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Feb 12, 2016, 12:32 PM
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R/C Diary Pt.2

Spring 2015:
I found this broken sailplane that had been squirrelled away in the crawl/storage space of our house. I honestly can’t remember where or when I acquired this plane. I have a vague memory of trying to hand launching it whereby it promptly dove straight into the dirt and snapped the nose off. The covering was quite hideous, so I stripped the covering off the fuselage, repaired the nose & recovered with bright yellow Ultracote.

I took it to our soaring field and gave it a few hand launches. It seemed to float along pretty well, so I figured the balance must have been okay. The club instructor had set up a hi-start line & was using it to get his gentle lady up into the air. I asked him if he would take my “Sophisticated Lady” up for its maiden flight. I have never used a hi-start before and was amazed how much pull was put on the line. He let her go and it immediately performed this high, wide arc to the right then flew upside down before piling straight into the ground, exploding into a cloud of yellow dust! We both looked at each other….what the hell happened?… idea. If I ever get ambitious, I may rebuild it. But for now, I have too many other projects on the go.

In October/15 for my 67th birthday, I bought myself a new 10 Channel Futaba T10J programmable, 2.4 Mhz radio transmitter and receiver. This was a big step up from my older 72 Mhz radios.

I didn’t get much flying time in 2015. We were out west to Alaska & Tsawwassen for a month in May/June, then we had to get ready for my wife’s hip operation and recovery period which basically killed the summer & fall flying weather. Then I managed to strain the MCL in both knees! Baah!

In December/15, I drove back to the HobbyHobby store in Mississauga and picked up a new Park 480 brushless motor, an EFlite, 30 amp programmable ESC. A Great Planes 3S 2,200 Mah Li-Po battery and Wattmeter. I also purchase a Hi-Tec Multi-charger to charge & balance the batteries. I set the system up on a test stand, hooked up the wattmeter and found I was drawing about 15.5 amps at full throttle, using a Radian 9.5 x 7.5 folding prop. The motor was rated for 22 amps continuos or 28 amps in burst mode for 15 sec. The ESC was rated for 30 amps so it all should work well. Just for fun, I changed the prop to an Airscrew 12”x 8” folding prop and the meter showed 23.5 amps at full throttle. I think a 11”x 8” prop would probably be ideal.

Now I have to try & install the new brushless outrunnner motor into the narrow nose section of the plane. Once I have that figured out, it won’t be long before I have the plane back up into the air.

I have also become interested in a new type of glider called a DLG or discus launch glider. These planes are usually 1 to 1.5 m in wingspan and ultra light. A member in my club actually gave me a used Mountain Models DL50….a very light DLG with a 50” wingspan. There were some issues to work out but I finally got the little floater into the air using my new 2.4 Mhz radio & transmitter.

I had to set up the D/R rates and Expo on the new radio….something new to me, but managed to get it all set. Basically, the dual rates allows me to reduce the amount of movement on the control surfaces and the expo settings reduces the sensitivity of the control stick in their neutral positions. This makes for a much smoother flying session imo!

Last edited by Pappyjkns; Feb 13, 2016 at 03:29 PM.
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Feb 27, 2016, 09:09 AM
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I attribute those high-start 'death arcs' to 'weather vane' action.

By this I mean when the plane gets well above the ground, a cross wind will turn the tail in the direction of the wind forcing the nose into the wind. This is almost always not good. I have even applied full opposite rudder to no success.

There is too much energy to overcome between the high start and the wind. Of course, where ever you stake down is initially upwind. The wind rarely cooperates and stay in the same direction.

At least that is my theory. The more experience high start fliers probably have a better explanation.

Feb 29, 2016, 06:30 PM
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I can see how that might happen! I have a theory that as I passed the transmitter to him, the rudder tab got knocked over to the right. I never checked the setting after because I was in shock I think! At any rate, I think there is just too much pent up energy that gets released instantly & these slow flying birds can't handle the forces & speeds inflicted on them. I also think in retrospect, that maybe we should have tried to launch with less pull until we got to see how it handled. We learn from our mistakes & move on!


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