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How not to do it...


Propaganda machine
A mate from work bought himself a Bixler RTF, spent a couple of hours on the simulator sticks, and confidently spent most of Monday flying his Bixler. To prepare the Bixler, he brought it in to work and I helped him assemble it, including a removable wing and modifying the box for easy transport. So all went well on his maiden flight day until unfortunately he parked it at the top of a very tall, unclimbable tree, across a busy residential street.

But this isn't the story of how not to do it (although there are lessons learnt there about flying within your playing area...). When trying to retrieve the plane by throwing a cricket ball at it (unsuccessful), a middle aged spinster came out for a walk and was interested in what we were doing. She said she had a plane that a friend had given her that crashed straight away, and she would be happy to part with it for a donation to charity (fair enough).

She then brought out an AXN and a Guanli 36Mhz tx, which was purchased as an RTF on Ebay. The (1300 3s) battery was still in the plane (not hooked up, thank God), the nose was bent back from a dive into the ground, the rudder control horn was broken (as was half the z bend), the horizontal stabiliser wasn't glued in, only one of the aileron servos was plugged into the Y cable properly, the throttle was reversed, the elevator was reversed, the aileron hinges were still, the foam strips over the spar were sticky-taped on and the aerial was wrapped around one of the wings in the aileron groove. The balance point was just behind the spar (too far back). Yikes. I think that was it... Thankfully her attempt failed within seconds, rather than in the air.

You'll be happy to know that I brought the plane home to fix up, and two hours later (including time to convert a basic 2.4Ghz tx from Mode 2 to Mode 1) it was built to how it should be. It'll go through its first proper flight today. Thank goodness we saved that plane from certain death and from becoming a potential killer.