United States, MO, Springfield
Joined Dec 2011
So, been busy building a couple night flyer Slow Sticks (aka Night Sticks) for me and the kid to fly on lazy summer nights. I have red/green the length of the wing tips, white the width of the underside of wing, blue the length of the top and bottom of the tail, and 3 green/red on the vert stab. 150 leds per plane, upgraded BL motors (enough to make the wings flutter level wot), 35amp esc's, nice balsa battery trays, with 2200mah 3S and landing gear mounts with thicker gear wire and nice wheels. Also decent servos and horns, 45 degree or more throw, they roll nice for as much dihedral as they have, ailerons help a lot.
Maiden last night, kids up just before me and immediately calls a mayday. So I am trying to land and help him out, and almost fly into the side of my brand new truck. I get down, grab his radio and he is saying its not responding properly. By the time I have the sticks it a good 700+ yards out and the leds are just a colorful blur, but I can control it. After several attempt to regain orientation and bring it back, I realize it too far out, cant get a bearing on it. So I go into "let it down easy mode" and try to flair it down. I lose it behind a tree line and we toss the gear in the truck and haul butt the in the last know heading. My kid is apologizing like crazy, and I am trying to tell him its okay, just $100 in parts and several hours of my time wasted, no biggie, we can build a better one, no worries. Not 5 minutes later, and over a mile away we find the plane, sitting on its wheels at the end of a drive way, just waiting for us to come rescue it. Not a scratch on it. Seriously shocked we found it at all. Flew 6 packs on mine, got really comfortable and attracted several people wanting to know what the UFO was. Night flying is a spectator sport. We are in a HUGE church parking lot / field on the edge of town. Lots of room, and people can see our planes for miles away, so they tell us. Even the county Sheriff came to check it out.
Day two, success. Rebalance and trim the kids plane, he flys three packs, but only when I am on the ground, the planes look to similar and it makes him nervous. Even though I placed the lights a little differently anticipating this. Doesn't bother me, I can tell them apart, but want to let him build confidence so I watch a lot. he got 4 packs in I have 2. I feel like a pro, this is really fun.
Day 3, third night in a row, wife is now less than amused at our new ritual. 3 packs each, and I am looping the light poles like a pylon racer, wing fluttering, WOT all the way. Having a blast. The light poles are like stadium lights so the parking area is bright, the field is dark, its hard on the eyes and the depth perception. I make a wide open swoop into the parking lot and WACK!!!! Straight into the top of the light pole, the plane stay stuck in the lights, wedged sideways a good 40-50 feet up. Now I am a big fella, 6,3 and about 275lbs. No way I am shimming up a light pole, not with my gravity allergies. How do we get it down. Throw rocks at it, no, but it was on my list. Chop the pole down? Nope, aluminum, thought of that too. Ram the pole with the truck and shake it lose? Frowned upon, dunno why. I bumped the throttle on accident after about 5mins of pondering and it the questions answered itself. The prop made and awful ringing noise as it tried to chew through the light fixture, and into the free airspace beyond. As soon as it came lose I knew we had a problem. I could see the tail was 90 degrees turned from normal alignment to the wing, because all the rubber band on one side broke, making for some interesting flying. My rudder is now my elevator and elevator is rudder. For some reason the throttle isnt helping much either. I managed a fairly smooth landing and discovered why. I have half a prop, my main wing is cut almost in half, and the rear wing mount is broken. Not to bad considering it was a full speed collision. Couple pieces of clear tape, a new prop and some rigging to repair the damage mount an its ready for round two. I love this cheap piece of Chinese styrofoam.