If it's an ARF, ARC or RTF, you're not "building" it - you're merely assembling it. You're not a REAL RC Modeler if you haven't cut and sanded balsa and covered an entire plane in some variety of heat-shrink covering. Without this stuff, you're only an RC FLYER. Snag up a kit and get started. If you run into any problems, drop me a line! :)
So, after listening to one of our podcast installments where I reveal my professional background in the box-making industry, our good friend Tony called upon me for some advice on making his own boxes, but for a bit of a unique application. You see, Tony got the idea of using Coroplast (a corrugated polypropylene product that the SPAD guys use for making some tough airplanes) to make some totes that he could put his gear in. The idea was that the material would be stout enough to last for many uses, but would also provide for a moisture-resistant container to keep his helicopters out of harm's way while being transported to and from his flying field in the back of his truck. What a novel idea!
Anyway, having built some SPAD planes myself (see SpadToTheBone and SpadWorld to see the kinds of planes I am referring to), and having worked in the box industry, I was able to steer Tony in the right direction for this very cool project. From the picture below, you can see that he is well on his way to utilizing this cool idea!
You can comb through the SPAD sites linked above to learn more about the gluing requirements of this Coroplast materia, and if you check out the PDF in the link below, you can very well make some boxes like this for your own transportation needs!
Tony, thanks so much for sharing you progress on this project! Who knows, we may have to do a little instructional on this on a future show in case others want to follow in your footsteps!
Last Updated on Sunday, 18 March 2012 23:27
Thomas' First Kit-Build
Written by Crash
Sunday, 02 October 2011 23:39
Our friend and long-time listener, Thomas, sent me a great email sharing the results of his first kit-built plane! Boy, do I LOVE getting emails like this!
I'm not one for writing in to shows (tv, radio, or otherwise), but after hearing to some recent letters you read, I felt I should too. I've been in RC off and on for the past 8 years and have assembled many ARF's but never built a kit. After I have started listening to your podcast this past summer I finally decided to give it a go and purchased a StevensAero (Yes, another StevensAero letter) G300 this summer and give it a try. Let me tell you I am hooked. ARF's do have a place in RC, but building your own plane, even from a kit gives you this whole new pride, even if the plane is not pretty looking. To launch and successfully fly something you put together by hand, wow, that's all I can say. I can't believe I waited 8 years to finally build a plane. I've enclosed some pics for you to see how she turned out. This is also my 1st attempt at covering a plane too, and that was actually much more nerve wracking! Anyways, I'm glad I started with a stevensaero kit as it made it so easy and painless to build it.
Now for some good news, somber news, I have flown the plane 3 times with great success and ease. It flew like a dream! It literally floats when you cut throttle, but scoots when you throw the stick forward. Well on my 4th flight, I switched battery packs to one with a slightly less mah rating, then I forgot to reset my timer when I took off. Needless to say, I was having too much fun flying when I realized my mistake and figured I better bring her in. Unfortunately this discovery came a little to late as when I was trying to bring her around to land, the motor cut as I was banking in to land to avoid trees. I tried to correct and deadstick it but freaked and spiraled it in. Now I was a little upset about this, but I was also amazingly calm. As I looked at the wreckage (fuselage in 3 pieces) I realized I built it, I can fix it! To finally cut this long story short, I had her back together in 1 afternoon. Now I just need to get it recovered so I can fly it again.
Side note, Being your in Texas, and i'm sure a fan of BBQ, I want to share with you my BBQ sauce as a token of you sharing your knowledge with all of us on a weekly basis. I own a BBQ sauce business and we make our own sauces and rubs. If you can let me know where to send it, I would love give you a chance to try it. Our website is www.hbsauces.com by the way. Also you can find me on wattflyer under BBQFlyer as well as on RCGroups. "
I was very proud to share this email in our 134th installment of TheCrashCast, and am honored to display Thomas' pictures here.Thomas, you've done a great job, and with every new build, they get easier and even more fun! Keep up the great work, and I'll be getting in touch about the BBQ sauces very soon! I do love me some BBQ!
Last Updated on Sunday, 02 October 2011 23:52
Chris Hill's Stella
Written by Crash
Sunday, 11 September 2011 16:16
I received a cool email last week from a gent that lives just down the road from me. It seems that we here at TheCrashCast have inspired yet another person to embark on a build!
"I've been listening to your shows for about 9 months now. Thanks to you I got the bug to build a plane. Even though I wasn't able to build your eQSC I was able to buy a kit from Stevens Aero. With this Texas heat we have had it was the perfect project. I think it came out pretty good for a newbie. I've attached some pictures. Thanks again for the itch to try something new."
Chris advised that the biggest reason he didn't want to take on a scratch-built project like the eQSC was that he's got a broken wrist right now and was concerned that he would have difficulty cutting out the wooden parts. Broken wrist or not, Chris has done a fine job with his build, as well as the covering job! Chris, are you certain that this is your first build??
This beautiful aircraft is the Stevens Aero G400X "Stella". I think, at this point, he's just about got the plane ready to fly, but will probably be honing his skills a bit on a Mini Funtana ARF that he picked up at a swap meet before putting a maiden on this little gem (less emotional attachment with the Funtana). Since Chris lives just up the road from me in a neighboring suburb, I may even get the chance to be there with him for his first flights on the Stella.
Great build and covering job, Chris! I am looking forward to meeting you!
If we here at TheCrashCast have inspired you to jump right into the kit- or scratch-building portion of this hobby, email some pictures and your story so that I can feature you on the podcast and here under our Listener's Stuff section!
Last Updated on Sunday, 11 September 2011 16:33
Written by Crash
Tuesday, 10 May 2011 07:32
Almost a year ago now, conversations with a man named Fred inspired me to create "Crash's Scratch-Build Club". The club would serve as a means for me to help people learn to build from a set of plans (really this is called "plans building, but hey, it paves the way for scratch-building LoL), and get people into the "group build' environment. I feel that this project was a great success, as people from all around the world built my e-QSC. In fact, people are STILL building this little airplane!
Well, my friend Fred kind of dropped off the radar last year, but I received a wonderful email from him just yesterday. It seems that he and the Mrs. have been dealing with some pretty serious issues in the last year and a half, but now that things are getting better, he has been able to finish his variant of the e-QSC that he promised to build.
After catching up on some older podcast episodes, Fred advised:
"I was devastated to hear about Dennis. It rocked me back on my heals." and he also went on to say "He will be missed!!! My thoughts went out to his wife Anne (?) today. On Mothers day it should be HER day, instead it is just another sad day for her..."
"When I was covering this plane I got to thinking, I don't think Dennis ever flew a E-QSC. So this one is for him!"
All I can say here is WOW! What a cool thing to do!
Fred went on in his email to share some information on his version...
"Life here got crazy about the time you were finalizing the EQSC project. But I did tell you if you put out the plans I would build one! Well I just wrapped it up today. I know the slowest build ever... I just never could get into the groove. Anyway here it is, I made a few changes (don't we all?)
Built up tail,
Side and bottom wood is 3/32” without cutouts,
sides stretched past the firewall to help hide the Tower Pro motor (not the best looking motors)
added a balsa Canopy,
in the wing landing gear with a steerable tail wheel.
When it was in the bones it looked like an old school C/L model to me. So I Google Control line models and found one that inspired this covering job. Run down Tower Pro 2409-18T (180 watt motor) GWS 9x5HD (finally a plane that the orange prop don't stand out. lol) Turnigy 1300 4s 30c 40 amp esc and a 3amp ubec 4 HS55 servos Spectrum park flier rx TowerCoat (hand cut towercoat letters, pain in the ass,,,,) Portly 22 oz. (down to 19oz on a 3s setup)
This motor prop combo pulls 14.5 amps spinning 9750 around 30oz of thrust with a pitch speed of ~46mph. Yep I'm going to spank this motor! A 9x6 is not out of the question ether."
Receiving this email really made my day, and I expect that it will make yours, too. One thing I've learned with being involved with this sport as long as I have been is that the people that are in this hobby are, without a doubt, some of the greatest folks that humanity has to offer. Fred, you are one classy man, my friend!
Below are some pictures of Fred's tribute to our friend Dennis "Dorsal" Fishback.