Youtube is great for finding stuff out on just about anything, as I soon discovered.

I was taking time out and exploring YouTube on a number of subjects. Are you ready…

There was – Self powered water pumps and yes they do exist and are brilliant things but of course there are a few catches. Then I got onto Solar Panels, Wind Generators and when I was done I somehow, magically drifted back across to Model Planes… and of course the ole RC Model plane variety.

Our First Control Line Plane

Now Flying Model Planes and I, have a bit of history. When I was a young bloke my father took myself and my brother into an elderly Model Plane Builders  shed. Well it was more like a garage… And one of his most popular planes for us youngster were the ole control line type. I can still smell the balsa wood and fuel to this day… Ahhhh!

This was one exciting place… It turns out , and for reasons unknown  ( I should ask him oneday ) my wonderful father had decided we were getting a Control Line plane, with a petrol engine and fuel and all the other good stuff. To say we were excited is an understatement ( you never forget those moments!)

Now the plane we got was rather crude and for a very good reason, it was literally indestructible ( which we later proved to be the case , many times..) The body was made of hardwood and the wing was a solid fat piece of Balsa which had some resemblance of an air foil. We nosed dived into the ground. Parked it in trees ( and yes , a slight tug and it was off and flying again ).

From memory I think the engine was an Enya 0.15 CC Glow plug affair. I’ve still got it in my collection of engines.

Now that plane had many hours of flying and of course , many hours of the best fun anyone can have at that age! The other thing was it was one of the rare times that myself and my brother worked together and never fought! We flew that thing as often as we could and back in those days, batteries and fuel were cheap.

We strapped on larger fuel tanks, even upgraded the engine at one stage. We came across a little COX engine ( one of those plastic ready to fly things  – still got that too!) and gave that a go. Starting the thing was a bit of an art… The kickback that sometimes happened was a real finger muncher if you weren’t quick enough so we evolved to using a stick – which worked great.

We tried different props and when it did come to grief and modify itself it was easily fixed. Although it was “doped” the oil from the exhaust would get in and weaken the engine mounts and the tabs on the elevator, which were all easily fixed up and modified.

Basically this plane was a brick on a string, relying on the engine to keep it off the ground, although it did glide ok when the engine stopped so landings weren’t so bad.

I nearly got the thing to loop one day… Nearly. I did a few swoops from up above and back down again to make sure the engine wasn’t going to cut out. Looked around to make sure the area was clear and took it up. Well it hung there for a brief moment and started to come down.

Now with control lines, you only have control of the plane when the lines are taught. Just imagine swinging a rock on a piece of string. So with a plane hanging nearly above my head and wanting to fall, kind of made them very loose. So I screamed to everyone “RUN” and I took off running like a mad kid until I got the lines tight. I rescued it just before the ground could leap up and hit it and ran back into the circle feeling kind of cool! Well the others were impressed…

It didn’t quite loop, but it was never designed too but that’s no reason not to have tried!

We had the bug!

We actually had two “stick” planes as we called them. And I’ve still got those to this day. I should take my boys out with them…

Next was a ribbed wing model I bought from the same gentleman and built that up. It had the ole tissue paper covering and was “doped” to make it stronger. Well that had a slight build flaw… The Tail was a little bit at the wrong angle. So instead of it wanting to fly outwards and thus keep tension on the control lines, it wanted to come to me and say hello! To make matters worse on it’s maiden flight, we were in a wooded area with “just” enough room to swing the thing around. Well after a few laps of dancing around to keep control it was landed safely and it never really was flown again after that. I’ve still got that plane too – 30 odds year later.

Years go by… My mate Wayne and I decide to build up a remote control Trainer Plane. And we bought everything. The Big Engine the Electric starter that you place on the nose cone to spin the engine… We had jobs and were single.. So money wasn’t an issue!

We built the plane – well Wayne did most of it. I financed – he built. And over one Christmas break we had the Mercedes Benzs of trainer RC Planes.

Now this is where things took a turn. We took the plane down to the local RC Club and because we had no idea on what to do, one of the flyers there offered to take it up for a spin for use to check it out. And it flew like magic and we were congratulated on building it so well! We took it home feeling rather pleased with ourselves…

Next Weekend we packed up everything and went back down the the RC Club area and no one was there… Hmm Dilemma? We looked at each other and we both had the same thought… the answer being “Hell why not!”

So I volunteered Wayne to be the pilot. He was and still is a registered pilot ( for real planes ) and so he must be able to fly it?

We cranked it up – checked the radio and made sure we had it all working and Up She Went… Things started out ok.. It took off and flew like a bought one… Then Wayne went to turn it around… Now at this stage things were looking great until the person at the Controls screamed… “I don’t know what to do!”… Well I wasn’t overly phased at that stage… But a few more seconds later seeing it nose dive further than the height of the ground changed my mind… And of course the spectacular thump, the stopping of the engine and bits of plane dancing about the air before coming to rest definitely gave me cause to think… “Now I’m sure he actually doesn’t know what he is doing…

So building a plane, is one step of the process. Once that Plane is up in the air, it’s a whole different ball game, even for a bloke that flies the real things.

We started building another, I even bought another mostly built from an air club auction along with some old gliders… Gliders… That was my next phase. When I was still single and between jobs, I went and built one. Let’s just say that I ended up warping the wing a little and it was never a contender to fly…

The Glider Phase

Oh of the ones I got from the auction. Well I got one of those air worthy. Now with gliders you need a way to launch them. The traditional way is to use a length of surgical rubber. It’s light and very stretchy and springs back nicely. I’d seen them using this down at the Glider Club I visited one day.

So I got it into my head.. “hey why not build a beast of a rubber band using lots of the bigger rubber bands and join them all up. Great Idea! So I spent the afternoon weaving my beasty glider launching rubber band. At this stage I was living with my now wife and my two step sons. Wayne comes over… Let’s try this out..

So out on the rather long driveway – I took one end and Wayne took the other and we stretched it out to see what would happen. By this time it was dusk… I made two mistakes… I was on my own at one end and everyone else was at the other end with Wayne “consorting”.  Which is what I soon discovered once I heard this whoosing sound which followed by a very large bunch of rubber band landing in my nether regions sending me to the ground laughing – while in pain – as to how stupid I was trusting them AND not having thought of doing that myself ( well I’m too nice…)

Weeks later we took everything down to my brothers farm and the boys and I got it all setup. Unfortunately it was rather windy… and it wasn’t until the last day of our stay that we decided – “stuff this – let’s just try the thing.” So off we troddled with the beasty rubber band – plane – the assistants and the onlookers.

So out in the paddock, we got ready and we launched… Up she went and even released properly… It went around – hesitated  – and decided to plummet back to earth. Which resulted in a rather mangled plane. What had happened on launch was that the battery had shifted – altering it’s center of gravity and turning it into a brick.

I had since ventured into buying one of those ready to fly cheap plastic planes… They don’t like a breeze and so they got modified by the ground.

The Whole Point is…

If you’ve never learned the ins and outs of actually building and all the do’s and dont’s and tricks  to flying a plane, you are setting yourself up for some serious heartache… or you are very lucky and get it right. In all my RC Adventures it’s been on the unlucky side. But it’s still something I’ll always want to do. I know I’ll be back out there one day soon.

A brief tale of what happens when you don’t take heed.

Just briefly back to my “control line days”… One Christmas my brother and I were up at the primary school oval doing our thing when an old class mate and his dad wondered down with their new plane. Now keep in mind that our plane was like a lump of wood with a wing – not pretty at all. The plane that they proudly presented to us was a lovely red covered single wing. It was magnificent and they had been running in the engine for over 20 hours as someone had told them too… Ok Fair enough.

My first question was… Chris – have you ever flown a control line plane. The answer was NO. Ok…Well then would you like to have a go of ours first to see how it feels…. the answer was NO! So on letting Chris and his dad know that this was an acrobatic plane and it would leap about at the slightest touch, fell on deaf ears… So my brother and I gave up trying to help and stood back to watch the inevitable!

To be honest – I’d be really nervous about flying that thing back then…

So they started it… Proud Dad took it out while Chris stood in the center with the hand line control poised and gave the signal… And then Dad let go.

Well it went UP, then it went DOWN and it got about 1/8th of a lap in distance. What was left was toothpicks… Pretty looking toothpicks at that… So Chris and his Dad scooped up their once wonderful “worked on this all holidays” stunt flyer and went home… and we never saw them again…

So back to YouTube….

I’d been watching videos on how to build planes from scratch using foam ( that’s been my next stage… ). Watching how to cut foam wings. Watching a lot of planes come to grief ( you do feel sad seeing that happen…) and I finally after many hours discovered one of the Few RC Diehards with a course on RC Flying…

Now he does recommend that you join a club and get someone to show you the ins and outs of flying… They are more than happy to help and give advice. (It’s one of those hobbies that is very social and friendly.)  It’s a skill because everything goes crazy once that plane gets into the air. It’s definitely not something you’ll just know…

Also when it comes to RC Planes there is a lot of other stuff to know. Like which model is best to learn on. What radio equipment to get. If you get into electric motor drive planes ( and you probably will ) that’s a whole new ballgame. What motors to get, what props to use what ESC to use and what an ESC is! There Gyros an coverings and Aileron mixers and other kinds of flight surface mixers…

All this information is hard to come by. Well I should state that the Correct Information is hard to come by. There is lots of it out there.

So Dave Powers of RCPowers has produced one of the most comprehensive courses covering everything to do with RC Planes, their building, flying and upkeep and repair. He’s packed his 20 years of experience into this course and also you’ll be getting a whole lot of bonuses as well.

So if you want one of the most incredible information source on RC Planes ( and not have to learn the hard way like I have…) then You can get Dave Powers Learn to Fly RC Jets Course Here ( You get the plans to all of the jets.)

For your viewing pleasure

This is called “RC Su-37 Aerobatic STUNTS “.  What I like about these “tests” is that the Model he is flying looks like a lot of fun but it has things hanging off it all over the place. Something that happens when you are testing… But it does some amazing things… Something to work towards. It’s broken up with some of Daves mates with their planes…  Now I’ve seen real jets hover at air shows… I’ve never seen a model electric one do it. It’s one complicated beast but impressive..

So Enjoy..

Now this next one is trippy. A Flying School Bus of all things. What’s amazing about this is “by day it’s a school bus…at the flick of a switch and it’s a flying school bus.” It’s just like an RC Transformer. I’d be very interested to know how he did this… Sit back and enjoy…

Now Remember that you can get Dave Powers Learn to Fly RC Jets Course Here.

NOTE: When you get to the page via the link above , after reading the Story of Bill and his struggle, simply click on the link that says…

“Click here to learn what Bill did to fly the right way and how you can too….” and you’ll be able to read more about what in is the course, what you’ll be getting and how to buy it.

In the meantime, I’ll have to get myself organised and start doing this…

Wayne Built His Own Real Plane

Oh and if you are wondering about my mate Wayne. Well he was the best man at my wedding. But he’d also built himself a house with a 3 car garage and just a few weeks back he completed his home build of a GPS4. He made every part himself and I must say it’s a bleeding fantastic plane. The only problem is  – it looks like I’m going up with him first! Now I have memories of a certain pilot of a nice shiny model plane  in a field many years ago… But I might have an “Out”… Apparently I have to loose a lil bit of weight else my side might not take off… Hmm we’ll see!

Happy Flying.


Tim Brownlaw

PS – I will get photos on here as soon as I can… I got some of Waynes GPS4  and if I visit my shed I’ll grab some of the ole beasts to show off here.

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