Flying

EGN-1 Flight Testing


img_2634


img_2635


img_2637 Ahhh, green grass, blue skies, fair winds, and an R/C airplane …

 

May 21, 2008.

This winter I ripped out the old 4 stroke engine that was broke. That engine has been repaired, but I decided not to put it back in. Instead I decided that this light “stick built” airframe is crying to be electric powered. I bought an E-Flight 46 motor over the winter and installed it. Then when the bank balance rebounded a bit I bought a Castle Creations Phoenix 60 speed controller. Finally, yesterday, I scratched my head and worked out battery placement and installation. I have 2 x 8000 mAh 18.5v lipoly batteries from the telemaster project, and one of these seems to balance out the airframe perfectly when it is as far forward as I can put it.

Today I ran out to the field during my lunch break to try it out. I kept the original wood 12×6 prop I ran with the 4 stroke motor. No particular reason other than I like wood and nylon razor blades make me nervous.

Ok, so can you say way over powered? This combination will cruise nicely at just a few notches of throttle, and things start getting a little crazy above half throttle. Today was a really gusty swirly day, so I kept things slow and gentle and just tooled around the way a trainer should be flown. Plus I want to secure the big 2 lb battery just a little better before I start pulling too many g’s with it.

Two repair notes: (1) The tail wheel servo was partially stripped out when I got to the field today. That must have happened last year and went unnoticed. It really only affected how sharp I could steer to the left on the ground so I flew with it like that and didn’t worry too much about it. When I got home I dug out a replacement servo I had on the shelf and slapped it in. (2) When disconneting the deans connector after landing, I pulled a wire off. I can only blame myself for a bad solder joint, but it’s easy enough to solder up another bad joint and get flying again. 😉

It’s good to be out flying on a nice day, even if the winds are a bit gusty and swirly. After my flight, I sat and watched a dust devil blow across our field sucking up stuff and sending it at least 1000′ skyward … pretty cool but I guess I’m glad i didn’t try to fly through it with the Kadet Senior!

 

July 28, 2007.

I haven’t gotten EGN-1 out yet this year … too busy with other projects, so I loaded it the van and was going to get it running again today. I started up the engine and didn’t like the way it sounded, so I did a run up test and it died on me. From that point on I couldn’t get it running. I popped off the cowl and observed that it was spitting fuel out the carb as if it was running backwards or had really screwed up timing. After fiddling some more I dropped the valve cover and found that one of the valve adjuster screws along with the end of the adjustment rod and broke off and was floating around up there. It was all ground up and a mess. 🙁 So I think I need to write off this engine and find a replacement. It’s always something, but I’d rather discover these sorts of problems on the ground rather than in the air or just short of clearing the corn at the end of the runway. 🙂

 


IMG_4698


IMG_4699


IMG_4700


IMG_4701

 

May 20, 2006.

Conditions: Winds out of the E and light to start out with, switching more to the NNE and picking up to 10-15 mph by late afternoon. We had light showers come through in mid-day. Temps a bit tool cool for the shorts and t-shirt I decided to wear.

I made several flights. The one item of note is that I pulled the quick fueler off and piped the fuel direct. This had a *huge* affect and the engine suddenly became *way* rich to the point of not running. I had to go at least two turns in to get the engine running again. I think this was my last quick fuel valve I’ll ever use. It seems like a good idea, but I’ve had no end to fuel flow problems, unreliable engines that are impossible to tune across their whole rpm range. Hopefully I’m on a much better track now.

I also figured out that I can push the nose down on approach to lose altitude if I’m too high. In the past I’ve just let it float, but with such a high drag wing you can dive press down on the nose in your base and final legs and you don’t pick up a ton of speed. That which you do pick up quickly bleeds off. One of those “doh!” moments. Landings in the Sr. have now become much easier to spot and I have a lot less trouble floating by at 10′ agl.

 

April 10, 2006.

Objective: Demo/Play

Conditions: Temps in the 70’s, winds out of the SSE at about 10mph. Sunny!

Results: We had several good flights and one dead stick from adjusting the idle a bit too low. Here are some pictures:

 


IMG_0131


IMG_0132


IMG_0133

Novermber 26, 2005.

Objective: Winter flying.

Conditions: Temperature +18F, Wind chill +5F. Winds out of the ESE at 5-10 mph. Partly to mostly cloudy. About 1 inch of snow on the ground.

Results: I flew manually today with the co-pilot off; nothing other than a standard R/C airplane.

In the cold dense air, the Kadet had very nice performance. So nice in fact that I was unable to land with the engine running. Any amount of engine, no matter how slow was enough to keep the airplane puttering along with virtually no decent rate. I had to kill the engine in flight and dead stick it in for all my flights today. That worked fine, but this plane might need an extra lb. or two for ballast on these cold days!

Other than that there really wasn’t all that much to report. I dressed warm, the wheels handled the shallow snow just fine, the 90-degree cross wind didn’t seem to cause any problems. Just a very enjoyable day at the field. Oh, I did notice a significantly higher fuel burn in the cold weather which I guess makes sense. The denser air needs more fuel to maintain a proper ratio … (?)

September 10, 2005.

Objective: High wind handling tests.

Conditions: Temps in the high 80’s. Winds straight out of the south at 15-20, gusting to 25+.

Results: First off I cheated most of the time and flew with the FMA co-pilot enabled. This allowed me to worry more about ground tracking and less about keeping the wings level in the swirling gusting conditions.

Overall I had pretty good results. I actually had to tie up the plane when it was on the ground so it wouldn’t blow away. The biggest challenge I faced was getting the aircraft from the starting area to the runway. The winds were too strong to taxi (often they were higher than flight speed.) Even carrying the plane was tricky if you caught the wind wrong.

However, despite the challenging ground logistics the plane handles great in the air. I was fortunate that the wind was pretty much aligned with the runway so I didn’t have to deal with cross wind issues. The plane’s approach was very slow and at the higher wind speeds I needed to run up the throttle to 30-40% and push the nose down just to make headway towards the runway and not gain altitude. (The Kadet will climb with about 4 notches of throttle.) Once over the runway I was able to chop the throttle and land with virtually no forward ground speed.

Summary: In the hands of a moderately experienced flyer, the Kadet Senior can handle pretty fierce winds with little trouble. I wouldn’t recommend operating in a 20 mph cross wind, but a 20mph head wind is perfectly doable. If the wind grows beyond 20mph you need to be extra careful. The Kadet is so slow that I found that you will need substantial throttle just to make a small amount of headway into the wind. If you happen to lose your engine downwind in those sort of conditions, you are going to land even further down wind.

August 24, 2005.

Objective: I haven’t made much forward progress in hobby-uav land so I figured I’d take EGN-1 (in it’s current state) out for a few flights just for fun, and to make sure everything still worked fine.

Conditions: Temps in the low-to-mid 70’s. Winds were on the heavy side, 10-15 mph gusting to 20 and blowing in from the SE.

Results: The conditions forced cross wind take offs and landings which are always fun. For most of my activities I just turned on the co-pilot and let it do it’s best to keep the wings level in the gusts. It does a pretty good job as a wing leveler and allows me to pay more attention to my ground track and crab angle and decent path. I had a couple nice landings where I was crabbing 30 degrees into the wind as I approached and touched down.

The wind was blowing hard enough where I could emulate a kite. I turned on the wing leveler and trimmed it out so that it flew nearly motionless for several minutes. A click or two of elevator trim would control my forward back speed, and a notch or two of throttle would control my up/down. With very slight adjustments I was able to hold it close to motionless indefinitely. The winds were much lighter near the ground so I wasn’t able to do any kind of verticle take offs or landings.

I scuffed up a wing tip very slightly in one of the cross wind landings, but I suspect a little windex will make that all but go away.

 

June 16, 2005.

Objective: Accumulate flight time with and without the Co-Pilot.

Conditions: Near perfect. Temps in the middle 70’s, winds light and variable but mostly out of the north when there was any, zero clouds.

Results: I had several good flights, touch and goes, some aerobatics, and some nice relaxing meandering around the pattern. Here is a slow pass sequence …

 


img_2632


img_2634


img_2635 Take off. Can you spot the aircraft shadow? Notice the exhaust smoke …

 


img_2637 Another slow pass sequence. Turn to final, closer, closer, and then flying past …

 


img_2645


img_2646


img_2647


img_2649 Short final …

 


img_2652 The grass is short so I tried a grass take off …

 


img_2654 Off into the wild blue yonder for another flight …

 


img_2655

June 4, 2005.

Objective: Test my FMA Direct Co-Pilot (2-axis IR flight stabalization system)

Conditions: Temperature in the middle 70’s, wind from the S and SW varying between 5 – 10+ mph. Rain had just moved through so conditions were improving, but the wind was changing to be from the SW and increasing thoughout the tests. We had a couple little sprinkles for a short time but they passed through quickly.

Results: Again, I absolutely love to fly this airplane. It is such a delight to fly. Please see my description of the FMA Direct Co-Pilot in the Self Stabalization section of the EGN-1 project pages.

I think my tests were reasonably successful. I’m happy enough with the co-pilot to move forward and start looking at getting my flight computer running.

Other: I just wanted to mention again that I always have a lot of fun flying this airplane. I was the only one at the field tonight so no pictures, but one flight I took it up to a fairly high altitude. The cloud ceilings were still pretty low as the weather was still moving out. I stayed under the clouds so I know I didn’t got *that* high. 🙂 For some reason my engine killed on my after a couple minutes of running full throttle (heat?). This left me dead stick, but up high. My neck was getting sore from looking up so I layed down in the middle of the runway and just steered around above me as this stupid thing kept floating and floating seemingly forever … I probably glided for 10 minutes??? When I got lower I stood up, set up my approach, did a little slipping on final and touched down right at my feet. Very cool.

Another thing that is fun to do is overflair on landing and drag the tail wheel first for several feet before the mains touch down. I also am enjoying 1/3rd to 1/2 throttle take offs. At full throttle the plane leaps into the air quickly, but at reduced throttle take offs are much more “scale” like.

May 19, 2005.

Objective: Test and tune and continue to break in the engine.

Conditions: Temperature in the middle 60’s, wind from the from the north east at about 10mph. Overcast low clouds that looked a bit threatening, but we stayed dry.

Results: A bit mixed. I’m still not sure I have the engine exactly where I want it to be, but it’s *much* improved. I had the opportunity to execute a dead stick landing from high altitude. By slipping on the downwind and final legs of the approach I was able to plunk her down exactly where I wanted her … cool. Overall I had a fun and successful day with several flights, a “successful” dead stick landing and an engine that is getting closer to where I want it to be. I’m getting more comfortable flying this airplane and it’s becoming more intuitive to do slips on approach without wobbling all over the sky.

May 13, 2005.

Maiden flight! This afternoon I maidened my Kadet Senior ARF. I just can’t get over what an incredibly sweet flying airplane it is. I’m suddenly a huge SIG fan. 🙂

Objective: First flight. Get airborn, trim the aircraft, get a feel for the flight characteristics, and practice landings. Shake out any bugs before they get big enough to bite me.

Conditions: Temperature in the upper 50’s (F). 5-10 mph cross wind from the east.

Results: I was the only one at the field so I don’t have any new pictures, but the Kadet flies *really* well.

Engine: I found a good ebay deal on a brand new ASP 61 FS (which is the same as Magnum 61 FS.) I am just breaking in a brand new engine, so starting out it ran pretty tight and was very sensitive to the needle valve setting. As the engine ran a bit, it became much smoother at low and mid rpm ranges. At one point the engine died on the “go” part of a touch and go. I traced this down to a failing glow plug, replaced it, and was back in business.

Taxiing: I converted the Kadet to a tail dragger arrangement. I was a little unsure of the turning radius because I didn’t have much movement on the tailwheel. I found that I had just enough to do a 180 in the width of my club runway. The Kadet is very light, and the ASP 61 FS engine pulls it right along even at idle, so on a smooth surface it is always moving. With 1/2 – 3/4 throttle, the Kadet happily taxis through medium height grass.

Takeoff: My club runway is small enough so you don’t have a lot of space to monkey around. You pretty much have to gun-n-go and sort everything out in the air. This was no problem, the Kadet tail dragger tracks straight, has no ill tendencies, and will get airborn in just a few feet if you gun the throttle. Once in the air I needed a few clicks here and there of trim, but nothing too much. For future flights I want to play around with mid-throttle settings for takeoffs to get a longer take off run and more scale-like behavior. Once the tail comes up though you are basically above flying speed.

Climbout: At full throttle, the 61 FS will pull the Kadet up at a very steep climb angle, but not quite vertically. This could let you get airborn out of some pretty tight spaces … if you were so inclined. If you had a knowledgable pitcher, I suspect you could hand launch the kadet pretty easily.

Flying: The Kadet Senior is slow. Even at full throttle it’s slow. But it’s big and elegant. It will do loops and nice axial rolls easily and gracefully. I didn’t push things like spins or more violent maneuvers, maybe later. It will tool along at just a few clicks above idle throttle. I did try some vertical climbs and found I didn’t have enough power to go unlimited vertical. That’s probably a good thing. I suspect an overpowered Kadet could start fluttering and shedding important bits if you flew it too fast. But what a joy. If you are looking for something that is more towards the relaxing end of the spectrum (but still highly manueverable and controllable) and less on the white-knuckle end of the spectrum, this is the bird for you.

Approaches: One of the first things I do on a maiden flight is throttle back and start getting a feel for the approach characteristics of the airplane. In this case, the Kadet likes to float and float and float and float … and then float some more. On my first attempt I started my down wind at about 50′ AGL. I turned base and decended to about 25′ AGL … and I was a long way out when I turned final. I figured I was going to have to run a lot of throttle to make it to the touch down point, but no … it kept floating and floating, and floated right past me at eye level. I kicked in the throttle, executed a missed approach, then lowered the idle trim a bit and tried again …

I found that I could cross control the rudder and aileron, especially on my base leg to bleed off altitude. I’m not real smooth with this, but it works well and looks really good when done right. I need to practice this so I can get comfortable with a slip on final and have better control over the decent angle.

We had a bit of a cross wind this afternoon, but that was actually kind of fun because the Kadet lands so slowly, you really have to crab it a lot to hold the runway centerline in even a moderate cross wind.

Landing: All I can say is wow. This plane has the ability to land ever so gently. It floats outside ground effect, but get that big wing down close to the ground and you begin to worry about the buttered toast strapped to the back of a cat syndrome … is there some ill understood force that is keeping this thing perpetually airborn? After a few landings I begin to get better control of my touch down spot, and I could ease it in with out even flexing the soft gear. On my last landing of the day, I touched down on the left main (I could hear the wheel start to roll) it rolled a couple feet on one wheel, then lowered the right main (and could hear it beginning to roll) and rolled out the rest of the way dropping down below flight speed and finally slowing to a stop. If I hadn’t heard the wheels rolling I wouldn’t have know for sure if I was on the ground or not. This plane seems to give you enough control and moves slow enough so you can do those sorts of things with relative ease.

I had no tracking or stability problems with the tail dragger configuration in any phase of taxiing, takeoff or landing. The length and position of the gear seemed like it came out just about perfect for beautiful 3 point landings. I may want to beef up the gear at some point since it does flex a bit even when sitting still, but for now, you can land with so little additional load on the gear, it’s not a problem. If I start adding a camera, more fuel, or other payload options, I may need a bit stronger gear.

Summary: I am just really really really impressed with what a fun relaxing airplane this is to fly. I felt like I needed/wanted to use the rudder *much* more than your typical sport plane. I had to laugh at how slow it will fly. I was puttering around at just a couple clicks above idle throttle and the engine sounded like it wanted to quit at any time it was running so slow … landings are a dream. The gentleness of the landings are almost an out of body experience.

In terms of the objectives for the maiden flight, I was highly successful on all counts and was thoroughly impressed with the flight characteristics of this aircraft!

I hope to add a camera and do some aerial photography with this platform, so I’m very happy about how slow it will fly, and how much payload it should be able to easily carry.

Stabilization

Roll/Pitch Stabilization System

Pictures of the FMA Direct Co-Pilot installation …


img_2536


img_2537

The FMA Co-Pilot has some complexity to it, so it’s important to read through the manual carefully to get it setup properly, and to get it calibrated properly at the field before flight. The manual explains quite a bit about how it works, and what it can and can’t do. It’s important to understand these things so you know the devices limits and what you can expect. I mounted my sensor on the centerline of the fuselage immediately behind the trailing edge of the wing. This gives me good visibility left/right and makes for a very clean installation. Exhaust comes out the bottom-left of cowl so it’s fairly protected from residue. I pick up more bugs there than anything else.

I discovered that you have to be very careful and precise with the field calibration procedure, otherwise it will try to drive the aircraft into a bank and the plane will be constantly turning. Conveniently, my transmitter trim still works with the Co-Pilot device activated, but one caution, if your aircraft is trimmed for normal manual flight and you activate the co-pilot and it is not perfectly calibrated, you need to retrim. That can lead to (possibly substantial) trim changes with the device on versus off … it’s workable, but you have to be aware of it.

I setup the Co-Pilot so I could turn it on/off and adjust the gain with my “flap” channel. That worked well, and I found that with my big, slow Kadet Sr. I could fly with the gains dialed to full max just fine. Initially I only activated it altitude, but eventually I tried flying lower, and even landing with it activated. It worked so well that I eventually did takeoffs and touch and goes as well as landings. I observed no ill tendencies and it seemed to help make my landing smoother because it can compensate for gusts more quickly than I can (and I was able to practice this because the winds were getting gustier as my test progressed.) With the co-pilot activated, it wants to drive the wings level and sort of tries to hold pitch. But it still passes through your manual inputs “additively” so you are able to fly fairly normally and override the stabalization controls.

Ok, so the big question after playing with the co-pilot for a few flights is “how will it work as a UAV stabalization system?” My answer at this point is, yes very well for many applications and airframes. However, it’s not perfect and it’s not magic. The Kadet is big and slow, so even with the gains dialed up to max, it can’t keep the plane perfectly level all the time. It is highly sensitive to the field calibration procedure, so you need to perform that carefully, then ensure that you are well trimmed before cutting it loose to do anything on it’s own. It does do the job though and keeps the plane reasaonably stable. With the system activated, it is very safe. You can input full rudder deflections and while I do observe some banking, the system holds it’s own and limits the bank to 10-20 degrees and keeps everything under control. Note that this is a “simple” proportional controller so it can’t cancel out all errors or biases, but it produces a “stable” system. That’s why it can’t hold the wings level against rudder input, but with neutral rudder it does just fine.

I think I’m happy enough with the co-pilot to move forward and start looking at getting my flight computer running.

 

Overview

EGN Project Overview

My first goal is to have fun and use this as an outlet for a few ideas that have been bouncing around in my head. I have a life long love of aviation, airplane models, and computers so I would like to mix these together a bit.  I have an FMA Direct CoPilot IR stabilization system that I plan to use to keep the aircraft self stable. Notice that this is instead of any type of gyro/accelerometer/IMU unit. An IMU typically reports orientation as input to a flight computer which then does mathemagic to calculate servo positions to keep the plane level. This IR unit does all that itself in a$100 unit. The downside is it can only hold the wings level, the upside is that is usually exactly what we want to do.

I also have a small flight computer, a First Robotics Minicontroller. This has a CPU and can drive servos directly. I hope to attach a GPS, do a small amount of crunching and then drive the rudder servo to steer the aircraft to a waypoint (such as home.)

I also hope to use this to do some sort of aerial photography … either wireless video, or digital stills, or both.

Beyond that it would be fun to add a radio modem to pass telemtery information to a ground station and perhaps pass commands back to the onboard computer system. I could envision some integration with FlightGear to use that as synthetic vision or overlay the live camera view on top of the synthetic view.

I am funding this project on a hobby budget. So I plan to scrimp and save, reuse existing equipment, buy off of ebay, etc. and only move as fast as my spare funds will allow. My goal is to build a self stable, self navigating R/C aircraft for under $1000 total cost.

Safety

Let me just say a brief word about safety and politics. I understand the AMA is concerned about UAV projects. They don’t want irresponsible behavior ruining the hobby for everyone else. I plan to always operate this aircraft under the constraints of the AMA safety code. (i.e. always in visual and radio range, always within the R/C model altitude limits, always with a human pilot able to assume manual control at any instant.) I also understand the FAA doesn’t really know what to do with UAV’s yet and has no immediate plan for fitting them into the USA airspace. Again, I plan to operate this aircraft entirely as a R/C model aircraft which the FAA is not interested in regulating.

Throughout this project I plan to pay keen attention to safety issues, fault tolerance for the onboard systems, safety for the pilot, safety for the aircraft, and safety for everyone else. I know I can’t control every aspect of every circumstance, but I wish to be very thoughtful, and very considerate of a wide range of safety issue so that (1) the aircraft itself is fault tolerant as much as possible, (2) the on board intelligence will be able to detect some problems before the pilot on the ground and take steps to minimize or avoid damage to the aircraft, and (3) I will operate the aircraft so that if something does happen, it will happen as far away from any person or property as possible.

I believe this approach is essentially restating the spirit of the AMA safety code with fewer specifics.

Construction

EGN Construction Log


img_2376 Please note: these entries are arranged in reverse chronological order with the newest entries at the top.

Maintanence Tasks

 

  • Engine installation.
    • Need to enlarge the cowl openings a bit for better engine access.
  •  

  • Radio installation.
    • Need to fashion better strain relief for the antenna where it exits the fuselage.
  •  

  • Apply decals.

May 13, 2005.

This project is officially moved over to active flight status!

May 11, 2005.

Today I threw on about 10.5 oz of lead up front to balance the airplane. I think we are just about ready to top off the batteries and go fly!

May 9, 2005.

Sealed gap (on one side) between horizontal stabalizer and fuselage. Balancing: now that pretty much everything is in place, I have done some initial test balancing. I have 4 3/4 oz of stick on lead in my inventory, but I think I will need a bit more than that in the nose for it to balance right. I always hate adding dead weight, but what can you do. I think the remote servo in the tail + the tail wheel is what did it to me. That said, the Kadet starts out with such a light wing loading that a few extra ounces should be unnoticable.

May 8, 2005.

Today I installed a remote fuel valve, as well as a 12×6 prop and the spinner. I screwed on the cowl, and tighted up the muffler. I then bolted on the wing and set it outside for some pictures …


img_2502


img_2504


img_2505


img_2506


img_2507

May 7, 2005.

Today I finished off the main gear installation. The aluminum main gear was special ordered from TNT landing gear. I wonder if I should have ordered two so I could install floats someday? 🙂


img_2474


img_2475


img_2478 I also padded the receiver and battery, and routed the antenna out the bottom of the airplane and to the rear. Finally I cut out and installed the side windows. It looks like she may come out a tad tail heavy, but I haven’t put the prop and spinner on yet. We are getting close to being ready for the maiden flight. It’s down to a few details now.

May 2, 2005.

I had previously mounted the tail wheel and tail wheel servo, but I needed to rig up the pull/pull spring/wire system. Today I bought some thin piano wire and did just that. It’s not perfect, but looks fine from 10′ away and is solid structurally so I guess it will do.

April 23, 2005.

Maisy expressed interest in being chief test pilot …


img_2439


img_2438


img_2437

April 23, 2005.

Last week I glued on the tail surfaces. Yesterday and today I installed the cabin servos. I then constructed the elevator and rudder pushrods, and installed them. The provided hardware/wire for one end of the pushrods broke when trying to make an “L” bend. Fortunately I had some replacement wire pushrods laying around that worked out just fine, probably better.


img_2432


img_2433


img_2434


img_2435


img_2436 I also fabricated and installed the throttle pushrod and connected it to the engine.

April 10, 2005.

Today I glued in the elevator and rudder hinges and then test fit the tail surfaces.


img_2426


img_2427


img_2428


img_2429 The tail surfaces are glued on with epoxy and care must be taken that the horizontal stabilizer is aligned with the wing (when viewed from behind), and also that it is perpendicular to the fuselage (when viewed from above). It should only require a small amount of balancing and leveling to achieve this, but 5-min epoxy means I have to work quickly. I also purchased a micro servo and tail wheel assembly for my tail-dragger conversion. I plan to plug a “Y” harness into the rudder port of my receiver and run two servos. A standard servo will control the rudder surface, and a second micro servo mounted in the tail will control the tail wheel steering. The servo will be linked to the tail wheel with springs so it won’t need to generate (or endure) a lot of torque.

March 6, 2005.

Today I drilled a new throttle pushrod hole. I filled all the extraneous left over fire wall holes (I moved the engine mount up, The throttle push rod had to move, and I am not using a nose wheel.) I also left two holes/routes (temporarily sealed) back to the main cabin if I ever want to install a larger tank. Finally, I sanded the cowl cutout so it is nice and smooth.

February 27, 2005.

For this project I have chosen a 4-stroke engine. This has caused me a fair amount of grief. With the default upright mounting scheme, the throttle arm is dead center with the tank; not exactly ideal. My final solution is to mount the engine upside down to the bottom of the motor mount arms, and move the mount up by the height of the arms so the thrust centerline stays the same. This keeps the motor mounts from needing to extend above the top of the firewall. This also puts a lot more of the engine inside the cowl and lets me use the original nose wheel push rod for the throttle. I need to be a bit careful about tank height vs. carb height, but we’ll see. I might want to add a pressurized fuel system to avoid this problem and allow me to install more fuel capacity.


img_2375


img_2376


img_2380


img_2383

September 18, 2004

I’m a little hung up on an engine mounting problem. This kit is setup to mount a 2-stroke engine upright, and everything is laid out perfectly for that. I’m trying to install a 4-stroke engine, and *everything* is in exactly the wrong spot for that … no matter what I come up with. Here’s a page I setup to describe my problem. Kadet Senior ARF 4-stroke mounting problem.

September 9, 2004.

Today I took a few minutes from the daily grind and finished installing the aileron servos and linkages into the wings. For all practical purposes the wings are now finished and flyable. Here are some various pictures of the wing:


IMG_1950


IMG_1951


IMG_1952


IMG_1953


IMG_1954


IMG_1955 Just to reference the size of this model, I’m about 5′ 9.5″ tall (1.77m for people outside the USA.) The wingspan is about 6′ 8″ (2.03m).


IMG_1956


IMG_1957 And finally, here I am testing the fit of the wing with the fuselage:


IMG_1958


IMG_1959

July 14, 2004.

My engine arrived today. I purchased it off of ebay … a Magnum 61 four stroke, but was sent an ASP 61 four stroke. As best as I can tell they are the exact same engine from the same manufacturer, but the instructions are in Chinese. You get what you pay for I guess. Here are online Magnum 61 instructions. Just Engines sells ASP engines and parts.

July 12, 2004.

Today the flight pack arrived. I purchased it new from Tower Hobbies to match my existing transmitter brand and frequency. I also purchased an extra servo (one servo per aileron) and the necessary 24″ extension cables and a “Y” harness. I needed the aileron servos and extension cables to start construction so now I’m ready to begin.

July 1, 2004.

I purchased the airframe from rcuniverse.com “new in box” for about $50 less then I could get it from any hobby shop. It arrived today. Yikes! It’s huge! Much bigger than I expected!


IMG_1603


IMG_1606