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Jul 07, 2016, 07:26 AM
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[B]R/C Diary Pt. 22 “The Learning Curve Continues” [/B]

Tuesday, July 5/16:

On Monday, I checked my calendar for the upcoming week, then I checked the weather channels and determined that Tuesday was my best option for a flying session for the upcoming week.

I planned to refit the stabilizer on my HK Cumulus 1.5 DLG but Life had other plans! The whole day was spent running hither and tither completing errands and looking after my family’s needs. Finally at 10 pm. I was able to go down to the basement to work on the plane. I was tired and the repair did not go well, however, I thought it would hopefully suffice at least for a few hours at the field.

In the morning, I loaded up the van with all my r/c materials, the canopy and work table. Then I picked up & dropped off my grandson at bible camp. After that it was a quick run to the field off of Hwy #6 south.

This time, I got smarted and drove the van right up the set up area to unload everything and thusly save some leg work. But first I had to call into the Hamilton Tower to activate “NOTAM 160160”. No problem!

After I got the canopy, chairs & table set up, I then brought the plane out and set it up on the field box. Only then did I actually look at the re-glued stabilizer…..OMG! What freaking disaster! Somehow, it managed to shift as it was drying and now it was waaaay out of alignment with the rudder and the wings! Damn it all anyways!!! Man was I p’oed! Finally I calmed down and decided to slowly removed the pylon from the boom which then decided to crack in many places! I actually got the boom separated from the stabilizer pylon and then tried to glue it back down properly. I used the thin CA and it wouldn’t stick….then I tried the medium CA and after 30 minutes it still wasn’t firming up. WTH? Finally, I realized I was getting too worked up & frustrated…..sometimes, as the old saying goes, you just have to punt the ball! So I said to hell with it and started to pack up. I was almost finished when two members showed up with their planes. I decided to stay and watch them fly for about hour and then we sat and socialized for a bit. It was nice and pleasant under the canopy with a strengthening wind to keep us cool.

One of the flyers brought his tiny Mini-Radian and as I looked at it, I though geez this thing is so small and frail looking! I couldn’t imagine that it would be a good flyer… was I wrong! I couldn’t believe how well it penetrated the wind and floated around in lightest of thermos! Looks can be deceiving!

Around 12:45 pm, we finished packing up and headed for home! Was I frustrated? You bet! But the good thing was, one of the flyers mentioned she has two older 60” Skeeter sailplanes that she was going to give to me! How generous was that?? One is an electric model and the other is launched by hi-start. Her generosity just might save my flying season!

My plans for the Cumulus are to remove the crappy boom, replace it with a shorter, stronger version, attach new carbon fibre tail feathers and replace the existing lines with kevlar string. I’m done with trying to make do with the original equipment! I really like the plane and I have been hard on it as it has been a steep learning curve. But now I’ve got it to the point where it floats along quite nicely. As anticipated, the weakness has been the frail boom. I think if I make the upgrades mentioned above, it will make it a great flyer. Maybe then after I have had some stick time with it and have perfected my launch technique, I can think about moving up to a higher end CF machine.

Keep Flyin’ & Smilin’


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