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Simple indoor maiden of a Night Vapor

#1
Having time on my hands the last few weeks, I picked up a Spektrum DX6e transmitter on eBay and a new Parkzone Night Vapor Bind-n-Fly. The campus I work at is closed, but I visit the site once a week to do a walk through to check plant rooms and key locations. On my lunch break yesterday, I used an empty gym to maiden the Night Vapor and have my first RC flight in 13 years. Much fun.

The plane, in box, was taken to work via motorcycle, with the transmitter in a backpack. The Night Vapor is remarkably easy to fly-- I was there for over an hour, and I didn't get all the way through the two extra E Flite 3.7v 1S 150mAh 25C LiPo Batteries I had along. The small AA battery-powered charger easily refilled the batteries as I flew, so I could have flown all afternoon.


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TooJung2Die

Well-known member
#2
Great story. You were gone a long time. Welcome back to the RC hobby. Do you think you'll be building some Flite Test airplanes now that you have the new transmitter?
 
#3
Great story. You were gone a long time. Welcome back to the RC hobby. Do you think you'll be building some Flite Test airplanes now that you have the new transmitter?
Hi! I looked into ordering a Flite Test rapid build kit, but the UK hobby vendors seem to be out of the models I was interested in and ordering direct from Flite Test was spendy in terms of shipping and VAT. If the local shops get more stock, I might buy one in the future.

Mostly, I prefer balsa builds. My favorite plane 17 years ago in Oregon was a Skimmer 400 I built (sailplane, warm liner). I could get 40-minute flights with it on hot days with thermals. To have something like that again, I ordered a Sunbird V2 1.5m kit and electrics this morning. It may take 30 days to get here, but I'm still looking forward to it, and there are some good threads on this site about building the Sunbird:

https://forum.flitetest.com/index.php?threads/hobby-king-sunbird-motorized-glider-build-thread.6312/

Beyond that, I have two unbuilt GWS kits in the garage I'm puttering on-- a Pico Tiger Moth and a Slow Stick. I'm not in a rush, because the North London flying field I plan to join is closed due to the virus, so, for now, I need to make do with once a week indoor flying (which I feel lucky to be able to do).
 

TooJung2Die

Well-known member
#4
I think the V2 Sunbird kits are better than the ones in that thread. My Sunbird build is in there (Post #46). It wasn't all that bad since I had the advantage of the other guys figuring out the Gotchas for you. Build it as light as you know how. I think they fly great.
 
#5
Great-- I will check out your posts. I'm going for more of a light, soaring Sunbird rather than a warm-liner one. Since they were cheap, I added the MM2212 1100KV brushless motor (48 grams) and a basic 20A ESC for it. I might post some build photos when it arrives.
 
#7
That'll be enough motor. I found most of the Sunbird build information over on RC Groups. There is a ton of information in this thread but you've probably already done your research.
Sunbird by Hobby King
That is a good thread-- thanks for the link. Meanwhile, I'm just anxious for my flying field to open again. It's a proper site with about a mile of farm fields in every direction-- should be good for the Sunbird, but too windy for Ultra Micro planes. It will likely be two months before I have the Sunbird done, so I might pick up an Aeroscout S 1.1 (or similar) as a trainer to get used to the outdoors again.
 

TooJung2Die

Well-known member
#8
Sounds like a good field for thermal hunting. I sympathize with you folks outside of N. America. No easy access to Adam's Readi-Board foamboard and shipping cost for Flite Test products and supplies prices it too high. Two months sounds about right for a Sunbird build but with the Covid-19 lock-down in place what else do we have to do except build airplanes? :)
 
#9
Quick updates-- had to visit the closed site again this week, and I got in another great hour of indoor flying with the Night Vapor. A colleague joined me, and even with social distancing (we kept several meters apart), I was able to help him fly for the first time and get excited about rc planes. I have another colleague who wants to join next week when I visit again.

For the record, the Night Vapor is an amazing plane for introducing people to rc flight who have never done it before. Being inside, there are no drafts or winds, the area is limited, and the new pilot can just taxi ovals on the gym floor until they are comfortable with more throttle and elevators. My friend had a few crashes, but nothing that harmed the plane. He flew for over 20 minutes, and the plane flight is so gentle and slow it was like magic to him. We ran through all three batteries.

I have a Sports Cub S V2 on order now, and it might arrive today or Monday. 3 200mAh batteries, and a Spektrum charger for batteries. I should be able to maiden it indoors later next week (during my required visit to the site, flying at the lunch break) and have two planes to fly inside until the lockdown is reduced (in May, I hope). Flying isn't allowed now in parks or flying feilds right now.

I also have all the supplies to building the old GWS kits in my garage (Pico Tiger Moth and Slow Stick), and I hope to have some progress on them this weekend. Fun stuff!
 

TooJung2Die

Well-known member
#10
The Vapor is a popular airplane at our club's indoor flying sessions during the winter. They can be flown very slow or you can get a bit crazy with them. They seem to hold up pretty well from the inevitable bumps and bangs when flying in tight quarters with several airplanes. I designed an indoor slow flyer to compete with the Vapor inspired by the rubber power Hanger Rat. It's enlarged 35% to carry the weight of the RC gear. "Arena Rat"
 
#11
Wow, the Arena Rat looks very light. It's cool that you designed it.

The first planes I built were T-IFOs for indoor flying, but they were made out of bent carbon rods and ripstop nylon to be more resistant to crashing, and they had protected props. They could also fly outside, but only in very light winds, and they weren't as easy to fly as a Night Vapor.

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I like the light balsa gossamer planes, but I think I'm too hamfisted to make one. I shared the Flite Test video to my family about them just this
morning--
 

TooJung2Die

Well-known member
#12
Those IFO's look like a fun airplane! Bigger than I expected from the photo. I looked them up ... too bad they aren't sold anymore. They seem simple enough to build from scratch. The F1D airplanes are fascinating. I'd love to build and fly them but it is several hours drive to a venue suitable to fly in. I like domoremath on YouTube. He's an expert on all types of rubber power from F1D to RC.

I don't think there are any truly unique airplane designs. Every airplane has some resemblance to many others. The principles of flight remain the same. If you are inspired by an airplane and change it to make it better in some way it is a new design.
 
#13
Making progress on the Tiger Moth build with my son. Going well, but we don't have a motor mount for the old brushless motor we have for it, so we will need to fashion something.

Also, the Sport Cub arrived, and I may get a chance to fly it indoors today at work.
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