Let me start by saying: It was one of those perfect days where every old man with access to a full scale, gets out of bed early, pours a cup of coffee, straps on the velcro shoes, forgets about his old lady, opens the hanger, pencils the checklist, flips the prop and puts ground behind him.
Here in Maryland, it was perfect, I stopped by the 'rents house with my wife and had breakfast, we visited my sisters new addition to the family, and finally broke out around 2:00 this afternoon with 3 charged 1300mAh 7.4v batteries and my Herr Engineering Rally XP. We arrived at my new favorite field and set up with our backs pointing due south to a mature forest and wind heading NNE at 6mph above the trees. The humidity percentage rivaled California's average spring afternoon while the temperature, in the sun, was a mere 75 degrees. After a relatively hot summer in Maryland, even the pesky bugs took the afternoon off and did whatever they do on nice days. She opened up "The Happiness Project" and I plugged the power to the speed control, checked throttle, throws, balance, and gave it a toss. No trim needed today, only persistence. The wind above the trees was a gusting mess.
For those familiar with the Rally XP know that it's no F3J,X,5, etc.. And it's no trainer either. Under full power in wind gusting 10-15mph, the 11.75oz plane is easily tossed and can look more like a drowning man gasping for air than an aircraft. Even when some altitude above the trees has been...Continue Reading
First of all, I flew the XP twice last week. I logged 2:45' of flight time on Thurs. at North Point State Park outside of Baltimore until I was booted by a park ranger. It was awesome, The XP hung out with a pair of curious bald eagles for a solid hour flight; they shared thermals and were within 4' of the plane several times on their own accord.
On Friday, I crashed the XP into a tree b/c of high winds at Patterson Park in Baltimore, flying off the east hill. I hate flying there for several reasons, #1 there is a ton of choppy air because of the row homes and hill, generally I find a sink hole that plummets my plane around 30' when the wind picks up. #2 Landing on the hill is tough because there are trees lining the ridge, so there is a small landing window that gets tough when high wind is blowing straight up the ridge, you almost have to back the plane in from a serious cross wind angle. The good: Air traffic consists of the police helicopter which seems to welcome the glider, also flying off the east hill provides a wonderful view of the city, and the numerous American Flags make for great wind socks.
Last night I fixed the XP, I crunched the left side of the fuse right behind the motor, I simply made a plywood balsa sheet, and reinforced the side as well as the floor of the front fuse section. I had to fix up the access hatch, in the end, I only used a 2" x 4" patch of coating to fix any holes etc.. Looks almost as good as new, just a bit more solid,...Continue Reading
Look what arrived in the mail today! Herr's UAV! I decided to re-enter the RC airplane game after being out for probably 10 years. I know the XP hasn't had the best reviews and it's pretty basic, but I figured I'd swing it out there and see what kind of flight times I can manage. I'm glad Sig and Herr engineering are still in production and it appears that the lasers still work. Sad to see so many classic kits and companies are no longer around. I guess it's partially economic and also a change in the RC markets. I'm a big fan of wood and am glad to pick this one up. This is my first electric plane and learning about all the different components is as confusing as when fuel injected/computer controlled cars began their takeover. I'm going to take my time on the build, but will keep post's on progress and flights.