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Posted by grassie | 09-23-2014 @ 02:14 AM | 10,920 Views
You know, I can understand if a youngster complains about a problem involving machining or modification of a product that will not fit 100% because his parents does not have the tools and he cant afford to buy them.

But man! Grownups that complain about Sh** not fitting, short carb arms, plating in holes and so on.
This is a hobby for heavens sake!! It is supposed to keep you busy and out of mischief! As we say in cycling when somebody is complaining about a sore butt, HTFU, harden the f up. Surely you own a hacksaw and a file. If you haven't got a tap to clean thread that has been plated, go buy one! You are going to need it in future anyway.

I am no authority on manufacturing but I am sure they do not have spares made in 2"s or 3"s. Two thousand or 3 thousand at a time yes. Because one guy finds it irritating that a bolt bottoms out in a certain application he now expects the manufacturer to spend 1000"s to please him because the does not feel like cutting a bolt shorter or clean thread, that in my opinion is just plain laughable.

Carb arms. Carb are supplied for chain saws, weed whackers, lawn mowers..... To have a carb designed for a specific brand hobby engine would be very expensive and taking into consideration that only a couple of hundred of these engines are going to be sold does not make sense. So, a lot of times you are going to get a carb with arms that is not 100% fit for purpose. Don't worry, a lot of guys out there have the same issue and are working on the problem. Ask and they will show you what they have come up with. If you don't want to, take the engine back and buy something else. You should've looked at this when you bought in the first place.

I think what I am trying to say is, if you want to do a hobby, be prepared to fiddle a bit, nothing comes as standard. If you are not happy with that, take up bowls, or knitting, or having tea at the neighbors.

There, I feel much better now......
Posted by grassie | 09-09-2014 @ 10:11 AM | 10,519 Views
I think it is general knowledge that Christen Eagles are a bit of a hand full. Mine does not disappoint in this regard. After altering the incidence of the wings to almost what I wanted, I took it out for a flight. It flew much better but is still tucking a bit to the undercarriage. So that little bit I thought I am getting away with, it is not going to happen.
The approach was picture perfect and what happened after that is not quite clear!?

See the wheels touched down lightly, in fact perfectly, not a bumper, nice and smooth. The next moment all hell broke lose and all I could do was watch!

It got airborne again, dropped the left wing, hitting the tail on the runway, then the left wings, nose went flying, right wings, .......and all was over! Or shall I say my plane was all over.

My two friends and I stood there looking at each other, not knowing or believing what we just witnessed. Then the expert in all of us came forward and we all had theories and explanations on what happened. All I can think is that the eagle might have been a tad heavy in the tail.

It is fixed again, with some proper support struts for the engine box which by the way was very thin and in my opinion to flimsy to carry the GP 61. I need to put all the paraphernalia back where it belongs and shim those wings properly, then make sure the nose is slightly heavy, just ever so slightly, else it is going to nose over again, and it will be good to go again.

I was to embarrassed to take pictures of the broken bird, but will post some before and after pics this time.
Posted by grassie | 05-07-2014 @ 12:12 PM | 14,083 Views
After much ado the Christen Eagle was maidened today. It is election day today so after voting I was off to the club for the long awaited maiden. Laziness took it's toll as I did not shim the wings to what I knew would be the right angles.

Getting to club there was no way I could get the flying wires to stay in place, even after fitting bits of silicon tube as retainers, so I took them off. After fighting the wires for 1/2 an hour there was a serious vibration that did not exist when I started the engine at home. I removed the spinner and it was better although not perfect.

After programming the idle down I let go of the Eagle and slowly pushed open the throttle. Man oh man, that GP 61 just disappeared with with the air frame! I was still looking for it on the runway while it was 50 m up in the air and climbing like a homesick angle. It soon became apparent that there was serious incidence problems. I managed to land it safely. These things have a tendency to nose over on landing and mine did not disappoint! So I have to work on the prop tips as well.

Well I will see to the incidence and prop tips tomorrow and give it a try on Saturday. I am really looking forward to flying the Eagle once all the problems are ironed out.

Till next time, safe flying and enjoy Nall. I am very envious!!
Posted by grassie | 04-03-2014 @ 09:23 AM | 11,097 Views
The Great Planes Christen Eagle finally barked this afternoon. It took no less than 20 flicks before the GP 61 gave it's first gnarl! What a nice sound to hear after a loooong build and repair, before it even flew. I have a Falcon 23x10 bolted to it and on the first start it was doing 6900 rpm. I have not touched the needles yet. We are at 1460m asl. I don't think that is to shabby....
Well, she is ready now but the maiden will have to wait until I get back from leave. My friends are all urging me to go fly it tomorrow but I want to check the incidence first. No need to go fly and come back with bits and pieces. As a fellow model yachtsman said to me at a world's once, "you should use the 7 P's of model yachting. Proper Prior Preparation Prevents Piss Poor Performance."
I have been doing it ever since!
Somebody pass me a stick, I need to scratch this itch!!!
Posted by grassie | 03-31-2014 @ 07:20 AM | 9,506 Views
Yea, it's been a long time since I flew or opened my garage, or written something here on my blog.
The pacemaker went in, bi ventricular, and all, and I feel a lot better.
I visited the doctor on Friday and she said everything looks and sounds in order so I start to exercise and resume the normal day to day tasks, however, the body after being almost bed ridden for 3 months is not very strong and needs to rest quite often.

More good news is that I have fixed the Eagle, I need to tidy the wiring, redo the flying wires on the stabs charge and go fly!!
I can't wait to see what that GP 61 is going to do with this little Eagle!!

The Sbach got it's new power plant and it is to say the least, impressive. I always thought my plane was light, BIG mistake, it weighs in at a whopping 30.2 lbs. Never the less, that GP123 yanks the Sbach around like a rag doll.

Very sad news on the other hand is that my helper, Spot, jumped out the car window on the way to the field and disappeared. I looked in the rear view mirror and saw him but once I have turned around, he was gone! I have never seen him again. I really miss him. He was a very good companion.

Next task at hand is to finish my Top Flight Cessnna 182 powered by a DLE 20. I need to sort out the wiring coming from the wing. Ihate those dangling wires, and do the cockpit, seats and so on.
Then there is the Aeroworks Stearman that needs some TLC, but first, the misses and I are going for a holiday, touring the country. I hope old faithful, my Ford Ranger is up to it. We shouldn't do more than 5000 km I think.

That is me for now, keep well, keep flying!!
Posted by grassie | 11-25-2013 @ 09:36 AM | 11,382 Views
What can I tell you? This is certainly one of the more involved ARF's that I have put together. One really needs to keep your head together in order not to trash it.
I am at the stage where everything is done except the incidence. I had a couple of friends over on a Saturday night and as things go we had some essence of the grape in rather large volumes. Well, experience has taught me to put the tools and any thing that can turn or make any kind of noise away when a get together like this takes place. I did not take note! MISTAKE! DON'T START AN ENGINE FOR THE FIRST TIME WHEN YOU ARE HAVING A PARTY!!!
We got the engine to fire and it ran at about 1/3 throttle for a short while as I had no throttle response. I later found out that the throttle was reversed and not setup properly, the grape juices fault obviously. Well, from there everything went south. I wanted to pull the choke and pulled a little hard, this broke the fitting out of the balsa. Now I was cross with myself, grabbed the fuse and walked inside bumping the tail-plane against the door frame cracking the front. When this happened I also pushed my thumb through the covering just above the wing saddle.
I haven't had chance to work on it again as business picked up a bit and I got flu. I also found I am battling to work all day, getting tired by noon. It's been 2 weeks and the flu would not let go.

Wednesday morning at 02h00 I woke in cold sweat and a tightness on my chest. I thought to myself, this is it, I am going to see the doctor as I must have pneumonia. I only got home today. Turned out I had a heart attack. Luckily not to serious. Turns out I have an enlarged heart and only about 14% functionality. Small wonder my heart rate was always 20 bpm higher than that of all my cycling buddies. It could also be why I always have trouble tuning my engines!! It must be the off-beat!! I am on medication now, if it doesn't work I will receive a dual idc, (ignition) hopefully with iridium spark plugs!!
Till later, I want to have a rest and start fixing my baby tomorrow.

Posted by grassie | 08-18-2013 @ 04:10 AM | 11,345 Views
Yeah, it is Sunday morning and I am sitting at the PC!
It is a beautiful morning, temp currently sitting at 8C wind about 9km/h. In my book that is just perfect. Mum is visiting, wife is visiting, both have to be dropped at their respective residences during the day so it is no use to go to the club as I will just arrive and then have to pack up again.
Well, that is only part of the frustration. See, I started assembling the GP Christen Eagle. Now this ARF kit is, well, old, and as we all know, the covering gets a bit brittle, it does not want to shrink as nicely, and then there is the fact that these were some of the earlier ARF's and were not as well made as the kits of today.
The first problem I encountered was that the bottom wing, once joined and the dowels fitted does not fit! The holes for the dowels are already elongated, how much more is needed?!
I cut away almost half of the dowel and then decided to work on the wing saddle.
I can hear you shouting "incidence! don't fiddle with the incidence!" To late, she cried, and then died. I measured the incidence between the vertical stab and the wing.It is both at 0 at this time and I am sure I will be able to work something out.
My word! That shallow engine box on this kit. What a ball ache. I must admit the engine I am bolting to this frame does not make it any easier as the choke and throttle arms on the carb is absolutely impossible. To further hamper installation old "Two Toe Joe", the cowboy that is fast on the draw, but even faster on the trigger, went and fixed the custom choke arm with red Locktite, just to ensure that it will be impossible to move it ever again, and then in the wrong position as well.
After carving away what once was a perfect firewall, drilling all the mounting holes and then some more, I have the engine hanging from the front of the fuzz and the throttle and choke cables routed. Oh, goody, goody gumdrops!!
Maybe the idea a couple of years ago was that the modeler will like to glue in one or two pieces of wood himself so as to feel like he did some construction. Well, they should have given me a couple of pieces of scrap wood and a tube of Alcolin and told me to go sit outside and make a tomato box!
Why in this world will they make me fit a servo tray deep in the bowls of this monster where it is impossible to reach and which would have been way easier to do while putting the fuzz together?!! After wrestling the tray into position I realized I never glued the stand-off in place. Then, once in position, I could not reach in there with glue!!!

Please don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with the kit, it all boils down to building skills, of which I have zip. No, zip,zip!! Nada, nothing, zero.....

If there is anybody out there that has put this kit together, please do not hesitate to add some advise. It will be appreciated.

Once I have all the troops back at their stations I will have an attempt at gluing the rudder and elevators in. If time permits, I will fit all the servos and put the extensions in as well.

Hey, isn't it the Moto GP today!! I must go watch the qualifying and then the rest late this afternoon. I hope my man Lorenzo is back up to speed. Actually I am a Yamaha guy. Pitty though that Ben Spies did not shape. He did very well in SBK though.
Posted by grassie | 06-17-2013 @ 07:23 AM | 11,384 Views
Here I am, sitting in front of my PC typing away out of boredom. My wife's uncle passed away so the family ascended on our house. That is a good thing in a way because that is about the only time you see the whole family together. Unfortunately it also means that I am stuck at home smiling until my face hurts! Well, this is barely out of the way and Father-in-law, now 77, develops a an abdominal pain, so much so that he is taken to hospital and admitted. So guess what? Now I have to cart everybody to hospital 3 times a day and it is a long weekend in this knack of the woods!


At least Father-in-law is ok. Just an appendix..... as big as my hand!

Good news is that the long awaited GP 61 and 123 engines are shipping and that our engines are in the country, presumably sitting at customs until tomorrow. That means my plane should be finished by next Sunday.

My wife just walked in the door, so here is my chance, I am slipping out of here to the club for a couple of minutes, won't fly, but at least can catch up on the happenings and see what new planes have been build.

Oh, by the way, nice flying from those guys at XFC, wish I had fingers like that.

See, ya!!
Posted by grassie | 05-05-2013 @ 02:33 AM | 8,279 Views
If you have ever wondered why they are called Great Planes, it is because they are just that.
I am in love with this little Stearman! I bought it preassembled with a Evolution 120 glow engine.
Since I converted all my planes, not many, to gas, I decided this must have a gasser as well and in went a DLE30. I could not be more happy with the setup. I got the CG right without adding any weight, just moved the batteries next to the fuel tank.

My son does a bit of photography as a passtime so I asked him to take a couple of pics so I will have something to remember this great plane by.

The wind was misrable, I could say cross, but that would be an understatement, it was f$# furious!!
I managed 2 flights and both landings were less than perfect, but the plane is in one piece and I am as happy as pig in .... Almost got bittin, I forgot my assistant, Spot!
Posted by grassie | 04-19-2013 @ 09:36 AM | 10,243 Views
As said in a previous thread, I had a problem with a DLE 30 in my Super Stearman.
At first I thought itis the programming on my radio going beyond the servo throw. I changed that and made sure there was not issue but the problem of the engine not coming back to idle persisted. The next thing I had to check is for an air leak. Maybe the engine is sucking air somewhere.
I had to remove the engine, something I did not want to do.

I removed the engine, took the carb off to check the seating on the read block. As I fiddled with the throttle I felt that the butterfly is sticky! There it was, the screw holding the butterfly came loose. Luckily it did not fall out or it would have gone through the engine! Well, the butterfly is ruined but I had another carb in the cupboard, so I fitted that, refitted the engine to the plane, filled er up and prrrrrr, runs like advertised!

It is a pity though that something like this will happen on a brand new engine. It sort of leaves the impression that a new engine out of the box must first under go a rebuild before you can stick it in a plane. I know that my next engine will be checked completely before it is fitted.

That's all for now, have to visit the in-laws for supper, yum, curry & rice, it is rather cold and unpleasant at the moment as we are entering winter in these parts.
Posted by grassie | 04-19-2013 @ 07:21 AM | 7,720 Views
Yes, the Eagle has landed! Finally after so many years and this plane out of production, I got my Great Planes Christen Eagle. I feel like a cat with 7 tails.
This was bought blind, I did not see the kit (ARF) just paid for it and hoped for the best. Well, the best it is. I placed an add on Avcom that I was looking for one of these and everybody pulled my leg knowing it was going to be nearly impossible to find one.

Then out of the blue a guy send me a sms saying I must try this hobby shop in Durban. He thinks he saw one in the shop. I did not close an eye that night and was sitting ready to make the call at 07h00 the next morning.
The shop owner answered and I had to contain my excitement, if you sound to eager the price can easily shoot up. He had one and the price......! I was pinching myself, almost wetting my pants, 1.5k cheaper than what I anticipated!! I just very calmly asked for his banking details and did an EFT almost as I was writing the details down.
Obviously I had to take a peak......, oh, what an itch I have now, can't wait to get started!

Another bit of good news is that my Sbach was collected by the couriers this morning and it should be delivered on Monday. I really hope and pray that this one is built as fine as the previous one and that it will fly as nicely. Thanks Tony from Pilot Rc for the quality products you manufacture. Please convey the compliment to your workers as well.
Posted by grassie | 04-16-2013 @ 08:23 AM | 8,489 Views
Finally the new 107" Pilot Sbach S05 and the Great Planes Christen Eagle are in transit and should make their appearance this week still.

To keep myself busy I put together a Seagull Christen Eagle and bought and modified a GP Super Stearman. The Stearman had a 120 Evolution engine installed which I replaced with a DLE30. It flies very well, although on the maiden the throttle acted up and kept me up there for a cool 30 minutes!
It landed safely for which I am thankful. The issue still has to be resolved, well before this weekend, as we have a fly-inn at the Warthoggs Club called "The MudBath"

The Sbach will be assembled first as the withdrawal symptoms are kicking in seriously now from lack of flying.
I will be using the same equipment except for the batteries in the new plane. The engine will be replaced by a GP 123, not that the DLA 112 wasn't enough power, it will just be nicer to have more when doing those funny IMAC snaps and rolls in the upline.

I am a member of a forum called Avcom and I might do a little thing on how I put my Sbach together on there. I know there are guys out there that are unsure about fitting a firewall and engine, cutting cowls and so on. Every forum should have something on that. I am by no means an expert, but what the hell.

Today I am including some pics of the past and my two new planes, Seagull Eagle and GP Stearman.

To all who reads this, have a very nice day and please, no inverted touch and goes!
Posted by grassie | 04-15-2013 @ 12:47 AM | 8,665 Views
Yep! Got the email on Saturday that my new Sbach from Pilot has arrived. Wow, what a wait! Now it has to be couriered from Cape Town to Pretoria, another week!

Well, I think it is worth the wait, as is waiting for the new GP 123 engines from Furgie Lin.
As with everything else in life, I see there are some that are questioning his product. Frankly I think the GP 176 and GP 88 has shown that his products are well worth buying and it is my humble opinion that some of the older well established companies have a real contender here of a piece of the market. But, I am going to leave that there, we will see what the future holds.

I managed to get my grubby little paws on a 1/3 Scale Christen Eagle from Great Planes which means I don't have to get the 50% kit from Europe! Once again this kit is in Durban and needs a lift to Pretoria. Yip, you've guessed it, I am powering this with a GP 61!
Well that is if business picks up, which by the way is stone dead. I think the recession has only hit us now.

Suppose I have to get my backside in gear and prepare for the day ahead. To everybody reading this, may you have an absolutely wonderful day and a prosperous and successful week.
Posted by grassie | 01-21-2013 @ 11:24 AM | 8,963 Views
Mmm, ok, I am new to this, but then at some point so were all doing it.

Well, since the loss of my 2 babies, Matt Chapman CAP 580 and Sbach on the same day in November, I have not been flying at all. I am getting withdrawal symptoms.
So what does one do when you feel like kicking the dog and strangling the cat? I watch YouTube! Yes, Stearman flown by John Mohr and then that madman Skip Stewart with his Pitts Prometheus,
I like that pitts so much I am thinking of buying a kit of the Christian Eagle 50%, as I can't find the Prometheus anywhere.

To make matters worse, I ordered another Pilot RC SBach but it will only be available end of February. and I would really like to put a GP 123 on the front. I think that is going to be a schweeet combo!! We fly at 1460m asl, so performance of the engines are down about 15%. I can't wait to move down to Stilbaai when I retire, there is a small airfield on the dune and then 25 km's away is Riversdal. They use the airfield there too!

When bored I usually do stupid things, well I do them anyway, but more so when bored. I got a TREX 500 from a friend. All the electronics are burnt. Now you will ask what's stupid about that, just the fact that I bought new electrics and did not check the motor!
Plugged the speed controller in and.... Suppose I will go get another one....

I worked my butt off today, rewiring an alarm. It must have been 45 Celsius in that roof! Been in there for a good 6 hours and feeling a bit like a rag. Think I dehydrated just a tad. Now I understand the terms used by Lance, it's like pumping wheels and filling bottles. I wish i had some of that stuff today.... I do cycle by the way, huge Commondale fan me, and now that I got the whole Leaky Gas outfit they go and change the sponsor
Suppose I will have to make someone take my bike and outfit at gun point, won't be able to sell it for s***, it is a family forum.
Let's make like Bubba J, I'm hav'n a BEER!!