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Saturday, January 27, 2018

A removable servo tray for thin F3x electro fuselages

Some information about my removable servo tray for the Shinto electro.

It is composed of 2 parts because of the 3D printing constraints. The lower part is just to provide a rounded support to fit perfectly with the fuselage. The upper part allows to mount 2 servos MKS6100/HV6100/HV6110 in a oblique position, upside down, in order to have a free movement of the control rods.

The 2 plate are glued together with some cyano, then fixed into the fuselage with 3 mm screws. On my Shinto, it will be located just in front of the wing joiner. Of course, it means that you abandon the elevator control snakes and sleeves, and replace them with carbon rods and the corresponding MPjet aluminium Threated adapter, so you can easily mount and remove the servo tray when needed.

I will share the CAD drawings and STL files soon.

PS: I like DesignSpark very much !!!!! :)

Thursday, January 25, 2018

A tiny transmitter for foamies ?

Frsky should announce soon a new transmitter, looking like a game controller, but featuring the following:

  • Digital high accuracy hall sensor gimbals
  • Open source operating system - OpenTX
  • Easy access battery
  • Ergonomic design
  • Internal and external antennas
  • Supports external modules
  • Mini USB-B port, Headset port and Micro SD card slot
  • Smart Port
  • 128*64 outdoor readable LCD

Price should be around 100 Euros according to the first webshop displaying it

I guess the target is the Quad racing market, but I was wondering if it would make a good transmitter for my foamies, small enough to carry everywhere, internal antennas so no risk to break it, but still full range.

Of course since my issues with XR receivers, I won't use it for my expensive competition toys.

DesignSpark Mechanical, a great CAD drawing tool !

I wanted to share with you my yesterday finding. Lots of modelers are equiped with 3D printer which are becoming a must-have for us as soon as you are able to design and draw your own parts.
Up to now, as a beginner, I was using Freecad as a CAD drawing tool to produce my STL files. My problem with freecad is that it has bugs and weird behaviour that are often unexplained. This stopped me few days ago while progressing on the Shinto Electro servo tray. Maybe it was the time to find another tool, which I did !!!

There are many cad softwares on the market, some are very expensive, some are online, eventually free, but usually limited. By chance I think I found the prefect software for my need to design, draw parts.

The name of this freeware is "DesignSpark Mechanical" and is kindly offered by RS-online. There are variants for electronic, PCB, electrical, and mechanical design? This is that latest version that I instal. The interface is very nice with smooth operations. The display is very readable in both 3D or 2D sketching. There are few but powerfull tools that allow to sketch complex parts. It can export the file in different format including STL.

Of course, as any software, there is a learning curve, but which can be shortened by watching at the very nicely made tutorial videos. This is allow you to understand better the concept

Overall, my first feeling is that this is a software/interface accessible to everyone and it seems to do the job very nicely and efficiently ... for free !

The following video will give you an overview and a pretty good idea about what is possible and how good and intuitive is this software:

Hope you will enjoy it the same I enjoy it since I discovered it !

Friday, January 19, 2018

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 :) . Stay tuned !

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Home made tail protection covers

F3X competition planes are sometimes damaged during transportation, especially because we let the V-tail in place.

Tail covers provided with the glider, or bought as an option, a nicely made, but appears to not fully protect from shocks and prints.

I'm now using home made covers using a 2.5 thick foam called "Isolene". This foam has on one face a thin aluminuim sheet.  It costs around 5€ per square meter, given thatt he roll is 1.5m large.

Icut at the shape of the tail with a 1.5cm margin all around the tail.

Then I glue using hot glue, but proceeding 20 to 30 cm at a time, let dry, and continue. Then, with scissors, I cut the excess (around 5mm).

The covers are staying perfectly in place and are never sliding. They also keep the control surface aligned.
The density of the foam is protecting well the surface, and the 1cm excess all around is a good shield against unwanted shocks while manipulating.

I recently found in the same shop a even more dense foam, all white this time, called Isol'choc. Price is a bit more expensive (7€ per square meter). I haven't try yet to glue them, but I think it should worl the same.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Quantum F3F

I'm proud and quite happy to say, that finally the Quantum F3F should be alive soon !

It has been a long project since the beginning, project which has nearly died when the initiator and manufacturer just abandonned the design team "in the middle of the river". But after all the effort Dirk Pflug, Gian Marco Occhibove and I put in this project, we just couldn't let it die so we found another manufacturer (ISM), much more serious this time, and resumed the project by revisiting the CAD drawings, doing some changes here and there to help manufacturing, then start milling.

Molds are now finished and the first prototype should be ready beginning of 2018. The time to build it and maiden it, and I will keep you informed and share my first impressions.

The Quantum has been designed only with F3F in mind, starting from an aerodynamic study about optimum turn radius vs plane weight/wind/flight time/Cz/Cx/etc ... 

What has been considered during the design is:

  1. Turn radius versus Wind speed
  2. Turn radius versus plane weight
  3. Turn radius versus initial entry speed
  4. Relative speed/air and Re
  5. Cz in straight line
  6. Cz during the turn
  7. What pourcentage of the time is spent in the turn

From this we could identify and optimize for a certain Cz - Flight Regime, and target the ideal thickness and camber. This allowed us to obtained the necessary requirements to design the section that Dirk then created especially for the Quantum. Wing planform is a pure elliptical lift wing, with a 2.98m winspan and 15.7 aspect ratio. We payed attention to the wing-fuselage and tail-fuselage junctions to reduce the drag with a dedicated root airfoil.

Here are the main data:
  • Wingspan: 2980mm
  • Length: 1465mm
  • Wing area: 55,6 dm²
  • FAI Wing Area: 61,0 dm²
  • Empty Weight: 2,2kg
  • Empty Wing Loading: 39,6 g/dm²
  • Max FAI Flying weight: 4575gr
  • Aspect Ratio: 15,74

The Ballast compartiments in the wings and in the joiner allow to incrementally increase the flying weight up to the max FAI wing loading of 75gr/dm2 without moving the CoG of the plane, so no need to add or remove balance lead in the nose. Also the maximum weight can be achieved without using very expensive tungsten slugs, brass being enough.

I also prepared a simple color scheme proposal that will be available is different color combination (comments are welcome).

You will easily understand that I'm very excited to receive the first prototype and fly it to see how it performs. I'm like a child ... and I have even prepared the 3D printed spacers file to go with the ballast ;)

Ivan Sanda Models will manufacture and sell the Quantum F3F. But please be patient and give us some time to fly the model first and do adjustments if necessary.

F3F season 2018 will be definitively very interresting and challenging for me !

Stay tuned !

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

The perfect F3F slope ?

It is funny to realize that your mind is always polluted by your addiction to slope soaring as soon as you see something that could look like a usable slope :) ...

This week-end, I was in the very south of France (Camargue) where the largest salt production field of Europe is located. Visiting the production fields I could see these nice salt mountains (called "Camel". each of them correspond to a one year of production = average 300 000 tons each), 20m high, more than 100 meters long ;) and exposed to the mistral wind ...
However maybe be too much salty for our material (corosive).

Should I start my detoxification treatment as soon as possible ? :)

JR Propo went bankruptcy

Sad news from Japan, JR Propo went bankruptcy on December 26. Even if the press release is not declaring that the brand will disappear, we all know that this means the futur of JR is very uncertain.

I have been a team JR pilot from 2012 to 2014. I still believe they have the best 2.4 protocol of he market, combining the best of the 2 worlds of frequency hopping and spread spectrum. Even if their radio hardware was very good, the firmware was not at the level of the best brand in term of flexibility and mixing.

Anyway, we will watch carefully what happens to them in the coming months. I sincerely hope they will survive and resuscitate !

Digital CG balancer

A good F3F competition plane deserves a good CoG setting, which requires the appropriate tool :) !

After testing and explaining the concept with 2 kitchen scales few months ago, and needing an excel spreadheet to obtain the CoG value, I wanted to reach the next level, and use one of the numerous digital CoG tools available on the market. Initially, I wanted to build mine and I had even printed all parts. But, I have too many thing in parallel, so I abandonned after this step, and ordered one when I saw this version, that is foldable, and personnalized ;) !
I just need to add some soft pad or rubber pad and it will be ready.

Many thanks to Kolosun Leung, and also thank you to the designer for sharing his work.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

First flights of 2018 !

Yesterday, I went with 2 clubmates (Joël and Pierre) to Quincieu as the forecast was very good: 12° and a 30 to 40 mk/h wind allowed us to fly all the afternoon. The wind start to die around 4pm, so we finished the session flying with AHIs.

Some pictures below.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Planet-Soaring is 20 years old !!!!

Planet-Soaring is celebrating its 20th anniversary !

Created in january 1998 under the title RC Soaring Magazine, it was initially a monthly webzine. I was not owning the domain name at that time. After few years, I moved to a different hosting company and created the domain name planet-soaring.com which is used since then.

Built manually using web editor like dreamweaver, I moved Planet-Soaring to google blogspot in March 2009 to ease the writing, and take benefit of the templates and framework and have easily a more professional look and feel.

As you can imagine, this activity takes lots of time and energy, and to be honest, I have been very close to stop it several times, especially since Facebook became a serious information channel. Instead, I created a facebook page planet-soaring and now try to maintain both as finally they are complementary: Facebook for quick and fast information, and Planet-Soaring the blog for articles.

I just wanted to thank all the readers of planet-soaring from all around the world since the beginning, for their loyalty, support, encouragements, constructive comments/fedbacks, and sometimes contributions. I think this is the reason why I need to continue to maintain and feed this blog.

I just apologize if  updates are now not as often as you or I would like, but I have a job and a private life, and also to feed the blog, I need to practice RC glider, experiment, travel, create, etc ... !

Again thank you all !

Pierre Rondel

Monday, January 1, 2018

Happy new year !

As the calendar turns a new leaf over, I wish you and your familly an happy and healthy new year, plenty of success, hapiness, joy, and plenty of nice flights and happy landing !
Hope to see many of you on the slope in 2018 !
All the best !

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...