Sunday, December 30, 2012

Video: Schwing 88 at the Pierre Percée



The "Pierre Percée" is a natural stone arch located on a hill upon the commune of Pierre-Châtel and La Motte d'aveillans, 30 km south of Grenoble. The slope faces the south direction and offer a stunning and awasome scenery with a large valley, which is in fact a plateau surroundered by mountains. On this plateau (also called Matheysine) , shaped by glaciers during the previous glacial periods and surrounded by high mountain ranges, the bise wind blows intensely, being frosty during Winter, but pleasant in Summer. Furthermore, at Winter time, the area can face heavy snowfalls. For these reasons, Matheysine is being nicknamed "Little Siberia".

All this area and the mountains around are my playground with plenty of slopes I fly in summer. I must agree that I live in a beautiful place. This is one of the reason I moved here to finish my studies in 1987.
I haven't flown this particular slope for almost 20 years so it was like a new discovery today. The slope produces a good and wide lift and the flying space is so huge that it makes sensations even bigger. I had a great flying session with the Schwing 88 yesterday afternoon. I did some onboard video with the KeyCam 808#16V2 Lens D and I'm happy with the video sequences the Keycam captured. The more sun there is, the better is the video. Hope you will like it !


Friday, December 28, 2012

Video: Grenoble from above



In this end of the year (not of the earth hopefully ;) ), today was sunny enough to do a short aerial video with my EasyStar 2, equiped with the GoPro and the Keycam 808#16 V2 Lens D.
This is the version RR of the Easystar 2, and with the 200g of the 2 video cam, the plane was obviously underpowered. I need a better solution for aerial pictures and video. I also noticed some jello effect this time, so not enough filtering of the vibration.


According to Wikipedia, Grenoble is a city in southeastern France, at the foot of the French Alps  Located in the Rhône-Alpes region, Grenoble is the capital of the department of Isère. The proximity of the mountains, as well as its status as the most populated city of the Alpine region before Innsbruck and Bolzano, has led to the city being known in France as the "Capital of the Alps".
Grenoble's history goes back more than 2,000 years, at a time when it was a small Gallic village. While it gained in stature by becoming the capital of the Dauphiné in the 11th century, Grenoble remained for most of its history a modest parliamentary and garrison city on the borders of the kingdom of France.
Grenoble grew in importance through its industrial development, the city experiencing several periods of economic expansion in the last centuries. It started with its booming glove industry in the 18th and 19th centuries, continued with the development of a strong hydropower industry in the late 19th to early 20th centuries and ended with its post-World War II economic boom symbolized by the holding of the X Olympic Winter Games in 1968. The city is now a significant scientific centre in Europe. The population of the city (commune) of Grenoble at the 2008 census was 156,659. The population of the Grenoble metropolitan area (French: aire urbaine de Grenoble) at the 2008 census was 664,832.



Friday, December 21, 2012

Keycam 808#16 V2 + Lens D

Few year ago, I had a keycam and lost it during the first flight. It detached from it support and falled from altitude on the slope. I never retrieved it. At that time the resolution was VGA, the image format 4/3 and the FOV was too narrow.
Things has changed over the years and we can easily find HD ready and Full HD Keycam. the most interesting things is that now you can find it with a new lens D that provide a FOV of 120°.
I really wanted a cam to mount almost everywhere on a plane, the Go Pro or equivalent cam being too heavy and big for this excercice.

I decided to give a try and bough my Keycam on EBAY. The seller is very serious. I paid via Paypal and the cam has been shipped the next day. I received the user manual in a mail. 10 days later the cam, very well packed, was in my mailbox !



I paid 53$ for the cam and a 8Go Kingston microSD card. The cam comes with some accessories: One USB cable, a pair of adhesiveVelcro, and a pair of Video Output cable (see photo). This video output is interesting for Pilots doing FPV.

Characteristics:

  • 1/4” CMOS WXGA  HD Sensor / H.264/AVC1 DSP / 512M DDR2
  • Rechargeable  LIPO Battery (250mah), with Battery Charger Manage IC
  • Video: 720P HD  H.264/AVC1 video codec, 1280 x 720 30fps .mov
  • Photo: JPG  1280*960 (no degrading by  upsizing to interpolated "5 megapixel" size)
  • microSD card  slot, supports up to 32GB (memory card  not included), suggest using Class 4 or above. 
  • USB2.0, plug  and play, easy connection with computers, no driver needed.
  • Size: 50mm (L) x 32mm (W) x13mm (H)
  • Weight: around 17g


The other strength of this tiny cam is that it is totally configurable thanks to a configuration file that allow you to set lots of video or audio parameters. The procedure is quite easy. you can export the current config file and write it on the micro SD card. Then on the PC, you can edit the parameters (self explained), then apply the load procedure on the cam to read the file an apply it. The file is then removed from the SD card, indicating that it has been taken into account.

I was really curious to see what this cam could give as a result. I built a pod to fix on the wing. It is made of a carbon square tuve fixe in a coroplast (correx) plate with hot glue. The coroplast is then glue with cyano on a very thin (0.5mm) epoxy plate that can be easily tape on a wing. On the other side, another small coroplast plate receive the velcro to fix the cam. One in place, the can is secured with a piece of rubber band hoocked to a horizontal small carbon rod.

The first test has been done on my Needle 100. Here is the result:


The quality is not that bad as you can see. More to come in the coming weeks !

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

A nice micro slope glider: BOAR

Boar is a micro slope model, just below 1 m wingspan, weighting about 320g, fully moulded, and made by the KERR soaring team in Hungary. This team is Endre Kaposi and Róbert Remény. They fly slope and F5J and obtained good result (second place at the national F5J champioship) with the F5J400OR. The created their workshop and use CNC to mill moulds, and cut parts. In project, a 2 meters V-tail sport model, called Unicorn.



You can visit their website http://www.kerr-soaring.hu/


More pictures about the moulding and construction of the Boar can be found here: Boar Photo Album


RC Soaring Digest, January issue

The january issue of RC Soaring Digest webzine has just been released and features a photo report about the 2012 F3F championship in Rügen.

It can be downloaded at following the URL: HERE


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Slope Dogfighting Video

This excellent video from Gref Ritz captured great Slope Dogfighting actions, fly by, mid air with an onboard cam in South Africa. Enjoy !

RC Soaring Digest, December issue

The December issue of RC Soaring Digest is released and uses one of my pictures, taken a long time ago: Benjamin Clamaron's 5 meter Nimbus 4D doing a fly-by at Le Col du Glandon in the French Alps. RCSD is a webzine, PDF format you can download freely at the following URL. Every month, you can read report, review, and technical articles.


Monday, November 26, 2012

Electro Schwing

I read on Sloperacer's blog that an electro version of the Schwing is approaching. The design of the fuselage shows that the front part of the fuselage is removable and contains the motor, the ESC and the batteries. This layout is pretty interresting from my point of view because it give a good access to the different component. You can find more information here



An afternoon at a new slope

Autumn, while the season is off, is a good time to relax a bit, find and test new slope. This is what I did last saturday, taking the opportunity that the weather what not too bad, with good south wind. This slope is located at mid heigh of a well known slope near my home place. With what variable but on the slope. Landing has been a bit problematic with some rare stones here and there, some bushes also. But access is easy, and the lift is good. Here is a video I filmed there, flyin my Needle 100 and Schwing 88.



Testing a new slope from Pierre Rondel on Vimeo.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

X-Games Pylons from Opale Paramodels



I'm currently reviewing the X-Games Pylons from Opale Paramodels. Inspired from the famous Red Bull Air Race's one, they are inflatable pylons, made of Ripstop nylon (white part) and heavy nylon for lowers parts, and include a 120-140mm diameter fan.

What is nice with these Pylons is that they can be installed extremely quickly, and a simple 3S Lipo battery 4A can last about an entire afternoon.

We already used them with sucess at the coupe Icare during the aeromdelling show. Yesterday afternoon, with my clubmate Joël, we installed them in a field to do some pictures and especailly video sequences. It should give an interresting and nice video clip, stay tuned !

Specifications:
  • Heigh: 380 cm
  • Width : 98 cm
  • Materials : Ripstop nylon and heavy nylon for lowers parts
  • 4x Containers for ballast
  • 4x Loop for pickets fixation
  • Power consumption : 6W
  • Average time inflate with a 3S 4000mAh Lipo : 4 / 5 hours.
  • Price: starts from 159 Euros
Manufacturer website: Opale Paramodels



Sunday, November 4, 2012

Video: French National F3F Championship

The following video has been filmed by the tourism office of the place where we organized the championship, last may.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Team BlackSheep | USA Highlights

A superb compilation of the best sequences of Team Black Sheep road trip in USA. A must to watch with a great editing work on top.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Video: Schwing 88

The following video of the Schwing 88 designed by James Hammond and distributed by Sloperacer.co.uk has been film one month ago during a practice session at Le Col du Glandon in the french alps. Back from the F3F Worlds in Germany, I finally found some time to edit the video. Here it is, enjoy !


Thursday, October 18, 2012

Video: F3B Lippeweidenpokal 2012

A very nice video clip promoting F3B based on video sequences taken in Lunen end of september.

Video: Skyman

The following video is not about gliders, but still about cool stuffs. This is the last practice we did with our Skymen before the aeromelling show of the Coupe Icare, end of september. All the information and plan/instructions can be found here.


Monday, October 8, 2012

F3F worlds


Planet-Soaring is OFF for few days during the F3F worlds. You can follow the french team at the following URL: http://f3fteamfrance2012.blogspot.fr/

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Instant Scoring VTPR Contest

Eric Johnson recently published on his VTPR blog the first information about what could be or become a VTPR contest, trying to define a new format and some guidelines, with the ambitious objective to keep fun but inject also some rules and challenges to take VTPR at the next level and make it to progress.



You can find all details on the following URL: http://vtpraerobatics.blogspot.fr/2012/09/instant-scoring-vtpr-contest-interface.html.

Eric posted also some video to better give an idea about scoring:



Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Coupe Icare

The Coupe Icare is the world’s biggest paragliding and air sports event, bringing together pilots, manufacturers and free flight professionals of all sorts, passionate amateurs and curious onlookers for the most fun, flying festive event imaginable. http://www.coupe-icare.org/



I participated for the second time to the aeromodelling air show, letting my F3x at home and flying instead foamies. We organised pylon racing demo with Merlins (MPX), and Kinetics (HK). We have been using X-games pylons made from ripstop nylon and heavy nylon for lowers parts. This is really a great accessory, installed in less than a minute, looking really great.

This year we also built special model to do the show: 4 Skymans (Ironman, Spiderman, GreenlLantern, and Batman). They had lots of sucess with childrens.


My clubmates did also some patrol flights with 2 Corsairs and 3 P38 Lightnings. This event is huge, extremely well organised and showing many different activities going from aeromodels to hot balloons and mny other things.

Flying the Schwing

I maidened my Schwing 88 the previous week-end, and I have been able to do nice shots to share with you all.

The Schwing is very good in the air. Nice looking, agile, light, on rails.
I started with the recommended CG at 99mm the first day, but found it was too backward because the plane was too sensitive to the camber variation. After adding 10 to 15gr of lead, I'm probably between 97 and 98mm now.

I flew around 2 hours with it the day after. The schwing is excellent in academic aerobatic because it tracks very well. Vertical manoeuvers are large and nice, you can control it at any time to apply the necessary corrections.

But its agility allows also to fly low and close. The roll rate is just great ! You don't need to prepare to start the roll, you just do it as you feel it.

The stalled rolled is also impressive, but requires some height because the plane needs 2 to 3 rotations before to get some grip again and exit safely.

In my setup, I used snap flaps DOWN, but also UP to have more elevator authority when flying inverted.


The crows work very well. The second day, after schwitching of transmitter, I did a mistake on the crows, putting some ailerons down (8 to 10mm) instead of up. surprisingly, the behavior was even better than with normal crows. the plane slow down very very well, takes a down angle, but remains extremely stable and ailerons are very efficient. A setup to explore more from my point of view.

In brief, I really enjoy the Schwing ! It is very compact plane to transport, looks like a larger plane at the sticks and give lots of satisfaction and pleasure. I definitively need more flying time to enjoy it even more.

I have tons of video sequences to make a very nice video clip with plenty of actions. But I will need some time to do it, as I'm leaving for the F3F world championship soon.

A big thanks to Joël and Guillaume who helped me with the camera during the 2 days.

Schwing 88 Assembly Log # 2

Last time I let the Schwing very close to the completion. First of all, I glued the green MPX connectors in place. I usually do it with the wing mounted, so I need some release agent here and there. Once the servos connected to the harmness, I used Samba transparent servo covers to close the servos bays.



Then I completed the installation of the elevator and rudder control rod, using MPjet M2 coupler. I needed to use a ball clevise for the elevator because of the shape of the DS6100 servo. I spent some time on the balance because I made a mistake with the servos tray installation. It is installed too forward which reduce the space for the lead to achieve the right CG. In front of my 1500mAh NiMh battery, I have been able to put only 70gr of lead., then about 50g on top of the battery. As I didn't have remaining space for more lead, I ended byt putting the rest of the lead in front of the canopy. I have a total of 190gr of lead to get the right CG at 99mm, as recommended.
I used a 6 channels RG631B, without its satellite (still needed for binding). The 2 antenna are located at 90°, first one at the bottom of the fuselage, the second one is vertical, in a plastic tube maintained vertically by the servo tray.

Let's go to fly !

Monday, September 10, 2012

Schwing 88: Assembly log #1

I started few days ago the assembly of the Schwing 88 from sloperacer.co.ukOverall, everything went well for the moment. No surprise, only smooth step by step building.

The fuselage:

The main work consists in gluing the ballast tueb and the servo tray in the fuselage. Before this operation, I prepared the ballast tube. I used some  3mm plywood as tube end stopper. After cutting it at the approximative diameter, I made a hole in the center, then fixed it on my mini-drill and sanded it to obtain a perfectly round piece, at the exact diameter. I glued it in place with some expoxy, then installed a 2mm carbon rod in front of the stopper, piercing the tube side to side.A small piece of hard foam is inserted in the tube to act as a shock absorber.

After opening the front of the tube to allow the ballast slug to enter/exit, I installed a small wood block with a screw nut inside. The wood block is rounded a bit to go in the bottom of the fusleage. The ballast tube is glued in the fuselage using SikaFlex 11FC+ Adhesive and Joint Sealant. I added a piece of hard foam in the fuselage pushed at the rear end of the ballast tube to secure the ballast tube against vertical shocks at landing.

I then glued the servo tray in place after sanding the inner side if the fuselage to improve fixing. I used 10 mn rapide epoxy first. Then I applied some fiber class going from the tray to the fuselage side in order to perfect the fixing. I always do this on my plane and have never been disapointed. This is very robust !

The next operation is the most tricky. As the fuselage is thin, and well occupied with the ballast tube, the routing of the wires from the roots to the receiver is a bit challenging. I finally proceed by starting from the receiver side, routing 2 cables on each side of the ballast tube till the connector location.

As there is no thickness at that place to improve the fixing of the green connectors, I did a small wood plate going from one side to the other side, inside the fuselage, and glued with rapid epoxy. I proceeded to the soldering of the wires on the green connectors. when secured with some hot glue, I epoxied the connectors in place, on the inner wood plate. The wire are then pushed in the fuselage along the ballast tube, and to finish, a piece of hard foam is inserted behind the joiner holes to avoid the wires to move. I forgot to say that I had to enlarge a bit the connector holes. The height was fine, but they weren't large enough. Not a big deal.

After evaluating the 2 approaches (elevator servo in the fin or in the front, on the servo tray), I finally choose to install the servo on the servo tray for accessibilty and maintenance reason. It is also true that my exemplar arrived with the bell crank already installed and without elevator servo bay in the fin. Commands are made from carbon rod, so I used MPjet brass coupler and MPjet plastic clevise for the rudder. I will use the same on the servo side.



Let switch to the wings:

After locating the exact position of the servo arm to be aligned with the control horn, I glued the modified MKS 6125-mini wood servo frames in place with rapid epoxy. I use the 6125-H instead, but the servo frame aims to block the servos horizontally. Then, I glued the servos in place with the servo arm at the right position to have an asymetrical movement for the flaps to obtain the correct deflection in each direction up/down for both flaps/ailerons.

Control rods are made from M2.5 threaded rod and 2.5 metal clevises. On the control surface side, I have to grind the top of the clevises because they were touching the command exit skin. On the servos side, I also grinded the metal clevises to connect them of the first hole of the arm and still allow some movement. The clevises are then immobillized on the threaded Rod, at the exact length to suppress any slop. Once connected to the servo, it give very tight command with no slop.

I then prepared the servos harmness for the wings using MPX green plugs and universal connector, crimped. After soldering the 6 wires (2x3) to the MPX connector, I used hot glued to immobillized everything.

What is next ?

Not much to do to complete the assembly.  On the wings, I just need to glued the green connector in place in the root, then close the servo bay with covers.  on the fuselage, I will finish the control command on the servo side in the fuselage, complete the radio installation with the battery and the receiver and proceed to the balancing (at the very end).

Stay tuned !

Friday, September 7, 2012

Video: Ailes au Soleil Levant

A nice video from Pgts featuring his ultrabatic depron glider called "The Poisson", a glider based on "Le Fish" . It is 1.2m wingspan, and weight 315g.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

2 Noisyskies Video clips

Two excellents videos from Noisyskies has been released. They are my reference in term of video filming and editing. They clearly masterise it !!

The first video is about the F3K Eurotour in Nancy four month ago , with original view angle, slow motion sequences.


The second one, showing a flying session with an Espada on the slope of Macon. On this one, Noisyskies played with color visual effect, with slow motion, and a perfect synchronisation with the soundtrack

Monday, September 3, 2012

Col du Glandon F3F



The 2012 edition of  Le col du Glandon F3F constest has been a bit challenging this year. When we arrived at the car park temperature was 2° celcius, and we spent saturday on the parking to wait for the sky to clear, but this never happened. We left around 4pm with 4° ...

Sunday, hopefully the sky cleared during the night and we arrived around 10am with already 11°, but also a superb scenery with the Mont Blanc summit in front of us.
Small problem is that the wind was east when the valley is north-east, the brezze was time to time jumping between valleys and was crossed on the slope.

We however managed 3 rounds with lots of interruptions, with 16 pilots. In this particular conditions, the slope didn't keep its words and was evetyhing but consistent with very short cycles, interruption, restart, 25 minutes interruption, then resume, etc ...

At this game some pilots were well served, and Thomas Faure did an hold up on the 3 rounds, winning by a very good margin as the second pilot is at 930 points only. Well done Thomas !


We ended with a drink at the car park before everybody returns home.



Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Ballasting a F3X sailplane

It is always a problem to know exactly how to ballast a F3X plane given that they are several ballast compartiments with different size/volume, and none of them is exactly at the center of Gravity. I created the following spreasheet to help you how to determine the ballast, and also calculate the CoG variation.

How to use this spreadsheet ?

Enter in the yellow cells:
  • The position of the CoG
  • The position of the different ballast compartiment (measured at the center of the compartiment)
  • The weight of the ballast slugs for each compartiment
  • The empty weight of the plane
As ouput, it will give you:
  • The total ballast weight
  • The flying weight
  • The wing loading
  • It will highlight in red when exceeding the FAI wing loading of 75gr/dm2
  • More importantly, it gives the variation of the CoG.

Feel free to report mistakes, bugs if you find some. Thank you.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Schwing 88 kit overview


The Schwing 88 is the first allround slope model born from the partnership between James Hammond (the father of the Strega, Typhoon, Vector, Minivec, and some others ...) and Tony Fu from SlopeRacer.co.uk.

The Schwing 88 is a very nice looking 2.23m wingspan slope plane which includes improvement from previous JH designs, based on feedbacks and learning experience. It features new combination of airfoils, semi eliptical lift distribution, large control surfaces. The fuselage is slim and with a canopy, but still host a massive ballast tube and the servo tray for 2 servos, the receiver and the battery.

The plane is distributed worldwide by SlopeRacer.co.uk or by its distributors in some countries (i.e SoaringUSA). I received one exemplar of the first production batch.

So, what do you get ?

The wings are fiberglass. The finish is clean and the level of completion is high, as expoxy wipers are done, brass control horns are installed, and a carbon reenforcement is in place in the servo bay. On the root, the hole for the wing connector (green MPX connector size) is done, and the aluminium centering pins are installed. Servo bay can host any wing servos (10 mm), and possibly some micro 12mm servos.

The wing joiner is massive, especially for the plane size. It will certainly survive to all abuses you will do to the plane !

The Fuselage is a nice piece of moulding. It comes with  bell crank installed, control snakes in place. The rudder is finished with a brass control horn in place.A large carbon reinforcement goes from the fin to the canopy, the front of the fuselage is in fiberglass to be 2.4 friendly. The Canopy is in fiberglass, painted in black. The 2 pieces tailplanes with control surfaces are also finished.

In the accessories pocket, you find the servos covers (flat), the tail joiners, a superb carbon prepeg ballast tube, to host 19mm ballast slugs, an awasome servo tray, laser cutted, perfectly ajusted to the fuselage (no adaptation required), designed to receive 2 tiny 12mm servos, the receiver, and the battery. I would say that a 4 cells 2/3 C (1500 or 1600 mAh) seems the best choice given the space.

Connecting all the parts together allow to see that everything fit perfectly together. No misaligment, no hard point, no slop. This is excellent.

My only "negative" point, but I was aware of, is that the balance point of the fuselage empty and alone is far rear, at the middle of the boom when usually it is around the trailing edge. This means it will need lots of lead to balance it well. This is not surprising because of the fin, and I remember I had the same problem on the Typhoon, which didn't prevent the plane to fly superbly.  According to SlopeRacer, the Schwing would require around 170 to 190g of lead. Overall, I'm very pleased with the kit quality, the level of completeion and the quality of the accessories. Let's have a quick look to the parts weight. This gives the following:

  • Left Wing: 431g
  • Right Wing: 423g
  • Left Tail: 25g
  • Right Tail: 26g
  • Tail joiners: 6g
  • Fuselage: 239g
  • Wing Joiner: 115g
  • Ballast Tube + servo tray: 27g
  • Total: 1292 g
The RC equipement I choose: In the wing, I will use 4 DS 6125-H that I had in stock. For the rudder and the elevator, I will go for 2 x DS6100. They are tiny but strong and powerful servos. I used them already in my Willow and my Needle 100 and I'm very statisfied with them.

Assembly will start in the coming days, and you will be able to follow the progress here. Stay tuned !

Monday, August 27, 2012

Practice session at Le Col du Glandon

This place is where french F3F was born in 1994. With the coming yearly french league context next week, I drove there to meet with 2 F3F mates and enjoy the north slope. This is the first time this year that I go there, but I should really go more often as the north slope is really appropriated for F3F with its sharp edge. But the main characteristic of this slope is the fact that the breeze is very laminar and consistent, with no or very few thermal influence. Even if the time achieved are not impressive, the flying experience is absolutely excellent, and you can do 200 laps with the same regularity, you can work on the trajectory, the turns, the ballasts, etc ... Wind was blowing around 6 to 7m/s. I started the afternoon empty to finish with 390g of ballast. 

It has been also the opportunity to try my brand new and shiny Canon EOS 650D, a important but necessary investment to continue to propose you premium photography on Planet-Soaring.

Here are the very first shots taken yesterday afternoon.

Font d'Urle video clip

I just finished the video clip about Font D'urle F3F contest. Hope you will like it. I has been film with the GoPro on a 3m boom and my Lumix FZ100. No animals were harmed during the filming, but some sailplanes did (at the landing) ! Enjoy !

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

JR Propo XG8 / XG11 field charging solution



The XG8 and XG 11, powered by a 2S 1400 mAh LiFe battery, have the particularity to integrate the battery charger into the transmitter case. They need a 220VAC / 9VDC adapter, provided with the radio. This solution works great at home but the downside is when you want to recharge your transmitter on the field/slope, and that you don't have 220V source available.

I found a smart solution to recharge my transmitters on the field. I bought a CCBEC from castle creation, which is programmable using the USB link to purchase separately, and which is the only UBEC to be able to go up to 9V, at the opposite of all other BEC which deliver 5 or 6V, not more.

I prepared some cable to use with the CC-BEC, on one side to connect to the transmitter plug, on the other side to connect to a 3S Lipo battery, or to connect to a 12V power source. I will also prepare soon a cigar lighter plug.

This charging solution is very convenient, in addition to be an excellent backup solution. It's light, can stay in the transmitter bag, so you have it always with you.

Greatly recommended !

Monday, August 20, 2012

Video: slope soaring patrol flight

The second video from Jean-Marc Zuliani has been filmed on the slope of L'Alpe D'huez. this is an action video with onboard camera and unfortunately a mid air at the end. Story doesn't tell about the damages :( !

Video: A sailplane trek to the "Plateau d'Emparis"

Jean-Marc Zuliani released 2 new videos recently. This first one has been filmed on the "plateau d'Emparis", a wild and protected place in the heart of the Alps, between L'Alpe D'huez and the "Ecrins' National Park", offering one of the most beautiful landscape of the area. Nice video and editing !

Font D'urle 2012


This competition is a special event in the french F3F calendar because the organisers have an authorization to fly there and because this is forbidden the rest of the year, being in a very restricted/protected zone. This difficult access make it a sort of pilgrimage for all the french F3F pilots, but also for our friend from Switzerland like Reto and Christian. This year has been an excellent year, in term of participation with almost 30 pilots, but also because of the weather and 2 days of south wind.

On saturday, the wind was not very strong but in round one, but Sebastien Lanes did a 34s that remained the fatest time of the day. We ended with 5 rounds in the pocket, and also with some planes damaged during landing as some pilots experimented time to time rotors during the approach. At the end of the day, Alain Galinet from Briancon was leading, followed by Sebastien Lanes and Matthieu Mervelet in 3rd.

On sunday, we started earlier as the wind was already blowing. Conditions grew up all the day to become huges in the afternoon. We managed 7 rounds, and last rounds were mainly sub-40s !!! Arnaud Kreps did a 31s, his personnal best, but also the new record of the slope. but on the ranking side, it was clearly Matthieu's day as Matth  did only sub 40s, including several 33s. He won the competition by a good margin.

In addition to be a unique and superb place, this second day allowed us to touch the potential of the slope to produce very fast time, and we can even imagine one day to break the work record on this slope.


We all hope that next year the National championship will be organised there, but this depends of lots of administration authorisations so we will cross fingers for it to happen !

I did lots of video sequences during the week-end. Give me some time for the editing and I will try to not disappoint you.

Stay tuned !


Alliaj HM Slim


Aeromod release a new fuselage for the famous Alliaj HM. The new fuselage follow the current F3X trend, so is slim, with the servo tray inverted, with a big ballast tube in the fuselage. This week-end, Jean Luc Foucher used the new Alliaj HM during the competition of Font D'urle. A good opporunity to have a look to it and take some pictures and video. The new Slim fuselage, event it is difficult to say that it improves perfomances, clearly gives a totally new look and elegance in flight as ou can judge on the video below.


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Hints and Tips: using a heater cable for fuselage repair

During the FAI contest of Briançon, I learned a great way to repair quickly and solidely a fuselage boom. The idea consists in using a ground heater cable that guarantees a regular and even heating.


This heating cable is usually used in aquariums, as well as in terrariums. I bought mine in a Botanic shop. 3 models exists: 25, 50 and 100W. For our purpose, the 25W is the one to choose, as it is already 4.30 m long.

One you have done the repair with carbon/glass cloth or tape, you first surround with some large tape or thin plastic sheet, then you roll up the heater cable around the boom and plug it to the 220v. According to the people using it, it provides a temperature around 30 to 40°.

You can also use a sheet of aluminium around the boom before to roll up the heater cable. This will help to propagate the heat all around.

After the night, the fuselage is ready for sanding and painting (if you have time) or flying if you are on a hurry :)

Technical data: Hydor Hydrokable Ground Heater 25 W:
  • Heating Power: 25 W
  • Cable length: 4.30 m
  • for aquaria: 40 up to 65 litres
  • 230 V/50 Hz, with Euro plug
  • Price: around 30 Euros



Thursday, August 9, 2012

Col de Menée



This afternoon, I went to a super F3F spot that has been discovered 2 years ago and that we used during one day of contest of the french league. The only problem of this slope is that it is difficult to reach: 40 minutes of walk, and about 300 meters of altitude to climb, so you need to not take too much planes or equipement to stay light. I took only one Pike, my compact camera, the Go Pro, but also the 2 kg of ballast ...
The slope is very deep, and "capture" the wind very well. Because it is facing north, it is not too much influenced by thermals. Time to time you fly a bit faster, but the difference is not huge.

I was alone on the slope all the afternoon, so flew 2 hours non stop with 700g of ballast. The lift has been consistent during all the time, really a super spot !

Here is a short video I did.


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

T9 Hobby Sport Magnetic switch




Magnetic switches become very popular in the F3X world because they are very convenient to use in slim fuselages and because they are finally safe as they are passing if faulty during operation.
After testing 3 other magnetic switches, I received this new one from T9 Hobby Sport for review. It is now installed in my Willow F3F and worked flawlessly until its installation.

This T9 hobby sport Hall effect magnetic switch is a nice piece of hardware, with double side board and lots of surface mounted components. It differs from the competiton by proposing 2 things:

1/ A battery charge lead: This is very convenient because now you dont need to unplug the switch when charging. You can really locate the switch in a unreachable place. The charge lead is directly connected to the battery wire so in theory, there is no limitation in term of current or delta peak détection.

2/ A temporisation when switching off: To switch on, just present the magnet over the circuit and the effect is immediate. To switch off, you need to let the magnet 3 seconds over the circuit to really switch off. I measured several operations and mine is more around 4 seconds. This protection prevents to power off inadvertently. But the downside is that you need to mark precisely the location of the switch if you don't want to become crazy, searching where it can be can.

A blue LED indicate brightly when the switch is in use.

Mine came with Futaba connectors so I needed to cut the keyway. The wire has a section of 0.5 mm2 which means that you can pass 5 to 7A without problem. This is more than enough for our use. IT can be used with 1 Lipo Cell, 4 or 5 NiMh, or 2s Lipo or Life batteries. As usual, the standby current is negligeable compare to our battery capacity, so you can let the switch connected (but off) for months.

Specifications:
  • Supply Voltage 3V -8.7V
  • Dropout voltage (Input vs output) 100mV @10.2A
  • Continuous Operating current - ~ 20A
  • Peak Output current - ~ 50A
  • Standby Current (Off State) - ~ 50μA
  • Operating temperature range -40°C 80°C
  • Dimensions: 27 x 11.5 x 6mm
  • Total cable length Approximatively 28 cm
  • Weight Including all cables ~ 9g 
  • Distributor: T9 Hobby Sport (UK)
I will prepare a short video in the coming days.


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

New pictures of the French Alpine Cup (Briançon)

Joël Marin, one of the 2 CDs at Briançon for the French Alpine Cup took some pictures during the contest. Here is the photo album. The idea of Joël was to have at least a picture of each competitor. Hope he doesn't forget somebody :)

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Discovering a new slope


Well, to be exact, this is a new slope for me, but this slope is well known by the local fliers for ages. With my F3F mate Serge Delarbre, we met Arnaud Vincent to visit and try this slope (Puy de Manse) located near Gap.

You cannot miss it as this mountain can been seen from very far on the road when you approach the city of Gap. The site faces a large valley and take benefit of the venturi effect created by the mountains. the scenery is absolutely amazing, with the "Massif des écrins" on the north, with its national park, high summits, sky resorts, etc ...

The walk to access the slope is a bit hard, and so during 25 minutes, but the reward is real. The slope is very suitable for F3F with a sharp edge, and deep slope. The landing area is not large, but easy, and rotor free.

We spent the afternoon practising F3F, changing ballast, CoG, turn style. The flying space is really huge.
Here is a short video I did during this session. For sure, I will return there !


Monday, July 30, 2012

1st Qualifier for 2013 F3F French Team

Last week-end was the first qualilfication contest for the team who will represent France in Slovakia for the European championship. The french qualification is based on the National championship (May 26 to 28th 2012), the FAI of Briançon (July 21 to 22th 2012). A second qualifier will be organised mid september. The 3 best results (with ponderation based on the number of rounds in each contest) for each pilot are kept to determine the ranking.


This 1st qualifier was on a new F3F spot, at the border between Italy and France, north to Monaco. We booked the Saturday and Sunday, just in case, but the objective was to finish on Saturday. We met around midday, and at the briefing, we decided to have 15 rounds maximum, in order to better balance the final results.

We managed the 15 rounds in 4 hours, with 8 pilots. This was possible only because of generous people who did the base judges and CDs during the whole afternoon. A huge "thank you" to them !

The slope was very homogeneous  with time between 34s and 45s, but most of the time, the difference between the best time and the worse time was around 5s.

The landing was a bit problematic and was needing to be very precise to avoid stones and rocks here and there. I found a small area with grass, and no rotor at the second round and I did the 14 landings there.
After doing my best time in the very first round with a 35s flying my Pike Precision, I had a hard landing, hopefully with no damages apart few scratch on the fuselage. So I switched to the Needle 100 to not take more risk with the Pike. It has been a semi-suprise to do so well with the Needle againts some FS4, Alliaj HM during 12 rounds. I flew it empty (2600g) all the time, and had to switch back to the Pike when the wind decreased temporarely.

There were plenty of Sub-40s during the contest, and personnaly, I did 13 sub-40s over the 15 rounds, and many 37s or even 36,99, so my new surname was Mr "37" during the week-end.


In the evening we had a very nice BBQ at Denis's house, before to camp there. We returned home on Sunday, with a long road through Italy and French alps.

Overall, I'm very please with the result, which was a good practice session for the preparation of Rügen. The Col de Tende will be definitively on contest of the french league next year, becuase this spot is so promising !!!

Below is a small video I did on Saturday.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Caussols FAI video

Martin Ulrich (His blog) posted this nice video that captures well what was the Caussols FAI. Enjoy !

Monday, July 23, 2012

French Alpine Cup photo album

Tomáš Winkler sent me the link to his photo album on Picasa. This nice album make you really feel the particularities of the contest: high mountain, difficult access, challenging landing zone, superb landscape.
Nicely done Tomáš !

https://picasaweb.google.com/tomwin2/F3FContestFranceBriancon2012?authuser=0&feat=directlink#


Eurotour F3F: 1st French Alpine Cup in Briançon


This week-end was the very first edition of the French Alpine Cup in Briançon, in the heart of the Alps, close to the Italian border. Briançon is well known because it is the highest city in Europe, and Briançon claims to be the sunniest place in France with 300 days of sun per year ( A day is declared as sunny when there is more than 2 hours of sun during the day). Briancon is a very lovely city with its old fortified city. You can find more information on Wikipedia.

Following Caussols the week before, The French Alpine Cup was also over 3 days, and welcomed lots of foreign pilots taking benefit of 2 Eurotour contests in 10 days. Countries represented were UK, Czech Rep., Netherlands, Denmark, Switzerland, Italy, and France.

Saturday was initially the most promising day, with south breeze, but finally was a bit disapointing. After meeting at the car park, we continued the drive with 5 x  4*4 Pick-Up to transport the 28 competitors + organiseres and all the planes et equipment. After a quick installation and short briefing, we started to fly on the southern slope. The wind was steady but the lift was very variable, and the right turn could be sometimes very challenging with very few lift and some cross wind. No huge differences between the times, but some pilots taking benefit of temporarely improved lift and straight wind could fly faster by about 5 seconds compared to the average.

We manage 4 rounds, and were in the middle of the 5th round when the rain came with the thunderstorm. We got only one lightning, but shower was cold and "wet". The organiser decided to end the day because other thunderstorms were approaching. By the way, we had showers all the evening and all night long.





Saturday morning, the sky cleared, and weather forecast indicated that the wind was switching to the north. After the usual drive to the slope with the 4x4 pick ups, we waited 2 hours for the wind before to resume the comp and start round 5. Conditions growed continuously all the afternoon, starting from 7 to 8 m/s to finish at about 13m/s. The slope is at 2400m of altitude, and pilots discovered that, at this altitude, it is not good to ballast too much. Where you fly usually with 1.2, 1.5kg, here you fly with 750g to 900g, not more. The lift is in fact lower than we could expect because of the lower air density. But at the end the speed can be the same of even higher. At that game Sebastien Lanes, Matthieu Mervelet, Reto Blumer, Frederic Hours, and myself did well, achieving some sub 40s. At the end of the day, we managed 6 rounds, so a total of 10 rounds already with one more day to come ! Not that bad ... After 10 rounds Sebastien Lanes was first with a comfortable margin, Matthieu is second, I'm third followed very closely by Fred Hours and Reto Blummer.

On sunday, the wind was supposed to blow stronger than Saturday, so we were expecting to fly earlier. But the North wind decided to blow from 2pm only, so we have been able to complete 2 extra rounds, but with strong conditions and blistering times under 40s. The battle at the top of the ranking was at its maximum. Reto shooted first and flew in 39s, like myself later, when other top pilots were around 44 / 45s including Sebastien, but he was untouchable. With this 39s, I was second bypassing Matthieu, keeping Reto behind but still closed to me, and Reto bypassed Matthieu and Fred. In the last round Reto did a cut so finishes with a 43s. Fred did a 39s, but few minutes later Matthieu exploded the chronometer with a 34s, followed by Sebastien with a 37s ! Difficult situation for me before to fly. I launched for this last round with the idea in mind to limit the damages, but I was lucky enough to have good air, and this made my Pike very happy (and very fast), so I achieved a 34 also, beating Matthieu by 0.2 s and wining the round, with the fastest time of the competition as a bonus !

Ather completing the second and last round of the day, we drove down to the car park around 4pm for the results and price giving. And the winner is ? ...  Sébastien Lanes  fly seriously F3F for few years only, but follows his father Philippe who is a piller of the French F3F community for years. He won or did very well already in few comp of the french league, but recently started to participate to Eurotour events in Austria and France. Sebastien flew very consistently over the week-end, didn't cut even if he played with the base (according to him), found quickly the right flying path and the best turn style for each slope, and finally managed very well the pressure of the end of the contest. Sebastien flies a Target and likes it very much ... well given the final result, I can understand ! Congratulation Sebastien !

This first Alpine Cup has really been a success with a little help from the weather. Alain Gallinet and Frederic Hours really did a great job to organised this comp. A big thanks also the the judges, to the young course directors Thomas Delarbre and Joël Marin. For information the Alpine Cup will now be every 2 years in alternance with Laurac/St Ferriol FAI.



Thursday, July 19, 2012

Caussols FAI / Eurotour F3F

In 2012, the 2 french FAI/Eurotour contests are over 2 following week-end to allow foreign pilots to travel once and attend twice, with some tourism between. LAst week-end was the FAI in Caussols on the cote d'azur near Cannes/Nices. 34 pilots were present from several countries during the 3 days of contest (Czech Rep., Netherlands, Denmark, Switzerland, Austria, Italy, France).

Saturday, we went to the west slope. After a short breifing, we started the round 1 that stops before the end with the wind starting to blow from the left. we cancelled the round, moved to the main slope but quickly understand that the sea breeze will not win over the strong west wind, so we moved back to the west slope. This slope is in fact a south west slope, but the west wind is redirected by the valley, so it is possible to fly.





After doing round 1, we immediatly started the round 2 with some reflights because of marginal conditions. During round 3 we had some interruptions but never more that 20 minutes so we could resume the round.

We finished the day around 8pm.

Sunday, the west wind became north west wind and getting stronger. This is problematic because the wind is now very crossed to the slope edge. Beginning of afternoon, the wind direction meter and anemoter indicating a valid wind (following the definition given by the FAI, less than 45° and more than 3m/s). The 4th round was a nightmare for most of the pilots. Most of the time, the plane was almost stopped on the edge from left base to right base, giving time over 70s and sometime over 100s !!! Few time the wind was less crossed, allowing the pilots to be betwee 50s and 60s, and very rarely, when a thermal was popping, the wind was almost straight, so time was under 50s. the next round was even worse so the CD decided to stop the round after a pilot landed at the bottom of the slope in the valley.

Monday has been much better after the wind returned to its normal direction for the season, taht is to say, sea breeze from south, south-east. We have been able to do 4 additional rounds, so a total of 8 rounds. Caussols is a very thermal slope so time to time pilots could achieve very fast times.

Overall, to be in the top 5, you should fly very well, but also be very well served by the flying conditions. Lukas Gaubatz, Sebastien Lanes, Jean-Bastien Deguelle, Jean-Luc Foucher, Allan Cohen were very lucky. Lukas has been imperious all over the week-end, flying very consistenly, and even achieving his personnal best with 30.34s in the last round. Sebastien Lanes, a young pilot flew great on monday, and jumped in the ranking. Stefan Hölbfer, Martin Ziegler, Matthieu Mervelet had much less luck, which explain their ranking.

Personnaly, after a good first round, I got marginal conditions in the second round, was the last pilot to fly at 8pm in the third round with again marginal conditions. I did well in the "nightmare" 4th round. On monday, after a good 5th round, I got only average air for the next rounds so I finishes at the 8th position.

On the plane side, we saw lots of Pike Precision, Freestyler 4, Freestyler 4.3 (FS4 wings on a FS3 fuselage), Alliajs HM, Stingers, Needle 124. This week-end is the second round of the french circuit with Briançon. We will fly at 2400m of altitude !

You can find more pictures on  Tomáš's picasa album:


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Update: XG8 to XG11 memory transfer

After reading some posts on RCgroups, I discovered that it is possible to copy memory models from the XG8 to the XG11 by using the SD card. I did the exercice and can confirm that it works great. See the screen below just after the completion of the copy from the XG8 SD Card to an internal memory of the XG11. This is certainly due to the structure of the menu which is very similar and also a proper syntax into the model memory file. Apparently this is also possible from the small sister XG6 to the XG11. Well done !


JR Propo XG11 overview



The newest XG11 from JR Propo is the current top end of the DMSS XG radio product range. This is a 11 channels radio with 30-aircraft model memories, powered by a LiFe batteries and a SD card slot to extend memory capacity or for firmware upgrade. It comes with dedicated sailplane functions.

In the box

The XG11 comes bundled either with the 11 channels RG1131B receiver or the 8 Channels RG831B. It exist in 2 versions: One with a throttle analog trim, the other one with digital throttle trim. I have the digital trim version. You will also find the AC/DC adapter to connect to the radio for charging, as the transmitter use LiFe batteries, and includes the charger built in, like the XG8.

The transmitter case

First of all, the look influenced by the transformer movie is modern and great, and the bronze color finish is very new and unusual, and its red color anodized sticks too. Very Nice looking. I really appreciate the XG8 for its shape and the ergonomics, so I was a bit worried with the larger case of the XG11. will it fit in my small hands ? The first time I holded the XG11, I felt immediatly very confortable. Even if the case is higher and larger, the thickness of the case is comparable, and even thinner where the sticks are located. The prehension of the XG11 is just perfect. On top of that the light weight makes to forget the size. Sticks, with double ball bearing, are very smooth and precise and can be ajusted. I personnaly like the shortest length for F3F. The large backlit LCD display at the bottom really make the difference while programming.





SD card

I used initialy an old 1Gb SD card, but conclude quickly that is was not recognized by the radio. Hopefully, SD cards are very cheap now, so I bought a Sandisk Extreme III, 4go and it works great. So my advise here is to not use "no name", "low class" SD Card. Class 6 or Higher is preferable.

First charging

Well, this was a surprise, because after reading the user manual, I was expecting the same behavior than the XG8, that is to say the front LED to switch on, purple color while charging, and switching off when charged. But no LED at all when I plugged the adapter !! Then I have been informed few hours later that the charging LED was in fact in the back of the transmitter, and was red. I noticed that the mistake has been found in the user manual section and there is an official warning on JR Propo website.

Let's have a look to the programming




We retrieve the same programming philosophy than the XG8, but with enhanced capabilities, few new functions, but first of all with more confort thanks to the large screen that display in one page all flight mode parameters of a single function, so you don't need to play with the switches to jump from one FM to another FM during the programming. I will not go through each function, but will give a overview of the main sailplane functions. The main screen (initial info screen) is of 2 pages, displaying the trim position, voltage, model name, or by rotating the dial you can display a configurable screen where you can see up to 6 information among a list including telemetry, timers, voltage information. This second screen is using large font for instant reading while flying.

MyList

Like the XG8, the XG11 allows to compose your prefered function list grouped on one page for faster access. Typically for sailplane, I put the Model selection, the sub trim, the flap rate menu and snap flap menu.

Glider flight modes

The XG11 provides 6 flight modes that can be renamed freely depending of your needs. As I'm not flying f3B or F3J, I used the launch or distance mode to have several speed modes with different camber position and more or less snap flaps, so I can adapt to the condition of the moment.

Travel and Limit adjust

This is the usual function but which is important with sailplane for the crow brakes, when you play with the neutral position and travel to obtain more deflection down. The Limit adjust allows to set the electronic limit corresponding to a mechanical limit of the linkage.

Sub trim

The subtrim is also very important when setting the crow brakes because it allows to shift the neutral position so you can obtain an asymetrical travel. I noticed that the max value with is 340 steps is modifed automatically if you change the Travel value to go up to 510.

Combi switch

you can set independent mixing rate for right and left Aileron to Rudder in each flight mode.



Balance function

This is one of the new function proposed by the XG11. This function is used to correct for individual servo characteristic to equalize the travel of each control. This is useful when using Four Ailerons, Dual Elevators, and Dual Flaps or dual Rudder. It is useful when more then two servos are used per control surface on large semi scale sailplane. For each servo, five points can be adjusted, which includes the neutral position but also intermediate and full deflection position.

Flap Rate

This Flap Rate function sets the maximum up and down movement of the flap control surface angles for each Flight Mode when using the Flap Lever (Slider on the right bottom of the case). Please note that you can achieve this function with the camber menu per flight mode. The Flap lever being proportional, you can adjust the flap angle while flying.

Camber system

Using this menu, you can set a fix camber (ailerons + flaps) for each flight mode, with the possibility to have a delay for smooth transition, and also a (delay) break function on the elevator stick by setting a value. Personnally, I use the delay but the elevator break function.

Brake system

This menu, composed of 3 pages is dedicated to thebutterfly or crow brake settings. The first page of the menu allow to set the spoiler/flap positoin when deploy. The second allow a fine setting of the aileron (flaperon), and the 3rd menu propose the same fine setting of the elevator.

Flaperon menu

It allows to use the flaps as Ailerons, and set the rate for each flight mode, but it also allows to set the rate of Flap-> Ailerons, to use the ailerons as flaps.



Snap flaps

This menu allows to set up and down the amount a flap and ailerons when using the elevator. You can also set an offset, and activate (Snap Activation function) the snap from this offset. Never set SNAP as active when the offset is 0. I made the experience and the result is that because the stick neutral position can fluctuate a bit, it create very strange behaviour like glitches. Anyway, as I don't use the offset, I let SNAP inactive.

Drag rudder

It is sometime used on flying wings (on the Alula for example) to create a virtual rudder just by moving up one spoiler. The rate can be set for each flight mode.

Free mixers

The XG11 provides 6 free mixers with linear or curve mode possible. Two of them can be activated by switch or/and by flight mode. The switch selection menu is very detailed in fact. You first select which flight mode(s) activate the mixer, then you can select the AND function and go to the switch selection and decide which switch and what position activate the mixer. This is very flexible and powerfull.

Timers

The XG11 provides 3 fully configurable (countdown, stopwatch, timer) that can be a great help during practice session, when you are alone without any helper. They can be reset by pressing the CLR key after moving the cursor to the Timer display on the Information and Timer screen. To have a more complete view on the XG11 possibilities, I invit you to download the user manual in PDF.

I'm going to continue to explore the XG11 capabilities, but overall, I'm very please with it. I like the menu structure which is intuitive, the large screen, and the ergonomy of the case which is from my point of view one of the best.


FUNCTION LIST

DUAL-RATE & EXPONENTIAL

Limit Adjust
Sub Trim
Reverse Switch
Servo Speed
Program Mixing: 6 systems
TIMER: 3 Selections
MIXING MONITOR
SERVO MONITOR

SYSTEM LIST
30-model internal memory
Model data copy & erase :copy (Inside TX)(Between TX and TX)(Between TX and SD card)
Model Type Select: 3types, Heli,Acro, sailplane
Model Name: 10characters
Flight Mode Name
Trim System
Stick Position Switch
Trim input Switch
Stick Alert

Transmitter Setting

LCD back light
LCD contrast
Idle Alert
Low battery warning
Audio Mode
Software version
Servo Hold Warning
Model Link Bind
Stick Calibration
Trainer
Bind and Range Check
Telemetry System:
   - Receiver battery / No Link Alarm
   - Temperature
   - Revolutions Per Minute
   - Altimeter
   - Climb Indicator
   - For Motive Power Battery(Motive Power BatteryAlarm / Nominal Capacity Value / Battery Capacity Alarm)
All Servos Hold
Device Select
Swash type
Wing Type
Fail safe
Throttle Stick Direction
Stick Mode

ETC

My list
Touch select function
Telemetry indication: Customs sub-information display
Advanced Digital Trim on each flight mode
Trainer jack
SD card slot
Graphic dispaly with back light LCD
Charging circuit integrated for Li-FE battery (standard TX pack)
Stick tension spring adjustment

SAILPLANE FUNCTION LIST

Flap rate
Motor System
Camber System
Brake System
Differential
Flaperon MIX
AILE to RUDD MIX
ELEV to CANB MIX
RUDD to SPOT MIX
Balance


SYSTEM LIST
Wing Type
V-Tail
Dual ELEV
Dual FLAP
Dual SPOI
Dual RUDD

ETC

Flight Mode
Dual Aileron



Friday, July 13, 2012

They are here !

I mean, F3F French Team T-shirts arrived and will reach their owners and new home very soon ! 


Sunday, July 8, 2012

RDH and external bearing kit installation




I finished the installation of the RDH and external bearing kit from Sloperacer in the wings of the first Pike. I'm pretty satisfied because I obtained the deflection I wanted, and a very tight command, with absolutely no slop. As you can see on the pictures, I used the MKS wood servos frames as I'm very happy with them and the screws provided with the servos. The external bearing is maintained by a wood frame, in order to increase the gluing surface. I decided to fix the bearing only on one skin, for maintenance reasons. Time will tell if it was a mistake or not. Each part is removable, but need some method and sometimes is a bit challenging. What is really nice is that you can ajust the pushrod length very precisely. I filmed the following short video to show the RDH and external bearing kit in action, once installed in the wing.

Weekly practice at Col de Faïsses


South wind was lower that expected at Col de Faisses for the weekly F3F practice session (with Joël). We have been however able to fly well, with up do 670g of tungsten ballast. This was the first time I was using them.
The afternoon was a bit disturbed by the precense of tons of horse flies, because of the cows staying there all summer. they were absolutely huge and aggressive. Standing in the wind was fine to keep them away. Here are the pictures taken by my clubmate Joël.

Mistral Soaring - Rognac

Yesterday we had a good friendly winter contest in Rognac, between Aix en Provence and Marseille. I left Grenoble aroudn 7am under the sn...