Archive for August, 2011


Hello,
My 7th flight has happened. As one of my favourite bands say: “7th son of a 7th son”. Look it up, great song.
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This time the flight took place at our club field. Weather was not really promising, we were anxious about rain. Not without reason as it turned out. The whole week was more or less rainy and weather prognose did not really calm us. However it looked like that between 18:00 and 20:00 it should not rain. And finally after long weeks of misfortune the prognose was aligned with reality. I think the guys at Weather Institution were doing their best 🙂
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I made a sketch of my flight profile for better illustration. I call it a Hi-Lo/Hi-Lo profile, I lended this expression from military terms. There you can have different techniques for ingressing and exgressing from the hot zone, depending on the altitude profile these are called similarly. Anyhow this is a peacful mission, so no weapons are on board of my humble Easystar.
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What I do you can see on the graph. Horizontal axis is time, vertical is height. I take off, do maybe a quick round and then climb against the wind as steep as possible. This phase is on full power, the plane climbs at maybe 60 degrees against the wind. I gain height and climb as far as I can see the plane against the sky or clouds. This is approximately 250-300 meters. I estimate it based on the sound delay when I chop throttle at the end of the climb. Sound travels at 340 m/s roughly, so 1 second delay would be approximately 340 meter distance. As I can only estimate the angle I am above horizon (the azimuth) height would also be a guess only. But something like 250-300 meters. Quite high actually, you can see very far away on a clear day from that height.
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When I am up there I close the throttle and start gliding. I do some circles as well to record as much of the sight as possible. Then I glide along the field with the wind, do a turn and glide against the wind. And repeat this as long as I have altitude left. To lose altitude quicker I can do some loops or half rolls. Quite fun. Since I have stiffened up the wings doing a loop will not bend them so much as without stiffening.
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When I am close to the ground I do a school turn (an oval above the field) and then turn into the wind and climb again on full throttle. This enables me another climb to altitude. Then I glide down and land. These 2 climbs and glide sessions fit into the 7 minute window that is advised, I drain the battery to something like 3.8-3.9V per cell. This is a comfortable storage voltage. Then I can change battery and take off for a new round.
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I managed to fly 5 batteries then it started to rain. The last flight was almost in the rain, I bled altitude with multiple loops to not get the plane soaked. Could record some other flights meanwhile, a Sukhoi-29 and a QuadCopter among others. The Sukhoi was a big aeroplane, built from balsa with film cover and a massive 6-cell setup. The battery is like a half brick, the electric motor is of size of a tomato. Impressive. Even more impressive is the noise of air whistling around the plane as it travels. Very nice exprerience.
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I had one small incident, managed to do a faulty start in the beginning. I did not have the hand on the yoke, just launched the plane and then it fell on the grass. Stupid mistake. It did not crack, but anyhow rather embarrassing. The next start I had the hand on the yoke, so I could recover from the dive and do a proper takeoff.
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Thank you,
Best regards,
Sir Crash a Lot
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Hello!

My 6th flight was a special one. My wife joined me this time. She is not really interested in RC, but wanted to give me company so she did. While being there she recorded some of my flying even. This gave me some funny footage of me launching the model and landing.

On the other hand she became very bored after a while so this flight was shorter than I anticipated. I could only fly 4 batteries instead of 6. Anyhow it was a good flight, I could do what I wanted during this shorter session.

What I aimed for:

– to fly higher and further away than before,

– to do some basic acrobatic flight

– to not crash on a treetop 🙂

I am proud to tell that I managed all these above-mentioned aims. Despite the strong wind gusts I could fly really high this time. I had difficulties to see the model, I was so far up. Could record some remarkable footage from the area of Arendal. This is the industrial port of Göteborg (Gothenburg) city. On the footage you can see Volvo Bus Corporation head office building, Volvo Museum, and numerous industry buildings along with the container buffer outside of the port. Very exciting location with all the wind mills.

I am getting very good results with my 180-degree fisheye converter. The field of view is good, it really opens up the horizon. When soaring with the plane there are no vibrations that mess up the image. I am getting more and more into gliding actually. The sensation of using the wind and gliding without vibrations from the motor is attracting. I will need to experiment more with gliding.

Best regards,

Sir Crash a Lot

Hello!

Summer should be normally the time when I can fly my plane. Weather is nice, I should have free time. But practice is showing other picture. In summer I have to comply to company holidays. Due to industry standard 4 week long holiday there is a “shutdown” period during which I practically have to take out my holiday. Due to family reasons some of this time is reserved by family visits. So the available flying time is much less than the original holiday.

Add some weather contraints and you can see that time rushes away and I hardly fly. Anyhow, waiting is over, I made my 5th flight yesterday.

I wanted to try a new location, that is much closer to my home. Until I haven’t got a car I need to consider public transport, this location is only 50 minutes away. It is called Arendal, the industrial/port area of Gothenburg. There is a grass field there, where I could meet with my colleague. I think it is no longer a big secret, he was visible on many videos already, HaBoRC is my flight company. I learn a lot from him, get good advice and practical help when I am stuck with some problem.

Last time he recommended to learn hand starting. It can happen that the grass is taller or you just want to spare some battery power and would like to start the plane from your hand instead of from the ground.

First you have to think it over. To do a good hand start you have to do following:

– do all pre-flight checks. Safety first!

– turn into the wind

– have the transmitter in your hand, hand on the yoke

– get a good grip on the plane, so that you are safe from the propeller. Even when throwing the plane, keep in mind the whole sequence!

– pull good amount of throttle on the stick (max power could be needed)

– align the plane with the ground, throw it forward. If you have great power reserve you can throw it slightly upwards even (maybe 10 degrees, try your ideal values)

– immediately after throwing compensate on the stick (you have your hand on it during throwing)

– recover from the slight dip while the model gains speed

– decrease throttle to a gentle level and start you ascent

If you do everything right you will not get any injury on yourself, nor on the model. Keep in mind safety, the propeller is no toy!

My first start was almost a crash but I could recover. Since I am right-handed launching the plane with left hand felt very awkward. I was never good at throwing stuff, so it felt like a giant leap forward to learn hand starting.

I experienced with flying at bigger distances now. Made “huge” circles around, tried to orient myself when the plane is tiny little in the distance. Later I experienced to fly into the wind at 2/3 throttle and flying up into great height even. Then I pulled down throttle to zero and did glide around. Easystar is a great glider for a motor plane.

Since I had 6 batteries now I could fly double the time. Great way to learn more.

At the 5th battery I felt myself talented and brave and did 2 loops. It went well, I compensated with the throttle during ascent and descent, so they were almost circular loops, no ovals.

At the 6th battery the “devil horns” started to grow unfortunately. I felt brave enough to do a loop directly after takeoff. Into the wind. That resulted in some adrenaline rush. The wind picked the plane up and threw it backwards, so it went over my head. Over the head orientation is very difficult. So I made only a half loop and tried to roll it back to normal flight while wind pushed the plane away and towards the ground. I could recover, but just. Easystar is not really keen on inverted flight, it wants to fly normal. Doing such a stunt so close to myself and so low altitude was just plainly idiotic. I almost crashed, a good lection. When you start to lose respect it is better to land and think it over.

Anyhow I flew around and wanted to improve my low speed gliding skills. Unfortunately the “devil horns” were still there. So I was gliding close to the bushes/trees and lost speed over them. The inevitable happened, I stalled it onto the treetop. As Captain Slow would say in Top Gear, “permission to say cock”… 🙂

I am no good climber, but tried. The bushes were not strong enough to take my weight, but were strong enough to hold the plane. I never thought about it, but tree branches are ideal to support a falling airframe. You have the wings and fuselage, plus the control surfaces on the plane. They match perfectly with the V-shaped branch structure. It gets stuck perfectly. Even if one branch should release the plane the next one will hold it again.

I climbed up, held myself between two bigger branches with both legs and arms. I used my third/fourth arm to pick a branch and try to push the plane from the V-spaked deadlock. Sometimes it felt so that even an optopus would need more arms there…

HaBoRC came with the solution, he found a longer stick that I could use from the ground to push the plane from the branches. It suffered almost no damage. A bit of dent on the leading edge, a bit of scratch from my recovery action. No more. It is a sturdy little plane this.

I have got my lection now. Fewer loops, fewer idiotic proximity flight with trees involved in the future. More respect.

I think I need to optimize my camera use. The hat cam v2 works perfect, the only problem is that I had the hat oriented too much to the ground. So almost no action is visible there. And since I have more battery time on the plane the small cameras cannot work so long. I need to extend their life somehow.

Please find my recording here. I have a spectacular Google Earth intro, zooming from Space to Arendal. Funny 🙂

Towards the end you may find some decent flying from HaBoRC even.

Best regards,

Sir Crash a Lot