Flying is ultimately what we aim to do. Sending your own model safely into the air and enjoying the thrill and fun of the flight. Gaining experience and improving both your skills, and your model's performance. This is what we aim for, but the very nature of flying a model through the air also has an element of danger. GMAC has an impeccable safety record of which we are jealously proud.
There are many different types of model aircraft: Fun-fly, 3D, Sport, Contest Aerobatic, Gliders, Scale Aircraft, Helicopters, Multi-Rotors, Jets and the occasional flying saucer or flying dog kennel.
One of the spectacular styles of flying is 3D. Mastering the art of yaw, pitch and roll makes 3D aerobatics great to watch and fun to perform.
3D aerobatic flying is performed by model aircraft configured with a greater power to weight ratio. The aerobatic manoeuvers require a 3D plane to have large control surfaces. The rudder, elevator and ailerons also have larger throws. This allows the pilot to fly the aircraft in a stalled condition.
The essence of 3D flight is to keep an aircraft in the air whilst at the point of stalling.
Helicopters are also configured to fly 3D. As with fixed wing aircraft the corresponding throws for rudder, elevator and ailerons are larger than normal.
Precision Aerobatics F3A
Precision aerobitic (F3A) is not the same as 3D. Precision aerobatics can be compared to figure skating with its graceful and free-flowing flying. Precision aerobatics models are specifically designed to execute aerobatic manoeuvers perfectly. A true precsion aerobatic plane will have very little self-correcting characteristics, flying where they are placed. A model's length and wingspan must be less than 2 metres and under 5 kg. In competition, judging is based on four basic criteria; precision, smoothness and gracefulness, positioning (display), and size of manoeuver. Precision aerobatic flying can be a wonderful teaching tool, no matter what you like to fly and can be applied to almost every other type of flying.
Helicopters & Multi-Rotors
Model helicopters are becoming increasingly popular. However they require different techniques to fly compared to fixed wing model aircraft.
Helicopters can be co-axial, fixed pitch or collective pitch. Most helicopter pilots will want to fly a collective pitch helicopter. These helicopters are 6 or more channel, with main blades that change pitch. Throttle and pitch are automatically mixed for you in the transmitter.
CP helicopters can be dangerous. GMAC STRONGLY encourages new pilots to seek some hands-on help from an experienced modeler. Helicopters are one of the most challenging model aircraft to fly, requiring good engineering, maintenance and many hours of practice to master. (Above photo from a 3D Heli flight at a GMAC Night Flying Event)
RC gliders are launched in a variety of ways - via a line from a winch or towed behind a tug aircraft, thrown by hand (sometimes like a discus), or by an internal electric motor. At GMAC the later method is most frequently used. For this technique, the propellers fold back once the motor is stopped to avoid the prop from acting as a brake. Continuous propulsion is not normally used. Once your glider has reached a good height above ground level, the glider is leveled out and the power removed. You are then free as an eagle (which we occasionally see stalking our gliders at GMAC) being in the air for as long as your personal stamina can allow it. Catch some lift or a thermal and the sky's the limit.
Please note that RC jet airplanes are extremely fast requiring a high level of preparation, skill and understanding with many years of flying experience needed before attempting to fly. But watching them fly is another experience in itself.
RC model jets are built for speed with gas turbine, pusher and ducted fan engines. The ducted fan engine mounted centrally spins inside of a tube that runs from the mouth of the plane to the rear.
To replicate a full size aircraft to a scale suitable for RC model airplane as a 'scratch built' so that details are as close as possible to a full size aircraft requires many hours of research, design and engineering. Re-creation of a World War I or II 'vintage' design full-scale airplane to around 20% scale, complete the model and then have your maiden flight is what real aeromodelling is all about. Scale airplanes will be seen at GMAC with many events and competitions held nationally. Please chat with GMAC Scale members at the field for further information.