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Posted by turbinefancy | Apr 25, 2019 @ 07:29 AM | 3,265 Views
I love flying formation and mock dog fight under FPV. But without an effective aiming device, one just can not be sure how well he can stay on a bogie's tail. So I persuaded a master scale builder, Tim Noack, to build a 1:7.5 working reflector sight with collimating optics that focus at infinity and corrects for parallax.

The result is absolutely stunning...

FPV Avios Spitfire with Reflector Gun Sight (6 min 53 sec)

functional Mk VIII reflector gunsight for RC warbirds FPV part 2 (1 min 52 sec)
...Continue Reading
Posted by turbinefancy | Apr 12, 2019 @ 01:54 PM | 6,507 Views
Son chased my Spitfire using a Armattan Chameleon Ti quad Found the camouflage works great at blending in with the green hills. Will be hard for the Hun to jump on this Spitfire from afar

Avios Spitfire Mk Vb Chase Teaser (1 min 31 sec)

Posted by turbinefancy | Mar 29, 2019 @ 09:33 AM | 6,884 Views
Integration of headtracking FPV system in the Spitfire works without a glitch - "passenger" tested and approved. On to flying from the Spitfire cockpit, going to be a challenge with long nose obstructing runway view on takeoff and such - better spend some time taxing first....

Avios Spitfire Head Tracking FPV Test (8 min 13 sec)

Posted by turbinefancy | Mar 19, 2019 @ 01:39 PM | 6,786 Views
Short maiden flight of new Avios Spitfire in butterfly filled sky. She is one sweet bird!

My findings:
1. Requires surprisingly little right rudder on takeoff run to keep straight. Much better than all Warbirds in my collection.

2. Excellent low speed handling: for a heavily loaded plane (I fly with 6S 4000mAh 60C bats) she can land very slowly, even without flaps.

3. Unlimited climb!

4. With canopy open, the Avios Spitfire makes a very satisfying howling sound in high speed dive.

5. Control throws in the manual feels a bit unbalanced. Aileron high rates feels too soft compared to elevator low rates. Rudder throws feel excessive and tail wheel overly sensitive. I put aileron linkage to the inner most hole on servo horn and still have to reduce rate to 50% just to hit high rate of manual specified throws.

6. She will drag a wing tip when landing on hard surface. Narrow wheel track with notable positive camber combined with overly sensitive tail wheel makes ground handling very touchy. But I guess that's part of the scale Spitfire appeal.

All in all, an excellent warbird with great handling qualities in the air. Gratitude to Mr. Tom Hunt, Steward Warne and HK for making such a scale Spitfire accessible.

Howling Avios Spitfire (5 min 32 sec)

Avios Spitfire Maiden - In Butterfly Filled Sky (2 min 45 sec)
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Posted by turbinefancy | Feb 20, 2019 @ 09:52 AM | 6,841 Views
Beautiful sky, mountains, creek and woods with music from “Wings” theme song by Schubert.
FPV Scale Aerobatics & Tree Arch Pass at Sunset (7 min 58 sec)

Posted by turbinefancy | Feb 10, 2019 @ 09:09 PM | 7,498 Views
I have invested a lot of time learning RC plane chase/formation flying using visual line-of-sight, FPV aerial photography drone, FPV with head tracking in fixed-wing pattern plane; each one better than previous at keeping formation while maintaining safe separation to prevent mid-air collision. Recently, I let my son loose and told him to chase my 1400mm Freewing P-51D Mustang with his race quad copter. In a handful of flights, his props were practically chewing at the plane's tail constantly. This leads me to believe that race quads are the best tool to use for making dynamic chase shots for RC airplanes. Here's the video:

"Too Close for Comfort"
FPV Chase RC P-51 Mustang - Too Close for Comfort (2 min 31 sec)

Posted by turbinefancy | Feb 06, 2019 @ 12:20 AM | 8,756 Views
Ever since watching a group of Russian RC pilots (Star Sky) fly tight formation in FPV 7 years ago, I have always wanted to give it a try. But I have not found a FPV lead pilot to form up with yet. Luckily, a real life airline pilot flying RC VLOS the other day was receptive to fly lead very smoothly and predictably. So we gave it a go, and it turned out pretty good. I was able to practice scale formation maneuvers like turning rejoin, and holding "fixed" wing station through turns. We even maintained in formation for the first part of loops - no slow motion in this video...

FPV Close Formation with Head-tracking in Real Time HD (5 min 31 sec)

Posted by turbinefancy | Jan 09, 2019 @ 01:34 PM | 8,030 Views
After 8 months hiatus from flying plane FPV (after a crash), I got back to it a couple of days ago. With the HD FPV gear installed in a E-flite Carbon Z Splendor (crashed previously which help in alleviating anxiousness in messing up a pristine plane ), its docile yet precise handling qualities allowed me to feel comfortable quickly flying FPV in all phases of flight and some mild aerobatics. Yesterday, I finally tried out FPV chase/dogfight with a friend flying LOS very smoothly/predictably. It worked out great! I kept him in sight 99.9% of the time.

FPV Chase/Dogfight/Formation Training with Tuan's T-28 ( HD Uncut) (7 min 30 sec)

Posted by turbinefancy | May 19, 2018 @ 02:50 AM | 9,223 Views
Sharing the love of FPV flight with friends:
Dual training FPV session with LOS safety pilot (buddy box)
Denny's 1st FPV Dual Training Flight in FMS PC-21 (10 min 35 sec)

Ground view of the same preceded by FMS Bae Hawk low level demo flight.
Gene's Hawk RC and rallyden/motionsic FPV flight test (13 min 22 sec)
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Posted by turbinefancy | Apr 30, 2018 @ 05:12 PM | 9,097 Views
Finally, low latency HD FPV technology has arrived to let one enjoy the views from the cockpit real time (not just in post like all freestyle drone videos) and enable close formation, maybe even air combat ?!

FPV Joyride on FMS PC-21 with DJI Air Unit Head Tracking (8 min 48 sec)

Posted by turbinefancy | Apr 23, 2018 @ 01:53 PM | 9,341 Views
Another successful maiden to report. Two flights of about 3:30 each on one 6s 4000mAh bat. Both landings seem smooth from my perspective, but from the 3rd person view atop v. stab. , seemed more harsh.

Aerobatic flight CG at 110mm
motionsic's F-16 flight (5 min 6 sec)

Maiden Video with CG at 95mm
Copy of FMS F-16C 70mm EDF Maiden (4 min 48 sec)
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Posted by turbinefancy | Mar 17, 2018 @ 11:18 AM | 8,593 Views
It’s been very exciting watching recent developments in the foamie EDF category from Freewing & FMS pushing higher levels of scale fidelity and fligh performance with each new product introduction. But I have not bought one since buying 2 Taft Cobra Jets on sale a couple years ago; simply no room in the house to fit more planes. Finally figured I can hang one up on the wall like picture frame and built one of the Cobras. After much tender loving care correcting loose linkages, unbalanced fan, uneven tail feathers, etc. the jet turned out pretty good. Not a speed demon by any means but fast, heavy and BIG needing lots of space to maneuver like a jet should be. Anyways, I am very excited joining the EDF party so very late and really enjoy the heart pounding feeling each time flying the Cobra jet. Oh and it sounds so good.....

Ultra smooth onboard video at beautiful Black Star Canyon, CA - guaranteed not to cause motion sickness:-)
FPV Taft Cobra (8s 90mm EDF) Jet Aerobatcs at OCMA (HD 1080P) (6 min 35 sec)

Ground view of the aerobatic flight (many thanks to my friend tonpilot1 for taking the video)
Flight 2 of motionsic's jet (5 min 21 sec)
...Continue Reading
Posted by turbinefancy | Mar 03, 2018 @ 06:29 AM | 8,259 Views
It takes close coordination between lead & chase pilots to make a smooth chase video. Thanks to Denny for flying very smoothly as flight lead. Looking forward to tightening up the formation next time!

Air to Air Chase of RC Plane Using Mavic Pro with Goggles RE (HD 2.7K 30 raw) (11 min 10 sec)

Posted by turbinefancy | Feb 23, 2018 @ 06:41 PM | 8,843 Views
Go fast or go slow, the Sebart PC-21 makes practicing precision aerobatics easy and looks great doing it!

Sebart PC-21 Close-in Aerobatics Demo (unedited) (4 min 14 sec)

Posted by turbinefancy | Feb 22, 2018 @ 12:10 AM | 8,468 Views
Before buying the Mavic Pro, I was intrigued by its “Active Track” function, thinking that it can follow my plane around. It turns out the AT function works quite well tracking surface moving targets. It fails quite miserably at tracking airborn targets, with changing of back ground from ground to sky, sudden and fast moves of aircraft, especially changing flight phase, ie. takeoff, landing, maneuvering etc. The only conditions where it works tracking a airborne targets is when the target moves in a very benign manner with little altitude and angular change relative to the drone, essentially mimicking how a surface target moves. So if anyone is considering buying a Mavic Pro to autonomously film aerial footage of planes, don’t!

Here is a successful attempt after dozens of tries following a plane through takeoff. Any closer, the angular change would be too great for AT to follow:

Test RC Plane Chase with Mavic Pro Active Track- Raw (0 min 40 sec)

Posted by turbinefancy | Jan 08, 2018 @ 06:35 PM | 8,852 Views
I am late to the party on getting a Flyzone Seawind but am pleasantly surprised by how well it handles in the Air, on the ground and on water. It's also surprisingly easy to grease her in at a slow pace (1:45). Well, just see for yourself...

Seawind Maiden - Land & Sea Trials (HD) (3 min 22 sec)

Flyzone Seawind - Water Maiden (HD - 4K) (3 min 40 sec)
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Posted by turbinefancy | Nov 16, 2017 @ 07:01 PM | 8,899 Views
Chasing Gene's Carbon Z Prometheus 1.2m (1080p 60fps) (10 min 47 sec)

I have always wanted to do HD FPV formation videos with planes but have yet to find a satisfactory PnP solution for fixed wing. So I settled for DJI Mavic Pro for its excellent camera/ gimbal/ RF transmission system. After a couple month of getting acclimated to Mavic controls practicing precise tracking. I finally tried flying formation with a plane. Thanks to the smooth flying of the lead pilot, I was able to keep the target mostly in frame. The 40mph top speed of Mavic is quite limiting for fixed wing performance though.
Posted by turbinefancy | Mar 13, 2017 @ 10:29 AM | 11,078 Views
Interesting fact I discovered while trying to fly the Catalina in a scale manner: the slower and more sluggish it flies, the bigger it seems. The instant I do a steep climb/dive or even loop, it no longer captures the nostalgia of spectators.

Useful tips specific to this Catalina:
1. Lateral balance is critical for well behaving ship with out board pontoons that do not simoultaneously catch water. Without it the plane would just make circles on the water and keep from getting on step predictably.
2. Keep flying the wing level during high speed taxi, takeoff and landing roll, a pontoon catching water unexpectedly would instantly result in a "water" loop.
3. Coat the rubber plug for the hull drain with Vaseline to keep water from seeping in.
4. Spray all onboard electronics with CorrossionX to waterproof them to prevent shorting with inadvertent water contact.

Quickie with Great Planes PBY Catalina Seaplane (1 min 22 sec)

Scale Flying Great Planes PBY Catalina Seaplane (5 min 53 sec)
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Posted by turbinefancy | Mar 05, 2017 @ 08:45 PM | 11,041 Views
Finally tried water flying last week. It's more challenging than I thought, especially water taxiing in windy conditions. Very easy to dip a wing in the water with wrong aileron input. Have to continue fly the wing just floating on water to keep upright.

Video shows 3rd flight on a friend's Icon A5, shooting touch & goes to get scale no-skip landings on water in windy/choppy conditions. Many thanks to Tuan for entrusting me with his plane, and masterfully shooting the video - top notch.

Water landing practice with Tuan's Icon A5 at the pond. (7 min 49 sec)