Saturday, September 02, 2006

A different sort of flying

Today I went out with my friend Michael flying radio controlled planes.

First we had to get the car loaded. It's quite tricky arranging all the pieces while leaving enough room for a couple of folding chairs, a thermos of coffee and all the other creature comforts.

Then we drove to the field out past Tharwa on the south side of Canberra. The yellow biplane (above) is an old one he kindly took along for me to practice on. Here's Michael with his plane. Note the plane behind him, you'll see it again soon.

Take off.

In flight.

As impressive as the models are (and they are, because they have an incredible power to weight ratio) , they're engineered to be cheap and fast. The little plastic guys in the cockpit aren't afraid of dying, so safety is not a consideration. So there's plenty of things that can go wrong, and when they do it can be quite spectacular. An aileron servo gave way in mid flight on one of the other planes (the one behind Michael in the photo above) and the result was a complete loss of control and finally a spinning dive into the ground at full throttle. The owner of the plane was suprisingly willing to have the results displayed here for all the world to see!

No comments: