Thursday, February 12, 2009

What I've Been Working On Lately

Been busy in the Big J Aviation Production Facility lately. I barely got to fly helis at all last summer. Hoping to remedy that this year. I have to get back to work now. 2 helis are done, 2 more to go. Peace.

The old reliable T-Rex 450, now new and improved with a shiny V2 carbon fiber frame. Just waiting on the speed control and it's ready to fly. Posing next to it is its new little brother, the recently released T-Rex 250. It's all done and ready to test fly this weekend if the weather holds.

Now it's time to start on the Compass Knight 50 and the Walkera 52.


Dawn said...

You are still out their fling around somewhere in the wilds so bigger is better???? or you don't know yet.....

Justin said...

If you're talking about the helicopters, bigger isn't necessarily better, but that depends on one's definition of "better". "Better" is a word I tend to try to avoid as in most cases, there is no such thing. What's better for one person, or for one situation, isn't necessarily better for another. Saying that something is "better" and leaving it at that is generally a tactic of small children and the simple minded. I like to think that I belong to neither of these groups. ;)

With that being said, larger aircraft are inherently more stable, be they models or full scale. It's a simple product of physics, and anyone who's ever boarded a connecting flight on a small, regional air carrier after just stepping off of a 737 can attest to it. If stability is the only quality you're looking for, then I guess one could say that bigger is better. Generally however, there are compromises to be made. For example, all of the stability in the world seems far less significant if a person has no way to store or haul a model aircraft due to the fact that it won't fit in their car, or through the door of their house. That large of a model aircraft could quite possibly fly rather well . . . If you could manage to get it to the flying field. Likewise, a CRJ 700 is cheaper to operate and can take off and land on much shorter runways than the aforementioned Boeing 737, it just doesn't ride quite as nice.

On the other hand, the tinier the model, the more likely one will be able to toss it in the back seat and go fly on a moments notice, possibly even in their yard which is the case with the new T-Rex 250. Its diminutive size doesn't lend itself to a ton of stability, but any RC heli pilot with a moderate amount of experience can likely handle it in calm weather, and it doesn't take a large amount of acreage to be able to have fun with it. Add to that the "WOW" factor of actually being able to fly a full function, 3D aerobatic, hobby class RC helicopter of such a minuscule size, and it's just an all around cool heli. 5 years ago it would've been pretty much impossible to get a heli this size to fly at all, let alone do 3D with it. There may have been one off models that people fabricated themselves, but definitely nothing like it on the commercial market.

The Knight 50 on the other hand can be flown far more easily due to the stability imparted by its sheer size and mass, but it probably shouldn't be flown in any manner other than possibly a hover without a LARGE amount of space. A 50 heli can easily kill someone if they get hit, and can do some serious damage to cars or buildings as well. Best to make sure there's plenty of room around it before spooling up the rotor.

It's also far more difficult to transport, set up, clean up, and maintain. This is a class of model that has been popular for many years however, and is more of what people think of when they think of RC helicopters. It's large enough to see and fly relatively easily, not so large as to need a dedicated trailer to transport it, but not something a person would want to fly in their back yard unless they have a REALLY big back yard.

The T-Rex 450 is the best mix that I've found, but once again it's size can be a limitation, or a benefit, depending on the circumstances. As with all aircraft, it can be grounded by high winds. It can handle more wind than the 250, but not nearly as much as the Knight. Once again however, it requires a much more steady hand to fly than its larger counterparts. It can be flown in a smaller space so long as the pilot can handle it well enough, and isn't quite as likely to end up decapitating your children and chewing a hole in your living room floor if you hit the wall of your house with it. Not to say that it isn't dangerous in the hands of someone with a total disregard for safety, but if I were to have my choice, I'd much rather get hit by a T-Rex 450 than a 50 glow heli.

So which one is better? None, they're all great, and each has its own purpose. Sort of like asking which is better, a .22 or a .300 magnum. Well now that would depend of whether you were hunting elk, or bunny rabbits now wouldn't it? ;)

Anonymous said...

Justin I see you still have the old blog a going and still flying those little machines, sure would like to see a video every now and then.

Justin said...

I wouldn't exactly say that the old blog is "going". It moves a little from time to time, and then stalls for months on end, LOL.

You're not the only one that would like to see videos, I would too. Now if I just had time to make some, and the damn weather wasn't so cold. We'll see what happens this summer. ;)

Anonymous said...

Now if you decide to make some here is a real nice site to post them

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