Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Learning to fly... again

I picked up a new hobby a couple of weeks ago.


That's not me, but I now own a helicopter capable of such stunts.

About seven years ago, I started flying planes. I used to post videos on my YouTube channel.  For no particular reason, I stopped a few years ago. Helicopters have also interested me, so this year I decided to take the plunge and picked up a Blade 450 3D.


Since the weather has been pretty shitty, I haven't been able to take it out for a spin. I considered flying it in my basement to get my feet wet. I only planned to hover, obviously. It's a good thing I didn't try it.

While I was waiting for the weather to improve, I picked up Real Flight 7. I quickly learned that I greatly underestimated the difficulty involved in flying an R/C helicopter.

I'm sure the software paid for itself in the first five minutes. It was frustrating. I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. I switched to a Piper Cub, which was similar to my Super Cub, and took it for a flight. My flying skills had clearly diminished over the years, but I had more success with it than a helicopter.

What did I get myself into?

Over the last week, I've spent hours practicing flying a helicopter in Real Flight 7, slowly making a little progress each time. For the first time last night, I was able to fly in a clockwise direction. I tried counter-clock-wise and failed. But it's progress, and that's giving me confidence, and one day — probably not any time this year — I'll hopefully master the controls and be able to fly like the guy in the video above. Or at least flying in a counter-clockwise direction. ;)

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