Showing posts from February, 2012

Simprop: new items 2012

Following Nüremberg toy fair last month, I missed the new items catalogue from Simprop. Here it is: Simprop 2012.

VTPR: Stiction 1.7

On his side, Eric Johnson continues to explore his interresting concept of PSP with the Stiction, wich differs from the Zeppelin just by a different fuselage profile. One thing Eric learned on the Stiction is that by using the New Stuff plastic laminating film on the wing and surfaces, he noticed that the energy retention is a better..

According to Eric, The original idea of a PSP glider is the fuselage being constructed like a profile electric ultralight power plane in that the fuselage is a very thin plank and all the gear mounted externally fully exposed to the elements. It makes the building easy and fun plus the advantage of building lightweight with good rigidity thanks to the wood.

Apart this, Eric is working on a VTPR contest format called V-Cup Challenge with the objective to attract more people to try and like this category, and of course have lots of fun, which remain the primary reason of VTPR.

Video: VTPR california style

Moving virtually from LA (Oscar ceremony) to Santa Barbara :), here is a very nice video from Steve Lange about VTPR:

Tribute to "The Artist"

After the crazy night at the Oscar Ceremony where the french movie "The Artist" won 5 trophies, including best actor, best film, best film director, here is my tribute as an allusion to this film.

Willow build log #2

The preparation and installation of the servos tray is probably the operation of the assembly that needs the more attention.
First of all, I cut a notch on each side of the inner nose in order for the tray to be blocked in position. I liked this way to do, nice design ! The plywood tray is cut to perfectly fit the inner nose, and host the ballast tube. But holes for the servos, receiver and battery are not cut, which I like because you can optimize the layout depending of the servos you use.
For the elevator, I decided to use the excellent and tiny MKS DS6100 servos which is very powerful for it's size, perfect for a V-tail of a F3X plane.

I also cut the holes for the Jeti R8 receiver and a battery that could be in my case 4x eneloop cells (AA size). The tray is reinforced here and there with a piece o additional plywood. The servos tray is then glued in place, using 10 minutes epoxy, and after sa…

Willow build log #1

I started the assembly of the willow, with only one hand as I received a surgery on the left hand 10 days ago. Not that easy ! I began with the wiring harmness for the wings and the fuselage. Servos connectors are crimped. I now do this for few years since I bought a crimper at the local shop. It give good result and avoid to multiply the soldering points with extension leads. At the other end, I used MPX like green connectors. They are soldered, protected with heat shrink tubes, then secured with hot glue (standard). I really encourage everybody to do this even if the connector is then glued in place, the hot glue can removed in case of problem and, unlike silicon, doesn't chimically attack the wire or the plastic. It secures greatly the soldering mechanically. I do this for 15 years and had no bad experience.
Remember, a good plane, especially for competition, is a reliable plane, you trust in any aspect. I saw too much people trying to solve a wiring problem on the slope. Secur…

Team Black Sheep Video: Death Valley

TBS (Team black sheep) is currently doing a road trip in the west of USA. They have already released few videos, but the most spectacular one is the video filmed in the death valley. These guys are really good. I pretty like the video editing, with a mix of onboard video and sequences filmed from the ground.

Zepsus Magnetic Switch

Magnetic switches become more and more popular as they bring safety because they don't include any mechanical part which is usually number one failure point. They are also pretty convenient as you don't need to open the nose cone or the canopy to switch on or off.
Zepsus is a newcomer on the market, and proposes its magnetic switch mainly designed for F3X sailplanes. The main characeristics of this switch is that it is very tiny as you can see on the pictures. It will be very easy to install it, even in a narrow F3X fuselage. Its weight is about 3g, which is negligeable. The other interresting feature of this switch is that it is given for 7A constant, which is more than enough for a 6 servos sailplanes.
Construction of this switch is very good, enterely in surface mounted components, on a single side circuit plate. Soldering is nicely done. It comes with JR type connectors on both side (male/f…

Willow F3F, a budget friendly F3F sailplane

Designed by Ian Mason, manufactured in China, and distributed by G-Fly for France, Germany, and Italy, the Willow intends to be a budget friendly sailplane for F3F and sport flying (from 670 €).

Before to have a look at the kit, let's say few words about the genesis and design: Ian Mason started the development 2 years ago but the plane really exist for a year. The objective of the Willow was to release an affordable F3F plane, providing lot's of fun with sport flying, but still very capable in F3F, allowing newcomers to this category to give a try.

There is no secret to keep the cost down. It starts during design phase by doing some trades off. Therefore there is nothing revolutionnary, only proven solutions. The section is derived from the RG15, the planform is inspired by the Race M, which was and still is a competitive plane. The Willow is rather compact with its 2.75m wingspan. The fuselage is large enough to host standard servos. The V-tail is in one piece, which simp…

Video: F3F winter practice at "Piko Del Fraile"

This nice video, posted by our spanish friends shows Inaki Elizondo practising F3F at the "Piko del Fraile" by -4°, but I imagine that, with the wind, it is much less ! This spectacular slope is near Vitoria and hosted the Spanish Championship last year, but it was in July !!!

Facebook, finally ...

Planet Soaring is now on Facebook !
The best way to stay connected with your favorite website ;-)

Last but not least ...

The JR Propo 2012 caralog is now available for dowload here

E-Rotmilan ready !

I finally finished my Electro Rotmilan. I encountered few issues during the assembly: the length of the axis of the motor was 8mm too long for the spinner provided. as the spinner couldn't be modified, and tha I did'nt want to cut the axis, I cut a wood plate at the exact dimension. result is perfect. Then I had to change 3 time the battery, each time a little bit too big to enter freely in the fuselage. I ended with a Hyperion G3 45C, 3S, 1900mAh.

Last small issue, the receiver being behind the battery, and not accessible, I had to make an extension lead for the ESC to be able to unplug it easily and connect it on the USB cable to program it or to use the built-in logger. Finally, I used 2 antenna exits to install the 2.4Ghz antennas in the best position.

The plane is well balance without any lead (yeeessssss !) and the weight is just 2.5 kg, which is better than expected initially.

The Rotmilan is ready to fly now, waiting for better weather condition. Here are the pictures …

Slideshow: Nüremberg 2012

One of the main sponsors of Planet-Soaring,, was kind enough to share with us lots of pictures taken at Nuremberg 2012, which allow you to discover plenty of new items. Not less than 312 pictures to cover the biggest exhibition about our favorite hobby.

And as introduction, here is a short video from my friend Zhen with his multicopter while arriving to the exhibition:

Enjoy the slideshow, and a big thanks to for their contribution !

Video: Winter flight over the cloud sea

This nice video, taken end of December by Julien Benoit, is filmed from a Nan Model Shadow with a GoPro onboard.

EasyStar2 new video

The "making of" the shooting session:

Nuremberg 2012: Multiplex new items

And finally, here is the catalogue 2012 of Multiplex.

Nuremberg 2012: Aeronaut new items

The catalogue 2012 from Aeronaut can be donwloaded here.