This hobby I restarted in 2002 after a long pause. My fist contacts with RC flying I made when my father bought and build 4 sail planes back when I was 13. These included a “Panda” and a “Flamingo Contest” from Multiplex, an “Arcus” from Robbe and a “Reiher” from Krick. At this time we crashed more then we flew because we were not in a club and had to make everything up on ourselves. My Dad soon lost interest and so did i.
Airdancer and Optimus Mk1
In summer of 2002 i found out that very near my flat there was an model airport. I spent a few days there and was “infected”. In late summer i joined the club and bought my first plane, an “Airdancer”. I learned the basics of flying with it, crahsed it off course, but this styro plane takes a lot of punishment and is very easy to repair. I recently sold this plane to my pupil Martin, who’s learning the roots with it now. The next plane i bought from a colleague of our club was the “Optimus” from Carrera. A plane that is out of production for a long time, with a ferran fuselage and 2800mm wingspan. The first configuration involved only elevator and rudder. This plane was crahsed heavily by me from about 60m where a (unintended) loop and following stall snapped a wing.
I restored the plane and and built a new pair of wings, this time with ailerons. In this configuration the plane has proven itself to be “Koralpe” resistent (the mountain where we go slopesoaring in summer). Its no heavy wind plane, but its ideal for “sniffing” thermal tendencies for bigger sail planes.
In winter 2003 i decided to start with aerobatics and got myself a “Twinstar” from Multiplex. This thing learned me the basics of aerobatics (loop, roll, inverted flight, turn). As you can see on the photo i have crashed this plane several times, but it insists on flying :-). Recently it has been tested as camera rig for my video transmission system. Arcus Mk2
When i realised i could fly faster planes then the “Twinstar”, i went into my Dad’s workshop and got out the “Arcus”. This 2000mm hotliner from the old days did put on one hell of performance, once equipped with the proper parts (Graupner Ultra 960 with 8 cells). I really loved this plane, unfortunatly i crashed it into very small pieces, when i pulled the elevator in inverted flight after 1 and 1/2 roll, The impact was so hard that the battery started burning up the fuselage and balsa around it. RIP, Arcus. SE2000
In Summer 2003 i finally gave up to be an electric pilot and bought my first glow plane. The “SE2000” from Simprop is a plane which can be flown fast and slow and is capable of nearly every aerobatic maneuver. The wing could be taken as a hotliner wing and the fuslage is rather small and very light for a glow plane. This makes the plane very fast and also very maneuverable (to much sometimes for me). I crashed this plane twice. Once as the foil on the right wing loosened itself and second time into the water when i was in inverted flight (again!). After this crash the fuselage was not fixable and i demolished the plane.
P40 Warhawk Mk1
Also in summer 2003 i had the occasion buying a little warbird, a “P40 Warhawk” from a local hobbyshop. With a wingspan of 1500mm this was the next logical step after the SE2000. The plane itself flew wonderfull, after i had put a smaller engine in (6.5ccm instead of 7.5ccm) and had accomplished the technique of turning a low wing model. And of course landing and starting was a bit more difficult then with the SE2000. To my shame i lost this beauytfull airplane in the river next to our airport (it was made out of GFK and didnt swim). Possible cause: battery unplugged itself during flight (since then i use fasteners).
P40 Warhawk Mk2 (Internet Picture)
Since i was so depressed on loosing my “Warhawk” i immideatly went to the shop and bought the same plane again, this time in balsa from Kyosho. This one even had more punch since it was lighter then the GFK variant, but it was also more “flimmsy”. The ARF Kit was not to well built and the foil made bubbles all over the wing in the sun. During a loop on the second day of flying i lost the right elevator and it was the river again. This time i recovered all the pieces (not that much damage) but the water had destryoed the wing and fuselage that much i couldnt fix it.
In Summer some members of our club go to the “Koralpe” for slope soaring holidays. Since i didn’t have any sailplanes (beside the “Optimus”) i searched for one. This time i wanted something like the “Arcus” and one that was big enough for the heavy winds. In the newspaper i spotted an “Arriba” from Mutliplex, a 3500 sail plane with nearly 3,5kg. I equipped it with a MEGA brushless motor (MEGA 22/30/3 with 2:1gear and 12 cells) and was immpressed by the performance off the plane. Unfortunatly i blew the controller because i had to big a prop, but now its fixed and flying again.
Calibra (Internet Picture)
As i said i wanted another airplane like the “Arcus”. A colleage from the club said he would sell me a “Calibra” from Robbe. Since it was inteneted for slope soaring, i did not put a powerfull motor in, a Robbe Planeta 700 on 10 Cells had to be enough. The performance of the plane was very good, but only at high speed and strong wind. This also maybe because i did not cover the wing in foil, but painted it very badly (i was in a hury to get all planes finsihed for the holiday). The plane was only flown at the “Koralpe” and there i crashed into a bigger plane and destroyed the wing. I still have the components of the fuselage, but i must say i have lost the interrest in these kind of planes.
A plane i restored for the “Korlape” was the first plane my father built back then, the “Panda” from Multiplex. The plane was very heavy, cause of the vaste addition of epoxy during the multiple repairs. But as soon as the wind started to blow a little it was great fun to fly with it. Complete relaxed flying even for an hour. This is the perfect plane when you want to leave your “biggies” at home and go slope soaring.
In august 2003 i wanted to go electric again, this time it should be a model for aerobatics. After surfing in the net for quite a time i came up with the “Alliance EP”. This half sized F3A machine made out of Depron prooved itself, given the proper motor (AXI outrunner), to be really aerobatic. 5 minutes of pure aerobatic fun and an very easy handling plane when it comes to landing. Almost a park flyer (800g) it still could be flown in light or middle wind. Unfortunatly this plane was stolen from the hangar tent at our airport. Im considering of getting a new one, since it was so much fun. Look to the forum at http://www.club-chat.co.uk to find more pics and pics from other ppl that have this plane.
Bellanca Decathlon (Internet picture)
Currently in process: Bellanca Decathlon 1/4 Scale from Pilot. This is gonna be my biggest glow plane so far (2200mm wingspan, 30ccm motor). Never could finish it and sold it.
This plane i bought from a friend of mine (me in the middle, he on the left), which bought, sold or built them from a dealer in germany. Sadly, right after the foto was taken, i lost control during flight, possibly due to loosing the transmitter crystal, and after a couple of loopings it went into the Danube. That was the final straw in a series of mishaps this year and i quit the hobby, selling all my stuff.
Never say never again. After getting back into the hobby in 2010 flying helis and teaching planes, there was a point when my schoolar was doing quite well by himself and i couldn’t just stand there, not having a plane of my own. So i went out and bought this EPO hotliner, which is flying wonderfull out of the box. Climbs vertically, does all the aerobatics and is quite durable on rough landings. Great fun plane!