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Old Sep 16, 2013, 08:03 AM
I like the violent stuff!
Costa Mesa, CA
Joined Oct 2004
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Calculate reaction time

Reaction is very important to flying a model aircraft! Especially as we get older. I'll be 61 next month, when I drop something it rarely hits the ground before I catch it. Last night I trying to get the clip off a loaf of bread and I dropped the loaf of bread. I figure it fell two feet before I grabbed it. So how fast is the reaction time and is it good for a man my age? I'm a college dropout so please try to keep it simple. Thanks!
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Old Sep 16, 2013, 08:17 AM
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Pure reaction is not very important to the flying task.

By "pure", I mean "when you see the light come on, press the button".

That's not very important, unless you are a "monkey-see-monkey-do" sort of pilot.


What is more important is your "choice-reaction time". When a situation occurs or is developing, you are almost always faced with a number of possible reactions. How quickly will you select an appropriate reaction and implement it?

Anyway, with experience and age, there should be fewer occasions demanding abrupt or unusual control inputs. Your mental visualisation of the model's flight is probably very complete and accurate; so, you can more readily anticipate its behaviour in response to your proposed control inputs. Hopefully, you will be making far fewer dumb moves.

So, in my opinion, you have nothing to worry about.
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Old Sep 16, 2013, 10:00 AM
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Joensuu, Finland
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An object dropped from rest travels two feet in 0.35 seconds (ignoring air resistance, which is reasonable assumption over such a short distance).

I found a study which shows an average reaction time for a simple stimulus (no choises to be made) of 0.46 seconds in the age group of 40-59 years, 0.54 seconds in the age group 60-79 years.
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Old Sep 16, 2013, 12:46 PM
B for Bruce
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The 'Wack, BC, Canada
Joined Oct 2002
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I'd say that your reactions are still average to good. I can do the same thing and I don't consider myself all that fast to react.

Mind you when I feel or see something slip over the edge of the bench I'm pretty good at identifying the danger and sticking my foot out to catch the object or pulling it back out of harm's way depending on what it is. And that's for stuff that I'm not actually holding onto at the time they "leap for freedom".
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Old Sep 16, 2013, 02:09 PM
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Palmdale, CA
Joined Oct 2000
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Getcher sef onea them small CP helis... that'll hone your reflexes!!!
Coming up on 75, I is..
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Old Sep 16, 2013, 02:14 PM
An itch?. Scratch build.
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To me, flying is not about reaction time, (that's too late).

It's about enough forward planning to know what the model will do next, because you planned it, and lead the model to do it.

Plus enough experience to compensate when the 'air' decides to throw in a wobbly as the model flies through it.
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Old Sep 16, 2013, 02:57 PM
B for Bruce
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The 'Wack, BC, Canada
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Ray, that reminds me of the definition of a superior pilot.

A superior pilot is one who exercises their superior judgement in order to avoid having to employ their superior skills.....
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Old Sep 16, 2013, 03:30 PM
An itch?. Scratch build.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMatthews View Post
Ray, that reminds me of the definition of a superior pilot.

A superior pilot is one who exercises their superior judgement in order to avoid having to employ their superior skills.....
It's just one of those things I try to explain to beginners.

Try to lead the plane where you want it, don't just follow the plane and try to correct it.

If you plan where you want the model to go next, you are in control, (the pilot, not the observer).
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Old Sep 16, 2013, 07:07 PM
B for Bruce
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Very true, very true. And good advice it is. I've used much the same when doing some training.
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Old Sep 16, 2013, 09:49 PM
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Wayne, as far as reaction times, depending on the style of christmas tree, drag racers use either a 0.400 or 0.500 second delay between stage and green light, (two different types of staging lights.) So, a 0.35 second delay time means you're good enough to go drag racing, I'd say you're doing okay.

As others have said, I strive not to get into situations where I need fast reflexes, but at times they come in handy, like when I threw a prop blade as I was about to launch my e-glider. I was able to react and shut it down before it spun up to full speed (.5 second throttle up on the computer). So instead of completely wrecking the plane, it was only able to vibrate the vertical tail off.
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Old Sep 17, 2013, 08:00 AM
I like the violent stuff!
Costa Mesa, CA
Joined Oct 2004
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First thanks for the info on reaction time. I fly with two 3DHS Team Pilots. If you look at my avatar, you'll see about my style. RCDrum told me " with all the CRAZY stuff you do, I'm surprised you don't crash more often." The other day an aileron servo popped out of it's pocket on takeoff. Probably something to do with the double snaproll on takeoff. The servo is dangling on the aileron and the aileron is full down! In a heartbeat I'm over the pits, a second later I'm over the cars and headed toward the public park. Now I know it takes more than reaction time to fly a plane. Knowing the correct inputs is MOST important!!! I always tell rookies " you want to see trouble before it happens and avoid it." My point is if you're doing chest high rollers and you give the wrong rudder input and it heads toward the ground from chest high, do you have the reaction time to save it? Lucky I still do!!!
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Old Sep 17, 2013, 12:26 PM
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Success in some flying tasks depends on deliberate decision making. Success in other tasks relies almost exclusively on reaction time. If you’re deciding whether to fly to your planned destination with the possibility of encountering hail, or instead diverting to your alternate, that’s a case where good, deliberate decision-making will save the day. If you are trying to land a tail-dragger in a gusty crosswind, that requires you to make good flight path corrections. Good corrections require minimizing the time between the when a deviation starts to develop and when an appropriate control input is applied. Flight training (initial, recurring, RC and full-scale) involves teaching the brain to quickly recognize small deviations and correct them before they become big deviations. Whether learned or inherited, a pilot’s reaction time is fundamental to executing certain tasks.

I got an appreciation for the importance of reaction time watching airplanes land themselves on a carrier. When you watch from outside the plane, the approach appears extremely smooth. In most cases, glide path and centerline deviations will be smaller with the autopilot at the controls. When you watch from inside the plane, you realize the autopilot’s flying is actually anything but smooth. The autopilot is programmed to be extremely intolerant of deviations. As soon as a deviation begins to develop, the autopilot will immediately apply a correction. If the deviation is developing rapidly, the autopilot will apply a correspondingly abrupt correction. It’s a bit surprising that an approach that looks so smooth from the outside is actually pretty rough. Flying a good approach is all about minimizing reaction time and being intolerant of deviations. The same holds for air-to-air refueling, and formation flying.
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Old Sep 17, 2013, 01:02 PM
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Some reactions don't require the brain to initiate em.
In model flying (for those who actually fly models) we are stuck with brain inputs
For those whose eyesight /responses are compromised- the greatest things since sliced bread are the new stabilization systems
I have flown models with these ,up close in bit of headwind and watched the corrections the devices provide .
the systems basically respond ONLY to fuselage deviations ( NON stick commands .)
How they do it isn't important ( a gyro with accelerometer gizmo). what is important is that coupled with really good digital servos and a well trimmed ,neutral model, the system cancels wind gust much faster than your eye to hand could possibly do it.
Heli fliers consider these systems mandatory -for the most part.
The new multi copter take the systems a few steps further - but the basic setup is a boon to many of us who have problems coping with models which are tricky to fly -or are flying in gusty conditions
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Old Sep 17, 2013, 01:17 PM
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Palmdale, CA
Joined Oct 2000
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I just got the Blade mCP-X with the AS3X, and it does make flying outside in the street between the houses practical! The wind's shifting around still moves the heli, but it stays upright!
The mSR-X works good in the wind also.
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