First Flight 2017

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The weather was perfect this morning and, even though I thought it was going to be absolutely Arctic outside, the Sun made it really rather pleasant. You can see from the photo above that it was frosty when I arrived. There was already one person there, but, as these drone pilots seem to do, he was keeping to himself away from the part of the field where we normally fly from. I think he was flying a Mavic?

My first flight of 2017 was actually with the little blue quadcopter that I made last week. This was its first flight outside and it all went fairly well. I filmed it with the RunCam perched on the bin, so I’ll upload the video once I get a chance to edit it.

I’m a bit concerned that I’m pushing the LiPo too far in the 50g quadcopter, but the video shows a 3 minute flight from a battery that wasn’t full charged. I’m using a 1S 400mAh pack and it came off at 3.78v which should be fine. It’s just puffed slightly, as have all the cheaper LiPos that we bought. I just think that the KeenStone ones that we bought for about a pound each aren’t very good. They are very cheap though, but I still want to see if I can reduce the aircraft’s weight some more.

I also had a play around with the RunCam while I was flying the RS352, so I managed to get some video of me flying. In order to do this I had to fly one handed, though, and the transmitter was moving about, so you’ll have to excuse the camera work and the piloting. Again, I’ll upload it once I can edit it.

As for the first test flight of the RS352 with its four new EMax ES08MA II servos, I would like to say that it was uneventful, but the prop wouldn’t stay on the motor shaft. I went to launch and the prop came off with the adapter. I tried screwing it back tighter, but I think the cold weather had made everything contract. After a lot of fiddling around, I managed to bodge a fix by lining the cone with a bit of insulation tape. Normally I would use sellotape as it’s thinner, but I didn’t have any and I also didn’t have anything to cut the tape with in the freezing cold. I just about managed to rip some off and make it all work.

OK, so once I had a prop that would stay on, the first flight was a bit of a non-event. Three clicks up and three clicks of left aileron and that was it. I tried a few gentle loops and rolls, but I wasn’t going to move the throttle more than I had to because of the prop issue. After that I had another three flights, but on the fourth the prop came off again as I was about to launch. I just about managed another fix and got it into the air again, but, a couple of minutes in, the prop noise changed ever so slightly and I elected to land. This was a good decision as the prop came off in my hand when I gave it a tug. You could see how it was a finger’s width forward from the motor where it should have been a tight fit. I’ll fix this before next week.

I had thought I was going to be on my own all morning, but, round about 12 o’clock, another guy turned up with his Corsair and what looked like a brand new UMX A10 Warthog. There was also the DJI Mavic from the other week, but before either of them arrived, the Spanish family with the free flight glider got some flights in. This was a lot of fun as they now had a tow line, which is something I haven’t seen done in a long time. It flew absolutely beautifully.

There’s going to be a video here once it finally uploads. Currently waiting for BT for the last 90 minutes…

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