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Aug 21, 2018, 08:58 AM
Launch the drones ...
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Flying as a Senior


Flying Seniors - Geeze Louise

This week, I flew a couple model planes – sucessfully. A 2m glider called the Pulsar. And a 1.5m cub-like model called the Tundra. (Been flying nothing but drones since 2010.)

Where a month or so back, I decided I was too old to fly planes - after crashing the never flown before Tundra – right there in front of the Geneva RC Club membership - with family in attendance. I put on a game face, as I carried the wreckage off the field. Hearing one old timer remark that it looked like it was flying nose heavy. Old timer? Really? I’ve got to be one of the older guys at the field – Geeze.

Thinking back over that embarassing bit, especially the “old timers” remark – and accessing the plane’s behavior while I was trying to land – it just wouldn’t glide – yeah – it could well have been a bit nose heavy – meaning - I didn’t finesse that while figuring out where to mount the battery (battery placement is how we control COG (Center Of Gravity).

So – I finally finessed it – and yeah – the battery wants to be 2” further back from where it was – to balance in the middle of the COG. In that Tundra.

And that Tundra, the one with the batt 2” further back – it flies like a sweet heart.

But Geeze - I use to finesse the COGs in my planes – AND - the old ones that I setup back in the day – all still fly well. But ... this was my first newly setup airplane in ages – and I blew it. Didn’t get anal enough for a good COG. Bad old man.

How did I ever forget how important COG was in planes? Well – I had it close – it flew – just not easily. Sloppy COGs only work on drones (they still fly fine – but some motors will work harder than the others when COG is off – no big deal). But planes become difficult to impossible to control – with a bad COG.

So – happy to find that I can still fly planes – when they’re balanced correctly. And now I pay attention to all the details.

But Geeze Louise – some of this ain’t what it used to be.

Even trimming them while flying is harder than before – spoiled by drones maybe, as I could park em in a hover, and trim out the drift. But that plane keeps on truckin, while these old fingers and eyes mess with the trim – it’s amazingly hard to locate the trim knob - while flying a plane – even though it’s always in the exact same place on the transmitter. It didn’t use to be that way – back in the day.

And if something goes wrong – well – it takes a lot longer to correct – sometimes too long. I lost a plane that way 2 months ago. And that was a balsa floater. Wasn’t 3 mistakes high – because that’s higher than it use to be, but I cannot see well, once I get that high – so this smaller plane was only a mistake or so high – when I tried to turn on the DVR. When I looked back up – the plane was in an orientation I couldn’t fathom – and ultimately headed straight into the earth while I struggled with the sticks and my eyes.

So – flying planes today, has more challenges than before. But I can meet them. (kind of)

And besides – I always use to crash planes. So – what’s the diff?

Glad you asked – and now I’ll tell you … My crashing excuse, back in the day: pushing the envelope. My crashing excuses today: forgot, couldn’t find the switch, oops, yikes.

Oh well. Still have 4 planes that I’ve never ever flown. Will recheck their COGs, should I ever get brave enough to fly them.
Last edited by Tim Green; Aug 21, 2018 at 09:12 AM.
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