– Ben Martens

Maiden Flight

My RC adventure took a big step last weekend. All the pieces came together, and, after hours on the RC simulator, I had my first real flight!

The plane looks really basic and that’s because it is. It’s the FT Flyer from the Flite Test 3-pack swappable kit. They have a series of planes that all use the same power pod (speed control, motor, batter, receiver, etc) and this kit included three different planes. All the pieces of foam are precut and you just follow their build videos to put it all together. Even with all that help, I had plenty of mistakes in my first build, but hey, it flew! Sort of.

On Sunday afternoon as the sun was setting, Tyla, Elijah and I headed down the street to the school and carried the plane out to the soccer field. I powered it up and took off. Success! After a few uneasy loops, I brought it in for an ungraceful landing. It doesn’t look very nice but nothing was damaged. When I picked it up, the rubber band snapped the landing gear back into place and I was ready for my next flight. The second flight was longer and I decided to try to trim it out. I had balanced the plane but it really wanted to dive to the ground. I didn’t want to take my eyes off the plane so I reached down to my transmitter to hit the elevator trim button and hit the power button instead! The motor went to full throttle and the plane dove straight into the ground. Oops! The plane was almost completely undamaged except that the prop was broken. I had plenty of spares but they were all back home and given the lack of remaining daylight, we called it a day.

Later that evening I got it fixed up and eagerly await my next opportunity to snag some daylight and fly again! I’m planning to get more comfortable with this plane, build another one or two from the kit and then hopefully buy something a little nicer. I want to get a lot better with fixed wing flight before moving on to multirotors.

This hobby combines a lot of smaller hobbies like model building, electronics, and video games. I could definitely see this becoming addicting. If any of you local friends are interested in getting a peak at the hobby, please let me know! It would be awesome to have some of you doing it too.