Sunday, March 9, 2014

Flying Field of Doom

It's embarrassing how obvious something can be once you figure it out. In our neighborhood we have a nice grassy field which hardly anybody ever uses, so it's essentially my own personal RC plane flying field, right at the bottom of our street. However, it has a Bermuda Triangle, a Zone of Doom, an Eater of Planes... and it took me way too long to figure out why.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

One year of RC planes

I just realized it's been a little over a year since I started messing with RC planes. Here's a summary of my experience so far. (Hint: it involves a bunch of foamcore and hot glue, a lot of crashing, and only a little blood.)

Before 2013 I had been flying small RC helicopters on and off for several years, namely the Blade mCX, the Blade mSR, and the Blade mQX. I found I enjoyed tinkering, fixing, and modifying the helis at least as much as flying them, which created a perverse sort of incentive to fly recklessly, since I wasn't particularly worried about the consequences of a crash. (I'd get a strange little thrill after each crash, wondering what I'd get to analyze and fix this time.) For a brief time I was into customizing the mSR with silly aftermarket parts (eg machined aluminum swashplates), but that got old pretty quick--what I really wanted to do was build things from scratch, maybe even things of my own design.

Building helicopters from scratch is a pretty advanced undertaking, and is nearly impossible at the scale I was comfortable flying. (I often need to fly near my kids if I'm going to fly at all, and so larger scale helis scare me.) Thus in early 2013 I decided to try my hand at RC planes.