Just finished our Easter Test Pilot again and had a terrific time. We had an Easter event last year but this time around we wanted to run a really small event just to try out our new courses for 2016. We figured this would both give us an incentive to develop the courses in a more detailed manner longer before the summer and also to be able to use the feedback of the campers to improve things for when we’re inundated with hundreds of campers in a few months’ time.
RC Planes Finished
Twenty six planes all built, and all in the air! Twenty five came down (pretty much) intact. This is Greg just before the maiden flight. Sadly this one went straight in a tree but we were able to retrieve it today with the help of some very long ladders, poles, and the helpful people at Ufton Court.
This was by far our most ambitious camp ever, with the aim to get all campers to build and fly their own scratch-built RC plane. I've got to admit to being a little nervous, as although I was confident in Alex's ability to get them working, it would have been a nightmare if we had some systemic problems to fix. It was great having an expert with us; for those who want to explore aeronautic design and/or UAVs in more detail, you might like to check out his great web store. The planes were built out of foam board and depron flooring, held together with copious amounts of glue and rubber bands.
With a high wing design and plenty of dihedral they proved to be pretty stable and good for learning RC pilots. We also set up a couple of computers with simulators on that the kids could use to practice whilst they were at the camp. The biggest task was just making sure the centre of gravity was correct and most of them only required a little bit of weight-shifting to get some pretty good flights.
With the last of our major camps now over for 2012, it's time for a couple of days sleep, before planning for 2013!