How high have you gone? - RC Groups
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Aug 29, 2012, 09:40 AM
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GliderJim's Avatar

How high have you gone?

Altitude (no guesstimates - measured with an altimeter)
Name of the plane and specs if you have them.
How did you feel about it?

1003 feet.
Laser 2M (8.5" chord).
I could still see the whole plane, but I was getting pretty nervous.
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Aug 29, 2012, 10:41 AM
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jtlsf5's Avatar
Last edited by jtlsf5; Aug 29, 2012 at 02:36 PM. Reason: See below
Aug 29, 2012, 10:44 AM
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That ties in with some experiments that I did ... with the intent of discovering how far away I normally fly a model. The model in question was a trainer-type, with a 62" wing.

I had my friend hold the model and walk away along a straight road.

For me, 320 yards was the max range at which I would have dared to fly the plane.

With respect to the altitude question ... no idea! But, I have just acquired one of those cheapo altimeter-thingies, from eBay. Once I've deciphered the Chinglish instructions, I shall be fitting it into a model. (it records the start elevation and max height above that point.)
Aug 29, 2012, 11:24 AM
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Well, unfortunately, the best I can do is an estimate...don't have an altimeter.

I wish I did have an altimeter on one of my flights with my enlarged Sagitta 900. I was laying on my back in the grass, transmitter in on hand, holding binoculars in the other so I could see it. Without Binoculars I couldn't even see it anymore!!! It was much higher than I ever want to fly again, scared my a bit

I don't know for sure how high I was, but a full size aircraft passed by at roughly 3000ft above ground and I was higher than he was by a fair margin

One of these days maybe I will see about getting myself an altimeter.
Aug 29, 2012, 01:16 PM
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Not sure how high.....actually kind of low, but it scared the hellout of me when the Ford Trimotor flew between me and the plane......
Aug 29, 2012, 01:31 PM
I need some building time in t
scaflock's Avatar
No Altimeter but on my first Paragon (118" Span) I lost sight of it 3 times and was afraid I'd lost it for good. Managed to spot it thanks to reflector strips and get it back to the ground. Learned one major lesson with that ship.... If the plan shows spoilers... Install them because they're there for a good reason!
Aug 29, 2012, 01:44 PM
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rcav8r2's Avatar
Using a "how High" about 2300ft with a Cullaris. It was scary high for me. I was with about 4 other guys as a guest at their club and they never saw a glider thermal before . So I showed them alright ;-) Out of the 5 of us, only 2 or 3 of us saw it at times... And at times I wasn't one of them
Turns out they have a GREAT glider field. I've been there a few times since and always got some decent lift.

I also find that sky conditions dictate how high I can see it comfortably. Now I use the telemetry on my Aurora with the module that talks to you. I have it set to have an alarm go off at 1000 foot. The other day I had it out, and it was at 1300 footish. (long after the alarm went off) and if I was in the clear part of the sky I almost didn't see it. I had to keep it under the clouds to see it, but that is where it was going up, and FAST, even with crow. Scary flight for sure.
In this case even though the sky was nice and blue, there apparently was enough of a haze to really cut visibility as other times I have had it in the 1500-1800 foot range and although it was small (no H stab) I could see it fine.

From now on, I will listen to that 1000 foot warning. I'm getting better at reading the sky (still not great, but need the practice) so I decided to bail out when the alarm goes off, and go look for new lift, and not worry about getting hour long flights at xxxx foot altitude just to say I did it. Like the old joke about playing a <insert musical instrument here>.... It's like wetting yourself. Your the only one who gets a nice warm feeling from it
Aug 29, 2012, 02:02 PM
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Lenny970's Avatar
This is the type of thread that brings unwanted attention to our sport at a time when the FAA is formulating new regulations to impose upon us.
Some things are better left unsaid (or at least unpublished).

Aug 29, 2012, 02:30 PM
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There's no law against flying high, Lenny.
Aug 29, 2012, 02:36 PM
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jtlsf5's Avatar
Lenny has a good point. In the age of too easy communication on the net, plus over exuberant government types trying to keep the world safe from the three idiots that would ever actually try to use a model for subversive purposes, this thread is ill advised. Previous response deleted.
Last edited by jtlsf5; Aug 29, 2012 at 04:44 PM.
Aug 29, 2012, 02:39 PM
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GliderJim's Avatar
I guess I understand your concern Lenny, but I'm pretty sure it's no secret to the FAA how high model aircraft fly.
Aug 29, 2012, 03:00 PM
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Up here in Canada we don't have any rules on that yet either in most places. Where I live we are a long way from any major center so there is not much full size traffic.

I am also a full size private pilot, and an aircraft mechanic and work at our local airport. This gives me an edge in that I have a pretty good idea where the majority of the air traffic around normally flies. That enables me to go and fly gliders that I know will be up high somewhere else. Luckily, both of the R/C club fileds are well out of the typical "flight paths" of most full size traffic. Even still, if I am going to be out aiming for a "speck out" I try and have a spotter with me. That super high flight I mentioned in my first post, I had my bro-in-law with me watching out and keeping an eye on the other airplane that did fly by.
Aug 29, 2012, 03:13 PM
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R.M. Gellart's Avatar
+1 Kenny, this is ammo for folks that want to restrict us. Also, FAA does not need any help either...

Aug 29, 2012, 04:02 PM
I need some building time in t
scaflock's Avatar
There was a thread on here (somewhere) that had a link to the new regulations that were just passed. I saw no mention on altitude restrictions however as we all know we have to yield to full scale aircraft flying in the same area. Communication with your local air field is also important. Keeping track of our models is OUR responsibility. If you are so high up that you can't see your plane, then you have no real control over it. plain and simple.

As some of you know I've been hunting for a new place, but you have no idea as to how hard finding just the right place has been. My requirements are a minimum of 20 acres and AT LEAST 15 miles from the nearest airfield. With all of the ranch landing strips scattered across the south west, this is proving much harder than I had thought it would be. Still the hunt continues and I'm finding that I might have to change my "Wish List" so it's not quite so restrictive. Nothing is more important than safety for everyone. AS long as we ALL keep safety in mind, the FAA should have no reason to curtail our activities.
Aug 29, 2012, 04:25 PM
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GliderJim's Avatar
I think 15 miles from an airfield would be tough. We've got power clubs in the area that fly from the same field as full scale aircraft. Spotters are required.

I really am interested in how high people are routinely flying. If you have a story about doing something stupid/dangerous, then I guess you can keep it to yourself...or pm me.

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