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Hello from Texas

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  • Hello from Texas

    My name is Mark and I was told about this forum in RCGroups. Recently became involved in aero towing and am in the process of putting together an E-Flite Blanik. Currently I fly a 1/5 semi-scale Saga Fox that I converted from electric power to aero tow. Been building and flying RC sailplanes since the late 1970's. I am always on the lookout for new and innovative ways to assemble and (unfortunately) repair our models.
    Mark

  • #2
    Hello Mark, and welcome aboard!

    The E-Flite Blanik is a wonderful all around sailplane and an excellent scale model for aerotowing.

    You might want to check out the upgrade parts that Gunny at Aviation Concepts makes. Here is a link: http://www.aviationconceptsrc.com/ap...tegory/1504571
    A Site for Soar Eyes

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    • #3
      Thanks for the link. I saw their parts mentioned in a thread on the Blanik and was going to go look for them, you've saved me a search effort. Picked the kit up at a great price, unfortunately UPS treated her badly. The bulkhead at the trailing edge was floating around in the fuselage in three pieces! Since I knew it was the plane I wanted and the kit was discontinued I decided to make the repairs myself. During the same time I've been making improvements.

      BTW, when I was a very young boy, early High School I think since I still couldn't drive, my dad took me to the finish of a sailplane race south of Dallas, TX. Watched them cross the finish line, dump their ballast and come around to land. After the race he bought me a ride in a sailplane, a Blanik! It was the first time I rode in a civil aircraft and I've been attracted to soaring ever since.
      Mark

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      • #4
        That is a great story!

        The Blanik requires a significant amount of nose weight to balance, so most add structure and heavier battery packs instead of just lead. Also, the stock wheel doesn't hold up very well, so most replace it with another stronger wheel design.
        A Site for Soar Eyes

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        • #5
          Hi Mark,

          Welcome to the site.
          It's good you were able to get the Blanik. It's becoming difficult to obtain them now.
          As for the former, lol, I don't know anyone who did not receive a plane without that former being broken. It's standard..

          The plane is a really good flyer, you'll have a blast with the wide speed envelope.

          I hope you post some pictures of you're progress.

          Len
          Len Buffinton
          Team Horizon Hobby

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          • #6
            Len,

            My progress has been somewhat slow...I'm not a fast builder. Plus, with this being my first "big" airplane assembly I'm taking my time. My building/hangar area is a 10' x 10' bedroom holding a 3' x 7' door for a work bench. So, I have to plan each step carefully. I have a lot to learn about 1/4 scale gliders.

            Also, while working on installing the new former I fabricated I saw some FOD behind the former just in front of the vertical. While removing the FOD, a big wad of cured hard fiberglass rovings, that former just "popped" out. On inspection only about 15% of its area was bonded to the internal skin. The FOD prevented it from being inserted further aft, thus creating the gaps. Lead to some interesting solutions to reinstall it.

            Friday I hit a milestone, the first operational system is programmed in the transmitter and has completed ground/bench tests, the tow release. I modified the opening to reinforce the skin and the pin, which is now .092" piano wire, moves through a double layer of K&S brass tubing. I was able to insert a simulated tow line multiple times and release it smoothly in multiple directions pulling as hard as I dare!

            Looking forward to getting her in the air, hopefully before our second building season here in Texas!

            Mark
            Mark

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            • #7
              What a lucky dog getting ahold of the Blanik! Currently I'm on the hunt for one... And I am realizing how hard they are to get ahold of

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Meadowlarksoaring View Post
                What a lucky dog getting ahold of the Blanik! Currently I'm on the hunt for one... And I am realizing how hard they are to get ahold of
                Yes, I think I was lucky. Might have bought the last NIB on the open market. Received it last November. She has a few dings from hard treatment by UPS, but my vendor has paid me for my materials and labor. Plus it has forced me to inspect the air frame well and take my time with the needed repairs. I saw your search requests in another forum and I hope they pan out.

                Mark
                Mark

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