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Jul 27, 2014, 11:58 AM
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My R/C history

My radio controlled life can be split in two phases.

Phase I

Starting in 6th grade:
- My buddy Ed sold me his Tamiya Sherman tank. It came with a Futaba single wheel controller with a slider switch throttle.
- Next I had a few electric cars, then a small RC motorcycle, then a Tamiya racing buggy.
- In high school I got into nitro powered boats. I had 1 inboard and a few outboards powered by the K&B 3.5.
- My only attempt at planes was a Sturdy Birdy (fuselage made from a rain gutter downspout). My one and only flight lasted about 3 seconds.

Unfortunately no photos survived of any of these RC vehicles.

After college I played around with the nitro boats for a while. But I eventually sold or gave away everything and took a hiatus from the hobby for about 15 years.

Phase II

Air Hog
Fast forward to December 2007 when I bought an Air Hogs heli on a whim at a toy store. I still have this but it's for display only.

Walkera 4#1
In early 2008 I bought a Walkera 4#1 fixed pitch helicopter. I learned to hover (all upright orientations) and do fast forward flight. I flew (and repaired) this heli a lot. I also kept this model for display but it's not airworthy.

Blade 400
In the fall of 2008 I bought my first collective pitch heli, a Blade 400. This heli came with a Spektrum DX6i which I still use on other models. I flew this heli a lot. I later sold the airframe and a bunch of spare parts:

Walkera 4#3
Next I had a series of the Walkera 4#3 which is a small fixed pitch heli. I think I had two brushed and one brushless version. I got a lot of stick time in my living room with these. I eventually sold them all as a lot with a bunch of spares:

Walkera 4#3B Flying in my living room (2 min 39 sec)

T-Rex 450
Early 2010 I got a T-Rex 450 Sport. This is the belt driven version. I later converted it to flybarless with a Beast-X. This is the heli that I learned to hover inverted with. I still have it and it's airworthy but I don't fly helis much anymore:

Guru-Z Xeon
Later in 2010 I wanted to have a fixed pitch heli for front yard flying and I got a Guru-Z Xeon airframe which has a belt driven tail. I never liked the way it flew and I sold it a few months later.

T-Rex 250
I wanted something smaller than my 450 to fly in the front yard so I got this T-Rex 250. Too small and twitchy so I sold it a few months later:

Blade MSR
I got a Blade MSR for living room flying. I still have this heli with a bunch of spares but it hasn't seen airtime in quite a while.

In October of 2010 I decided to try a fixed wing aircraft. I ended up buying a foamie biplane called the SlowBipe. This plane met its demise when my brother flew it into the side of a house. Here is the maiden:

SlowBipe Foamie Maiden (2 min 38 sec)

DW Foamies Yak 54

I wanted to fly something with ailerons so I got a DW Foamies Yak 54 in December 2010. I'm on my 3rd airframe now (photo from July 2014).

3D Hobby Shop 41" Edge
In December 2010 I bought this 3D Hobby Shop 41" Edge. This was my first balsa plane. I still have it. It's still airworthy and still fun, even on floats. I didn't fly this plane much until I joined the Los Alamos Aeromodelers and had use of a runway.

In February 2011, I built the SuperSlo28 from plans that can be found here. It's EPP foam with carbon fiber stiffener rods. I learned to hover and fly inverted with this plane. I think I'm on my 4th airframe now.

SuperSlo28 Dip in the Pool (1 min 47 sec)

In early 2011 I built this BluBaby from plans found online. It uses fan fold foam. I built a few of these including one with skis and one with lights for night flying. I also built a few for other people.

In March 2011 I built this Nutball from plans online. I lost interest in it and salvaged the electronics from it.

Nutball (3 min 35 sec)

Park Scale Models Mini Drake
In October 2011 I built this Mini Drake from a laser cut Park Scale Models kit. It always draws attention on the water, on the snow, or in a gym.

Park Scale Models Pitts SC-1
In January 2012, after my success with the Mini Drake, I decided to build this Pitts SC-1 from a Park Scale Models kit. This plane has ailerons but they are ineffective and the plane won't fly inverted. It's a fine looking plane and a quality kit, but after a few flights it went on a display shelf.

Stick and Tissue
These "peanut scale" rubber powered stick and tissue models are hanger queens, but I enjoy building them.

Peck Polymers Cub kit

Peck Polymers P-51 kit

Peck Polymers Gipsy Moth kit

Walt Mooney plans built Embraer Ipanema

Chrysallis 2M Electric Glider
I wanted to fly gliders with my buddies at Overlook Park so I built this Chrysallis 2 meter electric glider in January 2012. The build thread is here. I had quite a few flights on this plane but in March 2014 I had a mid-air collision with another glider and this plane ended up in the bottom of the canyon. The recovery is documented in the video below.

Chrysalis Crash in White Rock Canyon (2 min 29 sec)

Gee Bee Models Tiger Moth

I bought this old Gee Bee Models Tiger Moth kit at a club auction when one of our members passed away. It was a slow and stable flier but I pushed its aerobatic envelope too far and turned the fuselage into splinters. The build thread is here. Another club member's granddaughter poses with it below:

Mako Sea Plane
In July 2013 I built this Mako Sea Plane from a West Michigan Park Flyers kit. I've flown it off of grass and water. It's fun for short periods of time, but I prefer standard configuration planes. My stepdaughter models it here:

3D Hobby Shop 74" Edge
I finally succumbed to peer pressure and bought this 74" 3D Hobby Shop Edge 540 in January 2014. It's powered by a 30cc DLE.

ROC Hobby V-Tail
After I crashed my Chrysallis in the bottom of the canyon I bought this ROC Hobby V-Tail powered glider to replace it in April 2014. My wife models it here:

I built this Gremlin combat plane in April 2014 using a wing core cut by my friend Ross. It's electric with a folding prop. It flew well, but I put it in a spin that it couldn't recover from and it's waiting to be rebuilt now.

Jetex Rocket Engine

To display a Jetex rocket motor that I found in my grandfather's desk after his death in 1981, I built this sheet wing model in May 2014.

Speed Spitfire
I built this peanut scale Speed Spitfire in November 2014. It's another hanger queen that won't leave the ground. But it did teach me how to bend balsa for the wing outline and how to pull a plastic canopy. be continued...
Last edited by AtomicFlyer; Nov 16, 2014 at 03:36 PM.
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