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#361 [url]

Oct 2 11 8:49 PM

Hey guys and gals.....
Today was my birthday.  Yep - I turned 57 today.  OUCH....!!!!!!
I took some planes out to fly but the winds were rather gnarly, so I only flew my little LightFlite BUG airplane.  It's made out of EPP foam and carbon fiber rods and is almost indestructible.  Many times I've crashed it in nose first, just picked it up and tossed it back into the air again.

So, for anybody that wants to watch, here are my "birthday" flights, 2011.  First one is music by Redwood (i.e. Bill Mumy mostly)...   And the next one by George Harrison....
If you don't like unconventional aircraft then don't even bother.  This little thing is more like a "ladybug" type airplane.  The wing control surfaces act as both ailerons and elevators, or "elevons" as they call them.  The plane turns as much by rudder as anything else....

Tulsa, Oklahoma

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#362 [url]

Oct 2 11 11:07 PM

Ladybug indeed! 

An amazingly maneuverable aircraft that seem capable of bug like flight!   You did rolls so close to the ground too and it seemed to hang in mid air from the prop and I think I even saw it "fly" backwards one time!

It was cool to see how you able to almost blop it on the ground next to your equipment.  Never saw landings like that before.

Happy Birthday Thunker, a very cool way to celibate!

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#366 [url]

Oct 7 11 11:17 PM

Here's a little video of my current "hanger" of R/C airplanes.  I recently upgraded my radio system to a Futaba 10CG.  So I had to go through all my airplanes and re-link their receivers to my new radio.
Actually it was rather fun, and a good exercise to check out all my airplanes.

While doing so it occurred to me that I haven't done a "my hanger" video in a long while.  So I threw one together tonight to a little Leon Russell music. Leon is a native of Tulsa here and, in fact, is an alumni of my high school as well.

So, here's my current line-up of airplanes....  Hope you enjoy...

Tulsa, Oklahoma

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#368 [url]

Oct 9 11 6:44 AM

Well I changed the music to some Bill Mumy from his latest album "Until The Big Bang Whimpers", Track 1 "Real Good Thing."  Just got the album yesterday.

Tulsa, Oklahoma

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#369 [url]

Oct 10 11 8:44 PM

Chandler Park
Tulsa, Oklahoma
October 10, 2011

First flight with my EasyStar and the Futaba 10CAG.  This controller has slider switches on the side with tactile and audio (a beep) feedback when hitting dead center.  Works great!  Music is from Bill Mumy's latest album "Until The Big Bang Whimpers".  Check it out..   Buy it.  It's good, it's real good.

GoPro HD HERO on home-made panning camera mount shooting "R3" 1280x720 HD video @ 60 FPS

Tulsa, Oklahoma

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#370 [url]

Oct 25 11 11:16 AM

Here's my latest "toy"...   A Hacker Pitts Special biplane.   This has EPP foam which is very tough and resilient.  Same foam as on my LightFlite "Bug"

I almost always take photos and shoot some video of the build of each of my airplanes.  So here's the build video for this.  It's yet to have its maiden flight.  It's been VERY windy here lately and this is a very light airplane.

Scorpion 2208-30 brushless outrunner motor
Electrifly 25A Speed Controller
1500 MaH 3S 30C Lipo battery
GWS 10x4.7 slow flyer prop mounted on a prop saver
9g sub-micro servos
Futaba FS617 FASST receiver
Futaba 10CAG radio
All up weight 16.5 ounces

I'm wearing my B-17 "Aluminum Overcast" tee-shirt at the end.   She will be here in Tulsa this next weekend giving flights.  Walk ups are $465 so I think I'll stay on the ground, but I'm hoping to go out and shoot some video of her....

Click here to view the attachment

Tulsa, Oklahoma

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#371 [url]

Oct 28 11 8:01 PM

Finally got the new Pitts out to a park today for a try at its first flight.  On the first try it took a bit to get off the ground but made it up.  Once up it was pretty touchy.  It needed a LOT of up elevator trim and I was just too busy with the sticks, both compensating and just getting used to the airplane, to adjust it in flight.  So I landed and adjusted the trims.  Next flight went a lot smoother, and after a minute or so I was getting used to how this airplane behaves.  I learned that you really need to give some rudder along with the ailerons when turning.  A touch of rudder and it turns nicely.  Also the rudder has a LOT of authority on this plane.  I think you can almost turn it with rudder alone.  If you watch towards the last part of the video starting around 5:00 you can see me play around checking out the rudder - you can see some "tail skids" in the air.   That's a lot like my BUG is too - the rudder can almost spin it around on itself mid-air.

After about 6 or so minutes though the motor over-heated and shut down.  You can hear it "growl" at the end and play a pretty little tune.   I'm pretty certain that 10x4.7 prop was way too much for this setup.  Then it occurred to me (DUH moment!) that this was the same motor I'd used on the old Spitfire, and it worked great with a GWS 9x5 prop.  So I stuck that on it and it feels good.  I think I'll try that next time.  Actually I was thinking to use the larger prop with a smaller pitch to slow the plane down, as this biplane isn't meant to be flown like a warbird.  But I'll try this setup next time and see what it does.  One thing I've learned in this little hobby, finding the right motor/prop combo isn't an exact science.  It seems to me to be about as much trial & error as anything. 

For the flight time I got in, it seemed to be a fun little airplane.  I got in about 7 minutes total flying time (I edited out one small session) and it used up about 2/3 of the battery.  I suspect a better prop combo will make it more efficient.  Also I think the ailerons need more throw and I'm already at the maximum on my radio.  I can always drill more holes in the aileron control horns and adjust the linkage to get more mechanical movement.  I have that on my "to-do" list but it's after I make sure I get a good power/prop combo working good first.

Regardless, this wasn't too bad for a maiden flight.  I've sure had WORSE (bringing home pieces in a plastic bag!)  Here's the video I got if you want to check it out.

Tulsa, Oklahoma

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#374 [url]

Nov 20 11 11:15 PM

I liked that Hacker Pitts biplane EPP foam airplane so much a while back that I couldn't resist ordering this.  A Hacker Extra 330SC with the same EPP foam. 
Here's the build video of it I did.  It has yet to have its maiden flight.   Will it fly?  Only one way to find out....
It's rare that I mention any political/social issues anymore, but I think Bill Mumy wrote these lyrics very well regarding the USA nowadays. 

Tulsa, Oklahoma

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#375 [url]

Nov 23 11 8:08 PM

Conditions were great today so I took the Hacker Extra 330SC out for its maiden flight.  It only needed a few clicks of down elevator and it was flying great!  Tracked nice, straight and true.  This is actually built to be 3D capable but I'm not that good and only intend to fly it as a sport plane.  With the tough EPP foam it should be very durable too.  It really bends before it breaks, and should it break it breaks cleanly and can be easily repaired with standard CA glue and kicker, or (my favorite) UHU POR glue.

So here's the flight.  Nothing fancy and I flew it up higher a bit to give me more "error room" should I need it - but I never even came close to having a problem.  It did everything exactly like I wanted it to.  Just a few simple aileron rolls, a couple of loops, a few Split-S's and a little barrel roll before coming around to land.  This was actually about a 7-1/2 minute flight and I only used up 1/3rd of the battery pack.  I suspect this is going to be a great little park flyer and will quickly become one of my favorites.

My build:
Scorpion SII-2208-1250 brushless outrunner motor (150 watts @ 14 Amps   1280 RPM/volt)
Electrifly 25 Amp Electronic Speed Controller (ESC)
1800 mAh 30C 3-cell Lithium Polymer (LiPo) battery
GWS 9x5 propeller (black) drilled out to accept a 3mm prop adapter
12g metal gear servos (torque rated at 21-25 ounce-inch)
Wingspan is 39.3"
My build turned to be 20.8 ounces all up weight (AUW)

Maiden flight of a Hacker Extra 330SC EPP foam RC airplane

I hope all my USA friends have a fantastic and safe Thanksgiving!

Tulsa, Oklahoma

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#376 [url]

Dec 8 11 5:33 PM

GoPro has a new, upgraded "HD HERO2" camera today and I got one today.  I couldn't resist running out to the field to try it out.  The winds were a bit turbulent down low but pretty smooth above and the easystar actually likes a little wind.  One of the enhancements they claim on this camera is better low light performance.  While it wasn't completely overcast, it was fairly cloudy and there were clouds blocking the direct sun most of the time.  This camera does appear a bit better to me in that regard, but the main thing I noticed was better, faster adjusting to changes in the lighting contrast.  On my old camera it would take a bit to adjust from dark areas to light - like going from the ground to the clouds.  The clouds would get blown out to all white for a bit before the camera could adjust.  That looks to me to be quite a bit better on this version - probably due to the HERO2 having twice the processing power.

On my old camera I would shoot at 1280x720 @ 60 FPS with a 170 degree field of view.  This camera now has a full 1920x1080 resolution at 30 FPS and 170 deg FOV and that's what I shot here.  You can also adjust to FOV down to 127 deg or even down to 90 deg if you want to reduce the fisheye effect.  I left it at the full 170 FOV.  This is the highest resolution the camera will shoot.

About 1:20 - 1:30 into the video I manage to fly along with a few geese and catch them on the video by panning the camera as I go by.

So, here's the flight to a little Beatles music....  This is unadjusted video right off the camera.  I usually tweak the brightness/contrast and the sharpness a bit on the old camera - and maybe the high/dark light levels.  But I wanted to see what the raw video would look like after rendering to a movie on this first flight.  Obviously best viewed with HD "ON".  On my rather slow DSL connection I have to pause and let it buffer in about half way before I start playing it in HD.

Tulsa, Oklahoma

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#377 [url]

Dec 9 11 2:05 AM

@ Thunker, Impressive images, I had to watch it a couple of time before I spotted the geese you mentioned, for some reason I expected them to be along side as you flew past them but I guess the sound of the plane must scare them off.

I'm still amazed at the quality of the video, nice editing too, love to hear the actual sound as you take off and then land.

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#378 [url]

Dec 10 11 8:17 PM

@ Pelletor:  Thanks.  There's often a lot of geese at that field by the river.  A time or two I've actually taken a plane off just a few feet away from them grazing on the ground.  But they don't seem to like it once it gets in the air.  They may view it as a predator or something?

It was sunny and clear today with almost dead calm winds.  So I took the EasyStar with the new HERO2 back out to see how it does in full light.  Although, even at 3PM, the sun is pretty low in the sky here now!

Here's the flight if anyone wants to check it out.  I went up a bit higher, for a while, than I normally due to get a good panoramic view of the city skyline.  Music is sung by Olivia Ong.  An amazing singer from Singapore.  I haven't a clue as to how many languages she has mastered, but she can sing in perfect English, Chinese and I've even heard her sing in Japanese before.  And she's awfully pretty as well!!

Tulsa, Oklahoma

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#380 [url]

Dec 26 16 5:52 AM

Odd - looks like all posts in this thread after 2011 have disappeared.  No bigie on this off topic area, but I wonder if it's happening to blowgun related messages,too!

Santa came a few days early to my house this year.  Lookie what he left me!  It's advertised as a PNP, or Plug 'N Play, kit - meaning "everything is mostly pre-installed, just add your radio and battery."
Ha!  Took hours of assembly.  Took me about 3 days.  Mostly installing the purely cosmetic wing rigging cables. They had tiny little springs for the cables.  The springs attached to the fuselage/wing and the cables strung into the springs.  The cables are of some stretch elastimer or something.  Very strong and quite stretchy.  It would have been doable, but like building a ship in a bottle to use those springs.  So I remembered seeing something on a similar model in the past.  I had some small 1/8" aluminum tubing for my blow dart building so I cut little sections of it with a small tube cutter I have.  Then used those as clamps for the cables.  Thread the cables through, pull them taut and crimp down the tubing.  Worked great.  Much easier, too.  Sure am thankful for all these tiny tools I've collected over the years. ;-)

First class quality all around.  First time I've built a FMS kit of this scale.  Very nice, although the instructions were lacking.  Nothing on hooking up the control surfaces.  But mainly, NOTHING on stringing the rigging cables.
The worst fitting part was the landing gear.  Since it's a really high stress area I epoxied it in.  And used plenty.  Too much.  The gear fit very tightly and had to be held in place by hand while the epoxy set up.  I couldn't move it to check underneath.  Well, when it finally set up and I turned the plane over I had some pretty bad epoxy that had run down on the fuselage.  I carefully picked off what I could without damaging the paint, but I still pulled the paint off in places.  All I had around was some darker blue and I used it to repair it - but it looks terrible.  I may end up taking the plane in to Lowes and having them scan and mix up some matching paint sometime.  From what I understand they'll do that and sell you just a small can for cheap.  Doesn't look too bad from a distance though.

Woe to me should I crash this one.  Will be rigging wires and pieces everywhere.  LOL....


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