Florida Soaring Society 2016 Wrap-up

The scores for 2016 were recently posted for the FSS 2016 events. Here are the results for the year: Expert Rank Pilot Contests Flown Scored Points Yearly Average 1 John Kennedy 11 7808 824 2 Mike Naylor 10 7648 830 3 Michael Gardner 9 7483 831 4 Jamie Mercado 8 7460 932 5 Steve Blake 7 6174 882 Masters Rank Pilot Contests Flown Scored Points Yearly Average 1 Raed Elazzaw 14 8668 915 2 Jody Miller 8 7700 962 Wow! 3rd place finish! This is my second year of flying competitively so I’m very pleased. John, Mike, Jamie, and Steve … Continue reading

Finishing Up The Xplorer Build

It Flies!

After having received the Xplorer a few weeks prior I finished up the build. In the last post I finished up the servo install in the wings. I was in a bit of a hurry to make a FSS event in May. It would be the last one until October. In the end I was unable to finish up the build before the event. I decided it was much more important to have a completely built plane that I was 100% confident in flying than putting a plane on a winch for the first time with epoxy barely hardened. The last items … Continue reading

Xplorer Mark 3 Servo Install

In my previous post about my new Xplorer Mark 3 I detailed how I setup the wing for pushrod exits. Now that I have each of the exits cut, the linkages measured, and the servo frame locations set it is time to glue those frames onto the inner skin of the wing. Let’s talk about a Xplorer Mark 3 servo install! Each step in this build, especially when it comes to the wing has been one where once undertaken cannot be undone. It really isn’t more evident than gluing in those servo frames. Once cured those frames are impossible to … Continue reading

Xplorer MK3 Build

I recently purchased a NAN Xplorer Mark3. After looking and marveling at the craftsmanship I knew it was time to put it together. I’m very lucky to live in an area with some amazing sailplane pilots. Jody Miller, Jeff Duval, and Dillon Graves are all local pilots that have a great track record for building great flying models. Jeff and Dillon are current USA F3J Team pilots and Jody was on the 2014 team. I’ll be enlisting each of them for help building my model. Starting Xplorer MK3 Build The first thing I decided to do was to cut the pushrod exits for the flaps. Even … Continue reading

Purchasing an Xplorer Mark 3

Mike and His Xplorer

I finally did it! Six months of saving and a bonus from work allowed me to pull the trigger on an Xplorer Mark 3! This model is out of this world in terms of quality. Everything seams are sealed. There is no molding marks. The tail group! Oh, the tail group! When I picked up the rudder I thought there was something wrong. It was so light! For a 4 meter (154 inches) glider I am amazed at how light it feels. The size really makes this impressive. Here are the weights: Center Panel 591g Right Tip 234g Left Tip 225g … Continue reading

DLG Flight Tuning

Having a perfectly tuned DLG is paramount to utilizing all aspects of its advanced construction. Doing basic flight tuning is necessary after you get your glider built. It should also be performed over time as your technique improves and if any changes or repairs have been made. Recently, I was greeted with an abnormal break in the weather which is typical in northern Florida in the early part of the year. I took this opportunity to get out and make sure that all my gliders were flying in tip-top shape. I headed out to this area in my neighborhood that is essentially … Continue reading

2015 FSS Wrap-up

2015 was my first year doing soaring events. I really enjoyed flying with the Florida Soaring Society! Now that 2015 has come and gone I thought I would post a quick 2015 FSS wrap-up. 2015 FSS Wrap-up In 2015 I participated in four Florida Soaring Society contests. Each contest consisted of two events held on a Saturday and Sunday. I actually completed seven total events. On the eighth event I lost my Gracia Maxi and didn’t finish. Basically, I really enjoyed 7 days of competitive soaring with a great group of people and had one stinker of day. For the … Continue reading

HobbyKing NTM Prop Drive

For my Sbach 342 I decided to use a NTM Prop Drive 50-60 series motor. The NTM Prop Drive motors from HobbyKing tend to be pretty good motors. HobbyKing doesn’t tend to market them as their top end motor so when compare it to their “nice” motors it’s a good deal. When compared to even nicer motors like Scorpions or Hackers it’s a steal! The NTM Prop Drive 50-60 360kv motor can swing a pretty big prop. According to HobbyKing’s numbers a 17×8 prop will pull 1900 watts. A 17×10 will pull over 2100 watts, 86 amps. This seemed pretty impressive. … Continue reading

Update on FAA’s 400ft Guideline

This is an update to my last post about the FAA’s 400ft guideline. Ever since the proposed registration was announced RCGroups’ Sailplane Talk forum had a discussion on the 400ft rule. I was catching up on some of the discussion there when I saw a post that mentioned that the AMA met with the FAA over some of the major concerns that members had with the wording placed on their site and in the safety material that was being used. A link to an article titled FAA Advocacy Meeting January 15 and 16 was in the post. Several important things were mentioned regarding … Continue reading

FAA’s Ridiculous Drone Registration

Recently, the FAA has mandated the registration of all sUAS which are greater than 250 grams. This was done because of the reckless use of “drones” or multi-rotors by people in highly populated areas and near airports. According to the Special Rule for Model Aircraft, HR 658, a community based organization, or CBO, can oversee model aircraft so long as the aircraft operate within the guidelines of the rules outlined. A gross simplification of this means that in the special rule a set of guidelines were prescribed and a CBO would make sure that its members followed those rules. The Aeronautical Model Association, or … Continue reading