Wednesday, November 23, 2011

5oz w/Bat - Trenches-EPP Pro F3P

1 - 9g servo for ailerons
2 - 3.2g servos for rudder / elevator
T1805 T-Motor w/8-4 prop
Thunderbird 9 esc (it's what I had laying around)
Dualsky 300mAh 2 cell 7.4 (it's what I had laying around - plenty of power)
Nano-Tech 460mAh 2 cell 7.4 (it's what I had laying around)

I've got to admit, I'm not a pattern guy at all but I am into " How light  & slow can I get an EPP plane?" when I first had the opportunity to fly one of these I jumped at it. I wasn't 30 seconds into my first flight when I knew that I just HAD TO HAVE one of these! Flying this slow is wild - I love it! Now, it's not slow 3D, as the drag plates slow EVERYTHING down... including those violently quick / snappy 3D moves. But, I'm loving flying slow... and am enjoying the new challenge of figuring out this SLOW slow flight envelop. Loving it actually! :-)

WARNING: The directions for the plane have you installing the servo arm backwards. I was so intent on following the directions that I didn't notice it till I was setting up the control throws and realizing what I didn't have. Hopefully TechOne will change the directions on this but if not, or if you happen to get an older kit - make sure you note this as you are building.

I built the plane "stock" / just like the instructions said - except for two things.

When I got to fly my friends Trenches the cross bracing kept popping apart in flight. Too much stress at the point where they attach to the fuse. On other EPP planes I have I've discovered that a little heat shrink tubing does wonders to solve this! :-) see the pics below. Basically I put a drop of CA on the tip of each piece of carbon fiber and put it into the heat shrink tubing - heat to shrink - then glue to plane as per the regular instructions.  See pics below. NOTE: The bracing that kept breaking was the four that brace the wings... so that's all I saw "fail" on the plane built stock. 

The other mod I made was on the hinges. When you use tape as hinges on EPP planes... you've got to be very VERY careful as its very easy to inadvertently stretch the tape as you are applying it. When you do that... the tape "pulls" itself back to close to its original size... stretching / warping your wing in the process! :-( So, instead of doing this I mostly use the "welders hinge" technique. I did that on this plane - sparingly - and it worked very well.

The WILDEST thing on this plane is the amount of embedded carbon fiber - its everywhere! The EPP is crazy thin yet they make up for this by embedding carbon fiber all over the plane. Note it on the following pictures - its on the ailerons, the elevator & the wing.

This is NOT an outdoor plane (unless flying in absolutely ZERO wind) but its not designed to be. This is a brilliant performer indoors. So silky smooth - you'll love it!

So there you have it - a great plane! A total blast to fly. LOVING it! :-)

Based off of a blog readers question I felt I should update this post with a clarification. The Trenches utilizes what is called a "pull pull" system (instead of push rods) on both the elevator & the rudder. See pics below - click to enlarge.

These aren't "hard" to setup - just takes a bit of patience playing with it. The only "downside" to them is durability. Comparing to my previously posted plane, the McFoamy - it does NOT use pull pull - intentionally, so as to GAIN durability. With a pull pull system if you plunk the plane in rudder first (which many people do while trying to learn to hover) or whack the elevator "landing" right side up or upside down... the rudder / elevator YANK HARD on the servo... usually stripping the gears immediately :-( there isn't any "give" in the linkage between the control surface (rudder / elevator) and the servo itself. With pushrods there is a "give"  / a flex that happens the length of the pushrod / it'll bow a bit if the rudder or elevator gets whacked. With a pull pull setup - both sides of the servo are taunt... so no matter how the rudder / elevator gets hit - they yank directly on the servo.

Now, :-) ...this update is NOT INTENDED TO DISCOURAGE YOU from getting a Trenches! :-) It is a great flying plane! :-)

My only reason for the update is to let you know that to gain the super slow flight this plane gives you... you are going to take some hits in durability. This pull pull system is a good example of that. Its a fantastic setup - works very VERY well! I highly recommend it - love it! :-) Almost all of the ETOC pilots use it as it saves a bunch of weight! :-) But... those guys don't crash as much as us mere mortals do. :-) So... depending on where your flying skills are at, and how much of a risk this issue may be to you - this may or may not be the plane for you. Me, where I'm at with my flying right now, this is an acceptable risk to me. You, I don't know you and your capabilities. So, FYI - now you know - and can make an informed decision for yourself, based off of your own flying capabilities and budget (though light weight servo prices keep coming down - and they are super easy to change out on this plane if need be).

Friday, September 16, 2011

McFoamy by

Double click the following video to jump to it on YouTube... otherwise blogspot cuts off the right edge. :-(

The West Michagan Park Flyers “McFoamy” has proven itself to be an EXCELLENT plane! It’s extremely durable (have I mentioned I like epp?) and engineered to fly very well! I honestly have NOTHING negative to say about this plane.

Though – I am interested in building a milled version (click HERE to jump to one of my milled planes) – but that’s just me! :-)

Check out the video above if you’ve not done so already – I think you’ll be impressed with how she fly’s.

But THAT’S NOT ALL you need to know about this great plane!!! :-) There is at least ONE more major thing you need to know.

I bought (and you can too!) this plane COMPLETELY assembled and ready to fly!

As in BNF!

Even the receiver was built in!

I only needed to bind the plane to my transmitter, attach my Velcro (Velcro was included but not put on – so that I / one could use their own preferred kind to match with any other previously “velcro’d batteries” they may have laying around), plug in the battery & launch!

Yes – this means it needs to be shipped to my house – in a very VERY large box! But, I learned something here – did you know Greyhound does shipping? Me neither! But they do! I googled it & found some flying forums on this with several people having issues with Greyhounds shipping – but I found mine here in the Syracuse area to be very helpful & professional. My shipment arrived on time & in good condition – not so much as a scratch on the box let alone any wrinkles from being “crushed.” So far – I’m a fan of Greyhound shipping.

Some quick background… as I usually build my own planes – but, I’ve been “stupid” busy lately (can you relate?) and was nearing my vacation without a new plane to fly. TRAGEDY!!! Also, I was vacationing “on the road” this year (usually we vacation in one location) traveling to Gettysburg – then over to Amish country (Lancaster PA), etc, etc – so I was wanting a plane I could somehow box up with all of our family luggage in the back of our minivan (back two seats taken out).

Thinking through my dilemma I remembered hearing that Greg at would from time to time offer built planes shipped right to your door. I dropped him an email – and the rest is history as they say! :-)

First thing I did when I received the box with the plane in it was cut it down a bit… as Greg needed it to survive shipping – I only needed it to survive my minivan & “gentle” bumps from shifting luggage. :-) Here is a  picture of what I ended up with:

So Greg really helped me out here by providing me with an excellent flying plane – which I had an absolute blast with while on vacation. THANK YOU Greg!

Price you ask? Well as with all things, prices vary depending on how you get it setup. I got mine as per his 2 cell setup there on his website. You can visit the McFoamy page (click HERE) to see that setup – and all of the prices on the various options… including at the very bottom of the page the ALL UP price for one completely built & shipped to you BNF.

FYI - for me, the fully built plane was a life saver – well worth the cost when you consider the cost of all the components - the value of having it professionally built (dude, its gunna fly straight!) – and the pure value to my schedule (how much are you willing to pay to fly rather than build?). To me – the all up price was very reasonable. Greg is charging what he needs to in order to make money / stay in business – but he is not asking anything unreasonable considering the cost of parts and his time in building them.

Personally, I’m very hopeful that Greg will continue to offer these already built & ready to fly / BNF. And… I’m very VERY much hoping that other EPP builders will follow suit – as I’m confident that there are many people like me out there – that are super SUPER busy – and as long as they aren’t being ripped off (charged a STUPIDLY obscene amount of money) – they / I  / we would be willing to pay to have quality indoor EPP planes built & shipped to us.

Not to mention – all of us novice builders will fly a LOT better with a professionally built plane! :-)

As always – if anyone has any questions for me on this plane – epp – building in epp – whatever – please feel free to connect with me at my email address (see my profile or go to my church website & follow the link there… as, that site has spam blockers – but if I list my personal email addy here it’ll get spammed to death!).

And… if you are interested in hearing this here skinny flyin preacher man speak – we have video of our morning church service posted on our website Click HERE to link directly to the page with me speaking. Even better yet - if you are ever in the Syracuse NY area - drop me a note & we can meet up for coffee - or even go fly together (our indoor club flies Tue's & Thur afternoons)! And of course - if you are in our area on a Sunday you are more than welcome to join us at church - we'd love to have you!

Hope you check out the McFoamy – you won’t be disappointed!
Pastor Mark Ferry

Monday, March 7, 2011

Techone Fun Fly Trainer RC EPP Plane Combo!

Ok, so I don't usually do this, but as I can't possibly afford to go and buy all of the planes that are out there - I do want to take the time to point my readers to what look like great sources for EPP planes. One such source is - where I personally just got off the phone placing an order with! :-)

Read around on this site and you'll see that I'm a big fan of Jimmie Wades designs. While Jimmie is no longer designing & selling planes, when he was - 2dog carried his planes! And, they have continued to carry many really great looking designs. I'd encourage you to check them all out.

Of particular interest to me for this particular post is what looks like a great trainer plane.
The package is pretty much all inclusive (assuming you already have a transmitter & charger)... and looks to be perfect for the new pilot in design, and in durability! THAT's key for new pilots! :-) As you expand, and want to move up to full 4 channels (ailerons) this plane looks like it could easily be adapted for such.

Check it out! And... if you find any other great looking sources for EPP planes - let me know! :-)