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Posted by aftica | Feb 26, 2015 @ 04:11 PM | 6,401 Views
My Zero is ready to fly! Something a little different.

I found this foamie profile Zero by chance...a LHS had a used Katana profile hanging that looked really nice. I inquired about the mfg and he had to search a bit to figure out it was ''TechOne Hobby''. So, looking through their site I did like the Katana best and I ordered a new one. BUT...I also noticed this cool Zero...unfortunately his supplier listed it as unavailable.
That set me off on a google quest to find this plane. Not much luck or even much info on it... even the mfg did not get back to me. I had almost given up, when I stumbled upon Vertical Hobby in Finland! Well, a week or so later I had two kits in my hands, very friendly and great service from Anitti at Vertical Hobby. Everything arrived without a scratch.

It is a very nice kit, easy/quick to build and looks even better than the mfg or my personal pics show.

If i'm building planes it usually means the weather is crap, so I don't know when I'll get a chance to try it.

My specs:

Motor: T-Motor 1250 kv (included in kit)
Esc: E-flite 20a with EC3 connector.
Prop: 10x4.7 slowflyer (included in kit)
Servos: 4X Hitec HS5065mg
RX: Spektrum AR 400
Ext: E-flite lightweight. rud=12'',elev= 9'', ail= 3''Y-harness.
Battery: TP 3s1300
Tail wheel: Dubro micro, set-up to caster only.

AUW: 580g, 20.5oz

Lots of build notes with pictures. Thanks for looking,

John....Continue Reading
Posted by aftica | Feb 12, 2015 @ 04:02 PM | 5,083 Views
My new Blade 180 CFX flys...finally!

Finally a blog post on a heli, after dozens of these contraptions over the years.

And quite nicely it does fly. Very smooth, stable and predicable. Reminds me of my first Trex 450 all those years ago. I always like to keep a small heli for indoor hovering practice and this is a direct replacement for my blade mCPX BL, which was ok...but way more squirrelly than the 180.

I will fly this outside (if weather ever permits lol, crazy winter) but to be honest I'm usually not able to throw the little guys around too hard...need at least a 450...but we'll see... this little guy does feel nice.

So here's the bad part of the story if you feel like it...

The first copy I bought and set-up on my Futaba did not work out so good. It's also the first time I've had trouble with any of the BNF stuff from E-Flite.
Flight #1 it popped into the air nicely but I had to land shortly as I forgot the timer. For some strange reason it would not fly again. Total flop over, every time just at the point of lift off. Shattered the TT spline, a great design feature btw..saves lots of other damage and changes out in seconds.
More TT, more flops, and a broken tail blade grip. Fixed that and more flops. Then I figured that maybe the trick was to just ''pop'' it into the air...well, no, that ended in a flop from knee height that destroyed two sets of servo gears as well.

LHS had no stock on gears but did have a couple kits. Frustrated I was getting, so I bucked...Continue Reading
Posted by aftica | Jan 06, 2015 @ 12:11 PM | 6,132 Views
My XR-52 is ready to go.

As per usual, set-up is quite different than recommended by MFG

Motor: Thrust 30 (I have a T40 at hand if needed + 35g)
Prop: Vox 13x5 (have many more sizes at hand)
Esc: Jazz 40-6-18 with ferrite ring.
Servos: Hitec HS5065mg (x4)
Rx: Spektrum AR610
Battery: TP 3s2200
One 9'' and one 6'' for aileron leaders from rx.( light weight)
Two 3'' light weight from aileron servos.
Two 24'' regular weight from R\E servos. (no LW at hand)

CG is right about 110mm

AUW: 1190g, 41.98 oz, 2.62lbs

I was initially aiming for an AUW of 1100g or less which would have been possible with a smaller battery and a few other weight shaving tricks, would have required pull\pull set-up on R\E servos. Decided not to bother as I'm not sure I'll keep this airframe long term, as it's just filling in time while I wait for other stuff to come to market.

This set-up will not be a rocket ship but should have good power for light floaty flying (3D and otherwise). If i feel the power is just not enough I will prop up and\or switch to a Thrust 40 (which would add about 35g)

The kit quality is outstanding as is usual with PA. Covering is perfect. Fitment of all parts perfect. All structures are perfectly straight.
The only issues with kit ( hardly worth mentioning) was one missing CA hinge and I decided to use my own bolts for landing gear (Allen heads instead of Phillips supplied)

I will put some build notes with pics and in...Continue Reading
Posted by aftica | Aug 17, 2014 @ 08:38 AM | 6,130 Views
I'm ready to start shooting at thermals!

Great service from Barry Kennedy Composites

White Snipe.
4x MKS DS65K servos.
Shred RC 450 Smart Lipo.
Spectrum AR6260 Rx (delete case)

AUW 228g with 74mm CG, so will need nose weight for first flights at least.

I was really impressed with the completeness of this kit (everything in the box except glues and a tiny patch of fibreglass) and the straight forward assembly.

Will fly on the first calm day I get, can't wait to compare it to my Validol. Put some notes with the pics.
Thanks for looking
John....Continue Reading
Posted by aftica | Jun 10, 2014 @ 10:45 AM | 7,025 Views
My PZ Sport Cub is RTF

I have not bothered posting about my last couple planes as the good weather is here finally and i'm busy flying, but I have time for a few notes on SportCub

I bought the PNP as the extra stuff with the RTF I don't need, and is worth jack squat in my market area, so might as well save a few bucks.
My set-up is a little different (as usual) with the emphasis on light weight. I wanted to try and approach the light floaty characteristics of my FunCub and it came pretty close. Losing another... 50g? ...might nail it.

AUW: 795g or about 28oz
Motor: eflite Park 450 890 KV (70g) stock is 110g
ESC: eflite 20a (15g) stock is 29g
Prop: Xoar 10x5 (about the same weight as stock prop)
Wheels: FunCub 17g each vs. 24g each for stock wheels.
Rx: AR400

Weight saving mods other than the the component switches listed above include: removing all flap hardware and mounting points, deleting struts and all related mounting points, battery door,rear fuse cover, heavy stock prop adapter, spinner, servo wire cover, window and other stickers.

With the exception of the struts, none of the above deletions is really noticeable once the plane is in the air.

So, at the reduced weight the plane flys beautifully and very slowly. Power is good for scale stuff only, but a bigger prop would liven it up. Most guys would be amazed at how easy and gentle mannered it is. 15 minute flights with scale aero , T&G's, and cruising is no sweat. 20 mins...Continue Reading
Posted by aftica | Mar 28, 2014 @ 11:41 AM | 10,007 Views
My Libelle is RTF.

I'm a DLG n00b and jumped on bandwagon immediately after hearing news of the new Libelle from Dream Flight. I wouldn't mind trying a full carbon plane, but i'm kinda worried I couldn't do justice to the air frame in terms of build. The Libelle looked like a great way to test the DLG waters without mucking up an expensive carbon ship.

Nothing new in the above paragraph... that scenario is exactly what the Libelle is aimed at I would say, and it will be repeated many times over.

Libelle builds easily and very quickly, with excellent instructions that even walk you through servo set-up, gear choices, flying tips...everything.

My set-up:

Libelle kit with DF battery (wires bobbed, velcro secured)
DF wing reinforcing film.
4x Hitec HS5035 servos.
AR600 rx
2x 6'' eflite light weight extensions ( joiner covers removed) for ailerons
1x6'' eflite light weight extension from battery to rx.
Steel balls in epoxy for nose weight to hit 5mm CG.

AUW 275g

I can't say too much about how it flies as i'm about as n00b as it gets when it comes to this type of plane and I've only flown it in one half hour session, under terrible conditions. I will say that it is easy to launch, can fly extremely slowly and yet is still very responsive.
So, my gut feeling is: if you're interested in unpowered flight, I think there is joy to be had for someone of any skill level with the Libelle.

Hoping the good weather gets here soon...

EDIT: I've had...Continue Reading
Posted by aftica | Mar 24, 2014 @ 12:47 PM | 6,865 Views
Spring is here and the Blizzard is ready to rock.

The awesome building weather this year has allowed me to catch up on some planes I've always wanted to try, like the Blizzard. I'm hoping it will be a good ''windy day'' plane. Much has been said about this plane and I didn't do anything too much differently, so I won't blather on. Some small notes accompany pics.


Blizzard (kit)
Multiplex spinner/prop adapter
Aeronaut Cam 10x6 prop (might need to try other sizes)
Scorpion SII 3008 1220 KV (95g)
Jazz 40-6-18
Hitec HS 5065mg x4
MPX 6 pin multiplug
12'' extensions x2 (rudd/elev servos)
TP 3s 1300/2200 EC3 connectors

AUW : 848g, 29.91 oz w/3s1300 (900g, 31.75 oz w/ 3s2200)...Continue Reading
Posted by aftica | Feb 27, 2014 @ 12:21 PM | 6,697 Views
My WM Ultimate is complete.

Hi guys, a member here put me onto this plane and I thought it was worth a try as it was only $42 (kit version) and I needed a break from the Multiplex kits!

As per usual with me, I set it up light... AUW is 495g (MFG calls for 680g) With an advertised wing area of 357 sq'' that should make for some easy flying.

Motor: Eflite park 370 1080KV
Prop: Xoar 10x5 (may be downsized)
Esc: Eflite 20a
Aileron servo: (1) Hitec HS 5065mg. (12g)
Dual Aileron servo option: (2) Hitec HS5035hd (2x 4.5g)
Rudder/elevator Servos: 2x Hitec HS45hb
Rx: AR400
Extensions: 1x3'' lightweight.
Battery: 3s850 ~73g w/EC2 connectors.

Too darn windy to try this out anytime soon, so just a few thoughts on the kit, in no particular order...

1) Was easy to build it light and still hit CG
2) Lots of preassembly is done for you. Fuse halves are joined, motor mount and battery try, plywood mounts for landing gear and control surface horns etc. All perfect.
3) Rear servo pockets are angled nicely to line up with surface control horns.
4) I really liked the carbon push rods and connectors. Very easy to line up to the proper length, and light too. More kits should do it like this.
5) Main gear is retained with one bolt and can be installed swept rearward (proper to scale) or forward. I skipped the spats.
6) Pull strings for rear servos were in the fuse. A nice thought but hardly needed.
7) Control horns fit very nicely in their surfaces. Snug. You could probably get away with out...Continue Reading
Posted by aftica | Feb 20, 2014 @ 02:31 PM | 9,025 Views
Panda Sport is in the air!

I couldn't resist the Panda any longer so I ordered from Sussex Model Centre in UK, as they are not otherwise available over here in North America. Shipping was dear, but the service was great. Will order from these guys again if needed.

Multiplex Panda Sport Kit version. Comes with spinner & 7x4 prop.
Motor: Eflite Park 370 1360 KV.
Esc: Eflite 10a Pro
Servos: Rudder/elevator, Hitec HS45B x2 (9g).
Servos: Ailerons (if needed) Hitec HS5035HD x2 (4.5g)
Rx: Spektrum AR400
Battery: 3s850 (72g) with EC2 connectors.

AUW: 427g, 15.06 oz

Another perfect Multiplex kit, as usual, a simple well thought out design that was a real pleasure to assemble. The box states an AUW of 520g. Don't know how they got that number, it was no problem to knock a 100g off that and still hit CG. In fact, I may go lighter on the battery as there is lots of room to move it forward.

A few things I wish they would have done differently on this kit:
1) More locating tabs between fuse halves, as it is you have to be really careful when gluing together.
2) Molded aileron servo pockets and aileron lines, to make it easier for us lazy guys to add ailerons.
3) Traditional foam canopy on top and do away with the cool, (but heavy) plastic access system on the belly.

Oh, the only defect: the paint on one ''canopy'' side just flaked right off. Setting it down on table was all it took. I painted over both halves with a Sharpie anyway.

Flys good...Continue Reading
Posted by aftica | Feb 13, 2014 @ 02:31 PM | 8,104 Views
My SkyWalker 1800 is ready to do its thing!

It's a simple set-up as basic as it gets... with no HD recording camera, no extra electronic goodies atm. Lots of room to add on later if I get hooked on this FPV thing.

I'll let the pics do most of the talking except for a few notes:

Got the plane/goggles from FPV Models. Very good service. It all arrived promptly (despite ordering during holiday season) and in perfect shape.
Overall the quality of the materials and engineering really impressed me, especially considering the very reasonable price. Only a couple tiny mods were needed, shown in pictures.

I wish the molded plastic bits were white (or even black), not sure WTH they went with orange! Instructions would have been nice too.

I tested the goggles (Attitude V2) with an even cheaper foamie glider (Calypso) and found out the stock antennae are not too reliable. I have some Spironets incoming and will wait for those before FPV with the SkyWalker. I have the Pan/Tilt working good but as it operates through the trainer port I have to hold the switch (or use an elastic band?) unless I open up the radio to change some wires. ( Futaba 9C, don't think I can assign trainer to a different switch electronically)

I flew it LOS to test, and yeah it flys really good! Afraid to toss it so I ROG from smooth snow. This was no problem but took a good run the first time as there is not much wing incidence. Subsequent TO's, I just forced the tail down into the snow with early...Continue Reading
Posted by aftica | Jan 21, 2014 @ 10:28 AM | 8,817 Views
My Multiplex Twinstar II is almost RTF!

On a bit of a Multiplex binge lately. I thought the Twinstar would be perfect as my first twin motor plane, or a good excuse to grab another Multiplex kit at any rate Also, I was inspired by a video posted in the thread that showed some nice slow, floaty flying and that sealed my fate.

The MFG suggested AUW is ~1500g I'm sure it flys fine at that weight but I'm aiming for <1100g. As it turns out, I'll be actually under 1000g / 35oz. with one TP 3s2250 battery. Lots of room in the fuse to run two of these batteries if needed.


Motors : Eflite Park 370 1360KV (x2)
Esc's : Eflite 20a esc (x2)
Props : MAS 7x4x3, MAS 6x4x3, APC 7x5 (pusher and regular vs. of each)
Servos : Hitec HS 5065 mg.
Rx : Spectrum AR600
Battery : TP 3s2250
Extensions : 2x12'', 4x3'', 3'' Y-harness for escs.

AUW : 995g, 35.1 oz

So far everything has gone really well with only a few minor mods needed to accommodate the non standard equipment (servos, brushless motors). The fuse is finished with some notes posted under pics. I may add some simple graphics and will post beauty shots at that point. As usual with Multiplex kits, I am really impressed with the wide margin you have for equipment and battery choice while still being able to hit CG without issue.

Like my FunCub, I strayed from the manual and assembled the wing as one piece. I meant to switch out the GRP spar for CF (as I should have done on the FunCub) but completely...Continue Reading
Posted by aftica | Dec 17, 2013 @ 11:51 AM | 8,746 Views
My FunCub is RTF!!!!

I know I'm a little late to the party and most people are familiar with the Multiplex FunCub by now, but here is my take on it...

As usual I'm trying to set-up as light as possible. I like lightly loaded, slow flying planes. Multiplex calls for an AUW of roughly 1130g, but, as with every Multiplex kit I've owned, I know it can be assembled much lighter. My AUW ended up at 865g/ 30.5 oz. This plane is going to capable of some slow flying!

The kit itself is the usual superb Multiplex quality. Perfect foam moldings, high quality hardware and plastic bits. Everything fits together exactly as intended. Simply can't say enough about how nice these kits are.

To save weight I used a smaller than spec power set and battery. If I need even longer flight times I will use a slightly bigger battery (3s2200) at a 50g gram weight penalty. Also, I opted not to use flaps. I did not cut the flaps from ailerons so I have full span ailerons. I beveled the ''flap'' and the corresponding wing section to allow full movement. The smaller (and lighter) tail wheel is from an eflite UMX Carbon Cub, I think it looks more scale too.

The eflite motor was a pain to mount as it would not line up, no way no how, with the Multiplex motor bulkhead. (mine is the metal version). No way to align it even if I drilled my own holes either. I had to use the ''X'' mount on the motor and then drill two holes in the Multiplex bulkhead. I trimmed down the top and bottom of the X...Continue Reading
Posted by aftica | Nov 27, 2013 @ 03:37 PM | 8,435 Views
Got my Solius finished. Another beautiful Multiplex kit. The fit and finish on these kits is the best it gets in the foamie world. Everything goes together perfectly. The foam is really dense and smooth.

As usual, I built mine with an eye to keeping it as light as possible. Using a smaller battery and a Radian motor/esc, it won't launch like a rocket, but it should be enough to get it up there. Holding it vertically, it wants to pull out of my hand starting about 60% throttle. There is plenty of room for a bigger battery, which I may end up using as my CG is just slightly aft with the 3s1300 all the way forward...will see how goes.

I went with heavier servos (HS 85mg) on the ailerons because they just happened to fit the pockets perfectly.

So I'm just waiting on some calm weather to try it out...

Spinner/Prop: 12x6 (came with kit.)
Motor: ParkZone Radian 480.
ESC: ParkZone Radian 30a
Aileron servos: Hitec HS 85mg.
Rudder/elevator servos: Hitec HS 5065mg
Rx: AR600
Battery: TP 3s1300.

AUW: 1195g.

Got 4 flights in today (5kph wind, just above freezing, overcast) flys good! I needed quite a bit of down trim (my CG is a little aft due to small battery) and an alarming amount of left aileron trim... you can see a few mm of deflection looking at the wing. Stalls are predictable, slow and mushy, with a slight wing drop. The Radian power set pulls the plane up smartly, I would say it climbs as good or better than my stock Calypso. The motor is barely warm, speed control even less so, but is was pretty cool out. Batteries come down warm, and I put back 800-900 mah for 2:30 sec motor run on each flight. (12-20min flights today)

I'm confident this plane will thermal well, when the gods are smiling. I'm about as clumsy as can be, but I figure I should be able to hand catch this plane after I get more comfortable with it.
Posted by aftica | Sep 10, 2013 @ 11:41 AM | 8,145 Views
Got my BigFoot done!


Motor: Scorpion S4025-10, 364g 515 KV
ESC: Kontronik Jive 100a LV
Prop: Xoar 19x10 (will try some other sizes too)
Servos: Hitec HS 645mg X4 (NO FLAPS on this build)
Rx: AR 7010
Battery: TP 4S 6600 25c EC5 connectors

AUW : 4480g (plane 3825g, battery 655g) ~ 158 oz/ 9.875 lbs.

Wanted: ''bush'' style beater that flys point and shoot, light and floaty like a 3D plane (that is, without the typical bush plane quirky flight tendencies) BigFoot seems to have delivered. It's got to be the lightest built up balsa bushplane in this size that I know of?
I've got 6 packs through it now and although conditions have not been optimal (breezy), I can say that this plane should do what I want it to. Plane will fly extremely slow (dead stop into the light breeze today) even though I'm not using flaps. I guess this is due to the extra light build on mine and the excellent control authority with the big surfaces and large throws.

Take offs: full throttle and the plane is almost in the air before the stick tops out! Sure, the light breeze helped, but in calm conditions I'd expect no more than 2 lengths for full throttle take off. The massive ailerons are effective at slow speed and never really felt mushy, even when stalling the wing. I could not get a wing to drop, it just goes into a crappy elevator, like a 3D plane that has a bit of wing rock... will need a calm day to test this more, though.

Massive elevator authority. Massive rudder authority, (can...Continue Reading


Posted by aftica | Jan 01, 2010 @ 02:58 PM | 8,079 Views


Posted by aftica | Jan 02, 2009 @ 08:45 PM | 8,420 Views


Posted by aftica | Jan 02, 2009 @ 11:05 AM | 8,565 Views