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Saturday, October 02, 2010

E-slope Mini Pulse successful maiden flight

About a year and 6 months ago I bought a Mini Pulse electric kit from a LHS. At the time these kits were hard to find but if you did found one on shelf in a hobby shop like I did you don’t even argue about the price and just buy it like I have done.

At the time the kit coast around R1250.00 and took about 2-3 evenings to assemble and install my radio gear. But here comes the catch, the Mini Pulse is tail dragger and if you want to ROG it, you will need a reasonable length of smooth run way to do so. The same argument also holds true for when you want to land it.

I was hoping to fly it at the Berg field but as you can see in the pictures the grass is not even enough to allow ROG. So the next thing it did was to hand launch the Mini Pulse only to find that on landing the undercarriage was ripped out and ending up with two neat holes punched into the wing were the wheel pads went in.

After repairing the damage the next thing was to find a field were one could ROG and land the Mini Pulse. So I ended up going all the way to the new GEMS field (in the mean time all forms of e-flight have been banded here as well) and at last I could take off and land from any direction. Now the only problem was to travel the distance but as keen modeler I did not mind doing the trip, however this set my mind into thinking mode and after speaking to Izak Theron (he also fly a Mini Pulse at GEMS) about the undercarriage problem and the possibility of removing it so that I can hand launch and land it on the BERG field, he pointed out to me that the next Items in line will be the under wing mount servos and then the fixed prop that will hit the ground on landing.

So Izak suggested that I mount the servos on top of the wing and ad a folding prop in order to save the prop and electric motor from damage on landing. After milling the Ideas around a bit I thought that I would rebuild the Mini Pulse from scratch with foam and a bagged wing construction including all modifications that we spoke about. The building took about four to five weeks and the Turninge 480 motor, speed control and lipo-battery were bought from Hobby King. The AUW came just under 1 Kg (without the undercarriage) and that is about 100 gram heavier than the normal Mine Pulse.

So as you can see I made the maiden flight yester day and it flew strait away the only difference that I could detect is slightly less vertical performance due to the extra weight. Landing now is now more a pleasure than a headache and as you can see after three landings on the Berg field I could hardly notice any damage on the underside of the Mini Pulse.

It would now also be possible to fly the Mini Pulse from the slope and you can be sure it won’t stay behind on my next trip to Vloksrust , and O yes if you are lucky enough to fly on tar runway you can always put the undercarriage back.

I would like thank Izak Theron for all the Ideas that made this really such a fun project and for Jogen that took all those stunning shots of the maiden flight.

Spectrem Air operates a much modified Basler DC3-TP67 for airborne mineral exploration based out of South Africa. The aircraft was converted at the end of 1992, and has been operating as a turbo-prop since 1993.  More photos here


Izak Theron said...

Nice one Piet! Looks like you got another winner there. Been fun playing "technical advisor" :) and listening to your progress throughout this project.

Evan Shaw said...

I want to know more about that funny looking plane overflying the field. I'm told it's a highly modified Dakota, used for field survey or something. It could make an interesting PSS don't you think?

Piet Rheeders said...

Hi Evan and Izak

A electric twin mod Dakota with the loop aerial, and I hope to gain that 100 gram back on the next e-slope Mini Puse, somehow I always build to heavy.