Landing is Inevitable

Monday, January 22, 2007

Oh Bugger!

It was a great day at the slopes yesterday. The winds came from the right direction and continued blowing for extended periods of time. Definitely the best weekend of the year (eventhough there were only four so far this 2007) eventhough the weekend did not start as well as I'd had hoped.

I did not get to fly on Saturday morning as I had to attend antenatal class with my wife at Kandang Kerbau Hospital (KKH). It was kinda boring as most of the information that was passed out on that first lesson of the course was stuff that my wife has already read about and related to me. What was worse, the nurse doing the presentation was just reading off the slides, making it even more yawn-inducing. Nonetheless, trips down to KKH are always fun, as my wife and I would plough the stores and just browse through the array of toys, clothes, food, etc. My mind would, from time to time, wander to faraway thoughts of Bedok Reservoir slope. Alas, as we stepped out of the hospital to make our way down to Raffles Hospital, dark, heavy clouds were already forming and I was resigned to having a Saturday afternoon without a flight at the slope.

At around 2pm on Saturday, the sky gave way and it just poured. And poured, And poured. Bummer. Stayed home and continued with repairs on the E-Hawk 1400. It's definitely starting to look very good with a new covering and all.

On Sunday, on the other hand, was a great day for flying. A big crowd came down to the slope and everybody had a good time. Gliders were staying in the air for hours on end efforlessly. There was a 4-metre glider which floated effortlessly with much of a throw, and the DG-1000 were taking turns to fly. All-in-all, a very good day. Ken (MadFlurry) had his first taste of slope gliding and he definitely enjoyed the experience. Spending at least half hour in the air at any go.

"Ken's Zagi which he did his maide slope gliding run with."

"Dennis with a new Multiplex Evo 9 transmitter which he got form Leo."

"Leo with his Multiplex Cockpit flying his Thunder Tiger Soaring Star."

"Scully with his sexy shorts."

It was a good weekend and I'm looking forward for more of the same in the coming weeks. Until then.

Signing off,

Monday, January 15, 2007

Flight Log 10.01.2007

1. Hacker SuperZoom 4D

AXI2212/26 Gold Line
Castle Creation Phoenix 25amp ESC

Maidened: 10 August 2006
Number of Flights: 120

Fly it hard, fly it low, fly it fast, fly it slow. I'd do anything with this plane.

2. Multiplex Easy Glider

Maidened: 28.11.2006
Flight Time: 3h 45min

Maidened quite some time back and I find that this glider is an excellent all rounder, extremely robust and very forgiving. I have not done any repairs on this plane even after all the abuse that it had to bear. But now I'm flying it like it should, relaxed and slow instead of all the low dives and loops that I have previously subjected it to.

3. Precision Aerobatics Katana Mini (temporarily decomissioned)

AXI2217/16 Gold Line
Castle Creation Phoenix 25amp ESC

Maidened: N/A
Number of Flight: N/A

Maidened, but crashed a few times as it had some niggling problems. Currently decommisioned until I get the mood to fix it up.

4. Micro Bug HLG (JAWS)

Maidened: N/A
Flight Time: N/A

A Joe Yap Aeromodel Work Shop build. Artfully put together and neatly covered, it is safe to say this is one of the prettiest plane I have in my hangar. Mine's the white one.

5. Thunder Tiger E-Hawk 1400

Maidened: N/A
Flight Time: N/A

Picked it up from somebody who wanted to throw it away. It's currently in the re-building process.

6. Extreme Flight Extra 330

AXI2814/20 Gold Line (Pending)
Castle Creation Phoenix 45amp ESC (Pending)

Maidened: N/A
Number of Flights: N/A

Building and waiting for the hardware to come in.

7. Hacker Reno Racer: Mini Mustang (Sold Off)

Tower Pro BM2408-21
Tower Pro 18amp ESC

Maidened: 16 September 2006
Number of Flights: 12

Being one of my most problematic planes I had around, I decided to sell it off. May it serve its new owner well.

Signing Off

Re"covering" the E-Hawk 1400

Still sore from the Katan Mini crash, I decided to work on another project I have on hand; whipping the E-Hawk 1400 I got from a fellow flyer (who was about to trash it in the bin) into shape. It had lots of holes in the fibreglass fuselage, hairline cracks all over the place, the wings were riddled with holes which was either covered with unsightly, gaudy stickers or patched up with mis-matching covering. I've decided on a predominantly white colour scheme, the classic glider look with some hints of colours later on. This will be my biggest challenge in reviving planes as its made up of two materials which I have no experience repairing before: balsa and fibreglass. Also not forgetting I have never had any experience covering balsa planes with Monokote or other coverings for that matter. I fear I may be in over my head for this one.

I had already filled up most of the holes on the fuselage with epoxy mixed with micro balloons. Sanded them down and maybe I'll just go over the fuse with watered down epoxy or something to improve the overall integrity of the frame.

The wing was an eyesore; the original yellow covering with patches of "stuff" all over the place. So I decided to strip it all down right to the balsa wing. Strengthen the wing joints with some fibre glass cloth and CA and now I'm in the process of re-covering the wings. Ran into so much trouble with the covering. Firstly, I had so much trouble getting the covering to stick onto the balsa wings, that was until Wei Yao told me that there could be a protective covering on the back side of the film. D'oh! Apparently there was a very, very thin layer of plastic which anyone could've missed. Thank goodness for friends with experience with these stuff or I'd be left in the lurch cussing and swearing. Then I ran into another set of problems. Unsightly wrinkes were appearing at the corners of the parts that I was covering everytime I attempted to tack it down. I then cut the covering into smaller pieces and decided to work on the wings in small parts, starting with the wing tips. Voila, with the help of my wife (to hold down the wing and parts of the covering as I tacked it down I managed a nice taut covering on the wingtips. I went ahead to cover one of the ailerons and the other wingtip until my heavy eyes made me decide to call it a night. I will continue working on the covering slowly over the week and hope that it'll be ready by the weekend.

Signing off,

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

It's a boy!!!

The picture should say it all. After some thorough scanning at the hospital, the ultrasound operator at the hospital told us that the baby is a boy. Yeah, ain't it cool. Now my wife and I can finally focus on what what kind of clothes to buy, what kind of toys to get and can finally rest easy knowing the sex of the boy. The doctor has confirmed with us that the pregnancy is going very well and all is good.

Speaking of babies, I've got a blue one on the way too: an Extreme Flight Extra. Got it a around two weeks back and I've been slowly working on it. Fixing in the ailerons to the wings and covering the gaps with Blenderm tape. I have put in my order for the AXI2814/20 and the Castle Creations Phoenix 45 for the plane. I am really taking my time with this plane, for one main reason; the motor will only come in by mid February. It's a beaut of a plane and I'm really happy admiring it while its on the work bench.

The wing, nuff said

A shot of the bottom of the wing.

See the blenderm tape sealing the gaps? No? Precisely. It's my new magic tape, very flexible, strong, almost invisible and it doesn't leave any marks after you remove it.

My Katana Mini just won't fly. Or won't land in one piece. I just nose dived the plane into the ground yesterday. Everything is still working and the only damage to the plane is in the motor mount and the firewall. Definitely fixable, but the question is, "Do I want to spend any more resources into it?" The plane has been banking to its right, yes its right even with left full trim, I can't figure out what's wrong, or haven't had enough air time to figure it out. But I reckon its a warp in the right aileron whic I have not been able to straighten out that much. I guess I'll just put it one side for a few months until I get the mood and resources to work on it again. For now I have de-rigged the whole plane and maybe I'll use the hardware on another plane IF I decide to get one. Most likely not.

Ok that's all for now, I will be updating the blog regularly with my build of the EF Extra kit.

Signing off

Monday, January 08, 2007

Au Naturelle

Having not updated this blog for over a month, some might have guessed that I have quit this hobby. Fat chance! It's just that for the past month I have not spent much on this hobby as I was busy flying - slope gliding to state it more accurately. It's been such a blast keeping the plane in the air for more than half an hour when the winds are accomodating.

Lots of flyers lament that slope gliding is so boring without even attempting to throw it (the plane) in the wind, literally. In rebuttal I would have to say, it is exciting watching people climbing trees, tugging at branches with ropes and seeing mid-air collisions (between foam gliders only). Then there's always the close shaves - almost crashing into the trees. How can anyone who has seen all this say that slope gliding is boring? But to each, his own. And when in rome... (hehe)

I also got another glider, it is a Joe Yap buit Micro HLG Bug. All I can say it is such a looker, being hand made and all. There is no laser burn marks on the balsa and the covering was done to perfection and without a flaw except on the base of the fuselage where the covering wrinkled a bit, easily fixed with some heat.

I'm also attempting to revive a Thunder Tiger E-Hawk which one of the guys at the slopes has given up on. It was riddled with cracks all over the fuselage and the wings' integrity was questionable. There was also excessive binding on the elevator, which I reckon made it impossible for the previous owner to fly this plane properly. So far, I have ripped off the covering on the wings, glued some of the ribs to give it a bit of strength and remove all the pushrods. I plan to recover the wings with white monokote and maybe add some details later on... If I get any further with the repair of this plane.

Well that was a summary of what has transgressed over the last month or so. Next posting will be very soon and it will cover more of my ongoing powered planes projects. Until then...

Signing Off