Sunday, August 13, 2006

Another Week Shot To Hell

Just in case the posting here gets a wee bit more sporadic than it already has been, don't start thinking that I'm too stuck up to share a few good times with my good friends in the blogosphere. The reason I'm not spending quite as much time goofing around with the computer lately is because I'm luckily spending a wee bit more time making some cash to pay the bills. Due to a few changes in circumstances at work, things have picked up a bit and therefore I'll be spending a little more quality time lining my badly neglected pockets instead of having fun and writing about it. I like taking it easy just as much as the next guy but hey, we all gotta eat right?

I knew you'd understand.

When I got home from work yesterday I headed directly to Amend Park to check out the aviation action. John from Abell Hobby just finished putting together the first E-Flite Super Airliner in town, and he'd promised everyone that stopped into the shop last week that he'd be test flying it on Saturday morning. This is a cool plane, or at least I think it's a cool plane, John didn't show up much to the dismay of the ten or so guys that were there waiting for him all morning. Electric power, twin "jet" engines, scale looking landing gear with functional spring strut suspension, and loads of power to spare from what I hear that allows it to do things that it's full scale prototype could only dream of.

Ever seen a jet airliner doing loops and rolls?

Neither have I, like I said, John didn't show up. Maybe he was chicken?

I didn't make it to the field this morning since I was dead dog tired and slept in. That and I STILL don't have the CAP fixed so there really wasn't much point in going anyway, except for the fact that I likely missed the first flight of the Super Airliner. If John didn't show up this morning he'd best be ready to fly the thing in the Abell Hobby parking lot tomorrow or face being tarred and feathered by an angry mob of disapointed would be spectators. If I get a chance before he hangs it up in the shop with a for sale sign on it, I'll get some pics and maybe some video of it flying to share.

Or you could all just take up a collection and buy it for me, then I could see it fly any time I wanted!

Since John stood us up yesterday, the boy and I decided to venture out to the Flying Mustangs field and watch Crashis Clay fly his utterly enormous Extra 330. 105 cc twin cylinder engines on model airplanes tend to tickle my fancy a bit. This bad boy weighs in at almost 30 pounds, and puts on quite an impressive show with Clay bending the sticks. Just the sound of that all business power plant in the cowl is enough to make the trip out to the field worthwhile. Besides being a damn impressive RC pilot, Clay's quite the metal fabricator as well. Besides all of the products that Abell Hobby manufactures, he also makes a lot of one off stuff for his own planes including the exhaust system for this Extra. The stacato reverberations it emits are enough to make this gearhead get goosebumps.

I wants me one I do.

Besides watching Clay pull off some impressive aerobatics with the Extra in spite of a rather nasty breeze that kicked up, we helped Tracy test fire the engine on the giant Sig Rascal that he just bought. He was short one receiver crystal and his radio isn't programmed for it yet so he was regretfully unable to leave the ground with the big blue and white bird, but just seeing it run made him quite happy for now. I have to say I was impressed as well. I've flown glow powered planes with up to five foot wingspans weighing in at about 5 pounds, but I've yet to venture into the gasoline fueled 20 pound+ monsters that these guys were playing with yesterday. If you'd like to see an impressive video of Tracy's Rascal in the air, you can find one here. This was filmed a while back when John still owned it, but it is the same plane. Tracy's still busy picking off the glue that they used to attach all of that light wire, but it's a really cool video, and a really cool plane.

Like I said before, Tracy couldn't fly the Rascal yet, but Clay did brave the wind to put on quite an airshow. We showed up just a few minutes too late to witness another guy (I didn't catch his name unfortunately nor did I have the presence of mind to snap a pic of his plane) flying his recently completed electric powered pylon racer.

Picture a plane that's about a foot and a half long, with about a two foot wingspan, that flies over 150 MPH! That's actual MPH, not scale. Nobody had a radar gun handy but Dick was present for the show and he estimated that it was humming along in the ballpark of 170, and Dick knows what he's talking about. I've "flown" a similar plane on a computer simulator and let me tell you, it's a handful.

I was really bummed that I missed the flight, but with a little luck I'll get another chance. I wouldn't hold my breath for any video though if I were you. I'll try my best if I get the opportunity, but the odds of being able to actually see anything are slim to none. This is a really small plane, and it goes really damn fast. The wing loading on this plane is pretty high in a quest for less drag, so there isn't even really a way to slow it down for pictures. Motocalc, which is a computer program that we use to estimate the theoretical performance of various plane and power combinations, estimates the stall speed at about 28 MPH, so flying it anywhere under about 35 MPH anywhere near the ground is asking for trouble. Flying this plane anywhere near the ground period is asking for trouble. Most planes this small can barely hit 35 MPH wide open, if they can even get going that fast at all, and here this thing is about ready to fall out of the sky at that speed. Once again, I'm bummed that I didn't get to see it in action.

At any rate, here's some of the video that I did shoot yesterday. Sorry I didn't get too involved on the editing on this one, but time is at a bit more of a premium now that I'm working a bit more steady. Every time I put together one of these videos, I learn a few new tricks however, so just think of these last few as experiments. I elected not to add a lengthy credits section at the end of this one either, so just in case anyone is wondering my son, Nic is running the camera on all of the scenes in which my ugly mug appears, and the song I tossed in for effect is by Evanescence. Speaking of which, my Patron Blog Babe and company have a new album coming out October 3rd, so be sure to check it out. You can bet that I will.

Now I'm off to finish fixing the CAP so that I can hopefully do a little aviating in the morning or possibly even this evening if the prevailing zephyrs cooperate. Enjoy the video.

Watching The Big Boys Fly
Video sent by raginredneck93


Mahndisa S. Rigmaiden said...

08 13 06

Aside from the other tidbits you have given, I am happy that your work situation has picked up. Since my internship ended, I gotta get a JOB as well! I hope you have a nice weekend and stay busy for a while. Sometimes, we need those intense busy periods followed by a lull for sanity's sake:)

Justin said...

Thanks for stopping by Disa. I followed up about a 10 year intense busy period with, so far, about a two year lull. I've had about all the lulling I can afford! In my line of work though, the only defense against a constant ebb and flow of employment is time served with a company. I'm almost up to a full year with my current employer, and if things keep going the way they have been lately I might be able to stick around long enough to reap the rewards of a little seniority. At any rate, I'll be raking in the dough for about the next month, followed by a bit of a slowdown, then back to assholes and elbows as soon as the snow starts flying. It's literally feast or famine in this business. If all goes as planned, I might even have a little money saved up by spring so that I can actually enjoy next summer, instead of sitting around thinking about all the things I could be doing if I had some cash.

I certainly hope your employment adventures work out better than mine have in the last couple years, for sanity's sake. ;)

Cricket said...

Glad to hear that you're FINALLY getting some runs!! Have to say though, that I do miss the regular posts...airplanes and all :o) Not that I don't get plenty of that here at home......
PS The CD ROCKS!! Thanks!

The Dixie Drifter said...

Hey Justin

Did not forgot about stopping off and checking out the videos, great job with the bike and plane, I will be putting up a new one or two this weekend we are heading up to Deception Pass and on over to Whidbey Island for the day...catch you later.

Justin said...

Let me see, who could Cricket possibly be? Hmmmmmmmmmm . . . . Nope, I'm stumped. LOL. Glad you like the CD, there's plenty more where that came from if you're interested. Your old man says your rendition of Bill Gate's scourge on the world isn't feeling too healthy these days. Maybe I'll have to pop over and fix your 'puter and show you some places where you can get all the tunes you want yourself . . . . for free . . . . . . perfectly legal of course. ;)

Howdy Drifter, I was starting to wonder about you. Maybe that's why they call you the Drifter eh? Glad to hear that you liked the videos, and I'll be sure to check out your new ones as soon as I get a chance. Always good to hear from you.

cricket said...

You may have to shed some light on the technological quagmire!!! What a pain..I'm still working on the CD for I don't have a burner, it'll be a bit yet. Working on my Mom's next week. Enjoy the holiday and celebrate for us while you're at it!!

Justin said...

If you let your old man come out and play with the boys at the park in the morning cricket, I'll likely be there and can therefore work with him toward some semblance of a solution to all or at least some of that which ails your electron munching info mill. I promise to have him home before his curfew, whaddya say?

Oh yeah, and tell him to bring something to FLY this time, I'm about to start charging admission for spectators. ;)