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Vaterra 1986 Chevrolet K5 Blazer Ascender Scale Truck

vaterra ascender 1

As soon as Horizon Hobby launched the all-new Vaterra brand (only about a year and a half ago) and the rock crawling community got a look at its Twin Hammers release, there has been a clamor for a traditional scale truck. As overall well received as the Twin Hammers has been, “Yeah, that’s cool, but how about a scale truck?” has been part of the conversation. Well, the wait is over and here it is, the Ascender. We’re sure there will be other Ascender offerings, but the first out of the gate is this 1986 Chevrolet K5 Blazer.

The key points here are the Ascender is the name of the chassis platform and it’s being offered as a kit. The body is clear, so how it looks is up to you. Electronics are also up to you. The item number is VTR03023 and the current price is listed as $320. No official release date has been, well, released as of yet (we’ll keep you posted).

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The Ascender chassis is a ladder frame made out of stamped steel. Stamped steel gives a much more realistic final product compared to chunky machined aluminum, so that’s good. The interesting part is that the chassis is adjustable to allow of four different wheelbase settings: 12.36 in (314mm), 11.9 in (302mm), 11.4 in (290mm) and 10.95 in (278mm).

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So, instead of messing with different links to make the truck longer or short for different bodies, you adjust the chassis. The battery is positioned over the front axle, so the Ascender should have weight distribution optimized in such a way that it lives up to its name and can climb.

The rear suspension is a 4-link setup with aluminum links. The front suspension has a 3-link with panhard bar, which is also technically 4-link setup. The cool part here is the front has a chassis-mounted servo, which is more realistic than a servo mounted to the axle. The shocks feature plastic threaded bodies, so ride height is as easy as twisting a shock collar.

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The transmission features all metal gears and is designed to be fitted with an optional 2-speed setup. The optional 2-speed is a big plus, but even better is that Vaterra includes CV-style front axles with the kit. The Ascender is also equipped with an adjustable slipper clutch. The final drive ratio is listed as 7.86:1.

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The 1986 K-5 Blazer body is fully licensed and features some hard plastic details for the grille. The 1.9 Interco Super Swamper tires are also licensed.

ascender scale

So, it appears Vaterra may have nailed it. There’s a lot here to like. The adjustable chassis might first seem gimmicky, but the idea of adjusting the wheelbase without having to mess with links is really appealing. The chassis-mounted servo means the Ascender comes stock with one of the most popular modifications. Adding a chassis-mounted servo isn’t all that difficult, but getting the steering and suspension to work properly together if your vehicle is at all modified can require a lot of rather frustrating trial and error. The front CV-style axles are also all sorts of awesome. The body and the stance are spot on. The bottom line is Varerra and the folks at Horizon Hobby made us wait longer than we wanted to, but it appears the Ascender is worth the wait.

Learn more here.

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Pro-Line Car Stand

6258-00-1

Pro-Line has come out with two new car stands inspired by motocross bike stands. Pro-Line’s stands are alloy and come in two sizes, 1/10- and 1/8-scale. They and are laser cut, bent to shape and powder-coated blue. The stands have shock building holes and include rubber grommets to protect your chassis and prevent your car from sliding around.

1/10-scale Stand (part no. 6258-00)
3” tall x 5” x 5.25”
Recommended for 1/10-scale buggies, stadium trucks, short course trucks, 1/10-scale trucks and 1/8=scale buggies

1/8-cale Stand (6257-00)
4.75” tall x 6.5” x 7”
Recommended for 1/8-scale truggies and buggies and monster trucks

Learn more here.

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FLY THE AVALANCHE: 4 simple steps to this impressive move

FLY THE AVALANCHE: 4 simple steps to this impressive move

Even if you don’t aspire to be a competition pilot, you can learn from the fundamentals in this exciting competition move. For example, I’m sure a lot of you have performed a basic loop. In fact, the loop is the first aerobatic maneuver that many people perform. The avalanche is a basic loop, but has one addition to it. At the top of the loop, the pilot performs a snap roll. Since we’ve discussed the snap roll in the past, this is the perfect next maneuver to cover. Without further delay, let’s get the avalanche rolling!

First things First

Avalanche2

When performing a graceful maneuver like the loop, focus your attention on geometry and smoothness. When executing the “loop” portion of this aerobatic maneuver, you want a low-rate setting that has about 12 degrees of elevator deflection, 30 degrees of rudder deflection, 25 degrees or more of aileron deflection and exponential on all surfaces. As a starting place, I recommend you use about 20% of expo and increase it until you are comfortable with how the airplane responds. Keep in mind that adding expo will soften the feel of how your servo reacts around neutral.

Let’s now discuss the snap roll. The snap roll rotation should happen relatively fast, and if you find that your model “barrel rolls” around in rotation, you do not have enough control surface deflection and may need different rates on your radio. Most models will snap with about 15 degrees of elevator, 35 degrees of rudder and 35 degrees of aileron throw, but again, values differ from model to model. This serves as an overview, and fine-tuning your model will be up to you. As I mentioned earlier, use exponential and start with a value of about 35% on all control surfaces and then make any necessary adjustments.

When I perform a maneuver like the avalanche, I keep my model on my low-rate settings for the “loop” portion of the maneuver. Then, when I want to initiate the snap roll, I switch to my high-rate setting. I perform the snap and flip immediately back to my low-rate setting for the rest of the figure. To simplify matters, I use flight modes, which means that all rates can be found on one switch!

AVALANCHE OVERVIEW
Until you are familiar with this maneuver, I recommend you climb to an altitude of about 150 feet. Keep in mind, though, that this altitude will vary depending on the size of your model; this starting point is great for an electric model with a wingspan of about 50 inches.

Once your altitude is established and your airplane is travelling in a manner that is parallel to the runway, increase the throttle and begin a gradual loop right when the model passes the pilot (for future reference, the pilot’s position is called the “center”). Keeping the same radius, it’s critical to perform a snap roll at the top of the loop. If the loop began immediately after the model passed the pilot, the snap should be performed as the model is inverted over the top of the loop and at center. Once the snap roll is performed, the model continues the second half of the loop and exits at the same altitude at which the maneuver began.

Now, let’s simplify the control inputs needed and divide this maneuver into four steps:

1 Begin by climbing to a safe altitude and orienting your model so it’s traveling parallel to the runway. The throttle will vary depending on your model’s power-to-weight ratio and the size of your loop. If your model has a fairly equal power-to-weight ratio, you’ll need to use maximum power, especially if you want to perform a larger loop. Increase the throttle to about 90% for your first attempt, and wait until the model approaches center.

2 If you’re using dual rates, make sure you’re on your low-rate setting. As the model is at center, gently pull back on the elevator control surface to begin the loop. Geometry is the key, and it’s critical to perform a perfect circle. With that being said, you may need to increase your throttle to keep the speed of the model constant. Also, you may need to make various rudder corrections to keep the model at the same distance from you (nine out of 10 times, you’ll need to apply right rudder due to motor torque). Keep the same radius constant throughout, and when the model is almost halfway through the loop, it should almost be at center, but inverted. This is a key moment to flip to your high-rate settings, or what I call my “snap rate condition.”

3 Initiate the positive snap roll by applying full left rudder, left aileron and up-elevator (if performing the snap to the left; otherwise, right rudder and right aileron with up-elevator). After one complete rotation is performed, neutralize inputs and immediately flip back to your low-rate setting and decrease the throttle to about 10% power.

4 Complete the second half of the loop. When the model is 75% done with the loop, it may be necessary to lower the throttle to idle. However, keep in mind that you may need to increase the power again as you are approaching center (the same point at which the maneuver began).

TIPS FOR SUCCESS

Now that you have learned how to properly execute the avalanche, let’s discuss a few key tips. If you are flying in an extreme headwind, you may need to gradually pull the model up to initiate the loop and then pull back harder once it has completed the first quadrant, as the wind may push you toward center faster than anticipated. After the snap is performed, you’ll need to pull a little harder on the elevator until you are about 80% done with the loop. You then ease off elevator to complete the maneuver as the model is directly in front of you. Whether you are flying in a head-wind, which we just described, tailwind, or crosswind, it is critical for this maneuver to be centered and performed directly in front of you. Make all necessary adjustments so the model always remains at the same depth from you and that it reaches the cardinal points.

The avalanche is a neat maneuver to both fly and watch. Safe flying and have fun!

 

Model Airplane News - The #1 resource for RC plane and helicopter enthusiasts featuring news, videos, product releases and tech tips.

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FLY THE AVALANCHE: 4 simple steps to this impressive move

FLY THE AVALANCHE: 4 simple steps to this impressive move

Even if you don’t aspire to be a competition pilot, you can learn from the fundamentals in this exciting competition move. For example, I’m sure a lot of you have performed a basic loop. In fact, the loop is the first aerobatic maneuver that many people perform. The avalanche is a basic loop, but has one addition to it. At the top of the loop, the pilot performs a snap roll. Since we’ve discussed the snap roll in the past, this is the perfect next maneuver to cover. Without further delay, let’s get the avalanche rolling!

First things First

When performing a graceful maneuver like the loop, focus your attention on geometry and smoothness. When executing the “loop” portion of this aerobatic maneuver, you want a low-rate setting that has about 12 degrees of elevator deflection, 30 degrees of rudder deflection, 25 degrees or more of aileron deflection and exponential on all surfaces. As a starting place, I recommend you use about 20% of expo and increase it until you are comfortable with how the airplane responds. Keep in mind that adding expo will soften the feel of how your servo reacts around neutral.

Let’s now discuss the snap roll. The snap roll rotation should happen relatively fast, and if you find that your model “barrel rolls” around in rotation, you do not have enough control surface deflection and may need different rates on your radio. Most models will snap with about 15 degrees of elevator, 35 degrees of rudder and 35 degrees of aileron throw, but again, values differ from model to model. This serves as an overview, and fine-tuning your model will be up to you. As I mentioned earlier, use exponential and start with a value of about 35% on all control surfaces and then make any necessary adjustments.

When I perform a maneuver like the avalanche, I keep my model on my low-rate settings for the “loop” portion of the maneuver. Then, when I want to initiate the snap roll, I switch to my high-rate setting. I perform the snap and flip immediately back to my low-rate setting for the rest of the figure. To simplify matters, I use flight modes, which means that all rates can be found on one switch!

AVALANCHE OVERVIEW
Until you are familiar with this maneuver, I recommend you climb to an altitude of about 150 feet. Keep in mind, though, that this altitude will vary depending on the size of your model; this starting point is great for an electric model with a wingspan of about 50 inches.

Once your altitude is established and your airplane is travelling in a manner that is parallel to the runway, increase the throttle and begin a gradual loop right when the model passes the pilot (for future reference, the pilot’s position is called the “center”). Keeping the same radius, it’s critical to perform a snap roll at the top of the loop. If the loop began immediately after the model passed the pilot, the snap should be performed as the model is inverted over the top of the loop and at center. Once the snap roll is performed, the model continues the second half of the loop and exits at the same altitude at which the maneuver began.

Now, let’s simplify the control inputs needed and divide this maneuver into four steps:

1 Begin by climbing to a safe altitude and orienting your model so it’s traveling parallel to the runway. The throttle will vary depending on your model’s power-to-weight ratio and the size of your loop. If your model has a fairly equal power-to-weight ratio, you’ll need to use maximum power, especially if you want to perform a larger loop. Increase the throttle to about 90% for your first attempt, and wait until the model approaches center.

2 If you’re using dual rates, make sure you’re on your low-rate setting. As the model is at center, gently pull back on the elevator control surface to begin the loop. Geometry is the key, and it’s critical to perform a perfect circle. With that being said, you may need to increase your throttle to keep the speed of the model constant. Also, you may need to make various rudder corrections to keep the model at the same distance from you (nine out of 10 times, you’ll need to apply right rudder due to motor torque). Keep the same radius constant throughout, and when the model is almost halfway through the loop, it should almost be at center, but inverted. This is a key moment to flip to your high-rate settings, or what I call my “snap rate condition.”

3 Initiate the positive snap roll by applying full left rudder, left aileron and up-elevator (if performing the snap to the left; otherwise, right rudder and right aileron with up-elevator). After one complete rotation is performed, neutralize inputs and immediately flip back to your low-rate setting and decrease the throttle to about 10% power.

4 Complete the second half of the loop. When the model is 75% done with the loop, it may be necessary to lower the throttle to idle. However, keep in mind that you may need to increase the power again as you are approaching center (the same point at which the maneuver began).

TIPS FOR SUCCESS

Now that you have learned how to properly execute the avalanche, let’s discuss a few key tips. If you are flying in an extreme headwind, you may need to gradually pull the model up to initiate the loop and then pull back harder once it has completed the first quadrant, as the wind may push you toward center faster than anticipated. After the snap is performed, you’ll need to pull a little harder on the elevator until you are about 80% done with the loop. You then ease off elevator to complete the maneuver as the model is directly in front of you. Whether you are flying in a head-wind, which we just described, tailwind, or crosswind, it is critical for this maneuver to be centered and performed directly in front of you. Make all necessary adjustments so the model always remains at the same depth from you and that it reaches the cardinal points.

The avalanche is a neat maneuver to both fly and watch. Safe flying and have fun!

 

Model Airplane News - The #1 resource for RC plane and helicopter enthusiasts featuring news, videos, product releases and tech tips.

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Sky Bandit! Inflight Video from a Bob Violett Models’ Sports Jet

Sky Bandit! Inflight Video from a Bob Violett Models’ Sports Jet

Model Airplane News contributor and expert Scale and Jet pilot Sean McHale has been flying jets for a long time and he does a great job. Recently He strapped a GoPro Hero camera to his BVM Bandit turbine powered sports jet and produced a great onboard flight video with several camera angles! Check it out!

 

Bandit Mk2

Model Airplane News - The #1 resource for RC plane and helicopter enthusiasts featuring news, videos, product releases and tech tips.

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Workshop Build-Along — Sopwith Camel Part 13 — Wings are the Thing!

Workshop Build-Along — Sopwith Camel Part 13 — Wings are the Thing!

Now that the Camel can sit up on its own articulated landing gear, it’s time to clean off the bench and start gluing ribs to spars.

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With all my wings, I start by pinning the spar to the board and then I use a couple of the ribs to space the trailing edges and sub-spars. The trailing edge here is 3/32 inch x 2 inch balsa sheet on the bottom side only.

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This assembly took about 20 minutes. All the ribs are made from 1/8 inch lite-ply material. Notice the 1/8 x 1/2 inch balsa top TE on top of the bottom TE sheeting. The root rib is 1/4 inch balsa and has a doubler for the blind nut attachment point.

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Speed savings here is using 3/8 inch birch dowel for LE. Also there are half ribs in front of the main spars.

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The four inner root ribs are solid and have holes for the wing joiner tube and aluminum wing tube.

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There is also an alignment pin just forward of the main spar.

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Here the socket and wing tube are test fitted into place. The angle provides the proper 4 inches of dihedral for the bottom wings when plugged into the fuselage socket tube. The root rib is angles and is square to the socket tube.

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As usual, the ailerons are built in place in the wing and will be later cut free and hinged.

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All the aileron tubes glued into place.

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Here the wing tip parts are starting to take shape. The tips will have a center later of lite-ply and then 1/8 inch top and bottom balsa layers all glued together.

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With a little sanding and work with a razor plane, the wingtip bow blends nicely into the TE.

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At the main spar I used wedges of 3/8 inch balsa to fair in the bows to the last tip rib.

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The trailing edge sheeting also must blend into the tip bows. Some filler here and there will make it nice and smooth for a neat covering job.

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Underside of the wing shows the aileron hinge line. The leading edge of the aileron will be shaped to a taper so it can be top-hinged later on.

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I raised the aileron hinge line a little more than scale to keep it in a straighter line. Also this helps form an under-camber shape in the tip bows.

 

Camel low wing

Here’s the Camel with both lower wings attached! Looks sort of sporty! Next we’ll tackle the cabane struts and the top wing. Stay tuned!

 

To see the previous installment (part 12) click the link: http://www.modelairplanenews.com/blog/2014/08/12/workshop-build-along-sopwith-camel-articulated-axle-assembly/

 

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7-Engine Russian Bomber

7-Engine Russian Bomber

If you like flying really big, unique aircraft, then this 16-foot-span Kalinin K-7 might be just what you’re looking for! With a wingspan close to that of a B-52, only one full-size K-7 was ever built, and it crashed after seven flights due to a tail boom structural failure, so it’s doubtful you’ll run into another RC version at the next giant-scale fly-in. With six 15cc ASP gas engines and an electric pusher motor, the 99-pound model has plenty of power. Built up from wood, it’s also equipped with 16 servos, brakes, and steerable nose wheels and can be disassembled into six modules for easier transport. Built by Rainer Mattle, this unusual aircraft can be yours for around $14,000 (shipping from Switzerland not included) … check it out at www.antik-dream-model.com.  Thanks to Thomas Minder for taking a video of this monster model at the recent Kulmer Air Show in Switzerland and sharing it on YouTube!

Model Airplane News - The #1 resource for RC plane and helicopter enthusiasts featuring news, videos, product releases and tech tips.

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7-Engine Russian Bomber

7-Engine Russian Bomber

If you like flying really big, unique aircraft, then this 16-foot-span Kalinin K-7 might be just what you’re looking for! With a wingspan close to that of a B-52, only one full-size K-7 was ever built, and it crashed after seven flights due to a tail boom structural failure, so it’s doubtful you’ll run into another RC version at the next giant-scale fly-in. With six 15cc ASP gas engines and an electric pusher motor, the 99-pound model has plenty of power. Built up from wood, it’s also equipped with 16 servos, brakes, and steerable nose wheels and can be disassembled into six modules for easier transport. Built by Rainer Mattle, this unusual aircraft can be yours for around $14,000 (shipping from Switzerland not included) … check it out at www.antik-dream-model.com.  Thanks to Thomas Minder for taking a video of this monster model at the recent Kulmer Air Show in Switzerland and sharing it on YouTube!

Model Airplane News - The #1 resource for RC plane and helicopter enthusiasts featuring news, videos, product releases and tech tips.

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Stellar T-33 Shooting Star

Stellar T-33 Shooting Star

Used during the noontime demo flights at the recent Warbirds over Delaware military extravaganza, this T-33 Shooting Star is the work of longtime WOD attendee Paul LeToureanu. This year, Paul was the Sky Boss for all of the mid-day demo flights and while he wasn’t making sure everything went off as planned, he was also a busy demo pilot. One of the jets he flew was his impressive T-33 Shooting Star which he built from a Skymaster kit.

Sidebar T33

Paul is known for his ability to produce scale finished and this holds true for his jet, which he used aluminum tape on to reproduce the natural aluminum skin and painted markings of the full size aircraft. Powered by a JetCat 140RX turbine engine, the jet has a 105-inch span is 95 inches long. Paul uses the “Details 4 Scale” lighting system and he added lots of scratch built cockpit details to bring out the looks of the interior. Compared to his other equally impressive warbirds, Paul says the T-33 is a smooth and predictable performer.

Final Approach flight

Photo by Scott McClurg

Gallery > PaulT T33

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Model Airplane News - The #1 resource for RC plane and helicopter enthusiasts featuring news, videos, product releases and tech tips.

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Stellar T-33 Shooting Star

Stellar T-33 Shooting Star

Used during the noontime demo flights at the recent Warbirds over Delaware military extravaganza, this T-33 Shooting Star is the work of longtime WOD attendee Paul LeToureanu. This year, Paul was the Sky Boss for all of the mid-day demo flights and while he wasn’t making sure everything went off as planned, he was also a busy demo pilot. One of the jets he flew was his impressive T-33 Shooting Star which he built from a Skymaster kit.

Sidebar T33

Paul is known for his ability to produce scale finished and this holds true for his jet, which he used aluminum tape on to reproduce the natural aluminum skin and painted markings of the full size aircraft. Powered by a JetCat 140RX turbine engine, the jet has a 105-inch span is 95 inches long. Paul uses the “Details 4 Scale” lighting system and he added lots of scratch built cockpit details to bring out the looks of the interior. Compared to his other equally impressive warbirds, Paul says the T-33 is a smooth and predictable performer.

Final Approach flight

Photo by Scott McClurg

Gallery > PaulT T33

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Model Airplane News - The #1 resource for RC plane and helicopter enthusiasts featuring news, videos, product releases and tech tips.