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Old Jan 29, 2013, 01:36 PM
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E-Challenged's Avatar
United States, CA, Garden Grove
Joined Oct 2000
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FF, "Flying Without the Aid of RC or CL"

I have done both glow and electric powered scale and sport free-flight and RC since the early 50's. Never got good at CL. Setting up scale FF or RC for maiden flight is much the same as for FF. I use much of what I learned in FF setting the CG, wing incidence, washout, etc. for my scale electric powered models.

I have noticed a certain tendency by some free-flight scale/sport fliers to look down on scale RC fliers. I think that isolating yourself into some niche in the hobby and developing a negative attitude toward others is unfortunate. I am not intereseted in 3D aerobatics or sailplane/glider flying but I don't dislike those who do it or make negative remarks about them. I have known many who have tried and enjoyed many aspects of the hobby over the years. I am not especially interested in foamie ARF "scaleish" models but I enjoy flying my PZ Stinson Reliant, etc. while building scale balsa/ply/etc., models.
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Old Jan 29, 2013, 01:49 PM
G G Ghost Pirates !!!
Vyceroy's Avatar
USA, NC, Gastonia
Joined Dec 2001
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My problem around here is finding any freeflight guys at all .. in 12 years in charlotte NC i have yet to meet one.. its a shame really ..
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Old Jan 29, 2013, 02:27 PM
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USA, ID, Coeur D'Alene
Joined Dec 2003
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I actually started getting more serious about freeflight because there are less and less people doing it, almost like an obligation to keep it alive. I certainly don't look down on rc guys because I am one and likely always will be.
I do think that all rc modelers can benefit immensely from the lessons learned in free flight trimming and flying. I think it gets overlooked when guys start out straight into an rtf model and never think about what they should learn before ever trying to fly it.
But thats just the opinion of one young guy, so don't put too much weight in it
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Old Jan 29, 2013, 04:59 PM
Balsa Flies Better!
Stamford, CT
Joined Oct 2000
6,734 Posts
Hey- some of us are pretty happy flying RC too....

However, what I think you're really picking up on is the distinction between builders and buyers. I fly with an FF group indoors and there is now a strict "NO RC" policy. The problem with mixing RC and FF is that some RC guys don't build their airplanes- they buy them, and they're disposable. Those of us building our own airplanes get pretty annoyed when someone who hasn't taken the time to build his own aircraft begins showing off or clobbers one of our creations. In FF- well, you pretty much have to build your own- since most of the ARF sleeve airplanes won't fly unless you breathe on them correctly.

At my RC field- well, I'm clearly one of the dinosaurs who doesn't fly foamies and still builds his own. Some of the guys though, got a real kick out of some of my FF airplanes since we're pretty laid back, and I've been known to put up something if there's not a lot of action going on. The problem is that the field isn't really large enough for a good FF ship, but a 30 second flight on a rubber ship can still look pretty good. Some guys have never seen this....

Sam
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Old Jan 29, 2013, 06:33 PM
SlingWinger
San Bernardino, California, United States
Joined Oct 2004
1,632 Posts
I fly all kinds of model planes. I won't fly FF when it's windy, so I'll fly RC slope.

If there's little or no wind and I've got access to a decent size area, I fly FF.

Small, light weight electric RC's allow parking lot flying on lunch break and after work.

Every model plane is good with me. I gotta admit that when I was a youngster and less mature than I am now, I was guilty of being a "purist". Age does wonderful things.
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Old Jan 29, 2013, 11:08 PM
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central AZ
Joined May 2002
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While my free time is limited, I'd actually love to get into indoor FF stuff, if I knew of any local FF clubs or venues. Way back in my junior year of high school (well, 2003 WAS a decade ago!) I participated in the Science Olympiad competition in the "Wright Stuff" event. I built a model that weighed 5 grams (I had to add 3 grams to make the 8g minimum!), and I got a "whopping" 2:47 flight out of it.

I ended up winning on a technicality. But I really didn't care about the medal, though. I wanted to spend the rest of the day testing the other loops of rubber I didn't have a chance to test before the competition! I wanted to see if I had a loop of rubber that would get me past 5 minutes! Just seeing an airplane that I'd made from a bundle of sticks, some condenser paper, and a plastic prop I'd scraped so thin your could almost read through it take to the air for that long was surreal. I'd LOVE to do it again!!!

Anyway, I'm a builder at heart. I love to watch things take shape. But I also love to see them do what they're made to do, and if that mean I fly RC too, then that's fine by me!
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Old Jan 30, 2013, 03:16 AM
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Staffs, UK
Joined Nov 2003
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I'm really lazy these days so while I fly lots of indoor FF when I'm outside I like either a radio or two wires to save me having walk too far to fetch the model.

I build almost all of my indoor FF models though a lot are electric powered and made of foam these days (sorry, purists !). And although ARF/RTF CL models exist I still build my own even the electric ones. But I'm happy to fly RC ARF foamies or anything else handy. Basically I just like model aircraft .

Steve
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Old Jan 30, 2013, 11:41 AM
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Pittsburgh, PA
Joined Aug 2004
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I think the biggest thing impeding the growth of FF is the lack of good fields within a reasonable driving distance. When you compare that to the ability to fly a small electric RC job in the local school field, it's easy to understand. I love rubber FF stuff and got my start in the hobby with it, but all the fields where I used to fly are now housing developments.
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Old Jan 30, 2013, 05:11 PM
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Auckland New Zealand
Joined Aug 2004
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When i started modeling as a kid FF rubber was all i could afford and it was great fun, for many years i never built anything but started again about 20 years ago.... and the first model i build was a Peck-Polymer peanut, after a lot of effort the best time i got was a 55s rog. I found that to get good times with rubber models takes a lot of skill. I only fly RC now because there are no FF fields handy but what i learnt with FF models makes it easy to set up my RC models.
PS The only gripe i have about FF model is sometimes they fly too well ... you never see them again .

Colin.
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Old Jan 31, 2013, 03:21 AM
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Staffs, UK
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Originally Posted by ColinNZ View Post
PS The only gripe i have about FF model is sometimes they fly too well ... you never see them again .
That's why I only play FF indoors these days...they don't get away so easily then. Though they are sometimes a bit tricky to get hold of, depending on what they choose to get hung up on .

Steve
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Old Jan 31, 2013, 10:36 AM
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United States, CA, Garden Grove
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I haven't got the knees anymore for chasing free flights. I had a Pee Wee .020 powered Berkeley Aeronca Sedan with oversize prop that would slowly ROG in a parking lot and make slow 50 foot circles until the fuel ran out then slowly descend and land gently. If an occasional breeze distrubed it, it would change heading a little as if in were under RC. About that time I bought an Ace Pulse Commander single channel outfit and transitioned to RC-assist freeflight had a lot of fun converting Guillows and other high wingers. In this era, I enjoy flying Pat Tritle designs which are basically olde tyme scale-like freelights with emphasis on light weight and slow scale-like flight by modern RC and electric power. If you haven't tried on of his short kit, you must!!! Pat's Custom Models.BTW, many of his designs would make great electricFF scale models if you can still chase 'em.
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Old Jan 31, 2013, 10:51 AM
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Columbus, OH
Joined Mar 2005
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In the early days of RC, FF might have been perceived as the economical alternative. That's not really the case anymore. These days, you can get a simple RC plane for less money than a rubber powered kit. Today, modelers are choosing free flight because they like it, not because its all they can afford.
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Old Feb 05, 2013, 10:09 PM
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United States, MA, Waltham
Joined Dec 2001
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vyceroy View Post
My problem around here is finding any freeflight guys at all .. in 12 years in charlotte NC i have yet to meet one.. its a shame really ..
I suppose you already know, but in case you don't, there's supposed to be an FAC squadron in Columbia, SC. http://www.flyingacesclub.com/facsqdaug12.pdf Not terribly close, I suppose, but perhaps there is someone from Charlotte. We have people in our ff club from that far off, though we don't see them all the time.
-----------

I rant about ugly spinning things, but I fly RC gliders, more than I fly FF, though I think I build more ff. That's not saying a lot, unfortunately. I've also been an incompetent slimer, and have flown electric stuff from time to time.
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Old Feb 07, 2013, 05:25 PM
I eat glue
Canada, NS, Yarmouth
Joined Jul 2006
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I love ff, especially scale, but out here on the east coast the days suitable for that are slim. I'm going to do some larger rubber ff, but I also have to find a field. We moved out here from the prairies just over a year ago. I don't know of anybody else doing ff here at all, but I hope to change that.
I do a lot of Pat Tritle's r/c models and bigger ones as well when I can't out wait the wind.
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Old Feb 07, 2013, 06:39 PM
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United States, MA, Waltham
Joined Dec 2001
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I wonder if anyone's experimented with magnetically steered ff from flat ground for windy days? Of course, you don't stay in thermals very long that way.
Quote:
Originally Posted by baldguy View Post
I love ff, especially scale, but out here on the east coast the days suitable for that are slim. I'm going to do some larger rubber ff, but I also have to find a field. We moved out here from the prairies just over a year ago. I don't know of anybody else doing ff here at all, but I hope to change that.
I do a lot of Pat Tritle's r/c models and bigger ones as well when I can't out wait the wind.
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