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First Solo Maiden!

jross

Well-known member
#1
I did it! Amazing how something so simple can get you so stoked. Went to a farmer's field down the road, tossed it, and it flew! Bit of trimming and it was near perfect. Was glad for advice gleaned here. Tossing left handed was a huge help. I'm fairly ambidextrous and that helped with a nice left handed toss. No fumbling for the right stick. Flew 6 - 500 mah 3S batteries and wished I'd brought more. Setting to work on my sport wing tonight so I can try that tomorrow. Time to finish the Explorer too. Did I mention I was stoked? Flitetest rocks.

I'm calling him Bob. Some of you will catch the reference.

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jross

Well-known member
#5
Thanks, all. I've spent the last year on a simulator and of course, that helped. Prior to this I had about 2 hours of real stick time, mostly buddy boxing. If you saw my pile of broken foam, d8veh, you might reconsider the natural part of your comment! Any other time I've tried alone, I went home with scrap pieces. The plane with the 3 channel setup is really forgiving and easy to fly. I'd never flown 3 channel before so that was fun. I always struggle with accidentally moving the throttle when moving the rudder on a 4 channel. Trying to devise a simple cover for the bottom front of this plane. Every time I landed, the interior filled up with snow and I had to blow and tap it out. I've seen the video on waterproofing electronics but wondered if you need to waterproof the motor which they don't talk about. Is it necessary to waterproof the motor with something like CorrosionX or will that cause trouble?
 
#6
Thanks for the inspiration. I'm about to start the same process once I get down south in a week. RealFlight and Phoenix for a while... maybe alongside some FT building.
 

d8veh

Well-known member
#7
The motor shouldn't need any waterproofing. As soon as it starts, the draught through it and heat will remove any moisture. The water from snow is not very conductive nor corrosive. As long as you keep the snow or water off the receiver, ESC and servo connectors, you should be OK.
 

PsyBorg

Wake up! Time to fly!
#8
The motors we use can be run under water with zero issues electrically. They will however require you to drop some light machine oil into the bearings to prevent them from rusting and pitting.

The escs are specially sensitive to to moisture. They may not let the smoke out but they may decide to let current flow if the right path is wet or damp.

I had my quad go full throttle in my hand at Flite Fest after it got a bit too much water in it from damp grass at 5:30 am the last day.

Needless to say I was MORE then awake at that particular moment.
 

jross

Well-known member
#9
Thanks for the inspiration. I'm about to start the same process once I get down south in a week. RealFlight and Phoenix for a while... maybe alongside some FT building.
I was skeptical of what a flight sim would do for my flying but after just a few hours, I was flying circuits in the sim and landing. At first I was yank and bank but after some time, I started incorporating the rudder into turns. The first version of this plane I built never flew. I was unhappy with the build. Things out of square and alignment. My push rods bent too much under compression. With all the mistakes I made on the first plane, I learned the "gotchas" in the build. I lengthened the the coffee stirrers all the way to the back of the plane and this solved any slop in the push rods. Instead of taping the finished parts, I taped them once roughly cut out and still flat. I knew I'd be flying in snow and wanted it as waterproof as possible. The tape is cheap from HobbyKing. I'm going to stick with the trainer/glider style aircraft for a bit. I'll probably fly my Explorer next but the Spear I built will probably sit in the shop for a bit while I learn on more docile planes like this one.

It's been a two year haul to my first successful maiden and finding Flitetest is what pushed me towards it. Far less apprehension and nervousness when flying a plane you can rebuild easily and cheaply. Flying $150 - $300 planes (plus shipping) always left me shaky on the sticks. I made sure I bought a pile of appropriate props which is good as I broke a prop yesterday and expect I'll break more. Also nice to start with the smaller planes as they cartwheel almost without issue on rough landings. If you cut the power before cartwheeling, the props are usually fine.

Once you start building these planes, you'll want to fly them so hammer the simulator early. Radio/control setup is a skill unto itself and I found many helpful videos and articles to get me though that. As you build and practice on the sim, you can start acquiring all the parts.
When you toss your plane and it flies for the first time, you'll be hooked. Scrap foam will start piling up. Don't cheap out on build tools. Buy the nice adtech 200 on sale at Flitetest, nice knives like the Olfa and Xacto #11 and some self healing cutting boards. Before you know it, you'll be in the air.
 

jross

Well-known member
#10
And thanks for the advice on the motor. I blew it out and it stuttered each time before reaching full power. When I got home, I stuck the plane on a heat duct to dry it out well. Was worried I was damaging it. When I get to town, I'll buy some CorrosionX and epoxy to do my rx and esc. For now, I'll probably just put packing tape over the battery area each time. It's -5 C here and I fly fairly conservatively so my esc should be fine for temp.
 

sprzout

Knower of useless information
Mentor
#11
Congrats on the solo maiden, man!!!

That first one you do yourself, and your hands are shaking, you're sweating that something's going to go wrong, and you're trying to just trim everything out solidly so that everything just flies great...I know how you feel. :)

As for your recommendations on buying quality building tools? Spot on. I never bought the Adtech 200, but I DID invest in the Dewalt glue gun, and everyone who's seen it just goes, "Oh, he's SERIOUS about gluing with that thing!" LOL Good tools DEFINITELY help, and they carry over when you start doing bigger and better builds. :)
 

jross

Well-known member
#12
Congrats on the solo maiden, man!!!

That first one you do yourself, and your hands are shaking, you're sweating that something's going to go wrong, and you're trying to just trim everything out solidly so that everything just flies great...I know how you feel. :)

As for your recommendations on buying quality building tools? Spot on. I never bought the Adtech 200, but I DID invest in the Dewalt glue gun, and everyone who's seen it just goes, "Oh, he's SERIOUS about gluing with that thing!" LOL Good tools DEFINITELY help, and they carry over when you start doing bigger and better builds. :)
Never knew Dewalt made glue guns. Great quality on their tools. Had a Dewalt drill for 2 decades. It's fallen off a couple roofs and been generally tortured. Still works great. My wife covets my adtech. Liked it as soon as she saw it. Won't be surprised if it goes missing.

Flew 9 batteries on the 4 channel wing today. Clipped a tree top and it corrected itself and kept on flying. Made quite a crack so I was amazed. Got sick of wiping off snow and the plane flew well with snow all over it. Hardly noticed any difference. Hit a loading chute for cattle head-on during a botched landing. No damage. No broken props. Less shaky. More relaxed.
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Headbang

Well-known member
#13
Good looking plane! So for snow, I use heavy duty packing tape and a sealing iron to make sure it is stuck down hard. The ice is what will do the damage. I tape up any openings. Not much to worry about heat wise in the winter, so the restricted airflow is fine. I try to avoid flying in temps less then -10C, it causes batteries to get too cold to quick, and even my fingers do eventually freeze to the point touching the sticks hurt and skin retaines the indents of the gimbles.

I also have winter planes, and summer planes. Winter planes tend to get an extra skid plate or skis permanently attached. Sea planes make great snow planes! The explorer is an excellent plane for snow as well.
 

jross

Well-known member
#14
I'd love some heavy duty packing tape. Can't find it anywhere locally but I'll get it somehow. I'm pretty rural. I like the idea of using a sealing iron, which I already have. That would make things bomber. I was lucky to be landing in soft snow but I hear ya. Hard snow and ice is like sandpaper, knife or tree. I'm a skier and I've planted my face more than once with varying abrasions, cuts and broken bones.

I love the concept of winter/summer planes. I'm in BC, Canada. Snow is a reality/possibility 6 months a year here. I appreciate your endorsement for the Explorer for winter flying. I saw a video of someone taking off with an Explorer from the ground in snow. It was a eureka moment. Also the sea planes which I hadn't considered. Thanks for that. Another eureka moment. The angels don't often sing to me.

The Explorer is on the bench for tonight and will be until it's done. I already have it 2/3's built. A few more hours and it'll be ready. My last thing to decide is B pack or C pack. I have both. I'm leaning towards the C pack. Takes more power to take off from snow, I figure, and it's always fun to get results when you crank the throttle. My most enjoyable and successful time flying has been on a Penguin with 4S. I feel the Explorer will be similar. Nice to have the power but cool to glide past with just the sound of the wing.

Picture of the Penguin for entertainment. I'd just flown it for an hour having a great time and my buddy, the expert, put it into the ground under full power. He'd given it to me as a gift. The two hours I had on that plane were awesome buddy boxing. First plane I ever landed without destroying. What do you say? Thanks for the plane? Or just thanks? Awkward. He was very distressed but when I saw the carnage, I had to laugh. Foam and parts in all directions. Full disintegration. Twenty foot radius. Shit everywhere. I should have taken a picture. Still need to harvest the useful parts. Sorta like organ donation for living planes. It was a terrible shame but parts of it will live on.
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Headbang

Well-known member
#16
Lol I have also managed to pile in a plane while teaching others, I felt so bad, but they were real good about it.
I am in Alberta. I figured you were in a tropical province when you said the temp. I spent today out in a snow storm at around -15C starting generators.
I get my tape at home hardware. Canadian tire has it, I have seen it at stationary stores, and rona. Just look for any packing tape that is thicker and tougher, 3m, scotch, and a few off brands out there.
Sounds like my vid with the explorer taking off of snow a week ago. After painting I put tape on the bottom, makes it really go on ice and snow. A buddy was taking off of grass all summer with one as well. I suggest putting in a spar of any type around 2ft long in the wing, will eliminate the potential for folding it.
Good luck!
 

d8veh

Well-known member
#19
I had to laugh. Foam and parts in all directions. Full disintegration. Twenty foot radius. Shit everywhere. I should have taken a picture. Still need to harvest the useful parts. Sorta like organ donation for living planes. It was a terrible shame but parts of it will live on.
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Some people pay good money to build from a kit like that. I call it a NQRTF kit. Are those cat prints on the lid?
 

jross

Well-known member
#20
With the right glue it is definitely fixable assuming that all of the bits are there!

Have fun!
You're funny. I took it and showed it to a few guys in the local flying club. One said the same as you. We all laughed. Except Mike. He was serious. When we realized that, we laughed more.

But now that I've been goaded several times, I may have to take a stab at it. No idea what glue I'd use. Mike suggested plain old white glue. I figure for some stuff, Gorilla glue would work well. Pretty sure CA will eat it. Only things I don't have are motor and esc. Buddy seems to have put that in his kit. Think we got all the foam but it's possible some flew well beyond the 20 foot blast radius we searched. Snow now so if anything is missing, it's gone till spring. Guess the only way to find out is clear the big table and start placing bits where they belong. My first autopsy.

Dog prints, d8veh. From our aussie shepherd. Like a large cat. When she was about 6 months old, I came outside to find her on the cab of my F-350.