Saturday, February 28, 2009

Things of flight recently - Two valuable lessons learned.

Over the last two weeks or so we have had some decent weather. This allowed me to attempt to Maiden two of my new planes. The 90mm Thunderbird EDF and the DG1000 2.6m scale glider.

The Thunderbird's maiden attempt was captured on video and just as well it was quite a funny one. Bottom line is that we need to bungy it of take off or drop it down a hill first. It needs speed which we are unable to generate with our arms. There is a video clip that I need to encode and then I will place it on Youtube for your viewing pleasure.

The DG was more successful however and it had a hair raising maiden flight of where I learnt very quickly that you can not slow this glider down. Slow her down and she drops a wing. Fortunately from a decent height she is recoverable.

Then the other day we decided to make our way home from work early as the weather was going to be the last good weather for a while. The DG1000 after some minor adjustments I had made after the maiden flight was ready to take to the sky.

Upon take off she veered violently to the right and I was concerned she would be over some houses and the last thing I wanted was to try recover her from a death spiral over houses. So I killed the throttle. At this point she was moving to slowly for the control surfaces to have any effect. You can guess what comes next she dips the wing. At about 10m altitude she goes nose down straight into the ground I had no chance of recovering.

So I have one major repair job up ahead rebuilding the nose of the DG. Thankfully the wings remained intact the only thing that bent was the solid metal bar in the middle joining the two wings. So what is the lesson learned here. Well I should have eased the throttle back to obtain level flight and maintaining speed. Not the speed element is critical. At that point tried to correct the veering and trim her out. Failing that attempt a powered on landing straight ahead.

Both of those options would have been a lot better to the airframe.

Soon afterwards however I was flying the Mustang and a mate his Fokker and I went for a fast low flyby which he decided to follow. Here I think he is very brave following me at a greater speed and possibly a lower altitude by a few cm, and then thud his model hits the deck. I off course divert my eyes for a split second to see what happened to his and then I relise mine is following the same path of destruction. Not even a second later mine hits the dirt as well.

Lessons learned here. Do not take your eye off the ball for even a split second especially when flying less than 50cm from the ground at speed. Said thing is we both know that but hell dog fighting is so much fun. Guess we should stick to the EPP slope birds for the dog fighting.

Fortunately the mustang is EPP so a bit of glue here and there and she will be fine. The Fokker however was a wonderful scale model made from depron and she no longer has a nose.

Now the weather is bad I can take a step back and go back to building the Formosa and thinking about how I can start repairing the DG1000. At least I know for a fact that the DG1000 does fly and she flies exceptionally well and has an incredible howling sound as she whizzes by. It is a pity however I could not hear that sound one more time this summer and instead it was replaced by a dull thud with a few hushed O #$#$'s being said.

So learn from my leasons people. ;-)

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