Things to do on a Saturday Afternoon

I was  fortunate  that one of  my  Birthday  presents in this year  was a simple Radio Controlled Airplane. The C-17E Traveler from CPC Farnell is a real simple out of the box and into the air electric plane and for an afternoon of flying it had its ups and downs[1]. Virgin Plane

The kit arrives with some assembly required in terms of removing the covering from the double sided sticky tape and adding wings and struts and wheels. Batteries were not included so 8 times AA batteries later I was left to charge the plane for the first time, which took all of 10 mins. Then it was time to sit back and wait for good flying weather since these “toy” planes are light as possible and cant handle much beyond a whisper of a breeze. This is a 2 Channel RC plane so the controls covered the motor ( again a simple on / off affair ) and the Rudder ( a nice servo driven on/off affair ).  There is nothing complicated to this plane, it flies and then it glides and then it stalls… easy.

Come today and the weather was fine for flying, clear skies  and no breeze and an open field not more than a 5 minute walk away. So with plane freshly charged it was off to the airfield with the family for some afternoon fun and play in the park.

First flights were short as you gain experience of the flight style of the plane and I found the need to remove the wheels since it was proving a little nose heavy. A small amount of  trim is possible on the tail plane and rudder and after a little adjustment we were in the air for a few minutes of flying time. The limited elements of control surfaces didnt detract from the experience and the careful nudging of the rudder and the application of the motor helped maintain some excellent flight, glide and turning  times. Rudder broke

Unfortunately despite flying in a field of long grass and soft landings the plane was still prone to nose dives and wing racing which tended to leave the plane quickly slamming into the ground and as a result the foam body was very quickly deteriorating.  The final flights and landing dislodged the motor in the cowl and eventually snapped the propeller effectively ending the afternoon of fun flying.  However when it was flying it flew level and straight and maintained a stead climb when the motor ran but its glide was not so gentle.

CowlingIt was fun to fly though and will probably , if materials suffice, be revisioned to enable better flight and landing dynamics until the body can take it no more and the parts will be salvaged, some how.  For now thanks to Jason and Kim and Tracy for the gift, it proved a good day out.

Thanks for reading.

[1] Pun fully intended.

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3 Comments on “Things to do on a Saturday Afternoon

  1. I’ve been rather pre-occupied last month or I’d have asked you about the plane long ago. Guess it wasn’t the sort of smashing success you imagined. Too bad she couldn’t last a bit longer for you – but at least you had some fun that day. Here’s hoping your next flight is smooth and long.

  2. What if we dont have the equiptment or dont wanna make a plane. Got any other suggestions?

  3. Melissa,

    Thank you for the comment. I have noticed that this particular post gets an awful lot of searches by the weekend. I guess I should write a few more posts about Weekend Activities, especially those which keep young kids occupied and distracted.