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How LONG can you fly?

Old 12-18-2010, 01:43 PM
  #1  
Saddlebum
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Default How LONG can you fly?

Mentally, I mean.

Many of my airplanes have a longer flight time potential than I can use. For instance, when practicing aerobatics on my T-34, I'm relieved to hear the timer go off at 7.5 minutes.

Sometimes, I'm mentally "wiped out" at six minutes of aerobatics and bring her in ahead of the timer. This almost alway happens on the third flight, if I do three flights, back-to-back.

As a contrast, I can fly my sailplane for 45 minutes before I get bored, (or my neck starts to hurt) and I land even though the airplane could have stayed up for many more minutes.

How about you? How long can you fly before your brain tells you it's time to quit?

...The Bum
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Old 12-18-2010, 01:58 PM
  #2  
newjak
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I usually get mentally "tired" right around the same time as my lipos

EDF=4 minutes no matter what! EDF's are hard on lipos
Aerobatic=7-8 minutes
Scale= about 10 minutes
Sailplane= 30-40 minutes. Same as you. I need to give my neck a rest.
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Old 12-18-2010, 04:00 PM
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dumo01
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Have not done sailplanes or EDF, but for scale and aerobatic about the same, 6-8 minutes depending on how hard I am pushing, how much I have to fight the wind, and how many flights I already have done in the past hour or two.
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Old 12-18-2010, 04:10 PM
  #4  
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Sounds like we all agree on the times. My "wild" planes get me mentally worn out at around 4-5 minutes, sport planes at 7-8 minutes, slow lazy fliers really have no limit.

I'm ready to fly again though after about 5 minutes and enjoy 15 or more flights on a good day.

Cliff
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Old 12-18-2010, 05:02 PM
  #5  
HeliScRapYard
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as long as i've got a battery i'm good to go.
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Old 12-18-2010, 08:13 PM
  #6  
solentlife
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You can add me to the list of about 6mins as well ... often in fact I come down before that.
I have 2 sets of packs for my Fixed wing ... small that give me 8 - 9minutes, larger that give me 16mins+ with plenty of reserve left. I modified the plane to take the larger packs as I have spare packs from my heli's ... so why have them sitting around doing nothing ? Funny thing is I haven't flown any of them to max yet ... as others post - the neck starts to ache. I'm 54 and just starting into that time of life where neck stiffens up a bit.

As an aside - when I did display flying in UK years ago - we kept to 5 minute max's for each flyer / model. This was based on experience of watching spectators. First 1 - 2 minutes they were fascinated ... then 3 - 4 minutes odd spectators would drift away ... at 5 minutes you could watch them move on ...
So we came to conclusion - and it worked ! To keep people watching, you needed to fly 'untidily' with an element of 'He's gonna crash !' ... > Precision flying was boring for them ... and keep flights to 5 mins max.
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Old 12-19-2010, 12:33 AM
  #7  
Dereck
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The six or seven minute bracket is close to what most regular sports fliers get up to. Don't think it was government sponsored, but have vague memories of a 'study' being done on this before electricity became commonplace in aeromodelling - and that was the time most spent airborne.

If you move to the glider dept. they have a habit of staying all day long given half a chance - especially the sloping lot.

Those who recall when electric flight was for the doggedly persistent and highly skilled, as opposed to anyone with a credit card and a couple of minutes' attention span may remember the AULD competitions.

That was a FLA (four letter abbreviation ) that meant 'All Up Last Down'. Bar electric power, it had few rules and the winner was easy to spot. One of the best known was at the 'KRC' event in PA. It started at 12 noon - lunchtime - and ended when the last model - usually flown by Karl Benson - landed. Once it was around 15 minutes or so. By the mid 1990's, the lunch hour at KRC wasn't enough and the organiser would ask Karl to come in and land a quarter hour or so after everyone else had run out of electrons.

Karl's 'speed controller' was a servo driven bank of microswitches that shifted how his battery packs fed the motors, in series, parallel or combinations. This gave him variations of climb, cruise or hang on in the sky on nicad packs of maybe 1200 - 1700mA.

Personally - after years of slimeyflying and then nicads and Nimh, even with lipos and theoretically pushing a half-hour with some models, I'm back in the pattern around 7 minutes, to shoot a couple of circuits before a final landing.

D
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Old 12-19-2010, 02:03 AM
  #8  
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7 min sounds about average for most flights and less if i don't set the timer on the tx.

sail plane flights are only around 20 mins as i don't like flying as a third or fourth plane air born when others want to fly. my neck gets to acking also as i sit in a deck chair looking up and the best part of that 20 min is way higher then the other planes.
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Old 12-21-2010, 10:40 PM
  #9  
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The longest flight I have had was 12 minutes, after which the LVC of my Easy* cut off and I had to glide back down. The plane had never gotten much above 100 feet above the field and was within it's boundries the whole time. It was under power for the entire flight, although mostly not WOT. It doesn't really like getting to much above 1/2 stick unless I'm doing something aerobatic, like loops or stall turns.
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Old 12-22-2010, 11:46 PM
  #10  
Leadchucker
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E-sailplanes (non-powered ones too) in air just a bit over 2 hours. 1 hour is fun for a long haul, two hours is approaching on the edge of insanity. Preparation is key for long flights with reclining beach chair,water bottle and Tastykakes at reach, good sunglasses and an appropriate hat.
Long thermal flights usually end with the need to answer the call of nature.
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Old 12-22-2010, 11:54 PM
  #11  
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It's funny that not much has changed from IC days to now it appears from posts ...

Many IC planes in the 'old days' had fuel tanks suitable for 10 minutes or so ... in the small to medium size models.
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Old 12-23-2010, 12:15 AM
  #12  
skyman
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Originally Posted by HeliScRapYard View Post
as long as i've got a battery i'm good to go.
Lol me too.
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Old 12-23-2010, 04:03 PM
  #13  
solentlife
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Originally Posted by Leadchucker View Post
E-sailplanes (non-powered ones too) in air just a bit over 2 hours. 1 hour is fun for a long haul, two hours is approaching on the edge of insanity. Preparation is key for long flights with reclining beach chair,water bottle and Tastykakes at reach, good sunglasses and an appropriate hat.
Long thermal flights usually end with the need to answer the call of nature.
Slope or ridge soaring I found reasonable relaxing .... maybe because often you were looking straight ahead or only slightly up to the model. So yes - I can remember some memorable long flights - some so long that a tap on the shoulder to come down and release the 'peg'to another flyer. So enjoying the flight that you plain forgot how long you were up.

But thermal, flat field soaring - I was never very good at ... couldn't detect or catch that wing waggle of the thermal ... so flights of 2 - 3 mins were my norm !
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Old 12-23-2010, 04:57 PM
  #14  
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Originally Posted by solentlife View Post
Slope or ridge soaring I found reasonable relaxing .... maybe because often you were looking straight ahead or only slightly up to the model. So yes - I can remember some memorable long flights - some so long that a tap on the shoulder to come down and release the 'peg'to another flyer. So enjoying the flight that you plain forgot how long you were up.

But thermal, flat field soaring - I was never very good at ... couldn't detect or catch that wing waggle of the thermal ... so flights of 2 - 3 mins were my norm !
That's a very interesting observation SL. I've never done slope soaring but knowing that I'd be looking "out" or "down" is appealling to me. I believe I will explore slope soaring more next summer (on Cape Cod).

Thanks... The Bum
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Old 12-26-2010, 08:50 AM
  #15  
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I find the longer I fly a plane, the longer I can fly it. When I first got my Radian, for example, I'd bring it down after 10 minutes or so just to relax and breathe. It was my second plane, and I'd only been flying for a month or so at that point. Now, I can leave it up until I run out of battery or my neck starts killing me.

Same with my other planes, to a point. The Radian and Vapor will always be more relaxing than something faster. (Although, I generally fly pretty relaxing planes...) When the timer goes off, I usually say, "No way that was 7 and a half minutes!"
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Old 12-26-2010, 01:53 PM
  #16  
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How long? Until I crash, of course!
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Old 12-27-2010, 06:07 AM
  #17  
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I was at the beach a few weeks ago sloping with my Unpowered EZ* and landed after 1H 20Min, my 2cell Lipo RX battery went from 8.4 to 8.2 volts.

I simply got tired of flying but at the rate the battery was discharging I could be out there for days!
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Old 12-27-2010, 06:57 AM
  #18  
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Hey now
For me it depends on all kinds of things, type of model, air conditions, other pilots, heat/cold...
My F5D model I burn out after two minutes or so. In competition I last as long as the heat takes. Sport models eight to twenty minutes of aerobatics do it.

With sailplanes? My longest flight in ridge
Lift was nine hours fourteen minutes. Flying high pro pss models fifteen minutes to two hours and slope combat in good weather I run out of reciever battery after six hours.
Slope combat gets this wierd zen thing going so it's a bit different...
Rob II
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Old 01-01-2011, 10:57 PM
  #19  
AEAJR
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I think it depends on what you are flying and how you fly. If you are flying something relaxing you can stay up for hours. If you are flying something hot that pumps you up, 10 minutes might be a long time.

I fly gliders, DLGs, e-glides, slope gliders and electric airplanes of the slow to medium speed sort.

My longest thermal flight was about 90 minutes. My longest slope soaring flight over 2 hours.

When I first started flying I was flying parkflyers most of the time I would have 2-3 chargers running with 4-6 battery packs in rotation. I was only on the ground for as long as it took to swap battery packs, then right back up again. I would do that for 2-3 hours.

My parkzone Radian often stays in the air for more than than hour on a single battery pack.
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Old 01-02-2011, 05:06 AM
  #20  
kyleservicetech
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Originally Posted by Saddlebum View Post
Mentally, I mean.

Many of my airplanes have a longer flight time potential than I can use. For instance, when practicing aerobatics on my T-34, I'm relieved to hear the timer go off at 7.5 minutes.

Sometimes, I'm mentally "wiped out" at six minutes of aerobatics and bring her in ahead of the timer. This almost alway happens on the third flight, if I do three flights, back-to-back.

As a contrast, I can fly my sailplane for 45 minutes before I get bored, (or my neck starts to hurt) and I land even though the airplane could have stayed up for many more minutes.

How about you? How long can you fly before your brain tells you it's time to quit?

...The Bum
I fly my current one kilowatt models around 5-6 minutes with a three minute battery power reserve.

Back in the mid 1980's my 10 foot 1200 Sq In, polyhedral electric powered Viking sailplanes had many one hour thermal soaring flights on them, and more than a few two plus hour flights on them. Not bad for SE Wisconsin.
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Old 01-02-2011, 04:46 PM
  #21  
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My timer is set for 8.5 minutes & am generally back on the ground before it goes off.
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Old 01-02-2011, 05:44 PM
  #22  
Glacier Girl
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Yeah I'd say it's more of what I'm flying that decides the time.
I can hang a Slow Stick up in the air, and kick back, sitting in a lawn chair, beverage of choice, and fly for quite some time.

Change that to one of my high power birds and mentally it isn't long at stupid speed before I find I'm starting to get behind on it, and that tells me it's time to slow down and land.

Like pylon racing, r/c and real. It's so much brain overload keeping the birds cranking and banking, the races aren't that long, and for some they are too long.

heck if you think about it we are often the limiting factor in flying. Look at any of the latest jets, there is so much going on one or more computers are running the show as a single human could never keep up with all that needs done.
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Old 01-03-2011, 01:17 AM
  #23  
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About 4 batteries worth with my PKZ micro mustang, each battery around 5-6 minutes, with a couple minute break between batteries, and I feel satisfied enough to go home and inspect the damage from the day...

Kidding about the damage...
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Old 01-03-2011, 02:11 AM
  #24  
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Wow. I'm truly shocked at some of the responses I'm seeing...

My max flight time (so far) was 52 minutes on a GWS Zero, 3s 2220 mAh LiPo, and a Master Airscrew 9x7 three-blade prop. The speed control was a Phoenix 25, and the motor was a Himax 2025-4200 with a Cobri 5.67:1 gearbox. The date was September 20, 2005 at Noon. The wind was 4 mph, and the temperature was 90 degrees.

I went full throttle, turned to climbing sprial After that, 1/3 throttle into wind, and simply bumped the throttle up 1 or 2 clicks when needed, and bumped it down 1 or 2 clicks when I could. Went so high I could not see my barrel roll!

After flight voltage was 10.08 volts, and I put 2056 mAh back into the 2200 mAh LiPo. Doing the math, the average discharge was 2.37 amps.

After landing, my neck was a bit sore, but I could have continued to fly. The only reason I landed is because I was on my lunch break, and had to go back to work!

I might need to get into sailplanes... I don't think I have a concentration limit...
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Old 01-03-2011, 03:02 AM
  #25  
FlyWheel
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Default Now that's an idea!

Why not have an endurance award? It would be a nice counterpoint to Chellie's* "100MPH Club". Perhaps awards for 1 hour, 2 hour and so on?

The obvious place for this "award thread" would be in one of the sailplane forums, as not too many other planes can accomplish a feat such as this. Perhaps AEAJR could run it.

*(At least I think it was Chellie's idea...)
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