I was actually intending to take a short break from blogging and writing on the forums, but any time you get good video you hate to waste it. Three videos is usually enough for an article, but this one is going to be short because I am lazy right now.
Since I recently trashed my primary MXS, this is probably a good time to talk about back up planes.
The 48" planes are so affordable that I generally try to keep two of each in flying condition. Some of this is practical because you can be up and ready to shoot video or go to an event with the MXS the next day if you had to. With a well sorted back up plane you just snatch it off the ceiling and you are back in the game right away. You will be flying while you are waiting for the next kit to be delivered.
Part of having a back up is also psychological. You can relax and fly better if you have a well sorted second plane to fall back on. This is especially useful if your primary is a scruffy old beater. At worst you kill your primary, but then you get to fly a new one! It almost makes you want to have a crash.
Or, not really.
Still, you hate to kill off a good plane because it takes so much work to put one together and properly sorted. That, and it costs money. An older plane also seems to fly better, and I believe you actually have to break an airplane in, flex the wood, loosen up the hinges. Over time you get the thing dialed in perfectly, and if there are any peculiarities in the plane's character you adapt to them. When you kill a plane that you fly well, it really hurts.
While I was waiting for the kit I put some time on my backup MXS to make sure it was 100% . This one only had two previous flights on and it's already really well dialed in. I tweaked my low rate ailerons today because I had them a little slow, but it was a 2% adjustment. It's pretty amazing that I can take one out of the box, put my formula set up (which is very close to the set up in the manual) on it and it's that close. I've built about five MXS' (plus one or two for friends), so I know what the plane likes. You've got to have a straight plane for any formula to work though, and the EXPs are made so well I have never had any sort of trim issue.
Since this is a backup plane I can't allocate a set of 7.4 volt Hitec servos for it. I just don't have enough to go around, so I can't spend the money on a plane that's just going to sit. I built this plane last year before the 7.4 volt servos were available. It uses the tried an true Hitec HS65MG on ailerons and rudder, with the HS85MG on elevator. Power system is the Extreme Flight Torque 2814 with an Airboss 45 Elite speed controller. The Airboss' on board BEC feeds the servos a healthy 6 volts.
This is the same equipment set up that I put into my very first MXS in October of 2010, which is four and a half years ago. This is the exact same equipment as recommended in the manual. It worked then and it works now. I've been flying MXS' since October of 2010, and the only change I have in that time made to my equipment set up has been to switch to the Hitec #PN55709 servo arm for the elevator. The Hitec arm grips the splint on the servo output shaft more tightly than the aftermarket arms we were previously using, and a tighter flying plane flies better.
There is a lot of talk about servos, and while the new generation 7.4 volt servos are a big step ahead, the older 6 volt servos still work just fine. Since I have a lot of them, I am just going to use them up, but anything new I build will get 7.4 volt servos.
The nice thing about having a good backup plane is that you know you have something good to fall back on if you tear a primary plane up. I would have hated to be without an MXS for even a day, so keeping a backup of my favorites gives me a solid depth of fleet. After all, the show must go on.