Thursday, November 17, 2016

Ruh Roh.... Saito Exhaust Problem...

I have a Saito 100 I've had for several years. It's been a great engine, and has had it's share of abuse, including a straight in crash when a flight battery failed. I never noticed a problem until last week when I was out flying with a friend. I thought I saw something moving around below the engine area, so I did a slow, low flyby. Sure enough, it was the muffler canister dangling around, hanging on by the tank pressure line.

After landing, I discovered the head pipe had broken off, just past the lock nut on the engine side of the pipe.

The thread is m12 x 1.0. So, I'm now on a mission to locate a die to rethread an unused portion of the pipe and put it back in service. I'll update this, once I locate a die and hopefully make the repairs :-)

Dave AMA 119484

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Got a new Quad-Copter...

I got a new quad from Debbie for my birthday. It's the Sharper Image DX-4 with the High Definition Streaming Cam built right in. It's quite a lot larger than my previous "Bug Quad" she bought me 2 years ago. I've been flying the "Bug Quad" hard for 2 years, mostly inside, but some in the back yard on calm days. I had to replace the battery in it once, as well as one of the motors, I literally wore it out. After the last rebuild, it still flys great.

The new DX-4 Hi-Def quad has auto stabilization, auto take off and landing, 3 different speed modes, and a stunt more where it can do flips and such. I have a lot to learn, but it's gonna be a lot more fun than my old "Bug Quad". I'll post some video from it, once I get good enough to fly it around the yard and shoot some pics.

Here's my litle "Bug Quad", still in flying condition!

My new Sharper Image DX-4 High Definition Streaming quad.

Dave AMA 119484

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Hauling Airplanes in a Ford Escape...

So... I used to have a pretty cool 6' x 10' airplane trailer. I really liked it, and never unloaded the airplanes from it when i returned home from the field. Problem was, it was killing my little Ford Escape and I ultimately had to replace the transmission. It wouldn't shift to OD while pulling the trailer, and often wouldn't go into high gear. It protruded way above the top of the truck, and felt like I was constantly pumping the brakes from wind hitting the front of the trailer. I sold the trailer and was out of the hobby for a while...

When I decided to get back active, I realized I couldn't haul much of anything with some size to it. Transporting just one of my airplanes with a 80" wingspan was a chore. After pondering the problem a bit, this is what i came up with. I bought four 2" x 4"s at Lowes, pulled together some scrap 3/8" plywood I had letf over from a home remodelling job, and got busy. Now I can haul 2 airplanes with a 80" span plus a smaller bird, all wings & tubes, my flight box and misc field support gear needed.

This contraption allows me to hang a long wing or two in the ceiling, other wings and materials below the deck, and anchor the bigger airplanes to the deck. I can haul 3 smaller airplanes on the deck and leave the passenger seat open, if needed. It's just a back-yard build, but really made a difference in what i can haul. The whole assembly easily lifts from the truck to convert it back to normal use.

Wing storage below the new deck...

Flight box easily transported & accessed from the side door. 

Fueslages anchored to the deck with wheel stops to keep them from rolling around.

One airplane in the front seat...

Another wing stored under the deck and accessed from the RH side door.

Maybe this will give some of you ideas on how to mod your small vehicle for transporting multiple aircraft.

Dave AMA119484

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Spoiler checkup finished, & ready to go!

I'm getting down to the "short rows" of getting my old aircraft back up to speed and airworthy. My old Spoiler was the last major hurtle, before getting back on the builds I had started and not yet completed. Next, I have to do a few things to my little Ford Escape to be able to haul this stuff (used to have a RC trailer, not now).

I've had this spoiler since 2008, and it was a prototype for a planned production run that never came to pass. We spent a few thousand $$ on prototypes, debugging, etc...the economy crashed in the fall of 2008, and the shop that was building these for us went out of business. Oh well, best laid plans, right? Anyway, this thing is a blast to fly. I was surprised to find that even the flight battery was OK, when I pulled it from about 2-1/2 years of storage! I gave it a once over, found a few loose screws and minor covering repairs needed, lubricated the engine, and she's ready to go!

You can see a quick checkout of the electronics here: 

Here's a short check flight video from 2008

Some covering repairs made, ready for engine cleanup...

I use HiTec servos & Spektrum radio gear...

The flight battery is a 4200mah NiMH Hydrimax, still in good shape!

O.S. 1.20  2-stroke glow makes loads of power, even with the stock muffler.

I found the Vess 17 x 6 Sport prop to be the best fit for my use.

Dual servos in each wing panel, no need for a balancer. The ailerons flex enough to make up for any servo mismatch. 

All cleaned up, and ready to go!

Dave AMA119484