I fixed the motor mount and flew on Saturday :-)I created an EPP foam motor mount. You can’t see in the image but where the front of the motor touches the foam (in the photo, very close to where the blue wire is soldered to the motor) I buried a quarter in the foam to distribute the force of the motor sliding forward during a sudden stop.
I found a coroplast sign on the street that no one was using [grin]… (one of those awful “Lose 50 lbs in 10 days, Guaranteed!!!” signs). I cut a long rectangle of it and put it on the bottom of the plane as a reinforcing plate. I then sliced holes down through the wing to insert “GB Grip Strip” velcro strapping from Home Depot. This strapping now holds the motor in place! As well, I put strapping in front because, cool as it looks, I want to stop the battery from it’s habit of flying loose and cutting into the ground like a throwing dagger tossed high in the air during my inverted stints.
A couple times now, the battery has come loose! Just this weekend it happened too… before we put the battery strapping on. Julian and I had finished putting the motor mount on, and I wanted to FLY immediately. So I gave it a toss. I was showing off my new inverted skills over the strip when…. the engine cut out suddenly, the battery flipped 200 feet with a thud (Julian was looking away at the time but he tells me that he felt the thud!) and the plane wafted down like a giant sheet of construction paper let go from a building-top. Yea, time for better velcro on the battery!
Die Hard Fliers
I am now officially a die-hard. It drizzled on us a couple times when we were out flying. We kept watching the sky, wondering when we’d get the brunt of it. I went up and was having a blast when… It felt almost like I was getting tunnel vision. I was losing my peripheral vision due to a sinister darkness that was sneaking up on me from behind! The air suddenly smelled different. The leaves on the trees flipped over. It was time! The rain hadn’t started but I called out, “That’s it! Here comes the rain!” As I was landing and packing up, the rain started…. and then in earnest! It poured! Four of us hid in the RAMAC shack. Julian luckily had the combination to the lock, there was also a Russian man named Gen and …. oh dear, I forget the last guy’s name. We sat around talking about Gen’s diesel powered control line plane. He last flied a control line when he was 15… an old diesel :-). His new plane had a new engine on it… but it was the exact same model engine :-). Diesel engines are more efficient but they can be a REAL pain to start. While it rained, he worked on getting it started for an hour or so. The smell of the fuel was wild! It’s 1/3 ether, 1/3 kerosene, 1/3 mineral oil. The ether gives it this cool, fruity, clean smell… maybe like a doctor’s office… After a few minutes in the shack with him starting the engine, (the door and windows were open, but still…) we were all permeated with the smell. I didn’t mind.
The rain finally stopped after 1 1/2 hrs or so. We went out and Gen really wanted to get his control line flying. I wanted to see it. I only have 1 vague memory of ever seeing CL and my dad talks a lot about how he flew CL when he was a kid. He finally got it started, I held it, he gave the signal and I let it fly! It went up. And it went down. Smoosh. 5 seconds in the air. The damage wasn’t too too bad… the wing was crushed from the “Art” decal outward. :-(.
After we all moped about the smooshed plane, I whipped out the Zagi to cheer everyone up. I have Gen the controls… he asked if we were ready for a low flyby; he almost hit the shack! It was a gas! I landed on my own once in the parking lot (RE: the mud on the plane in the pix) and Julian caught it once.
On the way out, Julian’s brother finally showed up (only like 3 hrs late) with Angelina, a friend. We had a very nice time talking there.