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Posted by DismayingObservation | Mar 23, 2012 @ 05:47 PM | 5,874 Views
The reborn World Models P-51 is Daddy's new little pumpkin! She flies great, but the timing on the original ESC didn't match up at high throttle. I tried a Castle Creations Phoenix-25 from another model...worked fine. I put the no-name ESC back in that other model...timing issues with that other motor as well. Back went the Castle and off I went to the hobby shop to part with dough.

The timing glitch been solved with a new SuperTigre 30A unit which, of course, matches perfectly with the SuperTigre .10 outrunner. Hasn't flown yet with the new ESC. It will soon.

The E-flite Blade CP/CP Pro/SR hybrid heli shows promise! It wouldn't lift off properly during a test in my garage, resulting in a slightly nicked main blade tip when it made light contact with the sidewall of my car's tire. I had the darn things mounted backwards. The receiver and 2-in-1 weren't tacked down and I had a too-small 500mAh li-po slung under the thing with masking tape, but once the blade issue was fixed, I got it to lift off in my living room! First time in at least two years, too. Twitchy to be sure, but I had it on high rates without realizing it. I'll report back when everything is tacked down and adjusted.

The dusty, musty old .15-powered P-51 electric conversion should be done soon. I'm getting the motor mount and some assorted hardware later today. The motor for the SkyFly2 project is on its way from HobbyKing.

I think I'll post a rogue's gallery photo of these little beasts when they're finished.

UPDATE: The helicopter lives! I hovered it in my front yard a couple of nights ago and fast forward flight is next. Hovering is definitely twitchy with a transmitter lacking expo, but hover it does and it wants to fly! Problem is, the HobbyKing Orange Rx receiver is too large to fit under the canopy, so I'll be going to a spare Spektrum AR6110 soon. I'd hoped to avoid using it, but oh well.
Posted by DismayingObservation | Mar 16, 2012 @ 09:45 PM | 5,645 Views
Things are looking promising for Project Blade CP. The used E-flite 2-in-1 and Blade SR transmitter I got off of eBay work perfectly. It took some nurgling with the DIP switches on the transmitter to get the servos to react properly, but react they do. Still waiting for the gyro, but HobbyKing e-mailed me to say it's on its way. Nine bucks for a MEMS gyro is almost too good to be true. Here's hoping it isn't!

Today marked the return of a rebuilt The World Models P-51 EP electric. I used it in the review of the Airtronics SD-6G radio...and I swapped the Airtronics receiver for another brand.

An intermittent failing elevator pot splashed the P-51 a few months ago; I blamed the problem on a faulty receiver. I didn't know the pot was failing until my beautiful EScale A6M5c Zero, reviewed at Ezonemag.com last year, crashed in much the same way. It, like the P-51, went full down elevator only a week ago. Total loss. That transmitter is now in the shop for a new pot.

Incredibly, the P-51 survived other than the fuselage. The fiberglass cowl suffered some minor damage, but it was still perfectly useable. I broke down and ordered a fuselage, decals and pilot figure from AirBorne Models who were kind enough to send a few other necessary parts as well later at no cost. The reborn version has a SuperTigre .10 outrunner mounted to a modified World Models outrunner-style firewall. It flew perfectly earlier today on a Futaba T6EX and full-range receiver. Only...Continue Reading
Posted by DismayingObservation | Mar 08, 2012 @ 09:30 PM | 5,743 Views
It would seem that I was born with a bit of an ornery streak.

When I was a kid, I remember my teachers complaining about how I wouldn't follow directions. Drove my folks nuts, too.

Time, maturity and wisdom have made me a much better Do-Bee, thanks.

Or not.

I am, against all professional advice from a team-sponsored R/C helicopter pilot, resurrecting a real monstrosity.

I learned to fly helis on an E-flite Blade CP, one of the first ever. I still have what was a dusty, unused carcass now being converted back to a helicopter. Blade CP's don't stay factory original for long. There isn't an original part left on the thing except for two of the S75 analog servos.

A couple of years ago, I tried a conversion I'd found online, namely that of a GWS tail motor to replace the geared micro motor. Think of it as a poor man's CP Pro.

Worked great...for about fifteen seconds. Motor went blooey, helicopter pirouetted in. So, I bought a Blade SR tail motor, prop and assorted hardware.

Nope. That motor spun too fast for the old 4-in-1 module and I think I may have burned out the module during the attempt.

What I was left with was an airframe with a lot of new parts, lightly flown parts and aftermarket upgrades, including a new canopy, a rebuilt Bell-Hiller head, a brushless main motor operated through an interface hooked into the stock 4-in-1 and one of the first ever sets of SuperSkids. I even upgraded it with an aluminum swashplate along the way.

This little Walkera-...Continue Reading
Posted by DismayingObservation | Feb 10, 2012 @ 08:41 PM | 5,830 Views
It took a bit of doing via different internet vendors and a bit of shopping at the local hobby shop, but the 450TT is back together and, I daresay, better than ever.

Oddly enough, a genuine Align tail boom fit poorly - it was too tight a fit - and didn't look as good as the original. Hobby King was sold out of the "Mighty Morphin Power Ranger" canopies, hardly surprising at less than three bucks a pop compared to $23 for a fiberglass Align unit...which also didn't seem to fit as well.

I found a domestic source for the parts including the canopy, namely Xheli.com. They had the the EXI brand parts for just a little more than Hobby King. OK, so the tail boom now says "EXI-HOBBY." Whee.

So, my little clone is now sporting some Align goodies, namely the torque tube, mainshaft, feathering shaft, feathering shaft dampers and skids, which are now white instead of black. Makes a BIG difference in the air. Looks classy, too.

All else is well, except overtightening the the prop retainer nuts on the quadcopter after losing one (nearly $20 to replace it with tax and shipping) caused two of the the props to fail as I was taking off. Solution: APC slow-flyer props! Normal rotation, reverse rotation.

I have some quad props from another mail order source on the way, but for now, the quad flies great on the APC's with a little bit of help from the brass bushings on the original props.

Until next time...have fun flying!
Posted by DismayingObservation | Jan 24, 2012 @ 09:20 PM | 5,472 Views
I really need to blog more often.

When last we met last summer, I told you of a couple of projects. Status: Unchanged. I've been busy hobby-wise helping out around here with reviews of some really fine hobby products. That little Cessna is trimmed out and flying right as well.

I had to put the brakes on my flying for awhile due to cataracts which snuck up on me. At age 50, yet. Those may have been what cost me my wonderful World Models P-40 Warhawk. I mentioned that a few posts back. Anyway, the eyeballs are nicely rebuilt and my distance vision is darn near bionic. The implants don't focus like natural lenses, so I have to use dollar store "cheater" reading glasses up close. Small price to pay, believe me. I must have put a good thirty flights on the HK450TT Pro I reviewed but couldn't fly because of the cataracts. Had its first crash a couple of weeks ago.

It's going back together with a combination of Align and Hobby King parts, but certain key parts from HK remain on backorder.

Thanks to a rather well-heeled friend, I and several others in the group we got together to descend upon the AMA walked out with shiny new quadcopters! What a fascinating branch of the hobby! You haven't seen anything until you see an autonomous quad fly itself via GPS. My new quad isn't one of those, but I fear seeing that GPS and R/C machine may have sparked a real interest.

Talk to you sooner than later!
Posted by DismayingObservation | Jul 15, 2011 @ 07:43 PM | 6,733 Views
One thing I discovered about the souped-up Flyzone Cessna I last blogged about is that the thing is most assuredly not an aerobat.

I discovered that banking it too far will send it straight into the ground. Ouch.

However, I liked the overall results so well that I went ahead and bought the new fuselage, cowl, decals and prop needed to get it airborne again. It flies even better on a smaller 1000mAh pack a opposed to the 1300...and besides, I had no other real use for the 1000's I had on hand. They now have a nice, new home in the Cessna.

I continue to have an absolute blast with the E-flite Blade mSR micro heli I got last Christmas, so much so that I've already worn out two batteries! I can even fly it outdoors if it's calm enough.

Two more orphaned "el freebos" have taken up residence in my garage. One is a new-old, assembled but unflown Global Hobby Raven .61 with an extra wing! The manual has a copyright date of 1995, no servos have ever been mounted and the cowl remains uncut. I just happen to have everything I need to complete it and get it flying. Ditto the Great Planes Ultimate .46 which has been on again-off again for awhile.

The other is a big .91 Kato sport flyer that looks like a Super Sportster. The tail section is damaged but easily fixed, the canopy is damaged and the pilot figure is definitely in need of replacement. Its a cut-down Rambo action figure complete with machete. It has some ancient Futaba servos I've yet to test, but no engine. I'm not entirely sure what I'm going to use for a canopy; perhaps a cut-down Sig or service part from Hangar 9 or a similar brand. Still deciding what to do with this big ol' thing.

Not much else to yak about, but I'll try and blog again sooner than later. See ya!
Posted by DismayingObservation | Feb 02, 2011 @ 02:35 AM | 7,741 Views
Some years back, I picked up a ready-to-fly Flyzone Cessna Skylane 182 foamie.

Nice scale looks, ready to fly, what could be better?

Unfortunately, it suffered from being a bit too heavy and prone to tip stalling. After replacing such things as the nose gear straps on the non-steerable nose gear as well as most of the airframe over time, the brushed 380 motor and Ni-Mh batteries kinda called it quits. Ditto a gimbal on the transmitter.

So, the poor thing languished in the garage for quite a long time after that. I didn't really want to part with a complete four-channel airframe, even one which had seen better days.

My idea was to eventually update the power system with a brushless outrunner and li-po battery.

The 2011 AMA would help with the Cessna's rebirth. It was there I found a booth selling inexpensive, no-name power systems. The young man who ran the booth was rather knowledgeable about his product and sold me a 1450Kv outrunner, 18-amp ESC, an APC-style prop and prop collet, all for twenty bucks.

Later that week, out came the rubber band-secured 380 and its cradle (and the dry-rotted rubber band itself) and in went the outrunner with the aid of an E-flite stick mount and firewall stick adapter trimmed to allow the cowl to fit. A Du-Bro 1/2A steerable nosewheel went in as well. A 1300mAh 30C 3S li-po I already had fit just fine with Velcro once I removed the bottom of the battery tray as viewed from underneath. That mount and firewall was a...Continue Reading
Posted by DismayingObservation | Jan 03, 2011 @ 09:41 PM | 7,189 Views
...ask for help.

Case in point: Two young gentlemen whom I met with some recently acquired Christmas presents, namely a couple of RTF foamies.

I was out getting video for a review I'm doing for "E Zone" when these two fellows walked by on their way to an alternate field next to where I was flying and asked (and properly so) about what frequency I was on. I was on spread spectrum, they were on 27 MHz and 72 MHz.

In any event, they'd explained that they had just gotten the models and that they were looking forward to trying them out. Ah, says I. Had you flown them yet? Well...not really. We're kinda sorta expecting to crash them.

Uh-oh. Would they like a bit of help?

No, thanks.

After finishing up the video and doing a bit of flying with the review subject, I decided to check on my new friends.

Sure as heck, both rudder-steered models had been augered in from too much rudder input. Making things interesting was the fact that one of the models had its wing mounted facing the wrong way. Somehow, it actually managed to fly with a reversed airfoil.

I took the opportunity to tell them about the full-time local club and the informal club which meets Saturdays at the field we were at; help, as I told them, would be abundant no matter where they chose to fly. To me, a lot of the fun is in helping new flyers. Heaven knows I got the same kind of assistance when I was learning and I'm just passing on the experience.

So, as we begin the new year with innumerable new electric RTFs taking to the skies, I'd like to take this moment to encourage you new flyers to seek help (which will save you some serious bread on replacement parts) and you grizzled vets to make yourselves available for a brain picking session or two.

Sharing is what makes any hobby great, after all.

Happy New Year.
Posted by DismayingObservation | Sep 01, 2010 @ 07:24 PM | 8,301 Views
I don't have to tell you that it ain't no fun when one augers in a model, especially when it could have been avoided.

Sad to say that I lost my World Models P-40 Warhawk to "short eyeballs," as Moe of the Three Stooges once said.

I had LASIK surgery a few years ago and it literally gave me HDTV-quality vision and beyond after 35 years of corrective lenses.

Well, the nearsightedness is creeping back in ever so slowly and I've been putting off a visit to the eyeball specialist for glasses. Flying nitro models has become a bit of a white-knuckler as a result. You'd think that alone would be incentive enough.

So, here I am, bringing the P-40 around to final after a really fine flight...and I lost sight of it. Wasn't too far away, either. Far enough to matter, though. When I last saw it in flight, it was heading straight down with no possible way to pull it up.

What does this have to do with the title...?

Well, the O.S. 46AX and all the electrics will be going into my nearly refurbished, kit-built Great Planes Ultimate Biplane originally built as an electric and abandoned by its builder after a very minor belly-flopper. Parts to complete the Ultimate will hit the hobby shop at week's end.

The Magnum XL .46 which was slated for the Ultimate will be going into the thirty-year-old Super Sportster (I don't trust the old Webra) and I'm getting an Evolution .46 off of a buddy soon. It was going to go into the Super Sportster, but instead will go into a new Hangar 9 Solo Sport trainer I got from my club nearly two years ago. I can use that to teach friends and family to fly.

So, I get three for one.

I will, however, miss that snarling shark staring me in the face every time I pulled into my garage.
Posted by DismayingObservation | Aug 18, 2010 @ 02:42 AM | 8,107 Views
So close...yet so far...

Just when I thought I had the old Webra 40 I'd blogged about a couple of times finally running well, wrong-o.

Took it out a couple of weeks ago, fired it up, everything seemed OK.

I got it ready for takeoff; the 30-year old Super Sportster gets off the ground followed by cough-hack-sputter-die-tip stall-splat.

The saving grace through all this is the fact this particular model is as rugged as the average log. It's skinned, covered and doped to where it seems as if it's carved instead of built.

All that broke was the prop.

The right horizontal stab popped off, but it had been repaired sometime in the model's past. Fixing it right with some 30-minute epoxy will be a cinch.

A friend says that he has an unused Evolution .46 which should suit this old bird just fine. I'll lose the cool vintage look and that uber-cool vintage exhaust pipe, but I can rest assured that I'll have an engine as reliable and tough as an anvil. I have an Evo .46 in another plane; it starts and runs every time I take it to the flight line. It doesn't make as much power as my other .46s simply because of the flywheel which makes it so beginner friendly, but an Evolution in the Super Sportster ought to be a nice match anyway.

Work is delayed somewhat on my Great Planes Ultimate Biplane project while I work on some reviews for The E Zone. Hacker Model Production of the Czech Republic is making some really nice 3D profile foamies, among other things. Reviews of two of those foamies will be hitting the site within a couple of weeks. The first should hit a bit sooner than that.

Now, what to do with nearly a gallon of FAI fuel...?
Posted by DismayingObservation | May 11, 2010 @ 07:26 PM | 7,914 Views
All is good in the land of nitro-powered airplanes. A single gallon of FAI fuel is on its way for the old Webra, I sucessfully completed repairs to a "SPAD" homebuilt plane I got through an RCGroups member about three years ago...and it was sidelined for two after some engine problems (now fixed; it was a carb problem) led to minor crash damage. Much fun seeing the old flying drainpipe back in the air!

The landing gear for the old Cub was silver-soldered at a local music store since I couldn't find anyone else to do it. In retrospect, I should have bought it to a radiator shop. The music store charged me thirty bucks! We all have to make a living, but thirty bucks? Oh, well. It's done, the repair is nice and strong and it went in the air yesterday at the private airstrip I mentioned a post or two ago and it looked terrific. The engine ran better with each passing minute and the thing was just plain fun to fly. However, the rough dirt runway managed to strip the gears of the aileron servo while trying to taxi back. Again.

The next project begins soon.
Posted by DismayingObservation | May 03, 2010 @ 12:53 PM | 8,016 Views
Might have found me a source for a single gallon of FAI fuel for my poor old Webra 40. Best part is, it'll be an imperial gallon of roughly five liters instead of four quarts for sixteen bucks.

My local club has made arrangements with Magnum Fuels for discount rates on imperial gallons. I'm getting the usual 15% nitro/18% oil stuff with a separate order for 0% nitro/20% oil FAI if they'll send some as part of the total order.

If Magnum will ship a single gallon of the FAI, I can have fun with a vintage model with a vintage engine and it'll free up my modern Magnum XL .46 for use in a Great Planes Ultimate Biplane I'm working on.

Fingers are crossed; this may be the best sixteen bucks I've spent in a long time.
Posted by DismayingObservation | Apr 24, 2010 @ 05:16 PM | 7,835 Views
As luck would have it, the Webra 40 I blogged about in my last entry is at least as old as the plane it was mounted in.

According to the wonderfully helpful Paul's Hobby Shop of Fargo, North Dakota, that old engine is designed to run on 0 to 5% nitro with 20% minimum oil content. The modern standard 15% nitro/18% oil was causing the engine to detonate and overheat, hence the loss of power.

No one - and I mean no one - in my area carries the stuff and I would have needed to purchase a case.

I have no idea whether or not that engine as four gallons of life left in it, so out it came and in went a lightly used Magnum XL .46 I had set aside for another project.

Same basic size (the crankshaft snout is actually a tad shorter) and weight, so in it went.

This engine was another prize from the same club raffle which went to a member who flies strictly electric. In fact, he was glad to give it to me since he had no idea what the heck he was going to do with it.

All I need to do is continue to help him out with his buddy box, which I am more than happy to do.

Tell you what, though: That Magnum revs like crazy, much faster than the Webra even with the tuned pipe.

This should be fun in the air.
Posted by DismayingObservation | Apr 17, 2010 @ 02:44 AM | 7,960 Views
I'd forgotten to mention in my previous blog that what might be a pesky little air leak was driving the idle setting on my ancient Super Sportster "castoff" absolutely bonkers. This morning, the engine started losing power in flight which, coupled with the weird idle issues, led to one very l-o-o-o-o-n-g landing with a broken prop resulting from it running out of runway. Basically, I was trying to bring it down in a hurry and it glided in hot at a private R/C airstrip I was privileged to fly at. The owner of the property had an old three-blade Evolution trainer prop which we used to get it back in the air. Not a whole heck of a lot of thrust with such a low-pitched prop as I'd correctly assumed and when it started losing power again, I knew it wasn't going to make the field, so down it came in the open desert before the runway. No harm at all to the plane, prop busted off a blade.

So, out came the engine this evening.

Which, as it turned out is not an O.S. 45 as I'd been led to believe.

It is an Austrian-made Webra 40. An old one at that, needless to say.

Off to see the Google wizard which in turn led me back here and over to Paul's Model Supply in Fargo, North Dakota. Apparently, Paul is an expert on Webra engines, so I e-mailed him a description of my issues.

I told him that while a new engine would be great, the model would lose a big chunk of that vintage cool.

Don't let me down, Paul!

Naturally, I'll share the progress right here on this very blog, so stay tuned.
Posted by DismayingObservation | Apr 14, 2010 @ 09:56 PM | 7,854 Views
Talk about fun; the former "castoffs" in my last post are not only no longer cast off, but are now proud additions to my fleet.

The 1/6-scale Cub - which might not be a Sig Manufacturing model after all - had been giving me trouble from the very start in regards to its landing gear. The sleeves which are supposed to hold part of the assembly together simply have no grab left in them and the whole works collapsed on the first takeoff attempt.

Ah, but the second attempt was a thing of beauty. She took to the air with real authority on a fairly windy afternoon. Straight line performance was terrific and that old O.S. 45 hummed like it was new. Throttling back let the Cub fly nice and gentle, but those old 45's like to rev, so it wasn't terribly happy, but hey, I didn't mind.

Not wanting to press my luck with the landing gear, I floated the Cub in for a landing and sure enough, one side let go. I was able to taxi back to the flight line with no problem. The flight convinced me to eventually finish the visual details such as the cowl, scale wheels and landing gear fairings. It's just too much fun to fly a Cub not to do this one right.

The real fun came when the Super Sportster hit the sky. What a rush! Loud and screaming fast with that tuned pipe, it ripped through the sky with little more than some left aileron trim. It pulled off some truly nice loops, Cubans, half Cubans and victory rolls with a lot more aileron response than I would have...Continue Reading
Posted by DismayingObservation | Mar 25, 2010 @ 12:06 PM | 7,613 Views
It is a slow and tedious process, but sure as heck, my project planes are finally getting some attention.

On my last blog, I told about an orphaned, thirty-plus-year-old Super Sportster given to me complete with engine and servos. She's ready to fly once I pop in a receiver and battery, set up the transmitter and check the CG.

This in turn inspired me to dust off an older project, one I creatively dubbed "Project Cub."

This poor old 1/6-scale Sig sat for heaven knows how long in someone's attic crawl space in the desert and was it ever dirty. It came with unusual Hitec HS-101 servos and not much else. No decals, no cowl and no evidence of there having been any. On the other hand, it was well-built and covered with 21st Century simulated cloth covering.

I slapdashed some basic repairs, slapped on an old (and yet another castoff) O.S. Max 45 with a fuel tank from a crashed model and put it in the air. The engine was a bit hard to start and the darn thing flew pretty well with more than adequate grunt, but I chose to ignore a slightly crunchy rudder servo. Landing on a windy day several flights later sent it into a safety fence, shattering the windshield and breaking off one of the posts.

So, back into the garage it went.

After cleaning up the Super Sportster, I thought it might be fun to revisit the Cub.

I had an old O.S. 25 on hand which would provide more scale performance, but the mounts were aligned for a .40-sized engine. Off...Continue Reading
Posted by DismayingObservation | Mar 15, 2010 @ 02:54 PM | 7,681 Views
Well, it would seem that another odd model plane has managed to find a new home...namely, mine.

A friend of mine who's basically just starting out in the hobby and flies only electrics managed to win a used but complete nitro-powered plane at a club raffle. Since he didn't want to mess around with nitro, he gave it to me as-is, with engine and four Futaba servos.

Not bad for one dollar for him and free for me.

I was told that this roughly .40-sized model is about thirty years old, but I have no way of knowing that unless I can track down the original owner. Regardless of the age, it is a finely built thing.

Both the fuselage and wing appear to be fiberglass over wood, covered with a fine fiberglass cloth and painted with dope. The fusealge actually feels like a single, solid unit as if it were carved out of a single piece of wood. The graphics are regular iron-on bits. I have never seen a model put together quite this way. The Donald Duck finger puppet which took up space in the cockpit was removed; it's too nice a model to have such an incongruous figure under the canopy and it was rattling around loose anyway.

The engine is an "odd duck" as well. It seems to run fine with its strapped-on tuned pipe open at both ends. Nice and loud and according to another flying buddy, it pulls the model through the air just fine. At least I can take heart in knowing it flies well and just flew recently. How anyone managed to fly it on the original fuel...Continue Reading
Posted by DismayingObservation | Mar 03, 2010 @ 12:51 AM | 7,648 Views
Where has the time gone? Heck, I haven't blogged since last summer, so here goes:

Still flying my E-flite Blade 400 and still loving it. However, I haven't had as much opportunity to fly fixed wing in the last few months since my wife and I moved. I'm now nearly fifty miles from my club field...ouch! On the up side, the powers-that-be granted me free membership this year thanks to my publicity efforts of the past year, so it certainly works out. Besides, I still have family out that way, so it's the perfect excuse to toss a plane in the car and drive out.

There's a dry lake bed considerably closer to home, but it's on a rather rough dirt road and the rains here in Southern California have pretty much turned it into a gigantic mudhole, or so I'm told. I went one heck of a long way down that same dirt road without finding the fork which would have taken me to the flying site. Had I gone any further out, I'm convinced that I would have found the ten lost tribes of Israel.

Nice part about the new place is that I have plenty of room to fly an eggbeater, so I do.

Two of my nephews have been bitten hard by the R/C flying bug. One is making absolutely incredible progress on helicopter flight thanks to lots of simulator time. He'd bought an indoor/outdoor coaxial just before Christmas and flew it beautifully here at my place.

About a week ago, he sent me a text message saying that he'd bought a used but very nice and nicely modified T-Rex 450.

Ooh, big jump, thought I.

He's not only hovering, but he's into forward flight...and he even went inverted and in control, again thanks to the sim.

I don't even like going inverted with a simulated heli, let alone a real one without a magic reset button which puts everything back together.

To be perfectly frank, I can't wait to see him in action!
Posted by DismayingObservation | Jul 17, 2009 @ 08:15 PM | 8,483 Views
As luck would have it, the new E-flite Blade 400 3D I talked about in my last blog may have been a victim of a bad radio despite the fact my transmitter wasn't on the Spektrum DX6i recall.

It didn't take more than a few flights by me and my friend Manny to learn that this bird was unflyable. Manny's description, by the way. Anyone privileged enough to fly some T-Rex 450s for Twentieth Century Fox should know what "unflyable" means.

Stubborn me went to fly it anyway.

I put it in a seemingly stable hover, hit the idle up and the thing went into an immediate and very fast hard left turn right into the ground. This happened too fast for me to react right away, so what was left of the main rotor continue to turn under power for a moment. That moment was enough to cause the li-po to vent and begin to burn...!

To make a long story short, I told my tale of woe to the nice folks at Horizon Hobby who asked me to send the wreck to them.

Their response?

One brand new Blade.

Here's the sweet part: It came with the transmitter batteries already installed, a new but discharged li-po (I got to keep the original because of shipping concerns and it wasn't the one which vented), their updated and recommended radio settings already set...and I think they may have even removed the back of the transmitter to check the pots since the charge jack was rattling around inside. Unless it had come like that from the factory, the only way it could have come loose was by removing the back. The jack is held in place by the two halves of the transmitter case.

In short, these great folks tested the model before they shipped it.

It flies like a dream and it's going up in the morning yet again. I can't get enough of the thing.
Posted by DismayingObservation | Apr 11, 2009 @ 09:25 PM | 8,576 Views
As I'd pointed out in a previous entry, it's nice to have knowledgeable friends in the hobby.

Heck, it's good to have the hobby for the friends you make.

Case in point:

I joined some flying buddies for breakfast this morning...their treat. Of the three, two are beginners and one is an expert helicopter pilot who, as I'd learn, just did some work with some Align T-Rex 450s for the Alvin and The Chipmunks sequel filming in Los Angeles.

Talk about lucky: He got to keep a couple of the T-Rexes, the high-end JR Spektrum radio, the chargers and a whole slew of brand new li-pos on top of getting paid. He's still on call and may have to go back to LA for the shoot; one of the helis he'll get to keep is still there. It was scanned for CGI modeling and it'll be autographed by the cast and crew when it's no longer needed.


One of those very same helis was in the air today at a quiet, privately owned field available for use by members of the local R/C club. The T-Rex will be wearing a scale fuselage in the movie, but for today, it just had the stock canopy.

I will most assuredly be posting pix when I know he'll be out with the movie fuselage installed.

Of the beginners, one is actually rather famous as an exhibition drag racer and he flies full-scale to boot. He's still learning R/C, but that doesn't stop him from having a blast on a buddy box.

He'd gotten a brand new E-flite 400 from Horizon Hobby for a warranty claim, but he didn't really...Continue Reading