Cactus521

Any of us RC pilots!

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I used to fly the Radian Motorglider.  Loved it, I'd release it at 500 feet and could easily thermal it above 1000 feet.  The battery would last a half hour or so, and I loved circling it to the astonishment of the kids in the park I flew it in.  Quite often the hawks in the area would circle nearby, I used them to guide me to the best thermals.  I mounted a camera on it and took a couple of videos of my flights, way before the high def cameras mounted on RC aircraft and drones today.  Sadly it was "Shot down" due to radio interference which I believe came out of Luke AFB five miles from where I flew it.  The company that made it shipped me a new aircraft with radio free (probably because I was so keen on reviewing their product in the RC forums).  But I never flew it, did not have enough open area to fly it in.  I felt it was too dangerous since it flew at about 30 mph.  I did not want an out of control glider swooping down on someone's house or a group of kids.  I gave the glider away to a friend who worked near Luke AFB.  I can't recommend the Radian enough (if they still make it).  It was a joy to fly, tough to get on the ground with its tremendous glide ratio.  Maybe someday I will fly one again if I get to live near open country, but for the time being I live in the city center which doesn't allow space for flying RC.

In my twenties a friend of mine scratch built an RC sailplane, yellow wind and red fuse.  He would do ridge flying on a small hill south of Napa County Airport.  His name was Mike and he was an excellent glider pilot, he could keep his glider aloft in ridge lift for an hour or more, climbing more than 500 feet at times.  I helped him build the glider, we cut the airfoil into the foam with a hot wire, making the wing then covering it with a mylar type film.  The fuse was made of balsa covered with a mylar type film.  To get the glider aloft Mike would give it a firm hand throw into the wind.  From time to time I would take over flying the glider to give Mike a break.  I don't know what became of his glider, I had moved away, but he never crashed it and usually brought it right back to his hand when it was time to land.  We would play with adding lead weight to help penetrate the 20-30mph steady bay breeze at that location.

John

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Yup. DLG is my current RC flying passion. Sadly, shrinking places to fly from constant urban expansion and regulations prompted from the 'drone boom' make it difficult and inconvenient nowadays.

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I've got an RC P-51 Mustang, don't fly it much and it currently needs a minor repair to the bottom of the rudder having clipped a fence which I did not see last time I flew it. But it is fun to fly when I do so.

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I used to fly RC Helicopters til i started to do aerobatics which didn't end up well ;) As they have the annoying tendency to completely disintegrate once a blade barely touches the ground, the time- and monetary-investment to completely rebuild the helicopter was just too much.

Would love to return to the hobby though, but as VeryBumpy mentioned already, the fact that now every mindless muppet can buy and fly a drone didnt make an RC Pilot's life easier. I'm living close to an international airport and since they had several near misses with drones, the no-fly zone has been increased considerably. And if people see you with an RC controller they now think you are some creepy guy trying to film them sunbathing in the garden...

 

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Any muppet can fly a drone, with word not allowed proof gps lock and flight envelope protection, but a lot less can successfully fly RC choppers as you probably know, Lars! :cool:

I too fly RC helicopters - I have an electric 450 size one and a Raptor 30 - powered by an OS37 glow engine. The Raptor has needed a rebuild for some time now and I need to renew my BMFA insurance to enable me to fly it with peace of mind on my local playing field (I live in a small village and the playing field is rarely used - just common sense applies). The only stabilisation on them is the flybar (unless you count the gyro for the anti torque pitch).

I'm not into the '3D' flying (full on out-of-control-aerobatics), but my heli's do have enough negative pitch to manage loops and rolls - I just fly them around like you would a plane with the wonderful exception of hovering etc! A bit like the Red Bull 105 :)

I've also got a 1.8m span powered glider with a folding prop on the nose, but I haven't touched that in more than 12 months as up until now I've been having lessons in full size gliders :cool:

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21 hours ago, HighBypass said:

Any muppet can fly a drone, with word not allowed proof gps lock and flight envelope protection, but a lot less can successfully fly RC choppers as you probably know, Lars! :cool:

I too fly RC helicopters - I have an electric 450 size one and a Raptor 30 - powered by an OS37 glow engine. The Raptor has needed a rebuild for some time now and I need to renew my BMFA insurance to enable me to fly it with peace of mind on my local playing field (I live in a small village and the playing field is rarely used - just common sense applies). The only stabilisation on them is the flybar (unless you count the gyro for the anti torque pitch).

I'm not into the '3D' flying (full on out-of-control-aerobatics), but my heli's do have enough negative pitch to manage loops and rolls - I just fly them around like you would a plane with the wonderful exception of hovering etc! A bit like the Red Bull 105 :)

I've also got a 1.8m span powered glider with a folding prop on the nose, but I haven't touched that in more than 12 months as up until now I've been having lessons in full size gliders :cool:

I've flown the small indoor RC choppers, quite a bit of fun if you have a cat around!  I was pretty skilled at it, the trick is avoiding the rotor wash as you maneuver around, along with outstretched cat paws when you least expect them.

I've contemplated buying one of the larger RC copters or one of the camera mounted drones, but I don't know how good they are in the average 5-10mph winds we have around Phoenix.  I know some of the drones work with a cell phone and gps, but I wonder if that's just a gimmick or whether it really works.  Also, I don't know the radio range of the drones.  The longer the range the better as long as they are not prone to interference.  No place to fly one right now since I live in the city core, but some parks are driving distance.

John

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Most of the drones these days, in fact most new flying RC toys are on 2.4GHz frequency - should be interference free.. The larger RC choppers should cope easily with 5-10 mph wnds. As long as you're flying a collective pitch heli - no problem - even full on 3D! This is way above my abilities, but I'd still fly my Rappy in such winds.

 

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Been there done that. Flew 75 pound B-17 for awhile and a 200 pound C-47 for an airshow. 

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