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Archive for May, 2020
Posted by phil alvirez | May 28, 2020 @ 11:46 AM | 4,041 Views
see parts 1-3 at my blog
from time to time, model airplane magazines published articles on sort of science fiction by mad scientists that were performing experiments with remote controlled airplanes.
these were as rudimentary as they could be. free flight planes controlling just the rudder, and that happened erratically. it was sort of lottery to be able to change the direction of the plane now and then.
but, as i said, it was just trying the boundaries of the then fantasy of controlling something at a distance.
this took years and the contribution of countless (and nameless) folks to reach the point of being able to control also elevator, then throttle.
the gear consisted on a car battery placed on the ground that provided the power, connected to a control box that the modeler held in his hands.
those who were present were in awe, and talked about this for a long time to whoever were around.
then came reeds, that improved efficiency. there was 1 channel for left turn, and another for right turn.
when elevator was added, same thing: 1 channel for up, another for down.
then servos. nicads. years later, some1 released the 1st commercial radio control (kraft, i think). and expensive. heavy.
and they were flying on frequencies (72, 27), so you would not have interference.
i recall at los angeles, there was at a place called mile square, that was an emergency airstrip (dont know of still exists), that had large areas designated for each frequency where the ones that were willing to fly formed and awaited for their turn to fly.
it was until, on 2006 that horizon released the 2.4 with which apparently any number of planes could fly without interference.
now we also have cellulars, laptops, gps and whatnot.
boy, the world has come a long way...
Posted by phil alvirez | May 27, 2020 @ 06:23 AM | 12,999 Views
see parts 1 and 2 at my blog
also there was control-line: you fly the plane attached to 2 thin cables that are connected to a handle, like a pistol grip. you aim higher, the plane climbs. aim lower, it dives. turn and turn. and you had to overcome dizziness.
once you did, then try loops. wing overs. fly inverted (signals are reversed). then more stunts.
there was a competition pattern, where you had a sequence of maneuvers.
there was also combat, where 2 planes flew at same time. there was a streamer attached to the tail, and you aimed to cut it. the closer the more points you got.
and there was speed too.
we had lots of fun.
here, we could control the airplane.
a new experience.
Posted by phil alvirez | May 19, 2020 @ 07:51 AM | 2,858 Views
(see part 1 at my blog)
free flight
from my childhood i had this fascination with the matters of the air.
and it was when i discovered the library that i began to learn all about it.
there were books on aviation. and some on model aviation. and magazines.
and didnt have enough of all. as i began to build models, i had the chance to learn countless things on how to build them and fly them. but that meant to learn aerodynamics. a lot. otherwise the planes wouldnt fly. besides building accurately, there were all kinds of details.
the way was free flight. meaning, that once the plane is flying, it is free. you have no control over it.
there were 3 basic types: gliders, rubber powered, and engine. gliders could be hand launch or towline.
hand launch were the cheapest: just solid balsa wood. but had to be built accurately. otherwise wouldnt fly.
and then learned about thermals: updraft currents that could carry the planes away. magic! i learned to detect them and see my planes raising, sometimes out of sight.
and there were towline gliders: those were built up, like the kits i had been building, and that we towed and released up there, with more chances to catch a thermal.
and the rubber powered were another challenge: to deal with the torque; how to wind them, and the propeller: fixed, free wheeling, or folding.
the engine powered were the most expensive. engines were spark, then came glow plug...
an unlimited universe up there for me to enjoy.
( and if any1 has experiences, please bring them. this is for all to participate)
Posted by phil alvirez | May 18, 2020 @ 08:43 AM | 5,361 Views
life changes. it does all the time. some times gradually, others suddenly.
like now. things were different. better, we could say.
we had things that didnt appreciate. that will not have again.
in a sense, is like growing old.
still, we can count our blessings.
we still have things that we can enjoy.
for instance,we could find the way to fly our models. to adapt to circumstances.
may not be in close contact with friends, but still talk at a distance.
and we have means like this, where nothing has changed.
and we can watch the tv. and movies in the internet. documentaries. anything.
we still can exchange ideas, learn new things, new ways.
so much to learn.
if you also consider that we still can dream, to write about our experiences, fantasies, dreams, just as i am doing here now.
talk about our life.
so, why dont we start now?

1-let me tell you about my life with the air. flying things. the weather.
from my 1st memories, my fascination with the air has remained alive and well.
i recall watching in awe flies-how they fly-birds, airplanes. the clouds, the weather...
then i found at toys stores tiny gliders, and an uncle taught me to make paper planes.
and when i was 9 i saw at a gifts store a box with the drawing of an airplane, and i bought it. it was an airplane called apache (later renamed mustang).
it came with everything to build it: rolled plans, balsa sheets with printed pieces to cut; sticks for spars, tissue paper for covering, rubber strips, propeller blank, glue, and the plans were full of instructions. i had the time of my life!
it was the beginning of a long life of building and flying model airplanes-that still do and enjoy.