I’m writing this only one day after we had snow here in Nashville, Tennessee. You are reading this in the full heat of summer. I thought that was an interesting perspective because I’m at the end of my winter builds. I have a workshop full of airplanes that are ready for the heat to turn up and the wind to die down.
I heard from a reader who said that he reads about things in my columns that he normally wouldn’t get to see. That led me to this topic. I want to highlight my winter projects that I will be flying this summer.
The Finwing Penguin
I’m sure more than a few of you out there had an EasyStar. I have had two and my last one is mostly epoxy and bamboo skewers, but it still flies. I’m excited to tell you that there is a revolution underway that involves EasyStar-like airplanes that are much bigger.
The Finwing Penguin is my current favorite. Ready Made RC sent the Penguin to me to show what a gentle flier it is and to serve as my main FPV airplane. The cockpit is big enough to hold a few Dr Peppers and ice, but it’s made for FPV equipment.
This is a sweetheart of an airplane to fly and it’s easy to build. Even with the 67.7-inch wingspan, it’s simple to put together and haul around.
I’m a sucker for Discus-Launch Glider (DLG) sailplanes. It’s just you and the wind with the Libelle. This is a foam-based DLG, which is a relatively new concept. It also has a great price. The build on the Libelle is also straightforward.
With a weight of 10 ounces, it can really milk the air. I was out with Jason Cole and we were able to slope it off of a slight embankment.
While you’re reading this, I am likely at my field a few miles from my home, hunting the summer skies for thermals.
The Pool Toy Airplane
If you read the February 2014 issue of MA, then I bet you saw this airplane in the Northeast Electric Aircraft Technology (NEAT) Fair event article. It is a blow-up pool toy in the shape of a jet that is big enough for a small child to sit on.
It is the brainchild of Adam Woodworth’s father, Lee. I saw the photo and I couldn’t stop thinking about it, so I did some online research and found a small thread about it on RCGroups.
After talking with Adam, he sent me the foam parts to build one. This is the type of airplane that you won’t believe will fly until it takes to the air (just like the first airplane I built). This will be the airplane I bring out this summer to wow the crowd and get everyone laughing. Keep an eye on the sky for this crazy airplane!
LamYak with Cortex Gyro
A 3-D airplane with a gyro … blasphemy you say! If you regularly read my column, you know I come from the world of profile airplanes. The Mojo .60 has always been my favorite, but a few years ago a bunch of Pro Bros built a LamYak for me. It flies like a Mojo .60, but is more refined.
At the Southeast Electric Flight Festival (SEFF) last year, I talked with Ben Fisher of 3D Hobby Shop about the future of gyros. He said that big things were on the horizon. When I read about the bavarianDEMON Cortex in the February 2014 issue of MA, I figured this must be what he was talking about.
Installing a gyro was new to me, but it was an easy task. I wondered how a gyro would make a great-flying 3-D airplane fly better. The answer is that it flies smoother.
With the large, flat fuselage of a profile aircraft (which is essentially a wing), wind can give them some trouble. The Cortex fixed that with a flip of a switch. It was as if the wind was gone. The Cortex takes an awesome airplane and makes it smoother, and it flies like a larger airplane. I’m excited to take some lunch breaks with this aircraft.
RC EYE One Xtreme
The elusive hunt for the ultimate quadcopter—should it be bigger, taller, faster, or smaller? This time I have opted for smaller because I like to fly in my backyard. RC Logger recently introduced the RC EYE One Xtreme, which is a larger version of the company’s RC EYE One and RC EYE One S quadcopters. These are all small quadcopters, but the RC EYE One Xtreme has more power. It can even haul a GoPro camera.
The interesting thing about this little aircraft is that it has an altitude-hold function—making it useful for aerial imaging. The beginner mode is perfect for the new quadcopter pilot and the acrobatic mode will do flips. It’s versatile and at a great price!
These are just some of the aircraft that I will be flying this summer. Although I’m not a fan of winter and cold, I am excited to have a slew of new RC aircraft to fly. I’m sure that by winter it will be time to start building again.
I want to thank everyone for the nice notes and emails about my column, and wish you all a great summer!