Thursday, December 31, 2009

Back in the Air Soon

I think I explained in my last post that I moved to Florida a year ago. I haven't flown that whole time but I've got the bug again. I have three planes ready to fly, well, I had three and will have three ready again soon. I went to fly a Tower Hobbies .60 sized trainer that I just got together. There is absolutely nowhere to fly around me here in the Orlando area without having to go to a modelport. There is a really nice one called Tangerine field that I am going to join right after I renew my AMA membership but I want to fly in the meantime. It takes time to get set up with them to fly. I have to attend one club meeting and get some kind of ID card plus I have to be a member of the AMA. I miss the Utah Modelport. It was a great place to fly and you didn't have to be a member of the AMA. I bought a Utah state park pass for about $60 a year and flew to my heart's content!

Well, this morning, I took this .60 sized trainer out to a rural road and thought maybe I could get it in the air there but it was narrow with curbs on both sides of the road and six foot marker sticks on the side of the road. I thought landing might be a little tricky but I was up to the task. I throttled up and a crosswind caught the plane and I didn't have enough rudder to kick the tail around. I had entertained the notion of making that rudder bigger because it is small. Well, the main gear impacted with the curb and knocked them loose which is no big deal, then the airplane flipped over and as soon as everything started slowing down the airplane unfolded and came apart. It was like I was watching a cartoon! I know that many of these ARFs aren't glued very well and this was no exception. There were several joints that were held together only by the covering and boy does that stuff stick. I don't know what they used but it is NOT Monokote! I had also thought about doing surgery on this thing and beefing it up but I really didn't want to ruin the finish and to be very honest, I just wanted to get something in the air!

I brought the pieces home and I've fiberglassed the front of the fuselage where it broke in half. I will also beef up the main gear. I had converted this from a tricycle gear to a taildragger and plan on putting some floats on it as soon as I have them fiberglassed. If i can get a good day in tomorrow, I should be able to get the main gear reattached and then get the sides of the plane recovered. The rudder and elevator servos are still in place and I will have to replace the throttle servo which is no big deal.

If anybody knows of any good places to fly near Winter Garden, Florida, let me know! There are some nice golf courses in the area and the fairways would be PERFECT but I don't think anyone would let me fly off of them!

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