Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Flight Log

Most Recent First


End of the flight log - I've decide to stop updating the flight log - I'll just update with regular posts now. The takeoff/landing/crashes will be kept up to date.


Went out to Lyneham - no other takers. Did three flights. First was with the Tiger Moth. She was flying well. I did a few loops and victory rolls and even flew her inverted comfortably for a little while. Then, I rolled her over inverted, and best I can figure the engine cut and she lost airspeed and altitude. I didn't think fast enough to close and reopen the engine. She nosed in from an altitude of around 10 metres. The damage was extensive. Cowling destroyed, main and upper wing destroyed, gearbox smashed and upper fuselage torn away from lower.

Flew the Electrafun twice. No problems, even in strong wind.


Three flights this morning - two with the Tiger Moth, one with EF. After adding more and more weight the TM is now a porker. A bigger 1080 prop is allowing the engine to maximise what thrust it can generate on the 7.2 LI and the 7.4 LiPo batteries, but at the end of the day, it is enough to keep the plane in the air, but not do much with it.

Both the flights with the TM went okay - no radio interference to speak of although I am being extra careful to make sure I don't track the plane with the tip of the antenna. First landing wasn't bad - but not right. Still haven't figured out how to land this bird - guessing I need a little more dive angle, and then flare with enough speed to change the velocity I am sinking with. Funnily enough this was the mistake I used to make with the Electrafun too.

Second flight was with the LI - real effort to put on altitude, but got there eventualy. Landing was average - same mistake as the first, but this time I snapped the gear right off - back to the glue gun.

Flight with EF fine - wind was up quite strong. Landing went fine. Had 3 more charged batteries, but when I inspected the EF before the next flight I noticed the prop had cut the antenna wire (my antenna wire runs outside the carbon fibre boom because I was pulling the receiver in and out to test the TM). I'll solder that back up no probs, and make sure a bit of tape holds it down right in that position for next flights.


A total of six flights. Did a quick one in the morning with the new TM. Still ungainly in the air, but the new lipo battery has given her a lot more poke. Landing was ugly (called it a crash), but nothing was broken (into the wind, so quite low speed).

Then went out to Lyneham to fly with the "club" there. We spent a bit of time trying to get the centre of gravity right on the TM - it was way to far back, maybe because of the new servos, but not really clear. She took basically the full stick of clay and a couple of twenty cent pieces, all positioned in the cowling - I had no idea she was that badly balanced.

Anyway, end result was she was more stable in the air, but was having a hard time climbing, even with the new lipo, because of her weight. After having her up there for 3-4 minutes I decided to bring her in because I was having a hard time putting on any serious altitude. Once again muffed the landing, this time snapping the gear and a prop. Think I might need to go to belly landings, although not looking forward to the hand launches.

Four flights after that with the EF - all went well, even in high wind. That plane is so easy to fly.

Three flights this morning - one with the TM and two with the Electrafun. The TM flight was a result of the final inspection with thanks to the boys at Toyworld yesterday. After much soul searching it was decided by consensus that the Electrafun's radio gear was being pushed to its limits in the TM, but would do the job, just.

When I flew the TM today, it did the job, just. But not really because of the radio gear - I made sure the plane stayed close and I didn't have any RF interference or servo misbehavior problems. One significant problem I had yesterday with the TM, which I didn't today was control throw. Most of my control throws were at least double what was recommended, and it was too much for an inexperienced pilot like me to compensate for. These were adjusted overnight.

Ground takeoff for the TM, first attempt failed with nose over on a particularly nasty tussock of grass, but after that the next one went just fine. In the air with reasonable control throws and the TM flew okay, but really could use a little more poke - if just to gain altitude so you aren't worried about the thing falling out of the sky.

I didn't want to push my luck so after about 10 minutes in the air I brought her in to land. Off power she has a quite sharp glide angle (as in she glides poorly) and also has a tendency to turn to the right, despite my attempts to trim her in flight. I kept the wings level, made sure she wasn't running out of room, and just let her turn her nose as she wished (within reason). I flared at the last moment (really necessary because the glide angle is not nearly as good as the EF, and the plane is a lot more touchy), but didn't flare enough, she landed hardish and nosed over. The gear partially broke away, but there was no other damage. Feeling the need for a victory I've chalked that up as a safe landing - it needs work for sure, but it is starting to come together.

In the air she is touchy, responds a little too much to wind, and I also can't help wondering whether I should restrict the control throws a little more until I get the hang of her. However, it needs to be stated the only other planes I have flown outside FMS is the Electrafun, so odds are that I have poor perception of what a stable aircraft is.

She takes a lot more effort to keep safe, but I have a feeling it will pay off, and after todays flight am feeling optimistic about her future. Am also thinking she needs a more powerful battery. One issue here is that I can't do a small step up the way I could if I was using NiMH or NiCDs - the next step up is 11.1 volts in either LiPo or LiIon. Oh well, will have to think about that one.

Two flights with the EF, both ran okay. That plane is soo easy to fly. Also, love her with the 9.6 volt battery - she has authority of her own destiny.


Wow - there is a lot to catch up on, and frankly I am not going to bother trying. Take a read of interference and interference continued and it will become obvious that I have been having some pretty significant issues with trying to get the Tiger Moth in the air. I've had a few flights with it, nailed one landing, had two other fair ones, and then have had a whole host of radio and interference problems that have basically grounded me.

Well, this morning I finally thought the TM was ready for flight after servo replacement yesterday - it certainly tested okay with only two servos in place. However, when I got to the field I was getting a serious jitter in the rudder at 15 yards (maybe a little less). I flew, because I'm an idiot, and realised once the plane was in the air that it was going to be very very hard to control - so I brought her in for an inelegant landing which snapped of the undercarriage - seriously thinking about going to belly landings, but I just love the rolling takeoffs.

Also put 3 batteries through the Electrafun - damn glad I took it because it would have been a dissapointing day otherwise. The two 1100mAh NiMH I bought for it have improved quite a bit with a few cycles through the swallow. The 9.6v in particular is a hoot - I didn't really notice extra speed when I launched it; at ground level the electrafun already seems quick, but when I realised the authority with which it climbed to 50+ metres and did loop after loop after loop after loop. Quite a lot of fun.

In fact, the Electrafun is a great plane - whilst I am looking forward to getting the TM right and flying, I am really concious of how good the EF is as a trainer, and just muck around plane.


Had 4 flights on 4 batteries this morning with mixed results. Bought a swallow charger yesterday (as well as a Lithium Ion 7.2v 2300mAh battery for the Tiger Moth), and put the two new NiMH 1100 mAh batteries through a cycle on that. The result this morning was better, but they are still not generating as much power as the 650mAh NiCDs that came with the EF.

Flight duration seemed to be a bit better for the NiMH compared to NiCDs, but not as much as it should be when one is almost double the other Amp hours.

Did a mixture of things on the flights, although stangely didn't seem to have much power to do stuff. The plane climbed well enough, but not as well as normal and the power for lots of manuevers just wasn't there.

The first two flights both ended with good emergency landings. I was doing lots of low level passes, and eventually realised I had no juice left. I remembered my rule about not trying to turn the aircraft when the altitude and power is too low, and made the minimum turns I could to set up for landings. Both were quite satisfactory.

Flight three (with the first of the NiCDs) was running well enough. Some low level passes but mostly 10-15m altitude stuff, until, quite suddenly I clipped a tree branch. Who the heck put that there. Plane was some distance away, so it was hard to tell how far the plane was away from the object (the tree) that appeared on the other side of it. Plane basically undamaged after hitting tree, and falling 5-10 metres to ground. This really caught me by surprise - I thought my distance perception was better than that, but I am very tired today.

Flight four, uneventful, tried some inverted flying - there is no way I have the power to hold that position without losing altitude, pulled out safely this time though. Good landing for flight four (best of the day probably).


Flew yesterday and this morning. Flights yesterday were hampered by battery performance. The new $20 NiMH don't seem to be taking a charge well, but they are getting better with each charge, so I'm hoping it is just a matter of time. Also, I might get a better charger today, as I might also bet getting the elusive LIPO that is keeping the new Tiger Moth on the ground for the moment.

No Magpie attacks today - I wonder if the season is over - that would be nice.

Yesterday 2 launches, 1 landing, 1 crash. Crash was result of heavy battery (my 9.6 volt trial), high wind, and quite sudden power loss. Mistake as ever was trying to turn into the wind before emergency landing.

This morning 5 launches, 4 good landings, one crash. Crash was result of me trying to hold Electrafun inverted thinking it was going to come good any minute and hold altitude (someone on RC Universe Forum said his held fine). By the time I realised I was too close to loop or turn out of it, I also realised my lowest impact profile would be to hold the thing inverted - so I landed the plane upside down. Fearing a smashed rudder I ran over, only to find the only "damage" was that the wings had moved slightly. Tough aircraft.

Worked on low level passes mainly today, as well as some practice at trying to hit a landing strip - used the cricket pitch. Needs some work, but I am definitely becoming more comfortable with the plane, and more subtle maneuvers.


No flying for a few days - have been busy building the Tiger Moth - still not ready for flight unfortunately - need a new battery.

The new batteries for the Electrafun arrived, and took them down the oval for a run (as well as the NiCads that came with it). Glad I took the NiCads, otherwise there would have been no flying. The two new batteries look like they need a few cycles before they reach full potential.

The two NiCads weren't at there best after sitting around for a few days. Settled for a few low passes on both flights. Neither landing was particularly graceful, but I'm not calling it a crash.


What should have been two flights this morning became three. I decided to give my low level passes a fair old work out, as the oval was more or less deserted, and wind was low.

On the first flight I was turning at the end of a low level pass, agressively, and coming back for another. Got a fraction too low to the ground and clipped a wing tip. No cart wheeling or spectacular crash - plane wasn't going that fast. No damage. Still a little dissapointed I let it happen - I think was just trying to turn to quickly for the altitude, and without enough power.

Second flight was on first battery. No problems. Did some more low level passes (high speed and low speed). Good landing. Intersting in that I made it right to left rather than left to right, which is normally required due to prevailing winds.

Third flight was just me having fun. Did a triple loop (and I think the fun would have happily done a fourth, and maybe a fifth, but at the top of the third I pulled it in inverted. You can have some serious fun with this plane. Good landing - no problems.

I really need to get round to adjusting the elevator so it sits square. The Rudder seems to be okay (by eye), but the slightly non horizontal elevator means that any input on the elevator produces a slight bank. Given the model needs slight down elevator trim to fly well, you then need rudder trim to keep him square. Anyway, the weekend is here. I'll get to it.

11/10/06 & 12/10/06

Three flights yesterday. Two flights today.

Three flights yetesrday because on the first flight, at around 10 metres on the other side of the park the plane suddenly lost power and failed to respond to controls (no engine I probably could have handled - no controls meant I didn't have many options). It stalled, gained speed, pulled up, stalled, gained speed and started to pull up just as it connected with the ground. Went across - no damage, and the plane seemed to now have power.

Launched the plane again, flew happily and made a good landing. When I went to change the battery I noticed that it was not connected firmly (where the battery lead snaps into the power lead for the plane). Mental note - check that connector is secure before launching (although maybe it was impact that dislodged it.

Second flight - fun, no probs, nice landing. Threw in some low level passes.

This morning, two flights. Both good. Wind was up a bit and magpies were particularly fierce. I think I actually fly in the disputed airspace of 3 different couples. First flight was good, but landing was not so good. A magpie came and tapped the plane about a metre above the ground, meaning that it tucked a wing in and struck wing and fuselage simultaneously. No damage, but annoying that I need to increment the crash count by one. Ideally, need to keep enough power to go around for a second shot if the magpie is at hand.

Second land, no problems. Nice and smooth. I've put the tail wheel on the Electrafun, even though I am doing belly landings. I'm thinking it will hold the quite vulnerable tail plane a little further from the ground. Even on a good landing it is possible for a tuft of grass to strike and gradually damage the tail.

Also, because tail assembly is not 100% horizontal have noticed that went I pull up the plan tends to bank slightly to the left. Now that I've got that in my mind as normal behaviour I should be able to compensate a bit better on landing approaches (although I might try and adjust the tail plane).


Got some flying in this afternoon. Sun was quite low, wind was highish. Went hell for leather through two batteries, barely powering off to draw breath. Tried a mixture of rolls, stall turns loops, inverts and hamerhead stalls.

Outside loop is not going to happen - the plane does pick up a tremendous clip of speed in the process though. Using rudder whilst inverted doesn't seem to give much joy... plane just looks kind of confused before falling out of the invert position.

One good landing. One reasonable landing. A lot more people on the oval at dusk, and there were some people near were I was landing in the shadows. Not close or anything like that, but something to be aware of for future.

9/10/06 and 10/10/06

Couple of catch up posts.

Done 6 flights since last entry. Score card is 5/6 on landings, and the wind was fully responsible for the 1 that didn't work out. Had the plane coming in on a nice, reasonably steep dive, the wind grabbed it at about 2 metres and just drove it nose first into the ground despite me pulling back desperately on the stick - was not a stall, plane had good airspeed (as best I could tell).

Have been trying out some things with the Electrafun to see what other aerobatic potential it has (after learning how to roll it the other day, I'm now keen to push a few more barriers). Will write them up separately.

Am quite confident in the air now at almost any altitude, and think I can fly the plane with a fair amount of finesses, or just flick it around. Mild wind doesn't really bother me right up till the landing point, where it can still be a bit touch and go.


Two quick flights this morning. After watching the guys muscle their much more powerful planes around Narrabundah yesterday it seems I'm now devoted to speed, and what you can do on full throttle 8-).

Practiced some of the rolls I was taught yesterday this morning - trying to time it with a magpie's attack to give them something else to think about. I think I got a lot less harassment this morning. I would like to think it was the fancy maneuvers, but suspect it is possibly just the birds starting to get used to the plane appearing most mornings. They still squawked, swooped, and let their displeasure be known.

More of less no wind at ground level, but some up high.

Am becoming pretty confident at throwing the EF into quite high banked turns and whipping it round with the elevator. Even now have the muscle memory in my head so that I soften the turn a little automatically if I realise I'm almost in a stall turn, meaning I'm pretty confident maneuvering like this, even when only 10 metres or so off the ground.

You can have quite a lot of (short lived) fun tossing this thing around the park on full throttle. Even used full throttle for some low level, high speed flybys (maybe 5 or 6 metres - I'm not getting that close to the ground at that speed).

With my new found confidence I should probably assume that a big buster is not far away 8-) . Let's hope not.

Two good landings. Used the dive and glide technique discussed in my post on Learning new things about the EF post. Not only nice soft landings, but the landings where within 20 metres of so of my position, as I wished (meaning a short walk) rather than the thing gliding on currents until it reaches the edge of the field and needs to turn around and come back.


Latish start for me - went down around 7:15am. Two flights. Timed duration for the first time ever and was somewhat dissapointed when flight one lasted 7 minutes and flight two lasted 8 minutes. Given the limit of reading on the clock (my mobile) I'm guessing both could easily have been about 7.5 minutes.

One good landing, one crash, but the crash wasn't my fault (I figure). The magpie came in to harass the aircraft when he knew it was low on power, and just after I switched off the engine (about 1.5 metres from the ground) he glided down and struck the right hand side of the wing, tipping the plane and making it slight stall. There was no real time for recovery although I did manage to flare the plane a little so it was quite a soft landing, but with the right wing tip down. No damage to the main wing (it seems) but the elevator plane now has slightly elongated holes. However, this should probably not matter a jot in real life. So, not my fault but it still counts against my crash stats 8-(

Tried some low level passes and running the batteries down quite low as well. Whilst I have the hang of it to a certain extent there are a couple of persistent problems: 1) Magpies - when they attack the aircraft they are tending to do it by pushing on either the left or right hand side of the wing, making the aircraft turn (and lose altitude and all those related things). At low altitude (two metres or less) this is pretty scary stuff. 2)The Electrafun has a nose up - slight stall - nose down flight pattern which needs slight downward input to keep the nose level (depending on how much throttle is being used). I've tried to trim out number two. I'll keep on working on it.

Really no prospect of soaring today, but on the other hand the wind was absent so you have to take one with the other.


Later in the day I went down to Boomanulla at Narrabundah, where the fellows from Toyworld said they often congregate on a Saturday morning. Was a lot of fun watching others fly.

There were two other Electrafuns there, and we were all on the same frequency, so only one of us could fly at any time.

Funnily enough, just watching these more experienced flyers have a bash gave me some more confidence. One fellow explained a few things about the Electrafun to me. I'll put that stuff into a new post.

Two flights. Wind was strong but not a bother (I'm now quite used to it to be honest) and the field at Narrabundah is absolutely *huge*. One landing miffed up when I ran out of runway and hit a chain link fence. Other landing okay, but quite a long way away, and involved a long walk.


Two flights this morning. Quite early. Wind was a little higher than usual for early morning, but nothing to worry about.

Put a strong focus on have careful control of the aircraft, and doing some things like low level passes over the oval. The earlier start time was a bonus here as there was no one else around (for the most part) to worry about.

Battery life seemed quite short on both runs, but that probably had to do with climbing to altitude, zooming down for a low level pass, climing back to altitude, zooming down for low level pass etc. Was quite interesting and challenging and I'm now reasonably confident with the Electrafun XP, even when close to the ground.

Getting the Electrafun into stable, level flight is not easy. Part of the problem is that the kit just isn't that straight (it's straight enough for flying about up high, but for precision maneuvers, not so good) and the other seems to be this nose up tendency. I have a feeling the CG might not be quite far enough forward, but the problem is being improved with downward elevator trim, so perhaps that is the easiest way to solve the problem.

Anyway, felt like I got a good feel for the plane today. Magpies were a problem on the low level passes - when they strike the aircraft they have a tendency to make it bank one direction or the other - when you are only a metre off the ground this can become a big issue very quickly.

Two good landings. Am getting the hang of the Electrafun's optimum glide angle, and using a bit of downward elevator am stopping it from doing it's nose up, stall, nose down trick.


Well a few entries to make since the morning of the third which I haven't updated. Have had 7 takeoffs since then. Three on the afternoon of the third, two midday yesterday, and two this morning.

The midday and afternoon launches were all into quite high wind and led to a few less than perfect landings (in fact I have called two of them crashes). The main problem is on approach when the wind forces the plane to change direction, or roll, or both. Keeping the wings level is a struggle, but the other problem is that your carefully lined up landing area rapidly disappears as the plane turns into another direction. One of the crashes might have been a recoverable situation, except the plane turned towards where some children where playing, and I didn't want to take the risk of powering up and pulling out, instead just forcing the plane onto the ground as quickly as possible. To be honest, not bad as crash landings go.

This morning's flight were just gorgeous, including my *best ever* landing. The dew on the grass probably helped but perfectly in line with the horizon the plane must have skidded 3 metres or so across the grass before coming to a gentle stop.

The fellow that spoke to me the other morning dropped in, although just as I finished the last battery.

Magpies harassed as usual. They get game when the prop isn't running, but keep their distance when it is.

Mornings are optimum. Light winds, and if the sun is out it is just marvelous.

By the way, am pretty sure that one of my batteries is giving much superior performance to the other. Am getting flight times of around 15-20 minutes on one of them without really trying, but the other usually only gives 5-10 minutes before full throttle on the engine does not really produce the speed and lift to confidently keep the plane in the air.


Took the plane down to the field around 7:15am. Almost no breeze. Good launch, good flying. Part way through first flight a gentleman stopped his motorcycle near the edge of the oval and trundled over to say hello and see what I was up to. He said he had tried an Electrafun at the same oval (note - not electrafun XP) and found it was just too fast, and that the nose was continually up. Something he noted mine was doing, although he did say flying it that way seemed to work.

He has me thinking that maybe I should trim the elevator down a little, to try and make the plane fly more correctly - although soaring on full throttle is fine, when it is gliding it has a tendency to accelerate, soar, stall, accelerate, soar, stall etc. Might try that later today if I get the chance.

Chucked in some loops and stall turns on first flight. Good landing on first flight.

Second flight ran well enough. This fellow gave some instructions on using controls, which were helpful. Apparently he has some experience in the area.

Second flight was a bit short - reached a point where it was obvious the model was not going to climb anymore so brought it in for a round landing (very rough, but I'm calling it a landing just, not a crash).

Magpies less of a problem today. Am thinking one of the batteries is not in as good a condition as the other.



Had the urge to get some flying in. Even though it didn't look good I headed down.

Wind was constant and okay for one flight. Flight was good - got plenty of altitude. Did a loop and a couple of stall turns. The "adjustments" I made to the trim of the plane worked well. Good landing.

Second flight - the wind came up and I knew I shouldn't put it in the air. It went up - almost straight up with the wind velocity. It climbed and climbed and I realised I was going to have to bring it down or be stuck there. The wind was strong when I launched and even stronger once it was in the air. I brought it down in as controlled a manner as possible, but eventually it swung around my head, I lost sight of it, with it's wing dipped - pulled up preparing for the worst. Couldn't be called a landing, struck wing tip first. No damage though.

Yet another reminder about strong winds. First flight was great fun though.


Headed down to the oval early for some flying. Glorious day.

First flight ran quite well. Despite some new markings on the plane both birds came to harass it. Wind was slight. Even got some soaring in, to some level of effectiveness. Not sure on flight time, maybe 20 minutes before I wasn't happy with ability to climb under power and landed the plane.

Second flight much as the first. One of the magpies came in for an attack whilst I was trying to soar the plane of power. I turned the engine on a moment before impact - result plane and magpie both still flying, but one black and white feather fell to the ground.

Great landing first run. Good enough landing second run.

Model trim is still not correct and is veering to the left despite full right trim. Time for the pliers again.


Based on yesterday's experience; that winds seem to be gentler in the early morning (and in the evening according to a post I saw) I headed down to the oval around 7:30am this morning. I couldn't see any movement in the trees from my back window, normally a sign that winds (which are always higher at the oval as a large open space) are mild enough for flying.

When I reached the oval there was basically no wind, which gave me the opportunity to launch in whatever direction I wanted. This was convenient as the sun is in an awkward place in the mornings.

Launched for two flights. Attracted the magpies on both flights.

Flying was easy and flight times were okay despite the maggies. Am learning some tricks to keep them at bay that don't involve flying the aircraft under full throttle, like a maniac. However, the stillness of the morning also seemed to mean there was no thermal energy, and so soaring didn't really seem a prospect at all. As a result, the flights went for as long as the engine could safely keep the plane in the air.

Once the batteries were discharged to the point where the plane really couldn't climb anymore I brought it in to land. No wind meant land in any direction. This makes things quite a bit easier.

Finally, on the magpies, have a new theory. I think I am operating in disputed airspace. I had assumed previously that the two magpies were a pair, but now I think they are male rivals, and their boundary is somewhere on the oval because I usually only attract the attention of one bird at a time, and only in certain parts of the oval.

So, two takeoffs and two very satisfactory landings.


Been away a few weeks on honeymoon.

Woke early Saturday. Breeze has been blowing way too strong for flying this last week, but seemed still at the moment. Rushed into office and made some quick repairs to plane (fixing tail plane from last crash, and fixing the piece of wing that magpie almost removed.

Once this was done I pained some "eyes" onto the plane to try and discourage magpies.

Finally - set the plane controls for its most sensitive settings (The electrafun control surfaces have three holes to give you low, medium and high responsiveness to controls).

The breeze was just starting to come up when I got to the oval. The first flight was probably at the limit recommended by the plane's manufacturer. Had a good, but quite short flight. Unfortunately the magpies (there are a pair of them) meant I spent most of my time maneuvering the plane to avoid their attacks, rather than concentrating on some nice flying. As a result almost the entire flight was at full throttle, and was quite brief. Great landing into the wind.

Second flight, much the same as the first, although I was having trouble getting altitude. The breeze had come some more, and at one stage on full throttle the Electrafun was almost hovering stationery relative to the ground - I'm pretty sure that was beyond the wind limits the manual had in mind. When I brought the plane round to land I got another good line up, and made another good landing.

In both these flights I was aware how much more responsive to the controls the electrafun was, which was nice in that it did what I told it to, but there was the problem of stall turns - once or twice I almost put the plane into one of these.

I tried a third flight - this was the mistake. The wind was now way too high, and the battery was depleted. As soon as it was in the air I knew there would be trouble. The plane wasn't climbing well under power. I turned it out downwind, took it past me and turned upwind for the landing. However, I was turning a bit too hard and losing a bit too much altitude with each turn and the wind was so strong it was turning the aircraft away from the breeze. I did my best to keep the wings level, closed the throttle, a gust pushed the plane towards the ground, I pulled up, stalled and came down nose first into the ground, quite hard. Wings where level, so the wings and tail (the soft, easily busted foam bits) took no impact. But I was worried about radio gear. However, all seems fine. Quite tough these little beasties, particularly if you can keep the wings level on the landing.

So, I got yet another reminder about flying the plane in high winds. This time there are no repairs.

Day: 3 takeoffs, 2 good landings.


Stillish day. Headed down to local oval. Other half came with me.

First flight good launch into a near maximum flying strength wind for the Electrafun. Plane climbed quite rapidly to maybe fifty metres or so. Throttled back and soared on 30% power or so for a while. Attracted attention of my arch nemesis - the local magpie, but threw in a few power ups/power downs on engine and tight turns etc. He continue to harass aircraft but left buggered.

Had some difficulty getting plane to come down, even with no engine. Winds where high up there, and the plane was happily soaring. Brought plane down - took some effort. Landed into the wind in what I would call my best landing to date.

Second flight good launch into wind as above. Plane climbed high quickly. I killed power earlier this time, and the magpie came back. This time he really went to task and attacked the plane. At one point he pushed away upwards, and plane was diving downwards - I feared the worst, but the plane recovered. I tried to land more or less straight away after that. Was all good except the silly thing had too much lift and didn't want to come down. I set up for a landing but just ran out of runway, left powering up and pulling away too late, and ended up in a tree.

Inspection after the flight showed magpie has almost removed a 1/2 inch section of wing in his strike - think I need a new strategy for dealing with him. Some nice kids helped the embarrassed man by climbing the tree to retrieve the plane.

Simulator time, and "joy stick" has paid off. Felt comfortable in the air.


Tried to fly three times today.

First flight was enthusiam getting the better of patience. Wind was way to high, and plane not well trimmed - not my fault was fault in kit. Launch into the wind. Model veered sharply to left and crashed into trees.

Came back later that day when wind had died down.

Second flight - good launch into the wind. Winds still a bit gusty. Plane felt awkward in the air, and bad trim (see above) meant it kept on trying to turn left. Also, first fly by from neighbourhood magpie, who is taking an interest in this interloper. Made a few stuff ups on controls - trying to use airlerons control to bank plane (electrafun has no airlerons) etc, as well as closing throttle when I actually wanted plane to dive etc. In short, not enough familiarity with control layout.

Turned into wind and made good landing under power.

Third flight - good launch into wind. Flight was going okay, but I didn't climb for altitude when I should have (easy mistake for beginners - the plane is much better off 50-60 metres in the air than 20), so when the battery (which was used for flight one and hadn't been recharged) gave up reasonable suddenly, I didn't have the altitude to set up for a proper landing. Also fat fingered controls (through lack of familiarity) and as a result crashed moderately heavily, damaging foam tailplane.


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