Thursday 18 October 2012

Hobbyzone Champ

Showing Off
Look at the band I'm in playing a blues song with Troy Tate very very well!

Looking a fool
I recently bought a radio controlled model plane called a Hobbyzone Champ. It was £70 which seems to make it either a rather expensive toy, or a very cheep model. It's actually somewhere in between. In the box you get everything you need - the plane with radio reciever and motor, a flight battery, a battery charger, and a radio transmitter. On the day I bought it I had the box at home by 10:00 and was in the park flying it at 10:30. The plane is small and light (less than 18" wingspan and 1.5oz) so it needs a calm day or a sports hall. It's designed for beginners and it's easy to fly. It has large dihedral so it always wants to keep it's wings level. It has large tail surfaces so it always points in the direction of travel. The propellor has a large component of downthrust so the throttle barely affects pitch. At full throttle the plane climbs gently, at low throttle it glides back down. With one exception the flight characteritics are completely benign, reactions to control inputs are gently and predictable. The stall is obvious and recovers automatically. The glide angle is impressive and with no control inputs it always ends up the right way up. The only problem is that when you apply rudder the plane drops its nose. If you keep the rudder applied for any length of time you end up in a spiral dive. It's actually hard to make a smooth 180degree turn.

It was flat calm on Sunday morning and I took my Champ out to practice touch and go landings. Predictably I got it stuck in the top of a tree in the local park and had to climb up and shake it loose. I have done something similar many times and I would have felt completely comfortable had I been in my early teens and wearing scruffy clothes. In fact I'm pushing 40 and I was wearing a smart black wool overcoat, pristine jeans (I tend to do laundry on a Saturday) and handmade leather boots. I think I felt most self concious when one of the dog walkers came and asked me what I was doing.

Richard "wrong age wrong clothes" B

No comments: