I’ve had a great week of flying, adding approximately another 40 minutes to my flight time so far. Sky Hawk has a new fuselage and now everything is straight and square for the first time since I got the plane. The flight characteristics are a pleasure and I can quite happily do loops. I am trying to get the stall turn right but so far all I’ve gotten is a dramatic vertical stall where the aircraft falls straight down but going backwards before snapping over quite violently. These maneuvers don’t freak me out any more because it is fairly easy to recover from these maneuvers with my new and much stronger wings.
Unfortunately the new fuselage didn’t come with switches or an engine mounting plate which I was hoping for so I haven’t quite fixed everything yet. It also seems that the battery cooling is no better in the new fuselage where it is mounted in a plastic tray with cooling air around it, to the old fuselage where it was enclosed in a piece of foam. The battery has been getting very hot lately and not lasting as long as usual (resulting in some premature landings). I hope it isn’t dying on me but I also wonder if it is being affected by the extremely hot weather we’ve been having lately (over 30 degrees). The other likely explanation is that I have been using more power than usual now that I am trying some aerobatics.
The weight and balance has been significantly improved by the new fuselage. I no longer have any extra weights in the aircraft and although the center of gravity now sits at 33% of the chord, instead of 25% where I had it before, the plane flies much better. The last item I replaced was the propeller having ordered the original propeller from the model shop. The original propeller doesn’t have the same thrust as the Sky Lady propeller I was using as a replacement so the aircraft flies slight slower. This has both its advantages and disadvantages but I did seem to have a bit more power going into the loops.
Now that the aircraft is repaired and structurally sound I can pull quite high g’s and hence tight turns. This means that I could theoretically fly in a smaller space. However, with the aircraft being so much lighter, it is also more difficult to land because it simply doesn’t want’ to come down (it is a glider after all). I can quite happily maintain altitude at half throttle and climb satisfactorily with a few clicks extra. I think that if I keep flying at the rate I am, it won’t be long before I get quite good at landing in tight spaces and I might even start looking at aerobatic routines to practice.
Sky Hawk flight time to date: 4h59min
Number of flights: 37
Not bad considering that I broke the original wings in half on my third attempted flight!