Monday, February 27, 2012

The Pterodactyl Maiden Flight

Well after nearly 12 months since the Pterodactyl arrived on my front door step, the day finally arrived where I thought yes, today is the day to maiden her! Walking the dogs at 7am on Sunday morning without a breath of wind and a crisp sunny sunrise, I decided yeah the time was right.

I loaded her into my car along with a few other models and set out on what I hoped, would be an uneventful mornings flying. On arrival at the field, I decided to warm up with my other models before finally going for it! My flying buddies asked if I'd had a photo with it first (hmmm were they not very confident it would return in one piece??), so I decided to pose with the bird first off.
With the 3S 2200mAh battery installed, I did a receiver range check and checked all the control surfaces once again and then ventured out onto the strip where I hand launched the Pterodactyl into its maiden flight. Wow! Straight up she went and not a word of a lie, but she didn't require any trim on any of the channels. I was stunned in how true and well she flew.

I did numerous circuits before landing just short of five minutes. The landing was pretty fast, but no damage was done. What surprised me however, when I checked the battery, the meter showed there was still 82% of charge left in the pack! 18% for 5 minutes flight! This was one truly happy maiden and the sense of achievement was fantastic given the many hours I'd spent carefully building this beast!

Not content with just one flight, 30 minutes later, I took a fresh 2200 pack and flew the Pterodactyl for just short of 9 minutes. This time, I'd increased the rates and expo slightly, but again she flew like a dream in the 5-8mph wind. Checking the battery this time once landed, and I still had 65% of charge left. She flies around on a quarter throttle easily.

Here’s the video of the maiden flight. Thanks to Ron Marston for designing such a brilliant model which has been a joy to build. Many thanks also to Roy Monk for the help on the build and covering. I look forward to flying her again for many more successful flights. Enjoy!

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