RC Plane Experiment

Every now and then I get hooked up with new hobbies, this time it was RC planes. I used to love playing with electronics when I was a kid. Sometimes I was encouraged to play with electronics (when our Philips tape recorder would bail out on us or when our mixer and grinder would cease working) manytimes I was not allowed to touch them (our television set, telephone and wrist watches to name a few).

Anyhow, I was surfing over the internet and came across the website DIY Drones they do pretty cool stuff and I was impressed by the things that these guys do, I really wanted to buid a drone for myself and my quest for the drones began. I soon understood that it was a significant undertaking for a person like me, who has little or no understanding of how airplanes fly (except for the fact that they fly on Newton's laws and bernoulli's principle - I knew it before I saw Friend's ! ).  So I started with a very basic step - buying an airplane.

Now this was not a simple thing, I probably spent about a week trying to figure out which plane is good for me, not to mention that I wanted an economic plane. After a lot of research I brought a RTF J3 Piper Cub from Nitro Planes (they were offering it for cheap during that time $70)
It was a ready to fly plane, which basically means that it flies out of the box. The RC transmitter and receiver is an important part and I wanted it to be the best, as I am relying on it to control my plane which will have my precious payload (GPS, Camera etc.) ! So I brought a Spectrum Dxe5 controller,
for $99. It is a 5-channel controller, a 5-channel controller means you can control 5 functions of the plane using the transmitter/receiver, those 5 functions are
Refer: http://www.grc.nasa.gov/WWW/K-12/airplane/alr.html

  1. The Motor (Throttle) - which generates the thrust.
  2. Ailerons - used for maneuvering the plane left or right.
  3. Rudder - used to navigate the plane left or right (rudder is sufficient to change the direction of the plane, aileron are not must but are very desirable for acrobatic maneuvering).
  4. Elevator - used to life the plane and slow it down during landing.
  5. Retractable Landing Gear.

I will scrap the FM transmitter and reciever that came with the plane. The plane that I brought for the time being will be only using 3 channel 1,2 and 3. I can't wait for it to arrive so that I can start
playing with it.

I also brought a GPS module (SiRF 2 chipset) for logging the raw NMEI data of my flight, I am planning to interface it with my Aurduino module and use it
as my personal data logger. I will keep posting about the development.

Happy Flying