Thursday, January 11, 2018

Lost Blue Ridge Special on Ice

I should have known better, when a free flight model has a dark background behind it, losing sight of it is very easy. After two weeks of really cold weather, the lake close to my house was really frozen over hard; many vehicles and fish houses now dotted the lake. It warmed up last Sunday and I flew simple rubber powered models from the lake in weather that was slightly above freezing. Before it again turned really cold I wanted to get out on the lake again and took a day of vacation.

Blue Ridge Special on Ice

Forecast for the wind was to be more to the South which I thought the bluff would block but it appeared to be more out of North but it was switching around too, from the North drifted model towards the bluff. On a dark day with bare trees in the background it was easier to lose sight of a model. I had some flights on the Flash X18 but the last flight it did not transition well and came back hard to the ice breaking the plastic propeller hanger.  I then started flying the Blue Ridge Special built from plans a few years ago. Not very smart on my part I covered the model in green and yellow tissue which is hard to see in the grass but not so much in the snow.

Flash X 18

After a couple of flights where it landed fairly close I cranked in a few more turns and it started circling towards the bluff. Big mistake on my part I took my eyes off it for a couple of seconds while I reached down to pick up the other model. When I looked up, panic set in as I could not see the model flying again. I started walking towards where I had last seen it, now I just could not find it on the lake which was a combination of black and white because much of the snow had melted off.

AMA Maxi Jr

After about a half hour of looking, I decided to go home to get my binoculars and grab another airplane. When I came back I looked from the opposite bank and could spot a clump of leaves near the opposite shoreline but no sign of the model. Walking out half way, I launched my AMA Maxi Jr model and watched how it drifted. It drifted in at least a couple of directions during the flight, it appeared it was encountering some lift at times.

Blue Ridge 2 Pack

With the binoculars I continued searching the frozen surface, having never seen the model land is a bad thing. Maybe it did find a thermal and fly away, or maybe it went scooting across the ice in the gusty wind. After another hour of looking I gave up the search. Recently I had purchased the Blue Ridge Special short-kit 2-pack from Volare; I should just build two new models.

Bill Kuhl

Related Links  - Volare Products 

Friday, January 5, 2018

Cool Start for 2018 - Model Building

Most years I fly some type of model airplane on New Years day but not this year, just before the real cold that came on Christmas I had been flying my Icon A5 electric RC amphibian from the snow and a couple of rubber powered foam free flights, when the temperature got below 20 degrees F, I spent time building planes for 2018. In my last blog post I shared some pictures of what I am working on, those planes are farther along but you cannot see much change. Funny how those last details can take so long. 

Flash X18

Icon A5 from 2016 Picture
I did build a simple catapult glider during part of one evening, the Rookie from Stevens AeroModel. Everything included, even catapult rubber and stick, pennies for balance.  I also have the Hand Launch Glider With Dethermalizer kit from Stevens Aeromodel to build yet.  Arriving yesterday were a couple of more catapult glider kits from J&H Aerospace, no time for photo yet.  I had also received a sample kit of Flash X18 rubber power model a classic design of Frank Zaic and that built quickly, too bad it is so cold for testing.

Rookie Kit

Tubes used to Key Fuselage Pieces
Rokkie Complete

Trying a new to me electronic DT timer from Will Hubin FM-10.  I connected it up and tested with a servo I had on the bench and it worked fine. There is an external box that you program with and then download to the timer. I found a really small servo that weighs 1.8 grams that I plan to use with the timer in a rubber powered model, total weight is 7.92 grams. Rather heavy for this model but it should be 100% accurate.

Ready to Fly Weight

Programming Box in Rear for Timer

I had also purchased a wire winder to create my own tension springs from Volare Products. Some evening soon I will try to create some springs.

Bill Kuhl