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 Post subject: Re: I'm insane (how I ended up with a turbine)
PostPosted: Mon Mar 09, 2015 10:01 pm 
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Well, it flew... got a chance to get out with my friend Jim today and put some flights up. Met up at a former Navy/NASA auxiliary field that happens to be half way in between where we live, him in the Bay Area and me near Yosemite. Aside from the Sheriffs kicking us off twice, it was a great day! Apparently the county has had some issues with drag racers and they have since instituted a "no admitance" policy for everybody. Luckily for us, the Sheriffs told us to pack up and go and that they would come back in several hours, maybe, to make sure we were gone... <wink>. :thumbup:

Jim brought out three planes, a BVM Bobcat and Bandit, both powered by a JetCat P-120 and a Jet Legend F-18 with a JetCat Titan. He didn't fly the Bandit, but put a number of flights on both the others. I was able to get a flight on the Bobcat and wow... just wow... more on that later.

I got four flights on mine. A couple of little issues getting it started, mainly due to me not really knowing anything :dontknow , and the engine's lack of use. But, once that was out of the way I was able to fuel and fly, fuel and fly. Plane does not fly heavy, though it's probably pushing 30 lbs wet. Speed is good, but you quickly reach max speed as it's so draggy. It's a big plane though, so I'm sure it's going a lot faster than it looks.

After I knocked out a couple of flights on the Boomer, Jim handed me the radios for his planes (one was even on 72 mhz! remember those??? lol) just to show the difference in flight characteristics.

The Boomerang flies like a big truck. Sure, positive, smooth... goes wherever you point it and is very honest. Fast, but not so fast to scare you. A really fun plane. The Bobcat, is like cutting through warm butter as Jimmy puts it. It just slices through the air and is FAST! I was cruising at half throttle and it was fast enough that I seriously had to concentrate on not losing orientation. Full thrust verticals will make you giggle like a schoolgirl. Well, it did that for me anyway... :D

The F-18 was a little squirrelly. I kind of hunted around a bit when disturbed and didn't really like to groove. Jim has his CG pretty far aft and this is done on purpose as it apparently digs in turns and doesn't handle all that well with the CG forward. I dunno, I didn't fly it that way. Jim's been flying these things for a long time, so I just have to defer to him.

BUT, apparently there are more and more people going to 3 axis gyros on planes like this... and when the guys on the show used to talk about gyros on planes... well, it really wasn't something that I thought I would do. This changed my mind, I really think that a gyro like the JR Axis or the BD Cortex would really settle something like this down and make it a joy to fly. It really didn't fly bad, but when compared to the sport jets, it was really noticeable.

Anyway, had a lot of fun. Was good to fly with my friend again... A couple of times we were flying at the same time making pass after pass just like when we were kids... Except then, we were flying an Astro Hog with a Saito and a Goldberg Cub with an Enya 4 cycle... I guess the only real difference was the planes, we really are still kids deep down. :p

Here is a video. I wanted to edit and shorten it, but my software wasn't playing nice. So, this is the raw unedited video. I apologize for the focus at times, it was the first time we used this camera for something like this.



Tom M


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 Post subject: Re: I'm insane (how I ended up with a turbine)
PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2015 7:37 am 
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Location: Mason City, IA
That is really fun to watch, great job! Nothing beats that sound.


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 Post subject: Re: I'm insane (how I ended up with a turbine)
PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2015 8:02 am 
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Location: West sussex, UK
sounds great, looks super cool and if I had a place like that to fly my wife and kids would have forgotten who I was.
that was excellent on so many levels.

thanks for sharing.
Steve


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 Post subject: Re: I'm insane (how I ended up with a turbine)
PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2015 9:02 am 
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Joined: Mon Jul 25, 2011 11:58 am
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Location: Austin, TX
That's awesome, Tom! :thumbup:

What you say about the F-18 vs the sport jets totally makes sense. The real one is unstable as heck too, and flies with the help of a computer. Unless a lot of liberties are taken with the aerodynamics, it stands to reason the little one won't fly all that well without artificial stability as well.

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 Post subject: Re: I'm insane (how I ended up with a turbine)
PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2015 10:40 am 
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Wow. Very cool. You're making me want to move out West!

I'll now go back to my snow-covered baseball diamond and fly a foamy... :(


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 Post subject: Re: I'm insane (how I ended up with a turbine)
PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2015 5:18 pm 
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Thanks for the kind words guys. Had a lot of fun yesterday, looking forward to the next time I can get out and fly again. That site is called Crow's Landing and is in the middle of the Central Valley. It's a perfect site for sure, but as I said there are some issues with modelers getting to use it without the authorities having a problem. We did get come contact information for somebody who might be able to point us in the right direction as to how to use it with permission, but we haven't talked to anybody yet. They held a giant scale racing event this last weekend, and it was all done with permission, so it's possible. Hopefully we can figure out who to talk to about it.

I can't fly at my home field just yet, I haven't gotten a turbine waiver. I would like to fly at Crow's at least one more time to get more comfortable with operating the plane anyway, but I hope to work out the required paperwork soon.

Chris, the F-18 did have a gyro on yaw, I forgot to mention that. Flying that plane for the few minutes I did, it really could use a 3 axis system. Even the scale jets from pre-fly-by-wire days seem to need it, just from watching them. The BVM F-100 comes to mind as we had a club member build a couple of these over the years to compete in Top Gun, and you could see that thing ever so slightly hunt in heading. The full size used to have a huge dutch roll problem, no reason to think the smaller version wouldn't either.

My biggest issue is fuel. You can run Jet-A or straight kerosene. Some manufacturers say that you can run diesel as well, JetCat being one, but I haven't double checked directly to see if it matters on what model of engine. Kerosene is pretty expensive in the hardware/sporting goods stores, somewhere around $9-12/gal. My friend told me of a gas station near him that has a pump at about $6/gal, but I can't find anything nearby. I haven't tried the airports for Jet-A, from what I have heard it can be tough to get it at the airport for such small quantities.

In my four flights my flight times went from nearly 10 minutes to just under about 8 minutes. From what I can tell, each flight uses almost a gallon of fuel! :shock: My five gallon container was full when I started, and after those four flights it feels like maybe one more fill up with a little left over. So, given that, I need to find an affordable option that's close. Diesel would sure be nice.

Tom M


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 Post subject: Re: I'm insane (how I ended up with a turbine)
PostPosted: Mon Mar 16, 2015 1:14 am 
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Location: Minneapolis
wow, gigantic planes. Terrific photos.


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 Post subject: Re: I'm insane (how I ended up with a turbine)
PostPosted: Mon Mar 16, 2015 8:06 am 
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Location: Houston, Texas
That's cool if you can run your turbines on Diesel, it will sure be a heck of a lot cheaper.

I just wouldn't be able to put up with the diesel stink though...I would hate to have my beautiful planes smell like an old truck.

However if putting up with diesel stink meant i could fly a lot more....its a tough decision to make.

You never did tell us if the wife has let you sleep in the house again yet after your purchase?

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 Post subject: Re: I'm insane (how I ended up with a turbine)
PostPosted: Mon Mar 16, 2015 10:12 am 
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Sleep in the house again? Who in this hobby is able to do that? :)

The diesel wouldn't be too bad smell wise. The oil in the kerosene gives it a smell and the propane smells as well. Diesel would be more pungent for sure, but I don't have to have it in the cabin of the truck when I go to the field. My truck has a shell now, so all that stuff rides in there.

But, it might be hard to sleep next to in the storage room when it rains. ;)


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 Post subject: Re: I'm insane (how I ended up with a turbine)
PostPosted: Sat Mar 28, 2015 7:53 pm 
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Update.

I was able to hook up with a couple of guys this week and get my Turbine Waiver application signed off. With AMA, you need an active/experienced turbine pilot with a waiver who is also a CD, and another pilot with a waiver to witness a flight. You have to do a couple of things on this flight, nothing hard, maneuvers with rolling and looping elements, balked landing, and landing to a full stop. Also you are supposed to demonstrate knowledge about the systems and contingencies in case of hot start, fire, etc.

It was all very straight forward and positive. The CD is a local club member, a guy I have flown with quite a bit, we both have an airline background so the ground stuff went quick, more of a conversation than anything else. I have done a lot of things in this hobby, but this is completely new so I was eager to hear his insight and advice on how to operate this thing.

Flight was straight forward too. Didn't start up the first time, wasn't getting the fuel it needed during start so it aborted. Good to have happen with somebody there and see how to deal with it. Very simple, let it cool down, try again as it was likely just bubbles in the lines from having sat for a few weeks. Fired right up after that, and away we went.

Take off. Flew around, covered the maneuvers that I knew the AMA asked for. Mark didn't ask specifically as he's seen me fly pattern for years, but all the Ts and Is were dotted and crossed as appropriate. Then a couple of approaches...

My field is big. Runway is 750' by 50' or so... plenty of room all around. But this beast of a jet makes it feel small really fast. Two approaches were a little fast, just trying to get in the groove. Needed to show a go-around anyway, so there you go... two! :)

The third was fine to a full stop. Taxi back, take off, and enter the pattern again for a full stop and done.

All in all it was very simple and easy. I have to mail in the application and in about 10 days to two weeks I should have a waiver to fly at my home field! Can also join the other club that is about 2.5 hours away that uses a seldom used, but active, airport. That would be more for weekend and epic all day sessions.

From what it sounds like there are a few more guys getting back into turbines after a break at our field. Looks like I dipped my toe in at the right time.

Tom M


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