Saturday, January 28, 2012

Amazing Electromechanics In This RC C-5 Galaxy

 You might be tempted to be very impressed with the size and flying qualities of this electric-ducted-fan (EDF) RC model of the C-5 Galaxy built by youtube user Gradivarius... but that's not the part to be very impressed with. You need to pay attention to the mind-blowing details in the way the main landing gear functions exactly as it does on the real C-5 - this is pure genius! Even better, one of the multiple onboard cameras gives you a perfect view of the gear in action. I love this stuff!

Video screenshot of the RC model C-5 landing gear just before touchdown
 If you've been riding with AirPigz for a while now, you might remember my fascination (and revelation) with how the main gear operates on the C-5. I posted a video here and some pix from OSH10 here (scroll down once there) about this crazy landing gear. And now we've got this incredible RC model to marvel at. And it's not just the gear that's amazing, the fowler flaps incorporated into this model are very impressive as well.
 If you're a freak for more details like I am, the video below gives you a much better look at how the systems function. Some very, very excellent work here - enjoy : )

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Steve Hinton Flies the F86 Sabre (Oh Yeah!)

 This video requires 10 minutes of your time, but it's well worth it. After all, it's probably the only F-86 Sabre flying you'll get to do today : )
Steve Hinton performs in the F-86F at the 2011 Thermal Air Show. USAF Heritage flight segment is flown by Captain Garrett "Mace" Dover, USAF F-16 Viper West Demonstration Team.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Sneak Peek of Some Awesome New Planes from Horizon Hobby! With Videos!

Take a look at thes Great New Ultra Micro Planes from Hoeizon Hobby!

Hyper Taxi VTOL Flyer

Classic GEE BEE Racer

Sunday, January 22, 2012

The Tuskegee Airmen And Their 'Red Tails' In Theaters Today (With Video)

The Tuskegee Airmen movie 'Red Tails' opens in theaters today January 20, 2012

With the release of the movie Red Tails finally here, you may have noticed that I haven't said anything about the film since many of us first heard about it back at Oshkosh in July. I've got a range of thoughts on this project, but the bottom line is I hope we'll all go see it as a way of paying tribute to the Tuskegee Airmen, and to George Lucas for making the film. I know I'm planning to see it this weekend.
 I think the real story of the Tuskegee Airmen is amazing... that these black men, who were experiencing a significant amount of racial discrimination in America, were determined to push thru that to fight for the nation. It's a truly remarkable story. Being willing to put their lives on the line for a nation that still didn't treat them anywhere near an equal. Most of us can't really even imagine being in such a situation.
 But I sensed from the first movie trailer that I saw that this project wasn't going to provide us the kind of epic movie experience that these courageous men deserve. And of course I can't really say for sure since I haven't actually seen the film, but even George Lucas has said that he wanted the movie to be inspirational to teenage boys, so you can see why the movie leans far more toward Star Wars than it does toward an accurate and gritty portrayal of men fighting both the enemy, and the prejudice of their own country.
 Personally, I believe there is only one human race. We are all the same, right down to our very core. God really did create us equal. So to me, the idea that someone would discriminate against another based on the color of their skin seems to border on insane. But obviously, humans have a long history with this form of insanity.
 Ultimately, I'm impressed with George Lucas for making this movie, even if I don't think it does all that it should. He has made it clear that the movie studios had no interest in getting behind the project, and he has personally financed it to bring it to us. Even after it was made and he hoped they would invest in promoting the film, he still had to go it alone. So it's with the incredible history of the real Tuskegee Airmen, and the courage and investment of George Lucas to bring this story (at least in some form) to the masses that I hope we will all go see the movie as a very small way of saying: Thank You. 

Monday, January 16, 2012

Check Out Our Most Popular Links!

 Tragic Airplane Wing Walker Accident - Biplane Loses Power on T.O.
Click Here...

Three Airshow Tragedies in One Week! Including The 'BEAST' Crash and Wing Walker's Fall From Plane Caught on Tape
Click Here... 

Killer Planes 'Hawk Fighter - WOW!!

Usually ships in 2-3 days.

This is the same Hawkfighter listed on the site as an "AARF" (Almost Almost Ready to Fly). That version is for the flier who wants to get their hands dirty and sniff some glue. This version is for the serious pilot who just wants to GET OUT AND FLY the thing! If you're thinking this is expensive, compare it to the cost of 3 or 4 of the other plane you're thinking about- that's how many you'll go through to match the 9 lives of this wildcat!  The Crashproofing installed on this plane is 24 rods (!!!) and one fuselage strap. Every part of the plane is HEAVILY reinforced with carbon fiber rods- there are 13 in the fuselage and 9 in the wings! (The other 2 are in the tail)  In case you're not up to speed on carbon fiber, it's a new "miracle" material-  as strong as steel and as light as balsa, simply unbeleivable stuff.  We should send out a form email reply with this plane, so you can just click "send" when you're ready. It reads: "This is the BEST PLANE I HAVE EVER FLOWN!!"   Get ready for some SERIOUS yankin' and bankin' with a plane whose wings won't snap off!           
Need some more convincing? Check out the video!

Included with this plane is:
  1. A Dynam/Killer Planes Hawkfighter
  2. The power system you choose, installed (Choose a version of the Hawkfighter above. The Hawkfighter 1 is included in the price, and upgrades are additional. The 5 and 6 require some additional motor mounting work.)
  3. The Hawkfighter Max Crashproofing kit, installed
All you need to do is:
1- Choose your version. Hawkfigher 1 does 40+MPH. Hawkfighter 6 does 90+ on a 4 cell battery. How insane a pilot you are is the basic criteria for your choice. (We recommend the Hawkfighter 4 with a 2650mAh 3s 30c)
2- Choose accessories, if you want. (This is a GREAT plane for FPV flying!)
3- Press "ADD TO CART"
4- Fly the Hawkfighter and cry tears of joy. MANLY tears of joy. Then crash the Hawkfighter and LAUGH your crash off!

Wingspan: 44.5"
Weight: 850g to 950g
Thrust: 600g (Hawkfighter1) through 1050g (Hawkfighter6)
Speed: 40MPH (Hawkfighter1) through 90+MPH (Hawkfighter6 with a 4 cell LiPo))
Flight time: 7min (Hawkfighter6) through 15min (Hawkfighter1)
Fun Quotient: 12.5 on the Richter Scale

Visit Killer Planes here...

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Fundamentals of Flight – How does an aircraft fly?

The Fundamentals of Flight – How does an aircraft fly?

Perhaps the most important things to understand before even attempting to build a model airplane, is the “fundamentals of flight”.  These are the same principles that are applied in full-sized aircraft as well. Once you understand these basic principles, I can assure you that RC flying would be a lot easier and a lot more fun.
“Flight” of an aircraft is based on pretty much the same principles as those that cause things in the natural world to “fly”. A bird flies not only by flapping its wings, but by gliding its wings outstretched for long distances. The flight is made possible by a careful balance of four physical forces: lift, drag, weight, and thrust. An aircraft’s “lift” must balance its “weight”, and its “thrust” must exceed its “drag”. The aircraft uses its wings for lift and its engines for thrust. Drag is reduced by a plane’s smooth shape and its weight is controlled by the materials it is constructed of.

 The Fundamentals of Flight   How does an aircraft fly?

 The Fundamentals of Flight   How does an aircraft fly?

For an aircraft to rise into the air, a force must be created that equals or exceeds the force of gravity. This force that is created is called LIFT. The lift is created by the flow of air over an “airfoil”. The shape of an airfoil causes air to flow faster on top than on bottom. The fast flowing air decreases the surrounding air pressure. Because the air pressure below the airfoil is greater than above the airfoil, a resulting lift force is created.

 The Fundamentals of Flight   How does an aircraft fly?The resistance that any physical body that is propelled through the air experiences is called DRAG. It is a result of a number of physical phenomena. Pressure drag is created when the wind in front of the airplane is greater than the thrust pushing it forward. Skin friction or viscous drag is created by rough surfaces. To reduce frictional drag, careful attention needs to be paid to smoothen the surface of an airplane as much as possible.
Usually special materials are used in building model airplanes that reduce the frictional drag.

 The Fundamentals of Flight   How does an aircraft fly?

The weight of an aircraft is a limiting factor in aircraft design. A heavy plane, or a plane meant to carry heavy payloads, requires more lift than a light plane. It may also require more thrust to accelerate on the ground. A small plane, and especially a model airplane, must be appropriately balanced for flight. Too much weight in the back will cause the aircraft to go nose up and too much weight in the front will cause the aircraft to go nose down. In both cases, the plane become unstable and difficult to control. 
Careful attention must be paid to get the Center of Gravity of the airplane at the correct position. The position of the Center of Gravity should be such that the when the plane is held from the ends of the two wings, the plane should be completely balanced. 

 The Fundamentals of Flight   How does an aircraft fly?
Thurst is the force that pushes an aircraft through the air. It must be greater than the drag to achieve the forward acceleration needed for takeoff and to increase an aircraft’s speed in level flight. An airplane’s engine is responsible for producing thrust, and in case of an electric-powered model airplane, the thrust is created by a brushless  motor. The engine or motor provides power to the propeller, which produces the thrust. Therefore, the weight of the aircraft usually determines the size of the engine or motor. 

Once all these four aerodynamic forces act on the aircraft in the intended manner, the result is FLIGHT. It all might sound a bit technical in the beginning, but understanding these basic principles will help you a great deal when you start building and flying your model aircraft. I learnt this the hard way by crashing my first RC plane at least a dozen times. In all the dozen crashes, the cause of the crash was an imbalance in one of the above four forces . Therefore, take a few moments and understand these concepts.

My next article will be an introduction to the basics of a radio controlled airplane. Things are getting exciting so please stay tuned!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Great News! Reno Air Races Return In 2012 (September 12-16)

RARA Announces Reno Air Races Return In 2012 (September 12-16)

(7 pix from Reno 2011 - click to enlarge)
 On Wednesday January 4, 2012, President & CEO of the Reno Air Racing Association (RARA) Mike Houghton brought forth a statement about the future of the National Championship Air Races... the message was delivered with great compassion for the families and individuals directly affected by the Friday September 16, 2011 Galloping Ghost race tragedy, it was full of thankfulness and appreciation for the tremendous response from those who stepped forward to help during and after the tragic event, and it expressed great hope for the future with the intentions of moving forward toward the 49th annual Reno Air Races on September 12-16, 2012 at the Reno‐Stead Airfield.
 Many hurdles yet remain as there are various permits that must still be secured for the races to occur, including permits that would allow the Pylon Racing Seminar (PRS) to take place in June. The PRS is an essential component that ensures that rookie pilots are qualified and safe to be on the race course. RARA has a great record of making the safety of both the pilots and the fans the highest priority, and the press conference included the announcement of a new Blue Ribbon Review Panel. Mike Houghton said "We have created a Blue Ribbon Review Panel, comprised of some of the foremost aviation and safety experts in the country, to examine any possible changes or adjustments that could be made to enhance the already high level of safety established by the FAA and existing RARA procedures."
 RARA also faces a large financial challenge going forward. The loss of revenue from the cancellation of the Saturday and Sunday events at the 2011 race was significant, but there is a lot of passion among race fans and sponsors for what the Reno Air Races represent - a great celebration of the human spirit. It is believed that the not-for-profit RARA can overcome these financial challenges. Mike Hougton said "Our fan support has been overwhelming. During our refund period of mid‐October to early December, refunds were requested on less than 20 percent of the tickets sold for Saturday and Sunday. For a not‐for‐profit event that relies on ticket sales and sponsorships to succeed on an annual basis, this is a substantial number, to be sure, but definitely not one that cannot be overcome."
 Concerning the permit and logistical hurdles yet to clear and what will happen if everything isn't able to come together, Mike Houghton said "In the event we are not able to successfully navigate all of the challenges discussed previously, we will hold a final one of a kind air show and memorial, only for this year. Many of the victims, their families, air race teams and fans have told us they are coming to Reno this September no matter what!"
 For many race fans, myself included, the announcement by RARA to move forward with the races in 2012 is a great sign of the strength of the human spirit to move forward during times of tragedy. And while the new Blue Ribbon Review Panel is a great step to furthering the safety of the races, it is my personal estimation that no amount of planning or protection could have prevented the highly unusual circumstances that led to the Galloping Ghost tragedy. There are risks in being alive, and the greatest thing we can do is to acknowledge those risks and do the best we can at being prepared for what may come... and the rest is up to God. 

The Ultra-Micro J-3 Cub Fun and Easy to Fly! Video Review

When I first heard about the new ParkZone Ultra-Micro J-3 Cub I knew it would be popular with a lot of people who have found the ultra micro models to be especially engaging. The Cub can be flown indoors at club gatherings for great fun or outdoors just about anywhere. All your RC pilot friends will be asking for a chance to fly it. It is similar in some respects to the previous ParkZone Cessna 210 and Citabria but those two are now collector items and the new J-3 introduces a level of detail to these very small airplanes that we haven’t seen before. It can be purchased as either an RTF or a BNF model. Both are complete with charger, batteries and onboard receiver. The RTF model includes its own transmitter while the BNF expects the new owner to provide his own DSM2 transmitter. It is safe to say that ParkZone has re-invented the J-3 Cub one more time.

Matt Andren was kind enough to let me do a quick review video with his production sample after the development work was complete. I took a close look to see what it was all about and then got a chance to fly it out in the parking lot. The wind was blowing a bit, but I think you will be able to see how well it does. Watch the video review and see what you think. This is definitely another ultra micro fun flyer!

Wingspan: 18.2 in (460mm)
Overall Length: 12.4 in (314mm)
Flying Weight: .85 oz (24 g)
Radio: 3-channel 2.4GHz DSM2
Trim Scheme Colors: Cub yellow with black trim

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Clipped Wing Cub - Possibly The World's Greatest Airplane!

 This video of Brendan O'Brien (O'Brien's Flying Circus) at the Rougham (England) Airshow in 2010 gives you an idea of why I believe the Clipped Wing Cub is possibly the world's greatest airplane. On just 100hp (or 90hp like the one I used to fly way back in the day) you get a very sporting, aerobatic leaning, antique icon that is cheap to fly and nothing but smiles, smiles, smiles. You can open the window on the left and the whole door on the right and be almost open-cockpit, or you can button things up and go for a high speed cruise of almost 90mph!

Brendan O'Brien and his 100hp Clipped Wing Cub  (photo: O'Briens Flying Circus)

 It's both an easy and challenging taildragger... there's something very cool about having to fly it from the back seat, but it'll keep you busy when you've got a big person in the front that you can't see around. And to me, it's hard to beat the simple beauty of an old Continental hanging its cylinders out in the breeze!
 All things considered, flying just doesn't get any better than doing it in a Clipped Wing Cub! My personal financial recovery from the collapse of 2008 is both long and very slow, but I'm ever hopeful that somehow 2012 will give me the chance to wrap my arms around a Clipped Wing Cub once again : )


Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Piper Cub - The World's Best Airplane!

Courtesy of
 I got an email today from a friend with a link to this Piper Cub video from Sleeping Dog Productions... wow, these guys have done a really great job capturing the essence of the Cub. So it was an easy decision to let y'all know about their work. Click either of these two screenshots to go directly to the video on their website. (lots of other great vids there too)
 This video does a lot to help explain the kinds of things I've shared over the last two years about what makes the Cub so special. All of my Cub time is actually in a 90hp Clip Wing version, but everything that makes a full span Cub so fabulous is still there in the short wing conversion... and then some in my estimation.
 Seeing the joy that people experience in the Cub is exactly why I think we need a real Cub revolution in America. We need lots of flight schools all over the country teaching people to fly in simple, cheap-to-operate original J-3 Cubs that cost $50,000 or less, and that's in good enough shape to work their tail off. With super-low operating costs and more smiles-to-the-hour than any Cessna 150 could ever deliver, a Cub revolution could inject the big missing element in modern General Aviation... pure passion for the simple beauty of flight.
 Maybe it's just me, but modern LSA's just can't inspire the same love for flying that a 1940's yellow Cub can. So I'm still hoping someone will spark a nostalgic revolution of authentic Cubs that are affordable, beautiful, and most of all - a perfect joy to fly.

Get Some Piper Cub Goodies from Paul's Hobby Hangar



Monday, January 2, 2012

Scratch Built Electric RC Autogyro = Fun, Fun, Fun!

DateCourtesy of
Super simple electric RC autogyro - screenshot from the video below

 I admit that I've never been the biggest fan of gyrocopters, but old-time autogyros (or autogiro's) like the 1930's Pitcairn make me tingle as much as any flying machine I've ever seen... so it's no surprise that I really enjoyed seeing this scratch built autogyro from Gary Jones, the man behind ultra cool RC aircraft like the 5.4 pound, 10 foot wingspan C-47and the VTOL Dark Deltoid.
 Not only does this simple little rotary wing flyer with the tractor mounted electric motor fly great, but as usual, Gary's video is very well done too. His secret on the video is a camera mounted on a baseball cap. That way, all he has to do is keep his head pointed at the aircraft to give us a smooth track thru the air. This works much better than trying to have someone who doesn't know where the airplane is headed running the cam. And, these very light weight models also make it safe to fly them very close by so that they fill the frame. It's these great views of slow flying machines that really capture the magic of flight. And listen closely when the autogyro gets really close the the camera... you can hear that awesome 'whirlybirds' rotor sound! I love this stuff!
 If you watch the way Gary flies, you'll also see a pure love for the simple art of steering a flying machine thru an ocean of air. So, if flying is just a job to you, or a means to move you or some stuff from point A to point B, I encourage you to watch a video like this closely and see what it really means to Love To Fly : )

 Here's the simple HatCam that makes these sweet videos possible