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Jul 19, 2014, 07:12 PM
Toaster, not Toast
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LiddleGee carries the 808 #16 camera

After flying the Champ with the 808 camera a few times, I was inspired to try an experiment and strap it to my LiddleGee. I didn't have high hopes because it has a smaller wing than the Champ but it really does fly great, so why not. Well, success. It works great. Well, great for a tiny plane carrying more than it should ever be expected to. It flies faster than normal, naturally, but slower than the Champ with a camera, and clearly outclimbs it. Plus, it is just much more controllable with less tossing and wing flipping than the Champ, which makes for smoother video. Mind you, its still a tiny plane and easily tossed by the wind. Here are a few photos of the rig.

It was super easy to mount, thanks to a couple of aspects of the LiddleGee. I slid a short piece of carbon rod through two holes in the fuselage intended for wing struts which I left off. I might change my mind on that soon, but more on that later. Then I just used a rubber band to hold the camera on. My daughter's hair ties work great. The shape of the fuselage naturally aims the camera down, although you can still see the prop. Not much to do about that without using a totally different style of plane. The camera fell at about the C of G and didn't cause any issues. I think it actually improved the glide.

StevensAero LiddleGee over Delta Park with a crash or two (2 min 3 sec)

I took it on my dog walk the other day and pieced together this little video. It shows some flying over the Vanport wetland, a wildlife sanctuary. I got buzzed by swallows or swifts or something, which was cool to watch. It's a little nerve-wracking to do those flights because if the plane went down I don't think I could recover it. I took it up high a couple of times and you can see the Heron Lakes golf course and Portland International Raceway. Then, when I was landing, I flew in between my dog's front and back legs. Both wings hit, and, probably because of the camera weight, one tore off completely. It was a drag, but it's all fixed and ready to go again.

I'm thinking about getting a PuddleBug and modifying it for carrying the camera. That plane has a similar wing to the LiddleGee with a bigger wingspan and lower wing loading. Plus it's super cute and has that great tire for back country landings.
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