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Charger's blog
Posted by Charger | Jan 29, 2012 @ 11:29 AM | 3,244 Views
Enigma Hotliner Flight

My wife was gracious enough to video one of my hotliner flights I am happy this was a good flight so no editing had to be done.

Enigma 1.27.2012 edit.wmv (6 min 42 sec)

Posted by Charger | Oct 07, 2011 @ 09:29 PM | 3,008 Views
While working on Unicorn Flying Wings and posting in the thread. There was a group of guys in Utah that were having too much fun doing combat with their Unicorns and posting in the Unicorn thread. I had to go up and fly with them. In 2004, my wife and I flew up to Utah, and I got to fly a couple of days with the group. This was before they called themselves the Utah Flyers Organization (UFO). What a great bunch of guys!!! I really envy the pack mentality and the enthusiasm they have. Awesome experience!! We got to bide our time in Yellowstone in-between the two weekends I got to fly with them. Lots of developments were happening with bigger battery packs, and brushless motors......
Posted by Charger | Aug 12, 2011 @ 01:41 AM | 3,367 Views
While I was flying with Klique, there was another Phoenician, Rich, that we flew with. Chris was very mechanical, whereas Rich was into in the air flying moves. Chris backed off and let Rich have the stage, when it came to creative flying moves. I love what Rich told me about the ABC's of flying.... ...Always Be Crashing. He was able to do anything with a flying wing, but I was fortunately able to see him practice too. He would fly and crash every minute, chase the plane around, try the new move again. Chris' design made it so there was almost no damage with each little nose in Rich made. It was really cool one day to see Rich do sloooooooooow rolling circles loooooow to the ground, and see him chasing the plane around picking it up, launching, and trying the same move. He wasn't concerned about being cool. Just doing the work to be the best flying wing pilot I have ever seen. I was fortunate to fly for many hours with Rich and watch his signature moves: Rolling circles, figure eight rolling circles in the same rotation. Rolling loops...........And I had never seen the move he called the Salmon..........Just Awesome!!!! When I saw Rich do these moves, I thought....other worldly!! I could never fly like that. I have practiced those moves for years and totaled many planes in the mean time, but he Massively influenced my flying patterns......When Rich wanted too, he would never crash at all......He taught me to push the limits. There was no competition between Rich and Chris when it came to flying. Chris backed off and didn't try to intimidate Rich could just reach for the sky with his flying. Rich etched his flying style into my mind.....seems like most radical things I try, are influenced by Rich. Here is a vid with Rich in action.
Posted by Charger | Aug 09, 2011 @ 01:13 AM | 3,418 Views
Over RCG, I found a friend who always is few steps ahead of me in high performance wings......Chris Klick/Klique. When we first started flying together, I was pretty much full on Unicorn, and he was into Wing Warriors. He must have never slept. Seemed like he was always figuring out some angle to get more speed, and better handling out of a flying wing. It's just amusing how far things have come, but he was taking slope wings and powering them up. It was the dawn of the brushless era. I was into Astro products, because they were light, and he introduced me to Mega's, better performance. Nicads had been the order of the day......then NiMh came of age. Chris was doing light 10 cell packs while I was doing heavy 8 cell. Every time I'd get together with Chris, he would be totally evolved to a new level of performance. I would adopt some of his concepts.......only to find out he found a way to get more performance out of the available stuff on the market. All the time, his designs were all about stability. "On rails" is a catch phrase that describes the planes Chris designed. His planes are not "foamies". EPP is just the core to build planes around. In composite planes I have found styraform cores, so hard to say RiteWings are foamies, when the build around them is strong, but resilient.........I am really happy to see Chris has his own line of Flying Wings..RiteWings...that are the culmination of his latest visions. His TL 50's are just a pleasure for me to fly!! They fly over 100 mph........and are "on rails"!! I learned a ton from Chris, and he got me thinking you can always go faster, and fly smoother............Thanks!!
Posted by Charger | Aug 09, 2011 @ 12:34 AM | 3,363 Views
I got a hold of an out of print book by Tim Harris, an aeronautical engineer, that helped me understand much more about light weight planes, cg, and moment...........huge eye opener!! He had a web site about some of his planes and techniques....and we exchanged emails too. Then FoamCrusher, who is a physics professor spent MANY hours teaching me about the nature of the electron. He recommended his favorite physics book, and I got it........helped tremendously!! All this time, Wrong Way Jose was very enthusiastic about all the time, effort, crashes, and successes I was having. He would always have a plane each week to push the edge himself for many years.
Posted by Charger | May 17, 2011 @ 04:40 PM | 3,864 Views
I wasn't having much luck with Zagis, so I figured it must be the plane. I saw a new wing called the Unicorn, and built one. I had much better luck with these...they had flat bottoms and all epp, and no trays and few plastic parts to break. I actually enjoyed flying.......I was never happy with my skills. I would get flying in circles down, and have to add a variation to it, so I was still crashing a lot for years, cuz I was always trying a new pattern, or flying too fast too close to the ground. During this time, brushless motors came on the scene. I had to try one. I was testing my first one one night. I was so used to the gutless brushed motors I had been using, that I put this one in a little clamp to test it. I fired it up with a prop on it. It went out of control, and wound up headed for my lap. I had to protect my parts, and a finger got in the way.......8 stiches and a new respect for brushless motors. I went nuts reading about everything wings, motors, and planes. Then I started building Unicorns every which way I could. I'd order like 4 kits at a time from Mark, and started posting in my thread about the variations. I was really starting to get a hang for this, and getting knowledge about the ins and outs of what made me happy. It was strange that I could use the same airframe, and make it light for thermal or slope, or make it solid and reinforced for speed. I had been soldering and repairing my own NiMh packs. During the End of the Unicorn age, Lipo packs came on the scene and revolutionized my views. RC Groups was definitely the biggest resource for the knowledge I sought, and also helped me find other flyers all over the world with my enthusiasm..........more evolution ahead!
Posted by Charger | Nov 28, 2010 @ 05:33 PM | 3,939 Views
I was flying this weekend at a field with a few other people. I had some great flights in with my F5B Enigma. A couple of friends were thermaling with their Radians, and I thought I'd go over and thermal around with them. There was some pretty light air, so I was able to have a good time thermaling my heavy-ish plane. We get a lot of ravens, vultures, and hawks at the field and they show us where to fly. While we were thermaling, a bird showed up. He was a BIG bird............He got a little closer, and we could see he had a white tail, a white head, and a wing span of about 5 feet. One by one, it all dawned on us, it was a bald eagle!!! He wasn't just thermaling, cuz he had to flap his wings often. He was real interested in our planes. None of us had to fire up our motors, and he hung around us for what seemed to be around 5 minutes.........What a beautiful bird!!!!! and an honor to fly with him. We were flying in a little group, and he was hanging right in there with us. He seemed real comfortable flying with us, and we were careful not to fly at him at all.
Posted by Charger | Jun 28, 2009 @ 04:30 PM | 4,654 Views
In summers past, I've driven across the deserts east of Phoenix Arizona to California. Across the spans of terrain, one can see as many as 10 dust devils raising up from the parched lands. One year I pulled off the road in the 115 degree heat, and launched a very light Unicorn, just trying to circle around long enough to encounter one of these dust devils, just to see if they had great lift or what. It never back in the car, only to see many off in the distance taunting me

Yesterday, I was flying in Northern Arizona, with a 127" power glider. It was such a nice day, I had to take a shot with my cell phone, and post this pic. The sky was neon blue and the clouds, pure white. I had been up a long time, and happened to look to the field, instead of at my plane, which was very high up. There I saw a huge dust devil It was about 40 feet across, and stretched from the ground, high up into the sky. The dirt around there is red, so that was the color of the whirl wind. It looked other worldly against the blue sky. I was able to circle around it, and get closer to the center at the top. I didn't get any great lift, but did really get trashed around in the turbulence! I had plenty of time to check it out, and was able to find lift out and thermal to my heart's content.

The therms were so powerful that day, that a friend I was flying with, got too high, and tried to come down against the lift. His Cularis, broke into pieces and was scattered about. What a day.
Posted by Charger | Jun 09, 2009 @ 11:47 PM | 4,903 Views
I've known WrongWay Jose since the 80's. He has had tons of experience with adventures in the air. He has hang glided a lot, has a 2 man air trike, and decades of rc experience. We were talking one day in 2002, and he said he knew of an rc plane made of foam that didn't have a tail, and should be very resilient........the age of the Zagi. I ordered one, Joe ordered one, and we built them and met at a nice, big, grassy field. The only problem was I had ZERO aptitude for flying!! I was also not very lucky and damaged planes constantly. He was very patient, and we wound up spending several sessions where he would toss a plane with no power, and I would just try to land it. Even that wasn't easy! What a work out! Brushed Speed 400's were the standard, with 8 cell Nicads. The recommendation was to put a streamer on the battery, as they were pitched often midair, and that helped to track them down We flew every Saturday till the planes wouldn't fly, or we were out of batts. On Mondays, I was on the phone to Zagi to order more plastic trays, canopies, batteries, and more planes. I was not ready for all!!! I figured my inability to learn to fly MUST be because I had the wrong plane. I built Zagi 400X's.....( which is what is in my avatar with the cactus ) THL's and C-3's......I motorized the THL's and the C-3, because I was a disaster on my slope. Something got my attention with the C-3, it was made out of EPP instead of it did...Continue Reading
Posted by Charger | Jun 07, 2009 @ 11:36 PM | 5,368 Views
We have a little house in Phoenix Arizona that backs up to a nice hill. When the wind picks up from the west it turns into a nice place to do some slope flying. Over the years, I'd see different people on top with RC Gliders flying for long periods of time. Really seemed like it would be fun to hike up, fly till it got dark, and watch the sun set It's about a 10 minute hike up to the top from the back of our yard. About 1995, I went into a local hobby shop and told them I wanted to buy a plane set up so I could learn to slope soar. They sold me a futaba radio, and a "Gentle Lady" style plane, unpowered, monocote over balsa. I realized it would get damaged REAL easy, and didn't fly it for years. I have probably flown it hundreds of times in the last few years though, at other locations. The problem with my hill is, it's almost all sharp volcanic rock, with very hard spiny trees and cactus...... I had to figure out a way to learn to fly without destroying a plane each time.