How to Become a Better RC Pilot – A Personal Study, Part 1

How to Become a Better RC Pilot – A Personal Study, Part 1

I’m trying to get back in to RC airplanes 20 years after moving away from an area where I became an expert at slope soaring. I’m finding powered flight to be a whole lot different and am yet unsuccessful at adapting. The increase mass and ground speed of powered flight has created a very expensive problem: catastrophic crashes. My slope soaring planes lasted forever, both in terms of flight times and durability of the plane. In returning to the hobby, I have demolished two $200 planes in short order and now I am traumatized. Planning to take a step back and come up with a game plan.

I am addressing two problems here. First, it’s become obvious I need a slower plane. My two demolished planes were very fast. And they died just as quickly. But I don’t want a high-wing trainer, I’m well beyond that. And second, I need to become disciplined and learn to stop flying chaotically. I get bored and love to take risks, fly at low altitude just above a stall, or fly inverted when I’m not really skilled enough for that. I could do that slope soaring, but the consequences in powered flight are too costly.

The plan so far….

The first thing I’ve done is go out and get RealFlight 9.5. Man is it great. Flying all kinds of different models, gaining muscle memory for maneuvers, and practicing inverted flight at zero cost in a crash. I should have thought of this sooner.

Second, I plan to build an indestructible plane, it will be a Crash Test Hobby Assassin. More on this later as I begin the build. Looking for something I can fly on windier days, easily transported without concerns to breaking it. A workhorse when all else fails.

Finally, commit to what I’m calling a 100 Flights Challenge. The plan here is to make 100 flights without destroying a plane. It is my highest priority. In other words, no fancy flying. No hot dogging. Should that be called Not Dogging? I may even want to call it the 100 Boring Flights Challenge.

For this I have choosen an E-flite T-28 Trojan 1.1m PNP. I wanted a low wing scale plane, not too expensive

Will update the log until the goal is met or the plane is dead, whichever comes first.

100 Flights Challenge

DateFlight #DurationBatteryWindNotes
3/31/21134s/22008Great first flight. A bit gusty but ok.
3/31/21274s/22004Bouncy bounce bounce landing
3/31/21373s/22004Touch and Goes
3/31/214104s/22004Think I figured out the landings, increasing elevator right before touchdown
4/1/215103s/22005Some big loops
4/1/216104s/22005Tried out vertical stall turns
4/2/21783s/22004
4/2/21884s/22004
4/2/21983s/22008
4/2/2110104s/22008
4/3/211173s/220011Pretty windy but handled well, especially on 4s.
4/3/2112104s/220011Getting brave with loops and rolls, keeping it very high.
4/4/2113103s/22002Actually caught a thermal.
4/4/2114104s/22002
4/4/211553s/18002Borrowed a small battery
4/4/211673s/22004
4/4/211784s/22004Getting more in to full-throttle maneuvers. Keeping it high!
4/5/211863s/22009
4/5/211974s/22009
4/6/212073s/22002
4/6/212184s/22002
4/7/212253s/220010
4/7/212364s/220010Speed run 77 mph. Didn’t realize it was that fast
4/8/212453s/22004Got a 12v auto battery for portable charging
4/8/212584s/22004Speed run 79 mph
4/8/212653s/22004
4/8/212784s/22004
4/9/212863s/220013Strongest wind to date
4/9/212984s/220013
4/9/213063s/220013
4/9/213154s/220013
4/9/213253s/220013
4/9/213394s/220013
4/9/213463s/220013
4/9/213534s/220013
4/9/213663s/220013
4/9/213744s/220013Speed run 94 mph!
4/10/213884s/22009
4/10/213983s/22009
4/10/214084s/22009
4/11/214163s/220012
4/11/214294s/220012
4/11/214363s/220012
4/11/214484s/220012
4/11/214563s/22003
4/11/214694s/22003
4/11/214763s/22003
4/11/214894s/22003
4/11/214973s/22003
4/11/215094s/22003HALFWAY TO THE GOAL!
4/12/215163s/22005
4/12/215294s/22005
4/12/215363s/22005
4/12/215494s/22005
4/13/215563s/220010
4/13/215674s/220010
4/13/215753s/220010
4/13/215894s/220010
4/14/215963s22008
4/14/216094s22008
4/18/216184s220010
4/18/216273s220010
4/18/216394s220010
4/18/216484s220010
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