Tag Archive: multiplex


I need to start with an apology, my blog activity was plumeting to new depth since my last post. As you can see the title I try to summarize what happened since February.

Last time I talked about the Ladybird quadcopter. I did a maiden and several fun flights with it since. It is a bliss to fly when weather is not allowing outdoor flights. You can fly it in the flat easily. I checked whether the propellers can be any harm. They aren’t, I tested them on my own palm, it doesn’t hurt the skin. My cats are very keen on catching the copter, but I keep it a bit off of their proximity. As I know that the prop cannot hurt them it is more like a precaution for the sake of the small copter. No animals were hurt during the making of this clip:

The 16th flight of my Easystar. Some Ringebu RC style landing even:

17th Easystar flight:

18th Easystar flight:

19th Easystar flight:

20th Easystar flight:

21th Easystar flight:

I am getting more and more used to the Easystar and fly it faster and lower. So far I had some hairy moments in combination with wind gusts, but did not crash it yet. I think that I am getting more and more interested in extending my flights to other models as well. Easystar is a great plane to begin with, it can show you many different flight types. It can glide, it can do loops. It can fly rather fast. It is easy to land and it has a forgiving character. Maybe this latter is its biggest weakness after all, as it lacks “the thrill” when you are getting used to it.

I will keep my Easystar, since I really like it. A great allrounder plane with high fun factor. But I will purchase some other models soon. Which ones? I will tell in my coming post.

With best regards,

Sir Crash a Lot


I wasn’t flying too much during this year, had some issues of private matter that took my energy from flying.

Now I am back, trying to catch up. It seems that part of my club is already flying multicopters at an advanced level. And there are also some news about our flying field. Unfortunately bad news, the local council is taking it away from us, we are no longer welcome there from 1st of January 2013. So rather interesting flow of events.

The multicopter issue is worth covering in more detail. I am learning the important notions about multicopter flight, will try to get more advanced in this matter during the Spring. I plan to build one beginner model actually, that will teach me the basics.

The flying field issue is more complicated. There is a motocross track in the vicinity, it is quite loud and dirty. But hey, dirt biking is so. Anyhow the council wants to move them and also us. First they did not give anything in return, then the club protested. Now they consider to offer another field somewhere close to the city. It is not so easy to just pick an empty land. We have to process the land, make it smooth, plant quality grass, cultivate it to be smooth and also transport our tools and containers there. And build up the fences, the benches and the basic club facilities. So a huge piece of work that the council does not want to help with. Very awkward way of handling this issue.

Update. End of 2012 we received some great news, we can stay on our flying field for some time. The council changed its mind.

My 12th flight from week 17 you can look at here:

My 13th flight is also recorded:

I just had my 14th flight with the Easystar, please find the video here:

During my summer holiday we were taking care of the house of our friends. They live in the countryside, close to a lake in the forest. Very nice location, calm and peaceful. I could not resist to explore their garden with my Lama v3 helicopter. So I did. I came up with some challenges that I pursued. Some hovering, then some flying around the garden. Also some precision landing on our car.

Then my fantasy got cranked up and I came up with even more exciting plans. Why not try to fly through the car? I mean, how hard can it be? 🙂

And while I am at it. While not fly into the baggage compartment, land there? Then take off from the baggage compartment and land outside the car? It is really that hard? 🙂

During the winter I had very few flights. Two of them were recorded, these were indoor flights in Mölndal school sports hall.

I am getting more flights now. This Spring I am stepping up from the Lama v3 and will start with multicopter action. On last flight 13w07 I crashed the Lama and I do not intend to repair it any more. I had a lot of practice on it, it helped with orientation skills. Hovering nose-in and orienting at low speeds. However I am getting tired of the stupid limitations of Lama v3. It cannot fly beyond a lean angle, otherwise its control system just locks up and the heli gets in an unstoppable dive. It is very sensitive to wind and at the same time does not have the power to cope with it. Even its own turbulence disturbs the flight, so I am happy to consider it part of my past.

I am looking at a tiny multicopter called Ladybird. It is from Walkera. Helipal.com has a nice description to it, you can read it on their page.

There is a v1 version of the Ladybird. That has a much bigger radio controller with some programming possibility. And it has a 6-axis gyro system (gyro and accelerometer) instead of a 3-axis system (only gyro) of the v2. As I understand the v1 is slightly more stable, but the v2 is still very stable so if you are not looking for the nicer radio you might just as well like the v2.
Hobbyking has a detailed review of the v2 Ladybird, where they tell about the differences.

I have another project, will tell about it later.

Thank you,

Sir Crash a Lot


Spring is here, the long winter sleep is over. I haven’t been flying for real for the entire winter, only did some simulator practice. So when time was ready to actually fly I was rather nervous.

To cure the lack of fingertip feel I launched the simulator to get some reflexes. Please find some hovering exercise with an Ultimate biplane.

I observed great interest in this plane, ArcticRC and his mate fly this model in the North of Norway. Great plane, great recording.

Nevertheless, I am still flying my modified Multiplex Easystar. I plan to learn flying more before I build a new model. Need to get more confidence in hand starting (although that it might not be needed with planned models), also handling wind gusts and of course flying more stable. I think the more practice I gather with current plane the more I can avoid some stupid mistake with future planes. Although that pilot error is never excluded, how much I might practice.

We had some promising weather during the week, so on Thuesday after working hours we drove to the field and started flying. Clouds around us were rather threatening, wind gusts came from nowhere, but overall conditions were okay.

I had some problem with one of my mini cameras, so I just have the hat cam and the Hobbyking Wing Camera recording. Anyhow it is more than enough material.

I managed to start and land without incidents, however once I did a full roll without willing to do it. I was subject to a stronger wind gust, the plane was tilted almost 90 degrees along longitudinal axis. I wanted to correct, but did not react fast enough and this let the plane do a full roll without me doing really much about it. I think I started to correct but was more amazed by the fact that my Easystar can fly “so advanced” than I was ready to act. Fortunately I was at altitude, so the plane did not lose height that it became dangerous. After this happening I was more alert and could correct wind gusts.

I did some low passes, also some gliding.

My conclusion is that this 3-blade propeller is not really god. It makes transportation much more difficult. The wings cannot be stucked close to the fuselage as you have a blade every 120 degree. With a conventional 2-blade this is no issue. The efficiency is lower, this results is loss of power. And for some reason even though that I have reasonable pitch on it the motor revs crazy high. So I did not dare to use it on full throttle for long.

I ordered APC 6x4E pusher props, will mount one when I get them. That configuration worked much better, but I cracked that prop earlier. Hence the try with 3-blade.

Here is my 11th flight, please check it out.

With best regards,

Sir Crash a Lot

Easystar 10th w1142

I had my 10th flight with Easystar, a nice number it is.
This time we flew in really strong wind. I flew in constant steady wind at the sea, that is not easy but you can manage after that you get familiar with wind direction and strength. But same theory did not apply on Sunday. There was a steady wind of 6 m/s most of the time. But every now and then the wind just died to almost calm state, then we got some really strong gusts of up to 13 m/s speed. That was the challenge. Upon start and landing I had major difficulties, I am not at all comfortable with such strong wind. I did not crash the plane, but I had to fight for it several times.
Prior to flying I changed propeller. I had a 6x4e pusher on, some cheap propeller from Hobbycity. It was not really well balanced from start and then I cracked it when one of my early start attempt ended up in a very low pass over the vegetation. It was so low that I actually flew straight across some tougher grass and the prop acted as a chopper for some brief time. This cracked the last half centimeter on one blade, so it wasn’t really healthy.
I thought that I will be smart enough to try a 6x3e pusher prop. How hard can it be? It did not really work out. For some reason thrust is very low. It pushed the air backwards but just. Maybe I put it up in wrong direction, I have to check this more. Anyhow, right now I have maybe 2/3 of thrust at maximum. Maybe less. Starting the plane and flying it in that much wind was a major challenge. At some point I thought that wind is pushing it more backwards than I can get forwards. Since it was very turbulent I had difficulties flying straight, it was all over the place.
Landings were extra tricky. When descending a sudden gust can take away altitude at alarming rates. A quick descent of 3-4 meters is likely. At low height this can mean plane in the lake for instance. So I was very careful above the lake. But no matter how careful you are, some unexpected event can happen easily with such wind speeds. Once I landed already, Easystar was skidding on the grass and slowing down. Suddenly a stronger wind gust liftet up the plane from the ground, since it was strong enough to temporarly simulate much higher speed of air flow around the wings. So even though that the plane was already landed it just took off.
Another risky event happened at one of my starts. I am plainly rubbish at hand starting the plane, not much to sugar myself about it. Normally you should throw the plane into the wind. So you get more lift at low speed. Now I had reduced thrust on the propeller, my skills are slowly improving (but still being rubbish) and I had tricky wind conditions. I wanted to start, the wind just dropped, I had no good thrust to pull me out of trouble and I probably even threw it badly. So the plane just ricochet from the grass and then it could take off when the next wind gust helped it. A really chaotic takeoff it was. HaBoRC put some funny comment from the depot as you may hear 🙂
I managed to try out my brand new 35 USD camera, that went without issues. Works like a bliss. In my video you can see the difference. I have a standard definition keyfob camera on the nose of the plane. It has a 180-degrees fisheye converter lens mounted. The Wing Camera from Hobbycity is a stock item, it comes with a nice wide-angle lens from the store as stock. So ready to use. If I count the price of SD keyfob + the fisheye converter I am already above the price of the HD Wing Camera, so choosing the former is just silly. The latter is much better value. You may see a comparison chart in my post from the other day.
The footage I got with the new camera is simply amazing for me, now I can see much more detail. If I manage to fly this kit on a calm day the turbulence will not influence so much, so I can get really nice footage. Looking forward for some nice sunny and calm autumn day.
There is one issue with HD resolution. The computer power you require for it is extreme. I have an old computer that was put together by no other than my humble self. This act of brave assembly happened late 2005, I bought some proven components that were already free of childhood inperfections. So I went for stability instead of power. I used following base components:
– AMD A64 2200+ CPU
– Asus A8N-E motherboard, on Socket 939
– 1 gig of DDR-I ram
ATI X800GTO2 graphical card (a variant of X800XL) with 256 megs or VRAM.
This was quite okay up to the time when HD appeared. On SD resolution it handles all tasks except gaming. But I don’t do gaming anymore. With HD it becomes a different story. HD videos don’t play on my computer without judder. Even 720p (1280×720) resolution drops frames while the computer struggles on 100% power. 1080p (or 1920×1080) is not even worth trying. It is just some frames every 10 seconds maybe. Hopeless.
It is important to make some difference between playing an HD footage or processing it. Playing can be helped by some more modern graphical card that can take over computing. So even a low-end computer can handle playing it. But processing in a video processing utility is a different story. For that you need high power from the CPU, a lot of RAM and good data transfer on the motherboard. In short you need a modern computer.
I made the editing anyhow and had a lot of waiting. When trying to align two video tracks for a picture-in-picture layout I am checking on the preview pane if the two frames are in roughly aligned. It is no professional work, if it plays within a half second I consider it already a pass. On SD footage this operation was already difficult, since my computer is low on performace. There were a lot of dropped frames, you had to sort of “lead” the cursor, move it and wait for the result before you let lose of the mouse button. With HD this is much worse. It takes several seconds for the preview pane to update. A simple play operation is meaningless, it takes seconds without picture update, then you pop up somewhere else on the timeline. Totally useless. The only way to work with it is to move the cursos very slowly and then wait for the result. I fought with it for 2 hours to get 4 pieces of picture-in-picture shots aligned. Very time consuming.
Rendering itself was surprisingly fast, despite HD clips the 8 minutes footage rendered in roughly 1 hour. Not so bad. I render still 640×480 resolution, maybe should try 720p rendering next time. I don’t know if there is so much to win about it in my case.
What I would need is much more computing power. I read a lot of reviews and came to the conclusion that it is time to buy something that will last for some years in the future. Maybe not 6 years, we shall see how long I manage this time.
I set my eyes on the Core i7 architecture from Intel. It has 4 cores and all 4 can simulate 2, so alltogether you get 8 virtual cores. Despite being “only” quadcore it beats the respective offering from AMD by a good margin in video processing. In some test under Sony Vegas 9 it was almost 2x faster in rendering (compared to a 6 core Phenom II processor). So that is the aim, to have a really powerful CPU. I will target a lot of RAM even. Minimum is 4 gigabytes, but can extend later depending on needs. Considering the graphical card I don’t really have high demands. My favourit RC simulator shall run without glitch, that is the specification. I made some studies regarding this issue, checked homepage of the simulator and checked their recommendations. Also checked some Nightflyyer reviews about specs.
We shall see how I manage. When I will get the new system running and I tested it I will try to get some comparison.
Update 2011-10-30
I tried out my 3-blade propeller. It is a Master Airscrew, 6×4 pusher. MA0640TP is the type of it.
As a subjective feeling it gives more thrust than the 6×3 I had on during the last flight. I look forward to test it in real life. Made a short test video of it. Looks nice when the tail control surfaces get aerodynamically active at half throttle. Haven’t revved it over 2/3 throttle, it is quite loud in the living room 🙂
Best regards,
Sir Crash a Lot


I am proud to announce that I had my first proper crash. It comes sooner or later, you cannot avoid it. Mine came today.

We went out flying with HaBoRC, even though that the city was covered by fog. We thought that it might clear up during the day so we took our chance. When we arrived to the field conditions were far from perfect. I could hardly see the forest close to the field. I took a sweep recording, that shows a more cleared up view actually, in the beginning it was much worse.

Our initial activity involved recovering a plane that was crashed onto a tree some 7 meters high from ground level. We constructed a set of poles (taped together with Duck Tape, a special version of the famous Duct Tape actually 🙂 ). One member of our team was brave enough to climb up on the container containing gardening tools and nudged the plane down carefully. It was as slippery as ice, the fog made everything wet.

HaBoRC started to fly with his flying wing, I took off shortly after him. We agreed to fly close to the field so that we don’t lose sight of the planes. So did we. I started to turn tight so that the plane would stay in sight. I managed to make contact (collide) with the flying wing. I lost orientation of the plane (was extremely high adrenaline all of a sudden), to stabilize it I leveled it out. I was close to the lake, wanted to avoid it. Leveling out was good, but this enabled the plane to fly out of my sight, it went into the fog. I was desperate, tried to turn back blind but realised that with power on in the fog I will just smash it, so I chopped throttle and hoped for the plane gliding smoothly onto the fields.

What I managed I was unsure of. The very last moment I could turn away from the lake, that was good. But did it manage? Or is it in thousand pieces?

I started to walk into the generic location where it went lost. Unfortunately HaBoRC had similar problems. He looked at me fighting and forgot about his own plane. It went into the fog as well. We lost 2 planes within the first minute. Not good…

I walked along the small road and then discovered the plane. It was stuck into the soft vegetation covering the rocks. Pointing downwards, but the wings were on, control surfaces were on. Even the shape was normal. As I got closer I could see that it was gliding against a huge pine tree and ricochet to the soft bush. I could move the ailerons, elevator and rudder. Even the prop could spin up. The only thing missing was the canopy. I tried to find it but the fog was so thick that I couldn’t. I thought that it might popped off when I collided with the flying wing.

So I started to wonder around in the deep wet vegetation behind the field. My boots got totally wet, socks wet, then the trousers got wet even. Nothing. I thought that I might find it when the sun comes around. Recorded the others flying then I got back to the pine tree when the fog cleared up. And there it was my canopy. Close to the other big pine tree. That might took the first contact, the canopy popped off and then the plane crashed into the bushes.

The plane glided so far in the fog.

When I got back HaBoRC recovered his flying wing as well. I just tried to help him, wondered around the motorcross track and when I was back he had his plane as well. Great relief, I felt really badly after colliding in the air.

After a while I started flying again and could record some nice low passes. I still haven’t got my 2nd mini camera working, the replacement battery haven’t arrived yet.

Could record some nice multicopter flight. Quad- and tricopter. And some airplanes. I fetched some chocolate coated cookies, they were a welcome addition. Club members could replenish energy when needed. I will need to get some portable gas burner and make real coffee. Could a future project 🙂

Please see the recording of my flight here.

Hopefully soon I will get my Hobbyking Wing Camera and can get you much better looking recording.

Best regards,

Sir Crash a Lot


The curse is lifted from me, finally some nice weather again 🙂

We summoned with some club members at Balltorp field and got our dose of flying. Great times!

My little side project was about to get more interesting recordings from the sky. I had 2 new mounting points on the plane, on the fuselage, under the main wings. The idea was to mount the mini camera pointing downwards and recording “satellite” images. I thought that if I can get very high up and get a good wide-angle view it will look nice.

Well, it did not go so well as I hoped for. One of my cameras died prior to flying. I charged them up from the USB port and went to flying. Unfortunately these 15 dollar cameras don’t really come with any user interface. There is 2 amber coloured lights on it. By shining or blinking them the camera tells you what mode it is in. Or by not responding to the buttons it tells you that it either crashed or just drained its battery. Or in my case just died off.

As far as I understand the charging and battery management in these cameras are not so sofisticated (you can guess from the price), this results in battery overload. I dismantled my camera to examine it. The battery is a 1-cell Li-Po with some 160 mAh capacity approximately. In ideal case it provides juice for 45 minutes. However when you charge them on USB-port you do charging with 500 mA current. That might be too much. Or the battery management circuitry does not protect it from overcharging well enough. Anyhow my camera reached its end of life. At least the battery did.

Luckily solution is not far away. I went on the Internet and found this! (quote from Top Gear 🙂

It is a 240 mAh 1-cell LiPo with a standard JST connector. I just ordered such connectors, so I could solder a connector onto the camera, lead it outside of the plastic housing and attach this “proper” battery on top of the camera. So I could charge it from the iCharger charger with proper current and without overloading it. I could check its drain level with my LiPo Cell Checker and I could have the camera for longer time. Why dispose something when you can mend it?

We shall see how well I manage with this. First I will check if the camera is able to take pictures from the USB port. If it does not work then it is maybe not much idea to attach the external battery since the camera itself is broken even. I need to investigate further.

Back to the flight. The weather was reasonably good.  Some clouds, some wind. Later the wind picked up speed but it was manageable. I did some good hand starts (I am still learning to throw with left hand). Then I had some really bad start attempt. There are some insects that love to fly around the eyes. One got into my eye precisely when I launched the model. I have got totally distracted and launched the plane into the ground. Very embarrassing. I became nervous and did it again, now without the insects, just me being clumsy. This did not really help. So a club member launched the model for me, then I calmed down and could continue flying. Pretty ashamed I was, dropping the model twice is just silly.

I did some high altitude recordings and then I noticed that the other camera (the one still working) was drained as well. I assume that the internal battery is giving in there also. So I might need to upgrade it.

I noticed that even though that I bought these cameras from Hobbycity I have two different batches. One renders pretty nice green colours and handles light changes quite well. The other (the one still working) is worse. It renders more like cyan and blue colours and is pretty bad in high contrast situations. Like sky/ground scenario. Which is little unfortunate when you try to use it as an airborne recording device.

So I am very much looking at this.

It is a much better camera from Hobbycity. It has 720p HD resolution. Not FullHD, but 1280×720 at 30 fps is far better than the one I have right now (being 640×480 with crappy plastic lens and much noise).

A pretty good comparison of what you get is possible to see on following Youtube video.

Author is ultralajt, he made a video comparison of both cameras on same plane. Basically you get much better dynamic range, much longer battery life and much nicer wide-angle view. For roughly twice the money, this one costs 35 USD without memory card of course.

It is far from being a GoPro HD Hero action camera, but the price is far from it as well. I think GoPro would be a later step, when you are flying like an ace then you would put such a marvel onto the plane. Not me. Just look at me launching my plane into the ground twice this weekend 🙂

I flew out all my 6 batteries but the day was far from being over. I recorded some Tricopter action. HaBoRC built one and flew it first by eyesight, then by FPV. We helped him by telling altitude, so in initial takeoff phase he did not get disorientated. Quite fun it was. The footage looks great.

Another colleague came with a Quadcopter. That is a funny beast as well. There was a Yak55 even. HaBoRC showed some acrobatics with this light plane in turbulent conditions. The cherry on top of the cream was when he catched it while hovering. Another club member recorded footage of this.

All in all it was a great day. Here is my recording.

Best regards,

Sir Crash a Lot

My 7th flight has happened. As one of my favourite bands say: “7th son of a 7th son”. Look it up, great song.
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 🙂
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Thank you,
Best regards,
Sir Crash a Lot


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


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


I had to do emergency landing last time (on my 3rd flight), lost power totally. I tried to find the problem, I got huge help from my colleague who remembered a similar issue from the past. It was a cable connection that failed.

The symptoms were quite alarming, the ESC booted up normally, I could even steer the plane. But for any power input the propeller just stuttered. When it happened and I was in the air I did not notice the stuttering since air passing by rotates the propeller even at no power. Just upon the very last moment when I wanted to adjust my gliding angle became it appearent. Quite scary it was.

I checked first if the problem persists. It did persist. Then I replaced my 25A ESC to my helicopter ESC that is 40A. Same problem. This helped to rule out quite a lot of items. The only one remaining was the electric motor. This gave me a bit of headache. I just glued it back to its place since it became loose.

Maybe I broke the connection there, where it is in the fuselage? Hope not. I started to peel away isolation from the contacts that are easy to access. The first one was okay, the second one actually was so broke that when I removed the isolation the connector just falled away. The cable just broke.

I decided to resolder all 3 of them. This item was not done by me, the connectors were on from the factory. Maybe they used some wrong parameters upon soldering, I don’t know. Anyhow during last time when I disconnected the motor and glued it back the cable broke and only that stiff black isolation held it together. At low power there was some current flow there, but after 2 flights and higher current draw the electrical connection got severed and the motor just quit on me. That explains the steering also, since it happens on a different circuit it was unaffected.

Now it is fixed, I tested the motor on the balcony. There was much rejoicing on part of my wife who tried to watch TV 🙂

I put some decals on the plane, now it is easier to see it in the air. I shall test this next time when I fly.

Best regards,

Sir Crash a Lot