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Phoenix complete...

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KevinM

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After about 2 months of building it's finally ready to go. I'm trying to get a first flight in before the weather turns too nasty but I still have to build up the launch adapter and controller so we'll see if I make it this fall or not...

Final weight is 26.5oz. Here's what she looks like:





 

WillMarchant

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Looks great, Kevin! I like the different paint schemes for the dorsal and ventral surfaces.
 

stickershock23

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WOW looks great! thats going to inspire me to continue working on my sweet v
 

KevinM

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Thanks guys. There's actually no paint here, just Ultracote. I would have much preferred to glass and paint but I wasn't willing to trade the better finish for the extra weight. Without question though, it leaves no doubt which side is up.

KMc
 

kooch

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Simply beautiful and one of the nicest Phoenix' I've ever seen!

Kevin Kuczek
 

Serenity

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Absolutely beautiful ultracote job.

If you have time, I'm curious what radio gear you are using - servos, battery, receiver, and transmitter.

Again, that finish looks superb.
 

KevinM

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Hi Serenity,

For servos I'm using 4x MKS DS-480. They're the same size as HS65s but boast more torque and greater speed. My receiver pack is made of 4x GP 1100mAh NIMH cells, which makes it very heavy compared to what it could be but that's how much nose weight I needed to get the CG to come in to where it needed to be. The receiver is currently a Futaba R608FS, although I'll probably swap that out for an R6106HFC before too long. Last but not least I'll be driving it from a Futaba 14MZ.

With the advances in servo and radio technology since this kit was designed it should have been easy to take a couple of ounces off the finished weight but I've been unsuccessful in doing so. Unfortunately all the weight you can easily drop with new equipment is in places where it's needed to balance weight that's not so easily eliminated. If I were to build another one of these I'd seriously consider punching lightening holes in the tail feathers and/or lengthening the nose so I could get away with a lighter Rx pack. YMMV.

KMc
 

U812

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Nice Kevin. One day I have to try this although the AMA and my field won't let me launch them. Damn California. I guess that's what the desert is for. ;)

Steve
 

WillMarchant

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Nice Kevin. One day I have to try this although the AMA and my field won't let me launch them. Damn California. I guess that's what the desert is for. ;)

Steve
The Academy of Model Aeronautics, Steve? They're happy with motors up to G as long as they stay attached to the aircraft. The Phoenix is perfect for that. I can't speak for your field rules, of course...
 

JoeG

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Nice job Kevin. Great color scheme. You did the right thing in going with Ultracote.

You're right. When this was designed the equipment of today wasn't available. 1100mah with those mini servos should give you about six hours flying time or more. :)
 

Serenity

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Kevin - thanks for the details on the radio gear. A Futaba 14MZ - that's a top of the line xmtr. Very nice.

I have a Phoenix that my son and I have been flying for years. They fly great, I'm sure you'll have a blast with yours.
 

KevinM

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I'm happy to say that both the first and second flights are now behind me, and that there will be more to come. The winds were pretty low on Sunday so I bit the bullet and trucked off to my local flying field with Phoenix in tow. I briefed my launch crew on what to expect and the madness began...

As it turns out I had too much down trim on the first flight, and coupled with taking off with low rates and a smidge of head-wind the first flight quite nearly became the last. Just 2 seconds into the first flight I was nolonger climbing and fighting to get the nose up. :y: In a panic I managed to find the rate switch and set it to high and recover from the power-dive all before crossing the 0-foot altitude threshold, then still managed to atain 250 feet or so of altitude before burnout. Into the landing circuit and all the way to touchdown I was under control, but the nose felt very heavy. Despite all this I did manage to put here down within 50 feet of where I wanted it and no damage done. Upon recovery I quickly discovered part of the reason the "nose felt heavy" - After the excitement of nearly duffing it I completely forgot change the trim from "launch" to "flight" when I entered the landing pattern. :blush: Regardless, any first flight that results in a controlled landing is still a good one in my books.

The second flight almost seemed like it wasn't going to happen, the BlackJack caught but then just hissed and smouldered for what seemed like an eternity on the pad. (This is my first experience with any composite motor, and may be perfectly normal for the BlackJacks, but is all new to me.) After 4-5 seconds of this I was getting ready for the worst, but the thrust finally built up enough to lift the Phoenix from the pad and off she went. I'd lessened the amount of down trim for take-off, and coupled with taking off in high-rates allowed me to get much more altitude out of this one, probably on the order of 450 - 500 feet. This time I remembered to kill the launch trim after burnout, and a short but much more comfortable flight ensued. After landing I noticed I'd dialed in a considerable amount of up-trim to keep her to flying level (3/32" up) so I may look at taking some weight out of the nose to shift the CG aft by 1/8" or so for the next flight. I should still have some margin to play with as I'm currently in the middle of the range shown on the plans.

All in all I'm very pleased with the result. I can't wait to try riding a G-motor up to altitude and I'm looking forward to see how much better I can hone my spot-landings with the spoilerons deployed, but I think I'll save the serious wringing out like that for warmer conditions. In the mean time I'll bask in the warm fuzzy feeling derived from a pair of successful test flights and the anticipation of what spring will bring. :D

1st Flight.jpg


2nd Flight (1).jpg


2nd Flight (2).jpg
 
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JoeG

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Congratulations!! Everything gets better after that first "what do I expect" flight.

I've had issues in getting some of the end burning R/C reloads to light. The propellant grain is right next to the nozzle and it seems like it is difficult to build much pressure for ignition. The instructions say to install the ignitor when you build the motor but the RSO freaks a little when you do that.

Firstfires seem to do better for me than copperheads but even then sometimes it takes a couple of tries. I've had good results with my own home dipped motor lighters from Rocketflite.

Again congrats on your first flights.
 

kjohnson

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Quest Q2G2's. Love them. Especially the long lead versions.
 

PharmrJohn

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That is too cool....I had no idea they even made such a beast. I want......
 

georgegassaway

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Congratulations on the build and your first flights.

- George Gassaway
 

Neil Walker

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Very nice build and flight report Kevin - you obviously have a bit of experience with a covering iron :) Have you ever flown on/do you have access to a slope to fly it simply as a glider? Not sure what kinds of slopes there would be around Hamilton (I used to live in Guelph before moving to San Francisco) but slope flying is a pretty stress-free way to get the CG, trims and rates all dialed in without wasting reloads on trim flights.

I have a Phoenix with the major components mostly complete and the gear waiting to go in. I figured it might end up nose heavy so I'm considering ditching the rudder (don't really plan on doing much thermalling) and I think that by possibly throwing away the 1/4" stock tail pieces and going to bagged 1/8" I could get them lighter and stronger, with less drag as a bonus.

Also, your listed weight of 26.5oz, is that with or without the reload casing?

Looking forward to hearing how yours goes on the G12!
 

KevinM

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Very nice build and flight report Kevin - you obviously have a bit of experience with a covering iron :) Have you ever flown on/do you have access to a slope to fly it simply as a glider? Not sure what kinds of slopes there would be around Hamilton (I used to live in Guelph before moving to San Francisco) but slope flying is a pretty stress-free way to get the CG, trims and rates all dialed in without wasting reloads on trim flights.
Hi Neil,

Thanks for the kind words - I've covered my fair share of birds with moneycoat so I'll chalk it up to "practice makes not-too-shabby". :) The stripes which cover the lower surfaces were actually pretty fun to do - I "assembled" alternating strips orange and white Ultracoat into a sheet which was then adhered to the aircraft as a panel so that I wouldn't have bands of double-thick covering. (I was trying to strike a balance between the "every gram counts" mentality and the desire for more than just one colour!)

I've thought about doing the slope soaring thing but I'm not sure of where to take it. I run RC subs at Riverside park in Guelph regularly, is there a good sloping hill up that way?

I have a Phoenix with the major components mostly complete and the gear waiting to go in. I figured it might end up nose heavy so I'm considering ditching the rudder (don't really plan on doing much thermalling) and I think that by possibly throwing away the 1/4" stock tail pieces and going to bagged 1/8" I could get them lighter and stronger, with less drag as a bonus.
Nose heavy - wouldn't surprise me. This kit was designed around radio equipment that was much heavier than what we have access to now, and will balance perfectly with it. When I did the math on the equipment I used (versus what was recommended on the plans) I was expecting to come in a couple of ounces under weight, but when I was done securing the huge receiver battery that was required to pull the CG far enough forward 26.5oz was where the scale sat. To really take advantage of the available lighter equipment you definitely will need to take some weight out of the tail. I seriously considered "swiss-cheesing" the 3/16" stock that made my tail feathers but I refrained for fear of reducing their strength to the point of causing a hazzard. All things considered, I think a well swiss cheesed surface would probably offer more stiffness than a thinner solid surface of comparable weight, I just wasn't brave enough to take it on for my first kick at the can.

Also, your listed weight of 26.5oz, is that with or without the reload casing?

Looking forward to hearing how yours goes on the G12!
26.5oz is with the reload casing.

Truth be told I'm not sure if I'm more excited about flying the G12 or the F23W... I confess to being somewhat of a speed junkie, but I'm also really looking forward to being able to meander down over several minutes as only the G will be able to provide. I guess I'll just have to try 'em both and let you know which I like best. :cool:
 

Neil Walker

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Thanks for the tips Kevin. I think I agree with you about the G12 vs the F23. Since the thrust to weight isn't much more than 1:1 for most of the burn on the G it probably won't be that exciting, unless you fly level for a bit to build up speed then pull up to vertical.

Not too sure about places to slope in Guelph - I didn't start flying slope until I moved out West. Your best bet is probably going to be getting some winds coming in of Lake Ontario and hitting a decent-szied bank on the shore.
 

zog139

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Thanks guys. There's actually no paint here, just Ultracote. I would have much preferred to glass and paint but I wasn't willing to trade the better finish for the extra weight. Without question though, it leaves no doubt which side is up.

KMc
So obviously you had no problem using the Ultracote covering. I remember the directions for my "Cuda" said to use "Econokote" because of the lower temp that could be used. Does your covering iron have a specific dial temp setting on it and what did you set it at ?
 

KevinM

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Hi Jim,

I have a 21st Century covering iron with a temp dial in the handle. When I was working with the covering I essentially had three settings that I used. The first was when I was assembling the colourd strips into panels for covering the lower portions of the wings and stab - I think I did this around 225. (Just enough to activate the adhesive, not enough heat to shrink.) I used a little more heat when I was sticking the covering down onto the airframe, I think that was on the order of 250-275. Finally, once everything was in place and I had to seal/shrink around the edges I'd bump up the temp a little more to 300-325, or even more if necessary. (While using this temp I had to be very careful not to shrink near the orange/white colour breaks or I'd destroy the "panel" that I assembled in the first step.) Also note that these temps are all somewhat unique to each brand of covering, and you'll get the best results if you work out what temps give you what you need for the covering you happen to be working with.

KMc
 
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