Thursday, December 3, 2015

Flying Remote Control Airplanes (Part 1)

Two basic options are relevant to the subject; the first is "Will you be flying alone or with a group of flight enthusiasts?". If you are flying alone, there are some basic considerations that must be taken into account. We will cover flying in groups later in a separate articles.

When flying alone, a few things to keep in mind are as follows:

a) Location: If there is a good runway without obstructions, high voltage lines, or lots of people then you are most likely safe and good to go. Let's explore this a little further. Obstructions must be flown around and if your skill level is not top notch, it is very likely that you will cause a catastrophic loss to your aircraft. High voltage line while easy to miss do pose a threat as they can interfere with your transmitter which again will create a likelihood that you will crash. Remember that people are obstructions and the more people the higher the possibility that you may crash your plane into a crowd causing injury and possible lawsuits. It is fun to have people watch your flight and many people will gravitate to the lure of flight; but, you need to be proficient. If you are just starting out, make sure you are alone or with trusted friends standing behind you.

b) Pre-Flight Checks: Just as pilots of full size aircraft complete a pre-flight check list, you must also do the same before taking flight. The reason is simple; mechanical and electrical devices are prone to failure. Ensure that the transmitter controls are in a neutral position. Example: do not have the throttle at full speed. Then place your plane on the ground and turn on the transmitter and connect the battery on the plane to the appropriate connection. Check your transmitter battery power level as weak batteries could bring your plane down. While your plane is on the ground, test out the controls on the transmitter to ensure they respond as expected. This applies to three, four, or even six channel controllers. Select a good take off runway and taxi your plane down the runway and back without actually getting enough speed to leave the runway. If everything seems to be operating as expected, go down the run way with a little more speed and gently lift off the ground and then land again. Do this several times. Things you want to look for when you lift off are shifts in your planes direction (left or right). Adjust any shifting issues with the trim controls on your controller. If this does not fix the problem, you may need to adjust the hard linkage to correct the problem.

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