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Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Yak and Laser EXP 60__The YouTube Files

We've had a few requests to use YouTube so people can have an easier time watching on their mobile devices. Thusly, the Yak EXP and Laser YouTube files are here. These are all new videos and not reposts.

I think I have pretty much covered everything I know about the Yak in previous blogs, so I don't really have anything new on the plane. It's got all standard off-the-shelf equipment, and all of it works brilliantly. There are never any sort of set up or reliability issues. I just take it out of the car and hammer it hard.

We are probably at 100 flights or so and everything is still nice and tight, including my Hitec 5245MG servos and PN55709 servo arms. The gears are starting to get a little lash in them but that is normal for a metal gear servo. The big improvement over previously sloppy set up was going to the PN55709 arm that stays tight on the servo output shaft. What we were before was soft plastic and the spines inside the arm would spread out, causing slop.

I have done a little damage to the Yak, though. I have ripped off the rudder, but that was easy to replace once it came in stock. Sadly the Yak was out of action for about two months, but we are making up for it now.

 I also broke the landing gear and stripped the aileron servos when my throttle potentiometer in my TX failed during a low level parachute. You could not have possibly picked a worse time to have this kind of problem, but the Yak bounced hard and took it in it's stride. 

The servos suffered the typical HS5245MG's Achilles'  heel problem of the case breaking where it supports the center cluster gear shaft. This was easy enough to fix simply by replacing the top of the servo case, which was a $6 fix. I used to send the servos back for this, but once I fixed one I was no longer afraid to do more. It's really very simple and easy.

About the only thing to watch out for has more to do with the servo arms than anything else. I use Hitec's PN55709 servo arms, and these are so hard that they do not compress any when you tighten down the bolt that holds it onto the servo. Because there is no back pressure, the bolts can become lose, eventually fall out and the arm fall off, probably at the worst possible time. This is made worse by the Phillips head bolts that come on the servo, They round off too easily and you can't really crank the bolt down.

To solve this I bought some 2.6 X 8mm allen head bolts from Mirco Fasteners. They have had an advertisement in Model Aviation for as long as I have been flying RC, which goes back to 1977. I like these because I can crank them down really good with an allen driver and that's the last I worry about them until I do maintenance. That and I've got a really awesome set of Losi drivers that I love to work with.

Outside of just flying the Yak, there's not much to report on, which is actually a really good thing. It just means the plane and it's equipment are working flawlessly and I'm having a blast with it.


While we are at it, I've also been beating the Laser down pretty good too. The Laser is so smooth and graceful that I tend to fly it a little more carefully than I do the Yak.

The Laser too has been really reliable and maintenance free. I replace the servo bolts with the previously mentioned allens and that's been all I have done to it since I built it. I may have wiped it off once or twice and maybe tightened a wrinkle or two, but everything is so well thought out on these planes that you just build it and hammer it.

You do have to stay on top of things somewhat, but it's nothing compared to what we went through with nitro powered slimers and the nightmare of them shaking everything apart. Now days model aviation is more about fun than anything else, which is an evolution I have watched take place for 60

 It used to take months to build a plane and required real skill. They also didn't last too long because radio reliability was, uhhhh, not so much. Today you can build a state of the art, world class extreme aerobatic plane in about seven hours, which is more like entertainment than it is work. As long as the pilot does his job properly, there is no reason one of these planes should not last a decade or more.

Mostly I am simply delighted with how good we have it in every respect.

EDIT: We have been shooting so much video lately that we have run out of articles to post it in. Here's a flight with my 48" Laser.  It's getting a little beat up so I'm not being quite as careful with it!


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