What do you do with your plane?

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skeeter_ca

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Jun 29, 2005
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Yucaipa, Ca
:) As promised, i'm starting this thread to find out exactly what people do with their planes. I'm asking because a few people on another thread gave the impression that flying a plane gets boring quick and there's nothing really to do besides get you from A to B.

Where do you fly to and what do you do? What activities do you plan with your plane? What are you planning to do with your plane when you finish your build or buy one? Lets prove them wrong.

skeeter
 

skeeter_ca

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Jun 29, 2005
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Yucaipa, Ca
To start this off i'll give the ideas i have for my plane when i'm finished. It's a 2 seat amphibian.

I plan on doing alot of snorkeling. The plan is to set down in some quiet bay, in the lower parts of florida and the keys, and picnic and snorkel the day away. Also weekend ventures would include the Bahamas.

Plane camping sounds like alot of fun. Venturing out to the wildness with me and my wife could be blissful.

Share my fun and experiences with other flyers at airshows and get-togethers.

These are just some ideas floating around in my head as i build. I'm sure there's some more. Can anyone give some others things to do?

skeeter
 

rtfm

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Jan 3, 2008
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Brisbane, Australia
Hi Skeeter,
I was one of the guys who wrote (volubly) about the quandry people find themselves in once the plane is built. My gripe was more about the dearth of organised club activities than anything else. Notice, I am still building, so I see value in the exercise, and value in actually owning a plane.

So - here is what I personally would like to do with the Razorback once it is finished:

  1. First, I will thoroughly enjoy the 40 hours of testing I am obliged to do because the plane is a new design. I'm looking forward to determining all the flight characteristics, and closer to the time, I'll be reading everything I can find on how to test fly an aircraft.
  2. Once the 40 hours is flown off, I plan to fly to every weekend fly-in in the country. New Zealand is small, so it is entirely feasible to fly from Auckland to Christchurch (about 600 nautical miles). In the Razorback that is about a 4-hour trip
  3. One of my cherished aims is to fly across the Tasman sea from New Zealand to Australia. Two stops on the way, longest leg over water is about 3 hours.
  4. While I love the lure of the extended trips, I really like the idea of zipping into and out of unprepared strips. So the Razorback has a 35kt stall, and (according to the numbers) a take-off to 50ft of just over 300ft. I plan to spend some time with local instructors homing my short strip skills
  5. Gentleman's aerobatics. Nothing severe - but I'd like to complete my aerobatic rating.
  6. And because I would like to weekend away with my wife (and take buddies flying sometimes) I'll start building a two-seater as soon as funds allow.
So - plenty for me to do once the plane is complete - but that doesn't change the fact that on my airfield anyway - there is an almost complete absence of organised flying activity. Just old men sitting round and talking about flying. I still think the recreational flying scene is headed for an evolutionary backwater. Just not for me personally.

Duncan
 

AnxiousInfusion

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Mar 3, 2010
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73
Location
Port Town
If I had a plane I would probably focus on modifying it in as many safe ways as possible to get it to go faster. It would be a 'fun' plane in both the hanger and the sky.

...seeing as that I enjoy machines more than I enjoy operating them.
 

142yx

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Dec 8, 2009
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96
Location
Centennial, CO
I am building a Sonex Waiex, and when it is finished i too look forward to the flight test phase. I can't wait for it, actually. I look forward to being able to afford to fly whenever i want.. to see how many miles i can cover in a weekend, and to see the look on my friend's faces when i take them for their first ride in a small airplane. I can't wait to be flying in my plane.
 

scuba72

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Aug 8, 2008
Messages
125
Flying an airplane boring? Sometimes, but the thrills in between outweigh the boring times significantly.

When I finish my build I hope to fly as often as I can. Be it just around the pattern a few times, or a few miles to someplace I've never been before. I'm building a 1 place, so my flying will be just for me. If I want to take some one else up, I'll rent a 2 place.
 

Hot Wings

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Nov 14, 2009
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Rocky Mountains
Flying an airplane boring? Sometimes, but the thrills in between outweigh the boring times significantly.
This could be a really interesting and enlightening thread :)

Sometimes boring? I actually find flying boring most of the time - but I'm working on changing that. To me airplanes are not much more than tools used to perform a task. There is one exception.

So why do I fly? Because I like to. Sounds kind of contradictory but I just like to be up there looking down.

Unfortunately I don't own the kind of plane I'd like to have for the simple joy of flying. A take home motor glider would be my choice if I could only own/fly one plane. I will have one someday.
Other than that what do I do with airplanes?

I like to get out in the back country for camping. My tool for that is a gyro. Lands anywhere, carries lots of weight and fits on a snowmobile trailer behind the truck to get kind of close to where I want to be. Gyros have lousy range.

Need to go somewhere? My tool for that is the Bellanca, when it makes more sense than driving. Kind of a waste of a plane in some ways. It just sits there unless I have someplace to go which isn't all that often. It's way to expensive to fly "just for fun". For some reason I always liked the look of the triple tails. Probably not the smartest thing I ever bought.

Aerobatics? The plane I'm building right now should do in a pinch. I'm just not interested in high G aerobatics. Too much work. Flying shouldn't be painful.

Social networking? Fly ins? Just about any plane/tool seems to work for that. Non of my family except my brother likes to fly so it's been pretty much a solo thing for me. I'm not much of a social creature.

The exception I mentioned above? I'm a technical minded motor-head at heart with an artistic side. I started out as most do thinking drag racing was interesting. It got boring real quick. I turned to road racing. It wasn't practical since I live in the middle of nowhere and there was only one other SCCA guy in the county. Besides, 3D is much more interesting than 2D.

I like the challenge of creating something new or improving what already exists. That's why I build. I'm looking forward to a long and interesting phase 1 testing - maybe 100 hours or so:grin:

Then its back to the calculator and CAD to see if I can do better. A 5/1 cruise/stall speed ratio on 35 Hp seems like something I'd like to take a stab at. I like to build as much as I like to fly, maybe more.

If the only plane available was a 172? :eek: :wail: :pout: The up side to that would be that I'd have time to restore my old Bug Eye. Loved that little car.
 

mz-

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Nov 26, 2009
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144
Location
Finland
I hope planes would be much quieter so you could go places without scaring the hell out of all wildlife and be noticed by everyone from kilometers away - that would expand their utility and enjoyability hugely and would reduce the stress level of pilots as well. Maybe an electric assisted motor glider would be a right plane for me then...
The activities I nowadays do, because I can afford them, are hiking, kayaking and bicycling. They all give the opportunity to go places that might be hard to get to otherwise and enable you to enjoy your surroundings without causing huge disturbance (of course you still don't go kayaking near nesting birds etc).
 

Lucrum

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Jun 10, 2008
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Canton, GA
I don't have a plane yet and have a long way to go before I do.

I plan on doing some traveling with the wife, some aerobatics, attending fly ins and airshows.
 

Anymouse

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Apr 11, 2010
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Pretty much homeless. My location varies from SW A
I chose and built my Tango with cross country flying in mind. That's what I try to use it for the most, however I do find myself boring holes in the sky from time to time. Unfortunately, due to my the lifestyle demanded by my job, I don't get to spend anywhere as much time as I'd like flying the Tango.

My current project, the U-2, is intended more for local flying. Now, if only I can get past the rib building stage. :rolleyes:
 

DarylP

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Joined
Mar 22, 2010
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352
Location
CO
I hope planes would be much quieter so you could go places without scaring the hell out of all wildlife and be noticed by everyone from kilometers away - that would expand their utility and enjoyability hugely and would reduce the stress level of pilots as well. Maybe an electric assisted motor glider would be a right plane for me then...
The activities I nowadays do, because I can afford them, are hiking, kayaking and bicycling. They all give the opportunity to go places that might be hard to get to otherwise and enable you to enjoy your surroundings without causing huge disturbance (of course you still don't go kayaking near nesting birds etc).
MZ,
Check out the Flightstar E-Spyder
E-SPYDER
 

mz-

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Nov 26, 2009
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Finland
MZ,
Check out the Flightstar E-Spyder
E-SPYDER
That looks great but with such a large chord, struts, and low speed the drag must be large and the range really low, especially in a head wind.
If the batteries have an optimistic 100 Wh/kg, then 10 kW for 2 hours would need 20 kWh or 200 kg! That's only a 50 mile trip there and back, as it's got such a low speed.
But for flying around the neighbourhood it seems great. With a 24 mph (10 m/s) stall speed you could land on any field in the spring or fall.
 

DarylP

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Mar 22, 2010
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352
Location
CO
That looks great but with such a large chord, struts, and low speed the drag must be large and the range really low, especially in a head wind.
If the batteries have an optimistic 100 Wh/kg, then 10 kW for 2 hours would need 20 kWh or 200 kg! That's only a 50 mile trip there and back, as it's got such a low speed.
But for flying around the neighbourhood it seems great. With a 24 mph (10 m/s) stall speed you could land on any field in the spring or fall.

Its a start! Although expensive. I flew in a engine powered Flightstar and must say that it is one nice plane. It was so quiet in the cabin too.

Here is a electric motor-glider
Pipistrel's All-electric Powered Aircraft Takes To The Skies - Ecofriend

And the Electro Flyer C http://www.electraflyer.com/electraflyerc.php
 
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Offcenter

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Jun 22, 2008
Messages
74
Location
New Jersey
What do I do with my plane?
I go out in the backyard and work on it.
One day I hope to actually FLY it! :gig:
 

skeeter_ca

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Jun 29, 2005
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1,027
Location
Yucaipa, Ca
Yes but you don't jump on your bike and ride 50 miles and then come home right. Usually you combine it with some type of destination. Be it grocery store, mall, lunch, etc.....

skeeter
 

Inverted Vantage

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Jun 19, 2008
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1,116
When I had a car I would just drive it for fun, no destination in mind - just enjoyed going fast. I imagine if I ever get a plane that's what I'd do too. :)
 
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