Showing posts from August, 2011

R/C Soaring Digest september issue

The september issue has been released, with one of my pictures doing the back cover :) !
RCSD can be downloaded at the following address:

Making Of

I received several questions about how I did some of the video sequence of the Video I posted yesterday. So below are few pictures and some information.
I bought a 6 meter fishing rod for 6 Euros only, disassembled it to keep only the 3 first parts in order to not have too much bending. Then I built a adaptor to receive the GoPro fixation. the adtaptor is made with some 3mm plywood and is inserted in the fishing rod, then block with some hard foam. I use the Helmet GoPro which is delevered with some useful accessories. I filmed in R5 mode, that is to say 1080p with 127° angle. With the boom and the go pro accessories, I can change the orientation of the cam to look up, down, on the side. During the shooting, the difficulty is then to aim, in fact to guess what you are filming. I enjoyed doing this video. It's a sort of therapy as I have the height vertigo. I really wanted to share some emotions, and sensations ...

Courtesy from Etienne Beraudo, Stéphane Giraud, Joël Marin

Font D'Urles: THE video !

Here is the video I shooted during the competition of the 20/21 of August in the south Vercors. i used a GoPro mounted on a 3m boom, and my panasonic FZ100 bridge. I wanted to share the feeling we can have flying such extreme slope site. I hope you will like !

Rotmilan Flying Report

Following last week-end competition, I continue to discover the Rotmilan. After the maden flight in light wind, I finished at 105.5 mm. During the competition, I felt than I could move the CG backward again. I ended at 107 mm. The plane is still very gentle and forgiving with this CG.

I also use some ballast, starting at 2 sligs, then moving to 4, then to 6 slugs over 10. This means I was flying with 500 to 600g maximum. The Rotmilan is carrying ballast very well, and I easily imagine that in strong condition, I will need more than the fuselage ballast. Hopefully, the joiner can receive something like 400 or 500 gr of additional ballast.

Exchanging with my friend CM Cheng in Hong Kong, we shared the same conclusion. The Rotmilan, is a fast plane, stable, forgiving, that is to say you won't pay cach a mistake during a turn. Moreover, CM is performing very well with the Rotmilan with a win last week-end in a F3F competition.

The exclusive servo drive created for the Rotmilan works p…

F3F contest: Font d'Urles

Last week-end was the 2011 edition of Font D'Urles, a competition from the French league, but a bit apart because of the place and flying conditions. Font d'Urles is offering lot's of cliffs, facing south and working only thanks to the thermal activity.

This year, we went to a new site, called the "collet", which is a very promising site because providing a ventury effect, improving both turns.

On Saturday, we (38 pilots !) spend the afternoon on the slope witing for the thermal breeze to start. unfortunately, the light north wind won over the thermal activity, so no round was completed.

Sunday, weather forecasts were saying that we would get some south wind, so everybody was ready before midday. We startet the first round around 12:45 with slow time around 50s. But the thermal activity grown progressively, so we achieved faster time. I won the second round with a 35,56s.

Third round went to Reto Blumer, the most frenchy of the swiss F3F pilot. He did a blisterin…

Zeppelin 1.7, by Eric Johnson

Hereafter are some information about a new 1.7m model called the ZEPPELIN I have developed utilizing some foreign materials nowadays – Balsa and EPS foam! Such a novelty in the foam world today.

Seriously I’m more of an old school type designer/builder but I enjoy the challenge of building light and durable primarily for the Vtpr class of aerobatics where as we know maneuvers are performed very close to the terrain. This design borrows some elements from indoor ultralight modeling for the slope. I wanted to make it easy for the average builder to be able to assemble and use common materials available at most any local craft or hobby store. And easy to repair or maintain with its exposed gear feature. The exposed gear doesn’t add any parasitic drag of consequence as this plane is designed to fly at 0-25mph maximum.

Flight control surfaces are extra large requiring more expo mix than normal. This feature is very useful in tight and close maneuvering and also serves as a safety net for g…

Chamrousse aerial video

Another video taken onboard with my EasyGlider and the GoPro over Chamrousse. Conditions were great, and despite the GoPro on its back, the EasyGlider was thermalling well. I really love how the Go Pro is handling the light, very impressive !

a short DS video

I'm late on the editing of the video I took the past weeks. The following one have been shooted few weeks ago on my local slope, where I met Benjamin and Antoine Bianchi. They were visited the slope while in holidays in the grenoble area. Condition were correct to do some DS with my D60. Benjamin was kind enough to film with my camera.

Rotmilan maiden flight

I maidened the Rotmilan Monday afternoon in light wind (~ 10 km/h) on my club slope. Flying weigth is 2200gr, as mentioned in a earlier post.

I started from the settings provided by the manufacturer (i.e CG at 104mm), and started to play with the CG, the snapflaps, etc ...

The Rotmilan flies very well. It has a good natural straight speed. You see it when diving, or when doing some DS.

At 104 mm, I had to trim up a little bit. Then I increased the snapflaps but was not obtaining the grip I was expecting in the turns.

Later in the afternoon, I moved the CG backward, and reduced the snapflaps, and the Rotmilan started to rock much better. It became reactive, grippy, and was accelerating much better. Even in the light wind, I managed to get some EM turns.

Quickly I went to the dark side of the slope, still with 10 km/h of wind. The Rotmilan showed very good capabilities in light DS, with immediate acceleration, and seemed very stiff, thanks to the spreadtow fabric at 45°.

The servo driv…

Rotmilan build log #2

I finished the assembly of the Rotmilan. I used the DS6125-e (same case than the DS95) for the elevator. To terminate the elevator control tubes, I inserted and glued a small piano wire (5 cm long), then glued the M2 Treaded couplers with rapid epoxy, then pinched them carefully. On the elevator side, I used metal clevises, but plastic clevises from MpJet on the servos side.

All the universal/JR plugs has been crimped with the wire. this allow to prepare the exact length of cable.

In the fuselage, the MPX green plug is glue with cyano. then I protected the root of the wing and the fuselage with tape, and glued the green plug on the wing side with the wing in place. this gives a perfect alignment but can be a bit risky. In the past, it happened once where everything stayed glued together, too bad !

The battery is made from 4 cells Eneloop Power XX delivering 2500 mAh (2 + 2 configuration), with low selfdischarge. The receiver is the Jeti Duplex R8.

I needed 156g of lead to achieve the …

Rotmilan Build Log #1

I started the assembly of the Rotmilan by the servos mounting using the drive and exclusive drive system delivered with the kit by RTGmodel.

I used the wood servoframes from MKS, as I decided to mount 4 x DS6125 in the wings. I modified a little bit the servoframe by suppressing the connecting part of the frame in front of the servo arm.

There are 2 control rod lengths. The shorter ones are for the ailerons, and the longer ones for the flap. The difficulty of the installation of the servos is that, because of the fixed rod length, you need to position rigth the frame, when you glue it, taking into account the neutral position of the servo, to maximize the travel down for the flap, and travel up for the ailerons.

I installed the carbon control rods on the ailerons and flaps, using the long brass tool provided, to extract and insert the metal axis. Then I glue the servoframes, with the servos in place, protected by a slim plastic film. I used 10 minutes epoxy from R&G. I'm prett…

Mont Revard, Savoie - France

Yesterday, we had a very nice weather and warm temperature. A perfect day to go to do some aerial pictures. This time I drove to the mont Revard, above Aix les Bains. The Mont Revard (1,538 m) is a mountain in the Bauges Massif. This is the place where one of the very first ski resort has been installed a long long time ago. In the past, a cable way from the city of Aix Les Bains to the summit was the skiers to reach the ski resort easily. But this cable way constructed in 1935 has been stopped in the 60s, because too old and unsecured.

I flew my Easyglider in a place called "La Sire" close to La Féclaz, another small ski resort of le Mont Revard. This is an official flying site for paragliders and hang gliders. The site is facing south and offers a super view on Chambéry, the lake of "Bourget", aix les Bains, the mountain la dent du chat. the lake of "Bourget" is the largest and the deepest lake located entirely within France. From La Sire, you can also…

iVol2G16 programming

After my first review part about the trasmitter itself,  let's have a look at the programming, thanks to the Hangar software which can be easily downloaded from the followingURL.

To be honest, I was a little bit lost when I tried to do my first programming. My problem was coming from the fact that I had always my usual trasmitter programming scheme in mind and that I was trying to reproduce it with the iVol. As soon as you have understood the concept behind the iVol, then the programming is becomming crystal clear, and you touch the great potential of the programming.

The iVol programming is done exclusively on the Hangar software. The software is available in German or English, provide the usual menu to manage project file. A model project is equivalent to a RC model memory.

As startup, iVol Hangar check for new firmware to be load on the transmitter, and new software version. If one of them of both are available, Hangar proposes the upload/installation. This has no impact on th…

Aerial Pictures: Chamrousse, France

Yesterday evening, we met with some clubmate at Chamrousse for a late afternoon flying session and a dinner in a small restaurant.

Chamrousse is a very famous and popular ski resort above Grenoble, which hosted some event of the 1968 winter olympic games. The resort is between 1650m and 2253m of altitude.

I took my EasyGlider equiped with the GoPro HD to do some aerial pictures and video.

Here are the pictures:

FPV: the latest video from Team Black Sheep !

FORMATION PROXIMITY is the name of the new video from Team Black Sheep, shooted in the alps. Lots of actions, formation flying, etc ...

FORMATION PROXIMITY from RiSCyD : TeamBlackSheep on Vimeo.

GyLL Concepts to release electronic switches

Gyll Concepts, a newcomer on the RC onboard electronic market, just released a RC electronic switch product range including 2 different switches:
Switch NGMini SwitchSwitch NG Dual

They are all passing 3A and between 10 to 15A in peak. They follow the same innovative architecture where the control element, which can be an inverter a switch or a magnetic switch is not on the critical path of the switch. This means that in case of failure it has no impact on the electronic switch itself. In other words this gives a more reliable switch. The Switch NG dual add the support of 2 batteries and double connection to the receiver which give even more reliability.

I received a sample of each product and control element for review. In the meantimes, you can visit the company website for more information: GyllConcepts Company website

RTGmodel Rotmilan Kit Presentation

The Rotmilan is the new flagship of Milan Demčišák, the manufacturer of the well known Extreme F3F that I reviewed in these columns in 2009. the Rotmilan is a joined development between Norbert Habe (HN sections) and Milan Demcisak. This is a 3m F3F/B glider with the following specs:
Wingspan: 3018 mmWing areaa: 60.69 dm2Fuselage Length: 1493mmV-tail area: 5.72dm2Airfoils HN StraakFlying weight: from 2150g
Weight of the components:

Here are the weight I measured:
Fuselage: 302gRight Wing: 570gLeft wing: 575gWing Joiner: 90gLeft tail+ joiner: 46gRight tail + joiner: 47gTotal 1630gBallast: 896gConstruction:

Fuselage is made from Kevlar and Carbon. It is 2.4 friendly. The ballast tube is already installed, as the servo tray which is moulded and painted with the same color of the fuselage. At the rear of the ballast tube, ther is a small hole to evacuate the air when putting the ballast in it. The canopy is in fiber glass. The routing of the wires coming from the wing connectors is along and…

American VTPR, by Eric Johnson

Since coming to VTPR style and totally immersing myself into the sport and model design the journey has been the most exciting chapter in my RC soaring experience in over 20 years! While learning about VTPR two years ago I thought to myself, why is VTPR such a small and unknown sport here in the US? I learned that the dangerous “low to the ground” style and the lack of models for the style inherently made this sport very unique and minimally populated by flyers. After about a year I decided to develop the website Slope VTPR Aerobatics dedicated to just VTPR style in which there were none. The only other website carrying some VTPR and other slope aerobatic styles was Steve Lange’s In there I discovered more good VTPR articles and videos adding to my knowledge and excitement for the sport but this wasn’t enough to fill my appetite.

There are many aerobatic contests and meetings of all types of modeling including electric and fuel power, 3D ultralight, indoor electri…

Baltic-Seagull iVol 2 G16 review - PART 1 -


Behind this code name is a very innovative RC transmitter, designed and made in Germany by Baltic-Seagull, which I would summarize in 2 main features that are:

Jeti insideProgrammable via a PCThe HF part beeing Jeti, this means that you can operate any receiver of the Jeti product range, up to 16 channels. No need of external box as the JetiBox is smartly integrated into the transmitter.

What you get

The iVol2G16 transmitter case is very unusual, somewhere between a normals transmitter case and a game controller. On the external side of the case, there are 2 big rubber pieces that maximize the grip of the hands, while holding the transmitter. The prehension is absolutely excellent, and the transmitter well balanced. Sticks are smooths and precise.
the trims, all digital, are on the interior side of the sticks, and very close to each other. While holding the transmitter, there are easy to reach and manipulate.

A display is located at the top middle of the case, which has 2…

Briançon F3F

I spent my week-end in Briançon for a nice a friendly F3F competition, part of the french F3F league. On saturday, we arrive on the slope using 4 wheels drive cars, at 2400 meters of altitude. The breeze was very light but in the right direction. Cumulus clouds were growing slowly but surely. when the breeze became sufficiently strong (over 3 to 4 m/s) we started the first round, but thunderstorm arrived, and also the rain, so we had to stop and drive down. Too bad for me as I had the best time with 46s at that moment.

After a very nice evening at Frederic Hours house, with all the participants, we went to see the finale of the climbing contest of Briançon, part of the world cup. Very impressive and interresting to see this guys, and how good theyr are at this excercice !

Sunday, we drove eralier to the slope, started the first round before 1 O'clock, and we managed to complete 5 rounds. Matthier Mervelet, like in Caussols, got indecent good air each rounds and won all rounds with…