Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Sky Bunny Postal Labor Day Weekend

I was finally ready for a model airplane postal contest this past weekend, having built a Peck Sky Bunny from an older kit and not the new laser-cut kit. It was good to have a three day weekend to try to get in some flights, I wanted to try to fly during the better weather but didn't want to wait too long and have the contest ended. Postal contests are where flyers time their own flights and send the results to the contest sponsor, when the idea first started correspondence was by postal mail, now these contests are held over the Internet. Gary Hinze who is a major contributor to the Endlesslift blog did an outstanding job getting the word out on this contest.

The Sky Bunny is a rubber powered free flight model airplane that is not a pure beginners model but might be considered a good second model to build. It can be flown indoors but is normally considered to be an outdoor model, it does not have a dethermalizer as part of the design but it can easily fly out of sight in thermal lift.

I got up early Saturday morning hoping to fly before the wind became too strong. The field I was flying from is small, on my first launch my Sky Bunny circled so close to a row of trees, somehow my plane missed the trees. After changing the launch spot I had a 56 second flight, not wanting to risk trying for a longer flight from the small field I called that enough. Sunday was windy and rainy so no flights were tried.

Monday morning it was overcast but the wind was low and had switched to the north. The first launch of the Sky Bunny ended quickly as the plane had too much right turn and went into a spiral into the ground. I adjusted the rudder tab but now there was almost no turn, I chased it across the somewhat larger field I was flying from. The next flight the turn was about perfect but the rubber motor seemed tired so I switched to a new rubber motor.

Another launch and the Sky Bunny was climbing like crazy from the start, even after the initial steep climb during the power burst the plane just kept climbing as it circled, it had to be in thermal lift. This was just what I wanted but I was wondering if would ever see the airplane again. It did start to come slowly time but this time my stop watch showed 109 seconds, wow was that cool. I considered stopping with that flight but decided to try again since I was getting so close to two minutes. One more try and the plane was again circling so high above, maybe this would be the last flight but no, it did come slowly down but this time was 115 seconds.

After risking the Sky Bunny several times over the weekend I decided I would accept my last time and go home with my Sky Bunny. As good as my flights were they were no where near what it would take to win the contest. I read that  Bill Vanderbeek had a flight of 490 seconds and then lost sight of his Sky Bunny. It certainly is possible I had lost one of my rubber powered foam airplanes after watching it for over 3 minutes at this field before I could not see it any longer.

Second Place

Bill Kuhl


Sky Bunny Postal Endlesslift

Peck Website

Fantastic Foam Flyer   - My design rubber model that flew out of site.


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