Buddy Boxing with the boys

See the original post at flitetest.com.

Usually my kids are like this when I go flying:

But recently we saw all the DogFight episodes, and now they totally want to get into streamer fighting themselves … but they can’t fly at all. Therefor I decided to get a second remote control and try buddy boxing – let’s see how well they can do it. After all they are five years old. I read a couple of posts about buddy boxing, but what nobody tells you is, that you have to remove the sender module from the trainee TX. While there are nice videos how to do that for good, I decided to do this not so permanent but more sophisticated fix:

The plane we used was an Old Fogey, mainly because that is the only one I can actually control well, but also because it so simple to manage. I had an Old Fogey fold it’s wing on me once, which let me add a support rod, expecting some abrupt maneuvers:

The flying went amazingly well, and I think from their focused faces you can tell how intense and how much fun everything was.

Here are a couple of security advices, after all you go flying with kids:

  • Every time we go flying I ask:”What is so dangerous?” And they answer:”The propeller turns so fast that it can chop of fingers!”
  • While I mount the battery or operate on the plane I have it in the trunk of my car the motor facing inside. Kids love to bend over and point at stuff, this way they can still see, but can’t reach anything dangerous.
  • I have them walk and stand left of me while launching the plane with the right hand. In essence, there is always me between the kids and the plane.
  • Even when it is only me who is flying, I don’t let them run around. Seriously, it is impossible to watch the kids and the plane at the same time. I am aware that this works only with kids that are cooperative, but the simple “You can only come with me flying if you pay attention” rule – and actually leaving them home if it doesn’t work – does the trick quite well.
  • I gave them only control over the rudder and elevator, the motor was in my control, that helps them deal only with one hand, and when you see them stall you can correct without taking over the rc entirely.

I was amazed how well they were flying. Yes, I had to intervene a lot, but mostly just to stabilize and to get it back to altitude, but they managed to fly circles, and even a looping (mostly unintended). They tend to over correct, so once in a while you just take control to level the plane and hand it back immediately. The results are convincing:

I am sure we will need a lot more practice, but I look forward to seeing them fly in their own.

And when you look right you might guess the answer to the question: “I bloody wonder who will pick them out of the sky later?”

Cheers Arend

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