The Eagle has "specked!"
Well, I finally got to winch launch the Airtronics Thermal Eagle at Field of Dreams, on Sunday, March 5th.
It seemed that the odds were stacked against me, when I finally got to the field when they had the winch set up. The previous SULA club meeting resulted in no winch, just E-planes flying. This time the winch was there, and after the club secretary launched his Compulsion just one time, the battery was dead. He felt really bad, since he knew that I was hoping to get my plane up over a flat field this day. He went home, and retrieved another car battery, but that hadn't been charged, and brought it back. The other battery was weak, but since my Eagle has a rather "wimpy" joiner, and required a light pedal pumping, he felt it would do.
And so, the Eagle was hooked up to the winch, and tossed off with the line being pulled back onto the drum. Up she went, not at too steep an angle, but no "weaving" either. I dove at the end for a mini "ping". Altitude was MAYBE 300 feet, is all. I flew around, checking out the trim, and camber settings. Landing was fine, nice and soft on the soccer field grass.
After landing, I took a little bit of lead shot out of a small ziplock bag in the Eagle's nose, to get the CG back a bit. It was time for the second ever launch.
This time, I used some droop in the flaps, that I had programmed in as a launch setting. This launch was ok also, but nothing to get really excited about. Might have had something to do with that uncharged winch battery! Anyway, she was off the ring at about 250-300 feet again.
This time the plane was a little more responsive, and I notice the wings banking here and there. Yep, found myself some lift!
After toying around, and trying to be smooth, up she went. Hey, this is cool, it's a "boomer"! I ended up WAY UP THERE, I could barely see my plane. It musta been over 1,000 feet up. Time to come down. Landing flaps on, diving....And diving.....And more diving!
At around 500-600 feet, the plane was much easier to see, and I stooged around in some lighter lift here and there. But then, the lift seemed to die. So, I just made sure not to do anything STUPID, and stayed within range of the field. The second landing was nice and smooth again.
I had a blast catching my first big thermal.
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