New Plane! & A couple Wing Flights

My friend Keith totally surprises me with the E-flite Maule M-7! I’ve had my eye on it for quite a while. He asked me to stop by for a minute and he gave me a Maule!! I had to hug him twice. It’s too kind and reminded me how much God loves us and has gifted us with his presence. Thank you Keith! I haven’t got to put it together yet, but I had to open it! I’ll be posting all of my future Maule adventures right here!

I’m getting more confident with the SonicModell AR600mm wing.

I’m flying with full throws now, and it feels great. I’m also pushing it by flying in higher winds! It was probably around 3-6 mph on the last video, and I landed a bit hard because I got nervous how much I was being pushed around. I had full control the whole time though, and I think it handled really well in the wind.

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I’m pretty sure I have the best job in the world that I can step out of my office for a 5 min flight between meetings and study!

New Props for the SonicModell Ar600mm Wing!

It seems the nose is a bit fragile. These magnets keep wanting to come lose. So I’m just going to tape it.

Watch out for that Tree!!

I Hit a tree but the damage was minimal!

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Just the wing tip came off. A little hot glue and it’s good to go!

I just need to practice my launches.

Two More flights after a movie with the family!

Icon A5 fresh build and flight

After wrecking the Icon last time I decided it was time for a new fuselage. So I rebuilt it. It’s basically a new plane.

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When I first went to fly it I noticed some nasty servo grinding on the rudder servo. So I had to bring it home and did the throws on the front wheel. It was binding against the control rod and causing the servo to grind.

With the front wheel fixed good enough I was ready to fly!

It took a while to setup my radio.

These are my rates.

  • 50% - EXPO 20

  • 70% - EXPO 70

  • 80% - EXPO 80

Sometimes the throws change when moving from spectrum to frsky. And the stuff I read said to set them at 80%. That might be another reason my rudder was grinding. I had it at 100% when I first put the L9r receiver in.

Turn off sound!

The flight was fine. I took off line of sight. I flew a bit to watch and see what trims need adjusted. It was definitely nose heavy. But that’s normal for this plane. It has always felt a bit like it is pulling a parachute. It would probably be better on 4s.

Video Transmitter

The video feed cut out a couple times which is not normal. I was using a new antenna and a new power harnes so I could power everything from a single battery. I installed a capacitor, but I still don’t quite trust this setup. I think I’ll go back to a second battery . Removing the second battery probably threw off the CG.

Landing

The landing felt right. I could have flared more, and it was coming in pretty fast, but It didn’t feel hard enough to completely sheer the front wheel off!

I don’t know what to do. Maybe I just leave this as a water plane and try it at the lake again? I’m not sure I want to buy my third set of landing gear!

Second opinions

I write these basically the moment I land. I want to capture what’s going through my head in that moment so I don’t forget.

After watching the video you can see jello in the feed. That means the plane was vibrating. I usually don’t have this much jello. Last crash I nicked the prop a little and I think it’s worse than I thought. So I probably need a new prop too.

I think I need a proper LC filter to ensure solid video. I’ll probably have to add that to my builds moving forward.

SonicModell Mini AR Wing 600mm Flight!

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Thursday morning I get my kids up and on the bus. Today we were ready early so I brought them to try to fly the SonicModell Mini AR Wing 600mm wing again. When we got to Church the wind was 6mph+ so I scratched the flight. Instead we flew the chuck glider we got from Walmart.

It flew pretty good! We tried throwing it different ways into the wind, with tail wind, hard, soft, downward thrust, and upward thrust. I have challenged my good friend Dave to make one of these RC! So stay tuned for pictures and video of my build and our maiden challenge!

After I took the kids to school I got back to the office and noticed the wind had died down. I’m so excited to fly the SonicModell Mini AR Wing 600mm that I decided to send it!

Trevor from Get-a-Hobby gave me some advice on the throws.

  • Low Rate 40% + Expo 20

  • Mid Rate 70% + Expo 20

  • High Rate 100% + Expo 20

They turned out to be perfect! Trevor also advised that I take off line of sight, and then get it high enough in the air and switch to goggles. So that’s what I did.

My first launch I forgot to start the recording. I also launched with the goggles on, and it basically did exactly what it did the first time and nosed right into the ground breaking the nose piece in the same spot. This time I just taped it back up because I knew I was close to the right CG. Second toss I remembered to start the camera, took Trevors advice to launch line of sight, and intentionally threw it very soft because I wanted to see if it was nose heavy or tail heavy. It seemed a bit nose heavy so I moved the battery back. I gave it a third very gentle toss and it still wanted to nose right in. So I moved the battery back a little bit more.

Third time is the charm! Just as Trevor said by launching line of sight I was able to level it out after the toss and get it up in the air. I was really anxious when I took my hand off the radio to put my goggles on, but I knew I’d crash if I tried to fly line of sight and it was moving out of sight fast!

As you can see it flew great on low rates! That spin at 2:10 was on low rates. It wasn’t as fast as my quad, and I think I can handle more! I didn’t want to push it till I was sure my battery wouldn’t slide or anything else come loose.

I noticed right away it just wanted to gain altitude. I had to push elevator down to get it to fly straight! I thought maybe I moved the battery back too far, but then realized I was at 80%+ throttle! Lowering the throttle leveled it out. I love how responsive it is on 3s to be able to climb with a little throttle adjustment.

I’m still very nervous about flying. Maybe it’s because of all the soul crushing failures. Maybe it’s because I have wrecked so many times and spent so much money building things that were destroyed in meer seconds . . . Ya that’s probably it. Because of the utter panic and nervousness I get when I finally get in the air I almost immediately want to land! The second I get in the air I think “IT’S FLYING!!! WOOHOO!” and then immediately “OK GET IT DOWN WITHOUT CRASHING AS SOON AS POSSIBLE!” haha. I push through those worries, but they are definitely there! That’s why my flights are so short 😂.


I started to work out some landing approaches like Dave showed me. The goal was to set up some approaches. My first attempt to land I realized I had to push it down. You can’t just cut throttle and glide down. This thing just wants to stay in the air for ever even with zero throttle! I had to fly it to the ground.

You’ll notice in the first video that the fpv feed is really noisy. I even lost video a couple times. I just didn’t panic and the feed came back. I think it’s because of where I was standing with the buildings so close on that back field. On the second flight I bumped the VTX power one notch and it was much better. I had some noise but that was my diversity receiver’s switching between antennas. As I get more confident with launching I can stand in a better place with less interference further from the buildings.

This is the face of someone who finally succeeded after so much difficulty!! Such a great feeling!

After my meeting I got back to the office and the wind was still 1mph! So I decided to fly it again! Fresh batteries in the wing and the radio! The video was cleaner this time. Though the dvr recording isn’t near as good as what I actually see in my goggles. The fpv in the goggles is quite clear and not compressed at all like the dvr. It’s even worse once I upload to youtube. Still you can see the FPV noise is mostly cleared up!

I’m still a bit timid on the launch so the first one wasn’t hard enough and nosed in. But it wasn’t bad. Second launch I was up! That first turn over the church is right after I put my goggles on. This flight I turned the battery 90 degrees to see if it was better. I think the wind was starting to blow again because I was getting pushed around up there. Even though it was jittery I still had authority on the sticks. I did notice it was climbing with less throttle and I could barely get the nose down even at half throttle! I thought for sure I was tail heavy. But I just cut the throttle to 25% and it leveled out perfect! So this may be the better battery placement. I feel like I could cruse a long time just sipping off the 850mah 3s!

I tried the different rates and Mid rate was more responsive. I like that. High rates wasn’t insane, but it was just a bit too much so I think Mid rates will be great for cruising.

I knew I’d have to fly it down to land. So I did. Unfortunately I left the throttle on a bit while landing! And broke my only prop!

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Hopefully Get-a-hobby has a 5x4.5 prop that works. Otherwise I’ll have to order some! I should have ordered last week! Still I’m very happy with my flights and I’m excited to fly this wing more!

AR 600mm Wing Maiden

I got the AR 600mm wing put together!

Here’s the maiden!!

It held together pretty good! I think when I threw it I turned it to the left and then in the goggles I didn’t realize I was upside down and tried to level it by hard left and back which sent it straight in the ground!

The wing popped off right where it was glued. That’s an easy fix. The front piece where the camera connects broke but it is one piece and can be easily glued. The worst of the damage is the back of the wing that got buggered up a bit. But some packing tape should smooth it out again.

I’ll glue it up and try again! What else am I missing? Is there another way to launch these?

Servo Problems & Yet another crash

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The Sonic AR 600mm wing finally came in! I’m excited to get my fpv gear integrated and try it!

After parent teacher conferences I thought I’d finally get to fly my rebuilt Icon. The new fuselage looks great. I made some improvements on my fpv rig. I have the new micro fpv antenna. And I cut out a section of the nose so the runcam split mounts level. Unfortunately when I was doing pre-flight check I noticed my rudder servo was grinding really bad. So I’ll Have to replace it before I fly the Icon.

Since I couldn’t fly the Icon and was really wanting to fly I decided to give the reglued foamvoard wing another try. At first my motor was api Ning in reverse so I had to swap the motor wires. Then the cg was nose heavy. So I moved the battery back as I could. It was still a bit nose heavy but I decided to send it anyway.

I launched at about half throttle. I think it should have been full throttle because it went up and then nosed right in the ground. . . RIP foam board wing. I hardly knew ye!

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Pinewood Derby EDF + FPV

Today was our Pinewood Derby race! It was a lot of fun. We had some technical difficulties with the new timing system, but we were able to work it out. Eventually we resorted to using an iPhone shooting video at 1080p 240fps. We were able to deturmine winners very accurately from the instant replay.

My entry was an outlaw class for the second year in a row. It was only for exhibition, because nobody else would challenge me. I'd love to have some competition!

Here's some pictures of the build.

Here’s a video of an exhibition run.

Here’s the same run from FPV!

I’d love to have some challengers! This is the same build from last year. I just cleaned up the wiring a good bit. My wheels are terrible, and I have no idea if the CG is right. It’s just pure power.

Icon A5 6:18min flight & Crash!

I got the kids on the bus this morning, then met Leigh for a budget meeting. Luckily I haven't spent as much as I thought I had on RC stuff! 😂

I know the wind is great before 9am. So I thought I'd get a quick flight in before starting on church stuff. Yesterday was a 14hour day with the funeral in the morning and evening youth group sandwiching a full day. I'm a bit tired, but the brisk 46degrees is waking me up!

I know I still have some issues with the Icon because I keep losing throttle control. It did it again several times today. It doesn't have anything to do with range because I did it close and far away.

My radio is also telling me when RSSI is low so I know range is reading correctly.

The other issue is tip-stalls. I had a lot more stalls today. It seemed even with some throttle on it easily stalled. I don't know if that's a function of the terrain/wind I'm flying around or if that's just an issue inherient to the Icon. Either way combining stall with loss of throttle is a recepie for disaster!

And that's what was on the menu this morning. . .

Here’s the RunCam Split footage:

Here’s the final seconds DVR from the goggles:

Here’s the autopsy report footage:

Here’s the autopsy report images:

I really should have figured out the throttle issue before I flew. I’m using the iRangex 4 in 1 module on my Taranis QX7 with the Spektrum AR636A that came with the Icon A5.

Possible issues:

  • iRangex + Spektrum AR636A + Failsafe on telemetry lost

    • The Radio says “Telemetry lost” when the throttle cuts. But I can tell in the goggles that I still have control of the control surfaces even when throttle cuts out. It could be that my model setup is expecting telemetry, and triggers failsafe when it loses it. There is no failsafe option on the multi module setup on the transmitter for this model. Maybe I need to set that up with the Spektrum receiver. At this point I really don’t trust that receiver with my radio.

  • Battery C rating?

    • It’s only 25C. I did a stress test running full throttle for some time and it didn’t brown out or have other issues. So I’m inclined to rule that out.

  • ESC Bec

    • The esc BEC is powering the receiver. Perhaps it browns out and resets the receiver. But then why would I have control of other surfaces?

  • Your thoughts? What am I missing?

Icon A5 8:02 Flight

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Today I had a funeral in the morning that took most of the day. I got back to the office and had a conference call. My brain is mush and youth group is tonight. I just got some new floureon 3s 2200mah batteries for the Icon and I got the new prop yesterday.

The wind was between 5mph - 12mph. I felt it as the plane was shaking when I first took off. I flew without the plastic canopy and I think that introduced a good bit of drag.

The Runcam Split is on the nose now. As you can see it's pointing down which made for nice ground video, but disoriented fpv.

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Take off was fine. I was really surprised how far I flew in a short amount of time. I’m thankful for the 200mw VTX. I only had a couple blips in my fpv feed, and that was only a line or two for about a second. I had trouble getting it low and slow enough to land. At one point I tip-stalled because I was turning too sharp at low throttle. Thankfully I was able to recover easily since I was flying FPV.

After the 8:02min flight I still had enough battery to keep flying. I can probably fly for 12 or even 15 min. I’ll have to track it here and find out on a calmer day.

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landing was good the new landing gear is holding up fine. Steering was fine. I’m really happy to have this plane flying again!

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One more quick flight waiting on the van with the teens. My radio said “Telemetry Lost” and the throttle cut. So I need to figure out fail safe and stop it from doing that! Off to a tea party with our Church Kids!