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RC Plane Runway Area Layout

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RC Plane Runway Area Layout

Old 04-10-2007, 04:56 PM
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Silverwing317
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Default RC Plane Runway Area Layout

Forgive any duplication this may be. I have done several search strings to find my answers but have been able to put a good search string together to get the responses needed.

First, I am new to the RC world, I own a Hobbyzone Super Cub and only have 12 hours of flight time under my belt. I have read or skimmed every last post to the "Official Super Cub forum string and owe my gratitute to the posts. Simply due to them, I have successfully had 50+ flights, never used the ACT, and still have the same original prop, although I always gently tip forward in the 3-4" tall lawn grass. I have a beautiful bowl shaped vally area of 600' x 700' clear of trees and my lawn runs 150'x300' along one of the edges.

5 friends and I are just starting into RC planes and I see this expanding. Are there any general recommendations or typical layout for building a observer, operator and runway area? I will not be able to go to any "roadway" material surface so suggestions about grass height, or dirt runway is appreciated.

Thanks in advance for your responses,

Steve
Old 04-10-2007, 08:49 PM
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khodges
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Default RE: RC Plane Runway Area Layout

AMA has specific guidelines for distance from pits to spectator area, flight stations. etc. Look around on their website. As for runway, if you can set it up parallel to the prevailing winds in your area, it will cut down on crosswind takeoffs and landings. Your surface can be whatever you have there, grass is best, as thick as you can grow it and short as you can cut it. Dirt is much less favorable, during dry times it gets dusty and propwash will have the dust in your carb and stuck to the plane by the glow exhaust. If all you're flying is electric, then not as big a deal.
Old 04-10-2007, 09:26 PM
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dbacque
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Default RE: RC Plane Runway Area Layout


ORIGINAL: khodges

Dirt is much less favorable, during dry times it gets dusty and propwash will have the dust in your carb and stuck to the plane by the glow exhaust.
Very true. I used to fly from a dirt/dust area and an engine would last about a year before the dust ate it's guts out.

Dave
Old 04-10-2007, 10:01 PM
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BillyGoat
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Default RE: RC Plane Runway Area Layout

I suggest finding some clubs in your area and see how they are laid out. Visiting bonafide flying fields and just watching the members fly will give you a good idea how you might want to set up your flying area.
Old 04-11-2007, 07:27 AM
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BillS
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Default RE: RC Plane Runway Area Layout

I simply cut the grass close in an area 75’ by 200’ and fly. Lately I have been taking off the paved driveway and landing in the grass.

My experience is that you will change the runway many times after you start flying so don’t worry about it. The sun and time of day will make a difference. The location of the trees will cause some changes after yur start flying.

Bill
Old 04-11-2007, 07:38 AM
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Default RE: RC Plane Runway Area Layout

5 friends and I are just starting into RC planes and I see this expanding. Are there any general recommendations or typical layout for building a observer, operator and runway area?
Good thinking. If you set up something with easily recognizeable pilot stations and spectator areas, there will be less confusion when visitors start to arrive.

I think you'll want a runway with pilot stations, in front of a plane staging area ( "pits" ), in front of a spectator area. If the delineation isn't clear, you'll have visitors tramping through the pits right up to you while you're flying alone.

One way to do that is to have a road behind the pits, and another behind the spectator area. Pull in, unload your plane, and pull around and park behind the spectator area. Spectators would see the cars and park there. I'm sure there are other ways, but I like that one.

Good luck,
Dave Olson
Old 04-11-2007, 08:31 AM
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MinnFlyer
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Default RE: RC Plane Runway Area Layout

If possible, set it up so you face North when you fly - that way the sun is behind you for al least most of the day
Old 04-11-2007, 01:47 PM
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Default RE: RC Plane Runway Area Layout

ORIGINAL: Silverwing317

Forgive any duplication this may be. I have done several search strings to find my answers but have been able to put a good search string together to get the responses needed.

First, I am new to the RC world, I own a Hobbyzone Super Cub and only have 12 hours of flight time under my belt. I have read or skimmed every last post to the "Official Super Cub forum string and owe my gratitute to the posts. Simply due to them, I have successfully had 50+ flights, never used the ACT, and still have the same original prop, although I always gently tip forward in the 3-4" tall lawn grass. I have a beautiful bowl shaped vally area of 600' x 700' clear of trees and my lawn runs 150'x300' along one of the edges.

5 friends and I are just starting into RC planes and I see this expanding. Are there any general recommendations or typical layout for building a observer, operator and runway area? I will not be able to go to any "roadway" material surface so suggestions about grass height, or dirt runway is appreciated.

Thanks in advance for your responses,

Steve
Here is what AMA has to say:
http://www.modelaircraft.org/PDF-files/706.pdf

Hope that helps...
Old 04-11-2007, 05:07 PM
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Silverwing317
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Default RE: RC Plane Runway Area Layout

Thanks everyone for the thoughts and ideas. The AMA info was very helpful, I have plenty of room for parking, spectator area etc on the property and can use the "orange tape" to mark off the parking from spectator area, pit, taxi and runway areas until we get enough interest to build permanent fixtures.

Looking forward to start with just a few friends, some experienced, some not, to gather. I am lucky that 90% of the wind direction is from the west-s/west so will "mow" the first layout in E to W.

Steve
Old 04-11-2007, 05:47 PM
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Default RE: RC Plane Runway Area Layout

Best of luck with you field.
Old 04-12-2007, 05:38 AM
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Default RE: RC Plane Runway Area Layout

Grass height and runway uneveness will be critical if you're going to fly lots of small electrics like the Supercub. The smoother and shorter the grass, the better off you'll be. One of the nicest grass runways I've ever seen was the Tri-Cities Model Airport outside Richland Washington. Their runway was bulldozed and raked completely smooth before seeding, and has an irrigation system built in. Depending on how much maintenance you want to do, look at how golf greens are built up and seeded. Bent Grass or Bermuda Grass would be ideal, but your climate may not support. If you have a local golf course, go talk to the greens keeper and see what they use. Thats really the kind of surface you want.

For larger planes (glow) with stiffer landing gear and larger wheels, close mowing and rolling, and aeration are usually adequate. It will probably take a seaon or two of regular treatment. A plug aerator rather than a spike is best, and if you can afford it, overlay it with topsoil and sand after aerating. You'll also want to use a good weed and feed treatment. The short grass really promotes weed growth like dandelions and thistle, which makes the runway more uneven. Again, talk to a local greenskeeper about fairway maintenance for good ideas.

Good Luck.
Brad
Old 04-12-2007, 10:41 AM
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Bax
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Default RE: RC Plane Runway Area Layout

Yes, you'll want something closer to a golf course fairway and not a green. While a green-like surface would be nice, it would be a headache to keep up. If you go somewhat similar to a fairway, though, you'll have somewhat lower maintenance.

Actually, for most R/C airplanes, a good-quality lawn grass for full sun that's kept watered, fertilized, and weed-free is excellent. Roll it once a year to help keep it smooth, and mow about 2" or so. You'll have to always be alert for the weeds, as stated above. If you can, talk to a sod farmer about the types of grass that's best in your area for full sun and good root growth. Good roots support the greenery.
Old 04-12-2007, 12:08 PM
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Default RE: RC Plane Runway Area Layout

We have a grass field which we mow twice a week, the length when cut is only about 1/2 an inch. During the spring sometimes it needs to be mowed three times a week, at times I swear you can see if grow before you can put the mower away.
We use weed and feed in the spring and feed with crabgrass killer midsummer late July early August. We have no irrigation an at times during the summer it might get a little brown but thus far has survived.

At our club we have guys flying everything from 2 ft wingspan electrics to gassers with da 150's.

Old 04-17-2007, 09:28 PM
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Silverwing317
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Default RE: RC Plane Runway Area Layout

I have a area of lawn that has a natural burm that runs lengthwise along a stream. It is a smooth wide area naturally suited for the runway and luckily it faces east and west. Our prevailing winds are out of the west so again idea. I cut a runway strip about 1/2 inch tall and approx 15' wide and 60 ft long in the lawn.. This is way more than ample for the super cub, which seems to require only about 20-30 ft at best to take off and if I glide her just right, takes about 40 ft to land and run out to a stop. I have plenty of room to increase the width or length as needed in the future. The grass is exceedingly thick and healthy due to the stream nearby.
I am installing a pole and windsock next.
I really enjoy the Super Cub as my first plane and look forward to trying additional planes in the future. No pile driving or really bad landings thus far although I have had my challenges in wind gusts not losing her when coming in for low fly-bys or touch and gos.

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