Mikael Carlson’s Fokker D.VII

This is an astonishing 15 minute video. However, took me longer than that to watch because I had to hear and see a few things over. It’s beautiful. It’s a real lesson on what a WWI could do, size of maneuvers and everything. Take heart next time you get to fly a model of one of these beauty’s. Enjoy!

Visit Mikael Carlson’s website.


Being A Good Test Pilot: Part 2, Setup

Part 2 in an ongoing series about being a good test pilot. These articals are less about step by step hand holding instructions and more about how to think. We continue….

I always conduct an interview of sorts to fill in the blanks of things I may not be aware of such as level of experience, how long the project took, what the MFG says about CG location, suggested weight, what does it actually weigh and etc…. What your fishing for anything that could be a surprise. After the crash, you don’t want to hear the builder say “I thought 1/2″ behind reccomended CG was close enough?!?!”. Your looking for any shortcuts or oversights in the model. Did they use the reccommended servo’s or at least close? Is the battery large enough? How old is it? If the RX is new, has it been run a while? If the RX has come from another model, was it flying fine or did it’s last flight end in a crash? Has the TX been performing well? Are there any used or harvested components in the systems?

Always check the CG against common sense and what the builder says it should be. NEVER trust that it is right. Hold the model up in the air and check it yourself. Measure if you must. There is NO excuse for crashing over a missed CG check.

Control surface throws: I’ve run into many first time builders that started with a few foamy’s, have built their first sport or scale model and they put throws in the model that look like the 3d foamy they’ve most recently been flying. Not realizing the throws apropriate for a 25-30mph ship will be grossly excessive in a 70mph aircraft. Besides asking about suggested throws, apply your own stink test. If it doesn’t look right, it probably isn’t right. I like throws for a test flight just a tad on the high side of suggested first setups. However, you can take this way too far and end up with an over sensitive model. A model that is way out of trim and also way too sensitive is a real handful. Don’t walk into any such traps. Also, if a throw such as the elevator is too low and the model turns out to have an incidence or nose heavy problem, you might not be able to land at a reasonable speed and hold the nose up. Too little therefor can be just as bad a mistake. Try to be reasonable about what’s correct for “this” model. Generally, the faster it flys, the lower the throws should be. Something else to aid here is look for similar level of throws. If the ailerons are deflecting 30 degrees and the elevator only 15 degree’s perhaps the throws will be “out of balance”. Out of balance controls would be one control being sensitive and antoher being soft. This is more difficult to process in your brain when your under pressure trimming out a difficult model. Consider it before proceding.

To Be Continued……..


Seeing To Fly

Peter A. Van Houten, MD
Peter A. Van Houten, MD

Some of you who know me are aware I gave up soda pop because I wanted to avoid all artificial sweeteners and particularly Fructose.  These products have been out of my life for a couple of years now. I may post about the reasons why in the future. At Joe Nal this past week, I met Dr. Peter Van Houton who is an avid modeler and practices at East Carolina Retina Consultants.  While we spoke the subject of soda came up and he told me of his long study of it’s effects on the retina.   He can see how many soda’s you consume each day by examining the specific type of damage on your retina.  This information is imporant to consider for all those wishing to extend quality of vision as long as possible.  He explained to me that he felt it is the primary driver of diabetic eye problems.  Check out his posting on this subject here: Drink Water Not Sodas.


Man Flys With Self Built Flapping Wings

Ok, all in all I am thinking this is big hoax rivaled only by the Global Warming hoax. However, on alot of levels it is every interesting. If it’s faked, it’s very well done. You can visit his website an do some reading for yourself. Of course he’s not flying right now because he’s taken it appart for some repairs and the weather and yadda yadda yadda. There is also an interesting mention of duck tape. Decide for yourself.

I don’t know if I should call him a Pilot or a Perp, but here is his website: Human Birdwings


Motion Induced Blindness

Crazy Eyes
I received a forwarded email from my good friend Archie Philips in Harvest Alabama. It says in part:

“You may find this interesting, it explains how drivers pull in front of motorcycles and say ” I didn’t see him”. Lack of motion Induced Blindness (pilots and drivers too)

Good info and demo. Lack of motion Induced Blindness was presented as a flying issue, but one can also miss things (pedestrians, motorcycles, other cars) while driving, so, keep your heads and eyes moving. The below link is a great illustration of what was taught about scanning outside the cockpit when military pilots went through training they were told to scan the horizon for a short distance, stop momentarily, and repeat the process.

This was the most effective technique to locate other aircraft. It was emphasized repeatedly to not fix one’s gaze for more than a couple of seconds on any single object. The instructors, some of whom were combat veterans with years of experience, instructed pilots to continually “keep your eyes moving and head on a swivel” because this was the best way to survive, not only in combat, but from peacetime hazards (like a midair collision) as well.”

Actual author unknown

Here is the link to the visual demonstration of this effect:
Montion Induced Blindness”

As an RC pilot, I am wondering how many pilots who fly into trees, flagpoles, barns and other objects are suffering from the same effect. I’m not suggesting you should “swivel” your eyes away from your aircraft, just be aware of what can happen. Your gaze if fixed on your aircraft may cause the stationary things in your view (things near you) to disapear or become less aware to you with the background zipping around behind your aircraft. Just a thought. Dave, Radical RC