Hobby Zone Firebird II
Jeffrey Zweizig Jeff Zweizig Jeffrey Zweizig Jeff Zweizig

Well, I watched the video and then kept crashing until I figured it out. Then I crashed some more. I got a little better then crashed a few more times. It's good the plane comes with two wings because the first one is sacrificed to the initial learning curve.

I went to the park last night for my first flight. At first I was confining myself to a narrow strip of field because most of the field was occupied with a soccer game. This was a mistake as I crashed into a tree. Twice. Lucky for me there was this little kid that liked climbing trees. In fact, there was no talking him out of it. These were old trees that I wouldn't go near with a cherry picker, but the kid shot right up them. Saved me $80, so I let him drive my wife's E-Maxx around.

Eventually the soccer guys cleared out and that's when I finally started getting the hang of it. The battery lasted much longer then I expected. Maybe 15 minutes total. I think it's a little hard to fly now because the wing is kind of messed up, but I want to get some more practice on the first broken wing before I switch to the spare.

It turned out to be a lot of fun. I'm glad it was only $80. Anymore than that and crashing would have irritated me and made it not fun.

Next day...

No little kid to bail me out this time. Spent most of the morning with a rock on the end of a string trying to stone the plane out of a tree.

Later that day...

While replacing rock-damaged tail section on the plane, I made an interesting discovery. The levers that operate the tail flaps have four mounting holes from least sensitive to most sensitive. I don't recall reading about this in the instructions. Out of the box the levers were set to their least sensitive position. When I installed the new tail, I set them to the second to most sensitive position. This seems to have made all the difference. I have way more control now and lots more fun.

I'm getting better. I can do the basics like turning and landing without crashing. And I did some controlled stalls and dives. I was flying this afternoon in too windy conditions. It was fun, but I got pushed into the ground a few times. And I still crash into trees. I don't understand the trees. I'm in the middle of this huge field and I and still can't always keep the plane within the perimeter. But I'm getting better at crashing too. If I see I'm going into a tree, I'm getting better at nosing it into the ground, or at least crashing low enough into the tree that I can get it back. This is one tough little plane.

Next day...

Excellent flight tonight. I think I'm finally on the down side of the learning curve.

I broke a wing in mid-air. Cool crash! The wing was already messed up, it was just a matter of time. I have now destroyed one wing and half way destroyed the second. I've also replaced the tail, the prop and a bunch of rubber bands. The prop didn't break, it just pops off when you crash and I finally lost it in the underbrush. It should be florescent orange instead of gray.

If you don't have a near by, well stocked LHS, buy lots of spare parts with your Firebird II.

Well it's been a few weeks now since I've flown my Firebird II. I became a little discussed with the plane, but that's because I was trying to fly it in too windy conditions. You need a calm day to fly this plane. Check back later for more updates.

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