Monday, December 1, 2014

Walkalong Gliders and Indoor Flying

With the cold temperatures outside I have been trying to do some type of model flying indoors whenever I can. Slater Harrison aka ScienceToymaker had sent me some of his latest foam walkalong gliders when it is warmer for testing but I am just now getting more serious about trying the gliders at different places.  The gliders are so light that any unwanted air movement can disturb the flight. A couple of weeks ago I was doing an impromptu demonstration at Everything Hobby of one of the foam gliders. I was able to fly through the hobby shop fairly well until a door was opened changing the airflow.

Walkalong Flying at Everything Hobby

Model Helicopters and Quadcopters at First Gym

Last week I took some vacation time before Thanksgiving and was able to do some flying in three different gyms. I tried demonstrating the walkalong gliders in the first gym but the airflow from the heating system made it really difficult. The radio control helicopters and quadcopters were not bothered so much from the airflow.  I tried to demonstrate a simple rubber powered free flight plane also, the AMA Racer. It tolerated the airflow better and even interested a boy there with his father to want to fly it. My coaching wasn’t good or he wasn’t listening as he tried to launch it like he was throwing a baseball and that didn’t work too well. 

AMA Racer Flying in First Gym

That same evening I flew at an even larger gym, first flying the flying wing I had put together after my Guillow’s RC Cessna 150 had crashed and then the Guillow’s DHC-2 Beaver converted to electric RC. In the large gym I was able to do nice loops and even rolls.  As in each of the three places I flew, I was the only person with model airplanes constructed of balsa wood. Some people do build their own planes but still use foam as it is more forgiving when crashed into hard surfaces. Saw a really clever RC Champ made from two Champs connected together by the inside wing that flew well, the owner had thoughts of connecting three together. I flew the free flight AMA Racer here also and it climbed close to the rafters.

Flying Wing Flew Great Indoors

Double Champ

Larger Gym for AMA Racer

On the next day I flew in another smaller gym with the radio control planes, it forces you to really be aware of the wall, ceiling, and floor boundaries to avoid a crash. The other flying I did was flying the walkalong glider inside the house through three connecting rooms. I found that using a large book for a paddle instead of the big sheet of foamboard worked fine.  To be able to steer the glider through doorways and around obstacles takes a fair amount of practice. Steering with the paddle must be done very smoothly or too much turbulence will be created and the glider will head to the floor.  To keep the rear of the glider close to upper edge of the paddle, walking speed must be just right. 

Flying Through the House 

Glider Surfs a Wall of Air Next to Top of  Paddle

I find so many interesting aspects and challenges with model aviation.

Bill Kuhl

Related Links

Walkalong Glider and Foam Store

Cessna Flies and Cessna Dies

DHC-2 Beaver RC Conversion

Everything Hobby

Trying to Learn Tumblewing Not Easy

Thermal Soaring a Walkalong Glider

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