Sunday, April 19, 2009

Almost a Perfect Week in R.C.

Flight Dates: 16,18,19 April 2009

This last week I gained about 1.2 hours of stick time between the T-28 and SC 2.0. Only 20 minutes was on the SC.

It was almost a perfect week of flying. The modifications I had mad to the T-28 landing gear are holding up great and my landings are getting better too. The T-28 is such a joy to fly. It is very predictable and easy to control. The only thing I am still working on are the landings and occasional control mess-ups (more on that).

A few things of note from this week.

1.) I got to test extended range on the Spektrum Electronics. I have found a huge soccer complex that is still vacant at times. This complex has got to have 20 fields in it. I am flying in an area with 4. I was able to fly out at least 1200 feet and turn back in. It is out far enough that it is hard to tell what direction the plane is going. I don't like to do that much as it is too easy to loose orientation and that can only lead to bad things. That said it gives me even more confidence in the Spektrum system to see the plan out that far and still being controlled as expected.

2.) I flew in the Drizzle today. It was a good opportunity as the fields behind my home had not filled up with others practicing sports. No impact from the drizzle on the T-28 but it was a little chilly.

3.) The old SC 2.0 feels a little mushy in the controls after flying the T-28 for the last 3 weeks. I flew her today and it felt like I had to move the sticks much more to get the plane to respond. Part of this was just getting used to a different plane. I still enjoy the SC, but it is in some ways harder to fly with my aileron modification than the T-28. I think in part because it is easy to loose airspeed and harder to gain back. Ironic that the characteristics that make it easy to fly in the beginning make it a little harder once you gain a few skills and get used to a plane that is so controllable at low and high speeds like the T-28.

Back to my 1 goof. During my drizzled flight of the T-28, I had a great landing at the end of about 8 minutes. I was going to call it good as it was getting cold. However, I thought "why not go for one more". Let me pause and just say that it seems bad things always happen when I "go for just one more". Anyway, I tossed the T-28 and took one loop around the field- turned downwind, turned to base and then final... what wait she's coming right at me let me just correct a little and ...oops that's the direction of the fence. Let me just power out of this and .... bang, into the ground. It seems I had picked up an audience at the school across the road. As the plane struck the ground, I heard a loud "aaaaahhwwww". So much for looking like a pro.

Well the wing did separate from the fuselage and the canopy popped off, so it looked spectacular. It is nothing 10-15 minutes and a little epoxy can't heal. It's just unfortunate because, man was I looking cool you should have seen the landing just before I thought "let's go for one more...."


T-28 Wing- minor damage to attachment mechanism

SC 1.0 Cumulative Flights: 15
SC 2.0 Cumulative Flights:
Total: 34
Cumulative Hrs: 7.8
successful Landings: 70
SC Maintenance / Repairs* ~$54.5

T-28 Cumulative flights 17
Cumulative Hrs: 4.8
successful Landings: 35
T-28 Trojan
Maintenance / Repairs* ~$7

*Cost to replace items broken in flight

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