Competitive Altitude Limited Soaring on a Budget - Page 4 - RC Groups
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Dec 04, 2012, 06:39 AM
Fly It Like You Stole It !!
Paulbilbo91z9f's Avatar

The curve looks great on those pieces. How did you steam them and for how long? Also, how long did it have to set after steaming to get the wood to hold that shape?

And I agree with you about motor size/flight time to altitude. Not only does a larger motor get you up faster, but if you are flying on a windy day, that extra power allows you to fight your way up to any part of the sky you're trying to reach.

Keep up the Good Work,

Murph (Paul Murphy)
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Dec 04, 2012, 07:16 AM
Registered User
Hi Murph,
It really is a good and easy way to get a strong curve.
In this case I stuck the ends in a pot of boiling water for about 3/4 minutes and than held them bent round a large paint can over night, just hold them in place with weights, other cans etc
When dry about 24 hours later glue, with sandable glue,I use Speedbond, clamping at one end only allowing the others to slip around the curve. In 12 inches you will get about 1/4 inch slippage. Dont worry about it , cut it to size when it is all hardened off.
Try it , a very simple way to get strong curves for fins,rudders tips etc and it is lighter and stronger than cutting bits of flat sheet to form curves.
Good luck if you try it.
Dec 10, 2012, 07:31 AM
Registered User
A quick photo of the fin, rudder and tailplane assembly total weight 55grams uncovered.
I expect about 65 grams covered.
The tailplane of my Aspire weighed 70 grams on its own !

Another item, tomorrow we are going to test fly the Buzrd modified to take an old F3J Explorer moulded wing.
We are expecting good things of it. I will take some photos.
Dec 11, 2012, 12:04 PM
Registered User
A successful days soaring, very cold ,frost on the ground and very little movement in the air. A good time for adjusting the model's settings.
Attached are pictures of the "Buzrd" squadron, number 4 turned up after the photos were taken and I was too lazy to dig out the camera again.
First flights today of my friend's Xplor-Buzrd. It uses an old much repaired Xplorer wing (about 1.4 kgs in the wing alone) Total weight is about 2.3 kgs and is intended to be his heavy weather model.
It flew pretty well in the conditions the old Xplorer program did not work as well, we had to reduce Aileron differential and as George uses combined Ail/rudder that had to be reduced as well.
Probably a function of the weight reduction at the tail end making that part of the plane more responsive.
It gave me a push to get on with the completion of my Buzrd/Aspire marraige.
Dec 11, 2012, 07:38 PM
Fly It Like You Stole It !!
Paulbilbo91z9f's Avatar

Keep it Coming.

Nice Pictures

Keep the posts coming as I have an Aspire that I converted to electric and am very interested in what you're up to.

Dec 19, 2012, 05:56 AM
Registered User

More progress, it is finished and I am now waiting for some decent weather to test it.
The photos show the tail group in as much detail as I can manage. Fin,rudder and tailplane weighed 60 grams covered. Just to give an idea of the size of this thing the purple wing sitting on top of it is from my 2 metre model..
The final weight is 50 grams lighter than the glider Aspire and at present it has one of my heavier motor set ups in it. When I finish the new lighter motor gearbox it will save another 80 grams .That's about 4.6 ozs. in all.

The modifications from the basic Aspire planform are :-
The rudder is about 20mm broader in chord
The moment arm is about 40mm longer
The tailplane is about 1mm thinner
Of course it is obvious that the tailplane is not mounted on the fin but Drela style.
The home made wing joiners have about 1/2 degree more dihedral.

What do I expect ? The Aspire was always a very stable model but I am hoping for a rock stable hands off flier which is still responsive to control, with the very light rear end I expect that the turning will be improved.

Now as to budget, it cost about 110($165[e132]) for the Kristoffair pod, Super Ava boom, V mount and a few bits of carbon. The balsa came from the bits box,
servos I had to buy two MKS6100 which came to around 50 , everything else was re-used from older models. for the pod
I am sure that this system can be applied easily to any old F3J/TD wing. It is easy to make up an adaptor plate to fit on to the pod and off you go.
Like mine you will probably come out lighter than your old glider as you are not building to withstand a winch launch only flight loads.
I will report again when I have flown it.
Last edited by sandist; Dec 20, 2012 at 08:06 AM. Reason: Spelling
Dec 19, 2012, 02:45 PM
powered by caffine
FredM's Avatar
Fabulous work Ian!
Jan 02, 2013, 08:06 AM
Registered User
A Happy New Year to you all.

No chance yet to test fly the model, next weather window is on Sunday. At present we have wind blowing 15/20 and gusting to 30/40 mph, just ideal for a test flight!

Jan 05, 2013, 07:19 PM
Mesa AZ, it's a dry heat!
Ian, that weather reminds me why I left the UK and moved to the US. I flew yesterday in 65 degrees with light breezes.
When it gets to 100 plus here I will be visiting the UK for a few weeks!
I hope you get to fly this weekend, we all would like to know how it goes.

I have a Franken-AVA which uses a Kristoffair pod, a Hyperflight boom and various AVA/Avalon parts. It flies great at 64oz and 147"span.

Jan 06, 2013, 08:35 AM
Registered User

I set out today to test fly the new model and after range checking it switched off to do final preparations. Went back out switched on nothing, nix, nada.
Tried out the TX on my spare model , the same problem, so no test flight today.

My friend test flew Buzrd no 4, it went well in the now freshening wind 10 mph at ground. About 3 Degrees C.

Returned home and checked out TX it works fine with the old module in it but the FR SKY 2.4 is not producing RF.
Rev Iain would be proud of me not one single naughty word did I use. But some very long technical ones. I suspect the wimpy little switch/button on the module which you use for range checking. I will set to with the meters and check it out.

I will get this thing test flown sometime but the next weather window is at least a week away. !!!

Iain when you visit the UK bring your warm weather gear !

Jan 06, 2013, 09:03 AM
Mesa AZ, it's a dry heat!
Hi Ian, so sorry about your radio issue. I was looking forward to reading your flight report. Better luck next week.
I was over in May/June of 2012 and the weather was great. We came with warm clothing and had to visit M&S to buy some short sleeve shirts as the weather was warmer than expected, typical UK, no climate, just weather!
The flying weather here looks good again this week, and our group, Arizona Electric Soaring Group, has a contest on Saturday. It should be fun. We start at 1PM so the temp. is up to about 60 (F) by then.

Jan 07, 2013, 06:47 AM
Fly It Like You Stole It !!
Paulbilbo91z9f's Avatar
Glad you caught the radio glitch "Before" the plane was in the air.

I too am waiting to get your report on how the new ship flies. My weather here in Western New England is about the same as yours. Just below freezing and WINDY. Not much flying weather.

Happy New Years and look forward to your report.

Jan 10, 2013, 11:50 AM
Registered User
Hi all,
Well the radio repair was a replacement RF module.

The AspiringBuzrd was test flown this morning.

4 degrees C. damp, overcast ,low cloud-base to about 200 feet, no wind and no lift. The clouds parted for a short time and off I went.
The model was landing with beads of moisture over the upper surfaces.
Despite the unpromising start weather wise, I am still trying to get the silly grin off my face.

An excellent test, the model performs way better than I could have hoped.
I am using my heavier motor set up till the new gearbox arrives.
So at present I have a Mega 16/25/3 with a Maxon 4.4:1 gearbox
Turnigy Nano Tech 1300 4s Lipo
Castle Creations Phoenix 45 17 x 11 aeronaut prop.
This requires 15 grams of lead in the tail to achieve a reasonable CG.
The light set up is a Mega 16/15/3 with Reisenuaer 5:1 Micro Edition gearbox same battery but a different speed controller and probably a 14 x 8 or 14 x 9.5 prop. prop.
To turn to the flights
The ultra light tail end set up shows through very well and seems to result in better turning.
It turns better than the glider version, more tightly and quite flat. It requires very little aileron differential and a small amount of coupled rudder.
The CG was too far forward and very safe. It will go back with the motor change and when I take the 15 grams of lead out of the tail. The overall weight will go down by at least 60 grams and of course the lead out of the back will help the turning yet again.
There were other models of a competition standard present and this one showed up very well.

I can thoroughly recommend the approach to using up old F3J/TD wings it doesn't cost a fortune and gets them a new lease of life.
Jan 13, 2013, 02:26 PM
Registered User
fter the flight session I checked the tailplane neutral and found it to be down in relation to the datum centre line of the model. Checked the photos and I think that the model is flying slightly tail down. despite the fact that it was flying very well there undoubtedly will be a drag issue here which could be improved.
I have put a balsa plate on top of the wing mount and sanded it down to a wedge rear to front. This should adjust the decalage issue.
I hope that this will reduce drag but I have insufficient aerodynamic knowledge to be sure of it.
Maybe one of you out there can clarify the point for me ?
Jan 13, 2013, 02:48 PM
Mesa AZ, it's a dry heat!


I had the same issue with my Franken-AVA. It may be a personal preference or just a desire to make it 'look ' right, but I jacked up the trailing edge of the wing by about 6mm and harmony was restored.
Your model looks great by the way.

Last edited by rev.iain; Jan 13, 2013 at 02:49 PM. Reason: SP.

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