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MikeC47's blog
Posted by MikeC47 | Dec 20, 2010 @ 12:19 PM | 1,888 Views
It has taken me about two months to write about the last flight of my Tiger Moth. As you can see from the in-flight pictures posted here, it was just about finished and flying nicely. About two weeks after these pictures were taken, I was flying at my local field. I had two good flights, and just after takeoff on my third flight, things went bad. My first indication that something was wrong was when the prop and spinner left the airplane. About the same time I noticed a puff of smoke that came from the bottom of the cowl. I made a turn towards the field, but shortly after that I lost all control, and it went in from about 20 feet. Not a pretty site, the undercarriage was ripped from the fuselage, taking with it most of the bottom of the plane. The cowl was destroyed, both left wings were separated, and the elevator broke from the impact. I never did find the prop or my custom machined spinner.
I found that one of the transistors in the speed control had failed, melting the solder on the main power lead from the battery. I donít know if this caused the problem or was caused by something jamming the motor, but the result was I lost electrical power to the receiver and control of the airplane.
I saved the pieces, and may rebuild her someday, but for now it is sitting in a plastic bag in storage over my shop. I have decided to rebuild a model schooner that I have had 35 years. I havenít sailed her in about 15 years, but I am thinking that it will be harder to crash it, and for now at least, that feels like a good thing.
Mike
Posted by MikeC47 | Jun 26, 2010 @ 10:25 AM | 2,142 Views
Modeling for me has been an on again, off again part of my life since I was young. I did control line flying when I was younger, and then when I got married and started working I got into RC. On one of our first renterís insurance policies we had to list everything we owned that was worth more than $250, the only thing on the list was my new Heathkit RC gear. Over the years other priorities often took me away from the hobby, but each time I have returned I find myself smiling a lot, whether I am building, running one of my model boats, cars, or flying an airplane. Throughout this time, my family has always been a part of my modeling experience. My wife has always been supportive of this hobby, and my children, now grown, have spent time with me in the shop, running boats and cars, and watching the flying. With my latest project, the Tiger Moth model, my Daughter, Son-in-law, Son and Grandson got me the short kit for Christmas. My wife got me the motor, batteries and speed control. When it was finally time to fly it, they all showed up with cameras and good thoughts to record and help the maiden flight. One of the things I am really looking forward to is introducing my Grandson Blake into this hobby. He is already off to a good start, he looks up, points, and says ďairplaneĒ whenever he is at the flying field.
Mike
Posted by MikeC47 | Jun 22, 2010 @ 09:47 AM | 2,269 Views
This video was put together by zdsweet, who was at the field at Marymoor Park the day I first flew the Tiger Moth model. He came up to me and asked if I would mind if he filmed the flight, I said sure, and this is the result. I think he did a great job, thanks Zach.
Mike
De Havilland Tiger Moth Maiden Flight (2 min 32 sec)

Posted by MikeC47 | Jun 20, 2010 @ 10:36 AM | 2,316 Views
I have finished my Pat Tritle Tiger Moth short kit. Finished means that it is ready to fly now, not that it is really finished. There are lots of ďfiddly bitsĒ left to add, but I need to put this aside and get to work on my boat so we can use it this summer. This was a beautifully designed model, and it provided a great platform for all the changes I made in an effort to make it more scale. I have really enjoyed this build, and also the process of documenting it in a build string. http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1191926 It is part of the Funbuild-3 contest on the scale electric planes forum. I am waiting for the weather to improve to get it out to the field and see how it flys.
...Continue Reading
Posted by MikeC47 | May 31, 2010 @ 10:59 AM | 2,433 Views
I am sure it is possible to have too many hobbies, but I donít think I have reached that point yet. For me, building and flying model airplanes covers almost all of my happy spots. I really enjoy the challenge figuring out how to build a particular part, or how I am going to fit all I need to fit into a small model. I seem to spend hours designing things in my mind, over and over again, until I come up with something that I think will work. I think this is what I enjoy about this hobby the most.
My other hobby, old wooden boats, or more specifically, one old wooden boat, seems to cover similar happy spots. The main difference is scale. My boat is big, and when I am working on it, well, it very strongly resembles work. Sanding a balsa model airplane is one thing, sanding the hull of a 42í wooden boat is something else. Still, there are happy spots that my boat covers that models donít get. Not much beats the feeling of getting up early in the morning and having coffee in some out of the way bay, with a slight mist on the water, and eagles over head and otters playing on the shore. My challenge at this time is to find a balance between my model building and my boat work. I am still recovering from my recent illness, and my energy level is not what I am use to. This makes it much easier to do model work. Plus, the deadline for the fun-build 3 contest is coming up, and my Tiger Moth is not finished yet. But, boating season is fast approaching here in the North West, and my boat needs lots of work to get it ready for us to use it. Well, I think I am rambling now, so I should stop. I will attach some pictures of my boat, just for fun.
Mike
Posted by MikeC47 | Jan 31, 2010 @ 11:38 PM | 2,959 Views
Itís my Blog, I can write what I want to write, like the joke, what does a pilot say on a first date? ďEnough talk about flying, letís talk about meĒ.
Life, family, job led me to leave this hobby in the late 1970ís. I retired a little over two years ago, and one day about a year ago, I decided that I needed to go build an airplane. Being the kind of person who never throws anything away, I searched through my shop, garage, and storage building and rounded up balsa, hardware and other parts and started building. A few months later, the ďBlake 480Ē was the ready to fly. I had spent lots of time on another web site, gathering information, and posted a build string. Hours of Real Flight simulator time later, I took the Blake for itsí maiden flight, which was my first model flight in about 30 years. The plane flew great, and I flew well enough to get it back on the ground in one peace. I would rather be lucky than good. I joined a local club, and got about 4 months of successful flying reminding me how much I enjoy this hobby. Unfortunately the Blake met an untimely end, but I have started building a new, and I hope lighter, version. This project is now on the back burner, as I have started to build a model of the Tiger Moth pictured earlier in my blog.
Enough for now,
Mike
Posted by MikeC47 | Dec 30, 2009 @ 08:20 AM | 3,534 Views
My Daughter, Son-in-law, Grandson and Son were reading my mind this Christmas. I received one of Pat Tritleís Tiger Moth short kits. I will be starting construction late in January, after I finish a home project I have been putting off for a long time. I have collected over 100 photos of the full size Tiger Moth I have been flying, my challenge will be to include enough detail to make the model look real and still keep it light enough to fly well. I am planning on adding my build to the existing build thread on Patís Tiger Moth.
Posted by MikeC47 | Nov 16, 2009 @ 08:48 PM | 3,036 Views
I have had the chance to fly a 1943 Tiger Moth. I have attached a few pictures. This is what retired pilots do.