Our flying field is the Former Champaign Municipal Landfill which was operated as a municipal solid waste landfill from approximately 1955 to 1975. As an AMA chartered Club our goal is to provide a forum for club members to exchange ideas and benefit from each others experiences with the hobby of building and the sport of flying radio controlled model aircraft. We are committed to promoting the enjoyment of safe R/C flying in accordance with AMA and Champaign County Radio Control Club rules and guidelines.
Mailing Address Field Location CCRCC 3616 W. Bloomington Rd. P.O. Box 6105 Champaign, Il. Champaign, Il. 61820 61826-6105
Click Here for
Google Maps Link
25 July 2017 12:00 AM Until 01:30 AM
Social Meeting at CCRCC Flying Field - 7:00PM
27 July 2017 10:00 PM Until 28 July 2017 12:00 AM
Join CCRCC at the airfield and learn to fly RC airplanes. Our instructors have trained many new pilots to fly on their own using the buddy box system and flight simulators where you are free from the burden and fear of crashing an airplane.
Every Thursday beginning May 18th (weather permitting) at 5:00PM at our airfield at 3616 Bloomington Rd, Champaign
NOTE - While it is our intention that all students be able to get multiple flights in during each training session, this is also a fluid event based on the availability of instructors on any given week, the amount of students on any given week, and dependent on aircraft not having any flight issues.
For weather updates casuing possible cancellation of that weeks training please check our Facebook page about 45 minutes before the scheduled start time https://www.facebook.com/ChampaignCountyRcClub/
15 August 2017 12:00 AM Until 01:30 AM
CCRCC Business Meeting at the CCRCC flying field - 7:00PM
26 August 2017 02:00 PM Until 27 August 2017 10:00 PM
Barnstormers Over Champaign
August 26th and 27th 2017
Registration Location Coordinator RC Flightdeck Champaign County RC Club Dan Kemphues 3616 W. Bloomington Rd. Champaign, IL. 61820
Slot and Wing Hobbies
30 September 2017 Until 01 October 2017
The Vermilion Regional Airport is excited to be hosting the 2017 Vermilion Regional Air Expo. Our last Air Expo was in 1986 and the last air show was in the early 80’s. The Expo will be two fun packed days for all ages starting Friday night with a meet and greet in Town Center. The kids will enjoy the aviation theme kid zone with aviation inflatable’s, a rock climbing wall, and much more.
The highlight will be an Air Show featuring the Aeroshell Aerobatic Team flying their T6 Texans. We have static displays to walk through and visit with the crews featuring a C 54 & B 25. Other warbirds will be on display such as A T-6 Texan, P 51 Mustang, and A 10 Warthog. There will be bands performing on Saturday following the Air Show. Many vendors will be set up with plenty of good food and cold beer. Come join us for a great time.
Here is the link to the website followed by the schedule http://vermilionregionalairexpo.com
Friday, September 29, 2017
6:00 – 7:00 PM Meet & Greet with Airshow performers at Temple Plaza
Saturday, September 30, 2017
10:00 AM Shuttle service begins
10:30 AM Gates Open
1:30 – 4:30 PM Airshow Performance
4:30 – 5:50 PM Band – Cornfield Mafia
5:50 – 6:10 PM Acoustic
6:10 – 7:30 PM Band – Cornfield Mafia
7:30 – 8:00 PM Acoustic
8:00 – 9:15 PM Band – New Invaders
9:15 – 9:45 PM Acoustic
9:45 – 11:00 PM Band – New Invaders
11:00 PM Shuttles End
11:00 PM Gates Close
Sunday, October 1, 2017
10:00 AM Shuttles begin
10:30 AM Gates Open
1:30 – 4:30 PM Airshow Performance
6:00 PM Shuttles End
6:00 PM Gates Close
By JShumate in FlyRC.com FeedBy Matt Maziarz
PHOTOS BY BRITTANY MAZIARZ
Even with floats, the Timber is right at home on its back.NEED TO KNOW
DISTRIBUTOR: Horizon Hobby
TYPE: STOL Specialist
FOR: Any pilots with limited experience
MINIMUM FLYING AREA: Ball Field
PRICE: $249.99 (For the BNF as tested)
NEEDED TO COMPLETE:
The only things needed to get the BNF version of the Timber into the air are a 5+ channel DSMX/DSM2 radio, a 3S 2200mAh LiPo and a compatible charger. The PNP offering of the Timber from Horizon requires a radio, receiver, LiPo and charger.
At the time of this writing, I had the Timber out of the box and in the air for roughly four weeks. Even my new limited role as “digital only flight jockey”, I still manage to get get out to the field every weekend with no less than 6 models in tow. The one model that has made the trek every weekend, since I cracked that packing tape off the box, is the Timber. Whether I want to cut loose with some wild scale aerobatics or touch and go til the cows come home, it is now my favorite sport model. The two-piece wing makes it easy to transport and factory labeled wire harnesses make field setup a breeze. The best part though, are the STOL capabilities of the Timber and its ability to take on punishing field conditions that would send other aircraft (and their gear) scrambling.
Low and slow is what the Timber does best.PROS
Floats and NAV lights included Amazing STOL performance The BNF version includes SAFE for training pilots 10+ minute flight times CONS
Foam finish could be better Belly mounted battery … booooooo
Upside down, NAV lights blazin’ and all.SPECS
WINGSPAN: 61 in. (1555mm)
WING AREA: 559.5 sq. in. (3610 sq. cm.)
WEIGHT: 50.3 oz. (1400g)
WING LOADING: 12.95 oz./sq. ft.
CUBE LOADING: 6.6
LENGTH: 40.9 in. (1040mm)
SERVOS: (6) Spektrum A330
MOTOR: E-flite 10 Ultimate 2
ESC: E-flite 40 amp
PROPELLER: 12 x 4
The light wing loading, combined with the slotted flaps on the Timber give it awesome STOL capabilities. I took my first few flights without adding the slats to the leading edge because I don’t think it needs them. Drop the flaps to half, punch the throttle and blip the elevator up for a takeoff that chews up all of 18-24 inches … and that’s without a headwind! Bush planes are known for their ability to deal with adverse conditions, one of which being night flights. Make your dusk sortie with the sun just above the horizon and rest assured, you’ll bring the Timber back, straight on the numbers, with the bright wingtip, belly and top lights. What STOL sport model would be complete without a set of floats, right? Horizon has long been producing such models in a wide variety of scales, but the floats were always an optional purchase. Not so with the Timber as it comes with them and they feature dual rudders! The newest generation of the flight controllers, AR636A as found in the Timber, allows the user to bind the aircraft with AS3X and SAFE or with just AS3X. That’s a big plus in my book, as experienced pilots might get turned off by the limited throws as allowed by the SAFE system. The bush-style wheels on the Timber make pretty much any surface suitable for takeoff and landing. To add to the realism and ability, the gear mounts reside on hinge pins and each strut is tied to the other via a sprung x-brace. That means even if you bounce it in or encounter a small rut, the Timber will stay on point. I’ve heard of folks breaking the springs at the 90 degree bend within the retainer, but I have yet to encounter any issues, even after dozens of touch and go’s. The two piece wing of the Timber makes it super easy to store and transport, even with three leads dangling out of each root (LED’s, Flaps, Ailerons). E-flite labels each wire, so field installation is a breeze. Additionally, both the flaps and ailerons are driven by concealed pushrods, giving the model a nice and clean scale appearance.
The spring loaded gear can take quiet the rough landing and the Tundra tires make nearly any field your tarmac.INTRODUCTION
Horizon, of late, has been on a tear with the foam releases and while they normally focus on sport aerobats and warbirds, the Timber takes things in an entirely different direction … and that’s a good thing. This STOL gem is perfect for lazy afternoon flights, even from the smallest of fields or body of water. The price is a bit high for a park-sized high wing BNF, but the inclusion of both NAV lights, floats and flaps make it easy swallow. The performance envelope is also quite wide, especially if you make a few choice modifications (to the BNF model). Let’s take a closer look …
The model arrives boxed up, nice and secure. However, once I pulled the fuse out of its enclosure, I was shocked to see the belly light dangling from its intended perch by about 6 inches of wire. A quick jump to the Horizon website revealed that I wasn’t the first to experience the distended belly light. I dabbed a bit of Fix N’ Flex from Deluxe Materials on the light mount and stuffed it back into place and was good as new. My only two other complaints are: 1) One of my four landing gear mount screws wouldn’t sink in all the way, obviously due to the mount not being tapped deep enough in that hole. I simply snagged a slightly smaller screw from my pit box and was good to go. 2) The entire model is attractive, yet the molding and finish of many of the surfaces leaves much to be desired. After my first few flights, I spent a good hour or so slicing rough flashing bits off the tail section alone. The wing joiner could be a bit more snug as well. These three qualms I alluded to in no way affect the performance of the Timber, which is amazing. The build is fairly simple and could take most modelers far less than an hour to complete, so make sure you get that flight pack on charge before breaking the box open.
Try the Timber out for yourself without the slats. You could always add them later if desired, but the there is a bit of yanking and gluing involved if you want to install or remove them. I found the STOL capabilities to be astounding, even without the slats. Plus, it’s a heck of a lot easier to transport without those small strips of foam on the wing halves. Shove that battery all the way forward. I found that even with the wheels on, the Timber seems to be a bit heavy in the tail. With the battery crammed all the way forward, up against the bulkhead, the model balanced out perfectly. I did have to add about a quarter ounce of weight to the inside of the cowl when I had the floats on it, but aside from that, the model flies amazing well from both land or sea. If you are an experienced pilot who loves to bust some aerobatics, but also putter around the patch at a lazy pace in true STOL fashion, get the PNP model and add a receiver without AS3X. The stability system works in the background to keep the model smooth and on track, but it also somewhat limits the amount of travel you can dial into the control surfaces. If you want to explore the full spectrum of flight possibilities with the Timber, set some expo and nothing else and let it rip.
Up on step in a hurry and about to liftoff.ASSEMBLY
The final build begins by installing the landing gear … or floats. I used my StandBox cradle to keep the Timber on its back, with the top of the rudder more than clear of the table top. Once the four screws are secure for the main gear, you can join the two strut assemblies with the small plastic clamp. I found it easiest to roll the model over at a 45 degree list to have the topside strut leaning towards the bottom one, making for an easy install sans an extra set of hands.
Once the gear or floats are on, you install the horizontal stabilizer and elevators. The two tail halves ride on a small carbon spar, are self aligning and interlock once seated. No more tape on the tail feathers … yay! After popping the quick clevis off the elevator pushrod, place it in whichever hole you like (inner for more throw, outer for less) and lock it back down with a twist.
With the tail all situated, the main wing is all that’s left to finish the build. I found it easiest to assemble the wing and hold it in place with the bracket and screws, placing it on the fuse just aft of the opening on top and joined up the wires. The LED’s in both the wings and the receiver Y-harness are labeled either L1 or L2, but the aileron and flap leads are only labeled on the wing sides. Common sense (with Spektrum receivers) dictates that the Y-harness on channel 5 is for the flaps while the other is for aileron. Once all connected, bind the model to your transmitter using one of the prescribed methods in the manual (1: bind plug in, power model on, remove plug and bind model for AS3X and SAFE or 2: place bind plug, power model on, bind model, then remove plug for AS3X only). If using SAFE, you must program whichever switch you want to activate the different flight modes. Once bound, power the transmitter on, then the model back on. Once initialized, pull both sticks down and in and hold them there while toggling the desired switch back and forth at least five times. After that, it’s as simple as stuffing the bundle back down into the fuse while placing the wing. It would be nice if there was some sort of shroud over the elevator and rudder servos to prevent any wires interfering with them, but shoving the veritable bird’s nest of wires as far forward when attaching the wing.
IN THE AIR
I performed my maiden flight with the model bound in AS3X only mode and the factory recommended flap/elevator mixing dialed into my Spektrum DX6. To hit the proper CG point, I had to stuff the E-flite 2200mAh 3S all the way forward, right up against the ESC leads. After a range check and confirmation of proper deflection, I taxied the Timber out onto the centerline of the runway holding a fair amount of up elevator and making sure not to go too fast as the massive lift provided by the wing and flaps at mid would lift the model in a heartbeat. Once in position, I goosed the throttle, fed in a bit of up elevator (or so I thought it was just a bit) and the Timber leapt from the grass, consuming all of 18 inches of runway, and assumed a straight nose up attitude.
Thankfully, I was on point that day and managed the level the model off with the elevator while stowing the flaps, powering up to gain some altitude to check the trims. All I needed was a click of left aileron and the Timber was floating hands-free at just around ¼ throttle. I flew a few circuits around the field to get a feel for the model and was pleasantly surprised. The elevator has mucho authority and the manual specified rates and expo seemed spot-on. The ailerons make for some mighty fine scale turns, but the Timber will need a bit of altitude if rolling with them alone. Things were a bit tighter when rolling if coordinating a bit of rudder throughout. Snaps looked great and were super easy to perform and the model feels just as planted while inverted as it does upright.
While still up a bit, I dropped the flaps to mid position and, slowly (thanks to the recommended speed setting on the flap servos), the Timber lifted its nose. Rather than trimming the model on the elevator, I pulled the flaps back up and came around for my first approach … overshooting the numbers by about 100 feet! Even without the flaps deployed, the Timber will float for days. Before powering back up, I made note of how effective the ailerons and massive rudder remained, even at incredibly slow speeds. A quick touch and go and I made another circuit to line it up again. This time I killed the throttle while still on the downwind leg and then made a tight turn into the tarmac. This time, I still overshot the entry by a bit, but the Timber touched down just past me and rolled out ten feet or so.
I popped a fresh pack in and dialed the elevator to flap mixing a little heavier. The manual states to use 9% elevator at mid flap and 13% at full deflection. I increased those amounts to 13% and 17% respectively and headed back out. This time, I set my timer for five minutes, flipped the flaps to mid and slowly rolled on the throttle without so much as a tug on the elevator. With just a touch of right rudder, the Timber performed a perfect scale takeoff, rolling for twenty or so feet before lifting the tail and slowly creeping skyward … and this was still with nary an input from my right hand! So, the new flap mixing was spot on. Retracting the flaps once more, I put the screws to the Timber to see what this new 10: Ultimate 2 motor was worth. The model has plenty of grunt and can get up and go with a quickness. Rolls become much more axial at speed (duh) and the adrenaline factor is cranked to 11. Knife edge is possible and easy to do at anything above 50% throttle on factory rates, though there is a bit of coupling towards the gear with those giant tires hanging down there.
Horizon and E-flite though of everything for this model. The inner front edge of each float has a splash fairing to keep the chop away from the fuse and cowl … and vital electronics withing them.Low and slow and touch and go’s are where it’s at with the Timber. Drop the flaps all the way down to their maximum and putter the model in for a bounce or a roll without even needing to touch the elevator. With the Timber balanced and trimmed properly, I could simply chop the throttle, monitor the rudder and ailerons, let the mains settle, feed a little juice into it to keep the tail up and then throttle back up for another smooth liftoff. Likewise, Inverted low and slow passes are about as easy as they come. I’m no 3D master, but I was able to get the top of the rudder as close as six inches or less on some passes.
Subsequent flights were performed with the travel opened up to 130 on the elevator and ailerons. With more travel, the Timber will hover, but do nothing even close to an anti-torque roll. The 10 motor has plenty of rip for level flight and mediocre vertical, but limited bailout grunt, so keep the diligence up and on the sticks. I found the model always tended to lean towards flat inverted once the ailerons and elevator got mushy, so I would simply sacrifice a foot or two of height to pull out straight and inverted. With the increased travel, loops were as tight as I wanted them, from scale to extreme, with little rudder required to keep it straight.
On floats, the Timber is a joy to fly. Takeoff and landing are easier than stringing the dual rudders to the pull-pull horn at the base of the rudder. Each rudder is spring loaded, so you simply pull the line to tighten the spring until each rudder is straight, place the pin in the hole and tighten the set screw. The setup is a bit weird, but works incredibly well. Using the same trims and rates as I did while on land, I did have to add some weight to the nose to get it balanced, but I wasn’t at all worried about the miniscule gain. Inverted with floats isn’t something you’d normally see, but the Timber will hang on its floats all day, with only a slight rock being evident with the extra weight on the belly.
One the water, with a mild breeze, the Timber is a joy to taxi. Being sure to keep on the elevator, the dual rudders have awesome turning power, so you won’t be trekking to retrieve your model if the wind picks up and it weathervanes. Being cautious, yet deliberate on the tail sections and with the flaps at mid, I advanced the throttle and watched the Timber climb up on step in just a few feet, just like on land. I pushed it a little harder and watched the model climb out in glorious amphibious fashion. Handling in the air was much the same as with the wheels on it, only a bit slower with the rolls and loops. If you can believe it, hovering was actually easier for me with the floats on, though I still kept it up a bit. Touching down on floats is always a nerve racking experience for me, but just as with the maiden, I lined it up and basically let the model do the rest. With limited chop on the water, I kept the tips just above parallel at ¼ throttle and waited for contact. Once the water touched, it did grab just a hint so a slight jab of up elevator and easing slowly off the throttle once settled makes the Timber about as easy as any float plain to land. I un-puckered and took back off for another series of worry-free touch and go’s aqua style.
A few weeks after my maiden, I did get the opportunity to (re)bind the model in SAFE mode for a couple of quick flights with a novice pilot. I must say, the Timber is the perfect model for anyone with very limited flight experience. Basically, if you can keep from banging the sticks, you’ll be fine with SAFE and AS3X. The SAFE system does tame things a bit, but that’s exactly what training pilots need and want. Selecting a bailout switch is as easy as holding both sticks down and in while cycling said switch five times. I did re-bind the model once finished with the lesson to disable the SAFe and only employ AS3X, but I do plan on putting a regular receiver sans flight control capabilities in there in the near future.
THE LAST WORD
Ask anyone that knows me, read any of my previous articles, check the majority of pics on my Facebook page or just take my word for it; I am not a high-wing type of fella and when I ask folks to guess what my favorite new model is, they usually retort quick-like with an Edge 540 or some hot rod warbird. I toss them a flippant grin and then tell em’ it’s a bush plane … errr, float plane … errr, trainer … errr aerobat. The Timber really is all of those things and while the price begets a fit and finish that’s still a stones throw or two from what you actually get, it only takes a little tinkering to “scale off” the factory cut edges and tidy up any other issues (ie, the umbilical cord in my model). The Horizon support after the sale is top notch, should you encounter any debilitating flaws, and parts sourcing for wear and tear as well as crash damage are easy to get. Best of all, you can putter around for 10+ minute on a freakin’ 2000mAh 3S pack!
RADIO: Spektrum DX6 transmitter
BATTERY: E-flite 3S 2200mAh
The post E-flite Timber BNF: An STOL Flyer’s Dream appeared first on Fly RC Magazine.
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By JShumate in Quadcopters (Drones)As the RC hobby continues to grow with off the shelf ready to fly equipment and the Champaign County R/C Club's effort to safely incorporate new forms of the hobby while educating anyone with an interest in the hobby I felt having some guidelines as I see them on our website.
Let's start with saying what a drone really is, a drone is any unmanned remotely controlled aircraft, be it an airplane, helicopter, quadcopter, etc... being used for civilian or military service. However when the word drone is publicly used people and the media tends to either think of the quadcopters or military Predator drones. Making this comparison is like comparing a car to a tank and I believe this is where education begins, by properly labeling our flight equipment.
Regardless of what you fly, each can be equally fun depending on what your taste is, I personally prefer giant scale airplanes, and find quadcopters fun, my wife and kids prefer quads over airplanes while none of us have an interest in helicopters.
On the same token each can be equally dangerous if operated in an unsafe manner, a giant scale airplane can be quite destructive or deadly if it were to "go down" in the wrong area, most folks who have thrown down some serious cash for these big birds are aware of this and have a fair amount of experience to avoid dangerous situations, but even the smallest quadcopter can be just as dangerous if it were for example to be flown over a highway or a crowd and crash into a moving car or the top of someones head. Situational awareness and knowing as much as possible of what can go wrong might save a life, save property and save your equipment.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) governs all the airspace in the United States, and at this time the situation regarding the National Airspace System (NAS) and "Drones"oe small unmanned aerial system (sUAS) is a quite fluid, meaning there is alot if back and forth decision making and how to regulate our hobby. Our relationship with the FAA can either be good or bad, if we as the hobbyists act responsibly we can have a good relationship, but if someone were to say fly their quad into the engine of a 747 and force that plane down then how long do you think it'll take the FAA to put a halt to our hobby, the public outcry for action will be quite loud. People only remember the few bad things that happen.
Up until recently we were required to register as unmanned aircraft pilots, that has been shot down by an appeals court, but is still subject to change. That said, during the registration process the FAA also has/had on that website a set of guidelines for safe operation of a quad, and it is my belief that this should be followed, the guide and other info can be found knowbeforeyoufly.org and is listed below.
The AMA works with the FAA on Congress to ensure we maintain our rights, this is easier for the AMA to do if we as the user follow the FAA guidelines and the AMA Safety Code.
Is it required to join the AMA? No, it is not, however even if you do not join if you learn and follow the safety code then you are on the right track for safe operation.
I've pretty well typed out the same information you can find just about anywhere with a quick Google search, but what you won't find is good examples of situational awareness. I'm going to list a few examples and this is all stuff I have heard of or as much as I hate to say have done myself while learning the do's and do not's
Let's say you have a Golden Retriever, and this dog just loves to catch frisbees, and one day you are out flying our racing quad a few feet off the ground, zipping across the yard and suddenly your dog has a cut up mouth from catching it mid air.
Perhaps you live in town, you decide to fly up about 300 feet to take some pics of the neighborhood, you keep your quad over you property taking pictures and one of the motors on the quad fail, they don't fly on 3 and it is a bit windy out that day, so while it is falling be to the earth the wind pushes it into the roof of the neighbors Corvette.
Selfies are the trend now, you line up the family for a selfie from your quad, you carefully fly it in for a good closeup and a wind gust finishes bringing it in close, close enough one of the props hit grandma in the eye.
SO those are 3 extreme examples, but if it can happen it will happen to somebody, don't let it be you. Be aware of whats possible, and the conditions in which that can happen.
Maintaining good equipment helps alot, checking props, wiring, batteries etc.. Here is a general Preflight Checklist for an airplane, each different model has its own needs so coming up with a good preflight routine is up to you.
- Physical check of all moving parts, joints, connectors, antenna, etc.
- Ensure prop is tight and correctly mounted.
- Switch on transmitter, ensure correct model is selected.
- Move throttle to zero, press LOCK on transmitter (locks throttle at zero).
- Ensure plane battery is secure.
- Plug in plane battery.
- Double-check throttle is zero and LOCKed.
- Switch on plane (if plane has no power switch, ignore this and previous step).
- Check correct motion of all control surfaces.
- Hold onto plane, test full throttle for a few seconds to check that battery is good.
- LOCK throttle again.
- Perform radio range check by walking 30 paces checking functions, watching for any glitches. If possible have someone help with this, and have them hold onto the plane for safety.
- Re-do control surface motion check. Sometimes people do this check and still don't notice that a channel is reversed.
Fly safe my friends
By JShumate in FlyRC.com FeedWords and Photos by Kevin Siemonsen
A shot of me and the sweet Extra 330 from the original review.Building and flying RC models is a hobby that does not discriminate. The very moment you think you know it all, you get a harsh reminder that nothing could be further from the truth. With that opening statement in mind, let me tell you my $1500 lesson of hard knocks!
When reviewing a model plane I make it a point to use the components that accompany the kit. What I’m referring to are generally hardware items such as tail wheel brackets, wheels, hinges, fuel system components, servo arms, control linkages, etc. Where this lesson starts is with a 28% Flight Model Extra 330 with DA 35 engine, canister exhaust and loaded with high end Hitec electronics. This airplane was an absolute blast to fly and being a small gasser, would even fit in my Subaru.
This saga begins at a fly-in near Downsville NY. While camping overnight I had my Extra sitting under an EZ up awning. In the early hours a gust of wind scooped up the model, sending it cart-wheeling down the flight line. I came out of the camper to see what all the commotion was about to see an empty EZ up and my plane listing some 25 yards down the flight line. An onlooker witnessed the wind hurtling my poor plane down the line. Evident were the broken landing gear and surface blemishes from its tumble.
A beefy alloy arm like this one from SWB is all you should use (and trust) when employing servos with such grunt to move larger control surfaces.Upon returning home I replaced the landing gear and looked into the rudder. There was hard over evidence with the elevator impression moshed into the side of the rudder. I powered up the radio and noted that the rudder did not center and if you moved the rudder stick quickly you could hear skipping. It was obvious, or I thought anyway, that the rudder servo gears were stripped. I replaced the rudder servo, centered things up and the Extra was ready to go!
Fast forward to a fly-in in Kingston Ontario Canada. I trekked the Extra the 400 miles from Connecticut to Kingston for the Fathers Day event. Gas up the Extra and put her up for a flight. All things were going until I was attempting an outside loop with an outside snap roll on top. That’s when things went from bad to worse. Upon neutralizing the controls for recovery the Extra maintained an “odd” attitude. I applied up elevator because I was, of coarse, low and approaching trees at a feverish pace. The Extra did an unexpected snap roll?! Things were really messed up and the fact that I was now a nano second from the trees made things that much worse! I neutralized the controls again and with the plane now inverted, gave down elevator that induced yet another snap roll. By this time the plane was practically already in the trees and there was no time to compute what the hell was going on. A second later it was all over, with my coveted Extra parked on top of a great big Canadian pine tree! The noise of a large scale gasser crunching its way through the braches is stupendous … and horrifying all the same! I began the walk of shame towards the wreckage and had no problem finding it … I crash as close to the field as possible and wreckage in the top of the tree is clearly visible. Below the tree lie the money end of the Extra. This encompassed the beautiful DA 35 engine, but only two servos. Up in the top of that damn pine tree was a wing panel and rear end of the fuselage.
After a day and a half, the main portion of the carcass came down with more than a little assistance from a pole.For two days we watched the mother nature try to blow the bits out of tree. I thought for sure that wind gusts of 20+ mph would blow them down, but to no avail. The club had a chain saw, which I declined, in favor of a monstrous telescopic pole. I extended the pole from under the tree with the branches acting as guides, preventing the pole from bowing. As we poked and prodded at the plane the “peanut gallery” cheered from the flight line. This went on for about an hour with the remnants being reluctant to leave their perch. I was eventually able to retrieve the carcass and looking at the bright side, packing up the car would be much easier.
I was bothered about that crash. I typically crash because of a mistake, whether it be poor judgment or a wrong control input. Something seemed odd about this one, so I did a mini NTSB crash investigation. I found that when the rudder servo was centered the servo arm was not. I applied some force to the servo arm and sure enough, the splines were stripped. In the photos you will note that a black servo arm provided from the kit manufacturer was fastened to the original equipment servo arm. In the beginning of this article I mention how I try to use accessories included in the kit. When it comes to servo arms, I highly recommend that you DO NOT EXTEND ORIGINAL EQUIPMENT SERVO ARMS!!! The nylon servo arm is not designed to be extended and in doing so you could be setting up for failure!
This factory included plastic servo horn (combined with an autonomous tumble down the flight line) is what caused the demise of my Extra.The reason my plane crashed was because when the wind tumbled it down the flight line in Downsville, I failed to notice the servo arm was stripped. In my infinite wisdom I replaced the servo that worked great until there was and abrupt load. At that moment, the control the arm slipped on the servo. When the control sticks were centered, the rudder was not. I then proceeded to give elevator which was actually commanding a snap roll. Major bummer.
Today’s servos are torque monsters and rotational loads can be too much for nylon servo arms, especially when extended and the control gets bumped! There is an easy solution known as SWB. Since 1988, SWB has been an aftermarket manufacturer of performance aluminum model aircraft accessories that pioneered the industry. SWB is most noted for its high performance aluminum anodized servo arms. The SWB servo arm is superior, with a clever clamp design that maximizes engagement of the servo arm to servo output shaft. SWB arms come in a multitude of shapes and sizes and are available for all major radio brands. In the event that you’re not sure what you need for the job, Scott at SWB can help you choose the correct arm for your application.
Packing the busted airframe up after the crash was easy, but not exactly satisfying.This was a long winded lesson learned story so I’ll keep the ending short and sweet. If I had an SWB servo arm on my plane I’d still have it today. Don’t overlook replacing a 5-10 dollar part that might cause you to lose your 1500-2000 dollar model. The end!
The post A Hard Lesson Learned … Losing A $1500 Model Due To A $2 Part appeared first on Fly RC Magazine.
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By JShumate in FlyRC.com FeedBy Kevin Siemonsen
PHOTOS BY MARY SIEMONSEN
A beautifully detailed foamy 3D thoroughbred that is rewarding regardless of skill level. The Aura 8 incorporates a 3 axis gyro system that can help you achieve your flying goals regardless of experience. The QQ Night Extra is a proven airframe, except with the additional benefit of LED lighting in the wings. Though not labeled a full on night flyer, there is more than enough light for exhilarating night flying!
NEED TO KNOW
MANUFACTURER: Premier Aircraft
DISTRIBUTOR: Flex Innovations
TYPE: Foam 3D Trainer
FOR: Intermediate through advanced
MINIMUM FLYING AREA: Ball Field
NEEDED TO COMPLETE: Minor shop tools, receiver, radio and battery pack.
>> Performance is amazing
>> Level of completion from the factory
>> Attention to detail in construction
>> Lights enable better orientation after dark
>> Mine was missing the prop adaptor
>> Can’t use sub trims when setting up radio
WINGSPAN: 47.8 in. (1215mm)
WING AREA: 572.5 sq. in. (3995 sq. cm.)
WEIGHT: 48.0 oz. (1360 g)
WING LOADING: 12.7 oz./sq. ft.
CUBE LOADING: 6.1
LENGTH: 15.5 in. (393mm)
SERVOS: (4) Potenza DS19 Digital metal gear Long Throw Servo
MOTOR: Potenza 10 1350Kv Brushless
ESC: HobbyWing SkyWalker 40 amp
FCS: Aura 8 Advanced flight control system 3 axis gyro
PROPELLER: SR 11.5 X 4.5
The brains of the QQ Night Extra … the Aura * and those potent MG servos.KEY FEATURES
A lightly loaded airframe for optimum 3D performance backed by a host of electronic genius transforms this Extra into a would-be aerobatic thoroughbred. Whether you’re just looking to break into the ranks of 3D, are looking to dazzle club members with ever progressing routines or are a pro who needs an outlet to toss your thumbs at on the off days, the QQ Night Extra 300 is just what you need.
The Aura 8 is really the secret sauce behind the performance of the QQ Extra. It helps transitioning pilots slide into the more difficult maneuvers while giving seasoned pros the stability they might need while pushing the model to its limits.
The Potenza 10 motor might not sound like a lot, but it has plenty of grunt and when combined with the HW SkyWalker ESC, it is a perfectly matched power system for the QQ Night Extra.
The high end digital metal gear servos provide some serious muscle on the control surfaces and they keep them where you want them while rumbling through extreme 3D maneuvers.
Each wingtip is loaded with high intensity LED’s … perfect for reflecting light back from the SFG’s to the fuse.INTRODUCTION
I was fortunate to have met Quique Somenzini at the Toledo expo this spring. I was pretty blunt and posed the question: “a 3 axis gyro in a plane … really”? With that he went on to explain that the Aura 8 AFCS is not a head lock gyro system. The Aura 8 is specifically designed to act as an aide to bring ones flying to the next level. The gyro does help maintain the attitude of the plane, but that’s as far as it goes. The Aura 8 can make novices fly like intermediates, intermediates fly like experts and experts fly like Pros.
The QQ Extra Night is basically the same as the previous QQ Extra 300 except has lighting in the wings. This brought on another question for Quique… “How come there are not lights in the fuselage and tail?” With that question it was explained that it was more a concern about performance then lighting. Weight is somewhat critical on a 3D plane and unnecessary weight can really affect the performance. One thing that I got from my conversation with Quique was his passion for producing planes that performed beyond expectation and bringing the hobbyist to the next level.
I had to take a bit of material off the SFG’s to get them to fit nice and flush without rubbing against the LED’s.ASSEMBLY TIPS
The QQ Extra 300 is an injection molded foam fuselage with two part horizontal stabilizer and two part wing. The spring wire main gear fits into a slot on the belly of the fuselage and secures by fastening a cover plate with four screws. The tail wheel fits in a slot in the bottom of the rudder and is secured with a cover plate and three screws. With the wheels installed the carbon carry through horizontal stabilizer spar slides into receptacle in the tail. Each stabilizer half slides into position and self aligns as it bottoms out in a plastic cuff on either side. Clear tape is added to secure each half to the fuselage. The wing fastens in a similar way with carbon carry through spar and self alignment as the wings bottom out as they are fitted on each side of the fuselage. A screw is inserted from the underside of the wing root on each wing panel to lock the wing half into position. There is an added wire harness that exits the wing root that connects to a “Y” harness from the battery balance port. This powers an LED light ribbon throughout the hollow wing panel to the tip where additional high intensity LED’s are added. The only gluing step of construction is the over size wing tips that act not only as side force generators, but help direct some of that light back at the fuselage for better visibility without extra weight. The tips are side specific with an integrated hard plastic bottom to prevent wear damage with ground contact. The wing tips have a self aligning feature that interfered with the LED lights. This was quickly remedied with an hobby knife before CA-ing into position.
The radio system is nearly 100% installed with servos and Aura 8 installed at the factory. The control linkages are metal rods with plastic clevises that require connecting. The manual is very detail oriented and gives specific recommendations for each control. Aiding for radio access are two large radio hatches, one in the bottom with a magnet and a top one with convenient spring loaded clasp for tool-less entry. The Aura 8 ACFS is not a receiver, but is compatible with all major radio systems. It accepts signals from DSM, Futaba S Bus, Graupner Hott, JR X Bus or PPM stream. I opted to use a Spektrum remote receiver which simply plugs into a port on the Aura 8. Binding is straight forward but requires two bind plugs with a plug in port one and the other plugged into port eight. A three position switch is required for channel five. This switch will select the various flight modes. In the initial set up I used sub trims to set up the servo centering. I found that when selecting the different flight modes, that the flight control centering would change with switch position. Sub trims have to be set at zero in order for the servo to remain centered when selecting the various flight modes. This means the flight controls must be centered using mechanical linkages. Once the system is installed the radio system is recommended to be set up with three different flight modes (1) Flight control system off with modest control deflection (2) Flight control gains set on moderate and tuned with modest control deflection for best performance while performing precision flying (3) Flight gains set on highest with maximum control deflection for extreme 3D aerobatics.
The Potenza 10 1350Kv motor is factory installed as is the HobbyWing SkyWalker 40A ESC. The motor cowl secures with a screw on either side of the cowl. It is factory installed, but can be removed if one needed access to the motor at a later date. I did not have a battery with the matching connector so opted to install Power Pole connectors on the ESC and 3S 2200mAh LiPo battery. The only step required for the power system installation is to the 5mm prop adaptor and the included SR 11.5 x 4.5 electric prop. In the event that lights are desired, simply plug the balance plug of the battery to lighting interface and make sure its plugged into the each wing JST type wire connector … it’s that easy :0)
IN THE AIR
The QQ Extra 300 Night, as far as I’m concerned, is good enough without the Aura 8. The plane tracks well, requiring little correction while accelerating for take off. The wheels are more suited for manicured fields, but there is more then enough power to motivate things if the grass is a little long. The Extra flies as you’d expect with its pedigree lines and generous flight controls. The plane is very agile, but does not give up tracking to achieve this. The power system is well matched with great acceleration and moderate top speed. This is the second plane I’ve flown that had SFG’s and was designed by Quique and am delighted by the balance of side lift that doesn’t detract from aspects of flight. I did ask Quique about the process of tuning SFG’s and he literally cuts off sections of SFG until it performs the way he wants it. This might also entail taping pieces back on if getting overzealous with the hobby knife. The plane is an obvious no brainer performing regular, precision and even 3D aerobatics … after all, that’s what it’s designed to do.
Where things go from good to incredible is when flying in mode with the Aura 8 ACFS activated. I consider myself to be a good pilot and some what of a 3D hacker! I don’t get the time on the sticks like I used to and fly a little rusty at times. Activate the Aura 8 and the rust got knocked off in no time. The ACFS system does not take over, but definitely enhances flight, especially when slowing things down and in high alpha. The gyro system senses the need for a control correction and gives one before you can even compute that it needed one in the first place. The first time I flew using and Aura 8, I felt like I was cheating. I was piloting for Matt Maziarz so he could get some “lower” to the ground 3D shots and was giddy at how it took the pucker factor out of hover. I mean it when I say it enabled you to be some what relaxed knowing big brother was there flying along side. Rolling circles, slow rolls, knife edge were all easy and very impressive. Hovering is truly effortless with rock a solid Harrier and seamless transition into vertical. The power system is linear and the QQ Extra hangs there like a carpenters plum bob. Torque rolls were magical and look awesome, levitating a foot off the ground. If you’re a hungry 3D’er, the QQ Extra is like an all you can eat 3D buffet!
Just about any 3S 2200-3000mAh LiPo is going to fit just fine in the spacious battery compartment.As the QQ Extra 300 Night is no different than the original QQ 300, there really is no difference in the flight characteristics, but the LED laden wings really do crank up the fun factor after dark. At first, the thought of a fuse sans lights on a night rig did not tickle my fancy. However, after a few flights in the dark with the QQ Night, I am a believer. The post-stall capabilities of the model allow you to keep it in close, so there really isn’t any extra need for fuse lights. If so desired though, one could easily slip some extra LED strips down through the fuse as there is ample room within the interior.
THE LAST WORD
The QQ Extra 300 isn’t your average foamy … it’s more! I never thought of this solid of stability in a foamy, but QQ Extra has brought performance to the next level. Unlike other gyro systems, the Aura 8 works seamlessly in the background and does a remarkable job at increasing confidence. The plane looks great with stylish graphics that not only look good, but also aide in orientation. The Extra is equipped with high top quality components that work harmoniously in this 3D thoroughbred. Even better, you can enjoy it in the dark!
RADIO: JR 12X transmitter
RECEIVER: Spektrum satellite receiver
BATTERY: Some random 40C 3S 2200mAh that was floating around my pit box
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By JShumate in FlyRC.com FeedGet ready for one of the most exciting events in RC aviation. The dates are set for the Twelve O’clock High Warbirds Classics Event; Oct 19-21 2017. Mark your calendars, tell your family you’re busy and make plans to head to Lakeland FL. Find out more details HERE
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