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Maiden Flight Reports
#61

Popped down quickly this afternoon for the maiden of my CloudsFly / AXN Floater Jet. As stock, no real issues -- bit of a tendency to pitch down with power, and will modify for a little more elevator and aileron control authority. Looking forward to having another plane to bring down to the field. Thanks to Steve M for finding a replacement for a linkage nut which popped off never to be found again during final checks.

Unfortunately, 0 from 2 for my mate Colin's ME-163, as Chris and Steve can attest to. Came awfully close on the first attempt, but after two failures and deciding to switch to a finer pitch prop Col found some damage to the prop collet and that was that. Very keen to see this thing fly.

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#62

Well the Vector finally made her maiden flight today.
Very happy with the way it went, Kev reports that she
was fairly docile once we had worked out the trims and tried
different battery positions.
Here is video I shot of her second flight.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i1Ql_hW-ZRA

Landing will be a bit hot as the nose drops rather quickly if
you lose too much speed.


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#63

Yeh - the extra drama and suspense before takeoff was my fault as I managed to put "Tubby" down right at the end of the bungee run. Sorry about that.
Well done to you and Kev anyway Paul - a series of careful and considered tweaks over the test flights did the trick and it looked "the business" at the end of the day!

Steve Murray
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#64

Here's the maiden of my new F4 Phantom from HobbyKing via my brother. It's my 1st EDF so I wanted to ensure I had plenty of speed before takeoff. That was easily achieved with plenty of power from the....umm whatever sized motor that's in it.

The 1st negative in regards to a rolling takeoff is the lack of rudder. It has a steerable nose wheel but with any speed, the weight on it reduces to the point that any steering is dependent on the last bump that the aircraft hit on the takeoff run. Maybe a linkage & some hinges cut into the fin to form a rudder could be on the cards.

As mentioned, the takeoff occurred easily with rapid acceleration, in fact it kept up with my rising heartbeat nicely. The elevators were a little too nose down for the first flight creating a "lawnmower" departure as I didn't want to stall her by pulling up too steeply on takeoff. As it got airborne I relaxed the elevator slightly, but with the nose down trim, the aircraft wanted to help Darren keep the grass between the runways short.

The ailerons are very responsive & they were creating a left roll which was trimmed out easily. I had programmed a dual rate for them and this gave a very comfortable roll rate at full stick. As I get used to it I'll increase the throws on them.

The elevators are driven by separate servos and these need a bit of tweaking to get a symmetrical loop and not a half roll off the top! The landing saw a better glide than I expected but an acceptable touchdown into the "arrestor wire" of the grass to the side of the runway. The second landing on the next flight was lined up better, allowing a taxi back to the taxiway. Oh happy days!

Overall she is very well balanced with the 2200mah 4S up front, and for a first EDF, a very enjoyable experience!! The video has no special effects or music because I couldn't have been bothered for my own aircraft. A different story if I'm showcasing one of yours!! Anyway, many thanks to Kieran for his excellent videography. Nice shots!

Enjoy the video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qM_fGuSgK-8


3 Useless things for a Pilot:
Air above you, Air in the tanks, Runway behind you.

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#65

Nice report Andrew Smile It did look good when we saw it doing its stuff last weekend. Certainly didn't appear to have a marginal stock power-train as is often the case. All good - looks like Chris deserves a beer!

Steve Murray
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#66

Date: 12 Jul 11
Conditions: Cool, but perfect other than that - no wind at all, excellent visibility
Aircraft: No-name Pitts
Pilot: "Junior" Murray

Owen got a Pitts from the Penrith boot-sale a few weekends back. It's a built-up balsa and ply construction ARF covered in a film of some sort. It came with a brushless motor which was also of no-name brand, and it looked a little small but other than that there wasn't much to go on.
We got it together, put a wooden 10x5 prop on it and connected up the wattmeter - seemed OK at about 170 Watts (nothing was getting hot) and as long as the weight stayed low we'd be right. The CoG needed some assistance and with the largest 3S batteries we had, it still needed a little roof flashing up front - never like doing that, but to attempt to fly tail-heavy is worse. The short nose and small motor were contributing to this problem.
Anyway, down to the field this morning and off it went. It took-off well enough and climbed away, but into the turns it looked like it could have done with just a little more Turnigy up front - suspicions confirmed and we agreed that a larger motor would be requisitioned from stores. It handled well and was quite manoeuvrable, as you'd expect of a Pitts. Owen used all of his right aileron trim before he could take a hands-off moment - this might have been the large and heavy prop, or it could have been a wing/aileron incidence problem, or perhaps both - shouldn't be too hard to correct though.
The landing looked difficult to me - it's a slippery little airframe and it came in hot, not the type to settle into a glide. Once on the ground, Junior wanted to do another circuit to investigate the approach and landing again, so he did, but on the second landing the flimsy gear parted company with the fuselage. Looking at it closely on the ground, the gear mounting points really were of a weak construction and some extra ply, fibreglass and resin will be applied. The plane needed weight forward of the CoG anyway, so this will be a useful way of dealing with that. A 3530 or perhaps 3536 will have it moving better, will help with the CoG requirements and will offer some acceleration when needed on landing if matched with a narrow-pitch propeller.

Overall impressions: Looks promising, but definitely more work needed!

   

Steve Murray
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#67

Well done Steve/Owen. So when are you planning on getting that Spitty airborne?
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#68

That looks like a nice model!!
Should be a beautie with a little sorting out

“The knack of flying is learning how to throw your machine at the ground and miss.”

"When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your thoughts turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return."  ~Leonardo Da Vinci
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#69

Thanks Dave and Jason.
Dave - yes, the Spit deserves some serious attention and I've been trawling through RCGroups picking up what I can. Not sure what is best yet - the retracts and their positioning is what most people find problematic. The rest of the airframe looks pretty good though. It might be a few weeks off, I'm afraid.

Steve Murray
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#70

Good report Steve.

Ooohh 2 spittys flying together...I'm salivating!! Oh....no, that's the rabies from the dog bite. Smile

3 Useless things for a Pilot:
Air above you, Air in the tanks, Runway behind you.

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#71

Gday Andrew

Make that 3 Spitty's, my Durafly is dialed in and ready to fly.
We may have to decide on some unique markings so we can tell them apart though.

Cheers
Rob B
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#72

Rob, mine will be the loud one. Smile

3 Useless things for a Pilot:
Air above you, Air in the tanks, Runway behind you.

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#73

Gday Andrew

Good point, i'd say my Spit will be the one that looks most likely to shoot itself down. On further reflection suspect I have the variant called a "Splatfire".
Over to you Mr Murray.

Cheers
Rob B
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#74

No worries Rob - our Spit is the Hyperion model, currently with the stock Grey Nurse scheme, but I'm seriously considering making it an RAF Mk I or II ... when I get around to it Wink

   

Steve Murray
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#75

Fit 2 x 4S Nanotechs - OK
Flight suface control checks - OK
Retract test - OK
Flaps checked - OK
Weather (at Penrith) No wind, no clouds, 20 degrees - Perfect

Took off with flaps set at half, pushed the throttle to half way and it accelerated with the speed of a startled Gazzelle, was air born in less than 20 meters and climbing out and accelerating at a rediculous rate. pulled up the gear and set flaps to zero. Minimal trim adjustments were required level flight at well under half throttle seemed almost effortless with the twin Eflite Power 32's producing a lovely warble.
Flew a few circuits with a couple of lovely scale rolls thrown in followed by a few low speed passes to get a feel for the aircraft at landing speed.
Lowered the gear (which by the way worked perfectly) and selected full flaps with a pretty generous turn of speed on and aircraft climded quite violently (will need to do a elevator down mix when selectiing flaps).
Did another pass with the gear and the flaps at full and reduced the throttle to hardly 25% and it flew with very relaxing authority. Turned on final and killed the throttle. I raised its nose slightly and decended back to terra firma with the grace of a full scale aircraft. Landing roll was less tha 40 meters.
Conclusion - Very very happy, what bloody magic aircraft.
Took it up again and tried 2 passes at full throttle
Conclusion - holly shit its quick. I would say easy as fast as my PC 9 if not faster, looks like I might have a new favorite aircraft.
Flys slow, flys fast, flys scale and sounds magic.
And now I'm gunna do it all again tomorrow - YEEEEEEHAAAAA!!!

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#76

Thumbup Smile Great work Gazz - congratulations! We were thinking about this today and wondering how you were going with it. Can't wait to see it doing its thing!
Excellent report too mate Smile Give yourself a beer!

Steve Murray
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#77

Great report mate.
Congrats on your new favorite aircraft......Smile
Are you flying at our field tomorrow?

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#78

Congrats Gazz. I would love to have seen it. No doubt you'll fly it maybe once or twice again in the future! Smile

3 Useless things for a Pilot:
Air above you, Air in the tanks, Runway behind you.

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#79

Nice Gazz. Very nice..

Do you think it is flyable at PRCAC? With the Kai Tak style landing approaches at the Toonie strip, do you think it could be a handful?
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#80

No Dave.
I think it is quite flyable at Parramatta. Southeastern approach should be fairly straight forward coming in over the causway.
I had another 2 flights today at Penrith and am starting to get used to a much shorter approach, the flaps really slow it down and generate a lot of lift. As soon as our field is dry enough I'll be there.

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#81

Whilst i didn't maiden the Eflite Advance 25e today, ill post an update together with the HK Decathlon 48.9i which i did maiden this morning.

Eflite Advance 25e
As you all know and have told me, Eflite make great planes. Theres no exception with this one. First flight was like it was on rails, no trim needed, plenty of power and very easy to fly. Pretty uneventful first few flights, even took it out on that windy Sunday a few weeks ago, no worries at all. Today was more difficult with the soggy ground, as Kieran was pointing out i wasn't flaring enough and the front wheel just sank and stopped in the mud snapping the wooden blade. Very happy with this plane and good trainer to practice on.
Motor - G32
ESC - 60A Plush
Servo's - Hitec 225MG
Prop - 11x8 light Wooden
Batt - 3.0mah 4S
   

HK Decathlon 48.9 inch
Well, much more of a flyers plane this one, no 'bank and yank' here. My set-up wasn't spot-on so that translated to a difficult flight. First with the traditional cartwheel on the take-off, over corrected with the rudder..... Second take-off was ok, but very twitchy on the controls and all my trim was out, took me the whole 5 mins to get it flying kinda straight, and i was still all over the place. With Kieran coaching i was able to get it back to terrafirma in one piece.
My problems were..
1. One side of the elevators was out of level by about 3mm. Caused issues with a wicked roll when i pulled back on the stick.
2. Little tail heavy, this compounded the other issues.
3. The ESC was set-up for a heli, soft start. Yep and i still took her up.
4. Didn't set-up expo as i though with such slim ailerons, shouldn't need it. Wrong!

Aside from all this, i knew this plane would be challenging to fly and that's why i got it, and will try and try again.
Thanks Kieran for the coaching and tips today.
   

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#82

I've got some great photos of what you can do with a Decathlon Wink - if you're not careful about airspeed that is!!!

Drew

Code:
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Built-up
Balsa:                            Commercial:           Depron:
Great Planes PT-20 (modified)     HK Hawk 80            Index 3
Indoor Thingy                     Skyartec Cessna 182  
Katana X lite (in construction)   UM SU-26              12"WS Shoestring (Plantraco)
                                  HK Extra 260
and a Fox chuck glider converted to RC
---------------------------------------------------------------------
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#83

Droped by the field this afternoon to maiden my Red Bull Extra 540.
Ended up having a bit of a gallery, the 2 Steves, John P and Claudio were also having an afternoon fly.
Conditions were almost perfect, apart from some heavy cloud that had rolled in.
The aircraft lifted off in less than 10 meters with barely half throttle and climbed effortlessly, I leveled off and added 3 clicks of right aileron to trim. I flew a few circuits at varying throttle setting and found that the aircraft climded from level with increased throttle ( I will need to make a minor adjustment to the motor angle, this aircraft was designed for a petrol engine)
Control response was precise and very predictable, the only thing that needs adjusting are the elevator throws, I does not have enough authority at maximum stick for a 3D aircraft.
I flew a landing approach and cut the throttle where I thought it would float in but the little sucker floated a lot better and slower than I thought it would without loosing altitude, I looped around and tryed again. I was surprised again at its almost glider like approach. But got it on the ground with a nice smooth roll out and was very happy with the sure footed control it demonstrated when instructed.
I am very happy with the overall performace and a couple of minor tweeks (increased engine down angle and larger elevator throws and this one will be a keeper) that should see it throwing its very spectacular arse all over the sky.
Gazz

Parkzone Stryker 27 Evolution
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#84

Yes it Looked very Nice Gazz, Well Done In The Build and Flying Of Course.

Steve Smile

What Do You Mean Theres a Throttle Curve ?, Its Either all the way up or all the way down Tongue_smile
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#85

Nice one Gazz!!,
I whish I was there to see it's first flight too. no doubt I'll get to see it in the air soon enough. Smile Did you get a chance to weight it? I'm quite curious to see how it compairs to my Edge 540 as I think they're about the same size.
Ya gotta love they way they float in havent you? There's nothing like a nice light model for slow speed handeling. I'll bet it accelerates quick when you bend the throttel stick as well. What prop are you running on it Gazz? and what KV motor?

All we need now are some inflatable pylons to race around Wink

Might have to bring some Helium baloons along on the weekend if the weather holds

Jason


“The knack of flying is learning how to throw your machine at the ground and miss.”

"When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your thoughts turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return."  ~Leonardo Da Vinci
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#86

Yes I did Jason.
Flight weight is 3.2 kg with a Turnigy 4000 5S 30-40C pack.
I only weighed it this afternoon after your post and was quite surprised that it weighed that much, I was expecting more of a 2.8 to 2.9, but it flys like a much lighter aircraft until to slow it down and give it some aileron then it has a very definate tip stall that I was not expecting from an aircraft that is aerobatic/3D.
I think it would bite you hard if you didn't have your wits about you at slower speeds.
I tried slowing it down and it was a real hand full even when the throttle was applied until it built up some airspeed... not a lot of airspeed necessary but it certainly isn't a sebart....really notice the difference the smaller wings make.
I was surprised at how it floated in as long as the wings were level. I set up for a practice landing approach and it just hung around and didn't want to come down so I had to go around again and throttle off a lot earlier.. then it just floated in with a lovely gentle but long roll landing.
The motor I am running is a Dualsky MG5050 it accepts 4 to 6 cell batteries and is designed to accept 40 amps at 1250 watts.
It is 575 kv and weighs in at 285 grams, I was a little concerned that the kv was a little lower than I would have liked but I think the move to the bigger prop with fully sick pitch makes all the difference.
I am running a 14 x 10 APC prop that is drawing 42 amps static at full throttle.
With that said, it took off and climbed out at 60 degrees with barely half throttle.
I flew for a little over 5 minutes and the battery still had 3.9+ volts per cell left.
It was a conservative flight though so with experience I'm sure I'll give the battery a bit of a flogging but certainly nothing to worry about.
Gazz

Parkzone Stryker 27 Evolution
E flite Ultra Stick , T 28 Carbon Z
Skyartec Skyfun Scorpion,Skyfun 90 EDF
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Don't ever let the fear of landing keep you from taking off!
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#87

Quote:I think it would bite you hard if you didn't have your wits about you at slower speeds.
I tried slowing it down and it was a real hand full even when the throttle was applied until it built up some airspeed

Yep mine is bit like that too it will drop a wing if you disrespect it. Have to jump on opp rudder and aileron and full throttle all at once if it does. Trick is to keep the nose pointing up then if you open the throttle it should just go up, that's the theory Smile not too much elevator when full rudder is applied with mine other wise it will snap with unexpected results

My Edge 540 has a C50-55-600kv Turnigy spinning a 15 X 6 wooden prop. I like the light electric wooden props because they are light and spool up much faster than the plastic ones.
sadly wooden props are a lot easier to break if they hits the ground tho'

The Lipo's are 20-30C 6S 3000 mah Speedy is an 85A continious 100A 10 second burst Turnigy K force. It pulls about 97A static at full noise with enough thrust to accelerate vertically no probs at all. I mainly only ever use full throttle for going vertical or pull up from KE to vertical. Most of the time its flying on about 1/2 to 3/4 It hovers with just a little over half throttle. Top speed is not that fast with the 6 pitch prop.
My Edge weighs 2.490 Kgs all up. I set my timer for 5:30 and lipos are about 3.75V to 3.85Volts per cell after that.
I have some wooden props 15 X 6 and 14x7 and 15X7 your most welcome to give them a try on your Edge and see if one suits (that is if we ever get some reasonable weather and the strip dries out)

Here's a link to the specs for my Edge http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/RC-Racer-Edge...d_Vehicles&hash=item27b997e745

Notice how the flying weight at heavies should be 2400g mine is 90g heavier Frown I can never get a model down to their suggested max flying weight I only ever get close to their maximum. I reckon they always send me the heavy ones Smile

Here's a bit of balloon racing video from a nice still lunchtime back in the days when the sun shone and the ground was dry under foot..........memories Smile




“The knack of flying is learning how to throw your machine at the ground and miss.”

"When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your thoughts turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return."  ~Leonardo Da Vinci
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#88

Date: 3 Sep 11
Conditions: Light westerly breeze
Aircraft: No-name Ryan ST-A
Pilot: Yours Truly

I got this as an ARF kit from an eBay seller last year some time, thought it might make a placid "Sunday afternoon" flyer.
It turned out to be a rotten kit to build, but I expected that for $69. It's of a balsa and ply built-up construction, covered with solarfilm and none of the parts would fit without major mucking about with the scalpel and Dremel. I went to install the elevator and rudder servos in the rear of the fuselage as instructed, but the flimsy wooden structure fell apart - so it was time to make a tray and mount them with longer push-rods up near the wing as usual. The stock motor mount was completely the wrong shape and wouldn't even permit the cowl to be fitted. The instructions said 2deg right thrust and no down thrust, but there was none built into the mount or firewall at all. The wings wouldn't fit into the saddle, the wing retaining bolt didn't want to fit the blind-nut and the undercarriage was completely useless - I ended up fitting some old Trojan legs inside the wheel pants. The construction also recommended gluing small plywood stoppers onto the ends of the push-rods to stop them falling out of the horns and servo arms - totally lame, so I replaced all of that with Z-bends and proper clevises.
To the flying - the CoG was the only thing that correctly matched the instructions, once I'd put a 3S 2200mAh battery in place. Of course, it continually nosed over on the cross-strip even though I had more than the recommended forward rake on the legs, so I got Junior to hand-launch it for me. It flew, but it wasn't as much fun as I was hoping it was going to be - I need to upsize the prop from the current 8x6 to perhaps a 10x5 for more thrust, don't really care about the top speed. I had the aileron and elevator throws at minimum and it would barely roll and loop. It was stable enough but I need to make a few changes - reduce the amount of right thrust, upsize the prop (which means replace the ESC as well in this case) and do something to make the undercarriage a bit more rugged. Then, I'll have another go ...

Overall impressions: The HK version made of EPO would probably be better, but the Parkzone F4F is still the pick of our crop.

   

Update: Just got back from an afternoon re-test flight. I fitted an APC 10x5E and removed the wheel pants so that I could bend the undercarriage legs even further forward. This time it flew better with the prop lifting the power consumption from about 135W to about 160W and it climbed more rapidly and rolled properly, but it would still sink alarmingly in turns and just wasn't all that eager to please. On the second landing, it decided to leave the starboard undercarriage behind. When I got to look closely at it, it was a really weak fixing point made with two tiny pieces of lite-ply CA'ed to the main wing spar. The factory-installed oracover/solarfilm covering was expertly applied, but it covered the proverbial multitude of sins in a weak and brittle structure.

I'm not sure what to do with it now - perhaps it would benefit from a bigger motor, but at 760g the whole thing is already 110g over the 650g maximum quoted flying weight. A better option might be to follow ~KevJ~'s lead and remove the undercarriage completely, since that little blue and white machine of his (from JohnC) is the kind of thing I'm after. If that doesn't work, then the thing will be getting gutted, and kicked into touch. Cheap no-name models are always likely to require a bit of work to get them performing, but with the time I've already squandered on this one I could have built a better model off plans out of depron.
Live and learn ...

Steve Murray
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#89

(31-07-2011, 09:35 PM)popeyepete Wrote:  HK Decathlon 48.9 inch
Well, much more of a flyers plane this one, no 'bank and yank' here. My set-up wasn't spot-on so that translated to a difficult flight. First with the traditional cartwheel on the take-off, over corrected with the rudder..... Second take-off was ok, but very twitchy on the controls and all my trim was out, took me the whole 5 mins to get it flying kinda straight, and i was still all over the place. With Kieran coaching i was able to get it back to terrafirma in one piece.
My problems were..
1. One side of the elevators was out of level by about 3mm. Caused issues with a wicked roll when i pulled back on the stick.
2. Little tail heavy, this compounded the other issues.
3. The ESC was set-up for a heli, soft start. Yep and i still took her up.
4. Didn't set-up expo as i though with such slim ailerons, shouldn't need it. Wrong!

Aside from all this, i knew this plane would be challenging to fly and that's why i got it, and will try and try again.
Thanks Kieran for the coaching and tips today.

Took it up again with all the above things sorted, and it flew very nicelyThumbup, until......the motor twisted the cheap ply stock frame, called dead stick and landed with no drama'sThumbupThumbup
   

Kieran warned me with this cheap motor mount!!

Dynam Pitts 12 EPO
Eflite Advance 25e
HK P-51D Mustang
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Pitts Python S12 EP 54inch EPO
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Decathlon EP 62.6inch
Stinger 64 EDF
Spektrum DX6i (mode 1)

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#90

Well handled Pete. When it happened I thought there was something seriously wrong and was waiting for the spin down to terra firma followed by swear words. A safe landing - and an excellent landing to boot.
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