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#381 [url]

Dec 28 16 7:21 AM

Maiden flights of the FMS PT-17 Stearman - 1050mm.
I measured it as tail heavy on the bench.  It WAS!  Boy it was a real handful to fly.  Bobbing up and down like a porpoise.  I've since added more nose weight.  I suspect it will fly much better next time out.

Head camera - front to end.  Only editing was some panning and cropping to keep the plane from just becoming a speck in the frame.

View from onboard cameras.  I used the Mercalli Prodad stabilizing filter on the clips on the ground.  My little home-hacked front camera mount wasn't to solid and shook a lot on the ground.

It was so tail heavy it looked like a drunk Charlie Chaplin both in the air and on the ground!  ha.....  Haven't been that nervous to fly a plane in I can't remember.  I was back to my old habit of shaking the radio in my hands again.  ha ha.

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#382 [url]

Dec 28 16 10:58 AM

While I was at the field I took the Shaft up for a little easy flight.  Nothing special - just a relaxing flight.  To a little Leon Russell / Elton John tune.


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#383 [url]

Dec 29 16 9:54 AM

I got a little Turnigy receiver controlled on/off switch to hook my PT-17's navigation lights up so I could control them remotely from my radio.  Before they were always on when the battery was plugged in.
Worked pretty slick.  Of course, not needed at all as you really can't see the lights in the daylight anyway.  But it was something new to learn and a fun challenge.


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#384 [url]

Feb 8 17 9:18 AM

Last time, I posted my maiden flight on a FMS PT-17 forum.  All the guys came back and said that not only was it really tail heavy (which I knew), but that it wasn't producing the power it should.  Upon investigation I tracked it down to the Electronic Speed Controller.  I had pulled out the factory one and replaced it with another one I had here - because the battery compartment is very tight and the factory ESC was pretty bulky, while a comparable one I had was a lot smaller. I've always used Electrifly ESC's and have never had a compatibility issue.  But, for some reason, this time I did - and the motor wasn't getting enough current.  They have different "timings" on those things and I guess this one just didn't work well with that motor. 
So I stuck the factory one back in and it felt MUCH stronger on the bench.  So I took it back out to try it again - as well has adding about an ounce of clay in the nose to balance it out.

Flew MUCH better this time.  Still kind of pokes along like a biplane does, but ample power.

Amazing weather.  February in Tulsa and 74 degrees, almost dead calm winds and sun???

Anyway - here's what I got.


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#385 [url]

Feb 8 17 1:49 PM

I took my Stevens Aeromodels AXIS XS-480 out as well as the PT-17.  Nothing special - just a simple little flight.  It's only been up about half a dozen times and I'm just now starting to get the feel of this plane.
It's turning out to be another sweet flyer, just like smaller Stevens Shaft 400.  All the kits I've bought from Stevens has been top notch, first class.  I really didn't care for the flight characteristics of that Helium 2-meter sailplane though - but it's not Stevens fault.  Just the way it flew.  I "retired" it, though, mainly because it was such a pain to transport and assemble in the field.

But this Axis has demonstrated no bad tendencies so far.  It does exactly what you tell it to do. 


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#386 [url]

Feb 8 17 4:06 PM

.....and for the third and final airplane yesterday, my Great Planes SE5a WWI Biplane.  Hard to imagine now, but this is one of my earlier airplanes, and my first all-wooden one, yet still it flies!  ha!  Bet it's about 7 years old now.
It really is a good flyer.  Looks pretty scale in the air, too.  I had an on-board camera on it, but for some strange reason the video came out as a bad file.  I like the video that camera shoots, but don't like the design as much as the old Mobius 1 cameras.

Seems every time I do a video with this plane I have to put some old time music Scott Joplin on it.  ha....  Sometime, I'll use an "old time camera" filter on the entire video - make it cepiatone with film jitters, scratches and lint.  hee hee.


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#387 [url]

Feb 26 17 11:54 AM

Lost my SE5a yesterday.  It's over 7 years old so it's amazing it made it this long.  Not quite sure what happened.  At first I thought it was just pilot error and me losing orientation.  But I had 3 camera running - 2 on-board and my head camera - and it clearly shows the plane going in to a hard right roll.  Now I was doing my usual left turn at the time and there's no way I would have intentionally started a right roll.  It was a bit breezy and I was fighting a roll wobble the whole time -you can clearly see the plane rocking back and forth in the video.

So, in hind sight, I really think something failed on the plane.  Most likely the right aileron going full up and sticking.  I wasn't too high, as I like to fly down lower anymore for the head camera shots, so I didn't have any safety margin.  By the time I saw what was happening it was already on the ground. 

All wooden plane.  Now I have a lifetime supply of toothpicks.  Broke the motor shaft clean off - so the motor was scrapped.  About a $50 hit right there.  I managed to salvage most of the other gear except for the airframe. Cameras survived intact and still running - so I got good footage of the incident.  Biggest dollar items to survive was the electronic speed controller (about $40) and the cameras (about $160 worth.)

I sure hate to lose that plane.  It was SUCH a beauty and such a great flyer, too!  And I'd spent many hours on it recently getting it more scale looking.  But..... all part of the hobby.  If you can't stomach crashes this is NOT the hobby for you!  But.... look on the upside:  Now I get to buy another plane!

Kinda thinking about building a kit from plans up this time.  Considering a nice little 40" Sopwith Camel Biplane.  Maybe a Nieuport.  Of course there's always the German Fokker models.
But right now leaning toward the Sopwith.  


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#388 [url]

Mar 19 17 5:51 AM

A little flight - crashing the Extra 330SC.  That EPP foam is just amazing stuff.  After this HARD nose-in crash the only damage was a broken prop.


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#389 [url]

Mar 19 17 5:56 AM

Doing some touch 'n goes with my old Slow Stick X.  Last "touch" was a bit too hard!  (and no, that loud noise on touch down was NOT the airplane and was NOT intentional or added.  Loud concrete truck in the plant next to the park!  ;-) Landing gear was easily repaired, but while doing so the rear wing mount - that the wing rubber bands attach too - snapped right off.   I think it was a fatigue crack in the plastic mount.  So I may have been lucky - had that broken during flight the wing would have separated from the "stick" and down it all would have come.

I seem to be on a (bad) roll lately.   Out of my last three flights with three different planes - I've crashed all three of them.  One fatally.
All part of the hobby.  If you are NOT crashing in this hobby, you aren't pushing yourself hard enough.


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#391 [url]

Apr 17 17 8:16 PM

Last time I flew the Slow Stick X, the landing gear broke.  And while repairing it I found a crack in the rear wing mount too.  So I repaired things but had to take the plane apart to do so.  So it needed a new test flight to trim everything in to fly nicely.  Sure am glad that wing mount didn't break off during flight - it would have been goodbye airplane for sure.


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