Monday, November 17, 2008
First flight for my airplane!
It is a pretty good sized plane, with a wingspan of almost six feet. It is a trainer so there are some design features that make it easier for a new pilot to fly and it is not as fast as some of the low wing planes, which also is better for the beginner. We put the wing on in J's shop, then added fuel and started the engine. When they are new you should run them rich on fuel as they are two cycle, so the lubrication is mixed into the fuel and you want to lube it well until it gets broken in. J adjusted the engine to where he felt it was rich enough yet still would give us enough power to fly satisfactorily.
We did a bit of taxiing around in the yard just so that I could get the feel of it and how the control box moved, although I had used this box on the simulator so actually did have a pretty good feel for how the controls move. This plane has tri-cycle landing gear and the front wheel steers when it is on the ground, moved by the rudder control on the control box.
We taxied the plane to a corner of the lawn and got ready for takeoff. Here is J with his son, B, and the plane just starting it's run. The most danger to a plane is at takeoff and landing so those were done by J and then I flew it once it was in the air. One thing we learned is that I need larger wheels if it is going to be flown from lawns. The propeller was cutting grass and the wheels sink pretty deeply into the grass, even though J had mowed it just the day before.
After taxiing all the way across the lawn it finally lifted off. You can see the smoke from the exhaust- that is because it is running so rich on fuel. But it is flying! The pasture behind their back yard belongs to the neighbors and you can see some of their cattle grazing out there. They didn't pay much attention to the planes but J's three horses in their side pasture sure did and didn't come very close to us!
Here we are in what seems to be the standard position of an RC plane pilot- looking up. I am flying it with J standing close by but I actually did fine and he didn't need to take it over until it was time to land, which came up fairly quickly as we had burned a lot of fuel setting the mixture, then taxiing on the ground. The tank holds 7 fluid ounces of fuel which should be good for about 15 minutes of flying time, when it is broken in & leaned out. The plane was fairly high when it ran out of fuel and the engine stopped.
At that point I handed the control box over to J and he flew it in, dead stick. He said it flies real well and is easy to control, even without power. The neighbor house isn't as close as it looks here- this is a fairly long telephoto lens. The cattle are still ignoring us. The attitude of the plane is perfect and it came in and set down just as well. Notice that the prop is not turning.
We decided that we wanted to fly again so filled the tank with fuel once more, this time from my supply, which does not have as much oil in it as J's did. We also decided that we would try flying from in front of the house where we could take off & land on the road. They are the end house on a private road with four other homes. The road is gravel but it has been well packed to where it's almost like paving. It worked perfectly and the plane was up flying right away. I don't have as many photos of this flight as J's wife who took some of the others with my camera had gone inside, along with Pat, and I did a lot more of the flying this time. But I did get a photo of it as J buzzed the road before looping around to land:
You can see the plane coming toward us probably 15 to 20 feet high. The pasture behind the white fence in the background is their horse pasture and the horses had retreated to the other end of it. Across the road we took off from is another of their pastures that is probably close to 20 acres in size and is perfect to fly over. This is a good place to fly these planes.
One thing I have wondered is how far is it safe to let the plane get away from the control box. I think I now have the answer and it is not really limited by the radio control box but rather by how far away you can see the plane. This one is pretty good size but when it gets way up there or way out, it is hard to see. We had some small clouds and at times it was above them, literally out of sight. Maybe a bright yellow one would work better to spot but mine is red and white and I thought it would be easy to see. It isn't bad but you do want to be careful not to let it get too far away.
I didn't do any take offs or landings but did get quite a bit of flying time. I feel that I can better control it and have a better understanding how it will react to my controls. Before long I'll at least do take offs (I think I could now) and then soon try my first landing. But I want to buy some glue first.
This is FUN!!!!!
I haven't commented in a long, long while, but I always enjoy your photos and reading what you and Pat have been up to.
It won't be long before you're chief pilot for all of it, take off and landing included.
Great pics as always, and your guest photographer did a bang up job on her contributions.
Hmmm....I probably shouldn't have said "bang up job" considering how fragile those planes can be...
Have a great week, Dick. :o)
Love and hugs,
Take care mr Pilot mocha LOL
my best to your Mrs.
Take care mr Pilot mocha LOL
my best to your Mrs.
Also there is a group up the skagit by Hamilton-Lyman, towards that new State Park right on the River....
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