Builds & Reviews

166 posts

President’s Corner for June-July 2021

Happy Days are Here Again!

Click for a short video

Hello fellow SEFSD members.  I am happy to say, now that the state of California is opening 100%, we are now open to continue our activities starting with our club meeting and a Fun Fly on Saturday June 26th.  Spill the Beans will be the Fun Fly! As far as serving hot dogs, that will happen on our July meeting – so just one more month to go for goodies.

This also means that everyone who is fully vaccinated should no longer need to wear a mask.  However, those remaining unvaccinated should continue wearing a mask until you are fully vaccinated.  SEFSD is not going to enforce this rule. Instead, you are on your honor to use best judgment while following state and local guidelines.

Since this is our first meeting of 2021, you will finally get to meet the new board members which include your new president, me, Jovi.  This is very exciting for me to meet all of you.   During the past six months I have met a few of you at the field on Saturdays (which is the only available time for me to fly, something that I am going to work on and try to get out more often).

So I thought I would give a brief description of who Jovi is.  So let’s get started:

I started with RC airplanes back in the mid 70’s. At that time, you had to build your airplane (Old School) and it took some time before you could actually fly.  My first club was the Torrey Pines Gulls.  I would head out to the glider port and spend a Saturday afternoon when the winds were blowing.   There were full-scale gliders (no hang gliders were around at that time) as well and it was fun.  The first glider I learned to fly was the Wind Ward with a KRAFT radio. The Hobie Hawk was my best glider to fly.  It was fast, it could climb in the thermals, it soared over the cliffs and if you did it right, catch your plane with one bounce to slow it down.  From the mid 80’s to mid-2000, I spent hours away from flying.

I was lucky to travel the world with the company’s I had worked for.  I spent 3 months in Korea working with Samsung’s D Ram chips.  The town I stayed in was called Onyang which had no American food to speak about.  I just lived off French fries and OB beer at this one watering hole. Half way thru my tour I found a restaurant that had steak and A1 sauce on the table. The steak was good!

I have been all over Europe, Brazil and even down in Malaysia!  I arrived in Kuala Lumpur at 3:00 am after a 22 hour long flight, needless to say I was ready to get out of the aircraft, but I was not expecting on the humidity at 3:00am and the heat…OMG.  During those times my mind was still on model planes and during the off times I would be building a TopFlite kit and would spend years building it.   But as the years went on I would fly here and there.  I would have a nitro airplane out in the sand dunes to go fly around. It was a challenge with sand, thick sand, but having balloon tires, a 90 size 2-stroke engine and a tune-pipe turned out to be no problem!  Out by Lake Mead they have a runway setup for models, but not many fliers would show up. Plus it was 100 degrees when I was flying, so it was nice to be the only one and having the background of the Lake Mead was sure nice.  Took my toy trailer out Lake Mead RV Village; yeah, those were the days!  The field is still there.  Today I work for General Atomics where we build the new launch and arresting gear for the new Ford Class Carriers using electromagnetic systems. To be exact, they are called Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS) and Advanced Arresting Gear (AAG).   I invite you go online and check them both out, they are very cool.   Today, I’m back full speed with my RC planes and I am all electric – no more nitro.  I am a scale type person who just loves to fly straight and level, but I’m still working on loops and rolls!!!

I would like to take a minute and talk about safety when flying and this happened a few months ago, but it still worth mentioning:

Heads-Up”, which has three meanings:  Adjective – showing that you are very aware of what is happening around you and it also goes for heads-up football.   Noun – a message that tells or warns someone about something that is going to happen as an example, gave him a heads-up that an investigation was pending.   Interjection – used to tell someone to look up because of possible danger or to clear a passageway.   Out of the three definition of heads-up we are more commonly known as to Interjection.   There are times out at the field, you hear heads-up and sometimes we just don’t look because someone say heads-up, especially when the voice projecting heads-up is not all that loud and, in most cases, we keep our conversation going with a fellow pilot until we hear from other pilots on what just happen.  Aircraft down….

As part of the club’s safety, we need to Shout Out heads-up when your aircraft is in danger and you are over the pits or parking lot.   The end of March there was an incident, well names don’t need to be mentioned……Ok, fine it was me and I was flying my Hawaiian Air.  Take-off was perfect, then 30 seconds into the flight I was in trouble.

One of my favorite old movies is “Animal House” 1978, starring John Belushi as Bluto and in the movie is this one seen where Bluto and D-Day were helping Flounder getting revenge for having Flounder cleaning out the horse stalls and doing push-ups over a horses surprise.   D-day hands Flounder a gun and Flounder goes into Dean Vernon Wormer office where the horse is and as Flounder is squinting his eyes pointing the gun at the horse, which he then points it, in another direction and fires the gun.  But the sound of the gun, killed the horse.  The prank-related accidental death of a horse belonging to Omega member and Reserve Officers’ Training Corps cadet commander Douglas C. Neidermeyer.

Bluto and D-Day run into Dean Vernon Wormer office and the first words coming out of Bluto mouth was, “MERRY CHRISTMAS”.    D-Day goes and says, “There were blanks in the gun”, Bluto again says, “MERRY CHRISTMAS”.   Those same words came out of my mouth when I was in trouble and I yelled it for all to hear.  As I got some control over my Hawaiian Air I again yelled out “Christmas”.  With seconds I had Dennis coming over.  I hear Brad in the background, “you in trouble Jovi” ……Yes was my response.  Dennis got it under control, gave it back to me and still, I was as nervous as I have ever been.  Brad finally took control and landed her safely for me.  Happy was I.  I needed oxygen after that ordeal.

Mark came walking by me and he mention to me how effective I was in yelling “MERRY CHRISTMAS” and how everyone was alerted of the situation at hand.

Here is what happened to me, I relied on the gyro.  When I took off, I thought I had the gyro on, but as I was heading downwind and when I turned base, that is when I notice I was in trouble.  My Airliner was climbing and I’m looking straight up in the sky and flying over the parking lot and Sea World Dr.   I was able to get back over the field.   I have learned that I cannot depend on the gyro all the time in which I did depend on it. It’s a nice feature to have but something that one should not always rely on. So, I am going to learn to fly without the gyro and just keep it for safety…if that makes sense.

However, the morel of this story is when you’re in trouble, it is most important to be yelling out loud heads-up or Merry Christmas!  Remember you must stay north of the fence line at ALL times.  You should never be flying over the Parking lot or the Pits, for the safety of our club members and guests!

On my bench I have the Top-Flite Bonanza which I started back in late 1998.  This was built to take a Satio 120 four-stroke.  Wingspan 81” and the length, 63.6” also included are the following:

  • Robart Air Retract w/scale Robart Struts
  • Scale Navigation lights that work off two 9-volt battery’s
  • Scale Interior Cockpit that is all removable

As time went by, I really never complete my Bonanza.  But as of late, I got my hands back into it.   She is almost ready to go, however I have a few things that need to be done, one is to replace my flap servos.  I had to replace the v-tail servos.  When I was moving them, I notice that the servo arm was going around in oblong circle.  Not good.  Change them to newer Hitec servos and were back to perfection.   Theses retracts are old and not holding pressure.  It is holding pressure for a good 10 minutes in which I only need about 6-7 minutes…. Maybe some risk here…I’ll keep working that problem.

The biggest task I had was figuring a way to change batteries without taking the wing off like I have to do with my Cessna 182.   The Canopy is bolted down with four socket head cap screws, problem with that was getting to those bolts.  I removed them and now I have a quick latch to remove the Canopy.  You’ll see what I mean in the pictures.   It’s actually very cool how this works.  I can put the wing on and I don’t need to hook up the connectors or the air lines.  Once the wing is bolted, flip the Bonanza, unlatch the Canopy, remove the interior and I have access to everything in the aircraft.  Hooked it all up, connect the airlines and place the interior back into place.  Where the fuel tank would have been are where the batteries now sitting.

Balancing was next, I did a rough balance and she seemed to be good with the batteries mounted up front.  Out at the field on T-28 Race’s, April 10, was the day she was going to maiden!  Complete check out was preformed and she was now certified to fly.

Brad did the maiden flight!  She took off like an F-14 Tomcat heading towards the Sunset as seen in “Top Gun”.  As he was trimming her out, he was noticing the balance may be off.  She acted very weird.  He flew her around and she look very nice up in the sky, you think it was a full-scale Bonanza.  Time was running out and Brad was preparing for landing.  She came and touch down and just rolled down the runway.  I was happy, but the next flight, I am going to dial in the balance and hopefully that helps out, which it should!

Ok, I have made enough noise!

Grab your planes, batteries and radio, and let’s go Flying and looking forward to seeing you all at our Monthly Meeting!


JR Models DeHavilland Mosquito

It’s Mosquito Season!

By Steve Belknap

Steve with JR Models Mosquito

Recently I finally put together my JR Models Mosquito kit.  I bought this kit, and one other, from former club member Fred Harris maybe 15 to 20 years ago at one of our club swap meets.  It had spent enough time on the shelf.  Time to build.

Original box lid

The kit was made in the Czech Republic 25-30 years ago.  The craftsmanship is excellent but the instructions (below) are a bit primitive.  The fuselage, inner wings, & nacelles are all one piece of molded fiberglass.  The outer wings are built-up balsa and the tail is balsa sheet.  All very lightly built.

The entire instructions

Here are the original specs:

Span:  49 in.
Length 37in.
Weight: 45 oz.
Motors: 2 x Speed 400
Battery: 7 cell Sub-C Ni-MH or NiCd

I looked through the kit and planned my modifications, of which there would be plenty.


First was the obsolete power system.  A Speed 400 brushed motor gives an actual output of about 50 Watts due to its 50% efficiency giving a total of 100 Watts of power out for two motors.  The plane is supposed to weigh nearly 3 pounds.  This would have given just over 30 Watts per pound.  I was looking for something more like 125 to 150 Watts per pound.  So I went to the Ecalc calculator and found a Cobra C-2814/12 motor that would give me just that.  I decided on a 4S-3000 mAh Li-Po and APC 7×5 counter-rotating props.  I also bought 7×6 props when I want to go faster.

The Ecalc calculator told me I would get 300 Watts per motor out.  A total of 600 Watts.  I also checked the performance chart on the Cobra motor page and saw that the actual tested output would be closer to 350 Watts per motor after calculating an efficiency of 80%.  This would be a total of 700 Watts and would give me about 175 Watts per pound.  (My total weight turned out to be 4lb., not 3lb. as suggested on the box.)  On the 4S pack the current would only be 30A per motor, or 60A total. I used Castle Talon 35 Amp ESCs.  This turned out to be a very good power system.

The Cobra motors did not fit the aluminum motor mounts supplied so I made new ones from .040″ carbon sheet.

The correct size spinner was hard to find but I finally got them from Ebay.  Turns out Ebay has a huge selection of RC parts.  Much better than Amazon.

Continue reading

Propeller and Motor-Controller Selection, Even An Unknown and Inexpensive Motor Benefits From Tuning

By Carl Murphy


This is why my RC airplane has seemingly double the power and duration of yours.  Even this unknown, inexpensive, motor turned in enjoyable performance.  Getting there required using and evaluating including a motor that burned up, a pending equipment failure motor-controller, a cheap propeller carrier collet that caused vibration, a new propeller carrier collet that didn’t just bolt together, overheating a battery and it required propeller tuning and duty cycle determination to get the best out of it.

All I knew about it was from a tag on the bell, brand Finwing, intended for use on 2S and 3S LiPo (batteries) with a kV from the data sheet on the bell and that it was about the right size to fit the RC airplane.  Is it good for anything?  As was determined, resoundingly, yes.  Most people would be delighted with it.  About the power of a sport (20) sized fuel burner on (10)% nitro-methane with a decent muffler for double the duration.  That from having watched a similar sized fuel burner at the field right against the USA/Mexico boarder.  Sometimes, this time, inexpensive and not all that efficient is still fun.  On modern high discharge 3S 3500 mAh LiPos with an APC 9X6 (fixed, not folding) propeller it flew a Reinforced Fun Cub well.  Duration was about two thirds of a preferred, lighter, more efficient motor with a folding propeller.  Or half the duration at half the net power of a more expensive motor on 4S LiPos.  Even more if glided, slope soared or thermaled, something the fuel burners can’t do.  Part of that it the better streamlining possible with electric power and an RC pilot who flies coordinated.

But it took a while, twenty flights, to get it sorted out. That is what this article is about.  I do not believe reports based on a single flying session where everything is perfect on the first try.  

Continue reading

My Favorite Jet: HSD F16 105mm New Version.

This is the jet I got to inspire me getting through the tough Covid-19 pandemic time. So far, it has been doing it’s job quite well!  This jet is very well equipped with nice quality components.
Wingspan: 1245 mm
Length: 1809mm
I use 2 6S 5000 MAH 55C from CNHL in series (I normally flight 3-3.5 minutes and batteries measured 3.8V/cell after they cooled down)
Flying weight about 15 lbs
It is preinstalled with a multi-function flight controller MFC-2085 which is my favorite part. This module is integrated with everything you need for complicated components to make it a very clean setup. It is powered by using 1 or 2 2S batteries), it can set to output different voltage to servos, and it can set to output different voltage to receiver. It can set sub trim, travel limit, reverse, center INDEPENDENTLY for each servo without using to transmitter, even though, 2 ailerons sharing 1 channel, and 2 elevators sharing 1 channel. Every electronic component is plugged into this module, and to setup your receiver, you only need to connect from this module to your receiver.  I use S-Bus receiver, so it has only 1 servo lead wire connected between MFC2085 and my receiver (supper clean and easy setup).
This model is basically a 6 channels setup. Throttle, aileron, elevator, rudder, landing gears, and brake. It’s also has Nav lights, afterburner, they can be turned on and off by assign each one of them to each addition channel. Mine, I also adding flaperon and tailerons (as you will see at the end of the video) by separating 2 aileron servos to 2 different channels and the same separation for elevators. So total, I use 10 channels.
I have found this jet, a very good excise for the heart every flight! Although, I have 40 flights with it so far. (It’s not the jet, it’s just me LOL).
Hope to see more of these at our field!
Brian Z.
Video link:

Rob’s COVID Project – 88″ Wilga

My PZL_104 Wilga aircraft ARF from Black Horse Models.  This aircraft is a STOL civilian plane from Poland.  I really liked the uniqueness of this model. I wanted to maintain the appearance of the cowl, so I used a motor designed for sailplanes.  It’s specs are 40-30-390k 8S 2200W.  The electronics are Spektrum SMART receiver, ESC, batteries and a DX9 transmitter. The pilots are removable and are secured by magnets.  Here is a link for more information on the Wilga.

Wingspan    88.19″
Length        63.98″
Weight        14 lbs


Rob Stein

The Glue Guy, or Misadventures with an AcroMaster

By Wayne Walker, SEFSD

It all started when I was given an old Multiplex AcroMaster pattern plane. I won it because I bought the late John Forester’s two model sailboats. They say never look a gift horse in the mouth, yeah right.

After I got the sailboats sorted out and ready to go sailing, I turned my attention to the AcroMaster as I wanted a rough & ready plane to practice my maneuvers & landings.

I went through it and everything seemed all right, so I found a 3S – 3000 battery for it, and put it in place, it didn’t balance at all, nose too heavy. Then I noticed it had a pretty big motor for that size plane, all the better I thought but it was obviously too heavy & why the plane didn’t balance with the battery in the location designed for it. Moved things around & added 4 ounces of lead to the battery and it now balanced.

Took it out to the field to test fly it. Roll out was good, but as soon as it was airborne it didn’t seem to have good control. I was able to make a 180 from the takeoff, but then it was all over the place! It ended up crashing over by the RotorPlex area. When I was gathering up the pieces, I noticed the right aileron was pulled out of the wing, hmmm probably what caused it to go out of control.

Later back at my shop I glued everything back together with my trusty 30 minute epoxy and paid extra attention to getting the aileron flex hinges glued in with plenty of epoxy to make sure they held in the future. I also had fun gluing the nose pieces back together and wrapping a fiberglass bandage around it all to keep it in place and hopefully straight and sound.

Back to the field to try again. Takeoff was normal & turnaround normal then as I got it about even with me where I was standing all heck broke loose and it was uncontrollable again! And it crashed.

When I was gluing things back together again, I noticed that most of the glue joints had turned brown, I just figured the builder used low grade epoxy or rubber cement. I was also mystified as to why the recently epoxied aileron joins had pulled out again. I asked around and everyone I asked said they thought the epoxy was the best way to glue Multiplex’s Elapor foam together.

Well, it turns out that epoxy & carpenters glue only proved a half-baked bond to Elapor & similar shiny skinned plastics! After getting what I term “Old Wives” tales of which glue to use I found the following on several Multiplex model airplane construction manuals:

From: MULTIPLEX Modellsport GmbH & Co. KG

Important note

“This model is not made of Styrofoam™, and it is not possible to glue the material using white glue, polyurethane glues or epoxy; these adhesives only produce a superficial bond which gives way when stressed. Use medium-viscosity cyano-acrylate glue for all joints, preferably our Zacki-ELAPOR®, # 59 2727 – the cyano glue optimized specifically for ELAPOR® particle foam. If you use Zacki-ELAPOR® you will find that you do not need cyano ‘kicker’ or activator for most joints.

However, if you wish to use a different adhesive, and are therefore obliged to use kicker / activator spray, we recommend that you apply the material in the open air as it can be injurious to health. Please be careful when working with any cyano-acrylate adhesive: these glues can harden in seconds, so do not allow them to contact your fingers or other body parts. Wear goggles to protect your eyes!”

In another Adhesives note I found the following advice on technique.

“On one surface spray on Kicker and let dry for several minutes.

On the other surface apply Medium CA as needed.

As the join will set in a very short time align the pieces carefully before letting them touch as there will only be several seconds before the CA hardens making a permanent bond.”

I found that using this procedure results in a 2-3 second flexible time, not really enough to align large pieces of work like an AcroMaster wing panel.

So with all this new information, what did I do? Of course I ran my own tests to see how well these adhesives bond Elapor. I also did a test of Formula 560 Canopy Glue.

Here’s the picture of the test samples I glued together and then 24 hours later tested for strength. All samples were on virgin Elapor foam.

I tested both “Plain”, no preparation, and Prepped with alcohol and then sanding to remove the gloss on the surface of the foam.


The Canopy Glue 560 was the weakest with only a small pressure to part the two pieces.

Using Odorless CA was almost as weak as the Canopy glue.

The high quality Epoxy joined pieces were next in strength, 1-3 pounds of pressure to break the bond.

I didn’t test White, Carpenter’s or Ambroid glues as these are seldom used in modern model construction.

The Medium CA plain & prepped samples I was not able to break apart, but my arthritic hands were only able to apply about 5-10 pounds of force to the joins, this is probably equivalent to a hard crash to the joined pieces.


When gluing Multiplex Elapor and similar shinny skinned foam use Med CA with or without Kicker, it will be the strongest join available, and no prep is needed to make a strong joint.

When gluing Styrofoam pieces use Odorless or Foam Safe CA glue, or epoxy.

As far as Hot Gun Glue goes, I’ve bought several Chinese models that have them, but don’t recommend the technique.

As an aside, I found that Du-Bro & other hardware suppliers have discontinued the line of hard plastic hinges and instead recommend the Fiberglass mat type of hinge material. I’ve now substituted this for all my flex hinges.

The Short Nose, Reinforced, Multiplex Fun Cub Propulsion Experience

By Carl Murphy

One Airplane, Two Batteries, an Hour of Carefree Flying

(0) to (750) Feet At a Count Of Ten (5S) or Thirteen (4S) or Fifteen (3S)

This is an instruction by examples of electric propulsion choices for a four foot wingspan, molded from impact resisting foam, reinforced, light wing loading, semi-scale RC Piper Cub.  Chronicled are testing, things gone right and wrong, and, RC flying as a whole experience.  From light weight one and an eighth inch diameter outrunners, light to medium (37) mm diameter outrunners through geared competition inrunners, four combinations were selected as optimal.  From relaxed to outrageous, flight times start at twenty-five minutes on just the motor and battery.  Altitude gain at maximum climb for count of ten ranges from three hundred to seven hundred and fifty feet, glide back down from a seven to one ratio to fifteen to one.

Tuning Is Worth It

Where I started RC flying in Orange County, CA, back in the mid 1990s it was next to the current F5B world champion and six other current or former thermal, slope soaring and pylon RC pilots.  At San Diego’s Mission Bay my company includes a former F5B world champion who manufactures the worlds best RC racing motors plus several more national and international ranking F5B, F5D and F3A precision aerobatics RC pilots.  As a friend in low places (I gave up my Piper Pacer at the start of the second great depression, for ten years I was almost, but not quite, broke) though the experience with getting a RC airplane set up right was not lost on me.  Significance; Nobody has ever seen a Fun Cub fly this well, when I loan my RC airplanes to other pilots they don’t get as much performance or duration.  Part of that is having flown enough to be “one” with this airframe.

This article is paired with articles about The Mentor Propulsion, a larger and heavier airframe and an article about The Cost of Flight, Outrunners verses Inrunners.  Continue reading

Bob’s F-16 Upgrade

By Bob Stinson

64th Aggressor Squadron, Callie Graphics and an Eflite F-16

Those of us inclined towards scale military planes are always on the lookout for a good looking color scheme on a favorite airframe. I’m no exception. I’ve been flying Eflite’s 70mm Thunderbirds F-16 for a while now. I’d always wondered what it would look like in operational garb. Scott C. recently painted his as a 64th Aggressor Squadron adversary. When I checked the unit online, it was like Richthoven’s Flying Circus brought to the present day!
I selected a color scheme and repainted my F-16. It needed those identifying marks the real ones sported to give it that aura of authenticity. Enter Callie Graphics! if you haven’t yet discovered her company, you’re in for a treat! She is a magician in supplying dry transfers for your airplane. If she doesn’t have them in stock, she’ll make some up, but she’s hard to stump. I once asked for some “Fuerza Aerea Mexicana” markings for a 1960’s era De Haviland Vampire. Amazingly, she already had some on file.
Rattle can spray paints, some online photos for reference, Callie’s decals, and the Thunderbird is now a “Mig-23 Flogger” based at Nellis Air Force Base.

Otto’s New Sensation F3a Pattern Competition Bipe

By Otto Dieffenbach

This is a project I started on after the first of the year. The plane is Lassi Nurila’s version of the Sensation F3a pattern competition bipe. The design originated in Germany around 2012 and has captured many titles in world competition. Last year Lassi flew his version to 5th in the World Championships. I started flying modern pattern with Bruce Brown once a week with a used 2 meter plane. I realized that I enjoyed the flying as much as classic pattern and decided to up my game. Lassi was kind enough to work with me from Finland. He layer up a fuse for me and I picked it up at LAX. I had the wing/stab cores cut by Eureka and Don did a fine job. I began actual building in mid August and maidened on the 12th of October. It flies very much like a 3D indoor foamy. Effortless knife edge and tracks beautifully.

Glider Launch Vehicle

By Steve Belknap

About 20 years ago I put a cradle on my Sig Kadet Sr. to carry gliders aloft and release them.  Recently I pulled out the cradle and dusted it off.  Frank G. had a freshly made Goldberg Wanderer he had not yet flown.  So I rubber banded everything onto the Kadet once more.  Everything worked perfectly.  So far I have launched his glider 5 times.  On the last flight Frank measured the radius of one of the light standards using the leading edge of the glider.  All fixed now and ready to fly again.

Some of the members who were around then might remember my initial attempts to use this launch cradle.  They might remember when I launched a glider and the rubber bands released on only one glider wing.  The other wing stayed attached to the cradle.  It got ugly real quick.  Finally, the glider separated from the cradle.  The rubber bands did not let go but the glider snapped off the upper part of one side of the cradle.  Everything landed OK and the cradle was modified to prevent the rubber bands from not releasing.

Click the pic for a short video:

An MQ-9 Story pt.6 – 3D Missiles & Bombs (continued)

By Bob Kreutzer

Locked down, but not out.

Last issue I showed my “lock down project”. A good friend lent me His Ender 2 3D printer. At ~$200 it is an absolutely great deal on an entry level 3D printer. I can recommend it. I wanted to add a full ordinance load onto my MQ-9 project. So I jumped in with both feet and learned a new skill. Like most things, once you get the hang of it, well it becomes pretty easy. Basically there are 3 steps.

1: Obtain an STL file of what you want to print.

2: Download a slicing program (more on that)

3: Put your sliced STL file into the printer and press the on button.

OK. An STL file is to a 3D printer as a PDF file is to a regular printer. Nothing more.

A slicing program (I used CURA and do recommend it highly) allows you to place the project in the proper place on the 3D printer bed. It also allows you to size it to your needs. You press the SLICE button and everything magically happens. Then tell it to copy onto a SD card.

Take the SD card and insert it into the 3D printer. Scroll through like, 2- 3 menu options and press “PRINT”. That’s pretty much it.

So here is what I did:

Hell Fire missile on the printer bed. I found printing vertically was best.

Continue reading

Mark Davis’ Latest – The 90mm Avanti

I finally finished the 1.9m Avanti XS (120mm EDF on 12S).  Everything is ready to go except for me – I haven’t flown in two months. I thought these pilots needed kindergarten-level controls, so Bert has buttons for “Fly” and “Land.”  (I don’t know why most cockpits are more complex than this, because that pretty much covers 100% of what an airplane needs to do.)  Ernie is a bit more negative in his outlook.

FMS T-28 Expert Setup for Pylon Racing

Setting up your T-28 to race by Steve Neu.

The most important thing that many people miss when starting to race RC planes is that going fast is nothing without control! The FMS T-28 is a small plane and setting it up to race IS very different than for your basic sport flying. Getting the CG and control throws dialed in are key to getting the plane to “go fast and turn left” and keep in control. As a racer running at full throttle— the elevator and aileron travels needed are minimal. A properly setup T-28 will actually be easy to fly with only small control deflections.

The control throws suggested in the FMS instructions are intended for a plane flying much slower on a 2S battery. We are flying much faster with 3S. Here are the control deflections I have on my plane:

Ailerons: 6mm up 6mm down

Elevator: 3mm up, 3mm down

Rudder: 6mm left, 6mm right

CG measured from edge of wing at fuselage opening 71-72 mm—see picture below.

I like about 30-40% expo on both aileron and elevator—helps make the plane less sensitive around center making it easier to do fine adjustments to the plane’s track. A little nose heavy helps make the plane positively stable in pitch and the elevator less sensitive but the recommended CG in the FMS instructions is too nose heavy for my taste. Too rearward CG locations will make the plane neutral in pitch stability or even negative which will make it more difficult to find a stable track down the course. The trade offs in moving the GC is stability vs turning ability with the aft CG setup being able to turn more quickly. You need to be careful with the CG and elevator throws in that if you get too aggressive the plane will tend to snap roll in tight turns.

If you find the racing setting a little too mild for take off/landing and general sport flying I suggest setting up a dual rate switch so you can easily swap from control rate one to another.

Some of you did not read my previous article regarding the “AD” for the nose wheel strut—I learned the hard way that on our rough field the stock strut puts the nose wheel too close to the prop which will result in props getting busted when the blade hits the nose wheel rubber. The fix is easy—just turn the nose wheel around (be sure to put a flat on the shaft on the opposite side!).

Our first T-28 race will be in July!

Steve Neu’s Prop Adapter for the FMS T-28 Pylon Racer

By Steve Neu –

After busting several of the rather fragile 3 bladed FMS 7×6 props I decided to come up with a clean solution to mount an APC 7x6E prop without having to resort to stacks of washers, as the motor does not have an adapter that will work with “normal” props. I designed some parts and thanks to the fact that my business has both a Haas CNC lathe and mill it was easy to get some of the adapters made. No mods of the motor or plane are needed—simply remove the old prop and plastic adapter and put the slotted drive plate in it’s place. Install the smallest hole reducer that comes with the APC prop and balance the prop and slip it over the shaft—then install and tighten the spinner nut and you are done—ready to go race again. I made enough so others who need them can get them—I will keep some in the car so if you need one let me know when you see me at the field. I am optimistic that we will be in a position that T-28 racing can get going again in July.

Bill Allen’s Projects for May

Here are my May projects: the Ryan STA is a 57” Great Planes ARF from Tower. Needed a smallish wheeled plane as we just got a new site at the school near my house available Wednesday evenings. Nice paved play area leading into a large soccer field. The Skyray was inspired by a foamy project in last months model aviation magazine.

Steve Neu’s 73″ Twin Otter Project

One of my C19 plane projects.
I have always liked Twin Otters since flying in them a number of times when I was a kid. They are a “work truck” plane that can land and takeoff in the most improbable locations with just about anything that will fit in the fuselage. The DH6 first flew in 1965 and is still in production.
Back last autumn I saw that VQ Models ( had a good deal on their version—if you were willing to order and wait a few months for them to take a slow boat from Vietnam. They finally arrived in late January—about the same time the C19 virus started making news here. So what better plane to build during the “stay at home” order than the DH6?
The basics for the VQ DH6:
73 inch wing span
RTF 7 lbs
Construction materials mostly balsa
Power: 2x Neu3814/950 Kv with Talon 35 controllers
props: APC 10×6 E
Servos: 6xHitec 4 mini and 2 std digital
battery 3500mAh 4S 35 C
Plane goes together pretty well —the instructions are fine for anyone who has some experience with more complex models. Twins with lots of servos require some work to avoid a wiring nightmare—so plan your work! The kit includes most of the hardware—one time that I ended replacing were the spinners which I could get to balance  to my satisfaction. I ended up going to Discount and picking up some Great Planes 2 inch spinners which solved then problem. The finished plane looks great with all the details—even the doors open!
Depending on when we get our field back the first flight will either happen at Mission Bay or Chollas very soon—all is ready and it has passed the taxi tests in the street at my house. Some pictures of the assembly process for your enjoyment.
Steve Neu

Tuan Adds Flaps to His 60″ FW-190

I did it!!
Took a loooong time because I didn’t know what I would find inside once the flaps were cut and luckily I cut correctly.  So a bit of thought put into building as I have nooooo experience. Those Zona saws are amazing and a must have, (Thanks to Brian!).  Since hinges are on top, and I couldn’t cut any angle on the bottom of the flaps, I had to add a 5mm wide spar on top. I think they came out as good as I can get it. I had extra  covering material from the kit, it’s a stick-on type. When  I was about to test, one of my servo died, so ordering now…
It was a very interesting and a fun project during lockdown. It was a toss-up between either I have a FW-190 with flaps or loss of a nice plane since I don’t have a spare wing, the don’t sell them..
Thank you again for all info before I started.

Odie and His 3D Printed GB R3 Racer

Odie sent in the pics below showing some of his 3D printed projects.  The blue plane is a GB R3.  This is a scratch build using mainly plastic 3D printed parts.  Like many models of full size planes there were compromises such as increasing the wing area to reduce the wing loading.  The chord was increased to 120% and the area increased to 160%.  Other challenges include making the plane light but also stiff and strong.  Wall thicknesses are alway in mind and must be kept thin as possible.  He says one needs a good printer to maintain the structural integrity of thin components.

He started with an imported drawing of the plane and created the segmented parts in a professional version of Solidworks.

To keep the tail light he uses balsa for the stabilizers.  This also helps with balance.  He uses a slicing program, along with Solidworks, to help calculate the weight and balance on the computer before printing the parts.

Printing time is proportional to the amount of plastic used (mass).  The GB took about 16 hours of printer time.  As with most 3D printed planes, the parts are printed in sections and glued or snapped together.

Mark Davis’ Avanti XS Jet Project

I’m using quarantine to work on a Sebart Avanti XS.  It has a 120mm fan running on 12S.  The fuse is fiberglass, the wings are wood, and it has a wingspan of 1.8m.  For comparison, the plane in my hand is the Freewing foam Avanti S (wingspan 1236mm) that many of us have.  I chose a carbon-fiber 17-blade fan (optimized more for thrust than for top speed). – Mark Davis

Allan Flowers’ FW-190

Hi, Fellow COVID Exiles.

Since I can not fly at either the electric field or the Chula Vista club, I have spent time on a new foamy from Motion RC. This is a FlightLine FW-190 44” model, a bit smaller than I like (due to my old eyes). The model is a reboot of an older design which now has added flaps – but not the proper “scale” split flaps : ( I guess the days when I would spend 1500 hours on an over-the-top scale project are probably over anyway.)

This plane runs on a four-cell, which is one of the reasons I got it, since I have several batteries that can be used in it. The battery bay is extremely tight and required some surgery to get everything in. The model is spectacular in detail and fairly good in terms of scale fidelity. I did it in the optional Heinz Bar #13 scheme, adding my own Photoshopped swastika which was missing on the tail (PC reigns). I decided to try some weathering which I have really never done before. My attempt is terrible compared to the incredible models I see on the internet – but I had fun and it isn’t too bad after all. A little black to hit the panel lines, ocher for oil leaks and where the guns dirty the wing, and blotched silver to look like chipped paint on metal…  Everything on the model has been coated with some acrylic floor finish, which pulls it together – as well as sealing down the stickers which, on this model, were not good. The colors and detail was great but they really didn’t stick very well at all – especially the small/thin ones.

Today was spent binding the new RX and setting the throws, etc. Hopefully I will be able to handle this fast little plane, once the field is open again.

I hope all is well with all of you,

Otto’s Nostalgic Builds

Well as soon as the confinement to quarters hit I pulled out two projects to complete. 
The first is Jim Kirkland’s 1970 Nats pattern winning A-6 Intruder. This was built from and old Skyglass kit produced in 1972 that I found in a storage bin. The major issue was the fiberglass fuse. It had been on its side for 35 years and had deformed. I cut it all up and built a jig to reassemble. Turned out pretty well but probably would have been easier to scratch building a new one.
The second project completed Is a ModelTech ARC Calypso. Hanno Prettner’s Calypso won the 1984 International F3A pattern competition. The kit was my first ARC, almost ready to cover, and went together very easily. Very pleased with the results.
Both projects have retract gear and are electric conversions. You should see them at the field tearing up the sky. – Otto

An MQ-9 Story pt.6 – 3D Missiles & Bombs

A co-worker kindly lent me his Ender 3  3d printer. I have taught myself to use it and am now printing missiles and bombs.  In particular, Hell Fire missiles and GBU -12 Paveway  laser guided smart bombs for my MQ-9 project.  So  am learning new skills and moving the MQ=9 project forward in these difficult times.  I can recommend the Ender 3d printer as a nice and economical beginner’s printer as it is producing a fine product(s). – Bob Kruetzer