Monday, September 19, 2011

Till Dusk Do We Part

Late in the day, around 6:00 p.m. I decided I would head out for a couple of quick flights. I charged up the batteries (my downfall), grabbed Daisy (the dog), and away we went. It was a perfect newbie night for flying, not even a hint of a breeze. There was one small problem, After waiting for the batteries to charge, it was getting a bit late. Yeah, I know I shouldn't fly after dark, but really, it wasn't dark yet, just close. I headed over to the state fair grounds to take flight. Daisy was to be my co-pilot. Unfortunately the on duty officer patrolling the grounds informed me that she would not make a good co-pilot if she were going to be on a leash, and according to him, she was going to be on a leash, sorry Daisy. Funny thing is, Daisy and I have spent many hours patrolling the grounds without said leash. Guess those days are over. Alright back to flying, after my talk with the officer, I got the bird ready and away I went. The light was vanishing more rapidly than I had expected and desired. I realized that as soon as the bird was visible above the tree tops. That was the point it became a nice silhouette against the night sky. Unfortunately, the lack of ambient light made it very difficult to determine orientation. I hovered for a bit, and as I tend to do, I slowly let the heli slip further and further away. Normally this isn't a problem, I slowly reverse direction and bring it back. The problem tonight was, since I can't fly nose in, I need to coax it backwards towards me. Again, normally not a problem, but since my ability to determine orientation was limited, I was having a hard time keeping it tail towards me. I was just about back when I, or should I say, the heli decided it was time to attempt nose in flight. A little swerve right, then left, then down, almost straight down that is.

In conclusion, tt wasn't a long flight, probably about 2 to 3 minutes. Compared to my early days, I guess that is pretty good. The results, well, see for your self.

Looks like I have a tail rotor and main blade assembly to repair. I think I should be able to repair everything without waiting for new parts, although, new parts are definitely in my future.


Sunday, August 21, 2011

If it ain't broke, I haven't been flying it

A few weeks ago the parts to rebuild my heli arrived so yesterday I rebuilt it to full functionality. Shortly after I took it out for a test flight in the back yard. It wasn't but two flights and I had yet again rendered it inoperable. It was very discouraging to believe I had lost all I knew about flying. At least there wasn't much to lose, and luckily, I had a spare to replace the broken part. Deciding it was not the day, I packed it up and figured I would get some simulation time in before I attempted to try it again. Well, today came, and along comes Mondo, asking if I want to go out and fly today. The first discouraging thought is to reply with a sound "NO". Instead, I said "sure. We ventured out to a larger field, more suitable than my back yard, and proceeded to fly.

First was my Sky Fly, a plane that I have had for many years, but have never been able to master. Today was the day. Mondo took the controls first, flew it around a bit and filled me in on the finer parts of flying planes, along with characteristics he was noticing about the Sky Fly. If you haven't figured it out by now, Mondo has the ability to fly R.C. planes and helis, making his input invaluable to me. In mid flight he gave me the controls and there I was. Finally flying that damn plane that had been besting me for so long. After I got it going, it really wasn't that difficult, even with the slight breeze.

Next was my heli. I took it out and again Mondo took the controls. It seemed to fly, well, as good as a $100.00 heli can fly. I then took the controls and flew it around a bit. It was all starting to come back to me pretty quick now. I was doing side in hovers and a little forward flight with out much trouble at all. Now it is time to land, well, lets just stick with what went well. At least the heli was still operational after the crash landing. I guess I need a little bit of work on those yet.

After that, Mondo took out his helis. Flew around doing barrel rolls, inverted hovers, tick tocks, what not. As rusty as he claims to be, Mondo is a pretty good heli pilot.

O.K. this blog isn't about Mondos flying, so back to me. The Sky Flys batteries have charged back up so it is time for Flight number 2. This time I started with the controls while Mondo launched it. Hang on if you like right turns. The Sky Fly is airborne and hanging right turns the whole way, even though I had rudder jammed full left, no good, still flying right, right, and right. About 7 or 8 circles later I finally land it, using the term "land" loosely once again. We walk over to get it, make a slight rudder adjustment and again launch it. This time it fly's without any problem. No mention of the "landing" required.

The heli battery all charged up and we are ready for a final flight of the day. Everything is looking good, the heli is running smooth. A few side in hovers, a few forward flights and here comes the final run. Did you see that turn? Sweet huh? Hold on, the turn was great, but it looks to be losing altitude. No worries, crank up the throttle and pull back on the pitch. There we go, stopped from certain nose dive disaster, only to be looking straight up and slightly more than a foot above the ground. You guessed it, this was the final "landing" of the day. Unfortunately, it came a little sooner than planned and will require a little fixing before the next flight.

All in all, a good day of flying.



Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Thoughts of flight

Chopper Parts are here
A time to fly will arise
Jim will fly again

Monday, April 13, 2009

Finally, a smooth hover

This weekend had multiple opportunities to get the bird out. Unfortunately, I only took advantage of one of them. Seems I am a little rusty at hovering, so I am mainly working on getting that going again. I noticed that the control seemed to lack after a few minutes, I think I need new batteries. I have also made another decision, the little copter is fun, but I think it is time to migrate up to a larger model. Am I ready for the extra control? No, but here is my reasoning. First; my heli is so light, that it gets thrown around at the smallest of breeze. Second; The fixed pitch is driving me nutz. It really limits the altitude control. You have to wait for the head to spin down before you start to lose altitude. Third; I just want to, and that in its own is good enough for me. I have plenty of other toys and bills to take care of, but I think I will try to up the priority level of this one.

O.K. enough heli talk, have stuff to do.



Tuesday, April 7, 2009

First a hop, then a skip, then...

...Floating through the air with the, well, wobbly wings and rough landings to please. But it sure felt good.

The bird is air worthy again, and up she was. The first flight since forever. I stopped by Hub hobby on a whim a few weeks ago, not expecting much, but finding a wonderful surprise, they had my heli chassis. I didn't hesitate, I grabbed it and ran. Yes, I could of ordered it months ago, but I didn't, so there.

I felt a little rusty, but it came back quick. I figured I would keep it simple on my first flight in forever so I just hovered a little bit. Besides, since I changed out the main chassis I need to shake out the loose parts. Turned out to be the landing gear. So eventually it was crash as usual.

Keep tuned, I will be updating with future flights.

Ready to resume the crash training,


Monday, April 6, 2009


The bird is alive
Broken parts replaced
direct tail drive installed
all motion tested
awaiting calm day
another broken bird awaits

Monday, October 6, 2008

Bad Jim

Jim is sad he has not been flying, and therefore blogging has come to a halt. Opportunity knocked the other day, but timing declined.

Bad Jim, Bad.