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Thread: RC Airplanes

  1. #1
    Administrator Bruce's Avatar
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    Default RC Airplanes

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    Anyone here into RC airplanes? Phil Stone got me started this past summer. I just bought my second plane today. My son (the older one) and I are out flying at dawn every Sat and Sun.
    Bruce

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    Bodhi Satva CptKipling's Avatar
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    Default Re: RC Airplanes

    Something I have always been into, but never was able to get the money togther. Maybe now I could get back into it, but then there is the car, the new PC...

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    PheroWizard oscar's Avatar
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    Default Re: RC Airplanes

    Bruce,

    My late father-in-law was into RC gliders. The planes were incredible with @6-foot wingspans.
    The part I liked best was the launching mechanism. At the top of a gently sloping hill was what looked like a washing machine motor with a large flywheel attached, powered by a car battery. Coming off the wheel was fishing line going to a pulley rig anchored at the bottom of the hill. The line went from the motor at the top of the hill, to the pulley at the bottom, then back to the top. There the plane was connected to a ring on the end of the line by means of an angled hook on the bottom of the fuselage.

    They would turn on the motor, the plane would start down the hill, take off into the air, and lose the tow line as it passed over the pully rig at the bottom. Only then did the Radio-Controlled aspect come into play. Without propulsion power, the primary measure of one\'s skills as an RC glider pilot is how long you can keep your craft aloft. I think the secondary criteria for success was trying to land an unpowered aircraft with a six foot wingspan by remote control without crashing it!
    It was a lot of fun. [img]/ubbthreads/images/icons/wink.gif[/img]

    Oscar [img]/ubbthreads/images/icons/smile.gif[/img]

  4. #4
    Administrator Bruce's Avatar
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    Default Re: RC Airplanes

    I am at a very beginner level. I fly have what they call a \"park flyer\". They use an electric motor and are easy to fly. Check out:
    http://www.parkflyers.com
    When you get there click \"Novice\" at the top. You can get into the game for less than $100. with the Firebird ll. I have been flying that one with my son for almost 3 months. I crashed it dozens of times getting the hang of it, and finally rendered it unflyable, so we bought the Firebird XL yesterday in a local toy store for $119. It\'s bigger but doesn\'t fly any faster, so hopefully it will be easier to fly (easier to see up in the sky and not so blown away by sudden gusts.

    With those novice packages you get absolutely everything you need to fly except the 9 AA batteries for the radio controler. Check it out. It\'s not exactly \"easy\" to fly, but they are hard to total and you can buy replacement parts. I can probably fix my Firebird ll, but I wanted to try something else anyway.

    Oscar, I don\'t remember what site I saw it at (not parkflyers.com I don\'t think) I saw a glider which uses a small electric motor to get it in the sky. The prop folds up once you start gliding and you could probably use the engine if you get into trouble when landing.

    Bruce

    Bruce

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    Moderator belgareth's Avatar
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    Default Re: RC Airplanes

    Back in college, taking an aeronautics course, we built a couple RC Canaards. Lots of fun but don\'t believe them when they say it\'s an idiot proof plane.

    We tried rocket assisted take off on one, using the Estes model rocket motors. Did fine until the recovery charge went off. It was suppossed to jettison the engine pods. Blew the wings off instead. Was our most spectacular crash and burn.

    One tweak that worked well even in daylight is we put a small strobe in the bottom of it and could almost always see it. At night, it was great.

  6. #6
    Administrator Bruce's Avatar
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    Default Re: RC Airplanes

    I thought about night flying with a strobe. You would need one on each wing of different colors so you could tell which way the plane was flying. That is often tough even during the day.

    Our latest plane is 1/3 bigger than the previous model and it is MUCH easier to see in the sky. It climbs like a nut too so you can often avoid a tree or building by pulling back on the stick. When you are at a distance from the plane that works a lot better than trying to go left or right around an obstacle.

    These Firebird planes are \"idiot proof\" in that:
    A. You can figure out (at least in your head) what you need to do while flying. Getting the manual skills takes some time, but is not all that bad if you stick with it.
    B. It is pretty hard to total the plane and you can get replacement parts quickly and cheaply.
    C. Everything you need to fly the plane except the AA batteries for the radio, comes right in the box.
    D. It really does take about 10 minutes to put the thing together.

    If you find a wide open field with no buildings or trees and bring a roll of duct tape with you, I don\'t think you could do to badly.

    Bruce

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