Fall is here, nights are cooling and days are shorter but we still have plenty of nice-weather days for flying so come out to the airfield before the winter weather arrives (maybe mid-November-ish?).
WELCOME NEW CLUB MEMBER
The club welcomes our new member Scott Gordon. He joined in early October. Scott lives west of Tillamook. He has been to the field a couple times. I have not met him yet, but hopefully will soon.
There wasn’t any specially important club business brought up during the October 2nd meeting. We had 6 members present and had about an hour of general discussion and friendly chit-chat before adjourning at about 8:00 pm. The next club meeting is September 6th, 7:00 pm
The April and May and June meetings were attended by Pete Owston, Gary Cox, Stuart Hoffman, Bill Meador, Bob Munsell, Dennis Calkins, Matt Bingenheimer and Jack. In April the room we usually use was already occupied by another group but we were able to “make-due” in a nearby structure. The McMinnville RC Swap Meet was discussed. Gary, Matt and Bill shared a table at the swap meet and sold quite a few of their items. Stuart and Stan also were there. Matt and Stuart both bought models there. Various RC models, radios and other equipment were discussed during the meeting. We decided to hold the next (May 4th) meeting at the RC airfield provided that the weather forecast cooperates and predicts a dry evening. It was noted that moss is getting quite thick on the North half of the runway. The club authorized the purchase of moss control chemicals. In the May meeting at the airfield was aborted at the last minute and held at the normal location because of some last minute rain. We decided on August 8th for our NCRCM fun fly event date. Pete talked about his experience with customer support at hobby king for replacement of a bait and switched folding prop. Matt showed us his fancy new FRSky R/C car transmitter. Dennis did a demonstration flight of his indoor capable model called the Crack Wing. It looked very fun to fly (addictive like crack?) We decided to hold a flying/working type meeting at the airfield on June 1st but that got rained out again so we will just try to do the work some unscheduled weekend when the opportunity arises. Pete discussed the TBCC RC class and may follow up with more info and discussion in the future.
TBCC Course in RC flight a Possibility
Pete was contacted by Tillamook Bay Community College (TBCC) about the possibility of our club participating in a course on RC flight at the college. We will discuss this topic at the June meeting. Contact Pete if this topic is something you want to get involved in (as instructor or as student).
I spread moss control chemicals on the runway in early April, nothing dangerous, just some soil nutrients. It seems to be working, the moss and weeds are fading out and the grass looks better.
NCRCM.com Web Site Layout Changes
The style of the this web site was recently changed to larger fonts and a simple layout in order to make it easier to use with a mobile phone. Google recently began down-ranking search results of web sites that are not easy to view on small mobile phone screens. This told me that the trend toward using mobile smart phones for web surfing has probably reached some critical tipping point and it was time to bite the bullet and make this change.
Welcome New Club Members
We have three new club members from the Lincoln City area; Steve Durham, Gary Stevens, and Wesley Brown. Gary and Wesley are relatively new to RC. Both are very accomplished and have made a lot of progress with their equipment and with their flying skills in a short amount of time. They have a variety of multi-rotors and elevon / wing type planes. Gary has sophisticated UAV, FPV and stabilization setups. Steve Durham is a formerly RC flyer who just recently got back into the hobby again after not flying for quite a few years. He has a variety of nice planes and is a good flyer. He has been coming to the field quite often, mostly mid-week when the weather is nice. I posted photos of Wesley and Gary below but haven’t taken one of Steve yet. I also posted a photo of Walter Swanson. He one of the new members that I introduced in the previous March Post, but didn’t have a photo at the time.
About seven members were present. Bill’s wife sent tasty donuts to the meeting. We discussed plywood delamination on the two new table tops. It was noted that we no longer have a convenient place for dumping the toilet and the tail lights on the toilet trailer no longer work. Matt contacted Eric who said he can arrange for dumping it at the city facility. Gary offered to get a portable tail light kit for the trailer. Bob talked about mower repairs and brought up that we need to check oil correctly on the mowers so we don’t overfill them. He was reimbursed $31 for mower parts. We decided to discontinue holding the annual drawing for free dues because the drawing was not really bringing more members in to the meetings and the club’s revenues have declined somewhat over the last few years. We talked some more about making a runway surface for the smaller planes. We did not yet have much info on costs, feasibility, materials, availability, installation methods, etc. so could not pursue that topic in much depth. Pete said he would contact Ron and work with him on getting more project details. Ron had previously mentioned that he thought he might be able to get a leftover roll of dryer felt from the Astoria club. Rob brought in his new scratch built flying wing for show and tell and it looked like a well thought-out design.
Dec 1st Meeting Minutes
About 5 members were present. Bob said he and Rob have replaced the tension cables on the shed door. Bob brought his glider in for some help with arming the ESC. We OK’d expenditures for Christmas gifts for Norm (site owner)and Greg ( farm resident). Pete had offered to purchase the gifts and present them again this year. Bob said he will resign the Presidency in January. Side note:We should try to vote the new President into office prior to the renewal of the club’s charter with the AMA because they will ask for the names of club members and officers. The AMA charter renewal form will arrive soon and is due by early March I believe. Bill received a new miniature quad-copter from Gary at the meeting and it was flow about the room. It was surprisingly fast, agile and stable for something that is only a couple inches wide. Matt brought in a giant servo motor to show us. It’s for his new milling machine. The felt like it weighed 15 lbs. and has something like 1100 inch lbs. of torque, definitely too much for a park flyer, maybe a 747.
Rain and high priority chores tried to keep me at home over the last couple of months but I was able to go to the airfield a couple times and I saw several new planes that people brought out. Rob now has Steve’s 35% Pilot-brand Yak which was originally Eric’s plane. He can fly it to its full potential. Eric put together a high-end electric pattern plane. It flies very precise and contains nothing but top-shelf components of course. Gary brought out a couple new electrics that looked very fun to fly. The blue one is a small, fast, agile, and stabilized 3-D acrobat. It flies like a larger plane. His yellow plane is super light weight so it flips, rolls, and spins while it is gently floating along a few feet off the ground. Bob finished his Spirit 100 sailplane. He has not flow it as of yet but it is a very nice looking build. You can click on the thumbnails of the photos in this post to expand the pictures to a larger size.
New Runway Surface
We installed a small takeoff runway with a smooth surface so that planes having small wheels can get moving without tipping forward onto the prop. The new runway surfacing is 6 feet wide by 32 feet long and is made out of 3/4 inch thick rubber mats. The mats are identical to the one that we use for a helicopter pad. Other than cost, the matting seems to make a perfect runway surface . Normally 6’x4′ matts are $35 each but all seven of these only cost us $100, or about $14 each. I got them from a Craigslist ad. I was afraid that this offer would no longer be available if I waited to discuss it at the next meeting, so I checked with Pete who was coordinating the runway surfacing project and learned that the plan for getting dryer felt from the Astoria club had fallen through and it was not available. Pete said he thought the mats were a good buy, so I got them. Bob and I installed them the next day. The mats were simple to put down and will be easy to move or dispose if the need ever arises. I think this new runway is going to be good because the mat that we had used as a helicopter pad over the last few years has proven to be indestructible, could not blow away, didn’t rot from the sun or the moisture and retained its asphalt-like appearance. It could be mowed over, elk stomped, driven over, rolled over. It could handle violent prop strikes and maybe even a straight-in-smoking-hole plane crash. Most importantly, it did not cause any extra maintenance work or inconvenience mowing. The new runway surface shouldn’t interfere with grass landing of larger planes given its current location close to the pilot station. The biggest drawback is it’s small length and width. Completing a full landing on it may not be in the cards all that often, but I did land on it on my very first attempt with my slow park flyer model, and I had a lot of fun doing multiple touch-N-goes on it. We should probably keep an eye out for more mats at bargain prices to make the area larger, or we could also continue to investigate the practicality of other runway options as well.
Upcoming vote for president.
We will be voting for a new club president during one of the next few meetings because Bob said he will resign in January. The vote is likely to be held on Jan 5th. If you want to nominate yourself or someone else let us know.
Renew your 2015 club memberships starting in January, due by April
Don’t forget to renew your membership. Renewal starts January 1st. We have had a slight drop in revenue over the last couple of years so the club really needs your dues payment to keep us going. Please help us by mailing in your renewal or bringing it to a meeting.
Lipo battery health can be a little mysterious, and seems unpredictable. I had some large ones die after on me recently after about 40 cycles, much too soon considering that they had not been severely mistreated and were a good brand. I suspect the reason they went bad prematurely was because I tend to charge batteries while they are fairly cold to the maximum voltage and then allow them to get warmer after they are fully charged. The temperature difference between my charging area and my car 50 degrees or more. It is common knowledge that temperature will affect battery output capacity during the flying phase, but you don’t hear very much about how temperature affects energy input capacity during the charging phase, or how the maximum safe charge level is affected by a battery temperature that has changed. I know there are some higher end chargers that can compensate for the ambient temperature during the charge, but I don’t have one. From now on, I think I will try to warm up my lipo batteries before charging them, then not let them get any warmer on the way to the field. Hopefully that will make them last longer.
Large, gasoline fueled airplanes are becoming popular at the NCRCM airfield. The three in the photo below are Pilot brand models. Left to right, are Eric’s 37% edge with 120cc DLE, Steve’s 30% Yak with 50cc DLE, and Stuart’s 26% Yak with 38cc Mintor. Paul Bayley, David Grigg and Gary Cox also fly quarter scale airplanes.
These larger planes are not cheap to build but are very economical to fly and are tons of fun because their size, relative to the size and speed of the air currents, makes them react predictably and precisely . They are great for flying 3-D aerobatics and for precision pattern flight. The smaller electric models are the most popular type because modern batteries and motors have made electric models powerful, economical, and convenient to built with almost no upkeep or maintenance. Alcohol / nitro fueled planes are no longer as common as they once were, but they are still a very good choice for the mid-sized models because at that size their combination of power-to-weight, fuel consumption, flight time, and costs can give them an edge over electric or gasoline power.
The second photo below shows a youngster posing in front of Eric’s plane. It was emailed to the club from Joseph Chung who snapped the picture while visiting the airfield with his family the end of August. (click photos to expand to full size).
Researchers from the ODFW and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Florida planned to fly an experimental autonomously guided airplane (also called a UAV or drone) around Haystack rock that is offshore of Pacific City, but the experiment was cancelled when the FAA would not give them the OK to fly without additional deliberation. The flight team had called Steve (NCRCM’s Club President) and arranged to make some test flights with the aircraft from our club’s airfield prior to the actual flight over the ocean. Unfortunately, because of the postponement, we did not get to see them fly , but hopefully they will return soon and let us see their aircraft and its operation. For more info….. Here is the original news article and photo from the Headlight Herald newspaper.
On a related note, I notice the Senate committee that is drafting new FAA rules has reduced the size of the RC restriction zones they will be placing around full scale airports. It is down to a 5 mile radius, previously it was 8 miles, which is real good news for us because our NCRCM airfield is about 6 or 7 miles from Tillamook’s airport Here is a link to more news from AMA on the subject of UAV and drone RC flight.
I pieced together and tested a glider winch that I created out of junk parts. It won’t win any beauty prizes but so far it has worked very well on a light wieght 2-meter sized glider and it produces very good launch heights. I hope to test it soon with a heavy 100 inch wingspan Spirit glider. If the winch continues to hold up during testing it will be available for use by the club’s glider pilots. Let me know if you want to test it out yourself. ( more winch info)
Gary owns a large variety of types and sizes of models, miniature to big, and he has now added this large electric Yak to his fleet. He has several nice used models for sale, call him at 503-812-0465 if interested.
Go to the photo gallery to see a “less enhanced” photo of this plane and a few other newly added pictures.
Also check out this old-time video demonstrating the strange transfer of force and energy which causes a gyroscope to become “weightless”. Such complicated transfers of gyroscopic forces and energy interact with helicopter movements as well, especially single bladed ones. It helps one appreciate the difficulty in mastering all directions of the the piro-flip manuever.