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.
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 😉
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.
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).
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.