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Posted by rabid_fish | Jul 14, 2009 @ 03:25 PM | 1,838 Views
So the Decathlon crashed and burned. I was willing to admit defeat on the intermediate planes, and obviously needed something more beginner level. I also wanted something that a local flyer could recommend.

A week later the local flying club held a swap meet - the timing was perfect. I stopped in, and amongst the tables of people selling planes was a person who had a supply of Firebird Commander 2's and Firebird Phantoms. After some discussion about my previous wreck and need for a plane that could fly in some wind, I purchased a Firebird Commander 2 (RC Groups review here).

That afternoon I headed to the local park, the same one I destroyed the Decathlon in, and gave the FC2 a go. I walked into the middle of a soccer field which was surrounded by baseball diamonds (plenty of room, no?) and chucked the FC2 into the air.

The first throw was wayyy too light a throw, the plane got about twenty feet before it hit grass and spun over. The second throw was more of a "heave ho", and this time it stayed airborne. And headed straight for the backside of a huge electric baseball scoreboard. I gave the FC2 orders to swerve away well in advance, but the plane didn't seem to be listening very well, and sure enough SMACK, it ran right into the back of that board, the battery pack shot out the front of the plane, and the tail swung up to hit the board as well. I ran over to the wreckage and found the v-tail foam had snapped into pieces, and the battery pack was...Continue Reading
Posted by rabid_fish | Jul 06, 2009 @ 10:48 PM | 1,985 Views
Over a year ago I got hooked on Air Hogs planes. So hooked, I picked up the following
  • Aero Ace Biplane (green, died in a puddle)
  • Aero Ace Jet (orange and black, gave this to a friend)
  • Aero Ace Sport (green, still lives, is awesome)
  • Aero Ace Biplane (black and red, missing a tail)
  • Jetscream (never quite right after being repaired)

Any of those planes is a great start to R/C planes, though of course the Sport model is by far the best. That plane can fly for 20 minutes at a time if you don't get radio interference. And it's impossible to kill them, short of landing it in a lake.

So this Spring I talked the wife into getting me a 3 channel plane for my birthday. Had my heart set on a Parkzone Super Decathlon (RC Groups review here). PZ lists it for 'intermediate' pilots, and given all the time I've spent with Air Hogs, I should be there by now, right? I mean, it seems to me the biggest hurdle a newbie has to overcome is the whole orientation thing, which you can tackle on the cheap and quite effectively with an Air Hog.

Except, I was wrong. I didnt even get thirty seconds of flight outta my Decathlon. She went up, turned right, then headed right for the ground at 40 miles an hour. The motor cowling, battery, wheels etc. went everywhere. Didn't dig much of a hole even.

Reflecting back on the event, I'm totally annoyed. Air Hogs are solid foam and take an absolute beating. Part of the forumla is they don't fly fast. The other part is they don't have to...Continue Reading