I'm no pro but always happy to help! If you've got any questions or just need some unbiased opinions on your RC setups shoot me a message at: supatimhanstine@msn.com

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Another great night at the NCC!

Let's just say I'm making the most of the long summer days and sneaking in flights after the kids get tucked into bed.  Here's just a quick pic of my 100cc Aeroworks Ultimate Biplane after another great flight as the sun goes down!  The V4 DLE-111 and ProFlow canisters not only perform well, but do it quietly so I can squeak out 8:30pm flights like this one here without upsetting the neighbors...

Monday, June 3, 2013

Back in the saddle again!

After bunch of life altering changes (new work, new house, new transmitters...) I'm back in the saddle again!  Summer is starting and there's a lot to catch up on so hoping to update weekly going forward.  For now here's a great shot of a sunset flight with my Valley View RC 50cc Slick!  Long live summer nights!!!

Monday, February 4, 2013

First Run and Flights with the DLE-85!

Alright guys, I picked up my DLE-85 from Valley View RC a few weeks ago and FINALLY got around to getting it in the air! Got a chance to bolt it up to the airframe last week but due to January weather had to wait to get her airborne and dialed in. Didn't take long to see the 85 is a beast of an engine but to make sure we ran a few tanks on the ground. A few months ago I bolted a DLE60 twin to this same Aeroworks 33% Extra 260. It flew fine and power was smooth and predictable but with the release of this powerhouse I had a feeling this would be a little more my style...

 Due to the depth from the front of the cowl to the firewall we opted to hard mount rather than use the included soft mount. The only modification was opening up the hole in the firewall a little more to allow the carb to sit in unobstructed. Had we used soft mount this would not have been necessary but then the backplate would have sat about 3/4" too far out and that sucks. It was all done last week but finally made it to the field today. One thing you'll notice on the exhaust is something we're seeing on a lot of the new DLE's now. Rather than a long down pipe that you generally have to cut a huge access slot for to get the cowl on, the new exhausts have a short exhaust base on the muffler and a teflon downpipe that you attach with a spring clamp (like on a canister or pipe header/exhaust.) Once the cowl was on I simply slid the teflon pipe on and secured the spring clamp. Apparently the downtubes can be trimmed down but with this baby running the way she is, I had no plans to change a thing!

The time had finally come around... Choke on/4-5 flips/pop/choke off/2-3 flip/fire! Same old DLE starting ritual and this one didn't deviate from the recipe! Not really having a ton of experience I went with the middle of the road for props. The 26x10 Xoar Beechwood is a great all around prop with snappy spool up but still great top end speed. As the 85 breaks in I may eventually try a 27x10 but REALLY love the way it performed as it is. Smooth idle lived around 14-1500rpm with peak around 6200, I can live with that out of the box!

Overall the 85 was much, much smoother than expected compared to it's prejudice as an 85cc paint mixer. I imagine the soft mount may even improve it some but realistically it shakes about the same or less than my 55cc engines. 4 flights was nowhere near enough for me today and with spring coming around you better believe more flights with this baby are in my near future!!!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

New year, new big bird!

A few months ago I stumbled across a deal I couldn't refuse on a 3DHS 103" Extra 330sc.  I've seen a few of these up close and just loved the way they looked and performed.  Even worse is that it's been team pilot Joe Smith's weapon of choice the last 6 months and after watching every video at least a dozen times I knew I had to have one!!!

Assembly was a breeze as 3DHS planes are not just designed, but engineered with all the proper hardware included in prelabled bags.  My weapon of choice was the newest version of the DLE-111 with a 27x10 Xoar carbon fiber prop.  This combo has been great in the past for me and now the 111 not only starts easier it also runs smoother with more power than ever!  

As for electronics I went with my trusty Hitec HS-7954sh on all surfaces.  I'm running dual 2300mah A123 packs for power and at 6v each servo pumps out 333oz/in!!  As HV/digital/steel gear servos go they are priced great with unparalleled performance.  AND if I ever wanted to run a 2s lipo pack they are all HV ready!  The receiver is a JR922x powersafe receiver.  Designed to provide serious current to high voltage receivers when they need it most, it was a no brainer.  One of the most important features to me is the "soft switch."  In the event the power switch fails the receiver fails in the ON postion rather than off like traditional switches.  Only took me wearing out one regular switch to realized how big a life saver this really is!

For the final touch I HAD to do some custom graphics.  I wanted to make sure to give the team out at B and E Graphix a huge shout out for their help making my dream 103 Extra 330sc/FOG eyesore come true! If you've ever used them you know how great they are as well as their website. If not, don't hesitate to check them out. The website provides the ability to customize any of their premade graphics to any size and color you can imagine and see it instantly on screen before you pull the trigger.  They've got a ton of predesigned packages but I really wanted something a little different based on a recover that Air Ralley did a few years back for their Huckfest. 

Lacking the skills to recover or cut my own graphics I shot them a message with a rough description of what I wanted to do. Even after regular business hours I received a quick "no problem" response email. I needed a logo made that they didn't have, "no problem." How about making a them 3 colors instead of just 2, "sounds cool, why not!" About a week later a nice thick tube of vinyl goodness arrived ready to go!  The vinyl is nice and thick and best part is they had CHROME!!! It's still January and dismal skies at best in Seattle but even so this baby glitters like a disco ball on the slow rolls. 

This is definitely a bird to be proud of and performance is amazing.  Now if I can just keep it around until "the big show..." 

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Indoor flying with the Barn Owls

Tonight was my first indoor flying experience and it was AWESOME!!!  The "Barn Owls" are a group of Seattle based flyers that normally fly at Hangar 30 at Magnuson Park in Seattle.  This season they've been temporarily relocated to the Magnuson Community Center but even that is a fantastic facility.  The community center was big enough for plenty of rc mayhem as well as a perfect obstacle course for crack yak/mqx follow the leader. Besides shelter and warmth, they provide tables, chairs, and most importantly power for chargers!

Not knowing what to expect, I brought the arsenal of Crack products including the Crack YakCrack Pitts, and new Crack Yak Lite!  There was a good mix of plane and heli guys and even with the dozen + flyers the night went smoothly. 

Kind of a fun surprise was finding access to a handball court that had the lights off.  Was another great opportunity to try something new and the pics and experience were both amazing!

Overall it was a great evening and with winter weather moving in hard and fast I'm pretty sure it won't be the last time I make the drive up for an evening of fun!

Thanks to Mike Partain for all the great pics!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Another Twisted Hobbies Crack Yak Addict!

As much as I'd love to, I just can't fly my big gas birds every day.  Sometimes I've only got 10 minutes to spare due to work, life, weather, etc.  Smaller electric planes help feed the need, but even then those require more space to really wring them out and enjoy.  Up until a few months ago I had a sever case of "need-a-foamie-itis."  The perfect foamie always seemed to be just one more build away.  Either they were too heavy, too expensive, or just flew like crap!  Until now...

I was on Flying Giants a few months ago when the buzz of the ultimate foamy was just too much too bear.  I ended up pulling the trigger on the latest/greatest foamie to hit the market yet, the "Crack Yak!"  Until the maiden I just kept thinking what a stupid name it was, and why would they call it that?  Well Bobby Brown was wrong.  Crack ain't whack, it's amazing!

 This EPP kit from twistedhobbies.com was not only very complete compared to most foam kits, it also included all the necessary hardware and wood pieces.  I've built a few other kits that were a little less pricey but by the time you bought the necessary items it was almost double the money.  On the TH kit all annoying little slots were precut or marked.  All surfaces were prehinged and beveled for ridiculous rates and throws.  Most important is the kit was STRAIGHT and the 9mm EPP helped assure that all the way through the build.  In the past I'd used hot glue or CA to build foamies but TH recommended Welder's contact cement.  I'll never go back to CA again!  While the Welder's process makes it a little longer to assemble it's better in the long run in that it allows for a little "re-aligning" while it sets up, but still cures quickly.  Even better is that even when cured it remains flexible for those unexpected little bumps and bruises.

Once you've got the plane you're going to need power.  The easiest solution is to purchase the power package from TH but due to popularity is usually out of stock.  I am also pretty frugal (OK cheap) when I know I can save a few bucks and reallocate it to more batteries or a receiver or other great things.  There's 1000 ways to skin a cat but below is what I got and where.  I like to shop domestically as I think China warehouses can be a waste of money and time:

From Twisted Hobbies
Crack Yak: http://twistedhobbys.com/TH-32-EPP-Crack-Yak-55-Blue-Twisted-Crack-Yak-55-Blue.htm
Motor:  http://twistedhobbys.com/Outrunner-Crack-Series-24g-1450KV-Brushless-Motor-Crack-Series-24g-1450KV.htm
Prop Saver: http://twistedhobbys.com/Prop-Saver-Bands-HQ-5-Prop-Saver-Bands.htmProp: http://twistedhobbys.com/Prop-Slow-Fly-9-x-47-Tuff-Prop-SF-9x47.htm (buy 3-4)

From Hobbyking:
ESC: http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/__23606__TowerPro_9g_w12A_Brushless_Speed_Controller_USA_Warehouse_.htmlBattery: http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/__20415__Turnigy_nano_tech_460mah_3S_25_40C_Lipo_Pack_USA_Warehouse.html

From Hobbycool.com
Servos (x3): http://www.hobbycool.com/towerpro-mini-9g-servo-for-rc-helicopter-and-rc-airplane-p-190.htmlESC Plug: http://www.hobbycool.com/jst-connection-wire-l150cm-p-59.html

Bottom line is don't be afraid to tackle this build.  It was my first experience with welder's and took me about 5 hours including trial/error and waiting for glue to dry.  Take your time to make sure everything is straight and MAKE SURE TO CENTER YOUR SERVOS BEFORE YOU GLUE THEM IN!   My only deviation from the online instructions was the addition of landing gear.  For me it was worth the extra $20 for the ability to take off and land like a regular plane.

Flight performance is EXCELLENT to say the least.  Although the whole thing weighs in at around 6-7 oz with a battery it still carries momentum in and out of maneuvers.  Mine required only a click or two of elevator for hands off flight both upright and inverted at the recommended CG.  Flight times with the 460mah 3s pack are between 5-8 minutes depending on throttle management.  The only downside is that you're going to want more batteries as one flight is never enough!

First run and flight with my DLE-60 twin!

Who likes new engines? THIS GUY!!! Valley View RC recently received 3 awesome new engines from DLE and I'm finally getting a chance to give them all a run.  The DLE-35ra has been an awesome engine so far so thought I'd give the DLE-60 twin a try. Only problem is that at 10 3/4" from cap to cap it's too big for most 50cc planes on the market. In the quest to just get this engine bolted up to anything and see how it flies, we paired it up with the 75cc Aeroworks Extra 260. At a 96" w.s. and roughly 20# it's definitely larger than the intended application but figured if I kept it light and simple I could be a nice setup. When it was all done I got lucky and didn't have to add weight and somehow got CG within the recommended range.

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After it was all bolted up it was time to let her rip! I tried a 23x8 and 24x8 Xoar prop and had amazing results with both! Low idle was still smooth at around 1400 with both props and high was around 7k with the 23x8. The 24x8 swung around 6500 but didn't touch the needles, could have probably tuned more out of it, but for the first 10 minutes of run time I'm thoroughly impressed! BTW the ignition on the 60 has the 90 deg caps and saw no interference issues.

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After one big final push I finally got the big bird wrapped up and ready for the maiden. With the cowl on I had to richen both needles almost half a turn but apparently they needed it. Low idle could have remained the same but I set it at a 1700rpm flight idle just in case. At that speed it ticks like a swiss clock! Definitely smoother than a 55 at the same rpm's and has a unique purr to it like it's on cans? I logged 5 10 minute flights today and they each got better and better. Due to the size and weight of the plane power felt just right, a lot like a 42%'r on a 150 rather than a 170. Throttle was snappy in all attitudes and the motor pulled it out of heavily loaded turns with ease. Once I knew she was running like a champ I hung on the prop just above half throttle and pulled straight up til eventually it was a speck in the sky! Wasn't ballistic like a DA-60 but for a twin it was as smooth and graceful as you could hope. Sun went down quick but had a buddy snap just a quick vid of the sunset flight.

Is it another great DLE, YES! Would it be great on a 50cc plane, HELL YEAH! Is it great on a 85cc plane, YOU BET! (as long as you aren't looking for rag doll performance.) Looking forward to putting more time in on her and getting her broken in ASAP so I can swing the bigger wood!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Sequim Valley RC Plane Charity Event

Flying for fun is one thing, but flying for a cause is another.  I was invited to come fly at the Sequim RC Show this next weekend and can't wait to see what it's about.  Held at the Sequim Valley Airport once a year, it's a charity event that benefits a local volunteer hospice center.  It's free for spectators and  generates revenue with a small fee to fly and auction by local companies and club members.

The Sequim Valley Airport boasts a 3500 sq. ft. as well as a lit runway.  It'll probably be the biggest space I've ever flown and should be amazing!  It'll be a fun filled day with the guys as well as a chance to contribute to something great!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

2012 Flying Giants Wenatchee Huckfest!!!

For the guys that didn't make it out there's just 3 words, BEST WEEKEND EVER!!! Everyone that was there knows what I'm talking about! The caliber of pilots and talent was amazing and the event was just bigger and badder than before. Non stop flying from kids to pros and everything in between. It was awesome to see the boys again as it's been way too long. Even better to meet the new guys and welcome them to the unregulated, no size or noise restriction world that I love so dear... 

Nothing but big sky at the Red Apple Flyers club!  The facility is first class with power at every table, full clubhouse with his/hers bathrooms and showers, and even full RV hookups for up to 20  campers or RV's.  Thanks Dman for the panorama!

I had the privilege of coming to the huck with the Valley View RC team.  Even with a packed row of tents from individuals and major sponsors we still stood out in the pack!  I went last year and had a blast and thrilled that Tom Denney even had a blast with this year's pack of animals!

 Just a few great shots of my bird making a pass, the 4 way "cluster" hover, and David Mahan gettin dirty low with his 42%'r.

One event that I'd never tried before but is always a hit is the "dunking for apples."  Essentially it's a shot to dunk your rudder in this teeny tiny pool of water for a high five and a nod as a badge of honor.  

A few stepped up but even fewer actually nailed it!  Here's my run at it.
Another great thing about this event is it attracts the TRUE GIANTS.  Just a few of the 100cc+ monsters that were tossed around like ragdolls this weekend.  Kyle Woyshnis with his new 170cc pride and joy, me with the 42% Aeroworks 260, and Harv with his 100cc Slick prototype. 
At the fun doesn't stop when the sun goes down!  The big sky and flood lights provided a midnight sun and coupled with Aurora RC Lights, RC just went to the next level.  
Now it wouldn't be the Huckfest without a little carnage.  Every year we have to make a balsa sacrifice to the Huck and this year there were many...  For those less fortunate airframes we gave them the goodbye they had earned by way of the Viking Funeral...
One thing that was surely not forgotten was the future of the hobby.  Not only were the kids encouraged to attend, there events exclusively for them through the course of the weekend.
It was long exciting weekend filled with the highest of highs and the lowest of lows (literally!)  For me it was a success as I made it home with everything as it arrived.  This may be my favorite pic but it sums it up perfectly.  It's just a snapshot of Little Tim taking a break from the sun but is a perfect representation of how I feel even a few days later.  
Thanks again to the Flying Giants, the Red Apple Flyers, PAU and all the great sponsors.  I can't wait til next year!!!