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Old Apr 16, 2012, 06:23 PM
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Awesome vid.
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Old Apr 16, 2012, 08:36 PM
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cool
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Old Apr 17, 2012, 12:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Castel101 View Post
I decided to change the title of the thread and hopefully have others post their own videos of formation flying at their RC clubs. This is some of the most fun we've had and it would be great to see what others are doing, videos, pictures, discuss tips, etc.

I'll edit this first post to include pointers to posted videos later in the thread if there's enough interest.


This was the original thread, flying 5 Blue Angels with some friends at our RC club.

Blue Angels - Formation flying, 64mm F-18s x 5!

Here we are with some friends at our field flying the Airfield Blue Angels, 64mm EDFs from Nitroplanes. We've been flying together for a little while but this was the first time we had 5 at a time. It's tricky to stay together but we have a blast trying, looks like a hornet's nest sometimes!

The pictures are from Mike Swaja who kindly agreed to let me post them up. The video is coming from a #16 keychain camera taped to my cap . Just thought it might be fun to share, enjoy!













http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nneHn1wkkcw
wow now thats COOOL i absolutely loved to watch this
-Antonio
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Old Apr 17, 2012, 02:40 PM
I want to fly everything!
Lance Nordby's Avatar
Hillsboro, OR, USA
Joined Mar 2004
955 Posts
Thanks, Antonio.

I like to be an innovator, but unfortunately my latest creation was inventing a new stupid thing to do with this hobby.

Last Sunday we got some great five-angel practice in. At the end of the day three of us had another pack to burn off so we decided we would just fly the oval pattern and try to fly as close of a formation as possible. I was to be the leader.

So, I set my angel on the runway and waited for "Destroyer" to set his plane down. I turned around and started gabbing at someone in the pits.

I turned back around and we started the takeoff roll and I remember thinking, "Hmm, my jet seemed to lag when I throttled up." I pulled up off the ground and initiated a gentle turn to the left. Out of the corner of my eye I saw one angel roll 90 degrees and crash knife-edge into the grass off the edge of the runway. Parts and bits went flying everywhere. I thought, "What the heck did that guy do?!".

So I'm flying along and somebody in the pits shouted, "Hey, who's not flying?" I yelled, "I'm flying!", with total conviction. They responded, "Well, somebody's not!". Uh-oh...

I glanced down and sure enough there was a jet running full throttle on the ground, spewing freshly cut grass clippings out it's tailcone. I pulled back on my throttle stick and sure as sh*t, the crashed jet stopped revving like crazy.

The observers said that after the crash they looked over at the three pilots and all of us were looking at the planes in the air, totally oblivious to the one on the ground. This prompted their query into who's not flying.

This was hands down, the funniest crash I've ever had. I don't know why the other guys didn't crash too, we were all laughing so hard. We all laughed for about a half hour afterward.

It turns out that when I turned back around after the blabbing, I locked on to the wrong jet. I'm usually on the inside but this time "Destroyer" set his down on the inside and I was watching his jet from the get-go.

Next time, I'll be sure that I'm visually locked on to #2 before the takeoff roll.

Hey Antonio, I'll get my angel glued back together again, but she's starting to look pretty third-hand. How about Nitroplanes sponsoring me with a new airframe?

I'm flyin'!!!
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Old Apr 17, 2012, 03:49 PM
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No joke, I've seen this once myself and I've heard stories just like it. The suggestion to tie small streamers to the jets in different colors is an interesting idea, I've never tried that but it sounds like some may like it.

By the way thanks for the thread and the video, fun topic and fun to watch!!

I used to "attempt" to fly a lot of RC formation in the mid 90's when flying PSS (scale looking slope gliders - fighters, etc, but flying slope). The slope pattern made flying formation easy, since there is a main a race track option if you want to go fast and do fly bys. It's easy to lock on to someone and have fun "in the pipe" as we would say as the routine looked like you were on a giant skate or snow half pipe. In the late 90's and early 2000's with the flying wing craze going strong I was flying electric formation with guys. Not as many electric guys were into it though. I noticed when trying to fly combat, not near as many "kills" would happen as would when trying to fly formation!!!!

I'll list a few of my thoughts on formation with RC planes, and I don't claim to be an RC formation expert by ANY MEANS

1) There has to be a "lead guy". The lead guy has to fly smoooooooth. A turn or a pull has to be started slow and then increased to the desired rate once the other guy sees and follows. PS - have a talk before takeoff so you know who will be lead or how you will communicate if you swap roles, etc.

2) Formation from the ground with RC planes is harder than it looks. Try a single formation turn or pass with another guy who wants to do it as well after a few solo passes / maneuvers so you are warmed up. You don't have to fly formation the whole time. Build confidence and enjoyment with it, don't force it.

3) A lead guy can adjust "just a little" if the formation guy get's left behind or is closing too fast. But, the first job of the lead is just to be smooth though so the formation guy can follow. Really, it's the job of the formation pilot to lead or lag turn his lead pilot if he loses position... to get back in position. Just slamming the throttle around will fine tune position, but it won't make huge changes quickly. If you lose position, the fastest way back in position is to lead turn to make up the distance reducing your track distance in relation to the other guy (the angle). And if you are closing too quickly and the lead sees this and makes a gradual turn to help, lag his turn to the outside a bit to loose some of that closure by adding distance to your join in point.

3) For show type flying, It has helped me in the past to devise some sort of set of "plays". A "play" is like a football play but for an airplane and no football - it's a fixed track over the ground and a fixed track vertically, maybe with a complication in there like a rolling reversal or what have you. A "play" should not be more than one or two fly bys and reversal before you go into a re-group / form up and do another play. This is where some sort of made up set of plays can be called out in advance and some practice can certainly help make " a routine" of several plays look organized and seamless.

4) For more than three guys, it's best to break into teams of two or three at the most... until you get better, or unless you want to just go out and "harball" fly (not saying a hairball is not fun but midairs happen a lot in hairballs). In RC planes it's really tough, without a lot of practice, to have more than two guys flying formation at once due to the lack of perspective and the lead and lag that can occur when flying, especially if flying random. We just don't have good perspective from a remote view position to see how close or far away we are until we start to have a rate of separation/closure and then we are way off real quick. So two ship formations, three ship formations when you get better, a pair of that or whatever seem to work well and give the fun impression of formation without the angry bee hive / hairball feel.

5) Midairs happen. Loss of position happen. Loss of what airplane you are flying happen. Every once in a while I would wiggle my wings to make sure I'm flying the model I thought I was if I'm feeling superstitious, especially with similar models Don't try to be perfect all at once, try a few plays at a time or try a formation join up at the end of the flight once or twice and move forward from there.

6) If you can cajole/bully/misrepresent/snake oil sell/talk guys into flying formation with you... do it! It's lot of fun. Try with cheap airplanes and if you like it who knows, maybe you can be the half time show some day.
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Old Apr 17, 2012, 03:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lance Nordby View Post
I remember thinking, "Hmm, my jet seemed to lag when I throttled up."
Yeah - it lagged because it was my plane and I was waiting for you to lead us! However we refused to be lead into the ground!
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Old Apr 17, 2012, 04:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Wisdumb View Post
I tried to become the 6th Angel, honest I did! But they are sold out! They only have the anniversary edition F-18 and the grey/black/yellow (not jolly rogers) :-(
Yeah, they need to get the ARF back in stock, but the kit version in the Blue Angels color scheme is still available, as is the motor. Add some 9g servos, and an ESC, and you can join us next weekend!
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Old Apr 17, 2012, 07:59 PM
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Lance Nordby's Avatar
Hillsboro, OR, USA
Joined Mar 2004
955 Posts
Yeah, I was just testing you guys and you failed miserably. Why didn't you follow me in?

We discuss our routine and work on it constantly. We are gradually developing and learning a system. We don't use a leader because it is so easy to over-run them. Besides, our routine has us going in divergent flight paths so much it doesn't really matter.

We have tried to follow one leader but it doesn't seem to work. Maybe that's because all of the planes are identical you lose track of which one is the leader. Maybe if the leader had a streamer that would help. Perhaps some white crepe paper to simulate smoke.

I think the other guys will agree that maintaining a fix on one's own plane isn't a problem unless you have a mid-air, or lock on to the wrong plane on take-off!
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Old Apr 17, 2012, 08:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Dave H. View Post
Yeah, they need to get the ARF back in stock, but the kit version in the Blue Angels color scheme is still available, as is the motor. Add some 9g servos, and an ESC, and you can join us next weekend!
I thought I read somewhere that nitroplanes wasn't going to carry this (and maybe other Airfield) plane.
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Old Apr 17, 2012, 08:13 PM
So many planes, So little time
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United States, OR, North Plains
Joined Jul 2010
232 Posts
Funny I was there.

Very funny crash.. To see the three planes take off and have the one knife over and crash to bits. Then to look at the flying stations to see who went down, only to see three guys actively flying! That will always be with me, if only I had the video going!! America's funniest video would have loved that...
Here's a new video from last weekend>> Shot with the 808 car key camera #16

Airfield 64mm Blue Angels Formation x5 (3 min 46 sec)


Post your vids and tips>>>like if you land first make sure you have a nice roll out
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Old Apr 18, 2012, 05:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lance Nordby View Post
We don't use a leader because it is so easy to over-run them. Besides, our routine has us going in divergent flight paths so much it doesn't really matter.

We have tried to follow one leader but it doesn't seem to work. Maybe that's because all of the planes are identical you lose track of which one is the leader. Maybe if the leader had a streamer that would help. Perhaps some white crepe paper to simulate smoke.

I think the other guys will agree that maintaining a fix on one's own plane isn't a problem unless you have a mid-air, or lock on to the wrong plane on take-off!
For sure! If I were flying with so many guys like you I can't see flying formation with a lead being possible either unless it were broken up into smaller groups of two ship formations. Just too much happening otherwise, as soon as it goes awry it's like herding cats on crack with firecrackers.

You guys are having fun and it's also a lot of fun to watch so your technique is working great.
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Old Apr 18, 2012, 01:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lance Nordby View Post
Thanks, Antonio.

I like to be an innovator, but unfortunately my latest creation was inventing a new stupid thing to do with this hobby.

Last Sunday we got some great five-angel practice in. At the end of the day three of us had another pack to burn off so we decided we would just fly the oval pattern and try to fly as close of a formation as possible. I was to be the leader.

So, I set my angel on the runway and waited for "Destroyer" to set his plane down. I turned around and started gabbing at someone in the pits.

I turned back around and we started the takeoff roll and I remember thinking, "Hmm, my jet seemed to lag when I throttled up." I pulled up off the ground and initiated a gentle turn to the left. Out of the corner of my eye I saw one angel roll 90 degrees and crash knife-edge into the grass off the edge of the runway. Parts and bits went flying everywhere. I thought, "What the heck did that guy do?!".

So I'm flying along and somebody in the pits shouted, "Hey, who's not flying?" I yelled, "I'm flying!", with total conviction. They responded, "Well, somebody's not!". Uh-oh...

I glanced down and sure enough there was a jet running full throttle on the ground, spewing freshly cut grass clippings out it's tailcone. I pulled back on my throttle stick and sure as sh*t, the crashed jet stopped revving like crazy.

The observers said that after the crash they looked over at the three pilots and all of us were looking at the planes in the air, totally oblivious to the one on the ground. This prompted their query into who's not flying.

This was hands down, the funniest crash I've ever had. I don't know why the other guys didn't crash too, we were all laughing so hard. We all laughed for about a half hour afterward.

It turns out that when I turned back around after the blabbing, I locked on to the wrong jet. I'm usually on the inside but this time "Destroyer" set his down on the inside and I was watching his jet from the get-go.

Next time, I'll be sure that I'm visually locked on to #2 before the takeoff roll.

Hey Antonio, I'll get my angel glued back together again, but she's starting to look pretty third-hand. How about Nitroplanes sponsoring me with a new airframe?

I'm flyin'!!!
now thats a story!!! i have seen similar things happen and once it is all said and done everyone gets a good laugh out of it but thats why they say to keep your eyeys on your own plane haha. as for the sponsorship on an airframe i would love to do that but since that is not my DPT cant do much on it but anyways happy flying!!!
-Antonio
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Old Apr 18, 2012, 08:26 PM
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Well nice try anyway Lance, you almost had yourself a sugar daddy jet sponsor
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Old Apr 18, 2012, 08:43 PM
I want to fly everything!
Lance Nordby's Avatar
Hillsboro, OR, USA
Joined Mar 2004
955 Posts
Well, I pretty much knew I was going to get shot down.
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Old Apr 19, 2012, 09:02 PM
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Duluth, GA
Joined Apr 2009
932 Posts
This is Great, and I love the videos & stories...keep em coming!

I also have an Airfield F/A-18 but have modified it with a Cyclone Power Turbojet 64 + 4500KV Motor running on a nano-tech 4S 2200mAh 45-90C , Rudders & radio equipment bay w/ removable hatch behind the cockpit area to make room for the battery.
It's very fast but has a very high wing loading...I really need an arresting hook to slow her down on those Hot landings!

There's a lot to be said for keeping them stock, yours seem to fly Great on 3S!
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