My first real radio controlled model plane – ordered for my 50th birthday in October 2010, arrived in time for Christmas 2010.
What a fluke – this foam glider model by ParkZone turned out to be a real ripper and kick-started my radio controlled flying obsession and kindled a love for aircraft of the soaring kind. Having recieved a ‘looxcie’ bluetooth video camera (as a gift from friend and twitter follower mr VAF) I thought it might be fun to get some footage from a radio controlled airplane. A few google searches later I had discovered First Person Viewer (FPV) flight and a foam glider called the parkzone radian.
I (eventually) got hold of a ‘Ready to Fly’ version that included a Spektrum DX5e 2.4ghz transmitter for a couple of hundred dollars. I put it together on Christmas day 2010, and took it over to Glenelg Oval for a test flight. I was expecting to gently circle around a few times and land safely. I had no idea the radian was designed to climb rapidly then catch thermals and eventually land! After a brief but terrifying flight I decided to join a club (with a bit more space than a footy oval) and learn how to fly. I joined the Holdfast Model Aero club and was eventually (and somewhat reluctantly) granted my solo license on an electric glider.
My first real flying was done in Feb 2011 at the Bowman’s farm near Ororoo (site of my motorcycle accident). All pieces were carefully transported in the original foam box and I had a great time learning to glide about and land safely. I also learned a lot about charging the LiPo batteries and went back to basic electronics to revisit OHM’s law and to finally figure out the relationship between Coulombs, Amps, Volts, Watts and Amp-hours.
After a time, or few times anyway, the ratio of adventure to mis-adventure began to climb and I started to get the hang of basic flight control. Soon I would be ready for my first ‘solo’ flight as a fully fledged club member. Little did I know that my first ‘solo’ flight would include a head-on-collision with a large nitro powered plane!
But that was not the end of this radian. It was repaired and resurrected as ‘franken-radian’ which subsequently had a few more crashes, was stiffened with carbon fibre and gave me the courage to attempt slope-soaring with zero tuition! At the time of writing (April 2013 – two and a quarter years later, the franken-radian was still flyable). This flickr set has more photos of my model planes and their flying adventures.