My friend Bryn and I went out flying on Saturday and had a lot of fun. My local flying field was closed for hunting so we went down to my old field which is about an hour away.  We took a few planes with us.  The Great Planes Reactor Biplane, the hangar 9 Twist 60 and Bryn’s Sky Fly 2 he is using to learn to fly R/C.  We met up with a couple of old flying buddies of mine and spent a few hours in the sun.  It was a gorgeous day and having good people around to share it with was great too.

The flights on the GP Reactor Biplane were excellent, it has always flown really well since we built it (Bryn helped put it together) and aside from one minor mistake of mine on the first flight it’s been pretty reliable. I will note that grass is a bit tough on the landing gear and it’s possible you will rip the wheels off if the grass isn’t short, etc.  Below is a video of the Reactor. This flight was pretty boring overall, I did explore a bit more into low speed low altitude flight and other things later in the day and may add some more video of that.

We also took Bryn’s Sky Fly 2 up a couple of times, the stock charger was junk and hadn’t actually charged the batteries one bit. I charged them up on my Triton 2 and they worked alright, they may just need a little conditioning before they charge right on the included charger.  On the first flight we attached a tiny camera to the leading edge of the wing and recorder the flight, and Bryn recorded part of the flight from the ground, so there’s a nice Picture in Picture effect.  The elevator and rudder controls on the Sky Fly 2 are a bit weak by default because they are tuned down for beginners, but once it’s in the air it flies alright.   Here’s the video from the micro-cam and the HD camcorder on the ground. Check it out! That’s one of my flying buddies throwing the plane.

We also had a visit from a possibly ill groundhog.  Probably rabies or distemper or something. It just ran in circles continuously and was not afraid for it’s life from humans, etc.  So here’s the video of that.   Fortunately it did not seem like it wanted to eat my planes, so that was good.

The Twist 60 was misbehaving, with this design the tail feathers are just bolted onto the tail of the airplane, sort of like they do it with the large scale aircraft.  After a couple flights of porpoising it started to get pretty annoying but I thought maybe it was just controls or the center of gravity (CG) set improperly. On the third flight the plane stuffed into the tall unmowed grass twice before it even got off the ground, and then the engine wouldn’t start. I decided to call it quits for that plane for the day as a ‘sign’.  Which is good.  As I was disassembling the Twist 60 I discovered that the horizontal stabilizer was actually loose in it’s saddle which was causing the elevator to move up and down as it shifted.  If I had flown it again it’s quite possible the horizontal stabilizer would have flown off of the plane, or at least cause a major control problem leading to a crash.  I have since epoxied the tail feathers onto the plane as I don’t need to remove them anytime in the forseable future.  Hopefully this next weekend will be good so I can try this routine again.

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