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A personal flying field unlike others

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A personal flying field unlike others

Old 02-15-2017, 06:06 AM
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jak_kkaall
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Default A personal flying field unlike others

I live in a small mountain town and I want to show you my flying field, hear your thoughts and find out if anyone else has had a similar journey in building his own field. It's not a fancy field like clubs have just a minimum place where I can fly my planes in good conditions since I'm the only one in my town with rc planes.
After many years of breaking wheels on gras, waiting for people to mow their fields so I could make some flights until the grass grew again, I decided to make my own field. I've searched A LOT to find the owner of one that is not to far and not to close to the town since I don't have a car, so I could carry even my gas planes by hand. I found and rent a field of 200x15 meters with grass on it, pretty rough, in no condition to roll rc plane wheels so I knew I have to flatten it out somehow.
After hearing some people advices I decided to find someone with a tractor and plough it so I could level it after that. After months of searching and mostly waiting a tractor guy to find time for me, I manage to make the grass field into a dirt field. Then I saw a 3,5 tons road roller working in town so I ask him to flatten my field. Which he did..and it came amazingly flat. But not for long...I knew weeds will grow, so I bought 6kg of grass seeds and throw them on the field so I would have grass. I also bought a manual grass mower that I could keep in my appartment. It did grow some nice grass..but nothing compared to the weeds, they exploded!
In a few weeks the soil looked like a potato plantation in full season! So the only way of making the soil practical for flight again was to spray with total herbicide that killed everything and I could fly on the dirt again. And repeated that a few times during each season since then. I have to carry a lot of water by bike to have a quite reasonable flying field that I can fly on. I was thinking of planting a lot of grass and make it green like a real flying field but I have no condition and intention to mow it weekly with a gas powered mower that I couldn't keep in my appartment.
Last summer I've made it table clean and after a month of rain I didn't recognize it. The weeds were 1m tall and finger thick. I had to buy a grass trimmer to get rid of them. That was the moment when I decided to find another herbicide. I've also made myself a roller to flatten it from time to time, and made it from the biggest PVC pipe that I've found, the 50cm diameter one and 50cm long, with removable caps made from wood and a handle. I thought that it has to be filled with something that I have at the field...dirt. So empty has 15kg and filled with dirt I think it's over 100kg. After winter, the dirt field has much roughness so when I throw the roller in..it shows! In the future I want to plant a 2meter wide band of grass on each side of the field and keep it mowed so I can stay on the gras and to have the dirt runway in the middle. I think it will look nice too.
During the winter, I flatten the snow with a snow shovel with some snow bags on it to be heavy, so in a couple of hours I have a snow field on which gas airplane skis don't plunge in. And it's a lot of fun on snow! Did any of you have done something similar? I post some photos with different stages of the field.

My Cessna on snow - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bGyoiWCIg2g&t=133s
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Last edited by jak_kkaall; 02-15-2017 at 07:12 AM.
Old 02-15-2017, 05:02 PM
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I think you may be more dedicated to the hobby than anyone I know ! Or at least to field maintenance... You deserve any fun you get out of it after all that work.
Old 02-15-2017, 06:31 PM
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Yes, you are far more energetic than I am. I found an old pasture out behind my house. I got an old riding lawn mower and roller filled with water. When the soil is dry, I simply mow it to create a functional landing strip. When the soil is wet, mow and roll to flatten out the bumps. Slowly but surely, that old pasture has become a functional landing strip.
Old 02-18-2017, 04:29 AM
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Excellent!
Old 02-18-2017, 08:06 AM
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Congratulations on your perseverance, maybe you should try the geotextile that a lot of clubs are using. It is not overly expensive, when comparing it to a lawnmower and gas expenses. I think about $300 for a fairly big piece. Two pieces make a pretty big runway, maybe 10 meters wide?
Old 02-20-2017, 11:20 AM
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That sound, and looks awesome from net photos. But..among a million questions and aspects, most important ones would be: During one year(summer) there are at least one or two tractors and horses that passes my field, being between other crops that need to be worked out. I usually curse in my had and cover the traces with the feet. I don't think that the geotextile would resist tractors or horses passing on it. I cant mount any fences at the ends because if I had had a fence when I dead stick landed I would have destroyed the plane. Other then that I would consider it..because just now I'm searching for an herbicide and nothing special comes up. It gives me the creeps when I think that spring is coming and weeds are growing. It has been a superbe winter, with about one and a half mount some five inches snow and I've flown more than in any winter.

Last edited by jak_kkaall; 02-20-2017 at 11:26 AM.
Old 02-20-2017, 12:59 PM
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You would not have the geotextile over the whole field, only a smaller section. I would hope the tractors would have a bit of (un)common sense. Horses? I don't know about them.
Old 02-21-2017, 04:29 PM
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Its a shame you can't build a small shed, and just keep a mower at the field.
Old 02-21-2017, 07:09 PM
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I saw a lawn mower out at someones farm with a snow scoop over top of it to keep the rain (and snow) off. It may be a plan if it will not get stolen. I have been planting a slow growing grass at my house so I do not have to cut it as often. If there are a lot of weeds, they could take over I guess. I have had no problem yet. It seems a bit browner in the winter compared to the regular lawn. I am using "Creeping Bentgrass" It is used in golf courses. It grows slower and then goes horizontal. It may tangle up with the wheels if it goes too long? Just shooting ideas out there. The seeds are very small but the same shape as regular grass seeds. They seem expensive, but have to be mixed with 5 parts of sand so they go farther.

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