Month: June 2016



OK, it’s a butterfly on a flower, but the ducklings were too quick for me. I’ve never seen this before, but a mother duck and three ducklings must have wandered all the way through the grass from the pond to where the flying site is. I just happened to see them as them came out of the long grass to cross the path, then back into the long grass on the other side. All following along in a line with their heads bobbing up and down. Then I just caught sight of them crossing the other path and they disappeared back into the undergrowth.

Anyway, as for the flying, it was just me and the Beast today. Nobody else turned up as the weather was overcast looking like it was going to rain, then bright sunshine with lots of wind on and off. I had to adjust the movement on the Beast’s ailerons (75%) and elevator (60%) on his new Spektrum 6i, but it flew really well in the conditions. I only had one flight, but it was the first time I’ve used this radio and it felt really good to fly with. The sticks are just right and it’s a nice weight and solid feel. The Beast was a bit of a handful as always though.

As for me, I had four flights with the RS352, managed some nice Harriers and that was about it. I’ve been a bit busy with work this week, so this was my only couple of hours off.

Hopefully things will improve a bit once we get into July.


Two Waves of Planes and a Hunt for a Camera


It was really busy today with a couple of guys I haven’t seen before with a selection of foam aircraft and two clever golf trolley transporters that they made themselves. One had just landed as I got there, plus there was the helicopter guy and the DJI Inspire pilot who I keep bumping into. They all packed up and left after my first flight, leaving me with the Hurricane pilot from last time, now flying a foam Super Cub. There was also the UMX Cub and UMX SpaceWalker, but, unfortunately, he had forgotten to bring his batteries so I never got to fly either of them. Shortly after that the second wave arrived in the form of the Italian contingent who I had words with a few weeks ago about flying his DJI Phantom the other side of some trees. They had the Phantom and a selection of foam aircraft including a Spitfire, Corsair, high wing trainer and small bright green delta. The Spitfire didn’t last long before they crashed it into the ground on the first flight and destroyed the nose. The Corsair didn’t fly as they couldn’t get it to work, the hight wing trainer and green wing went well, but they were still doing stupid things with the Phantom. First, they nearly took their dog’s nose off with the blades, then decided that letting the kid grab hold of the undercarriage while it hovered above them was a good idea. How they didn’t cut themselves on the blades given how close they were flying it to themselves was a miracle.

One other person arrived later with a couple of foam Hobby King Easy Star clones. I’ve never seen this before, but one of them was going to be retired, so he cut off the polyhedral tips in front of us to see how aerobatic that would make it. The picture above shows the now clipped wing Hobby King aircraft flying really well. Unfortunately, it crashed shortly after this picture was taken and the runcam came off the front and was lost in the long grass. I went and helped in the search, along with a cyclist who was passing by and had stopped to watch the aircraft. It was actually him who found it in the end, after the pilot had given up looking. As usual, he said it was just sitting there in the grass looking back up at him. This is after we spent 20 minutes in a grid search pattern starting at the aircraft’s final resting place and working outwards. The aircraft was fine and he got the camera back, so all was well in the end.

I managed to get in 4 flights with my RS352, but it was getting really windy, despite the warm sunshine. The first flight was very smooth, with big accurate cuban 8s and perfectly executed stall turns and rolls. The second flight was really ragged. On the third I even switched out my camber which was a big improvement. I really must set this up right, as it’s a good setting to use in the wind as the airspeed is higher. It’s just that the elevator needs to be held in as the mix is wrong at the moment. The fourth and final flight was much the same. Landings were a bit interesting with the cross wind gusts and trying to hit the only patch of short grass in the middle, but that bit worked really well this week. Telemetry would be interesting to see how I’m going up and down balancing the throttle and elevator though.

That’s it for another week. Let’s hope next weekend is also flyable.


Sun, Rain, Hot, Humid, Showers, Downpour

We’ve had all forms of weather this week, but this morning it rained on and off for most of the time. Some of it was quite heavy as well, so it definitely wasn’t a flying morning.

I’ve included a picture of the Autogyro installation just to prove that I have actually made some progress this week. It certainly surprised me just how little space there is inside the fuselage. The LiPo only just fits and that’s a 3S 1100, which isn’t exactly huge. Assuming I can get the canopy on with everything inside, it’s just a matter of covering, making sure everything works and balancing the blades.

Here’s to flying an Autogyro soon…

Lots of Planes and a Parrot

We had loads of aeroplanes this week and just two drones. The parrot belonged to a cyclist who stopped to watch us flying. Cute little critter he was.

So today’s aircraft were: a big SpaceWalker, Multiplex FunCub, UMX Cub (with ailerons and flaps), Radian glider, Multiplex Heron glider, Fly Baby, a scratch build cartoon plane from Disney’s Planes (Ripslinger I think), a vortex quad, a DJI Phantom, a blue and green striped Chris Foss Foam-e Wot4, a small foam Mustang and my RS352. Wow, I think that’s everyone and planes outnumbered drones by a huge margin.

The Ripslinger cartoon aircraft went really well and looked fantastic in the air. Mind you, the Fly Baby looks the part too. Seeing the SpaceWalker fly makes me realise that I need to fly something more substantial than a profile 3D plane. The one disappointment this week was hearing that the E-Flite Hurricane is no more, after spiralling into the ground a couple of weeks ago. The smaller Mustang was taking its place this week, but I was seriously considering the new E-Flite Spitfire which has just been released. I really wanted a Typhoon though. After talk of Horton flying wings and Baynes BAT winged tank models, I managed 4 flights with my RS352 this week. Although the weather was sunny and it was 26 degrees, there was a bit of wind which was serving to cool things down and create turbulence. There were a few interesting moments and I did get quite close to the ground at one point where, flying inverted, it suddenly dropped as I pulled back on the elevator to change direction. I actually hesitated, realised there was still enough height to pull it off and pulled back hard again on the elevator. It wasn’t that close to the ground, it was just the sudden shock of the aircraft behaving like that.

The UMX Cub was a maiden flight, but (after a change for a battery which worked), it flew beautifully. The pilot says that flaps are useless, but at 30 grammes, you wouldn’t expect much. It looks a lot more fun than the Champ because of the aileron wing though. I’ve always found that these types of aircraft can be flown in conditions well outside what they say on the box i.e. normal wind speeds, otherwise known as gale force these days.

That’s it for another week and I haven’t even touched the autogyro. Work just seems to keep getting in the way, but after a discussion this morning about using autogyros to film coral reefs from the air, I’ve got a bit more of an incentive to finish my one.