Landing is Inevitable

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

And the nominees are...

Dragonfly by Valenta Model

Pulsar 3.2E from Esprit Model

Condor 3.2M from Soaring USA

Here are some of my favourite gliders out there in the market. I would really like to have one of them as my flagship plane for next slope season. Just have to start saving slowly from now.

Signing off,

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Time to let go

This slope season has been great, albeit a little short. I missed lots of slope time in November and December last year, but I more than made up for it earlier this year. With a trip up to Sedili and lots more trips to Bedok Reservoir slope, I'm more or less sated. With Ashraf around, it's a little more difficult to have the time to go down to the slope. But the best times at the slope are the ones with NR and Ashraf around. I just love seeing the joy on Ashraf's face when he sees the gliders whizzing by. And the horror on NR's face when Ashraf tries to put a blade of grass into his mouth.

Now it seems, that the season is winding down. The winds are getting markedly weaker and coming from the wrong side. My Multiplex Easy Glider has seen its share of action and it's time for it to be decomissioned. A broken wingtip, a fuse broken in two, an aileron which is barely hinging onto the wing, a bent nose and a crooked stab. That basically sums up the condition of the plane. For the longest time it was my go to glider. It can do everything, speck out, touch and go's and even some battle if the situation calls for it. Sad, but it is time to strip the EZG of all its working innards and move it to another glider in the future.

I've got my eyes on so many gliders, we'll just see which one will be part of my hangar for next season.

Signing off,

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Laugh it up funny guy!

Shot by my one and only NR. I love ya!

Aww... ain't he just cute. I really dunno what else to say.

Signing off,

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Flight of the Bumble Bee

Ahh, the Bee has seen more action and mid-airs in its short life as compared to my other planes. Apparently one of the Daddy Hobby bros I chat online came down to the slope yesterday. Did not realise it was him yesterday as there were no introductions between us. Only found out today when he posted some pics on

Here are some more pictures expertly taken by Ben. Thanks man, I really appreciate it.

Launch Sequence

Bee in Flight

Close Call

Signing off

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Bedok Reservoir Slope Pictures

For the past two weeks, the slope at Bedok Reservoir has been my second "office." The winds has been decent and on some days better than decent. And on those days, the people of the slope, have the most fun.

A great addition to my slope hangar this year is the Windrider Bee. It has served me well the past few days and I believe it will do so for many more flights to come. It builds very quickly and easily and flies just as well. With sufficient height the Bee will also recover from almost any mid-airs. I've been trimming the plane to give me optimal performance and I think I'm alsmost there, maybe another day or two of flying it and I can commit and confirm on the CG and cut out the ballast tube for it for greater speed. As it is, with the light-weight setup it's already rather fast but just unable to retain it's energy/inertia.

I hope there are many more weeks of good winds to come. Here are some pictures of the Bedok Reservoir slope action.

Signing off,

Saturday, February 09, 2008

The birds and the bees

Today was a happy, happy day. My wife and son joined me at the slope. My wife's good friend also joined us for a picnic too. The Windrider Bee flew great. The bunch of us with flying wings had a good time attempting to battle. Yeah, today is a happy, happy day.

I really had a good feel for my Bee today. Got quite a number of flights with it, trimming it out, tuning it here and there. And by the end of the day, I have myself a nice-flying Bee. It can be better though. With a few more trimming flights I think I should be able to get the Bee to fly optimally.

The Bee flies really well at the Bedok Reservoir slope. It's light wing loading and excellent design keep the plane in the air effortlessly and gives the plane real good speed. It was a joy doing really hard turns without losing much altitude. This plane can be as aggressive as you want it to be. No wonder there are so much rave reviews about it in RCGroups. It's no fluke. It's real good design at a very good price. The build is also very straightforward. This wing is really an ARF. This is going to be my "go-to" plane for quite some time by the way it performed today. Furthermore it's just plug and play when I reach the top of the slope, no need for any assembly. Happy, happy day...

The two bees: looks fast even on the ground

Ken's bee in action

I'm hoping the rest of the Bees will be airborne soon. Then it will really be a battleground at Bedok Reservoir. That should really be fun.

Signing off,

Pictures by Ken (MadFlurry@DaddyHobby)

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Seeing is BEElieving

Day 2 of the Windrider Bee speed build.

First up, I found that the wing ends of the Bee really weak. If I were to hold the plane by the wing tips, it would just sag. And this is without any batteries or weight up front. My solution was to cut a slit on the underside of the wing, and slide in a small diameter carbon rod. This stiffened the plane a bit more but was still rather unsatisfactory. I then epoxied some flat carbon ribbon onto the top of the wing the length of each elevon. This really stiffened the plane up and I figured once I covered the plane with Budget Kote, it should be able to withstand punishment meted out by other wings and hopefully the unforgiving trees.

Now for the covering, I'm still not that good at covering foam cores, I need more practice. But given the rush nature of this build, I'll just do a decent job and fix anything later. This might not be the best way but I just had to give the Bee some air time by today.

I took around 2 hours just to cover something as simple as this. And the covering job was still far from satisfactory. My colour scheme: yellow for the top part of the wing and silver on the underside. This is the longest process of the whole build.

Next up, I proceeded to installing the push rods and control horns to the elevons. After that to the final programming of the radio. Done. I have succeeded in finishing the Bee for flight in less than 24 hours and around 6 hours of work on it. Fastest build of any plane ever for me. I decided to save the embelishment on the plane for later. Now it's time to hit the slopes and get some air time.

Max gave me a lift to the slope. Once up there, I checked for any conflicting frequency and Ken threw the Bee off the slope. She flies. It initially seemed nose heavy so I added some reflex. The next launch the Bee just ballooned up and it seemed to be stalling. I think I added too much reflex this time.

The bummer came when the 12FG's low voltage warning started beeping as I collected the Bee. Damn. Well, on the bright side, the Bee flew. I will have another chance to trim it on Friday.

So for most of the time on the slope I did some catching up with the other guys, flew Max's Windrider Fox and just "kaypo"-ed around.

Once I got back, I continued with the markings on the Bee's underside.

Now I just cannot figure out what to do with the top. I'll figure something out soon.

Signing off,

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Flies like a butterly, stings like a BEE

The Windrider Bee is finally here!!! The Chinese New Year holidays are looming. This I reckon is going to be one of my fastest build ever. I want to get the plane airborne by tomorrow. I think I can, I think I can! Choo Choo. Let the Randomtask Express through. This is going to be one whirlwind of a build.

This morning I received the Bee from Jeremy. I also took over the rest of the bees for easier distribution to the other guys, namely Ken and Colin. Alas I cannot start the build immediately as I had a cake order delivery to settle first. Once I got back from doing what I had to do I started my build at around 10 minutes to 4 o'clock in the afternoon.

The Bee's foam core and additional carbon spar for that extra rigidity.

The kit comes very complete. With all the hardware needed. It even includes coloured packing tape for the covering.

The electronics: Hitec Electron 6 (receiver), 2 x Hitec standard servos

Okay, now that all the posey pictures for the build are out of the way, it's time to get some real work done. First up, was to adhere the two part wings together. The instructions never mentioned any gluing, but I just had to. Just for the peace of mind.

Adhesive of choice: Goop. Goop maintains a very strong bond while having some flexibility to withstand impact. Bottomline: Goop will not crack under pressure.... Get it? Get it? OK lame. I know. Moving along.

Next up, I proceeded to strap the wings halves tightly to each other with the supplied filament tape. Did this step on both the top and bottom part of the wings.

The next step I did was another deviation from the instructions. I decided to glass the nose area of the Bee. After researching on the Bee, it seems that alot of the Bee owners found the strength of the nose rather disappointing. So I cut a piece fibre glass(FG) cloth, sprayed it with 3M 77 adhesive, plastered it on the wing and proceeded to apply thinned down epoxy on the FG areas. Job done within a few minutes. Not the best looking job, but getting better every time.

While waiting for the resin to dry, I then went on to the programming the plane onto the 12FG. Easy job on this radio. I made sure the servos were moving the right way and I also wrapped the receiver antennae wire around the "dog bone" to reduce the length of the dangling wire when installed on the wing. After that, all the electronics, sans the battery pack were installed into the plane.

The last order of the day was to attach the ailerons to the foam core. I had to cut off part of the ailerons near the wing tips so that it will be flushed with the wing tips. I did this step while following closely to the instructions. No problems there. Once that was done I went on to brace the bottom side of the Bee with filament tape as per instructions.

There. Done for the day. I think I will be able to finish up the build tomorrow and get it airborne. Fastest build ever. For me, at least. To be continued.

Signing off,