sunnuntai 28. marraskuuta 2010

Photo Art with the flying Christmas tree

Tonight I did some light painting with the Twinstar. It was -20 C and calm. The snow also provided a nice touch-and-go runway. The exposure times were about 6 minutes in both pictures. Now I only need to find a place free from those terrible yellow lights...

In this photo there are loops, rolls and even a spin...

Here I made some touch-and-goes and finally landed...

Not your ordinary photo lighting! The Hobbyking Lumilite system is great fun. 
Also, its very seldom that one flies in temperatures like this...the equipment in the model is very cheap overall and works flawlessly! This model is probably the best value ever. Its also maybe the ugliest, but only in daylight!

torstai 25. marraskuuta 2010

MiG-15 standing on its wheels now!

Woohoo! One significant milestone in the MiG-15 project was reached when the model stood on its wheels for the first time. The wing number 2 progresses much faster then the first one-as I´ve already thought everything over once.

The nosewheel is not the final one! In fact it is from the Boomerang Intro fixed gear. The real one is still being made. As a soothing answer to my deepest fears with wing and landing gear alignment, it all look real nice now. The working room is so small, that in there is is easy to lose the big picture! 

This will be a gourgeous model. 

Some rudder development...the lower servo hole is so close to the moving part, that I had to make up something with a clevis and piano wire (again from the Intro kit...stuff that I discarded then) It will be secured in place with a collar later on. 

tiistai 23. marraskuuta 2010

For You Eyes Only....

Some new challenges in the future will be offered by this Fei Bao MiG-21MF. I will modify it slightly to make it look more like the "bis" that was in operational use here in Finland until 1998.  Hopefully the model will make it here in a few weeks.

The colour scheme will probably be this from the 80:s.

The 15 is progressing rather that regressing! Updates soon...

sunnuntai 14. marraskuuta 2010

Some nostalgy...

I found this old picture from the 80´s. We are at the Malmi airport´s model airplane field flying control line. My father is kneeled down in the background, and behind me is the car of Mr. Olavi Lumes, who also took this picture. He is now over 80 years old, and still active in modelling! The aviation radios sure have developed since-see the box on the left of the car. Nowadays there is no this possibility in Malmi.

lauantai 13. marraskuuta 2010

Twin-The Flying Christmas Tree-Star successfull flown!

I planned first to try the model out in daylight, but since it has been raining for two days now, had no chance. The weather, however, permitted flying this evening around 8.30 PM so I walked into the nearby field and gave it a go. Splendid! The underside LEDs are forming an arrow sign in the sky, and the red and green LEDs are also very visible in the wingtips and tail. The truth is evident, the more lights you have in the model, the easier it is to fly...I made some aerobatics and also low figure 8:s and never "really, REALLY!" lost the orientation of the model. The spin looks marvellous at night! This ugly model is much more beautiful at night when I can see the LEDs only. But with the twin brushless motors screaming with those tiny 5x5 APC:s it is not exactly the most silent one to explore the night sky, although it does glide well. The LHS stocks small props quite limitedly, but maybe I´ll try some 6x6:s later. This is all fun and games until the neighbours file some UFO sightings...
Maybe, with some more night models, we could do a night show with music, like in Jet Power in Germany...

The Great Landing Gear Door Saga!

As the real MiG is made of aluminium, I came across the idea of making aluminium gear door for it. The thin offset aluminium  (litho plate) provides exellent material for this when it it sandwiched with carbon fiber. At least that was my original idea. Well, after cutting the aluminium parts to shape with the Polyply templates, I protected the opposite side wing top side with plastic.  This method gives the doors the right shape. Then I drew the outlines of the doors into the plastic to help putting the top and underside door parts to match each others position-there is carbon in between, so the lower one cannot be seen. Then, after cutting two layers of 130 g carbon cloth, the Z-poxy laminating resin was mixed.

After some work, this is what could be seen:

Then I made the main gear door- its was slightly over the inner door, but it really was no concern in the shape. 

This was also carefully taped into shape and allowed to cure overnight.
Meanwhile I fitted in the extra gear ram...

This turned out to be difficult-surprise! Eventually I had to make a hole in the front spar to be able to fix the ram into place. 

The yellow airline still need some more space.
After some sanding, carbon dust, and some sweat it all worked out! 
All left to do now is the inner door ram and the outer door. Gear down...

Gear up! The aluminium looks really cool.

Some bling-bling in the Twinstar!

Check this out, i is the "Lumilite" LED-strip lighting system from Hobbyking. The system consists of a small 2s lipo-powered power unit and seemingly endless amount of 50cm LED-strips. The Twinstar has now 6 of them, and the outer ones have been painted red and green with a permanent marker. Note that the colour is visible only after a clear tape is inserted over the LED and then coloured with the marker. A new coloured tape layer will emphasize the colour more. Based on my previous night flying experiences, it really helps to know which wing you really see...If it doesn´t rain today, I will try flying this Christmas tree!

maanantai 8. marraskuuta 2010


Ok, a tight 2-hour session and this is what was done! 

The lower rudder´s hinges were glued into the fin...

Also, the elevator number two got the (South) Korean servo...

Likewise, the left wings aileron horn and the servo appeared...
I also have a red and a green LEDs to be fitted into the wings.

maanantai 1. marraskuuta 2010

Mig aileron and flap!

Yep, the same left MiG wing again and again. But slowly and firmly its making its way into a ready wing! The split-flap was sanded to fit nicely into the wing´s recess. I still don´t know how exactly what the flap mechanics will turn out to be, but yes, they will be moved with two servos each. A CAD drawing is somewhere in the original designer / builders computer and it should reveal all! Anyway, now it fits and the servo wirings are also done now. Considering also of installing some sort of LED lights into the MiG as there is a nice ready wire channel leading into the wing tip.

Now I must confess, that using these pivot and round hinges is new to me...and thats why the installing of the aileron turned out to be rather difficult. Of course, the problem is an aileron not moving enough. I sanded the wing with a round block (cut from  Elan´s old wing tube) and after some careful glueing, it is  still needed to make some adjustments in order to move the aileron down more.  Also, the aileron is maybe 1 mm too much out, so this tells me I did not glue the hinges deep enough into the aileron.  The remaining one must be done better...

Here the flap can be seen open-actually the flaps are quite big in the MiG-15.

I was lucky enough to find 4 barely-used Spektrum DS821 servos form classifieds. They will move the flaps just perfectly. My Elan is full of them and I have been very satisfied with the way they work. 
For the wheel doors I purchased some 160 gram carbon fiber cloth, which I plan to laminate into the Polyply soon. Also, the aileron and rudder horns were ordered from Al´s Hobbies today, so when they arrive, the aileron servo install will commence. The aileron servos will be Nexus DSW601MG:s, which turn 7 kilos @5 volts and have metal gears and ball bearings. The MiG will have 11 digital servos, so, as in the Elan, there will be also an Orbit Powerjack inside to ensure the power to the servos. 

torstai 28. lokakuuta 2010

A new Elan video in HD!

We went flying the day before yesterday with a friend and collague of mine, Patrik. His electric powered Extra is on the right. He was kind enough to try filming my Elan with a camera that has a very nice picture quality, but that is really not intended for this kind of filming, the Canon Eos 5D mkII. No working autofocus and poor monitor to frame the picture in daylight. Anyway, after some editing, I am pleasantly surprised with the results. We'll do more and better ones later!

Check it out! It starts at 9 seconds. I ran out of editing time today and there it is, the beginning unfinished! Watch in HD!


keskiviikko 27. lokakuuta 2010

The "Duel!"

Ladies And Gentlemen! On the left corner (of the field...) is...Pro EDF F-16 with a HET Typhoon 70 mm electric ducted fan driven at 100 A on 4s lipos.  (applause)

...aaaannnd!... on the right corner is Avionik D-05 F5D Pylon model on my "relaxed glider setup"...that means a Mega 22/20/10 motor and a 1/4 planetary reduction drive. (I hope that was right, dont really remember anymore). The prop is usually a RFM 12.75 x 13, but as I broke it the other day, its now a Aero-Naut 12 x10.  This all is being driven on also on a 4s lipo.

The judge today is a Stalker Sport radar, it is calm and visibility is good. Its a great day. All means to make the model faster are allowed!

My friend Joni tosses the F-16 into the air and tells me 200 km/h is his goal today. Ok! The takeoff is a bit scary, as the fan´s torque banks the model left with force. Full opposite aileron, and some patience, and the F-16 gets on the step.  On horizontal flight the screaming EDF reaches a 180 km/h speed as it blazes past the Stalker.  Second try, now with a dive...201.9 km/h. Joni is happy and lands safely. He works as a flying instructor and is a professional pilot.

My turn now. The D05 can fly 300 Km/h straight and level with the F5D power setup, which means 5s 1800 lipos, a 2600 kV Neu motor, and a 4,7 x 4,7 prop turning at 42000 RPM. Lets see what this glider modification can do now.

On a glide, it flies easily 180 km/h straight and level. The prop does not stop fast enough as the ESC:s brake should be harder ( I must change it soon) , but with the motor on and a dive first create this number on the radar´s screen:
As we both had about the same amount of power to use,  the HET Typhoon 70 mm fan unit is actually quite good. The speed difference could be bigger, as the Avionik is an ultimately low-drag model and the F-16 not. The F-16:s flying time is a few minutes as I´ve soared over 20 minutes with mine with occasional speed runs in the middle. With the F5D setup my motor time is 1 minute!

maanantai 25. lokakuuta 2010

Buy buy buy!!!

Ever had a day when You're just itching to buy yourself a new model? Its really frustrating when it happens. Then what happens is this: You browse through jet kit manufacturers pages and just think them over and over. This would look extremely cool...that would be really fast...AvondsSkymasterFlyeagleBZTomahawkJetlegendCompositeArfJetcatWrenFutabaBVMArtesJet1AIntairco...and almost every manufacturer has the SAME scale models to browse through. You think of a new-neat-nicely painted-not too expensive-product from the Far East. But then, a quality kit from Europe or USA would be almost certainly cheaper and You know what You get- no exploding wings or fuselages raining over somebodys head.
Even if we forgot about the money then there is the question of storage space. My workroom is a mere 4 square meters and 2.7 meters high. But it is so tempting, you know the feeling!

Now here's another thing-the optimal amount of jets. Ok, I think and based on my experiences, two is plenty! They can thus be of different flying characteristics and if one is offline, there is always the another, and flying is possible all season. Perfect flying weather and a six months wait for some part or kit is the ultimate nightmare!

No, I'll just have to turn off the web browser and do something useful. The Elan's batteries are already full and since I have a work commitment tomorrow next to a good airfield, I plan to mix some business and pleasure...before its snowing-hey it might snow tomorrow!

sunnuntai 24. lokakuuta 2010

Gear door development

I started scetching the gear doors from BVM Polyply. It is not thick enough itself, so it must be reinforced later with either carbon cloth of something else. But, its transparent, and that helps a lot in this case. From the pictures it can be seen that the main door has a 30 degrees bank backwards and up from the wheel when the wheels are down.  But when they´re up, the bank is in the second door in the fuselage and in the front side! Sounds really crazy, but the angles in the landing gear and again the high swept-back angle change everything! The geen line iI drew at first was thus completely wrong, luckily I did not cut it so fast.

Here in the down position it is seen clearly. So whatever one first thinks with this undercarriage,  must be tested in both positions to say the least.

The elevator servo install 2.0. This looks much better now. Some more fastening points are still needed.

lauantai 23. lokakuuta 2010

MiG undercarriage!

Its been a while, I´m sorry.  However, the first Mig main undercarriage install is progressing well. I managed, after a couple nights work, to trial fit the first leg in and this is what it now looks like.

The swept wings of the MiG-15 make the undercarriage installing a bit challenging. I am really not totally satisfied with this, but as the model is old and dusty, I just want it to fly and forget the slight imperfect spots in means of true scale. The outer gear door may have to be forgotten at first and the main doors...oh well lets see.  But I have some plywood and BVM Polyply sheets to begin with.

The white stuff is EPP from a broken glider I was kindly given for this filling purpose from Sil-Shop. Thanks guys! The elevator and rudder Nexus servos are also from them.
There will be some fiberglass cloth and filler on top of that EPP next. Note how the borders are cut into 45 angle to help merging the new surface into the old.
Here is the gear leg lowered...(in this case the opposite, as the wing is inverted...)

That wheel well looks really big and the doors will of course improve the flying characteristics. They just need to be strong!

Here is the nose leg minus the wheel itself:

This is homemade, cast in aluminium by mr. Jussi Korolainen. Most impressive piece of work!
I plan to do all the mistakes first with this left wing and when it is ok, proceed into the right side wing.

keskiviikko 6. lokakuuta 2010

Some experimental photography with night flying!

Hi there! Last night I tried an idea in practice, that I´ve had in my mind for some time now.  Flying a lighted RC model in darkness for a camera with a long exposure time. This kind of photography is hardly new, but I fancied myself with the idea of being able to paint some lights into the night sky.  I work as a photographer, so this experiment joined, once again, work and fun.

The result was by no means disappointing, but to get an even more dramatic effect I would need brighter and more LEDs to the model. With a long exposure time the sky begins to reveal some undesired colour cast, and if the exposure is shorter, there are of course less light trails in the sky. Last night was really dark, making the flying considerably more difficult than last time with an overcast night sky.

So, more lights is the ticker here!  Night flying is so thrilling, that I´m considering of tearing the covering off the model and planting the LEDs properly we´re reducing the wing´s aerodynamic character a bit with all the wires-I can tell it from a slightly degraded ability to penetrate into the wind.

Next calm and clear night (last night was definitely not calm) will probably persuade me to give a try  with a depron flying car I made from my friend Troy Peterson´s G.T.P. kit. It has 10 LEDs, 4 as the headlights and 6 in the back. What is funny, is the fact that it is almost easier to fly the model really low without really seeing how low it actually is !  The ground is not lighted at all.  As the lights draw their colourful trails into the darkness,  the models behaviour can be interpreted without any interference, like scenery!  Anyway, no damage yet...after dozens of dark landings.  I´ve not even tried switching this Christmas tree off and then back on in flight- that would surely be even more exiting...

The Twinstar has now bigger 7 x 4 props and I look forward to giving it a go.

lauantai 2. lokakuuta 2010

Finally success with the Twinstar!

Ok, today was the day. After 3 years of basement solitary confinement, fungus, faulty Spektrum receiver,  burned servos,  4 different motor / battery / esc combinations, the Twinstar II is finally delivering! I flew it for an enjoying 18 minutes in totally calm and sunny weather mainly over our neighbourhood and shot some onboard video ( I will edit it and post on Youtube) .

The 5 x 5 APC props are still a bit too small, but all in all, this seems to be a decent setup:

Motors- Turnigy 1900 kv outrunners, 40 g (9 dollars each in Hobbycity)
ESC:s   - Mystery 20 A (x2)      not much in the same store
Battery:  Hyperion G3 2200 3s lipo

Thats all for now,  sorry for no pics, too busy flying.

maanantai 27. syyskuuta 2010

Night flying!

Some personal RC history was written yesterday as I installed a Multiplex Multilight LED lighting system into my old electric Prima glider. And then went on to fly it in darkness. The system has 5 lights, and I added one more into a total of 6 LEDs: red and white beacon, green and red navigation lights, and 2 white lights. The flight went well, but I later moved some white lights from the nose to the tail, as the model is nicer to fly when seeing the elevator. In this picture the green navigation light can be seen as a weak dot under the starboard wing. The red covering changes the colour, so its placed in the bottom side. You mostly see the model from underneath.

Night flying is like the airplane suddenly took a swim in a deep ocean, truly different and challenging. Should You try it, do it with a model You´ve flown a lot before.  Not the new and shiny one.  Having flown jets and also pylon stuff, which are both demanding and exiting, I can say that so is night flying!
The next 6 months will be very dark here in Finland, but I think I´ll manage now...

If You have an old electric glider that works, never sell it although moved into faster models.  Mine has served as a flying camera platform, as a soarer of course,  and a teaching model. Now its also has night flying rating!

lauantai 18. syyskuuta 2010


Here´s the first installed servo! Its a Nexus, a Korean creation with just about the performance I want-and a decent price tag. The elevators host one of these each and the vertical fin has two in the two-piece rudder.

The elevators are made to exact scale of 1/5 and look really small. Most kits have enlarged elevators to make the model easier to fly.

An exotic guest!

I had a possibility to examine a Hawk 100R turbine (on the right). It is a turbine made in Sweden, and a significally less fuel consuming one. Its tolerance to fuel line air bubbles is also good as there are no small fuel injectors at all, like in every other make´s turbines. But, it is a bit longer and heavier-and more expensive. Side by side with the Jetcat P80 SE, the size difference is notable. Thrust is almost the same, maybe the Hawk delivers 10N more. Anybody willing to buy a Jetcat?

perjantai 17. syyskuuta 2010

A new Twinstar-video

Some fun with the Twinstar!

Slash broke down!

My Slash 4x4 just jammed. After I took it apart I noticed that the spur bearing was totally stuck with rust. So no driving in wet conditions with this car!

I really should have looked into this before, as the car is really easy to break apart...and even assemble again!

The front and rear ends on the table...

This what the car looks like without them...a boat?
I found a set of 4 bearings from LHS and they weren´t even expensive. Not always the Traxxas labeled parts are needed. The car took maybe 10 minutes to be assembled back into business. There will be a big indoor RC car driving arena opened almost next door in a month or so!

On to other projects then...the monster from the basement! This old Twinstar II did never develop into the FPV/ photography model I intended, so in the name of freeing some space, I put it into the basement. 3 years of moist conditions did nothing to the elapor, but some cleaning was needed as the TS grew something!

As brushed motor controllers are rare nowadays, I took a Tamiya car controller...yes it has reverse too! 

A classic...speed 400 motor! Yes, it won´t really go anywhere with a pair of these, but I´ve flown two Twinstars before for dozens of flights with these-and had a great time. 
The nose is heavily modified for camera use. 

keskiviikko 8. syyskuuta 2010

Some videos here!

I made two new inflight videos, the first is made with the Boomerang Elan and the second with an Avionik D05 model with a "hotliner" power setup.

The jet video

The Electric video



maanantai 6. syyskuuta 2010

On to the MIG wing then...

Here is the MIG-15 wing. The wheel wells are in fact a bit larger than the Intairco undercarriage would need. But the wood blocks seem to be in about correct angle, so I decided just to add some new wood in there. I glued 5mm plywood vertical bits on both sides, and plan to glue the mounting blocks into them.

Here are the plywood bits  on both sides...the wing skin is sandwiched obechi with glass on both sides. 

Here you can see the size difference. It looks a bit scary, but yes, both the wing and the undercarriage are 1/5 scale. I went to local hobby shop in search for some hardwood blocks, but no luck. Then I discovered some nice pine strip on the floor of local lumber yard...and they charged me nothing for it. They have plenty of it around, it keeps the lumber separated from each other and is usually just thrown I fit the pine blocks in. 

keskiviikko 1. syyskuuta 2010

Jet stuff...

We went to fly jets very early yesterday morning.  I had my Elan with me, and my friend Joni was maidening his Sprint. The weather was cloudy but almost calm, so I quickly flew 3 flights and had really good time with the Elan. Joni had some brake problems, but decided to go anyway, having checked the runway end vegetation. SO there it went, pushed by a Wren Super Sport! Having flown 80 flights with the Boomerang Intro, that was the predecessor of the Sprint, I knew what to expect. Joni, however has flown 1/8 F-16:s and was used to much more difficult behaving models. After the first flight we added some lead into the nose, and the Sprint behaved even more nicely-Joni said that a GWS Mustang is probably more difficult to fly!

I took some inflight video from the Elan and will publish it later on Youtube.  On my 4th flight I got engine problems in takeoff and had to glide down. A nice coupé landing, and the turbine is now sent to service.

Now I see that the stripes differ in colour in my pictures...sorry! As my Elan has fluorecent orange I kinda felt strange when processing these images. I forgot the Sprint has yellow colour and wondered why it looks so yellow instead of orange... Anyway, the landing picture is more like the original!