Today the winter weather was mild enough that I could not pass up the chance to launch the AJR-48(F).
She’s a rocket.
On take off I used flaps which made her rather zippy. An unexpected barrel roll even took place. No big deal and once I retracted the flaps the plane handled well.
The test flight was going good and I managed to perform some slow speed and quicker paced runs.
However on some tight banking the plane rolled over and I crashed.
Here is the video.
– Post flight view. The nose had taken all the impact, some body damage and a motor mount had loosened up.
– Opted to make whole new nose section. Double layer foam top and bottom. New way to keep it closed.
– Improved view compared to the previous deign.
– Repaired and ready for more action.
Did not have enough time this weekend to fly the plane but this evening I managed to finish the build up and min wax work.
– A little test to see how the view is from on board. Not to bad.
– The 2 pieces near the top are to cover the open sections on the underside of the wing.
– Nose section with the GoPro.
– Two batteries to help the balance.
– Cargo door is a little small to handle an egg so were going to make a “care” package with a chute.
– Used the same design from the YC-14.
– GoPro access.
– This time the whole mount is removable.
– Balance test. When I do it with my fingers it is not as dramatic but still looks good.
– I know this wing flies nicely and I was getting used to it.
– This is why I went with the name Falcon.
– Should be very fun to fly.
– Cargo hatch is functional and will be better then a bomb bay in the winter.
– Simplified wing pods as I now run the ESC inside the plane/wing.
Only 1300g vs the prev plane which was 800g. I’ve added a GoPro, 2nd battery, larger props, 2nd esc, 2nd motor and 2nd rx unit. So respectable.
A friend of mine asked me to swap the connector on his Turnigy 2650mAh 3S 1C LLF Tx Pack (Futaba/JR) so it would work properly with his 9X. The operation is easy enough. I had him order a JST-XH Parallel Balance Lead 2S 250mm (2xJST-XH) and then I simply swap the leads out.
Before I started the job I checked the health of the battery. Everything check out but after I put the 2S connector on the battery came back with a “Connection Broken” error. D’oh. What had I done?
Battery was not puffed so I had not sparked it or anything.
I could get voltage reading off all the lead posts.
Well I informed my friend something went wrong and ordered him a replacement since I’d modified the battery and doubted the warranty would be honoured.
The only thing left was to see if we could save this brand new battery.
Time to open her up. #1 I did lots of reading. #2 Be very careful! #3 take your time. #4 be prepared for anything. Enough said onto the operation.
– Right away the yellow balance wire looked wrong. Actually the soldering job is horrible on all the connection.
– But the link from the yellow wire between middle and 3rd cell had broken or was just bad to begin with.
– Time to take it all apart.
– Connected the 2 cells and did a test on the charger. Proving that was the issue.
Notice the 2S connector replacing the incorrect one. People just jam that into the 9X. No thanks.
– Took some work to get a connection to the 3rd cell. The material, we think is aluminum did not take to soldering at all. In the end a notch was put into connection point and that helped secure a solder.
– You can see the 3rd cell is very low. I was trying to charge the battery using my NICAD charger but the 3rd cell was not getting power.
– Last night over several hours on and off I charged it a 1 amp in balance mode and slowly brought the 3rd cell up to 4.20V. It lives and will have purpose.
– This is the 6ch radio my son uses. It eats 1.5V AA batteries so it gets a new LIPO. Honestly the power usage between this radio and my Turnigy 6ch which uses 4 AA’s is crazy.
– I will have to put the original connector back on but will also reduce the wire length to make room as it is a little tight.
So top tip watch those balance wires.
I’m going to add some hot glue to the top of the battery case to ensure they do not get tugged.
In the morning I tested the weight reduced modifications.
It flew but was still tail heavy!
So after that flight I cut 2″ off the tail and re-did the nose firewall.
– The first job was to remove the tail from the body.
– Based on the FT Spitfire I opt’d to remove 2″.
– Then I inserted 2 pieces of foam I could keep the structure solid and had something to glue to.
– Made sure to align and check the angle on the tail.
– Picked up a few grams of weight over but that is due to nose mods.
– I put on a full piece of wood to ensure the motor had something beefier to be glued to.
Increased nose weight which was wanted. Motor now points down and to the right.
– Painted the underside of the wings to help me see it better.
– Tail to firewall 32″ just about 35″ with the motor gear.
– Post flight. I need to glue the rudder section. It was misaligned.
– Also checking for water/snow issues.
– The tape traps the snow so I will remove and paper that sections.
– See the water build up. So all the new sections will get MinWax’d tonight.
Tonight I had my first winter flight experience.
Testing the AJR-48 in single prop config. Glad the snow was soft because the tail heavy issue is still present.
So I went radical on the plane.
– Time to perform an operation and lose some weight in the tail section.
– I removed as much as I could while trying to keep some of the strength.
– Pretty big chuck of foam gone.
– Removed the metal rudder servo and put in a 15g eco one.
– Wide power pod also was trimmed down. Removed the whole bottom section.
– A lot tighter but manageable.
– At least I know it will land in snow with no issues.
– It is indeed a lot lower now.
– I think the centre foam bit is a touch to big but need belly surface.
– I hope this fixes the tail heavy issues and returns some power.
I may alter the power pod yet to move the battery even more forward.
– 550g lighter.
Sat down to cut the tail section out this evening. BTW listening the the FliteTest Podcast is decent while building.
Had to remove the receiver from the Purple plane which is annoying. Looking forward to Hobby King sorting out their issues and sending my 9X! Once this is all done and I have my order in my hand I’ll publish a story.