Two maidens in one day with FT Spitfire

by Ballsy | June 26, 2013 | (9 Ratings) Posted in Just Fun

When Flite Test finally released the plans for the FT Spitfire I saw this as a great opportunity for my first swoppable build and to take it in another direction.

I'm on the committee of my local Slope Soaring club "Two Oceans Slope Soarers" and we host a yearly PSS (Powered Scale Soaring) competition called the Black Eagle PSS Festival. There are four classes you can enter: Expert, Sportmans Heavy, Sportsmans Light and Combat.  You can see the rules here http://www.toss.co.za/documents/PSS_Rules_2013_v15.pdf 

I decided to build and enter the FT Spitfire in the combat class and slope the FT Spitfire for the first time. (Probably a world first? :))

Combat Class: For foam (normally EPP) and correx (corroplast) planes with a less than 1,4m wing span. More for the guys who just want to have fun and fly at the event. Judging is not taken too seriously and you just need one photo of the real life version your plane was modelled from.  You also fly a 2 minute freestyle session where you need to perform manuveres as scale as possible.

THE BUILD

 

The build went fairly quick. An evening to cut out the plans and foam.  I even tested 3mm verses 5mm wing weights. Not worth going 3mm as the weigh saving was minimal. Prefer the extra strength you get from the thicker foam.

 

Construction took a few hours on a rainy Saturday with my father in law helping me.

 

Some Spitfire decals from a friend who owns a South African online hobbyshop call Hobby Mania. Thanks Andrew :)

The next weekend when the weather was dryer I borrowed a compressor and air brush to apply the paint.

 

I made two pods. One for the slope and one for flying electric at my local flying field.  I extended the length of the slope pod and added a ply cap on the end to mount the spinner. FYI this is the same spinner I use on the power pod.  I filled the space between the pieces of ply with enough lead to balance on the CoG.  I used a 4 cell AA NiMh 2000mA to power the receiver and 4 x 9g servos. 

The power pod has an Emax GT2815 1100kv motor with 9x6e prop on a 2200mA 3S Lipo which is complete overkill and I ended up running at just over 1/4 throttle for most of the flight. BUT the plus side the flight lasted for ages and when I checked the battery it still had 40% left :)  I also used a 30A Turnigy Plush ESC which is borderline for this motor.  I have a NTM prop drive 28 but didnt get the accessory pack in time, so hence the bigger motor.

 

The finished FT Spitfire ready for the slope.  

THE BIG DAY

22 June 2013

We all met at the cannon at the top of Red Hill in Simons Town at 9:00am.  Our club has been given permission to fly at this site and we are very lucky to slope at such a senic location.

SE wind was predicted for the late afternoon but the morning was very still. I got my tricopter in the air early to capture some footage and we started the process of static judging all the models.  After the FT Spitfire had been judged it gave me the perfect opportunity to maiden it with the power pod.

Maiden Number 1

After a not so quick swop out and checking CoG she was ready for maiden.  Took it out to the edge of the slope, did all my control surface checks and chucked it off  with a good amount of throttle.  I had to fly it "Bixler" style (no trimming) until I was high enough to start triming it out.  Needing alot of right aileron and tiny bit of down elevator.  The rest of the flight was.... AWESOME!  Thanks David for a great looking and flying plane. No tip stalls!  Rolls beautifully.  Alround a great warbird for any parkflyer and best of all it's made of cheap foamboard. All the guys who witnessed the flight were very impressed and I think you guys are definitely going to pick up some new viewers from Cape Town.  So after what must have been 20minutes of fun I decided to land.  Be aware there is NO landing strip in sight and our usual slope landing runway is pick the nearest bush and set it down there!  Which wont work with a foamboard plane.  I spotted a fairly clear area on the top of the slope and called my landing.  I did two quick circuits to check and commited to land. Unfortunately I ended up about 1meter short and in a bush anyway :(  Breaking the horizontal stabilizer on tail. I thought I'd pack the FT Spitfire away for the rest of the day and fix it that evening, ready for day 2 and a slope maiden.


Maiden Number 2

The afternoon saw a steady SE breeze blowing up the slope and slowly but surely more gliders started getting in the air.  It all started off with an Alula, which is not a surprise.  As more of the heavier combat planes were flying I thought to myself let me see what I can do about fixing the FT Spitfire now.  Back to the make shift workshop at the back of my truck and a quick rummage in my RC tool box. BINGO I have a BBQ stick!  A quick fix with tape and swop out for the slope pod and I was ready to go. This maiden was much easier.  Just a slight nose down trim needed and it flys GREAT, alot slower but very scale. Definitely could use abit more ballast :)

 

DAY 2

23 June 2013

The wind had switched NW with an imminent cold front approching the Cape of Good Hope we move the venue to another beautiful slope on the famous Chapmans Peak drive.  The wind was blowing early and guys were eager to get up in the air again.  This time I packed some more lead as balast for the FT Spitfire.  I had two really great flights with the spitty during the day apart from two lockouts which almost ended really badly.  Luckly got control back and avoided disaster.  Not sure why it's happening but think it might be a Spektrum DSM2 thing, was bound to my DX8.  Rebound it to my DX6i for the second flight and it was fine. Go figure.

Spent the rest of the day filming and chasing some BIG PSS gliders with my GoPro taped to the front of my correx Mig3 sloper :) http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1335350

COMMENTS

johanjonker on July 10, 2013
Lekker man
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adergotardo on July 9, 2013
"Slope Pod"?
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PyroBraniac on July 9, 2013
You used my paint job I posted in an article... it looks exactly like it... did u use my article and not give credit (not that it really matters :-)

Anyway... Awesome plane!
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Ballsy on July 10, 2013
Thanks! No only read your article after I did the paint job. Used a pic of the actual RAF Spitty. I was originally waiting for Chads airbrush video but ended up spraying anyway before that video was posted. I couldn't wait any longer :)

Great job on your spitty too :)
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PyroBraniac on July 14, 2013
I was too! Funny thing was that I painted mine one morning and I went back inside to check on youtube and chad posted the video... funny huh anyway cool plane and have fun with it!
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RoyBro on July 9, 2013
I love the idea of the Spitfire as a soaring plane. Having two power pods (or as you say a power pod and slope pod) is an awesome idea.

But I have to call you on the idea of two maiden flights on a single plane. Unless I'm missing something, a maiden flight or maiden voyage, or maiden whatever, can only happen once. I don't care what Madonna says. Some things only happen for the first time, once.
;)

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adergotardo on July 9, 2013
"Maiden whatever, can only happen once. I don't care what Madonna says." LOL!
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Ballsy on July 10, 2013
It flys very well as a slopey. Needs a fair amount of ballast to get it to fly fast :) But I reckon it could fly in super light lift conditions without ballast too.

Look at it this way. Maiden = First. If it flys under power for the first time its a first. Then its flys as a slope soarer with no engine for the first time, another first :)
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RoyBro on July 10, 2013
I was really trying not to go there, but you force me.
Using that logic, one can lose their virginity more than once (re:Madonna reference).
And Maiden doesn't mean first, maiden means BEFORE the first time.
OK, this is getting uncomfortable even for me. But you made me.
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theHoff on July 10, 2013
That plane looks awesome:) Also from Cape Town currently busy building one myself. One question, did you airbrush straight onto the foam board or treat it with something first? South African foam board looks like it will handle paint better than the dollartree kind.
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Ballsy on July 10, 2013
Yip airbrushed straight onto the foamboard. Still was very careful and lightly dusted each coat and let it dry before laying on the next coat. Was abit more generous with the grey which went on top of the green. I didn't treat the board on this plane but would recommend using Nova 17 Matt polyurathane to help seal the paper from water. Just coated all my boards for the FT3D build I'm doing at the moment.
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Ballsy on July 10, 2013
Where do you fly in Cape Town?
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theHoff on July 10, 2013
Thanks for the tip. I fly on my fiancé uncles farm in Stellenbosch a lot of space but a lot of trees to and a power line to make things even more interesting. Just build the FT Bloody Wonder this weekend, flies like a bat out of hell..next up the Spitfire. Where do you buy your foam board? The only place I could find was the deckle edge art shop and they are not cheap
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Ballsy on July 11, 2013
Yip deckle edge too :( Trying to find the supplier and get the hobby shops to stock it and sell it cheaper.
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theHoff on July 11, 2013
The supplier is Primeart(www.primeart.co.za) in Maitland but they don't want to sell to me directly only to retailers, it would be great if we could get it cheaper maybe the guys at hobbymania??
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Ballsy on July 11, 2013
I know about prime art. Just hope they stock the lighter type of foam board. Find the kind with their logo on is abit heavier. I havent built with it yet. Andrew from Hobby Mania is looking into stocking 5mm foam board. Will keep you posted.
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