SMALL - espritmodel.com SMALL - Telemetry SMALL - Radio
Reply
Thread Tools
Old Jul 30, 2013, 09:34 AM
Registered User
United States, TX, Wyldwood
Joined Nov 2009
49 Posts
Discussion
First Flight or The Airshow

One of the things on my Bucket List is flying RC planes. My wife decided to surprise me with an E-flite Apprentice complete with Spektrum DX6i system for my 62nd birthday. After two weekends of trying to meet up with an instructor and failing to do so, I decided to just go do it. I have been doing well on the simulator so Sunday evening my wife and I went back to the flying field just before sunset. The wind was a little higher than I really wanted but I'd been flying in winds on the sim. Time to go. First lesson, the tricycle gear and small wheels on the plane don't really like a grass runway even though the grass was cut short. The plane was zigging and zagging during the take off run as the wheels snagged. I got it off the ground and learned lesson #2. The real plane is a LOT more sensitive to wind and control inputs than the sim. About ten feet off the ground a gust caught the plane and pitched it up into the start of a loop. I rolled it back upright thereby doing a half-loop and reversing direction. Suddenly I'm headed downwind with the throttle still wide open. The next few seconds were...let's just say interesting. I rode a bull once and the two experiences have something in common. I believe I executed at least three stalls, an Immelmann turn, and possibly a Lomcevak. All without intending to. Once I more or less got control I flew the pattern and then turned on final approach. Given the headwind I was carrying some power. I hadn't noticed my wife standing at the approach end of the runway watching the excitement and I guess from her perspective it really did look like the plane was heading right for her. She yelled "Is it attacking?" and ran to get out of the way. I didn't have a chance to reassure her that she had nothing to worry about. The plane was still at least 6' off the ground when it passed the point where she had been standing. My wife is only 5'4". She missed a great photo opportunity. I didn't touch down exactly where I intended to but the landing was good. I made two more take-offs and landings. The second flight was much less exciting than the first, I left out the Lomcevak, and by the third I almost looked like I knew what I was doing. I'm proud to say that all three landings were smooth and drama-free. They were even in the same field from which I took off. As we packed up to leave my wife asked if it was as much fun as it looked. Yes, it was.

Storm (several hundred hours in real planes, brand new to RC)
Stormrider51 is offline Find More Posts by Stormrider51
Reply With Quote
Sign up now
to remove ads between posts
Old Jul 30, 2013, 10:03 AM
PowerTower
RWData's Avatar
United Kingdom, England, Bristol
Joined Aug 2009
1,077 Posts
Storm, well done that man
I had a similar 'event' with a flying wing off the top of a valley in South Wales (UK).
The wind coming up the valley totally took me by surprise at first. Like you, I triumphed in the end with a 30+ minute flight just riding the up-wind, and the occasional burst to get me back where the lift was best. No near miss with anyone/thing, except the ground on initial take-off
RWData is offline Find More Posts by RWData
Reply With Quote
Old Jul 30, 2013, 12:06 PM
Gone Flying
TechJunkieRC's Avatar
United States, IN, Covington
Joined Dec 2012
793 Posts
Congratulations! Great story and sounds like a great wife to get you such a wonderful gift! Here is to many more enjoyable flights!
TechJunkieRC is offline Find More Posts by TechJunkieRC
RCG Plus Member
Old Jul 30, 2013, 12:20 PM
Faster is Better
OldeMan's Avatar
United States, AZ, Gilbert
Joined Jul 2012
442 Posts
Well done! For "first flights" on, exclusively, sim training... outstanding.

This says something about your natural ability of course, the sim, and the remarkably well behaved Apprentice. I've flown this plane (with a friend buddy-boxing, while getting him up-to-speed), and I was really impressed with that aircraft. The Apprentice has got to be one of the best trainers out there. And that, Storm, says something about your wife -- she chose wisely!
OldeMan is online now Find More Posts by OldeMan
Last edited by OldeMan; Jul 30, 2013 at 02:54 PM.
Reply With Quote
Old Jul 31, 2013, 02:43 AM
Registered User
xmech2k's Avatar
United States, CA, San Diego
Joined Jun 2007
1,959 Posts
Congrats, Stormrider!The Apprentice was my first RC plane, and I still have it, and enjoy flying it. Now for 2 RC lessons:

1) RC planes are real planes too, they're just smaller than their "full scale" brethren.

2) While your incident almost running over your wife sounds amusing, I just want you to be aware that electric plane propellers are usually more dangerous than the nitro or gas powered planes. They can do serious damage, and the thing about electrics is they don't stop after the first hit, they want to keep going. Just an FYI so you're aware. If the battery is in the plane, treat it like the prop is alive. Just hate to see someone get hurt. I used to see gory pics here once a month, maybe people are getting more careful.

Anyway, have fun with that Apprentice. I don't fly from grass but heard many people who do put larger tires on them. I wonder if the new Apprentice S gear and tires (Which are taller and larger) are a direct fit?
xmech2k is offline Find More Posts by xmech2k
Reply With Quote
Old Jul 31, 2013, 12:54 PM
Rocket Programmer
jasmine2501's Avatar
United States, AZ, Mesa
Joined Jul 2007
25,419 Posts
Lol, you forgot to pull the throttle back? We've all been there, I did the same thing. I never needed an instructor, but things would have gone better if I had one. Still, many years later, that doesn't really matter, and I've had fun on the way.
jasmine2501 is offline Find More Posts by jasmine2501
Reply With Quote
Old Jul 31, 2013, 01:28 PM
Registered User
United States, TX, Wyldwood
Joined Nov 2009
49 Posts
Thanks, everyone. Yes, I'm very lucky in the lady I married. I think I'll keep her.

Also, while I intentionally wrote my post to bring out the humor of the event, I'm very aware of the dangers of motors and spinning blades. I spent my life working as a paramedic and also picked up some time in full scale aircraft. One of my planes was a 1939 Aeronca that lacked a starter. Hand propping that thing would make a believer out of you.

Storm
Stormrider51 is offline Find More Posts by Stormrider51
Reply With Quote
Old Jul 31, 2013, 01:54 PM
Registered User
xmech2k's Avatar
United States, CA, San Diego
Joined Jun 2007
1,959 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stormrider51 View Post
Thanks, everyone. Yes, I'm very lucky in the lady I married. I think I'll keep her.

Also, while I intentionally wrote my post to bring out the humor of the event, I'm very aware of the dangers of motors and spinning blades. I spent my life working as a paramedic and also picked up some time in full scale aircraft. One of my planes was a 1939 Aeronca that lacked a starter. Hand propping that thing would make a believer out of you.

Storm
OK! Sorry to be like a party pooper. Just don't want anyone hurt!
xmech2k is offline Find More Posts by xmech2k
Reply With Quote
Old Jul 31, 2013, 02:31 PM
Registered User
United States, TX, Wyldwood
Joined Nov 2009
49 Posts
xmech2k,
I appreciate your concern and your post. Thank you. I took no offense and I hope you didn't either. I'm sure too many beginners consider these planes to be toys.

Storm
Stormrider51 is offline Find More Posts by Stormrider51
Reply With Quote
Old Jul 31, 2013, 04:29 PM
Registered User
xmech2k's Avatar
United States, CA, San Diego
Joined Jun 2007
1,959 Posts
None taken. It sounds like you're on your way to being a good stunt pilot saving it like you did on takeoff! The Apprentice is actually fun to do stunting with. Just last week I ran 3 batteries through in windy, gusty conditions, and had a blast. At takeoff, I could point the nose way up and with the wind it was just going straight up like a rocket! Then into some barrel rolls, loops, hammerhead stalls, and then a snails-pace approach and the gentlest touch and go, then repeat. A real fun time!
xmech2k is offline Find More Posts by xmech2k
Reply With Quote
Old Jul 31, 2013, 06:13 PM
Registered User
United States, TX, Wyldwood
Joined Nov 2009
49 Posts
I credit not crashing the plane on take-off more to time spent on the simulator and plain dumb luck than skill!

Storm
Stormrider51 is offline Find More Posts by Stormrider51
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Category Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Discussion AEROBEEZ MONSTER FEST 2013 GIANT SCALE RC AIRSHOW AUG 17th & 18th EUGENE, OR bwerneth Fuel Power Events 9 Aug 16, 2013 01:37 AM
Discussion AEROBEEZ MONSTER FEST 2013 GIANT SCALE RC AIRSHOW EUGENE, OR AUG 17th & 18th bwerneth USA - District XI 5 Jul 30, 2013 02:12 AM
Discussion First Quad Build, First Flight Info Charlie6017 Multirotor Talk 0 Mar 12, 2013 09:02 PM
Discussion My first flight on my first scratchbuild. didnt know what i was doing eagle4 Foamies (Scratchbuilt) 5 Mar 06, 2013 11:03 AM