Flying the Firebird II
This page is still sort of under construction. Check back again in a few weeks and hopefully I'll have more pics and more coherent commentary.
Hobby Zone Firebird II
Well, I watched the video and then kept crashing until I figured it out. Then I crashed some more. I got a little better then crashed a few more times. It's good the plane comes with two wings because the first one is sacrificed to the initial learning curve.
I went to the park last night for my first flight. At first I was confining myself to a narrow strip of field because most of the field was occupied with a soccer game. This was a mistake as I crashed into a tree. Twice. Lucky for me there was this little kid that liked climbing trees. In fact, there was no talking him out of it. These were old trees that I wouldn't go near with a cherry picker, but the kid shot right up them. Saved me $80, so I let him drive my wife's E-Maxx around.
Eventually the soccer guys cleared out and that's when I finally started getting the hang of it. The battery lasted much longer then I expected. Like maybe 15 minutes total. I think it's a little hard to fly now because the wing is kind of messed up, but I want to get some more practice on the first broken wing before I switch to the spare.
It turned out to be a lot of fun. I'm glad it was only $80. Anymore than that and crashing would have irritated me and made it not fun.
No little kid to bail me out this time. Spent most of the morning with a rock on the end of a string trying to stone the plane out of a tree.
Later that day...
While replacing rock-damaged tail section on the plane, I made an interesting discovery. The levers that operate the tail flaps have four mounting holes from least sensitive to most sensitive. I don't recall reading about this in the instructions. Out of the box the levers were set to their least sensitive position. When I installed the new tail, I set them to the second to most sensitive position. This seems to have made all the difference. I have way more control now and lots more fun.
I'm getting better. I can do the basics like turning and landing without crashing. And I did some controlled stalls and dives. I was flying this afternoon in too windy conditions. It was fun, but I got pushed into the ground a few times. And I still crash into trees. I don't understand the trees. I'm in the middle of this huge field and I and still can't always keep the plane within the perimeter. But I'm getting better at crashing too. If I see I'm going into a tree, I'm getting better at nosing it into the ground, or at least crashing low enough into the tree that I can get it back. This is one tough little plane.
Excellent flight tonight. I think I'm finally on the down side of the learning curve.
I broke a wing in mid-air. Cool crash! The wing was already messed up, it was just a matter of time. I have now destroyed one wing and half way destroyed the second. I've also replaced the tail, the prop and a bunch of rubber bands. The prop didn't break, it just pops off when you crash and I finally lost it in the underbrush. It should be florescent orange instead of gray.
If you don't have a near by, well stocked LHS, buy lots of spare parts with your Firebird II.
Well it's been a few weeks now since I've flown my Firebird II. I became a little discussed with the plane, but that's because I was trying to fly it in too windy conditions. You need a calm day to fly this plane. Check back later for more updates.