Sig Kadet LT40 Maiden Voyage

Me with my virgin LT40

Since my last post there have been a few developments.  Going to start with my first flight followed by a continuation of the customizations done by Peter and John to my plane and why as more came out of that first flight due to things we discovered.

First Flight

It was great and a little nerve racking to finally get out to the airfield and see if my plane would fly.  The first time time out to attempt a maiden voyage the weather didn’t cooperate as it was too windy, but that was OK as we started with the basics of ground work and I taxied around the runway.  Peter was impressed by how well I was able to keep the plane straight as I rolled down the runway.  I technically, if you’ll humour me, had my first take off and landing as I increased the speed so much that the plane actually took off the ground about 4 feet, followed by me cutting the throttle and successfully landing the aircraft back on the wheels.  At which point I continued to taxi around, but that initial feeling was awesome!  I guess I can say that I took it for its first flight 😉

Taxing LT 40 Video

It’s maiden voyage for a flight longer than a handful of seconds occurred the next time out and was done by Peter who did it beautifully.  He was impressed, as were those watching, at how effortlessly the LT40 left the ground and took to the air.  Once he was up we could tell the engine wasn’t running all that smooth and the plane was pulling to the right so John adjusted the trim while Peter flew.  They also tweaked the engine to get it performing better.  We then attempted the buddy box so that I could get in some flying time; however, we kept loosing connection and it was being very temperamental as the evening progressed.  I did manage to fly it for a couple circuits.

Due to the temperament of the buddy box Peter and I played with it at his place and tested Peter’s Eurika moment of batteries, which turned out to be the case!  Once the main transmitters batteries were drained down past a certain level (seemed to be about 5.5V) the buddy box ceased to function.

Customizations

During our initial testing of the aircraft we noticed while taxing around that we were chopping lots of grass which lead to additional customizations on the plane, namely adding a wedge between the main landing gear and the plane to raise it up higher off the ground and unravelling one of the coils on the nose wheel to lengthen it as well so the aircraft remained level.  Additionally we did some testing of the buddy box and discovered the reasoning for loosing connection was that once the main transmitters battery dropped below 5.6V the buddy box would no longer function as the transmitter could not maintain the connection.  The transmitter is a battery hog and I should have a LiPo battery pack on the way once an order with Hobby King is placed that John is going to kindly wire up for me so I can charge it and it’ll fit nicely in my transmitter (he has the same transmitter and battery combo).

Conclusion

I am well on my way to becoming an R/C pilot and am itching to get some more flying hours under my belt.  I, along with Peter and John, don’t think it will be long before I am taking off and landing if I can just get in the time.  Tried getting out early last week but it was to windy to fly and Wednesday night I got out again where I performed my first landing, which went really well.  After a break I performed my first takeoff.  To do this we stood out in the middle of the runway behind the plane so I could see how the plane reacts as it is going down the runway.  I applied a little up elevator and let it fly level to pick up airspeed once it was off the ground before rising up to a reasonable height.  After flying around I came in for a landing, which wasn’t so pretty,  as the sun was setting and I went against my better judgement and continued to float the plane in nice and slow, ending up in the tall grass off the far side of the landing strip.  Thankfully no damage was done, and according to John and landing the plane remains in one piece is a good landing!

I am excited to get out again; however, I’ve missed the last couple of opportunities due to being sick but hopefully will get out a time or two, even with going away on holidays shortly, before the season is out.

Here are some pics of my Sig Kadet LT 40 at the field so you can see some of the ins and outs as well as me posing with it holding my transmitter (Spectrum DX6) before its first trip to the runway.

Flying, Equipment setup & First Plane!

I have been out to the airfield a couple times since my last post.  Nowhere near as much as I would have liked to but you can’t control the weather!

I am gaining more experience and have gotten well beyond the circle pattern I have been flying in both directions.  I moved on to figure eights and have been doing them in both directions.  It’s now where I start when I first get control of the aircraft for the day!  I have been doing boxes the last few times out, which consists of flying in a box formation where you go down the center of the runway do a quick turn, fly out, do another quick turn, fly to the other end of the field, another quick turn, and then you do another quick turn as if you are coming in for a landing and you want to be lined up with the center of the runway and fly right down the middle.  Essentially this is practicing for landing the aircraft.  As I get better with the key turn (coming into the runway) the box will get lower and lower until I am finally landing the plane.

Quick Turn

What I mean by a quick turn is that you bank the aircraft to the inside of your turn, as you pull up on the stick a little giving some up elevator to keep the nose level/up, and then immediately straighten the aircraft so it is level.

This is required so that you are lined up properly with the runway and are level.  If for any reason something doesn’t feel right you abort the landing.  This is why you should always land with fuel in the tank and avoid those dead stick landings!  When you dead stick you just pray you get it right on the first try and go with it as there is no second attempt.

Equipment

I have finally bit the bullet and purchased the gear I require, which consists of the following:

  • Sig Kadet LT 40 ARF
  • 2 O.S. Glow Plugs
  • Glow driver
  • Spektrum DX6 Transmitter w/ AR610 receiver + 1 Free receiver (Gotta love this promotion as then I already have one for my next plane!)
  • Accu-Cycle charger
  • Charger leads
  • Fuel Pump

Thank-you to Peter who had the battery and switch for the plane as well as the servos, better landing gear (both wheels and assembly) along with a stronger push rod for the throttle, more on that in the next post about assembly!

Next Flight

Looks like my next flight is going to be with my very own plane!  More on that to come with the next post.