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Monday, August 31, 2009

Not RC sailplane related, but usefull ...

Among my DSLR lenses, I own a Tokina 124 ATX PRO. It's a 12-24 mm which give very good results. Unfortunately, for 1 year, it started to do Err 99 on the Canon EOS 10D body. Initially I thought the problem could be related to the contacts between the lens and the body. Recently while reading the forums, I found finally that the problem was on the lens, and more particularly the diaphragm. To qualify the problem, do the following test:

Mode aperture, f=4.0 --> OK
Mode aperture, f=4.5 --> OK
Mode aperture, f=5.6 --> Err 99
Mode aperture, f=4.5 --> OK
Mode aperture, f=5.6 --> Err 99

For Europe the repair center is in Netherland.

If you have a Tokina Lens with such problem, you are aware :) !!!!


Well, I was a little disappointed by Corps this time ;) ... The wind was wery low while the forecasts were giving 10 km/h of north wind in the valley so we could expect a little bit more.

Anyway we managed to fly, and it was a good opportunity to do some shots of my Martinet in flight among other planes (another Martinet, a short Ascot, an Arkanj).

You can find the album with all the pictures at the following address:

By the way, Picasa 3 and Picasa Web are really great to share pictures quickly. The more I'm playing with it, the more I like it. I will probably use it to share pictures day after day during the next Viking Race in St-Ferriol/Laurac in May 2010.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Another Martinet maiden flight

Olivier Bordes did his maiden flight today at Brié with a strong wind. First without ballast, then with 650gr he borrowed me.

On my side, I'm playing with the CG of my Martinet which moved already from 103 mm to 109 mm. The martinet now gives a amazing grip and an extremely good energy retention.

Next session tomorrow depending of the weather...

In addition to my Martinet, I flew my Vector DS. Conditions were good but a little bit turbulent, and I could feel the limit of handling of a 2 meters plane. I'm convinced that the best wingspan for sport DS is around 2.4 ~ 2.5m. Below the control becomes harder, above this is the structure that suffers too much and need massive carbon reinforcement.

Friday, August 28, 2009

RC sailplane pictures

After few year using my brave old Canon EOS 10D DSLR, I accumulated some nice shots. Some of them has been published in specialized magazine, even in Aufwind (Wasabi).

Instead of letting them on my hardisk, I made this video. Original pictures were 10x15, but the video format is 4/3 so some pictures have been troncated :(

anyway, here is this 4 minute video !

RC pictures from Pierre Rondel on Vimeo.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Another Extreme F3F video

The Extreme F3F flying at the Mistral Soaring from Pierre Rondel on Vimeo.

This time it is during a F3F run at the 2009 Mistral Soaring. Conditions were pretty turbulent.

Extreme F3F video

Extreme F3F from Pierre Rondel on Vimeo.

This video has been taken while exploring a new slope near Aubenas (Ardèche).

Gathering information for migrating to 2.4 GHz

I think more and more to switch to 2.4 Ghz on my T12FG. For that I have several alternatives like:

  • keep my Futaba T12FG and go FASST: reliable but very expensive (both module and receiver), no telemetry
  • change for another transmitter like the Hitec or Airtronics: the Aurora release date shifts week after week which is not a good sign. Features are also downgraded :( ! Airtronics, in fact Sanwa in Europe is not well distributed, and I personnaly don't like the look of the transmitter and the small screen...
  • Equip my T12FG with another external 2.4G brand module: Weatronic (too expensive), Spectrum (too much cables)
  • Equip my T12FG with a internal module: Assan or Jeti
Jeti is a sexy solution with telemetry, some nice features, and tests here and there showed that the link is strong and reliable. I mailed Jeti to get some information about how to install their TU module in the T12FG. I got these pictures I share with you.

The modification consists in soldering the 3 wires needed for the TU module on the back of the slave master square plug.

The module itself is then fixed thanks to a screw on the lower corner. (under the right stick):

The antenna can be place with the front panel switches. A switch will allow to activate the module or not. On the software side, when switching on the radio, it ask you if you want to transmit or no.

  • Answering NO while the Jeti switch is ON will trasmitt in 2.4Ghz only.
  • Answering YES while the Jeti switch is OFF will trasmitt in 41 Mhz only.
  • Answering YES while the Jeti switch is ON will trasmitt in both 2.4Ghz and 41 Mhz.
As you can see, the modification is quite simple and allow you to continue to use the trasmitter with your old FM receivers !

Hope this information is helpful.

If I decide to go JETI, I will keep you inform here :)

Monday, August 24, 2009

Sunday: Aerial Pictures in the Beaufortain

Sunday, because the forecast was giving very low wind, I decided to equiped my brave old ASW15 from Airtech and go to fly at the "Col du Joly" in the beaufortain, an aera located very close to the Mont Blanc, the highest summit in Europe (4807m).

It was also the opportunity for me to test the 2.4 Jeti Solution in another plane than a foamy. conditions were OK, with some thermals and some sink air :( ...

I took lots of aerial shots. You can see some of them at the following URL:


Anyway, the 2.4 Ghz works fine, and I could decide to buy the Vario from Jeti for the ASW15 :) !!!

If the Jeti is reliable I could also decide to equip my Futaba T12FG with a Jeti module and then convert all my F3F planes with the R6 Receiver.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

F3F practice at Corps (again :) ... )

Saturday, I went again to Corps, on my prefered slope.

This time I took my Martinet and my Extreme for an intensive flying session. I validated my settings on the Extreme:

here are my settings:

CG 104mm

(+ means downward, - means upward)

Function Aileron:
  • Ailerons: -25 mm + 15 mm
  • Flaps: -/+ 7 mm
  • exponential: +20% (more mouvement around the neutral position)
Elevator: +/- 6 mm
Rudder: + /- 10 mm

  • Ailerons: -10 mm
  • Flaps: +30 mm
  • elvator: +4 mm
Function Snapflap (I don't pull full stick when turning):
  • Ailerons: +7 mm
  • Flaps: +8 mm
  • exponential: +20% (more mouvement around the neutral position)
Camber (thermal):
  • Ailerons: +4 mm
  • Flaps: +4 mm
Camber (speed):
  • Ailerons: -1 mm
  • Flaps: -1 mm

Conditions were a little bit less consistent than last week, but I was able to do very nice runs :)

Monday, August 17, 2009

F3F practice at Corps (L'alpe) - Isère

Yesterday, I went to Corps, 70 km south of Grenoble. This is my favorite slope, probably one of the most efficient slope in the French Alps. I meet Benjamin Clamaron who came from Annecy, just to fly a nice slope. We had a 3 hours F3F practice in absolutely perfect conditions. The lift coming from a thermal breeze has been consistent and strong all the afternoon allowing to do 50 to 100 laps in a row without decelerating, just a dream! Benjamin was flying a Caracho 3.1 and I was flying my Extreme F3F. I played with the CG, the snapflaps and ailerons exponential settings. I manage to make the plane very "grippy" both in roll axis and elevator/snapflaps.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Alula EVO !

New flying session today with the Alula EVO. I let Olivier to fly it and I did a small video. Olivier suceeded to catch a thermal to achieve 3 minutes of flight.


Here is a picture of the dream flight "family":

Sunday, August 2, 2009

First fly of my Alula EVO

While returning from the local slope, the wind almost died, so I decided to maiden my Alula EVO:

The recommended CG seems ok. I was able to reach 8 to 10 m during the launch given the fact that I'm pretty bad at launching with this technic, this is not so bad ;) :

Flying weigth is at 180g.

I'm excited to fly the Alula again in better condition ...

Flying Session at Col des Faïsses

I went to the Col des Faïsses on Saturday. Lot of people was flying there. Conditions were very challenging with big thermal but huge sink air too.

4 ASW15, 1 Swift, 1 Thermik XXL, so lots of big planes.

I did some picture that you can find there:


I like particularly this one of a 4m swift:

On my side, I flew my Extreme F3F, but regret to not have taken my 4m ASW15, next time !

F3G and F3B in Kulmbach / Germany, a tradition continues!

From May 10th to May 12th, 2024, the Kulmbach model aircraft association organized a combined competition on its own model aircraft site nea...