Out with the old, in with the new!

Welcome to a NEW YEAR! Hope one and all had a great Christmas, and didn’t get too plastered celebrating the arrival of 2012. Some progress has occured since the last post I dropped here. Actually it’s kind of the Russian proverbial “one step backward, two steps forward” type of progress, but hey…it’s progress. At least that’s what my propaganda ministry is calling it.

1st update.

The glimmer of hope the Roland CII showed in finally getting balanced and becoming a good flyer erupted into a roaring flame which consumed it so completely that only a charred relic, and a brief memory remain.

By the way, the compelling picture above has been long debated as to its authenticity. I believe it remains currently undecided as to it’s being an actual shot of a German pilot tumbling from his machine after being shot down in flames. If it is real, I’d say it’s one of the more awful yet compelling images of the WWI air war. But back to the Roland. After about 4 very dodgy ROG flights, the bird was severely damaged on landing, was restored for another try,  and was now becoming an overweight flying patch after all of this abuse. A basic initial imbalance, coupled with a warped fuselage, had been causing these troubles all along. The final straw was when after extensive rebuilding and yet another attempt was made to fine tune the balance, the plane stalled in an re-inflicted all of it’s previous damage, which was severe. The final decision was to scrap the design, which may be revisited someday with more focus, a straighter fuselage, and less overall weight.

So thats the bad news, but the good news is, I’ve got all these plane guts….so what to do. Enter the next flying machine project currently underway…

I’ve always liked the Ford Flivver and thought it’dmake a nice scale subject…..well, it’s already being framed up as we speak…..more to come soon.

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Watch your back….he’s still out there.

Nope, haven’t flown yet….still raining sporadically….the stir crazy has set in firmly. So, while staring out the windows and wondering when I’ll be able to test pilot the two new Aircraft that are currently sitting on my bench staring at me, I ran across a video I hadn’t seen for a while that brings us squarely back into the RC Aircraft vein once again. Once you see it, the title of this post will make more sense….

You know, humans are fascinating creatures. The first thing that struck me watching this, being an oft-amused spectator  of human behaviour is, what in the world possesed the camera guy to believe it was a good idea to film from an active airstrip!? I know I know, I wasn’t there, but the logic still escapes me.

Secondly, and on an even more humourous note, notice the old guy who owned the plane, when he comes strolling out. He gives the camera man that he’s just plowed over, a cursory glance, but proceeds without hesitating to investigate the state of his triplane! Too funny. The camera guy is definately not his main concern….”duuude, you dinged my bird!” Tell me humans aren’t amusing.

PS. Watch your back, cause you never know when the Red Baron will strike again! ; )

What Lewis and Clark didn’t tell you…..

Yes, I’ve been posting strange oddities of late…..mainly due to the fact I’m waiting for the weather to break so I can do some flying. Till then however, there’s no reason not to add interesting items to the Miscellaneous category. This one’s regarding technology….old and new. Or should I say….rediscovered.

There’s been a revival in the sporting use of big bore air rifles over the past decade, (probably longer really, I’m just not that observant), and, aside from being a really neat way to punch clean little round holes in things at a distance (an activity I’m rather fond of), the technology involved is remarkable. But, as the title indicates…isn’t at all new. Check out the video first, and then we’ll get back to this…. : )

Remarkable power for an air gun isn’t it? But a similar design was used over a century before by none other than historical familiars Lewis and Clark on their voyage of discovery. To them this weapon was a bit of Buck Rogers technology in an age that still was using single shot, muzzleloading black powder smoke poles as its main form of weaponry.

 

Pictured above is most likely the peice that was carried by Lewis and Clark (or a variant of it), the product of the genius of a Tyrolean clockmaker named Bartolemeo Girandoni. A work of wizardry at the time, the piece could fire 22 shots from one compressed air load stored in the buttstock reservoir, and in almost rapid fire succesion. Intended to shock and awe the potentially hostile inhabitants of the lands through which they would pass, it’s amazing to know that these explorers had in their hands, a technology that is only still today, just becoming well regarded for its lethal effectiveness.

Lewis and Clark “impressing” the Natives with the Air Rifle.

The Spirit of Invention

Sometimes, things I happen across in my travels end up here. This one I’d say, is a worthy addition, if for nothing else, to show the spirit of human inventiveness at work. I actually created a design somewhat similar to this, only the propellor was in the rear (a pusher configuration) and the body was wider and in a wing shape, so that, you guessed it, you could drive it to a runway,and then take off. The overall design is a little more complex than that, with some key features that I believe might make the concept work and be viable. Perhaps it will end up here someday as well. But for now….enjoy!

Try RCDeskPilot! It’s a great RC flight trainer, and it’s free.

A lot of people just getting into flying RC don’t know the best way to begin. I must strongly advise that getting behind the sticks of a virtual plane before you jump into the sky with a real one is the best way to go. And now, you don’t have to spend a mint to do it…..in fact, you don’t have to spend a thing. RcDeskPilot is a fantastic program that you can use to train yourself to be flight ready, and its free. Here’s the link..

http://rcdeskpilot.com/

So check it out already. You can fly using your numpad on the keyboard, but it is designed for use with just about any joystick config, as well as your actual transmitter, (you provide the cable link of course). I’ve found the flight physics to be very good, even better than FMS, and the software is constantly being improved, and user created models added to the line up of expansions/downloads as well. Give it a try. Here’s a vid to give you a taste.