Saturday, August 20, 2011

New FPV setup

Hi Everyone! I was on the way back from the field today after being chased out by an approaching storm and I got to thinking about the FPV (First Person View) setup on my LT-40. If you go back in the archives of this blog, you'll find a few of my amateur looking videos taken from the side of my LT-40's fuselage. I was thinking about how to make a forward facing platform for the camera without making it too complex.

My first idea was to build a right triangle piece that would be glued to the side of the fuselage with some dowels so the flat piece would face forward and... too complicated. My second idea was to create an "L" shape piece, then cut a hole in the front windscreen, slip the piece in, and glue it to the top of the hole and... better than my first idea, but still too complicated.

I liked the "L" shaped cradle idea, and my dad helped me construct one. We then decided to test fit it to the top of the fuselage right behind the wing. I placed the camera in the cradle, turned it on, and recorded a short clip of me waving at it from the front of the plane. I then plugged it into my computer and upon review, the view was pretty decent. There was a little bit of the top of the wing in frame for reference, a little bit of the prop was visible so you can tell which way was straight forward, and it was easy to mount.

My dad then made some triangle braces for the cradle, and we attached it to the fuse with some Velcro and a wood screw. It looks a little rough, but my dad said it reminded him of R2D2 riding in the back of the Starfighter in Star Wars. It isn't all to aerodynamic, but nothing a few clicks of down trim won't fix in flight... and when you think of it, bombers in WWII had observation domes poking out on top of the fuse and they flew fine.

Anyway, here are a few pictures. We'll see how it looks next time I bring the LT-40 out to the field.

This picture is of the camera sitting in its cradle:

This one is of the cradle itself:

Now I have a question for my viewers. If you recognize the camera in the picture as the one you own, if you could let me know how to set the date/time stamp that would be great. Please let me know at or by leaving a comment. Thanks!

--Tom K.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Summer 2011 Compilation

Hey Everyone! School starts up again tomorrow so unfortunately summer is over. I decided to edit together some scraps from different videos from over the summer and make a compilation video. Here it is!

--Tom K.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Huckin' Back Home!

Well, MCRC is open again after the very expensive runway renovation provided completely through donations. Many thanks to all who donated their time and treasure to this project! Now we have a beautiful flat runway that is about 110" x 500" with 200" of overrun on each side if I remember correctly. It's completely amazing!

So, we decided to test out the new runway and I grabbed a few flights on my Extra 300 EXP. Here's the video! Enjoy!

--Tom K.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Twisted Hobbys Xtra Slick__A Foam Sunset

I took the Xtra Slick out today and decided to get some video. My friend Shawn, also known as Gravitycheat online, was kind enough to man the camera and got some great footage while I was flying. Shawn is one of those creative people who when handed a camera will do their best to make it look good. From jogging along with the plane in Knife Edge, to rotating the camera for some dizzying torque rolls, it all contributed to the video making for some amazing footage! Thanks Shawn!

--Tom K.

Extreme Flight Edge 540T EXP__Black Magic Huckin'

Well I decided to experiment a little bit with my setup on the Edge, and here's what I came to. Last year in 2010, I flew a lot of Giant Scale (1/4 scale) planes to start flying in IMAC. When flying the bigger planes, it is best to use a small amount of expo because the surfaces have such a big effect that having a lot expo can make it harder to make crisp, precise maneuvers.  I decided to start backing the expo (from around 70%) down and I found that around 40% for ailerons and elevator and 30% for rudder works well. With less expo, you feel more connected to the plane because your inputs are immediately felt in the air.

After changing my setup, I saw that my snaps were smoother and more precise, as well as my point rolls and slow rolling turns. Also, harrier rolls (also knowns as "rollerz" or "rolling harriers") were easier to do as the tail surfaces were responding quicker giving me better, faster control. This allowed me to increase the nose up attitude of the plane to slow the roll rate. In the video below, I do a mix of 3D and precision maneuvers. Sure, my precision isn't that good as I'm a little rusty, but I was satisfied with the setup changes, and this is where they will stay. I even changed the setup in my Extra to the same and it flies a lot better also.
Here is the video of my Edge with the new setup:

--Tom K.