Monday, August 8, 2016

Flying my E36 at 2016 Nats

Although we (Dave Edmondson and myself) arrived on Saturday evening, first flights at the 2016 Free Flight Nats were on Sunday morning. My first flights were with my tip launched glider Dynomite; flights were pretty short but the trim appeared to be good. There were a couple of people in the immediate area flying E36 models. Jack Murphy parked right next to us and graciously helped with getting some short flights on my Pearl E202. He placed a washin wedge the right wing panel. The power pattern seemed pretty good but the wind was increasing so I put the model away before the end of the flying day.

My Pearl E202 E36 Model

Tuesday afternoon I spent some time trying get in some short flights. If the launch was to the left the transition appeared to be better than to the right. Flying to the right the glide would become too steep resulting in a hard landing. On one flight just as I started the motor the propeller came off, I gave up searching in the grass after several minutes.

Hank Nystrom found me the next day and was able to produce the correct size folding propeller by switching some blades and hubs. Later in the day Dohrman Crawford who I had only known through the Internet helped me fly my E36.  As he looked at my model he noticed some warps so he borrowed a heat gun and we found a spot with electricity near the runway in the middle of the field. Dohrm twisted the wing and I used the heat gun, it got rather hot for Dohrm holding the wing. 

Dohrman Crawford E36 in Flight

Jim and Dohrm Retrieving my E36

I did not have the DT rigged properly so the stab was only going up maybe 35 degrees. After only 8 second motor run the airplane with a real short DT my plane started a really tight circle that was obviously in a thermal. It kept going up, after a couple of minutes I was worried that I might never see it again but then it started to come slowly down. Dohrm and Jim Jennings were ready to chase after it with a motorcycle but it came down just before the road next to a bean field. When we returned Dohrm and Jim re-did the DG system on my model.

With Jim Jennings and Dohrman Crawford

The next day after Dawn Unlimited event I made more flights with Dohrm’s help and worked up to a 15 second motor run and 30 second glide. To flatten out the glide the battery was moved way rearward. However my flight attempts later in the day resulted again in too steep of glide and damage to the airplane. I noticed the metal stab adjustment screw appeared to have changed; I now have a nylon bolt. The nut in front of the motor housing was loose so maybe the vibration had changed the incidence setting.

At home while repairing the minor damage to the wing, I decided to inspect the entire airplane over and found several breaks in the stab structure after removing the covering. As the stab has been warped up towards the tips for awhile, no doubt the breaks did not just happen in the last hard landing. No doubt this might explain some of the trouble I have had in getting consistent flights. I have much to learn but enjoy the challenge of it.  Flying a faster power model is much different than a rubber model like my P30. I saw several other electric models crash over the week.

Someone Had a Crash Worse Than Any of Mine

Bill Kuhl

Related Websites

Texas Timers - Supplier for Electric Components

Pearl Free Flight


  1. It looks like you had fun and some expert help!

  2. Always good to find the free flight group so helpful.