What a Difference a Brake Makes

The weather is perfect this week and I took the mini flying wing. Last night I reprogrammed the ESC so that the brake works and I had two 20 minutes flights this morning.

When I got there the Xeno wing was flying, so we had two wings. Then somebody else turned up on a bike and we had three. He couldn’t get his to fly though, which was a shame. It had a lot of FPV gear on it and was one of the Zagi types.

There was also a UMX biplane which I couldn’t identify, but looked like a Bucker Jungman. It had an interesting penguin logo under the cockpit. Actually, it landed a long way out on the first flight and the pilot had some trouble looking for it as he was looking much too far out. We managed to recover it first and were shouting to him to come back as he was twice as far from the flying area as we were. We had a good look at it while he was working his way back as it’s a really nice little black/brown biplane. When it was flying it went really well. His other plane was a Hyperion Sniper, but that had a rather unfortunate incident and smashed the nose on take-off. It might have been due to the controls being the wrong way around, but I was flying at the time and didn’t see what was described to me as “somebody waggling the sticks around in all directions”.

Another guy also turned up who out did me in terms of how much aviation you can cram into something you can put on your back. He had a snowboarding bag and proceeded to build first an old-timer high wing aircraft, then a Cessna type trainer. Both about 80cm span at least and both flew really well.

I also managed to get in one flight with a UMX Carbon Cub and the UMX Beast. The Cub is just fantastic with ailerons, rudder and elevator, plus flaps. I rolled it, looped and even flew it upside down, it’s a very controllable little aeroplane. The flaps are a bit strange on something this small and deploy to about 30 degrees with the flick of a switch, resulting in the model climbing vertically. Once it’s settled down, they do work well to slow the approach, but I didn’t use them when I landed. I’m told I was in the air for over 10 minutes which is remarkable for a 180mAh battery. The beast was a completely different proposition, but I was really enjoying it this time out. I had to progressively feed in up trim as it was trying to fly into the floor, but I managed the best spin I’ve ever done. The wing was properly stalled, not just turning tight, and it looked amazing. I did most of the usual stuff rolling, loops and cuban eights, up to the point where the owner caught me doing a knife edge with it. He then said, “I thought you didn’t like it”, which, usually, I don’t. Maybe it was just the completely calm conditions, but I really enjoyed flying it this time and only landed when the power went after close to 10 minutes.

The second flight with the flying wing was a bit scary on the launch. It rolled right quite violently for now reason and I had to manage the throttle and elevons to keep it flying. After that it was OK, but the landing is a big issue. They’ve cut the grass now, so I just had to use the whole length of the field and run it along the ground. The second landing was actually quite good, even if the speed was scrubbed off by the ground with the elevator on full lock. The landing on the first flight, I found I couldn’t make the final turn to approach slow enough and even after three attempts had to resort to flying past myself at speed and dragging it along the ground. The idea of flaring out on landing just doesn’t happen and even waggling left and right doesn’t lose and speed. With the prop folded away it’s got even less drag, so a low throttle approach might be the best idea. Anyway, I’m happy with two 20 minute flights and a check of the batteries shows them down to 10%, so that’s its maximum duration.

Finally, we had a couple of guys with drones turn up and then another couple of guys with really good hand launch gliders. I had to go by this point, which was a shame as some more people could be seen coming across from the car park. Maybe some day I’ll manage to fly in the afternoon? Let’s hope next week is just as good.

 

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