Small details count: WW I “Axe Handle” Wingtip Skids

Feb 02, 2014 4 Comments

A great detail point for the Cole Palen Triplane is that the lower wingtip skids are made from ordinary axe handles. Even thought I have flown the Balsa USA triplane most of the 2013 flying season, I always planned to add this unique feature. It’s pretty easy to do. Here’s the Old Triplane on the flightline several [...]

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Workshop Build-Along — Scratch Building a Sopwith Camel Part 2

Jan 31, 2014 4 Comments

So now that we’ve set the stage for creating a 1/4-scale sport scale Sopwith Camel, let’s start building. When it comes to any project, I gather all my materials and supplies ahead of time, that includes ZAP adhesives, sandpaper, new X-Acto blades and so on. The first job is to remove all your laser-cut parts and [...]

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Lakemaid Beer Tests Drone Delivery

Jan 30, 2014 3 Comments

Finally the perfect use of a multi-rotor copter: delivering beer to ice fishermen.  While we aren’t sure what drives people in Wisconsin to sit on a frozen lake, drill a hole in the ice and try to catch fish (when they could be perfectly comfortable inside on the couch), we agree that beer will help make [...]

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And YOU think it’s too cold to fly?

Jan 28, 2014 6 Comments

Check out this team of researchers in Antarctica, flying a 100-pound aircraft to use radar to measure the ice-bed of sub-glacial Lake Whillans. Fielded by the Center for Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets (CReSIS), this National Science Foundation project is studying ice melt and potential sea-level rise. The autopilot and ground control software for the [...]

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Workshop Build-Along — Scratch Building a Sopwith Camel — Part 1

Jan 27, 2014 9 Comments

My newest project steps away from building a commercial kit plane, and is more about designing and building my own scale airplane. This includes, using CAD and having final plans sent to a laser cutter to produce my own kit. Then in the workshop it is business as usual. So, to start, I will describe [...]

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Hangar 9 Inverza 33 Video

Jan 23, 2014 2 Comments

The Inverza is a project that began as a “what if” with acclaimed full-scale builder Kevin Kimball and Quique Somenzini, the Inverza is a contemporary concept designed to harness the power of the radial engine with the potential only possible in a monoplane platform. For the finishing touches, Mirco Pecorari shared his expertise by complementing [...]

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Super-detailed Dauntless

Jan 23, 2014 15 Comments

At the AMA Expo last weekend, we were blown away by this SBD Dauntless in the static competition. Built by Frank Harris from Jerry Bates plans, the 85-inch-span model is powered by a Saito twin 57 gas engine and has Robart retracts, a handmade cockpit and numerous scale additions. The fantastic detail on this warbird earned it an [...]

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Scale Weathering and Painting — Making a WW1 Rotary Engine Look Old

Jan 22, 2014 11 Comments

When it comes to really looking scale, it is in the details that we make the most progress in giving our model’s that “used” look. For my Balsa USA Fokker Triplane which I built and flown this past year, I wanted to bring a better scale look to the front so I am installing a [...]

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