Hangar 9 Pulse 125 XT
|Background||Maiden flight||Engine||Flight statistics|
After flying my Hobbistar trainer for all of 2011 I was ready for something new. After asking around I decided to go for a low-winged sport plane that could be powered by the DLE 20 gas engine. The Pulse 125 was a natural choice.
I bought the Almost Ready to Fly (ARF) airframe in September of 2011 and began to accumulate the components I would need for the assembly. Later that month, and after a lot of time online spent chatting with Pulse 125 owners, I got started.
The assembly turned into a build*. As things progressed it became evident to me that some areas of the stock configuration could be improved, such as:
- Elevator servos: Two external vs one internal
- Rudder linkage: Pull-pull vs push rod
- Canopy: Removable vs glued
Before I knew it, the ten hours' assembly time quoted in the manual had turned into more than a hundred. Of course, a lot of custom work was involved in making changes to the design and fixing mistakes made as I went along.
*Typically, putting together an ARF is an "assembly" while putting together a kit is a "build". I spent so much time on the Pulse and changed it so much from its stock configuration that I'm comfortable using the latter term.
I maidened the Pulse in 2012 on a windy day in April. Right away I noticed that the stock gear, which is swept back considerably, gave the plane a tendency to nose over while taxiing. So much so that holding up elevator when taxiing downwind would cause the tail to rise. My first attempt to solve this problem was a riser block for the landing gear. That didn't help much, so I ordered some aftermarket gear. Problem solved for the 2012 season... but I prefer the appearance of the stock gear so for the 2013 flying season I've taken a suggestion I found online and moved the stock gear forward on the fuselage.
The maiden flight went pretty well considering the face that I was terrified. Luckily the CFI was beside me reminding me to breathe, and another good buddy was there to help with getting the plane trimmed. In retrospect it was probably too windy for a maiden that day, but everything worked out in the end.
The DLE 20 gas engine I put in this plane did not originally run as reliably or pull as hard as I had hoped. I've made a number of modifications to the engine that have improved the performance: Smoother idle, better transition and more power.
I've replaced the DLE 20 with an RCGF 32. It's a rocket!
|Total flight time:||11h 22m|
|Wingspan:||1930 mm (76")|
|Length:||1590 mm (62.5")|
|Weight:||5.2 kg (11.5 lbs)|
|Gyro:||Flex Innovations Aura 8|
|Receiver battery:||5-cell 6.0V 2700 mAH NiMH|
|Ignition battery:||4-cell sub-C 4.8V 4200 mAH NiMH|
|Ignition kill:||Smart-Fly fibre optic|
|Gyro:||Flex Innovations Aura 8 AFCS (PWM)|
|Aileron servos:||Hitec HS-645MG x 2|
|Elevator servos:||Hitec HS-5625MG|
|Throttle servo:||Hitec HS-645MG|
|Rudder servo:||Hitec HS-645MG|
|2014-06-08||First flights with the RCGF 32 installed. Engine running well, trim good with slight up elevator required. Lots of power and speed, very loud. Second flight, landing gear tore out of mount on landing; prop broken. An extensive repair was required, during which I moved the gear even further forward. For the first time the wheel centres are forward of the leading edge of the wing; I'm hoping this will cure the tipping tendency once and for all. While the plane was on the bench I fabricated and installed a silencer in the muffler. We'll see how effective that is when I next fly the plane.|
|2015-09-20||Five flights today. Silencer has some effect. Engine running rich; leaned the low end a little with each flight. Apparent crack in muffler flange; oil leaking out rear bolt hole. Took fellow member's advice - fit a tight washer under the bolt head. Will fill the void with Permatex Ultra Copper. First flight with Biela 17x10 3-blade carbon fibre propeller... very nice. Landing better than ever. Remember to release elevator when main gear touches down. RCGF 32 power continues to impress but does not detract from flyability in the least.|
|2015-09-24||Four short flights, mostly chasing low end tune and low idle. Rudder low rates reduced from 86% of full throw to 70%; much less twitchy. Leaning the low end speeds up the idle, enough that to run out of sub-trim and throttle trim. Moved the throttle servo arm 1 notch clockwise and reset the trim - just a little up trim was needed for a slow but reliable idle. Had to increase upper throttle end point from 99 to 125 to regain wide open throttle. Low end much better - less 4-stroking and less mess on the airplane. Lower idle a big help on landing.|
|2016-04-24||Four flights. Engine is running very well with slight four stroking in the lower RPMs. Trim is just right. A blast to fly!|
|2018-04-21||Three flights. The Aura 8 gyro I installed this spring makes it more stable than ever. Still a blast!|