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Monday, June 25, 2007

Free Flight models can fly OUT OF SIGHT!

Flights that go OOS (out of sight) create mixed feelings. In competition, they can mark the end of your flying day. In recreation, they are a little upsetting, but in an odd way satisfying. After all, the model has performed very well to stay in lift for so long. There is a theory among aeromodellers that the thermal God, known as "Hung", takes only the best models away. This is so that good people can play with them in the afterlife :)

Here are some tips:

1. WRITE YOUR MOBILE NUMBER CLEARLY ON THE FUSELAGE AND WING

It is worth it! Two of my models have flown OOS in the last year. One, an 8" span HLG, was found months later a few miles away in the woods by an old lady out walking her dog. The other, a P-30 rubber plane, was found about a week later in front of a house. It must have been on the roof for a while, because the prop was still stuck up there. In both cases, the finder rang the mobile number and the models were back in the air after just a little repair work.

2. ALWAYS GIVE THE FINDER A LITTLE GIFT

Chocolate is good, wine for adults is ok too.

3. FIT A DETHERMALISER.... OR BUILD LOTS OF MODELS!

DT's are a subject in themselves. Examples are:
  • Pop up flaps (side or top)
  • Dropping weight
  • Dropping streamer
  • Pop up stab
  • Pop up wing
  • Pop up tailboom, also called "broken back"
  • Pop off wing
However, even if you have one, it does not mean that it will bring your plane down safely. Things can go wrong. For example, the DT may not be powerful enough to make the model descend out of strong thermals. Or the DT may fail to operate. Some people just don't bother with DTs, but instead just make lots of models. If you are into competition, I think you need to learn how to make and fit DTs and use them consistently.

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