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Workshop Build-Along — Sopwith Camel Part 30 — Test Flight with Video

Workshop Build-Along — Sopwith Camel Part 30 — Test Flight with Video

Well after a long and enjoyable build-along series, I finally got the Sopwith Camel test flown at the recent 40th Annual Father’s Day Fun Fly in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. We went early and test flew the plane before the competition started.

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I should have been less anxious to commit aviation and I think it was a good example of the Murphy’s Law principal. I had run the engine several times with the same throttle linkage and fuel tank on my test rig before installing the engine in the Camel.

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Well, after assembling the model, I cranked up the engine and the idle was way off. I could get the throttle down to about 2,500 rpm but no where near the 1,900 I got on the test stand. So all my friends help with a thousand suggestions and we get the needle valves readjusted and get the idle down a little bit more. But instead of just sitting there in a happy idle when the throttle trim lever is all the way back, it starves of fuel and dies. More fiddling and now looking back at it, the engine idle was sketchy at best…. Good enough I say and off we go.

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Balance is way nose heavy, a good thing I guess but the Camel tracks nice and straight and off it goes. It climbs nicely and not overly sensitive on any of the controls. My good friend and Ace test pilot is Dave Baron is at the controls and he says all things feel great. Maybe 10 to 15 % aileron to rudder mix, if I wanted too, but aileron differential and Expo are all more or less spot on. Then after a circuit of the field, Dave announces there no throttle control and the engine is wide open…

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So… for the next 25 minutes or so the Camel stays upwind and does about 800 figure-8s. No vibration issues, no flutter, nothing falls off, so in all, it was a good shakedown flight. The engine goes silent and the Camel comes down like an elevator. (Very nose heavy) and right at the end of the landing Dave says he’s out of up elevator, but as  you can see from the last image above, it lands without incident. Phewww!

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So, I am going to remove 6 or 7 ounces of lead from the firewall and work on the carburetor. I am going to check the fuel line for pin holes and open up the carb to see if we sucked in something to clog the fuel filter screen. If I have too, I will simply replace the carb, with a new one.

The cause of the 20 minute full power test flight was that the metal throttle arm fell off the carb’s throttle shaft. The screw was the only one I did not Locktite! All good in the end! So, through careful scientific testing, we have also figured out that a full tank of gas equals only 35% of the radio battery’s capacity! A good ratio I think.

I’ll be making test flight no. 2 shortly after removing some of the nose ballast and getting the engine adjustments taken care of.

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Test Flight Photos Sopwith Camel

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CamelMe

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Revell Nano Hexagon RTF

Revell Nano Hexagon RTF

Take multirotor flying down to a micro scale with the Nano Hexagon. This tiny six-rotor marvel is small in size but big on fun and ease! Six rotors offer improved stability for easy flights indoors or out. Plus, the transmitter includes an auto flip button to execute pro flips on command! Six-rotor helis are set to be the next big thing in the multirotor market. Don’t miss out on a minute of fun flying; get your Nano Hexagon today!

Features:

  • Advanced 2.4GHz radio for precise, reliable control
  • Flip Flip button for pro flips whenever you want.
  • LED Lights The Nano Hexagon includes orientation-assisting LED lights for easy flight, day or night!
  • Gyro Six rotors make every flight smooth and level.

Specifications:

Diagonal: 64 mm (2.5 in)
Weight: 20.4 g (0.7 oz)
Battery voltage: 3.7v
RC range: 20m

Includes:

Radio system, rechargeable 150mAh LiPo battery and USB charger, “AA” batteries and extra blade set

Requires:

Nothing!

#LXFEBF** – $39.99

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An RC Jumbo Jet’s First Flight

An RC Jumbo Jet’s First Flight

Boing 747-400 pic 1An RC plane’s first flight is usually a nerve-racking experience, but what if you’re flying a 16-foot-span, four-turbine-powered scale airliner? Earlier this month in Oppingen, Germany, Adi Pitz’s 747-400 scale model took off with pilot Rainer Kamitz at the controls. The largest plane Adi has ever built, it has over 2,000 hours of work into it, so we can only imagine how nervous he was! The 747 is powered by four Hammer Engines turbines, each with a thrust of 14kg, and it’s controlled by Weatronic radio gear. The 131-pound giant has sequenced landing gear and is 17.8-feet long. Thanks to  YouTube’s Kingschneidi for sharing this great video of the 747′s first flight!

 

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5 Easy Steps to the Knife-Edge Spin

5 Easy Steps to the Knife-Edge Spin

In my opinion, the knife-edge spin is one of the most impressive extreme aerobatic maneuvers. It’s very demanding for the pilot and the airframe. In traditional knife-edge, the aircraft is rolled approximately 90 degrees from upright level flight. Then altitude is sustained by using top rudder. When the maneuver is complete, the pilot will roll the model 90 degrees to return to upright level flight. Compared with a traditional knife-edge, in a knife-edge spin, the model’s attitude remains parallel with the horizon. To do the knife-edge spin, you have to gain a lot of altitude. Then, when you are ready to begin, bring your throttle back to about 50-percent power and apply full down-elevator and right or left aileron and rudder. When the model begins to tumble, it will change its attitude and begin a tumbling descent. This is the knife-edge spin. When you are ready to exit the maneuver, simply neutralize all stick inputs, and the model will quickly come out of the spin. Then pull up-elevator ever so gently to an upright and level flight exit.
During a knife-edge spin, your model will quickly lose a lot of altitude. This is because during this maneuver, lift comes from your fuselage side area, which doesn’t even compare with the lift produced by your wing area. Make sure you gain a lot of altitude before you begin this maneuver.

FIRST THINGS FIRST
When you start to do a maneuver that stresses the airframe, e.g., the knife-edge spin, you must make sure that you have a rigid airframe with the best possible linkage setup. Also make sure that your model has more than enough servo power.  Now let’s talk about you, the pilot. Most pilots roll more comfortably in one direction than the other. If you prefer to roll right, it’s better for you to spin to the right during a knife-edge spin and vice versa. Once you’re familiar with the maneuver, you’ll be able to spin in either direction.
Begin at a high altitude and with your model parallel to the runway. In the language of aerobatics, we say our position relative to the runway is our center. When the model approaches the center of the aerobatic box, you will begin the maneuver.

knife edge spin

1. In this example, we fly the maneuver from left to right. When you have gained enough altitude (spin-entry height) and the model is in the center of the aerobatic box, start the maneuver. Fly into the wind, pull the throttle back to about 50-percent power and apply down-elevator and left aileron and rudder. The model will tumble but will soon enter a knife-edge spin, or a tumbling spin.

2. You need to hold the same inputs throughout the maneuver, but some models may react differently. If you have too much down-elevator deflection, your model may enter an upright flat spin. If you find that this is the case, you must decrease the endpoint values of your control surfaces. Start by decreasing elevator deflection, and if the model still does not want to do a knife-edge spin, slightly decrease aileron deflection, too.

3. To control your model’s rate of descent during this maneuver, increase the throttle. On 3D-capable models, you can add power to increase their angle of attack. At a lower throttle setting, the model will sit at a lower angle relative to the horizon; increasing the throttle will lift the fuselage because of rudder authority.

4. To complete the maneuver, simply neutralize your sticks. As soon as you do this, your model will come out of the knife-edge spin. Timing is everything, and you need to time it so that your model exits the maneuver in an attitude that’s perpendicular to the runway.

5. When the model is perpendicular to the runway, pull back on the elevator for a gentle 90-degree turn to exit in upright level flight and parallel to the runway.
You’ve finished the maneuver! Sit back, relax and enjoy the rest of your flight!
Give yourself time to learn this maneuver. If you have difficulties, do not blame yourself; instead, check your airframe and tweak your endpoint adjustments as described in Step 2 so that your model will fly the knife-edge spin. Next time, I’ll continue my discussion of various aerobatic maneuvers, but until then, practice, practice, practice and have fun!

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Highlights of the new JR 28X Radio System

Highlights of the new JR 28X Radio System

Featured in the September 2015 issue of MAN, the new JR 28X  from JR Americas is an amazing radio system.

I have been a JR radio enthusiast for many years and have always found the brand to be rock solid in the performance department. One of my first serious, “go to” radios was the touch screen equipped JR 10X. Eventually it was eclipsed by the pro level JR 12X. Recently, when JR Americas decided it was time to replace the 12X, the plan from the start was to create, from the ground up, a new system with quality and features to make it a true Flagship radio. Well, I was very impressed the first time I saw the 28X transmitter, and after using it for a while now, I can definitely say that it has indeed accomplished JR’s mission. Without exaggeration,  the new JR 28X sets a very high standard for professional grade programmable radio systems. Let’s take a closer look and see what this amazing system beings to the party.

Unique Features

Located above the display, a total of 24 switches, give you wide open device assignment and location options. These include digital trims, rotary knobs, 2- and 3-position switches, and side mounted slider switches. The biggest and most obvious feature setting the 28X apart from the rest is its large colorful and easy to operate touch screen with clear icons and “swipe select” page displays. Also, the radio’s operating system is Android based so working around the menus is like adjusting a cell-phone or a tablet.

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(Above) Standard Main Screen Display

The learning curve is similar to learning a new cell phone, at least it was for me. In the basic list of functions there is everything you would expect including dual processors for extremely smooth interfacing and ultra-reliable RF output. The user interface, (the main screen), is very customizable; you can even change wallpaper and color schemes to personalize your programming experience. Having an Android operating system also provides Wifi connection to the internet. This allows downloads of photos as well as control program data. In all, there is 4GB of internal memory and 512MB of RAM. The 28X also has an external SD card slot for additional memory storage space for models, images sound and telemetry data.

Structure

Looking at the 28X’s basic makeup, the transmitter is housed within a cast aluminum chassis and it comes with an integrated USB host controller and USB device port allowing easy data and PC interfacing and connection. Its stick units are supported by CNC aluminum ball-bearing supported gimbals and the stick step resolution is an amazing 65,536 steps which is 16 times more precise than other RC radio systems.

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(Above) Precision Stick gimbals give a ultra-fine control feel.

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(Above) look close. There’s something special about the control sticks

Unique to the 28X are small but very useful stick dials located midway up each of the control sticks. Two additional channels can be assigned to these for various functions. The transmitter comes configured with sixteen 14ms (14 microsecond refresh rate) channels. If you require more than that, you can add four (56ms) channels at a time, in place of one 14ms channel. So the final 28 channels are in a configuration of twelve 14ms channels and sixteen 56ms channels, all of which are proportional. For normal pilots, you won’t be able to feel the difference between the 14ms and 56ms channel performance. The transmitter uses the ultra-secure 2.4GHz DMSS (Dual Modulation Spectrum System) signal modulation which maintains high servo response speed and simultaneous telemetry functions.

There is a small compartment under a sliding cover that includes a USB and mini USB port, a microphone jack, a trainer connection and the charger port. The slot for the SD Card is on the right side of the transmitter also under a protective cover. The radio comes with a 3200mAh Li-Ion transmitter battery and the battery compartment is arranged to accept a second battery pack for greatly increased power duration.

Another unique feature with the 28X is the throttle stick travel adjustment. As well as being able to adjust the length and tension of the throttle stick, you can add the optional stroke adjustment blocks to the gimbal, to adjust the throttle travel. The same feature can also be used to adjust the elevator stick’s stroke if desired. The blocks provide angle reductions of -5, -10, -15 degrees, as well as an option for fixing the throttle stick in the neutral position with no movement. When using these limiter blocks, the control function does have to be recalibrated, (information for this is provided with the blocks).

Main Display

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(Above) my customized Main display setup with the wallpaper and widgets I use the most.

I really like the look and functionality of the main display, which in the instructions, is referred to as the Desktop. You set up the available screens by pressing various icons from the sub-menus and position them onto the main display. Four frequently used icons can be added to the Docking section to the right of the desktop. This Drag-n-Drop icon feature really speeds up your screen customization. Across the top of the screen is the model name, (at the top left), while smaller standard icons to the right show for the model type, wifi-connection, transmitter battery voltage (an optional second battery pack icon if installed), and local time.

All the icons are found on the Function, System, Other and Widgets screens brought up by pressing the Menu Icon. Then by pressing the icon it is activated so you can move it. Also, you can select various wallpapers by pressing the sub-menu button to the left of the screen while the main desktop is displayed.

For my radio setup I included one of the timers, the transmitter voltage and the receiver voltage icons as well as the six trim input indicators. In the Docking area I placed my Dual Rate, Servo Reverse, Servo Travel and Sub-Trim icons. On the secondary screen to the left of the main display I placed the icons for Binding, Model Type Select, Mixing, Differential and the Servo Monitor. There are three additional secondary screens available.

Programming

Fifteen flight modes (FM) are available for each of the aircraft type, (Acro/Heli/Sailplane), with each FM being completely customizable. When it comes to alerts, the audio controller makes it very easy to setup. You can use Voice, Vibe, Music and Audio alarms with what every setting you wish including Telemetry perimeters.

A very cool feature is that the Trim input switches can be used to adjust almost all of the mix curves and other functions during flight. The entire curve can be increased and/or decreased using the trim input switch while the curve shape does not change, or alternatively individual points on a curve can be adjusted during flight.

On top of all these basic must-have features, the 28X also brings some new special features to the game. These include:

Channel Sequencing: (referred to as Gear Function). This handy function was introduced after many JR customers, especially RC jet and scale guys, continued to ask for it. It allows you to setup custom servo/control sequences with the flip of a switch. Basically it simplifies setting up the movement and combination of the retractable landing gear and timing it with the movement of landing gear doors in both directions of landing gear travel.

Voice Alerts: The voice is adjustable and you can adjust the priority orders for when the radio calls off the stats. You can also assign the function to a switch so you can turn the voice on and off during flight.

Cool Trick: If you plug in a wireless mouse adapter to the 28X’s USB port, you can actually use a wireless mouse to help navigate and adjust the programming menus. This makes bench setup faster and easier, especially if you have dried glue on your finger tips!

Receiver

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(Above)  The 7-channel RG712BX antenna diversity receiver.

Included with the JR 28X is the 7-channel RG712BX antenna diversity receiver. It has seven servo outputs and an XBus port to allow expansion to utilize all the channels and features of this transmitter.

The optional XBus system capability employs serial data transmission instead of PWM (Pulse width modulation) signal control which is usually used to control RC aircraft. The XBus signals contain all channels. Each device selects data that is assigned to it and they respond according to the data. Before connecting the XBus products, continue with the normal channel assignment using the transmitter or other devices. If this is not done first the devices will not respond to the signals. Do not directly connect conventional PWM devices to the XBus output. Doing so can cause damage. The power supply can be separated for each device using the optional JR XBus “Hub”.

Bottom Line

New radios come to market every day but a game changer like the JR 28X is a generational addition. It totally redefines programming in the JR Americas line and in my opinion, will remain their flagship system for a long time to come. It has become my new Go To radio and I plan to put it to good use. If you are looking for a truly unique pro-level radio, look no further, the 28X is here to stay.

Specifications

Transmitter: JR 28X

Distributor: JR Americas (JRAmericas.com)

Type: 28 channel computer mixing

Radio Frequency: 2.4GHz

Modulation: DMSS (Dual Modulation Spectrum System) FHSS Spread Spectrum Method

Power source: 7.2V 3200mAh Li-Ion battery (option for 2)

Neutral position: 1.5ms

Price: $2699.99

Highlights

•        Integrated Full Color touch screen with Android interface

•        Advanced drag-n-drop screen graphic icons

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•        Dual Stick Aux. control levers

•        15 flight modes for Acro, Heli and Sailplane menus

•        Curve adjustment by Trim device

•        Audio Controller for voice, music, and telemetry notifications

Other Useful Screen Displays

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(Above) Customizable Model Name/Select screen with digital image.

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(Above) Additonal auxiliary screen on either side of the main screen, just a finger swipe away, you can add whatever additional function icons to these pages.

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(Above) Well thought out management for servo control throws.

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(Above) Function Menu with clear icons for selecting and adjusting what you want

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X-Bus servo control setup could not be any easier with the available screens.

 

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William Wylam: March 9, 1915 – June 4, 2015

William Wylam: March 9, 1915 – June 4, 2015

William Austin “Bill” Wylam, noted aviation artist, historian and longtime contributor and friend of Model Airplane News passed away June 4, 2015. Everyone here at MAN offer our deepest condolences to the Wylam family and in knowing Bill for so long will miss him dearly. We learned from his son, Stuart Wylam, that he passed peacefully surrounded by friends while in hospice care at the Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital Oak Park Pavillion, Santa Barbara, CA.

Bill Wylam (2)

From 1932 to 1940, his work of producing 3-view drawing was irregular and according the Bill, the postwar years had the greatest growth in the entire model airplane history. This boom started around 1950 and peaked around 1970 when he left Model Airplane News due to his heavy workload at NASA. Bill retired as a Senior Electrical Engineer from the Space Program in 1984.

During the thirty-odd years he was with Model Airplane News, Bill commented that he was fortunate to meet many outstanding aviation figures and modelers including: Orville Wright, General Henry H. Arnold, Charles A. Lindbergh, and U.S. Aircraft Carrier Commander, Admiral Marc A. Mitscher, U.S. Navy.

Professional history:

  • Over 1500 published airplane drawings
  • Twelve books on airplanes
  • Over 1200 copyrights
  • Seventeen industrial patents
  • Three NASA citations

Biography

Born in Chicago, IL in 1915, Bill started modeling around 1924 after seeing scale model exhibits becoming interested in the hobby. Reading the aviation column of the Chicago Tribune for information, Bill commented that “the building of these solid models of different scales provided a wealth of experience and education”. Using wood from local construction sites, Bill’s only tools were razor blades, a knife hand, a drill, and a sandpaper block.

In about 1925, he joined the Airplane Model League of America (AMLA) as one of its charter members. Sponsored by the J. L. Hudson Co., in Detroit, the club held events and allowed members to share information, views, tips, tool use, photographs, drawings, etc., which developed the formation of the AMLA newsletter published by the J. L. Hudson Co.

In 1930, he learned the basics of mechanical drawing from an excellent instructor, Fred H. Zimmerman and his model-building hobby ended when he became deeply involved in airplane drawing. During the summer months of 1933 and 1934, Bill was a volunteer assistant to Paul Garber, working with the Smithsonian’s aviation collection. While in college, he was also a part-time designer for Cleveland, Comet, and General Models, all model kit manufacturers.

From the early days of AMLA events, he personally know Nicholas Loftus-Price and Charles Hampson Grant. Nicholas was aviation editor for McFadden Publications and Open Road for Boys, and was the first editor for Universal Model Airplane News. Around 1931, Nicholas returned to McFadden Publications; Charles Hampson Grant became the editor of Universal Model Airplane News. After a while he approached Nicholas with a plan of publishing detailed aircraft drawings with cross sections and photographs. The editor liked the whole plan but he painted a grim picture of the future. In 1932, he reopened the publishing plan with Charles Hampson Grant and George C. Johnson, Model Airplane News’ president.

Information Courtesy of the Academy of Model Aeronautics

From his son Stuart—

“The Supermarine Spitfire was one of the drawings my father would do in his spare time for this hobby magazines [Model Airplane News]. He made over 500 drawings starting in 1932 to 1970. This drawing he probably drew in the 40′s. A lot of drawings were “lifted” and used as illustrations in other publications and the plastic aircraft model industry used his drawings none of them would note who was the illustrator or list him as a reference for their work.

Spitfire

Its tedious time consuming work and reference material was much more expensive and difficult to obtain in the pre-internet era. Early years, due to expense, he worked from just photographs and translated it too detailed plans. During the wars years of the ’40s he had his home searched and files taken by the F.B.I. twice inquiring how he was getting his sources.

WylamB-29drawings

(Above) The B-29 drawing was drawn inaccurate on purpose.

Feeling that a future security clearance could be jeopardized he produced a drawing with exaggerated and misleading features, (B-29 drawing). Plastic model companies copied the flawed drawing exactly and produced the kits for decades. You can Google “Wylam aircraft plans images” and see more views of the drawings and amusing pictures of how some of the plastic kits were just copied in detail”.

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Workshop Build-Along — Sopwith Camel — Part 29: Balancing the CG

Workshop Build-Along — Sopwith Camel — Part 29: Balancing the CG

Well, this is the very last workshop segment from this Sopwith Camel Build-Along. After getting the model balanced, it will all be about how it flies, and that means a trip to the Club’s flying field.

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To balance the model, I used scuba weight and lead shot installed in the engine compartment. I built a plywood shelf and epoxied it to the top of the compartment. The battery pack usually set like it is here but my Cowling ring gets in the way so it will be moved to just behind the firewall.

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So half of a lead scuba weight is attached under the shelf which I screwed and glued into place to the firewall. This is positioned so it does not touch the engine or engine mounts.

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The other half of the weight is split into two pieces and I glued and screwed these pieces to the sides of the compartment on either side of the engine.

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When using lead shot, I mix it with Zap Finishing Resin and pour everything into a 1-inch-deep balsa box and let cure. It is then glued to the underside of the shelf just in front of the scuba weight, and secured with two large cable ties. A total of 6 pounds of ballast beings the weight of the Camel up to 26 pounds. Still in the high 20 oz. range for the wing loading. Which is still in good numbers territory.

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I used this plywood arrangement which is about 12 inches long by 2 inches wide and coated with stick on sand paper as a balance support. The model was balanced at 4.5 inches (25% MAC) and the aft range is 5 5/8 inches. The top wing cutout comes in handy for this balancing act.

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A block and tackle is used to lift the model.

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I lift the model only a few inches of the ground and let the model hang until it levels out.

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I added ballast until the top wing was setting at a level 0zero degrees of incidence. You can see that the top fuselage longeron line, just below the hatch cover is showing a slight negative angle. This is good as that line is my zero datum line.

That’s it! Now where did I put the gas jug?!

 

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Video: Flyzone A6M2 Zero

Video: Flyzone A6M2 Zero

Long-ranged, fast, and more maneuverable than any Allied aircraft of the time, the Japanese Zero was the ultimate aggressor. With its combination of looks, performance, and unique features, the Flyzone Select Scale Zero is an elegant representation of the power and lethal beauty of the Zero. This bird is authentic all the way from the trim scheme and brushless motor system down to the replica bomb drop and retractable electric landing gear.

The Zero comes in two versions—Rx-R and RTF. With an extra receiver around the house, you can be in the air in minutes with the Rx-R. The RTF comes ready to take your flights to greater heights. Just charge the battery, get out and fly!

FLZA4320 — RTF

Wingspan: 45 in (1145 mm)
RTF Weight: 2.25 -2.5 lb (1020-1130 g)
Length: 37 in (940 mm)
Wing Area: 307 in² (19.8 dm²)
Wing Loading: 17-19 oz/ft² (52-58 g/dm²)
Requires: Nothing!

FLZA4324 – Rx-R

Wingspan: 45 in (1145 mm)
RTF Weight: 2.25 -2.5 lb (1020-1130 g)
Length: 37 in (940 mm)
Wing Area: 307 in² (19.8 dm²)
Wing Loading: 17-19 oz/ft² (52-58 g/dm²)
Requires: 6-channel SLT transmitter and receiver — or — AnyLink2 and compatible 6-channel transmitter. 11.1V 2200mAh LiPo battery & LiPo charger.

Learn more about the A6M2 Zero by visiting its product page at: http://www.flyzoneplanes.com/airplanes/flza4320/index.html

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Flight Line Hobby Starter Battery Box

Flight Line Hobby Starter Battery Box

Flight Line Hobby, a division of Aspect Aviation, is pleased to introduce the SBB, the Starter Battery Box. The SBB economically allows you to use conventional 3 or 4 cell 2200 to 3300 MAH Li Po batteries to power your glow engine starter. The laser cut plywood box is quickly assembled and can be custom finished. The SBB eliminates cords and clutter. Assembly and mounting hardware is includedAs active modelers Flight Line recognized that the cord from a starter to a separate battery or power panel was cumbersome. Batteries, zipped tied or duct taped to a starter, was no answer. The SBB  was design to fit commercially available starters like the Hobbico Torquemaster180 and 90 and the Hanger 9 Power Pro but can accommodate other starters simply by drilling appropriate mounting holes. Older Sullivan starters can be adapted as well. The SBB is offered as a stand alone kit for only $15.99, with a starter or as a complete package with the starter and battery. Visit www.flightlinehobby.com for more details.

Gallery > Flight Line Hobby Starter Battery Box

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