July 14 2009 -
Old Iron Sides now has 43 flights and still going strong. It also picked up two more awards this past spring, "Best electric" and "Best of show" at the warbird meet at the local field. I dropped a load of bombs during the meet and lost them all in the tall weeds.
I've got pretty comfortable flying the B-24. I'd say it flies as well as my Gold edition Topflite P-47, goes where I point it, easily controllable through the entire flight envelope, is capable of beautifully slow greased landings (which is much easier on the landing gear), handles wind very well and never a hint of tip stall, in fact it doesn't stall at all, the glide path just gets steeper if the airspeed gets too low. On landings I use no flaps if very windy, half flaps if slightly windy and full flaps if no wind.
This past winter I made a few improvements, I re-did the bomb bay door cabling (35 ft of 1/16 cable sheathing!) so all four doors could open using one servo, moving the large servo ahead of the CG and added two micro servos and a mechanisms to hold and then drop the bombs. I wanted to be able to stuff the bombs into the bays without turning the aircraft over and it kind of works but needs improvement, some bombs get stuck, some drop when the doors open. I'm going to get the bomb drop working good because it's such an integral part of a bomber. Also I replaced the two air cylinders that I was using for the ball turret and skid with micro servos placed ahead of the CG. With everything moved ahead of the CG and some excess weight removed from the tail end I was able to remove 9 oz. of dead weight from the nose. It can carry a 1/2 pound bomb load with little effect on performance and the bomb bays can hold 16 simulated 500 pounders.
- Bought another set of batteries so I can get more flights in and because the first set is getting kind of tired since they're two years old now.
- Removed the springs from the nose wheel steering cables. Too much play and sometimes I just couldn't make a turn around to taxey back.
- Moved the nose wheel brake servo to avoid nose gear jams.
- Put the bomb bay doors, turrets and gun on a second radio, a Spectrum DX6. It really helped to have a bombardier.
- Re-worked the bomb bay doors servo and actuating cables so that all four doors open.
- Removed 9 oz of lead from nose.
- put Ball turret on a switch so I can raise it if I want to.