Keith Lightbody's Radio Control Model Planes
last updated 5 March 2007

History: Way back in the 1960's I had my first attempt at flying model planes. My kit consisted of a diesel motor that required flicking over by hand (it is a wonder I still have all my fingers!), a carefully constructed balsa plane with dope covered wings and the standard dual wire control lines. Over a year I achieved an airtime measured in seconds and then badly damaged the wing so I gave up!

Success: I did not taste success until 2003 when I bought an ARF Aerobird with an electric motor, NiMH battery, pusher propellor, robust plastic body and ready made wing. My first flights were on a large farm with my teenage son joining in (he is an expert at computer games) - I nearly flew it out of sight a couple of times when the wind was up and confused away from me and toward me. Fortunately at the same time I bought a RealFlight G2 Lite RC Simulator with a USB controller - with regular sessions on the computer I quickly learned how to fly the Aerobird well enough so that either my son or I could catch it when landing. A few extra batteries allowed up to 30 minutes of flying on the farm. I then taped on some extra elevator surface and tweaked the tail controls to achieve easy loops. Finally I started flying in the park out the front door of my house - the RC simulator was essential to me being able to fly safely in a relatively small park with a few obstacles. Please click on SUCCESS FACTORS for more details on how to get started in RC without unecessary stress, wasted time or excessive costs.

Current: At present I enjoy walking out my front door to fly electric planes on the park in front of our house - ocassionally I also launch one of my foamies in the park via bungee. For combat near Perth I usually fly at Leighton (between Fremantle and Cotteslo (West) as the site near the old power station at Sth Fremantle is now fenced off for a marina development, Mosman Park (East to NE) or Mindarie (West to SW to South). Combat in Albany is great at Sandpatch (WSW to SSW), Shelleys Beach (NE to East to South) and many other brilliant Rainbow Coast sites.

First model - Aerobird - Apr 2003

(I needed my Dad for the launches)
Second model - Max - Aug 2003

(ready for takeoff from my driveway, original still flying 2006)
Third model - Crazy Max - Oct 2003

(fully carbon fibre reinforced)
Fourth model - Mini Phoenix - Dec 2003

(real performance - 1 hour on 2400 mAh Li battery)
Magpies fly with me in the local park
(friendly - follow my plane without attacking)

Sixth model - Tornado II - April 2004

(great for combat)

Seventh model - Eraser 60 - Aug 2004
(great for friends to try and good fun in combat)
Eighth model - Skua - Dec 2004

(flies like a bat out of hell)

Recover Tornado wing (done)

Recover Eraser wing (half way)
... second electric Glider (not made yet)
... Fling (not made yet)

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