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Feb 11, 2016, 08:13 PM
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My R/C Diary Blog


R/C Diary

Well, this is a first, I've never done a blog before but I had started up a diary offline and decided what the hey.....maybe this could be a blog? So here goes nuttin' It's quite long, so I'm going to break it up into parts until I get caught up to the present.

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away……I use to fly R/C gas models. It was probably some 35+ years ago and actually joined MAAC….#10277. At the time, I just flew high wing, three channel beginner planes with .40cc gas engines. I joined The Flying Tigers, a local R/C club but somehow, life intervened and I lost touch with the hobby.

Fast forward, to 2013, I had been re-connected with my oldest brother who was an avid modeller. Due to a blotched knee surgery, he was confined to a wheelchair. Consequently, he was selling off his collection of model planes. One of them, a 2 m electric Aspire sailplane caught my eye. I ended up buying the plane, a 4 channel Futaba 72 Mhz radio and a multi-charger.

The Aspire was driven by an older style brushed 550 motor attached to a gear box which was mated to a 12” x 8” Airscrew folding propeller. The original 7 cell, 1,700 Mah, Ni-Cad battery had seen better days and needed to be replaced. I went to the local hobby store to find a replacement. They only had 3,300 Mah Ni-Mh replacements. In my ignorance, I figured…..hey twice the capacity….that’s got to be good right? So I bought two! Later I would find out that these were the wrong batteries for my plane! The batteries weighted in a 15 ozs…..just under a pound! They were probably meant for a racing car! Doh!

Anywho, I decided to join SOGGI….Southern Ontario Glider Group Inc. They had a nice field near Binbrook which was actually a sod farm. I took the Aspire to the field and not really knowing much about anything, hit the throttle and threw the beast into the air! The first couple of flights, I was really over correcting and the plane was gyrating all over the place. Not pretty!

Later on in 2014, I managed to get up in the air a few more times. Each time, I was getting a little more relaxed and actually flying pretty reasonably. The big capacity battery allowed me to throttle back and basically fly like an electric plane for up to 40 minutes. On my last attempt, the wind had picked up and I foolishly kept trying to fly. I tried to go up one more time, but the prop hit the ground and shattered plus I totalled the gearbox.

I was grounded for the rest of the year. Over the winter, I did find a new gearbox by it was much longer and required a lot grinding out of the nose section of the fuselage to get it to fit. It also caused the balance to shift to nose heavy. After much dithering, I decided to gut the old motor, gearbox, esc & battery out of the plane. I borrowed a weight scale & found the full up weight was 53.5 ozs! The removed items weighted 27 ozs so now the empty weight of the plane was 26 ozs.

I did a lot of reading of articles on-line, especially on the wattflyer.com website and finally started to understand how everything worked and what system I needed to get the plane back into the air.

Cheers!
Lyle
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