lørdag 28. april 2012

Testing Espresso

Sorry for late update. We've been busy this past couple of weeks. I've been a short, but fantastic trip to Vilnius,Lithuania. And Kjell Sture has been busy with his yearly training in the Home Guard. Right now he is in Brønnøysund partisipating in f3f-competition. This weekend didn't fit with my work calender, so I had to stay here in Tromsø. I'm sure he will update you when he gets back.

Right before we both left for our different trips we had a perfect weekend flying our model aeroplanes. We even got to test the Espresso! We used bungee to start it. Kjell Sture testet it, I took pictures. It was mainly just to see that everything worked, since we didn't got to test the plane during Eastern in Lofoten. And it worked! Nothing was broken during the first flight. I can't wait until I can try it on a slope. We both agreed that it was not to wise for me to test it on bungee. I think that was a good decision.

We are ready for its first flight

And there it goes!

It's in the air

The day after ,we met up with some other model aeroplane enthusiasts living in Tromsø. Flying and having a good time. I flew my Multiplex EasyGlider, my best investment ever. :) It was a very nice day. And yes, we still have snow here in Tromsø...

Three men looking at the sky...I wonder what they are looking at...

søndag 15. april 2012

Recap of the Easter holidays

When we arrived in Lofoten at Kjell Stures parents there was a package waiting for me. My new 2.4 Ghz transmitter! It's a Futaba 8FG. Up until now I have used one of Kjell Stures old 35 mhz transmitters. Now that I have bought the Espresso and are planning to participate in f3f-competition, I needed to buy a new transmitter. The reason for choosing Futaba 8FG is beacause Kjell Sture has the Futaba FX20, and it will be much easier for him to only have one brand of transmitters to worry about. He will still have to do the technical parts for me a while longer, including programming the planes. The best part is that with the new transmitter I also got a free transmitter case! It feels like a little beautybag that I'm carrying around with me. :) Fits me perfectly! The transmitter is also great.

Me and my beautybag

When it comes to flying, the Easter holidays was not a success. As you might have read in an earlier post, the flying condions was bad because of heavy snowing. We didn't get to test the Espresso, unfortunately. The day we drove back to Tromsø it was beautiful sunny weather...it was just my bad luck. At least I got to fly the Multiplex EasyGlider 2 days. One of the days Kjell Sture and I had a landing competition. I'm very pleased that I managed to land only 2 meters from the mark, one time...

Kjell Sture by the landing mark.
- Annette -

lørdag 7. april 2012

Roadtrip continued.

After spendig the night at Jiri Baudis house, we visited his workshop the next day. He has a really nice workshop with the possibility to make prototype planes in a realtive short time. His way of building planes differs from the more common ways of building F3B planes, and the sparsystem he uses for the Fosa is very light with impressive strenght.

After visiting Jiri Baudis we drove through CZ and into Slovakia. Our destination for the day was a small city called Martin. This was our main destination for the trip and we had planned to spend four days there.

As some of you may know, I work in the UAS(UAV) industrie as a testpilot for a research company called Northern Research Institute. We have a close relationship with ET-Air that produces the Cruiser 1 & 2 airframes which is the basis for our Cryowing UAS. ET-Air has their main factory in Martin, Slovakia. I was there to visit the factory and see the technology first hand.

 Miro 2 cleaning the trailing edge of a Cruiser tailplane.

 Miro Majercik  and Espen Torp discussing the fitting of the fuel tank in a Cruiser 2 fuselage

After spending four long but very interesting days in Martin we started on the long drive back to Norway. On the way back we also had planned a few stops to meet people and see more workshops.

Our first stop on the way back was to visit Marian "Majo" Maslo. He is the winner of the 2008 Viking Race. He is also the designer and producer of the famous Acacia F3F planes and the later Air One series.

 Marian "Majo" Maslo with Air One wing mould.

After the visit with Marian, we drove a bit further and met up with anther famous builder, Milan Janek.

Milan Janek has been making one of the most long lived F3F/F3B designs ever, the Wizzard Compact. This is a plane that every pilot with respect for him/her self should have in the quiver. Milan has actually been making the Compact since 1995. Most newer designs sell for 2 or 3 years and then they are obsolete. The Compact is still a great plane, and on my "want-list." Only problem is that I want the original one-piece 2,5m wing, and my appartment and car is to small for that!

 Milan Janek and me with a Compact 2 wing.

After visiting Milan Janek we had planned to meet up with two more producers that day. First we stopped by Vaclav Vojtisek in a small town called Sloupnice. Vaclav is the maker of the Sting/Viking/Ascot/Dingo and now the Stinger planes. He is absolutely one of the best craftsmen in the industry and have some intersting new ways of making light and stiff wings. As an owner of a Stinger I`m a bit biased, but it is really excellent.

Vaclav and Espen talking about Espens new Stinger.

Only a short drive from Vaclav you find another small town called Sebranice. Here is where tha factory of Samba model is situated. We met up with one of the owners of Samba, Jaroslav Vostrel and had a better meal, since it also was my 29th birthday that day.

The next day we visited the Samba factory and got to see both the new Presision F3F/F3B and their new Perfection for F3J. I was amazed by the light weight of the Perfection wing panels, each weighing only 400 grams!

The next couple of days we did a lot of driving, but we found the time to stop by fullsize glider producer HpH Sailplanes and a quick stop at TUD-model, Dresden where I picked up my new Freestyler 3 from Franz Demmler.

Freestylers - If you can`t beat them....


onsdag 4. april 2012

A stormy maiden.

This Easter Annette and I are visiting my parents in Lofoten. While we are here, we have planned to maiden both Annettes Espresso and my VV Models Stinger. The weather reports has not looked promissing, and for the last couple of days we have walked through waist deep snow for hours to get to my home slope.

The first day we spent a couple of hours waiting in heavy snow and no wind. All we ended up with was wet planes and transmitters. The next day we woke up to sunshine and a fair amount of wind. Walking to the slope took a bit more than an hour and a half because of the deep snow. This is a walking trip that normaly takes only 20 minutes! We had to stop several times because of heavy snow showers that resulted in  very limited visibility.

Some time after we reached the slope edge, there was a brief moment when it stopped snowing and I quickly put my Stinger together and trew it of the edge. It took less than a minute before the sky closed again and I almost lost track of the Stinger. I quickly landed... We then waited for another 20 minutes before we decided that the conditions was getting worse and that we had to get back home.To bad we did not get to test the Espresso. The weather report for the rest of the week is not looking to good, but time will tell...


tirsdag 27. mars 2012

Finishing the Espresso

My Espresso is nearly finished! Kjell Sture has finished putting the radio gear in it, it's only lacking a tape over the servo openings on the wings. That's my job to do. I figured I'd finish it this evening, but I have understood that I need to use a special tape, and I couldn't find it among the modell airplane stuff to Kjell Sture. And since he is at work, finishing his Stinger, it will have to wait until tomorrow. It took longer than expected to finish the Espresso, since Kjell Sture suddenly went away for a week and a half, visiting people in the model airplane industry in Europe. But we made it just in time for Easter holidays. Kjell Sture has of course done most of the work. I have only painted something black and of course the tape. He even made covers for the wings! Now I'm just hoping for good weather during the Easter holiday in Lofoten, so we can try it. The weather forecast isn't optimistic, unfortunately. I would really like that my first flight with the Espresso would be in Lofoten, since I recall from the dvd Lift Ticket to Norway, it's "Slopers Paradise". And it really is the best place for a not so experienced model airplane pilot to fly her first moulded glider. I hope you all cross you fingers for both me and the weather. :)


Cover for the wings. I'm very happy about it!

mandag 19. mars 2012

Roadtrip of a lifetime.

For 10 years now I`ve been wanting to go with my friend Espen Torp on one of his famous roadtrips. For those who have not heard about these trips, Espen usually once a year drive from Stavanger in Norway to his UAV factory in Slovakia, stopping by friends and producers of F3B models on the way. He usually bring one of his friends with him on these trips. This time it was my turn to go with him.

I started on a Thursday, by flying from Tromsø to Stavanger. Thats two airplane rides and more than 2000km...

The next day we drove from Stavanger and through Denmark, finally stopping in Hamburg where we stayed with F3F-friend  Helge Borchert.

The next day we drove further into Germany and we had a few hours stop at Martin Weberschocks workshop. Here I, among other things got to see the moulds for the famous Radical F3B plane. I also got to have a look at Martins new design, the Dopamin.

After the visit at Martins workshop we had a quick dip into Poland before crossing the border into Czech Republic. This was however not totally without difficulties, but thats a story to be told another time. After driving a few km.into Czech we met up with Jiri Baudis in Jesenik and spendt the night at his house. Jiri is not only the producer of the famous Ceres and Fosa models, he is also an excellent cook!

Espen Torp and Jiri Baudis.

.....To be continued....

søndag 26. februar 2012

Skiing and flying

Not at the same time of course. Lovely day today, sunny and calm air. You don't get many days like today during the winter here in Tromsø, so you want to make the best of it. We packed the car with skis and model airplanes, and drove to the sports center on Kvaløya. I had an absolutley perfect flight with my EasyGlider on the parkinglot. It was perfect EasyGlider weather, not even a puff of wind. Kjell Sture flew his Sbach 352 from RC-factory. I think he really enjoyed him self as well, he didn't land befor the batteries went out.

After our flights we went cross-country skiing. The tracks lies beautiful along the hillside. We had the sun in the face. Kjell Sture even had a fluffy meeting with the snow in the last downhill. Cross-country skis are not made for off-piste. :) When we returned to the car, Kjell Sture had to emty his second battery, so he had another flight with his Sbach. A perfect sunday in Tromsø.


fredag 24. februar 2012

Twilight flight

After my complaint about bad flying conditions lately, we woke up to a beautiful and sunny day today! We both rushed home after work. Kjell Sture had made all the preparations yesterday. But when we came to Finnvikdalen the sun had already set, and we only had about one hour left with daylight. And it was freezingly cold! Much colder than we had thought, -11C to be spesific. I threw in the towel and chose the warm car seat, but Kjell Sture had come here to fly. He stood in snow up to his thighs, -11 C and the daylight disappearing very fast. He got one flight with his Nan Orion, and was happy with that. I held the car warm for him. :) After he had packed all the equipment in the car, we enjoyed a cup of hot chocolate, that Kjell Sture had been so thoughtful to bring with him.


torsdag 23. februar 2012

Bad flying conditions

It's been a while since I've written an update for the blog. First of all I've been on holiday, and second of all the weather's been bad since I came back home. First rain and then snow and wind. Not very good flying weather. Well this is something we are used to when we live north of the Arctic Circle. That's why Kjell Sture has bought a flightsim for the computer. Now we have the opportunity to sit in the cozy sofa of ours, with a cup of hot chocolate, heavy snow outside the window and fly different model airplanes. It's actually a good flightsim, it feels quite natural. (According to Kjell Sture it's a FS one V2 sim).

Kjell Sture has also been working hard putting the gear in the Espresso. I think he's nearly finished. :) We're planning to test it during Easter holidays. We've also started to plan which f3f competitions Kjell Sture (maybe I) will participate in this year, both in Norway and in Europe. It takes quite a bit planning since we live this far north, money and traveling time must be considered. Time will show.


lørdag 4. februar 2012

Double trouble....

Suddenly I`m the happy owner of two RC-factory Sbachs, the 0.8m. and the 1m. -How did this happen? (If you ask my girlfriend she will probably say that I put both in the shopping cart...)

Well, here`s the story:
Just before Christmas I was in need of another indoor model, and started searching around on Rcgroups for something usefull. I usually only fly depron models because the handle much crisper than EPP. -I`ve tried several EPP models, and they have all been too bendy and unprecise for my liking.

Then one day I discovered that RC-Factory (link) had a new 0.8m. indoor EPP Sbach on the marked. This is made from 10mm. EPP and have some new contruction that keeps the weight down (170g. ready) and makes for a stiffer airframe than most EPP planes. (It is actually stiffer than som depron planes too.)

All the advertising and feedback on RCG sounded great and I orderd one from Elefun.no. They did not have it in stock, but it was supposed to be back in stock within a couple of weeks.

As promissed, a few weeks later the package landed at my doorstep. To my surprice the box contained the 1m. Sbach that RC-Factory also makes... -I emailed Elefun, and they offered me to send the model back, or keep it for a much reduced price. Having previously owned their 1m. Yak 55, I knew this was a great park aerobatic machine. (Technicaly I still own the Yak 55, but it is stored in Ny-Ålesund, which is a research community close to the North pole...)

-Checking my boxes of unused bits, I found matching servos,batteries,esc and etc. To make the story short, I accepted the deal and got the 1m. for half the cost of the 0.8m! -A few weeks later the indoor 0.8m arrived... I recommend both models wholehartly, they are great!

Kjell Sture.
(Who probably have a bit of explaining to do, when the significant other half come home from holiday)

torsdag 26. januar 2012

Just another Espresso picture

I've been an owner of an Espresso for 2 whole days now. Not much have been done yet. I'm now traveling to a warmer place for a few days. In the mean time Kjell Sture will start to put the radio gear in it. He will have quite a few slopers to prepair for this season, including a Stinger and a Freestyler.


tirsdag 24. januar 2012

A strong Espresso

Yesterday I had a new experience. I actually went to the post office to pick up a parcel, which contained MY first fully moulded glider! Usually it's Kjell Sture that gets the huge parcels, so I think he was a bit jealous. He was very eager to help me unpack. The glider is a 2-meter sloperacer, with carbon wings. Espresso is the name. I love the coffee-name! Nice colors too, red, white and blue. The colors of the Norwegian flag. By the way you won't get any technical details from me. How heavy this and that is, how stiff...I really don't care. I just want to fly the glider :)

I'm planning to participate in my first F3F competition in Norway this year. So I had to purchase something I could use in the competition. The choice was between a 2-meter or a 3-meter, I landed on a 2-meter. And the reasen is that I'm realistic. This will be my first F3F season, and I can't expect that it will be unharmed through the whole year. So maybe it won't hurt so much (in my wallet) when it happens...maybe...  Luckily for me Kjell Sture is a master in repairs.

Here are some pictures from the unpacking. More pictures will come.


søndag 22. januar 2012

Freezingly cold flight

Since the weather was so beautiful, we drove to Finnvikdalen today as well. The thermometer showed -12 degrees C! If anyone had told me 5 years ago that I would stand outside in -12 degrees C flying my RC model airplane, I'd laugh and crawl deeper under my blanket with my book. But here I am with Kjell Sture, outside in -12, with my model airplane and enjoying myself.

I had brought my Merlin today. It's been a long time since I flew it, but it went really well. Good flight conditions, calm air, but I had to land after 4-5 minutes because of the cold. Kjell Sture flew his Tri-Copter with FPV equipment. I had to guide him about height and distance, and on the landing. Distance measuring is not my best skill, but it went well, nothing was broken.


Finally the sun was back in Tromsø.

After spendig the last couple of months in almost complete darkness the sun finally appeared again yesterday. We of course had to spend the time flying! We went to Finnvikdalen were the tempereature was close to -6 degrees C. Annette flew her EasyGlider electric in heavy turbulence, which the ballasted Easyglider seemed to handle surprisingly well. After around 5 minutes of flying she had to land because of cold fingers.

I tested my new heavy lift hexa copter outside for the first time. The AQ50D Pro flight controller was amazingly stable and the hexa handeled the turbulence a lot better than any other controller I`ve tried.
(Mainly KK and Multiwii). I also got to try out the Jakub gimbal with a Gopro mounted. I`m not sure if I`m happy with this gimbal... But, I need to spend some more time adjusting it. The good thing was that there was very little vibration "jello"

Kjell Sture.