Fireworks!

Well, it is Guy Fawkes’ night, so I might see some fireworks later? This morning wasn’t exactly perfect for flying, but it was sunny so I went anyway. When we all converged on the flying site, we all said the same thing, “it wasn’t this windy when I left the house!”.

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That’s my RS352’s wing shielding the sun. Fluffy white clouds are doing about Mach one.

There was already the professional drone pilot keeping up his hours on his DJI Inspire when I arrived at the same time as my friend on his electric bike carrying his UMX Carbon Cub on the back. I think there was also a father and son in one corner of the field with a drone, but they didn’t stay long. A little bit later we had the drone lady with her micro drone, and her friend with a bigger aerobatic drone. The drone count was completed by another guy at a different edge of the field with a DJI Phantom, then another guy and his wife with the DJI Mavic and landing pad set up in their usual spot about 20 metres away. Finally, a fixed wing arrived in the form of a Hobby King Bixler belonging to a father with his two sons. They both did their first landings this morning, which was nice.

It was cold. We all agreed it was cold. And windy. My first flight was with my RS352, then I had a flight with the UMX Carbon Cub, which should never have been flying in this wind. I didn’t need the flaps, just keep it pointing into wind and it was hovering for most of the flight, or racing downwind at some speed. I wasn’t really settled when I was flying it and never got comfortable with the DX6 transmitter. Normally I hold it with my left hand, fly with my right and move the throttle any way I can. This time I ended up flying with my thumbs on the tops of the sticks, which is not how I normally do it. I don’t know whether my arm was tired as we’d been watching a video of his son’s Spacewalker on a portable DVD player just before. I was holding the player in my left hand for 15 minutes, so that might have been it. Anyway, it was quite an interesting flight in the conditions and the landing wasn’t too bad either after about 5 minutes. It will fly about twice as long, but I couldn’t manage it this morning.

My second flight with the RS352 was just as normal, then the third with the older LiPos was an aborted launch as I could hear the motor revs dropping rapidly. This pack has no power, just like its sibling pack that I retired last time out. Or maybe I retired the wrong pack? I will check this later, but I only have the two newer 1300mAh 3S packs left now, so I should buy myself some more for Christmas. I need to figure out why the others didn’t last very long first though. So I only got 3 flights with the RS352 this morning, after waiting for my first pack to fully charge after the first flight. This could explain the problems I had with the autogyro when it would launch and then stooge around the sky not wanting to fly and only doing one circuit before I had to land it? The flight when I crashed a few weeks ago was with the newer pack and that went up like a rocket (and back down too).

I’ve made some good progress with fixing the autogyro this week, as I really want to fly it again soon. Pete the pilot has had his head glued back on and I’ve got the base and one fuselage side stuck back on.

What you don’t see in the images is how the front section with the firewall, base, fuselage sides and top fit together like a jigsaw. This is why it’s taken this long to get the side on, because it all has to fit together very accurately and slot together. It’s been slow progress getting to this stage, but now the side is on and the bottom piece, side and firewall mesh together at the right angle, things should start dropping into place. The autogyro gets incredible strength from this interlocking design, which is one reason it survived falling from a great height onto the ground the way it did. When I was building it I thought the mast was the most vulnerable piece, but that’s all still intact.

That’s it for this week, I’ve got some more building to do.

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