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

Logitec MX Master Mouse

I’m a mouse snob. Software engineering pretty much takes place at a computer. So I work at a computer about 9 hours a day during the work week. It therefore goes that I will use the computer peripherals that best meet my needs and comfort. I could go on about my keyboard, monitors, any of the stuff on my desk, etc. but today I’m going with pure mouse snobbery. The first mouse I fell head over heals for was the Microsoft Intellimouse. I hadn’t immediately jumped on the optical mouse bandwagon. When I did I went for one that had … 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

Another Reason I Hate My Job

I’m on the “innovations” team at my work. I’m supposed to come up with innovative new solutions so that our products don’t linger in the past. All too often my team gets disbanded for a while to work on other items due to the nature of other teams. Our solutions are often held hostage by legacy implementations which no one will update or migrate to support the type of cutting edge internet applications my team is tasked with creating. Here’s a gem I found recently. We wanted task data from one of our systems. We were told that the manner … Continue reading