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Oct 06, 2015, 10:09 PM
I think it's time to fly.
Rhea's Avatar

All things that fly.

I have always been interested in anything that flies. As long as I can remember I would be looking toward the sky when I heard something overhead. I grew up in the late forties and really became aware of flying things in the fifties. My older brother was building model planes but I donít remember him ever flying them. Some that he began but didnít finish were the earliest models I ever flew. I finished building the ones he started and them I learned how to fly them. Some were ĹA control line models of his own design. One I remember most was a ĹA free flight that may have been his own design; Iím not sure what it was. The free flight had an OKCub .049 engine. There was an integral fuel tank on the back of the engine that held enough fuel that the engine ran for a few minutes. The plane didnít fly well and with the short engine run-time the plane would climb and stall, climb and stall to maybe thirty or forty feet and when the engine quit the plane came down rather quickly. My uninformed, youthful logic told me if the engine ran longer the plane could get higher and stay aloft long enough to be more entertaining.
So I went to the hobby shop and bought a little metal tank, fastened it to the pylon behind the engine, hooked up a piece of fuel line and took the newly configured plane down to the school yard. I never timed the engine run with this tank so I had no idea how long the engine would run. I started the engine and gave the plane a toss into the late evening sky. It did its usual climb and stall, climb and stall in the circular pattern it always did before but this time it kept climbing . . . and climbing. The light breeze began to carry it away from the school yard and across the neighborhood. Climbing and stalling it continued this porpoise-like aerobatics into the sky. It was higher than it had ever been before and I was expecting the engine to quit any time soon.
The engine didnít quit so I began running after it; running through back yards leaping over fences and down the streets as the plane kept going ever higher, never to be seen again.

Well the years passed and I learned about free flight design and such things as limited engine run-time, dethermalizers and other things that make it the interesting sport it is. I entered a few competitions but never won any first place awards with my planes but it was fun nevertheless.

That was a long time ago but I still am fascinated with anything that can fly for long periods with no power. In the recent years I have had a few RC assist versions of the old free flight planes. I had a Lanzo Bomber and a Carl Goldberg Sailplane. I made these both to be powered with electric outrunner motors. I would run the motor for one minute to get the planes into the air hoping to find a thermal. Quite often I could ride the thermals for thirty minutes or more. Usually choosing to bring the plane down just because Iím just too old to stand there looking up for that long. There were a few times when I would even lose sight of the planes for some time too.

Well, now more time has passed and I have had to scale down the number of planes and the size of planes I have in my hangar. I sold my big planes a few years ago but they didnít go too far and the pilot I sold them to brings them out to the field now and then so I can fly them.

As I began this blog, writing that I like all things that fly I mean to say ALL things that fly. Where I live now I can sit on my fourth floor balcony and watch some of Godís creation doing what I have always loved to do with my planes. That is, to soar on the thermals without any power. The fascinating thing about this is that when I was flying my free flights or sailplanes I had to try to find the thermals and stay in them to sustain the long durations in the air. When I sit here and watch the eagles soaring effortlessly it seems that they know where they are and without even a single wing flap they can climb out of sight.
One day this summer I watched two eagles just above the roof of the building I overlook circle until they had gone out of sight. Neither of them had to flap at all in all that time. I would think what a joy it would have been to be able to get one of my old sailplanes into the air with them.

There are some other interesting birds around here too. One evening I took one of my UMX microsóthe Spacewalkeróout in the parking lot where I live now. When I took off a flock of Swallows began flying around with me. When I landed they disappeared. When I took off again they flew around with me again. What fun!

So you see; I like all things that fly. .
Latest blog entry: All things that fly.
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Oct 07, 2015, 03:57 PM
Build straight - Fly twisty
Whiskers's Avatar
I think eagles can see thermals.
With their superb eyesight they would see specks of dust, insects, seeds and other such things rising.
Probably they also see the air shimmering due to the density variations.
Oct 07, 2015, 04:31 PM
I think it's time to fly.
Rhea's Avatar
That’s an interesting theory. I always thought it was just that they could feel the air rising. Being their senses would detect it immediately rather than as we have to visually detect our planes rising which sometimes is many seconds after it has already begun.
Latest blog entry: All things that fly.
Oct 07, 2015, 04:41 PM
Build straight - Fly twisty
Whiskers's Avatar
Oh they would feel that for sure once they were in the lift, and they would sense it to an exquisite degree.
What I mean is that they most probably can see thermals at a distance.
Jun 01, 2016, 08:22 PM
Лайка - Герой Человечества.
Flying Pitcher's Avatar
When i was younger...about 10 years ago, me and my dad got a small airplane that you charge on handheld device and toss and it flies until battery dies. Well, we gave it a little extra boost a few more seconds on the battery and it was a boost alright!! The thing shot for the skies and then landed on the roof on the other side of the field. That was the end of our hobby..

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