Sunday, April 29, 2012

Air-100h fuse cores

Beginning to get exciting on the hybrid. Spent the afternoon tracing and cutting out the Air-100 plugs on the trusty band saw. As they sit here they are 11.2 ounces. 50" long for a 3 meter version. You can really see the differing foam sections - forward 1.9, tail boom 1.3. Time to get out the trusty razer knife and start shaping and sanding.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Slope VTPR is center-stage on M.A.N.

I am very pleased to announce the new VTPR Aerobatics article by yours truly is posted on MODEL AIRPLANE NEWS, the #1 RC aircraft magazine in the world! Hats off to Debra Cleghorn for publishing, the greater VTPR community including Pierre’ Rondel of Planet-Soaring out of France. Steve Lange of and the long list of dedicated slope aerobatic fliers and modelers for their contribution to the style.

Click here to read the article.

The American VTPR scene is now on track to a bright and growing future of which could not have been possible without the French European influence of such names as Gerard Prat, Eric Poulain, Remi Le Besque, Benoit Paysant-Le Roux, Guillaume Leroyer, Fran├žois Cahour, Erwan Laurans and our own Dawson Henderson. These stalwart and innovative model designers and pilots are who VTPR hobbyists such as myself look up to for inspiration and example. The roots of VTPR is forever planted with such as these...

It’s been quite a ride and inspirational being a part of the VTPR vision here in America the last 2-1/2 years of which I’m very humbled. Let’s keep this train rolling and new models built and flying!  

Good Lift… Eric

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The VOL-LENT 2.5 walkaround

I couldn't wait any longer to try out my new VOL-LENT 2.5 meter glider. Lift and wind conditions were minimal at best but I was able to get a few minutes time on the ship walking away with a very positive report. In brief you may be shocked to see the flimsy empennage but with maximum durability in mind for the design it proved very stable in flight. No flutter or veering line of flight was witnessed or felt on the sticks. I admit this uncanny approach had me concerned when drawing it up and while assembling but it is actually a really neat deal and it is very durable and lightweight for a crunchy.

Span - 2.5m (100")
OAL - 1372mm (54")
W.L. - 8.5 - 9oz
AUW - 50 - 54oz

I have begun a build thread on RCG should you wish to follow and ask questions. I have lots to share in my discovery of what has transpired on this unique design. Also if interested in building your own VOL-LENT I'm happy to share the build details and templates.

Man & Machine Alchemy

Team BLACKSHEEP has done it again with some Very-Close-to-The-Edge human soaring accompanied with a RC wing and camera! Phenomenal video. This is pretty remarkable and not recommended for the average... A perfect case for watching rather than doing!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Air-100h template drawing

The fuse template drawing is adjusted for a 2" longer than stock nose moment and ready to make up a permanent template out of wood veneer. Profile will be transfered with a black permanent marker then the shape cut out. Its starting to look like something. Can you see it?

Friday, April 20, 2012

Charlie Richardson - Interview of a Legend

Though this isn't VTPR related it surely is a piece of important slope soaring history we can all appreciate. I have known CR for about 22 years since the heyday of slope MOM and 4 man slope racing when "fast and furious" plane banging was the norm. Charlie was instrumental during the 80's and 90's for developing some of the most iconic and high performance slope gliders in the world that have sustained the test of time even today. His designs included the Turbo wingeron, Renegade 60" slope racer, the Fun-1, Climmax HLG, V tail Blazer, the beautiful 80" Contender wingeron, Raptor, and the famous unlimited  class Raider slope racer. Quite an inventory of awesome models that still impress and perform to a very high degree. I have a Raider waiting to be next on the bench.

I have also known CR in another and current pastime of mine called Vintage Motocross. He is the owner/operator/racer of CR High Performance Products that supplies top notch CZ motocross race bikes and performance products. As with his huge success in slope racing he is equally if not more of a champion builder and racer on the vintage motocross scene. His brand of CZ motocross engines are the fastest in the land! I have had the pleasure to work with CR building my own CZ race machines with nothing but professional service. In fact it was Charlie that helped propel me into VMX and CZ's through his assistance back in 2001 selling my pristine F3B Eagle sailplane. That plane helped finance my first CZ400 restoration that is currently being raced by its new owner.

Its been a pleasure knowing and working with CR on so many levels. He still enjoys talking about the old days on the slope revisiting his battles and winnings like an old pro he is. He still has a slight hand on the RC sticks with his kids but competition is reserved for the MX track and boy does he still haul the mail with that great fluid form.

Chip Greely is proprietor of the new CR Aircraft bringing to you the same legendary models Charlie produced and more new CR based model designs for the 21st century. He really enjoys the hobby and is currently developing some new models under the CR brand. Some of them include the current Contestant, Pretender, Climmax Elite, Savaron S and Obscure. I look forward to seeing these come available in the future.

Paul Naton did an interview of CR back in 2009 that recounts his beginnings all the way through his racing career and current professional status. Here is his podcast interview for your listening enjoyment. (let it load)

Click here to download the interview

and be sure to visit Paul's Radio Carbon Art Productions

 CR circa 1993 with a new Raider

CR flying his CZ at Perris Raceway for the checkers - again!

 Thanks Charlie for your legendary impact on slope soaring
and vintage motocross in America... EJ

Links and photos by permission 2012

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Limande 2.5 VTPR

Limande is another fantastic VTPR model of world class caliber like Sonic and Excalibur. Ronan Calloch out of France is its designer. He has shared with me the veneer wing construction and its very lightweight wing joiner consisting of a short blade connection. Wing panels with Ronans special technique weigh in at an astounding 325 grams each! Watch for more new news coming in about the Limande... A+

Monday, April 16, 2012

VOL-LENT 2.5m VTPR ship - Made in USA !

New "big ship" for the VTPR playground.

Yours truly with new first pics of the Vol-Lent 2.5m VTPR glider. This is a hybrid lightweight constructed glider. More info and video here.

Air-100h fuselage cut

I knew looking at the large sized blocks of EPP foam on this project I would be faced with a lot of shaving and sanding. I really enjoy sanding wood but not foam. It just doesn’t deliver a natural flow of progress and it doesn’t smell as good as hand worked wood. Kind of “lifeless”. So I spent some time making up a pair of templates to be able to hot-wire cut the shape.  You will notice by the glue lines I combined 1.3 and 1.9 weight EPP foam in order to attempt saving weight on the tail boom. The frontal area is heavier 2” thick 1.9 material laminated from the wing root forward. Gorilla glue was used to combine them. GOOP cement was used to attach the tail boom foam to the frontal foam pieces.

Attached the templates with 3” long drywall screws being careful not to over tighten and strip. A concern was what would happen when the wire reaches the GOOP glue line. I angled the wire slightly to attain a knifing action in this region but low and behold the wire sliced through the goop as if it wasn’t there. It has been over 20 years since I last cut foam so I was pleasantly happy with the results. Next task is to cut the side profile.

Friday, April 13, 2012

GRYPHON bench flight

Early video of the revived Gryphon build prior to covering. This is a very neat scratch build. It has some interesting build set-ups on getting the wing lined up for proper dihedral. There are a set of predetermined  length leading edge set-up blocks that make it all happen on the bench. The trailing edge is also interesting on how it is properly angled and lined up to the airfoil chord line. By the way this has always been a "french curve" symmetrical airfoil design. No official airfoil call out but a shape that works really nice for all manner of aerobatics. Laser parts version is soon to be released.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Sunset VTPR

And in Awesome Dawsons own words -

This is part of the evening session at Temple Hill (CA) on our first ever VTPR event this past Saturday (07-09-11). We had a great afternoon of flying in good lift... 12-16 mph. As the sun was getting low, the light got very nice and the lift mellowed out a bit and got very glassy. We had a magical sunset session. It was a great way to end the day.

Air-100h fuse blocks

Got foam-check, Got hotwire-check. Got plans-check... Let the carving and sanding begin!

Early VTPR days

The turning point from general aerobatics to VTPR aerobatics came about when my flying partner and I built the Le Fish. After much persuasion Mike finally got me to buy and build a foamie of which I just didn't want to do having more of a craftsman background. The build went fine, not much of a big deal except foam bits and tape have no similarity to balsa dust and ultracoat! It was an un-crafty build but a good learning experience.

Flying the plane was another story. I was very surprised of its versatility and maneuverability. Durability is good and the plane just feels comfortable on the sticks. I admit it opened me up to new possibilities and this video is one of the early turning points realizing I could be more confident and capable of much more aerobatic fun than before. The plane allowed me to get lower and lower to the ground to where I now know where I am with less anxiety as where prior I would bail out. Its almost like entering a state of chaos but being comfortable with it. I have to admit the Le Fish played an important role in my personal VTPR growth.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

VTPR Fun-Fly

Here are some videos of last years Inaugural VTPR Fly-In, the first ever in the US. If you are local to this years gathering come on out and enjoy the day with your plane(s) or just to watch some daring men with their fantastic flying machines cut the grass. Click here for original post.

Friday, April 6, 2012

GYPHON aerobatic wing

It’s not a VTPR model but she sure is a total blast to fly and that’s what this blog space is all about… FUN!

Originally designed by RON NEAL of Model Dynamics the GRYPHON aerobatic wing has been around since the early 70’s. In 1981 BOB MARTIN of Bob Martin RC Models (Coyote, SR7, Bobcat, Katie II, Mystery Ship, Talon) acquired the design and manufacturing rights. Bob produced the model in limited quantities. Then he designed the SUPER GRYPHON with an unbreakable Duralene fuselage of which he invented the recipe mix and molding process. The SG became pretty successful and is still much desired today. In the meantime the original wooden Gryphon kind of sat on the shelf except for the die-hard wood modelers who kept their prized wing in the rafters and what not. We see a few original kits show up in forums and eBay but for the most part acquiring one of these classic ships is a pretty rare opportunity. Those who have an affinity for the Gryphon know what I’m talking about.

When I saw a Gryphon flying in the capable hands of a good pilot (Ian) I had to have one. This was 1992. But I never pulled the trigger to build one and by this time the kit was dwindling from availability. Fast forward some 20 years later I decided to finally build a Gryphon. I kept watch all over and finally found a short kit with the original wing ribs and cardboard templates. The plane got built and flown with great success thanks to Bob’s invaluable input. I finally got my Gryphon! Bob was so impressed with my craftsmanship quality and attention to detail on my vintage motorcycle restorations and the Gryphon he offered me to be the sole licensee of the Gryphon to re-produce kits! I have been supplying what I call sub-kit packages of the Gryphon under the Old S’CooL Hobbies banner for 2 years now. There are probably 40 sets out there as of this writing.

So I decided to try and make it a little easier for modelers to ultimately get more of these majestic ships in the air again. And I’m now happy to announce the Gryphon has finally been revised into a laser cut version to be announced when released. This should make it more desirable for modelers to own one of these iconic ships without having to completely scratch build like mine. And don’t let the foamy indestructibility attitude hinder you from building and flying this wooden model. It’s a project worth endeavoring. You see I have an alterior motive and it’s not making money selling laser kits because there is very little profit. This is a labor of love. The vision is to have a global Gryphon only aerobatics video contest someday. Now that would be something to write home about. I hope you climb aboard the Gryphon train…

Click here to read about the GRYPHON revival and build thread.

Gryphon Maiden Flight, hq from E J on Vimeo.

Another successful day in slope paradise!


Thursday, April 5, 2012

SONIC build video - Cool !

Was late last night-this morning putting this video together but I'm letting the cat out of the bag to show you "some" of the innerds of this rare ship. Big props go to Michel and Guillaume Leroyer for their assistance and information allowing me and my partner to build a pair of "true Breton" version Sonics. It was a very fun and challenging build, but even more fun to fly. I swear they cut the air like butter!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Air-100h update 4/2/12

Sat down today and spent some time going over the fine details of the wing plan considering it's total surface area as relates to wing loading, root and tip chords and attachment to the fuselage. It sits around 1000 sq. in, and based on an assumed 75oz AUW (all up weight) am looking at about 10.5oz WL.

In this large of a span we should be able to control the model quite well in the lower air speed ranges where Vtpr enjoys displaying very impressionable maneuvers. I don't want to get much heavier causing the model to glide too fast when not wanted. Going to go with this spec.

Ailerons are 40" long with 3x2.5" chords, around 25% larger than stock. Wing joining rod assembly is a 14mm CF unit encased in a CF tube that is in total 18" long. Associated sub formers in the fuse and the wing will button up the connection nicely maintaining good wing root stiffness. The last thing we want is a floppy wing in tight maneuvers.

All for now... EJ

Monday, April 2, 2012

KONA Vtpr Woodie

Benny Wachtelear from Belgium has just finished a great looking and flying wood VTPR model, something we don't often see anymore in RC slope modeling. He did all the CAD drawings and the model is laser cut to perfection. She flies very clean, roll has a very nice and stable axial trajectory. Overall it looks like a winner! Thanks Benny for keeping the wood building flame alive and well...

Click here for build thread on RCG.

2nd Annual VTPR Fun-Fly, May 19th

The 2nd Annual Southern California VTPR Fun-Fly is being held at GLIDER POINT slope in Yorba Linda at the Chino Hills State Park. Location link below.

Come enjoy a day of fun-only slope aerobatics... All are welcome. Contact me if any questions.

Or go to the RCG post here to read more about it.

Click here for Google map.

Super CHEETAH Instructions - open source

This is for those who need the original building instructions on the great SUPER CHEETAH combat/aerobatic glider that set the early standard in ultimate durability and great flying fun. Surprisingly this very stable flying model will do nice and clean high speed VTPR and does the best touch n go's with its polyvinyl fuselage without incident. I have seen cheetah fuselages worn so thin from hundreds of TNG's its a wonder they keep flying! Just a great sport plane that will be a constant friend and reliable source of pure slope fun.

- Click image to open in viewer. Right click image again, select view image. Magnify as needed -

Sunday, April 1, 2012

AIR-100h Hybrid VTPR

Its time for me to build a 3 metre (118") glider, a size I have always wanted to do since returning to slope soaring 3 years ago. And this one is very exciting, the AIR-100H hybrid version. I say hybrid because it is composed of many building and assembly mediums and techniques. All the plans are in place to hopefully have this ship flying by Sept 2012.

To follow the build thread click here