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Reasonable flying winds?

Old 02-15-2014, 02:26 AM
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abufletcher
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Default Reasonable flying winds?

So just how much wind are you guys willing to fly in? What's your personal comfort limit? Obviously it depends a lot on the model and what you're used to. I hear from the guys in Oklahoma that it basically never stops blowing. Me, I like a nice gentle day for flying scale models but it's also fun occasionally to fly in a stiff wind where you can actually have the model moving backwards relative to the ground!

I see that tomorrow's weather forecast is for 15+ mph winds. That's probably more than I'd be willing to tackle with my SE5a. (Today we had snow.)

On the Beauford Scale this is considered a 4 = Moderate Breeze:

http://www.hpc.ncep.noaa.gov/html/beaufort.shtml

Last edited by abufletcher; 02-15-2014 at 02:28 AM.
Old 02-15-2014, 02:37 AM
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abufletcher
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I really need a junker (not a Junker ) to fly on days like this!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZikH5Cn8ix0
Old 02-15-2014, 02:47 AM
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bogbeagle
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I'd be reluctant to fly in winds above about 15 mph. There's just no fun in it, for me.

The risk of damage increases exponentially, with windspeed/gustiness ... plus, I like to aim for precision, which is impossible when the model is getting hammered by the wind. And, my favourite models are lightly-loaded types.

Making a landing that is really "just an arrival", is deeply unsatisfying.

Claims of, "Oh, I always make sure that I go flying when it's gusting 40 ... " just make me smile.
Old 02-15-2014, 03:10 AM
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Generally, I agree with those sentiments. However, flying on perfectly calm days when the model almost flies itself can also be unsatisfying.
Old 02-15-2014, 03:17 AM
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bogbeagle
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Originally Posted by abufletcher View Post
However, flying on perfectly calm days when the model almost flies itself can also be unsatisfying.

Not unsatisfying for me. I love calm flying weather.

Last edited by bogbeagle; 02-15-2014 at 03:21 AM.
Old 02-15-2014, 05:08 AM
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aymodeler
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Originally Posted by bogbeagle View Post
Not unsatisfying for me. I love calm flying weather.
X2

A light steady breeze is OK, but if I am fighting wind all the time, it just stops being fun for me.
Old 02-15-2014, 05:24 AM
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abufletcher
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Some of the most memorable (in a good way) moments in my RC flying life have been on windy days. For me there is almost pure joy...the kind that makes you laugh out loud while flying...that comes from seeing the model sitting absolutely still in the air and then suddenly diving it off to one side with the wind. Or when I brought my Puppeteer biplane in for an almost vertical soft landing.

But I was also keenly aware on these days that each landing was a reckless adventure and so I ended up only chancing it two or three times. But, oh, how I felt like a Flying God on the drive back home with my model intact!
Old 02-15-2014, 05:26 AM
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bogbeagle
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Originally Posted by aymodeler View Post
X2

A light steady breeze is OK, but if I am fighting wind all the time, it just stops being fun for me.
Actually, I think that's what I favour, too.

Five knots down the centreline is just perfect for me and mine.
Old 02-15-2014, 06:00 AM
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049flyer
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I have flown a 1/2a plane in 40mph winds one time just to say I did.

Normally anything less than 20 mph is acceptable but less than 15 is less work. 15 mph is my limit for gliders, don't want it to fly away!

Best part about windy days is most everyone else stays home, especially the giant scale and electric crowd.
Old 02-15-2014, 06:04 AM
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I live in Wyoming, but have to agree, 15 mph is about when I pack up and go home!
Old 02-15-2014, 06:31 AM
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From Oklahoma City, we stop training around 15 MPH. Reason one the planes are bouncing around so much the student isn't really learning anything and two our field is next to a lake, whitecaps form at 15 MPH so if there are whitecaps we're not training

Personally I'll fly a sport plane up to the point the wind is not rolling it backwards on the runway at idle. I helped a HS class at a racing event last year with GP Dazzlers. Two of the landings that day hovered to the touchdown point with the tail up. Taxiing was in essence flying to the grass on the main wheels. Fun but don't want to do it all the time.
Old 02-15-2014, 06:42 AM
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abufletcher
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Originally Posted by MajorTomski View Post
...whitecaps form at 15 MPH so if there are whitecaps we're not training
I often wear a cowboy hat when flying. And I figure when it get windy enough to blow my hat off, it's time to stop flying!
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Old 02-15-2014, 07:10 AM
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Hmm...the weather prediction is now for 26mph winds. I'll probably still make the two hour drive to the field...but only to see what's up and probably then go for a hike.
Old 02-15-2014, 07:13 AM
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Being one of those Oklahoma folks, it really depends on the wind direction. I do NOT like crosswinds, but do fly in them when they are light. When I review the weather reports, I look for predictions to be in the 10 to 20 mph range. Then, I look for direction. I will go to the field under these conditions knowing that the closer to 20mph it gets, the more important the direction becomes.
Old 02-15-2014, 07:13 AM
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Originally Posted by hairy46 View Post
I live in Wyoming, but have to agree, 15 mph is about when I pack up and go home!

Fifteen, down at human level, is quite a considerable breeze. I feel no shame about quitting flying.

Last edited by bogbeagle; 02-15-2014 at 07:16 AM.
Old 02-15-2014, 07:48 AM
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abufletcher
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Originally Posted by bogbeagle View Post
Fifteen, down at human level...
This is a good point. The wind we feel on the ground is often considerable less than the model will be subjected to up in the air.
Old 02-15-2014, 08:04 AM
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I imagine that quite a few flyers just hang up the transmitter for the duration and wait for spring. I lucked out with an almost perfect flying day a couple of weeks ago and it seemed like maybe an early Spring was here...some of the cherry trees had even started to blossom. But since then we've had several days of snow and then rain so I guess winter is still with us. Maybe I just need to focus on building for the time being.

Last edited by abufletcher; 02-15-2014 at 08:22 AM.
Old 02-15-2014, 08:07 AM
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We find the skill of a pilot really tested when the airplane is 30' - 50' off the ground during final approach, low on fuel or dead stick, crabbing like a rogue wave in gale force breeze not present when the plane took off.

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Old 02-15-2014, 08:07 AM
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I thought Wyoming was always blowing 20+


I like a nice breeze 10 or so to fly in but NO crosswinds. I have flown my little 3D plane in 25+ and that was a blast - just hover it like a chopper and watch it fly backwards.

One thing I can say is that it does help with your control skills. Flying in really gusty winds and keeping the wings level is a challenge and good practice for that day when you are landing and get hit by a gust.

I fly my simulator at 40+ all the time with every plane on the menu just to help my coordination.

Keith


Originally Posted by hairy46 View Post
I live in Wyoming, but have to agree, 15 mph is about when I pack up and go home!
Old 02-15-2014, 09:42 AM
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Here on Oahu the winds are pretty much always blowing. You have to learn to deal with it, or you just don't fly.

I took a little park zone P 51 out in 20 mile an hour gusts couple days ago. As long as direction and the windspeeds are rather stable, you can do it. I do wait to fly my giant scales until it's a little less breeze though!
It's the price to pay for flying in paradise!
Casey
Old 02-15-2014, 09:45 AM
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abufletcher
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And I suppose you do it while big-wave surfing at the same time!
Old 02-15-2014, 09:59 AM
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No but I did fly at Sandy's Beach! Big fast passes out over the water! I've got an Eflite power 15 stuffed in that little P51, it will do about 100mph with a APC 12x12! Lol

aloha,

Casey
Old 02-15-2014, 10:07 AM
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Aside from wind direction, I also think that it's about the model that you're flying. Imagine flying a 25lb warbird that has retracts that cost $600. It won't be too fun for me flying above 15mph.
Old 02-15-2014, 10:17 AM
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Oh don't get me wrong, you rush out to fly on days when it's dead calm here. It's just that very rarely ever happens. So you get used to flying in winds that are somewhere between 15 to 20. I'm getting ready to maiden a scaled out giant scale A6M2 Zero that I'm building to fly at the Pearl Harbor event soon(held on Ford Island!).
82" span at about 25 lbs. I'm sure I'll pucker up abit!

Casey
Old 02-15-2014, 10:37 AM
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I was stationed on Ford Island back in the 70's and 80's. That should be on heck of a nice flying field you have there.

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