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Thursday, January 31, 2013

Hitec Aurora 9X

Very few information (not present in the 2013 Hitec catalog) about this new transmitter which seems to be an improved version of the Aurora 9, with some enhanced capabilities, and a built in 2.4 (no more external module). A comparison between the Aurora 9 and the 9X is hardly visible here. (source of the photos: http://www.der-schweighofer.at/). BTW, you can see some pictures of the toy fair here.

Hype new items 2013

Hype Catalog 2013can be found here.

Hacker and Krick new catalog 2013

Hacker new catalog 2013 can be found here.

And Krick catalog 2013 can be found here.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Hitec catalog 2013

No real new items at Hitec for 2013 ... Catalog can be found here

More information about the New JR XG14

Few more information about the new JR XG14:

● DMSS 2.4GHz High Speed Performance.
● Premium Gimbals supported by CNC Machined aluminum chassis for the Ultimate Flight Experience.
● Evolving Full 14ch Proportional System with newly equipped X-BUS system.
● XG14 comes compete with the new RG731BX X-BUSS Receiver.
● SD card slot equipped.

E-flite 4.2 Red Bull Blanik

E-flite is also releasing a nice 4.2 Red Bull Blanik with the following specs

Overall Length:2172mm
Wing Area:170 sq. dm.
Flying Weight:10 kg
Wing Loading:58.6 g/sq dm
Radio:5-channel minimum radio system required

Sebart released a glider !

Very nice items at Sebart with this nice 3.3 m Red Bull Blanik !

Some new items from JR Propo

JR propo is displaying some very interresting items at Nuremberg. First of all the XG14, which seems to use the XG8 case. Then the XG14E,, the tray version of the XG14. JR also displays a micro HLG with the following specs:

  • Wingspan : 1000mm 
  • Length : 820mm 
  • Weight : 155-165g

Aeronaut new items 2013

Here is the 2013 catalog of Aeronaut. Not much new items, except the Galaxy, a 2 meters electro glider.

Robbe New Items 2013

Here is the 2013 catalogue from Robbe. Surprisingly, lots of gliders in this catalogue, even if we know that most of them are from the ex-Faltus product line (now HF modell). Also the FX32, the multi protocols tray version of the Futaba 14SG or maybe the tray version of a futur 12FG....

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

some F3F action in the middle of the winter !

Last week-end, despite freezing temperatures, several pilots met for a very unformal and friendly F3F small competition. We arrived around 10:30, and the south wind was already established. We did 6 rounds with 8 pilots, flying 3 runs at the same time because otherwise, it would have been to difficult to rotate the judges at the bases or at the timing system. Conditions were very variable with times between 65s and 41s, but the essential was to be outside with fresh air and with friends, and enjoy a day racing before the arrival of the rain in the middle of the afternoon.

For me it was also an opportunity to try fro the first time the GoPro 3 Black Edition. I did some photo with it and has been impressed by the quality. I also tried the burst mode which consist in 30 pictures (of 12M pixel each) per second. Result is great as you can see on this short video I edited from the pictures taken.

Generic F3F gliders for CRRCsim

I forgot to provide the "generic F3F" template to go with the article I pointed. You will find the generic F3F model here. Intall it in the "models" repository, then launch CRRCsim, go in the relevant menu to chnage of sailplane. 

Monday, January 28, 2013

Graupner in Financial Trouble, under a protective shield

As you may know, Graupner is going bad for few months/years now.  They entered last december under a protection shield to avoid bankrupcy.  Below is the translation of a official statement  from the french representative of Graupner Franck Masselaert, explaining a bit more the current situation and where they are going.

Hi all,

In order to shortcut rumors spread by charitable souls that we now know - they are always the same - Here is the current situation at Graupner Modellbau in Kirchheim / Teck. The company is currently in Judicial recovery, and, at first, until February 28.

Stefan Graupner, in an official statement, said that the company, despite a strong recovery of its activity due to the HoTT product range, and an growth with 2 digits in 2012, Graupner has still serious financial difficulties due mainly to a lack of cash.

This crisis is of course partly due to the overall economic situation, but more sepcifically to the "failure" of the radio JR / iFS which cost us 30% of sales in 2009, and the departure of 60 employees. Since then, the situation remains tense and the company fails to replenish its accounts. Currently, a procedure called "Shield" has been engaged by a firm of lawyers to protect the company from a possible bankruptcy. This firm will presnt February 1st a restructuring plan which is expected to includ the firing of 50 people over the 130 current employees.

They will also introduce a new business model concept to better suit to the current market, reducing the size of the current catalog and focusing on the most attractive products range like HoTT. In addition, prospective investors may be consulted to assist in the revival of the brand. Hopefully, this project marks a new beginning for Graupner because no offense to some competitors who rejoice in this situation, I think it would be a great lack in our landscape if the company created in 1930 and has brought so many beautiful things would disappear. I take this opportunity to thank all those who support us, either by ordering or simply with a few words of encouragement. Finally, Gérard Altmayer and myself will be in Nuremberg to welcome you with great pleasure.


Franck Masselaert

Below are 2 video that come back on Graupner story. These video have been released for the 75th anniversary of the company, in 2005.

Video: Practice sessions to prepare the F3F world championship

Here is the long play version of the video about the 2 training sessions the french national F3F team did at the island of Oléron in spring 2012, on the atlantic ocean coast. The objective was to discover, learn, and progress on "Rügen" like coastal slopes to prepare the very first F3F world championship in Rügen that was beginning of October 2012.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Multiplex new items for 2013

Not much new items on Multiplex side. I however noticed the Solius, a nice looking electric glider with T-tail, cockpit and clear canopy. Contruction is using Elapor. MPX catalog is here.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Nuremberg is approaching ...

Like each year, Planet-soaring will share with you all as soon as they are released  the new items brand by brand. The exhibition starts the 30th of January, but 2013 Graupner catalog is already available here

The main new item I noticed in this catalog is the MX-32, the hand-held version of the MC32 transmitter.  We retrieve the 2 screens, in a very modern look transmitter. There is also an interresting receiver with built-in 3 axis gyro and vario.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Simply beautiful

The following video from GekoZH is a stunning and simply beautiful aerial video, filmed with an onboard GoPro 2  (setting 720p, 60fps) on a Zephir flying wing. The editing, the slow motion sequences and the adequation with the music is just perfect. Don't forget to activate the HD :) !

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Which polyurethane adhesive for foam core wings sheeting ?

Polyurethane adhesive is used for many years by the builders for foam core wing sheeting. These adhesives cure through cross linking with moisture from the air and the substrate. The bonds are extremely strong and temperature and water resistant. For this reason the adherence is unbeliveable, much better that using epoxy resins. In addition it is compatible with fiber glass reinforcement using epoxy resin, when you apply the PU adhesive when the resin is still wet. The problem is that it is difficult to find a reliable source of a good polyurethane adhesive, and some brand changed the composition over the years.

Gérard Prat who co-developped the use of the PU adhesive for wing construction, and also well know for having introduced (with Thierry Martinet)  the vynil covering technic relayed the following information from Hervé Filliat who found a good polyurethane adhesive, compatible with our needs and constraints and providing about 1 hour of pot life (working time), which is long enough to sheet a 4 meters sailplane wing.

The reference if the following: Kleiberit Pur ADHESIVE 501-6

It is available in 500g or 5Kg packaging size. In France, this adhesive can be found here: FTFI

Thank you Gérard, and Hervé for this valuable information !

Are F3F gliders realistic enough in CRRCsim ?

CRRCsim is well know in the slope soaring world for providing a very nice experience, and great sensations. Here and there are organised friendly club competition, a good opportunity to meet together during the winter season.

Joel Lienard posted on his website the study of Luca Gasparini, on of the major contributor of the CRRCsim software. In this study, Luca analysed the perfomances of the various F3F gliders available in the main distribution or in the add-on, and discovered that they have, for most them, serious flaws which produce unrealistic simulations.

You can read this interestting study here.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Home made & rigid transport back bag

I recently received a link from Arnaud Vincent to his picasa photo album about the new back bag he created and built to carry F3F sailplane safely to the slope.

The concept is base on a mix of a rigid box and a back bag. The rigid box is made from a transparent PVC panel that is used for greenhouses. It is about 10mm thick, more rigid than the coropplast, and about the same weight.

Then around the box, Arnaud sewed a bag, on measure made of heavy waterproof nylon. Hopefully, he is equiped with a sewing machine, so it helps. The bag received staps at the right place, including some to attach fuselages on the side of the bag. 

The box weight is 2.1kg and the bag 900g. This is not light but not that much considering the protection you bring. Here is the photo album Arnaud sent me:

Sunday, January 6, 2013

New Video of the Raptor FPV

Here is a new video with onboard cam (GoPRo for front view and Key Cam from tip view):

Futaba T12FG, Robbe FX30 issue ALERT

Apparently the problem is not new but the occurence seems to be much higher the past months. It doesn't affect all transmitters, but only some series.

On several french forums, a serious warning has been sent by T12FG/FX30 owners after several crashes conducting to the total destruction of the model after loosing the control of their model.

The issue is on the connection between the sticks potentiometer and the PCB. It comes from poor connector quality and the tension created of the wire a bit too rigid or short. Futaba/Robbe perfectly knows about this issue and know how to fix it. It is fixed by changing the wires and soldering directly instead of using connectors. In France the issue is fixed for free by the Futaba/Robbe repair center. The symptom is the following: on a empty new memory, neutral positions shift in the servo monitor menu, and also in some mixers.

Anyway, it is abnormal that Futaba/Robbe doesn't proceed to an official recall, considering the severity of the problem and the high risk to have an accident with injured people.

Please forward to T12FG/FX30 owners you have around you.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Modell special issue about Thermal Flying

For those who read german (unfortunately, I don't read :-(  ), I found this 80 pages special issue of the magazine MODELL (Neckar-publishing) dedicated to thermal flying.

From theory to the practice, the issues seems to cover lots of topics, and provide lots of hint and tips.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Raptor FPV for aerial photography & video

After flying few times the EasyStar 2 RR with the GoPro onboard, I concluded that it was underpowered with the MPX setup and that I didn't have margin by changing the propeller size (diameter or pitch), and eventually the motor.

Therefore, I looked at other alternatives on the market, with always the aerial photography in mind, and also some aerial video time to time. The Raptor FPV from Lanyu kept my attention in its 1600 mm wingspan version for several reasons:
  • It has a ABS fuselage, with plenty of room
  • It is flap ready
  • It's a pusher
  • Wingspan is a bit bigger than the usual 1400mm of the Easystar and all the chinese copies.
  • It comes with a from fuselage platform that ease camera installation
I decided to give a try, and ordered the kit. The raptor PFV doesn't exist as a kit, but only in its PNP or RTF version. I took the PNP version.

The kit gives the best and the worse at the same time. All main components are good. They are nicely moulded, the top surface is even shiny ! The fit of the wings on the fuselage is excellent. Wings and tail have some carbon or wood inserts to reinforce smartly the parts. The servo tray in the fuselage uses plywood and is solidly screwed at several points.

However, design of the main components could be better. The mounting system of the wings on the fuselage is a bit primitive, with 4 screws, and a plastic part to join the 2 half wings. The mounting of the tail and fin on the fuselage is very strong, provide a good positioning. But, it cannot be easily disassemble for transport and the bottom plastic part and screws collects all the ground and grass when landing. Despite these few comments, the overall quality of the frame is fine.

The worse come from the electronic equipement. Servos, motor and ESC are just crap. On mine, one of the fuselage servo had already a gear broken. I decided to change everything from the beginning. I kept only the propeller (That I changed later as you will see). All servos have been replaced by metal gear micro servos and I installed 2 additional servos on the flaps to take benefit of it. The motor is now a 1200 KV Emax BL2220/07 Outrunner Brushless Motor connected to a Dualsky 30 Amp ESC coming from my old EasyGlider.

On the control command side, I user MPjet plastic clevises  and brass coupler connected to the provided piano wire like command  provided in the kit. The plastic clevises provided in the kit are real shit, so forget them if you want your plane to survive to few flights ...

To position and secure the battery in front of the fuselage, I glued some velcro on the front tray. I can use 3A or 2A capacity 3s Lipo depending if I use the GoPro or not. The CG is obtained without any lead in the nose. Without any cam the Turnigy 3A battery installed in the very front position give the right CG. Same with the GoPro and a 2 Amp 3S battery. A very clear CG location mark is molded at the wing bottom, so it is very easy to test it just before to fly, this is a good point.

For the Gopro, I built a small support made from coroplast, and epoxy board, with a velcro around the cam to secure it, and some foam under the support to absord vibration. The support can be screwed in 2 positions, front and on the side. It use the 2 Pronged Tee Nuts on the top foam part of the fuselage.

The maiden flight  took place the 31th of december and it was the last flight of the year 2012 for me. I went to the casttle of Bon Repos near grenoble, and combined the maiden flight with some aerial photos and videos.

The first flight provided me a mixed feeling. The plane seemed (again) underpowered and I had some difficulties to climb with the equipment. It was really like to get nowhere fast !
On the positive side, the stability, handling and agility are great. The Raptor is precise, nervous. On top of that, it has a good gliding ratio, even with the fixed propeller stopped. Despite the lack of trust, I enjoyed the afternoon flying the Raptor and came back with nice pictures and videos.

For the second flying session, I changed the propeller (a 8x4) by a APC 8x6. Here again I couldn't change the diameter, being already at the limit, but at least, I could increase the propeller pitch. The result turned to be better, and the plane has a better climbing rate, but nothing to compare with a front motor like on my EasyGlider for example.

The next step will be to installed a true digital compact camera with a servo to trigger it, and later a Eagle Tree Guardian 3 Axis Gyro to stabilise the plane while shooting.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy new year and best wishes !

Dear Readers and followers,

I wish you an happy and healthy new year 2013, with plenty of happiness, joy and sucsesses. On the aeromodelling page, I also wish you plenty of thermals, lifts, wind, breeze, nice slopes, nice skys, new projects, new sailplanes, some adrenaline and action. Hope you will continue to enjoy this hobby, this passion, at 200% !

Take care,

Pierre Rondel

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...