Monday, October 13, 2008

And Now For Something Completely Different!

Well, tomorrow's the big day - Birthday #42! Figuring that I would "treat" myself, I opted for something completely different; something I've never tried before. I have decided to initiate myself into the world of Micro RC! This makes good sense to me, as I have been looking for that perfect plane that I can fly in the front yard, fly in our small gymnasium during the Winter months, and even have something small enough that I can pack away in one of my saddlebags on my Honda VTX 1800 (Hey! Wouldn't it be great to be able to enjoy TWO of my favorite pastimes in one afternoon?).

I have been looking at Plantraco's wares ( for some time, but the cost of the equipment has been just out of my reach. I don't doubt that the stuff is great - if it wasn't, you wouldn't see so many of their products out there!

Termite (on RCGroups) is one of my favorite sellers. This last weekend, he advertised a complete package consisting of a P-51 kit, HXF900 Transmitter, actuators, batteries, a motor, and props. I couldn't pass up the price of $120 for the whole package!

It looks as though the plane is constructed of some very thin (0.025") depron with some carbon fiber to add strength to the fuselage. The wingspan is only 10" and has an AUW of about 12 grams, but the manufacturer claims that the plane can be flown in winds as high as 15mph. I was a bit doubtful, but after seeing some videos of the plane flying in heavy winds, I was sold on it.

This set up allows for RET control and uses actuators instead of servos. I am expecting a serious challenge in building this little thing, as I have very large hands and the typical growing inability to see things that are tiny (stupid middle-age! lol ), but replacement kits are only $15 so if I trash it during the build, I should be able to just get another and try again!

The radio system included in this package is quite intriguing. It is a 900 megahertz system that will offer about a 300' range - plenty for navigating a 10" model around. The radio allows for charging, similar to what so many of the Air Hogs branded toys are doing these days.

If I can manage to get a good build on this one, I fully expect to be able to work up a small case where I can safely store the plane, radio, and whatever other items I want to carry, for transportation in my saddlebag.

I should be receiving the package in the next week, or so. I'll post pics of my progress and let all of you know what I think of it! Picture below is courtesy of Plantraco's website.

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