First Flight at RC Field

by Octapoo

Sunday, September 20, 2020 at 02:14:00 UTC

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I went to the flying park today. Twice. The first time there were a bunch of people there, so we went grocery shopping instead and came back later when the sun was annoying low and I figured that would have driven everyone away, and indeed it had.

The first flight was interesting. I had no idea the plane would be so hard to control in mere 7 MPH winds. I guess it is just a big piece of foam. I was able to keep it under control but it was a bit stressful to fly because it was constantly doing something new that I had to correct for.

Here's a clip of that flight:

It wasn't quite that bad though. Part of the problem there was that twice I gave the plane the opposite control input from what it needed and then had to correct for it. However, I guess some of that too could be blamed on the wind forcing me to make quick decisions that I'm not used to having to make quickly, since the simulator doesn't do much to simulate the plane doing random shit.

Eventually I accidentally got super-close to the ground, which I started to recover from, but figuring it might crash anyway and that it's better to crash near the ground, I shut off then propeller and let it fall. It landed well enough that my mother thought it was intentional.

Luckily I had a plan, since I'd seen this video a month ago:

If you skip to 51 seconds, he shows it flying normally, until he turns the stabilizer off, at which point the thing just goes crazy. When I saw that, I wanted one of those stabilizers, and so I looked on eBay and the things are only $10. So I ordered one.

With the stabilizer installed, it was still behaving a bit weird because of the wind but in general it was a lot easier to control. Here's a clip of it flying with the stabilizer:

Since this was going so well, I decided to land it so that I could give my mother my cell phone so she could try to record video of it from the ground. Here's the landing:

Here's some of the video from the ground:

Eventually it occurred to me that the reason I had made it with dihedral was because you're supposed to be able to turn with the rudder. So I gave that a try. It worked but I remember not being too happy with it, so I stopped, and then tried to turn with ailerons like usual, and I'm not sure what went wrong since it was all rather fast but it crashed into the ground.

Here's video of the crash:

This broke a small trivial piece of foam inside the plane, or at least it was supposed to be trivial when I first designed it, and thus I didn't reinforce it with packaging tape like everything else. It's a 3 minute fix, but I didn't have any foam board on me, so we left.

In total it flew for 7 minutes 24 seconds.


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