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Topics - Deerslayer

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Late Friday morning, Summer finally arrived for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere  < insert Happy dance here> ! It was the Summer Solstice, when the Sun's path touched the Tropic of Cancer, giving us the longest day (daylight) of the year. It's all downhill from here on, folks, until 365.25 Earth days from now.

I was out at the Toyground right around that time. The place was in amazing shape - our fancy renovation is completed, the grass was freshly mowed early in the morning by Harold of the Grass-cutting Crew and it was a tad windy, so no one else was brave (foolish?) enough to go flying. Perfect conditions to take a few pictures.

I hope that others fully appreciate what we have out there:


New flyers, especially, usually dread crosswinds. The typical small, foamy model presents a significant challenge in this regard - unless one develops and practices techniques to deal with it. Here are some thoughts on the topic.

On a large, wide field such as KRCM, let me suggest that there are very few true crosswind situations that demand any special techniques, just some awareness and planning.

First of all, there are three significant crosswind situations: taxiing, take-off and landing. Let's deal with each one separately. This time we can talk about:


You have to taxi out from the pit area and line up for take-off, then turn directly into wind for the latter. There is no magic runway centerline marked out where you have to begin and to follow, and we have an extremely wide field, so use it! Go well out from the flight line, then you may be able to take off directly into wind, thereby avoiding a crosswind that you would either have to handle properly or risk swinging into the pilot stations as you proceed.

The taxi phase will be at least partially with a crosswind. If the wind is brisk, your little machine will want to do one or both of two things: swing into the wind (weathercocking), or, flip sideways or tumble. Tricycle gear planes are typically the worst for the latter.

The basic technique is to hold a major amount (usually, full) Aileron to keep the upwind wing from lifting. Now that the plane is somewhat stuck to the ground. it will likely still want to weathercock. So, hold partial or full Rudder over in the opposite direction to the Aileron control, i.e., you will have "crossed controls". Say the wind is coming in from your left side. You will be holding the Aileron stick to the left and the Rudder stick to the right. If you have good nosewheel ot tailwheel steering, you may not need very much of the Rudder/steering correction.
There is one more thing to consider, particularly with a taildragger. (Tricycle gear planes tend to look after themselves in this regard). That is, the plane may be reluctant to follow your Rudder/steering, command. You have two requirements here; make the Rudder effective and, keep the plane from trying to take off unexpectedly. So, with your taildragger, you will likely require putting in a lot of Up Elevator, probably full Up. Then, you need airflow over the tail surfaces it to make it all work. Be careful, just use the Throttle in short bursts, just enough to move the plane and get some Rudder effect. Don't speed up  and have an unplanned take-off or flip over.

That's all there is to it! Practice makes perfect pretty good. Take any opportunity to practice this, even when you don't need to.

We haven't discussed taxiing downwind. The discomfort level there can be a lot higher, even for more experienced flyers. Back-tracking to or from the pits, to or from the landing or take-off spot, without face-planting in front of your admirers or charging into something can occasionally be a tad challenging in high winds. Of course, you will be the one still enjoying flying in such conditions, while others are self-grounded, so don't let that possibility bother you.

Generally, when taxiing downwind, you will want to keep the Ailerons and Rudder at neutral and the Elevator may have to be either at neutral or perhaps slightly Up. It the Elevator is large and/or has lots of travel, full Up may allow the tail to be picked up, resulting in complete loss of control and possibly a nasty tumble. The problem with taxxing downwind is that, in order for any control surface to be properly effective, it needs airflow in the normal direction. This means that the control surface has to see sufficient relative headwind, i.e., the propwash plus groundspeed has to be stronger than the tailwind. Now, you may be getting into a much higher ground speed and slight shifts in wind can make steering problematic. Not a lot of guidance here, other than for you to experiment and practice. Good luck!

Recently, I have had a number of opportunities to help new flyers. The current environment is rich with victims to prey upon when there is a shortage of official Instructors!  ;D

I have observed that these folks have been well conditioned to do Range Checks prior to each daily flight. Our club has good Instructors!

What I have also observed is how they do Range Checks. Just to clarify, here is the best practice, based upon the advice of real experts, such as Andy Kunz, the team leader of Spektrum's development group.

1. If you can, get someone to hold your aircraft, at waist height. Or, set it down on a bench and SECURE IT. Make sure that your Throttle Lock is on, if it is electric. Now, since you are going to be testing your system, think about what could happen if, somehow, your test were to fail and result in the motor starting. That is one of two very good reasons for having a helper hold the model. Proper Range Checks with a glow or electric are normally done with the model restrained and the engine running.

2. Walk out about 30 paces. Face your aircraft and begin the Range Check.

3. Don't just wiggle sticks around! Perform deliberate movements, eg., full Left Rudder, and hold it. Observe that your control surface moves IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION and that there is no shaking of any of the control surfaces. Good, so far! But, we are not through just yet.

4. The second reason for having a helper is to have them change the orientation of the model - both in a flat circle and holding it vertically. After all, we are usually trying to talk to the thing while it is somewhere above us. The worst situation for connectivity is likely to be with the transmitter pointing directly at the model while the model is pointing directly at the transmitter, especially if there is a motor, battery pack, etc. now between the two. One of you should call out which control and direction you are trying.

This may sound like a bit of a hassle but it is not. It takes no more time, really, to do it properly than just doing a "sort of" Range Check.

Not everyone is aware of the following. Radio waves in the 2.4 GHz are severely attenuated by water. The human body is mostly water. So,it is not a good idea to have someone  in the direct line between you and whatever you are maneuvering on the ground, or flying. The next time you do a Range Check, prove this to yourself - turn completely away from your model and see if you lose range. (Make sure that it is restrained, preferably with someone holding it.)

Disclaimer: "Do as I say, not as I do" is an old expression. If asked, I will refuse to answer as to how often I do Range Checks. It is great to see new flyers being taught good procedures and techniques and emerging from our instructional program as competent, safe pilots!

FPV at KRCM / FPV with the FT Explorer
« on: June 09, 2019, 07:19:49 PM »
Today, Adam showed up with his FT Explorer, camera in place - all FPVed and ready to go. He has a lot of experience with multi-rotor FPV, this was his first plane-based experience. I spotted for him.

This was a great success, proving what Wilf and I have been saying for quite awhile,  that this plane is ideal for starting out in FPV. Wilf started that way, he let me his plane and we both enjoyed it. Wilf added landing gear to the standard Explorer, a major improvement which allows one to get the full experience, including touch-and-goes.

I am convinced that this simple airplane is an excellent one to quickly build and learn to fly with, aside from any aspirations to try FPV. Waterproof it and it just may make a good seaplane.

General Discussion / The wing is the thing!
« on: June 03, 2019, 05:46:02 PM »
Our time is coming! (I mean those of us who are great fans of flying wings). Although there have been other blended wing body (BWB) passenger planes proposed or rumoured to be in development, here is an actual project announcement by folks who know how to build aircraft and have the coin required to get 'er done. I hope it works out for them.

The concept video in the article is really good. In fact , it is tempting to build a model based upon this alone. Question: Is it actually a model if there is no "real" one in existence?

The work started on Thursday. Tear off old siding, strip out interior panelling and insulation. Relocate the mouseys who had resided happily therein for many generations (they self-deported!). Fill a giant dumpster almost to the brim. All ready for the construction crew.

As the pictures show, a lot occurred over the next couple of days. The official count on Saturday was 27 low paid workers (hamburgers). At one time there were FIVE fully qualified carpenters on site, our master electrician (John P) and his trusty assistant. Sort of like an Amish barn raising, but with power tools!
On Sunday, a small contingent carried on with more siding to complete the 3 sides of the building. The east side's exterior and the interior now remain to be done.

First dozen pictures are here, the next batch in following post(s):

The purpose of this Topic is to try to enlighten those who are eager to learn to fly r/c.

The days are gone when you could wander in to the local hobby shop to browse, get advice, look at options, or lay down some cash and immediately get airborne. It is now up to Club Members to encourage and educate and assist new entrants.

I have put together a document which summarizes pretty much everything I know in this area - some facts, some opinions and probably a bit of bias.
It is lengthy and therefore it is in here as an Attachment. When I started into r/c, some 40+ years ago, I devoured everything I could regarding the hobby. I bet you did, or will do, also!

It would be great if someone actually reads this. It would be really nice if feedback (particularly regarding errors, differences of opinion or enhancements to the topic) would be posted as Replies. Perhaps we can come up with a better version as a result.

The Deseronto Royal Flying Club welcomes everyone to enjoy its Float Fly / Swap Meet days.

Come on out, enjoy the venue, scarf down a burger, buy or sell something and appreciate our region's newest R/C club.

We currently have these scheduled Sunday dates:

July 21
Aug 25

General Discussion / The Timber
« on: May 19, 2019, 05:47:15 PM »
Until today, I had seen and admired from a slight distance, the E-flite Timber. Then , a new Member of our club showed up, no Instructor readily available, and I (selfishly, as I wanted to fly the thing!) offered to help him.

After our joint first flight, we started using the full SAFE setting. My trainee quickly became more relaxed and gained confidence rapidly. We flew in this mode for the rest of the day. It did not unduly restrict normal flying maneuvers; you could pull up quite vertical but not enough to do, say, a loop nor could you do a roll.

Note that I had removed all Expo and set things back to full control throws at the transmitter, as the receiver employs forward programming whereby expo and such is set internally. You  should leave things alone, else you are defeating part of the system. I think this basic error has lead to a lot of the bad-mouthing of these systems.

Well, as the afternoon progressed, we must have burned through close to a dozen batteries. He went from almost ready to takeoff or land, to being able to do the whole deal on his own - many times!  Different runways, crosswind situations, handling a slight wind gradient  the whole works. I only touched the controls one time, early on. Verbal instruction and comments only the rest of the time. Yes, he made mistakes, none of which scratched the airplane or would have caused great concern to anyone. I sure wish that my early days had gone half as well.

We investigated the real benefits of flaps, toward the end of the day. They  are great, he really noticed the difference in both take-offs and approaches/landings.

My "victim" is rapidly approaching achievement of his Wings.

We have to give credit to this great little airplane. In fact, I am really tempted to take out a mortage and get one! Anyone want a slightly used, never scratched, Fun Cub?

I would highly recommend the Timber as your first airplane. Or your second. Or as your all-around "go to" machine. And I haven't even tried it on the floats yet which are part of the standard package. I sure do hope that Bill shows up next Sunday at our Deseronto float fly and lets me "help" him.

Aside: This plane, like many others, comes with a flight stabilizer, the SAFE system. I have had various stabilizers, etc., in many aircraft since they first appeared on the market. I have one SAFE system in my F27 wing, and I have had them in a couple of other planes. There has often been some negative feeling about them, mostly unwarranted by fair trial. Many of us ditched the original AR635 receivers in favour of a plain receiver without stabilization. Meanwhile, some folks here and elsewhere looked down upon any stabilization systems. However, my experience matches that of many other "frequent flyers" who have used them extensively. Meanwhile, Spektrum refined their systems. The newer receivers with  AS3X capability, pre-programmed to the BNF aircraft, are great. End of sermon.

This Week at the Toyground! - Who's Flying Today? / Field Mowing
« on: May 18, 2019, 06:16:34 PM »
Bruce has organized the grass cutting team for this year. Hopefully, he or members of his team will offer comments in here from time to time.

The current understanding is that mowing of the actual main flying area will take place in late afternoon as much as possible. So, they will aim for an hour or so, beginning at 4 p.m. or so, on Tuesdays. This should ensure that the field is in ideal condition for Training Night, Wednesday. Or, if it is a high wind day, unsuitable for flying, they will mow whenever the urge strikes.

During the heavy growth weeks, additional mowing will take place. Again, every effort will be made to minimize interruptions to flying. Please be patient.

Mowing of the pit areas and the rest of the grounds is of secondary importance. Note: This is not a golf course!

Perhaps Bruce will inform us who is on the team. We need to know who to thank for this essential function. Go Team!

VIDEOS and PICTURES from KRCM Events and Activities / Water Baby
« on: May 14, 2019, 06:39:00 PM »
Reg has really done it this  time! Some time ago, I made the mistake of passing along to him a neat little video called Wasserflug and suggested that this might be something for him to look into. Well, he did, and here is the result. This clearly puts him in the forefront of the Flypaper Foamy Challenge, methinks. Narf! I don't stand a chance now.

A really nice touch is the pilot, Snoopy. Something about that dawg in a foam contraption reminds me of our great, late friend, the Master himself. Gord would be proud of at least one of his Grasshoppers. Good boy, Reg!

Only one small question remains: Will it fly?  My bet is that it will, and that it will fly very well. I hope that I get to video the maiden flight, or one shortly thereafter. Deseronto Float Fly is looming large on our horizon. Bring a copy of your plans (if you actually have any), as I am now envious.

General Discussion / Kingston !
« on: May 10, 2019, 07:07:45 AM »
Harold  pass this little gem along to me. It is a terrific tribute to the City of Kingston! Turn up the volume and enjoy it:

Buy, Sell, Trade or Give Away / Broken Servos Wanted
« on: May 09, 2019, 06:29:02 PM »
Hey there! Do not throw out that broken servo!   :o   I will take it. Sometimes, a servo can be rebuilt, as I have done lots of times.

At this time, I have parts of several of the cheap HXT900 servos, each of which has a broken portion of the outside casing. So, even a totally dead servo may provide a much needed case to revive at least one of them.

I just acquired gear sets for HiTec HS85BB servos, two of which I now have awaiting replacement gears. Yippee  ;D

Yes, I hear you, "What kind of a person will rebuild a $3 servo?".  :o   I guess you now know the answer to that!  8)

One positive aspect of doing this little rebuilt job is that I end up with a better servo. How? Why? A little trade secret  :-X

If you have any to offer, see me at the Toyground or just leave them on the counter, over at the south corner. Stick it/them in an envelope or tag them with my name, if it is not too much trouble.

I may even be able to help someone else to get back into the air quickly with a replacement, now that we are losing our immediate source of replacements, Leading Edge.

Hello folks,

Had first flights today on the opening of walleye season on the Bay and conditions were great!   Water is very high, no weeds, wind was gentle and water had a little ripple with occasional waves from passing anglers!

First event is on May 26th and will feature a swap meet like last year.  BBQ as usual and spread the word.  I've attache a copy of poster for the four events schedule for this year for sharing with your clubs and others pilots.  I'm hoping to get a camping event in September but will discuss at first meet.

Anyone interested in flying prior to May 26th, let me know.  I am arranging storage for the boating equipment (boat is still on waterfront, chained to tree).

For those who didn't get the late season membership in 2018 that included this year, please submit your membership dues at the meet if you are attending.  This will help with storage rental for boating equipment at the Waterfront Market, just up the street from our site.

Looking forward to seeing everyone and a great flying season!


General Discussion / They don't build 'em ..
« on: May 01, 2019, 07:54:39 AM »
... like they used to!

Settle down for an extended period of time and go back a hundred years (No, not Flypaper's "hundred years", this is the real thing) and see how the WW1 airplanes were built, right from rough lumber through to precision flying machines. Of particular interest to me is the propeller fabrication. Think of toady's CNC machines as you watch several prop blanks being roughed out with the gang milling jig. The final shaping and profiling shows the great talent and painstaking effort involved in creating these beautiful (but likely to be very short-lived) masterpieces.

Warning: You may wish to mute the sound, as the music is pretty dorky for accompanying this kind documentary. Unless you are a super-reader, you will have to pause it to read the captions, which are quiet informative. Enjoy!

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