Whiskers's blog View Details
Posted by Whiskers | May 20, 2015 @ 09:03 PM | 3,606 Views
Although I think of myself as a scratch builder I have lowered my standards and bought an ARF Bix3 from Hobby King.
It's OK.
There is a lot of stuff online about it being under powered but mine will takeoff at half throttle and it climbs away well.
The only mod I have made is to give it bigger wheels. I made up 2.5 inch tyres to replace the stock ones and they work well.
I have the FPY canopy set up as a self contained FPV unit with its own 800 Mah battery as the plane needs weight up front if it has the specified 2200 3s pack.
Had my first FPV flights with it this perfect morning.
Being either brave or foolish (the latter I think) I firstly tried an FPV takeoff.
"Tried" being the operative word.
The plane swung to the right and suddenly the goggles were depicting the chain mesh fence looming large.
I slammed the throttle shut and the plane stopped with the camera giving a nice closeup of the wire mesh.
Waddled over to it and found the nose of the plane to be about 6 inches from the wire, Phew!
OK. So perhaps an FPV takeoff is not (yet) such a good Idea.
Put the goggles tilted back on the noggin, settled back in my chair and off we went again. This time I could see to give a touch of rudder to keep things on line and when some altitude was acquired I deployed the goggles.
Nothing much to report about the FPV flying except that the video link was good. Just a couple of small flickers.
I decided to land FPV and that went OK but I landed way long.
The combination...Continue Reading
Posted by Whiskers | Feb 01, 2015 @ 04:09 PM | 3,581 Views
I modified the old Fly Dragon, giving it a T tail with much more area and bigger control surfaces.
I launched it, flying LOS, into the perfect early-morning air and found that the changes made it fly much, much better and improved its stability no end.
I trimmed out the elevator and found that the plane was quite happy flying hands-off.
OK, sit down and pop on the goggles. Yep, all good.
We stooged around the area experiencing a little image break-up from time to time, but mostly it was fine.
Then, as I was positioning myself to come in for a landing the image totally vanished and became snow.
I wish I could tell you what happened, but I do not know.
I shut off, and heard the thing go THUMP. Not good.
I didn't get to inspect the plane at the crash site, on the road, because a helpful dog-walker had picked it up and was bringing it towards me.
I think the plane hit the power lines because there is a deep cut in the LE of the port wing. This cut is at a strange angle.
What I don't know is the sequence of events.
There's a big transformer on top of the power pole at the crash site. Did that cause the vision glitch?
Did I just fly into the wires and destroy the camera? The camera could not be found. Its back plate is still stuck to the mounting but the rest is probably in the tall weeds and grass.
The plane hit hard. The battery took a hit and is distorted. The wing is cracked but easily repairable as is the v-stab. The front of the fuselage will be replaced.
Now I have to get another camera.
Posted by Whiskers | Jan 20, 2015 @ 07:32 PM | 3,920 Views
I had 4 FPV flights this morning.
The conditions were perfect, and this time I made sure to align my chair to the north so I'd have information re the breeze, which was light but variable.
I did some altitude checking with the light poles and the trees and found that its good to know how things look at a known height.
All of my landings were good except the 3rd flight where some turbulence got me, and the plane finished up on its back. No damage however.
I have not tried a FPV takeoff. This plane is a pig on that, so much so that I hand launched the last 2 flights.
I had the goggles on the ground next to my chair and took the plane to a good height and let it go hands off while I put on the gogs. This usually showed that the plane was doing something stupid, but hey, that's what the controls are for.
I buzzed myself a few times (not too close) and it's sometimes weird to hear the sound seeming to go the wrong way.
I did one loop.
So while a HUD may be cool to have you sure can get by without one. Also, at the moment, I think it's more fun to not have flight stabilization.
It'd be good to know the battery state, but even that is no biggy.
I'm a bit over this plane. I want something that handles better on the ground and in the air.
I want to do FPV takeoffs. And the odd roll and loop.
Maybe it's time to build a twin motor thing...
Posted by Whiskers | Dec 21, 2014 @ 05:55 PM | 3,427 Views
Strictly speaking, it was not my first FPV flight. This was my first with my gear.
A flying buddy had given me a flight with his well sorted out plane, but that one has an OSD so there is always handy information like altitude in view.
My setup is much more basic. The Hobby King DIY goggles and radio which cost about A$110 posted. No OSD for me... Yet
I needed to add some foam rubber to the goggle box to give me a longer eye to lens distance, and the image is OK but not great.
An old (modified) Fly Dragon trainer was brought out of retirement and the gear was installed in a. "minimum effort" way.
So off to the field I went with all the the whole kit, plus my wife and a chair.
The plan was to do the first flight LOS with my wife looking at the FPV image to see if we had a solid link. This all went well, except that I made a rotten down wind landing (The breeze had shifted 180 deg ) and bent the LG. I straightened the gear and did another short LOS flight and shot a good landing.
For the next flight I had the goggles up on my forehead and took the plane to a reasonable altitude LOS and then dragged the goggles down to start FPV.
All good. I know the terrain very well so I knew where I was at all times.
I asked my wife to place the chair behind me and sat down, even though I was having no problems with balance at that point.
The breeze had come up a little and I had to ask my wife where it was coming from because although I could feel it I had no idea which way I was facing.
Lesson: Orient the chair and sit before FPVing.
OK. Time for the landing. I had thought I'd land LOS, but as I'd had no problems with the flight I opted to land FPV.
I had to come in over power-lines and gave myself a heap of clearance and landed way long. No problem. I had plenty of field and no matter how far away you get the view is still the same. I could see when I needed to flair and the landing was fine.
So, all good.
Posted by Whiskers | Dec 09, 2010 @ 03:38 AM | 6,606 Views
These are the planes I have ready to fly at this point of time... a couple more are under construction.
Posted by Whiskers | Jun 29, 2010 @ 08:24 AM | 6,138 Views
I've been keen on aircraft forever, so when as a young teenager I was offered a job at the Royal Victorian Aero Club it seemed like a good thing to do.
Essendon Airport was within bike riding distance, so I started working at what I thought (at the time) was a most wonderful place to be.
Essendon was then the main Melbourne airport, and various "Airliners" roared off or chirped their tyres on landing in a very satisfying way. The RVAC hangar contained a number of DH Tiger Moths, a Miles Whitney Straight, a Wacket Trainer (not being used) and an exquisite Ryan STM with polished metal body and wheel covers. All the fabric covering, and metal on planes other than the Ryan was silver doped, this being the most durable finish to withstand strong sunlight. The Club colours of 2 dark blue vertical stripes with a central light blue stripe, all of equal width, adorned the rudders and the large VH- registration letters were black. Smart enough in a utilitarian way.
Swinging props to start these planes gave me an insight into how unreliable people can be.
The starting procedure was simple. Wheel chocks had to be in place (no brakes on the TMs) and we'd call, "On, off and closed." The pilot would turn the fuel 'on' make sure the ignition switches were 'off' and set the throttle 'closed' and say, "On, off and closed."
We'd pull the prop through to prime the engine, then call, "Set, contact." The pilot 'set' the throttle and flicked the...Continue Reading
Posted by Whiskers | Jun 25, 2010 @ 08:04 AM | 6,115 Views
A word about my avatar:
While on holiday in Bali one of the local ladies who make a living on the beach providing beauty treatments to tourists, paid me the funniest complement I have ever received. I told her I was too ugly, and it would be a waste of time; and she said, "Oh no! You are very handsome! You have face like Monkey Head God!"
It still makes me laugh.