Sunday, March 28, 2010


Another week? Yep

Okay, I see that another week has gone by since my last post. There has been a lot going on in our lives so I'll use that as my excuse for not getting another done sooner. One thing that has happened is that our friend with the car lot has sold my Smart Car. I bought it about a year ago and when I look at what I got for it in this sale versus what I paid for it, including trading in my 2000 Saturn, I figure that it cost me about $10,000 to own it that year and drive it about 1950 miles. That cost figure doesn't include the fuel used but the fuel really wasn't much. If you figure the mileage that way, with my total cost included in the calculation, the Smart Car sure didn't do very well! Oh well, I did learn to not buy something like a car without first flying it by the wife.

Speaking of flying, most of you know that I bought a radio controlled model airplane a year ago last November and flew it. Once. There is nothing wrong with that plane, it is just that the pilot (me) and his flying adviser have failed to get together and do it again since that time. I have recently learned that there is a group near my home that meets a couple of times a month to fly inside a school gym, but they have to use smaller planes and they have to be electric powered. I get regular emails from a couple of hobby places and one recently had a small electric plane with a wing span a little over 18 inches that could fly inside. So I bought one from our local hobby shop.

Playmate flying
Here is a photo from the web (I can't claim taking it, but it is a good action photo) of a plane just like mine flying. It is called a Playmate which is a good name for a R/C plane that is almost like a toy in some ways.

The directions with it say to fly it only when there is no wind if outside but they recommend indoor flying as the best bet. Not in an average house but in something like a school gym. Well, I was anxious to try it out so I took it out into the common area of our park where I live on an almost calm day, and flew it. After about six successful flights, the next one ended up with it looking like this:
Playmate broken 01
Yep, I broke it. The breeze took it over the fence that runs around that yard and into another home's back yard area and when I turned it to fly back out, the wing hit the wooden fence. Yeah, I know, I was flying it too low but it was windier up higher. I am happy to report that my one ounce airplane did absolutely no damage to the three foot high fence, but I can't say the same for my airplane. The airplane is what is known as a foamy because it is built from a kind of hard foam that is very light but pretty strong. Until you bang it into a wooden fence.

Playmate broken 02
Here is a closer view of the damage. It is actually a fairly clean break and I've bought special two part glue to try gluing it back together. I think that will work, but if not, I have also ordered another wing. Maybe I should have ordered two.

I think that I may also have done this
Playmate broken 03
to the fuselage just in front of the tail assembly. This happened while I was lifting it out of the box it came in that I use as it's "hanger" as it holds it very well. I had my camera in my right hand and tried to lift the plane out with just my left hand. This may be a natural break in the body where two parts join together but I don't think there is supposed to be that much of a gap between the two parts, so I'll glue it, too. The shape of the break line looks too much like an intentional joint so I am thinking that this break was there but I've made it wider.

I have a lot to learn about these things, but they are still fun to fly. This one flies different from the bigger one and part of that difference is that there are no ailerons on the wings of this plane. To make turns you use the rudder. With the big plane when it is airborne I found I make most turns with just those ailerons and rarely use the rudder. Because of this difference, the control box for the Playmate only needs three radio channels- one for the rudder, one for the elevators and one for the throttle. That controller is fairly inexpensive, in fact the whole kit with the plane ready to fly including that controller is only $80. And it doesn't use fuel that costs $25 a gallon. Four AA batteries go into the controller and it is used to charge the small 130ma hour battery in the plane that runs the motor and the controls. It should be fun and inexpensive to fly for quite awhile. Oh, I guess I need to also add in the cost of the glue. I should have just bought it when I originally bought the plane.

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I can almost guarantee that if I'd been piloting that poor little plane it'd be in much worse shape than your little mishap, lol. ;o) I'd just go ahead and buy a case of the glue and doubles on all the spare parts available, because that little plane would almost certainly be doomed. ;o)

Enjoy your new toy, and I hope you have good luck repairing it.

Happy Almost April!

Love and hugs,

Thank goodness for glue! :-)
my kids are into rockets and one of the times we watched all went well out in the pasture (lots of room to land) except the cows had a real fit about it. The second time was a windier day, the rocket went higher and it got caught with some current that took it into the forest above us. We never did find it (and had to replace our grandson's rocket-- well didn't have to but we weren't about to have him remember how grandpa lost his rocket for him).
Yeah I think glue will help! lol

Hope all is well and that the glue does work.

Have a great week!

Love, jess
OOPS! Good luck with the glu job.
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