My R/C Plane: Flight!

2008-08-14 16:32 - General

As I just posted, I decided to spend some of the time this week, while I'm on vacation, fixing up the R/C plane I built years ago, and only (briefly!) flew once. I planned on taking it out solo, because I was a bit anxious and a bit unconcerned about a crash. I'd let it sit on the shelf for so many years, I wasn't worried about it much.

On Tuesday evening, we drove out to a park with a nice big open field, got everything just about set up ... and some rain started falling. So we gave up. We made it out to the 4-H fair a bit late last night, and chatted with a few guys in the R/C plane club. We found out the time they were scheduled to be flying, and showed up in time for that today.

I got very lucky, in that I managed to meet up with a very talented man who was there named Rich (I think .. I'm so bad with names), who you see on the left. I'm holding the plane in place in that shot, as he trims up some of the controls on the engine. After that, he flew it briefly, and we adjusted some of the control surfaces (elevator, rudder, aileron). After another test flight, he took it up and handed me the radio. I was a little shaky, but definitely flew it around in a few circles and let him land it, with no crashes whatsoever.

At this point, we tried to fine-tune a few more control surfaces when, alas, one of the parts broke. The control rod for the elevator turns out to be a long length of plastic tubing, with metal threaded rods glued on each end. The metal rod fell out, and will need a bit of repair before it's flight worthy again.

Finally, I have a little bit of video. I was hoping to get some shots of it in flight, but lady luck wasn't with me. My digital camera does video. It's one of the newer styles, with an LCD display and no viewfinder. Which is nearly impossible to see, in bright sunlight. So very very little of the in-flight footage actually had a shot of the plane. It also turns out that the video it shoots is of rather poor quality. Nonetheless, here's a brief shot of takeoff, and a little taxi-ing on the ground after a landing. (Sadly, not me at the helm for any of it, but c'est la vie.)

I'll probably give it another round of repairs, and another shot. Given that I live in Brooklyn and have to travel out here to Jersey to fly it, only time will tell when that might happen. But, I now know that: I really should have a couple licenses to be flying at that field, that field is full-time for model plane flying, and that field has some people who meet there regularly, almost every day. So, if I want to, I certainly have the opportunity!

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