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Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Tweaking out the 3DHS Extra__MURDER SHP

 
I've been flying the 3D Hobby Shop Extra SHP for so long that I know the airplane almost forward and backwards. I have built maybe 10 or so of them for myself and friends, and I have utterly thousands of flights on these airframes. With each new one I keep finding ways to push the plane harder and harder, and this one especially will be no exception.

I have always intended to build the ultimate SHP, but I just never got around to it. I wanted to build it with the best of everything, and with every tweak I have ever learned flying this airframe. There has always been something I wanted to try on "the next one," like high voltage servos, an all ball link pushrod system, electronic stability system (ESS), and just generally apply eight years of experience with this plane to build the best one ever. Now I have all the pieces together (except as of this writing the stability system is not here), and the time is right.

Click To Enlarge (All Pictures)

As you can see it's still an SHP, and it doesn't even look that different from my other ones. The big differences are going to be in the little details.

The Old Setup
Before this project, I think we were getting everything we could have from the plane and equipment we were using. The SHP is closing in on eight years old, though it still does the job it was intended for with remarkable grace. However, as the equipment improves you can get more from the plane.

The SHP I flew all summer used the tried and true Hitec HS65MG servos, and those were still fine. The plane still flew beautifully and was a joy to fly, though I think the newer high voltage Hitec HS5070MH servos will take the new plane to the next level.



Extra SHP__The Boomerang Returns from Doc Austin on Vimeo.


Extra SHP__The Boomerang Returns II from Doc Austin on Vimeo
 
The New Ride  
 
Servos
For starters, my friends at Hitec sent some HS5070MH servos for this plane, and those have worked so well in my EXPs that I am confident they will really improve the SHP. These servos drop right in to the existing servo opening and you don't have to modify the plane in any way, which is nice since it helps the build go smoother.

The faster response and higher torque of these servos are really nice, but the thing I like most about them is their super precise centering. You can super fine trim the plane by turning the trim adjustments down, and with the superb centering the plane really locks in. This shows up most in precision maneuvers because the better trimmed out the plane is, the less corrections you have to make. Just point it and go.

With the higher Torque, stalling and blowback are relegated to the dark ages. Now you get instant response, and full deflection. Previously the drag of the control surfaces would slow the plane and dissipate some energy before the surfaces could fully deflect, but now it's like flipping a light switch, You have the control surfaces pegged instantly while the plane is still carrying maximum speed and energy, which transforms violent snaps and tumbles into violent snaps and tumbles. 
 
Pushrods
We have known for awhile that ball link hardware is the way to go. Awhile back the SHP pushrods were converted to ball links, but only at the control horns. The SHP still uses the swivel-type connectors at the servo arm. If there is any one thing that can be improved on this plane, I think it's having ball links all the way around.

Ball links, when set up properly, work smoothly, and are drag free and slop free. With ball links you get a more precise flying plane. You get a better flying plane, and I wanted this to be the best SHP yet. This means that ball links all the way around were the only choice.

Set Up
Aileron Set Up
Astonishingly, the aileron pushrods and ball links from the 44" Slick work perfectly on the SHP.
All I had to do was turn the servo around so the output shaft is further from the control surface. This part was easy.



Elevator Pushrod
Now we get to the lucky part. I found a rod threaded on both ends that turns out to be exactly perfect for the elevator. I just spun the ball links on all the way and it works. Scratch around in your box of wire and threaded rods and you might be lucky too. If you can't find a suitable pushrod, keep reading because I had to make one for the rudder, which I will show you in the rudder pushrod section below.

This servo arm was made out of carbon fiber a few years ago by a friend. It was just meant to be a little bit of bling, and it's been on all my SHPs since. It looks cool, so why not?


Rudder Pushrod
Now this is the hard part, but it wasn't really that hard. I could not find any 2mm threaded rod, but I had some 256. It's a little too big for the 3DHS ball links, but 2mm Dubro is a little beefier where the rod goes in, and I used those. Once I had the right length figured out, I used medium CA on the rod and then slid a carbon tube over the outside. After that set up I ran a little thin CA into each end and let it seep in.

This rod was just a tiny bit too big, but if you get the right size the rod will thread into the carbon. Then a drop of thin CA on either end will secure it nicely. You can also make an elevator pushrod like this, and even the aileron pushrods. Making all the pushrods like this would be even cooler because it's carbon and it will all match. It works, but it's also cool bling.



Here you can see a set up error which I have since corrected. The rudder pushrod is on the wrong side of the control horn. As you can see, the pushrod is not properly aligned between the servo and rudder control horn, I solved this by moving the ball link to the other side of the control horn and now it is a straight shot from the servo to the rudder.


Setting Up The Ball Links 
It takes a little care to set the ball links up, but it pays big dividends. I have already covered this in another article, so scroll down to Ball Link Set Up.

For securing the ball links I depart from the hardware pack a little bit. I like to use Dubro 2mm X 12mm case hardened allen bolts. It is always easier to work with an allen driver than a screwdriver, and I've got a really nice set of Losi tools for this. I also like to use an aircraft locking nut, and then a regular hex nut on top of that and jam nut the two together. Once that is done, I apply the coup de grâce in the form of a drop of medium CA to the exposed threads. Like this, the assembly can never come apart on it's own, but by spinning the nut off it will shatter the CA and you can take the assembly apart from there.


One thing I have wrong in this picture is that the ball link is a little bit twisted. You want that to be centered on the ball so it will operate at maximum freeness. I just had not gotten to checking that yet when I took the photos.

Powering The Servos
For these servos I needed a 7.4 volt power source. The Airboss ESC puts out 6, which isn't enough. To solve this I used a Castle Creations 10 amp separate BEC. I've been running these servos on 7.4 volts (while they are capable of 8) but this time I turned them up to 7.8. With Castle's link USB program it's a five second job.

I have always hated running a separate BEC simply because of the extra complexity. That, and it took me awhile to understand them. I came into electric RC not even knowing what an amp was, so understanding a BEC took a little bit of experience with them. I still hate the complexity, but my soldering has gotten better over the years and now installing a BEC is no big deal. Now, it's just an extra piece.

I was also reluctant to use them because of my poor computer skills, but Castle's excellent program makes it easy. Since you can see, and check what you are doing it's easy to set it once and forget about it. You can't change the programming by accident like you can with ESC, so I like that part.

Since the BEC runs the radio, you want to keep it cool. Here you can see I mounted it with Velcro
right behind the first former and down low . It is reasonably out in the open, so cooling should not be an issue.

 
In the end, though, nothing is as simple, reliable and easy to use as an Airboss ESC, so I hope we see  7.4 capable Airboss ESC soon. With the current 45 amp unit, you just take it out of the package, install it, and then forget about it. It's hard to beat that for being user friendly.

Power System
There was never any doubt it was going to be the Torque 2814 and Airboss 45 Elite ESC.  I've been using this system exclusively in my 47-48" planes for the last eight years, and they have never let me down. This plane was originally designed for this power system and it simply bolts on perfectly, kind of like the plane was originally designed for it!

You can see this motor is pretty beat up. It's been around a long time and served duty in my beata Yak and my last two SHPs. Basically it has had the snot run out of it, but it still runs well enough that it keeps on chugging.


If you click to enlarge the photo, you can see I cut the switch off the speed controller (ESC), soldered the wires together and heat shrunk them, and then stuffed them into the clear heat shrink on the outside of the ESC. I do this because with a separate BEC the switch is disabled anyway. I am so used to having a switch on the plane that using it is part of my safety procedure. I cut the switch off because now it doesn't do anything and can give a false sense of security. Any time the plane is plugged in, it is live, and in this case the switch is like a safety on a gun that doesn't work. You can plug the plane in with the switch in the off position, but it's still live and can bite you. In this case it is better to simply cut the switch off so it doesn't confuse me.

Tailwheel
I used an Extreme Flight EXP tailwheel assembly on my last SHP, and I found it to be a big improvement. I have always liked this assembly anyway, and it works superbly on the SHP. In my last Extra EXP article I showed how to set one of these up to be almost maintenance free. Scroll down to tailwheel assembly.


Wheel Pants
While not a big detail I really like the shape of the Extreme Flight wheel pant. They are a little heavier and more robust that the pant that comes with the kit, which will come in handy when bouncing the plane off the deck. The black look also affords a good place for a Thunder Power decal, which has become customary on all my wheel pants.


Decals
Normally I do a lot of business with B and E Graphics, but this project came together quickly and it was faster to go through a friend locally who runs a graphix store. The white roundels are duplicates of the ones that come with the red 48" Yak EXP, only they are made from 3M High Performance Vinyl. They are much thinner and about a quarter of the weight of the stock decals. This makes them pliable and easy to work with. 3M High Performance Vinyl is also much easier to apply with decal solution. The air and fluid squeezes out easily with a graphics squeegie, or in a pinch a credit card will work.


Custom decals are almost always better than what comes in the kit. They are easier to work with, look better, and in the event you have to remove them, come off easier too. It's just more of the best of everything. You can have anything in decals you need made by B and E Graphics. They have all the 3DHS and Extreme Flight artwork and can pop it out in a couple of days.


FLYING
I only managed two short flights so far because I got to the field and discovered I had forgotten my batteries! I borrowed a couple of packs from friends and got the SHP dialed in pretty quickly. Everything worked just like I was expecting, except the servo centering was even better and the SHP is now locked in like never before. Along with the double ball link pushrods, the SHP is even more precise flying, and it was already pretty damm good.
 

 
The biggest surprise is how hard the SHP will pop in a parachute when you have the irresistible force of an HS5070MH behind the elevator. It's just plain silly. The rolls on low rate were also much faster than I was expecting because now there is absolutely no stalling, and I had to turn that back about 7 or 8% to get my customary 3 rolls in five seconds.
 
Snaps and tumbles are much improved with the servo's big torque and holding power. I expect it to become even more violent with the speed, power, and momentum carrying weight of a 4s 2700 packs. Right now it's just gentle and easy like the last one was on 3s.
 
There's not really a lot I can say after only a couple of flights on 3s power. The plane is definitely the best SHP I have built yet, but I don't think we will see the real gains until I fly it hard on 4s.

In all it was a really good first day for the plane, though the conditions were so bad we didn't even try to shoot video. It would not have been fair to the plane, but the blog this summer is overflowing with SHP videos. Until we get some good weather and new footage, you can check those out.

EDIT: Between the bad weather and backlog of other projects, it took longer than we expected to get some 4s Murder SHP 4s video. After adding the SFGs to the elevator and going to 4s power, this plane is as tweaked out as I know how to make it. You can see the power, acceleration and speed are absolutely insane. It's a bad ass little monster.




I am still planning to add a stability system, but it has been a mater of researching to find the best one that I can still afford. remember, I have a whole fleet of planes that I will probably want to convert, so $100 gyros are out of the question. I could always try something cheap, but then you run the danger of it not working so well and maybe losing the plane. I've got it narrowed down to a few choices and hope to order a stability ystem soon. Right now I am just having fun with the plane and hate to change anything because it is flying so well.



EDIT: Here's the final tweak to the Murder SHP. The SFGs on the tail are downsized copies of the original Extra SR SFG. I had a few made up at a local laser cutting shop to fit to my SRs, and later my MXS'. They add a little bit of elevator authority and yaw authority, and maybe some all around stability.


 
 


Tuesday, December 8, 2015

MXS EXP__Bad Attitude 2015__Video And Photo Showcase


 
 
It was a big second  half of 2015 for my 48" MXS'. They were idle for most of the first half  of the year because I was concentrating on my 60" planes, 48" Yak and Laser EXP (with HV servos), not to mention the 3DHS Extra SHP and 44" Slick 580. I found myself with so many things to write about that there was little time to enjoy my MXS', and they just hung there collecting dust.
 
When the opportunity presented itself to just go sport hucking and not worry about filing a report, I jumped on it. Having recently acquired a really sweet phone with a 15mgp video camera, we took advantage of that to stockpile some video. Initially I was just going to save it for whenever I needed something for the blog, but I was so pleased to be flying an MXS again that I didn't want to sit on the footage. Flying all of those other planes and having to constantly adapt to them sharpened my game up, and now I think I am getting more out of the MXS than ever. Naturally, I wanted to show that off.
 
 
Click To Enlarge
 

  
I did wipe one out trying to fly out of a low hover in a dead stall and into a knife edge. It dropped faster than I was expecting and surprised me. I added more rudder and it kept dropping, then more elevator and finally I tried to roll it partially on it's back to get some lift off the wings. Essentially I got myself into a corner where I was asking it to do an outside snap roll, which it performed beautifully ..... right into the ground! It was totally my fault all the way, and I consoled myself by realizing that I was pushing hard trying to improve and got in over my head.
 
This sort of thing just happens when you are trying to go to the next level, especially when you are closing in on 62 years old with poor vision and a bad ticker. I've been doing this long enough that crashes no longer surprise me, but I don't think I will ever overcome the disappointment. The only good news was that it gave me an excuse to build a new one, and this also afforded me the opportunity to file a report on it:  Extreme Flight MXS__Order restored.
 
Once you have posted over 600 videos it becomes a little difficult to dream up new titles. For the new MXS I resurrected the "Bad Attitude" series of titles, though for the first three they included 2015 in the title. You can find those here: MXS EXP__Depth Of Fleet. Those were so well received that I decided to totally reboot the franchise and for the foreseeable future all 48" MXS videos will be part of the new "Bad Attitude" series.
 
The first video is a montage of stock footage, but the later two are totally new.




 

 
 

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Extra EXP__Like going Home

 

As you may have read in Weird For Extras__Passion Meets Pragmatism , I am a bit weird for Extras. In fact, it got so weird that I was binge flying my 48" Extra EXPs and my other planes were not getting much love. As long as I had one of those around, it was always the first plane I would think of when it came time to choose what to fly.

So, I needed a little bit of a change and that opportunity presented itself when I wore one out  and gave it to a friend, and then I crashed the other one. Just so I could spend more time with my other planes I put off building another Extra, and it has been a little over a year since I last had one.  It was good to miss them for a little bit, and now I can't wait to get started with them again.

The build and test flights went perfectly as expected and almost right away it had been like I had been flying the plane all along. It was like taking a long trip, then pulling into the driveway and everything is normal again because you are home.

You can scan the blog for other Extra articles because I have covered about everything I can on this plane. For this article I am going to run through a few steps in the build process and get a lot of pictures. We have a lot of newer pilots discovering this plane so they need a good resource for setting theirs up.

Extra In High Voltage
I've recently built a red Extra EXP with Hitec's HS5070MH and HS5087MH (on the elevator) servos, running on 7.4 colts from a Castle 10 amp BEC. Control response is insane and with the
improved servo centering the Extra tracks like a laser beam. It just flies solid.  I have often compared the Extra's high speed manners to Hano Prettner's world beating Curare, and this is even more fitting than ever before.

I spent most of 2015 flying these servos every day in my yellow 48" Laser and I eventually lost track of how many flights I had on them, but it was probably around 300 or better. They always performed beautifully and I never had a minute's worry with them. I eventually crashed that plane pretty badly and sent the servos over for a good cleaning and check out. Hitec was kind enough to simply replace them with new servos, which gives me a great feeling building my replacement Laser with all new equipment.

Below was the third flight (and the first in good conditions) on the new red Extra I built about two weeks ago.  I am already flying it with the confidence I had in my other Extra EXPs. I'de like to think I have Improved my flying since I last flew one of these, and hopefully I can now fly the Extra even better.



 
Extras have always had long, sleek lines, and the EXP versions are the swoopiest planes around. Everything else just looks clunky next to an Extra EXP. It is such a sexy plane to fly. It is smooth, graceful and full of class. While I love the way Extras fly, it's also nice that they are such attractive planes.
 
Click To Enlarge

This is in keeping with the Extra's strongest trait, it's balance. It flies as good as it looks. The Extra does super locked in precision, and also does really righteous 3d. On low rates it's a better sport plane than any dedicated sport plane I have ever flown, so the Extra is adaptable, flexible, and certainly capable.
 
At least in my mind, everything the Extra does is the way it is supposed to be done. It is smooth and predictable and it is hard to do anything with this plane that does not look graceful.

Click To Enlarge
 
 
Using the MXS Wingtips
For the red Extra I painted up a set of MSX racing wingtips. I shot rthem with Krylon white and applied 3M high peformance silver vinyl. This vinyl is really easy to work with and looks great. I used a set of these most of last year on a 48" Laser, and a few years ago on another Extra. You can read about how the tips affect performance in Flying The Extra EXP With MXS Wingtips
 
 

Extra EXP With Standard Servos
With the red built and sorted all that was left to do was build a blue. I like flying the red because it is easy to see and screams for attention, though the blue is certainly the prettiest. My first Extra EXP was blue and I have a lot of incredible memories from that plane.
 
Click To Enlarge
 
The new blue Extra is equipped with the standard equipment recommended in the manual. I use Hitec HS65MHs on the ailerons and rudder, though I deviate from the manual on the elevator and use the robust HS85MG for the elevator. As always, I use the Torque/Airboss  power combo, and like the rest of my planes with 6 volt servos, I use the Airboss' excellent built in BEC to feed the servos.
 
This plane is identical to all the Extra EXPs I have been flying for the last five years (with the exception of the new red one). This set up has worked extremely well and given me remarkable reliability and performance.
 
While the response is not quite the same as my red Extra with 7.4 volt servos, the plane is still nearly as capable in anything except terminal velocity snaps and tumbles. The Extra is not really that kind of plane anyway, so the standard servos are still more than good enough unless you simply want to abuse the plane and try to pull it apart.

 
 
  


This will probably be my primary plane for 2016, which means it will be flown often and utterly remorselessly. After three flights I have a pretty good accord going with it, though I need some slightly calmer conditions to get the final trim dialed in dead on. It's still close enough for me to fly it hard, but with my trim adjustments turned all the way down I need one ot two good high speed passes in calmer conditions to hit perfection.



 
  
 

 
 
Tne original plan was for the blue extra to be a Christmas present to myself, but once the kit got here i just couldn't wait. I tore into it and flew it the next day




Extra EXP__Couldn't Wait For Christmas II from Doc Austin on Vimeo.

 
The Build
Details
It helps to be able to set up as many details as possible before the plane gets here. Once I get into the build process, I am in the zone, and hate to stop for piddly little tasks like ball links or grinding flat spots on the tailwheel wire. I like to take care of that kind of stuff before hand so I can concentrate on getting tail on straight and the hinges right.

As such, I like to pre-cut and fold all of my control surface sealing material (clear Ultrakote), assemble the pushrods and ball links, set up the tailwheel assembly, and even set up a landing gear with wheels and wheel pants if I have enough parts. The more little things I can get done ahead of time, the more I can concentrate on getting the plane straight and the easier it is to do a nice, smooth build.


Ball Link Set Up
I have done so many of these that I know in advance exactly what I have to do. I have also acquired  a nice spare parts inventory and have the luxury to set up the servo arms and pushrods ahead of time. This saves me a lot of work because it takes time to get the ball links operating smoothly with no drag.

The ball links are usually a little tight, which you don't want. You don't want sloppy either, but that is almost never a problem. You don't want any drag in the ball link because that can give you poor centering, so I like to loosen them up a little. 

The first thing I do is thread the ball link on to a pushrod. This makes it easier to hold on to, especially if you have arthritis. I use a small electric drill to spin the pushrod into the ball link, but you have to be careful you don't thread it in so deep that you damage the link. I use the clutch on the drill to keep this from happening. On these EXPs the threads usually go almost all the way in, and that way there is no chance they will ever pull out. I try to get it as close to bottomed out as I can. Once you get it in that deep, it is loathe to turn back out, so I use that end to bolt to the control horn, and make my trim adjustments by spinning the servo arm at the other end of the pushrod.


 

Then, I use an allen driver to pry the brass ball out of the plastic link itself. I pop the ball in and out a few times until it is nice and smooth, and can move around with no drag.

Pop the ball out as such....


 
And pop it back in thusly...
 
 
 
Sometimes after you bolt it on to the servo arm or control horn the ball link will tighten back up, so you have to pull it apart and start over.  Generally you want the bolt securing the ball link as tight as you can get it, but that can introduce drag into the ball link. This is why you have to tinker with it a bit. That's when you have to take it apart and start over.

For securing the ball links I depart from the hardware pack a little bit. I like to use Dubro 2mm X 12mm case hardened allen bolts. It is always easier to work with an allen driver than a screwdriver, and I've got a really nice set of Losi tools for this. I also like to use an aircraft locking nut, and then a regular hex nut on top of that and jam nut the two together. Once that is done, I apply the coup de grâce in the form of a drop of medium CA to the exposed threads. Like this, the assembly can never come apart on it's own, but by spinning the nut off it will shatter the CA and you can take the assembly apart from there.

This is the control horn on my Laser, but the double nutting technique is the same.


All of this requires a lot of tinkering, but it pays big dividends to have smoothly operating, drag free pushrod systems. The servos work better and center better, and the aircraft flies more smoothly and precisely. Little details like this make a big difference in flight performance.

Tailwheel Assembly
I really like the EXP tailwheel assemblies. They also require a little bit of tinkering, but if you set one up properly they work brilliantly. No tailwheel assembly is going to stand up to repeated harrier landings, especially since a lot of times the plane simply stalls and drops the entire weight of the airplane onto the tailwheel. Still, I get away with it all the time because I took the time to set it up right the first time. I will bend the wire every so often, but we have a vise at the field, so it's no problem to chuck it up and bend it back.

Also remember that I do things like snap roll into a landing, do donuts and other such silliness, so I might be harder on the unit than a lot of people.

I also like that you can change the entire unit out in about 30 seconds by removing three screws. If you have a problem it's easy enough to fix right there.

The most important part of the process is grinding flat sports on the tailwheel wire where the steering arm and wheel collar grub nuts will sit. A flat spot gives those a larger surface to sit on, and less chance the arm can turn on the wire. You can either file it flat or hit it with a big Dremel grinding disc (my preferred method)..



Earlier steering arms were two pieces press fit together, but the newest arms are now threaded. I make sure the arm is threaded tightly onto the round center piece, then use a T pin to apply a drop of thin CA as shown in the photo below. It helps to tilt the arm up a little so the CA can wick into the joint. Also, remove the grub screw so in the case you get too much CA in there none of it glues that in! You only need a drop.



Finally, you have to get the center of the wire directly over the hingeline. If the wire and hingeline are not on the same axis, you can get binding, so it pays big dividends to take your time here. If you get it right you can tighten the screw that holds the arm to the rudder down tightly. Check rudder movement with the tailwheel assembly installed and hooked up to the rudder. If movement is good with no binding, you got it right.



It's hard to get it absolutely dead on, but if you are only off a little you can leave the screw that mounts the arm to the rudder a little loose.  It also helps a little to open the slot in the arm a little so the screw can slide a little easier.

 
 
Here you can see I have the tailwheel wire centered over the rudder hinge line, and that makes it operate with no binding.
 

The EXP tailwheel assembly works beautifully, but you do need to take a little extra time to get it working smoothly. I can set one up from package to finished in about five to ten minutes, and that's just puttering around with it and not trying to rush. If anything, it pays off if you don't rush and take the time to set it up right in one try. It is hard not to want to blast the project out and go fly it, so it takes patience to slow down and get all the details right. If you do, though, you get a plane that operates properly and smoothly. It's better to take the time in the shop and do it right than to have to fix something at the field.

ESC Installation
From years of flying nitro slimers I got into the habit of mounting my radio switch on the opposite side of the exhaust. Most of the time this put the switch on the left side of the plane.  I carried this old habit over into electrics, and as a result have always mounted the ESC on the left side of the motorbox. 



The newer Airboss ESCs have  longer wires to the switch, which makes installation more flexible. To get the weight more centrally located, I mounted the ESC on the bottom of the motorbox. I relieved the lip on the bulkhead just a little so I could slide the ESC back a little further and get the deans connector in an easier position to access. Like this, the ESC sits dead in front of the cooling opening in the front of the cowling under the spinner.

Previously, when on the side of the motorbox, the ESC was only getting hot air off the motor, but now tucked under the motorbox it sits in fresh, cool airflow. Cooling has never been a problem with either the torque 2814 or Airboss 45 ESC, but heat is always the enemy and the more of that you can dissipate with cooling the better and smoother everything is going to run.

Also worth noting is this is how it is shown in the manual and previously I was just being stubborn and stuck in my own ways.

Cooling Baffles
Again, even without the included cooling baffles the Torque and Airboss always runs cool, especially in the Extra with it's large cooling nostrils. Still, cooler is better, and with the ESC now out of the way, I can run both baffles on the motorbox sides. These channel cooling air right to the back of the motor where it generates the most heat. More airflow over this area will cool the entire package down.

 
 
Flying
 

We hope to be shooting and adding new Extra EXP video all week. December 2nd is usually the most beautiful flying day of the year in Florida, and it's Nov 28th now. I definitely plan to take advantage of the cool weather and calm skies and it will be nice to have two new Extra EXPs for that.

Since we are a little short on video right now, this is from last year with my older red Extra. The weather was simply horrid, and we had to shoot in unpredictable conditions. Thunder storms would roll in and out and as you can imagine that made the wind come and go. The worst part is always the wind gusts, which in Florida can be 10-20 mph higher than the prevailing wind. The gusts can also change direction with no warning, so you have to be on your toes and have an agile, forgiving aircraft. For me, nothing is better under those conditions than the Extra EXP.

It was tough conditions, but we had a nice HD video camera and plenty of memory, so you don't want to waste that kind of opportunity. My friend Mark was also in town for the day and we tend to encourage bad behavior in each other when it comes to flying. What could go wrong?

Fortunately, this time  nothing did go wrong and we came away with a lot of useful footage. This is probably my best Extra video to date. We are hoping to shoot video of the blue Extra in the next few days, so stray tuned.
 

Extra EXP EPIC from Doc Austin on Vimeo.

Bonus Footage
 
I don't know anything about this video except Kevin found this on his camera. It's at SPARKS and it looks like a nice day.