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Nov 20, 2006, 03:27 AM
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3 test flights

One last release from 11/20 involved stacking all 32 night flying exposures into one tapestry of R, W, B nihilism.
32 * 30 sec exposures
ISO 400, F2.8 Linear gradient applied to reveal more of the horizon.

So the goal today was increasing payload by decreasing landing gear, an experience which proved Jack Crossfire's mastery of test flying. For test flying, we are fortunate to live 0.15 miles from a flying field and from there to have 1/2" tall grass, 1" tall grass, and 2' tall grass within 200' of each other. Too bad it's only open at night.

The principle with these test flights was to hang a payload between the skids and thread it down the middle of an elevated landing platform. This required a vertical landing with minimal horizontal movement.

Test Flight #1:

9 minutes
no wind

Tried stock skids on elevated platform with no payload. Successful takeoff but couldn't land on the platform. Not enough margin to align the skids and too much horizontal movement to thread a payload. Skids kept jamming under the platform.

Test Flight #2:

11 minutes
5mph wind

Outriggers attached to skids on elevated platform with wider spacing. Much bigger margins. Landed successfully but with too much horizontal movement to thread a payload. Skids still jamming under the platform.

Test Flight #3:

12 minutes
no wind

Stock skids again but with simulated payload. The payload would theoretically lock to the platform first and keep us centered during landing. In reality the slightest grazing of the platform caused complete loss of control. After escaping from several attempts with no way to land, time to ditch in the tall grass.

Took one handed thrashing to yank the flashlight from the camera mount while controlling cyclic with the other hand. Then a long hike up the mountain to the high winds and the tall grass.
Last edited by Jack Crossfire; Nov 20, 2006 at 03:41 AM.
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