Hobby Shops

First at the top of the list is the Twist 60. I went to semi-local hobby shop in Massachusetts which is about an hour each way.  I went for a mini-heli pitch gauge, but ended up buying a Hanagar 9 Twist 60 and a Saito 1.15 4-stroke nitro engine, whoops, on rare occasions you make the impulse buy, then pay for it later with overtime and so-on.

I bought the Twist 60 last week and after the bum servos  ( TowerPro MG995 ) which 3 out of 5 were defective I went and ordered some Hitec MG 5625MGs for a few bucks more a piece.  The torque wasn’t as high, but I knew they would have a better percentage of good to bad! While I’ve had good luck with the Hitec servos, maybe out of the last 10 I’ve ordered I had one defective.  I pulled apart the case on the defect and rebuilt it and it worked fine.   The TowerPro MG995’s were grindy and nasty with bad centering and weird operations.   I kept the TowerPros, I hear the amp board is good so I’m going to mod a bunch of S148’s over to digital just to be weird.

Twist 60 Plane
The Twist 60 went together pretty easy.  The tail feathers bolt on, and the rudder and elevator servos mount in the tail of the aircraft.  Best to have a couple 18″ and 9-12″ servo extensions for this model. The fuel tank was kind of lame because the hole in the firewall was cut bigger than the neck of the tank.  A little bit of silicone around the neck of the fuel tanks seals the gap and keeps fuel from spraying back along the tank and into your landing gear block/electronics section.

It’s a shame this plane has been discontinued but there are some hardcore people making short kits and that kind of thing if you look hard enough (hint: twistaholics on google)

It comes with the hardware to run as a nitro-methonal or electric aircraft.  As I planned to run it at nitro I did a couple of small modifications to it.  The biggest was that I sanded down the firewall and sidewalls of the engine compartment and coated them with 30 minute epoxy to seal it against fuel, I also painted the inside of the fuel tank compartment with epoxy in case any leaks develop.  Secondly I went through the fuse and epoxied critical joints in the fuse with a light coat of 30 minute epoxy to strengthen it a bit.  This required cutting the covering of the bottom lightening hole behind the canopy but I feel it was worthwhile from things I had read elsewhere.

For the electronics I used an Aitronics SD-10G 2.4Ghz radio, I’ll have to write another post on this radio, it’s pretty awesome.  I used the 10 channel receiver.  It runs in FH3 modulation mode which causes some problems with analog servos so that’s why I used the Hitec 5625MG servos in all locations, including the throttle.

Regulator: For the power supply plane side I used a Outrage 2s/7.4v/2200mAh LiPo battery powering a Fromeco Arizona regulator.  The Arizona regulator is a helicopter regulator, but that just means it has 2 lower voltage outputs for the gyro in a heli.  I didn’t use those outputs in the setup.

Servos: As I mentioned I used the Hitec 5625MG servos.  They work well and seem sturdy and strong enough for this application.

When I bought the plane I bought a Saito 1.15 4-stroker along with it. This is my first 4-stroke nitro engine and it was not as difficult to setup as some people seem to make it out to be.  The documentation is very straight forward, and this engine didn’t seem to have any quirks or weird things leftover from production.  I ran about 1/3rd of a gallon through the engine on a test bench before sticking it on the plane.

I bought Byron 4-stroke fuel.  It’s 15% nitro and 16% oil. Saito recommends 20% oil so I bought some oil additive, also Byron brand and remixed the fuel up to 20%.  The Byron fuel has about 3% castor in it.  The original Saito manual says to run ‘mostly synthetic’ fuel, while the American sources say to run 100% synthetic.  I prefer to run a little castor in my mix, and I believe the original manufacturer knows what they are talking about.  Not everyone is a super-pro engine tuner who never has an accident.  Additionally, fuel system problems can cause lean conditions, and have a bit of castor in there makes me feel a LITTLE safer.  It may require more maintenance in the long run, but these engines are so simple that it’s not a problem to tear one down and clean it up!

First Flight

I took the first flight on this aircraft on Sunday the 15th(2009). The plane flew pretty great. I was expecting it to be a disaster but all I need was some down trim and it was great.  As you can see from the video it really wanted to go up!  Some of that was me of course, some of it the trim.  Together it made for a great first takeoff and that Saito yanked it right up into the sky with no problem at all.

I just puttered and played around a bit, adjusting trims and other things. I wanted to get a first flight in casually just to make sure everything was working as desired. Future flights will involve a lot more crazy as this plane is going to be great!  A friend shot some video of the flight as you can see here (if you can’t, the link is http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1eLHxliTmDA )

Oh, right, also managed to get a little work done on the sidewalk, but not much! 😀

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