Tuesday, April 13, 2010

e RC Spitfire

This is so cool. And so affordable, that I have actually made a down payment with my LHS (Local Hobby Shop) for the Spitfire. e RC also makes a P-51D Mustang in the same scale. They also have a B-25 and a Electric Duct Fan (German markings) Typhoon jet model. All can be purchased from Hobby-Lobby.

Just watch the video. This may well be my first baby steps BACK into the hobby. This part of the hobby is known as Micro RTF (Ready-to-Fly).

Edit: Ok, the stupid size of the video frame issue again! Ok, just click on the stupid thing and watch it on YouTube directly.

UPDATE 1 (June 2, 2010): Finally received my eRC Spitfire yesterday. Had a thunderstorm in the evening so unable to make any test flights then. Did charge up the two batteries that were included in the package.

This morning, braced with the warnings of my friend Henry, I quote: Be careful – with the elliptical wing, it will snap roll pretty easily. Take-offs are cute – it will roll about 8ft. and then jump into the air. Landings are not so easy – you’ll need to keep a little power on or else it will fall out of the sky. My problem is that the speed control doesn’t seem to be very linear, and intermediate throttle positions with the inherent flight characteristics (read snap roll tendencies) are difficult to maintain. end quote.

I can confirm the need for a little speed for landing. I made my test hops without the landing gear. By the way, there is no mention in the instruction manual on how to stick them onto the model. I didn't have any foam safe CA glue at hand and I didn't want to risk regular CA (i.e. Super Glue for you non-modelers out there). First three flights lasted about 3-4 minutes while trying to trim the little Spitfire out. It still behaves like it is tail heavy. Before the sixth test hop, I took an X-Acto knife and trim the battery compartment a little to allow the battery to sit slightly forward than what the model allows. It flew a little better. It might fly better once the landing gear is glued onto the wing-this is one of those have to wait and see experiments. If you try to do the same thing yourself, don't take too big a piece of foam out-that will get you into the drop down gearbox for the prop. I got a part of it-but not too bad. No more than 2-3 mm at the most.

The Sixth flight started off ok, it was beginning to fly more level and not pogo on me too much, but then it seem to lose radio signal strength, so I throttle back and tried to glide it back to my position. It landed in my neighbor's back pasture. No problem since we don't have a fence there. This may be due to the fact of charging the batteries the night before and the earlier test hops plus one other battery charging cycle. Those (4) AA batteries are just standard ones from what I can see that come with the model. I will have to buy another package of Double A batteries for this weekend to see if that is the real cause or not. I also think that since I was using the indoor prop and not the outdoor prop-another reason why my particular bird might be tail heavy-that might be another factor in the tail heaviness of my Spitfire that I witness today.

Knowing these things now, I still like this little beauty. Had a beautiful morning, light winds so I could do my testing before 9am. Then I had to get ready for work. But I can keep the model in its original box and store it in the rear cab of my pickup truck for fun whenever.

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