I´m a bit nutters about model planes, but so far I had limited myself to only Free Flight (read: unguided) models.
After moving to Bangkok I decided to start from scratch and for once try this new flanged, shiny, sort of exciting thing of mini/micro planes.I´m game I said and ordered the radio gear and in the meanwhile I set to build the Whimsy, a plane I built as a Free Flight model some years ago.
So, after many delays today I went out to fly the plane, I took a taxi to a park some 15 km from home before coming to work, I had only made a few flight attempts when the guard said “no, no”; I really don´t have a strong grasp of Thai to get into an argument so I left and took another taxi to the office…
*What follows is something I posted on another board dedicated to model planes: *
Against all rules of common sense and propriety I just went to the back of the office to fly the plane…
Now, on the back there´s a field about 200 meters wide by at least 600 meters long, covered with grass; the problem, you see, is that the grass is taller than me (and I´m not a short fellow at all) and inhabited by swarms of mosquitos, frogs, snakes and friggin´ huge monitor lizards. Not the kind of place you want to loose a plane in…
No, I actually didn´t loose the plane there, but I´ve been reminded of the No1 rule of model plane flying (specially Free Flight), always, but always wear full lenght trousers. Gee, do my legs itch or what?, I think I´ve fed a complete ecosystem of blood sucking bugs back there.
So, the plane still wants to turn left, right aileron actually seems to counter that a bit, but I wanted to turn left very much indeed to avoid the swamp (yes, the field is also semi-flooded) Elevator is very, VERY responsive, I may have to change the control horn attachments or something. It can also be my first R/C experience butter fingers showing too.
The aileron control actually is good, left aileron command gives a nice twitch as long as the airspeed is a tad over stall speed, however is not enough to cancell the leftist leaning of this plane; seriously, this is the Karl Marx of model planes.
I don´t know where I went wrong, the model looks reasonably straight built so I guess is the torque, or maybe I´m trying to fly too slow and then the torque becomes a bigger issue than it should.
Anyway, I think the longest flight I did was less than 10 seconds; it´s not so bad all things considered.
THINGS TO CONSIDER:
- This model likes to turn left.
- Elevator is very… ejem, effective, much more than I can handle with subtlety.
- Mosquitos (oh gosh, I hope they are only mosquitos) are eating me alive standing here.
- By all that´s good and sacred don´t crash the plane on the Swamp of Icky Creatures, honest, it´s bloody Nam in there, I think I´d need Chuck Norris to get the plane out.
- Try to avoid the boss`s car too, if possible.
- Read my lips: this plane really likes them left turns.
- I think there´s something funky with the CG.
- The motor mount is rather sloppy and the prop swivels by a few degrees.
- On landing try to aim for that patch of grass between the hard road, the Swamp of Oblivion, boss´s car, the pile of plane-grinding rocky rubble, the brick wall under the tree and the picket fence around the car park… also keep an eye on that pack of stray dogs that seem to be on the look for a snack.
- Oh yes, let´s try to bring this thing back home in the same amount of parts as it came.
If it wouldn´t be such a relaxing hobby I´d keel over from a massive aneurism before the plane comes down.