Sunday, January 08, 2006

My hobby

One of the things I'm trying to do this year is make time for my hobby. My buddy and I have built a couple of electric "sorta-scale" warbirds and have been flying them a great deal. They're fairly quick to build, can take a massive amount of abuse for just being foam. The all up cost is not too expensive, however the one thing we've found with electrics is you can never have enough batteries, as they typically take about 2 hours to charge.

It's kind of a tradition that I take a picture of my daughter with my new planes, however, as she becomes older she gets less happy with this tradition. The all up weight on this one is only 13 ounces, so it can only be successfully flown on relatively calm days.


Amerloc said...

Never tried to fly an electric. Played some (and had a TON of fun with gas-powered RCs back before you were born (at least in dog years)).

Mike in Texas said...


R/C Electrics were no fun at all until a couple of years ago with the advent of lithium polymar batteries (the same kind that lets you cell phone operate for a week without a charge). I'm currently flying 1500 millamp batteries, they allow me to fly at full throttle for 15 minutes! I bought a 2100mah on EBay last night and I'm guesstimating about 20 minute flight times. I also bought a 4000mah pack, which may be too heavy, but if it isn't I should be able to fly for somewhere around 40 minutes at full throttle!!

EdWonk said...

What's the best way to go about teaching oneself to fly R/C? Is there some way besides having an instructor? My problem is that there are no instructors in my area. Any advice would be appreciated.

Mike in Texas said...


The best way is always with an instructor. If there's absolutely no way than I would suggest getting an R/C simulator to practice on first. You can get one called RealFlight at, but you'd better have one heck of a computer to run it. If you can find the "G2" version of it you can get by with less of a computer.

You may want to also check out They have lots of designs, all made from cheap materials. Be sure to follow the links to the free FMS simulator. Not quite as good as the RealFlight but hey, its free. I'll be happy to answer any questions you have. You may want to check out, they may be able to help you find someone close enough to help you learn.

EdWonk said...

Thanks for the links. I built this 4 channel trainer out of wood and plastic covering (It was definitely not one of the ready to fly models.) it took countless hours.

I taxied it about, but I'm mortified of trying to actually fly the thing.

Mike in Texas said...

My advice would be to find someone to help you learn to fly it, even if you have to pack it into the car and drive an hour away it will be worth it.

I had the same experience with my first plane. It was a Great Planes PT40, must have taken be 60 hours of building. I LOVED THAT PLANE! I loved it so much I was afraid to fly it. I crashed it on my 9th takeoff attempt, and my 5 solo flight and thereafter it wasn't quite as pretty as it had been.

Get yourself an ugly plane you have no emotional attachment to.