2010 Flight Test Program In preparation for flight testing the newly completed Cloudster, as well as my other models, I purchased a Walston Retrieval shown in the two cases below.
The antenna was connected to the receiver and batteries were put in the transmitter as shown below. After reading the instruction manual several times, I called Jim Walston at his home yesterday and he walked me through the Walston's tuning procedure. I did a little practicing on our street locating the transmitter with receiver.
I was little concerned with the joint where the flexible transmitter antenna is potted into the transmitter base shown below. To support this joint, a 2-gram transmitter/antenna holder was made out of one of Sue's old lipstick clear tubes and the yellow sheath of a Sullivan's Gold-N-Cable as shown below. Notice that a short piece of larger Ny Rod was also used. The Walston transmitter is a snug fit when it slides into the lipstick tube so the loop cord shown below was put on the end of the transmitter to pull it out with for installing the three batteries.
The complete 2-gram transmitter/antenna holder is shown below. The yellow sheath of a Sullivan's Gold-N-Cable provides stiffness to the small fine antenna for installation purposes.
The yellow sheath containing the antenna was inserted into the Cloudster's fuselage and the Walston transmitter was slid in along the left side the JES 020 electronic speed control up front as shown below.
This is a view of the Walston installation through the Cloudster's windows on the left side. All in all, this worked out very well I think
This morning around 10:00 a.m., Sue and I drove over to Veteran's Park again to conduct the maiden flight on the newly finished Cloudster 300 built for the Speed 400 electric event. We had a thunder storm blow through last evening depositing over an inch of rain, but in a relatively short time. This morning it was crisp, clear, and the temperature was only 80 degrees, somewhat cool for Texas this time of year. The wind was about 5 mph out of the south. The Cloudster's rudder and elevator controls were set up with reduced end points coupled with exponential deflections. After a thorough review and a radio range check, I set the throttle at about 1/3 and gently launched the Cloudster into the wind. It was a little out of trim as it climbed out, but I corrected that immediately and added a little more power. Climbing on up to about 150 feet, I did a few turns and cut the power at 1-minute and set up a glide. The wind wasn't bad at all and after some gliding turns and additional trimming, the Cloudster was gliding well. I came in for a landing.
The trims were examined and there was a fair amount left rudder trim in. I suspect I still have some wash out (TE Down) in the left wing requiring the left rudder trim. There was also a small amount down elevator trim in. I changed the rudder end points to provide considerable more rudder defection and I increased the elevator end points, but only a tad for a little more elevator deflection. Then I did another 1-minute motor run flight, starting off with partial power and then adding more power to get a little altitude. I stayed at a reasonable altitude and did not go up high. I worked on gliding flight with a few more turns to the left and to the right. The Cloudster was handling nicely so I landed and we came home. I removed the 1350 mAh Li-Po battery and charged it with the Triton charger. It only took a 413 mAh charge, but then I had not been flying on full throttle most of the time this morning.
All in all, it was successful Cloudster flight test. As Sue said, "At least you came home with it!" :O< I want to adjust my control end points a little more to provide better response, and I want to remove the wash out in the left wing's inner panel. Over the next few days I hope to fly the Cloudster a number of times getting much higher so I can assess the Cloudster's flight duration capability.................................Tandy
Thought you would like to see some photos taken at the flying field.
General photos of the field as of Sunday morning July 18.
Photos of Bucky's mole traps. Trap set - Trap Sprung - Dead Mole
Tractor ( the one with the hood ) donated By the Willard R/C Club. Grover Ritter brought it from Willard and reworked it to run. Needed a belt, bearing and pulley. Bob Simon did some work on it also.
The club tractor ( no hood on it ) was resurrected from HELL by Grover and Don Perdue. It sat at the field for two and half to three years. You could not see the fins on the twin cylinder engine due crap put there by field mice. The starter was not recognized due to mice crap. Don finally cleaned enough crap off to find the mounting bolts so it could be removed. Grover told Don that the shaft would be corroded and would not turn. Don cleaned the starter and told Grover it turns. Well the next step would be to try to start the engine. My contribution to this epic rework was the jumper cables.
Grover put the gas, which sat in the storage container for three years, in the gas tank and dump some in the air intake. I hooked up the jumper cables to my car and the old battery on the club mower. Grover said "it will not run". Don said "I think it will run". Me (Bucky) sat on the picnic table and prayed it would run. Don Perdue was given the honor of trying to start the engine. The engine turned over with a few chugs and then spit some gas out the air intake just as Grover started to get a closer look at the engine. You ought to see Grover jump back and the engine roared back to life. Grover tuned up the carb and said the engine has been reworked so many times we better use 50 weight oil. Don said "great". I got some at home.
New blades and a mower belt have been installed on the club tractor. The startup on the tractor has not required a jump. It starts ever time. I started it this morning. That battery has to be going to the Hall Of Fame For Batteries.
Ray Ozmun brought his Brush Hog out to the field twice to knock down the two to three feet high grass so the lawn tractors could be used.
Don, Grover, and me have mowed very rough field. Don and myself have mowed the cut down field two times and you can see the results in the photos. It takes about one and a half hours using both lawns tractors.
Threw in some photos of my Sonic scruiser which I haze been flying just about ever day this last week and this morning.