Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Polecat X P30 at 2017 Nats

Most all of the testing of the Polecat X P30 model was done at the 2017 Nats mainly because of not a large enough flying site close to home.  I had flown it several times on smaller sites using only hand winds but as someone pointed out you cannot really see what it will do when a large number of turns are used. In my case the Polecat flew just fine as I increased the turns, this is one plane that pretty much flew with no trim adjustments needed.  If you read my build report, you know I was trying a lot of new things with this model; covering with Mylar, using tiny carbon strips, rolling a balsa fuselage, and trying the pop-off wing DT using an electronic timer.

Polecat X in Flight

Polecat X

Any concern I had about the plane landing too hard because the wing is separated from the fuselage were unfounded. The wing spins so fast on the line it slows the plane way down when coming down. One time I forgot to close one of the swivels and the wing came off the line; that did slight damage to the fuselage tube. Another time I must have had the line under the stab and it damaged the rear of the stab when the wing separated. 

Mistake with Routing Line

At first I was a little frustrated with the wing hold down method as with a slight breeze the wing would come off. I expressed my frustration to Jerry Murphy and he said I needed more tension on the DT line. I told him I was concerned with the tiny DT servo not functioning if too much tension. He gently increased the tension making sure the servo would still operate. Now the wing would stay on in a reasonable wind.

After Typical DT Landing

Selman e20 DT Timer
I never did get up to the 2000 turns possible with the rubber motor made up of 3/32” strands but did get up to 1400. As designed it climbs slowly but the propeller spins a long time. The last flights I made on the Muncie field had the plane drifting a long ways for chasing on foot. I did have my tracker on it after losing the Wilbur for a few days. Luckily I did not need the tracker to find the model but I did find out that it doesn’t go through even small hills. As high as I could hold the antenna I could not get a signal until I got on top of the small hill.

Looking forward to flying the Polecat X more, I did not fly in competition as it was windy the last day and I left for home.  The weight of the electronic DT with battery no doubt is a few grams, maybe not suitable for competition. For me at this point it is more important to be able to bring the plane down at a precise time to keep it on a smaller field.

Bill Kuhl

Related Links  Pearl Free Flight website to Purchase Polecat X

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