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Posted by KiwiKid | Dec 17, 2010 @ 03:31 PM | 6,600 Views
Vid I made of a couple of flying buddies ridge soaring their RCRCM Typhoon and Strega gliders at Ruapuke beach, New Zealand

RCRCM Typhoon (3 min 22 sec)

Posted by KiwiKid | Dec 15, 2010 @ 10:55 PM | 6,432 Views
Short vid of my friends JART flying in light winds at Ruapuke beach , New Zealand:

Jart ridge soaring. (2 min 2 sec)

Posted by KiwiKid | Nov 08, 2010 @ 05:41 AM | 8,079 Views
As mentioned in an earlier entry, I have recently got a Bird of Time operational and have been assembling an Elegance powered glider to complement it. I was rather impressed with the quality of the kit, accessories and instruction manual. The model was designed as a thermal glider, but I wanted to primarily use it as a warm liner and ridge soarer so it was time to pep this baby up (insert Tim the Tool Man laugh).

Main mods made were:
- cf strip glued to the bottom of the horizontal stab;
- sheeted the inside of the rear fuse with 1/8th balsa;
- inserted a 5mm square cf tube through the wing with 3mm c/f rods on the ends as the wing tips have dihederal. Servo wires encased in straws Ė see pic below;
- the stock wire and snake operating the elevator through a near 90 degree bend was an accident waiting to happen, so I replaced it with a small DLG servo positioned at the top of the vertical stabiliser, activating the elevator with a direct push rod; and
- fibreglassed the inside of the front section of the nose.

Power comes from a Mega 22/20/4 inrunner, with Hyperion 50 amp esc and 2500mAh 3 cell lipo generating around 300 watts.

Just finished it last night and did the maiden flight today. Flew great and I had a really enjoyable session. I was surprised how well it thermalled given the extra weight added by the strenghening undertaken.

Just to add to the pucker factor I shot this vid of the maiden flights.

Elegance powered glider (2 min 57 sec)

Posted by KiwiKid | Oct 29, 2010 @ 04:28 PM | 6,154 Views
Just a little vid I put together of my GWS TA-4K Sykhawk and scratch built Su-27 cruising around down at my local park.

Skyhawk and Flanker park flying (3 min 42 sec)

Posted by KiwiKid | Oct 26, 2010 @ 04:50 PM | 6,436 Views
Well work, wind, weather and wherewithal finally came together today and I was able to maiden the BoT. All went well, trim was almost spot on with just a smidgen more lead needed in the nose as it was slightly tail heavy - just fixed it with downtrim for the maiden flights.

Managed to squirt off a bit of vid - just cruising around getting the feel for it and practising some landings. She has a very good sink rate and is quite impressive on low passes. With only R/E control and a 3M wingspan you have to think ahead a few seconds, although having the twirly thing on the front makes the response pretty quick when you need it due to the increased airflow over the tail feathers which comes in handy for ridge soaring landings.

All in all, well chuffed and looking forward to some summer fun.

Electric Bird of Time (4 min 11 sec)

Posted by KiwiKid | Oct 11, 2010 @ 11:50 PM | 5,972 Views
I have always had a hankering for a BoT as three of my flying buddies have them (two gliders and one powered) and they are great gliders.They are quite hard to come by in NZ as they are mainly built from kits or plans and you either have to go through all that drama or manage to snag a second hand one.

Finally managed to secure a second hand one that had been made from plans. Itís a motorised version, which is what I had been looking for, and required very little work to knock it into shape. My contribution was:
- a redesign of the electrical and ventilation system.
- white trim on the horizontal stab and blue on the bottom of the main wing with a racing stripe on the fuse
- BoT decal on the starboard wing, still deciding if I will do anything with the port wing.
- fibreglassed the inside of the forward fuse and fitted a cf strip to the all flying tail (she will be used for ridge soaring as well as thermalling)
- new securing method for main hatch.
- new prop and spinner

The BoT is no hotliner, but is a great thermaller and I am looking forward to some relaxing cruising around on calmish days and ridge soaring in lightish winds.

Anyway, hereís some pics of her RTF. Off to buy a white hat
Posted by KiwiKid | Oct 04, 2010 @ 04:33 PM | 6,303 Views
I have been picking away at a few projects lately without making a lot of progress as I have been working hard and flying when I can, but have finally managed to get a few things out the end of the production line. This one was painting the underside of the Calypso Cobra.

It originally had the Cobra burnt orange colour on it to which had been added an asymmetric blue and purple scheme that I didnít really care for, so I decided to give it a make over - how hard could it be? Well it turned into a bit of a PITA actually with a fair amount of prep needed and lots of masking tape and the Cob was out of action for a while. Anyway, we got there in the end.

Itís important with a job like this to rebalance the model once you are finished. Checked the lateral balance and she was spot on. Had to add 1.75 ounces of lead to the nose to balance out the new paint on the tail and the 2/3 of the paint on the wing that was behind the CG.

All ready in case I get a tap on the shoulder for the F3B world champs. :lol:

Now just got to find some time to go flying.
Posted by KiwiKid | Sep 21, 2010 @ 03:31 AM | 6,520 Views
A new addition to the ridge soaring fleet - a Reaper from South Pacific Models.
The Reaper is designed specifically for dynamic soaring and slope racing, so pretty much wasted on me , but we will try and do it justice.
Posted by KiwiKid | Mar 22, 2010 @ 12:37 AM | 6,415 Views
This is my foamy slope soarer called an Arrow and manufactured by Canterbury Sailplanes in NZ. I have always liked the look of it and it reminded me of something from the drawing boards of Alexander Lippisch (designer of the Me-163 Komet). So when I picked one up recently I thought I would give it a bit of a do over and draft it into the Luftwaffe as a Pheil (german for Arrow). Its a fairly straight forward build. I just added a cockpit and some camo paint and she was done.
Posted by KiwiKid | Sep 20, 2009 @ 09:19 PM | 6,463 Views
Evo Alula - fun little ridgey and flat land soarer, second pic with its older and uglier E-Alula sister.
GP Spirit - Beautiful thermal glider, also a lot of fun as a ridge soarer in light to medium winds.
Airsail Viper - Indestructable ridge soarer and combat wing - also have fun launching it with a high start bungee.
Fenix - conversion of an el cheapo chuck glider into a fun little indoor/outdoor flyer.
Posted by KiwiKid | Jun 13, 2009 @ 02:34 AM | 6,407 Views
Well, hereís another one to cross off a very long ďto doĒ list Ė repairs and refurbishment of The Sting.
This ridge soarer has just turned 10 years old and itís a testament to itís builders that it has survived the brutal lifestyle of a ridge soarer for so long. It has been through a few owners and absorbed some severe punishment, but I hope its now somewhat restored to its former glory. Restoration consisted of finishing the rebuild of part of the wing (fence post!!), fibreglassing the tops of the wing with .75oz cloth and WBPU (two coats) and covering with Ultracoat and trim. Lower wing surfaces got a respray of black with white invasion stripes. All good fun.
This is a very nice looking and somewhat unusual model (7 foot wingspan) and looks a bit like a Scorpion that has been doing a bit too much DS-ing.
Posted by KiwiKid | Mar 18, 2009 @ 07:53 AM | 6,061 Views
I think I need some serious help. Dashed in to my LHS to grab a servo I needed and came out with a new model, some more batteries, various odds and ends, the servo and, oh yes, a bill for $300. Oh well, its such a neat looking model I just had to have it. Not sure if its a one off or kit - the LHS was selling it on behalf - only NZ$90 with two metal geared servos in it, so nearly a free plane. Flys brilliantly, pretty much like a Stryker, but is a bit tricky to land as it comes in fairly hot and basically lands on its wings. One day I might glass the nose and put an EDf on the back. Looks rather stealthy so I'm calling it the Spectre.

Posted by KiwiKid | Mar 10, 2009 @ 05:12 AM | 6,275 Views
Just posted a vid of my V-Diamond in the Electric Planes forum:

Posted by KiwiKid | Dec 29, 2008 @ 08:45 PM | 6,450 Views
This is my Bristol Scout built from plans (not by me). I purchased it as a bit of a wreck following an altercation with a fence (first pic), repaired it repainted it and repowered it as an electric with a Mega motor, 75amp Esc and 3300 25C battery. Flies very well and is fully aerobatic (with a bit of a dive to build up energy). A great pleasure to fly and is certainly something a bit different. Will post some flying pics and a vid in due course.

Posted by KiwiKid | Dec 29, 2008 @ 01:11 AM | 6,122 Views
This is my ESM Petrel I purchased new off our local equivalent of Ebay. I got it because I liked the shape and its 2.6m wingspan. Bit of an impulse buy and subsequent investigations revealed it was an overweight fragile discontinued dog with fleas in its stock form. With the help of the good people on RCG I made the following fixes:
*Replaced the 180g steel wing joiner with an 8mm solid cf rod
*Inserted 4mm cf rods into the wings to stop the bad habit of clapping wings at the first sight of thermal turbulence
*Installed a 5mm cf strip on the horizontal stabiliser
*Model came without a motor. It was originally intended to be powered by a brushed motor with very mediocre performance, but I installed a Mega brushless direct drive motor, 50 amp Esc and 3300 mAh 25C 3S lipo which gives it plenty of poop and a 20 minute motor run time. I used the large battery as the weight was needed for balance
*Replaced the stock spinner and prop (which exploded in my face) with an aluminium spinner and carbon folding prop
*Replaced wing securing rubber bands with zip ties
*Added fuselage decals

Now flies very well and is fully aerobatic. Will post some flying pics and a vid in due course.

EDIT 02/09: Got it together to post a vid, here:

Posted by KiwiKid | Dec 10, 2008 @ 07:21 PM | 10,214 Views
These are some build pics of my RNZAF Skyhawk adapted from the excellent GWS TA-4J kit. Various mods were made to the stock set up:

1) Strengthened elevator and recessed elevator servo inside tail fin - vid here:
2) Wings glued to body and supported with cf rod
3) Underside of wing and fuse glassed with servo covers fitted
4) Installed a HET 6914 Fan and HET 2W20 motor powered by 2X 2250mAh 4 cell 25C batteries with a 75 Amp ESC and separate 3 Amp BEC. Produces around 800 watts
5) Fitted jet intake strakes - smoothing airflow to fan and also reducing intake size to match FSA
6) Installed splitter inside fuse to smooth airflow to fan
7) Fitted thrust tube and support ring - 55mm exit diamater
8) Rigged up a flashing dorsal mounted anti-collision light on top of fuse
9) Added two 1/12 scale pilot busts and a second instrument panel
10) TA-4K mods - flattened top of tail, added antenna behind cockpit and a drag chute housing
11) Fitted semi scale undercarriage, refuelling probe, bombs, drop tanks and arrester hook - static display only as they all come off for flight. Built as a hand launched belly lander. A handhold was fitted on the centre line with sandpaper expoxied on for better grip.
12) Decals made for No. 75 Squadron of the RNZAF for TA-4K NZ 6254 as flown during the 70’s with SEA (South East Asia) camo

Hmm, now I see why the blighter took so long to build. Just have two flights on her so far that...Continue Reading
Posted by KiwiKid | Oct 24, 2008 @ 08:15 PM | 6,718 Views
My LHS organises an indoor fun fly once a month (primarily to generate a demand for spare parts ) at a venue where we have three tennis courts worth of space. Some pics below of my indoor fleet, also have alot of fun outside with them too. My club organised an expo recently incorporating indoor flying displays etc and a static display of some of our models - some pics of the static display also below.

...Continue Reading
Posted by KiwiKid | Dec 27, 2007 @ 08:39 PM | 7,488 Views
A neat model that popped up recently is the EPP Eagle. This was my Xmas project, its an easy to build barrel of fun, being strong and very versatile. You can fly it as a roust about park flyer, thermal or ridge soaring glider and indoor flyer and also terrorise the local bird population.
Build thread is here:

Links to the manufacturer and a painting tutorial are in the first posting.

Heres a link to some vids of the Eagle flying down at the park and at an indoor venue and with an onboard camera along for the ride: