Hangar 9 Ultra Stick Mods and tips.
By Mike Bogh
As some of you may know, I have had a US for about a year, and after some less than flattering reviews, I tabled mine for several months. First I'll go through the mods I did.
1- Cut hatch in forward fuse for tank access, a must do IMO.
2- Reinforce the firewall and doubled the top of fuse where hatch was removed with 1/16 ply underneath inside the tank compartment.
3 - Added balsa blocks the front and rear of the wing saddle, beat to fit, shape to match, this fills in the gap between the hold down block and the wing.
4 - Moved the servo tray 4 inches forward.
5 - Peeled the aft top fuse covering carefully, (I know, I know), and popped off the top of the fuse completely.
6. Added cross bracing to the tail area, couple of cross braces down the fuse, added 2 control rod guides in the middle. Added a couple of small tri stock to the horz/stab joiner, inside. Filled in the very aft triangle area with 1/4 balsa, cut on the cross grain and then medium CA'd the top fuse back on.
* Note, I only used thin CA for all of this, and very light balsa, total weight gain aprox. 5 grams or less.*
7 - Reapplied same covering, with UltraCote you can do this several times if necessary. Result was perfect, you cannot tell the covering was ever removed.
8 - Replaced the banana shaped wooden control rods with fiberglass arrow shafts.
9 - Went with mondo 4 1/2 in. feather lite wheels, just because I had 'em.
10 - Went with Futaba 9203's or was it 9302's? in every control surface, 3003 on throttle.
Ok, so the engine is a Saito 150, installed at the forward end of the mount, and the 5 cell, 6v battery is located behind the tank, up against the former, so that I can access it even with the wing installed. (This was too cool, I found out later).
I installed the switch in the fuel compartment too, against the wing former.
In this set up, the plane balanced at 4 1/2" back from the leading edge, which proved perfect for initial flights.
Now for the tough part, I had 3 different programming guides in front of me for the Futaba 8 Super, and they were all different. AM Crosses, Horizon's and Don Edberg's. Finally after 5 hours my buddy and I settled on Edbergs. Ailerons linked to flaps on ch. 5 flap /elev mix on switch C Butterfly/crow to throttle, on the elev. D/R switch.
APC 16x8, Cermark spinner.
First flight yesterday, right off the board, honest to gawd ZERO trim needed, although with max throws on the first flight ( I know, I know, but I fly fun-flys OK?) I didn't expect such terrific response from this lumbering giant. My very first impression is that this plane LOVES the wind. I have never seen a plane do 100 foot elevators with maybe 15 feet of forward gain. (Except for the TOC stuff, but I'm talking Stick here) At about 20 feet I'm in final at full throttle for a flyby, and as soon as I hit the east end of the runway I drop the throttle to crow, stopping the plane in 100 ft, WHOA! to hover, right in front of me, then stuff the throttle, pull vertical, very quickly to 200 ft, to a hammerhead, now crow, drop vertical s-l-o-w-l-y at 25-30 mph 215 ft for a tailwheel first landing at mid field. (And the crowd goes wild!) Flaperons engaged, and take off in 6 feet, rapid rolling on the vert up line, flaps linked to alierons, another hammer, crow and vertical descent, into the wind (full sock), wings LEVEL to the horizon with a perfect harrier landing,
Now I know what your thinking, all this on a first flight? OK, not the first flight of the day, but I flew 8 flights yesterday, with every flight doing more and more but, with my prior US stick time on my buddy's stick, I knew exactly what to expect. I'm telling you, I'm a good flyer, sometimes very good, but yesterday...I looked totally pro, as inferred by the applause from the audience yesterday. You know what else? 200 people at the field, for a fathers day fly-in. So a couple of my bud's say, howintheheck can you first flight this plane in front of so many people? Beats me, double checked, triple checked and I just never get embarrassed, I think. Now I all I have to do is program out the roll coupling in knife edge and I'm there.
I'll tell you this too, along with my Balsa Nova and my 'Munk, I will always keep a Ultra Stick in my hanger, this is just one too cool plane.
Now, where did I put that Sudokoi ARF?????
Best to you all,