PDA

View Full Version : fall/winter flying


adhoc
11-09-2006, 09:17 PM
This morning I flew for the first time in a while. Since fall hit it has just been too rainy and windy to fly much, and even when conditions are "ok" (i.e. marginal), it is often cold and/or dark, and can seem more like work than play to get everything together and fly... Even when the wind is low, it is much more gusty than usual... So I think I'm just in for a long period of only flying occasionally, in the little windows of opportunity that pop up between day after day of crappy weather... So far it is running about every week and a half. Not enough!

And my flying now seems to be much more just getting a fix than joyfully pursuing a hobby. A month or so ago I was focused on pushing myself ("crazy Larry") and growing my flying skills. Now I just putz around the field a few times, more in defiance of the elements than anything else. I rarely even fly out a whole battery pack...

Even though Kosh has warned me that this is "building season," I'm not inclined to do much building since I'd probably have to wait a week or more to maiden a new plane. The whole feeling is just wrong to me. I want to hunker down, eat pumpkin pie and xmas cookies, watch TV, etc. And of course there's all the holiday events and activities, etc. Too many distractions... (not to mention demands on the budget... gifts, etc.)

But the RC bug has bitten, and I can't quite let go of the need to toss a plane up. That's why I still check the skies all the time, and when a chance to fly comes around, sometimes I still take it... I can't wait until next spring, and especially next summer, and I know all the flying I'll do will be that much sweeter as I remember the long, cold, dark, wet months that I was stuck inside... :)

Kosh
11-09-2006, 10:16 PM
Yesterday was my first time up in almost 2 weeks so I know how you feel. I just fly when the weather lets me but with all the rain its not very often.
Building season doesn't mean spending lots of money as I have enough crashed plane parts from the summer to be creative when the mood hits.
A large sheet of Dupron foam is only $10 at most hobby stores and there are thousands of foamy plans out to look over. :)

I would bet that if you hunted around your area there is someplace you can fly your SS indoors even. There must be a warehouse thats empty or close to it and if you contact the owners and ask permission to fly there.
Make sure you tell them its only a 10 ounce plane, flies slow and can cause no damage. In January we normally get some clear but cold days with very little wind. The denser air gives the planes and motors a different feel thats worth trying. Cold fingers are the major drawback but a transmitter glove or the air activated heat packs help here. I fly for 5 or 6 minutes then get back in the car and warm up and do it again.:D

Ribcracker
11-10-2006, 03:23 AM
Andy,
I just love your stuff. Your moods are precisely conveyed and evocative.
Michigan Winters are hard. But the bug-bite requires that I equip my favorites with home-made skis and face the elements. If the snow is too deep for that, I just plow on in. It's like catching the plane in a feather bed. Balsa gets soggy so I mostly use the foamies for that.
You might consider a first time kit build for the winter. For a simple build, I'd like to suggest the Skimmer 400 from Hobby Lobby. $27! You'll have to buy some covering, though. Oh, and then an iron and...well, a bunch of other stuff too. But...it sure will be gratifying when you bring it out into the sun come spring. And the dreary winter won't have been so long.
Don't let the fire go out, Andy.
Peace,
Rib

firemanbill
11-10-2006, 04:19 AM
I feel for you guys... Our forecast for tomorrow...

"Mostly sunny, with a high near 72. North wind around 6 mph becoming southeast."

I'm glad I'm off tomorrow!:D

We'll get our share of cold weather in Jan and Feb but I can still manage to get some flying in.

My only beef with the winter is it getting dark so early. By the time I get home from work it is already getting dark so weekdays are pretty much out.:(

Grasshopper
11-10-2006, 05:31 AM
It was sunny and 85 yesterday and today with 5 mph winds. I actually took off work about an hour early today and ran three packs through the P-47. Man I love this stuff! I think I may have punched a hole in a cloud because now it's windy and supposed to rain tomorrow.

Tom

adhoc
11-10-2006, 05:52 AM
Oh, sure guys, just rub it in... :p

Forecast for Tacoma for the next ten days (as far as weather.com goes out) is Rain or Showers... :mad: No doubt to be followed by... Rain or Showers... and then we'll get... Rain or Showers... :mad: (I think I once heard someone tell me we have two seasons out here: Summer, and Rainy)

I guess I could hook up a simulator and work on my "aerobatics"... wimp that I am, I haven't even flown inverted yet... :rolleyes:

Those of you who can, fly one for me (us)... ;)

adhoc
11-10-2006, 06:01 AM
Andy,
I just love your stuff. Your moods are precisely conveyed and evocative.
Michigan Winters are hard. But the bug-bite requires that I equip my favorites with home-made skis and face the elements. If the snow is too deep for that, I just plow on in. It's like catching the plane in a feather bed. Balsa gets soggy so I mostly use the foamies for that.
You might consider a first time kit build for the winter. For a simple build, I'd like to suggest the Skimmer 400 from Hobby Lobby. $27! You'll have to buy some covering, though. Oh, and then an iron and...well, a bunch of other stuff too. But...it sure will be gratifying when you bring it out into the sun come spring. And the dreary winter won't have been so long.
Don't let the fire go out, Andy.
Peace,
RibSomehow I missed your post at first, Rib. Thanks for the ideas. You're right, this would be a good time to do a balsa kit; it would force me to take my time and do it right. I'll look into that Skimmer.

So how's the wind in Mich? I would think up there next to Canada and Great Lakes and such, that you might get blown around a bit...

Not to worry, the flying bug has infected me to the core -- I can't imagine ever going long without flying something... (Worked the same way with my previous passion, music... last year I gave myself permission to "quit" it and take up RC, but I'm still drawn back to my synth every now and then, and enjoy it even more since I don't feel pressure to work at it...)

Thanks again Rib!

adhoc
11-10-2006, 06:08 AM
I would bet that if you hunted around your area there is someplace you can fly your SS indoors even. There must be a warehouse thats empty or close to it and if you contact the owners and ask permission to fly there.
Make sure you tell them its only a 10 ounce plane, flies slow and can cause no damage.I'll look into that, although I did a bit back in the early Spring when I started with a Blade CX. Hey, maybe I look into the Tacoma Dome! That would be pretty cool...
In January we normally get some clear but cold days with very little wind. The denser air gives the planes and motors a different feel thats worth trying. Cold fingers are the major drawback but a transmitter glove or the air activated heat packs help here. I fly for 5 or 6 minutes then get back in the car and warm up and do it again.:DYeah, I can handle cold. But I'm still a "wind wimp". Gotta get past my Slow Stick addiction, for starters... Time to get a wing! :)

NUTS
11-10-2006, 09:25 PM
Man! Today is just perfect, practicaly no wind, 79 degrees and a blue bird sky. Too bad I'm stuck in the office doing P&L spreadsheets. You bet well be out tomorrow flying. :D

Regards,
Nuts

CGFlyer
11-10-2006, 09:44 PM
I live in Nashville, but will be in Memphis tonight. The girlfriend and her parents live next to these HUGE and WIDE open soybean fields that have been plowed down, its perfect, thousand of feet wide in each direction, they dont care if I fly there and the weather tomorrow in the morning is supposed to be perfect, 65 and slight overcast, cant ask for more!

Well except the Hangar 9 F4U I want.... ;)

firemanbill
11-10-2006, 09:52 PM
I jinxed myself... I bragged about the weather and promptly smacked my Mustang against that nice warm sunbaked field!

oh well... It was still a nice day!:D

And I didn't have to work!;) :p

adhoc
11-13-2006, 06:14 PM
So this last weekend I bit the bullet and set up a flight sim. I wanted to try FMS, and this required setting up a Windows PC, as all my other 'puters are Macs. Ugh, I'd forgotten how much of a pain setting up Windows is. But got it going, installed FMS 7 Beta, dug out my Simblaster interface box, plugged in my DX6, and started flying (with the sound of heavy rain continuing outside!)...

FMS is pretty good, overall. I had to remap the channels and calibrate, and it took me a few times to realize that once I exited FMS properly (instead of by fatal error), it saved these controller settings. It is nice to fly with my DX6, and be able to use dual rates and expo.

After a while I uninstalled 7 Beta and installed 8.5 Alpha, because I needed it for some of the models (Slow Stick, A-10, etc.), and it has wind control, which I think is an important feature, especially for beginners...

I downloaded the Multiplex models and they are pretty accurate to my real planes. Not exactly the same, but close enough. I can't speak to whether the other models are accurate, but they're fun to try out. If the real Stryker, GWS Formosa and A-10 fly like the FMS models, I'll definitely be interested in getting them someday...

I tried inverted, and it confirmed that I was NOT ready to try it with the real thing. It is going to take some practice to learn to reverse pitch control but not bank. I practiced rolls and other stuff, and I can see that practicing on FMS could really pay off in the long run. I'm learning the muscle memory for various moves, and gaining some confidence at the same time...

Here's the coolest part of my weekend on the sim. I'm flying around and my kids are interested. So first I hand the DX6 to my 6 year old son, set up the Easy Star, and gently couch him, and after about 10 or 15 minutes he's flying around without crashing at all. He loves to get up high and then pull off the power and glide, which I love to do with the real thing. Then I let my 4 year old daughter try, and she does fairly well; I'm sure she'll come along...

I've had the vague idea that someday my kids might get interested in RC and try it, but with the sim they can start learning the fundamentals at an early age! To them it is like a video game, except that they've seen dad flying the real things, so they understand the connection to the real world... :)

adhoc
11-16-2006, 05:43 PM
I snuck in a quick flight this morning, before work, while the God of Rain was sleeping in, and the God of Wind was still working on his first cup of coffee... ;)

Tossed up the Easy Star, first time in a while, and didn't check CG. Ooops, it's all over the sky! Some of that is wind, which has picked up to a gusty 5+ mph, but some is that it was tail heavy. Some lead weights in the nose sorted that out, and I cruised around for about 15 minutes. It was in the high 30s, so I had on a parka, watch cap, and light gloves.

It was a fix, just enough, but nothing like the boundless joy of flying in the spring and summer... I'll be counting the weeks...

Also, this little flight was a nice wake up after all my sim flying. Sim flying is NOT like reality!! I'm coming around to the view that sim time is good for beginners to learn basics like orientation, and maybe intermediate to learn the moves for various aerobatics, but that too much sim time could lead to bad habits and nasty surprises in the Real World... :eek:

socal swimmer
11-19-2006, 03:27 AM
i have to say the weather is mocking me. im bored of my slow stick now, and my wing is tons of fun, with a prefect cliff five minutes from my house. only trouble is, highest wind my last 2 chances to fly has been 6 mph and my wing has no motor.... ughh.

Grasshopper
11-19-2006, 03:42 AM
OK, cold weather sucks! I went out this morning to get some aerial photos of our local football stadium in the morning light. It was 29 degrees and 10 mile an hour winds. The Magpie did great, but my poor fingers were frozen. I would wait till spring to take them but they are tearing it down starting the next couple of weeks to build a new stadium and I want to document the demolition and rebuilding.

Kosh
11-19-2006, 04:39 AM
I got out today for some crashing, Brought 6 planes to Renton and left with only 2 in flyable condition. :o
Lost a push on 3x3 prop on a 400 inrunner that just seemed to explode inflight sending shrapnel all over the plane. Had 1 eject a battery and it crashed into the windshield of the car next to next to me. Thankfully it didn't hurt the car but a 3 cell is questionable and a Little Screamer motor is toast.
Next we have a simple pilot error that sent a delta down instead of up inverted resulting in broken prop. (That will teach me to chat it up while inverted 5 feet high).
And last but not least we have a midair collision that knocks both tails off my F27. I did get the plane back down but it was a handful. Still had fun but it was just one of those days I guess. :rolleyes:

Grasshopper
11-19-2006, 04:47 AM
What a day! I don't think I would handle that as well as you Kosh. I think I would be crying like a baby after cracking up that many. Glad to hear the car wasn't damaged, or worse, no one got hurt. You never know when one of these things is going to get a mind of its own.

rcommo
11-19-2006, 05:06 AM
Like Kosh and adhoc, I'm another western Washingtonian. It's interesting to look in the paper at the 5 day forecast and see how creative it gets trying to say "rain" that many times and not repeat the word or any of the synonyms!!

It was dry today, but with a radio club breakfast in the morning and two concerts to sing in the afternoon I never had a chance to get out and try my newly modified EasyStar (bigger rudder).

I am just learning (as Kosh can attest to) and really need the flight time. Using G3.5 is fun, but the closest thing they have to something that flies as nicely as the ES is the 1903 Wright Brothers' plane!!! ;)

So I guess I'll have to wait that partly sunny week we always seem to get around mid-January. Brrr....

Kosh, sorry to hear about your newly instituted program to make more room in the hangar!

Cheers all,
-rick

Kosh
11-19-2006, 05:12 AM
I thought I was having a bad day till the guy with a new Echo8 heli crashed it. After seeing that carnage and looking over the new 65 part jigsaw puzzle he made mine didnt look to bad at all. :D

adhoc
11-19-2006, 06:37 AM
Sorry to hear about the carnage, Kosh. Good thing this is (re)building season, eh? :rolleyes:

I had a very nice morning flight. No wind at all, sun was out, and my 6 year old Max came out with me! Flew the Slow Stick and the Easy Star about 15 minutes each. Max ran after each of them a bit; I tried to fly as slow as I could, but just out of reach, but he ran out of gas well before the batteries. :)

Max wanted to fly the Easy Star, but I told him he needs more practice on the 'puter first. If I could find a really big field to fly in, I'd let him try it now, but in our park you just have to turn too much, and turning is his weak spot... in FMS he just likes to let it cruise away from him forever, and I have to remind him to turn around every once in a while... ;) But it is cool that he's interested and wants to fly. I thought it would be a few years before he'd take an interest...

The Wind and Rain Gods are coming back from wherever they went on their day trip. We'll have 20+ mph winds tomorrow... :( The lesson is clear -- fly when you can...