Old 07-02-2017, 07:05 AM
Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: Sun City, Az
Posts: 278

Ok. Time to share some of my fun from the past - I'll see if I can find the pictures when I go to the shop tomorrow and then post them up.
I had recently moved to Or. from Va. and discovered a nearby local flying field which was at the end of a dead end road, which had been bypassed with a new 4 lane. Not a club, but always someone flying, and everyone was knowledgeable of the flying etiquette and safety...it was a few miles from Hillsboro Airport and plenty of space. On the other side of that new road was one lone house with wide open acreage all around it. And as luck would have it, it was owned by a co-worker that gave me free flying privileges! It was well over a mile to the other side of the road. Well, during a layoff, a mutual coworker friend gave me his Gentle Lady to repair - he had destroyed the nose after hitting a goal post at the high school. He had everything from the kit leftovers and I had plenty of balsa as well, along with the plans. I didn't like the single rubber band system or the balsa formers, so naturally I tweaked things around. A little lite ply here and there, a nylon wing bolt system and all recovered with his leftover red monokote. Called him and told I had it ready - "bring it on over" and I did. He was blown away and he said "let's go try it - I'lll get the sticks to balance it."
You see, we were in construction - I am known for meticulous trim, cabinetry and door work. The plane was flawless and even the wiring had been neatly installed with removable attach points and foam tapes in all the right places.

It already is, John.

Wow...let's go, as he headed for the door - I said "where we going - it's getting ready to rain"
"Oh, just a few houses down is a huge vacant lot - we can at least test glide".
John lived in a large neighborhood with lot of trees, and it started to sprinkle. Sure enough, half a block and there was plenty of room to do a few launches. He handed me the Tx and said - "do the honors, I'll toss it", as he switched on the receiver and Tx.
Didn't even have time to think about it as he firmly stepped into the throw, dead straight ahead. The nose never dipped or pitched - it left his hand and I tapped the down elevator just to ensure it did not balloon or try to catch some lift as it headed toward the edge of the lot. About a foot off the ground in the ground effect I slowly began to flare and it lived up to it's Gentle Lady name settling into the now damp grass. We did one more with him on the radio and had to head back from the rain.
He was ecstatic and could not wait for good weather, which coincidently the news weatherman on the TV was promising for tomorrow.
"We should meet at Tims' over by the airport tomorrow"
I'll be there I replied, after you finish work. John was our foreman and usually got a few extra weeks after we finished..
The weatherman was right. 4 PM and dead calm with lots of sun in the 70's!
I had brought my Sophisticated Lady to do it's maiden test - with the electric power pod!
Well, we hand launched John's bird a few more times when He decided to get out his Hi Start.
Having never used one except for one tragic towline attempt in my teens, I said "all yours - I am going to try a few hand launches with this new bird"
There was so much acreage we had no worries of a mid air.
Since it was a fair walk back to his truck, I proceeded to preflight and work up my nerves.
First launch needed a bit more steam as it was a much heavier bird than John's sister ship (I actually had a finished Gentle Lady at home but no radio) and it stalled and went nose first into the soft soil.
Pulled out, wiped off the muddy wet soil and wow - no damage!
I look over at John as he released his bird on the high start. Up and up it went to around 200 feet before it levelled and fell of the hook. I was hinting to my self "He's got this glider flying down to a science"
I was actually coming from the gas powered side of the road and new to gliders, mostly.
So as I watch this stable drop off and Gentle glide, he's making a nice wide right hand circle. I count 3 full 360 degree circles and on the last he flys it about 12 feet off the ground and lands straight head into the wind, what little there was.
I yelled "nice Flight!"
He starts walking over and I can see the huge grin on his face, as Tim was getting his plane. He is about 50 feet away and says, "I never touched the controls"
"Was still a great landing," I said.
"No, you don't understand - I never touched a lever," he says.
Not once from the release? I asked.
John chuckled, "it used to turn left when I let it go and it started to turn a little right, because I was used to holding that in so I just let go of it and the never touched it"
I was very glad he was so happy with his plane - he had crashed that goal post on it's 2nd flight. But he kept insisting it was no where near as easy to fly as it was now.
I did tweak the washout a little reshape the nose a bit and straightened some issues with the tail feathers. A few little tweaks to the control rods and servos was also in order to reduce the friction.
Anyway, the next launch of the Sophisticated Lady was a complete success - I had reduced the battery power in order to just give it nothing more than a powered glide, and got it trimmed nicely.
The sun was setting and we headed our ways.
But that night I remembered I had an older Futaba radio that had charging issues and thought I might open it up and at least see if It was salvageable. While it was charging, I happened across an an article in RCM on black wire corrosion...
And that weekend, I showed up with both airplanes at a wide open field with tall grass near my home, with my own Hi Start and fully charged batteries for the Sophisticated Lady, but that is another story.

Last edited by F22trainer; 07-02-2017 at 07:27 AM.
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