Posted by: scote621 | April 24, 2012

Scratch Build – generic Fighter jet

I decided I wanted to make another attempt at a scratch-built fighter pusher jet plane.  The last one I made flew pretty well but there was a rather large design flaw on my part that led to the wings folding and the plane collapsing on a high speed banked turn.  I had not reinforced the wings adequately.  This time around I tried to use what I learned and I think I was successful.  This plane is made from 3 foam boards taped together, outline drawn out, peices cut, taped and glued together.  each foam board is only about 10 inches long and about 30ish inches long (sorry don’t have the exact measurements right now but you get the idea).  I loosely based the shape of this plane on a F-22, though I feel like it has more of a YF-23 black widow appearance based on the more narrow wings, and vertical stabilizer shape.  The motor is a BP 2212-6 (2200 KV) running a 6×4 apc prop and a 40amp BP ESC.  Two 9g micro  servos to run the elevons that I pulled out of retired parkzone plane.

 

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Posted by: scote621 | April 20, 2012

Titan build log part 2

So I just went to the local soccer field and did a quick maiden flight in 10mph wind gusts to 15. She handled very well not quite as fast as I wanted but pretty quick. Might have to try a 5.25×5.25 prop rather than the 4.1×4.1. Rolls were very axial. I only cut flight short due to a kids soccer team showing up to practice. Now need to figure out a paint scheme.

20120420-133123.jpg

Posted by: scote621 | April 18, 2012

Titan Build Log Part 1

I wanted to share my build of a new titan rc plane.  This plane was purchased this afternoon at Target on my lunch break and is near completion after about 2 hours worth of work.  I am going for a speed demon with this plane, the motor is 3700KV and is meant for a gear box on a helicoptor, should be ok using a 55 amp ESC with a small APC prop.  As most people in the hobby know this isn’t exactly a cheap hobby but with a little ingenuity and effort you can make it more affordable.  So what is the cost of this plane you may ask…

AirHogs Titan glider $10

brushless motor-free (hand me down from a friend) Using an Align 430xl with an APC prop 4.1×4.1

ESC-free hand me down from a fellow club member 55amp

servos-were very cheap recyled from previous planes that had been “retired” but lets say overall $20

hardware-also being recylced and I would say they originally cost me about 15 dollars

receiver-was about $60 dollars new (I have had this one for awhile)

So just around $100 dollars total worth of materials of which most of it I already had laying around!

Now let’s get started!

Posted by: scote621 | March 15, 2012

Titan Season is nearly upon us!

What is Titan season you ask?   Titan season starts in early spring and usually lasts through most of the summer.  Titans are 10 dollar hand thrown foam (EPS) gliders made by AirHogs and sold at stores such as Wal-Mart and Target.  They are meant for young children to easily set up and have fun throwing outside, BUT they also just so happen to be a wonderful platform for turning into a low cost high performance RC plane.  There are numerous threads on RCgroups and wattflyer regarding their conversion.  Here is what a stock Titan glider looks like.

The wings and horizontal stabilizer are removable and held on by just friction (at least for the intended use).   If you have  spare electronics laying around from an old crash and want a low cost plane to put them in that is unique, easy to make and has lots of room for adding your own flair too then I highly suggest going to the store and picking one of these up.  This would also make a great father/son project.

Here are some pictures of some conversions I have done,  Some have been very successful and others well they were good for a laugh

RIP Blue titan, flew great until battery came loose and knocked out power to receiver :(

(this one flew very well but was lost to a loss of TX/RX bind always make sure you have a solid bind light on Spektrum equipment)

EDF Titan version 2.1 repairs made and new 70mm multiplex/himax 400 watt edf unit installed!

(EDF version, flew well a few times but was a little under-powered)

another pic of the nightflyer

(Added lights for night flying unfortunately I made the nose to thin when I hollowed it out for the battery and rx bay and it lost integrity after about 8 weeks of heavy use and the nose would flex to much leading to uncontrollable plane)

blue angel inspired experimental titan pusher jet.

(my attempt at a blue angel inspired canard pusher jet, this was the prototype.  The angle of the canards and thrust angle of the motor is very tricky to get worked out but flies great once you do)

titan pusher jet V 4.0 flies great!

(canard pusher final version)

night flying fun jets anyone?

(Night flying canard titans)

Good pic of the titan fleet

(pic of some of last years titans)

As you can see you can do a lot of things with these cheap gliders and here is the proof that they do fly quite well.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qHgzHq2bcx0&feature=youtube_gdata_player

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BZTbMHXgVso&feature=youtube_gdata_player

Posted by: scote621 | March 12, 2012

Sharing my addiction

One of the thing’s I enjoy most about my hobby (addiction) is sharing it with young kids.  Wow that sounds really wrong if you don’t know I am talking about flying model planes!  I am fortunate enough to have a large soccer field complex 10 minutes away from my job and I go there to fly for 30 minutes or so on my lunch hour whenever the weather cooperates.  Often times there are parents playing with there pre-school age children.  The kids and parents are usually very curious and come up asking me questions.  Of course the kids (particularly the little boys) ask me “Can I fly the plane?” I have to explain that it’s harder than it looks and redirect them but that’s usually not to hard they just enjoy watching.  I try to plug the hobby to the parents, especially the ones with the older children, and tell them about our club and how to get started with a beginner plane and an instructor to save time,  frustration and most importantly to Mom and Dad money.

What really seems to interest them are the scratchbuilt foam planes.  They are amazed that something made of foam board they use for their school projects can be made into a controllable rc plane.  They really like the added features such as LED’s for night flying.  I just hope one of these days I get to see one of the kid’s that came up to me and asked questions flying their own plane, even more so something they designed and built themselves.  I think that would just be great.

Here is a little video showing some night flying in a small condo courtyard down at a friend’s place in Southern RI.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VJm491PWyuU&feature=youtube_gdata_player

Posted by: scote621 | March 10, 2012

Freewing F-15 Upgraded

I was lucky enough to stumble across the exact plane I had been wanting to buy online at CME hobbies a few weeks back.  I wanted to get the plug and play version at the time but shipping costs were higher than I wanted to spend.  I lucked out and Chris was selling it on consignment at his shop with hi-tech servos installed so I had to pick it up.  He warned me that it was slighty underpowered but was a nice flyer.  I couldn’t wait to fly it for the first time.  So first calm day during lunch I traveled to the soccer field close by I like to fly at and gave her a go.  Boy was Chris right, took at least 150 feet on the smooth asphalt to get enough speed up to leave terra firma.  She was prob topping out in the 35-40 mph an hour range and I had to keep her flying at 75% to 100% throttle, But I could tell this freewing 64mm F-15 had potential! So I did some research and came across donsrc everyone on the forums was raving about his wicked edf motors.  I ordered one, a 4800 KV motor.

This is when I found out that I had the freewing version with an EDO type fan and not the nitroplanes one with the airfield fan.  The motor needed a rotor plug that I didn’t order but was able to use some elbow grease and heat to get the one-off the stock motor shaft and then next step was simply shaving off some plastic tabs so the motor would fit the fan housing and mounting the impeller.  Now let me tell you this is my first EDF and I did not realize how important it is to BALANCE the unit.  I figured it was ok as is.

As soon as I got the chance I took her back to the soccer field and got to test her out with the new motor.  It sure was loud and you could tell it was vibrating more than it should but she flew with a lot more get up and go!  I had downloaded an iphone app that used doppler sound analysis and was getting a new speed of around 63mph.  Well I only got about 15 flights on the jet until the motor literally tore the impeller blade apart, I was lucky enough to kill the throttle and deadsticked her in from a couple hundred feet out.

Back to Donsrc to order a BALANCED unit.  Ordered that on Sunday night and he had it in the mail by Tuesday morning arrived on Thursday and just finished the installation 30 minutes ago.  Now let me tell you there is a difference in a well balanced unit.  Plane seems to have even more power and sounds much more pleasant to the ear.  I have come to realize that you can only go so cheap with EDF’s and if you want the performace its going to cost you.  At this point this will have to be my only EDF for the foreseeable future.  So I will have to go pretty easy on her and not perform any of my crazier usual stunts quite yet…

Posted by: scote621 | March 9, 2012

My thoughts on buying planes from cheaper online vendors

I wanted to voice my opinion regarding plane purchases from cheaper online vendors such as nitroplanes, hobbyking, banananhobby etc.  If you google these companies there is an incredibly large amount of negative reviews and youtube video links expressing how horrible these companies and the products they sell are.  I myself have had issues with one plane I purchased from nitroplanes (FMS 800mm P-40).  Let me start by explaining the issue I had.

I was ready for my second warbird I had been flying a couple months and was picking it up pretty well.  I ordered the P-40 from nitroplanes and did a motor swap out to install a bp 2212-10 1400kv motor (great motor by the way).  This was the second time I had done this upgrade on an FMS warbird plane so I knew what I was doing.  When it came time for the maiden flight I thought everything was all set.  BOY WAS I WRONG.  I hand launched the plane and she went straight down like a fat guy at a pie eating contest.   Still being very new in the hobby I asked some experienced members for some help.  One man looked it over and told me right away the angle of the elevator was way off.  I took the plane home and removed the elevator and quite a bit of foam, adding shims and hot glue to get it to mount at the right angle and brought it back the next day for a second attempt and that plane was incredible after I got the stabilizer at the correct angle.

Moral of that story is, these sites may not always sell you a plane that flies great out of the box but if you give it a good inspection and are willing to deal with the potential for modifications to get a nice flying plane they are a great deal.  Most of the planes I have bought have flown great out of the box.  Maybe they were underpowered but so what you can always upgrade that later.  I feel that part of the hobby is spending some time tweaking and modifying.  Stuff happens, and you are going to prang a plane and should know how to fix it when you do.

Moving forward I plan on using the cheaper sites to buy propeller driven planes as plug and play models, their power systems are decent enough in almost all cases.  BUT I will not buy an PNP EDF.  They sell them with underpowered motors and unbalanced fans.  I would recommend finding a vendor that sells a quality product.  I personally have liked Donsrc.com fast shipment, quality product and great customer support.  I ordered a 64edf with his 4800wicked motor and balancing service last Sunday night and had it by Thursday!  I had previously used his motor with the stock fan on my freewing F-15 and even being badly out of balance this plane was still pushing 60mph on 3s and capable of very good vertical climbing.  Can’t wait to see it with his balanced fan!

Posted by: scote621 | March 9, 2012

Hello world!

My First Blog post!

Yes, I know how could this possibly be my very first blog post?  I am a member of the most technologically connected and knowledgeable generation to ever set foot on the planet.  Born in 1984, we have grown up and evolved with our technology in a symbiotic way.  Kids in grade school now do not even know why the save icon on their screen looks like it does…”you mean you used to have to insert a square plastic thing into the computer???”  The reason why I have not blogged in the past was that I felt like it was a little narcissistic to be honest.  I mean really what do I have to say that could matter so much that people wanted to read it and dare I say follow my blogging?  Now I view it in the way I think it was intended to be as a way of sharing information and ideas with a global audience.  I still find it amazing how widespread yet connected the world is.  Our technology has enabled us to be able to connect and share ideas like never before.

My intent for this blog is to focus on RC planes, but I don’t intend to stick to that exclusively.  I may use it as I see fit, to express opinions, tell a funny story, link a funny pic or video or anything I want really.  I hope to connect with my fellow RC enthusiasts, friends and family in a new way.

Steve

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