 sec)

Posted by KiwiKid | Apr 08, 2016 @ 03:30 AM | 6,111 Views
This model caught my eye when I was looking around for a scale 2.5m motor glider. It's a MotorSpatz (MotorSparrow) from VQ models in Vietnam. The fullsize was designed in Germany as a powered version of the existing Spatz glider and was first flown in 1960. Around 50 were made and a few are still air worthy in Europe with a couple flying in the USA.

Really nice flying model and a pretty straight forward build. I sourced the model from here:

Here's a vid of the maiden and second flights - on the second flight I tacked a Mobius camera on the l/e of the wing and have spliced some AP footage into the vid.

MotorSpatz powered glider (2 min 43 sec)

Posted by KiwiKid | Mar 25, 2016 @ 08:02 AM | 5,784 Views
The previous blog entry recorded the maiden flight of my NPS thermal glider from TheBuildRC. I took it out to the beach recently for it's maiden slope flight - just left the pod on and it flew really well.

Here's a vid - the whole flight was unpowered.

NPS thermal glider ridge soaring (2 min 12 sec)

Posted by KiwiKid | Mar 06, 2016 @ 11:37 PM | 6,014 Views
Maiden flight of my NPS glider with motor pod attached including AP footage spliced in from the second flight - watch it in HD.

NPS thermal glider (3 min 33 sec)

Posted by KiwiKid | Jan 31, 2016 @ 02:59 PM | 6,640 Views
I have been having a lot of fun flying the HP at parks and my club (maiden flight blog here: ) and took it out to the beach recently for it's maiden slope flight:

Hi Phase at Raglan (2 min 24 sec)

Posted by KiwiKid | Jan 18, 2016 @ 01:42 AM | 7,199 Views
I finally got my eagle ready for his maiden flight recently and took him out to the beach. He's still nekid at the mo as he has to earn his feathers by flying well and this is not always the case from what I have seen.

I deviated from the plan a bit in giving him a v-tail set up. This works as a ruddervator mixed at 80% to the ailerons. He is fitted with drag plates on the ailerons to aid in cornering. There is a bit of a trick to using these in that you don't want them extended for too long as they can grab on the air and cause an over-rotation. So, you just use them sparingly and "fly" the model through the turns using small inputs to keep the turn as smooth as possible.

Here's a short vid of the maiden - pretty low key stuff as I was just getting a feel for it and flying this model normally is pretty much a full time job. Excuse the bush landing, the wind was dropping off a bit, there were people all over the normal landing area and I couldn't get enough height to go over the back so decided to plant it in the shrubbery.

Eddie the Eagle (2 min 22 sec)

Posted by KiwiKid | Nov 24, 2015 @ 04:05 PM | 6,869 Views
Took the E-Zulu out to the beach the other day and had some great sloping flights with it - really love this model :-D

All flights were in gliding mode - you can watch the vid in HD at Vimeo.

E-Zulu slope soaring (2 min 48 sec)

Posted by KiwiKid | Nov 18, 2015 @ 03:29 PM | 7,220 Views
My PSS Spitfire sloper has recently turned four and a half years old, which is gettin' up there for a foamy sloper. It has done a lot of miles and is a veteran of some brutal landings, but is still hanging in there.

Shot a bit of vid out at the beach the other day - it was a nice sunny day, but the wind speed was 10 to 12 kts and the Spit likes 20 to really kick loose, but was very pleasant flying conditions. You can watch the vid in HD at Vimeo.

PSS Spitfire (2 min 27 sec)

Posted by KiwiKid | Nov 08, 2015 @ 10:01 PM | 8,074 Views
I recently assembled a Zulu aerobatic slope glider from Zupair.

RCG thread is here:

The Zulu is a very agile sloper that gets a helping hand from leading edge drooperons and also can be built as a powered park flyer by virtue of having a fire wall and detachable nose cone incorporated in the design.

I went with the parkflyer option, using the motor and prop from the HobbyKing Wingnetic which resulted in the battery being positioned on the cg. The model will still perform very well on the slope with this set up and can be thermalled.

Very fun model to fly. Here's a vid of the maiden flight - just cruising around getting a feel for the model. You can watch it in HD at Vimeo.

Zupair Zulu (2 min 44 sec)

Posted by KiwiKid | Oct 04, 2015 @ 11:46 PM | 7,882 Views
Well, by a somewhat circuitous route I managed to end up with one of Alex Louw's moulded gulls and maidened it last weekend in around 20 kts which made it pretty frisky.

Flew really well and I had trouble getting it to come down low enough for my head cam to capture it. Struck a bit of a problem with elevon flutter at (very) high speeds, so I will have to address that, but otherwise a great flying model. I added an elevator, mixed with the elevons.

Here's the vid - click on the Vimeo icon to watch it at Vimeo in HD.

Very fast little model so a bit hard to video - will try again on a sunny day with a bit less wind so I can slow her down and bring it in a bit closer.

My wife insisted on the soundtrack

RC Seagull (2 min 14 sec)

Posted by KiwiKid | Jun 22, 2015 @ 12:03 AM | 7,878 Views
This is my 20 years old 3.5m Hi Phase glider following renovation, which included recovering the wings and adding ailerons as I want to use it for ridge soaring as well as thermaling and club/park flying.

Vid of the maiden flight (this morning) following renovation.

Hi Phase glider (3 min 0 sec)

Posted by KiwiKid | Jun 07, 2015 @ 01:04 AM | 8,270 Views
Well, I have been flying the Vag for six months and it is still going strong. Takes a likin' and keeps on tikin'. Fun model to fly and Hacker has a whole bunch of new stuff coming out - new colours, SFGs, a larger Vag, a motorized option and some scalish models built off the Vag concept:

I decided to electrifying mine to get a bit more stick time on.

Flies really well and still performs well on the ridge. In fact, it is better in some ways in that the flight envelope is expanded and only the most extreme VTPR aerobatics are effected a little.

Some guys I correspond with asked to see it flying, so I made a short vid. The model does some neat flat spins and a few other tricks under power, but I tend to do them fairly high up as I often mess them up and they were too far away for the head cam to pick them up clearly - so this is just some low and slow stuff. You can click on the Vimeo icon to see it in HD if you want.

Vagabond (2 min 47 sec)

Posted by KiwiKid | Apr 16, 2015 @ 02:52 AM | 12,730 Views
So, I liked the look of the ZETA Science FX-61 Phantom FPV flying wing, but wondered how it would go with a wider wingspan. So I ordered a kit with an extra pair of wings and set to grafting the extra wings to the standard airframe. With a large dose of cf spars and a bit of glassing the job got done - extending the w/s from 1.55m to 2.6m. I then covered the model in brown paper and TowerKote and fitted a 600W 4S 4000 mAh power system. As a large part of the new wings were behind the cg I moved the motor from the rear to the front to save weight. A few decals and she was ready to go.

The Phantom Menace (2 min 0 sec)

The model weighs 2kg RTF and will be used for general roust about flying and ridge soaring.
Posted by KiwiKid | Feb 24, 2015 @ 07:02 AM | 10,512 Views
Been working on the Ogar recently and took it to the beach for its maiden flights. She's built pretty much stock. I added some cockpit detail and pilots and strengthened bits here and there. Flying with a 2200 battery and 44g of nose weight so could go up to a 2500 or so as the battery is currently all the way forward.

Fun model to fly and certainly looks different in the sky. Great park flier, thermaler, sloper and AP ship due to its RES (rear electric sustainer) set up. It has also become popular with FPV dudes o/a of the large space in the forward fuse:

Here's a vid of the maiden flights.

In the first part of the vid the model is just cruising around close in at a quarter throttle and then we head out to the ridge.

SZD-45 Ogar (3 min 58 sec)