Archive for the ‘Radio Control’ Category

Whirly Update

Friday, May 25th, 2012

Well after about 24 hours and nine complete battery discharge cycles[1], I’m yet to do any serious damage. There have been a few pretty gnarly crashes… the kind that sounds like a mix between a weed-whacker and an over-taxed wind-up toy. Or even worse a single sharp metallic ‘whack’. I’ve had several walks to the ‘landing site’ with the sunken “about to consult the parts list” feeling. So far, so good.
I’ll admit the main and tail rotor tips have some pretty good “grass”[2] stains and a couple of visible nicks, but the spare set I bought are still mint in packaging. The canopy has a few Darlington Stripes and the skids are a bit scratched up, but well… that’s why they’re called skids.

So far I’ve learned:
1) Flying in the garage is nice because there’s no wind. Unfortunately, it has much tighter control requirements… and more rigid penalties for failure.
2) Flying outdoors is great for (relatively) soft landings in the grass, but even a slight breeze can make things really complicated.
3) If all else fails, throttle back and wait. This will probably be a less helpful technique as I start to get into more forward flight.

  1. The bird came with one battery and I bought two extra. One of those was free from Walt’s. Thanks guys! []
  2. And maple leaves, and spruce tips.. []

Whirly Bird!

Thursday, May 24th, 2012

I jumped into the RC hobby world with this fun purchase:

Thanks to the friendly help at Walt’s Hobby I decided to go for the Blade 120 SR instead of the smaller coaxial Blade MXC2. Both are 4 channel((Throttle, yaw, pitch cyclic and roll cyclic)) birds with yaw gyros for stability, but this one uses the conventional tail rotate for anti-torque. It’s about 50% larger (main rotor is 12.5″ in diameter), so it does pretty well outside even in a light breeze (as I proved tonight). It could fly indoors, but you’d need a pretty big space…. maybe once I get to be a better pilot.

At this point I’m proud to report I exhausted three rechargeable batteries (each about 7-8 minutes of actual flight time) without breaking anything, so I’m off to a good start. It’s certainly going to be a challenge to fly in a well controlled manner, but it’s awfully fun right out of the box.