Sunday, June 04, 2006

I Looked Up Into The Sky This Morning . . . .

. . . . and there were no holes in it. So I went out and bored some myself!

Remember that video I told you about that was shot from the big Telemaster? Well I ran into Ralph and Dick at the park and found out that one of the videos that they shot that day is available here. In this one they have the camera mounted under the right wing looking out sideways, it's pretty darn cool to say the least. They were fooling around with the camera most of that morning and also shot some video with the camera pointing back at the tail, and some more with the camera strapped on top of the wing looking forward like I did, but I don't think Ralph has any of that posted yet. If I find out otherwise I'll let everyone know. This aerial photography thing is a blast. It's something I've wanted to try ever since my first flight and finally making it a reality has me pretty stoked. Now I just need a bigger plane, or a smaller camera.

I tried to get some more aerial video today, but either my battery charger shut off prematurely or I grabbed the wrong battery, because shortly after the trusty Sky Fly left the ground it started rapidly losing power. By the time I figured out that something was wrong and figured that I was going to land whether I liked it or not, the battery was almost dead and my plane and camera were coming down with all the aerodynamic fervor of a typical landscaping timber. Hobbico Sky Fly's by themselves land power off, they'll glide around all day if the conditions are right. Hobbico Sky Fly's with 5 1/2 ounces of camera strapped on top of them however, well let's just say they like "power on" landings, as in haulin' ass at about 3/4 throttle. What followed wasn't exactly pretty, but I managed to set her down without breaking anything. Actually I set her down about 3 times by the time the speed bled off enough for it to quit bouncing and it's a darn good thing I aborted the mission when I did. While attempting to taxi back to my truck the battery completely died and I had to walk out and get the plane, if it would have done that in the air things would've been a whole lot worse, as in busted camera, plane, and extremely pissed off pilot. I guess that'll teach me not to rush on the preflight inspection won't it?

I don't think this video is really worth editing, so I'll just toss it up here the way it is. Most of what you can hear is wind noise, but if you listen you can hear the motor getting slower . . . and slower . . . and yep . . . even slower yet 'till . . . bloop, throttle cut, which is when the speed control cuts the motor to save power to run the radio so the plane doesn't go out of control. I managed to get one more burst out of it which was the only thing that saved the whole mess, it wasn't going to land very nice at all with no power.

Video sent by raginredneck93

The famous Crashis Clay from Abell Hobby brought out this awesome Precision Aerobatics Extra 300. It's a real beauty both on the ground and in the air. With Clay on the sticks it's especially impressive in the air. I've got some video of him flying it, but I don't have time to edit it right now so I'll just show you this still pic for the time being. Be patient my friends, good things come to those who wait.
The full scale Extra 300, and it's derivatives, is a German made aircraft that's quite popular with airshow pilots around the world, and awesome to behold in action. If you're an airshow fan, you may have heard of Patty Wagstaff, she flies an Extra, and quite well too I might add. That and she isn't too hard to look at. ;)

Here's a pic of the coroplast disaster in the back of my truck. You may notice that I've added graphics. Remember those generic products that used to be in the grocery stores years ago with the plain, white packages and names in black letters? Well folks, this one is aptly titled "AIRPLANE", Hey, I thought it was funny.

Here's Dick's Corsair. He's the guy with the big Telemaster and numerous other examples of exquisite model aviation equipment. This one started out as a Great Planes 1/12 scale combat ARF (Almost Ready to Fly) which was intended for glow power, but Dick converted it to electric. To say this plane hauls ass would be a bit of an understatement, very impressive on a low altitude, high speed flyby to say the least, and when it climbs out and does a roll or two at the end of the field you'd almost swear that you're watching a clip from an old war movie. I've always had a soft spot for WWII warbirds, but I'm leaning a little more toward a twin engine P38, or maybe a British Spitfire with retractable landing gear. P51's are easy to find, but that's half the problem with them, the fact that they're SO easy to find. Seems that most everyone either has one, or had one at one time, and I'm more of a non conformist. I've never even considered a Corsair, but after seeing this one fly I may rethink that position. Now all we need is a scale aircraft carrier for him to land on. I'd be forced to add retracts though, belly landing is for ugly planes and planes made of styrofoam. I like landing gear.

Steve brought out his Multiplex Twinstar, which I've nicknamed the "Flying Beer Cooler". I'm not a huge fan of styrofoam airplanes, but this one flies awesome. To the best of my knowledge the little cheapo brushed motors that came with this plane only flew once, as Steve tossed them through the air into the shit can. This badboy is powered with two brushless motors, two speed controls, and two batteries. It has enough power to take off from grass, and you may notice that it's sans landing gear. Belly landing in the grass is pretty common with smaller planes since landing gear add weight and drag. Belly take offs are almost unheard of, but this plane will do it. I've got some video of this one in the air as well. Patience Grasshopper, patience.

This is Ralph's Sig Kadet. Talk about a sweet flyer. This is another one where you're best off to toss the factory motor and replace it with a brushless. From what I was told by another guy that has one, the factory brushed motor leaves a really cool smoke trail in the air when it burns up. The fact that he was pumping the juice from a 3 cell Li-po through it might have had some influence on its short lifespan however. I'm considering one of these some time in the future since I'd like to have something slow and stable for just buzzing around, and hauling video cameras! This plane is an ARF, but Kadets can be had in all sorts of levels of completion from plans to kits to completely ready to fly combos. I'm not anywhere near ready to buy another plane right now, but when I am it'll be a decision between this one and a Mini Telemaster.
Planes like this aren't really a model of any particular full scale aircraft, but they loosely resemble various high wing planes such as Piper Cubs or one of the many Cessna products. This one bears a striking resemblance to a Super Cub or a Taylorcraft.

Here's another member of Dick's flying circus, a De Havilland Chipmunk. I'm not sure who the manufacturer of this particular model is, but I can say that it flies awesome. Pretty much anything that you see Dick flying flies awesome, I think the guy could fly a slab of concrete to be honest.
Like many airshow favorites, the full scale Chipmunk started life as a British and Canadian military trainer after WWII, and later fell into favor with stunt pilots after surplus and retired models became available. Any prop driven airplane that was designed to prepare RAF and CAF airmen to fly the later model Griffon powered Spitfires and the temperamental early jet fighters is bound to have some pretty good aerobatic capabilities, and this little De Havilland was no exception.

Although I urged, begged and even pleaded, the mighty Crashis Clay wouldn't pull this bad boy out of the truck. Out at the Mustangs field is where this one aviates, it's not exactly what you'd call a "park flyer". We're trying not to peave the neighbors too bad and get booted from the park. I imagine that the 100 cc twin in this bad boy makes a little racket. That's right, I said 100 cc, I've had motorcyles with smaller engines than this plane. That's a full size, long box pickup that it's in, as in 8 foot box, yep, it's big. The wings are in the red bag laying next to it.

This is a model of an airplane called a YAK, which if I'm not mistaken was originally of Yugoslavian manufacture. Full scale YAKs were used by the Russian Military for years as a basic trainer, and their instrument panels and controls are layed out very similar to a Russian fighter jet, making the transition from the YAK to a MIG or a Sukhoi easier. These days a lot of them can be found performing in airshows around the world. All of the model YAKs I've seen do a very good job of emulating their full scale prototypes. Stable, maneuverable, powerful, and capable of any trick in the book is the norm for YAKs in any size.

Correction: This plane is actually a Sukhoi, not a YAK as I originally thought. The two are very similar in appearance and both were used as Russian military trainers. The tall bubble canopy and balance tabs on the rudder and elevator should have been a dead giveaway, but I guess I was sleeping at the switch.

Here's Eric's Clipped Wing Piper Cub peeking out from under his van. This is a fun little plane and Eric has proven it's durability time and time again. This one even got to go for a swim one time when Eric decided to try float flying. Some of the electronics didn't survive, but the trusty Cub lives on.
Cubs are a popular private plane, and there's probably more of them still flying than just about anything. A specimen or two of the trademark yellow J3 as well as the striped Super Cub can be found at just about any airfield in the country. This one is a model of the "clipped wing" variety, which was a modification performed on a few full scale Cubs that involved shortening and strengthening the wings. This made the planes capable of various aerobatic maneuvers, a feat that isn't advised in a factory model.

Here's another of Eric's toys, a Miss Hyperion flying boat, made by the same manufacturer as my CAP232. That's right, it looks like a boat, but it flies. It can take off from water, grass, snow, you name it. Eric says it's a handfull, but you'd never know it to watch it with him on the sticks, it looks like it flies great except for being a little hard to see. Since it doesn't have wings, it's a little hard to tell which way it's pointing in the air.
This one doesn't have a full scale counterpart, however I have seen video of a few Unlimited Hydroplanes that attempted to fly, with disastrous results of course.

Anyway, there's a rundown of how I spent my morning. Tonight I'll be checking out the Seether concert at the 12th Planet so if you see me tomorrow, be sure to talk really loud. Later on Amigos.


The Dixie Drifter said...

Hey Justin

Another great movie, I loved the colors in the sky...just great keep the movies coming and make sure youget setup to do some with the four wheeler.

Anonymous said...

Here is a link to your landing this morning. I will remove it from putfile mid week. Please copy it and edit as you see fit.


Justin said...

Thanks Drifter, I'm sure everyone's seen about as much of the Amend Park area as they care to, I'm gonna try one more time to get some pics from a bit higher altitude but then I intend on trying some other areas. There's a school and another large field near my house that I fly from sometimes as well as a few other places I wouldn't mind getting some aerial video of, we'll see what happens.

There's still a fair bit of snow in the high country from what I hear, but the 4 wheelers are definitely on the agenda within the next few weeks. Hopefully before then I'll figure out a mount for my camera, I'm sure it won't take much to strap it on someplace.

Howdy Ralph! I checked out that link but it wasn't me, that was Crashis Clay with the Extra 300. I really jumped the shark on that one, I knew that you didn't have the camera out for my two good landings that morning, I was afraid that you'd captured one of my more feeble attempts. ;)