Category Archives: Flying

Stella Flys!!!

I successfully maidened Stella today! Wow, she is a great flier. A few clicks of up and few clicks of right aileron trim and she was rock solid in the air.

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Definitely a bit more responsive than what I am used to, but once I got my nerves under control, I was able to bore some clean holes through the sky with confidence. I got three solid flights in with no problems – needless to say, all flights were at low rates with a a fair amount of expo dialed in. I kept it simple, just trying to get confidence and get a feel for the plane, but I can tell she will be a favorite flyer.

I was a  bit nervous about weight (all in with batteries, she is a touch over 18 oz about 2 oz over target weigh), but she seems to fly just fine. She literally leaps off the ground and slows down to a craw for landing. I always find landing on grass a bit tough with these small planes, I did nose over on two out of three flights, but at very low speed with no damage detectable.

Two very non-flying related issues did pop up though. One was the inevitable wrinkling of the darker colored Solite in the sun. Nothing major and most of it tightened up once I got her home, but a little tweaking with the trim iron to tighten up a few spots will probably be in order. The second was the prop from the other plane I was flying today poked a small hole in the turtle deck covering during the car ride home. Easy enough to patch, but hanger rash on a new plane is always a bummer.

First Fatal Crash

Well it has been over a year since my last post. I have not given up on the hobby, but I did get lazy about posting! I have not worked on my P-47 since last year. I was traveling extensively for work last year and got sidetracked by some home remodeling projects, so it was hard to find a lot of build time. I did manage to put together a StevensAero RV-4 which was a fun little park flyer.

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Unfortunately, I am sad to say that I had my first real outright destroy the plane crash with her yesterday evening. It was due to pilot error, plane and simple. I was getting a little too fancy for myself a little too close to the ground. The plane got into a spin, and I did not have enough altitude to recover. It’s hard to see in the picture, but the forward half the fuselage is just a bunch of broken bits held together by covering.

RV 4 Crash

In a way, it actually feels like a bit of a relief to have that first total wreck behind me. I have been so afraid of crashing that I often hold myself back and end up just boring holes in the sky flying a simple pattern. I did learn a lesson about keeping enough space between my plane and the ground when I am trying out something new though!