Landing is Inevitable

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Sugar Fix is open for business !!!

AN IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT: Sugar Fix is now open for business.

Sugar Fix is my wife's small biz selling cakes, cupcakes and other confectionary. I highly recommend the brownies. It's the same ones I brought to the Punggol barbecue. Anyways please visit the Sugar Fix website at

Thanks for tuning in.

Signing off,

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Future Slope Designs: Raptor 48 Build Part 1

I didn't feel too good this morning so I decided to pass up on the morning flying session. Instead I decided to stay home and get some building done on my Future Slope Designs (FSD) Raptor 48 (R48).

In this particular build I wanted to stick to the manual as close as possible to get a very tough model with a nice finish. The weight will definitely be more than a light-weight build but I think I will appreciate a tough good looking model on the slopes. Before I started today, I have been reading the manual countless times on pdf format and also the "speed" build thread on rcgroups. I have a good idea on what's the build's gonna be like so i feel quite confident plunging in. And before I even started with step one, I covered my working surface with cheap china-brand plastic wrap.

The first thing I did was to GOOP the wing spars into the pre-cut slots. This is the first time I'm using GOOP and I have to say that it actually smells like Cow Gum. I put a few Dabs of GOOP on the pre-cut slots, and pushed in the spars flushed with the wing. After that, I wiped the excess GOOP off with a plastic "spatula."

Once that's done, I then replaced the wing into the provided wing bed and put some weights on it. I used some old phone books I found lying around and let the wing set for an hour. while waiting for the wing to set, I then started working on the fuselage.

For the fuselage, the first thing on my list was to epoxy the fuse spar into place.

A rather simple job, After that's done I epoxied the space at the vertical wing tube together. I found after the epoxy has dried that there is still a gap, so I just applied some medium CA to the spots and voila job done. I then started working on the other wing.

Once I was done with the other wing I went on to mate the two wings together. I followed the manual to the word for this step.

Last order for the day was to spackle the main fuselage.

I did it with my fingers and once I've more or less covered the fuselage with enough spackle I let it to set in a nice warm corner of the house for the spackle to harden.

By then it was already five o'clock. And I decided to try to fly at the open space at Chai Chee Street opposite Block 11. Many times have I passed there thinking, "I can fly here," and today was the day I tried it. I turned out to be a mini picnic as my wife, son, sister-in-law and sister-in-law's boyfriend came along with baulu in hand and tea in a flask to boot.

Once we reached the field, I quickly turned on my transmitter, hooked it on my neck strap and got my Flash turned on. I used the pavement as the runway and as expected it took off rather gracefully. I love taking off from the a runway. I did a few basic circuits to orientate myself in the new environment and got used to it quite comfortable. I then started practicing some slow rolls but my skill is just not good enough to pull off more than 3 revolutions. Practice, practice. After expending a pack, and a nice safe landing on the pavement I found the field more than suitable for simple practices. The area is large enough to pull off most manoeuvres. Ahh how nice it is to find a practice ground so close to home.

Today was a rather nice day. I got some building done, and some flight time under my belt. The Flash has now seen 34 flights already. I will continue the R48 build another day.

Signing off,

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Not-so-Fun Jet

The Multiplex Fun Jet was one of my favourite planes. Yes... was. I crashed it hard just over a month ago while i was doing a full throttle low pass at Tampines Ave 5. Well it actually crashed when i was attempting to do a roll at a low altitude. I just did not manage to "catch" the plane once it got out of the roll and gave it wrong inputs which eventually ditched the plane into a marshy grave. Sigh.

It has served me well enough though. This plane actually made me understand the thrill of flying fast. A different set of skills are needed to fly faster planes as compared to slow 3D flying. Also, I learned that flying with elevons feels very different as compared to flying a plane with a full house set of control surfaces.

Ever since then I have not had a really fun flying plane. The Ikarus Extrema Shockie was a good flyer but it's not very durable due to the thin foam. I sold it off only after a few flights as I came across the Flash, designed by David Kyjovsky, at Singapore Hobby Supplies. I have actually wanted to get this planes for so many months already but the shipping would have cost a bomb. Once I saw it the shop, I knew I had to get it.

The building process of the Flash wasn't the most enjoyable. With very general instructions in the manual, there's alot of room for error on the builder's part. But I take it as a weakness on my part for not being more careful too. The performance of the plane though, is another story altogether.

My maiden at Punggol Field Walk was the best ever. Once the plane left the ground i immediately felt connected to the model. Controls were responsive at high rates and very precise at low rates. Within the first few minutes of the maiden flight I was already doing silly stuff low. The Centre of Gravity was dead on for me at the recommended range. Knife edge flight had a little coupling but was easily mixed out. Point rolls and slow rolls are fun to pull off too. This plane has been so fun I have been putting off maidening my Katana MD. I think that plane will only get some air time next year.

Since then I've been flying the Flash at Kembangan field alot. It's very close to home and the field is big enough for this slow flying plane. Since its maiden two weeks ago the plane has flown 26 times already. And now I'm really getting a better feel of the plane.

One favourite plane crashed and burned and another takes over its place. Life is good.

Signing off,

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Slacking off

As the title suggests, I believe I have been slacking off updating my blog. With so many things happening I really do not know where to start off again. It's this kind of thing which got me into so much trouble in Primary school. Not doing homework for a couple of weeks but once I'm in the mood and want to start doing them, I'll be so overwhelmed by the amount of backlog I have to cover and get put off. Resulting in more backlog and the cycle never stops.

Ok, enough of me rambling about my school life. Now to more fun stuff. I did a mini mass order from Future Slope Design for a few close friends. We got 6 x Raptor48 and one Raptor36. These are generally flying wing types slope gliders mad of the ever durable EPP foam. Paige, the owner and boss of Future Slope is a great guy to deal with and has excellent customer service. My mails were answered almost immediately most of the time and that reduces loads of lag time.

I was excited when NR called me at the office and said that there's a package for me at home. But once I got home I was disappointed to only see a small box. When I opened the box, there was only 2 kits. Thinking that Paige has mixed up my order for someone else's I immediately mailed him. In just an hours time, Paige got back to me and clarified everything. Relief.

Today, after a morning flying session, I decided to check the mail and guess what? There was a mail from the Immigrations Department informing me that I have to pay Goods and Services Tax (GST) for my packages. But at least they're on safe shores. Brought home the packages unpacked everything, and repacked them into individual packages for the guys. Looks like something you'd get from the market but who's gonna know? Hehe.

Well, I will most probably start with the Raptor48 build soon, but more details of it will be in another posting. Until then.

Signing off