Turds Of A Feather...
Someone once said that the most binding chains are those we put on ourselves. Never before was the truth of that driven home as on the weekend when I was out flying with Fearless Flapz at the RC field. I had always thought the sport was relaxing and fun as I watched the intrepid pilots put their RC birds through aerobatics that would make a coroner puke. To the layman such things appear to be mere spontaneous stunting - but they are anything but. Successful areobats have routines as carefully planned and rehearsed as any acrobat - there is NO room for error with aircraft, RC or otherwise. If you try to violate the laws of physics or gravity these things refuse to fly and fall like stones.
Unlike Flapz I could never relax while flying. I dunno how many hours I burned up on the simulator - I can drop 'em on the numbers every time - on the computer. I started adding difficulty with failures, winds, and thermals - and still I fly like a champ in cybernetic skies. But when I was actually up in the air with that stupid little RC plane my pantaloons filled with fright, the red alerts were going off in every compartment of my brain - and I finished short flights gasping for breath and sweating. I crashed an ultralight aircraft years ago and the experience never left me. A dozen times I seriously thought about putting everything up for sale on kijiji and taking up needlepoint!
Last weekend, we scrambled out to the field for Dawn Patrol. This was the day I decided to face my fears and phobias. I was going to loop and roll my little trainer, do it again until my pantaloons over-flowed or my heart stopped ... and keep doing it until I got past this bloody mental hang-up that impeded my enjoyment of a fine hobby. And, by God - I put that little bird in the air and I flew the chit out of it! I looped. I rolled. The fear left and I was back to being the aviator I was supposed to be! Some migrating geese decided to violate my airspace and I put the run on them with the little plane and chased them off! HAR HAR HAR! I felt like a kid again! Before I knew it my timer went and I brought the little plane in for a flawless landing. I can still feel the eurphoric buzz from the weekend. I am not out of the woods yet but - what a difference it made to blow the dust out of my brain box and fly. I was so happy I bought another plane - this one a low wing tail dragger!
This one is an ugly old trainer too - but it has taught more than a few of the club stubfarts how to fly and has been bought and sold within the club about a half dozen times. It is powered by a two cycle 20cc engine and it flies a little more aggressively than my high wing trainer. These crappy models are fun, tough, and inexpensive...but from here things get a little pricier and far more serious. I am torn between getting a serious aerobat...or a beautiful scale model that is built to look and sound exactly like their bigger originals.
Tiger Moth - all it takes is $$$$
Look at the wood and the wires...maybe I should say to hell with this kid's stuff and do it right. For years I was looking at a home built Flybaby.
Be still, my beating heart
Lycoming or Continental 85HP engine, wood and fabric. The original Flybaby was designed and built in the 60's and it still flies today. Burn rate is a miserly 5 gallons per hour. This...this is living!
Or...gosh, I love the classic lines of the Pietenpol Aircamper:
Back in the day, if you wanted to get around Alberta fast...this is how ya did it...
Sometimes I think I ain't doing it right. Gawd, I could die well on a dirt farm with a grass landing strip and a tar paper shack for a home. If my wife ever regains her sense of sight and smell, and I end up divorced...I am headed for the sticks!