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Posted by Doug Simmons | Mar 08, 2018 @ 10:48 AM | 1,164 Views
Well with your help and Aloft's I finished revising my Frsky order and it arrives tomorrow. I'm extremely psyched, and before I even unbox the thing to decide if I love or hate it, I have to make a Yippie! post here about the money, one that my wife wouldn't exactly appreciate but maybe you would.

I learned how to make a spreadsheet just now to add a line to my resume and to figure out how much it would have cost me to satisfy my requirements to outfit my designated geek plane with Spektrum gear versus Frsky. The answer is 2.2x, more than double! And in multiple cases for inferior things, like only cumulative voltage instead of individual cells. The one thing, feature-wise, where Spektrum has the edge that I could find is that their airspeed sensor can clock my foamie parkflyer up to 350mph and Frsky tops out at 223mph. Oh well!

Breaking it down more specifically, I want a transmitter capable of 16 channels that's expandable to a bunch more should the mood strike. I want it to have a high-res super-bright screen I can see in the sun (to eyeball telemetry) with a community surrounding and developing firmware I can tweak extensively. I want to type the name of the firmware into github and get a ton of hits. On the receiver end, I want telemetry sensor support, data logging to an SD and to be able to pop in up to sixteen servos/controllers/etc, again with the option for even more. I hate having to do risky tricks to squeeze out a tenth channel functionality from my DX9/...Continue Reading
Posted by Doug Simmons | Mar 05, 2018 @ 11:40 AM | 1,121 Views
He's right, you know:
Originally Posted by dalecheek1
HAHHAHAHAHADHAHAHH Total Dust Dot can anyone even tell what planes are doing
Ideally when recording your flight you'd have a camera with a lens that when you twist something mechanical happens in the lens that results in "optical" zooming. But your hands are busy, your wide-angle hatcam doesn't have a lens that zooms, and when you fly more than ten yards from the camera, you'll get complaints that the plane looks like a "dust dot" and everyone will pound you with thumbs-down which will hurt your feelings. So here's an alternative to hiring a film crew for your next Tundra outing (you'd still get a thumbs-down anyway, for videographic pretentiousness).

Virtually no one watches youtube with a 4K screen (we spend our money on planes, not fancy-boy computer monitors), but I film at 4K anyway so that for clips where the plane isn't close, I'm able, when editing the video later on my computer, to faux-zoom in fairly deep so that the plane isn't a dust dot, while doing so without it looking unacceptably pixelated as it would had I digitally-zoomed in from video I filmed at the more common resolutions.

To demonstrate, if you flew your plane, I don't know, one or two hundred meters out, well, here's a seven second clip of my plane repeated four times, the first time in 4K but a dust dot with no digital zooming, the...Continue Reading
Posted by Doug Simmons | Feb 25, 2018 @ 07:38 AM | 1,664 Views
Well, they ought to pronounce it frisky...

I'm tired of waiting for my Spektrum transmitter to die to justify taking the FrSky plunge, I want to take the damn plunge now, today. It's been a while since I crashed anything, so I figure I owe myself a treat. I'm trying real hard to do this right with respect to what's compatible with what in order to accomplish this and that, but I need one or two of you to vet my purchasing game plan before pulling the trigger.

Of all things on which to overspend, I'd put the transmitter right up there with my ol' lady's engagement ring (bless her heart for putting up with me, for example this monetary disappearing act I'm attempting to execute). So if I'm taking this plunge I'm going with the X10S, the Cadillac of the Frsky offerings, I want to take full advantage of it. This includes (firstly flashing OpenTX in case that doesn't go without saying) having sixteen if not thirty-two channels operational, manipulating flight controller settings and indulging in a full-blown telemetry data addiction relapse. With those general requirements I have not found one site that has everything I need, so I need to use multiple vendors.:
  • I'll get the X10S from Aloft or MotionRC, probably not the classifieds.
  • I want either the G-RX8 or the S8R receiver: They both have eight channels ready and capable of more, I think each have full telemetry support, one has a vario built-in, the other has a stabilizer (I only need anti-wind/turbulence, nothing
...Continue Reading
Posted by Doug Simmons | Feb 19, 2018 @ 10:21 AM | 1,370 Views
"Woah dude I thought that was a UFO," said a local youth as I wrapped up a night float flight.

I could understand how it would make that impression, especially if he were a little buzzed on something. Night flying is so much fun and really quite easy if you're both using enough light and some coloring to maintain orientation (to know whether the plane is flying toward you or away). The only thing that makes me nervous is not landing on the water but nearby residents seeing the lights and calling the cops. But if I were the cop responding to the call and discovered it was a handsome young man flying not an annoying drone but a seaplane with a custom light rig in proper nav light formation, I would keep my lights off and enjoy the flight, you know?

RC Seaplane Night Flight (2 min 1 sec)

I'm new to the night flying scene but I've already discovered that led bulbs make a fine substitute for led strips for the purpose of night flying just with scale-ish nav lights (not for artistic creations). In terms of putting out the same, if not more, lumens per watt, they are efficient. They are small and those that I used weigh only six grams apiece. I didn't do wind tunnel tests but I'd submit that they edge out led strips in terms of the drag and weight cost per lumen.

As they are silicone popsicle, not strips with some sketchy rubber tubing, they are completely waterproof, which I know from flying off of saltwater with leds on the sides of the floats. And maybe...Continue Reading
Posted by Doug Simmons | Jan 30, 2018 @ 05:21 PM | 2,094 Views
When this missus and I announced our engagement, my late grandfather-in-law for whom talking was a struggle approached me and said, "Do not take unnecessary risks." While that may strike you as about as meaningful as any random fortune cookie, what I believe the old man meant was that I must never attempt to resuscitate dead lipos.

Perhaps you've even tried it a few times and succeeded without anything blowing up, no 911 calls. Perhaps you've taken precautions, maybe you had a jug of water beneath the battery and a fire extinguisher ready to rip. You even ordered some "resistor" thing that might help.

I imagine most of those who've tried know there's a good chance you'll bring the little fella back above 3.5V / cell without burning down the house and that, while the voltage will fall way off 4.2V as soon as you unplug it and the thing will have half its original life in the air with major voltage sag, but it's a good pack to have on hand in the hangar when you need to power up a servo tester. Or so we tell ourselves.

Buddy, I know this firsthand: When lipos self-immolate, they are angry, they are damn hot, they're spitting out flame. Maybe they're squirting out flaming acid, who knows what the hell they're doing. Meanwhile, that confidence in your contingency plans turns to panic as you try to hurl the thing out of your basement where it burns a grey scar on the asphalt and leaves your house stinking for days -- if you're lucky, something much worse could happen instead. But you won't have to smell the house as your wife will lock you in the doghouse forever, you'll never stop hearing about it. She'll tell your in-laws too.

You think I sound like I've resuscitated-and-regretted, I'm giving a little too much detail? No I haven't actually; I'm just an amazing writer. :)

Once lipos dip below 3V / cell, or, you know, all the way down to zero volts, they're compromised. Fifteen, thirty bucks, whatever, paying that figure again is worth extinguishing this elevated and unnecessary risk.

Posted by Doug Simmons | Jan 28, 2018 @ 01:08 PM | 1,300 Views
I just ordered the Flyzone Beaver and I want to go night flying off the water with it with ample light, and without using, except maybe extreme density white lights underneath the wing, goofy led strips. So I searched the rcgroups forum list and found one for Night Flying. This thread is the most fascinating and informative collection of stunning RC beauty I've ever seen, and even if you have no interest in night flying, take a look:

My wife would use a different word but I think I've spent the morning productively coming up with something for this thread that might be of use to those of you who go heavy on amps and are worried about burning up their thin balance line. Or in my case, if you split the balance line in order to use a voltage alarm in addition to powering your lights, you may see a significant drop on the voltage alarm that is well below the voltage on the main power-to-esc lines. Why is that?

Anyway here's what I came up with and it appears to work:

And in action...

So that there is a fairly thick-gauge pair of wires I ripped out of a dead battery and soldered in three balance lines (minus the two middle lines, not necessary to power lights), putting pairs of Anderson Powerpoles on either end because I'm too pathetic to solder a decent EC3. A buddy recommended these things, now I'm a Powerpole elitist. I soldered the balance lines onto the power lines carefully and strapped them down and gave the...Continue Reading
Posted by Doug Simmons | Jan 20, 2018 @ 10:49 AM | 2,478 Views
Rough day yesterday. Went down to the basement, my hangar which I never bother to clean, lots of electronics accumulated over the few years, some not cheap, some not cheap and never used, strewn about the floor... Flooded.

Called the landlady and her husband, sort of the shadow landlord who I think bought the place to give his wife something to do, then launched a search and rescue mission to get anything on the higher, dry patches of floor to safer ground, then combed the water to fish out electronics. Ouch, a receiver, ouch, flight controllers, ouch all my reels of LEDs, ouch a bunch of ESCs including a reversible Tundra esc, ouch this ouch that, DAMN a Talon 90!? Oh c'mon, not that.

Talon friggin' 90 *and* its Castle ESC programming card.

I'll try my luck with isopropyl alcohol, the finest in all of CVS, though the water spared the planes and all my charging stuff as were all the things I needed to continue to fly. Well, at least the water was clean and warm, not poopy water.

There's got to be a lesson for me to learn from this...

On the bright side, the basement is considerably cleaner now.

Posted by Doug Simmons | Jan 05, 2018 @ 05:39 PM | 3,011 Views
All I left running was a two amp / 24W battery pack heater in my Passat while I flew for an hour and it killed the car battery. Killed it dead! Froze my ass off. No one around to hook me up with a jump, I didn't have anything to wire up in parallel for additional discharge current, though I had an old 3S 3000mAh to offer assistance to the car battery, managed to connect them with my jumper cables. While it brightened the car's interior lights, no dice starting the engine.

Moving forward I won't leave stuff running, but this misadventure made me curious regarding whether there's a safe way to jump a car with our packs. So I combed the forums here (couldn't find anything on wattflyer). Not much of a consensus on this topic which makes me more curious.

The most common suggestion is to use a four cell battery (didn't know you can mix voltages) which is typically met with objections that that will fry the car's electronics and start fires. Some suggest a high capacity 3S, which sounds safer. I could wire up several 3Ss in parallel, would that do it? Others suggest batteries of different chemistry like NiCD, LiFe and A123, I guess because their voltage multiple can lie at a more conservative 14V.

Highlights I found; perhaps you may find one useful.

Originally Posted by seeingeyegod
What could possibly go wrong?
Originally Posted by mrforsyth
...Continue Reading
Posted by Doug Simmons | Dec 11, 2017 @ 10:22 AM | 2,708 Views
Oh man if I could parlay my RC addiction into something that produces enough cash to cover my rent and to replace my wrecked airplanes... I've got the hang of flying, I've got the hang of filming, I've got the hang of editing. But I've made a hundred videos and only have 49 subscribers, not even close to bother turning on ads. I'd like to shove my fledgling channel into search visibility, which might take a thousand subs after which I suspect it becomes much easier to accumulate more.

Take Flyin' Ryan. This guy makes simple RC review videos, the format generally is several minutes split in half, the first half talking about the plane or helicopter or drone (usually drones), and then he flies the thing in a small room, banging around the walls in a lighthearted, comical and endearing way.

Silverlit - Pico Falcon (2015 World's Smallest RC Helicopter) - Review and Flight (7 min 56 sec)

That video has 2.6M views, a no-budget video of a tiny Radio Shack-tier heli. No script, not much editing involved; it might take maybe, I don't know, three hours to produce a clip from unboxing to posting. However long it takes him it's definitely less than I spend on a single two minute clip. I go crazy trying to perfect everything. Here's my desk working on my next video. Overkill, I know, and proof of no return on excessive editing; but I'm a bit OCD.

If he monetized that well, that single seven minute video might have already made him in the neighborhood of five...Continue Reading
Posted by Doug Simmons | Oct 05, 2017 @ 02:25 PM | 2,677 Views
Yeah, telemetry is addictive, I know. In addition to helping you get the absolute most out of your battery before having to land, you can get the core data a pilot would need, enriching the fantasy. When many of you buy batteries, you are mindful of their weight relative to their capacity. You do this because every gram counts, particularly when you're flying planes that weigh less than, oh, 2kg. The more weight, the faster the stall speed, the worse the climb rate, the more momentum and less agility, you may lose unlimited vertical and hovering, you may throw off your CG if you're not careful and your flight times could suffer if the extra weight is significant.

So to squeeze out the last drop of your battery before landing, you drop $50 on Spektrum's TM1000 (or similar of another brand) to beam down telemetry data including voltage, and, even though it's the voltage that matters, you also lay down $80 for Spektrum's current sensor that keeps a tally of milliamp hours of your 180g 2200mAh 3S 35C that you burned.

While in your Spektrum telemetry buying spree you also grab the variometer, the GPS module, the airspeed sensor and, why not, the Gforce sensor. Well before you slap all of that into your Valiant, Timber or Tundra, check this out: I grabbed my scale to weigh some of this stuff to see if it weighed anything. The answer is yes: If you add the aforementioned Spektrum gear inside your plane, it will weigh 75g more, almost three ounces, and it will consume...Continue Reading
Posted by Doug Simmons | Aug 13, 2017 @ 08:52 AM | 3,842 Views
During an early morning flight when no one was around I lost my signal or the receiver malfunctioned barely a thousand feet from me. Failsafes kicked in which kept the plane inside the park, not sailing into town, with a pretty wild landing:

RC Flyaway: Tragedy Narrowly Averted by Failsafes (2 min 36 sec)

As for the culprit, I range tested it and on low power it failed at 15 paces. I remembered I had added a capacitor to the receiver that came with the flight controller I had been using, I guess it's supposed to mitigate the risk of brownouts from power surges. I removed it and it range tested beautifully.

But to be safe, in case it were something else, before I fly the plane normally I will instead fly at low altitude early in the morning out to sea as far as I can and just do full throttle laps for at least several batteries, including raising the flight controller rate gains to induce oscillation to shake things up, so that if there's a flyaway I only lose the plane rather than risk killing anyone. I figure the more times I do that without incident the more likely the plane is shipshape and seaworthy for regular flight.

Range test after doing anything either involving your radio equipment or after anything noteworthy happening to the plane, and for good measure every now and then. Also program your failsafes to put your plane in a gentle spiral, if you want my advice. This could have ended very badly in many different ways, as far as being in a flyaway goes, short of a smooth landing, I got as lucky as one can get.
Posted by Doug Simmons | Aug 08, 2017 @ 09:16 AM | 3,196 Views
Just got a Tundra or maybe a Timber and servos froze or stripped on your maiden? So your next move is searching the forum for mentions of alternative metal gear digital servos, you find a good deal and buy six. Along the way you pick up a flight controller and a TM1000 (telemetry). I've been there buddy. No big deal, right?

You preflight the plane, run it full throttle on the bench, wattmetering, it all seems kosher. The guys in the forum didn't report problems with the servos, the site from which you bought the stuff has a good reputation, and you range checked after installing the TM1000, so what could go wrong (other than forgetting to turn off your AS3X now that you've added a stabilizing flight controller)?


Your ESC, if it's a common type, in addition to feeding your motor power from your battery, it also feeds, and at a different voltage and maximum amperage, power to your receiver, which in turn powers your servos, your flight controller and that TM1000, all through three tiny servo pins. The ESC Horizon picked out for that plane was likely designed to be as lightweight as possible while delivering just enough power to the plane without failing.

Now when you switch to non-stock metal gear digital servos, even if they don't have higher torque and speed, there's a decent chance they will draw more power, and a moderate chance they'll draw significantly more power, and a noteworthy chance that they'll collectively spike and eat up more amps...Continue Reading
Posted by Doug Simmons | Jul 17, 2017 @ 09:49 AM | 4,628 Views
The attached picture is the latest batch of stuff Horizon product support mailed me. Two 30A ESCs, three 40A ESCs, three AR636A receivers and an AR9350 rx plus a remote satellite receiver that had a saltwater encounter. This was in response to my mailing them the same items I had broken myself, not defects, mostly from saltwater, and with the AR9350 because I reversed the polarity when plugging in the voltage sensor leads (and I noted on the form that this was all my fault, but maybe you could replace the antennas I managed to sever, etc).

That's $540 worth of stuff (well, retail) in this last package.

They've done this sort of thing numerous times to the point that I'm feeling guilty when sending something in knowing they'll most likely give me a freebie, or repair an out-of-warranty classifieds-purchased DX9 for cheap or for zero dollars, or in just one case decline to fix a motor that had glue on it but offer me a good discount for a new one. Other freebies, again all my fault, were two or three other AR9350s (all stemming from the same first purchase, I kept screwing up the replacements), numerous telemetry sensors -- I can't even keep track!

On the $0.00 invoices they write "in the spirit of customer service." Yes, though it's also good for business, securing such a reputation and customer loyalty. And it's not just free replacements: When I send in a transmitter for something like a busted switch, not only will they fix the superficial problems, they will always do a thorough radio integrity check, flash the latest firmware, above-and-beyond work for which they won't charge me. The fellas in the Tundra thread have convinced me to try Frsky, and not just because the prices are comparatively amazing. But this is a tier of customer support I have only found in Horizon and HeadsUpRC. And the tier brings a tear to my eye.

Thanks, Horizon. And my man Jesse at headsuphobby, an outfit that deserves its own, separate post.

Posted by Doug Simmons | Jul 14, 2017 @ 10:23 AM | 6,291 Views
So you made another boring twenty minute RC video, but because you're a nervous girly-man the camera was shaking a lot and before you post your perfect little clip you want to add optical stabilization (even though your camera probably already added stabilization).

What does youtube's stabilization do, how good is it? Here are two versions of the same video, the first stabilized with my phone camera's own stabilization but is still shaky, the second stabilized with both my phone's stabilization plus Youtube's stabilization, so double stabilized. The camera's stabilization I'm guessing uses its accelerometers, youtube uses optical stabilization. Click play on both fast and mute one so you can compare not just the stabilization but also the video quality, psychadelic warpiness (the "jello effect"), compression artifacts (a tad worse in the second version, but only if you're looking for it, most won't notice).

Silky smooth RC seaplane landings in Darien CT (2 min 51 sec)

Silky smooth RC seaplane landings in Darien (stabilized) (2 min 51 sec)
...Continue Reading
Posted by Doug Simmons | Jun 18, 2017 @ 01:35 PM | 5,198 Views
I'm a float addict, but I only have access to saltwater. Nasty skanky saltwater with untold concentrations and varieties of poop.

It doesn't take much wind when taxiing to capsize a Timber, Tundra or E-flite Valiant, and steering the Valiant with moderate wind is difficult. Corrosion-X is good stuff, but this salt and bacteria is a formidable opponent, and it's cost me a lot of electronics. I could just not fly on days that aren't calm, but I have an addiction to feed.

So I embarked on a RCG and Youtube trek to find a plane that would promise less vulnerability to wind. I wasn't looking for a hotrod or something sexy like the ICON A5 (and I have no need an amphibious plane), just something to let me get airborne when wheels aren't an option due to too many people being outside. The Dynam Catalina struck me as having potential due to its wingtip floats but I had bought another Dynam plane, the Beaver, and was very disappointed in the assembly process, perhaps spoiled by Horizon. Also the Catalina was a bit large, and those I asked advised against it for my purposes.

I went to the waterplanes forum on RCG and ordered it by most views/comments, and by far above the rest was the ICON A5, kind of a sexy plane by Horizon, also scale, long flight time, decent sportiness and maybe wind resiliency. I asked in the thread if it were for me, and some nice fellow pointed me toward the Flyzone Tidewater.

The Tidewater has wingtip floats, a water rudder, and a following of...Continue Reading
Posted by Doug Simmons | May 14, 2017 @ 06:38 PM | 5,524 Views
If you lose a plane to sea and it takes a one to two week voyage before fishermen fish it out and return it to you, and you just finish giving your Valiant a full-body facelift and need a receiver with telemetry, and you discover that your saltwater plane's Lemon RX w/ Telemetry receiver appears to be working, ... Listen, it was only thirty or forty bucks, just order another and use one of your receivers without any adventurous, salinized stories behind it, and use a three dollar alarm and/or a stopwatch like most others.

Why not trust the seaworthy receiver? Because, after getting a little unlucky, you might rebound into the luck I just had yesterday. Spoiler alert: She sustained zero damage, but provided a valuable lesson on using sketchy radio equipment. And yes I'm pretty sure it was the receiver after an ambiguously-inconclusive basement post-mortem. You might think it's the ESC, but I think it was the receiver.

By the way, in terms of shortness, excitement, dramatic music and dialog that makes no sense, this may be my best video ever.

E-flite Valiant: Lost Thrust over Water, Flying Upwind (0 min 53 sec)

Instead of continuing to fly, I took her home, I yanked the Lemon out, resoldered my tips for good measure, popped in my AR9350 with satellites and with AS3X disabled (due to reversed channel hell) and preflighted the hell out of the thing. Though I have this slight hunch the right aileron servo might not be as good as new, I do have two ailerons, so I'll probably be okay.

Posted by Doug Simmons | May 05, 2017 @ 01:02 PM | 5,775 Views
When you show up to your RC club for the first time and start hearing the dos and don'ts, you'll likely hear someone likening the business end of your plane to a gun and a horror story of someone losing a finger and another guy dying. They're trying to scare you straight because it really is easy to mess yourself up if you don't take basic precautions when going near your propeller, and doing so every single time.

They're trying to spare you from having to learn the hard way, which is what I'm in the middle of right now. I saw my bone. If there's a god, I believe he did not intend for us to see our bones. When the ER doctor was looking at my fingers, he explained that due to the angle and rotation of the propeller, what I had looked like a hand-in-blender injury. I'm on antibiotics, got to rebandage and dump saline on it all the time, and I'll have my third hand doctor session Monday to find out whether or not I'll need grafting (I didn't show up to the ER with all of my flesh).

E-flite Valiant: Propeller vs finger incident (0 min 10 sec)

Though that propeller was a Master Airscrew, those suckers mean business, I got off easy.

But grafting from my understanding is a pain in the ass, and whether I get it or not, when needing to give someone the finger, instead of their getting offended by my hand gesture, they might instead become curious what happened to my knuckle. I'll have to explain I'm obsessed with those toy airplanes and I got close to the prop without turning on the throttle cut switch and hit the throttle with my knee yada yada, and the rancor I tried to introduce into the mood will vanish.

So pay attention when someone gives you the safety schpeel, and for the sake of others as well, not just you. Also, lipo safety warnings, listen to those too.

Posted by Doug Simmons | Apr 14, 2017 @ 02:01 PM | 6,313 Views
At one of my favorite spots the landing zone is mostly surrounded by trees making a gradual and extended glide slope impossible. When flying the Timber, a giant air brake, I could come in to land in a nosedive, hit the flaps and stop on a dime. Not so easy with the E-flite Valiant which has relatively little drag.

Turns out there's a technique actual pilots of small aircraft use to lose substantial altitude without gaining airspeed, the Forward Slip to Landing: Pull back the throttle, apply aileron in one direction and rudder in the opposite, balancing the two to preserve your ground track which will no longer match where your nose is pointing, flying slightly sideways (slipping), creating drag and reducing lift. I'll test it out on my next flight.

How To Forward Slip an Airplane (5 min 18 sec)

I'm interested in other such "scale" maneuvers, like the various methods of landing in a crosswind (like crabbing), in part because being able to do that will help me pretend I'm an actual pilot, or at least fantasize that I'm no longer a beginner RC pilot like my club members call me (that stings, fellas, massage the language a bit please).

Edit: Though it wasn't that pretty, I tried it in the Valiant, and it works nicely.


Originally Posted by grant22
If u need to bleed off speed in a short distance, have u tried doing some S turns?
Works well for me.
Originally Posted by RyoOhki1701
Yes, S-turns or even full 360°'s before the runway, when there's room to spare and I have the landing circuit for myself.
Rookies.. :)
Posted by Doug Simmons | Mar 19, 2017 @ 01:44 PM | 6,657 Views
My club manages to enjoy a good relationship with the town, a few irritated dog walkers notwithstanding. The club has been flying at a beautiful park since the seventies, though our reputation is still bruised by an incident from several years back when a drone flyer, not a member of our club, crashed his drone into the park's public pool, almost hitting a kid. It feels to me like we are one such incident away from expulsion.

The town police, who knows we tend to fly responsibly, has a drone problem of their own dealing with the usual mischief they cause and the complaints they generate. They approached my club's leaders and asked them if we would help recruit these guys into our club (as well as the AMA), give them a nice but isolated spot to race, and indoctrinate them to fly safely, enforcing the AMA's rules as well as the club's (no FPV without a spotter for example).

In spite of my pessimistic predictions, it has been a success, a success for the town, the police, the residents, the drone flyers, and for our club, demonstrating that we can and have contributed. Kudos to law enforcement for some out-of-the-box thinking.

Posted by Doug Simmons | Mar 02, 2017 @ 09:51 AM | 7,432 Views
With the weather heating up, there are too many people everywhere, and it is both dangerous and unhelpful to the hobby for all of us if you fly over or near people. Especially helis and drones. But waiting for the next winter takes too damn long, we need to fly!

So to remediate this, I finally tried slapping on a pair of floats onto my E-flite Valiant, it was much easier than I thought. Now my access to acceptably-uncrowded airspace is abundant. Here's my maiden both on floats, with this particular plane and a maiden of flying with no AS3X -- and I am a beginner!

E-flite Valiant: WATER MAIDEN! (Landings only) (4 min 16 sec)

Further, I suspect when people see you putting a seaplane into the water before flying, it differentiates your fixed wing further from drones, there's a certain romance to it that people seem to appreciate. Taxiing out before taking off keeps the sound down and dogs and dog walkers don't freak out and call the cops.

You might think flying with floats will weigh you down, kill your flight time and neuter your plane of its acrobatics. Though I never flew her with wheels, here I am tearing it up with floats, so far each time landing before running out of juice.

E-flite Valiant: Some Sloppy Sea Stunts (1 min 54 sec)
...Continue Reading