Another flying week and I was beaten to the field by a guy with a couple of white aeroplanes. Walking across the field I was thinking, “Eurofighter? – no, Mirage? – no, Viggen – yes!”. You don’t see many Saab Viggens being modelled and I’ve always fancied building myself one. He actually had a Viggen and an SU27 made from depron sheet, both using pusher props. The Viggen had a single two blade prop on the back, while the SU27 had thrust vectoring and two rear mounted three blade props. He had actually 3D printed the thrust vectoring units himself and proceeded to show what crazy manoeuvres it could do, looping almost within its own length. Just to add to the collection he also had a quadcopter based on the F450 with the longer racing body. The first flight with this, though, ended in a crash. He flew out, something happened and it twisted left in an odd way, recovered, then flipped out again and crashed into the ground. The cause turned out to be a broken dual diversity antenna on the radio causing him to lose radio contact. This was an interesting one, because, without the second antenna working in an alternate orientation plane, it was fine flying away from us, but the turn caused the radio to drop out due to orientation and carbon fibre blocking the signal. So the initial glitch caused it to move into a bad orientation, which quickly turned into an even worse situation with total loss of radio. It didn’t suffer much damage other than a broken prop, so it should be flying again soon with its second antenna soldered back on.
In addition to depron warplanes, the E-Flite Advance also had a few flights, I managed three with my RS352 and then another guy with a racing quad in a box came along. Near the end of the morning we were also joined by another guy with a DJI Phantom in its big carrying case, plus a dad and his two small kids with a Multiplex Easy Star. This was interesting, because he had it set up with two transmitters using the trainer function so he could teach the little ones to fly. That was interesting in itself because, although he said that they could manage on the simulator, once they were out in the real world it all went a bit crazy. I had to leave them to it unfortunately.
As for my flights with the RS352, it is definitely making more noise than it was before I replaced the motor shaft. I put it down to the washer and circlip at the front of the motor as there is a definite “metal on metal” sound that wasn’t there before. It might be the prop adapter slipping as I thought after the first flight that there was more space between the back of the adapter and front of the fuselage. I tightened it all up and kept an eye on it for the next flights, but nothing seemed to be wrong. After dismantling it this afternoon, it looks like it might have been slipping, so I’m going to make myself a spacer to use when fitting the prop adapter so I can check whether the distance has changed after every flight. The trim doesn’t seem too far off, but the weather the last two weeks has been far from ideal with the gusty conditions. I do seem to be getting problems on the up and down lines which might be due to a changed thrust line though.
Finally, I’ve managed to fix my bench power supply, which needed a new fan. I’ve been using this Ripmax Pro-Peak supply for years and it’s been really useful, so I didn’t want to just throw it away.
The bearings on the fan had gone, so I managed to get another 40mm fan from Maplin and replace the old one. I’m not going to give too many details, because it’s one of those things where if you need to ask, then you shouldn’t be doing it. I had to remove the four tamper-proof screws from the case to get into it before I could then replace the fan, changing the connectors over from old to new.
The picture shows the old fan, with the new one installed and working. It’s currently putting my batteries back to a storage level, so it looks like it’s working again.
The rest of today I’m going to make an effort to get the autogyro closer to flight ready as it’s Easter next week and I always seem to end up test flying all my new models at Easter. There’s no point in flying it until the wind drops though.