Monday, October 30, 2006

Whatever You Do, Don't Look Outside

Wow, what a change in the weather. Sunday was nice except for the wind, not that it did me any good. I snuck out a little after day break and did a little flying, but thanks to my recently acquired cold from hell that was about all I had the ambition to do all day. Luckily I had the foresight to leave my more fragile aircraft at home, since my final . . . . um . . . . . landing, proved that I was a little off my game. Did you know that Mugi Evos can . . . . . um . . . . . land(?) upside down at full speed and still survive? I didn't either but I do now. Built up balsa Piper Cubs and CAP232's can't . . . . survive that is . . . . . . . they land upside down just fine . . . . . . . but they usually only do it once. Yeah, best to leave them home until my head quits feeling like it's about to explode. I did try something new with the Evo besides the aforementioned inverted landing though, check out the video.

Luckily Morgan Wood designs tough airplanes, I'll stick to his stuff until I start feeling better. If you haven't checked out the Mugi.co.uk site yet, go give it a look. Turns out that he's a bit of a blogger himself. If you go to his FTE56 (Flight Training Europe) page, he's got really cool photos and journal entries from himself and his classmates at flight school in Spain. Really neat stuff, especially for an airplane geek like me. (Sticks and stones firefly, LOL) I can't wait until his newest creation is finished in kit form.

The Tea Racer is what he's calling it (he is British after all), and it's a really cool looking sort of retro pylon racer made of Coroplast and designed from the ground up for light weight and electric power, no heavy plastic gutter pipe involved like most Coro planes that were originally designed for glow power. There's a picture of one of his earlier prototypes here, he sent me a pic of what the final form is going to look like but I don't know if he'd like me to use it or not so for now anyway I'll keep it top secret. Other than a little narrower wing which effectively gives the plane a longer tail moment and I assume a little more manageable control characteristics, it's basically the same plane as the one pictured anyway.

The wider wing would be better for slow speed control, but a plane called a "Tea Racer" isn't exactly what I'd picture as a slow speed aircraft. Add that to the fact that when working with Coroplast I've found that weight tends to add up just as fast if not faster than wing area anyway, there's not a lot of benefit to going with a larger wing. Mostly you just add drag, the added weight of the additional material tends to eat up any lift benefits on these smaller planes, so I can definitely see why he narrowed the wing. He tells me that he's planning on offering it as a kit first to try to make up for the more than two years that he has invested in designing and testing it, then eventually he plans to release the free plans like he did with the Evo. If I have my way, I'll have a kit making its way across the Atlantic shortly after they become available. I think I've freeloaded off of Morgan long enough, time I ponied up and sent a few bucks his way I think. It's not everyday that we find someone as generous as he is in this hobby, or this world for that matter, where it seems everyone is out to make a buck. Actually there's a lot of stuff that I'd like to order from him, but the cost of shipping from Great Britain can get a little pricey for anything that isn't small enough to go airmail.

There . . . . that's enough advertising for today.

Why isn't there a market for snot? I've got barrels of the shit and no end in sight to the supply. So how about it? Anybody want to buy a barrel of snot?

Didn't think so.

Sorry to be so brief once again, but I seriously feel like ass. I'm gonna go have another Airborne and echinacea cocktail and go back to bed. Snow on the ground and one of our drivers is off for the week so I doubt I'll wind up with a night off. I guess if I'm going to be sick I might as well get paid for it. From what I hear, the snow's supposed to be short lived but the cold assed temps are likely to hang around for a few days anyway. Do yourself a favor and dress up like an Eskimo tomorrow night, I wouldn't advise the nude surfer costume.

Oh yeah . . . . enjoy the video. ;)


Cheap Thrills
Video sent by raginredneck93

Thursday, October 26, 2006

No Time For A Real Post Today, But I Had To Do Something

Here's a pic of my latest Mugi Evo. This one came out absolutely perfect, straight as an arrow and smooth as silk. I can't wait to see how it flies. Too bad it isn't mine, I built this one for a friend, and used the last of my Coroplast doing it. Maybe with a little luck I'll get to do the test flight, and get some more Coroplast soon so I can apply what I've learned to a new one for myself. Just a little something to chew on while I'm busy paying the internet bill. Later.

Monday, October 23, 2006

I've Renewed My Membership With PETA - People Eating Tasty Animals


I made that comment over at Rockstar Mommy's a few days ago.

Someone called me a Republican.

I can handle being called fat, I can handle being called ugly, I can handle being called a geek, but about one more person calls me a Republican and I'm liable to dot the fucker's eye for him.

What? If you're mature enough to be able to handle the idea of where your food comes from then you're obviously a right wing nut job that has a Dubya poster on your bedroom ceiling, Rush "Pussgut" Limbaugh cranked up on your stereo, and a morbid fear of those nasty middle eastern boogie men that are bound to get us any day now? Sorry, but I don't think so. Keep the petty political labels for the terminally ignorant, I don't buy into the name calling anymore, and they don't fit me. Trying to convince me to be afraid of your made up enemy is not an effective control tactic for this hillbilly, it just really reminds me of a chap named Adolph and another made up enemy that suffered terribly at the hands of tyrants. I may have no problem with harvesting my own food, but I'm most definitely not a Republican, and if I had been in the past, I wouldn't be any longer.

You know that bloody, eviscerated deer carcass that you spied yesterday? Yeah, you know the one I'm talking about. The one tied to the flatbed trailer beside the ATV that some guy was pulling behind his pickup. The hamburger that you ate for lunch looked just like that a few weeks ago.

Deal with it. I do. No GOP membership card required. Gut a deer, spoon the seeds out of the middle of a delicious acorn squash, skin an elk, peel a potato, filet a fish, slice a tomato, pluck a chicken, it's all just necessary food preparation to me and anyone that's concerned about the smell really should stuff their sniffer in a cow's innards some time. I have, and I still eat 'em, but I wouldn't advise it for the faint of stomach. Notice I didn't say whether or not I blew chow afterwards.

Why do I bring this up you ask? Well . . . because it's now officially hunting season that's why! Oh sure it's been hunting season for weeks for some folks, but I don't shoot goats, and I haven't had time to shoot any birds, and although I'm not fundamentally opposed to the idea I feel no need to sit in a tree all day with a primitive weapon with hopes of skewering my future food with an aluminum arrow. Nope, my idea of hunting is much the same as my idea of gardening. Pluck it and eat it, works for me.

This year I'm not going to get too concerned with hunting though. I bought the boy and myself deer tags, but I've decided not to set myself up for failure by forking out the bucks for an elk license again. Maybe in a year or two when I've built my vacation time back up to where I actually have time to get serious about it like I used to, but going elk hunting for a day isn't very productive unless one is extremely lucky. It's just a waste of time, effort, and fuel.

Sunday morning found us standing watch on a hayfield near Joliet. A hayfield that turned out to be loaded with deer when the sun came up. A hayfield that turned out to be about 400 yards across, with loads of deer on the far side of it when the sun came up. A hayfield that was about 400 yards across and loaded with deer until my son and a coworker's stepson fired at, and missed said deer. There weren't any deer in it after that.

I think Junior and I should've spent a little more time at the target range last summer. In his defense however, it would've been a long shot even for me, and it was damn cold. A one hundred yard shot is difficult when you're shivering like a puppy shittin' razor blades, let alone four hundred. An older, more experienced shooter is more able to shut off his or her body's reactions to things like cold or being out of breath long enough to make a clean shot, but an inexperienced kid just knows that he's cold. The kid missed plain and simple, but like I told him, there's more shame in the fact that he took the shot in the first place than there is in missing. I've always taught him that if you're not absolutely sure, just say so. I'll never chew him out for refusing to waste ammo or take a chance on wounding an animal. Half of being a good marksman is knowing your capabilities and the capabilities of your equipment, and the only way to figure out what those capabilities are is with experience. He needs some.

This year I've resolved myself to let the boy shoot a deer before I even try. No matter how frustrated I get with his inexperience, no matter how much I just want to beat him over the head with a stick, no matter how many bullets he deposits into terra firma in the general vicinity of deer, I'm not firing a shot until I have pictures of my beloved son kneeling beside a bloody carcass holding my old rifle and smiling.

Smile damn it. I don't care if you're tired. I don't care if it stinks. I don't care if you're about to puke. I said SMILE.

I'm not one of those dads that "insists" that his kids follow in his footsteps. If the boy had no interest in hunting whatsoever I can't say that I wouldn't be disappointed because I would be, but it's his choice and I'm comfortable letting him make it. If he wanted to be a ballet dancer I can't say that I'd exactly support him wholeheartedly . . . . . The fact is though, that the boy IS interested in hunting, and I would really like for him to experience the pride and sense of accomplishment that I did when I bagged my first buck. There's just nothing in the world that makes me feel manly like killing something and eating it. Call me names if you want, just don't come crying to me if you get hungry.

Most of all, my daughter is already expressing increasing interest in taking Hunter Education and going hunting with Dad as soon as she's old enough, and I can't even imagine the embarrassment a young man would feel at having his little sister shoot a deer before he did. Actually I can imagine it, my sister goes elk hunting every year, and actually brings home elk. It's not quite the same though, my sister's older than me, and she usually tosses me a few packs of elk steaks. Anyone know of a good ballet instructor?

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Prepare For A Revolution!


No no no, not some hokey assed political revolution. No Mel Gibson movies will be made about this one, but it's pretty damn exciting news for anyone involved with radio controlled airplanes.

Horizon Hobby has just announced the release of the Spektrum DX7 radio system! I know, no one gives a shit, but this is actually really big news.


Didn't I just mention in response to a comment on my last post that this would likely be introduced soon? Gee . . . I must be psychotic.

For a year or so now, those of us that stick mostly to small, electric powered park flyers and micro helicopters have been enjoying the benefits offered by the Spektrum DX6 Parkflyer system. I have one myself and absolutely love it. This is a fully programmable, 6 channel computer radio system that operates on the 2.4 GHz band like wireless internet does, but it's only approved for use with smaller planes since it lacks the range of the higher powered FM systems. With the introduction of the DX7 system however, the parkflyer restriction is a thing of the past, and I wouldn't be surprised if, in a few years, every other manufacturer of RC equipment has either gone out of business, or introduced similar technology. This is truly a revolution in the industry. Besides having the range to fly everything from foamies and micro helis to giant scale aerobats and 3 meter sailplanes, the new DX7 system also includes more advanced programming features than the DX6 as well as a seventh channel to play with.

What it means is that unlike with traditional 72 mhz FM systems which have been the norm for decades, RC flyers no longer have to worry about which frequency they're on, and more importantly, they don't have to worry about someone else turning on a transmitter on the frequency that they're already using and having their plane shot down by some idiot that's too lazy to ask around as to what channel everyone's using. The Spektrum systems automatically scan all 80 channels on the 2.4 GHz band when they're powered up, and then lock on to the 2 clearest channels. That way there's always a redundant dual RF link between the receiver in the plane, and the transmitter on the ground. The 2.4 GHz band is inherently less receptive to unwanted interference and RF noise than the 72 mhz band as well, which means that no longer will a metal pushrod rattling against a metal screw head be enough to send a plane out of control as it has been in the past. This also allows a lot more freedom for modelers as to where they route servo and motor wires since in the past one had to use caution to avoid picking up interference that way as well.

As if that isn't enough security, FCC regulations require anything operating on the 2.4 GHz band to incorporate "smart" technology. What this means is that each device, be it a wireless router for your computer, a cordless telephone, or a Spektrum RC system, is assigned a GUID (Globally Unique IDentifier) code so that devices will only recognize other devices that they're designed to operate with. With a Spektrum radio, the receiver in the plane has to be "bound" to the transmitter that it's going to be used with, and once the binding process (simple 5 second procedure) is completed, that receiver will only recognize that transmitter regardless of how many Spektrum systems or other 2.4 GHz devices are in the immediate vicinity. Since there's over 4.2 billion possible GUID codes, the chances of any two being on the same one are nill to none. I've been flying a Spektrum in all of my planes except the Sky Fly for several months now, and I'm happy to report not a single glitch, these things really work.

Another neat feature of the DX7 is that it will work with all existing Spektrum equipment. The DX7 system includes the new AR7000 dual receiver for use with larger aircraft, but it will also work with the smaller AR6000 micro receivers that I have in my planes, which is big news for those of us that wish to upgrade from our DX6 systems. Spektrum receivers aren't the cheapest ones on the market, but they do compare favorably in price with the higher end FM micro receivers. From what I've been able to find out so far, the price for the transmitter, one receiver, and four large "standard" servos, or a complete system in other words, is supposed to be around $350, which is comparable to similarly equipped FM systems currently available. The DX6 system is $200 with four micro servos and one receiver, so for an extra $150 you get a lot more programming options, a 20 model memory as opposed to 10 with the DX6, and more importantly, you get a lot more aircraft options as well as the aforementioned 7th channel.

The DX7 system also incorporates a feature called "Model Match" that will not allow you to attempt to fly a plane with the wrong model selected on the screen. That way you can't try to take off with your Piper Cub if your radio is still set to fly your Mugi Evo, which is a big plus if you're scatter brained. Luckily I haven't done that yet, but I'm told that pretty much everyone does it sooner or later.

This might just be the thing that will get me to dust off one of my old glow powered planes, or at least it will if I can get my hands on one. Unless Horizon already has a warehouse full of these things, I wouldn't look for them to be too easy to find at least for the next several months. With a little luck, the supply will catch up with the demand by the time flying season really kicks into gear next spring. John and Clay are at the hobby expo in Chicago where Horizon made the release announcement, maybe with a little luck they'll bring a few back with them.

7 channels. That's enough to not only fly the plane, but add flaps, retractable landing gear, and a bomb drop. No interference, 20 model memory, 1024 resolution, what's not to love? I wants me one!

Monday, October 16, 2006

Sure Glad We Did It When We Had The Chance


Looked outside today? If you haven't, don't. At least not if don't want to be depressed.

Rain.

Snow predicted.

Yuck.

On the bright side however, I should be making some cash this week. It's illegal to pull triples in Montana during inclement weather, so when the snow starts falling my gracious employer tends to need a few more drivers, namely me. Last week's crappy forecast petered out before it ever got started, we'll see what happens this week. Maybe with a little luck it'll clear up just in time for the weekend. From the looks of the National Weather Service reports however, I'm sure not holding my breath. Oh well, I've got a backlog of airplanes that need built, I can deal with one crappy weekend before I go looney.

I have in my grubby little hands, one Hobby Lobby Mini Telemaster kit that's just begging to be modified with ailerons and tricycle landing gear, a Hobbico Flyzone free flight plane that's about half way converted to RC and mostly just waiting on some itty bitty servos that are on their way here from Taiwan or Korea or wherever they come from on the back of a piss drunk sea turtle, a GWS Pico Stick F that's scheduled to receive a reinforced wing and brushless power, possibly ailerons as well, a sort of 3D aerobat meets WWI monoplane looking Coroplast and carbon fiber creation that I've affectionately named "The Evil Little Bitch", and a 3600 kv brushless motor that's just begging to be on a 100 MPH Mugi Evo. OK, maybe 100 MPH is a bit of a stretch, but there's only one way to find out.

As I mentioned in my last post, pretty much all of the repair work is done on my current planes. After spending Saturday afternoon getting everything ready I awoke before the sun on Sunday only to find that the wind was howling like a banshee at my house. All that cussing that you heard at 6 AM? Yep . . . . that was me.

I figured that at the very least a few of the guys would be at the field planning a foray out to some hill in the boonies someplace to go slope soaring, so I tossed the Sky Fly, the Mugi, and after careful deliberation, the CAP 232 into the back seat of the big Ford, tossed my wife and daughter into the front seat, and we headed out for the field. OK, I didn't actually toss them, actually I set them down very carefully . . . the airplanes that is . . . . the wife and daughter just climbed in all by themselves. When we got there, I was extremely bummed that I didn't bring the Cub, the wind was dead calm. @$%!@#.

I hadn't seen the park that busy on a Sunday morning in ages, and most everyone there was flying something. Loads of cool airplanes, but I was so busy flying my own that I only managed to get pics and video of a few of them. My darling wife Carrie was nice enough to jump in on camera duty however, and caught some good video of some of the stuff I was too busy to worry about. Ralpho even showed up for a while, but by the time I got a chance to stop and talk to him with everything else that was going on, he was gone again. That happened to me a bunch yesterday, and I hope I didn't offend anyone, I was just busy flying since I knew it'd likely be the last good weather for awhile. I flew all three of the planes that I had along several times each, even the dastardly CAP232 which I haven't flown in over a month. It handled flawlessly and even though it could still stand to lose an ounce or two in front of the CG, the little bit of weight that I was able to shave off helped tremendously. After battling with the Cub, the ground handling on the CAP seemed exemplary, now if I'd just brought the Cub I could've found out if my modifications fixed the problem. Oh well, there's other days I guess.

The soccer players finally started moving in and taking over the park about noon, so we all headed off in our separate directions. As if we hadn't had enough socializing already, several of us sort of accidentally met up at a local cafe for lunch. It was a great way to round out the day.

Upon arriving back home, I soon found myself stuffed under the hood of a recalcitrant Chevrolet. For some reason my wife's car is not able to just break down, oh no, that'd be far too easy to figure out. Nope, this sorry little #$%!# for some reason feels the need to only have intermittent problems, the kind that will either only happen when she's driving and never show their ugly heads when I'm anywhere in the vicinity, or else the kind that could be caused by any one of a million different things so that I get to spend hours and hours scratching my big empty head trying to figure out what the hell could possibly be wrong.

After raiding my parts car for several little easy to replace tidbits I swapped out the PCV valve and the throttle position sensor to no avail. Next on my list of stuff that's likely wore out and not looking too healthy is the EGR valve, but after checking the spark plugs, running half of a compression check, spending a half hour repairing a leak in my compression tester, and then performing the other half of a compression check, I'd had an ass full of this blasted car. Before I resorted to tossing a hammer through the windshield, I grabbed the Mugi and headed for a nearby school to fire off a couple flights before dark.

Everything went smoothly until I put the Mugi back in the truck. When I set it on the seat one of the control surfaces moved, and something didn't sound quite right when it did. Upon closer examination I found that several of those eeny weeny teeny tiny plastic teeth on one of those eeny weeny teeny tiny plastic gears inside one of my elevon servos had said bye bye to the gears they were supposed to be on and set out to make their own way in the world. That's great for them, but it doesn't make my servo work worth a shit. Anyway, the Mugi is now out of commission waiting for me to replace said servo, no easy task in a Mugi I can assure you, but from the looks of the weather I've got plenty of time to get it done. The next Mugi that I build won't have cheap used servos from Ebay I can assure you. I'm just glad that it did it in the truck instead of in the air.

At any rate, here's the video from yesterday's adventure into the wild blue yonder. Be warned however that this one has some explicit lyrics involved, so don't turn the sound on if you have virgin ears. There's one plane featured in this one that I've been wanting to see fly for some time, and I was most definitely not disappointed. Oh yeah . . . . I even tossed in something that I said I wouldn't just for comic relief. Enjoy.


Winter Can Wait
Video sent by raginredneck93

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Dreaming Of Calm Wind In The Morning

I worked Friday night and therefore missed out on one of what is likely the last two nice weekend days of the year for flying. The weather was beautiful this morning, and from the line of vehicles parked on our makeshift flightline at Amend Park as I drove by on the Interstate on my way back into town from Butte, quite a few of my flying buddies took advantage of it. I was really itching to get something in the air this afternoon when I woke up from my nap, but decided to concentrate my efforts on tomorrow instead. Most all of my aircraft were in need of some kind of attention, so I spent the afternoon tieing up some loose ends in preparation for what looks to be another fine day tomorrow.

  • The ground handling on the Cub sucks. There's just no other way of putting it. At first I thought it was just me and I just needed to get used to the thing, but after the utterly frightening and equally embarrassing takeoff I had Friday, I decided that something must be wrong with it. Dick has the same plane, and he says that for a Cub his ground handling is awesome, and I've never had this much trouble getting any of my other planes off of the ground. Hopefully I found the problem today. Taildraggers tend to respond favorably when the wheels on the main gear have a little toe in. That way if one wheel tries to get ahead of the other one, it turns sideways and acts like a brake pulling itself back in line and keeping the aircraft tracking straight down the runway in the process. A disassembly and close examination of my landing gear today showed that I had one wheel toed in, and the other was toed out. As a result, the whole airplane had to dog track to the left going down the runway to stay in a straight line. No wonder it wanted to ground loop so bad. After a whole lot of tweaking and measuring and retweaking and remeasuring, it now has about 3 degrees of toe in, equal on both wheels. We'll see if that makes a difference.

  • The CAP is getting mighty nose heavy. After my numerous "firm arrivals" and resulting repairs to the landing gear bracing and motor mount the CAP232 has taken on some considerable nose weight. We have a saying in this hobby, "Nose heavy planes fly poorly, tail heavy planes fly once". Actually it doesn't fly all that bad, but it has to be going like a striped assed ape to land without bouncing like a pogo stick on crack. Getting the CG back to where it's supposed to be would no doubt make it a bit more responsive as well as easier to coax back to terra firma in one piece. First I replaced the busted tail wheel to not only improve the ground handling but to add a little weight to the tail to neutralize some of the nose weight. It broke off a month or so ago, but since I haven't been flying it much since I got my Cub I haven't bothered to fix it, I just stuck a piece of tape to the bottom of the rudder to keep it from getting beat up and called it good. I put a new one on it today, as well as hogging some excess wood out of various areas ahead of the CG (center of gravity) with my Dremel. It's still a bit nose heavy, but no doubt a lot better than it was. Most of the screw holes for affixing the cowl and canopy were getting wallowed out, a little thin CA applied to them tightened the fit right back up. This is a fun little plane and I have no intention of writing it off just yet. Hopefully it'll get a little air time tomorrow.

  • The Mugi is a bitch to hand launch. I've got some video of some of my less successful attempts, I doubt I'll ever show it here. I may send it in to one of those funniest home video shows and see if I can win some cash, but I won't show it here. Let's just say it's a good thing that the Mugi is double tough. Eric has a Great Planes XPD-8 (check out the claims of only 56 MPH on the site, Eric's has been clocked at 77 on Dick's radar gun, but that isn't with the stock motor either) ducted fan flying wing that's a bitch to hand launch as well. This type of aircraft is basically overpowered as far as pitch speed is concerned, but not from a torque perspective. They can't muscle themselves up off of the ground like a 3D capable plane can, they're more about flat out speed than raw displays of power. It's sort of like trying to take off with your car in high gear, if you could get it rolling first you'd be fine, but from a dead stop it doesn't work all that great. Since the aircraft equivalent of a transmission is a variable pitch prop, which I don't have, I don't have any choice but to get the speed up somehow before leaving the ground or go to a prop with less pitch and lose a considerable amount of top speed in the process. Most flying wings don't have landing gear, but if they did they'd need a rather substantial takeoff run to get airborne. I could add landing gear, and the takeoff run wouldn't be a problem at our field, but that's a lot of weight and more importantly, drag. Most of what makes this thing so fun is the phenomenal speeds that it attains, so adding drag would be defeating the purpose. Anyway, Eric uses a piece of rubber surgical tubing to bungee launch his, but there has to be a suitable hook on the bottom of the aircraft, ahead of the CG, to attach the bungee to. The Mugi now has one, a tow hook that is, anchored to the carbon fiber internal wing spar for strength, and coming out of the belly of the beast a few inches behind the nose. Hopefully Eric is there in the morning, since he said he had an extra piece of tubing that I could have. I'm looking forward to giving it a try.

  • The Sky Fly works just fine. Like I've said over and over again, for less than a hundred bucks, it's a damn hard plane to beat! I don't get paid to brag this thing up or anything, it's just nice to find a product from time to time that's an excellent value and lives up to its claims and then some. However, if anyone at Hobbico had a few extra bucks laying around . . . . . . ;)

So hopefully it's off to the park in the morning. I hope everyone else is enjoying the beautiful weather as well, since it'll likely be a long winter before we see anything like it again. It's possible that we may have several really nice weekends before winter, but I'm not taking any chances.

Monday, October 09, 2006

UPDATED UPDATE!> Mugi Now Live, And In Color! AND WE NOW KNOW WHAT TO CALL IT!

UPDATE

I just got an email from Morgan Wood, the designer of the Mugi, and he tells me that the proper pronunciation is "moogy", as in rhymes with "boogy". Boogy is definitely something that this plane can do, so I guess it fits. He's also offered to send me some official Mugi decals for my plane. This guy is starting to tip the generosity scales methinks. I'll be putting up a permanent link on my sidebar to the Mugi site as a thank you. He sells Mugi kits as well as other Mugi pieces and parts there, so go there and buy something. At the very least give him a visit, I think you'll like what you see. He's also working on another design, as well as a bunch of other cool models made out of Coroplast, I can't wait to see what they are!

Actually, this post was supposed to just be an update at the bottom of my last post, so if you haven't read the last post yet, do that first and then this one will make a lot more sense. Blogger is being a grouchy bitch for some reason, so when I try to just edit my last post, it loads, then disapears. It hasn't been too friendly about uploading the still pics of the now decorated Mugi either, so we'll see what happens.

WOOHOO! SUCCESS!
Ok, now that Blogger finally decided to load my pics. Here's the Mugi with some color applied. I know, it's kind of gaudy, but that was the idea. Mugi's the name, high visibility is the game.





And here's the bottom.




Since I am a redneck after all, even my airplanes need smart assed bumper stickers.




And a redheaded hottie riding shotgun!

Sunday, October 08, 2006

My Hangar Just Got A Little Bigger

I did something dangerous Saturday.

No, I didn't rebuild any rear ends. ;)

Actually I built an airplane.

Yep . . . . Another one.

The amazing part is that I actually survived unscathed. In spite of being extremely groggy eyed, I didn't even manage to hack any steaks off of myself with my razor knife, nor did I accomplish my usual SNAFU of welding my fingers together with CA glue. I know, amazing. Better keep the acetone handy just in case though, I'm planning on building more of these bad boys for sure. Actually I'm thinking about starting a factory. After seeing it fly this morning, several of the guys at the field were lining up to place their orders already. The ones that weren't interested in paying me to build them one were asking where to get the plans so they could build one themselves.

Oh yeah, the plans, you can get them here. The designer was nice enough to put the plans out on the web absolutely free, along with a whole lot of information on construction, power systems, and even some really cool modifications including the coolest light system I've ever seen just in case you want to try night flying. This is especially amazing considering the fact that he also sells kits. Be sure to check out the videos, especially the night flying footage.

Anyway, I spent most of Saturday building a "Mugi Evo", which is a simple flying delta wing made out of 2mm Coroplast and a few other cheap or mostly free little tidbits that most RC modelers already have laying around. This is not a plane for beginners, but it's one hell of a kick in the shorts if a person can handle the zippy little bastard. Besides that, it's double ugly tough just in case a person can't handle the zippy little bastard. I can't wait to fly it again, this thing has me stoked.

Don't ask me how to pronounce Mugi, because I don't know. I actually sent an email to the guy that designed the thing and asked him, but he's in England so I don't know if he's gotten the message yet. It must take a long time for all of those little letters and spaces and stuff to get all the way across that big 'ol ocean I think. If he gets back to me I'll let you know, but until then we've just been calling it a "Muggy". At least we've been calling it a Muggy when we haven't been calling it a fast motherfucker, this thing hauls some serious ass. Dick, aka the human radar gun, figures it at over 70 MPH. As soon as I get a few issues straightened out with the control linkages so I can actually trim the damn thing out and hopefully not brain some poor bastard in the process, we'll likely make a few passes over his real radar gun and see what it's actually doing. Either way, take my word for it, it's fast.

The fact that it's so fast isn't even the amazing part. The amazing part is the fact that it's that fast on an $8.00 brushed motor called a Speed 400. I don't know how the hell it got the name Speed 400, most planes that use these things are far from speedy. Then again, most planes that use these things use a big ol' gear reduction and a huge honking prop spinning really slow. This one uses a little bitty prop direct drive right off of the shaft, whirling like a mad bastard and howling like a banshee in the process. Maybe that was how they were using it when they named it a Speed 400, otherwise it'd be called a Really Slow 400, unless somebody was trying to be funny . . . . . . Could happen.

As for the rest of the plane, it's nothing but a few square feet of Coroplast, a cheap speed control (actually free in this case, I got the motor and speed control from another guy that wrecked his Multiplex Space Scooter, I can't wait to show him what his "junk" motor can do hehehehe), a little glue, two used servos that I got off of Ebay for next to nothing and keep around for experiments, a couple scraps of .070" carbon fiber rod for pushrods, and of course a receiver and a 3 cell lithium polymer battery. The receiver and battery are the only parts of this plane that cost anything at all, and they're pretty well protected thanks to the excellent and extremely durable nature of this aircraft, it's made to take a lickin' and keep on tickin' for sure. The design is so simple that even a dog tired truck driver can put one together in an afternoon, and believe me, that's saying something.

I'm gonna get back to putting some decoration on this thing, ya'll check out the video of the first test flights. A 30" wing span and 70+ MPH speeds make this thing a bitch to see in pure white, especially against a cloudy sky. We gonna jazz it up with some color before it winds up going into stealth mode at a really bad time.

Enjoy.


How To Huck A Mugi
Video sent by raginredneck93

Friday, October 06, 2006

It Finally Happened


Yep, it finally did.

Here . . . . . Let me back up a little.

Yesterday I'm sitting around the house doing whatever it was I was doing, likely working on my latest miniature flying machine, (just wait until you all see this one!) when all of a sudden the phone rings. Now it's not very often that my phone rings during the day. The wife's rings constantly but most people know that I'm likely sleeping and won't answer mine anyway, so they don't even bother calling it. Most people that really know me know that I fucking hate telephones and likely won't answer the son of a bitch even if I'm not sleeping, so they still call hers.

Anyway, the phone rings. I grumble a few obscenities, look at the caller ID and see that it's a strange number. Probably some dumb ass with a wrong number I figure. Since there's few things that make me giggle uncontrollably like fucking with poor bastards that get wrong numbers, I figure what the hell and I answer the damn thing. Well . . . . Smoking pot used to make me giggle almost as uncontrollably as fucking with poor bastards that got wrong numbers, but I quit doing that years ago. Smoking pot that is, I still fuck with poor bastards that get wrong numbers. I wonder how much fun it would be fucking with poor bastards that get wrong numbers, while smoking pot. Damn. Probably wind up needing an oxygen tank, or puking by the time that was over. Anyway.

Me - Hello, Big J Enterprises Worldwide, Big J speaking.

Guy on the phone - Uhhhh . . . . . Yeah . . . . . Um I'm looking for Justin?

Me - Well so am I and that sorry bastard better hope that you find him before I do.

Guy on the phone - Ummmmm . . . . . . I think maybe I have a wrong number.

Me - (Thinking "no shit Sherlock") No, this is Justin, I was just shittin' ya, what the hell can I do for ya?

Guy on the phone - (laughing) Oh OK, had me worried for a minute there. Anyway, I got your number from a friend of mine and . . . . . .

So this guy goes on to tell me this long winded spiel about how he owns his own business based out of the Billings airport that deals entirely with high value and time critical freight moving between Billings and all points elsewhere and vice versa. He's got a Cessna Caravan Super Cargomaster that he flies all over the place hauling high dollar electronic gizmos for big corporations and the government, as well as really urgent medical shit like about to be transplanted human innards and stuff. Damn easy job and pays assloads of money.

Me - So what the hell does this have to do with me?

Guy on the phone - Well . . . . Here's the deal . . . . .

He goes on to tell me all about how his little transport business is growing by leaps and bounds, and he's got another plane ordered but Cessna is about 8 months out on the damn thing. Meanwhile he's working double time trying to keep up and his ass is dragging the ground. Where I come in, he tells me, is that he's looking to hire somebody to ride along with him on his runs, help him load and unload shit, (yep, flying dockhand, sounds a lot like what I do now, only without the flying), and in return besides paying a rather generous wage, he's willing to teach this person how to fly and help him or her get their IFR and Commercial ratings. That way when the new plane comes in whoever the lucky bastard is, can jump in one of them and start up a second run.

Me - Sounds like a hell of a deal. But still, why me?

Guy on the phone - Like I said, I got your name from a friend of mine and he told me that you'd love to get your pilot's license, but just never figured you could afford it. If you're half as interested in flying as my friend told me you are, then it shouldn't be any problem for you to bust ass and have your license by the time my second plane comes in. Besides, you already know the freight business, so I don't figure it'd be much of a problem for you to pick up the particulars of air freight over what you have been doing.

Me - Wow, cool.

Just then I hear this huge ruckus coming from the living room. Seems that Mrs. Justin is jumping up and down and screaming like a fucking lunatic. Now if there's one thing in the world that I hate worse than talking on a Goddamn telephone, it's trying to hear a Goddamn telephone over somebody that's jumping up and down and screaming like a fucking lunatic.

"GODDAMN IT WOMAN, GET THE KID TO KILL THE FUCKING WASP AND SHUT THE HELL UP, CAN'T YOU SEE I'M ON THE PHONE?"

"WE WON! WE WON!" she keeps screaming.

"I know we won, I just got offered the job of a lifetime, now if you'd shut the hell up maybe I could find out the details before the battery goes dead in this piece of shit cellphone"

"NO REALLY, WE WON! THE LOTTERY, WE WON! NOW WE CAN BUY THAT DOUBLEWIDE!" She says, still screaming actually.

Now I really want her to stop screaming before the crackheads down the street hear her and storm the castle gates to get that golden ticket. I start looking for my .45, I'll be goddamned if those worthless bastards are gonna take MY new doublewide without a fight.

Just as I look over her shoulder and see the numbers there on the computer screen which do indeed match the ones on the ticket that she's flailing about like an epileptic on crack, I start to hear this voice, a far off voice, and it's weird, like it's coming from all around me and nowhere all at the same time. It's a familiar voice, but I still can't figure where it's coming from. Then, as if I had been grabbed from behind and tossed into another dimension by some repulsively twisted beasty fresh from the depths of the ninth circle of hell, my eyes are cruelly pried open and struggle to see my wife looking back rather annoyed at me through the foggy mist of my recent slumber. Then I realize where I am.

"Honey, really, it's time. Get your lazy ass out of bed damn it, it's time to go play truck driver"

Shit.

And you thought YOU were disappointed. Even my subconscious has a sick sense of humor it seems.



Anyway, here's the airplane video from last weekend. Enjoy.



The Joy of Flying
Video sent by raginredneck93

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Did Everyone Make It To The Music Store Yesterday?

Yep, it's October 4th. Know what that means? The new Evanescence album came out yesterday.

Did anyone think that I wouldn't run out and buy it right away? Didn't think so. Actually the wife ran out and bought it for me . . . . . . . I was sleeping.

I've finally gotten a chance to listen to the whole thing, and I have to say that in spite of all of the changes the band has gone through since their last album, they haven't lost anything musically in the process. If anything they've gained since the concentration now seems to be a lot more focused on Amy's voice talents. Ben Moody is one hell of a guitar player, but it's always been Amy that made the band what it is and there was obviously a lot of tension between Ben and Amy. When I saw them perform live, I was actually waiting for them to get into a fist fight on stage. I don't know what happened between those two, and I don't really care, but whatever it was it obviously wasn't good. I think what Amy has said in numerous interviews is correct, Ben's leaving was for the best.

There are a few more "special effects" on this album than on their previous works, but they seem to be well done and not overpowering. In stark contrast to that however, this album also has a lot of slower, more acoustic songs. Obviously an attempt to capitalize on the widespread popularity of My Immortal. Once again, there seems to be a lot more focus on Amy's voice talents, and as a result this album doesn't rock quite as hard as Fallen did, but that's not to say that it doesn't rock at all because it definitely does. I mean face it, Amy Lee could sing the fucking Rubber Ducky song from Sesame Street and it would rock. OK . . . . . . Maybe it wouldn't . . . . . . . But she'd still look hot while she was singing it!

One similarity to Fallen that I was very happy to find, is the fact that I can put this album on and just let it play, I've yet to find a song that makes me want to reach for the CD player remote. I think my patron blog babe and friends have another winner on their hands, and I'll be waiting to see how many songs from this album make their way to the top of the charts. It's nice to finally find a band headed up by a young, attractive, female vocalist that doesn't simply use her body instead of her musical talents as a promotional tool. It's also nice to not have to cringe when I hear my daughter singing along, if she insists on imitating singers at least she's picked one that doesn't prance around half naked on stage shaking her mostly exposed flesh in an effort to sell records with the album cover pictures instead of the music.

Trust me ladies, exposed belly buttons and half an ass cheek hanging out of each leg of your shorty shorts will definitely turn guys' heads, but a little class will go a long way towards keeping them turned. Add that to the fact that I actually buy albums with good music on them, and there's one more reason to concentrate a little harder on the music than the T&A. I just download Britney for free. ;)








Damn . . . . . . Goth chicks are hot!

Monday, October 02, 2006

One Year

Yep, hard to believe but I'll have been a resident of the fabled blogosphere for exactly one year as of 8:40 PM this evening. Sorry, but I don't really have anything more profound to say than that. I have to be honest, the big day sort of snuck up on me. I've been thinking of what I might possibly say on this momentous occasion for several weeks now, but I honestly thought that I had more time, oops, sue me.

I did celebrate by taking the Cub for several laps around Amend Park this morning with my beautiful bride standing by for ground support, I suppose that counts for something. She did buy it for me after all, it's only right that she see it fly before I have a chance to crash it. So far so good, not even what you might refer to as a "close call" as far as crashing it is concerned. This is one of those planes that would likely take a freak accident, a serious radio problem, or a drastic case of "dumb thumb" to crash. Although Cubs aren't exactly famous for exemplary ground handling, once they're airborne they're a real pussycat. Slow and steady, no surprises, perfect for the days when I want an exact 180 from the CAP232. I've yet to have what I would call a really good landing with it, but every landing so far has been more than acceptable and damage free, which is all I can ask for until I rack up a little more experience with it. Oh, and speaking of experience, as soon as I'm comfortable with the idea and get a sufficient mount constructed, this plane will take over the camera toting duties from the Sky Fly. It's much larger, a lot more stable, has exponentially more power, and is capable of packing along a few extra POUNDS instead of ounces. It shouldn't even notice that a 5 1/2 ounce digital camcorder is along for the ride. My hat is still off to the Sky Fly however, packing anything but itself into the air is far outside of its design parameters, so with that taken into consideration it not only carried the camera, but did a damn fine job of it. Like I've said a hundred times before, if you're interested in RC planes and don't have a lot of cash or don't want a big hassle, the Hobbico Sky Fly is hard to beat.

I've got some video from last Sunday that I'll be sharing hopefully within the next few days, including the maiden flight of the Piper Cub, as well as a lot of catching up to do when it comes to reading all of my favorite blogs. There's a few out there that I haven't managed to visit in a while, and I've spent my last few times at the computer making the rounds and catching up.

Besides all of the reading that I still need to do, I need to hit few other pages and catch up on some new videos that have been posted by different friends of mine as well. I'm not ignoring anyone, I've just been busy for the last couple of weeks, and to be honest it's kind of a nice change. Being able to afford to work only part time is nice too, but it'd be a lot nicer if I had a set schedule and a steady income to depend on. These last few weeks have gotten me caught back up as well as stashed a few bucks away for when things slow back down. Hopefully I'll be able to enjoy the next slow period a bit more than the last one.

Sorry to put everyone off again, but it's off to sleepy nappy time for me. Expect a full post complete with new pics and video as soon as time allows. Later all.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

IT FLIES!


More later . . . . Unless I go back to the park to fly some more!