30 May 2011

Staying with micro laser cut

Such was enjoyment in building of RadicalRC.com laser cut Micro Stick, it was decided to have the next "mini table in front of the TV" project lined up, so shot off an order to Speedwing for their Dart, only three inches bigger in wingspan than the Micro Stick, at twenty inch wingspan.

As with the Radical kit, the laser kit cutting is amazingly accurate and a treat to assemble. I would suggest the back to basics ticking off the numbers on the excellent instructions, as I managed to omit the ply floor for the battery bay and resorted to super glue reinforcement there. It was a pleasure to plug in the fin and then find it exactly 90 degrees, such is the accuracy of laser cutting in comparison to the old "die crunch" style. Notice the flatted carbon tows added at the intersection of the carbon rods - once the soaked in super glue had dried, the frame felt so rigid it could be used for burglar guards!

The laser cut compartment lids fitted immaculately and this kit is so complete that it even comes with tiny hold down magnets for the battery compartment and all the pushrod hardware. The elevons are even pre-bevelled, for goodness sake!

The biggest surprise was in completing the model, to find the CG magically spot on half way between the two recommended extremes, without a single gram to adjust. I decided to go exactly with the recommended throws, with ailerons surprisingly at 3/4 of elevator throw but perfect in action, the plane completely solid and on rails, with twinkle rolls still available at the extremes of my own 30% expo on both elevator and aileron.

The only instruction I erroneously did not completely follow was that the craft does not need reflex of any kind. I set up with the elevons dead in line with the top surface, leaving a teeny reflex effect. Simon Nelson did the launch throw honours and the plane tried to do huge loops every time the throttle was pushed wide open, boot fulls of down trim soon sorted that and the plane was enjoyed for one of the best buzzes I have enjoyed in electric flying. Having found the transparent blue and solid white so vision effective on the Micro Stick, I did err in tweaking the combination here to checkers, which simply camouflaged the tips and there may be a retro fit to solid white.

Whilst ARF kits are a boon in the modern age, it is fun to revert to the builder of the model pride in assembling these excellent value, inexpensive gems. Foamies are becoming "so last year" ;-). Next up may be the Speedwing Dart XL or those RadicalRC.com built up space invader style wing options, after the laser cut mini Z22 wing twist sloper.

20 May 2011

Sunrise with Mark's new camera

Saturday past saw the usual magic early morning weather and Mark was able to wield his new larney camera. We were chuffed to have a first visit from Mike Summers who revved his yellow Piper Cub around like a pylon racer - memories of slope days gone by!

Simon performed a successful first fly with the Internet plan e-powered Mustang, which looks to be a winner on the cheapie motor combo.

Mike Smith's maiden with flat plate wing balsa magazine pullout plan Whizzer was damn impressive - who needs balsa ribs......?

The rest is a rogues' gallery of the Saturday morning regulars, who seem to be on the full circle back to crunchy models. Morne has progressed quickly to even practicing the novice pattern with the trainer, which is spurring Paul on with the Fun 400. Russ has upped the PT19 to 480 power and the 19 does the Sportsmans pattern with verve!

05 May 2011

and back to Springfield........

Michel Leusch and Rob Pirie holding the first stage prototype fuselage of a Kzn slope aerobat being developed from the fertile minds and handiwork of Michel and Russ, with more than a bit of enthusiasm from Ziggy. What this blog is about after all (watch out Tossers...... ;-)

The was a recent flutter of worlds excitement after some FAI feedback, which turned out instead to be formalising of F3F slope speed, something not common on SA coastal slopes but may be sparked with advent of world champs status.

to the seriously large.....

It was a pleasure to visit the serious business of 2011 National Aerobatics at the beautiful KZN Emoyeni site on 1 May. It may have been serious competition but the atmosphere pleasantly informal and it was magic to chat to the various competitors, including a long chin wag with Mark Wolffe of Two Oceans slope fame. It was also neat to see how well Johan de Lange and Arthur Eggar, both products of Neil Allen's monthly pattern series, fared. Quite apart from the old DMAC evergreen hands like John Dorse, Ian Morris and Neil himself.

Johan achieved an excellent second in advanced, along with another Kzn youngster, Brendan from Hobbytech, who achieved a creditable second in Sportsman, using a bog stock Hyperion Helios. This serves an encouragement for us local yokels starting to enjoy the novice side of aerobatics, thanks to Neil's ongoing hard work.

What astounded me was the sheer size and grunt power of the e-power FAI craft - a far cry from twenty-one years ago! Wolfgang Matt provided some retro but very up to date immaculate flying with his anhedral tail Peridot, at the tender age of 63.

It has been nice to read of the appreciative feedback from boffs like Pierre Marias and Andre Stockwell and Neil and his hardworking Nats team can take well deserved pat on the back!

Much chatting was done with Les Ward, Dave Hooker, Dave's buddy Alfred and longgggg time no see Dave Grosvenor.

The day ended with a professionally wow helicopter aerobatics display from Will Cranmer and his team.

From the Radically small.....

An impulse buy saw two teeny Micro Stick kits on the way from Radical RC for Mark and Dave. It was such a pleasure to clip together these well designed laser cut kits, on a small table in front of the TV. Mark took five hours for the whole exercise, Dave five evenings, so I guess Dave is the TV addict.... ;-)

At $27 plus $9 post it is cheap and rewarding fun. There were only two areas of minor trickery. Using Solarfilm instead of the recommended light weight covering material tweaked the leading edge slightly and necessitated some super glue reinforcing of the fin, along with reducing the built in right thrust with sliver of 1/64th ply. Fin decoration was with a never tried before temporary tatoo that worked a treat and lasted, despite the morning dew.

The radio and Mini Ultra Stick (not a large model to start with) are shown to give an indication of the small size. The white top deck on the wing is a definite must for keeping orientation with this little twinkler!

Just could resist the gorgeous little Eflite 250 brushless motor, which proved an ideal combo with a Hyperion 450mah two cell pack and 5x5 prop. The beastie has yet to use more than 160mah for a satisfyingly long flight.