Okay, another maiden tale today!
I noticed a break in the rain so the next thing I know I'm packing Habu #9 up with my Freewing F/A-18E Hornet for a potential maiden at the local school. I arrived at the school and nobody was there. Perfect! I had the whole soccer field to myself. After taking a few snapshots of both of them together (always need photograph evidence to prove they were once in one piece!) I decided I wasn't getting any younger so I plugged the battery in to the Habu and heard the ESC tell me I was ready for business and that's when I started shaking.
I checked the CG (a bit nose heavy but not unusually so) and re-examined the elevon neutral position (Hmm, should I give it a few more clicks of up?). I gripped her in the "Bowling Ball" formation (two cutouts for my middle finger and thumb, one cutout behind both a few inches, center for my index finger), shaking like a leaf, I went into afterburner mode (WOT) and started running and gave her a good toss.
As she headed for the ground it was instantly obvious that the CG was too nose heavy and "HOLY CRAP I NEED TO APPLY FULL UP TO SAVE HER!!"
Within three seconds from her leaving my fingers she slapped down back to earth at full WOT and slid about 10 feet. OH NO! Of course, my first thought was "Down goes yet another airframe!!"
then I determined as I got closer that my full up elevator response right at the last second saved her from a certain familiar foam confetti party.
Not a single broken piece of foam. She was intact!
I quickly checked all the control surfaces and used my adrenaline to commit to the re-launch. I gave her about 5 clicks of up, and without thinking (too much thinking and I'll either chicken out or do something really stupid) I grabbed the holes and hit the throttle wide open and chucked her with a little more nose high than before and off she went into the brooding skies!
I immediately assumed "Habu Flight Position" (death grip on the radio, a slight hunch to my back, legs slightly buckled...Looks like I am in need of a serious dump) and kept her in the safe pattern. Throttle was about 80% at first and once I trimmer her out (a click or two of down, a few clicks of right) I gave into what she craves and kicked the juice beyond full military power and into afterburner mode. Oh how my heart dances, hearing Don's motors sing! She flew fantastic! No wind certainly helped but she felt completely stable the entire flight.
About 3 minutes in I set up for the downwind, base and final. I reduced power to about 30%, kept that nose down, maintained a perfect glide slope and she touched down to earth as gently as a little trainer.
I shook my fist into the air triumphantly, laughing like a school girl and pondered on how much of a dork I really am.
No RC airplane has ever made me feel the way I feel flying the Habu. I was shaking like an alcoholic badly in need of a drink (actually I could use a drink) several minutes after.
I drove home and proudly told my wife about my successful mission. She looked at me with that dead stare as if to say "My God, you really are a big dork."
Clearly she doesn't understand me.