The A320 took off very well. The second flight I managed to put the Mobius camera on the left wing shoulder. You can see the Airbus A320 writing and a little bit of the LT engine nacelle.
First landing was a little rough. I tip stalled the plane, but landed. The LT nacelle came loose, but glued it right back in. The second flight was different. I ran out of battery juice and it crashed out in the other construction field. It nosed dived. The fuselage snapped in half. The LT nacelle shell fell off. The nose was bashed in a little bit and front landing gear took a lot of damage. I’ve since glued back the fuselage and minor wing tips. More to repair. It will fly again. Our motto: It flies better damaged than brand new!
Today was the day to maiden the Supreme Hobbies Airbus A320 that I purchased from www.x-flight.com.hk . Another site that sells it is pw-rc.com and I would have bought it from there, but they didn’t have that many spare parts. Since I started into this RC Airplane flying hobby back at the beginning of 2015, I’ve learned to buy the PNP kits and then buy a very basic kit for spare parts, just in case. Crashes to occur, but less than before.
This was a great kit. It looks so scale! It is big with an almost 1100mm wing span and 1200mm fuselage length! It barely fits into my 540i!!! I have to lay the front of the plane on the center armrest with the landing gear down. The front landing gear sits in the center console pen trench. The rear center arm rest has to be laid down so that the tail can fit.
I did some taxiing to see if the plane taxis straight. I then managed to take some pre-flight shots just in case.
I flew my other planes to warm up and started to get more nervous as the time came closer. Nick asked me if I was still going to fly the A320, “…no pressure!.” With the encouragement from the other friendly flyers at Sierra Point Parkway, I got the encouragement to fly her. The wind wasn’t too much.
Roy helped me hold the plane back until the engines spooled up to full thrust and let go on my command. I took off in the southern direction and several feet down the runway, it finally lifted off. It’s my biggest plane so far, even slightly bigger than the A-10. I made some turns and the plane wanted to turn right. It also felt nose heavy and wanted to go nose down! I managed to control the right tendency and I had to now add a bit of up elevator. I trimmed in a bout 50% to the left and up, each! Ramone kept yelling out to relax, and it was helpful, I felt comfortable. Dave told me to slow the plane down as I was still flying at full throttle. Slowing the plane down allowed me more time to trim and it seemed to iron herself out and she seemed to settle in. Mid flight I almost crashed bad. It got terribly close to the ground while turning. Luckily I pulled out of it and saved her. Now I had to land…
As I was making my final approach, and even though I still had a little extra time on the battery or flight left, I decided to bring her in. I said to myself, “I can do this!” I lined up fairly well. I put down the flaps to 100%. It seemed to help, but the plane was coming in too fast. I still had about 25% throttle on. I need to bleed off some speed, but had to come in. I flew over my head kinda close and immediately I turned around to see it. I managed to land it with a little hop, but it was heading slightly to the right where there is a curb. Unfortunately, I couldn’t steer enough to the left to avoid the curb. The right wing hit the curb, then the right nacelle hit and the shells fell off. Then it stopped! Phew! Now the shakes!
Dave helped me repair the right nacelle. Drake, a little boy out there amazingly helped me find some little plastic pieces that help keep the nacelle glued to the wing. Amazing eyes! Thanks, Drake! We discovered that the front landing gear retract was a little cracked. It seemed to function still. Phew not too expensive fix. We glued the cracks back together. The brunt of the landing gear damage was the poor little servo for steering. This servo is tiny (<5g). I’ve read on the forums that this is a weak link and the servo needs to be a metal gear one. On Monday, I will be going around looking for a metal gear one! J&M, I hope you have one! Everyone like the look of it and the scale of it! Flying at 50% throttle was super nice. It wasn’t too slow and it wasn’t too fast. I just have to make sure my landings are a lot better, however I believe this will be easier with practice, of course, but becoming more familiar with the plane’s tendencies. Upward and forward! GregC
Ricky W, my dad, and I made our way to the Bedwell Bayfront Park in Menlo Park yet once again. I like going in the morning because there are less people up this early and therefore have less of a chance to hit someone walking/hiking around this wonderful park. This morning instead of heading to my usual spot, I decided to scope out the hill across the way from where I flew. I wanted to see if there was enough level dirt or maybe thin grass that a plane with landing gear could land safely without ripping off the landing gear. The top of the hill was just a dirt and was fairly level. I think a plane could launch off the ground here. On busier days, it might not be possible. The other advantage from the top of the hill is that flying more east results in flying over a valley and provides that much more protection before crashing to the ground. The winds could be more so up on top than where I usually fly, but this morning it was very calm.
My dad flew the Champ, but unfortunately after about 2 minutes of flying, he crashed it along the hillside and the other half of the wing tore off. It was out of commission. I need to bring some toothpicks and some packaging tape with me to do infield repairs and surgery! Next time!
Ricky W flew the FMS Fox Glider 800 mm plane I’ve been flying since the last few weekends. He’s a good pilot and was able to help me position the plane in order for me to shoot some pro pictures of it with my D800. Again, I used my 70-200 f/4 at f/4, ISO 400 and aperture priority. I came away with many pictures that I like. My dad also help me shoot the Fox Glider with my camera while I was flying it. He also took some very good pictures. We flew the Fox Glider all 5 batteries worth and they lasted more than 8 minutes each because we were flying slow and not doing to many speedy maneuvers to wear down the battery.
It took me a bit of time to choose which ones were good. There were so many! I did manage to filter it down. I did take a video with my D800 and many with my iPhone 6 in regular video and slo-mo. I have yet to post those. I hope you like them!
My usual spot I go out to is the Bedwell Bayfront Park in Menlo Park off the 84 E heading to the Dumbarton Bridge. It is a nice open field where people go to fly their planes.
During the Martin Luther King weekend, I went out Sunday morning with my dad to fly the planes. Unfortunately, the Hobby Zone Champ was missing a horn that helps to control the elevator. My dad crashed it a few times, but started to get the hang of it and landing it. I was flying my FMS Fox Glider 800mm plane and having a blast doing turns and loops. I went through all 5 of my batteries which seem to last about a good 8 minutes at full throttle.
In the afternoon, the wind was a little breezy, but not too bad. We met up with Ricky W., who has flown planes before (and real ones too). He got a chance to fly the Champ and my Fox Glider. Because the Fox Glider is faster, Ricky liked it more. Meanwhile, Matthew was able to fly the Champ pretty well after I got a chance to fix the horn. While we were at HobbyTown in Sunnyvale buying the new tail for the Champ, he was on the flight simulator and we doing quite well, therefore he was able to fly the Champ fairly well. Unfortunately toward the end of Matthew’s flight, he landed a bit hard while turning, and the main wing was sliced off. I fixed it with crazy glue, 3 toothpicks, and some packaging tape.
The Fox Glider didn’t survive as well. The fuselage is cracked and the tail half behind the main wing is ready to tear off. The front cockpit area is all distorted. I had to use some Gorilla glue and some packaging tape to get it back to working order. It took a bit of time, but managed to get it in decent shape again. I took Ricky’s advice and instead of putting the battery all the way in the back, I put it more forward to maybe balance the plane better. Doing this got me thinking that maybe I can get a bigger capacity battery, like an 800mah, to get longer light times. We’ll see.
Because Ricky and Matthew were flying the Champ, I got a chance to shoot some in flight photos. I used my D800 (slow fps) and my 70-200mm f/4 VR III lens at 200mm and f/4. ISO was at 400 to keep the shutter up. The focusing was on continuous spot focus and I had to track/pan with the plane as it flew by. I am hoping to get pictures of the Fox Glider in action, but someone has to confidently fly it.
Enjoy the slideshow!
After regrouping and making the necessary changes and improvements to the Fox Glider, I took it out to fly it, trim it, and see what it can do. It is a fast plane. It is much bigger than the Champ, and I’m able to do some acrobatics with it! Open the door to fun!
Here is a video Julie shot of it with her iPhone 5.
Moving from RC Cars, which are great, I decided for various reasons to get into RC Planes.
What all started my interest into RC Flying is a post on Facebook that I shared from Scott Kelby. It was a Boeing RC Plane flying around inside a hanger. It was just going very slow and looked awesome and so easy. A patient’s wife related that her husband got into RC planes, built his own, but unfortunately had an 8 sec disappointment and crashed the plane he built. He had to order parts from Asia and that takes some time to get. Looking to have a better experience, I started my research. For those who know me, this turns into a purchase quickly!
Doing my research, I came across a FMS Fox Glider 800mm. The wing span is 800mm or 31.5″ wide. I wanted to buy a plane that would fit in my car, not SUV! The description about the plane said it was for beginners! Good enough for me! I bought it from www.MotionRC.com. Because I ordered it the day before New Year’s eve, shipping took a bit of time. I finally got it, but left it in the box. Because of the delay, I started to do a bit more research.
My continued research pointed me to RC Air Training Command. These two guys made some YouTube videos that were funny while at the same time very informative. They recommended the Hobby Zone Champ. It is a little plane that is light orange on top and darker orange underneath. It is a RTF (ready to fly) kit. It takes a small 1S Lipo Battery and comes with the charger that uses 4 AA batteries. After watching how easy it seemed to fly this plane, including landing on its own, I decided to buy it, but wanted it right away. I bought it from J&M Hobby House in San Carlos, a mom and pop shop. I wanted to give them my business. There wasn’t much to assemble except for putting the batteries into the controller, charger, and the plane itself. The only thing I wish is a battery charger than can tell me how many maH were used or put into the battery compared to flight times. This way I can monitor the battery levels better, but since the batteries are like $3-4 I don’t mind trashing them. Since the plane can land itself even if the battery goes out, the battery issue is no big deal.
I rushed out of the office on Saturday after work and I drove all the way down to Menlo Park to Bedwell Park. It is known for hobbyists to fly their aircraft from planes, to drones, to helicopters. It is a nice open area that might be reclaimed landfill turned into marsh land. There are a lot of pathways and trails where people hike, run, or just stroll. The wind was very calm and I managed to fly the Champ. It did crash during its first flight because I had to trim the controller to get the plane to fly level and straight. Turns out the rudder was the problem and with a squeeze in the bend in the wire that controls the rudder resulted in it in the correct position and flight was predictable. I really enjoyed flying it slow. Landings improved one after another while learning how slow the plane could go controllably. The wind picked up at the end right after sunset, so I had to call it a day. It was a successful first flight with the Champ.
The next morning, right after my haircut and before the kids’ swim class, I managed to fly it at Abbott Middle School’s black top. It was big enough to fly. The difference is the ground is asphalt and nice smooth easy landings were the challenge. I did land it well, but need more practice. I managed to actually get it stuck in a tree. Luckily I wasn’t that high, but high enough that I couldn’t jump and get it. I had to use a piece of wood from a tree to knock it loose. It then crashed to the ground and dented the front end a bit. Luckily, there were no cracks and not much damage. Meanwhile, Julie raced home to get me some balls to help knock the plane out. She brought back a stepping stool, broom, and some of the kids’ balls.
Monday morning after dropping the kids off to school, I had about 30-45mins to fly the Champ before heading to the cinema to watch Taken 3. This morning I was trying to decide weather to try the FMS Fox Glider after recent success with the Champ. The RC Air Training Command recommended to fly the P-28 Trojan as the next plane. It has gotten some great reviews on www.MotionRC.com. I then called up MotionRC and talked to the rep about returning the Fox Glider and possibly exchange it for the Trojan. He advised against it and even advised against the Champ, even though the guys at RC Air Training Command do plane reviews and test flights for MotionRC! He recommended I keep the Fox Glider because he said it is a fantastic plane and a good step up to the next level and he added that I might be paying $70 to ship it back. I wouldn’t think it would have been that much, but it was enough convincing for me! Before driving Hayley to school, I put together. The Fox Glider required some gluing and one screw. I charged the battery in the mean time. The ailerons weren’t flush and the elevator wasn’t as well. Trying to trim it on the controller itself seemed like it would be fine before its first flight.
For the first flight, it didn’t go well. The plane crashed nose first. The cockpit buckled. The cover didn’t stay on very well and there was a crack near the nose area. I decided to not fly it again for fear of breaking it quite bad. Julie and I then went to the movie and enjoyed that. I had to regroup after getting back home and before having to pick up Matthew from school.
I repaired the crack with a little glue from the kit and used some scotch tape to reform the front. I payed attention to the center of gravity to determine where to put the battery and the receiver. I put it near the rear of the cockpit and a bit into the next chamber. The plane balanced perfectly. I had to adjust the plastic attachments from the servos to the rods. I managed to center the trims on the controller and made the ailerons flush as well as the rear elevator. The body of the plane has a hole through the side where a screw can be loosen so that the rod could be adjusted. After making that adjustment the plan should fly level and without turning. After my allergy shot, the family went with me to the Menlo Park to help me and watch me fly my planes.
I flew the Fox Glider first. I had a much better experience. The plane is so much more powerful than the Champ. I only had to trim the plane to the left a little bit and it flew straight and true. The winds were light and didn’t seem to affect the Fox Glider much. It was fast. I managed to do a few loop-d-loops and a short barrel roll. The difference between the two was quite a bit. The Champ self corrects. The Fox Glider does not because of the ailerons and elevator and no rudder. After turing, I have to level the plane out myself. The Champ does it by itself. It was very fun to fly. I have to get use to leveling the plane after making a turn. Because I only had one battery, I had to call it quits and fly the Champ instead.
Matthew and Hayley took turns throwing the Champ into the air. The plane kept going to the right and banking really close to the ground. I had to put a lot of elevator and left rudder! Hayley in the end stuck with me for the whole time and she seemed to have fun too. I made some good landings with the Champ.
Getting home was challenging. Rush hour traffic on 101N was bad. Took us about 45mins to get home. Next time will eat in RWC instead. I got onto MotionRC website and bought myself several batteries so that I can fly longer.
What a day full of flying! The Freewing A-10 is in my sights.