Saturday, December 31, 2016

2017 !

Best wishes and happy new year to all of you !

I wish you all a super season  2017 with plenty of new planes, nice flying conditions, no crash and at least the same pleasure than previous years !


Prost Neujahr !
Happy new year !
Xin nièn hao !
Seh heh bok mani bat uh seyo !
Godt nytår !
Feliz año nuevo !
Farsælt komandi ár !
Felice anno nuovo, buon anno !
Akemashite omedetô !
Gelukkig Nieuwjaar !
Godt nytt år !
Szczesliwego nowego roku !
Feliz ano novo !
S novim godom !
Stastlivy novy rok !
Gott nytt år !
Stastný nový rok !

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Merry Christmas !


RCSoaring Digest January 2017 issue


The January 2017 issue of RCSoaring Digest is online and features a nice coverage of the F3F world championship by Sverrir Gunnlaugsson and also my rereview of the Stribog from RTGmodel. Many other interresting articles are alos in this issue.

It can be downloaded here: http://www.rcsoaringdigest.com/pdfs/RCSD-2017/RCSD-2017-01.pdf



Sunday, December 18, 2016

Loi sur les drones: Questionnaire FFAM

La FFAM vient d'envoyer ce questionnaire à remplir par tous les licenciés ou non. La réponse peut etre annonyme.

Dans ce questionnaire, il est demandé de remplir les coordonnées GPS des sites de vol non répertoriés que vous pratiquez (non declarés DGAC). Selon moi, c'est une opportunité de montrer que le Vol de Pente, c'est la liberté, et donc je vous invite à rentrer le maximum de site de vol.

Si cela peut aider à faire en sorte que seul le "permis de vol" et l'enregistrement des modèles de plus de 800g soient nécessaire pour voler, alors nous pourrons continuer à vivre notre passion !

Le questionnaire se trouve ICI.

Quelques précisions reçues de la FFAM:

Pour répondre à certaines interrogations, ci-après quelques précisions sur l'objectif du questionnaire et l'utilisation qui sera faite des données recueillies.

Ce questionnaire comprend très peu de questions qui portent, d'une part, sur le nombre et le type d’aéromodèles de plus de 800 g que vous mettez en oeuvre et, d'autre part, sur les lieux d'évolution hors sites de vol déclarés à la DGAC.

Nous ne disposions pas d'éléments fiables sur ces deux points. Dans le cadre des réflexions que nous conduisons actuellement avec les services de l’Etat au titre de la rédaction des textes réglementaires d’application de la loi "drones", il est utile de disposer des données les plus fiables possibles pour aboutir à une pratique la moins contrainte possible hors des sites de vol actuellement déclarés.

Si vous le souhaitez, votre réponse au questionnaire peut être formulée de façon anonyme. Nous ne restituerons à l’administration que des données de synthèse et une carte synthétique des lieux qu'il serait souhaitable de considérer comme zone identifiée de pratique de l'aéromodélisme hors site de vol déclaré à la DGAC.


Nous comptons donc sur la participation de tous ceux qui n'ont pas déjà répondu à ce questionnaire qui a déjà recueillit en deux jours plus de 5.000 réponses et qui restera accessible jusqu'au 10 janvier prochain





Thursday, December 1, 2016

cgCalc - Center of Gravitiy (CG) Calculator

Interresting online CG calculation software ! It works with any planform, including elliptical by doing approaching trapezoidal panels.

Go here



Sunday, November 27, 2016

DSLR For Sale !


I'm selling my Canon EOS 65OD DSLR companion with 2 lens allowing to cover all needs from portrait to action photography. I did many magazine covers and articles with it. CMOS sensor 18.00 megapixels, all info can be found here (https://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canon-eos-650d-rebel-t4i)

  • Lens CANON 18-135MM F/3.5-5.6 EF-S IS STM 
  • Lens CANON 70-300MM EF F/4-5.6 IS USM
  • Sandisk class 10, 32Gb, SD Card
  • Foldable LCD viewfinder SWIVI, 3.0X Magnification (https://vimeo.com/70093455)
  • Bag
  • Additional battery
  • Charger, user manual, cable, software

Price: 900 euros







Sunday, November 20, 2016

Padawan 1.5 aerobat !


I'm currently working in association with FLASH-RC on a new slope glider project , called the "Padawan 1.5", which we hope will be on sale soon.

It is a larger and revisited version of the Padawan I designed few years ago, a small EPP twisteron aerobat. This new version is now 1.5m wingspan, has a rudder, and will feature a fiberglass fuselage and foam weener wings. The airfoil has been specifically developped for this purpose by Thierry Platon. This should give a cute aerobat glider, compact, easily "foldable", giving a good compromise on perfomances and pleasure. We can already say that the plane will be manufactured in Europe with an objective of quality.

This summer, I worked on a prototype using a home made fuselage construction made from extruded foam covered with 0.6mm samba sheet. The wings were made with a foam care and also samba sheet, covered with vynil.


The prototype is a bit heavy for the size with a flying weight of 875gr, when it should be around 700gr. However it could fly in light conditions, is looking great in the air, roll rate is impressive and knife edge flying is easy.

In the meantime the master of the fuselage, rudder, and canopy have been milled, and I just recevied a picture of the molds.

A pre-serie should start soon and I'm very excited to see the result !


Here is a video filmed this summer at Col du Glandon, in light conditions.


I will of course share with you about the progress and the avaibility date as soon as I will have more visibility.

Stay tuned !


Sunday, November 13, 2016

Association FINESSE PLUS



Bonjour à tous,

Je n'ai pas pris part au débat animé voir enflammé de ces dernières semaines sur le projet de loi sur les drones, finalement adopté fin octobre, réglementant les drones et par ricochet nos aéromodèles.

Ce n'est pas que je ne me sentais pas concerné, mais seulement que j’étais très occupé par une fin de saison très chargée avec en autre un championnat de France en Bretagne mi septembre, et un championnat du monde début octobre au nord du Danemark.

J'ai cependant suivi de près la tournure des débats, signé bien entendu la pétition, et je tiens à travers ce post à remercier sincèrement ici le collectif "Sauvons l'aéromodélisme" et son action pour défendre nos intérêts, de manière responsable et constructive. Il s'en est fallu de peu que cela aboutisse à un inflexion des sénateurs/députés permettant de clairement distinguer aéromodélisme et drones.

Pour avoir discuté avec un membre du comité directeur de la FFAM, je pense que cette dernière a subit ce projet de loi qui lui a été imposé, a été maladroite dans sa communication vers ses licenciés et n'a finalement pu (ou voulu) que prêcher pour sa paroisse (club affiliés, terrains déclarés) en oubliant un peu vite que certains, dont je fais parti, sont licenciés et volent en toute responsabilité en montagne ou ailleurs, en vol de pente.

Il est maintenant clair que ce projet de loi est irréaliste et manque cruellement de pragmatisme, est influencé par certain lobbyiste qui voulait passé à travers et obtenir une position de monopole sur le marché du drone/jouet, Parrot pour ne pas le nommer.

Personnellement je suis partisan d'une formation (à travers les club ou association agréées) des pilotes aéromodélistes sanctionnée par une sorte de permis de voler avec un modèle réduit, en connaissant les règles de bases, les interdictions, etc ... un peu comme le QPDD ou les ailes et brevets, mais plus axé sur la réglementation et les fondamentaux.

Je suis également pour une réglementation stricte des multirotors et des aeronefs autonomes (sans limitation de poids), simplement car la technique le permet (GPS, pilotage automatique, limitation de performance, etc ...). Une Aile Disco ou un Quadricopter Bebop peut être facilement détourné de son utilisation loisir première et être utilisé à d'autre fin malhonnête. La Preuve ? Un multirotor retrouvé l'année dernière sur un terrain militaire,  n’étaient autre qu'un Parrot Ar Drone 2 (probablement acheté à la FNAC ou sur amazon), déco camouflage, 720p, enregistreur de vol, etc ...

Par contre il est illusoire de vouloir équiper un modèle piloté à vue sans aucune électronique autre qu'un récepteur des servos et un moteur d'un tel dispositif de limitation de performance. Comment peut on d'ailleurs limiter les performances d'un planeur pur ? C'est simplement ridicule.

La création de l'association "Finesse Plus", suite logique du collectif "Sauvons aéromodélisme" est donc une excellente nouvelle pour tous les amoureux du vol en toute liberté, mais respectueux des lois et règlements.

Cela fait 37 ans que je pratique le vol de pente et je veux pouvoir continuer à le faire sans avoir un gyrophare et klaxon bi-tons sur le fuselage !

Je vous invite à aller visiter le site de l'association (https://finesseplus.org) et à vous y inscrire, c'est ce que je vais faire immédiatement !

... Et continuons à vivre notre passion !

Bons vols à tous,

Pierre

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Windyty: A super forecast App/software for our hobby !

During last week F3F world championship, I tried an App, which also exists as a web site (https://www.windytv.com), and which is a great tool for our hobby.

We usually use Windfinder or equivalent weather forecast App giving the wind speed and direction, with sometimes the exact direction in degree, or rain forecast, temperature, etc ...

But what is missing is the mapping of the wind direction forecast applied on a map or satellite photo.
And this is exactly what Windyty proposes. This free App/Web include weather forecasts provided by meteoblue (meteogram, airgram, etc ...), but the best part is really the animation of the wind on a satellite photo, where you can see the evolution during the day, or the next days. Graphics are really nice, and nothing is missing as you can select the altitude, rain accumulation, temperature. The App is also very intuitive.

I greatly recommend this App if you have a smartphone, so you can see if the wind direction is correctly oriented to you local slope, or select the right slope among several slope.

The example below with one of my favourite slope "La Muela" in Spain, where you can see in purple the lines indicating the wind direction. The speed of the animation indicates the wind speed. the bar at the bottom allows to see the evolution of the wind speed/direction over a period of time.



Thursday, October 13, 2016

Invite from the Two Ocean Slope Soarers Committee (South Africa)


The Two Ocean Slope Soarers Committee would like to extend an open invitation to all French Pilots to our annual slope aerobatics competition, our next event will be hosted on the 27th to the 29th of January 2017. This would be an excellent opportunity to experience a holiday in Cape Town, South Africa while enjoying
your sport of slope soaring and precision aerobatics during the course of your stay.
Competition format:

  • 2 days (Sat & Sun) + practice day (Fri)
  • Total of 3 rounds flown, weather permitting
  • 3+ judges
  • 2 classes, Expert Class and Open Class
  • Manoeuvres are performed individually but in sequence
  • 2 pilots in the air at a time
  • K-factors apply across all manoeuvres
  • Callers to announce manoeuvre, start and finish of sequence
  • Assigned Flying Box

All details can be found here: http://rcsoaringpictures.free.fr/French-Invite.pdf


Thursday, September 8, 2016

ICARE MODEL CINEMA

Du 19 au 25 septembre, le CRAM RHÔNE-ALPES organise un grand concours vidéo lors de la coupe Icare 2016 à LUMBIN (38).

Alors, à vos caméras ! Et soyez imaginatifs !

Les vidéos HD, d’une durée de 2 minutes maximum, seront visibles sur le site Icare Model Show et projetées sur un écran géant extérieur sur le stand du CRAM Rhône Alpes pendant les deux jours de présentation à la coupe Icare.

Les thèmes

Le sujet principal doit être l’aéromodélisme, qu’il soit avion, planeur, hélicoptère,etc… de vol libre, de vol circulaire ou de vol radiocommandé. Le thème est libre, il peut s’agir d’un modèle en particulier, un club d'aéromodélisme, la FFAM, les différentes catégories de l'aéromodélisme, ou une catégorie en particulier, un modéliste ou l’aéromodélisme en général.

Quand ?

La date limite de proposition d'une vidéo pour le concours est fixée au 18 septembre à minuit.

Le début des votes commencera le 19 septembre à minuit. La clôture des votes se fera le dimanche 25 septembre à 16h lors de la coupe Icare.

Pour qui ?

Tout modéliste ou cinéaste amateur.

Comment participer ?

Le candidat devra s'enregistrer sur le site Icare Model Show et fournir à cette occasion une adresse mail et une adresse postale (pour l'envoi des lots et la communication des résultats).La présentation d'une vidéo se fera en envoyant le lien de la vidéo sur une plateforme de streaming. Les plateformes supportées sont Youtube, Vimeo et Dailymotion. Pour participer au concours, envoyer un mail à cinema@icare-model-show.fr

Le candidat devra être en mesure de prouver qu'il est bien l'auteur de la vidéo en cas de réclamation.

Le jury

La désignation des gagnants se fera par un vote sur le site Icare Model Show. Le public présent à la coupe Icare pourra voter en utilisant son smartphone.Un jury composé de deux membres de l’organisation supervisera le bon déroulement du concours.

Droits d'auteur :

En participant à ce concours, l'auteur de la vidéo autorise le CRAM Rhône Alpes et la FFAM à utiliser sa vidéo de quelque façon que ce soit (utilisation telle quelle ou montage).

Le règlement complet

Les participants à ce concours vidéo acceptent l’intégralité du règlement qui est consultable sur le site


ATTENTION :Les prises de vue embarquées sur un modèle ne sont autorisées que si le modèle est piloté à vue et que ce fait soit visible et explicite dans la vidéo.
Les films réalisés en pilotage FPV ne sont pas autorisés que si elle est réalisée selon la législation en vigueur (le fpv racing peut participer mais le fpv en ville ou à la plage n’est pas autorisé) (Les images de paysage ne sont autorisé que si elles mettent en valeur l’aéromodélisme et pas le vol hors de porté visuel).




Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Auction to support the village of Arquata del Tronto after the earthquake in the area of Monte Vettore

Following the huge earthquake in the area of Monte Vettore (a very popular and well know slope flying site) that took so many lifes, FrSky offered a production X12S customized for an auction to help the village of Arquata del Tronto.

The auction is published on an italian forum, baronerosso.it at the following url :
http://www.baronerosso.it/forum/discussioni-off-topic/362247-frsky-per-arquata-del-tronto.html

Rules are pretty simple:
  1.  Bids end on 11th of September
  2. The Winner pays directly on the bank account of Arquata del Tronto municipality.
  3. The radio is shipped after receiving a copy of the money transfer.
You can also simply do a donation to this account:

COMUNE DI ARQUATA DEL TRONTO
Intesa San Paolo - Filiale di Arquata del Tronto
causale:"Solidarietà Terremoto"
CODICE IBAN: IT33W0306969370100000000246
BIC: BCITITMM

Thanks in advance for your support and generosity !


Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Col de Tende FAI World Cup & Eurotour



Back from the Col de Tende FAI with 2 new trophies, world cup and eurotour. First of all, a huge thank you to the organisers Allan and Paul Eytan, the CD, the base judges, the helpers. Without all these people the contest would not happen, so again "MERCI" ! Even if the weather was less cooperative this year, it is still a super competition in a atomishing landscape !

37 pilots coming from 9 different countries (Germany, Norway, Czech republic, Switzerland, Netherland, Spain, Poland, Austria, France), what a nice contest !

On friday, it was cold with the breeze coming from the north. After a quick welcome and registration, we moved to the north slope and, after a breafing, observed a minute of silence for the victims of the horrible terrorist attack in Nice during the bastille day.
Then the contest started in this north slope, close to the fortress and we managed 5 rounds in good but not strong conditions. The slope is particular, not straight, and without real edge, so the flying technic must be adapted, with a difficult anticipation, especially on the left turn. We finished around 6pm so could get some sport flying after.

On Saturday, the wind was supposed to turn to the south, so the organiser prepared the course on the nice south slope, before the north breeze starts to blow again. Instead to return to the fortress, we decided to install the bases on the back of the south slope, and honetly, it was a good surprise, the slope is more convenient and work the same than the other north slope. We did 3 rounds before the wind drops at the end of the afternoon.

It was a black saturday for me as after my run of round 7, while walking to the landing area, I totally lost the radio link on my neon orange Shinto which started to circle, out of control and crashed on a car. Hopefully nobody was injured, this is the essential. The car has light damages, the plane is heavily damaged, but this is secondary. I will post more on this later.

Sunday started badly to, when Tobias Reik, on behalf Thorsten Folkers, put a protest to ask the organiser to count my round 7 flight at 0 because the plane crashed outside the landing zone. Considering that the landing zone was indicative, not marked on the ground by a line and not checked by a dedicated judge, the protest was hard from my point of view, but ultimately was true, so the jury put me a zero score, too bad ! Curiously the same day, Siegfried Schedel didn't get a zero when loosing his plane from sight and crashing it down the valley far from the landing zone indicated. Selective rules you said ...? Anyway, This is really not a great sportmanship from the guys behind this protest as I was already hitted hard by the lost of an expensive model that was in addition my A-model. But ... lesson is learned !

At the end, the protest was ineffective as I had still a little margin, but no more joker, so no more right to make a mistake. Finally, this protest had the opposite effect on me, reinforced my determination and fight spirit and I managed to take more advance in the 2 rounds we have flown on Sunday ... sorry guys !

The conditions on Sunday were extremely variable with variations between 42s and 73s in few minutes, average being above 50s. We were expecting the wind to grow, but it didn't happen before the end of the comp. After 10 rounds, the constest ended and Espen Torp finished Third with consistent flying during all the contest with his Jedi, behind Thorsten Folkers flying a FS5. I ended the contest in first position flying the Jedi the 4 first rounds, then the Shinto the 3 last rounds before the crash it and finally the Stribog the 3 last rounds. The Stribog desmontrated that it was very competitive against the references on the market. Armin Hortzitz finishes 4th. Matthieu Mervelet did a good climb in the ranking to finish 5th. In the team ranking, the french team named "Kousoku Shinkou" (Matthieu Mervelet, Julien Honor, Pierre Rondel) finishes first in front of the German team "Schwaben" (Thorsten Folkers, Siegfried Schedel, Tobias Reik) and another french team "Al Lanes team" (Philippe Lanes, Sébastien Lanes, Allan Cohen). Best speed of the contest goes to Thorsten Folkers with a 37.61s

To put some pictures on this short report, please find my photo album below:


Pictures from Thomas Winkler are here.

Full results on F3X vault.

See you next year at Col de Tende !

Saturday, June 25, 2016

HV6130 and HV6130H: A concentrate of power and technology in a small package !


MKS is releasing 2 new servos for the glider enthusiasts we are, the HV6130 and HV6130H (upright mounting tab for fuselage use) ! They use the same form factor than the DS6100 / HV6100 / HV6110 but use all metal case, and feature an upside-down high quality HV coreless motor installing, to reduce space. This servos will therefore easily fit in the smallest wing servo bay, used with RDS or LDS, or fuselage, and provide an incredible torque between 6kg under 6V to 8.1kg under 8.2V !!!

They are positionned between the 6125 and 6625 family, but are smaller than both. You will find the spec drawing below. They integrate 2 new interresting features with in addition to 3 ball bearings, 2 additional jewel bearings to strengthen the structure, and a Built-in Safe
System, which works as a protection against voltage draw when servo overloading and allow to land the plane safely.

Please note that the HV6130 will be available within 1 or 2 months, and HV6130H will come a bit later.












HV6130

  • Torque: 6.0 kg-cm(6.0V) / 7.6 kg-cm(7.4V) / 8.1 kg-cm (8.2V)
  • Speed: 0.14 s (6.0V) / 0.11 s (7.4V) / 0.10 s (8.2V)
  • Weight: 22.5 g
  • Dimension:30 x 10 x 29.8 mm 
  • Working Voltage:3.5~8.4 V DC Volt
  • Working frequency:1520μs / 333Hz
  • Current draw: 1.2A @ 6.0V 1.4A @ 7.4V 1.6A @ 8.2V
  • Dead Band:0.001 ms (Default)
  • Bearing : 3* ball bearing + 2*Jewel bearing
  • Motor:Coreless Motor
  • Gear:Metal alloy gear

HV6130H

  • Torque: 6.0 kg-cm (6.0V) / 7.6 kg-cm(7.4V) / 8.1 kg-cm (8.2V)
  • Speed: 0.14 s (6.0V) / 0.11 s (7.4V) / 0.10 s (8.2V)
  • Weight: 23 g
  • Dimension:30 x 10 x 29.8 mm 
  • Working Voltage:3.5~8.4 V DC Volt
  • Working frequency:1520μs / 333Hz
  • Current draw: 1.2A @ 6.0V 1.4A @ 7.4V 1.6A @ 8.2V
  • Dead Band:0.001 ms (Default)
  • Bearing : 3* ball bearing + 2*Jewel bearing
  • Motor:Coreless Motor
  • Gear:Metal alloy gear

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Stribog F3F from RTGModel


RTGModel (Milan Demčišák) recently released his brand new flagship the STRIBOG. This is the successor of the Rotmilan Midi and the latest F3F glider of a family that started with the Extreme, then the Rotmilan follow by a smaller version with the Rotmilan Midi and it features some nice evolutions that I will detail.

Stribog (Stribozh, Strzybóg, Стрибог) is the god and spirit of the winds, sky and air; he is said to be the ancestor (grandfather) of the winds of the eight directions. The Stribog has a 2.86 m wingspan which is ideally suited for F3F and slope soaring. Wing section is a HN airfoil (Norbert Habe) and different from the Rotmilan from I heard but I don't have much details on this one. The tail section is thinner.

The fuselage uses the same convenient layout than previously and features a canopy, a moulded servo tray, a fuselage ballast tube. The front of the fuselage till the end of the elevator servos is fiberglass and kevlar, then we can see the carbon fabric from this point.

The wing bring some new things like the double carbon layup, or the smaller flap chord at the root.  The servos location is very different. Both flap and aileron servos are now very close to each other at the middle of the wing with a single servo cover. Mine arrived already with the servo frames installed for MKS HBL6625. They are using nice LDS with counter bearing for a slop free control. This will reduce the assembly time, good point.

  • Left Wing (with servo frames in place): 619gr
  • Right Wing (with servo frames in place): 614gr
  • Fuselage with Canopy: 371 gr
  • Left Tail including joiner: 41gr
  • Right Tail including joiner: 41gr
  • Joiner: 84gr
  • TOTAL: 1770gr
  • Ballast: 895 gr

Moulding quality is as usual with Milan Demčišák awesome, with perfect fit of all elements together, very thin join lines, nice paint, etc ... A very nice plane and kit. I will start the assembly soon and post photos of it, as usual. Stay tuned !




Monday, May 23, 2016

Flying the Weasel TREK !


The maiden flight happened on a south slope by a sunny weather, but when I arrived at the top, the wind was more from west, and very weak. I moved to the west side of the slope where the slope angle is almost flat. Anyway, I could test the Weasel in pure thermal flight conditions and have been very positively suprised. From the first launch, she flew like a charm, no trim needed, recommended settings are perfect. Despite the light weight of 290gr, she has a better lift-to-drag ratio and penetrates better thanks to the combination of the light weight and lower camber of the airfoil, so I could fly very far, transition from one thermal to another very easily, cover lot of distance, like I was piloting a larger sailplane. During the afternoon, I did some very good gain of altitude starting from very low and finishing at 100 to 150m few minutes after. It is true that weasel is desmontrative and indicate clearly the lift which make the thermal hunting easier. In addition, the finger hole at the bottom of the skid provides a very good grip and allow to launch very strongly which help in small conditions. The lift-to-drag ratio is very noticeable with the ground effect when you land and can surprisingly cover a longer distance than expected.


In higher wind condition, the Weasel TREK shows her DNA and wilder temperament. Here again the low camber section provides a better speed range, in all situations. Nose and control surface weight reduction improve the pitch response, so give more manoeuvrability. Same on the roll axis with a crisper response. As you can guess from this, aerobatic capabilities are therefore very good, with much easier and effortless inverted flight, more axial rolls and step rolls, loopings , reversal. But also all these improvements make the Weasel TREK easier to fly VTRP (aerobatics close to the ground), helped with her compact size. In top of this, I found her to have a much better energy retention, in turn and also for vertical manoeuvers, despite her light weight. This is a very good characteristic, which is not easy to obtain ! She carries the 50gr ballast easily but could carry much more weight when the wind is above 10+ m/s.

Finally this new Weasel TREK is a "boosted" and "over vitamined" Weasel version with a wider flying envelop from low conditions to medium breeze, more agile, faster, more aerobatic and provide the same amount of fun and adrenalin whatever the lift ! The Weasel remains definitively one of my favorite slope glider !

and a video filmed the same day:


Friday, May 20, 2016

Weasel TREK: Light speed assembly !



In fact we cannot really talk about assembly as it takes 25 minutes to have it ready, no glue is needed. This is faster than some RTF kit.

The work consists mainly in


  • installing the 2 servos in their location, servo arm at the neutral position. I use some UHU glue to secure, but this is not necessary, there are 2 transparent tape pieces to cover and maintain in place the servos.
  • route the servo wires to the radio compartiment
  • tape the velcro on the nose and on the battery to secure it
  • install the plastic clevises on the control rods.
  • install the 2 screws on the joiner lock system (same as the Alula TREK)
  • No lead needed in the nose for the CG balancing, I even had to move back the battery by 5mm.

If you want some colors, acrylic paint in spray will do it easily. I used some masking paper tape. This is clearly longer than the assembly itself, but she deserves it !

On the balance, she weights 290grs vs the 330grs of the Weasel Black Edition. Additional ballast is about 50gr, perfectly centered on the recommended CoG.



Monday, May 2, 2016

Weasel TREK: Kit Overview

I just received one of the very first kit of the Weasel TREK. She arrived in a very nice orange box, that will be much more convenient to carry it.
This new weasel seems very similar in term of planform, but probably has different airfoils. The visible differences are:


  • Elevons are moulded, not balsa. they seems stiff enough when I manipulate them.
  • Like the Alula TREK, she has a canopy giving a full access to the radio compartiment and a plastic landing skid to protect the underside of the nose. the canopy is maintained in place by several magnets.
  • The spar is no more integrated during the moulding, but added/glued after.
  • The locking system is the same than the Alula TREK, and the joiner too.
  • The skid integrate a ballast compartiment able to receive 50g of lead. It also keep the finger recess for better launching
  • The fin is secured with a magnet.



In term of construction, spars, control horns, magnets, skid are all in place, which means a speedy assembly, around 30 minutes like the Alula TREK. The longer will be once again to decide about the color scheme and the painting :) ! I have few hours to think about it before to start the assembly.

Quality of the moulding and fit is as good as the Alula TREK, with a nice surface finish.

As option I received also the 750mAh NiMh battery and the 2 metal gears servos (12gr class servos), and the lead extension between the receiver and the battery.

The weight of the frame + radio equipment is 280grs, compared to the 360grs of my Weasel EVO (made from EPP). Light flying weight means better capabilities in light conditions, and better agility. I anticipate the Weasel TREK to be a nice aerobat, VTPR capable.

Specifications:
  • Wingspan: 900 mm (35.4 in)
  • Wing Area: 23.42 dm2 (363 in2)
  • Weight: 312-395 gm (11.5-14 oz)
  • Wing Loading: 13.3-16.9 gm/dm2 (4.6-5.6 oz/ft2)
  • Controls : 2 Channels (elevons)
  • Assembly: Under an hour (I would say 30 minutes)
  • Flight Style: Slope thruster
  • Wind Speed: 3-12 m/s (7-25 mph)
I'm very exited to test this new Weasel TREK as I really loved the previous versions. I had one Weasel EVO EPP in 2009, and I still have my Weasel Black Edition, so it will be an opportunity to test them side by side. Stay tuned for the assembly and the maiden that should happen this week-end !

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Flying session at Puy de Manse

Very nice but freezing flying session with friends near Gap last week-end. 15 to 20m/s of wind, with some gust at 25 m/s, and around 2°, but negative values with the wind. 1.5kg of Ballast in the Shinto, and some ligthning fast runs when the thermal was popping up. Landing was ok.

We got the snow on the way back to Grenoble near La Mure.

It is funny to see that camera cannot capture excatly the fluo orange color, making it darker and less flashy that it is in real. Something wrong with the camera sensor ?


Below is a short video showing the Shinto in a very fast run :


Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Electric Sailplane Clinic 3 video review


This second educational video from Radio Carbon Art "Electric Sailplane Clinic 3" is dedicated to ALES/F5J and is a good prolongation of the F3X Building Clinic video I covered few weeks ago. This time, Paul Naton focuses on everything specific to this rapidly growing category that becomes, as it is based on simple rules and is, from my point of view, less elitist thant F3J. The video doesn't come back on wing servo installation for example as it is considered as "learned" thanks to the first video.

The video introduction is few secondes of nice action footages, with some onboard sequences. The plane presented/used in the whole video is an Explorer 3.8m from Nan Model. Then Paul covers a certain numbers of topics:
  • choice of suitable motors presentation, considered as references, evenf if today, the choice on the market is now plethoric, and fortunately for all kind of budget. Same for the ESC to associate with the motor. 
  • Few words on Lipo battery Backup Guard, if you are using a BEC and in case of BEC failure, so the 5V output will allow your flight system to land safely with total confidence, and avoid the low voltage and failsafe on the receiver. 
  • Then Paul speaks a bit about propellers, then presents some adequat servos to be installed in the fuselage, the receiver (and satellite) 
Before to start the installation, Paul determines the adequate layout to obtain the correct CG and avoid any post assembly balance lead,  and for this, go through a very detailed flying weight estimation. Then he presents the "Aluminium firewall", a robust and light aluminium motor mount and how to install it. The power setup installation (motor and ESC) follows, then the spinner with some hit and tips to obtain an efficient propeller retract along the fuselage, the same I used on my Electro Pike :)

Then comes the fuselage radio installation under the wings. The part will differ from one plane to another depending if a special compartiment exists or not. The present example is with a simple carbon plate servo tray.  The assembly being finished, the weight checking allows to compare with the initial estimation.

The second part of the video focuses on ESC programmation, how to choose the Lipo batterie (Curve, Reserve, Safe capacity) , voltage or HV / internal resistance / C discharge.
Then Paul presents an interesting tool called "Lipo ESR meter" to measure internal resitance and true C discharge, a good investment for people taking ALES and F5J very seriously.


After few words about charging technics and modern chargers, Paul explains how to track/monitor battery perfomances easily.  The following sequence is about Alti V4+ for ALES and F5J, Alti Micro, and CAM height limiter. Next is the presentation and use of ECalc for performance simulation based on the plane motor, etc ...

Before to go flying, Paul is doing a preflight checking, static test and result comparison. The last minutes of the video are again some flying nice action at the field, with an onboard camera with some close fly by or agressive short climbing to desmontrate what is achievable with a good power solution.

Like the first video, this second educational video is at the same level of quality, which means very professional, with very clear explanations, plenty of advises or recommendations. This is the perfect video for the modeller who has some basics in E-gliders but wants to start with a serious electro glider setup or even start ALES/F5J competition.  Electro Gliders require even more rigor and attention in their assembly and settings, because of the motor and associated power. If you do it right from the beginning thanks to this video, then you will be rewarded with many trouble free flights and will enjoy your plane !

More information on Radio Carbon Art website where you will find a wide choice of educational video covering almost all aspect of RC soaring, available in DVD or for download.

You can find a trailer of this video here "Electric Sailplane Clinic 3" Preview Trailer:



Friday, April 15, 2016

The Dream Flight Weasel TREK is landing soon !

The release is now iminent and the Weasel TREK should reach your prefered RC shop in the coming weeks (second week of May). My Weasel Black Edition will have some company soon !

Dream Flight released tonight the flyer that give some indications: Ailerons are moulded, not balsa, the canopy give an easy access to the radio components, it is possible to ballast. And the battery is NiMh 800mAh so plenty of flying time.





And better than a doc, a short video that says everything ! tons of fun in perspective !



[Video] Brive / Pinsac F3F league contest

Nice video clip from Thomas Delarbre done with a smartphone about the Brive / Pinsac F3F league contest.


Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Brive / Pinsac F3F Contest League

Super french league contest this week end in the west center of France in a new location (Brive / Pinsac). On Saturday, we got low wind, wrong direction and rain, but Sunday the sun was back and we could run 9 rounds at 21 pilots with strong wind from south east. According to the organisers we flew on the worse slope of the area but despite this, Julien Honor did a 30.17s time with his Alliaj HM. I can imagine the north slope with its 100m cliff émoticône smile !!!!
Thomas Delarbre finished 1st with a confortable margin, followed by me. Serge Delarbre, the father, completed the podium. Lots of sub 40s. New faces also who enjoyed F3F for the first time. Hope we will see them again this year.
I will be back next year for sure. Many thanks to Arnaud Leger and his club "Les Milans" for the organisation.
Anyway, the french league has a very nice selection of places/slopes/landscapes that make F3F a unique categorie unlike any other soaring categorie. Next stop of the league is in 4 weeks in Auvergne (Volcano area) at col de la croix Morand !

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Launching !

Arnaud Léger, THE launcher of the F3F french  national team in 2012, launching a 18kg Pilatus B4 at Pinsac slope in the west center of France after the F3F league contest. Arnaud is just an exceptionnal launcher combining the technique and the power.






La Muela F3F



After 21 years, La Muela is now for me a sort of pilgrimage. 1200 km from my home, but nice country with very different landscapes, very nice people, good food. This year I took some more days before the contest to visit Madrid and Aranjuez.

I also could have a practice day befoer the contest. Hopefully, I could arrive early because then the wing dropped, then raised, before to become crossed from the left. I could manage 2 hours of practice with my 2 Shintos.

Day 1 at La muela, and very challenging condiitions for the organisers. We installed the camp on the north slope before to move around midday on the south slope, start a round, stop the round, cancel the round, then move to the west slope and manage 2 rounds in very variable condition with some cross wind from the left. On the slope we can also follow because the organiser installed a Wifi router to conect directly to a web page and load the result few seconds after the end of the round. This is great !

Day 2: Despite the weather forecast was not encouraging we could complete 4 additional rounds on the south slope light to very light conditions (4m/s to 8m/s). Best time of the day is Gerardo I think with a 49s. The ranking has changed at the top with Carles Aymat taking the lead followed by Alvaro Silgado. I falled to the 3rd place but not far from the lead. As we say in french, "I eated by black bread" today, and flew a very nice 73s joker including a cut, with no ballast at all in the plane. Tomorrow will be the jugement day as conditions should be nice with more wind, still from south. Miguel told be he would like to do 6 additional rounds. Below few pictures taken today.

Day 3: The wind started slowly around 11am then raised progressively until we got massive air around 3 pm. We could do 7 rounds, so a total of 13 rounds. Some big thermals popped up time to time on top of the big air (between 11 to 15 m/s I think, as the anemometer was behind the edge). Alvaro Silgado, who flew consistently well, won the competition logically, followed by Carlos Cantero who started the contest with a zero flight after hitting the edge during the first round. I finished third after staying second for a while and fighting to go up, but I didn't get THE big air that could allow me to do a sub 40. Congratulations to the winner and also many thanks to the organisers for the excellent job during the 3 days ! La Muela remains THE contest to be at Easter ! See you next year !

Below is my photo album. For some of them, I used my 4K photo feature of the Lumix FZ1000 and it is so easy to catch the right instant and save the picture.




Carlos Cantero also posted a nice album:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/team_fast2furious/sets/72157666338039391/with/26007151481/

Also below a nice video clip, thanks for sharing Carlos !

 
La Muela'16 from Carlos Bisky on Vimeo.


ranking:



Monday, February 22, 2016

A smart Digital Incidence Meter


Let me introduce my version of the Digital Incidence Meter. The idea was certainly not to develop any electronic device but just to use what now everybody has: a Smartphone !!!

Over the past weeks, I tried several android applications and discover recently "clinometer" that is perfect for our use (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.plaincode.clinometer&hl=fr)

This is a free App: Because it is free, you will have some ads, but this is still only a small banner.
With my smart phone and this App in hands, I just needed to create the rest of the tool around it, which I did this week end. The tool is 3D printed and use a square tube 7.5x7.5 from Alfer.

Clinometer is precise enough (~0.1°), it is smooth, and you can calibrate it, so it is easy to measure the V-angle of a plane by setting the zero for the wing, then measure the tail angle.

The mobile holder can receive a smartphone up to 6 inches. This is a great re-use of you old smarphone for example !

Hope this will help lots of people !

Here are the STL files for download

Note: The STL files are free for personnal use, but any commercial use is stricly forbidden.


Mistral Soaring - Rognac

Yesterday we had a good friendly winter contest in Rognac, between Aix en Provence and Marseille. I left Grenoble aroudn 7am under the sn...