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Posted by flyingj | Apr 23, 2010 @ 12:09 PM | 2,934 Views
Seems our numbers are diminishing...
Posted by flyingj | Mar 25, 2008 @ 03:16 PM | 4,097 Views
I think these are just legends of RC guys that flew and combatted each other, and over time it grew into this bloody legend of armed gladiators and insanely huge and wild beasts. (Me and my little combat wing against Darth's 48" winged beast)

Winged Gladiator Roman Mosaic:

Winged Gladiator Relief of Ephesus:
Posted by flyingj | Apr 05, 2006 @ 01:08 PM | 5,200 Views
Maiden flight successful!!

Landing went off of the road and the retracts still held strong.

It was hard to keep the camera on it during flight so there isn't much video of the flight. I'll get a better one soon. I even got in a dog fight with a seagull, but that's not in it either. Sorry! It handles very well with my set-up. I had a little lead taped to bottom of nose for this maiden flight just to make sure CG was tiny bit forward and not take any chances.

Here's the video link - it's a little crude with the kids screamin' "potty" and jumping in the puddle in 35 degree weather.

It was a great build. Flies steady. Ive got 3 cell 1800 lipo, Rcer warp 4 brushless 16/15/4 (comparable to the mega), and a 6x4 prop. It get massive amounts of climb not seen on the video.

The retracts are the GWS standard and a HS 55 servo to run them. I'm thinking about putting a 1 gram servo rate reducer for more realistic movement.

I got the kit from Tower Hobbies. You can also get it from Hobby People. Both for around 60 bucks. It is a House of Balsa produced kit of the Ziroli design. The weight is close to 19.5 oz. The origanal set-up with long-can 400 brushed motor and NIMH batteries is supposed to come to 22 oz. The landing gear design actually weighed less than the landing gear set-up that came in the kit. There is a weight increase from the 9 gram servo controlling it. I had to modify the fuselage so the battery would fit higher and get away from the retract mechanisms. This was not too hard. I will try and get some diagrams of the mods that I made.
Posted by flyingj | Apr 05, 2006 @ 12:17 PM | 4,895 Views
The zagi 400x was my first airplane. It is the reason I fly other RC aircraft today.

I've seen so many people get so frustrated learning how to fly with other types of slow trainer type airplanes. While parts may be inexpensive for a slow stick or firebired, they still break and there is a wait time until you get replacement parts in order to get it up in the air again. They also are limited in maneuverability. I think part of the problem with twin motor controlled aircraft or limited control trainers is that when a student gets into trouble there's no getting out. Any of these "simple" control trainer aircraft can get themselves into a steep dive. Once that happens, then there's not enough control to recover. I see people lose interest because these planes simply won't react when they need them to. They break and there's even more frustration, more wait, more time it takes to learn.

A flying foam wing is so sturdy that you can hit the ground (and I mean hit) and toss it back up again. Sure crashing it might create some unwanted blemishes, but you can always recover it. The old canopy that extended to the front always had to be replaced when nosed into the ground, but the new models don't have that anymore so nose it in all you want. The zagi that I have in my pictures is my favorite plane and is the original plane that I purchased years ago when I began to fly RC. It is so versatile and can be flown in the windiest of conditions.

While...Continue Reading
Posted by flyingj | Apr 04, 2006 @ 03:02 PM | 4,809 Views
I soon found the there were restrictions to a fixed pitch model both with maneuvers and high speed stability. I still have a blast with my Dragonfly and it gets many hours of flight, but I needed something else to that could take me to another level.

I found that the Align T-Rex was a good choice as it was a little larger and could be flown outdoors with a bit of wind. It has proven to be a lot more stable at high speeds and has collective pitch mixing for those more advanced maneuvers.

I am continually learning and at this point I can't do half of what I want to.

Here are links to some online tutorials. I use them often in order to advance my skills. Someday I'll acquire some serious skills. The T-Rex is fully 3D capable, but I'm not.
Posted by flyingj | Apr 04, 2006 @ 12:26 PM | 4,939 Views
This is a summary of my learning experience with the GWS Dragonfly. I found this learning technique from a cool tutorial found in Radds flight school. I think this is the smartest way to learn how to fly a helicopter.

Learning to fly a RC heli was the best experience. I did it indoors with a stock GWS Dragonfly. (You could have the same success with an equivelant model.) The fixed pitch really kept it simple. It is a wiry little thing, but quiet and less intimidating. I cleared out the dining room table and chairs which gave me a slick 12x12 surface to float around on. This enabled me to fly without training gear as the skids didn't catch and the heli stayed upright. I just kept the tail towards me and stayed within a foot of the ground. If I lost orientation then I shut the throttle down. It simply bounced and slid. I continued to do this until I could keep it in the same place off the ground for an infinate amount of time. I then moved on to do the same thing with nose in. I learned to hover both directions this way without breaking any parts. I then taped squares on opposite sides of the room to learn precision and land within a small area. After I could do it in a taped-off square, then I put up books or tables to land on. I then began to travel in circles learning to keep the tail behind as I completed the circuit. The key is that you don't get too anxious and run outside (in the wind, skids catching on grass) to get a little more height and have a little more room. Wait until you can control the helicopter before you go higher and outside into windy conditions. Remember also that the skids catch in the grass and breaks happen as the blades tip into the ground.

Here's the link for more info and step by step instruction:

Learning how to do fly with a small fixed pitch will teach you the essentials without the intimidation of a larger, more expensive model. You will already understand a helis orientation when you move on to a larger more sophisticated model.