Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Slime Recovery of Foam Airplane

Last evening was about the most perfect weather possible, temperature in low 70’s, sun, and little wind. I got a later start in model flying so I grabbed 2 rubber powered foam planes and 2 fishing poles to enjoy a couple of my favorite activities.   After breaking the rubber motor on one plane I switched to the other plane that was built with the wing panels curved by heat supplied to me by Neil Dennis. 

Wing Rearward for Better Glide

At this time in the evening there probably wasn’t much thermal lift but I still managed to get flights close to one minute long and still stay on the tiny field.  The best flight was 5 seconds over a minute using 1100 turns on the 1/8” rubber motor. This plane in initial flights had a bad stall in the glide but my Internet friends suggested I needed to move the CG ahead. They were correct and now it had a good glide for a plane like this.  At just over 30 seconds the rubber winds were used up but it took another 30 seconds to reach the ground.


I was going to stop flying after the longest flight and try some fishing but decided to give it just one more chance for a longer flight.  Before launching I should have noticed that what little wind there was had changed direction by 180 degrees. Just after launch I noticed it as the airplane was headed towards a row of trees with a pond on the other side.  Instead of getting a really good line on where it was going I tried to take a picture of it flying away.  

Last Seen Over These Trees

First I checked in the trees around the pond but then I spotted it where I thought it was, in the pond with the slimiest weeds imaginable. After getting my fishing poles I figured out where was the closet spot on land I could cast from to try to reel the plane to shore. That was from a tiny island created by a small stream of water only a few inches deep that had a narrow plank spanning between. I walked the plank without getting wet but that would soon change.  The closest spot on shore had small trees surrounding the bank making casting almost impossible, I had to get into the water to have a chance of casting out to my plane.

Spotted in the Slime

After walking into the water that was warm at least but so slimy, I made many casts with the rod that had the plastic frog lure. Every time I retrieved the lure it was covered with slimy weeds that had to be removed. After enough tries I managed to pull the airplane a few feet closer.  Next I tried my other rod with the minnow lure, I snagged onto it again with this one, I pulled it further but still it was 30 feet away.  

Walking the Plank

By this time it was starting to get a little dark, I considered maybe I should have gone home and brought my kayak back. That would have taken a lot of time which I really didn’t have before it was really dark. A few more casts and I managed to hook into the rubber motor and pulled the airplane to shore minus the vertical fin.  

Airplane Retrieved Minus Vertical Fin

All that effort for an airplane that cost less than a dollar for the materials. This airplane was special to me in that Neil the wombat had given me his heat formed wing panels.  It had me thinking too about the charm of free flight airplanes in doing the difficult retrieve.

More Charm of Free Flight

I had this all-balsa plane stuck in a tree today but managed to get it down with a rock. One must be careful not to get hit by whatever you throw upwards when it comes down. A wingtip broke off but that was the only damage.

Bill Kuhl

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