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Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Yak EXP__Just Flyin'

We are in a bit of a limbo right now waiting for the 60" Yaks to come in. The last I heard, they would be here late summer, which probably means August. For now, though, I'm flying the 48" Yaks a lot, and occasionally I allow myself a few flights on my favorite Extra EXP.

So, we aren't going to build anything until the 60" Yak gets here, and that leaves plenty of time for just flyin' with my homies and having a good time.

Click Pictures To Enlarge
 
Mike Bellotte Photos 

 
Each of the EXPs has their own place, and the Yak certainly has hers. I love the Yak for a lot of reasons, but mostly I think the plane is helping me improve my flying. The Yak will roll, snap, spin and tumble in such a straight line that when you hit it right you look awesome. Conversely, if you are careless or sloppy, you just look careless and sloppy. What you see with the Yak is what you get. It is a very honest airplane in that it does not make you look better than you are, like the Edge EXP will. To look good with the Yak, you've got to be on top of it.
 
In a way this makes the plane a bit more difficult, and initially frustrating. At first I was not exactly in love with the Yak. I looked careless and sloppy with it, but that was only because I was careless and sloppy flying it! When I started flying the plane with a bit more of a disciplined approach, I started to fall in love with it. I started taking my time to set my maneuvers up better and more deliberately, and also thinking about what the plane was doing and why.
 
 
Getting on terms with the Yak was all about understanding it. Most of the EXPs are fairly similar, and I have been able to pick any of them up and know exactly what I was getting. But, like I say, the Yak is a bit different, and realizing that was the key.

Because the Yak is so capable, it just makes getting the most out of it very satisfying. It's not a hard plane to fly, but it doesn't do anything for you. If you look good with the Yak it's because you earned it, and that makes the Yak the pilot's plane.
 
As I learned more of it's character I relished the challenge of extracting the most from it. I had to wreck a few to find the limit and how to dance on it, but now I know what to expect from it. It was just so different that in the beginning I was a little lost, but now that we are dialed in to each other, I am nearly as comfortable with this plane as I am my beloved Extras.

 
Click Pictures To Enlarge
Mike Bellotte Photos 
 




 
In the final analysis, any airplane must be judged by how much fun you have with it. The Yak featured in this article is the one I repaired the motorbox on. As strange as this may sound, the plane paid for itself just in the enjoyment I got out of the work and writing the report on it, plus I've shot about six or seven videos with this airframe. This plane was also involved in some secret development testing, and I hope to be able to talk about that more soon.
 
Mostly it's just been a fun airplane. I wrecked it early on and blew the motorbox out of it, so it became the beater pretty early on. I took my time to make a nice repair on it, so it's still a damm nice beater. I've got a brand new one with a handful of flights on it, but this is the one I love right now.
 
So, the fun factor on this plane has been huge, and I have certainly enjoyed my other Yaks as well.  This Yak especially flies really, really well. Every so often you get one that is just special, and that is the case with this plane.
 
Yak EXP Wind Testing from Doc Austin on Vimeo.

Click Pictures To Enlarge
Mike Bellotte Photos  
 
Thunder Power 4s 2700 70C Pro Force Packs
 
It took long enough, but I finally wore my 65C Pro Power packs down enough that I could pass them off to my camera guys. I got almost two years out of them and they were still putting out plenty of power. I was just coming down with less voltage in the packs, and that's one of the first signs they are getting a little tired.
 
I flew them hard every day and charged them fast. I never cut any of those packs any slack outside of keeping them stored in a cool place and never running them lower than the rated voltage. I believe if you do just those two things any of you can get a lot more mileage out of your Li Po batteries.
 
The 65C packs held up really well and I have been totally satisfied with them. In the end, as much as anything I need to be flying Thunder Power's latest and greatest stuff, and that hastened the exit of my beloved 65C packs as much as anything.
 
I just unwrapped a set of four 4s 2700 Pro Force packs last month. I probably have about 30 flights on each pack, and so far I don't see much difference outside of my end of flight voltage is higher. I've still got blistering power, so all that is left to do is hammer the packs for a few hundred flights and see if they can match the 65C pack's reliability and durability. So far they have performed exactly the way I would expect a Thunder Power product to perform, which is awesome. 

Click To Enlarge

It still doesn't sound right, though. I've been saying Pro Power for so long I am sure it will take awhile to get used to saying Pro Force, but it hasn't taken long to get used to flying the packs.

Summer Break 
I managed to squeeze in one last video of the Extra before my forced summer break. I'll be down for about a month, but hopefully back in time to build/fly/video/report on the spectacular new Extreme Flight 60" Yak EXP.