Last weekend, Debra Cleghorn and Gerry Yarrish traveled down to Lakeland, FL to cover the Top Gun Scale Invitational. They were on the flightline for interviews with the builders, up-close details and in-the-air videos. Check out ModelAirplaneNews.com for their complete coverage and marvel at the great detail that goes into these planes for this competition. You will find many images, video and some great interviews. This is well worth the time to look! click here
|Top Gun’s Top Dog
Congratulations to Dave Wigley for winning the title Mr. Top Gun!
For the second year running, Dave has captured the Mr. Top Gun title! Flying his Westland Wyvern S4, this has so much detail it is simply amazing. In order to keep that title, this year Dave stepped up his flying skills to the highest level, which helped him secure the “Mr. Top Gun” title for the second year running.
|2011 Canadian FAI F3A Precision Aerobatic Team:
An interview with Team Manager Dave Reaville
By: Ken Park
On July 23 through August 1, 2011, Dave and his team will be going to the FAI F3A Precision Aerobatics Championship that will be held at the AMA National Flying Site in Muncie, IN. I had a chance to catch up with Dave for a little chat regarding the Canadian team.Dave, could you tell us something about your own background and how you got into pattern flying?
I had grown up around airplanes and eventually followed my dad into an aviation career as a professional pilot. This also sparked a keen interest in model aviation that I was able to fully pursue in 1995 when I moved to Victoria, BC. I joined the Victoria Radio Control Modellers and quickly learned the basics of RC flight (I had the theory down!). The real catalyst to my skill level was, without doubt, precision aerobatics. The discipline to practice and perfect these various maneuvers and the increasing skill level became very addictive.How long have you been in the competitive side of F3A and what kind of a learning curve and dedication does it take to get this far?
I worked my way through the various levels until I was competing in FAI in 2002. This was really before ARF-type kits became available so we were also learning to build planes at the same time. Many trips to the field to practice maneuvers and fine-tune airframes eventually resulted in what I am today. Having fellow flyers assisting and continually challenging you also pushes you to learn. Through hard work and support, I managed to qualify for the Canadian National Team that went to Argentina in 2007. It was the highlight of my RC career and a great honor to compete for my country.
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|Align AH-1 Cobra Fuselage
Align has been known for its outstanding flying helicopters, and now they have just released a new scale body for their T-Rex 500 size helicopter. This new scale fuselage of the AH-1 Cobra is easy to install and add some outstanding scale details. It has terrific new looks and just makes the helicopter that much cooler! This fuselage has some beautiful scale detail—just look at the exhaust scoops and the armament that adorns those pods. The price still needs to be announced, but you got to see it here first.
|Aeroworks 30cc Edge 540
By Mike Gantt
Let’s get right to it; I’ve done tons of model reviews and have had the pleasure of flying some really incredible airplane designs. Of those, a couple of offerings from Aeroworks have come my way and I will reiterate their slogan: World Class Aircraft. I’ll tell you that these guys really mean it—from packaging to preflight checks, these products are top notch. I’m a firm believer of “you get what you pay for” and “go cheap, go twice.” If you go with the Aeroworks 30cc Edge 540 you simply can’t go wrong. CAD designed laser-cut wood (balsa/ply) is wrapped in a vibrant color scheme. If you have a hard time orienting this model, you may need to visit an optometrist. This ARF is labeled as quick building, and once you open up the box, you’ll see why. A high level of prefabrication and engineering makes this Edge razor sharp. High-quality hardware is used throughout such as CF landing gear, CF wingtube/ stab tubes while double metal control horns wrap around ball linkages with adjustable double-threaded rods. These threads are reversed at each end so you’ll use the included wrench to easily line up your control surfaces to center by turning the installed rod. Fiberglass wheel pants adorn the mains and a fiberglass cowl is quick to fit with a little Dremel work should you go gas or glow. Preinstalled blind nuts make it simple to affix the cowl to the nose of the plane with the included rubber-backed washers and hex-head fasteners. I’ll add that the entire Aeroworks hardware package is on the higher end of the quality spectrum and made assembling the Edge 540 more fun than work.
Test flights were conducted at the Victor Valley RC flying field which has a brand-new nicely paved runway. Needless to say, all ground handling was simple, yet the Edge will easily fly from most surfaces with its larger wheels. Prop clearance is about 4+ inches with my 20-inch prop mounted to the DLE 30. It was a 70+ degree mid morning with light winds and although the elevation was a bit higher than where I usually fly, the engine ran very well. A few flips of the prop choked had it pop and a few more flips (choke open) had it running. Some rudder is needed to keep the plane online during rollouts and it breaks ground in a hurry. Rotate and climb at any attitude you feel like; there is plenty of power for all types of takeoffs. My landings always seem to be video recorded these days and made fun of, but actually, the peanut gallery was fairly nice to me this time. That’s because this plane lands with a top wing trainer’s predictability and smoothness.If the manual is correctly followed, I would say that almost anyone with fueled airplane modeling experience could complete this ARF. One thing I’ll note was that the recommended spinner has to be able to accommodate your prop brand/type/size. Luckily, TruTurn can precisely cut them for those of us who aren’t proficient metal workers. Less expensive to outfit than a giant-scale model, and therefore a bit less intimidating to “huck” down low; this gorgeous machine is made for flying on the Edge!Specifications
Name of plane: Edge 540
Type: 30cc aerobatic plane
Length: 70 in.
Wingspan: 74 in.
Wing area: 980 sq. in.
Weight: 177 oz.
Wing loading: 26 oz./sf.
Motor req’d: 30cc gas, comparable glow or electric system
Radio req’d: 6+ channel computer
++Incredible flight characteristicsBe sure to check out the complete review in the August issue of Model Airplane News
Setting Up Multi-Motor Electrics
By John Reid
It’s no secret that I am a big fan of using E-power for planes with multiple motors. To me, the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages when compared to glow power. First, there is the clean factor; you never have to wipe oil off your plane when using electric power, unless of course, you flew too close to the overly rich glow plane or landed in an oil spill. The other thing is reliability; you never have to worry about getting both motors started and there is only a very rare chance of a motor quitting during the flight. Glow-power twins do have one great feature, though: that fantastic sound they make as they fly by. There is nothing else like it, but I would still give up great sound over reliability any day. So, let’s see what we need to do to properly set up an electric multi-motor plane. Follow this link to see the rest of this informative article.
Finding Your CG
By Mike Gantt
Determining a model’s center of gravity or CG is one of the preflight checks I always perform prior to test flying an aircraft. There can be consequences if one does not. Here are a few ways to check yourself before you wreck yourself:■ First, check the instructions! Nowadays, manuals almost always have a recommended guideline for setting the product’s CG; use it as a starting point. After you get a feel for the model, you can usually slightly adjust its CG to better suit your preference.
■ Wing, meet Fuse. With smaller planes I use my index fingertips placed under the wing at the manual’s posted distance whether it is from the LE (leading edge) or TE (trailing edge) directly adjacent to the fuselage when specified. Typically, a high-wing plane is balanced right side up while low and mid wing airplanes get balanced inverted.
■ Wingtips (not the shoes). Some planes are to be balanced at the wingtips and depending on the size of model, you may need some assistance to hold up a side to determine balance. Usually, if the plane has rounded leading wing edges its balance point is measured from said wings trailing edge.
■ My Buddy. Aeroworks has really done us a favor and implemented a new simple device called a “Balance Buddy.” It makes it easy for me to balance a large plane alone. The design requires you to hook the unit onto the wingtube and a handle is used to pick up and view the entire plane’s attitude which, if balanced per spec, will hang straight/level. It’s time all manufacturers include this unique “friend” with their offerings.