The Clubhouse

The virtual hangout for Ute R/C members when we're not flying.

Wild Wing

So a few days ago, I finally finished my Wild Wing. I've had wing cores sitting in my garage all winter long, calling out to me to build this bird.

I think I was just afraid! I've only built ARF-type aircraft before, and, well, building from a wing core is a little more hard-core.

UVA: Pylon Races, Eagle Mountain

Mar 11 2006 10:00 am
Etc/GMT-7

SDA: April Fools Heli Fly-In, St. George

Mar 31 2006 8:00 am
Apr 2 2006 4:00 pm
Etc/GMT-7

Pilot Humor: Maintenance logs

Here's an email I recently received. It claims to contain the "squawks" of pilots in their logs, with the responses from their maintenance crew after investigating their complaints.

Problem - Left inside main tyre almost needs replacement.
Solution - Almost replaced left inside main tyre.

Problem - Test flight OK, except autoland very rough.
Solution - Autoland not installed on this aircraft.

Problem - No. 2 propeller seeping prop fluid.
Solution - No. 2 propeller seepage normal. Nos. 1, 3 and 4 propellers lack normal seepage.

Problem - Something loose in cockpit.
Solution - Something tightened in cockpit.

RPRCC: Fun Fly, St. George

Apr 15 2006 8:00 am
Apr 15 2006 4:00 pm
Etc/GMT-7

NURCAC: Q500 Pylon Races, Ogden

Jul 15 2006 8:00 am
Jul 15 2006 4:00 pm
Etc/GMT-7

WAM: Combat, Syracuse

Apr 22 2006 8:00 am
Apr 22 2006 4:00 pm
Etc/GMT-7

Other Nearby R/C Aircraft Clubs

Utah's climate and topology are ideal for flying model aircraft for much of the year, and the state boasts many clubs catering to special interests and sportsmen in certain areas. Here's a partial list; if you're aware of clubs I missed, please post a comment.

My E-Flite P-47 Thunderbolt

This winter, I built an ARF electric P-47 from E-Flite. After weeks of the bird sitting in my garage waiting on a break in the weather, I finally maidened her. Here are the specs:

  • Park 450 motor
  • Dymond 2100mAh LiPo. Yeah, there's no balance plug on these batteries, but they are cheap, work great, and seem to last a long time when recharged at around 0.4-0.5 amps.
  • Hitec Supreme radio (a little heavy for this bird, and behind the CG, so I'm going to replace it with something lighter)
  • Hitec HS-55 servos (4)
  • E-Flite brushless ESC
  • Master Airscrew 10x8E and E-Flite 10x8E props
  • Dubro scale wheel struts

Just so you know, I really like flying this bird. She's very pretty in the air, stays up for a good long while (up to 15 minutes on a 2100mAh battery, but I tend to bring her down at about 10 minutes because a lower depth of discharge preserves long-term LiPo life), and is a blast to fly. I'm going to list quite a few downsides, but it's in hopes that my bad experiences can help someone else

Lithium Polymer Guidelines

Lithium Polymer (LiPo) batteries, although generally available as early as 2002, really took off in popularity in 2003, and in 2006 (as of this writing) seem to be the most popular battery for experienced electric R/C pilots. The combination of light weight, good power, and long flight durations have made them the power source of choice for many new planes. Their popularity has mirrored that of cell phones, portable MP3 players, and other high-drain electronic devices which use lower-discharge Lithium Ion (LI-Ion) battery packs.

However, most Lithium Ion packs for consumer electronics have one feature which airplane hobbyists lack: built-in charge-protection circuitry. Some expensive LiPo packs, such as the FMA Direct "Skyvolt" system, boast such protection circuitry, and allow it to be disconnected for flight, but most commodity LiPos and chargers don't. Unfortunately, LiPos have one bad trait: they tend to catch on fire and/or violently explode when abused! In general, LiPo abuse falls into one of three categories:

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