16th April 12:44
Finally, back in the air again...
A Goldberg Falcon III, with a ten year old but fresh from the box OS
..40. The original had seized, but (adding to the greatness of the
day) after having soaked in fuel for a couple of months, the original
engine broke loose, too. A little more cleanup and I'll put it back
into service on something else.
I was hoping to use that new engine in something even more f****ving
than the Falcon, and was attempting to build the Spadet LC-40. I
can't get 2mm Coroplast around here and I pretty much ruined things
trying to use 4mm for the upper surface of the wing. So, out I went
with the Falcon. I wasn't even planning on flying it that day - I was
just hoping to get the new engine running. I'm glad the guys at the
flying club didn't let me settle for just that.
My first plane (built when I was fif****) was a .25 powered Kadet Jr.
I loved that plane, but the last time it flew twelve years ago, I made
the mistake of taking it up one last time in some pretty windy
conditions. I'd just spent ten minutes fighting the wind to get the
thing safely on ground, got it there, and then thought to myself
"well, that wasn't so bad" & throttled it up for another go. I don't
think I even made it half the circuit before it ran out of fuel.
The ensuing crash demolished the fuselage. During it's long
hibernation, the .25 engine had seized, too. It broke loose after a
brief bit of soaking, but it had nothing for compression. It seems to
be acting a little better now, so somebody at the field suggested I
try firing it up and seeing if it will run. If it does, I'll dig out
the plans and build a new fuse - the wing managed to survive the
impact without a scratch.
I've also got a brand new electic - the T-Hawk, from
ReadyToFlyFun.Com. It flys pretty well, and it is next to
indestructable (I gave it a pretty good run for it's money in that
regard!) except for the propellers - if you knock a wing tip on
landing, the wing can twist into the propeller. The wing comes out
fine, but the prop breaks in two. I'm down to my last prop and I bent
one of the stabs, but hopefully I'm over the hump enough to keep it
flying for a while with the remaining spares. I'm amazed by the
battery life, too (I went for the NiMh batteries over the standard
I truly cannot believe how far electrics have come in the last dozen
years. I had a Stik-E once upon a time (come to think of it, I still
do...) but it was a dog compared to the T-Hawk. The ESC weighed at
least twice as much as the receiver, and either BEC's hadn't been
invented yet or I was too cheap to buy one, because I remember it
needed a separate battery for the flight control system.
I think somebody really needs to put together one of these pod & boom
foamy thingies with a ducted fan. That would give even more
protection to the motor and the prop (er, fan), and should make it
even less susceptible to damage from the errant uncontrolled flight
Anyway, I got spoiled by learing to fly on that Kadet. It was a
wonderful plane, very f****ving and easy on the inexperienced pilot.
I taught a couple of people to fly with that thing, and had even had
quite a few people who had no interest in the hobby take a turn at the
controls. Hopefully it too will live to see the sky again, and help a
few more people get their wings.
For now, all I know is I'm still smiling!