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Durafly Ryan STA

lobstermash

Propaganda machine
Mentor
#1
I'm not sure if these count as warbirds... It's an advanced trainer.

I've loved the Ryan even since I first laid eyes on one. There's something amazing about their design. The 'local' aviation museum (it's about 2 hours drive to Temora) has a beautiful example of this bird and seeing it fly is quite special. I had thoughts of buying the white and red foam version and painting it silver, however I noticed that there was a US army silver and yellow version available from some places. Then, HK released a lovely balsa version.

Christmas saw me receive the Durafly Balsa Ryan STA PNF. My wife sneakily bought it and wrapped up the components and numbered the parts so I could guess what it was as I opened each one. As soon as I saw the fibreglass spats I knew what it was.

For a balsa build, there was little to do. Glue the wings together, glue on the tail feathers, screw on the landing gear, push the control rods through the fuselage and rig up the elastic 'cables'.

HOWEVER... Four things really detract from the beauty of this model... 1. The covering's not wonderful - it hasn't stuck down in some spots, creating bubbles and such in a number of spots. 2. The slots for the tail feathers aren't very tight - the slot for the vertical stabiliser wasn't even close to straight. I tried to cut it out a little and glue it straight, but it's still not quite right. I had to use epoxy for the horizontal stabiliser and hold it in place until it set. 3. The rigging is PAINFUL to do. And the instructions for which strand to use for each spot are missing. I think I got it right. However screwing into the spats is hard to do - some pilot holes for all the rigging screws would be an easy and extremely helpful improvement. 4. The ESC is terrible. There're no instructions for it either in the manual or the HK website, which would be fine if it just worked when you plugged it in. I have no idea how I got it working. It wouldn't arm, then suddenly out of the blue it armed and I managed to grab the plane before it did any damage.

For a balsa model, it's pretty heavy - I reckon it'd weigh about the same as a foamie of the same size. But it should fly nicely. The enormous motor easily rolls the 10x6 prop over which will produce scale flight on about 1/4 throttle and should just about hover it at half. I'm looking forward to the first flight, which may happen this evening.
 

lobstermash

Propaganda machine
Mentor
#5
I've got planes with lower clearance. She'll be right. Shame about Kambah... I need a nice runway for the Yak too :( I'm told Orroral is a great place to fly planes with gear. I may have to make a trip...
 

lobstermash

Propaganda machine
Mentor
#7
Where the space station used to be, before they moved it to Tidbinbilla. It's in Namadgi Forest south of Tharwa off Bobeyan Rd.

Did you say you'd be back next Monday?
 

earthsciteach

Moderator
Moderator
#8
Nice looking model! I really like the way your wife went about wrapping it for you. You obviously have a winner, there! Good luck with the maiden.
 

lobstermash

Propaganda machine
Mentor
#9
Nice looking model! I really like the way your wife went about wrapping it for you. You obviously have a winner, there! Good luck with the maiden.
Yep, she's a winner.

And so is the plane! I was quite nervous about putting it up - more nervous than I have been with a maiden since probably the eHawk. Upon opening the canopy to put the battery in, I couldn't help but try a 1300 instead of the recommended 2200. I'm glad I did. It balanced right at the end of the solid front part of the wing (I forgot to look up cg before flight) and felt right about there. I packed it in so that the ESC stopped it from moving, but was also away from the motor shaft and screws that poke out the back of the mount.

It didn't take much runway to take off. Probably about 5 metres or so. I barely needed any trim and it tracked where pointed. Roll rate is good rather than crazy, the rudder has strong authority and the elevator is aggressive, without being pitchy. After a few circuits I practiced the landing approach. I didn't miss the extra 50-60g of the bigger battery for this, and it floated in pretty tamely with light throttle. One thing I did notice was that the throttle needed to be about 3/4 to start pulling it out of trouble (ie aborted landings). Given how it took off and in-flight performance, I was surprised a little as it feels pretty torque-happy otherwise!

My landing practice put me in good stead when, after about 10 minutes of mixed throttle flight I decided to beat the battery alarm and land it. I touched down nicely first go, and didn't tip it at all. I saved a few batteries to fly it again later but the wind really picked up, so just the one flight was had. Battery came in with 3.7V left in each cell, so well timed I think...
 
#10
...a real Dame

And sure its a warbird, a lot of US Army (Airforce) pilots earned their wings on that thing, a great looking modell and very nice flyer too i have to say. Just got acquainted with my own one...flys really nice...still in the process of finetuning her and doin some detail work on the model aswell. U know, like putting in a pilot, adding a little bit of paint here and there, nothing serious.
And i also used a high power 1300mah 3s pack instead of the recommended 2200 on mine, saves some weight. Goin with a 9 by 6 parkzone prop too which is a very nice prop for this bird, solid 6 minutes plus a little safety time is ok for me. Had to bent the wheels a little further forward to get her goin on our rough field here in town too, but she is doin fine.

Maidened her last weekend...a surprisingly nice flight...she is a really responsive one...didnt expected that to be honest...but no bad habbits, a good wooden trainer if you ask me.

In case one of you guys wanna take a look, follow the white rabbit, or the link ;)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eucerxF1jrw&list=UUqZvOHU2tIir_MHyvjKWj4w&index=1
 
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lobstermash

Propaganda machine
Mentor
#11
I had a few good flights with her, until I got a wing aileron failure. The servo went beserk and, while I managed to get it down relatively safely on the wheels, a design flaw presented itself. The landing gear is screwed straight into the spar, and the screws weaken the integrity of the spar. The rest of the plane is fine, but the left wing spar snapped at that point. I'm thinking about just getting a new set of wings, but I also want to find a way to fix the weakness in the spar.