Maiden Flight of the Super Cub

So I got an RC plane for Christmas, my first RC plane, and took it out for its maiden flight this afternoon. I was so nervous to throw this huge plane all made of Styrofoam into the air for fear that it would almost immediately nose dive into the ground. I had watched a bunch of videos online, and read all the how-to’s in the forums, but nothing could prepare me for my first flight. I taxied around on the ground for a while, just to get a feel for turning it and throttling it. I made a few feeble attempts to take off from the ground, but wimped out as the plane approached any kind of actual speed. After about 10 minutes of just thinking about flying, I decided it was too windy and went back inside.

An hour later the wind appeared to have died down some, so I took it back out with the thought that even if it flies for only 5 seconds and then crashes into a pile of Styrofoam rubble, it will still be fun, so I’m going to just do it. But I didn’t want to throw it, I thought it would be easier to take off from the ground slowly, that way I’d at least get to fly it up a little bit before crashing it. I set it on the ground, accelerated slowly up to full throttle and then watched it go. As it gained speed I pulled back slightly on the stick and I couldn’t believe my eyes when she actually started flying, soaring up in the air in an amazing and triumphant flight. Within seconds I was panic-stricken, as now I had to keep it up in the air and the wind that I had thought died down appeared to be driving the plane against all my commands. I pulled up higher and brought it back around into the wind and tried to do a few large circles overhead, but the wind kept pushing the plane further and further away from me. It was glorious to see it fly, to feel the plane respond to the little commands of my fingertips, I was in complete awe and shock. I flew the plane at what felt like a decent altitude, but I couldn’t get it to fly back towards me, every circle back was met with more wind that pushed it further away. Soon I was having a hard time even telling what direction the plane was going or any orientation of the plane at all. It was about that time that I knew I was in trouble, the plane was too far away, and I couldn’t fly her back, that’s when it plummetting to the ground in a silent puff of dust.

Where did it even land? My house is the last house on a street that backs to a huge empty wash with more than a mile in almost every direction. It’s the perfect place to fly, and the worst place to crash. I began my journey out into the desert to retrieve my fallen plane. I knew it was out there somewhere amidst the tumbleweeds and brush. After a few minutes of searching I found her stuck into a small bush, amazingly with almost no damage, other than a few small sticks poking out of the wing. First crash and she’s okay! And man what rush, I’ve never been so scared and excited at the same time to fly this thing. I was too excited to walk all the way back to my original launching spot, so I thought I fly it again out there in the wash. I tried another take-off from the ground and managed to pull it off again, just barely. This wash has a huge 12-14 foot embankment that goes straight up, well I was down in the wash with the embankment on my left. I thought I was plenty far away from it, but as the plane gained speed on the ground, it began heading right towards that huge dirt wall. It picked up more speed and continued for the wall and I pulled down on the stick and almost straight out of a movie the plane literally takes flight just a few feet before disaster and scales the wall at a 90 degree angle to the ground just missing the top of the wall by a foot or less. I quickly pushed down and turned and managed to keep the plane in the air for another minute or so but I couldn’t gain control again I started flying erratically and soon enough she finally nose-dived into the sand. That was so cool, I wish I had that on video! I’ll never be able to do that again.

Anyway, the prop was bent into oblivion so I walked it back inside and replaced it with the spare that Hobbyzone gave me in the box. I’m going to need a few more I can already tell. The wing got a bit chewed up in a few places, so I taped it up with some tape left over from all the Christmas wrapping that occured the night before. I’m going to re-peak the battery and take her out for another flight in a few minutes. But wow, overall I am so excited, this plane is so sweet and so fun to fly. And it flew so good. When it was up in the air, I adjusted the rudder and tail flaps so it would fly level an straight, so now that’s set I don’t have to worry about it. It was just the wind, I couldn’t fly into it and keep it going straight so it just kept getting blown further away, and I didn’t think it was that windy. Next time I’ll know to get it landed until the wind dies down.

So I already bought an 8-cell 1500mAh battery pack from Mike at www.Cheapbatterypacks.com to replace the stock 7-cell 1000mAh pack. Maybe with a little more power, I’ll be able to fly in the wind better. Man I’m such an amateur though. It will probably take a while to get the hang of this thing. Now to get everyone I know to buy a plane so we can all fly together. Check out the pics of this super-cool ready-to-fly plane, before she crashed twice.

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About Dan

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