With the fuselage finished it’s time to focus on the undercarriage. I’ve got two major objectives concerning my model: I want to have the capability to take off from smooth runways and I need a suspended undercarriage in order to dampen jolts during landings.
That’s quite an order on such a small model. Since I don’t want to put tundra wheels on a biplane, I probably won’t even be able to take off from mowed grass runways, but tarmacs should do. As a principle I don’t want to omit the undercarriage because on the one hand it offers some protection to the propeller and on the other hand it’s just part of a prototypical look. In fact I only know of one biplane with retractable gear, that being the Polikarpov I-153 “Chaika”.
After framing the fuselage, the nose had to be tackled. This was the first time my skills got stretched to their limits and I had to rebuild repeatedly.
The main challenge was the quite accentuated curve that I expected the stringers to follow. I did manage to bend them accordingly on the fuselage’s halves while they were fixed to the construction board and the fixtures seemed to be stable. However, while trying to join the two halves I overtaxed the wood glue.
After finishing the upper wing quite fast, I chose to continue with the fuselage. On the one hand, because I didn’t have enought material left to build the lower wing, but on the other hand, because I never had scratch-built a wooden fuselage before. Hence, this should become my next test of my endurance.
About half a year after I started flying with my EasyGlider the desire for another model aircraft grew stronger.
I soon realized that I’d have to build my own models rather than buy premade ones. Especially larger models would quickly overtax my financial abilities. However, scratch building can consume a lot of money, too. So I decided to test my will: Do I really want to build a model aircraft from scratch?
Thus an old cardboard filled with balsa wood was ravaged, following the old saying: it only costs time. Taking stock, I realized that the materials wouldn’t quite suffice to build a whole plane. However, it would suffice to put my endurance under proper scrutiny.
One of the first lessons that each model aircraft flyer learns is that we’re dependent from the weather. Sunshine results in thermal lift or favorable wind conditions at cliffs.
Precipitation is so detrimental for most model aircraft, that it interrupts or downright cancels a flight day.
Particulary light-weight models are susceptible to wind. The lighter they are, the farther they are displaced above ground by the slightest breeze. In the very first flying lesson, we get taught: Take off and land against the wind. Tailwind and Crosswind are unfavorable or outright dangerous.
For me, Crosswind is fun!
Crosswind makes the flight day more interesting because it poses an additional challenge to my flying skills. It also prevents boredom since each time it’s somewhat different. I’d like to sketch out how to discern crosswind and how to make use of it.
Since August 2018 I’m flying model aircrafts again. Resuming the hobby after more than 15 years was… instinctive. The old excitement was immediately revived, fortunately the skills followed swiftly.
During the first three months my new training model, an EasyGlider 4 by Multiplex, had to absorb three crashes. I was lucky that the damage was easily repairable in all instances. Now, after more than 1,000 landings and 68 logged flight hours, I’ve started to build my own first model. I will report about that, too.
Foremost I wish to share my experiences and try to help others to (re-)engage in model flying.