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Brad’s Corner for Nov/Dec 2017

To begin, I would like to mention that we are moving this month’s meeting/board member voting from our usual fourth Saturday to Saturday the 18th to avoid conflict with Thanksgiving holiday travel. We will have the meeting/voting around noon with pizza provided by the club for attendees. Jim has sent out absentee ballots for those that cannot attend, please ensure that if you do vote absentee – you fill in your full name as it appears on your membership card. If we can’t verify that you are a member, your ballot will not be counted. No cemetery voters please…
Finally, it has cooled off a bit! It is crazy that we had to wait until November to get a break this year. Still waiting for some rain to smooth the field out and reduce the risk of fire at our site. We really haven’t had many fires this year, and I want to thank all of you for being careful and having your extinguishers ready as needed.
Jim and Dennis have started replacing the worst of the tables at the main runway. Please throw them a thank you for giving up a few flying days to work for us instead. They started with the worst four and will continue into next year as the existing tables give out. Not bad, we have nearly 4 years on tables we expected to last one.
 A reminder on etiquette at the field, safety concerns, and just plain common sense: In the last 2 weeks I have observed folks walking out past the fence without letting other pilots know they were stepping out. Please call loudly, there were a few VERY near misses! Also, please look and verify no one is on approach before loudly announcing take-off and landing. Also judge the point at which you call your landings, calling too early can leave others stranded with low batteries waiting for a landing that should have been called thirty seconds later. Finally, after landing, if you taxi – please do so near the fence to reduce risk of others coming in after you.
One of our club members, Butch Bucciarelli, heard my call in September that we were looking for a venue to have our Holiday banquet in Jan. He came through for us in a big way, and our Banquet Committee ( Randy and Quan ) are finalizing the details. It sounds AMAZING!  Plan for a blast to all 2017 members to come out in early December with all of the info. Details will not make the web page or be posted to Facebook ( Pictures will post AFTER the event) to avoid the party crashers/freeloaders as we experienced the last 2 years. If you are a member, and do not get the club e-mails, email your friendly editor and he will make sure you get yours:  editor@sefsd.org
As I look over the newsletter for the last few months, I notice a great amount of content provided by members. Thank all of you that have hopped on board! Steve Belknap has been doing a great job of putting it all together for us, and it makes his life a bit easier if he does not have to search for all of the content himself. If you have a neat project, please share!
The Board has voted on and approved a small increase in membership dues starting 2018. Dues will go up to $50.00 a year when we start accepting 2018 applications next month. The club costs have been going up over the last few years and this will allow us to keep even. One exciting thing you will see next year is a new style of badge we will be issuing to take some of the load from the membership coordinator – THANKS GEORGE SULLIVAN! We failed to realize how much of a load we had put on Isabel as we took the club from two hundred to four hundred members. Thanks again to Paul and Isabel Guidice for the service to the club for the last seven years.
Please join us on Saturday for the meeting and vote. If you want to give back to the hobby you enjoy, I greatly encourage each of you to spend a bit of time on the board so we can all benefit from your ideas and experiences.
Have a great Thanksgiving, and please be safe. I think I saw a video on YouTube of Skip trying to deep fry a turkey. It was scary! I will be having ham now…
Brad
 
Jose
Eric
Quan

BOD Minutes for November 2017

By Quan Nguyen

 

November 10th Board Meeting
Present: Paul, Jim, George, Dennis, Randy, Brian, Brad, Quan
Commenced: 6:58pm
 
-Discussed board nominations for 2018
-Badge printer: Authorized for purchase.
-Costco Pizza for Election Day
-Voted to increase 2018 dues to $50.
-Thank you Butch Bucciarelli for providing Harbor House for this year’s Winter Banquet.
-Discussed possibility of International Drone Day for 2018.
-Discussed bringing back MWE (Mid Winter Electric)
-Jeff Struthers will continue Electroglide in 2018
-Jim will continue PopWing in 2018
-Treasurer’s Report- Thank you Paul for your service! Paul will help incoming Treasurer.
-Safety Report: Safety is good, just some people flying over parking lot.
-Brian to collect funds for holiday banquet.
BOD Dinner Dec. 16th @ 6:30pm
 
meeting adjourned: 8:46pm

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Brad’s Corner for Oct./Nov. 2017

I open this month’s newsletter with some sad news.

 

Last week our official Candy Man and unofficial club greeter, Fred Duffy, passed away. Fred was a welcoming member of our weekend crew over the last several years. 50-60 of our newest members thanked Fred for his approachability, and willingness to help a new guy out. Fred passed following a brief illness the morning of the 17th. He was where he wanted to be – At home with his loving Family. Freds son, Mike, has expressed his gratitude for the supportive texts, mails, and comments I have passed to him. Freds home life was very private and Mike said there will not be an open service per Freds wishes. The family will commemorate his life and their Mothers life together in private at a future date. We will miss Fred, and will do something to remember him on Veterans Day – November 11th. Mike will take a few weeks off, but we hope to see him back out at the field when affairs are in order.

 

Fred & Mike

 

As we approach the end of the calendar year we have finished up our monthly event series – Popwing races, Electroglide, and Multirotor FPV racing. If you would like to propose an event for next year, or run one of the current events, please let Jim or myself know.

 

I have been seeing quite a few damaged items stacked next to the garbage cans the last few weeks. Please, if you brought it to the field, and it is too big to fit into a can, please bring it out with you and dispose of it elsewhere. Do not leave it for the park folks to haul away. Also, the buckets of sand are for dumping over a battery fire, not a place to leave bad batteries for someone else to take care of.

 

We are less than 2 weeks away from the end of daylight savings time for 2017, have you been getting your night flyers ready?

 

Last week I opened nominations for the board of directors for 2018. There have been a few nominations, but I am still looking for some folks to step up and share your unique ideas while helping guide the club into the New Year. To reiterate what I said last week:

 

Any position currently occupied is open for competition.  Specifically, positions we need filled for 2018 are:

 

President – I expect to step away from the seat, which will automatically make me chairman for up to 2 years.

 

Vice President – Jim plans to run for a member at large position. He will still be involved, but life priorities require that he concentrate on other activities.

 

Treasurer – Paul has decided to end his service to the club and devote some time to just flying and enjoying his membership.

 

Safety Officer – I am trying to convince Randy to take the position from either Jim or myself.

 

Secretary – I am also sweet talking Quan…

 

Also, the 3 at large positions are always open for competition, I would like our current folks in these positions to move up.

 

Nominations received so far:

 

Secretary – Ken Dresser

 

Members at large – Ken Dresser, Steve Neu, Carl Cox, Jim Bonnardel, and Tony Blackhurst.

 

I continue to enjoy reading the submissions from club members on their special projects, and anything else related to our activities they may have seen or done. Keep it up!

 

This month’s event on the 28th will be a new one, MAMBA BABY! HOW LOW CAN YOU GO!!  Followed by the club meeting and lunch. This one should be a lot of fun.

 

Have a happy Halloween folks!

Contest results for F5D team selection

By Bruce Brown

 

Contest report for the F5D team selection, top three finishers to represent the USA in Takigawa, Japan in July 2018. The contest was held in Liberty,NC Sept.23-24, each competitor may enter three models, all models are equipped with an official supplied watt limiter, FAI rules for F5D govern the models and race organization.Twelve rounds were flown with the best nine counting. The weather was great both days, mid 80s with just a light breeze downwind.
The race is ten laps around three pylons at 180m x 180m x 40m, the score is the time in seconds to finish ten laps, one pylon cut add 10%, two cuts or DNF gives a 200 score. Final totals best nine of twelve heats.

 

Trey Witte   582.34 3rd
Jim Nikodem  560.67 2nd
Bruce Brown  552.99 1st Fast time 59.19

 

F5D Team

 Trey, Bruce & Jim

The Swap Meet Gemini Biplane

 

 

And another warning, this project failed utterly. The foam was just too old, too much of the rest was damaged beyond recovery or so cheap it should not have been used in the first place. I’ve had a hundred foam airplanes, the tail surfaces warped like nothing before. I grafted the tail of a Fun Cub on, it wasn’t worth the effort.

 

GEM 3

Warped Tail from Behind

 

11 May 2017 (We.) I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve done fiberglass on this airframe, in about the ninth and tenth time the upper ailerons were fixed in position and some more minor dents spachteled and sealed.

 

It might have been warped up the whole time, on application of fiberglass hardening of the horizontal stabilizer it was evident the right side was up. It’s starting to feel like too much fiddling with this airframe.

 

02 May 2017 (Tu.) It was time to do it. Although not run up with them, two high discharge 3S 850 mAh LiPos were ganged together. I’ve forgotten the balance point.

 

Flight 1/20 Hidden Valley Flying field 02 May 2017 (Tu.)

 

It may be tail heavy and it pulls up too much on application of power. The top wing flutters at some speeds and attitudes. So bad that the upper wing went blurry. The left aileron was not secured, the corrosion made the nut feel tight, it wasn’t. The flight was stopped way early.

 

30 April 2017 (So.) The airframe is now built out to an RC airplane. All that is left is to fit batteries and go fly.

 

The white plastic motor mount it came with was not going to function by just redoing the back side with fiberglass. The hack job done by the previous owner and the small bolt circle for the three screw mount transmission were just too on the not enough. So, a plywood plug was fitted (to be drilled out later) and another bigger plug, a single layer of fiberglass in between, two over the top, were done. Sanded even, not much fiberglasss left on the front, but it should have enough strength to secure the transmission(s).

 

Well, after fooling with it some, it wasn’t worth doing. Just too much clearancing for the folding propeller. I’d be better off just making a new mount out of aluminum.

 

After reviewing the situation, all of my RC fleet is over old, the foam tired, it’s time to start over with fresh airframes. There is only one thing holding me back, money, or rather, the lack of. As it turns out one of the last places to get Multiplex stuff anymore is the best venue anyway, Discount Hobbies in San Diego CA. In the “musical chairs” of finding a summer project I wound up in Rialto CA, so, the hobby shop in Corona (Hobby City) is the venue of choice. They can’t remember who to order a Twin Star II or Fun Cub from. So, I bought parts to build out an Horizon Hobbies Apprentice at Hobby City (Corona CA) and since the only easy source for a Multiplex kits is at Discount Hobbies (San Diego CA).

 

About the Multiplex Gemini

 

Gem 5

Gemini

 

This will be my third personal Gemini and the fifth I have reinforced. Now obsolete (no longer in production) they are great sport biplanes as in semi-scale, and semi-aerobatic. Actually, it is about as aerobatic as the airplanes it is a model of.

 

Between a friend, and, in Germany’s Rhein-Main with a couple of dozen RC airplanes at our disposal, when we just want to go over to our flying place (a farm field with all-weather access roads) to relax and play with RC airplanes the Gemini is THE favorite with the Twin Star II in brushless for use on days with a little more wind or mud. For the Gemini it takes reinforcing the nose, for the third and fourth ones we deleted the landing gear, modify the nose (clearance and fiberglass reinforcement) for folding propellers and reinforcing the wings. We liked them so much that dismayed when our first onew wore out (two hundred and one hundred and sixty flights respectively) we found new, old stock kits. Furthermore, they fit in my camper. A close alternative, and still available, is a Reinforced Fun Cub, also covered in an archived SDFSD article.

 

This is an original year 2017 article for the Silent Electric Flyers of San Diego. In the SEFSD archives is a previous article about building up a Reinforced-Gemini from new kits and the experience of twenty different propulsion combinations.

This new article goes over the common mistakes made by a first owner and trying out a couple of new propulsion components including two that should be the “ultimate” choices. That correcting mistakes, and the advantages of correct propulsion, are what transform my notes to a general interest article.

 

Included is adding enough fiberglass and redrilling from the original four hole to three holes of the first series of plastic motor mount to mount a modern NeuMotors 1105 series with a 4.4:1 transmission. It will be to be run at about half of the available (600) watts-in and an (80) gram sport Hacker to be run at the limit of (300) watts-in. In particular, having once modified a motor mount for the NeuMotors transmission (the modern style with three mounting screws) the same combination can be used in a Multiplex Fun Cub or Multiplex Mentor or Fun Cub, by just undoing a couple of screws and moving it over. That, and not the airframe, proved to be the most valuable to me portion of the original purchase. Or so I though…

 

Think This Is Expensive, Try Full Size

 

Gem 6

Rusted Out (new reciprocating) Motor(s)

 

While we are at it lets laugh, and cry, about an 60s era Aero-Commander (a sort of full scale Twin Star II, what the author flew by RC while building back up a Gemini) derelict, on Corona CA Airport. Somebody fitted it with new engines over twenty years ago as the start of a general build back up, however, the owner fell out, the motors remained open while the airframe sat for twenty years (which ruined them) the interior and propellers lay about in a garage, until the $1500- it is worth as scrap pales in comparison to the mechanics lien, unpaid tie down and back taxes.

 

And seeing the remains of a Piper Apache, another just after WWII general aviation twin, the type of which the propulsion (engine, propeller and all the stuff attached to them under the cowl) had been retrofitted to my father and I’s last airplane, a 1956 Piper Pacer PA-20, started out in. My father bought one like it new, his second one was older than I am. As preparation for ours, I helped overhaul two other ones, at which the conclusion was, ours wasn’t worth it. Full size or RC there is a place on the curve where writing it off is the best option. For our Piper Pacer (the basic engine was in ok shape, the propeller already recently overhauled) replacing the, some of them obsolete, entire instruments alone would run an estimated two hundred hours and fifteen thousand dollars plus recovering it and… The twin Apache with it’s retractable landing gear wasn’t just two motors more complicated, more like four times, no wonder it’s remains sit at the Oakdale CA airport.

 

That puts the thirty hours of sanding, fiberglass and writing this up plus a couple of hundred dollars outlay for an expected sixty RC flights (at twenty minutes to half an hour a flight) in perspective.

 

In Search Of a General Purpose RC Airplane Which Fits In My Camper

 

Maybe a good direction for me, looking for something which could be transported in my camper and used wherever I happened to be, would have been Multiplex Park Master Pro. Available complete ready to fly (less battery and receiver plus the usual RC stuff) over the counter for $230- plus tax at Discount Hobbies in San Diego Ca and needing only a couple of batteries in addition to the stuff I already have. That would put the investment at about $275-. But the friend with one wasn’t that enthused about his, what we flew most were Twin Star IIs and the out of production Gemini.

 

But, the Park Master Pro is for not more than walking speed winds and I like to fly in the wind. A former slope soarer, to me the wind is a fascinating ally and opponent both. Thermals, yawn, even if I recently put a Multiplex Reinforced-Merlin out in Hidden Valley way over the Mission Bay altitude limit riding one on up to the limit of my eyesight. As a club safety officer once put it; “Please tell me that dot up there isn’t your airplane and quit laying on your back to fly”. I have since reformed myself, but out where there is room (way outside San Diego) have an occasional relapse. My stuff must be able to withstand rough field landings, with it’s almost zero forward landing speed and long landing gear a Park Master (Pro) will. With other airframes rough field landings usually require folding propellers and some reinforcement.

 

But the worst about a Park Master Pro was not having three hundred dollars for a new toy.

 

Alternative Apprentice

 

I priced out refitting my beat up, bought last year for the new motor and computer radio it contained (full size) Apprentice. That figured in at around $110- for replacing all the airframe parts. The new motor (with an epoxy stirrer for a propeller) and a radio and receiver I wanted were the real deal. The three dead 3S LiPos went in proper disposal. The airframe was beat up and patched as I bought it, in a moderate dive the tail went into flutter, the wing should not be further repaired. In short with the exception of the new cowl the airframe was done, I didn’t trust the (possibly) beat up servos and motor controller either.

 

Now with more experience on others Apprentices I consider them an excellent choice for out of the box trainers. A careful balance between decent quality, average time between crashes and durability. Who, other than the author, expects over a hundred flights out of such an RC airplane anyway?

 

Except that the Apprentice as it comes with the motor mounted to the fuselage firewall with a canopy, if you hit the nose, you break it. And only a specific motor with extension fits. What’s the fun in that, if you don’t have a runway? I had a pile of motors, correct for the Apprentice size, I wanted to try, which won’t fit. I wanted a front mounted motor (gone out of fashion) so I could play with different combinations. I find the search for optimum interesting. For the Apprentice I’d have had to designing and build a whole new nose. Easy enough in a shop, but not in a camper.

 

That getting things really right, along with basic quality and good flying skills are why I am considered a bad example. The club members out in Corona CA were slightly dismayed at what I could do with their worn out Apprentice, using new batteries, propeller, a motor controller set up outrunner correct and my flying skills. “If I knew it still flew that well I wouldn’t have sold it”. As in half an hour flights including a dozen touch and goes plus inverted. Blast off the runway, do a roll, half split then glide for a while. I had to keep the speed in a dive down though as the damaged and repaired tail went into flutter and it won’t due to tempt fate with worn out equipment too many times. When it comes to fixed wing they just haven’t gotten a grip on substituting electric power for fuel out there, as is the case for many clubs. The form fitting batteries it came with were shot, so I built up some packs out of “get these out of here” low C discharge (5,000) mAh cells I’d been given and cut up the belly to make them fit. Run at (17) amps on 3S 3200 mAh (that original capacity is down a bit as they age a few percent a year) and use of the amps stick flights are in the half an hour range, even with the beat up wing. They also made for worthwhile performance in a Fun Cub and Twin Star II.

 

But at (400) grams those battery packs are too heavy for a Gemini. In case you were wondering; My airplanes are infamous for looking like expletive deleted and flying very well.

 

I’d have overhauled my SoCal Apprentice (they are also very popular in Rhein-Main) except the last day before returning from Rhein-Main I found a complete, unbuilt, Multiplex Mentor kit (same motor mount as the Gemini and Fun Cub) for use testing motors. So, I left most of my prospective medium power stuff back in Germany.

 

And I needed a modern production motor controller suitable for outrunners in that the timing can be set.

Half of my pile of average (150) gram motors are geared inliners, the other half outrunners.

 

In case you were wondering, in year 2017 with Multiplex stuff disappearing from the USA Market, The Apprentice is the best available trainer for roomy airfields such as the Silent Electric Flyers of San Diego at Mission Bay, San Diego CA.

 

The Merlin didn’t Do It

 

A friend had two of them, the second built, but unused. His first was in the learning to fly and try everything phase. He reported the Merlin as too fast and too small for him. The Multiplex Merlin, no longer in production, was an in-between, smaller and with ailerons more agile than the rudder and elevator Twin Star I with it’s “can” motor barely enough for flight, the Merlin as introduced was at the leading edge of the brushless motor plus LiPo batteries, it later lost out when the Easy Star II with its brushless motor (and a lot less howl changing from six inch to eight inch pusher propeller) and ailerons became available. The Merlin is small for outside, it is fidgety in flight, neither fast nor really acrobatic and easily damaged. As received (flown as the 3S tuning version) the elevator throw was just right (factory preset) the rudder fine, but the ailerons a little too quick. Flights were in the ten to twenty-five minute range. Which might seem reasonable, but they somehow the Merlin didn’t connect with me. I’m not as pleased with mine as the people who wrote them up back when they first came out around 2008.

 

In truth if you know what you are doing, or even more so, if you don’t, an up motored Easy Star II is a better choice than the Merlin. Part of that was that neither airframe is acrobatic, but it would take a computer radio to deploy the ailerons as either flaps or spoilers to make the Merlin land as well as the Easy Star II. Since they both take the same servos and receiver, the bigger diameter propeller of the Easy Star II cuts the pusher prop howl back to acceptable, and the difference in the price of the batteries makes little difference, for which you get longer, relaxing flights with no concern about scratching up the rear mounted folding propeller or dinging up the wing on landings…

 

After twenty five flights I put the Merlin on the shelf. Un-reinforced it needed a golf course to land on. Mine had some light fiberglass “hardening”. Hidden Valley with a wind out of the east, the grass still long, was ideal for that airframe, and yet other modern airframes did everything better, the small size was a disadvantage.

 

A Third Gemini

 

I haven’t been carrying as much back and forth between Rhein-Main (West Germany) and SoCal as previous years. Still, with me, was a new, great little (35) mm Hacker outrunner in the (80) gram size which swings a 9X6 folding propeller on 3S Lipos. Two of them would make a “killer” Radial Motored Twin Star II (and great for a light winds Fun Cub) but I’m bored with the Twin Star II (and bored with the Fun Cub) plus they take up too much space in my camper.

 

For the Gemini we liked the (105) gram motor size, run at well under maximum input, best for Geminis although I flew ours with motors from (40) grams through (135) grams on 3S and 4S. Somewhere out around (400) watts-in and you are forcing a low to medium speed (by the standards of outside) faster than is fun at the cost of weight taking the fine handling away. Gemini’s (set up right) fly fine in still air, yet they will buck some wind, up to two or three times walking speed (as much as San Diego’s Mission Bay ever gets) too. My personal Modified Gemini(s) stay up for twenty minutes or more per flight. The expected life of a Multiplex Gemini, if I build it new from the kit and reinforced it before it takes a beating, is one hundred to two hundred flights by which time the flight loads will have fatigued the wing foam to replacement. Flown gentle way longer. Cost new (no longer in production) fully fitted out, four hundred to six hundred dollars plus batteries and the usual RC stuff.

 

My total budget for the next airplane was in the hundred dollar new outlay (use what I had as much as possible) range. And, if possible, fit it with an economical motor and sell it afterwards.

 

In case you were wondering; I’ve had over twenty propulsion combinations in various Multiplex Geminis. Probably the best is propellers (all four I assembled were fitted with either Aero-Naut or Graupner folding propellers) in the nine to ten inch range, 3S 2200 mAh LiPos and motors in the (35) mm diameter size weighing between (80) and (105) grams. I tried (40) to (60) gram motors in the (28) to (30) mm diameter, brands Hacker and Scorpion, on small 4S LiPos with fixed propellers. The currently available common little outrunners are rated at 2S and 3S, all 4S did was wear them out too quick. Bigger motors put out more power than the (250) watts-out that seems to be optimum, left too little room for the battery and usually were nose heavy. The original (80) gram motor is average efficiency, also with its equal diameter to length a little short on torque. The Hacker puts out more watts-out for the same watts-in and with it’s larger diameter swings a bigger prop better.

 

Found a Gemini Core To Overhaul

 

The drive over to the Lakeside for the swap meet on an oddly gray morning, 18 March 2017 (Sa.) was an easy twenty-five miles over mostly freeway. When I first arrived in San Diego County this section was kind of like being in the country, not any more. On arrival it turned magnificently sunny. The field is located in a valley between steep rocky hills, currently green like not in decades and even wild flowers!

 

Not a lot for sale, and not many buyers either, but a very nice place in a steep valley to fly RC. I decided on a (likely ten to twelve year) old Multiplex Gemini fitted out with a, current to then, sport electric motor and good servos. The main landing gear had been rereinforced, it was painted a simple yellow above and black below with sprayed on paint, nominal scrapes and dings. That included a short range Spektrum receiver of the period, a motor and speed control. Per the owner bind it to your Spektrum receiver, put a battery in it and go fly.

 

After which I hung out for a while, took a bike ride (first time in that area since year 2006) and watched just a few people fly on a great flying morning. Actually, if they weren’t so fragile (by today’s standards) that 90s era Ugly Stick refurbished by an 70s era pilot (his likey birth date too) did well. Until on a typically hot landing (required by the high wing loading, semisimetrical wing and no wind) the nose wheel snapped off.

 

That is a great asphalt runway they have, and our Silent Electric Fliers of San Diego Mission Bay hard packed sand is good too. But I needed something for everywhere.

 

First visual check

 

In general minimal wear and tear.

 

The front landing gear mount is gone (a chronic weak part, just not big enough to get a grip on the foam) replaced with a plywood and a decently brace to the always too weak main landing gear. Kind of small wheels though. Just glueing on a plywood mount for the landing gear, the same size as what tore out, isn’t a sufficient solution. That rear wheel was never strong enough either.

Fuselage servos are HiTek HS-65s, more expensive, stronger and most important, better responding than the same size case of HiTek HS-55s.

 

I can’t see the identification plate for the wing servos. However, one of them the servo arm with the ailerons centered is at right angles to the wing, the other back about (25)% degrees! Both wings needed more aileron up then down (positive differential) one was about equal each way, the other negative differential! It never flew as well as it could.

 

That motor was likely sold by the now gone for a decade Sureflite hobby store on Convoy, they were ok motors for back then.

It has an older Castle Creations Phoenix motor controller rated at (45) amps on 3S LiPos with the BEC and 4S LiPos without it. Deans type connectors. That sounds fine, except to my knowledge there was no way to advance the timing from the (5) degrees for inline motors to the (20) degrees a typical outrunner needs. The outrunner still turns, but used power inefficiently. As in shorter flights at less thrust then they could if the motor controller just fed the pulses correct for their type.

 

The rear wheel assembly is intact, but the thin wire loose in the mount. I doubt it was ever glued in place.

 

The whole airplane had been spray painted a high intensity yellow, then the bottom of the wing was spray painted black over the yellow, including some yellow overspray on the APC 8X6 propeller. I used to slope soar, I learned the hard way don’t make the underside of an RC airplane the same blue as the sky. From experience somehow the Gemini is hard to see at a distance.

 

Some scrapes on the lower wing tips, a leading edge ding and some abrasion, otherwise it appears to be straight.

 

The motor mount has had the four adjustment screws removed, it is held flat to the motor mounts. That made for too much up thrust. A weak point of the original, the four adjustment screws gouged into the side rail mounting plates until there was no adjustment although there is no indication the screws were ever used on this airframe. It has the original white plastic motor mount, which are prone to warping, modern production is aluminum.

 

I had carbon fiber motor plates of this type, but they (along with a motor plus propeller plus motor controller) went missing after a flying session in the vineyards of Rhein-Main. I can’t clearly remember, but that would explain the case of local wine and the empty bottles on the floor of my camper one morning.

 

Three of my geared motors, now a decade old (two from Multiplex, another an old stock NeuMotor) the transmission used four bolts, my one modern production NeuMotor’s gear box uses three mounting bolts. For which there is no “standard” Multiplex motor mounting plate. With four they bolt straight to the white plastic motor mount as do smaller motors. But, they always warp. Sanding and fiberglass take a couple of hours to correct that. A couple of hours as that plastic is surprisingly tough, and after thinning it out it needs some additional reinforcement. Still better, if you have several airframes that take the same mount, then whittling one out of plywood, which still needs fiberglass to hold up in service. You can’t get carbon fiber ones anymore.

 

The nose has been cut flat with the motor mount. As good a way as any to easily repair the damage from a nose over.

 

Disassemble and Sand

 

As so often, be it a new kit or a used airplane, it was taken apart (the wing came off easily, just unscrew the two screws) and then sanded. About an hour and a half, which used up one of three sanding blocks. Just going over things deciding what did I have and how much was left.

 

The Gemini kit comes with sharply pointed wing leading edges. Too sharp for the intended speeds. The reason is to get them out of the moulds with a minimal casting flange. That is a chronic problem, casting flanges at the wing leading edge, with foam ARFs! And I can’t convince the owners to take five minutes with a block of sandpaper to make them right. These wings had taken nominal use, the leading edges were a little worn (plus a dent and a tear) so, I sanded until they were an even, if blunter, round. The dent was patched with lightweight spachtel and a layer of thinnest fiberglass. A critical issue as if the wings were not really usable, with no replacements available, I could just strip the hard parts and junk the airframe.

 

The aileron control horns are from then production, the attachments to the “barrel” connectors are loose in the holes! Well, it no doubt flew, but with that slop, it flew uneven.

 

The Motor is a Dualsky XM3548CA 1080/rpm/V weight 165 grams. That information from the tag on the motor. On research in the Internet they are still available although, current production is listed as 1000/rmp/V so they might have made some changes. From Dualsky the best efficiency is at (14) amps, the maximum amps (fifteen seconds) is (24) The maximum power is (250) watts. I take that that is (250) watts-in at whatever efficiency. To keep that in perspective that is one third of a horsepower. If it weren’t for the excessive weight and length that would actually be ok for a few flights. Ho hum flights that would make you wonder why you bothered, except nobody else’s did any better. Well, if they all keep making the same cheap choices…

The motor was run up with a 3S 5200 mAh LiPo, old stock that hung around too long. That battery is good for hour and a half long flights (you read that right, (1.5) hours) in a Twin Star II with cheap motors. So, the voltage under load seems a little low.

 

With the as purchased (used) Phenix (old stock, circa ten years) (45) amp controller

 

10.4   Volts under full load It that seems kind of low, that’s what happens when a LiPo sits on the shelf too long.

22       Amps   In case you were wondering that is the same load as two smaller motors when used in a Twin Star II.

230     watts-in A guess at watts-out, two thirds of that or about (150) watts to the propeller. At that weight of motor it would have only flow on, and landed fast. The previous pilots likely wound up flying way nose heavy too.

 

Next up was an out of box traded for (35) amp motor controller

10.8   Volts

14.6    Amps

156     Watts-in   WtExpletive Deleted That friends and readers is why you use a power meter and check things. Something was wrong, might be the motor controller or it’s settings.

 

Then a latest series (new) Castle Creations (25) amp Talon motor controller with no changes to timing or brake. Later the brake was set, there are no timing adjustments other than the frequency.

10.6    Volt

21       Amp

220     Watts-in

 

So, the motor was being operated at maximum input. Except we want that power to turn the propeller, not heat up the already going shot bearings of the Daulsky motor in addition to eddy losses of the inexpensive materials and ineffective transfer of inexpensived watered down magnets. The assembly (motor, motor mount, propeller collet) was disassembled. Somebody did an ok job of drilling out a motor mount intended for the original bolt circle for a bigger one. I’ll likely unsolder the connectors and throw the motor away. From the gouges pliers were used on the propeller collet, that goes in the garbage, too. After sanding it approximately flat (the white plastic always war

Electroglide Report for October 2017

 

 

EG 2

Photo by Randy Wynant

 

EG 3

Electroglide Pilot meeting 

 

We closed out the competition for the year with a pretty nice day last Saturday. Sunshine and a light breeze coming across Sea World’s parking lot gave us some rising air.

 

First launch had six Radians and one Easy Star heading westward to catch the lift. It was there that five aircraft stayed aloft beyond eight minutes, with Roger Ball’s flight coming down at 9:48. New member to the Electroglide, young Alex Sutton, flew a great 9:38 time and picked up a 10-point landing. I had a 30-point landing, Dennis La Berge had a 20 point and George Sullivan had the other 10-point landing. A fun round for all.

 

Second launch proved more difficult to find the lift. Longest flight was Dennis at 8:16, Alex came back at 7:37, and the rest of us were in the 6 minutes or below. Rich Rogers, Jon Graber and I all had 20 point-landings. Roger picked up a 10-point landing.

Third launch had us all skunked. Myself and Alex had the long flights of 3:34 each. Dennis, Roger and myself had 20-point landings. Alex and Jon had 10-point landings.

 

Fourth and final launch was in pretty much the same conditions. The long flight was recorded by Roger at 4:01. The rest of us were in the 3 and 2-minute flights. Jon and I had 20-point landings. Dennis had a 10-point landing.

 

Winner for the day was Dennis La Berge with 296 total points. I came in second at 234 and Roger Ball was third at 177.

 

We had a brief ceremony and raffle to close out the year. The years point totals for first, second and third place were handed out to Roger Ball (1267 pts.). Scott Vance (1220 pts.) and myself (788 pts.).

 

Thanks to the club for sponsoring the trophies and raffle checks from our favorite local hobby shop.

 

The Electroglide will be on vacation for the next two months. 2018’s season starts on January 20th. Look for the new start time of 10 a.m. as we see if we can catch more favorable westerly wind conditions.

 

Until,

Jeff

 

 

EG 5

 Calling raffle winner

 

EG 6

Prize for Dennis

 

EG 7

Prize for George

BOD Minutes for Oct 2017

Quan Nguyen

 

October 13th Board Meeting
Meeting commenced: 7:02pm
Present: Quan, Brian, Jim, Dennis, George, Paul, Randy, Brad
 
-Nominations for board positions open
-Membership coordinator position may be filled.
-Still need a Treasurer.
-Trophies for FPVs ready.
-Banquet: Harbor House approx. $5k. Elbow Room, Catalina Room also considered.
-Joker to go back into the raffle pool.
-Jim picked up 20 boards and materials for 4 tables.
-Portapotty replaced. Needs camo.
-Field maintenance status: Some issues with the water trailer.
-Treasurer’s report: Raffle went well.
-Discussed improving legacy club software.
-Discussed closing out club accounts.
-Quan talked to BasicLink about migration work. Software upgrade is not an emergency. Will work on migration plan.
-FPV races for 2018: Need race management software. NewbeeDrone may run races 2018.
-Veteran’s day ideas: hot dogs & prizes.
-This month’s event is Limbo.
 
-Next meeting is November 10th.
 
Meeting Adjourned: 8:35pm

Brad’s Corner for Sep/Oct 2017

BradHey Team!
As this newsletter comes out we will be officially ending the last week of summer. Finally! It has been a hot and nasty one, That’s for sure.
To start off, I would like to thank the folks who participated on our Labor Day Raffle. We made some great progress towards funding our holiday banquet! The raffle was a lot of fun, with a slew of great prizes, and Subway sandwiches served by Julie and Joe Bonnardel. I would also like to say “thanks!” to the folks who donated prizes to the raffle, the items were really appreciated. Randy Wynant and Quan Nguyen have started looking for a venue for the banquet. If you know of a nice indoor location that can handle 130-140 people at a reasonable price, please let them know and we will look into it.
I want to say to all that I really appreciate the efforts most of you make to keep our club drama free. I hear often from other local clubs on how hard it is to keep the peace at their sites. With that being said, I would like to reiterate some things to the few people that want to push the boundaries… First, some basics. Please give each other the courtesy of loudly announcing your intentions to take off, land, or cross the field. DON’T say it only to yourself, say it so others can hear. To continue this thought, announcing this action does not alleviate your responsibility to turn your head and visually verify you are in the clear to proceed with your action. If you are doing multiple touch and go landings, you must announce EACH landing approach so others know what you are doing. The flip side is the folks who announce “On the runway.”  Then step out without turning their head to see if the runway is actually clear. There were a few near misses last month that could have easily been avoided.
There are also a couple of folks that are always flying opposite pattern, or straight up through the pattern as if there are no other planes in the air. This results in angry people staying on the ground instead of risking their craft by flying with someone acting like a fool. Please share our site with others respectfully. If you must fly like a clown, I hear the Chollas park guys are having a membership drive… To everyone else, feel free to say something to the folks that are not considerate to others. If you say nothing they assume it is ok. If you wait until later and send me an e-mail – they assume it is ok. I will rarely send a message to desist on something I did not actually see myself.
Moving on,
Last month’s newsletter had some great input from members and was a great read. Again, our editor Steve Belknap works hard to give you quality, but input from members on projects, shop tricks, and experiences are the icing on the cake. Keep those submissions coming!!
We are almost at 400 members as we enter the last quarter of 2017. A few less than last year, but not by much. We are still looking for current membership badges to fly at the club. I always like to state this time of year that our club still has great value – even at the end of the year, and most other clubs within an hour of us charge more than $15 bucks a month plus initiation fees to boot.
 Thanks to the folks that brought brooms and shovels to the last meeting day on the field. We were able to remove a lot of the sand and dust that had lifted from the surface and distribute it into the field. Jim is on the waiting list for rental of the water truck, but will be wetting the field prior to the end of the month. We expect this round of field maintenance to take us to the end of the year.
October will mark the end of the event series we hold on Saturdays. Pop wing racing, Electroglide, and FPV racing will wrap up and start anew in January. There is some tight competition for the top spots so make sure you don’t miss out!
We are a month away from nominations for 2018 board of directors, with voting happening at the November meeting which will be held on the 18th to get ahead of Thanksgiving.
 Board members that currently plan to leave their current positions are: Myself, I intend to vacate the President seat, which will automatically move me to the Chairman position – still involved, but with a different role.  ; Jim Bonnardel intends to step back from the Vice President position into one of the Member At Large positions to allow him to concentrate on other endeavors. Again, still involved, but with different responsibilities. ; Paul Guidice has decided to vacate the Treasurer position to enjoy some long anticipated travel with his Wife Isabel. This means we will also lose Isabel as our membership coordinator.
The President, Vice President, and Treasurer are positions that require a vote to occupy. The membership coordinator however, does not and can be appointed at any time. While it was handy for Paul and Isabel, the treasurer and membership person does not have to be a husband and wife team. With that being said, I am putting out a call for any member that would like to be involved without taking an actual board position, and understands how to use/manage spreadsheets. The membership coordinator could expect to spend 2 to 3 hours per week managing applications and mailing badges. Is this you? I need someone to take this position quickly, so they can spend some time with Isabel learning the ropes before we start the new year.
For the board positions, I again ask you to look inside yourself, ask the question of yourself on whether your skills, experiences, and qualities would make you the person to advance our club to new heights. Don’t think about what a few hours a month would affect you, instead think about the ways YOU could improve the experience of everyone in the club.

With the Hepatitis A outbreak in San Diego County, I would like to raise awareness that we routinely have homeless folks using our facilities. With that in mind, Paul strongly recommends to all members that they buy and bring a quality hand sanitizer with them for those occasions when the water tank in the porta potty is empty.
There are some really neat items on the sites For Sale tab. Make sure you take a look.
 This month’s meeting is on the 23rd, and the fun fly event will be “ Don’t Spill the Beans”. Any member can play, and get a chance at $150.00 in cash prizes! Following the fun fly will be the monthly meeting followed by our hot dog lunch. Staying with the Bean theme, Jimmy is trying to convince me to make a pot of Chili…
See you there!
Brad

 

Field Sweep

Norbert Schuerz’ RC V-22 Osprey

Norbert, his wife Susanne and good friend Egon are here in San Diego to fly his one-of-a-kind giant scale RC V-22B Osprey at the Miramar Airshow.  Norbert designed and built the Osprey from scratch at home in Austria.  I had the pleasure of meeting them and witnessed their pre-airshow flight test at Alpine Aerosquadron’s field on Thursday before the airshow.  Click the pic and you can see pictures and a video of the Osprey.  If you can make it to the airshow, please go visit them in the model airplane tent near the flight line.  Like most modelers, they are some of the nicest people you will ever meet.  –  Steve

 

 

Norbert’s website:  http://www.avens.at/cms/index.php/en/

 

Another great video and pictures here.

 

Some interesting facts below:

 

 

Original V-22 Model data
2 Rolls-Royce AE1107C 4.586 kW Length 2,05m 6,72 feet 80,7inch
Length 17,48m / 57,3feet Width 9,84 feet / 118,1 inch
Width incl. rotors 25,78m / 84,5feet Rotor diameter 14,52 feet / 54,3 inch
Rotor-diameter 11,60m / 38feet Weight inc. batteries about  48,5 pound
Max. height (nacelles vertical) 6,73m / 22feet Motor Kontronik Pyro 1000-40
Max. starting weight 23.859 kg / 52.600pound ESC Kontronik KOSMIK 200 HV
Max. travel speed 500km/h / 300 kts Batteries 12s 4x5100mAh (2p) LIPO
Range 790 km / 428mn External tiltelectronic Benedini
Max. hovering time (Loiter time) 20 min Flight controller Flip32 Board
Payload 24 men or weight up to 20.000 pound Remote control Jeti DC-16
Maiden flight March 19.1989, deployed 8.12.2005 Scale ratio 1:8,5

BOD Minutes for August & September 2017

By Quan Nguyen

 

August Board Meeting
August 25th, 2017
Commenced: 7:10
Present: Paul, Dennis, Randy, Jim, George, Brad, Brian, Quan
 
-Raffle tickets are on sale
-Still looking for venues. Suggested raffle items for the ladies
-Elections: Some positions may become available.
-Field conditioning: no soil additive for now.
-New Tables: Jim has plan to gradually replace tables falling apart. Voted to authorize $1,200 for materials.
-DroneX proposes moving drone race to Oct. 28th. They will make a donation to the club for using our field.
-Tomorrow’s event is spot landing challenge.
-Treasurer’s report: Finances are sound. Paul and Isabel announced they are finishing their services to the club on November 30th. Thank you very much for your service, Paul and Isabel.
-We will be looking for a new membership coordinator soon.
-390 Members as of 8/25/17.
-September’s event: TBD
-Labor day: Voted to approve Subway lunch & raffle for Sept. 4th.
 
-Adjourned at 8:13pm
 
September BOD Meeting, Sept. 15, 2017
Present: Randy, Quan, Brad, Jim, Paul, Brian
Commenced: 7:10pm
 
-Raised $756 from the raffle for the banquet. $4,216 allocated for the banquet so far.
-Looking for new members to take over some positions on the board.
-Please exercise caution walking into the weeds- some people get an allergic reaction.
-Next week’s event: Don’t Spill the Beans. $150 in cash prizes.
-Prizes for Special Interest Groups is $25 per person who participate.
-Will repaint new portapotty.
-Jim will work on tables.
-Treasurer’s report: got money in the bank.
-PayPal account will close Oct 31st. Payment will be by check after that.
-Bank account will close Nov. 30th.
-Dec. 1st, someone will have to update membership form.
-Planning event for Veteran’s Day.
-Discussed a member doing numerous touch-n-go’s.
 
Adjourned: 8:02pm

Brad’s Corner for August/September 2017

BradHey Fliers!

 

We had a cooler week or two recently with agreeable winds, and I hope you had a chance to take advantage and get some flying in. It will be warming up again this weekend, presumably through September so I will re-visit things mentioned in previous letters. Please bring plenty of liquids and stay hydrated! A couple of guys seem to bring water for their dogs, but none for themselves. Sunscreen is your friend, I have heard a couple of folks talking about having small melanomas removed this summer -that can lead to deeper issues. Fire safety is still a big concern, I appreciate that I have seen members walking to mishap areas carrying extinguishers. If it is a fairly good hit – just bring one. It is easier than having to run back. There is still some aggressive pollen on the dry weeds in the outlying areas. I am not normally allergic, but still have blisters (healing) on my legs after walking out to look for a small helicopter 3 weeks ago. There is still a possibility of snakes in the field. Please be careful!

 

We are around 390 members finishing August, pretty close to where we were last year at this time. If you haven’t renewed yet, please get it done. There is no advantage in waiting, and you may be discovered and not get to participate in an event or two. The yearly dues are the most economical in the county if you take into account the fact that no one is charged an “initiation” fee. I still see folks at the rotor plex wearing badges from 2016, and while I like members that wear badges, they have to be current.  I do anticipate dues to go up slightly next year to keep up with higher costs to maintain the porta-potty and our event support systems such as flags and banners, race gates, power systems, and materials to roll/wet the field. The City has stated there may be an increase in rental cost for the site, but has not been specific yet, so we will adjust as necessary.  I am still seeing new faces at the field and again would like to thank all of you for the welcoming attitude you present to the public. You are the reason we are one of the largest clubs in the AMA. Please feel free to chat with new members about safety at our site, if you see an unsafe action, please step up and discuss it, do not wait to tell a board member.

 

The last few years we have been able to plan and execute our end of year banquets using mostly funds raised outside of membership dues. While our “ambassador of fun” Jim Bonnardel has been bringing money into the club from sources wishing to use our facility, we have not seen the income we have been used to that was based around the rotor plex area. We are about two thirds of the way to our goal of having another great banquet this year. With that in mind we will be having a club raffle on September 4th – Labor Day as a banquet fundraiser. I am selling tickets at the field on weekends for $2.00 each. The same price if you purchase one or fifty tickets. If I don’t approach you, feel free to approach me for your tickets. Since I know quite a few are primarily weekday flyers, I will be accepting ticket purchases via PayPal to bradley.bender@cox.net . Please ensure you use the “Family or friends” option to send funds and put your full name in the comments block if your e-mail name is not your actual name. Last year I had to decipher: SKIPDUDE@WHOSYOURDADDY…  If you purchase via PayPal, I will write the name you provide on the back of each ticket. You do not have to be present to win. Jim is still purchasing items for raffle, but I can say we expect prize value to be over $2500 dollars. There are quite a few items donated by members (NIB ARFs, unflown receiver ready planes, and new general use items) along with new items being purchased. If everyone that attended last year’s banquet purchases 10 tickets – we will be fully funded. If we don’t make our goal, we may ask for a bit more to reserve seats this year.

 

I would like to plant a little bug in people’s minds early this year. In 2 months we will be opening nominations for board of director positions to take the club into 2018. From recent conversations I expect a one or two current members to step away from their positions to make room for new blood. Even if the position you think you would fit into is not vacated, feel free to run against the incumbent if you feel you have ideas to offer. I am going to challenge each of you to determine whether you feel your experiences, knowledge, and possible desire to change something you may not agree with is justification to run for a position.

 

Randy is still boxing it out with a local locksmith to get a new (and a spare) lock for our gate. It has been a great pain in his neck, so I am glad I was able to voluntell him on to this assignment. He has taken it like a trooper! Our main goal is to get locks that match the keys that have been issued, hopefully by the end of the month. Thank him when you get the chance.

 

Please check out the for sale by members page, there are a couple of nice items on there. To get your items posted simply send a mail to our editor at editor@sefsd.org with a description of the item for sale and a couple of good pictures. The flip side of course, will be to let him know as items sell so he can remove them.

 

Our editor, Steve Belknap fills a volunteer position and devotes numerous hours to getting this newsletter out and managing our e-mail blasts and contact lists. Please thank him when you see him. He is constantly looking for aircraft related articles to put in the newsletter for our enjoyment. If you see/hear something neat, and feel like sharing – type something up and send it in, we want to hear from you! If you want pictures of your planes featured in our gallery, send them!

 

It has been quite a while since we have had measurable rain which results in our clay surface breaking up badly. This Saturday (Meeting and Fun Fly) I am asking all attendees to bring a large broom and pitch in sweeping the loose material away in preparation of wetting the field down around the end of the month. If all hands pitch in, it should only take around 30 minutes.

 

This month’s event will be spot landing (no Micro’s please) followed by the monthly meeting and lunch provided by the BOD. This is always a fun event and I encourage all to enjoy!

 

Stay Safe!

Brad

 

Mark's Biplane

Electroglide Report for August 2017

By Scott Vance

 

This month’s Electroglide found us flying in overcast skies and light wind from the west with a temperature of 70 degrees. No one was expecting any lift in the usual spots, boy were we all surprised.

 

First launch at 09:30 found 6 Radians and one Easy Star climbing out to the west. To our great surprise, 3 pilots found lift and plenty of it. Roger Ball came in at first place with a 9:45 with a 10 point landing. I came in with a 9:40 and a 20 point landing. Tom Erickson came in third with a 9:15 and a 20 point landing. Rich picked up the lucky dog and a 20 point landing for 48 points.

 

The second launch had 5 Radians and one Easy Star heading to the west looking for lift. Fred had to drop out do to aircraft issues. Flight times were shorter, lift was harder to find. Roger came in first again with a 6:36 and a 10 point landing. I came in a 6:32 also with a 10 point landing. Tom came in at 6:09 with a 20 point landing. Jon Graber captured the lucky dog and a 10 point landing for 58 points.

 

Launch number three had 6 Radians as Dennis LaBerg joined the party late. The wind picked up to 4-5 mph and the lift was there out to the west. At the eight minute mark, 4 pilots were high to the west and slowly began to head toward the field. As the clock counted down to the 9:45 mark, pilots were beginning to make their move and things got crowded around the landing circle. Roger got down at 9:56; I got down at 9:52. George Sullivan and Dennis missed the time limit and landed after the 10 minute buzzer. In our scramble to get down, landing points went out the window as none of the high timers had any landing points. Jon Graber captured the lucky dog and a 10 point landing for 36 points.

 

The fourth launch found flight times typical for an overcast day with minimal lift to be found. I had the longest flight with a 4:40. Roger came in with a 4:27 and 20 landing points. Tom came in with a 4:20 to round out the top 3. Jon Graber captured the lucky dog again for 16 points.

 

Winners for the day: Roger Ball with a total of 220 points, I had 216 points and Tom came in third with 179 points. Jon Graber flying in the Easy Star class had 140 points with 3 lucky dog landings.

 

Jeff should be back next month to resume control of Electroglide, hope to see a bigger crowd of pilots next month. The September Electroglide will take place on the 16th.

Sonic Rebirth

 

John also thought that replacing the old 6 volt brushed motors with E-Flight “6-Series” inrunners ( 2000 Kv) would fit in the existing motor pods without modifications. So, those were put on order.

 

I took the model home and started dry fitting it together. It was originally intended as a hand launch aircraft, no landing gear. The thought of this unique airplane belly flopping on our dirt runway didn’t do much for me, so E-Flight retracts were also ordered. I decided to have the mains rotate 90 degrees when stowed, as the wing is not very thick. There was also a concern about how far aft of the C.G. I could place the mains, as this is a pusher propeller system. On lift off rotation, these props are going to come close to the ground. The maximum size propeller recommended for these motors is a 6 x 5.5. That gives me three inches of clearance.

 

I elected to make the main gear struts 4 inches in length and install them 1 ½ inches aft of the C.G. This still places the counter rotating props 18 inches behind the main landing gear. Roll out is a bit long and I still have to keep the rotation shallow to avoid a prop strike.

 

Now because there are two servos for the ailerons, I have configured flaperons to get airborne with the hope of minimal rotation.  

 

The original wing spars were about seven inches in total length and while I still installed them, I also installed a 1/8th carbon fiber slat from the wing root to just shy of the wing tip. This reduced some nasty flexing noted after the wings were glued on.

 

Also a concern, now that I was adding landing gear, was the flex of such a long fuselage. A single carbon fiber slat was epoxied along the battery compartment spanning the tricycle landing gear. I chose only one slat as I didn’t want to develop blind spots for the receiver. This seems to have done the trick rigidity wise, as my first few landings were less then optimal, shall we say?

 

The construction of the battery hatch involved gluing four slabs of 1 x 4 x 29-inch styrene together. It took some time, but a hot knife, sanding block and light weight spackle have produced an ok looking hatch (If you don’t look to closely). A vacuum cleaner to pick all the dang styrene dust was helpful too. That crap sticks to you via a static charge.

 

The finished airplane has wing span of 50 inches and a length of 50 inches. The two E-Flight inrunners fit into the pods just fine, leaving room for the 40-amp ESC’s to fit in as well. It’s a snug fit, but a Dremel tool carved some room and ventilation slots for the ESC’s and motors. I found small air scoops at “Park Flyer Plastics “, (Miscellaneous Section) to supply inflight cooling air.

 

The motors are configured to counter rotate and spin 6 x 4 props. These motors are only rated for a 3-cell battery, so with a fresh 3S 3700 I’m seeing 45 amps total current and 540 watts total power. All up weight is 3 lbs. 12 oz. so that’s around 144 watts / lb.

 

I know what you’re thinking, I have had the same thought. What would it be like with a four-cell battery? Well, faster and heavier. It currently flies scale and is quick enough.

 

Sonic 2 

 

This aircraft is loosely modeled after a picture I saw of a SST concept air liner study done by NASA and Boeing Aircraft. I did the blue paint and Callie Graphics supplied the decals.

 

So how does it fly anyway? Well, different but in a pleasing way. Remember that part where I talked about configuring flaperons? When I first engaged the flaps, I did it at altitude where I could see what would happen. The elevator on this airplane is up front, on the canard. The main wing and flaps are in the back, behind the C.G. So, flaps deploy down, wing lifts and the nose goes down, hard down. I had to add about ¾ of back stick just to fly level (different).

 

I really should have seen this one coming. The fix was to add elevator mixing with the flap switch, duh. With the elevator in front of the C.G., it’s just the opposite of a standard tailed aircraft. To go up, the elevator deflects down. To go down, the elevator deflects up.

 

Now when I deploy the flaps the elevator also deploys downward, creating lift both fore and aft. And that take off rotation I mentioned is now greatly reduced. Only a slight amount of back stick is needed to initiate lift off. The aircraft will rise almost horizontally from the runway, keeping the props clear of the ground.

 

For landing, the Sonic Liner needs to be flown to the ground. On final approach with full flaps, power is held at 50%. There is a slight, flat sink rate, so once I’m clear of the soft rocky patch on the east end of the runway, I’ll reduce power by 1 or 2 clicks on the throttle. The sink rate will increase so I must be ready to add those clicks of power back. It will take a second or two for the sink rate to change because this is a pusher configuration. I land it like a jet, adjust altitude on final with power not the elevator (pleasing).

 

In flight, the Sonic Liner likes to move along and seems to have a more solid feel at full power. As you can see, the wing chord gets short moving away from the fuselage. That may explain the soft feel at half or three quarters power.

 

This is an interesting airplane to fly and it looks pretty striking in the air. For me, making all the adaptions for motors, strength and flight control have been the fun part. Learning how to take off and land a canard aircraft was a challenge, but this is how we learn in our hobby.

 

Learn something and push yourselves a bit, it can be a pretty cool result.  

 

Jeff    

                   

p.s. Bob and Vince took some still pictures and videos of this aircraft flying and posted those on You Tube:

https://youtu.be/jRqK1NlHy8g

“PACIFIC RIM” F-5B Motor-Glider Contest in Hawaii

 

Less people mean’t more flying! We got in 2 rounds each of B and J on each of the 3 days. Nary a drop of rain impeded our fun! Day one, the get- organized day took us until nearly 4 P.M., the last day we got it done by 1:45 as we had a motive : a fabulous poolside barbeque served up at the Hawaiian residence of Ken Ueyama : Thanks Ken!

 

Hawaii F5B 3

 

The Kawainui Airfield could be considered a bit “tight” for F-5B. The 150 Meter course drew a diagonal line through the entire site which was surrounded by plane eating jungle! There was not a lot of room for Base A climb outs from a low starting altitude even though we were standing right next to the jungle. Base B turns were against a hardscape back drop : can you say depth perception? Again, because of the size of the field, we had to place the landing circles on the course thus flew consecutive groups of (2) waiting for both to land before the next group. The starting order was arranged so pilots could help each other in their native languages. Most of the B folks suitably respected the jungle resulting in conservative lap counts. A couple of 47s were the high envelope, most folks happy enough with 44s. The lift was well suited to the L/D of the F-5B models, with very few excursions above 1750 Watt-Minutes (W-M). One notable exception was Jeff Keesaman whom watched his standout 48 leg distance performance end at a porky 1760 WM and went downhill from there finishing duration north of 2000 W-M, oh well, at least the Jungle didn’t eat it! At the end, Steve Neu won (3) normalized rounds and prevailed, Lenny Keer won (2) normalized rounds and took 2nd and Ken Ueyama took (1) round and third place preventing all the tiki-trophies going to us Americans.

 

The Japanese however, preferred to tempt fate with the jungle. Ken demonstrated the mid-air wing detachment trick and both pieces disappeared into the canopy. Urban retrieved the wing while Fumi climbed a tree to retrieve the fuselage; that plane was done. Prior to that, Fumi learned about high speed stalls and excessive elevator the hard way augering into the deep wet stuff. The wing was destroyed but everything else remained intact. Not a problem, Ken and Fumi had the same design model and after a little programming were able to share the remaining wing between them. On a further flight with 1760 W-M already on the tally, Ken Ueyama decided that he didn’t need anymore motor run to stay within the field boundaries. He was wrong, the jungle was had it’s due again and the last wing between them was in the swamp! Undaunted, Ken blipped the motor to locate it by sound, sacrificing the propeller and Fumi made the heroic, soaking wet rescue : go Fumi!

 

Hawaii F5B 2

 

In F-5J things were a bit calmer. Lenny with the superior airplane and thermal hunting skills prevailed and Joe Nave using local thermal knowledge but an inferior airplane took 2nd. Steve Neu was the highest of the B-J converts and took third.

 

As you may have guessed, we bent a few rules and did everything we could to help each other keep flying; pretty much what you want to do for a fun contest that’s a long way from home and any hobby Shop. Steve Neu had to lend Ken a motor just so he and Fumi would both have a viable B Model. I want to close by thanking my dear wife Michelle for unflappable base judging, Barbara Keer for scoring both F-5B and J and Wayne Walker for assembling equipment and coming to Hawaii to hang with us.

BOD Minutes for July 2017

By Quan Nguyen,

 

July Board Meeting
Present: Jim, George, Brian, Brad, Paul, Dennis, Randy, Quan, Isabel
Commenced: 7:13
 
-EMAC: Jim followed up with David from FAA. Have not heard back. Voted to suspend EMAC due to altitude conflicts with FAA. Discussion will be had with event contest director.
-Field Prep: Paul to look into field prep. Randy presented product from Desert Mountain Corp.-
-Raffle: So far, we have about $2k worth of raffle prizes earmarked.
-Discussed giving out credit towards club membership in lieu of gift certificates at club events.
-375 members as of July 21st
-Member offered to volunteer web design skills
-Discussed probable club membership fee increase
-Treasurer’s report: we currently have $3,200 for holiday party. Our budget this year for venue & food is $5,500.
-Club ordered a new porta-potty.
-Safety: Please fly north of the runway.
-Damaged tables will be replaced soon. Approved motion to replace 9 – 10 damaged tables before the end of the year.
 
-Meeting adjourned: 8:38pm