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Messages - Deerslayer

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The poney express arrived at my door this morning, with a big box tied in hand. My Ranger! Yipee ky o! The box looked like it had been dropped from a cargo plane but the contents were welll packaged and  initial inspection shows perfect condition.

This was ordered from Banggood in late March, arrived right on their predicted schedule. Unlike some places, there were no funny charges added. They gave 4 choices for shipping, three of which were over $100. The fourth option, EMS, charged  $30-something  so the choice was obvious. I had checked its web site at  first, as it sounded too good to be true. I did decide to pay $2.50 for shipping insurance, just in case, as that seemed like a pittance anyway

As with previous orders from Banggood, I got delivery to my door and no further charges. I like these guys very much! All of their prices and charges are quoted in $CDN, so there are no surprises.

Now, to stick it together and install the Lemon Rx, Vector flight controller and the Vtx plus its camera, etc., and set out for the Toyground.

Woo hoo! Good job, Adam!

I flew the Beaver today, better than ever. This little event presented an opportunity to upgrade a couple of rather noisy servos on the leading edge slats, and the overall repair is almost undetectable.

Let's do it again, we are rarin' to go!

What an exciting time it was, Sunday at the Toyground. There was this fantastic pilot flying his Crack Turbo Beaver, with his buddy,  an ace videodrone pilot, zipping around catching the performance for posterity.

Suddenly, the two flying objects briefly tried to occupy the same space!  Crack!  Down came the Beaver, its motor dangling and one wheel plus several foam chunks floating down. The little drone just thunked down to ground. Ouch!

The drone only wrecked 2 of its props. The Beaver sustained more damage but a search recovered all of the bits. An hour or so this morning and it is all back airworthy and the repairs undetectable. Thanks to the miracle of hot glue and gorilla glue.

It could have been worse ... much worse. Was it worth it? You bet, because ... we have video! Adam will post his work soon.

Then, we will do it (or perhaps part of it) all over again in a few days. Great fun!
Remember: You can't stay young but you can stay immature.

A lot of air has moved across the wings since this Topic was first set up. Not much has shown up in here regarding ongoing experiences with stabilizers. So, I am bringing up some personal experiences with their use in initial flight testing and learning to fly aircraft that are new to me. Most of these are various flying objects of my own creation but some are ARFs that benefitted from that extra "set of hands" in the cockpit. Perhaps you have a difficult plane, such as a WW1 warbird, that is a pain to launch or handle under some conditions. A stab may help, even if you just use the Rudder portion, having turned down the Gains for the other controls, to enable a nice take-off roll. 

In my early days of using various stabilizers, I would first fly a plane with the stab turned OFF, having set it up to what I hoped would be OK. but not fully trusting it yet. Once the aircraft was airborne and reasonably trimmed, I would invoke the stab. Or, I would land, adjust the controls to achieve proper trim and do the next flight at least partially with the stab. A very cautious approach, one which I recommended to others who were trying out this new technology.

The down side to this approach, particularly with an unfamiliar, unusual or self-designed aircraft was that you had to assume/hope that the thing was flyable even though it may have had a poorly located C of G (a common issue with flying wing styles) or a mechanical issue such as a battery pack shifting during flight (this happened to me on a couple of occasions!). Here, we have this eager little helper but are reluctant to turn over partial control to it. Ironic.

Of recent times, I have changed my approach. Many of my flying objects, even the store-bought ones such as the Optera, F-27 Evolution and X-Vert, have integral stability systems as purchased. For the rest, I typically install a system, such as one of the Lemon receivers with integrated stab or else a receiver plus a downstream flight controller/stab such as the BGAOLE. And, I use them right from the initial launch. I have great confidence in such systems and have developed a couple of basic principles regarding their use.

1. Only use a system which can be activated/deactivated from the transmitter or, as with the AS3X, selectable between self-leveling and stability modes. The ability to adjust Gain from the transmitter is extremely helpful but only featured on a few of the current offerings.

 2. At home (not at the field):

 Set it up on the bench, without any distractions. Start out with the Gains set full so that corrective movements will be obvious. When you think you have the controls' directionality correct - stand behind the model, of course, as you wiggle it around in all axes - then try switching through whatever modes the system may provide. Turn down the Gains, perhaps to half way, such that the system is desensitized and therefore unlikely to induce oscillations, at least at lower than maximum airspeeds. If, for mechanical reasons, you have reduced the throws on any control surface via the transmitter, be aware that the typical stabilizer does no know that and may still attempt to use the full available throw, possibly resulting in binding and/or breakage. Keep your Servo Travel at 100% in the transmitter and adjust the control linkages to ensure that full movement will not cause interference with anything.
You can, and should, adjust your Gain appropriately after the initial flight(s).

3. At the field:

 Double check the behaviour of the stab system in each selectable mode. Think about one or more situations where you may wish/need to employ or disconnect the stabilizer and go through the motions. This builds a "memory item" with selecting the appropriate switch quickly when needed. If there is someone else available, enlist their help. Explain to them what you are doing, as they may be very interested. Athletes and professional stunt pilots call it "visualization". Explaining to someone else will reinforce that things are working as expected. I have been surprised on a couple of occasions when things actually did not behave as I was expecting while demonstrating to a friend. Embarrassing? No. More embarrassing would have been to plow a divot with my flying machine due to a simple configuration error! "But, I was sure I had that set up the other way...".

3. First flight(s):

If you have followed the above recommendations, there is no reason not to set up your machine in stabilization mode and begin the flight. Just in case something weird begins to happen, you should have your finger in place to disable the stab, but the odds are that it will be more of a help than a hindrance to achieving a good flight.

I currently have, and have had, a lot of flying wing type airplanes which require hand launching. This is where a stab really shines, as that first 1 or 2 seconds of the launch is "make or break" time. Typically, I will have the stab selected ON. If it has self-levelling capability, my more recent experiences have been to set it into self-levelling mode, although that is trickier - you really do have to be sure that "level" will not just keep the wings level but will keep a healthy Angle of Incidence at all times.

Aside: Remember, Angle of Incidence is NOT the same as Angle of Attack. The former relates to horizontal whereas the latter is related to the relative wind encountered by the wing. With my flying wings, I have the stabilizer set to achieve about 15 degrees Angle of Incidence of the wing, i.e., when the stabilizer thinks it is level, the aircraft has about 15 degrees Angle of Incidence. This should ensure that there will be sufficient Angle of Attack and therefore Lift to ensure level flight or a slight climb upon launch, even as the airspeed increases and therefore the Angle of Attack decreases. that same pitch angle yields a nice flat low speed flight, as well.

 If you are not comfortable with setting a stab into self-leveling mode right from the start, at least try it in the air right away. It could save your plane someday, if you remember to use it! I have on several occasions blinked, glanced away or such and momentarily lost situational awareness with a plane at a great distance out but flipping to self-level at least gave me some confidence as to what it might be doing.

 One caveat with self-leveling regards slow speed flight. Particularly with a sailplane or at least some flying wings (Optera being a great example, as I learned very quickly), there is a hazard. Sometimes, I fly slowly, perhaps relaxing in a thermal, in self-leveling mode; you still have partial control and can fly in large circles, yet the stab is smoothing out the bumps. If you are using a variometer, this will reduce the "stick thermals" and you will be responding to actual vertical air motion. But, you are flying close to stall. A sudden variation in movement of the airmass causes your ship to stall or drop one wing. The stab will try, persistently, to self-level by doing the exact opposite of what is required! Instead of neitralizing the controls, pushing the nose down and perhaps feeding aileron into the direction of the dropping wing, the stab will aggravate the situation into a fully-developed locked-in spin. You MUST immediately disengage the self-leveling, perform the normal stall/spin recovery. Although I often land in self-leveling mode, just for fun or in extreme wind conditions, you must keep the speed up on that turn to final and do base, else it's "earth meets plane" time.

 If you have a system such as Vector, BGAOLE or other that can so such things as Loiter or Return-To-Home (RHT), check out those functions on the first flight or no later than the second one. This will build confidence and may save your aircraft someday. (My Penguin FPV plane got lost one day, I screwed up and had not proven out the RTH function and it was only by great fortune that it got found and returned - undamaged! - a few hours later. Figuring out RTH had been "next" on my  to-do list after that "just one more" flight. Lesson learned!)

General Discussion / Re: On the lighter side
« on: March 31, 2019, 10:45:22 AM »
Well, if you found that interesting, here is something a little closer to home and of a more serious nature.

  If you have never seen the US Marines performance at Fort Henry, try to get there the next time they show up. We went some 25 years ago and the Silent Drill was incredible, as was the Fort Henry Guards portion of the show. Here is one of their more recent shows:

Aside: Dan was in Air Cadets when we attended the silent drill. Some years later, while he was in one the Senior Leaders Course out at Cold Lake Alberta, he organized a silent drill as part of their graduation parade. We attended it and it was terrific, so glad that he and we had seen the Fort Henry show and that he got so much out of it. Later, we were talking to the Base Commander at the reception and I asked him what he thought of the Cadets marches and formations. He stated that the only thing that could surpass them would be RMC drills. (An RCAF pilot friend of mine had told me that Air Force folks generally avoided marching, if at all possible!)

General Discussion / On the lighter side
« on: March 31, 2019, 09:08:54 AM »
What is the most dangerous working place? Perhaps the flight deck of a US Navy aircraft carrier?

Carefully controlled chaos, everyone on the deck has their specific job, half a dozen teams in action all at once, perfect timing required, if you slip on a wet or icy deck and get blown overboard, it's about 100 feet to the water (but, you might get lucky and fall into a net and only break a few bones) and they ain't gonna stop the ship for you (hope the swimmers in the chopper are on their game, just in case you are still alive)! An arresting cable could slice you in two like a piece of soft cheese, a jet engine could suck you in and spit you out as charred hamburger! Imagine a dark and stormy night, launching and retreiving planes under actual battle conditions. When the carrier leaves home port, about 80 aircraft leave from land shortly thereafter and have to land, to be stored onboard.

 Well, here are some guys that know how to show the lighter side of their life:

Plans, Projects, Building and Flying Tips / KFm Airfoils
« on: March 31, 2019, 08:14:10 AM »
I have built a large number of foamy's from foamboard of various sizes and styles. Of recent years, the larger ones have almost always used the KFm4 wing, i.e., stepped at somewhere like 40 to 50% of chord, top and bottom. Structural integrity has been my primary goal, overall performance is next and ease of construction is always important. Every one of them has flown as expected, or better.

This fellow has produced many planes, encorporated great ideas and shared with us all. Unfortunately, he has faded from the scene, at least for awhile, but his videos remain. This one presents an excellent rationale for use of the KFm style of airfoil for models. I hope this encourages someone else to give them a try.

Float Flying at Deseronto / Message from the DRFC President
« on: March 28, 2019, 03:06:20 PM »

Those of us who joined last year should be on Jamie's mailing list. There may be others in KRCM or nearby who are interested in what is happening  and, hopefully, considering joining the club. Now that Wilf has moved from Varty Lake, this excellent location is arguably the best within a short drive place to enjoy float flying and good times. Here is the note from the Prez:

Hello Folks!

I hope everyone is getting ready for some soft water flying and that I have everyone's correct email (thanks Walter for supply a few).   There are a few things that need your attention.

Geoff, our Zone Director has asked for feedback via the presidents so I'm sure that you all have seen this from your other clubs.  I've attached one document plus the original ammendments in Geoff's email, for your review and comments regarding changes being contemplated at this years MAAC AGM.  The word document is basically the online response that presidents will complete, based on majority of club members decisions for each item.  If you have responded to other your other clubs, forward me your response.  Need response from you by end of next week please.

Next Walter has put together a list of dates for Fun Fly events we will get sanctioned and is pasted below
 May 26
June 23
July 21
Aug. 25
Sept. 22
These are all on Sunday and Walter checked to ensure minimal conflict with other events.  Also, do you  want a swap meet at our first event or later?  I'm proposing to have a two day event with camping to press the town regarding in-town event camping.  I went with the proposal a year ago January but they dragged their feet into the fall election with no resolution.  Walter suggest July 20, 21 or August 31, Sept 1 long weekend (would get rid of Aug 25th event). 

First question is, do you want a camping event on the waterfront and which date works best?  How many of you would be camping?  I'm pretty sure of the answer, but any idea how many may show up from distant clubs?  Perhaps best to check with other club presidents via a ZD email blast.  I need a quick turn around for this, especially regarding the two day event since need to go before council and have less than week to request addition to agenda.

If you have any other ideas or suggestions, fire away!  We should have a meeting at some point, just not sure when or where since we are spread out.  I plan on flying regularly once weather cooperates especially during week, so if interested, pop me off and email or text me (613 922-1162).

That's about all I can think of at this point except if you are on Facebook, like the Deseronto Royal Flying Club page ( 



Thanks for the great video Gary. Made me look good, my flying that is ......

Well, we're trying very hard to do just that!

After all, you are the one who taught little Danny and me everything we know about flying rc power planes over 30 years ago, at the Toyground. (Of course, that may not be saying much.) We's gonna have bigly fun with our Rangers, plus we will get Herman's outfit sorted out. Good times!

Plans, Projects, Building and Flying Tips / Auto Launch Video
« on: March 23, 2019, 07:10:37 AM »
Continuing on with my ramble ... Roger "Steady Cam" Harrison and I had big fun flying and recording earlier this week. That boy does a fairly good job; I may even have to give him a 10% raise, someday.

The narration in this video leaves a lot to be desired :(  What the dude refers to as a "javelin" launch method explains a lot about why he never did Track and Field back in the old days. Clarification:The javelin is that long pointy thing that can be used to, I guess, spear groundhogs and slow-moving squirrels. The technique for flinging a flying wing is properly referred to as a "discus" launch, that is the one like where the T&F folks toss a big, heavy frlsbee-looking plate at the snakes, or whatever. Best to avoid all of that and just fly toy planes, methinks. Incidentally, the plane in this video really, really did not like such a throw (Sorry, Roger, your camera work was perfect, but I sort of omitted that little "failed launch" segment in the final product, as I suffer enough embarrassments without going out of my way to document them.)

VIDEOS and PICTURES from KRCM Events and Activities / Wilf's Ranger EX
« on: March 22, 2019, 11:43:12 AM »
Spring has sprung, and out from the Wilf's Lair emerges a new FPV plane! This one is the Ranger EX, what we think is an ideal FPV plane. In fact, Wilf forced me to order one the day after this video was taken.

Wilf has a 4K camera mounted on a gimbal system beneath the nose. As well, he hasa Runcam mounted on top for the actual FPV piloting. Soon to be installed is the iNav Flight Controller but for the initial flights, it is just an ordinary receiver in use - one step at a time, a wise approach.

This was a great Spring flying day, albeit a bit breezy and turbulent, as you can see. The iNav will take care of that for this lightly loaded aircraft.


VIDEOS and PICTURES from KRCM Events and Activities / Sonicmodell HD
« on: March 21, 2019, 06:14:41 PM »
I like flying wings! I have a few, and I have had many others during my 40 years of rc flying. A few of those have been taken out of a box, but most are of my own creation and have showed up in many forms and sizes.

 This one, obtained from Banggood at a very reasonable price, has proven to be an excellent flyer. Mine is fairly heavy for a plane that is, at least currently, not going to be for FPV use. That is because I used what I had on hand to equip it, some sort of a Rimfire motor which is probably way over-powered for this application and a heavy load of batteries at the extreme nose to set a reasonable C of G placement - as is critical with flying wings. Several have come in a box, but most have been my own creations in various sizes and shapes.

I have learned, through some bungled launches, that this plane needs a really good toss, otherwise the motor torque plus prop rotational drag will quickly snap it to the left, irrecoverably. Yes, thanks to Harold, I even have a video of one of "those" launches. However, I do not feel compelled to include that embarrassing little clip in the video I am submitting here!

In an upcoming video, I will explain and demonstrate the Auto Launch system which I developed, using the DX9's Sequencer capability. Meanwhile, I hope you enjoy this little segment:

Plans, Projects, Building and Flying Tips / Auto Launch and wild winds
« on: March 17, 2019, 04:10:39 PM »
Today, out at the  Toyground, I got the long-awaited chance to really prove out the value of my Auto Launch system. Two of my flying wings, the Micro Wing and the 2nd generation of the Black Widow, were the test subjects. The winds really came up, with strong gusts, enough that I would normally not have flown either of these, or many of the other planes in my fleet. The launch would be just too difficult, plus I have better things to do than repair stuff right now. So, let's give 'er and see what happens.

With the big wing, it was hard enough to just hold it down by my side to commence the Launch. The little one was just twitchy to hang onto. But, both behaved exactly the same, and exactly as I expected.

Here goes!

Power up the plane.
Unlock the Throttle and initialize the ESC, leave the Throttle off but enabled.
Select the LAUNCH Flight Mode.
Press and hold the Launch button.
Elevons wiggle once ... 1 ... 2 ...
Start moving the plane, discus style and not very fast ... the motor ramps up as the fling is underway ... let go part way through the fling (the plane is still far from level) .. the plane accelerates away, leveling almost immediately, as the elevons become effective and it moves out in a gentle climb at full Throttle, steady as a rock!

Lots of time to get on the right stick and start hand flying it. Even in Self-levelling mode, you can still have limited control of Pitch and Roll. Vector, iNav and possibly some other Flight Controllers can command the Throttle, but the current Lemon Stab+, Guardian, Bigaole do not.

Whenever you are ready, release the Launch button and the Sequencer lets go of the Throttle and releases the stabilizer from Self-level Mode into whatever condition your Stabilizer Mode switch is set to on the transmitter - Off, Stability or Self-level.

On a day like today, Stability is a very useful mode, making it seem just like flying on a calm day - but, remember not to get terribly far downwind!

Self-level can even be useful during the pattern and landing phases, especially when you get down through the wind gradient and into the low level turbulence.

Man, this stuff really works! And it's not just for flying wings, or even for hand launching. Someone who may have mobility issues of some sort may be able to put this to use. (Who knows, you I may even be there someday yet would still like to enjoy some low stress flying).

Again, if someone would like to learn more, or see a demo, or try setting this up on one of their own flying objects, I would be happy to try to help you.

General Discussion / What does 22ms mean? (in Spektrumspeak)
« on: March 16, 2019, 07:05:14 AM »
When you Bind a model, your Spektrum radio (most of them, I think) will show and announce (if Bitchin' Betty is available and awake) the protocol being used (DSM2 or DSMX) and a time (11 or 22 milliseconds). So what? Well, for the curious, here is the explanation of what the numbers mean and how the Spektrum folks pack the available channels into the available slots. For most of us, this would never matter. However, for something of extremely high performance, such as a jet or 3D monster, one does care, as you don't put an critical item that demands extremely quick response to commands onto one of the upper channels.

The following a response from Andy Kunz, the Lead Developer from Spektrum, in answer to a question from a viewer (like me). This had to do with converting a model from one transmitter to another.

The Spektrum protocol puts out a packet of data every 11ms. The packet holds 7 channels.

In 22ms mode, that means there are 7 x 2 slots available, 14 channels total. The first 6 of each packet are channels 1-12, and the last slot is used for the X-Plus channels (which makes it very obvious why they are up to 88ms latency).

In 11ms mode, there are 4 channels that are sent every time, and the remaining 6 channels come in 3's. It sends out 4 channels + 3 channels, then the next packet has the same 4 channels + 3 different channels. 4 + 3 + 3 = 10 channels max in 11ms mode.

The DX18 generates its data as 12 channels + 8 channels, where channels 11 & 12 are the same as X+1/2.

The DX20 generates its data as 12 + 8 also, but channels 11 & 12 are configured independently.

This is what the "DX18 Compatibility Mode" option is for. It lets you pick 10+8 or 12+8 mode.

Because the iX12 can import files from either one, or from a lower end DX, it can generate either mode as well. It's important to understand what you are getting the configuration from to know how it will behave. If you import from a DX18 or lower, it will most likely be in DX18 Compatibility Mode, generating channels 1-10 normally and using X-Plus data for 11 & 12. If you import from a DX20, if it's in 20-channel mode then channels 1-12 will be as you expected. It is done this way because the purpose of importing a file from another type of radio is to make it so that the new radio controls the old model exactly the same way. You want your new radio to fly the plane the same way as the old radio, not change channel assignments on you.

Opalix didn't understand that part and assumed that the DX8 file he imported would automatically go into the 20-channel mode. It doesn't do that because a DX8 works in DX18-compatibility mode for channel generation (but you can't get there on the menu). He's got it all straight now (we've been working with him for several weeks through Product Support and PMs).


Perhaps I made this sound to "techy". Sorry,  it really is quite simple.

I liked the way the Optera does this, recently got the new F-27 Evolution with the same and system really like it. The only issue, for me, was the "how", not the "why" and just required investigating what was already in my, and some others', hands. It was fun to figure out and the reward has been great.

I got tired and frustrated having to do nose jobs on a nice new wing that I flubbed too often, as well as having too much stress while developing and test flying a new design. Problem solved, in spades!

This has now been documented, only takes perhaps 15 minutes for me to set it up on something of mine, or yours, provided that it has gear as simple and solid as the Lemon Stab+ receiver/stabilizer ( < $40 ) and a suitable transmitter, such as DX9 (and probably even on one of them thar Graupners, Wilf!).

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