It was a perfect sunny morning this week and looking around at the models on display it made me realise how much variety was being flown. Firstly, I got to do the first ever flight of somebody else’s FlyZone Fokker Dr1 (Baron von Richthofen version in red). It looks absolutely amazing, but, like all biplanes, triplanes and quadriplanes, it wants to go straight up vertically with even a small amount of power because of the lifting area. You just have to control the throttle and pitch to keep it flying forwards. It’s also a bit weird because it’s shaped like a box kite and has a high centre of gravity. Turning can be a bit slow with the rudder only control, then you have to be aware of the spiral dive. It’s a very draggy airframe, so it doesn’t glide very well with the power off and takes its time to build up speed again when you put the power back on, so smooth and gentle flying is recommended. I got two flights with it this morning, but it does have a rather strange arming sequence which we took a while to get right. You have to power on the tx, then the rx. Next, go to 100% throttle until the prop buzzes, then go to zero throttle and the prop buzzes again. It’s now armed and you can fly. I think our problem was with the throttle trim being too far down and it not being high enough for the computer to detect the 100% throttle threshold. This was cured with some throttle up trim.
During the rest of the morning we also had the Ripmax VTOL Transition from the other week and also the Opterra. So that’s a Triplane, VTOL tilt rotor and a big flying wing. How’s that for variety? In addition to this, we also had a guy with a micro quad and a Parrot Bebop quad, another generic quadcopter, which kept flying downwind, and a rather errant DJI Mavic, which we eventually determined was being flown by a teenage girl with her family. We could see it in the sky, but it took us a very long time to identify where the pilot was as they didn’t want to come over and say hello.
As for me, I also got 5 flights with my RS352 now that I’ve fixed the issue with the prop coming off. I bought another spinner nut, which I screwed up nice and tight, plus I needed the original red spinner cone as a spacer. You can see most of this in the picture above.
The strange thing is that, with no wind and perfect conditions, the first flight had the trim almost perfect. Then I launched on flight two with the second of my identical 1300mAh packs and it was pitching down very noticeably. I landed after a couple of circuits and double checked the battery position, moving it back about 5mm, but the nose down pitching moment was still there. I ended up adding 3 clicks of up elevator to correct it. Other than that, the aircraft was flying really well. The next two flights were with different packs (1100mAh), then, for the final flight, I was back to the same pack as flight 1. Logically, this should have been pitching up and I think it was slightly, but not enough to be an issue (if flight 1 flew level, flight 2 pitched down, then I added up trim, going back to the flight 1 pack should pitch up). I’m going to weigh all my packs and see whether I can get to the bottom of this trim difference as it’s got me stumped at the moment.
That’s all there was this week, except to say that the AutoGyro is nearly ready. I spent my free time during the week fixing the prop nut on the RS352, which is why I didn’t do any more. Tomorrow is a Bank Holiday and there’s no flying next week due to the roads being closed for a running event, so I should be able to get some building time in.
Lastly, the weather is unbelievable. It’s been 30 degrees and sunny all week, yesterday it was blowing a gale, this morning was perfect and now I’m sitting here writing this with heavy rain drumming on the roof. The promised storm isn’t far away now, which makes flying on the Bank Holiday out of the question. I got lucky this morning, but any drop in temperature is welcome.