Jul 272014
 

IMAC Clitheroe is held each year during the last weekend in July. This year it was our first trip over to the Mainland for a comp and is our last chance to compete before the World Champs in early September.

We set sail on the Belfast to Cairnryan ferry on Friday evening and travelled south for 200 or so miles to the flying site just outside the town of Clitheroe. When we arrived at 11pm, everyone had retreated to their Caravans or tents so we for bedded down for the night ourselves.

Saturday morning dawned with clear blue skies and a very light breeze. Perfect conditions for a days competition. With a few competitors having last minute technical problems with their aircraft we had 10 pilots in total, a little down on normal but last minute problems can’t be avoided. 2 basic class pilots, 1 sportsman, 1 intermediate, 2 advanced & 4 unlimited.

After a short pilots brief we got underway about 10am with the plan to fly 2 double knowns, a unknown, a single known and then freestyle for those that wanted to compete in that class.

Basic was first up, unfortunately one of the new comers had some bad luck on takeoff and clipped the fence at the end or the runway, it’s caught many pilots out over the years, hopefully it won’t dent his enthusiasm for IMAC. With the prefect conditions everyone flew well and our biggest problem was keeping the suncream from running into our eyes and finding a suitable place to get some shade! Not that we are complaining, I’d happily take 28-deg each time I go to fly! Pete Mumford had an exciting first flight, his Edge 540 developed some elevator flutter, he throttled back right away but it took a few seconds for him to regain control, fortunately with the speed bleed off the elevator started to have some control, he smoothly brought the plane round and landed. The problem had been caused by the control horn departing from the elevator. Pete’s edge is a IMAC veteran, it must be 10years old, so it had just worked loose over many 1000′s of flights. It couldn’t be fixed at the field, is Dan kindly lent him his Carden PRO.

We completed two rounds before lunch break, after a short pause we went straight into the unknown and final known. The wind picked up a little for the unknown and everyone managed ok with it. On the unlimited unknown we had the tailslide to trip us up and it did, no one scored for it, I did slide for about a fuselage length but it fell to the left. It looks like IMAC’s sequence committee is pushing the Tailslide this season, so the worlds is bound to have at least 1! Practise required!

With the sequences over it was time for freestyle, Chris was first up and put it a nice flight, Dave was up second about 3/4′s of the way through his flight, his rudder closed loop gave way, he waggled his way around and needing to keep the speed up he came In fast, model dug in and tip over, minimal damage, a broken prop. I was third up, about a minute into my flight it was my turn for a mechanical problem, the aileron started to flutter, luckily i was able to throttle back, stop the flutter and land without any problem. On investigation it was the inboard starboard aileron servo that had stripped. I wasn’t too annoyed, the servos on the H9 Extra 300 had problem done a good 1200 hard flights and it’s not a bad wear rate for the servos. That was the competition flying over for the day, I got a chance to fly my fellow IMAC UK World Champs team mate Brian Horn’s H9 Extra 300, he wanted a second opinion on his setup, I van report it’s spot on, I really enjoyed my flight and Brian has done a great job getting it just right, he will do well with this at the World’s next month!

The club had kindly laid on a BBQ for us and we all enjoyed the Craic, food and flew some smaller electric models. I had the new Parkzone Super Cub and Sukhoi with me, flown on the new DX6, everyone was impressed with how they flew and for an IMAC crowd the Cub was the most popular model, we may see someone at future IMAC comps! It’s a cracking little aircraft it has to be said and the more I flew the Suk I’m enjoying it more and more! The rain came in about 10am so everyone called it a night and headed to bed after a long day in the sun!

After a night of heavy rain, Sunday was a little more grey and there was noticeably more wind. It was more IMAC UK competition like! The club spoiled us again with breakfast and we got flying with full stomachs at 10am. The forecast was for showers up to and rain after lunchtime so Phil the CD had planned on getting 2 double knowns in before that. With a few flash showers we did manage it and by 1.45pm we had 4 flights in the bag. Phil suggested we call it a day as the rain was coming and a lot of people had a long journey. By 2pm Win had the results ready and the prize giving took place.
You can see the results below;

I was very happy to take first place in unlimited and the overall “Woodvale” Trophy. For me it was a warm up comp for the Worlds and I’ve seen a few things and chatting to Chief Judge Phil have a few things to work on for the big comp. So a very worthwhile weekend!

Thanks to all who organised the comp, Phil & Mike our judges, Win for score keeping and to Andrew & his wife for looking after us all throughout the weekend, food, tea you name it we had it!

Clitheroe is one of my favourite comps, it always has been and still is a worthy successor to the Woodvale Comp, relaxed, a great site and always good to meet up with friends. Looking forward to next year already!

Thanks also to all my sponsors for their continued support!

Matthew

Jul 132014
 

The Inverza 62 is the third scale model to come from Horizon Hobby which replicants Kevin Kimball’s concept design that we know as the Inverza. Eflite first produced the Inverza 280 mini sized, which proved hugely popular, then came the Inverza 33, this was a 33cc version or 10cell electric and finally we have the Inverza 62 for 60cc or 12cell electric.

We have fitted this Inverza with a DA50, ES composite pipe, spektrum A6260 Hv servos, spektrum 9 ch receiver, single 2s 2000 lipo and Optiguard for redundancy. Evolution have a new 62efi engine due for release very soon, so we will fit that once it’s available.

The inverza comes in 3 boxes and is double boxed for extra safety

The inverza comes in 3 boxes and is double boxed for extra safety

Once the shipping protection boxes are removed, the three internal boxes are identified with the inverza picture

Once the shipping protection boxes are removed, the three internal boxes are identified with the inverza picture

The contents of the 3 boxes, a very complete kit as you can see.

The contents of the 3 boxes, a very complete kit as you can see.

Spats are pre-drilled & captive nuts fitted, they bolt straight to U/C

Spats are pre-drilled & captive nuts fitted, they bolt straight to U/C

DA50 fitted, the block standoff's come with the kit. The header has a 25mm drop.

DA50 fitted, the block standoff’s come with the kit. The header has a 25mm drop.

DA50

The former had to be trimmed slightly to suit the pipe exit, we reinforced it above.

The former had to be trimmed slightly to suit the pipe exit, we reinforced it above.

The ES pipe is narrower in Diameter than an RE2 for example, so a slightly adjustment to preinstalled pipe support is required.

The ES pipe is narrower in Diameter than an RE2 for example, so a slightly adjustment to preinstalled pipe support is required.

Pipe fitted in Fuselage

Pipe fitted in Fuselage

Cowl Mounts attached

Cowl Mounts attached

Supplied Tank fitted & plumbed. The throttle servo we used in a Spektrum A6110 HV servo.

Supplied Tank fitted & plumbed. The throttle servo we used in a Spektrum A6110 HV servo.

DA50 ignition fiited, we used a Spektrum Regulator & 2s Lipo to power the ignition.

DA50 ignition fiited, we used a Spektrum Regulator & 2s Lipo to power the ignition.

underside view of DA50 and ES pipe, we elected to use a Jubliee clip between header/pipe.

underside view of DA50 and ES pipe, we elected to use a Jubliee clip between header/pipe.

The new Spektrum A6260 HV servo. The are super smooth and the metal case is very nice, will reduce that backlash you can get with plastic cases.

The new Spektrum A6260 HV servo. The are super smooth and the metal case is very nice, will reduce that backlash you can get with plastic cases.

The new Spektrum Servo connector, it makes installed very simple and this is a heavier duty option than the standard connection type.

The new Spektrum Servo connector, it makes installed very simple and this is a heavier duty option than the standard connection type.

Underside of Wing

Underside of Wing

Servo tray & horn pre-drilled and installed.

Servo tray & horn pre-drilled and installed.

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Test Flight

The test flight took place on a breezy evening at the flying field. After a quick pre-flight range test all was as expected and the new DA50 fired up with ease, about 10 flicks to get fuel into the carb, it fired, choke off a few flips and it was running. The ES pipe seems to be very quiet and the DA was running very smoothly.

Into the air the Inverza went, with a few clicks of trim it was soon flying straight and level, a quick CofG test and the Inverza CofG felt pretty good. We had placed the RX battery as far forward as we could, being conscious that the DA50 is a light engine, this proved about perfect. I tried a few basic aerobatic manoeuvres, point rolls were very nice, sharp and axial, snaps as seemed to be very positive and the exit sharp, it will make for a very nice IMAC aircraft I can feel that in the short flight I had. I was very conscious that the DA50 was new and not to push things too hard, I tired a few longer uplines and the piped 50 had ample power for most IMAC sequences, the airframe is light and there isn’t much drag, so it carries speed well even with a snap thrown in on the upline. I tried some very gently 3D, not wanting to load the engine, it feels very locked in, responsive & comfortable in 3D.

There is a lot of potential in this airframe, you can really appreciate that this aircraft has been designed from the ground up to be a good as it can be and the Quique Somenzini & Kevin Kimbal partnership has produced a beautifully balanced aircraft in precision & 3D.

I’m looking forward to flying it some more and fitting the new Evolution EFI 62 when it becomes available.

Thanks to Horizon Hobby UK for the opportunity to test. Here are some pics;

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Matthew

Jun 252014
 

Parkzone have just realised a new Mike McConville Design Sukhoi 29. This is the first fully aerobatic 3 D model to feature SAFE texhnology, the Spektrum system that self levels an aircraft from any attitude when altitude allows.

It has a number of modes, that will benefit novices in world of 3D and keep the more experience guys happy. I’m looking forward to flying very soon.

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Jun 192014
 

The Midlands Model Flying Club kindly invited My dad & I down to their Annual ‘Big Fly-in held at their club site near Kilcormac Co. Offlay. My dad, my wife Lisa and I headed off early with a van fully of models ready for a great days flying. When we arrived we were warmly welcomed by the club and quickly got unloaded and ready for a few flights. The fly-in itself was a 3 day event and a lot of flyers had elected to make a weekend of it and camped on site. There was a great array of aeroplanes and heli’s on show and the sky was never empty, it was common to see 3 & 4 aeroplanes up at once as everyone made the most of the near perfect flying condition. The flying site is set in the middle of re-claimed bog land and there isn’t a house in sight, an ideal place for a flying club. The club have great facilities with a large lean-to providing shelter on the wetter days.

 

I had brought to fly the Hangar 9 35% Extra 300 powered by DA120, the 43% Carden Extra 300 powered by DA200 and the 42% Carden Extra 300 PRO powered by 16kw Predator Motor on Optipower 7s Lipo’s. The H9 extra is one of my all time favourite models, it performs precision and 3D flight equally well and I always enjoy throwing it about. The DA200 powered Carden is getting on in years, 5 years old now, but it’s still one of the most competitive IMAC airframes on the market. It has served me well over the years and continues to. The smoothness of the excellent DA200 has really kept this airframe fresh and my dad’s meticulous maintenance routine has kept this combination at the top of it’s field. Our newest aircraft is the Electric powered 42% Carden PRO, fitted with a 16kw Plettenberg Predator 37/6 Evo, JETi spin 300 ESC and new Optipower 50c 7s 5300mah Lipo’s, wired as a 14 cell 15900mah pack, give this airframe stunning performance. We are still very much learning this new aeroplane and with the latest 50c lipo’s from Optipower have limited the power to 70% of what this motor is capable of, we still have enough power to fly any IMAC sequence, our quest now is to work on timings to increase our efficiency and see if we can improve on our 10min flight time. I also flew the Blade 350 Qx and had the Go Pro onboard, the quad performed perfectly but the operator needs some work, I had selected the wrong mode on the Go Pro so only got a shot of me switching the camera on, aerial photography at it’s best. J

 

Lisa and my Dad were on the camera at various stages and got some really nice shots between them, my Dad’s new Canon D70 is working well. You can see some of the shot’s below.

 

I must thank all the members of the club, they really made us feel welcome, food & drink vouchers and really keen modellers very interested in all our models and in particular the new big electric. I found these 2 youtube clips online, so I can’t take credit for them. We had a great day and will definitely be heading back next time.

My H9 Extra 300

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Onboard from a Quad (one with the video on this time!)

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Thanks,

 

Matthew

 

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Jun 082014
 
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I have been very fortunate to receive some sponsorship from Optipower. I will be running their packs In my competition aircraft. Our big Carden PRO needs 14cells, so optipower’s new 7s 5300mah 50c’s fit the bill perfectly.

We will wire 6 of them together In series/parallel to give 14 cell 15900mah of power.

We will also be using their superb Cell Pro 8 charger, it’s a great unit and ideal for parallel charging the 7s packs.

A big thanks to Andy and his team for their support!

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Voodoo

 Building, Newsflash  Comments Off
Jun 082014
 

After many years of wanting one, I finally had a weaker moment and ordered a Voodoo speed 400 racer!!

Not too sure on the setup, but will probably be an Eflite BL15 3200kv in runner with a 60amp ESC, Spektrum 3010 servos, AR6260 carbon fuselage RX and a 3s1350 pack, to start with. If I can keep up I’ll maybe go to 4s!

I’ll post some build pics as I go along.

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(My good friend Phelim also bought one, hence the two in the pics)

May 272014
 

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IMAC returned to the County of Tyrone near the town of Omagh for the second time on Saturday 24th May 2014. Building from the success of the season opener in Ballymoney 11 pilots lined up a day’s competition. The weather conditions look ok, it was a little overcast and there for a stiff crosswind but compared to the wash out we had last year no one was complaining. The club members of Tyrone Model Flying Association (TMFA) had the site looking superb and as before couldn’t be more pleasant and helpful/

Pilot List

Basic Class

-Dermot Gallon (Hangar 9 Beast, Futaba TX)

Sportsman Class

-Brian Foran (Hangar 9 Carden Extra 300, JR 11x)

-Alan O’Connor (Hangar 9 Yak 54 QQ, Spektrum DX9)

-Ger Kilbey (Hangar 9 Yak54 QQ, Spektrum DX8)

-Iain Johnston (Hangar 9 27% Extra 260 electric, Spektrum DX18)

Intermediate Class

-Harry Reid (Hangar 9 Carden Yak 54, JR 12x)

-Mikey Blake (Hangar 9 Inverza 33 electric, Spektrum DX9)

-Robert Graham (Extreme Flight Extra 300 91” electric, JR12x)

-Stephen Tait (Extreme Flight Edge 540 88”, JR12x)

-Sean Scullion (Pilot RC Yak 54 100cc, Spektrum DX9)

Unlimited Class

-Matthew Poots (Carden Extra 300 126”, Spektrum DX18)

After a short pilot’s brief we got into the air at 10am. Paul Harrison & I judged Basic to intermediate classes and Iain swapped with me to judge Unlimited. Dermot was first in the air flying a Double Known in his very first IMAC comp, in the challenging crosswind he first flight was good if a little Nervous and he got the Beast on the ground on the tight TMFA strip. His smile said it all, that’s what IMAC is all about, sticking your head above the parapet and challenging yourself in a competition environment.

Onto Sportsman class and Alan & Ger had a pair of new Hangar 9 Yak 54 QQ’s, the Yak showed it’s competition pedigree and Alan & Ger flew them really nicely, the 111cc had lots of power and the Yak presents very well. Brian and Iain flew the same aircraft as they did at Causeway coast 3 weeks earlier, I was really impressed with Brian’s flying you could see an improvement even in those 3 weeks. Iain was getting to grips with my Electric Extra 260 now, but they smaller model was getting blown out in the crosswind.

The intermediate class has emerged in IMAC NI as the most competitive class, this time we had 5 pilots all vying for the top spot. Robert flew first with his beautiful Hacker powered EF Extra 300, a slow small footprint schedule was flown and Robert showed his experience in the crosswind keeping it in with some skilful wind correction, unfortunately on landing approaching steadily and touching down gently,  the wet grass strip that was little soft under foot, caught the U/C on the Extra and it cracked, causing the U/C to shear off just above the spat. Robert commented that it was the second time it had happened on a seemingly perfect approach, perhaps a little weakness in the U/C design. It was a real shame as it rule Robert out of the comp. Sean was steady with his Yak and as usual avoided too many mistakes to score well. Stephen had his EF Edge back in the air and the piped DA60 was putting out plenty of power, the benefit of the Edge was clear to see and he was flying really well, his negative snap on the 1st Sharks tooth of the Intermediate known was perfect every time and exactly how a snap should be, a delight to watch. Harry’s trusty Carden Yak was struggling slightly for power in the crosswind, his DA50 after probably 5 seasons of hard flying might be in need of some TLC, none the less Harry managed well and showed hard work and determination pays of, his sequences are improving every flight. Mikey won the prize for the furthest travelled, getting on the road at 4.30am from Tipperary he showed no signs of tiredness and flying his hangar 9 Inverza 33 on a 10s F3A electric setup, he had bundles of power and kept his F3A background showed, a well paced smooth flight throughout.

Unfortunately I was the only pilot in Unlimited, Angus had hoped to travel up but had a small technical problem during the week and hadn’t got a chance to prove it out before coming to the comp, so wisely stayed at home. I used the opportunity to get a few more practise sequences in, especially useful in the crosswind.

Midway through the day, the TMFA had laid on a superb BBQ lunch for us all, including any spectators who had shown up. Dee was responsible for organising it all and we thank her and her band of helpers for it, I don’t think anyone went hungry or thirsty, as Tea was on offer all day.

After 5 rounds of competition, I got to work inputting the scores to the IMAC score program, whilst Iain & my dad drew the Action MS raffle. We again had 30 prizes from our kind sponsors and raised close to £160 on the day. A big thanks to the sponsors and everyone who bought tickets, this will go along with £200 plus we raised at Causeway Coast and whatever is raised at the season ending comp in Newbuidlings.

Sponsors

- RC Factory/Electric Wingman

-  Powerbox Systems

- Emcotec

- Engel Modelbau

- Jersey modeller

- Scorpion Power Systems

- Horizon Hobby UK

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After the results were inputted and the score program had done it’s sums, they results were as follow.

 RESULTS

Basic

  1. Dermot Gallon

 

Sportsman

  1. Ger Kilbey
  2. Alan O’Connor
  3. Iain Johnston
  4. Brian Foran

 

Intermediate

  1. Mikey Blake
  2. Sean Scullion
  3. Stephen Tait
  4. Harry Reid
  5. Robert Graham

 

Unlimited

  1. Matthew Poots

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Overall scores can be found on IMAC UK site, click here

 

Once again a big thanks to all the pilots, spectators, judges, sponsors and the host club of TMFA for a great day of competition. We have a break locally over the summer until New Buildings at the end of September, but I know a few guys are hoping to travel to some IMAC comps on the mainland in the meantime, We wish them well.

 

Matthew

Some pictures:

 

 

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May 272014
 

cc4 The first Saturday in May saw the UK’s first IMAC competition of the Season held at the Causeway Coast Model Flying Club on Northern Ireland’s picturesque North Coast.

The  weather couldn’t have been better, blue skies & light winds made for great IMAC conditions. 10 pilots over 3 classes had an early start and we were in the air before 10am.

Pilot List:

Sportsman

Iain Johnston (Hangar9 Extra 260, Eflite Power 160 on 10s Lipo, Spektrum DX18)

Brian Foran (Hangar9 Carden Extra300, DA50, JR DSX11)

Alan O’Connor (Pilot RC Extra 330s 100cc)

Ger Kilbey (Pilot RC Extra 300, 50cc, Spektrum DX18)

 

Intermediate

Robert Graham (EF Extra 300 91″, Hacker Q80, 12s Lipo, JR DSX12)

Harry Reid (H9 Carden Yak 54, DA50, JR DSX12)

Stephen Tait (EF Extra 300 78″, AXI, 6s Lipo, JR DSX12)

Sean Scullion (Pilot RC Yak 54, DLE111, Spektrum DX9)

 

Unlimited

Angus Balfour (Comp Arf Extra 260 3m, 3W 170TS, JR 10x)

Matthew Poots (H9 Sukhoi SU-26 3.1m, DA170, Spektrum DX18)

 

We were able to fly 3 rounds on the day, 2 rounds of double knowns and 1 round of single knowns. The standard as ever improves each year and our 2 judges were kept busy. We had 4 pilots travel up from the Republic of Ireland and 2 of them were new comers to IMAC. There was a tight clash in Sportsman between Ger & Alan with Iain & Brian also keeping them honest. In Intermediate the 4 locals have been pushing each other hard for many years and there is really healthly competition & banter with them. Angus & I in unlimited shared the rounds and it was very very close.

Results

Sportsman

1. Ger Kilbey 3972.2

2. Alan O’Conner 3818.1

3. Iain Johnston 3625.7

4. Brian Foran 3597.3

 

Intermediate

1. Sean Scullion 4000

2. Robert Graham 3728.6

3. Stephen Tait 3080.6

4. Harry Reid 3060.7

 

Unlimited

1. Matthew Poots 3982.7

2. Angus Balfour 3972.5

 

As an aside to the competition we were able to hold a raffle in aid of Action MS, this raffle wouldn’t have been possible without the held of a few sponsor’s they are;

-Rc Factory/Electric Wingman

-Powerbox Systems

-Emcotec

-Jersey Modeller

-Engel Modelbau

-Scorpion Power System

-Horizon Hobby UK

We had a great raffle and as a results we raised £225. We will hold another raffle at the next two IMAC comps in Omagh & Newbuildings and all proceeds will go to Action MS at the end of the year. We thank all the sponsor’s for their support.

Full score can be found on IMAC UK’s site, click here

Here are some pics;

 

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I’d like to thank all the pilots, judges, helpers and member of the host club who fed and watered us all day. It was a great season opener and I’m looking forward to Omagh in 3 weeks time.

Thanks,

Matthew

Apr 082014
 

Killyman Motorbike Show 5th April 2014

Members & friends of Banbridge Aeromodelling club were asked by our friends at Dungannon Model Flying Club to help out at the Killyman Motorbike Show near Dungannon.

The Killyman Motorcycle Club are the organisers behind one of Ireland most popular motorcycle races, the Bush Road Races and this was a fundraising event. Held at Killyman Church of Ireland hall, there were upwards of 200 motor bikes of all types & sizes and it was great to see. Local bikers from all over the county and beyond visited and there was a few hundred people all enjoying the show.

From our perspective the two clubs put on a large static display covering a wide range of disciplines and were able to fly in the grounds of the show, in a small grassed area. It was well fenced off to the public and allowed is to give a small flavour of what our planes & helis can do. David Nolan flew his new JR 550 sized heli and crowd enjoyed his grass cut inverted hover. I flew the Visionaire and CZ Yak54, I keep these to more of a 3d demo and in close as we didn’t have the space to fully display them. Thankfully both models make this a fairly easy task and it was enjoyable keeping it tight!

Phelim fired up his L39 Wren powered Jet on the stand and the noise certainly attracted an audience!

A big thanks to Richard Boyd for the invite and to all the members we helped out, Paul, Dennis, Sean, David, Phelim and my dad

Some pics below,

Matthew

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Mar 312014
 

My dad has been hard at work this winter with our latest IMAC aircraft. We have trusted Carden designs for many years and have no doubt this new Extra 300 PRO will be as kind to us as the rest of Dennis’ designs. What’s different about this one you might ask? It’s our first big Electric, so read on for more info!

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Carden PRO

To give you some background into the PRO design, it has been an envoluation of the Extra line of aircraft, firstly the 118″ 260, then came the 118″ 300 and following this the availability of the DA200 , it gave birth to 126″ versions of the 260 & 300′s. Along with Dennis, Kurt Keolling multiple time US national champion work on enhancing the Extra 300 designs, building it around the DA200 to make the ultimate IMAC precision aircraft, namely the PRO!

The PRO differs only slightly from the previous designs and all the changes are subtle. There is a thinner wing profile, a slightly different wing plan form, this improving snaps, or more accurately exits of snaps. It also requires less power as drag is reduced, also meaning that 150cc engines are still very competitive for this aircraft. The fuselage is narrower & not just as deep, again reducing drag and side area, meaning crosswinds less effect the aircraft. The rudder is now counter balanceless, with modern servos, power/torque is no issue, the lack of counterbalance makes the rudder input more neutral and reduces the mixing required. The tail section is also thinner, drag being reduced here again. The fuselage construction removes some material but with extensive analysis and calcs carried out by Kurt who is a professor by profession, strength isn’t compromised. This all adds up to a less draggy, lighter and more neutral airframe, making IMAC pilots work less on the sticks so they can concentrate on presentation of their schedule. I have to stress though, these are small improvements, the original Carden designs are still among the best if not the best out there.

The build follows much the same principles as all Carden’s, it’s “proper” building, using traditional methods. The wings, tail and all decked parts are foam core with balsa skins. We have used the method of vacuum bagging the balsa to the core with epoxy skinning resin, the reason for this, is you can control the amount of adhesive used and with the pressure the vacuum creates, very little is used. This proven method keeps things very light.

The fuselage is made up from a CNC plywood engine box, which the motor, under carriage and wing tube are all supported from. The fuselage sides are a balsa frame work sheeted, giving a rigid and smooth finish. The sides are connected together with balsa braces and the foam parts are bonded to the sides with PVA glue.

At the beginning of the article I mentioned that this Carden PRO was powered by electrons rather than petrol. This didn’t alter the build significantly, we purposely built this plane with a wide range of power plants in mind, we can very quickly switch this plane back to the conventional petrol, DA 150/ 170, DA 200 or even the DA 250 four stroke when it gets released. We kept the bulkhead in the motor box in the forward position (DA 150/170) and built a standoff box from plywood, laminated under vacuum with fibreglass, to this an aluminium mount from Mejzlik was used which is specifically designed for our motor. The fuel tank tray is omitted from this plane, instead this is where the batteries locate. SO overall the aircraft is very much a standard build.

Electric Power

Some might be asking why go electric? Over the last 3 years we have saw a lot of flying sites lost due to noise, our big IMAC models are as quiet as they can be, but for some sites that is still too noisy, is it sustainable to keep flying our big models with a huge footprint and blindly ignore the potential problem? Probably not! We have found that it’s not the noise of the models, it’s the repetition. If we fly for a full day, back to back, week after week, maybe 3 days a week, that becomes an annoyance to neighbours. This Carden PRO project is an experiment that gives us the option to fly a fully competitive IMAC model at any club site with no noise impact. The advantage is I can fly at sites closer to home midweek and ultimately get more stick time. It will be used along side our ‘traditionally powered’ competition models and compliment them. We can reduce the petrol powered flights to 2 /3 spread out over the whole day, add to that say 3 -4 flights on our electric aircraft, suddenly you’ve flown the same, but exposed your neighbours to half as much noise over the same period, this is our experience anyway. Electric shouldn’t be seen as a replacement for petrol, but a way to preserve it in the future.

Our setup is as follows;

-          Motor: Plettenberg Predator 37/6 EVO.

-          ESC: Jeti Spin 300 PRO.

-          Batteries: Eflite 5s & 4s 30c  Packs wired in series to 14s and in parallel to give 15000mah capacity.

-          Propeller: Plettenberg Spinner cooling system with 3 separate blades, giving a 31.5×13 3 blade prop.

-          Radio Gear: Spektrum AR12200, Spektrum 2s 4000mah RX packs, guided by Spektrum DX18.

-          Servos: JR 8911 HV all round (4 ail, 2 elev & 2 rudd).

-          Covering & Hardware: Oracover & various Hangar 9 hardware.

The airframe with all equipment except batteries weighs 13.1 kg (29lbs), the packs themselves and support tray weigh 5.5kg (12.12 lbs), giving a total flying weight of 18.65kg (41.12 lbs).

We estimate that it is about 1lbs lighter than a fully fuelled DA200 with cans version of the same model, obviously the petrol powered model will get lighter as the flight goes on, but we are very happy with this weight. The fixed weight should also give more consistent trim throughout the whole flight.

The Predator 37/6 EVO, is capable of over 16kw, to compare that’s somewhere in the region of 20-21 bhp. During our ground tests we limited the motor to 80% power, it turned the 31.5×13 3blade prop at 6200rpm and drew about 140amps constant, this was obviously unloaded and only for a 10-15 secs burst, but the RPM figure alone is impressive. Remember that was limited to 80% of the motors max. Everything ran cool even without the air flow.

The Test Flight

After a number of ground tests at home we were comfortable all would work on the air. So on a windy and slightly grey Saturday afternoon we decided to give it a go. A range test was completed and all was fine, the ESC/motor was armed and was ready to go. We kept the motor limited to 80% and very quickly the airplane was in the air, no shortage of power. The plane felt superb from the off, no trim at all, the CofG felt about right, we didn’t push the model as we are slowly building confidence and knowledge in the motor setup. Without having even started the trimming/setup process, Rolls felt axial, Knife Edge seemed very flat, 4 pointers looked really smooth as a result. A few snaps showed that these would be very controlled and their exits precise. The power plant itself performed very well, it has a ball of power and is very quiet, in fact you can hear the air rushing through the airframe whilst in flight. We limited the first flight to 4mins and after the flight the onboard telemetry from the Jeti Spin ESC should, RPM was 6200, max ESC temperature was 47-deg. The test flight gave us some relief, although we had done a lot of research, 12 months worth before embarking on the project and got a lot of advice from the few people who are flying 40% electrics, there is still that element of un none that you worry about. We are still learning and it will take some months to build our knowledge with this plane. The 4min flight drew 800mah from each of the 3 14s 5000mah packs, that was a gentle flight, so I expect 8-9mins of unlimited flying is very achievable and still leave 15-20% in the packs.

I’d like to thanks Plettenberg for all their help and support, Bernd Berschorner for his experience as a competition pilot using this setup for many years, Jocke Goransson (wattsup.se) for his advise, David Nolan for his help with our power supply, Kees Blokland for a year of replying to my many ‘electrical’ questions, to Dennis at Carden for his help and support and to my dad for doing the hard bit of putting it all together. I very much get the easy and enjoyable part! I also thank Horizon Hobby UK for their continued support, it is greatly appreciated.

As I said before this project is an experiment, early results show it’s going to work out very well. And I’ll end with a comment I made earlier, “Electric shouldn’t be seen as a replacement for petrol, but a way to preserve it in the future”, we see that every day with our hybrid cars and if F1 can see electric technology working hand in hand with engines is the future, why shouldn’t aeromodelling get in on the act. A fully hyprid model airplane power plant might be a while off, but who knows what the future might hold!

Some pictures below.

Thanks,

Matthew

pro01

pro02

pro05

pro06

pro07

pro08

pro11 pro10 pro09

pro12