Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Hobbyzone Champ Radio Controlled Airplane Success

I have loved models planes and cars for a long time now. When I was a kid, radio control was not as common as today. I grew up with Cox .049 gas cars you had to chase after and planes that were flown on a string. Cox did come out with an electric RC plane that I bought but I crashed it on the first flight. There were no simulators back then either. Now that I have a son, I became interested in the hobby once again and loved seeing all the variety of RC models available now. Last year I purchased the Wild Hawk, ready to fly (RTF) electric plane at the recommendation of Dave Powers. After several violent crashes and many hot glue repairs, I was never able to fly this plane. Dave Powers is correct that the Wild Hawk can be easily repaired but I don’t want to keep running back to my garage and fixing it. I just want to learn how to fly it. Next, I bought the GWS Slow Stick after reading several favorable reviews about this being a great beginner plane. I was never able to fly this plane successfully either. This plane survived crashes a bit better than the Wild Hawk. I just could not keep it in the air. I cracked the stock prop even with a prop saver. I kept practicing on the simulator but gave up on these two planes for a while due to shattered confidence. Next I came across the Hobbyzone Champ. I watched videos of it and read many reviews on how good this plane was for beginners. I was hesistant. I went to an RC night at a local school gym and most everyone there had a Champ. Winter came and my interest declined. This spring, my interest started again. I was thinking of buying the upgrade MicroJet V3 motor kit for the Wild Hawk thinking that would solve my flying problems. My Wild Hawk was now all reinforced and I had extension surfaces on tail and rudder. I kept coming back to the Champ as the way to go though. I gave myself 2 weeks. If I still wanted it after 2 weeks, then I would buy it. The 2 weeks passed and I bought a new Champ from a seller on ebay. It came 2 days later. After charging the batteries, I went out early on Sunday morning. It was a beautiful morning with no wind at all. I had the radio set to low rate. I set it down on pavement near a baseball field. I gave it speed and it took off. I was flying! I was flying for more than 1 minute too. Two, three, four, five, six minutes passed by of continuous flying over the baseball field and I was grinning ear to ear. This plane is AWESOME! It flies great and is very forgiving. I mostly flew at half throttle and it was fine. I did not want to run down the lipo battery so I landed it after about 6 minutes. It probably could have gone a little more, but I need to learn more about that. After all these years, I finally had success with an electric rc plane! This is the greatest plane. All the positive reviews are absolutely true about this plane as I can now attest. My only recommendation if you are just beginning would be to first get the free FMS simulator and use it to get practice with orientation, controls, take offs and landings. There is a Champ model that you can import into FMS. Then get the Champ and you will be flying first time. Definitely worth every penny!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Boatbuilder's Brass Bevel Gauge

I made this small brass bevel gauge out of brass plate that I purchased from Lowes. Sanded up to 1000 grit, then polished on buffing wheel with green compound. Used brass hardware and deformed end of screw slightly so nut won't come off when loosened.

The brass plate from Lowes is found in the doorknob aisle. It is a door push plate I think

Monday, May 2, 2011

Twist Lock Marking Gauge

I made a Frank Klausz design twist lock marking gauge. Plan is from American Woodworker, Issue #42 from December 1994.