Weekly Indoor Updates for Season Five - 2010/2011

October 30th

 
Our first session for the season was well attended - with nine pilots signed in. After introducing the new members and a review of the safety rules (by me), the micros were soon airborne. Within a matter of seconds, the airspace was buzzing with Vapors, Embers, Cubs, and Champs - and two T-28s! I counted 6 planes in the air together initially, and the airspace was very busy for the next three hours.
 
Micros ruled the skies for the most part, although my Sumo made the occasional flight at one end of the gym while the heliwobblers stirred up the air at the other end.
 
New planes this week included the Hobbyzone Champ (there were two). They fly really well in the gym, and are an excellent alternative to the Parkzone Cub.
 
These planes are under $100 BNF - and we strongly recommend you purchase a "proper" Spektrum DSM2 compatible transmitter if you don't have one already, as once you become hooked on micros, you will want a four channel job - and the feel of a "full size" transmitter with the ability to add some expo is essential.
 
For four channel jockeys, you really must try the Parkzone T-28. Mine will be back next week - just ask. I also got to try Peter's E-Flite 4-Site 3-D micro biplane and was pleasantly surprised how well this plane behaves - much like it's larger brothers, but a bit short on power for hovering (if that's your thing). It does beautiful slow Immelman turns - which always look good in the gym. Oh, and Peter flew several circuits with it as well - and I noticed a smile on his face!
 
It was great to see some younger faces (juniors) this week. Please encourage these youngsters to come out. Their MAAC fees are cheap and their reflexes are awesome - did you see Devon doing inverted snaps and tail tapping with the Sumo?


November 6th

 
For the second week in a row, I brought my camera, but it never moved from my flight box. Maybe next week?
 
The air was buzzing again with the sound of micros - and it was quite a sight to see the "swarm" - with as many as eight (!) aircraft in the air at once. No less than three new T-28 Trojans were on active duty, and at one point, we flew two in formation. The Mortimore bros' machine still needs some fine tuning to get it to fly right. Check that CG!
 
Considering the density of air traffic, there were very few "incidents" - one involving Reno's dastardly iron clad "Ember II" and my graceful EDF powered "Duo Monoplane" - with both flight plans being cancelled suddenly. No damage to the Ember - 'natch, but the Duo-Mono was temporarily grounded with a "loose" fan (minor repair). Dan B. was not quite so lucky with his "Champ" on his attempt to duel with one of the choppers - aside from a "scratch" on the cowl - the elevator servo needs a new drive gear, but we are certain he will have it fixed by next week.
 
Craig learned how to stick to the wall with his Sumo, but needs to stay away from the cables. Peter's micro 4-Site flew well, until it went on a brave but otherwise unplanned mission in behind the bleachers - It was soon extracted by one of the skinny fellows... At the east end of the gym, the floor was well polished once again by the helis.
 

November 13th

 
It was a great turnout again this week. I'll let the photos speak for themselves... See you next week!
 

November 20th

 
You just had to be there. EIGHT aircraft in the air at once! - all fixed wing (no helis) - All ... well, most... flying left hand circuits inside the four walls of the gym at Alexander Henry. What a sight! ...and sound! And then, there were the smiles on the pilot's faces. Yep... you just had to be there.
 
I don't think there was a moment in our three hour time slot that there wasn't at least one model in the air. The Sumos were back in style - with three flying together, towing streamers, and performing their usual antics. The heliwobblers were there as well... but, the micros ruled the roost once again - with four or five in the air most of the time.
 
And then there's the sad story of the Bully Bird. It's been having a bit of a rough time these days. Two weeks ago, it was viciously attacked by the otherwise meek and well mannered Duo Monoplane - and was slightly injured as a result. This week, his (her?) feathers were ruffled once again by an airborne attack. But, the ultimate disgrace was when one of the slower moving basketball nets reached out and snagged the avian wonder as it flew by. In our last photo this week, its owner can be seen in the retrieval process - no, that's not a strange new sport!
 

November 27th

 
In previous updates, I have commented on the noticeable improvement in indoor flying skills by the participants - and without the usual micro "swarm", the ongoing increase in confidence and ability of individual pilots was readily apparent again this week.
 
Without mentioning any names (...ehem...), it was a pleasure to watch Craig handle his 4-Site and Sumo - smoothly, and in full control - such a long way from those frenetic (and short) flights of years ago. Likewise, Peter made circuit after circuit with the micro 4-Site(s)  - not an easy plane to fly by anyone's standards - until of course the "incident" with an invisible heli... Dan also made flight after flight with his battle hardened Champ - draining several LiPo cells - yep, he's getting the hang of it too. And likewise, Randy at the other end of he gym - who now handles his little yellow bird like a pro.
 

Click on the photos below to enlarge and read the captions.

(photos by Christian Moes)


December 4th

 
Again this week, we had three hours of non-stop indoor flying action at the Alexander Henry gym. Micros, Sumos, Helis & 3D...
 
I'm not sure if the highlight this week was the 5 plane dash around the helium balloon pylons.... well... er... there were five planes at the starting line anyway. I'm not sure how many actually finished or who actually won.
 
Or maybe it was Craig learning how to stick (and un-stick) his Sumo to the wall? Or, maybe it was Dan's Champ hitching a ride on a passing Sumo - and the two making a soft landing together.
 
And then there's the mighty Duo Monoplane! It had its streamer cut by a lowly Airknocker Champ at one end of the gym, then glanced off the bottom of the skids of a wobblychopper at the other end a few seconds later, then returned safely to catch it's breath.
 
We even snuck (sneaked?) over to the small gym and flew the Night Vapor in total darkness - amazing! Now if we can only figure how to stop the motion detector from turning the lights on...
 
Or... perhaps the highlight this week was the appearance of Peter Smith's fearsome looking camera. Regular readers will know that we have been struggling for a while with the lack of a proper photographer - and have previously distributed some rather hideous images. No more! See awesome photos below! Thanks Peter, we look forward to seeing more!
 
Nope - after all this, the highlight MUST BE the appearance of two junior members, and the smiles on their faces, as they showed the "older" folks how to handle a RC plane in the gym! We sure hope to see these guys back as "regulars".
  

December 11th

 
We had an excellent turnout again this week, with eleven pilots signed up, and several visitors. In addition to the usual swarm of micros, the Sumos had some air time as well - often all three in the air together. The helicopters were back in force this week as well - at one point, there were 5 flying at once!
 
This week's selection of pictures focuses on "people" - young and old - who really know how to enjoy themselves on a blustery Saturday afternoon.... Peter snapped several great pics of planes and helis too - we'll save these for now... you never know when or where these will appear.
 
Next Saturday (Dec 18) will be our last session for 2010, so come on out and enjoy the fun. To celebrate the occasion, we have some special skill testing events planned...
 

December 18th

 
As a special skill testing event at our final session for 2010, we set up a mock aircraft carrier deck in the form of three sheets of fanfold 1/4" blue foam for a surface area of 6 ft x 4 ft. Sticks were taped to the bottom side (hockey sticks, what else? - we're Canadian eh? ) and the assembly was supported on a couple of empty cardboard boxes.
 
"HMCS Alexander Henry" was in active service continuously for three hours, and every micro imaginable, from Vapors to T-28s were giving it a try. And yes, and a couple of Sumos and a few wobblychoppers as well... Cheers, jeers, and lots of laughs were the order of the day.
 

Click on the photos below to enlarge and read the captions.

(photos by Peter Smith)


January 8th

 
The indoor airspace at the Alexander Henry was filed with small buzzing electric airplanes again this week.
 
It was an absolute pleasure this week to have a visit by a group of fellows from Sudbury, who brought an entire flock of Gaston Boissonneault's remarkable Blue Foamies - and really showed us how to fly them! Rolling circles and knife edge circuits are standard fare for these guys - and it was amazing to watch them. We even got into a friendly 'bout' of wall sticking with the Sumos - which was great fun. George, where are those photos?
 
Gaston's Blue Foamie design is well engineered and innovative in many ways. I especially like the no-slop control linkages. The use of this blue foam material itself, which has an outer skin and is expertly milled, results in a very robust airframe. It is a class above the previous Depron (too heavy) and Fancy Foam (too fragile) types of 3D planes. I believe a couple of kits changed hands and there is no doubt we will be seeing these planes in increasing numbers in our gym for the foreseeable future.
 
Of course, the Blue Foamies didn't have the airspace entirely for themselves... and had to dip and dodge the continuous flypast of micros. Young Peter and Sean were pushing a pair of new Embers to their limits - and have some repairs to do, apparently. The more senior Peter seems to be getting the hang of the micro 4-site - but I think he was one of the fellows who walked out with a Blue Foamie kit under his arm. mmm...   Trojans and little yellow planes seemed to be airborne continuously. My Sir Jasper is cute - but at 29g, it was a struggle to stay in the air with the Ember gearmotor - and has since been upgraded with Sukhoi.
 
We also got a good opportunity to do some extensive flight testing on Steve Q's new Sumo - drained several battery packs, and several folks gave it a try - including some of guys from Sudbury... Flies great! Too bad you missed it, Steve... Maybe next week?
 
Other highlights included an amazing stunt, - when young Peter "landed" his Ember on Gaston's Blue Foamie, which flew on, despite the micro hitch hiker clinging to its back. After a couple of circuits together, the Ember broke free - and the two continued to fly on - in complete control. This is something you don't see often at an outdoor venue!
 
However, the maneuver of the week must go to Cec - who tried something that no else has been brave enough to attempt... There is a large beam just under the ceiling - way up - that crosses the centre of the gym, and forms a "shelf" on either side. Yep... you guessed it... He landed his Sumo on the shelf... and to the amazement of all... wiggled the Sumo free again under its own power - and flew away like it was just another Sumo trick! Three cheers Cec! Don't try this at home.
 
Thanks again to the guys from Sudbury!!!
 

January 15th

 
We had an excellent turnout again this week. At one point, I counted FIVE Embers in the air at once - plus a few other airplanes as well. The helis were back in force as well.
 
Did you ever wonder what the Alexander Henry gym looks like from the eyes of a micro pilot?
 
OK... maybe not, but here is the next best thing anyway - a video taken with a FlyCam mounted onboard a Sumo...
 
We start out high - just under the lights - where we see several Embers flying at lower altitudes. Then, we watch George's Seminoll doing a graceful manoeuvre , followed by several dizzying left turns by the camera plane.... but stick with us... there is a nice shot of a red tailed Ember, and we are just trying to get up and behind George again... Ahhhh... There he is!
 

January 29th

 
We had great attendance again this week in the gym at the Henry - and non-stop indoor RC flying for three hours.
 
There was some discussion earlier this year whether a new design would come along to match the excitement and popularity of the "Sumo" - which is in it's second year now. Well... enter the "blue foamie"... Great fun to fly and surprisingly tough. Only two of the four models built here in our neck of the woods (so far) were in attendance, but they flew up a storm!
 
Of course, they had to dodge the usual "cloud" of micros - from Embers to T-28's and everything in between. It was good to see Peter's P-51 airborne again - and what a difference a year makes!
 

Click on the photos below to enlarge and read the captions

(photos by Peter Smith)


February 5th

 
Leapin' Lipos Batman!  The bat flew!
 
However... maybe it was the bright lights... or the large crowd that had gathered to watch the spectacle... or the fact that it was mid afternoon in February... but...
 
On release from Mr. Smith's hands, the bat's natural instincts took over immediately, and the frightened creature headed straight for the safety of a large electrical panel on the opposite side of the gym - where it perched safely on top - well out of reach of prying fingers and the swarm of curious RC planes. Clever little beast, as no airplane has ever ventured onto this hiding spot before, and it took some "encouragement" with a hockey stick to coax it down. Sadly, the flying mammal was slightly injured in the process - but should be repaired... er... healed by next week. We didn't get any photos of the little fellow (or lassie? - difficult to tell) , as you know how camera shy bats can be. So, if you want to see it - you'll just have to come out next Saturday.
 
Other highlights this past week included Peter Silvano's "Canard" hand launch glider (his first homemade plane) - which flew really well. There were four blue foamies in attendance - and at one point, three were flying together. This is one tough little airplane.
 
The micro electro "pusher" (from 1968 Aeromodeller!) also made it's debut - and although it flies well, my wife Mireille says it's the ugliest airplane I've ever built - and she is a good judge of such things. Nope, I don't think it will start a trend, but is an interesting experiment - and will be back next week! You can see the Ember gearmotor and prop pushing away (behind the tail!) in the third photo.
 
It was also a pleasure to see some of our experienced outdoor pilots really starting to get the hang of the indoor aerobatic experience - courtesy of the Sumo and Blue Foamie designs.
 
At one point, we had no less than eight (!) micros airborne at one time - and this is quite a sight! One of our colleagues from across the big pond claims they had 10 micros in the air at their session last week. Piece of cake - I say... So come out on Saturday - and we should try to see if we can top this!
 

February 12th

 
We had another fine turnout last week, and Peter got some amazing photos once again...
 

February 19th

 
As the winds howled outside, the fur... errr... foam was flying again this week at the Henry - in more ways than one!
 
It was great to see all four blue foamies flying together. Where's the fifth one???
 
The micros were there as well - and were flying continuously. The 4-Site is a fine little bird, but it was proven conclusively again this week that it's 1mm Depron wings are no match for a spinning 8x4 on a blue foamie. Slice & dice.
 
The "Breeze 5 Monoplane" ALOHA got a paint job, survived two mid-airs, and still flies well. Next month's feature in RC Micro World.
 
The Bat flew briefly - with a heightened level of muscular vigour (Peter replace the "Ember" with a black back "Cub" gearmotor) but the wee beast still hasn't got the "flying" thing quite figured out yet. I think it's spooked by the lights.
 
The EDF (electric ducted fan) Gannet made it's first appearance this week in it's unpainted state, and is quite a speedster. The 2S brushless motor and ESC setup in combination with the AR6400 receiver worked flawlessly - and gives the "stock" GWS 30mm EDF quite a kick.
 

February 26th

 
Peter seems to be getting the hang of that Mustang - which isn't easy to fly in the gym. The new Sumo trick this week was the release of dual mini hand launch gliders. We had 4 Sumos flying together at one point (plus several micros, of course) - which was quite a thrill.

Click on the photos below to enlarge and read the captions

(photos by C. Moes & Peter Smith)


March 5th

 
The gym was buzzing again this week, and we are fortunate that Peter was able to get some awesome pics.
 
As you may have heard... to ensure that our hard working high school students don't overheat their brains with scholastic overload, they will be taking a week off to cool down. As a result, the gym will be unavailable for two weeks.
 

March 26th

 
We had another fine turnout this week, and Peter got some amazing photos once again...
 

April 2nd

 
As the winds howled outside, the fur... errr... foam was flying again this week at the Henry - in more ways than one!
 
It was great to see all four blue foamies flying together. Where's the fifth one???
 
The micros were there as well - and were flying continuously. The 4-Site is a fine little bird, but it was proven conclusively again this week that it's 1mm Depron wings are no match for a spinning 8x4 on a blue foamie. Slice & dice.
 
The "Breeze 5 Monoplane" ALOHA got a paint job, survived two mid-airs, and still flies well. Next month's feature in RC Micro World.
 
The Bat flew briefly - with a heightened level of muscular vigour (Peter replace the "Ember" with a black back "Cub" gearmotor) but the wee beast still hasn't got the "flying" thing quite figured out yet. I think it's spooked by the lights.
 
The EDF (electric ducted fan) Gannet made it's first appearance this week in it's unpainted state, and is quite a speedster. The 2S brushless motor and ESC setup in combination with the AR6400 receiver worked flawlessly - and gives the "stock" GWS 30mm EDF quite a kick.

Click on the photos below to enlarge and read the captions

(photos by Peter Smith)

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