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Pilots, RC modelist, Diesel geeks, Small engine enthusiasts...


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New to me '96RT, recently started working on private pilots license and it amazes me just how many pilots are BMW MCyclist, guess its the opposed cylinder genes in each.

I have loved RC planes and boats, small engines since early teens and still do. Also continuously enthused by my turbocharged intercooled diesel passenger sedan.


RC modelists,

Diesel geeks,

Small engine hacks,

Where y'at?




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Joe Frickin' Friday

(this post is copied/pasted from a previous post elsewhere on this board.)


My brief obsession with vicarious flight began in 1992. I was a senior in college, majoring in mechanical engineering, with a wretched excess of Ross Perot yard signs, a few simple tools, and some spare time. I made the signs into a rather large airplane:




(that's me on the right.)


After some short test tosses and experiments, we taped a few pounds of tools onto the nose to get the balance right, then hoisted it to the balcony of the lounge in our dorm:




The tail assembly was difficult to make rigid, thus the extra braces made of tape connecting the horizontal and vertical stabilizers:




It flew rather nicely across the lounge:




and made an incredibly explosive sound when the bundle of tools on the nose struck the opposite wall. :eek:


We followed it up with an illicit flight from the fifth floor window to the courtyard below. It flew pretty good for an aircraft made from scratch out of political yard signs. :grin:


I made a more serious foray into controlled flight in '94, with an entry-level radio-controlled sailplane, with a 2-meter wingspan:




Simple to control, turns were done with only the rudder and lots of dihedral and polyhedral angle on the wing to force it to bank when you kicked the tail out with the rudder. Cheap, easy to build with a simple balsa-wood fuselage and spar/rib/Monokote wing construction. But with its simple flat-bottomed airfoil, the flight times weren't that spectacular. Late in the season I tinkered with the addition of a disposable panoramic camera, secured under one wing. With no room for an extra servo, I just added a push rod to trigger the shutter when I kicked the rudder to max deflection. The exposure was pretty long, so most of the shots came out blurry as hell, but one of them turned out pretty good:




You can just see the left wing at the top of the photo.


The next year I kicked it up a notch with a 3-meter plane:




More complicated, this had ailerons along with the rudder, flaps for low-speed flight, a pre-built fiberglass fuselage, and a balsa-over-foam wing that provided a more optimal airfoil shape.


I launched with a "high-start," basically a giant slingshot: 400 feet of heavy string, connected to 200 feet of surgical rubber tubing, connected to a screw-in dog-leash anchor in the ground on the far side of the field. Here my friend is attaching the line (you can see the blue parachute in his hand) to a hook on the bottom of the plane:




With the controller in one hand and the plane in the other, I walk back a couple hundred feet, stretching the bajeezus out of the rubber tubing, and then I let the plane go:




With the line pulling at the bottom of the plane, it pitches up steeply as soon as you let it go; with a good launch, you can get the plane a full 600 feet up, directly above the anchor point, before the line slides off the hook and frees the plane. The wind then takes the little blue parachute and lays the line out across the field for you again, and you go about your flight.


This plane was much better than the first. You could put in a bit of flaps to slow it down and linger in thermal updrafts. On quiet evenings with no thermal activity the plane would glide back down to earth in a couple of minutes; on a warm sunny afternoon with good thermal activity, I had flights up to an hour. A lot of fun.

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I admire RC pilots, way harder than flying the real thing.

Me thinks motorcyclists make good pilots, lots of divided attention skills, judgment and independent yet simultaneous use of all four extremities.

Heavy equipment operators are in the same category.

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Tee has dabbled in RC flying. It's a lot of fun. But, the real thing is a LOT of fun! I think having some RC flying experience when you get your PPL is a positive - you will come in having a better understanding of the dynamics of flight. Just remember your C 172 won't barrel roll quite as easily as it's RC counterpart!

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I flew RC scale and pattern in the late 80s/early 90s and had a lot of fun with it. I will have to scan some of my old photos.


I used to fly a Calypso 2 plane with an OS .60 motor, tuned pipe etc. I was a lot of fun, I earned a few trophies and club awards with it.

This is not my plane, but I'll get some scans of that shortly


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Let's see...

- Single Engine Land from F.A.A.

- Control line models running 25% nitro

- R/C sailboat, sailplanes, electric sailplanes, helicopters, motorcycle

- Lawnedger engine mounted to my bike at age 12

- Model rockets (Estes and home made)

- radio, xray, tesla coil, and hydrogen gen in garage during high school

- Amateur Radio, KI6YCT


Yeah... we're out here.

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From teenie weenie brushless to quarter scale gas

High performance Carbon Fiber Slopeflyers

Foamy Combat models

Bungie Launch monsters

Scratch built beauties

handful of amphibious too



Glow and electric micro to mid sized started BEFORE simulators


Cars and Boats

Awsome brushless scratch buily outrigger

Gas powered Crackerbox v-hull (had a little incident)

Sailboat and Prop powered too.

Way too many cars and trucks of all flavors and sizes


I don't play with it as much as I used too, as other hobbies got in the way. If anyone has the current addiction PM me if you're looking to expand your collection

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I dabbed a bit into PPL but never quite completed my licensing requirements. I did fly solo though. And even flew an amphibian.


This year, it's on the top of my to-do list, so it's going to happen.

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skinny_tom (aka boney)


I've still got a Gentle Lady in the garage. There's also an Electra in there that was built without the motor for light wind slope soaring.


I've dabbled in Slope Combat.


I had a Nitro powered AWD remote control monster truck for a while.


Lately the "hobbies" have been a bit more house-relatied although I still find time to putter around in the garage mostly keeping the old Vespa on the road.



But, if I had the time and money, I build one of these:


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I need to get some pics...


I've currently got three RC planes. One is a Wild Hawk that I modified by replacing the motor (brushless outrunner), ESC, receiver (2.4ghz), batter (LiPo) and adding oversized ailerons. The ailerons are programmed to also function as spoilerons to make landing easier. Otherwise the thing just floats forever.


The second one is a "foamy" profile plane made out of cheap foam from Lowes. It is an

built with plans from RCPowers. It also has a brushless outrunner, ESC, LiPo, etc. Since it weighs nothing, it sucks in any kind of wind, but it is fun to fly when it is calm.


The third and newest is a ParkZone T28D Trojan


So far only one flight with it, but it flies very nicely. It is heavier than my other planes, so it lands faster...that took some getting used to, but it seems to do better in the wind.


I recently upgraded from a coaxial 4ch RC Heli to a variable pitch Heli. That was somewhat like making the jump from a Honda Civic to a Formula One car....the basics are the same, but the new one is so much more responsive that I might as well be starting from scratch. I'm still working on the hover.

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It never fails to amaze me how many people invested all that time and money in their planes and then absolutely refuse to fly them until the battery in their controlers are almost dead.

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I started with free flight gliders back in about 1971, and moved up to rc gliders soon after. Eventually I also did nitro aircraft both 2 and 4 stroke and even had a gasoline Quadra powered (35cc) 1/4 scale bird. Warbirds, biplanes but I REALLY loved flying my 16 foot 1/5 scale High performance German sailplane. 8 channels there.

Then came gasoline powered raceboats, then electric and gasoline helis and THEN these damned motorcycles!!!

RC has taken a back burner the last few years. Too much fun riding the RT.

Oh yeah, forgot. Got a nice scale electric 45" ocean tug too.

I can't even try to guess the $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ the RC hobby has cost me. Probably as much as these motorcycles.


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  • 2 weeks later...
New to me '96RT, recently started working on private pilots license and it amazes me just how many pilots are BMW MCyclist, guess its the opposed cylinder genes in each.

I have loved RC planes and boats, small engines since early teens and still do. Also continuously enthused by my turbocharged intercooled diesel passenger sedan.


RC modelists,

Diesel geeks,

Small engine hacks,

Where y'at?




Yup, all of the above, at some point in my history.

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