Indoor Turbine RC Model!

This post is a bit off topic for a website devoted to electric radio control flight. But below is an incredible video of a true RC model turbojet flying indoors!

This remarkable flight took place at the recent Model and Hobby Fair in Leipzig, Germany. The builders and pilots, Christian Huber and Jurgen Schonle, used a Diamond plan produced by Aviation Design.

Wingspan is 2.4 meters and the length is 3.1 meters. The model weighs about 5.5 lbs and uses eight ounces of fuel. Building materials were 6, 3 and 1.5 mm Depron. The engine is a T-20 Hummingbird Lambert.  The engine can operate at up to 235,000 rpm.

As you can see in the video the model handles very well. Keep in mind there is no prop wash over the control surfaces to aid in responsive flight controls with the turbine thrust exiting out the rear of the aircraft. Note the retractable gear and half flaps, needed for the slow flight in the indoor display area. The pilots report they only needed half throttle for the demo.

Also a wise move to have the fire department literally on scene should anything go amiss with the turbine engine. Amazing!

 

February Update

I am happy to report that the move to our new house in Georgia is going exceptionally well. We are truly getting settled in. With regards to modeling activities the big news item is that work on refinishing the basement started on January 18th.

What this means for me is that for the first time in a long while I will have a dedicated workshop! I am very happy at this turn of events and looking forward to getting things set up right. Among other things I will now have the space to build larger electric models, which will open up an entire new area, for me, of electric RC. Planned finish date for the basement is March 30th.

Gordon at Boston Logan Airport

Gordon at Boston Logan Airport

Work at Mesa has been busy. I am learning a lot about flying jets in the northeast during the winter. De-icing procedures, weather diversion, landing in snowy conditions, etc. All good!

I finished my first annual simulator and classroom training in Phoenix three days ago. The Mesa instructors are exceptional and it was a good chance to catch up on a variety of Part 121 airline flying topics. The simulators are challenging with the various emergency profiles that must be flown, but again a great chance to further sharpen your flying skills.

On a personal note I made my initial flight as a First Officer with Mesa Airlines to Boston’s Logan Airport a week ago. This was special as I did my early aviation training in the Boston area. Logan was too big to fly into via general aviation since around the mid-1970s. So it was a thrill to actually get a chance to fly a CRJ-700 to this very nice airport, located right on the Boston harbor waterfront.

We actually had several snow flurries today. I am looking forward to the warmer weather ahead, a new workshop and the chance to really get back into radio control model airplane design and flight. Stay tuned!

Carte Postale Fuselage

I am making good progress with the assembly of my Stevens Aeromodel 1926 Farman Carte Postale.

Precise laser cut balsa sheets of the Carte Postale

Precise laser cut balsa sheets of the Carte Postale

The kit is up to the usual standards of Stevens Aero. The website does an excellent job explaining what comes with the kit and listing any additional components needed to complete, such as electronics, glue and building materials. Note that all of the additional materials can be purchased from Stevens Aero.

It is also a nice feature that this line of ultra-micro indoor flyers are designed around the Parkzone electronics, to include the lightweight, miniature brick than contains the radio receiver, two servos and throttle control. With models of this small size having a standardized set of electronics helps a lot with flight success.

One of the keys to success with Stevens models is the high quality balsa employed that is accurately laser cut. The precision of the parts allows the model to be assembled with a dry fit. CA glue is then used to bond the parts when you are certain everything is in place. Stevens Aero uses some unique assembly methods with their RC models, clearly explained in their construction guide, that takes full advantage of computer drawn plans and laser cut parts.

Carte Postale fuselage under construction

Carte Postale fuselage under construction

It is crucial that you read the building instructions, with each step linked to a color photo, to ensure the parts are correctly put together. The result is a light weight and very strong model, but one built with a methodology quite different than any other RC model you have made prior. Just be sure you understand the step before applying the glue.

The fuselage just took a few hours to assemble and glue together. The build process allows for a self-jigging structure which allows for a completed fuselage without any warps. The engine mount has built in right thrust with a large enough cowl opening to insert the electric motor at a later stage.

So far so good, this is a great kit. The next step will be assembling the wing and tail surfaces!

Mesa Airlines

Study materials for airline flying

Study materials for airline flying

Hello, everyone. Thanks once again for visiting my website . . . it is always fun to share my electric radio control activities with other modelers.

As you have undoubtedly noticed, there have not been many recent additions to the site. The answer to this is that I have been 100% focused on my upcoming training with Mesa Airlines to be a First Officer, flying the CRJ-700/900 aircraft.

CRJ-700/900 Regional Jet

CRJ-700/900 Regional Jet

I depart on January 22 for Phoenix, Arizona for my flight training with Mesa Airlines. Training should last around ten weeks and will involve airline indoctrination, ground school, simulators and Initial Operational Experience flying the CRJ. It will be a great deal of work but I am looking forward to the task. Plus, it has been fun getting back into the books with various aviation subjects.

Standing by a Cessna 172 at DuPage Airport, IL

Standing by a Cessna 172 at DuPage Airport, IL

 

The good news is that once I am done with training and flying the line, I will have time to once again get back into RC modeling and more adventures with aircraft design and electric flight.

Please note that all of my model airplane plans, TurboCAD training videos, etc. will continue to ship while I am in training with Mesa.

Until then, all the best with your RC flying and I look forward to corresponding with you in the very near future!

Check Out the Flying Alien Sphere

Flying Alien Sphere in a close in hover

Flying Alien Sphere in a close in hover

I just purchased a remarkable indoor remote control product – The “Flying Alien Sphere.” Maybe not the most descriptive name, but this creation consists of a three channel infrared controlled hovering sphere and a transmitter with a built in charger. Incredibly, the entire package costs only $20 at Costco. Note that the Sphere can be ordered on Costco’s website (as well as Amazon on line) or purchased in the store.

Three channel IR transmitter and Flying Alien Sphere

Three channel IR transmitter and Flying Alien Sphere

I have made numerous flights with this Sphere and I am most impressed. A full report will follow to include a video. The Sphere includes a rechargeable battery that provides flight times of up to seven minutes. The charger is built into the transmitter, with the transmitter light going from red to green when the charge is complete.

Detailed photo of the Flying Alien Sphere

Detailed photo of the Flying Alien Sphere

The Sphere appears to be very well constructed. Two contra-rotors provide steady vertical lift and turn capability. A separate miniature vertical electric motor and prop provides forward thrust. A nice feature of the Sphere concept is that the rotors are protected in the plastic cage to prevent damage when you bump into walls or other objects.

The Sphere truly flies well. You slowly add power and the Sphere lifts off. The Sphere is stable, has plenty of power and provides an exceptionally solid feel in its flight responses.

Close up view of Flying Alien Sphere

Close up view of Flying Alien Sphere

There is an easily located trim button on the front of the transmitter to keep the Sphere from rotating. It is the nature of infrared controlled flying products that the trim needs to be tweaked just about every time the transmitter is turned on. No matter, this takes only a moment and allows for steadier flight.

The Sphere is best flown close in so you can orientate yourself to the pusher prop. The prop, when pulsed on with the right transmitter stick, bumps the sphere forward. When the pusher prop is off the Sphere tends to settle in a slow backward movement. In short, this is just what you want to maintain full flight control with three channels.

In summary, for $20 you cannot go wrong with this well made and smooth handling Flying Alien Sphere. A full report will follow soon!

Video Menu Tab Added

Demoiselle geared electric motor

Geared electric motor

I added a video menu tab to the website today.  I have 38 videos on YouTube covering a wide range of modeling activities.  Under the Video tab I’ll include some of the more popular videos.  Subjects will include model design, kit review, discuss of ready to fly models and my TurboCAD training CDs.

The PayPal button for the TurboCAD training CDs will go up this weekend.  The CDs contain two hours and 50 minutes of video training on how to use TurboCAD for drawing a set of model airplane plans.  The CDs are my most popular item for sale on IndoorFlyingModel.com, and I look forward to offering them on this website.

The intro video does a great job of going over the TurboCAD user interface.  Learning TurboCAD is like learning how to ride a bike.  You might fall the first few times and be a bit wobbly, but once you get the hang of it you never forget.  I use TurboCAD for all of my model plans.