Category Archives: General Post

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Lots of Flying Last Week!

Well I took a couple of days off last week to extend the Fourth of July holiday and I was able to get in several more trips to the field. I did have a few more minor mishaps but also a few successes, so all in all, a great couple of days!

I got my F4F back up in the air after repairing the tail feathers that got damaged when she blew off the bench on the 4th. The first flight was a bit hairy as as it took a LOT of up elevator trim to get her flying right. She was porpoising all over the place while I was trying to get my thumbs in the right place to click the trim. I have not had to click trim settings in flight for a while, so I would pull up elevator, let go to click the trim, but before I could get my thumb there, she was nosing down.

After a few tense minutes, I got her sorted and she was flying great again. After landing, you could see that the left elevator was deformed a bit more than I thought causing the trim problem.

I took her back up again and had a great flight, but on landing, managed to crack the cowl! Fortunately, replacement cowls are still available even though the plane has been discontinued.

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Next, I decided to try the Hurricane again. This time, I took off from the paved portion of the runway, and I got her in the air with no incident. Once again, I had a bit of a battle with the trim and again had to dial in a bunch of up elevator! As this was only the second flight for this plane (and I was shaking so bad with the first flight that I never got to trimming!) this was not really surprising (although the amount of trim required did surprise me a bit). I got two conservative flights in with acceptable (if not pretty) landings and called it a day.

I got back out to the field again the next day (without the F4F), but did bring out my FT Viggen. I’m still amazed at how well this cheap Dollar Tree foam board plane flies. While I can keep it under control, it definitely has potential to go beyond my (current) abilities. After the first flight of around 5 min length, the battery (a 4S 3700 mAh) was down to only 14% charge with one cell down to 3.69 volts! Way to low. I reset my flight timer to three and half minutes for future flights.

Finally, I had another mishap with the Hurricane. It started with a fantastic flight. I started really getting comfortable with her and felt like she was dialed in just about right. On landing, I was not too happy with the final approach (I was afraid she was drifting too close to the tall grass off the runway) and when she was just about to touch down, I decided to go around. Well, I was way too late and as soon as I applied power, the left wing tip stalled, dropped and hit the ground. Of course, she ground looped. I thought she was a goner, but the only real permanent damage was another broken prop. Other damage consisted of the right gear strut pulling out of the retract unit, the right simulated exhaust manifold popping off, and some scrapes and dings in the foam. Truth be told, it was cheap learning opportunity,

I hit the LHS on my home from the field and picked up a new cowl for the F4F. They also had a new-old-stock stabilizer assembly for the F4F (no longer available from Horizon), so I grabbed that too (just in case). I also picked up a couple of props for the Hurricane.

Today I got around to getting the Hurricane back together again. The gear strut bolted right back in, and with a few minutes of minor tweaking and adjusting the gear was operating smoothly again. A few drops of hot glue got the exhaust manifold reattached and the new prop bolted right on. She was ready to go again, except …

Earlier (before my last flight), I had noticed the seam on the right rear side of the fuselage seemed to have opened up a little. This was definitely there before my ground loop incident, but was something I had just ignored. I decided to wick in some thin foam-safe CA today while doing my other minor repairs. You can’t really tell from this picture, but I ended up making a bit of mess with CA running everywhere but where I wanted it to go. Oh well, no real harm and no one will ever call this bird a hangar queen!

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Hello Again

I can’t believe it’s been 9 months since my last post. Of course, this blog is really intended to be my own personal journal of my RC experiences, so for it to be meaningful, I guess I will need  to step up my activity :)

It has been a crazy busy year this, with lot’s of things going on both at work and at home, not leaving as much time for hobbies as I would like. I did find time to keep a several projects moving along (mostly RC related, but I have also started dabbling around with model ship building). I also have managed to get in a bit flying this summer, almost exclusively with my foamy ARFs. More on all of these topics soon.

Happy New Year!

2015 is upon us and it will be a bright an prosperous year! I look forward to new opportunities and plenty of fun in the new year.

I recently posted a comment on the MAN site about the Future of RC in response to the question: “What’s in store for RC aircraft in 2015?” While reflecting on the question posed (and my reply), it occurred to me that we are at a dawn of a Golden Age for the RC hobby and the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle industry. Yes, things are changing rapidly, and some of that change may be uncomfortable, but all in all, we have more options, better technology, and lower barriers to entry than at any time before the RC hobby.

The commercialization of drones and unmanned aerial vehicles IS going to happen (despite the FAAs bungling of the rule making process) and that will pour millions of dollars into technology and innovation that will cross over into the hobby market. Hobbyists will find new and innovative ways to adapt this technology and this will feed back into the commercial market. This cycle is unstoppable and will continue just like it has with every disruptive technology since the wheel.

Yes, there are growing pains that will need to be sorted through. The lower entry barriers means that irresponsible actors (both private and commercial) will end up causing problems that will likely lead to new regulations. But while those regulations may end up restricting certain elements of our hobby (and some will feel disenfranchised as a result), the core of the hobby/industry will thrive.

I don’t know what the future will bring, but I am sure it will be bright. We need to keep an open mind about the future and the AMA and our clubs need to continue to adapt and evolve with the hobby and with the industry it will spawn.

Be safe and have fun!!!

Site Moved To New Host

In addition to trashing my site with no warning, I recently discovered that sites hosted with the free hosting service 000webhost are blocked by many ISPs. Well, I guess you get what you pay for.

I decided to move my site to Host Metro, taking advantage of their $1.84 per month promotion. It took a bit of wrangling to get the site set up, but I think I have everything moved over now. Initial impressions are OK. Customer service seems to be helpful with rapid responses from their live chat support. The website itself seems a little slow though, but it is only been one day, so I will give it a bit of time before making a final judgment.

Site Problems

My site went down recently and had to be rebuilt. I am not sure what happened. I use 000webhost.com  to host my site. This is a free hosting site that has, up until now, been flawless. I was really impressed with how much functionality provided by a free site (but in the end, I guess you get what you pay for). I am not sure what went wrong, but noticed on the site forum that a few others also had the same problem. Fortunately, I had a backup from August and was able to recover with only two lost posts (and after a bit of head scratching, I was able to recover these from local Live Writer files).

I don’t mind paying a (reasonable) fee for hosting and was considering upgrading to a paid account at 000webhost, but I want to make certain that everything is stable there first. In the meantime, I’ll be sure to capture a new backup now.

Falling Into A Pattern

Well just like previous years, it looks like I got a way from posting as the summer went on last year, and now I am starting up again as we head towards spring. I don’t lose interest in RC planes or flying, but between work, holidays, and family activities, I find little time left for posting in the fall and winter. I have been putting time in here or there working on various RC project and will post more details (with pictures) soon. For now, I just wanted to at least get one post up to ensure that my site is still working!

Welcome to My New Home!

It’s been a some time since I have posted. While I’ve been busy with my builds, I have also been busy moving to my blog into its new home. While I was very happy with the free WordPress.com  site that had been hosting my blog, I wanted my site to have its own domain name http://alsrcsite.com. WordPress.com charges you an annual fee if you have your own domain name, so I moved onto a free hosting site hosted by www.000webhost.com. So far, I have been quite impressed with the features and performance of this free site, more than adequate for personal use like this. I guess you can get something for nothing!

First Fatal Crash

Well it has been over a year since my last post. I have not given up on the hobby, but I did get lazy about posting! I have not worked on my P-47 since last year. I was traveling extensively for work last year and got sidetracked by some home remodeling projects, so it was hard to find a lot of build time. I did manage to put together a StevensAero RV-4 which was a fun little park flyer.

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Unfortunately, I am sad to say that I had my first real outright destroy the plane crash with her yesterday evening. It was due to pilot error, plane and simple. I was getting a little too fancy for myself a little too close to the ground. The plane got into a spin, and I did not have enough altitude to recover. It’s hard to see in the picture, but the forward half the fuselage is just a bunch of broken bits held together by covering.

RV 4 Crash

In a way, it actually feels like a bit of a relief to have that first total wreck behind me. I have been so afraid of crashing that I often hold myself back and end up just boring holes in the sky flying a simple pattern. I did learn a lesson about keeping enough space between my plane and the ground when I am trying out something new though!

I Got A New Toy For Christmas!!!

My wife took a trip down to the local hobby store and picked out a Parkzone P-51 RTF as a Christmas surprise for me! Although she is not into RC, she shares my passion for aircraft and aviation (she has a Masters in Aeronautical Engineering from MIT). Knowing I am a fan of WWII warbirds, she specifically looked for a P-51. Unknowingly, she picked out an RTF which includes a Spektrum 4 channel transmitter. This works out perfectly as I also have a Parkzone F4F Wildcat bind-and-fly that I won in a raffle earlier this year, but I only have a Futaba transmitter. The included Spektrum radio is pretty basic, but it will definitely do until I am ready to lay out the cash for a full featured Spektrum radio.

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