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May 24, 2011, 07:52 AM
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A few pix of the Inspirer as of this morning.
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May 24, 2011, 08:08 AM
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P. Tritle's Avatar
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Rafe, The Inspirer is looking great. Love the trim scheme..... Can't wait to hear how she flies.

PAT
May 25, 2011, 09:32 AM
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I took what I hope is the safe, wimpy route to assembling the wings. Before doing so, I installed eye-hooks into the interplane struts for the wing rigging. I also finalized the rudder/elevator servo linkages, since access to the R/E servos is limited once the upper wing is installed.

I got all the pokey bits (interplane struts and cabane wires) installed in their sockets, arranged the upper wing center with the jig, and dripped thick CA into those four connection points on the upper wing.

The interplane struts are in place but not glued. Tonight I'll do a final check on wing alignment and washout before gluing those in place. At the moment it all passes the TLAR test but Pat's plans mention wing washout more than once.

Still hoping for maiden flight this weekend, subject to weather of course.
May 26, 2011, 09:38 AM
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Eight balsa sticks and eight rubber bands later... my TLAR guesstimates were on the money, so a few drops of thin CA in each of the N-strut sockets finished off the assembly. Rigging was less of a battle than I expected, though I really have no idea how much tension I was supposed to pull on those stings. I opted to go lightly for fear of warping the structure.

Maiden could be tomorrow! All that's left is to install motor, ESC, cowl and landing wheels. It may involve a trip to the not-so-local hobby shop for wheels.

For sure there are several scale details I'm letting slide, at least for now. That's how I roll. Too impatient to see it fly. If it survives its first half-dozen flights without needing a more major repair, I'll see about those details.
May 27, 2011, 10:33 PM
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Ready for maiden. With luck, one or two of of my flying buds will be at the field early tomorrow before the wind comes up. If not, the heck with 'em. She wants to fly!

All up weight 15.0 ounces with a 3S/800 battery. Battery sits right at CG so no problem going larger if need be.
May 28, 2011, 03:03 PM
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Maiden Report


Successful maiden! Winds were 2 to 4 mph, occasional brief gusts to 6. I could have gone to the field earlier (in lighter wind) but I wanted witnesses and one of my buddies offered to take a vid.

I've flown some floaty planes in my time but this one takes the cake. It practically hopped into the air at quarter throttle. It needed an awful lot of right trim, but was mostly manageable and she floated down nicely at the end. With trim, she started being fun to fly. There's video whenever my videographer gets around to posting it. He captured it well.

I might back down to 2S battery next time. It's propped for 125 watts or so now on 3S, for sure that's overkill.
May 30, 2011, 07:57 AM
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Had a nice long flight on the Inspirer early this morning in very light wind. Very nice. I can't get over how slowly she flies, especially for a full-fuse scale plane. I got in a bit of sloppy aerobatics, but mostly just gentle scale flying. Perfect plane for low-and-slow flying but large enough to be seen up high as well.

Took a minor hit on landing, knocked the LG off its front cross-brace. Re-glued using thick CA and wrapped a bit of thin wire around the LG and the brace to keep that from happening again. The brace is reinforced with basswood. I didn't trust a 1/4" square balsa stick to take that kind of stress.
May 30, 2011, 05:57 PM
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Several more nice flights this afternoon, but after the last flight I noticed that the wings were loose. Turns out three of the four cabane struts had broken free of their supports within the fuselage. The only one that was still holding was the one that I broke during the build, which I'd already reinforced.

I knew those were going to be trouble. 1/4" square of balsa isn't up to the job. It needs to be a harder wood, and if I had it to do over again, more of cross section as well, maybe 3/8" square. Patched these up as well as I could, though it required making several cuts in the fuselage covering.
Jun 01, 2011, 10:23 AM
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It turns out there were two videos. I'm still waiting on the hi-res video, but here's the lo-res version.

inspirer_maiden.flv (1 min 58 sec)
Jun 08, 2011, 07:39 PM
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Quite a few flights since the last report, several of those today, in beautiful conditions. Dusk sky with a crescent moon rising. A sweet flyer, for sure. I was all set to declare Glorious and Blessed Victory 'till I picked up the plane after its last landing today and noticed the LG was broken again, in a new and different way. Sigh. It's possible (because of the way the lower wing is attached) that this could have happened in flight. Or maybe that time I completely stalled her on a landing attempt, a foot off the runway.

Anyway, getting a bit more frisky flying the thing. Inverted, loops, sloppy rolls, hammerhead/stall turn, a bit of knife edge, lots of touch n' goes.

My videographer seems to have left the building.
Oct 09, 2011, 04:38 PM
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Landing gear and the wing-attachment area near the leading edge have been repaired since the last report. The fix is holding, knock wood. From a couple feet away you might miss the imperfections and in any case my flying pals are too polite to mention.

There's been a new twist to our flying this summer... our favorite park has been given over to a highway, so we've been flying on a corporate parking lot nearby. The main hazards are the light poles, and we've all nicked our planes on 'em.

In the right wind, which is to say, little or no wind, the Inspirer is a joy to fly, and takeoff/landings just couldn't be easier off of pavement. Flight is slow enough, and the plane responsive enough, the light poles are easy to avoid. Well, so far, anyway. This afternoon we had bright sun, temps around 80, and a light breeze -- perfect for the Inspirer. Landing into the wind at about 5 mph ground speed. Life is good.
Apr 09, 2016, 06:25 PM
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A little revive here. I have also been revived in building aircraft after a move to downtown LA (makes it hard to just fly out my front door). Here is my progress on the Inspirer!


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