Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy new Year !

I wanted to wish you all an happy and successful year 2010 with plenty of nice flights and new toys !

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Alula EVO Review

My review of the Alula EVO has been published in RC Pilot. This is the first time I'm published in 2 different magazines the same month :) !

In this issue there is also a detailed review of the Aurora 9 from Hitec and an interresting technical article about the new generation of NiMh batteries which confirms that the Eneloop is a good battery.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

New Logo for the french F3F web portal

I'm currently working on a logo for the new portal of the french F3F community. I ended with 3 proposals. I started with this one:

Then I modified it to obtain this one:

With a little rework, I ended with this one:

This is probably this one that will be used on the French F3F portal.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Modèle Magazine - January 2010

My review of the Weasel EVO from dream flight has been published in the January issue of Modèle Magazine:
This is the number 700 of this magazine.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Dingo on the road !

Dingos are now in France on the way to their new home all around the country. At the moment 8 of them are in Montbeliard and will go to Grenoble, before dispatch:

I will get mine on Saturday evening. Quality is, according to the friends, just amazing.

More to come soon ...

Friday, December 18, 2009

Dingo Dingo !

My Dingo F3F is ready and should arrive in France tomorrow. This is the last piece of my collection for 2010:

The Dingo is the latest creation of Vaclav Vojtisek and is succeeding the famous Ascot and Short Ascot.

You can find more information here:

If you want to see more color layouts, just click here and enjoy !!!

Of course, as soon as I will receive it (the 26 normally, when I'm back from holidays), I will do lots of pictures of the kit and will give you my first impressions.

Stay tuned !

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Hall Effect Magnetic Switch

Tonight, I have uploaded a short article about an Hall Effect Magnetic switch on Planet-Soaring. This is a very convenient and tiny device that allows you to switch on and switch off without opening the plane, at distance, thanks to a magnet.

Monday, December 14, 2009

cheap transmitter case

I found this transmitter case in a DYI shop "Leroy Merlin".

The dimension of the case are 33 x 23 x 12 cm which is ideal for a transmitter + a small tool box or ballasts.

The stiker is not on the case when you buy it ;) !!!

Quality is very good regarding the price.

More pictures here
I finished the assembly of the Thyphoon as the weather was not good enough to fly. It took a little more time than usual because of some surprises:
Both the aileron and the flap horns made from epoxy plate and that come already installed are not at the correct height. The consequence is that a metal clevis cannot move freely, even after some sanding. I decided to changed the horn, finally swapped them with brass horns I had in stock. Apparently, according to the UK forum, I’m not the only typhoon owner having this issue. Of course this is not a big deal, but it’s still frustrating.

The second surprise came from the balancing. I was aware that the plane would need lots of lead to obtain the right CG, but not so much ! I needed 210 grams to obtain a CG around 86 mm. I had to change the layout and put the battery under the receiver, and clear the maximum of space for the nose lead. I suppressed the switch and use JST plugs instead.

The receiver is finally an Assan 2.4 Ghz. It is install on a piece of white hard foam that allow to maintain it far enough from the battery, and insert the 2 small antennas in the foam to optimize their position and optimize the reception.

The final weight is 1620 gr.

I also sanded a little bit the wing joiner to ease the mounting.

You will fine all the pictures of the assembling here: picasa album

The plane is now ready to fly !


Manufacturer website: RCRCM
Distributor for France :

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Hyperion 95FMD tested on Servormances

Servormances is a software that present in a clever manner the results of the servos test under the same condition, in a repeatable approach.

Olivier Seguoin just made available a new database that includes a couple of recent servos like the BMS 555 DMG or the Hyperion 095FMD

I was pretty curious about the hyperion as I choose it for the ailerons of my Alliaj HM.

The results are convincing compared to the competition (s3150, Aitronics, Graupner, etc ...) and given the price, it offer a good ratio price/performance.

The software can be loaded here: (Sorry chaps, its only in French !)

Then you can upgrade it by copying the 2 files contained in the the zip file in the repository of Servormances:

Thanks Olivier and the Servormances team for your contribution. It is appreciated :) !!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Greentronic REGMAX

Regmax is a DualBat input booster 1S2P Lipo or LiFe, 3 or 4 Nimh input, 5V5 4A output. Booster means that it is able to elevate the voltage from 3.7 V to 5.5V with a efficiency about 85 % which is pretty good.

I will install it in my Wasabi. The total weight of 2 LiFe 1S batteries + the regmax is lighter than a 4 cells R6 battery, but provide a higher capacity.

The redundancy is total. There is no primary and secondary battery. As soon as you unplug a battery the device switches automatically to the second battery. When the 2 batteries are connected and running fine, a green led is ON.

A video is better than 1000 words, so here it is:

Greentronic Regmax from Pierre Rondel on Vimeo.

I added more pictures on my Picasaweb: here

Greentronic is not only manufacturing this Regmax, but also different other voltage regulators or dual power.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Jeti duplex T12FG

I installed the Jeti TU module in my transmitter. The transplant went well. My setup is the following: I have a double switch (with lock) on the + and PPM signal while the - is always connected.

The soldering to do is:
  • the - on the pin 2 of the back of the trainer plug
  • The PPM signal coming from the double switch on the pin 1 of the back of the trainer plug
  • The + signal coming from the double switch on the pin 5 of the back of the trainer plug
Despite the user manual is mentioning that the + must be soldered on the pin 6, I did some measure on my old FF9 and sicovered that the difference between the pin 5 and 6 is that 6 is always ON when 5 is ON only when the radio is powered on.

I built a T with plastique that I fixed in the transmitter case with double face tape. Then the module is also double taped at the top of the T.

Now let have a look on how it works:

  1. switch in position OFF, transmitter RF OFF. No transmission at all in 2.4 Ghz thanks to the Jeti TU module.
  2. switch in position OFF, transmitter ON AIR. The T12 transmits in the band of the RF module (40, 42 or 35 Mgz)
  3. switch in position ON, transmitter RF OFF. The T12 transmits in 2.4 Ghz thanks to the Jeti TU module.
  4. switch in position ON, transmitter ON AIR. The T12 transmits in 2.4 Ghz thanks to the Jeti TU module, but also in the band of the RF module (40, 42 or 35 Mgz). This is useless, but good to know for security reason (for others).

You will find more information on my picasa album: T12FG Jeti Duplex

Friday, November 27, 2009

A collection of pictures about F3F

a Slide show about F3F, mainly season 2009. I prepared it for the annual meeting of the regional branch of the french federation.

Diaporama F3F from Pierre Rondel on Vimeo.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Eneloop Batteries

With the capacity increase of the AA format batteries, going up to 2700 mAh, came also the problem of high self-discharge. At the point where it was necessary to charge the battery just before to go to fly.

2 years ago, I heard about this new technology called Eneloop and developed by Sanyo. I gave a try and I now use Eneloop batteries for 2 years and I’m fully satisfied. No more need for last-minute charging or frequent re-charging to have a full battery at hand when needed.
I use Eneloop not only in my sailplanes but also in my digital camera.

The only drawback is that Eneloop exists exist only in two formats: AA (Type R6) which is suitable for receiver batteries 4 or 5 cells, and AAA format, which is ideal for small gliders like the Weasel for exemple.

More information in the Eneloop user manual.

Apart Eneloop, I obtained also satisfactory results with Enrich Power ( and Intellect batteries.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Jeti 2.4 equipment arrived !

I just received the 3 receivers and the TU module for my T12FG. A big thanks to ElectricWingman for the quick service.

The migration of my F3F sailplanes to 2.4 Ghz will now definitevely happen, and I cannot go backward anymore :) !

In parallel, I'm also working on a solution to use a FF9 compatible Assan/Jeti module on a T12FG without having to open the transmitter case.

Stay tuned !

Typhoon assembly

I started with the fuselage. The work consists in cutting the servo tray and install the rudder and elevator servos. I decided to try a new servos brand.

Elevator servo: Power HD-2213MG
  • Voltage: 4.5v~6v
  • Speed: .16sec
  • Torque: 2.7kg/cm
  • Bearings: 1BB
  • Gears: Metal
  • Weight: 16g
  • Size: 23x12x24mm
Rudder servo: Power HD-1581HB
  • Voltage: 4.5v~6v
  • Speed: .16sec
  • Torque: 1.9kg/cm
  • Bearings: 1BB
  • Gears: Nylon
  • Weight: 12g
  • Size: 23x12x20mm
The place for the battery and the receiver is limited. I have seen different layout on RC forum. On my side I choose to install the battery (4x Eneloop 2000 mAh) on the side, and the receiver too. Receiver will be a simprop Scan 7 (not the one on the picture).

I have also installed the wing plugs. I don't know why, but the servos extension leads arrives with the male connector on the wing and the female connector on the fuselage. I personnaly think that this is not good because the connector on the fuselage is not integrated into the fuselage. So I reversed them in order to have the male connector fully integrated in the fuselage. It gives a little more work but the result is much nicer and reliable.

On the wing side, I started to use the servos mounts provided in the kit. I first modified them to the size of the wing servos. Then I discovered than the way they are designed hinds the optimum cinematic of the the control rods.

So I decided to build my own servo mounts with 4mm plywood.

I glued them in place with rapid epoxy. The servos is the new BMS 555 from blue bird (not the digital one):

  • Weight: 23g / 0.82oz
  • Dimensions: 30.00 x 10.00 x 34.00mm / 1.18" x 0.39" x 1.33"
  • Torque At 4.8V: 4.2kg/cm , 57 oz/in
  • Torque At 6.0V: 4.7kg/cm , 181 oz/in
  • Speed At 4.8V: 0.15 sec / 60° at no load
  • Speed At 6.0V: 0.13 sec / 60° at no load
Despite their thickness (only 10 mm) the ailerons servos exceed the max thickness of the servo bay. Unfortunately the servo cover is flat, so I will need to find a solution.

More to come ...

Thursday, November 19, 2009

A Second Alliaj HM arrived at home

After an exchange with a club-mate yesterday evening, I now have a second brand new Alliaj HM to join my F3F sailplane collection for 2010.

I now need to find the time to build all of them !

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

I finally decided to go Jeti !

After lots of thinking, hesitations, I decided to go Jeti for my 2.4 Ghz. Thanks to the positive feedbacks on the different forums from all the pilots and competitors in F3J, F3B, F3K happy with the Jeti Solution, I ordered a TU module for my T12FG and also 3 R8 Receivers. I will have a total of 4 x R8 receivers, and the FF9 / T12FG equiped.

I ordered at Electricwingman yesterday, and the goods have been shipped the same day :) !!!

I should received them by the end of the week or beginning of next week. Pricing is interesting and everything is in stock which is pretty ionterresting compared to other well known Jeti european resellers like MS composite.

4 of my F3F planes will receive a R8 receiver. I need to modify my Freestyler which has a carbone fuselage, but the other planes are 2.4 ghz friendly, so no trouble to expect.

As soon as I will modify my T12FG, I will post pictures and explanation on this blog. Stay tuned :) !!

RCRCM Strega and Typhoon first impressions

I received lot of planes in the 3 past weeks: 2 are coming from RCRCM, a Typhoon and the famous Strega.

The Typhoon first:

This 2m wingspan all-rounder is designed for sport flying and is fully moulded using CNC molds.

Specs are the following:

- Wingspan: 2.00 m
- Length: 1.20 m
- Weight: 950 g
- Wing airfoils: JH8 series 8%, 7.5%, 7% blended
- Tail aifoil: SD8020

The quality is pretty good, and the kit came with everything to finish the assembly including the servos lead extensions, and also the wing bags. I like very much the new color scheme, it couldn't be better. Everything fits together perfectly. I will just have to paper sand a little bit the joiner on one side to make it more free and not force in the joiner box. The surface finish of the wing is to the highest standard. There is an huge 20 mm ballast tube in the fuselage already in place and accessible by the bottom of the fuselage. The space for radio installation is not that big but with the servos, battery and receiver I have, everything will easily find its place.

Weight per element:

- Left Wing: 347 gr
- Right Wing: 341gr
- Left Tailplane: 25 gr
- Right Tailplane: 25 gr
- Fuselage: 293 gr
- Joiner: 41gr

You will find all the pictures of the kit here

And what about the Strega ?

The kit is also pretty complete, with servos lead extensions, MPX green plugs, wing bags, wing servos tray, radio keel. Wings are beautiful and the airfoil seems very very thin. The thickness for the servos is therefore very limited, so the servos covers are bumped. It’s mandatory to use 10 mm servos for the ailerons. The fuselage is pretty light. The long ballast tube (20 mm) is provided apart. Tails with upper control horns location remind the Skorpion.


- Wing span: 2.9m
- Length: 1.46m
- Wing airfoil: JH8 series 8%, 7.5%, 7% blended
- Tail airfoil: JH8-10-sym

Weight per element are the following:

- Left Wing: 605 gr
- Right Wing: 597gr
- Left Tailplane: 49 gr
- Right Tailplane: 47 gr
- Fuselage: 227 gr
- Joiner: 83 gr

You will find all the pictures of the kit here

I will start with the assembly of the Typhoon as it is for a review in a French magazine.

Distributor for France :

I will update the blog time to time during the assembly, so stay tuned !

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

magic moment !

I retrieved this video I took at La Muela before a competition few years ago. José Carrion flies his home made 7 meters Nimbus 4.

Nimbus 4 from Pierre Rondel on Vimeo.

Flying F3F with a helicopter :)

This is what Marcel Guwang did during the last VKR selection contest for the french team while the wind was too low and crossed to fly real F3F. Marcel has been timed at 37s with his "Three Dee". Then, Arnaud Krebs did the same excercice with a small electric racer and did 31 seconds.

F3F with an RC helicopter ! from Pierre Rondel on Vimeo.

Enjoy !

Monday, November 2, 2009

Viking Race Selection

This week-end was the first VKR selection contest for the french F3F team. Qualification process is based on the 3 best results among 4 contests (French championship 2008, French championship 2009, and 2 dedicated selection contests only with the pilots interested.

We managed to do 3 rounds on staturday at Quillan (2 rounds on slope A, then 1 on slope B), and 10 rounds at Laurac on slope B. Competition has been pretty hard for every body because conditions were changing very quickly even during a single flight. I finished 2nd of the contest, with my Freestyler, just behind Thibaud Ringenbach who flew great all the week end with his new Freestyler. If I had cut less, I could have win the competition but I had too much problem with anticipation at base A that was divergent (open). This is the first time I cut 4 ou 5 times at the same turn during a contest.

Overall, with my results, I'm first of the qualification ranking and even don't need the last selection contest. I'll will therefore join the Team 1 for the next Viking Race.

I will attend the last selection contest just for fun, in order to practice.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

souvenirs souvenirs ...

Kevin Newton released on his blog some video taken from the Viking Race 1998 in Whales. It was the second VKR for me, and I flew my personnal best(33.24s) there with a Cobra Calypso made by Stuart Blanchard.

What is impressive on the video it the second turn and the acceleration of the plane during it.
This french record stayed for a while until Alexis broke the world record during a VKR selection contest in 2000 with 30.8s.

I consider personnaly that the Bwelsh is probably the best place in the world to fly F3F, with all the slopes in the same area. but like everywhere the weather is sometime not cooperative at all !

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

My new F3F plane :)

My next F3F plane is ready, just exiting the molds ! This will be one of my 3 F3F plane for 2010 season which is an important season because of the Viking race in France from the 8 to the 15th of may

Thanks Alexis !

The Alliaj HM is the new flag ship of Aeromod, designed by Jean-Luc Foucher. Initially, I was not planning to buy one, but after seing it during the F3F contest of "Le Col du Glandon", I felt that it was a promising plane, especially for energy management turns, so I decided to give a try.

Now, I still need to qualify to become a member of the F3F french team, and the seats are expensives !!! Hopefully with 2 wins during the last championships (2008, and 2009), I'm in fist position before the 2 next selection contests.

I should get the Alliaj HM the Week-end of the 31th of October.

Stay tuned :) !!

Weasel in back !

Pretty good news, Dream flight just announced that they will resume the shipment of the desired Weasel. This flying wing flies like a dream. I even prefer it to the Alula, because of its wide range of use. In the club, we had a bulk order, so I know lots of club mates who will be very happy with this news :) !!!

For France, Flash-RC is the distributor.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Strega RCRCM

I received this morning 2 pictures of the Strega I won at the color scheme contest on RCgroups.

It just looks great and I'm pretty happy with the result. It's funny and interesting to see a drawing becoming "alive" in the real world :)

The plane should be shipped on Friday to its new home !!!

I'm now impatient to receive it and fly it.


  • Wing span: 2.9m
  • Length: 1.46m
  • Wing aerofoil: JH8 series 8%, 7.5%, 7% blended
  • Tail aerofoil: JH8-10-sym
RCRCM website

Distributor for France :

Stay tuned !

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Servos, servos and servos ...

With 4 planes arriving in the coming weeks/months, I needed some servos.

But buying only premium servos like Graupner DS368 or DS3210 can be more than expensive even if they are made in china like other brands. This is the reason why I decided to give a try to some new servos like the hyperion 95FMD or Blue Bird BMS 555 MG for the wing and the power HD 2216MG, the inolab 250MG for the elevator. I also order some airtronics which is a good wing servos. I have 2 of them in my martinet already and I'm satisfied with them.

The Hyperion at 32€ seems a good replacement of the DS3210 (which cost around 90€). They have good reputation.

Regarding the BMS 555, I will be very cautious because some of them (BMS 380 and BMS 380 max) can burn easily under load after a while. I just hope they have fixed the problem on the latest servos they released.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Tokina is working great :) !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I used my Tokina 124 ATX PRO with success last week-end :

I will now maybe invest in a circular filter to create some visual effect with colors ...

Laurac 2

Last competition of the F3F french league was in fact in Quillan/St Ferriol because of the wind called "la Tramontane" blowing from North West.

I'm pretty happy with the result because I was going there without any pressure or stress, only to learn and practice energy managment turns. I finished second in front of all the EM experts.

Philippe Lanes who was also in the same situation than me, won the competition. He flew very well all the contest, never slowed down until the last round. Best time of the contest was 35s by Andreas Fricke.

Quantum update !

The Quantum n°001 is out of the moulds !!!!! Remain the cut ot the flaps/ailerons. It should land at its new home end of next week :) . S...