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Old 01-04-2014, 05:39 PM   #1
JetPlaneFlyer
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Default how much did your flying improve in 2013?

Starting the new year I thought it might be good to reflect on how much we have progressed in 2013, with if possible 'before and after' videos?

As I've been flying fixed wing for 'quite some time' my learning curve is relatively flat. Of course I'm still learning, but these days the improvements are not dramatic. Where I think have come on quite big strides is with helicopter flying. I picked up my first proper heli around the turn of 2012/2013 and I've come along better than I ever expected (to be honest I only expected to crash!). This possibly dis-proves the saying "you cant teach old dogs new tricks"

Before and after videos:

March 2013 (this was about the first time I felt confident enough to video my efforts). Flying helis for about three months at this point, still got the training gear on and not confident to try a nose in hover, control rather lacking at times.:
YouTube Video
ERROR: If you can see this, then YouTube is down or you don't have Flash installed.


End December 2013. I'm certainly no heli pro but I'm now enjoying myself and am at least in full control at all the times, and even throw in some mild aerobatics!:
YouTube Video
ERROR: If you can see this, then YouTube is down or you don't have Flash installed.


I still class myself as a heli newbie but reflecting back on these videos gives me a real buzz on how far I've come.

I'd love to see how far you guys have come along whatever form of RC flying, fixed wing, helis, whatever.

Steve
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Old 01-04-2014, 06:38 PM   #2
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Mine improved 100%. Of course I had never flown before so I'm not a good example.

But seriously, I put in many hours of sim time with about 30 mins of real stick time (seriously) this year. Better? Oh yes. 10 of those 30 mins were very short flights that ended in negative earth insertions.

Flying more, crashing less. Feels great!

Champ, Super Cub, Fun Cub
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Old 01-04-2014, 06:55 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by DavidR8 View Post
Better? Oh yes. 10 of those 30 mins were very short flights that ended in negative earth insertions.
Well that's good progress, but you need to get the stick time in. Sims are ok for some things but there is no substitute for real world stick time, and of course it's great fun!

Keep at it!

Any videos?
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Old 01-04-2014, 07:38 PM   #4
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Mine didn't improve at all...

But I've been flying RC since 1975.
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Old 01-04-2014, 07:59 PM   #5
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Hard for me to say if or how much better I got in 2013. I fly such a hodge-podge of airplanes all which have their own character. From the Escapade to an edf, to a warbird to twins, to a patternship . Rog to hand launchers. Kept me on my toes. Last 3 years has been akin to an experimenting teenager but I'm starting to find my happy zone. Pretty much like to fly scale with some basic sport aerobatics thrown in like inverted, cubans, stall turns, axial rolls, etc. For an adrenaline rush, I go for speed runs with the edf's.

Have not dipped my big toe into the 3D world yet though my HK edge 540T is ready to go. I want to buddy box on that one. That'll be one of the challenges for 2014. That and mastering some more basic aerobatic maneuvers like the basic knife edge. Took me a while to be reasonably competent at flying inverted. One little milestone at a time, I guess.

The other part to conquer in 2014 is wind fear. I still get a little edgy when it's +10, not so much with the edf's, but with some of the other foam planes. If you can't fly in wind, you might as well hang it up in Texas. I also need to become better at hand launching on my own. Always a bit embarrassing to ask for assistance.

Have a Realflight Sim and it helps somewhat when I want to experiment but as Jet pointed out , there is nothing better than to just get out there.

Looking forward to some decent flying weather !

Wounded Warrior Fun Fly - Aug 16th ,2014 - Grapevine TX - Info link: https://support.woundedwarriorprojec...ising/RCPilots
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Old 01-04-2014, 08:21 PM   #6
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i flew less and didn't buy any more advanced airplanes. overall I think im worse.

I did end the year with a complete mus though.

slow stock prop reversal. it flies! easily! 543 watt dual motor bipe slow stick. push-me-pull-you. 242 watt 3 channel slow stick. 365 watt mini ultra stick. 415 watt mini contender. 810 watt ultra stick .25e. 220 watt alpha 450 sport (retired).
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Old 01-04-2014, 08:22 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by fhhuber View Post
Mine didn't improve at all...

But I've been flying RC since 1975.
Yeah, i started around then too, in fact a year or two earlier. But IMHO you never stop learning, or at least you shouldn't.
This year i learned to fly helis but also learned to do hovers and rolling circles with fixed wing, things that I'd previously never succeeded with.

To some extent I think the heli flying helped with fixed wing, it makes you work the rudder better.
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Old 01-04-2014, 08:26 PM   #8
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Well since - I started just in March of 2013 - I would have to say -- 100%? Owe it all to Phoenix SIM and a lot-- I mean a lot of flying time.

Was flying small copters and quads, but fell in love with fixed wing and the spiral into this addiction took hold. Got my first trainer in May (since sold) and now at 13 plus fixed wing.

Shout out to 'dahawk for helping me learn how not to crash. Thanks brother.

Too many hobbies, and not enough time!
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Old 01-04-2014, 08:37 PM   #9
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WTS is Way too Kind !

I fly with L O F T : Lack Of Frigging Talent ! LOL

Golf is still more expensive !

Wounded Warrior Fun Fly - Aug 16th ,2014 - Grapevine TX - Info link: https://support.woundedwarriorprojec...ising/RCPilots
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Old 01-04-2014, 08:38 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by dahawk View Post
Have not dipped my big toe into the 3D world yet though my HK edge 540T is ready to go. I want to buddy box on that one. That'll be one of the challenges for 2014.
You will be fine with the Edge. if you are ok with the likes of a PZ T-28 then the Edge wont be any trouble, just set the throws low and use ample exponential.
It's honestly one of the easiest planes I've ever flows. Easier than a trainer in some respects because you can take such liberties with it due to the super low wing loading and huge surplus of thrust.
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Old 01-04-2014, 08:38 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by dahawk View Post
Golf is still more expensive !
And a LOT less fun.
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Old 01-04-2014, 08:45 PM   #12
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Work intrudes too much into my flying. All my work is away from home - so no chance to even skive of for a quick 'fix'.

My general flying ? Not as good as it was back in 80's / early 90's. The few years lay-off and then irregular time at home hasn't let me get it all back.

It also doesn't help that I like to dabble in all disciplines (except profile 3D - which I'm not really into .. ). So end up Jack of all trades - Master of none !

I've also been involved in a lot of experimenting .. proving / disproving ideas I have. Especially on the speed side.

2014 - I want to brush up on my aerobatic side - reason for the cheapo Badius mini F3A job. I also have delved into the Micro Quad and Micro Heli and want to explore that a bit.

But my main want ? To get my big Biplane sorted out finally for meetings etc. - to give some shows .. back to what I used to enjoy in the 80 - 90's. Knife-edge and roll rate needs a bit of tweaking..

Roll on 2014 !

Nigel

222kph PKJ,EDF Concorde, Mini4,Mig3,T45,PKJ twin,ME109,Edge540,Cessna182,Skymaster Biplane,F15,F16,Badius,Ultimate,SE5,Qbee10,450 Heli,V911,J3 Cub Founder 9x forum: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Flysky_RC_radio/
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Old 01-04-2014, 08:47 PM   #13
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Thanks Jet,

I have her set for three sets of rates: Ultra Low( semi sport) at about 40% Mid rates at about 70% and High rates at 100% full throws so that when I have a real 3D pilot take her up, he can see what she can do. That will be my inspiration point. Like when Ben Fisher maidened my Formosa II. Told myself: " See dummy ? You can do that eventually !"

Plan to ease into it and graduate to the next level as I get better. She's got an Omega 130 and Hitec servos. The electrics are worth more than the arf.

Wounded Warrior Fun Fly - Aug 16th ,2014 - Grapevine TX - Info link: https://support.woundedwarriorprojec...ising/RCPilots
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Old 01-04-2014, 08:50 PM   #14
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I'd have to say, with the purchases of better equipment and bigger planes during 2013....my (pilot) skills have improved and my enjoyment has exploded!

Prior to 2013, I was flying everything from E. co-ax/collective heli's to Slowsticks and cheap Pipers with bundled RTF radios and recievers, crap servos, basic ESC's, and marginal motors.......It wasn't always due to lack of funds, rather more of a serious interest issue vs. spending $$$ on other passions........But that has changed since I joined the Spektrum, Parkzone, GWS ect. ect. ect......world......2013 was a good year to invest in some great RC stuff.....at least for me...

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Old 01-04-2014, 11:45 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by pizzano View Post
I'd have to say, with the purchases of better equipment and bigger planes during 2013....my (pilot) skills have improved and my enjoyment has exploded!
I think you nailed it. I really do think good quality kit is one of the biggest ingredients in progressing. A decent quality model without bad vices is in my opinion a pre-requisite for building new skills. Flying 'lesser' planes, especially ones that are 'lashed up' and might have unpredictable and tricky handling and/or unreliable hardware means that you have to focus on flying around the models limitations, rather than being able to forget the model and work on your own weaknesses.

The helis for me is a good example. With the 450 clone I got 'so far' but couldn't get to the next level because the heli didn't fly consistently and kept suffering mechanical failures. Going to a larger and better quality heli was a revelation, a total game changer.
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Old 01-05-2014, 12:11 AM   #16
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I just got it but flying a Alula DLG is improving my flying skills more than any other plane. If I want to walk less I better fly it well! Also learning to fly Quads has been a fun experience last year.

Take care and thanks for posting at WattFlyer!!

Don
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Old 01-05-2014, 01:12 AM   #17
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My thermal flying and spot landing skills improved a bit this year, but not as much as I had hoped they would

My powered flying skills - aerobatics, 3D etc - have gone into the tank. That's because I almost never fly anything but my sailplanes these days.

Steve, I started flying heli's a few years back but only kept it up for a little over a year. I quit heli's for several years - I was crashing my Logo 20 way tooooo often $$$$!! A few years later I started up again - but quit the second time after about 18 months or so. I went through several heli's from cheap 450's up to much nicer 600 size. Bigger and higher quality makes a huge difference in heli's especially.

I found that I just didnt have the talent to fly fixed wing AND heli's at the same time. I got to where I was at about your level with the 600, but every time I went back to fixed wing for a while, I almost had to start over on the heli. Those skills were just to fragile.

I agree with you 100% that flying the heli's improved my fixed wing flying though - mostly due to vastly improved rudder usage. Im also 100% in agreement about quality gear and models being critical to improving your flying skills. I think thats true with fixed wing as well as heli's.

I think I need a signature.
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Old 01-05-2014, 07:28 PM   #18
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I still consider myself a rookie, but the guys at my club say my flying is night & day better than when I started
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Old 01-05-2014, 09:11 PM   #19
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"The helis for me is a good example. With the 450 clone I got 'so far' but couldn't get to the next level because the heli didn't fly consistently and kept suffering mechanical failures. Going to a larger and better quality heli was a revelation, a total game changer"

The main reason I jumped from heli's to planks was due to exactly stated as above.

Once I started economizing the bottom line of heli's vs. planks.......it was apparent my desire to become more than a great mechanic,...a better pilot, would be realized much sooner with fixed wing....allthough many of the skills were transferable, my level of confidence needed a big boost, planks did and have provided much more enjoyment without the frustration.....still putt around with a very old coax made by Extreme called a Blazing Star....it's been a beast, still fun.

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Old 01-05-2014, 10:09 PM   #20
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Overall, I think it was a good year. I built two new planes and did not crash any beyond a repairable state. So I can say my flying (and landing) skills have improved. Most importantly I realized that rush is the worst enemy - now I check everything twice before launch.

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Old 01-06-2014, 03:40 PM   #21
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I'd like to think a lot but not so sure, was my first year flying. All I can say about it is it sure wasn't as hard as I expected. Just built a plane and went out and flew it, thought for sure I would be coming home with a bag of garbage, never happened and still haven't had a crash that caused anymore damage than a broken cheap orange prop, this usually happens on landing, have a few nose over problems....
Flew that one a couple times then built a flying wing, once again complete success from the first flight onwards.
Now building a glider.
I think my "success" came as a result of full sized experience, already knew what I wanted to do, just had to train the thumbs to do it.
I also think 30+ years of rc boat racing helped with the orientation, already used to the idea of a model coming towards me and to steer "opposite" to go the direction I wanted. Plus my planes are far far slower than my boats, seems like I have forever to react.
LOL nothing like a bit of over confidence, I know I should have totaled a plane by now. Think I'm saving it up for something extravagant!
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Old 01-06-2014, 05:18 PM   #22
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My flying has gotten better 200% I first began of a sim and using a keyboard actually...all it helped with was elevator (down making the plane go up, up making the plane go down). As I have already been in RC for about 12 years, I have zero issues with orientation of an rc plane, as a plane coming towards you is no different than an RC car coming towards you, and RC cars can be in the air too Also, as I have modded my cars to ridiculous levels, reaching speeds of over 100kph, I have very quick reflexes. All of this has no doubt helped my shift into RC flight.

What made RC flight difficult for me was the Turnigy 6x radio. It would not allow me to go into certain menus, but I figured it would work well enough as standard flight mixes and menus were fine. I was wrong though. My first plane was an AXN Cloud Fly. Believe it or not the first flight was amazing. I was tired of not being able to fly and decided the strong winds would have to do. It took off like a rocket, but I couldn't steer the plane back to me, or even get it to go down, resulting in a 2 mile walk through a 4 foot high field of grain; it was a long walk. Luckily the plane just landed over a swampy area, only about 3 inches away from the water. My next flight on the plane was terrible, it banked right uncontrollably, despite the trims being set more or less accurately. This was the end of the plane, as the crash was not repairable. I still believed it was the trimming problem of the plane, however.

My second plane was the Hobbyking Tuff Trainer, an EPP plane. It too had the issue of banking right, and I then deemed the transmitter the problem. Sure enough, after getting the Turnigy 9x, the issue was gone. The plane talk me enough to fly, although it certainly was harder to fly than a trainer should be; the Tuff Trainer lacked stability, as well as having such an extreme downthrust that even on full throttle the plane wouldn't climb. This isn't good, as I learnt that throttle was simply speed and elevator was simply up or down, despite that in a properly designed plane should climb at a certain throttle level. The other issue with the plane was the fact that it was impossible to land, even if I were to land on cement. Even though it had a prop saver, the balsa motor mount would snap on the slightest tap on the front. It served its purpose though, although never taught me landing.

The third plane was the Durafly Spitfire. On my first "flight" I tried taking off. I pulled right rudder, and then the tail wheel fell off, causing the plane to go left. It just managed to tap the curb, breaking the four blade prop. This 4 blade was nowhere to be found...which means that I will never go to a 4 blade prop, unless displaying a plane, ever again. My LHS misguided me, giving me a two blade, saying it should work well. Well, it didn't, couldn't even get 4 feet after throwing it. After getting a proper two blade, I threw the plane and it actually started to fly. I used some right rudder to stop it going left...and then suddenly it flipped right completely. After taking the plane home, I found the servo had snapped it's teeth on the rudder and locked it full right. With little airspeed and full right rudder, the plane met its doom. The cost to buy a new fuselage and wing set was too much, as when I tried ordering, Hobbyking stated that the box required for shipping was too large to ship to Canada. I'm not even going to ask how they shipped the whole plane to me to begin with.

My current plane is the Flyzone Mini Switch, the plane that has really allowed me to better my flying skills, along with skis permitting me to land in the field of snow. The Mini Switch was initially horrible for landing in the field, due to the wheel pants, small wheels and relatively weak landing assembly. Despite this, my actual flying improved. I have moved on from the high wing to low/mid wing, as well as increasing the throws to do decent aerobatics. I have also increased the power of the plane, and it is now flying somewhere around 40-50mph, instead of the stock 20-30mph. It is because of the Mini Switch that I am perfectly comfortable flying, as well as land, at least on snow.

I still have issues with understanding prop size and pitch, as well as limits of kV and size of motors with various prop specs. I have a full understanding of kV in terms of rc cars, as well as gearing, but this is not the same on planes, as you have to deal with the fact that larger props decrease rpms, and this makes it difficult for me to understand thrust, but I am learning.
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Old 01-06-2014, 05:28 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by JetPlaneFlyer View Post
Starting the new year I thought it might be good to reflect on how much we have progressed in 2013, with if possible 'before and after' videos?

As I've been flying fixed wing for 'quite some time' my learning curve is relatively flat. Of course I'm still learning, but these days the improvements are not dramatic. Where I think have come on quite big strides is with helicopter flying. I picked up my first proper heli around the turn of 2012/2013 and I've come along better than I ever expected (to be honest I only expected to crash!). This possibly dis-proves the saying "you cant teach old dogs new tricks"

Before and after videos:

March 2013 (this was about the first time I felt confident enough to video my efforts). Flying helis for about three months at this point, still got the training gear on and not confident to try a nose in hover, control rather lacking at times.:
YouTube Video
ERROR: If you can see this, then YouTube is down or you don't have Flash installed.


End December 2013. I'm certainly no heli pro but I'm now enjoying myself and am at least in full control at all the times, and even throw in some mild aerobatics!:
YouTube Video
ERROR: If you can see this, then YouTube is down or you don't have Flash installed.


I still class myself as a heli newbie but reflecting back on these videos gives me a real buzz on how far I've come.

I'd love to see how far you guys have come along whatever form of RC flying, fixed wing, helis, whatever.

Steve
Really nice flying in that last video, still unsure of going into helis, as they seem even more fragile than planes, as well as the fact that they seem handle wind worse than planes...Winnipeg is very windy. Just wait until you can fly your heli like this:
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Old 01-06-2014, 06:01 PM   #24
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In 2013 I got significantly worse.

Can't fly straight and level if I'm touching the sticks, and for some reason can no longer line up with the runway for beans.

Ask me why your DX5e is doomed... and how to fix it.
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Old 01-06-2014, 06:29 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by thepiper92 View Post
Really nice flying in that last video, still unsure of going into helis, as they seem even more fragile than planes, as well as the fact that they seem handle wind worse than planes...Winnipeg is very windy. Just wait until you can fly your heli like this:
Thanks!
Helis are certainly expensive when it comes to crashing (best not to crash!), but you have it wrong on the wind. It's true that the small 'toy grade' co-axial helis are hopeless in the wind but larger collective pitch helis excel in windy conditions. I can fly my helis in winds that would be far too high for fixed wing. For instance 20mph wind is noting for my 500 and 600 size helis but for my fixed wing models would be real hard work and no fun. Helis are pretty heavy and stabilised by 3 axis giros so they shrug off gust and turbulence like no fixed wing model ever will.

I know I'll never be able to emulate the pros when it comes 3D flying of helis (those guys have unnatural levels of skill) but to be honest the same goes for fixed wing. I'm happy if i can keep making progress.
The latest skill I'm trying to maser is flying backward circuits. This sounds relatively easy and compared to loops and rolls looks unimpressive, but for someone who has flown fixed wing for many years flying backwards is really hard. It goes against the unconscious 'muscle memory' responses that are deeply engrained.
After flying backwards will come inverted hovering and inverted circuits, but it might tame a long time to get to there.
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