Issue #7 August 2009

We Want Loyal Customers!

I know we have a lot of customers that are very loyal and I'd like to build on that number. Anyone who takes the time to check us out, knows that our kit prices are as good or better than most places out there. As a matter of fact, quite a few guys have questioned some of our prices because they think they are too low and we must be doing something shady to get them that way. That is not the case. We don't ever swap parts or remove items from kits. Having said that, I want to make this offer...

I'm also considering a fixed shipping charge of around $5.99 for all ground and postal orders. I'd like some feedback on that. What that would mean is that the total, when you place an online order would be the actual total of the invoice. Again, I am just considering this at this point. Would that make any difference to you? I'm flexible and I'll consider all comments.

IRCHA Jamboree

We got back from IRCHA last Tuesday. I was curious about how many would show up with the economy the way it is and gas prices on the rise. According to the IRCHA officials, there were more registered pilots there this year than ever... but it didn't feel like it. Vendor row wasn't nearly as crowded as last year and our sales were about the same as 2007. I think one big difference was that they didn't allow golf carts on vendor row. It's just my opinion, but that made for a much more relaxing event. With a flight line just over a mile long, I can certainly see the need for golf carts. All in all, the event was a lot of fun and it looks like it will continue to grow. If you haven't been to the AMA Headquarters in Muncie, mid-August is the perfect time to go Register for a chance to win one of a zillion prizes, or, just go to watch. The flying is absolutely awesome.

Furion 50 Static Display

I had my new Miniature Aircraft Furion 50 model on display in the tent. Bobby Watts put it together for me earlier that week (he built 5 of them in one week) but I haven't had a chance to fly it yet. I have to say...it looks fantastic. I am told that the Furion 50 will be ready for shipment sometime in September. I hope to fly it this week. It has a Futaba 520 gyro on it. We just got the USB interfaces in.  I've heard a lot of good things about this gyro. Now it's time to see for myself.  This model is simple to build and won't break the bank if you crash it. Over 90% of the parts are made right here in the good ol' US of A.

We took delivery on the new JR370 gyros at IRCHA. In addition to being tiny, they offer a slightly less aggressive stop than the 770. That will be important on models such as the T-rex 450 Pro. The 770 stops so fast that it could strip the little tail drive gears.

 

We also got a look at several new machines such as TSA line by Nigel Brown and the ElyQ Vision from Italy. We won't be picking up any new lines right away, but that's not to say we won't in the future. I'm fairly conservative about that and I like to look at a manufacturer for a while to see how they handle things before I commit to a new line.  I didn't like what I saw from ElyQ last year. I don't think dressing up a bunch of teenage girls in skimpy outfits and putting them on a golf cart to ride around does anything to prove the worth of a new model. I would much rather see the model fly several trouble free hard flights and talk to the pilots to see what they think. I know what questions to ask and I can spot a public relations bs artist a mile away. I'd venture to say that none of the girls with the halter tops knew the difference between a torque tube drive and a belt drive machine. I didn't ask.

I've Lost 60 Pounds

Several people at IRCHA asked me if "I was all right". They saw that I'd lost a lot of weight and were concerned that I might be sick.  I'm not. I've just been calorie conscious for the last several months. I've been cooking my own food so I know what I'm eating...lots of fish, chicken and fresh fruits and vegetables. I hope to lose 25 more pounds before next August.  Life is good!  I've always said I love this hobby and the people that are in it. I don't want to lose my friends and I certainly don't want to lose my health now that I'm having so much fun. I'm lucky. I don't have high blood pressure or cholesterol problems. I'm at an age where diabetes could hit me if I don't stay slim and I don't want that.

More on T-rex 700 Frame Bolts

I had the opportunity to help a fellow at IRCHA who had crashed his T-rex 700 and couldn't get his frames apart because the frame bolts wouldn't come out.  We pounded one of my "Ron" wrenches into the socket all the way. I had one of the original wrenches with the 3mm set screw holding in the tip. I was able to put quite a bit of torque on it (more than should be necessary to remove the bolt) but the tip turned in the handle.  Remember, that's why we sent out replacement handles to everyone who had bought the wrench. I got a newer model with the 4mm set screw and we pounded that one in. I'm still a big guy and I'm very strong even though I'm sort of skinny now. I could not budge that bolt. We got out a gas soldering iron and tried heating the bolt, hoping to beat the Loctite up a little. No joy. We could not get it out and finally the socket rounded out. I guarantee  I put a lot of torque on that baby.  The only option was to drill the head off with a 1/4 inch bit, remove the frames and get out a torch. FYI, the recommended torque on a 3mm bolt is 15 inch pounds.  I'd like to hear from anyone who has had the same problem and found a solution. Because of this incident, we will include a complete, free set of our ELRC700W washers and bolts when you buy your 700 kit from us. You can choose to use them or not.  We are still waiting on the button head bolts which are needed under the bellcranks, but in the mean time, you can use your Dremel to grind a tiny bit of the head off the bolts we do send. As soon as the button heads are available, we'll include them.

We tried to recreate the scene on Nathan's 700. That's a 30" pipe wrench! We are trained professionals. Do not try this at home! Needless to say, this was meant to be a satirical picture, however, we found out that Nathan's bolts were indeed stuck tighter than Dick's hatband and would have to be drilled out. Sears has a little tool that might work well. After I get back in my house, I'll find it and try it to see if it works on these bolts.

It seems like there's always more to say and not enough time to say it. Please visit our home page and our online store.