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Super Ava E

When I recommenced this hobby a couple of years ago, my thought was to return to gliding, with models limited to 2.0meters. This limit was set to cause me to learn to fly better, and not to get too high…….

Gliding became a passion, but a couple of things happened. The Radian came along, complete with a motor. Still a glider, sort of. Then came increased participation in the club, so I got into electric foamy planes, mostly to join in club power comps. And then came floats for the foamies, a whole lot of fun. Gliding remained the prime interest, but I had been distracted a bit.

When I recommenced this hobby a couple of years ago, my thought was to return to gliding, with models limited to 2.0meters. This limit was set to cause me to learn to fly better, and not to get too high…….

Gliding became a passion, but a couple of things happened. The Radian came along, complete with a motor. Still a glider, sort of. Then came increased participation in the club, so I got into electric foamy planes, mostly to join in club power comps. And then came floats for the foamies, a whole lot of fun. Gliding remained the prime interest, but I had been distracted a bit.

Distraction analysis. I had to address my related distractions with models; and to consider the delight in the challenges and friendships that come with competition. Further, I had to consider propellers, lots of channels and that 2.0meter limit.   

Decision. Go big, go electric, go F5J, and if possible go purple. And not spend too much……

Outcome. I purchased a Pulsar 3.6 E ARF F5J from Espirit in the US. Groan, its bloody RED, but really beautiful! Distraction achieved.

Building it was the perfect distraction from hurt, but fraught with peril. Lots of time spent in the shed, trying this, then that (no instructions – seems it is understood that models of this type aren’t usually assembled by dills!) but slowly getting it all done. Alignment of bits took time, but I had exercises to keep me busy while thinking about stuff. Nothing was terribly difficult, but it had to be right, and that took time. Remarkably balance came out just about perfect, requiring minor adjustment of the battery only.

Biggest issue was the size of the thing when fully assembled. I have a good size shed, but someone parked cars and other stuff in it. Maneuvering the completed beast became quite an issue at times, but thankfully hangar rash was avoided.

Its spring in Melbourne. So what? Well, imagine a completed model and the need to fly it. Then imagine two weeks of completely unsuitable weather. But there comes a perfect day, full sun and ultra light breeze, so fill the car and off to the field.

there comes a perfect day, full sun and ultra light breeze, so fill the car and off to the field.

All assembled, tested, ready to go, but nobody else around to do the hand launch. Have a coffee, chat to the magpies…… lah, lah, lah. Bugger it, trust your arm.

Limp (remember, crook knee) out into the field, run the checks, get forty thousand switches in the right place, find the wind. Lift it high, power it up a bit and…..launch!

A perfect climb out, so power up full to get height. Trim a bit and enjoy a great maiden flight. Landing was really interesting, all sorts of trim issues when I put flaps on, despite mixes etc. Nothing like a bit of drama.

Since the maiden it has made more than 20 flights, with a couple of nasty moments (but no nasty ground contact) caused by me. Biggest problem was confusion with switches, and trying to get the thing to land – it loves to stay airborne!

That is mostly fixed now. I have reduced the number of switched functions, and introduced the ‘Percy’ switch for landing. The Percy switch slows the plane by having both ailerons go up, with a bit of down elevator mixed in. I use flap if necessary, but not on a switch.

So now I’m all set up for F5J, in reasonable conditions. Learning to fly the thing effectively will take a while, but that’s OK. Oh, it does thermal, goes super fast in a dive accompanied by that glorious whistling sound, loops easily and rolls ever so slowly and gracefully. Its an inspiring device!

There are a couple of issues though. Grant is in the process of building the purple beauty, its arrival is anticipated greatly. When it is sorted, it will be on!! Rusty is casting about for a model, and Percy has a shed full of stuff…..

But the biggest issue is knees. I have two, both of which are now stainless and plastic. I just wonder what I will have to do to require ‘distraction’ in the future? Seems that the only time I get to spend lotsa bucks on a new model is when I’m post operative.

I’m gonna have to cook something up, I need distraction. Espirit now have a 4.0m Pulsar Comp model, even more beautiful than the 3.6, or the Ava. And guess what? Yep, it is completely purple!!!!!

Wrenford Brown