April 16, 2014

Meet Jonathan Ott’s 35% Giles G-202!

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I recently finished my 35% Wild Hare Giles G-202. It is a v1, 93″ Giles in the red and white scheme. You can tell from the pics that I modified the original color scheme by removing the ‘feathers’ and adding a custom set of graphics. Thanks go out to my friend Chelsea Engberg out in California. Her “Go Inverted!” website was the inspiration for the color scheme. Please check out www.goinverted.com over the next few months to see what Chelsea is up to, and order some swag when she gets her stuff up and running. I also want to thank Eric at B&E Graphix www.bandegraphix.com for his work on the vinyl, they all came out great and his customer service is beyond reproach; and finally, to Mike Borger http://www.mbphotos.exposuremanager.com/ for shooting the photos. He is a master behind the lens.

Here are the specifics of this airplane:
Specifications:
· ARF Name: 35% Giles G-202
· Wingspan: 93″
· Wing Area: 1560 sq. in.
· Length: 82″
· Flying Weight as tested: Approximately 24 lbs
· Wing Loading: Approximately 35 oz/ft2.
· Motor used: RCGF 100cc flat twin, stock mufflers, 5” carbon fiber spinner
· Prop: Xoar 27×10 Laminated
· Radio: JR 11X DSMX; JR 921 receiver; Fromeco Regulators, TBM Li-Ion batteries, Miracle switch harness, Smart-Fly   Equalizers for dual elevator and rudder servos.
· Channels Used: 6 total; ailerons, elevator, rudder, throttle, choke, ignition kill
· Servos: (6) Power HD 1501MG – (2 each) ailerons, Elevator, rudder, (1 each) throttle and choke
· Manufacturer: Wild Hare R/C

You’ll notice in the pics, that the cowl has ‘eyes,’ but in fact those blisters are to allow clearance for the spark plug caps on that massive 100cc engine. (This airplane was designed around a 75-85cc engine.) I could have gone with a smaller engine, but where’s the fun in that? The blisters add a wicked look to the sleek lines of the Giles and give me the necessary clearance. I’ve noticed a problem though…since it is a new engine, it shakes pretty well, and there is not a lot of support for that big fiberglass cowl, so it has developed a crack on the starboard blister. I plan to remove them both and go up to the next size blister to gain a little more clearance.

One other change that I’m saving my pennies for is new servos. The Power HD 1501MG servos are fine for many giant scale RC applications, but just don’t have the speed and centering I really want for an IMAC plane. My replacement choice is XQ Power 4020 with titanium alloy gears. They are fast, powerful and inexpensive (for a digital titanium servo) and should be a great choice for this plane.

As with all new aircraft, I’ve had some teething pains with this one. First I could not get the engine to run. I would give it a prime by squirting some gas in the carb and it would pop and run for a second or so, but not draw fuel. I pulled the covers off the carb and wetted the diaphragms with some synthetic 2-stroke oil, and when out at the airfield for the first run up, I took the top plate off the carb and gave all the channels a good shot of gas to prime it up real well. After that, it ran like a top! I put about 10 minutes on it, then went to the air…and that’s where the problems started. During straight and level flight, there were no problems. Pull through a loop, and the engine would hesitate and cough, same doing a roll. I landed and popped the canopy so I could see the needle valves on the carb and started making some adjustments. (In hind sight, I should have never touched the needles, as it ran great on the first tank of fuel, but I fiddled with them anyway.) I still had ¾ tank of gas, so I put it in the air again, but it was running worse. I had an uneventful dead stick landing, and started playing with the needles again. I couldn’t get any reliable transition from idle to WOT, and it was being a real brat. I topped off the tank, fired it back up and with a couple delicate twists and turns of the needles I got a good idle, decent transition, and massive top end thrust! It was getting late, and bugs were eating me up, so I called it a night.

I took the airplane apart and started packing things up and decided to drain the tank so I wouldn’t have the gasoline smell in the basement. Low and behold, I couldn’t get the fuel out! Just the sucking sound of air passing through the tank…hmmm…reverse the pump and fuel goes in, but going the other way, nothing comes out. LIGHTBULB!!!! I decided to troubleshoot and fix the problem at the field, again because of the gasoline smell in the house, and guess what I found? Yep, the clunk line had fallen off in the tank. This explained why it ran fine on a full tank, and when I refueled, and in level flight. But sitting on the ground, after a couple minutes of running, the fuel level was below the fuel fitting and it couldn’t drink a drop. Rookie mistake, but it gave me the opportunity to use better fuel fittings and install a larger tank made from a water bottle. It runs great now that it can drink. I just have to reset the needles and maybe work a throttle curve into the radio to make the response linear and all will be good!

Now the best part: FLYING. The couple short hops I had with the airplane proved the fantastic design of the Giles G-202. For a 93”, 24 lb aerobat, it floats like a butterfly. Landings look like walking speed…okay, maybe jogging speed, but control is solid all the way to touchdown. On landing, three-pointers or running tail up, the Giles sets in its groove and does not get snappy at low speed. Contrary to popular opinion the Giles is NOT a snap happy money pit that many believe it is. On the dead stick landing I had, this airplane exhibited no bad habits. One landing with the engine begging for fuel like a kid wanting a cookie got me low, slow and way behind airspeed and available thrust…it wallowed around flirting with the stall, nose high and no power, but never got snappy on me. It just mushed along, like it knew it was only four feet off the ground and not in the aerobatic box prepping for a spin, and plopped down on the stout main gear.

I only had some basic programming in the radio, triple rates on all controls (bevel to bevel on high rates, 75% of that on medium, and 50% on low rate), 30% expo all around and no differential on the ailerons. My 29% Extra 300 requires about 6% differential on the ailerons to keep the rolls axial, but not the Giles. Rolls looked like they were on a string (cliché, I know but it just rolled right around not looking like it was off line or off center.) Loops exhibited no tendency to be snappy neither on the top, nor at the 5/8 mark when speed was up. I didn’t do any intentional stalls or spins, as the engine wasn’t running like it should, so I can’t comment on stall or spin performance.


My travel schedule keeps me from getting to fly as much as I would like. I’m looking forward to making a few improvements on this airframe and getting it back in the air. It is a great performer when opened up, and a baby when slowed down. I think I’m going to like competing with this airplane.

- By Jonathan Ott