It is commonly said that a
nose-heavy plane is better than a tail-heavy plane. For whatever reason, a
lot of flyers take that to mean that nose-heaviness is a good thing. It is
A nose heavy airplane will not trim
properly and tends to run out of elevator on landing. This means either
stalls in or a higher than necessary landing speed is maintained to keep the
The best thing to do is balance
the plane so that it is neither nose heavy nor tail heavy. I usually
start at around 33%
Mean Aerodynamic Chord MAC and adjust from there until I achieve the
best balance point. I use stick on weights temporarily and once the
balance point is located, I use lead shot mixed with epoxy glued inside
the airframe to make it permanent.
The night before you go flying, do
a pre-pre-flight inspection of your models at home. You will not be
distracted by your friends talking to you and you may find a problem that
needs to be fixed at home or remember something you planned to change or
adjust before you took the model again.
Your time at the field should not be consumed by tinkering with your model
other than to make
trim adjustments between flights. When you get to the field, you
should be able to assemble your plane, do a
pre-flight and then fly.
crash a plane and think
it is totaled, do not get so upset that you do not think clearly. Nothing
is more annoying than having someone else show up at the field a few weeks later
with a plane you threw away and seeing them have a lot of fun with it.
At the very least, take the plane
home and wipe the oil from it. Then set it aside until you are able to
look it over objectively. If you still decide to toss it then salvage any
useable hardware from it before putting it by the curb.
Do not keep any of the
may be questionable though. It is not worth saving a dollar or two and
losing another plane because a critical piece of hardware failed.
Any time you go to the field, try
to take at least two planes. Especially if you are taking a finicky
airplane or a new one. Make sure one of the planes is a reliable
every-day type. If one of the planes has problems, you will not be as
tempted to fly when its flight worthiness is questionable because you will
have another plane to put in the air.
In the same vein, if the plane has a
problem, such as intermittent radio problems, do not fly until you find out what
is going on. "Well, I guess the problem is gone now," is the wrong answer.
One way to have good public
relations is to have an easy flying model with you that you can let visitors try
when they come to the field. Not long before losing her, I let a dozen or
so Boy Scouts try their hand with
None of them had ever flown R/C before and all did a fair job of steering her
around the sky.
Beware of the adult who says he
flies full scale aircraft. I have had several instances where these guys
tried to impress their buddies by attempting to perform stunts with my planes
even though they had never flown an R/C aircraft before.