Hurricane

No, not the weather this time, I actually flew my first hurricane. The weather was actually perfect, with virtually no wind and it felt warm in the sunshine this morning. I was beaten to the flying field this morning by a guy flying a DJI Inspire. Not the same one from last week, but he packed up while I was having my first flight, so I never got to talk to him. Then a young boy, his parents and sister arrived with a really amazing little aeroplane. I had to look it up when I got home. It is called an Ares Trainer 100 and is a tiny UMX style plane that uses the same single cell LiPo as the Hobbyzone Champ, but is significantly smaller. With no wind it seemed to fly for ages on that single cell and, for someone who had only bought it the day before, he was flying it really well. Most importantly it survived some big bumps on the ground, so it doesn’t break easily.

Anyway, just after my second flight with the RS352, the owner of the brand new Dynam Hurricane arrived. I had flown his A10 Warthog last week, so the Hurricane didn’t seem such a tricky prospect. After checking everything over, I thought the balance was slightly back, but it was in the suggested range, so we put it down on the runway and I opened up the throttle. I was a bit worried because it feels heavier than you would expect, but it went straight up into the air with plenty of power from the 4S LiPo and that amazing 3 blade prop. There were no problems at all with this aircraft, I think I only put in about three clicks of down the entire flight. I put the gear up after the first turn and just flew it around the sky for about 5 minutes. This feels like a real aircraft, though, as it’s got some weight and presence about it. In the turns you have to maintain momentum and then levelling out it tends to keep climbing on you. All too soon I was thinking, “OK, now I have to get this back down” and flying square box circuits to gauge the speed and rate of descent. There are no flaps on this one, so the eventual landing was a bit fast on the rough grass. I had hit the limit on the up elevator and the flare wasn’t what it should be, resulting in a bit of a bounce, the main wheels catching and flipping the tail over the nose. This was with virtually no speed, so it didn’t do any damage. A check of the capacity left in the battery showed about 50% left, so duration must be about 10 minutes.

Now, I had offered the owner of the Hurricane the transmitter on the first flight, but declined until the second one. Take off was just as easy as before and I settled back down into a circuit at half throttle and handed the transmitter over to him to fly. I won’t go into too much detail, but the flight ended up spiralling into the ground a few minutes later. Standing next to him I thought he was OK, told him to give me the transmitter back if he wasn’t, but he thought it was too late by then. Seriously though, I can crash with the best of them so I would rather have the transmitter shoved into my hands two feet off the ground inverted in a spiral dive because you never know. If you are going to hit the ground, please remember throttle to zero, it always does less damage. As for the recovery, we were both expecting to see lots of bits of aeroplane, but it was pretty much in one piece. That’s really very impressive, so Dynam must build them strong because this aircraft isn’t light. The 3 blade prop was broken, the left landing light cover was missing and some bits of foam from the right leading edge of the wing root had been pushed out by the wheel which looked like it had moved. That was it though, the airframe was still basically in one piece and serviceable. I managed to find the tip light cover in the grass and we suspect that might have been the point of impact, with the left wing tip and prop absorbing the energy as the aircraft hit the ground.

Around that time another regular arrived with his Multiplex Heron, so he saw most of the flight. Apparently, from the car park he said he was sure it was a Spitfire. The wing shape in the air and the underside are the right colour, if slightly more square than the Spitfire ellipse. I managed another two flights with the RS352, while all the time we were watching what looked like a 250 size quadcopter flown by somebody camped out under the trees about 200 metres away. He obviously didn’t want to talk to us for some reason? Seeing the Hurricane flying around close to him must have been quite a sight though. We didn’t get out that far as you could see the quad flipping itself left, right, forward and back. We’re not sure if that was deliberate, but he definitely hit the ground a few times and had to fix it.

That’s it for this week, apart from having to admit that we’ve bought an F450 frame, Taranis X9D, Mini Hawk Flight Controller and Fat Shark V3 to build a quadcopter for work. That’s why I’ve been working on a quadcopter simulator in Unity. We’re doing some 3D reconstruction work using point clouds and have also just purchased Pix4D.

The quadcopter simulator in Unity.

The quadcopter simulator in Unity.

I’ve also bought myself some parts to build my own 250 size quadcopter. Our plan is to film the build and 3D print some of our own parts, so it should make a really interesting project.

OK, so today’s target must be to get the tail on my ATOM autogyro as I’m really desperate to see it fly now. I’ve done nothing all week so I’m off to make the rudders work.

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