Topic: Laser

Laser R.I.P

It happened a few weeks ago but I’ve tried not to think to much about it- the Laser crashed and was totally destroyed during practice in rough winds. It was much better but sadly not flown as much as the Red Laser that preceded it. Intended as a backup model I originally fitted it with an O.S 200 FS engine. It was fitted with a pump and Hatori header that was later sold cheap after realising it had none of the power I wanted. I replaced it with a YS 1.60 which I discovered was badly broken before I had a chance to fly it. It then got a used YS 1.70 DZ which performed really well. After changing fuel from one type of Rapicon to another it stopped on takeoff, breaking one undercarriage leg. It took a while to get the leg I wanted from Germany and by the time it got mended, last years flying season was over and I was eagerly looking forward to receiving my new Integral. The Laser was in storage for a full year until my Integral broke and then it came out of hiding, dutifully performing its role as backup model. It flew very nicely and after three trim flights due to a change to 2,4 Ghz it performed well. It was very honest to fly with no bad habits. Although not being able to match the Integral in knife-edge performance it was a very decent F3A model, despite looking like an IMAC half-breed.

There was a lot of wind that fateful day. I don’t really mind wind as long as it blows straight down the field but this was the kind of day when your model must be bolted to the grass in order to not fly away on its own, the kind of windy day only an idiot flies. I was that idiot. After the second round of P11 I was about to turn onto base leg for landing, and with a tailwind best described as a tornado, the idiot move I made was to retard the throttle and pull a little elevator to turn. It stalled, simply flicked forward and was blown nose-first into the dirt in the blink of an eye.

Crash pictures

Video (With OS 200)

“There he goes. A high-powered mutant of some kind never even considered for mass production. Too weird to live, and too rare to die.”
– From Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

Flying season 2010

Here’s an update about what’s going on in the 2010 season. The integral is pictured here with a new undercarriage which was violently torn off minutes after the picture was taken.

The Integral is the best flying plane I’ve seen. I just love how it presents itself in the air and the color scheme is brilliant. The CDI engine is really easy to operate and is very fuel efficient. It’s also one less thing to charge before I go flying since there’s no glow driver involved.. I typically charge about 600 mAh after four flights in the combined RX and ignition battery pack. At the annual Løten F3A cup I experimented with my own blend of fuel with 10% oil. That definitely did not work well, it overheated in both rounds and stopped. After a forced landing the undercarriage mount was badly damaged and is currently being repaired. I have changed to the taller ZN landing gear that is used in their electric models like the Xigris. It looks really nice and gives better prop clearance so that I can run 19 inch props if I want to. I have had some hysteresis problems with the throttle servo which gives an unreliable idle so I’m changing the throttle servo position and will be using the Futaba 9650 servo.

150 km/h into a wall of grass. Integral does not approve.

While the Integral is undergoing undercarriage surgery I have flown and trimmed the Lorenz Laser. It hasn’t flown since I broke an undercarriage leg last year and now has a stronger, lighter undercarriage and it’s converted to Futaba 2,4 ghz. Trimming it with the new radio and receiver should have been uneventful but it was rather terrifying when the elevator horn broke. Nothing raises your pulse like seeing your elevator flapping freely in an untrimmed plane. To top it off, a wheel fell just when I was touching down. I got some applause from rolling out perfectly with one wheel and one elevator. Every dog has it’s day! Upon inspection, the other elevator horn was fractured and broke off with a light twist. A light surgical procedure involving 5-minute epoxy later, the Laser flew two trim flights and one P-11 schedule successfully.

I have swapped the lovely little T8 Futaba radio for it’s bigger brother, the T12FG. It offers more programming ease with it’s larger screen and also has logical switches which I find very helpful for switching flight mode from normal to snap roll using stick positions. I also have a flight mode called “IGN ON” which powers on the ignition. It’s a non-standard flight mode which means the radio gives and alarm if switched on when the ignition switch is on. I have installed a 2800 mAh Robbe Li-Ion battery and updated it to firmware 2.1. It’s a superb radio but sadly it lacks the trim position reset feature and the superior ergonomics of the T8. And I really miss the backlit display, it’s almost impossible to see the screen in poor lighting conditions. It’s always nice to have an excuse to upgrade your radio if something better comes along…

Laser with YS 170

Although it happened a little while ago now, here’s the status on the blue Laser. It’s been fitted with a used YS 170DZ/Hatori combo and thanks to my buddy Audun it ran very smooth. I had three great flights at Auduns field and I was very pleasantly surprised to experience the immense braking effect on downlines with such a powerful engine. Fuel consumption… not so impressed :-) I have enough for a schedule but no more so I need to be careful. I’m very happy with the choice to standardize on YS engines. That’s Auduns Oxalys in the picture, the plane used to belong to Ola Fremming. Audun was unfortunate and broke his belly pan during a forced landing. Pictures here

YS 160 damage

The YS 160 engine failed to run properly so we opened it up. The valve lifter was stuck, _really_ stuck and we found metal shavings had jammed the pump piston. We tried to fix it but never got so far as to test it, when we saw the busted conrod we thought all was lost. Read More »

YS for OS: Laser engine change

DSC00020The blue Laser has got a new engine, a YS 160. The Hatori 828 pipe has a much larger opening so the YS header does not fit. I fixed that with a silicone tube over the header which gave a very tight fit. The engine mount is new (Hyde mount from Central Hobbies) and I have redone the cowling fasteners which turned out lighter and easier to remove.

Laser/OS 200 first flight video

This is a really nice video filmed by my friend Audun Thinn. It shows the first flight of the blue Lorenz Laser, powered by the OS 200 FS with an added Perry pump. The exhaust is a Hatori #824 pipe. The engine runs rough and rich and finally dies but the plane lands safely. The 200 failed to perform as hoped after break-in and was sold in July 2009, will be replaced very soon by a YS 1.60 DZ. A larger version of the video can be found on Youtube

Mid-season status update

I have been quiet here on the blog but very actively practicing and tuning models. Here’s a quick update on how me and my planes are doing.

The red Laser (OS 160) is performing extremely well. A better manifold (thank you Just Engines) and shorter pipe lenght has produced more power and it now pulls the 18×10 APC at a steady 8300. The idle RPM is comfortable at 1500 but possible to get down to 1300 (!). That said, I have made a decision to sell it and make the switch to YS fourstrokes entirely, because…

The blue Laser (OS 200 FS) is not performing like I had hoped, reaching only 7500 rpm on an 18×10 and being sluggish in the air. I have decided to sell the engine and swap it for a used YS 160 that a friend of mine sold me. So now that I’m a proud and slightly apprehensive YS owner, having never owned or operated one before I have made another bold move…:

I have made a deal to purchase a ZN line Integral complete with YS 170 from an F3A pilot who’s switching to electrics. The plane is just ready built and complete but not yet flown. Sometimes you just have to jump on a chance to get a professionally built plane like this. I’m hoping to get some flights on it at the end of this season when I get in in a month or so and that it’ll be my new primary model.

Blue Laser ready

The second Laser is ready to fly. I’m not sure about the weight but it should be lighter than it’s red sibling.
Here’s the list of goodies:
– OS 2.0 FS w/ Perry pump
– Hatori header and pipe
– Emcotec DPSI-mini RV dual magnetic switch w/regulator
– 2x Kokam 800Mah LiPo
– Graupner SMC-16 Scan SPCM receiver
– Hitec Servos
– Tettra 560ml Crank tank

It balanced perfecly without any adjustments. The spinner from Dave Brown will be substituted for a light backplate tru-turn after the next Central Hobbies order. And on tuesday this week, it flies. Wish me luck.
Pictures are here

Nordic N-09 at Kråkstad

One seriously perfect contest day at Vingtors field at Kråkstad, may 30 2009. We flew Nordic N-09 and Sport-07 which is our current entry-level schedule. Henning Jordkjend Organized the event and everything went really smoothly and we finished ahead schedule. Apart from Tore Jemtegaard having problems taking off in the tall grass there was not a single incident. I came in 6th out of 8 pilots in Nordic which I’m very satisfied with, considering I have not practiced at all this year. The Laser performed well during all three rounds but I realize it needs a little more power. Pipe tuning is next, after I have finished it’s evil twin, the Blue OS 200FS powered Laser. Ola Fremming won the event, flying with a 0.85 point handicap.
See pictures from the event on Flickr.

Season starts: Pattern practice

Ex-Chairman and organizing virtuoso Audun Thinn hosts a weekend of pattern practice every year where anyone can join in and get tips from professional pilots. This year we had decent weather and a great turnout. For the last two years we have been fortunate to have Norwegian Champion Ola Fremming and experienced pilots like Lars Semb teach us some tricks and evaluate our flying. As it turns out, setting up the model is a key element that is not fully appreciated. The most common problem we see at these events is having far too much throw on the controls, elevator in particular. Smooth flying requires a very mild setup. For the seasoned pilots, it’s the details that get commented by the pros: Seal the hinge gaps, make all controls completely slop free, incorrect prop, too lean etc. All advice from the pros are greatly appreciated.
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