|Apr 24, 2012, 11:08 PM|
Me and my RC journey
I am now a 43 year old that is getting back into this hobby! Some 25 years ago I bought a cool top wing gas trainer with my Dad and we put it together. I remember gluing the balsa together, covering the plane, installing all the electronics and engine, etc. We were completely lost back then as there was no Internet forum to run to. We went out and sought help from a local club. We learned somethings, but back then the knowledge available today was not always available. The guy you might want to talk to might not be at the meeting. LOL
Once we got the plane ready to fly and took it to the field, we eagerly waited our turn to fly. Well, thankfully some guys came over and asked if it was the first flight and we said yes, and they immediately tore off the ailerons and rudder, etc. They said if they could pull them off they weren't glued in right and the wind would rip them apart! I was sooo mad, but happy too. Another week later and we were airborne with some help! We didn't have a buddy box, but we did pass the radio back and forth with a good pilot. We were stoked!
Then stupidity struck, and we went out on a windy day when no one was there and tried to fly solo. We took off with a tail wind at high speed and ground looped and destroyed the plane! That was an expensive mistake back then. We fizzled out of the hobby but I always wanted to get back into it.
Last year was that year! It has been 24 years, but I got bit again and started to teach myself how to fly! I bought my friend and I a pair of 120SR helicopters. This was a slow process, but we both fly them well now. I also bought several Champs. The Champs were an awesome intro into flight! The 3 channel control made it easy and the design of the top wing trainer made it glide everywhere! Ultimately, flying the Champ in winds that were too strong caused several of them to burn out the elevator servo. I also had some motor failures. We repaired them several times, but after investing way too much money into them we decided it was time to graduate to larger planes that would handle wind better.
Speaking of larger planes and being a Noobie, I was conned into a sale of a 44" Corsair as my first plane. Luckily for me it was intimidating enough that I never flew it. It sat in my laundry room for about 6 months and collected dust. I sold it for half its value online and bought another 120SR. (something I am good at flying.LOL) So be careful when talking to store clerks that tell you this plane or that plane is a good first plane.
I now own a Cessna 182 from Tower Hobby. I haven't maiden it yet due to work, but hopefully it is in the air before May begins. It is a beautiful plane, and I am sold on the Stratos Firebird for a buddy plane to help get friends and family involved in this hobby.
Speaking of this hobby, I want to fly planes. Not fix them. However, fixing them is inherent on flying them because sooner or later an accident occurs and you crash. Sometimes with a scrape and sometimes you destroy some things. Knowing and learning how to repair, modify, and build planes and helis helps not only understand how they work so you can be a better pilot, but tends to make you have less and less time fixing as you become proficient in trouble shooting and repairing your planes.
I have learned a lot in this last year. New products are advancing the hobby further, and RTF, ARF, BNF, and RX-R are making it easier and easier to own more planes and helis than ever before! I will update my blog as new things happen! Clear skies and mild winds!
|Jun 11, 2012, 10:19 PM|
I have flown nearly 50 flights with the Stratos! I try to fly everyday if possible. I have crashed about 10 times testing the limits of this plane, misjudging my distance, and stalling a few times. The plane is a brute that takes a lickin and keeps on tickin!
I love this plane and I am probably going to buy a second one.
In the mean time I have bought my first EDF Jet! The Phase 3 U-2 spy plane! here is my maiden flight from last Saturday 6/9/2012.......
Flying the ducted fan was a new experience and a bit intimidating! Notice I am on the throttle a bit, I was getting scared and worrying about crashing. I was also stoked that I actually flew it several times really, and did not wreck! It is an amazing feeling to try something new and succeed! I am no pro but I am really digging taking steps to the next level! I am super excited!
I just bought a second U-2 plane kit today for spare parts in case I wreck! My hanger and my experiences is growing! I am also very lucky to have a flying buddy to share my experiences with! It is cool cuz I have someone to help me build the planes, troubleshoot the problems, and help me fly better. So many people do this by themselves and don't have any help.
Next weekend on the 22nd is the AMA NEFI(National Electric Fly-In) and I can't wait. Paul and I are taking our wives with, my daughter is coming, and we are bringing all our planes and radios with! We plan on getting there on Friday night, staying all day Saturday, and watching the night fly demos on Saturday night! Then we head home Sunday morning.
My buddy Paul was flying my new Cessna 182 from Tower Hobbies and came in on 2 consecutive landing attempts too high, on the second one he banked right cuz the Sun was setting to his left and he lost visibility of the plane behind a tree. He then came back into sight and struck the prop into a power line about 65ft high. The plane nosed dived and crashed hard. It was a loss dollar for dollar on the repairs. It needed a new fuselage, main wing, motor, prop, spinner, firewall, and decals. By the time you add it all up, a new receiver-ready plane was needed. I ordered a new one last night.
This kind of thing happens in our hobby and he was bummed, we both know that the mistakes we make in this hobby can be costly, but they are also a big part of our lack of experiences. I can't stress enough how important flight simulator time is to solidify eye hand coordination. But real life flying experience is also paramount in learning how to react and what choices to choose before you crash and burn.
The thing I am most thankful for lately is that these planes are made of durable foam. The are very forgiving of our mistakes and they repair ten times easier than a traditional wood plane.
Well that is my Blog for today! Happy flying!!!!
|Jun 25, 2012, 06:26 PM|
Gary, IN, USA
Joined Jul 1999
It was not my intension to create an argument or desention againt the AMA activies. I built my 1st Comet wood model airplane at age 6. At 73, my hands are still steady and eyes see 20/15. Thirty some articles were published in model and science magazines. Perhaps 1/2 my life has been as an AMA member. On Saturday, our club had the annual open house to allow anyone to try flying RC with a buddy box. Kids and adults could try gas, electric, glider and flight sim as often as they wanted. 140 attended. I think I set a personal record that day with the electrified AeroStar for number of flights (used a big box full of charged batterys) and 'students'.
We began the day with a pilot meeting on field proceedures (based mainly on what I encountered at Muncie on Friday)
1 Flight pattern is left turn only due to the wind direction.
2 Trainers have field priority and others keep reasonably clear.
3 No flying behind the safety barrier line.
4 All airplanes are expendable and shall not be allowed to cross the safety line.
The weather was better than Friday. There was only one crash from an older plane that just quit flying and folded the wings. All of us mediocre pilots made nearly perfect smooth landings all day. The comment heard from nearly all the 'students' and familys was that it is harder than they thought but they really had fun. The owner of the local hobby shop came over for the 1st time to check us out; He says he is sending all newbies to learn with us. A 10 year old boy won the drawing for the donated new Super Cub ARF and we saw the biggest smiles on that family!
May your landings be where intended...
|Jun 25, 2012, 09:18 PM|
Thanks for the post Jim. This is what this hobby is all about! Spending the day with folks and sharing the joy that comes with flying a cool model! Reaching out to the kids(young and old) helps make them get hooked and then there is no telling where they end up! When people enjoy something they really get passionate about it and you can see them get excited just watching!
I look forward to local fun-flys and my next plane! I wish my Dad was still alive to share this as he really liked the hobby, but couldn't afford crashing planes in the 80's. The foam planes today would of had him hooked for sure! Especially all the Parkzone warbirds!!!!
My personal goal is to learn F3A Pattern Flying. I am still a noob learning the basics but I have a goal to be better!!!!
|Jul 04, 2012, 01:15 PM|
Today is .... HAPPY 4TH OF JULY!!!!
Weather has been hot as Hades! It will hit 100°+ today!
Wind was good this morning so I went out and got some stick time in on my new Stratos! Yup, a new one! My ESC fried on the old one so I opted for a new one when Horizon Hobby offered a discount! I will fix the old ESC soon and then have 2 functioning Firebirds!
I went to the AMA NEFI and had an absolute blast!!!! I also won a CASTLE/ICE 75 ESC. Awesome! My buddy won a 540t ARF too! The AMA flying site was superb! I also had fun tearing up their dirt track with my daughter and her 1/10 scale Evader brushless stadium truck!
I flew my U2 spy plane too. It was awesome to fly it there and the ducted fan did not disappoint me! I can't wait to get it airborne again soon! Just need some room to fly it in.
The cockpit is crowded with battery/ESC/and receiver all tucked in there. CG is a bear too but once its close the plane flies great!!!!
I just ordered 2 warbirds too. They will be here next week. They are Blitzworks 30" P51 and FW109! Can't wait to maiden them. These will make my current hanger at the following planes....UMX Beast, Piper J3 cub 30", 30" P51, 30" FW109, 2-Stratos Firebiords, Phase 3 U2 spy plane EDF, and one Flyzone Select 182 Cessna!
I love flying, just wish my flying buddy lived closer!
|Jul 04, 2012, 04:37 PM|
Good reading, tearing a kid's control surfaces off seems like a really mean thing to do and unecessary, glad you're back and enjoying it.
|Jul 18, 2012, 10:32 PM|
New update! Got the P-51 built and went over everything. In my excitement I did not notice that the elevator servo was reversed. On my maiden I nosed in when I went for up elevator! No real damage, I split the seam slightly on the fuselage and I knocked of the spinner nose cone. Next flight I threw it in the air and got fast real quick with the 3S lipo. My first bank was too extreme and I over corrected and did the aileron death spiral. This time no real damage but knocked the tail feathers loose on the horizontal stabilizer. I had to glue them back on. After 20 minutes went for it again. My buddy maiden her out nice and smooth. We were amazed at the power of the 3S lipo! Vertical climb was instant, rolls were sharp and fast, and loops were as tight as you wanted them! Awesome for a 800mm warbird! I took the sticks of the DX8 in mid flight up high and was nervous, but had a good flight. I stuck to about 50' high and just kept with left turns making a large circle for my first real flight with her. Speed was there though! This plane can cook if you want it to! After about 5 minutes we decided to land and I let my buddy Paul land her not trusting a wing stall coming in. I kept telling him to keep her nose in the wind and use power and some slight down elevator! Grass landing slid right in!
This plane was impressive with its power and durability being I had two instant crashes right out of the box! I hope to get some more flight time as my goal is to master the flight characteristics of this one and buy the larger 67" 1700mm P-51 later!
I just got a pair of new glasses, I had Lazik in 2009 and my eye sight was a little rough at far distances trying to orientate my planes so hopefully these new glasses that I needed will help me to fly a bit bolder!
Next build is the ME-109 800mm! Maybe this weekend if I have time!
|Aug 06, 2012, 01:51 PM|
Well, my P51 went down in the corn while my buddy Paul flew it. He has destroyed 3 planes so far. LOL When will he learn to fly? He was flying at the Spirit of St.Louis RC club Electric Fly-in and I kept saying, don't fly over the corn, but he wouldn't listen and then he lost orientation as he was pretty far out and down he went! We looked but without an alarm device, we would not find it. There went a quick $100!!!
My U2 was a hit again! People love that plane! I don't understand why more people don't own one? They are fun to fly and glide like a dream! I love flying it and the comments I get!!!! Too bad the wind kicked up to over 15mph! I would of loved to have flown more!!!
Maybe I will get out today and fly the U2!
|Aug 20, 2012, 03:35 PM|
Went out Sunday and flew the U2, the Stratos, a Parkzone mini Mig(red), a Parkzone Mini Mosquito, the Cessna 182 Skylane Select(tower Hobby version) and it was awesome!
The U2 had a crash landing due to too much glide at the end and broke the nose cone and a wing tip. CA back on and repainted when got home. Otherwise that flight was a good one. Need to remember orientation at all times with that plane!!
The Cessna flew well but the landing was rough, he kept killing the motor and trying to glide in only to stall about 2 feet above the ground. Luckily it landed on 3 bounces. I decided to use the Stratos to teach him how to come in hot and land with throttle on. We landed the "grease in" approach about a dozen times. However he is still scared to do it with the Cessna. He HAS to STOP killing the motor on landings!
The mosquito flew fine but does not like wind, the jet hates wind!!! I did a death spiral and broke off both wings! Clean brake so they got glued back on quickly and back in the air!!!!
Good time!!!!! Got to keep flying and learning!!!!!
|Feb 24, 2013, 12:49 PM|
United States, CA, Lakewood
Joined Jun 2008
Well Firemouth we are in the same boat; only my boat is older.
I am 46 and getting back into the hobby after 15 years.
My son is 13 and I want to get him started in the hobby. Picked up a Flyzone Switch for him and I will be helping him on a buddy box. I am a bit rusty but I sure it will come back quick (hopefully). I have been hitting the sim just to get warmed up (so has he). He has never flown before. I am working 2nd shift and have the mornings free, so I thought now is a perfect time to get my hanger updated and to get back into it. The technology has changed drastically and the internet is a great resource for info.
I also picked up a Phase 3 U2 (which lead me to your thread). I have not flown it yet. I want to ring out my sons Switch then get the U2 in the air. It is tight in the cockpit, so still deciding on where to velcro the Rx and ESC. Can you send me a photo of the placement of your electronics if you still have the plane. It will be greatly appreciated...