DismayingObservation's blog View Details
Posted by DismayingObservation | Jul 15, 2011 @ 06:43 PM | 7,030 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 @ 01:35 AM | 8,070 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 @ 08:41 PM | 7,404 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 @ 06:24 PM | 8,506 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 @ 01:42 AM | 8,266 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 @ 06:26 PM | 8,084 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 @ 11:53 AM | 8,184 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 @ 04:16 PM | 7,972 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 @ 01:44 AM | 8,121 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 @ 08:56 PM | 8,011 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 @ 11:06 AM | 7,771 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 @ 01:54 PM | 7,840 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 02, 2010 @ 11:51 PM | 7,794 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 @ 07:15 PM | 8,651 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 @ 08:25 PM | 8,737 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
Posted by DismayingObservation | Apr 05, 2009 @ 06:03 PM | 8,665 Views
Certainly not I, that's for sure.

I maidened my new Great Planes Spitfire EP 25 today.

Holy jeez, what a rush.

But I digress.

As it so happened, I had the exact same O.S. 25FX the build called for, left over from the crash of my late and still unlamented Nitroplanes Zero Fighter-25. Even two of the GWS Naro Pro servos I'd used in the thing were called to service as aileron servos while three of the Hitec HS-81 servos which also saw use in the Zero went in the fuselage for elevator, rudder and throttle after a tiny bit of work with a Dremel.

Ain't no way in God's green earth I was going to deal with Nitroplanes again and I desperately wanted to put the engine in some sort of airfame. It's probably the best .25 in the world and I'm a huge fan of Great Planes and Hobbico in general.

Finally broke down and got me the Spitty. I was going to get the Warhawk, but the hobby shop didn't have one in stock and I wasn't going to wait.

Of course, such a build wasn't without its issues. I trimmed a bit more than I'd bargained for while trimming the throttle pushrod tube. Seems I managed to snip off one of the coaxial antenna leads on a brand new Futaba FASST seven-channel receiver.


It's a simple fix, but I'm leaving it to a pro.

Ah, but now that the plane is complete and several days of high winds have come to a close, up went the Spitfire with a receiver borrowed from my Carl Goldberg Yak-54 EP.

I expected the speed to be relatively close...Continue Reading
Posted by DismayingObservation | Mar 12, 2009 @ 08:19 PM | 8,746 Views
After my recent success with my new Kyosho Phantom 70 and its weird landing gear modification, I promised myself that I'd bring it and no other model to the field if I were to go flying this morning.

Who am I to break a promise to myself...?

The only problem with the club field is the fact it tends to be windy when the surrounding areas aren't. Perfectly calm at home, blowing pretty hard there.

Undaunted, I bolted the wings and struts to the thing and waited.

When the wind had diminished sufficiently, in went a tank of fuel and on came the engine.

As always, it was ballistic on takeoff, but even with some increased aileron throw, I still hadn't dialed in enough travel to roll it. The friend who fixed it later reminded me that the Phantom is a pylon racer and not an aerobat.

I knew that (blush).

In any event, I kept it within sight and under fairly gentle throttle to get the feel of it since it becomes darn near invisible too far out.

Oh, what a sweetie this bird is. Even with limited aileron travel, she turns in hard, fast and accurate. It's exceptionally realistic in flight as well.

Landings were the reason I went to the field in the first place, so I turned from base to final, all the while concentrating on the plane's attitude; remember, the thing becomes almost invisible when viewed head on.

I was coming in a bit too hot on the first approach, so I gunned the throttle, brought it around and lined up once more.

This time, I was...Continue Reading
Posted by DismayingObservation | Mar 11, 2009 @ 11:54 AM | 8,792 Views
Thank goodness for my R/C club and its people!

Many thanks to the VP for repairing the Kyosho Phantom 70 I spoke of in my last entry. He sleeved the landing gear to the cut stubs and silver soldered the things in place. Since he put the cut-off parts above the stubs instead of in line with them (which added a lot of strength), he only needed to notch the tops of the wheel pants to get them to fit. That's the only evidence of repairs and you really have to look to see what I'm talking about. Still plenty of clearance and the setup works great!

I still need to practice landing a biplane, especially an all-white one which seems to magically disappear on approach when viewed head-on.

I bounced it kind of hard when it tip stalled, but the repair held firm. No damage; it's a tough little bird. Nothing short of an utterly catastrophic crash will separate those parts and even that might not be enough.

Needless to say, I'm not too willing to experiment.

I found out that my rather conservative aileron settings allow it to turn just fine...but it won't roll at all.

Easy fix, especially compared to what my buddy Tom went through to fix the gear!

Struggling a bit with "Project Cub." I got a hold of a cast-off O.S. Max .45 from a club member which in turn feeds through a new Du-Bro 12 ounce tank. It runs with gobs of power now that it's de-crudded, but I think there may still be a bit of gunk in the carb. It doesn't run consistently which resulted in a couple of dead stick landings.

A tweaked set of scale landing gear and a crosswind sent it rolling into a safety fence as I tried to take off, this after three previous good flights. The windshield's busted as is the fuselage immediately surrounding it on the left, but it's easily repaired. I may ditch the scale gear, but we'll see.
Posted by DismayingObservation | Feb 02, 2009 @ 01:02 AM | 8,772 Views
Boy, did I ever get me one.

It was a pretty exciting moment last October when I won a raffle at my flying club for a new, mostly assembled Kyosho Phantom 70 biplane complete with a full compliment of servos (including a couple of digital miniservos for the ailerons), a lightly used O.S. 46AX two-stroke, a new Great Planes spinner and a pre-installed, plug-ugly, caricatured pilot figure. This was just the head of what I knew was an expensive, hand painted bust of a madly grinning fool with a bulging eye and a WWII German officer's cap.

Strange choice of a pilot figure for a model of a 2007 Reno Air Show racer.

The whole schmutz, probably 750 bucks worth, had been donated to the club by an older member who'd basically given up on the thing. Only problem I could see was in having to do a small repair to the underside of the lower wing since it had blown off of the display table a few minutes prior to my winning it.

I got it home and got to looking closer at my good fortune.


Darn thing was a $300 glue bomb on closer inspection. Streaks of CA smeared the fiberglass fuselage, especially near the tail section. The lower wing and a few other odd places were streaked as well. Even the needle inlet valve on the O.S. was broken. With all the other projects I had going on, not to mention my reviewing tasks here on RCGroups, the Phantom took a back seat. I spent Thanksgiving Day at home with my wife and I took the opportunity to do most of the final...Continue Reading
Posted by DismayingObservation | Jan 07, 2009 @ 10:41 PM | 8,928 Views
Well, I did it!

Per my last blog in November, I was able to get the old abandoned Sig 1/6-scale Cub in the air!

Darn thing flew great. It was easy to fly, easy to land and just good fun all around. It really hustled with its temporary Thunder Tiger Pro .40 and a Master Airscrew 10x6 scimitar prop up front. All the mini-servos were A-OK and just needed a double-check of their mountings. Oh, and the Futaba receiver worked just fine with a new crystal on the proper frequency! Nice little bonus to be sure. I flew it on both the Futaba and a Berg Microstamp 4. It was as aerobatic as a beginner's park flyer, though. Little bitty strip ailerons do not a roll rate make. It banked and looped just fine, but rolling was out of the question. I was able to do an Immelman turn to get it inverted, but I had to complete the loop in order to get it right side up again. Thank goodness for altitude!

The strange fuel tank with its ninety-degree offset outlet tubes molded in the cap only lasted a couple of flights before the engine quit starting. The klunk had come loose inside and there was no getting it out.

In went a temporary (albeit smaller) tank supported by a couple of foam automotive tire dressing applicators and I was back in biz the next day. Short flight times, but back in biz nevertheless.

Short biz, too. The old, brittle landing gear retaining straps broke on a smooth touchdown. No damage and a 99-cent four-pack of Great Planes retainers got me back in...Continue Reading