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  1. From Holbrook Long Island, NY, Sal Calvagna will for the first time be competing at Top Gun with his Nakajima Ki-43 Oscar. Competing in the Pro-Am Sportsman class, Sal built his Ki-43 from Jerry Bates plans with laser-cut parts from LaserCutUSA.com. Sal’s 1/5-scale Japanese warbird has traditional balsa and plywood construction and is covered and finished with 3/4 oz., fiberglass cloth and Z-Poxy Finishing resin. The paint is a combination of Krylon spray paint and custom mixed Behr’s exterior Latex paint topped off with Krylon clear coat. All the markings are hand painted with the exception of the tail badges which are home-made water-slide decals. Sal’s Oscar is powered with a Zenoah G62 (turning a 22×10 Menz prop), with a custom-made exhaust system. Guidance comes from a Spektrum DX9 Radio using Hitec metal gear hi-torque servos. Sierra Giant Scale retractable landing gear are used and the entire airframe is detailed with panel lines, hatches and thousands of rivets. It took a little over seven months for Sal to complete the Oscar. The Oscar is painted in the markings of a Nakajima Ki-43-II Otsu Hayabusa, Burmese presentation aircraft from 1944 with the Burmese national emblem (Peacock) on the tail. The presentation cartouche on the rear fuselage translates to: “Asia Revival Burma No.1 tribute.” Sal made his own water slide decals for the tail markings on the Oscar. The post Road to Top Gun — Sal Calvagna’s Nakajima Ki-43 Oscar appeared first on Model Airplane News. View the full article
  2. Hailing from Saint James on Long Island NY, Lou Cetrangelo will be competing this year, (his ninth time), in the Pro-Am Sportsman class with his impressive Ziroli-designed Goodyear FG-1D Corsair. The FG-1D was a Chance Vought Corsair built under license by Goodyear, and Lou’s version has a monster of engine installed in the form of a 4-cylinder DLA 128. This 128cc powerplant sounds amazing while turning its 26×14 three-blade carbon-fiber prop. With its optional slanted spark plug configuration, it fits in the stock Ziroli cowling and provides gobs of power. It has twin ignition modules and two exhaust stacks. Lou cut slots in the elevator and stabilizer for scale hinging and used internal control horns for control. The tail gear is from Sierra Giant Scale, and Lou used the built-in sequencer feature of his Spektrum DX18 to operate the landing gear and gear doors. For increased scale detailing, added framework parts for the inside of the landing-gear doors using 3D printed parts from shapeways.com. Klass Kote epoxy paint and clear-coat was used for the finish, and the total weight of the Corsair is 40.5 pounds. It took just under a year to complete his Corsair. Lou has been building model airplanes 60 years, and flying his first RC plane about 35 years ago. The post Road to Top Gun — Lou Cetrangelo and his Goodyear FG-1D Corsair appeared first on Model Airplane News. View the full article
  3. Nearly all aerobatic maneuvers involve some segment(s) of inverted flight, so to keep progressing, you need to develop proficiency with inverted flight. To start, let’s do away with the often ... Continue reading ... Join our premium membership! The post Flight Technique: Secrets to Inverted Flight appeared first on Model Airplane News. View the full article
  4. RC Model Airplane Gas Engines

    OK, so you’ve installed your gasoline engine properly, and made sure that the fuel tank is properly installed and the fuel lines and fuel filter are all hooked up correctly, but you still can’t get any fire in the hole—the engine just won’t start. As a safety note here, we always recommend using a properly sized heavy duty starter like those from Sullivan Products. If however, you are starting your engine by hand, be sure to have a friend help and hold the tail of your airplane secure so the plane won’t move forward when the engine does fire up. What else can you do? 1. Well, the first thing is to check that the prop blade is positioned in relation to the magneto magnets or the electronic ignition’s triggering magnet as indicated in your engine’s operating manual. Sometimes a small adjustment in blade positioning will make all the difference. 2. I like to start my engines using my left hand and set the prop so that the blade is at 11 o’clock and I swing it to the 7 o’clock position. This directs the force downward instead of upward. The magneto fires the spark plug at about the 9:30. 3. If your engine starts, burns off the prime then quickly dies, this indicates a fuel draw issue. Check your fuel lines for any kinks, blockage or pin holes. 4. Also check your tank for proper internal setup. Sometimes, the fuel tank can be installed upside down, and won’t draw fuel properly. When you flip the prop with the choke closed, it should draw fuel. You can see it moving toward the carburetor in the fuel lines. 5. If the carburetor won’t draw any fuel, check to make sure the needle valves are open. 6. Also, make sure the carburetor is tightly fastened in place and that the small hole and passage feeding pulse pressure from the engine case to the carburetor isn’t blocked. 7. Check the fuel intake screen filter and make sure it is clean. This screen is located under the carburetor’s top cap (the one held in place with a single screw). If it’s dirty, carefully remove it and flush it with fresh gas until it is clean, or replace it. 8. Check that the engine head/cylinder case is tightly fastened to the engine case and that the gasket is undamaged. Even a small air leak here can prevent the engine from starting. 9. If there’s no spark, make sure the kill switch is in the correct (Run) position. With electronic ignitions, make sure the battery is fully charged and the wiring to the timing sensor is properly connected. 10. If your engine loses compression, check for a stuck or broken piston ring. If this happens suddenly during flight, don’t turn the engine over by hand, as this could score or gouge the sleeve. Carefully disassemble the engine and check for internal damage. If you don’t want to do it, send the engine in for inspection and repair. 11. To ensure proper operation of your gasoline engine, always use clean, well filtered fuel. Use a filter in your fuel supply container, as well as between your engine and fuel tank. If you use a T-fitting in the engine supply line for filling and defueling your model, place the filter between the carburetor and the T Fitting. Once set up properly and adjusted, gasoline engines are very user-friendly, start easily and provide excellent fuel economy. Once the carburetor is set, it won’t usually have to be adjusted for most if not all of the flying season. The post RC Model Airplane Gas Engines appeared first on Model Airplane News. View the full article
  5. It is hard to believe, but it is again that time of year where we put together the highlighted pilots and aircraft for our annual Road to Top Gun presentation. This year is the 30th annual Scale Invitational hosted by Frank Tiano at the Paradise Field in Lakeland FL. With that said, here is our first sneak peek. Coming back to Top Gun, Eduardo Esteves of Lakeland, FL, will be competing with his new F-16 Fighting Falcon. The 1/5-scale jet is from the BVM Plug and Play F-16 package and Eduardo will be piloting it in the Pro Jet class. His new F16 is finished in the Israeli color scheme, and is powered by a KingTech 210 turbine. Eduardo is using a Jeti DS24 radio system and has installed a Bavarian Cortex Pro 3-axis flight stabilization system. His 1/5-scale F-16 is 120 inches long and has a wingspan 80 inches. It weighs 46 empty (no fuel). The post Road to Top Gun — Eduardo Esteves and his F-16 Fighting Falcon appeared first on Model Airplane News. View the full article
  6. From Futaba: How easy is it to set up SBus Servos to operate with the 16SZ? Well, World Champion Pilot Chip Hyde can show you how to connect and operate the servos in less than three minutes! Visit FutabaRC.com See more posts about Futaba The post SBus Servo Assigning & Programming With the 16SZ [VIDEO] appeared first on Model Airplane News. View the full article
  7. From Hangar 9: A must-have for any RC pilot, the Ultra Stick™ sport plane is widely popular for its unmatched versatility and simplicity. The design makes it possible to choose from wide range of power systems, from electric to internal combustion, without compromising its rock solid handling or ability to perform a wide variety of tasks. The Hangar 9® Ultra Stick 10cc sport plane is simply a joy to fly. Like its big 30cc cousin, this compact version takes full advantage of any power system in its class and allows you to fly from one extreme to the other—fly crazy 3D flight one minute then hand the transmitter over to your buddy in the same flight who wants touch-n-go practice. Nothing compares with an Ultra Stick. Features: A tried and true Ultra Stick design with outstanding flight performance Expertly constructed with lightweight, laser-cut balsa and plywood Large, double-beveled control surfaces and steerable tail wheel Double-beveled flaps offer a wide range of control surface mixing options Painted aluminum landing gear with matching fiberglass wheel pants Large front hatch provides easy access and convenient battery installation Tool-free field assembly with a one-piece wing and thumb screws Float-ready with the recommended lightweight float set (sold separately) Vibrant finish in genuine Hangar 9® UltraCote® covering Designed around the Evolution® 10cc (EVOE10GX2) gasoline engine Electric motor mount included makes EP installation simple Complete hardware kit includes a matching spinner Specifications: Wingspan: 60.0 in (1524mm) Wing Area: 810 sq in (52.3 sq dm) Overall Length: 57.0 in (1448mm) Flying Weight: 7.0 lb (3.2 kg) Radio: 6+ channel, full-range transmitter and receiver Construction: All-wood laser cut balsa and plywood Engine: 10cc 2- to 4-stroke gas/petrol (sold separately) Electric: 52-size outrunner with a 60A ESC on a 4S LiPo (Sold Separately) Servos: (6) Standard servos (5 for electric) (sold separately) Flaps: Yes Floats: Optional (sold separately) Experience Level: Intermediate to advanced Assembly Time: Approx. 7+ hours #HAN2345 – $229.99 Visit Hangar-9.com See more posts about Hangar 9 The post Hangar 9 Ultra Stick 10cc ARF 60″ [VIDEO] appeared first on Model Airplane News. View the full article
  8. From Blade: The Blade® Fusion™ 270 BNF® Basic helicopter begins a new era of high-end Blade products, with all the features, style, and performance intermediate through advanced customers demand. This powerhouse features a lightweight and strong carbon fiber frame and landing gear, black anodized aluminum components, and an all-new, high-torque 4S optimized power system. Combined with Spektrum™ metal gear servos, helical main gear and the durable belt driven tail design, there is nothing stopping you from trying the most aggressive maneuvers imaginable. If you push things a little too far, the Fusion 270 is equipped with a Spektrum AR636A flight controller with SAFE® Technology Panic Recovery mode to prevent a crash. For seasoned pilots, the Fusion 270 delivers leading-edge heli action straight out of the box leaving the competition missing in action. By popular demand, the Fusion 270 will also be offered in an ARF variant (BLH5360), so pilots can build this machine with their favorite components! The Fusion 270 frame comes pre-assembled with the ARF, while also including the motor, and ESC. SAFE® Technology with Panic Recovery The Panic Recovery feature allows pilots to prevent a crash and recover the heli to level flight at the press of a button. Spektrum™ AR636 Receiver Newly refined algorithms within this receiver and 6 axis flybarless system make the Fusion 270 handle with cutting -edge precision and stability. New aluminum lower case on the receiver offers improved dampening increases tolerance to vibration. Carbon Fiber & Anodized Aluminum Construction Stylish black anodized head, swashplate, servo block, and blade grips give a high-end finish that stands out from the pack. Rigid carbon fiber and aluminum frame construction features carbon fiber landing gear for a new stance that is light and durable. Optimized Servo Geometry Proven optimized servo geometry provides exceptional response and control, while improving servo efficiency and minimizing mechanical loss to the swashplate. Spektrum™ High-Speed Metal Geared Servos High speed metal geared servos drive the cyclic and tail, featuring robust gear movement and digital precision to meet the demands of this flybarless machine. Oversized Mechanics Triple ball-bearing support offers the oversized main shaft, spindle and blade grip components the ability to deliver the precision of Blade optimized servo geometry even under heavy flight loads. Belt-driven Tail A robust belt driven tail design provides rock solid tail performance and control, while minimizing collateral gear damage in a crash. New Tail Case Assembly Newly designed tail case and new metal pulley tail shaft with larger bearings reduces vibrations and adds durability and support. New ESC The all new, 45A brushless ESC with built in governor is provides reliable performance tuned for a 4S power system. Redefined Power System: Optimized power system utilizes common 4S 1300mAh batteries to drive a top-mounted 2950Kv brusless motor. Helical Main Gear Low wear and quiet main gear provides consistent power and rotation in a more durable design. High Visibility Newly designed fiberglass canopy features a bright trim scheme and matching vertical fin for unsurpassed visibility. Included Inside the Box: BNF Basic: Fusion 270 Installed: Motor, ESC, Servos, Receiver ARF: Fusion 270 Frame (Assembled) Installed: Motor, ESC #BLH5350 – Fusion 270 BNF Basic – $349.99 #BLH5360 – Fusion 270 ARF – $259.99 Visit BladeHelis.com See more posts about Blade The post Blade Fusion 270 BNF Basic & ARF [VIDEO] appeared first on Model Airplane News. View the full article
  9. From Spektrum: The Spektrum VT1000 is the FPV pilot’s video transmitter solution. Prevailing features like a built in microphone, 32 channels available on the 5 common bands, power output selectable (25, 200, and 600mw), and a simple to understand user interface. Changing VTX settings is simple with the 2 button interface, but the VT1000 brings the convenience of remote settings change via a serial data connection. Easily be able to change Video Channel, Band and power level right from their transmitter with the Spektrum VT1000 Video Transmitter. No special firmware or programming required. The VT1000 utilizes a single serial data lead that can be used with popular BetaFlight and RaceFlight controller via an open UART port for changing Channels, Band, and Power via OSD or Radio commands (utilizes Tramp Telemetry Protocol). But pilots can also control this VTX via the Spektrum Serial Data lead off a Spektrum Receiver via the Remote receiver port. Now airplane pilots can enjoy the convenience of the VTX Setup Menu for changing Channel, Band, and Power right from their Spektrum Radio. The VT1000 features a durable and light weight MMCX connector. These connectors are strong, take up less space, and offer users to expand into the newer forms for FPV antennas on the market. The VT1000 mounts easily in a quad miniquad flight control stack, and stays cool enough during operation to be used on a foam airplane fuselage. SPMVT1000 KEY FEATURES: Remotely change Channel, Band and Power right from your Spektrum Radio On Board Microphone Stackable on standard 30.5×30.5 Flight Controller mounting holes Wide input range (2-6s) with Filtered 5 volt out for Camera Durable MMCX antenna connection Simple to use 1 wire Telemetry lead allows interface with a Flight Controller via UART port for channel adjustment from Transmitter or compatible OSD OR connect directly to a Spektrum Receiver, no special programming or update required SPMVC623 KEY FEATURES: 2.3mm Wide angle Lens Same Swift 2 Performance crammed into a micro sized camera Incredibly light weight at 5.6 grams Wide Voltage input range 5-17 volt Voltage and Timer OSD Includes multiple mounting options, hardware, cables and OSD adjuster SPMVC621 KEY FEATURES: 2.1mm Wide angle Lens 1/3 SONY Super HAD II CCD image sensor for 600TVL resolution and excellent color Wide Dynamic Range and 2D Noise Reduction Wide Voltage input range 5-17 volt Voltage and Timer OSD Built – In Microphone Includes multiple mounting options, hardware, cables, and optional case #SPMVC621 – Swift 2 FPV Camera with 2.1mm Lens – $44.99 #SPMVC623 – Micro Swift 2 FPV Camera with 2.3mm Lens – $39.99 #SPMVT1000 – 25-200-600mW Adjustable Power Video Transmitter – $39.99 Visit SpektrumRC.com See more posts about Spektrum The post Spektrum FPV Cameras & Video Transmitter appeared first on Model Airplane News. View the full article
  10. From ParkZone: The ParkZone® Conscendo™ Advanced 1.5m motor glider features thrilling power and reinforced EPO foam construction in a lightweight design that’s versatile so that hitting max altitude, or advancing from a basic trainer airplane, is easy and fun. Enjoy air time anytime from parks to wide open mountain slopes and everywhere in between. The sleek airframe of the ParkZone Conscendo Advanced 1.5m sport glider cuts through the air with a high level of efficiency. The simple configuration without landing gear keeps weight and drag to a minimum while a generous amount of wing area delivers high lift potential and low touch-down speeds. Features: A powered glider with sport aerobatic performance Optional SAFE® Select flight mode for newer pilots (BNF Basic only) 3S Brushless Power System expands flight envelope and performance Spektrum™ 6-channel DSMX® receiver installed (BNF Basic only) Stability and precision of AS3X® technology (BNF Basic only) Assembles in minutes Long Flights with Combined Soaring and Sport Flying Lightweight, reinforced EPO foam construction Simple 4-channel control with four micro servos installed Two-piece, plug-in wings Folding propeller for an enhanced soaring experience Large, easy-access battery hatch Ideal for use with 1300mAh 3S 11.1V 20C LiPo packs Specifications: Wingspan: 59.0 in (1500mm) Length: 39.6 in (1005mm) Wing Area: 405 sq in (26.1 sq dm) Flying Weight: 22.5 oz (635 g) Motor Size: 370-Size Brushless Outrunner (installed) Receiver: Spektrum DSMX®/DSM2® with AS3X® and SAFE® Select Technologies (BNF Basic Version) Servos: (4) Spektrum A330 Micro, 9 Gram (installed) ESC: 30A Brushless, Brake Enabled (installed) Experience Level: Intermediate Aprox. Assembly Time: Less than 1 hour Battery Range: 1300mAh 3S LiPo with EC3™ Connector (sold separately) Recommended Environment: Park #PKZ8150 – Conscendo Advanced 1.5m BNF Basic – $149.99 #PKZ8175 – Conscendo Advanced 1.5m PNP – $129.99 Visit ParkZone.com See more posts about ParkZone The post ParkZone Conscendo Advanced 1.5m PNP/BNF [VIDEO] appeared first on Model Airplane News. View the full article
  11. Top 10 RC Oddities

    You never know what you’re going to find when you’re searching YouTube for a cool video to share with Model Airplane News readers. Case in point: this “Top 10 Strangest RC Aircraft” compilation post by JD Rock. From an 18-wing ornithopter that looks like a flying centipede (if a centipede could fly) to a flying twin umbrella contraption to a plane made out of two KFC buckets, you can’t knock the creativity of the inventors who made them. I hope you enjoy this collection of oddballs as much as I did. Which one’s your favorite? The post Top 10 RC Oddities appeared first on Model Airplane News. View the full article
  12. One of MAN’s most popular construction plans are for the 1/3-scale Howard Ike racer designed by Henry Haffke. Several years ago, I teamed up with Henry to help him build and finish his giant-scale version of his popular 1970s era, .40-size Howard Ike DGA-5 racer, the Miss Chevrolet. Howard Ike Ready to Cover It included several interesting building techniques, one of which was the building and finishing of its long engine cowl. This article takes you through the steps to build and finish a sheet and balsa-block engine cowl. The techniques can easily be applied to any type of scale or sport airplane as the materials and tools required to do the job are basically the same. Let’s get started. What’s Needed Needed Supplies This is a classic technique that uses basic tools and supplies. Besides a completely built model, you need… ■ 5oz. and 1oz. fiberglass cloth ■ Sharp scissors ■ Pacer’s Finishing Resin ■ Denatured alcohol ■ Several grades of sandpaper (150, 220, 320 and 400 grits) ■ Long sanding bars/blocks ■ Mixing cups ■ Playing cards (use as resin squeezes) ■ Plenty of paper towels for cleanup ■ Balsa filler material ■ Spot glazing putty 1.The first thing to do before starting to assemble your cowl is to install the engine and the fuel system. In this photo, a Zenoah G26 is bolted to the plywood firewall. Be sure to plug the carburetor with paper towel to keep out debris. Zenoah G 260 from BH Hanson 2.For the most part, the engine cowl section of the Miss Chevrolet starts just in front of the wing. The fuselage is sheeted with 1⁄8-inch balsa up to the firewall. From the firewall forward, hollow balsa rings are glued together to start covering the engine. This is done because aft of the firewall, all the panels are straight with no bends. The forward section of the cowl starts to become compound curves to blend into the cowl front piece which is shaped from a solid block of balsa (several ½-inch thick layers of balsa sheeting form the block). Balsa Ring buildup 3. As the balsa rings are added, the carburetor breather opening is cut in place. The last balsa ring is faced with 1⁄8-inch lite-ply to form a hard mating surface for the cowl front piece. This helps produce a straight separation line between the two parts. Breather Hole 4. Here the nose front piece has been carved to shape and sanded smooth. The aft surface of this part is also faced with lite-ply and it is indexed to fit in place with alignment dowels that key into the aft cowling face. Once this is down, go over all the wood surfaces and fill in any major seams and defects with wood filler. Let dry and sand smooth. Nose Piece 5. Remove the nosepiece and the engine so you can fuel proof the inside surfaces of the engine compartment. Use Pacer finishing resin for this. Mix the two parts together and use a stiff brush to apply at least two hefty coatings, letting the first coat cure before adding the second. The resin will absorb into the wood and very little sanding is needed after the resin has cured. Sealed Firewall 6. Now sand with 220-grit sandpaper and start filling in seams and defects with glazing and Spot putty. Use a mixing stick or scrap balsa to smear the putty into place and let dry. Use a long sanding block and sand over the surfaces. The long block will take off the high spots and leave areas needing more filler and putty. Filler application 7. Repeat this process until you have filled all the blemishes and seams and there are no more shallow areas needing to be filled. Go over everything again with 320-grit sandpaper and then wipe clean with a Tach cloth. Ready to sand Ready for glass 8. Cut your fiberglass cloth to size and lay in place on the area to be finished. Use a stiff paintbrush and stroke the cloth into place. Static electricity will help the cloth cling in place. Glass cloth ready for resin 9. In a disposable plastic cup, mix the finishing resin with one part A, one part B and one part alcohol. Dribble some of the resin on the top of the cowling and use a playing card to spread the resin into the weave of the fiberglass cloth. No need for a brush at this time. Reposition the model so the side is facing up and repeat the process until you have fully saturated the cloth with resin. Check for any dry areas requiring more resin—these show up as white areas. Apply more resin as needed. Spreading resin 10. After the resin has cured up, lightly sand the cloth with 150-grit sandpaper to remove the gloss finish. Wipe clean with a tack cloth and apply a second layer of fiberglass cloth and resin. Any area where the cloth and resin do not lay down flat against the wood, cut slits in the cloth and press it over itself and apply more resin. Fold the cloth over at the front, add more resin and work it until it all lays flat against the wood. Resin applied and access cloth cut away 11. Now, do the same thing for the nose piece. Apply the cloth and resin and cut any wrinkles or buckles in the cloth so it will lay flat. Apply resin, let cure, lightly sand. Wipe clean and apply a second layer of cloth and resin. Nose piece ready for glass application 12. The second layer has been applied and you can see the excess material hanging down. The best way to trim the cloth is to use 220-grit sandpaper and rub where the cloth and wood edge join. Do it lightly and if needed, apply more resin and let set to produce a nice smooth finished edge. Do the same for the openings in the nosepiece. Nose piece with resin applied 13. Here the nose piece has been lightly primed with white sandable primer and placed in position on the front of the model. The priming and sanding is very important and may take several coats and sandings to produce a nice smooth finish. Take your time and let the primer coats dry before sanding. Start with 220-grit sandpaper and when you get close to a perfect finish, switch to 320 sandpaper. Nose piece with primer added 14. Even after several coats of primer, you will still find small blemishes needing to be filled. I find that fast-drying Squadron White Putty used for scale plastic models works very well here. Just swipe it on with a fingertip, let dry and sand the access off. Filler putty added to in holes 15. Here the nosepiece is about 95% ready for paint. There are still small pin holes needing filling and sanding. Most of the primer will be sanded off before paint is applied. Final coat of white primer 16. Prepare the aft portion of the cowling like you did with the nosepiece. When you get a very smooth almost flawless finish, add another coat of primer and sand most of it off. Check for mini blemishes and take care of them before moving on. Cowling primed 17. Start applying any surface details you want to enhance the model’s appearance. Here you see the fake piano hinge I added to the top. This was made with a strip of aluminum tape, small screws and a plastic coated wire glued down the center with thin CA. I cut the small barrels into the plastic coating so it looked like a long hinge. Surface details and louvers added 18. Here the cowl is being painted along with the rest of the panels applied to the fuselage. The fabric areas have been masked off to protect the finish. Apply two or three mist coats of paint. You should not have to sand anymore, all the imperfections were taken care of with the primer coats. Details and louvers primed 19. To complete the scale appearance of the engine cowl, I added the static scale propeller, decals and the fake exhaust stacks which are recessed in circular depressions about ¼ inch deep. Finished engine cowling with scale propeller, decals, and fake exhaust pipes added 20. That’s it. Here the new 1/3-scale “Miss Chevrolet” Howard Ike racer looks great on a sunny day at the flying field. The nose piece is held in place with long thin screws which can be seen in the cooling openings. It takes only a moment to gain access to the engine. Though this technique is easy to do, it does require an investment in time. It’s no secret, pay some attention to the details and use plenty of sandpaper to make the surfaces of the cowling look flawless. This technique can be used on all types of models regardless of the shape of the engine cowling. Just don’t forget to use lots of sandpaper for a smooth finish. Miss Chevrolet Ready for Takeoff The post RC Model Airplane Tips — Scale Engine Cowlings Made Easy appeared first on Model Airplane News. View the full article
  13. Someone told me once that landing is the only maneuver that we fly that is absolutely mandatory. If you think about it, this makes complete sense. We don’t have to take off, but once we do, the only thing that we must do is land! So, once you have takeoff down, it’s a good idea to make sure you are 100% competent in landing. The tricky part about landing is the fact that you will be flying so close to stall. Unlike full-scale pilots, we do not have an airspeed indicator and the connection to the plane that allows us to feel the stall. However, to me, landing a model aircraft is still very much a “by feel” thing. We just feel the stall in a different sense. The way we feel it is in our thumb that is on the stick that controls the elevator. As our model flies slower, the wing will need a higher angle of attack to maintain altitude. Therefore, while you are setting up for landing, if you suddenly have a need to add more and more elevator to maintain your altitude, it is time to add throttle to avoid the impending stall. Now, let’s talk about the hardest concept to grasp. When flying a model airplane, especially during landing, the concept is this: elevator controls speed, while throttle controls rate of descent/ascent. Most people believe the opposite to be true. This is painfully obvious when you are flying close to the ground and you run out of up-elevator and your plane comes crashing to the ground. The biggest mistake people make is using elevator alone to try to maintain their descent to landing. Instead you want to use throttle to slow your descent and avoid contact with the ground and elevator to slow the plane down, as it gets closer to touchdown. With a tricycle gear you can afford to bring the nose a little higher without worrying about losing control of the model once on the ground. We will try to cover this in a future article. MAKING LIFE EASIER Landing at different fields can add to the complexity of landing a “difficult” model. When you are landing a model that you need to focus on flying, you will want to lighten the load wherever you can. Here are a few things that I use to make things easier on my brain. The first things that I like to utilize are landmarks. When I first arrive at a new field I will take a few minutes to scan the area and look for visual landmarks. Some of my favorites are peaks of hills or mountains in the background, power poles, trees, or other things that stand out to the eye. Next is knowing the stall characteristics of the model that I am flying. Anytime I fly a new model I like to take her up to altitude once I know everything is working as it should and pull the throttle back. I then apply more and more elevator until I reach stall and see what the plane’s response is. This will remove any surprises when I am on final and altitude is at a premium. These two pointers can help save a number of models if you take the time to utilize them anytime you are at a new field or flying a new model. DIFFICULT-TO-LAND MODELS Although it’s not a warbird, you can use the steps in this article to help increase your success rate when landing aerobatic biplanes like the Checkmate pictured here. Notice the nose level attitude while landing this warbird. The increased airspeed helps to maintain rudder authority on touchdown. Of the different configurations of models, the tail-dragger plane is definitely more difficult to land well. Of course, we have to count out the “floaty” 3D models and aerobatic planes such as the Extras and Edges that are so popular. In general, our models are not difficult to land. Even most of our “heavy-metal” warbird models are so lightly wing loaded that they really don’t qualify as a “difficult” to land aircraft. However, even though they don’t have high wing loading, the fact that many of them are tail draggers makes this the “trickiest” class to land so we will focus here. So, what qualifies as a good landing with a tail-dragging warbird? To me, it is a nice, 2-point touchdown with no bounces and a controlled rollout. The most common mistake we make, as modelers, is not carrying enough speed when landing our warbirds. Just because the wing will fly down to a walking pace does not mean that is the speed we should land these models. Landing too slow will cause the bounces and uncontrolled rollout previously mentioned. I will first address airspeed. I like to land my models about 5 to 10mph above stall speed. This keeps enough airflow traveling over the vertical fin and rudder to control yaw on touchdown as well as over the horizontal stab and elevator to keep enough pitch authority to minimize bouncing. The next point of conversation is the attitude of the model. Unlike the 3D aerobatic planes we want to come in with the nose fairly level. Try to avoid coming in nose high like a jet fighter. This just leads to trouble. The third bullet point would be the flare. Since we have ample airspeed to keep the plane flying the flare is going to be more of a leveling out. I like to flare at about 6 inches above the runway. Once I level the plane off at this altitude, I will pull the throttle back to idle and allow the plane to slow. As the wheels get to the point of contact with the tarmac I will slowly release the back pressure on the elevator lessening the tendency of the tail to drop which creates a positive angle of attack of the wings, which will ultimately lead to the model taking to the skies again unintentionally. Once the main wheels are solidly on the ground, I focus on my rudder control and be sure to keep the model tracking as close to the centerline as possible. Finally, once my plane’s air speed is below flight speed, I will slowly add the up-elevator back in to firmly plant the tailwheel on the ground to avoid the undesirable nose over that we have all witnessed at the field. FINAL WORD If you take the tips above and focus on improving your skills one at a time, you definitely will see an improvement in your landing skills. All of the above points have proper timing. Additionally, every model you fly will require different timing for each of the points. Be patient and work on each step one at a time with every model you fly. Eventually, everything above will become second nature and you will not hesitate to fly any new model no matter how “scary” it is supposed to be on landing. Now get out there and shoot some landings! By Jason Benson The post RC Airplane Flight Tech: Prepare for landing! appeared first on Model Airplane News. View the full article
  14. It’s a question the editors at Model Airplane News and Electric Flight magazines hear all the time. “I want more power. What’s more important– Amps of Voltage” John Reid provides the information. The post Video Question of the Week: Amps or Volts? What’s more important for my RCmodel airplane appeared first on Model Airplane News. View the full article
  15. On the occasion of his 95th birthday, we celebrate General Yeager and hope you’ll enjoy watching this interview from 2016 as much as we did. He is an amazing human being … they don’t make ’em like that anymore! The post Aviation Legend: Interview with Gen. Chuck Yeager appeared first on Model Airplane News. View the full article

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