The flying monkeys got me...

Helis and fixed wing

AMA 957918
IRCHA 4345
AMA Intro Pilot Instructor

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Syma S107 is the Timex of Helis

This is my amazing little Syma S107. It has taught us so much. Hovering, orientation and that crashes can be survived, even ones full speed into a fast spinning ceiling fan when dumb thumbs strike, or when "pulling a Lukey", just letting go of the controls when danger arises causing the bird to fall fast and furiously. Between Aidan, Luke (who are good pilots, especially Aidan) and me, we have punished this little bird. The arrows point to a rather large chip out of one of the top rotors. Its covered with a piece of Scotch tape giving the leading edge its shape and re-balancing the vertical axis, balanced with some on the other side for more gouges over there. This tough little guy has had one crash after another, yet keeps on going. He shakes a bit now, from fear, pain, or something misaligned, I am not sure. Love this little helo; it will always be one of my favorites.  "It okay, baby, Daddy is getting you some new blades.. they'll be here soon."

Honestly, this has been one great starter helo. Unlike "toy" helos, it has 3 axes of control: up/down (elevator), left/right (yaw), forward/backward (pitch). Most toys have only 2 channels, up/down, left/right. 4 channel helos add roll to the other 3 channels (side-to-side). The gyro in this bird give it amazing stability in hover and in flight. I read that the record for controlled flight in a 4 channel+ helo without gyros is 5.56 seconds back in 1969... That's what separates this from the toys, in addition to having 3 channels/axes of movement. This one uses an infrared control radio, which makes it impossible to control outdoors in bright sunlight (tried it, went poorly). I may try it tonight though, in the dark.

Tiny Brite Lights: Nav lighting system

Ohhh.... I want... Have been looking for a way to put realistic nav lights including strobes using LEDs on my helos. Very cool. Wonder if my Walkeras have an extra channel on the receiver, or if I will have to modify the power source leads, something I know nothing about?

Saturday, October 30, 2010

First visit to MCRCC Field

Luke, Aidan and I had a nice visit today to MCRCC Field in Harrison County, up County Road. No helos today, but some really nice fixed wing flyers. These guys (among them, Joe, Greg and Bobby) were welcoming and kind. We watched several pilots fly their planes. The boys got a real pump from watching and can't wait to go back. We are probably going out next Friday, as the flyers mentioned that's the busiest time. My boys became interested in flying fixed winged a/c as well. Can't wait for my helos to get here, wearing out the Syma!

Friday, October 29, 2010

My intro

This was the intro to my blog when I started. I made it my first post.

The flying monkeys got me...

I have always loved flying, especially helicopters (a million parts flying in close formation) for their design and flight complexities. This flying adventure started innocently enough... Amazon came out with an iPad app, and naturally I installed it. Saw an ad for the coaxial Syma S107 Mini 3 Channel gyro stabilized heli, watched the vids about it on YouTube, went back and bought one from my new best friends at (I have many of those in the R/C Heli business now...). The first signs of addiction was the next day I decided I needed a 4 Channel 2 blade heli, and some stuff to go with it, and... well over the next couple of days I spent a lot on a 3 helos for me (the Syma, a Walkera CB180D and a Walkera UFLYS), and some more stuff to go with them that I learned I would need, all of which I learned about on the internet having studied for hours. I visited my local hobby shop (not too helpful), made arrangements to visit the local R/C Club field, and read webpages, watched vids, ordered the cheap R/C flight sim, started a subscription to R/C Heli on my iPad through Zinio, got over my fear buying stuff on the internet from Hong Kong, and waited for all of it to arrive. Addicted? I couldn't even sleep. Then the Syma arrived... It had the power to pull my kids away from L4D and Halo Reach, as the 3 of us shared it over and over again. Their gamer brains and hand/eye coordination made them naturals, and they were hooked, hooked hard. The addiction spread, and before the night fell, got orders for two more helos, a micro and another Syma S107 for my boys, since I didn't want to share anymore.

What do I know about flying helis? Absolutely nothing. Now I know that the R/C crowd tends to call them helis instead of helos, how I don't want to explode a Lipo (I now know a lot about batteries, ESCs, brushless motors and servos), that I want to learn orientation on the Syma before flying my bigger helis, that these things can mess you up if they decide to crash into you, and that I just can't get enough. The Syma flies like I dreamed helos should, and that's with 3 channels. I can't wait to see what 4 channel helis can do! So, this log is of our addiction to the coolest hobby ever. Watch us learn, try, succeed and fail, all on my dime. Next year I'm going 6 channel full CCPM, baby!

October 29, 2010