Tag Archive: gliding


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

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Hello!

I was honoured by being invited to Balltorp field as a guest flyer. I could do my maiden flight there. I took my 2 keychain cameras (fixed on the plane) and my hat cam.

The maiden was divided in two parts actually. HaBoRC kindly offered me to have an instructed maiden and a demo before I do my actual maiden. As I was way too excited to fly I was glad to follow his instructions. We had an average wind with some sudden gusts, you can see the direction on the map in the video.

First HaBoRC checked the CG balance on ground. Was okay, I set it as good as I could. Then he took the plane up in the air and checked if it needs trimming. It was difficult to tell due to the wind, but looked neutral.

Then he checked if the plane is easy to land and drove around with it several times so that I can see how it reacts, how the sight changes with distance, how it “feels” up there. As he made some rounds I got calmed down (somewhat), and then we gave it a try.

I could choose between two options. Either HaBoRC takes off and handles over the radio in the air or I just take off myself. We took one round with the first option for the sake of safety. I landed the plane in the bushes at this point, drove it in the wind (against wind direction to minimise ground speed) and then “dropped” it from 1.5 meters into the higher grass. With a foam plane you can do that unless you do it from higher altitude. No damage on the plane, this time I did not dare to land on the real landing area.

Next time I took the cameras, set up everything during HaBoRC flew with his planes. Had one keychain camera on the nose of the plane. One under the wing, facing backwards and my trusted hat cam, that always gets some smiling faces when people see it. It looks “deeply professional” 🙂

So unless you fell asleep in the first few paragraphs you can see that my maiden was actually several maidens together. The one that you see is a semi-maiden, I gained some bravery and went for it. This time I aimed for a proper start and a proper landing. I was extremely cautious with the wind. My fighter plane simulator experience echoed in my head along with the comments from HaBoRC.

You have 2 types of energy. Height and speed. You can convert one to another. Unless you are low on both you are mostly okay. If you have height and lose speed you can always convert some height into speed through diving. So I tried to fly somewhat higher and medium throttle. I have a 2200 kv motor in the plane with a 6×4″ propeller, this delivers insane power at full throttle. So I had reserve there. The bottleneck is my inexperience and my lack of control.

The control: what needed setting up was the radio actually. I needed to dial in some expo, so-called exponential setting. This makes the center of the yoke movements less sensible, you can control fine movements easily, there is no worry for hard inputs. And with full deflection you have full control surface action. I added 33% on all controls and 20% on aileron due to wind gusts. So I had less sensitive action on elevator, rudder, but a bit more sensitivity on aileron. This helped a lot as I explain it with my funny language.

I took several flights, 5 in total. Practiced round flights, some 8-figures and tried to turn left and right. The Easystar glides so well that I needed to extend my turns above the small lake so that I gain more length. Otherwise I glide over the whole field and cannot slow down.

Later the wind picked up and I almost crashed into the depo area. That one was tricky, I flew against myself and then I had to save it with low altitude and close distance to the obstacle. The camera doesn’t really show the distance due to the 28 mm wide lens setting but it was close enough for me.

This time I landed and decided that it is going to be enough for the day. I flew 5 rounds, gained amazing amount of experience and had great fun. I need to keep up the practicing, I need to have same respect towards the wind and the plane, I think.

Thanks again for the great instructions and the possibility for the flight as a guest.

I think I need to consider joining the club (www.mmflyg.se), flying is great fun 🙂

Best regards,

Sir Crash a Lot