SMALL - SMALL - Telemetry SMALL - Radio
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Old Mar 16, 2006, 07:56 PM
The cake is a lie
G. Heights, Illinois
Joined Feb 2006
67 Posts

First an introduction.

My interest in RC planes has grown exponentially the last few months. There's a few reasons for this. First off, I've always had a fasination with airplanes. Every aspect of planes were awe inspiring to me. The cockpit was full of buttons, switches, dials, levers; an orgy of technology. The powerplants were huge, loud, and powerful. The design of the fuselage is all curves and planes. The first plane I fell in love with was a B-17G flying fortress. I built a model of one, and when I finished it and could hold it in my hands and observe all the little curves and nuances........ I almost cried. She was beautiful. Everything, the proud nose, window bubbles, powerful wings loaded with props, rounded edges, and something like 13 12.7mm guns.... It inspired me to look up history of these planes. Their crews swore by them. 'She'd fly with one engine and half a wing.' seemed to be the common consencus. Anyhow, that was my first real love affair with planes. I was 12. 9 years later, the interest has built again. Not in heavy bombers, but in avation. I was thinking of doing some more plastic models again, and was browsing some websites when I came across RC planes. That was cool, but didn't exite me to any great degree. Later that night I was thinking about RC planes when an ad for wireless CCTV came on. Heeeeeeeeeey.... that sounds like a cool idea, a live camera feed from a model plane...hmmmm. After some thought and research I learned that that this had been done before, and its easier to do it now then it ever was before. Dreams of flying a model plane with live video and telemetry uplink filled my head. There would be no difference between that and piloting the real thing, except of course the obvious. I could imagine waking up some Sunday morning and randomly deciding to see what its like above the cloud deck. Or a distance flight of a few dozen miles. Just the simple fact of flying in such a manner was astounding. Which brings me to the second thing that led me to this hobby; I love to build things. I feel I could (eventually) build and fly a FPV RC plane. The sheer scale of the project inspired me. I found things on the internet like home built diversity TX/RX setups, dozens of home-brew airplane sites, places like's great!

So this is the goal I have set for myself; to build an aircraft that has a live video and telemetry uplink to the pilot. I want to design and build everything. The airframe, the transmitter, the reciever, the video uplink....all of it! I know thats a steep bill, but after enough learning and expierence I will be able to do it. So I have to start from scratch. On the electronics side, I knew the basics already, but nothing near enough to build any radio anything. I rented an electronics textbook from the library that I'm working through, and I have one of those electronics experiment kits from Radioshack for first hand design expierence. On the aircraft side, I bought a Firebird Freedom for my first plane. I really didn't want to deal with a club or an instructor to learn to fly, so I figured I'd learn on my own. The only other thing is aircraft design, but I'll wait on that until I can actually fly one. It's a long road to the final aircraft but, as we all know, a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

To record the journey of learning about RC aircraft and everything that goes with my project goal, I'll try and keep a good updated blog here. Mostly the flight log and updates on how I'm coming along with learning about electronics and aircraft design.
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Last edited by sectrix; Mar 17, 2006 at 03:05 AM.
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