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Macon Aero Modelers Member Hangar Page

Jim Alvord, Webmaster

            Hello, and thanks for visiting my Hangar Page. I'm Jim Alvord the webmaster for Macon Aero Modelers in my second year on the board.

I started RC Flying in California in the 70's with R/C Gliders off the coast south of Santa Cruz.

            Throughout the 80's and early 90's because of traveling due to my job, I had to let my hobby take a rest. I did get back into Radio Control Off-Road Cars in the early 80's though, before moving back to upstate New York in '93.

            It wasn't until my wife and I moved to Franklin, NC in 2004 that I got back into R/C flying again. The advent of new battery and electric outrunner motor technologies seemed too good to be true, and a fellow club member Gerry Doubleday aka "ElectroPhart" helped move me in the right direction.

            Our club's electric trainer of choice is the Miss-2 from Hobby-Lobby. And what a sweet plane she is!

      The Miss-2 I built uses an Esskay 400XT with a Cool Running ESC and a Poly Quest 1800 mah 11.4v LiPo battery to achieve average 30 minute flight times gracefully soaring and cutting loops in the sky.

My longest flight to date was 47 minutes with a combination of powered flight and soaring with minimal throttle just to keep the prop drag to a minimum. A folding prop is in the near future.

            I've never flown a more forgiving and docile fun plane in my life. Even as I move on and advance to more aerobatic and challenging planes and skills, there will always be a Miss-2 in my heart and in my van for casual care-free afternoons at OTX.

If you're looking for an easy and inexpensive entry into Electric RC, I know you'll have a hard time beating the Miss-2 for a great and reliable trainer/fun soaring plane in your hanger.


Some of the most fun I have is flying indoors at the Highland's Civic Center Gymnasium during the winter. The Miss-2 is a bit large, so I picked up a TigerMoth from Balsa Products and powered it with a modified CD-Rom motor to join our other members in the fun and exhilerating world of indoor flying.

      I chose to paint my TigerMoth 'Red' as all the others in the club were yellow and silver. Makes it easier for me to focus on when we get 3 or more in the air at a time.

As I said earlier, I decided to power the plane with a modified CD-Rom moter combined with a Thunderbird 9 ESC and KOKAM 750 mah 7.4v Lipo pack.

This combination gives about a 10 minute flight time in the gym, which is as much as my nerves can handle. It's absolutely amazing how big the room looks when you're walking in it and yet how small it gets when you're trying to control a plane in the air.

But it sure is a lot of fun trying and a good lesson in throttle control once you get the plane in the air.

            From these initial and fairly traditional models, I've been inclined to get more experimental and try some more unorthadox flying planes for the sheer challenge of it.

I've always been facinated by flying wings! One of the most outrageous models I've played with is the "Carbon Kestral", by AceSim.

Ken Hill has designed and built a very unique flying wing out of carbon fiber rods, plastic tubing, DuBro fittings, and rip-stop nylon sail cloth that uses 'wing-warp' for maneuvering.

It's a total RIOT!

      The "Carbon Kestral" is the little brother to the "Carbon Falcon".

I highly recommend that you follow the directions to a "T" if you want to get good results.

I actually had to add a piece of wedge shaped foam under the front nose of the 'Root Bow' rod to achieve a wrinkle free wing leading edge and top wing surface. You'll also want to use a larger and heavier battery pack as suggested, in order to keep the nose from wanting to loop over the top.

I can personally attest to the fact that Ken takes a personal interest with his customers in ensuring that they get the best results possible with his kits. He answered all my questions and offered suggestions via email within 24 hours or less and helped me make some adjustments that made my Carbon Kestral" trim easier and fly as advertised.

I will also agree with Ken's analysis that the 20T motor is a rocket on the Kestral. What a BLAST!

            Then I got into the foamies and I've had a lot of fun with these! My first attempt was to build a bi-plane model of the "Raptor" out of BluCore 6mm Foam.

It would have been better if I'd left the clear cover on both sides for more stiffness, but you live and learn.

I flew the Raptor indoors at the Western Carolina University for my innaugural flight. Although it was a little flimsy, it flew better than expected.

      The "Raptor" was successful enough that I decided to design and build my own original plane out of 6mm white Depron.

The plane I named "WhiteBird" (really original huh?!) has become my favorite aileron trainer.

It flies beautifully and is very easy to control. I powered it with the same Esskay 400XT that's in my Miss-2. I coupled the motor to an 18 amp ESC from Polk's Hobby and use a 1200mah 11.4 volt Poly Quest battery pack.

She's a very easy plane to fly on Low Rates and on High Rates you better be thinking way ahead of the plane as she'll maneuver faster than I can compensate for! Her turn-on-a-dime and give you a nickel change reaction times are scary.

To say the WhiteBird is a fun and agressive flyer is an understatement! I'm currently building another just like her out of BlueCor, (BlueBird) just to see what the differences are and to try it all over again and see if BlueCor is as good.

            So, what's ahead in the future? Well I'm currently building a pattern plane called the "Fashion 50" as my first Nitro powered airplane. It's a beautiful kit and very complete. My learning curve is a little slow compared to the electrics, but I feel this is a good kit to learn on.

The ARF kit is coming together nicely and I'm hoping to have her ready for my first flights in the spring. It should be a real fun experience.

I'll be powering it with an OS .46 so it may actually be a little under powered, but I've got an OS .60 waiting in reserve if it's needed after I learn to control it.

I've also got two ARF "Profile" planes in reserve. One is a forty series and I've got an OS .45 for that one and the other is a Sixty series and I've got an ASP .60 series motor to power that beast when it's time comes.

            There will be plenty more foamie electrics in the future and I've also recently picked up one of the original Carl Goldberg kits for the "Gentle Lady". That was the first 2M glider that I ever built back in California in the 70's and I can't wait to get her back in the air again.

I'll probably add a power pod on top of the wings for OTX and add a folding prop to complete the project. I'm really looking forward to getting back into the gliders and maybe even a "HotLiner" or two in the future.

I've also built a couple of the combat planes from "2DogRC" out of black Depron and they're a lot of fun to build and fly. It's hard to beat the price for an entry into electric RC and the Esskay 400XT is an extreme power plant for these little babies.

I highly recommend adding a rudder and an extra servo if you intend to use these little beauties for true combat, but you can't beat the fun and exhileration.

But, that's enough about me for now!! Get out and Fly - It's a great way to Relax.

           Jim

Macon Aero Modelers, Inc.

 

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