Ray's 2013 Newsletter
More News to be added
I'm very glad that so many RC fliers are enjoying building my kits. Hats off to all of you ... it's a great hobby! Many fliers are coming back to building Woody sailplane kits and experiencing the joy and fulfillment of building their own. Sky Bench is all about keeping the art of building and flying models alive and well.
March 23, 2013. Went to the AMA field, late afternoon, to fly my OLY lll. Cold ( low 40's ), but the sky was blue, 2nd flight was my last, stayed up for 42 minutes and came down because my hands were really cold. Landed at 4:45 pm. Wore a big smile driving home. Point of interest, when loading the car I left the winch in the garage, the battery sets in a plastic container and it had an inch of battery acid. I don't have a clue what caused the leakage, time to trade it in.
Many customers are installing electric motors in my kits, any and all of them. Electric motors have been around since the 90's, I flew my black e-powered Big Bird in the 1998 KRC event in Pennsylvania. Another contestant was flying a Sky Bench kit too, my awesome performing 2M Osprey. You will be hearing more about my Ospreys. It is relatively easy to install the e-power package. Check the charts at the top of my "Electric Sailplane" page for help on deciding what size motor to use based on watts. The first two digits of the Ammo motors is the diameter of the motor. Also, use the "Gear Drive" link to select a gear box. More NEWS to come ... Check back soon!
Building Tip: secure the wire push rods with small pieces of tubing cut from the tubing provided in my kits to the fuse sides between the fuse formers to prevent bowing. I use a small dab of clear Silicone glue on the tubes. Do this before you add the top/bottom. I bought a built OLY lll and had to open up the bottom of the fuse to anchor the push wires. I could hear the rudder push wire hitting the side of the fuse by moving the rudder by hand while the servo/Rx was turned on.
Notice: I'm changing some of the kits over to balsa instead of light ply on the front fuse sides. This will speed up builder construction time and save 3-4 oz, just what we are looking for when considering installing an electric motor.
UP-Date: July, 5th, 2013 ...
Big Bird, Big Bird XL, OLY II, OLY IIS, OLY II SX and later the Sky Bird and OLY III
2M LIL BIRD WING CONSTRUCTION
All the wing Laser Cut plywood spar braces included in the kit can be installed when hard launching, zoom launching or aerobatics are performed.
If you are installing an electric motor, only the plywood spar braces shown on the construction plan need to be used to have an adequately strong wing. Eliminating the other center dihedral plywood spar braces will save weight and building time. The wing will still be very strong regardless if you build a one or two piece wing.
Installing electric motors in Sky Bench Woody kits has become very popular due to the availability of current light weight motors and Li-Po batteries. A good place to start the motor thrust line setting is 2 degrees down and zero off set. The amount of thrust ( watts ) your motor, prop size/pitch and battery produce, plus your flying style preferences will determine the final thrust line settings.
Sky Bench has sold hundreds of 2M Lil Birds, everyone has been delighted with the flight performance.
Fall and Winter Building Season
This is the time of year many Woody Builders place orders for the kits that will keep them busy through the winter months. Part of the pleasure of building your own sailplane is the vision of it soaring high in the clouds as you are putting it together.
The best way to place an order is send the order form or facsimile by US Mail, FAX or e-Mail. If you want to skip the order form and send an email facsimile order, please include your phone number to keep Fed Ex Gr happy. You will receive an order confirmation email from me. I do not have on line order. Some customers split the CC info between a couple of emails. I spend most of my Sky Bench time in the shop producing the kits and do not have a phone nearby for safety reasons.
Currently orders are being shipped between one and three weeks from day of receipt.
This is my response to a customer's email questions about installing an electric motor into my kits. He refers to me being a purist about launching sailplanes, meaning I prefer winch or hi-start over electric. The short of it, I have been flying electrics since the mid nineties.
"Good afternoon Ray, Since everything I read suggests that you are a purist, you may not take too kindly to my question. That being said, everything I read also tells me that you are the Man with all the knowledge. Although I am 60 years of age, I am what I call new to the sport of flying RC"
If you are referring to Purist as in Fishing, I fly Fish.
If you are referring to Purist as in being a Woody Sailplane builder instead of a RTF Sailplane Buyer, I am a Purist.
If you are referring to Purist as in how I launch a Sailplane, I believe Hand Launching and Slope Soaring is being a Purist. All other forms of launching a sailplane, Hi Start, Winch, E-Powered and Aero Tow are outside the realm of being a purist when it comes to launching mode.
If you are referring to Purist as in what is my preference of launching a Sailplane, I started flying sailplanes in 1968 with a scratch built from magazine plans for a gas motor powered design, built my own winch, bought Hi Starts, designed a Mini Hi Start, entered my first Electric powered Sailplane contest in 1998 with a Big Bird E that I still have, have been flying a 2M E Lil Bird almost as long as the Big Bird, have 3 store bought electric's from Hobby Lobby several years ago that are still flying and I'm currently deciding whether I will start an E Powered contest series next year, similar to my Wood Crafters contests.
I have no preference as to how to launch my sailplanes nor do I have a preference between Electric and Winch launched contests. I enjoy flying sailplanes of all types in contests and otherwise.
I spent so much time on this, I'm going to send it to my Web Master to put up on my Web's Newsletter so I can let others know.
Suggestion for New Guys: Start with the OLY ll as suggested on my web, it is very easy for MOST to put together and is very durable and easy to learn how to fly in thermals.
"I just thought I might ask the "Master" about his thoughts on this. I will be moving to Eastern Ohio this winter and would like to start my new build in the Spring."
Follow what others on my web have used in their OLYll, OLY llS and OLY llSX
If you're close to Columbus, hook up with the "MOSS" club, lots of Woody builders.
Ray LSF 803 NSS 29
More NEWS to come ... Check back soon!
Ray Hayes LSF 803 NSS 29
Sky Bench, Ft Wayne, IN 46804E Mail: SKYBENCH@COMCAST.NET