I think that’s three weeks running that I’ve been able to fly on a Sunday now. That hasn’t happened in a while, which just shows you how bad the weather has been.
Anyway, we had seven people this week, including myself, flying a combination of a Dynam Smart Trainer, EFlite Advance, Parkzone Radian glider, Hyperion Sniper II 3D aerobat and a smaller CAP231 (?) profile 3D EPP parkfly plus a small helicopter. The final guy was the aerobatic helicopter pilot, who I haven’t seen for quite a while, but he was doing his thing upside down and right way up with a big electric helicopter.
As for me, I only had the RS352, which I managed to fly three times, along with a long flight of the Radian and three trimming flights with the Sniper, which I had flown a few weeks ago. Neither the Sniper’s owner nor me could understand this, but it was completely out of trim for some reason. He managed to do a really interesting ground snap roll before handing me the transmitter and saying, “you have a go”. OK, so first attempt at take-off resulted in the prop hitting the ground and the nose digging in. I cut the power early, so no damage, but I did check the prop remembering what happened last time. Attempt number two and holding in a little up, it took off. Oh dear, that’s VERY sensitive, so find the operating point, fly the circuit and come back down again. After turning down the amount of movement on elevator and aileron (the TX said 135%, but we don’t know why), and also re-centring the surfaces, I was back in the air again and everything seemed a lot better. That was until I pointed out that the rudder was actually reversed. I really don’t know how I didn’t notice that before as I had done all the checks, but perhaps it got reversed when the rates were changed and I just didn’t notice? Anyway, back down to earth again, reverse the rudder put it back into the air and everything was more or less right.
The most impressive flight of the day was probably watching the Dynam Smart Trainer, which looked absolutely perfect. Apparently it was only his second flight with it, the first had bent the nose leg on landing so he had to straighten it out. For a trainer, taking off from rough grass, it went up absolutely dead straight, like it was attached to rails on the ground. He then proceeded to fly it around the sky and execute a perfectly good landing about 100 metres down the field. Any landing where you don’t have to bend the nose leg back counts as a good one, so he got a second flight before packing it up to go home. Apparently he’s waiting for some new LiPos to turn up so he can get more flights in. The thing we all found astonishing about this aircraft is the sheer size of it. The entire tail section is removable to enable you to get it into a car and both wings unplug.
That’s it for flying this week and I really haven’t done anything more on the ATOM since last week due to the amount of work I’ve been doing. One thing I was playing around with yesterday, though, is the Quadcopter simulator which we’re writing. I’ve just built a Windows 10 machine so I can run Unity and managed to get it flying using my old Great Planes Real Flight Transmitter joystick controller for the first time. This was originally an analogue gameport device, but I’ve connected it to a SiteCom gameport to USB adapter which I got from Maplin years ago for about £10. I now use it for all my simulators.
Here is a quick screenshot of my attempt at drawing a quadcopter in Blender for use in the simulator:
Also, I must put a new battery into my HubSan Q4 as I’ve completely worn out the old one flying it around the bedroom. A post on how to do that will follow later.