Xplorer Version and Variations Differences

After much discussion on the “X3” thread on RCGroups.com I decided to come up with the following article discussion the evolution of NAN’s Xplorer.  The Xplorer from NAN Models started flying in 2008. It was an immediate success in F3J competition. Over the years the Xplorer underwent three major revisions. Along the way there were some intermediate variations that changed up the current offerring. In this article we’ll explore the differences in the Xplorer’s versions and variations as well as looking at the evolution in the model over the years. NOTE: This article is a work in progress. Xplorer 1 Link … Continue reading

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

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

Gracia Maxi Obituary, Xplorers Are Expensive!

The Xplorer Mark III by Nan Models is the pinnacle of thermal duration gliders. It’s light, weighing only 1700g for the 4 meter version. The Xplorer line has a number of championships and wins to its name. I consider it the defacto standard for F3J gliders. Here’s a picture from the last Florida Soaring Society event in 2015 in which I participated: Of the eleven people which participated, eight of them flew some version of the Xplorer. This glider is so popular that I often ask other RC pilots who are not flying it why they chose something different. The reason … Continue reading

Flying Gators RC Club – FlyingGatorsRC.com

Announcing the opening of the new website for the Flying Gators RC Club: FlyingGatorsRC.com! I am a member of the Flying Gators Model Airplane Club in Gainesville, FL. During the last year our website went down due to a member passing away. I wasn’t able to get the domain name or hosting access to salvage the site. Instead I took the knowledge I gained from running this site and built up a WordPress site using GoDaddy’s WordPress hosting services. Was a bit easier than setting up this site by hand! Anyhow, if you’re in the Gainesville, FL area and fly RC … Continue reading


Sbach 342: Build Update 1

Hinging the Wings Previously I talked about getting a new Skyline-RC Sbach 342. The other night I started work on putting it together. There was no paper manual in the box but a CD which contained an electronic version. When I ordered the model I looked to see if I could find a copy online. I couldn’t find one so I thought that it would be a good idea for me to upload it: Skyline-RC Manual for 70 Series. Hopefully it will help others looking for the same information. Anyhow, the first thing in the manual is hinging the ailerons. The … Continue reading

The Next RC Build: Sbach 342

Recently I’ve been consumed with unpowered flight. Not too long ago a “blowout deal” arrived to my inbox from GeneralHobby.com. It was for this 70 sized (60″) Sbach 342. At the time it was $149.99 plus shipping. Having wanted a Sbach for some time and the seemingly good deal I was ready to pull the trigger. I have only heard good things about the manufacturer, Skyline-RC. They seem to work with the same models that are produced by Goldwing. A member of the club where I fly has a few of these models. He puts them through their paces and … Continue reading

Florida Soaring Society Contest #3

I participated in the Florida Soaring Society’s third contest of the year at the Indian River Kontrol Society’s field just west of Cocoa, FL. The contest was well put on by John Graves and his wife Kim. The whole weekend was a blast. I also had my best flying of the year! Continue reading

Spektrum Telemetry Reader – Pre-Alpha Build

Here’s a little update on a project I’ve been working on. The Spektrum Telemetry Reader is an Android app to read Spektrum telemetry data. The Spektrum Telemetry Reader I’ve completed another alpha build of the Telemetry Reader for Android. It’s relatively stable. Obviously there are ways to make it crash. I’m mainly using it as a visual verification that the data from the library is coming back correctly. I’m also attempting my first hybrid application using the Ionic Framework (an extension of Cordova) and want to validate some of the design choices that I’ve made. Download the compressed APK: Telemetry Reader for Android … Continue reading

Flying the Sunbird

If you’ve been following my Sunbird series you’ll know that in the last posts I covered and finished the wing. I had to run an errand after work which got me home a little earlier than I normally do. I immediately got into finish the glider mode. The ailerons setup was pretty easy, just like any other ARF. I setup and made mounts for the wing bolts and drilled the holes in the wing. Basically, I was done! I had two OrangeRX receivers in my electronics box. Now, I’ve had a bunch of these receivers and have had no problems with … Continue reading